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

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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

Class Is In Session: #NXT Review 06/19/14

f5 tornado

How many Fs did Chris hand out this week? From crh.noaa.org

This episode begins with a video package covering last week’s main event.

Backstage, Natalya begs JBL for a tag team title match for Tyson Kidd and Sami Zayn. Kind of random but ok.

Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss (w/ Charlotte and Summer Rae)

Bliss seems to be doing a perky, cheerleader gimmick. Dissension between the BFF’s was the story of this match and that story was told well throughout. Both ladies looked good in a short match that was the backdrop for a bigger angle. Bliss got the win with a roll-up after Banks was distracted (imagine that) by a fight on the outside between Summer and Charlotte.The BFFs argued more afterward.

Backstage, Natalya received a less than enthusiastic reaction from Tyson Kidd regarding his tag team championship opportunity and was dumbfounded as to why.

A 1920’s style Vaudeville style video aired hyping the debut of the Vaudevillains Simon Gotch and Aiden English. Not even a chuckle.

Mojo Rawley vs. Garrett Dylan

Dylan rarely gets a chance to shine and Rawley has gotten way too many chances already. Rawley wins with the Hyperdrive and I don’t care in the least.

The Vaudevillains vs. Jason Jordan & Tye Dillinger

Yet another opening match comedy act coming out of the NXT writers’ room and not even a funny one in my opinion. The Vaudevillains use carnival style feats as the majority of their offense. Aiden English won with a middle rope swanton.

Colin Cassidy sings “That’s Amore”. Yep

RVD is interviewed and challenges Adrian Neville to a match. That match will take place next week, non-title.

Tyler Breeze vs. Kalisto

Match starts out at a slow place. This is deliberate as Breeze is slowing down the high flyer with wear down holds. The action picks up as Kalisto begins his comeback. His comeback is short lived as Breeze hits a Beauty Shot out of nowhere for the win. Decent match.

The Ascension vs. Sami Zayn & Tyson Kidd for the NXT Tag Team Championship

The long awaited heel turn has finally arrived for Tyson Kidd. The entire match was the setup for the angle as Kidd never tagged in and Zayn worked the whole match himself. He took a beating most of the way. He made a brief comeback but when he went for the hot tag Kidd jumped off the apron leaving Zayn easy prey for the Fall of Man and The Ascension retained. Ok action, great angle.

Grades

Sasha Banks- She has “mean girl” down pat and is steadily improving in the ring. B-

Alexa Bliss- Decent outing for the gorgeous peppy blonde. Her match was a backdrop for the BFF break-up angle so it was not meant to be a major shining moment for her. B-

Charlotte/Summer Rae- Their angle advanced majorly with good physicality. Both played their roles great. A

Mojo Rawley- F

Garrett Dylan- F

Vaudevillains- F

Jordan/Dillinger- F

Tyler Breeze- Prince Pretty continues to look good enroute to his date with destiny. A-

Kalisto- He was able to show off his high flying moveset this week and looked good in defeat. B+

The Ascension- They’re still not very good but NXT is smart enough to not put them in situations where the can look bad. C+

Tyson Kidd- Tonight for him was all about facial expressions and body language. He excelled at both. A

Sami Zayn- He took his beating like a man and made the Ascension look like world beaters. He did his job and looks forward to a feud where he can live up to his fullest potential. A

Natalya- I’m trying to keep this brief so I won’t rate every person who appeared on this show but she was her usual awful self when doing anything but performing in the ring. Hopefully he joins her hubby on the dark side. F

Overall Show- I enjoyed the forward progression in the two main angles that book ended the show and some of the action was decent, especially Breeze vs. Kalisto. But the middle of the show is becoming a veritable wasteland of green talent with stupid gimmicks. It’s developmental so the former is excusable but the latter is really starting to become a problem and will likely be the subject of my first full-length blog. C

#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

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.

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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

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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