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

Tim Howard, US Goalkeeper, after a tying goal from Portugal. From AFP/Getty Images.

Tim Howard, US Goalkeeper, after a tying goal from Portugal. From AFP/Getty Images.

I may have had my annual condominium meeting yesterday, but the day was all about waiting for the US Men’s soccer team taking on Portugal in the Amazon jungle at Manaus. It was the greatest game with the worst ending that I’ve had the pleasure of watching. The fact that the US is keeping up with Portugal is pretty awesome. Giving up a lead with 30 seconds though blows big time. I’m sure I’ll be completely useless on Thursday during game time at work. Saving the toughest opponent in Germany isn’t going to make things any easier.

Stephanie McMahon calls out Vickie Guerrero. I don’t care. Hell of a way to start the show. Especially due to the fact that this one is over coffee. Vickie watches Raw but Stephanie doesn’t since she spotted Reigns spiking the drink. If they used the coffee comment to kick start this segment, it was stupid. Stephanie gives her the old run down including the Eddie insults. They reward us with giving Vickie an option for a match. Stephanie is her opponent. I guess she’s going to put those work outs with HHH to the test. Vickie uses Eddie’s “Lie, Cheat & Steal” thinking. The crowd is behind Vickie. Please stop reacting. What is up with Mitchell Cool’s suit jacket?

Luke Harper is taking on Jimmy Uso in a singles match. We all can’t wait for Erick Rowan vs Jey on Smackdown. A super kick is the first big move that gets a two count. Jimmy runs into the Clothesline From the Bayou. So we got a two minute match after that fabulous opening segment? We only have to wait for a commercial break for Rowan vs Jey. Twitter, stop making Vickie vs Steph trend. I’m begging you. It’s okay to not blow everything the WWE puts on TV. Super kick to Rowan that whacks his head against the ring post. Jimmy takes out Harper. Jey with the Snuka splash for the win. The Wyatts gets the upper hand after the match. They hold up the gold ensuring they won’t win. Bray Wyatt congratulates Harper & Rowan before talking about trampling souls all over the universe. I dig the man’s style.

Of course we have to have the Rusev & Lana in DC segment. I should really start FF the segments with these bozos. Paige is joining the announce crew. She can’t believe she still has the belt. Just in case Total Divas didn’t suck enough, you can watch it now on the WWE Network. Cameron comes off far less bitchy when she tries to. Paige is at least likable. She needs some work. Naomi is taking on Alicia Fox as they don’t pay attention to it. They are trying to pull her Total Divas persona into it. Naomi would be a complete moron not to get rid of Cameron after this match. It isn’t helping that Cameron has no support for any of her arguments. Naomi wins with a Final Cut. Paige and Naomi have a stare down. Mitchell Cool can’t wait for the match between the two after telling us at least three times that Naomi beat Paige on Main Event last week. Sheamus asks Roman Reigns is ready to fight. Sheamus reminds Reigns that he has some pay back coming to at MITB. Reigns doesn’t believe in magic, he believes in Roman Reigns. They’re doing the smart thing with Reigns, Keep It Simple Stupid.

Cameron's character is Lost In Translation too. from CreateBuildDestroy.com

Cameron’s character is Lost In Translation too. from CreateBuildDestroy.com

Titus O’Neil is taking on Bo Dallas. Let’s go Bo! chant is happening. O’Neil is beating down Dallas early. Running Bo-dog for another victory. O’Neil knows what happens when all the other jobbers get fired. Dallas grabs the mic after O’Neil swats it to the outside. This stuff cracks me up. He’s so obnoxious.

HHH gets another top of the hour segment. Thanks McMahon Family. Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, RVD and Bad News Barrett are joining Seth Rollins in the traditional MITB match. Rollins shows he’s a smart man by already having his own t shirt. He asks why the crowd isn’t over something that happened three weeks ago. Ha. Rollins is interested enough in the subject to repeat his “Architect” talking points. RVD comes out. Rollins throws out the 2005 reference. Best RVD promo in maybe forever. It’s nothing to write home about but the stoner sounded decent. RVD talks himself into a match with Rollins. RVD monkey flips Rollins across the ring. RVD nails the plancha and follows it up with moonsault from the apron. Break time. Rollins is in control after the break. He covers for a cover after a swinging clothesline take down. Rollins tries to wear down RVD. The leg scissors pin was a slick move but still ultimately pointless. RVD nails Rolling Thunder. RVD goes for the splash but Rollins distracts him. RVD counters with a  Tornado DDT. RVD misses the Five Star. Buckle Bomb. Curb Stomp. Dean Ambrose attacks for the DQ. Ambrose is playing up the crazy angle by jumping on the announce table to attack Rollins. Amborse threatens to screw up MITB if he doesn’t get into the traditional match with Rollins.

HHH tries to talk Rollins out of requesting Ambrose to be put in the match. He tells HHH he needs to be a ring general with Ambrose. He needs to have eyes on him. I got this. HHH puts Ambrose in the match. Best speech by Rollins, hands down. Bad News Barrett has some bad news for us. Dolph Ziggler compares him to the Washington Redskins. Much better done than the Rusev & Lana combo. The segments are in the same spirit, run down the city we’re in.

The match between Dolph Ziggler and Bad News Barrett starts after with a big announcement from Justin Roberts. Interesting. I figured Dolph was going to lose after seeing him win last week at the Smackdown tapings. Mitchell starts getting shit about his jacket. I’m going to guess Twitter is helping out.  Drop kick by Ziggler leads to an early pin. Barrett clotheslines Ziggler outside. Back elbow by Ziggler. Weird looking cross body. A neck breaker takes the starch out of Ziggler for some reason. Winds of Change by Barrett. Zig Zag but Dolph is still injured. Barrett rolls to the outside. Ziggler thinks elbows will get him a victory. Barrett drops an elbow of his own off the ring apron. Barrett kicks Ziggler in the gut from a top rope position. Ziggler kicks out. Barrett misses his attempt off the top. Barrett tosses Ziggler in the air to pancake him. Wasteland only gets a two count. Barrett is hot at the ref. Barrett misses the Bull Hammer. Ziggler only gets two on the Fame Asser. Ziggler rolls into a crucifix pin. Barrett nails the Bull Hammer to retain. Fun stuff. Not surprised by the outcome but the WWE seems to be getting behind Ziggler again. They’ve let him shine in some losses recently. Renee Young asks Vickie how concerned she is. She has been insulted her whole time in the WWE. She has no regrets. Randy Orton greets her. She’s going to get what she deserves tonight. He’s going to get what he deserves on Sunday.

From Spike.com

From Spike.com

We get the traditional mud wrestling match. The first one to go into the pit loses the match. Steph brings out Layla, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox on Vickie. The crowd is finally realizing how confusing this segment is. They decide to put her down. She pushes Rosa into the mud. She side steps Layla. Alicia Fox tries to get the jump but doesn’t. Stephanie sneaks up on vickie and tosses her in. As Steph sings “Goodbye”, Vickie tosses in Stephanie. The segment becomes more hilarious when Chad Patterson falls into the mud substance.

Goldust is talking to Byron Saxton. He saw Stardust, who comes in singing. Goldust is excited that he’s the normal one. Zeb Colter is in the ring with Jack Swagger. Kofi Kingston is his opponent. The announcers get to talk up Kofi’s spotfest abilities. Swagger is working over Kofi. Fulcrum kick by Kofi turns things around. Kofi clotheslines Swagger outside. Kofi drop kicks him when he gets back in. Swagger catches him from the top. Kofi somehow got on Swagger’s shoulder to roll him up. Swagger puts on the Patriot Lock. Kofi finally taps after Swagger drags him away from the ropes. Alberto Del Rio tries to sell himself as credible. Paul Heyman and Cesaro are not impressed. Del Rio calls Cesaro a puppet. Cesaro doesn’t speak loser.

Damien Sandow is now dressed as Abraham Lincoln. Big E will do much better without the name Langston. The announcers are cracking themselves up. Big Ending. Woof. Big E wants to defend the Land of the Free. Shouldn’t he be doing this schtick with with Zeb Colter? Lana comes out because she hasn’t sucked enough yet. Rusev blasts Big E from behind. The Accolade is applied for a long time to I guess impress us. This guy couldn’t suck more.

Raw wouldn’t be Raw without John Cena talking to Renee Young. He delivers one of his good style promos where he actually talks about his goal without telling bad dick jokes. (Next Day Note: I know it’s been said plenty of times before, but I would like Cena much more if this was the one that showed up all of the time. I don’t think it’d hurt his standing in the company or with his fans, who don’t get the awful dick jokes.)

John Cena starts against Randy Orton. Sheamus gets in quickly. ADR had a cup of coffee. Cena comes back in to take on Cesaro. He gets the upper hand to allow Bray Wyatt to keep beating on Cena. ADR has Cean in a chin lock back from break. Cesaro tagged himself in. Cesaro puts Cena in a Boston Crab. Cena picks Cesaro’s leg. Cena back body drops Cesaro out of the Neutralizer. Roman Reigns comes in. (Next Day Note: I’d have to say Reigns got that type of response at the SD tapings. Not sure how well it came across since I didn’t watch after attending.) Poor ADR is in the match. Reigns cleans house but it allows ADR to hit a Back Stabber. He tags in Wyatt.  Cross body block by Wyatt. Randy Orton takes control of the beat down on Reigns. Wyatt goes for a corner splash when Reigns nails him with a Superman Punch. Sheamus gets tagged in against Cesaro. Sheamus tosses Cesaro into ADR, which knocks him off the apron. Clubbing blows on the outside. Sheamus hulks up. Spot where everyone hits their finishers. Brogue Kick on Cesaro leads to the win though. Kane shows up. He takes out ADR, Cena and Roman Reigns. Kane gets speared by Reigns after he’s named as the eighth entrant into the MITB Title match. – Kevin

Stunt Granny Conversation: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Skye, Leo Fitz, Agent Coulson, Melinda May

Skye, Jemma Simmons, Leo Fitz, Agent Coulson, Melinda May and Grant Ward

Jeremy:  So caught up in agents of shield. Um it better improve. Having a hard time giving a shit about it.

Kevin:  Yeah, watched episode 3 last night. They’ve got 3 episodes to hook me or else it’s getting the axe. Just terrible.

Jeremy:  Was that the rookie spy one? Everything is too neat and clean. The two scientist kids are worthless.

Kevin: Hacker girl got sent into the party in Malta in that episode. Only positive part of the show was her running after her dress had gotten wet.
Jeremy:  Yeah. Best part was her tits bouncing all over in her wet dress.
Kevin:  Ha ha ha
Jeremy:  Ha. This should have been our convo! But her subplot makes no sense. Of course there is a romance blah blah. I was expecting it to be straight forward at first then get in to things. This weeks makes no sense so far. But only ten minutes in.
Kevin:  We can still make it a convo. Now I feel the need to look up her name. Her name is Skye just so we can keep things straight.
Agents-of-Shield-Sky-running
Jeremy: I am giving this week a chance. I don’t count the pilot episode. The show did receive a full season order so maybe they can start writing for longer arcs. At the least clean up the logic.
Kevin: They need to clean up the characters first. They’re all so one dimensional. Fighting guy, hacker girl, wacky scientists, woman “dragged” back into the fight and head guy who was last dead in the Avengers movie.
Jeremy: Coulson is the only interesting character. Mainly because he is the only sheet of paper with writing on it.

I know his name and Fitz and Simmons. Get it? It sounds like one name. I have no idea which one is which.
Kevin: Oh my lord, I didn’t get it. That is so stupid. They don’t understand that the wacky scientist needs to be partially human rather than just super smart.
Jeremy: Yes it is poor writing. One dimension. Well wait; they have accents. My bad.
Kevin: Accents make it all better! We’re an international team now. Look, we’ve got an Asian woman who flies the plane. Get it because Asian people don’t know how to drive.
Jeremy: The stoic Asian. Good call. The hunky loner struggling with a team but is so dreamy the outsider falls for him.
Kevin:  Always need to have a woman hard ass these days so, oh my lord, her name is Melinda May? Could you make it sound any more white?
May as well make her name Yu Wang so that they can make door jokes.
Jeremy: So should we expect there to be the sassy black chick or angry black guy? Or do we get a comedic relief black person? Seemed to be one of the only stereotypes left . “Damn that science is whack yo.”

#ROH Is The Worst Part XIV

scarlette-johanssen-mullet

Scarlett Johansson can get away with a mullet. Michael Elgin can not.

“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin got mic time to address the Ring of Honor World Title Tournament. They ended up bringing out four of the favorites for the tournament. The other three were Kevn Steen, Mike Bennett and Tomasso Ciampa. I would imagine ROH would call these guys the face of ROH. I’m going to break down why this segment stunk and why each of these guys wouldn’t even be given a B+ from HHH.

Michael Elgin’s look is terrible. Mullets are just a bad hairdo. Trust me, if you look hard enough I’m sure there’s a picture of me with one floating around the internet. Once I got out from under my parent’s roof, it was gone. That was in 1994. Elgin feels differently though and has been letting his mullet grow out. To make matters worse, he’s going bald and you can clearly see his bald spot coming in. You’re not Donald Trump, you can’t get away with a whacky hairdo that is unexplainable. Shave your head and be done with the charade of a hair cut you have. His shirt is even worse than anything the WWE puts out, which is saying something. First off, on the front of the shirt is a skull with chains surrounding it. The design looks like a rough draft for what the shirt should look like, not the final product. At the bottom is Elgin’s slogan, #Elginmode, which would be fine if I had heard about it before he was sporting this shirt on this week’s program.

Kevin Steen was the next one out. I do like the his “Guilty” shirt but his look is still terrible. HHH made fun of Daniel Bryan’s physique (at least according to WWE.com is 5′-10″ and 210 lbs.) for being scrawny and small. What would he say about Kevin Steen who judging by his shirt (Because ROHwrestling.com only has his weight) is 6′-0″ and 240 lbs? And trust me, I understand that HHH wouldn’t be running down Bryan’s physique if he weren’t as over as he is. He’d do it to Steen to see if he was “Tough Enough” to take the verbal beating in public. Or maybe Michael Cole could give him the “Ferrari engine in a tank’s body” moniker since Bray Wyatt is now following buzzards all day which has got to slim his physique a little bit. Though Steen has mic skills, he seems to waste them. Steen makes similar jokes to John Cena which makes it even funnier that “smart” wrestling fans cheer for him. Another display of wasting his mic skills was his utter apathy to trying to turn the fans against him when he was trying to get Jim Cornette out of the company. The fans were hanging on his every word yet he did nothing to try and make them turn against him like a logical story line would dictate.

Mike Bennett was the next out and talks about all of the opportunities Elgin & Steen have been given by management. If he had been paying attention, he would see they weren’t handed opportunities. Steen was, as already noted, raging against the machine known as ROH with Jim Cornette at the helm. Elgin on the other hand had to subvert the entire House of Truth just to cash in his opportunity from Survival of the Fittest to get his title shot. I wouldn’t call either of those situations “having it handed to them multiple times by management”. He could be the future of ROH but his look has gotten worse during his re-imaging. One would think with a looks driven model like Maria Kanellis at your side, you would make better decisions. Trade mark hair? Let’s shave it all. Pretty boy look? Let’s get some terrible tattoos. I’ve revamped the rest of my look so naturally you’d change your trunks, right? Why would my fashion designer girlfriend not design me a pair? Nope, let’s keep them shiny silver and purple and the same cut. Ugh.

Tomasso Ciampa was the last one out. He has an awesome look. He exuded his “Sicilian Psychopath” attitude by going nose to nose with the rest of the competitor’s before saying “Your next ROH World Champion, Tomasso Ciampa” then stomping out of the ring. His underdeveloped mic skills makes him ripe for manager but he had a way too short feud with R.D. Evans (who booted him to the curb for his real life ACL surgery) and Q.T. Marshal so Evans is not an option. Prince Nana got unceremoniously unseated by R.D. Evans in his own Embassy Faction so Ciampa could go back to him but Nana is nowhere to be found these days. Ciampa could help re-build the House of Truth but he’s too busy pushing Hoopla Hotties and Matt Taven to be worried about adding to his stable. So Ciampa’s got to depend on under-developed mic skills which might be one of the reasons he got released from WWE Developmental.

So, if Daniel Bryan is a solid B+, let’s figure out HHH’s final grade for this quartet. Michael Elgin is in shape, strong as an ox but looks worse than Billy Ray Cyrus twerking on a stuffed animal – Grade C. Kevin Steen is out of shape, short, can’t wrestle all that well and has mic skills – Grade C+. Mike Bennett – Good physique, solid mic skills and overhaul-able looks AKA the Randy Orton tattoo special AKA covering up bad tattoos a la Fire Crotch on Tattoo Nightmares – Grade A. Tomasso Ciampa – Good look, good demeanor and terrible mic skills – C. That is ROH’s top 4 for their World Title. ROH is the Worst. – Kevin

Dusty’s Blog: A Modest Proposal For Changing The Shape Of WWE

There’s a guy who gets paid to do this who brings up that wrestlers should get about three months of mandatory time off per year every couple months.  What he doesn’t realize is that it’s not really adequate to just want something to happen.  I want to impregnate Scarlett Johansson, but I realize that might not ever happen.  What I’m saying is, you have to actually present an idea, instead of just saying something to say it.  So while I’m working on the Scarlett thing, here’s a modest proposal for wrestlers getting three months off every year.

Treat wrestling like a real sport.  Let’s use basketball as the example for these purposes, since those knuckleheads have been in the news recently.  A typical NBA season (when they’re not following up the best year in the history of their league with an extended, fan repelling lockout) runs until April, and then the playoffs culminate in June with the championship series.  And then they have off until late October or November, so we’re talking about four months off for NBA players to get high and play video games. 

So if we’re talking three months off (admittedly as arbitrary as any number would be, but we’ll use it as the launching point for this column), how do we structure WWE’s “season”?  The first thing I can think of is that WrestleMania is still considered the biggest WWE event of the year, even in this age of de-focus on pay-per-views and more focus on television (and Twitter).  So let’s say WrestleMania is where the championship is decided every year.  Now let’s work backwards to get there.

This system would allow for every match to mean something, which is something a lot of people on the internet have been clamoring for for years now.  I propose a point system of something like three points for every pinfall or submission victory, two points for every countout or disqualification victory, one point for a draw (time limit draw or no decision type situation), and zero points for any loss.  Tiebreakers can be amount of wins first and fewest amount of losses second.  Or something like that.  I’m just spitballing here.  The important part is that I get my ideas out.

And keep track of every win and loss, and constantly update the point totals.  Show the leaderboard on the television shows.  Have a page on the website that tracks everybody on the roster.  Make it interactive.  At some random point, the “season” ends, and it’s time for the tournament.  The seedings for the tournament will be based on the points system.  The finals of the tournament will be held at WrestleMania.  After WrestleMania, the “season” is over, and the wrestlers get April, May and June off, and start up the next season in July.

I think this format would serve several purposes.  For one, it gives everyone on the roster time to rest up, heal injuries, what have you.  For another, it would make every match important, since logically you would want to win every match so you get as many points as possible so you get the best seed in the tournament you possibly can.  You’d rather be facing Primo in the first round of the tournament than, say, Dolph Ziggler.  Make it easy on yourself, why don’t you?

You can still make the TV shows storyline driven, to an extent.  But the storylines would now be centered around gaining in the standings, gaining points, improving your status, as opposed to storylines centered around comedy that isn’t funny and belts changing hands every week.

And what about those belts?  Gone.  You’re wrestling for the purpose of winning the “championship” at the end of the “season.”  Belts have so little meaning anymore anyway, it’s a necessary evil to get rid of them.  Besides, belts don’t sell tickets anymore either.  Wrestlers don’t even really sell tickets anymore, aside from maybe like John Cena and Undertaker and special appearance guys like the Rock.  The WWE brand sells tickets.  People go to TV tapings and live events to see “WWE,” and whatever that means to them.  I would argue it would be an easy transition to a belt-less company.  The people wouldn’t mind nearly as much as the purists would want you to believe.

And what about tag teams?  Gone.  As much of a tag team wrestling fan as I am, as much as I grew up loving Demolition and the Midnight Express and the Beverly Brothers and the Fabulous Rougeaus and Arn Anderson and whoever Arn was teaming with that week, this is another necessary evil.  The past ten years have done nothing but teach fans that tag teams don’t mean anything.  Every pairing these days is an afterthought, and every team is bound to break up, with the only question being when, not if. 

So with everyone fighting for the goal of winning the individual championship at WrestleMania, the next logical step is getting rid of tag teams altogether.  There is no reason to team with anybody anymore.  Wrestling logic dictates you can’t trust that person, no matter how good of a friend they may seem to be.  So let’s skip the middle man altogether here.  And again, the tag belts don’t mean anything.  No belt does.

So while these may seem like radical steps, I view them as totally necessary to get towards the end goal.  You want a more realistic product, this is the way to do it.  Everyone fighting towards a common goal, you may be “friendly” with some of your competitors but not so much that you wouldn’t try to beat them in a match if it meant gaining ground in the standings.  This is how you can move wrestling towards emulating real sports, like basketball, and real competitions, like UFC events.

Again, the main purpose here was to get this idea out in the open.  I welcome any feedback, improvements, adjustments, whatever, you want to suggest.  This is the rough idea I dreamed up, and I’m kind of excited about it and wanted to share it.  Hopefully I can find enough time to make this a weekly thing, every Sunday night so people can have something to read on Monday mornings when they’re online doing whatever instead of working.  Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to find a job that allows online surfing during work time.  I’ll have to work on that, right after I find Scarlett…

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