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

the-ultimate-warriorSo I have completely forgotten what my introduction was going to be tonight. I had something in mind earlier today and I should have written it. Oh well. Let’s roll.

They start off with a nice Warrior Tribute. It’s tough to see. I loved him as a child. I thought he was walking funny last week while we were at Raw but in no way was I expecting that. It still hurts a little bit. Another bummer from today was the passing of Otto Petersen who was a ventriloquist comedian. I’ll post some of his stuff later. I always got a laughed at his material when he was on Opie & Anthony.

Alberto Del Rio takes on RVD is a tournament to take on Big E Langston for the IC Title. Does someone really want a shot at that title? Nothing much happening before the break. We missed Rolling Thunder but not. Del Rio counters the split legged moonsault. Del Rio only gets a two from a Backstabber. RVD nails a heel kick when Del Rio came off the top rope. Del Rio catches RVD going to the top. An enziguri only gets Del Rio a two count. Thank goodness the scissor pin didn’t work. IT’s worse than a regular roll up. Five Star Frog Splash. I’m expecting him to job to Cesaro after his win later tonight. Enough with the brackets already!

After a nice little video package, Stephanie, HHH, Randy Orton & Batista are talking. I just can’t take JBL seriously. It’s okay for the boss to assault the wrestler but it’s not okay for the wrestler to assault the boss. I remember watching the Ultimate Warrior beating Honky Man. Man, would I bitch about how short that match is now after a nice long build up. Then, I was happy as a clam. Funny what time will do to you.

HHH is coming out of his talk about the World Title situation. Stephanie knows who can stop the Shield. Nobody can stop Evolution if we stay on the same page. Batista & Randy Orton sell HHH down the river. It smells of set up to me. (Next Day Note: I was wrong. Stupid Shield. Granted Evolution did resolve their difference so same end result that I was expecting.) Rybaxel is taking on Goldust & Cody Rhodes. Goldust starts against Curtis Axel. Goldust gets the upper hand and tags in Cody Rhodes. Goldust comes back in to work over Axel. Curtis creates an opening and tags in Ryback. They tag in and out to work over Goldust. Cody gets in and goes to work on Ryback. I love when Mitchell Cool has to say “He just barely got him.” Is that worse than going “Wow, he really blew that spot?” Cody nailed Axel with the Disaster Kick. He went to do it to Ryback who caught him with the Meathook Clothesline for the win.

They did a good job of informing us who don’t watch NXT what Paige is all about. I was thinking it was Sara Del Ray who came out. I could do without the Goth White Face. She is taking on Alicia Fox. I can’t believe she’s only 21. I didn’t think she was old but wow. I was asking if anyone extra young could make it in the WWE these days. Alicia Fox is whooping on Paige for the beginning of the match. A thrust kick to the stomach stops Fox. Paige does a triple clothesline. Paige locks in a modified Scorpion Cross Lock, at least according to Cool. She seems to be getting a lot from Ms Chif’s character.

The Usos are taking on Batista & Randy Orton for some revenge. They get off to a quick start with the double over the rope splash. The new chest tattoo has thrown me and the announce team for a loop on which Uso is which. I don’t remember Cool saying anything on Smackdown either. I know one is larger than the other but I still have a hard time telling them apart. Batista & Orton are beating one of them down. It looks like Batista is wearing soccer shin pads. Orton goes on the attack against the other one. The Shield takes out Orton for the DQ. They surround Batista. Superman punch sends Batista outside where Orton drags him away. I’m not sure why the Shield would do that. Let Batista & Orton stay off of Hunter’s agenda as long as possible. I was so pumped up watching Wrestlemania VI.

HHH greets Batista & Randy Orton then walks away. I think that was well done. It’s officially even more awesome that Paul Heyman gets to gloat about Brock Lesnar breaking the Streak than the Streak continuing. I was a little skeptical of Lesnar being the one but the reason I didn’t want it to happen, mostly he had the credentials already, are also a perfect argument for why he should have won too. Heyman then introduces Cesaro. He is taking on Mark Henry. Cesaro is just going straight at Henry which is having moderate success. Flying Uppercut knocks down Henry finally. Neutralizer for the win. Do they give him the IC Title? They haven’t done much with Big E recently.

HHH is talking to Brad Maddox. He is to relay a message to the Shield about their match in the main event. I’m disappointed that Maddox is reduced to this little air time. I think he’s a good character. Lana introduces Alexander Rusev. I asked last week on the Facebook & Twitter why Rusev wasn’t over like some of the other NXT call ups. The one response I got said it’s because he’s not as quick as the others. I can see that angle. I think the whole from another country gimmick isn’t working like it once used to. (Next Day Note: Alberto Del Rio hasn’t exactly gotten over being Mr. Mexico. The Great Khali & Jinder Mahal haven’t gotten heat at different times for being from India. Sheamus isn’t over because he’s from Ireland. Sure, the fighting thing factors into his popularity which has “stemmed” from being Irish but I think people like brawlers in general.) People aren’t viewing him as Commie scum from Bulgaria. Rusev taps out Xavier Woods with a camel clutch.

I loved that blue cage. It took me a while to get used to the cage that I feel hasn’t changed much since I started watching again in 1997. Jack Swagger is taking on Sheamus in the IC Title Tournament.  Swagger gets dumped to the outside. Sheamus is ready to club Swagger when Zeb Colter distracts him. Swagger would make sense as an opponent for Big E. I’m not sure Sheamus loses to Swagger. He could lose to Bad News Barrett. Swagger misses a charge in the corner. Sheamus takes advantage. Sheamus with a new running knee in the corner. (Next Day Note: I mentioned that move because I don’t think I’ve seen that from Sheamus before.) Sheamus gets in the clubbing now. Sheamus sling shots himself into a Patriot Lock. Sheamus powers out of it. Swagger attacks Sheamus’s knee. Brogue Kick out of nowhere for the win. As soon as I saw the brackets, I knew my boy was losing so this result confirmed it.

Damien Sandow is mad because Big Show made his entrance during his speech. It helps make his point. Well played WWE. Big Show ends up KOing him when he gets in his face later. (Next Day Note: Good promo but it goes for naught when Show goes over. It was funny but I’m not sure I want Sandow to be a comedy act.) The Wyatts are next.

Birmingham, we’re here. Bray Wyatt is different. He has never lied to the crowd. John Cena is lying to us all. He is beast. Wyatt calls out Cena. The Wyatts can’t take on the Shield now too, right? This is too long of a segment. John Cena answers the call. He makes his usual jokes about their outfits. He’s getting a mixed reaction to the Roll Tide comment. Oh Jiminy Cricket. It’s Photoshop class. John Cena ends up challenging him to a steel cage match because those always keep people out.  (Eyes rolling.)

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Fandango gets an inset promo where Layla El gets to fawn him. It’s one way to repackage him. He won on Smackdown so I assume the momentum will continue. Layla tags in to save Fandango from the Cobra. Emma locks in “the Dilemma”.  Santino takes out Fandango but it distracts Emma. Layla takes advantage, yanks Emma off the middle rope and pins her. Stephanie gets to berate Kane. He’s quibbled with people lower than him. Stephanie talks up his mean streak. Kane stares at the mask and then uncovers it. Kane is going to send Daniel Bryan to the depths of hell. I’m frightened! (Next Day Note: It does give Bryan something to do while Batista & Orton deal with The Shield and Lesnar enjoys his time off.)

Bad News Barrett is going to beat my boy Dolph Ziggler. Barrett got in the offense early. Ziggler made a brief come back. Ziggler got tossed against a ring post. Commercial. Barrett rams his own shoulder into the ring post. Ziggler cross body blocks him then punches a lot. Waste Land but Ziggler kicks out. Barrett goes for a pump handle slam but Ziggler reverses out and nails a Fame Asser. These people have a low threshold for awesome. Barrett takes too long on the top rope. Facebuster off the top ropes on a second attempt. Ziggler only gets a two count. Even Mitchell Cool isn’t buying what the crowd is selling. Ziggler kicks out of the Winds of Change. Ziggler reverses out of some stuff but ends up catching the Bull Hammer Elbow for the Barrett win. (Next Day Note: It was almost like an ROH match with Ziggler kicking out of 2 old finishers except it’s been made obvious that the Elbow is his finisher. Waste Land was pretty lame as a finisher so I’m good with it.)

The Shield are facing Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Fandango, 3MB, Titus O’Neil, Rybaxel, Alexander Rusev and Wade Barrett. If the team with more men doesn’t use it to their advantage, the Shield can win. Seth Rollins gets to take the beating for the Shield. Reigns takes out Ryback but the rest of the team assaults him. Rollins dives over the rope onto everyone. I know Bryan can’t help but shouldn’t some other people help? Someone else doesn’t like the Authority, right? Evolution comes down and lays waste to the Shield after they’re beaten. You know, this may not have been the WWE’s plan when Batista came back. But I love it a hell of a lot more than any conceivable Batista baby face run. – Kevin

Wrestlemania XXX: Live Version

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WrestleMania XXX Preview: Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena

20140221_MatchPreview_CenaBray_LIGHT_HPJeremy & Kevin are here to talk about well, you see the title and picture so they’re here to talk about John Cena taking on Bray Wyatt. As usual the main question of these shows is how has the build up been for this match? Was Daniel Bryan supposed to stay in the Wyatt Family until Wresltemania? Did CM Punk leaving throw that story line off? Did that win help Bray Wyatt earn much needed in ring credibility? Has he earned more of it since then? How awkward did it look when he gave Sister Abigail’s Kiss to the Big Show? They wonder whether Luke Harper or Erick Rowan will be a factor which is when Jeremy goes off on people for just now noticing Harper’s in ring prowess. Does Harper actually have more in ring credibility since the head of the family spent quite a bit of time in a rocking chair instead of wrestling? Wyatt has gotten some wins under his belt of late but is it enough to take on someone with the pedigree of John Cena? Speaking of Cena, how scared should he be that someone put a sheep’s mask on him? Get a good look under our own sheep’s mask when you click on the link below!

 

WrestleMania XXX Preview Shows

WrestleMania XXX Preview: WWE Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match

WrestleMania XXX Preview: WWE Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match

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Jeremy & Kevin have a special week set up for everyone. After taking a year off of doing match by match previews for Wrestlemania, they’re back at it again this year because they will be attending the event. They start with a match that has already been pushed to the pre-show, the defense of the Tag Team Titles by the Usos against The Real Americans, Rybaxel and Los Matadores. Let’s start with the obvious fault in this show, who predicted that this match would stay on the main card when they recorded over the weekend? What reasoning was given because this match had pre-show written all over it? Don’t worry, Jeremy & Kevin do get around to wondering how the tag team division went from humming along for the first time in years to becoming part of the pre-show especially since the Usos finally got their big win over the New Age Outlaws. Does anyone know how Los Matadores got into this match? For that matter, how did Rybaxel get in it? Who else has noticed that Jack Swagger is winning all of a sudden? Is it just a build up for their break up after Wrestlemania? Your tag team of Jeremy & Kevin end with their predictions for who wins this match. Click on the link below.

Stunt Granny Conversation: The Tag Titles and The Andre the Giant Battle Royal

You are the first Diva ever in Cannes.

You are the first Diva ever in Cannes.

Since I am going to be at Detroit Red Wings vs Columbus Bluejackets game tonight, we decided to give you a little sneak peek into planning at Stunt Granny HQ.

Kevin:  So, are you with me that we could preview UT/Brock, the Divas and Shield vs The Old Guys?

Jeremy:  Divas and shield vs old guys for sure. They need to do something with Brock next week. If not, this build up is absolutely terrible. I would pause on recording that one.

Kevin:  That’s fine. Just so we can knock some of them out of the way this week.

Jeremy:  Right. The tag match has to change. I can’t imagine it is just that lackluster garbage
Kevin:  Do you mean the 6 man match or what crap sandwich the Usos are left with?
Jeremy:  Usos. Just thrown together.
Kevin:  What is their match? They taking on the Real Americans? With 3 baby faces in the match, a heel and a heel manager?
Jeremy:  Rybaxel. Yup……Rybaxel.  Just to make sure you understand. Rybaxel.
Kevin:  Good gravy. I just don’t understand building up the division then tearing it down a month later.
Jeremy:  It is going to get changed. Rybaxel got bitched right after.
Kevin:  I must not have been paying attention. Who do you think should be in the tag match to spice it up? I’d stick with the Real Americans simply because you’ll be featured more in a match than a 20-30 man schmooze.
Jeremy: Yeah Real Americans are a no brainer really. They have nothing going on. The inevitable breakup storyline seems to be cooled just like The Shield’s.
Kevin:  Are the Usos or Rybaxel in the Battle Royal now?
Jeremy:  No, they pulled out. They need to make the Battle Royal worth something.
Kevin:  You get an Andre the Giant statue. How dare you insinuate that they need something more!
Jeremy:  Sigh, last time they had that was WM 4 and Bret hart smashed the winners trophy.
Kevin:  Everyone gets a trophy in sports today! Wrestling isn’t for children. What happened to the gold old days when a battle royal meant challenging for the IC Title.

Jeremy:  Not a bad idea really.
Kevin:  It has struck me as odd that the Big E Langston, the IC Champ, is one of the center pieces of that match. It’s a perfect 4 way match in the making if Cesaro had split off the Real Americans and maybe Roman Reigns had the Shield parted ways. Granted, I was expecting a three way match out of them before their present story popped up.

Jeremy:  Yes it felt like Shield was going triple threat route fo the US title. The battle royal is just a way to get everyone on the shwo but tis time it sounds more important
Kevin:  Complete brain fart that I didn’t think that match would be for the US Title.
Jeremy:  They focused on his lack of defenses and then Ambrose and Reigns getting in to a pissing match about who was better. It seemed obvious.
Kevin:  “The Architect of the Shield” Seth Rollins kept trying to keep them together. I got a bit of a kick when Mitchell Cool said that the powers to be should schedule more matches for Ambrose.
Jeremy:  Convenient excuses for their forgetful booking which is really what this Battle Royal is.

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

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From momandhops.ca which is an outstanding site name.

We’ve got two weeks until Wrestlemania so it’s time to start recording individual match previews and since we’re going to Wrestlemania, we’ve got to start the process this week. I wish they had more matches in concrete for us to go on because all of the matches scheduled will have some development in the mean time which will make us sound like a bunch of asses. Hold on, that happens all the time, doesn’t it? Let’s roll.

After the video package about Daniuel Bryan, HHH and Stephanie McMahon, she comes out. The music makes me laugh because it doesn’t fit her current persona. She’s nailing this promo. No reason for the CM Punk chant. She ends kind of weak propping up her man. Randy Orton shows up. I’m digging what he has going until Steph cuts him off. Orton wants HHH to walk away from the title match. Batista shows before she can answer. He got rid of the skinny jeans. Good choice. It was the one last thing that was irritating me about your character. His mic keeps going out. Oh my, Steph has to tell him to re-set the promo. Live television is a bitch sometimes. Batista calls out Orton for drooling on Steph. He gets Steph riled up enough to slap him. Batista starts laughing. She storms out. Batista ends up spearing Orton. He held up both the belts. Batista is so awesome right now.

Alberto Del Rio and Christian are in the ring. They will be battling for a chance at the IC Title. Interesting choice of them not to get an entrance since they should win to take on Big E, who is at ring side. Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus are the good guys. They paired off early but Ziggler and Sheamus get the first big in ring stretch. Sheamus tosses Christian against the barricade. Del Rio gets drop kicked out of the ring by Ziggler. Sheamus clothes lines Christian over the barricade to bring us to a break. Ziggler gets tossed in the air and crashes down. Sheamus gives Del Rio Rolling Hills on the outside. Christian cross body on Ziggler almost back fires. The crowds have been giving my boy some love recently. Never as sustained as others. Sheamus cleans up on Christian then Del Rio. Sheamus goes to the top rope but Ziggler catches him with a face buster. Del Rio kicks out after a Ziggler DDT. Power bomb by Christian on Ziggler. Del Rio kicks Christian to break the pin. Sheamus gets the Cloverleaf on Del Rio. Christian breaks it up. Del Rio intercepts Sheamus and locks in the cross arm breaker. Ziggler Zig Zags Sheamus & Del Rio at the same time. Christian comes in and gives the Killswitch to Ziggler for the win. Christian turns down the hand shake from Big E Langston. Bray Wyatt shows up on the Titantron. He wonders if John Cena has ever considered him and what makes him tick. Cena can’t harm someone who can’t feel. Harper warns Cena that they’re coming for him. I thought that was a weird spot to put him in. Nice long match with a clean finish that was sneaky. It seemed important enough not to have a main event promo.

Sin Cara leads in a Scooby Doo mascot. My lady wanted Scooby Doo to replicate Sin Cara’s entrance. Damien Sandow is his opponent. Sin Cara makes short work of him with a Senton. Yikes. We had a Kane video package. Pretty short segment.

Los Matadores are taking on Curtis Axel & Ryback. The Shield distracts Curtis Axel. One of them roll up Axel for the win. The Shield surrounds the ring. Reigns takes Axel out of the ring and beats him down. Ambrose & Rollins teamed against Ryback. Reigns spears Ryback. We then get a triple power bomb. Arnold Schwarzenegger is on this dog and pony show too. Nah, it’s not two weeks out to Wrestlemania. (Next Day Note: I could really combine these two segments to look like they mattered in between the match and HHH. Just 2 throw away segments.)

Mitchell Cool brings out HHH. We get the video package again. HHH thinks people are unclear at the current moment. The cat interrupts the column. They try to hash out their disagreements on the situation. HHH talks about all of the horrible things he’s done and he wonders why he doesn’t see that now. Well, maybe if you didn’t have a PG product, people could be more violent. Maybe he needs to change the direction of the product. Well, that is your job title so congrats on maybe doing your job. HHH knows that no one is going to stop him because he has the power to make it happen. I liked the finish. Another video package this time about Bray Wyatt and John Cena.

Fandango is in the ring with Summer Rae. Cody Rhodes comes out with Goldust. Fandango suplexs Rhodes when I stop having a cat in front of me. Rhodes turns it around with a clothes line. Rhodes nails a missile drop kick. Goldust dances with Summer Rae which distracts Fandango. Rhodes gives Fandango the Disaster Kick for the win.

 

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

st_-james-gateAfter starting the Sippy Time Beer column a little more than a year ago, I have wanted to do a special on my visit to the Guinness Brewery way back in 1997. I’m not sure what threw me off last year but this year got tossed out the window by going to see my lady’s niece in a Tae Kwondo competition in Cincinnati on Saturday and by doing house work from 10 AM until 9 PM yesterday. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll still be typing next year so that gives me another chance to relive one of my favorite beer related moments. Let’s roll.

Tonight is going to be crazier than I expected. My buddy Ken came up to watch Raw for a non-wrestling perspective on our OHPA podcast. We will also have a guest host for a regular wrestling podcast. We get started with the #OccupyRaw movement. HHH starts off in the ring. Batista just loves skinny jeans. He is not happy with Trips decision. Randy Orton makes a quick appearance. HHH wonders if DB is in their heads. Dave & Randy argue. Batista wants this to be fixed. HHH flips out on everyone. HHH gets the shot at Mania if he beats Daniel Bryan. I’m pretty sure Eric advocated that. He comes around as often as the Groundhog and he’s just as accurate.

The Real Americans  have to wrestle the Usos again because the tag team division has been decimated recently. Jack Swagger starts against Jimmy. Jey gets to continue the beat down. Cesaro gets in. He gets to be beat upon too. Swagger gets in again. Jimmy gets the luke warm tag. Whisper in the Wind only gets two. We the People are in control at the break. Swagger Bomb gets a  hidden tag by Cesaro.  Swagger gets back in though. Jey and Cesaro come in. Jey gets the better of it. Super Samoan Drop only gets a two count. Swagger saves Cesaro. Swagger gets  taken out. Cesaro super upper cuts Jimmy. Neutralizer for the win. They still have a problem on the big stage, right? I may have to watch WWE Slam City. I don’t think I’ll be able to stick with it.

The Shield and Kane get a review then a promo with each other. Kane wants a united Shield by his side. Can I count on you? Seth Rollins gives a weak answer. Roman Reigns steps up. They act nonplussed after he leaves. Hornswoggle gets interrupted by Bad News Barrett. What is up with Hornswoggle’s hairdo? I love the continued insinuations that Mitchell Cool is an alcoholic comments. Sheamus is sporting a rugby jersey. Glad JBL explained that. (Next Day Note: What a paragraph of nothing happening. The promo was the big segment in this block and it was kind of boring.)

Titus O’Neil is sporting a red goat, hat and tie. Christian is on the head set. Sheamus clotheslines  O’Neil outside. He continues the attack on the outside. Titus finally takes control. Impressive looking overhead slam. Between the announcers and my company, it;s tough to concentrate. O’Neil picks on Hornie. O’Neil tosses Hornie but Sheamus catches him. Hornie is used as a lawn dart. Clubbin. Brogue Kick wins it. O’Neil better get used to losing in the singles division. Sheamus is joining the Andre The Giant Battle Royal. Christian attacks Sheamus. Killswitch on the outside. I’m digging Christian these days.

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

hanging-tents-for-rock-climbers-1I’m hoping to get some extra sleep tonight. I’m not feeling the best. Hopefully I’ll get the illness bug out of my system so I don’t have to worry about it at Wrestlemania. When checking for images related to sleeping, it caught my eye when I saw “Sleeping while rock climbing.” That’s where the image above comes from. That’d be fun to do once. I slept in a tree house for my honeymoon so this isn’t that far from the pail.

Hulk Hogan comes down and shills for the WWE Network. We get the first annual 30 Man Andre the Giant Battle for a trophy. Memphonites? John Cena saves us. He shills for Hogan and the match. Cena then joins it. The Wyatts are here. Maybe they’ll save the segment. I dig his promo. Calling himself a god is pretty ironic considering the pride talk. Cena comes back with the jokes about the same subject. Better than normal for his jokes. Cena challenges him to a match at Wrestlemania. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan step onto the apron. Commercial.

Cena is in a match with Rowan. Hogan is a Cena cheerleader. Rowan is using his size to his advantage. Cena wins with a roll up out of the blue. What a weak win. Harper & Rowan pretend like they’re going to go after Cena & Hogan but the Wyatts back away.

Stephanie & HHH come out to the stage. She is really doing well with the smug quality. They are being kind and not firing Daniel Bryan. They want an apology from him though. Short and sweet. The New Age Outlaws come out to do commentary. Very choppy start to the show.

Curtis Axel & Curtis Axel are in the ring. The Usos hit the ring. Then replays of last week. Road Dogg claims that the NAO were under the weather during their loss. U-SO! It’s kind of cool that they’re finisher is the flying tag and Samoan splash combo. Kane talks to the Shield. He wants to know if they’re disposable. Reigns & Rollins are going to take on Cody Rhodes & Goldust. Rollins gives Kane some guff about his losses. The chop continues.

Jack Swagger is taking on Big E Langston again. Zeb Colter & Cesaro are at ring side. Big E wants in on the Battle Royal at Wrestlemania. I’m glad that is over shadowing the match. Belly to Belly suplex gets my attention. Swagger takes out Big E’s knee. Swagger distracts the ref and asks for Cesaro‘s help which doesn’t help. Swagger had said at the start the match that “I’ve got this.” Big E rolls up Swagger for the win. Zeb Colter watches them bicker like school girls. Zeb blows his stack. Swagger & Cesaro shake but Cesaro puts in an extra squeeze.

The Undertaker allows me to catch up a little bit. Paul Heyman shows up before he can say anything. Heyman gives us a break down of winning streaks at Wrestlemania. He asks Taker not to wrestle Brock at Wrestlemania so that everyone can worship the streak and Taker longer. “The fear of the unknown is the greatest of all.” Sure Taker, sounds great in that voice. Rest In Peace. At some point tonight, I’ll have a long paragraph. (Next Day Note: It’s kind of funny how I can complain about the usual 15 minute segment then complain when they change it up. It would have helped if I would have cared about any of these segments. I like a lot of people in these segments but everything was too short.)

Seth Rollins starts against Cody Rhodes. Cody face plants Rollins. Goldust takes over. Downward Spiral by Rollins into the middle turn buckle. Roman Reigns gets his start in the match. Goldust showing off the twisting cross body block. Cody does him one better by doing a spring board cross body. Commercial. Lawler tried to put over a power Samoan Drop by Reigns. I’m not buying it. Samoan Leap drop kick. Reigns starts playing with Goldust. Power slam by Goldust doesn’t quite get the hot tag. Rollins is in to fight a hot tagged Cody. Moonsault gets a two count. Cody with a Muscle Buster.  He stole that from Samoa Joe! (Next Day Note: I can’t believe this isn’t a Twitter beef yet.) Goldust gets speared. Rollins reverses out of the Cross Rhodes. Rollins finishes him off with the buckle bomb & Curb Stomp combo. A good match breaks up the chop even with a commercial.

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

AJ LeeCM Punk’s music greets us but Paul Heyman answers the music. After sitting down Indian style, he gives much hype to Punk. Heyman’s pipe bomb is that Punk is not there tonight. Heyman blames everyone in the audience for Punk not being there. Heyman also blames the Undertaker for starting the downward spiral. Nice. And he turns it into the Brock Lesnar introduction. Heyman is smooth. We get a recap of last week. Lesnar thinks Undertaker is scared of him. Short and sweet out of him. Too bad his voice cracked. Mark Henry is still pissed at Lesnar. It doesn’t do him much good. Lesnar cracks him with the stairs. No one has monitors for the rest of the show. F-5 through the announcer’s table. Henry needs to put up more of a fight.

The New Age Outlaws come out. Road Dogg doesn’t think Chicago is worth their catch phrases. Hey, you’re acting like heels! Congratulations on filling your role. The Usos are taking them on again. Jey starts against Road Dogg. “There’s so many tag teams in the WWE.” Except that the Prime Time Players broke up and the Real Americans are going to sooner rather than later. Jey is taking the beating from the Outlaws. Jimmy gets the hot tag against Gunn. Road Dogg gets the running ass while Gunn gets the flying ass (Whisper in the Wind) A tilt a whirl slam only gets two for Gunn. Flying Uso tag. Super kick followed by the top rope splash for the victory. The Usos get the tag titles two weeks too late. Congrats to those guys for working their asses off.

Big E Langston is taking on Cesaro again. Cesaro showing off the strength early. Belly to belly by Big E. Cesaro dodges Langston. Big Swing. Swagger comes in and Swagger bombs Langston for the disqualification. Big Ending. That’s heelish.

The Wyatts vs the Shield starts pretty early. Seth Rollins starts off against Luke Harper. Rollins does back to back flips. Wow. Ambrose attacks Wyatt which pushes Rollins off the top rope. Harper takes control at the break. Ambrose goes loose cannon. Reigns tries to catch him. Rollins can’t make the tag with them gone. Rollins finally gets out and tags in Ambrose. He locks in a figure four on Erick Rowan. Harper double stomps Ambrose to break it up. Bray tosses down Ambrose. Harper continues the beat down on Ambrose. Dean is impervious to the knuckle head move. Sidewalk slam by Rowan only gets a two. Ambrose sling shot clothes lines Harper. Wyatt attacks Reigns. Ambrose DDTs Wyatt. Rollins leaves after the attempted tag. Reigns goes bananas on the Wyatts. Reigns drop kicks Harper in the face. Reigns tackles Rowan over the new announce desk. Harper suicide dives onto Reigns who tumbles over the table. Sister Abigail’s Kiss on Ambrose. We need answers about Rollins! Renee Young introduces Batista. The Yes Movement is the dumbest thing ever. We’re going to have to deal with Dave being better.

Santino Marella & Emma are taking on Fandango & Summer Rae. Oh, they’re tagging each other. It’s so funny. Fandango finally mans up and drops Santino from behind. Fandango rolls through on the top rope leg drop. Santino cracks Fandango. The ladies come in. Emm busts out the tarantula. Emma Lock for the tap out win.

Sheamus is taking on Christian, who needs some type of win here even if it’s a cheating variety. I get a weird commercial break at the start of the match. Did everyone have a problem with their feed? Skinny Frog by Christian gets a two count. White Noise only gets a two count. This match really jumped up a notch during the break. Leverage kick. Christian goes for Sheamus who Brogue Kicks him from the apron. Sheamus wins. Not that Christian is going to be a big player but that kills him in the main event. I used to love Scooby Doo. I’m going to have some Scooby snacks to feel better.

Christian attacks Sheamus backstage. He nails him with a light in the stomach. Interesting. The Bellas are taking on Aksana & Alicia Fox. Aksana takes some offense. Fox takes over on a downed Brie. She takes a rough looking flat back while being tossed like a pinyata. Nikki gets the hot tag. Face breaker gets her in Nikki Mode. Aksana breaks up a pin. Missile drop kick by Brie on Aksana. Nikki gives Fox the Shock Treatment for the win. No one really cares.

Daniel Bryan isn’t going to leave the ring until he gets an answer from HHH. Steph & him do the weird lovely dovey thing while going heel. Steph pipes up. Bryan builds his case to wrestle HHH. Trips wants to make it the “Excuse Era”. If they failed here, they weren’t good enough. A B+ player won’t get HHH to lace up his boots. The crowd can see thru the Authority’s lies. Steph talks down to him and the crowd. Smarm is so good on her.  They made him. Ha. Bryan asks for a match against Steph. HHH tells Bryan it was cheap bait. He’s got to beat Batista tonight after this display, correct? Or be screwed out of a victory by Kane, HHH or both. Bryan takes out Kane. He then slowly leaves ring side.

It has just dawned on me that Raw has not fully taped. I hope the show comes on the WWE Network nowish. Dolph Ziggler comes out with the Need For Speed dude. He is taking on Alberto Del Rio. Tilt a Whirl back breaker by Del Rio. Ziggler spikes Del Rio with a DDT. Del Rio gets distracted by the actor. Zig Zag for the win.

Paul Bearer gets a spot in the Hall of Fame. Nice addition even if it’s a tad late. Big E Langston takes on Jack Swagger. Double duty for Langston. Cesaro gives Langston the Neutralizer for the DQ win. Swagger pushes Cesaro. Zeb Colter talks down Cesaro from giving Swagger the Big Swing. Cesaro pulls up Swagger. Colter wants them to hug it out. They do it but don’t look like they enjoy it.  “We The People” as they stare at each other. Zeb can solve world problems, except it’s clear as day that he solved nothing.

My DVR cut the show when John Cena was speaking. The WWE Network only has Raw from January 19th. Fudge. – Kevin

Shahid’s Blog: CM Punk and The Culture of Personality

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Apparently CM Punk is returning from his brief hiatus to Monday Night Raw in Chicago.  Perhaps he’ll cut another promo explaining his absence, and is inserted into the title match.  Maybe he’ll complain about HHH holding him down, and switch positions with Daniel Bryan.  Neither the reasons regarding his departure nor the cause of his return are of importance to me.  If he was able to finagle himself into a higher position at WrestleMania, then God bless him.  Wrestling is a ruthless business, and the primary goal of an individual is to maximize their earnings while minimizing risk.  I’m not a fan of CM Punk, but I have admiration for his drive, and can appreciate his difficult journey towards the upper echelon of WWE.  Since he’s talked of retiring in the near future, he should use whatever leverage he has accumulated to achieve his main event goals before he rides off in the sunset.  He’s not a villain for doing so, and he is no different than any other wrestler who has used similar tactics.

He’s also no better than any of those wrestlers.  I’m aware of the legend of CM Punk.  An indy anarchist who overcame a broken home to walk his own straight edge path.  A super nerd who plows through the hottest women in (and sometimes outside) wrestling. A pipe bomb slinging truthslayer who somehow defeated the evil booking of Vince McMahon and the chicanery of the locker room politics.  He’s somehow reached the apex of WWE even though he’s a proud Paul Heyman guy, and not a muscled up manufactured mimbo like John Cena, Randy Orton or Batista.  And now he’s going to ride into Chicago as the conquering hero, due to the power of his fans, who hijacked the system and saved us all.

What a bunch of nonsense. CM Punk, after being frustrated with booking, decides not to resign when his contract expires.  He’s allowed to cut a shoot style promo, burying popular superstars, and playing into internet stereotypes, while being a heel.  He beats John Cena for the title at Money In The Bank in his home town, and leaves with the belt.  He comes back, while holding the belt, with a raise and a higher position on the card.  He has a high profile match with HHH and deals with some nonsense from Kevin Nash.  Then he wins the belt again, and has the sixth longest title reign in WWE History.  He has two main event title matches with The Rock, followed by a WrestleMania match against The Undertaker.  Not to mention a PPV match with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam.  Now, with him speaking of retiring again after his contract expires, he decides to go home because he doesn’t like his position on the WrestleMania card.  Or he needs a break from the road, or perhaps frustration with part timers moonlighting as super stars stealing his spotlight.  Or something.

How is any of that WWE’s fault?  Why is Batista being punished for being offered a position based on his name and legacy?   Why do we have to hear CM Punk chants during Randy Orton Matches, or angry fans chanting for Randy Savage or Husky Harris during main events involving young talent?  CM Punk left and came back on his own accord.  WWE didn’t send him home.  Vince, Steph and HHH didn’t frame him for a wellness violation. For all this talk about looking out for the full timers and young talent looking to climb the career ladder, his actions have done damage to those individuals.

I wonder how Daniel Bryan would feel if he got pushed down the card because Punk was rewarded for his temper tantrum.  I seriously doubt The Shield, or Kofi Kingston, or The Usos appreciate hearing CM Punk chants while they’re busting their ass trying to do their jobs.  John Cena, who is a bigger star than CM Punk, is in a midcard feud with Bray Wyatt for WrestleMania.  I don’t hear his fans throwing a hissy fit trying to derail the show.  People commend him on his bravery of speaking his mind, while not drinking the corporate Kool Aid.  Dolph Ziggler spoke his mind, and decided to ignore advice, and he’s suffering for it.  If Kofi Kingston decided to stay home to prove a point, he’d still be home.

For all the talk of CM Punk being a Paul Heyman guy, in truth he is a Vince McMahon guy.  People love to rightfully complain about his booking decisions, and how they don’t reflect what the fans want.  Yet CM Punk wouldn’t have worked his way to his current position without the blessing of Vince McMahon.  All of the snarky remarks, Stone Cold shirts, Macho Man trunks and pipe bombs happened on his watch.  This isn’t some Brian Pillman situation – Punk wasn’t going to show up in TNA with a bigger contract.  He played the game just like HBK and Nash, HHH and Hogan, and Austin and Lesnar before him.  Yet all of those individuals were savaged for their selfish actions, while Punk is treated as the love child of Malcolm X and Peter Parker.  I guess what Batista said on Smackdown was true – fans will cheer their heroes if they can convince themselves they could be them with enough hard work.  It’s also delusional and hypocritical.

I’m not angry at CM Punk, and I’m glad he’s back.  Adding him to the card will make a better show, and since I’m attending WrestlMania 30, I’m rooting for an enjoyable experience.  I just hope his fans don’t have a nerd-fueled heart attack if Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker close out the show….. -Shahid

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