The #WWE Celebrates the World Cup

The WWE decided to celebrate the beginning of the World Cup today by having some of their Superstars and Divas give a Knute Rockne-esque speech for their home country. You can here what they say in the video but through a special futbol translator, I know what they really said.

Dolph Ziggler – Even the US’s head coach Jurgen Klinsmann doesn’t think the US stands a chance in this “Group of Death” with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. That’s because he played for Germany and is still pissed at Spain for beating them in the quarter finals in 2010. Klinsmann threw our chances as soon as he decided not to include Landon Donovan. That’s why you can only trust manager’s from the USA! USA! USA!

Emma – We’re so great at football that we have our own version called Australian Football. The US isn’t the only country that gets these sports mixed up!

Alberto Del Rio – Mexico is so terrible that the last three World Cup qualifications we’ve played at Crew Stadium in Columbus OH that we’ve lost 2-0 to the USA. That makes it completely logical to think that we can beat Brazil in Brazil without any problems. We’ll just get our cartel to drop some dead bodies in their slums and that’ll scare them enough to throw the match. Hold on, their slums are worse than ours? We’re so screwed.

William Regal – England’s career in the World Cup is the same in mine in wrestling. A small, vocal amount of fans consider me/them great while the rest of the world craps on me/them. At least we have a chance of moving on from Group D since Costa Rica and Uruguay suck. England will then lose in spectacular fashion in the Knock Out Rounds. I’m depressed already.

Kofi Kingston – I’m creating an angle for myself because I can barely stay on TV. I can’t wait to be run down by Zeb Colter and then lose to the re-re-re-repackaged Jack Swagger. Come on Ghana, get me some air time!

Santino Marella – Since I was born in Canada, I got to celebrate a Gold Medal in Olympic Ice Hockey earlier this year. Since I’m Italian on TV, I get to root for soccer power house Italy. I can’t wait until William Regal has to wear an Italy jersey on NXT next week after Italy beats England on Saturday. Mayors aren’t the only one who can make these stupid bets.

Paige – Joe Hart is so hunky.

Cesaro – I can’t wait to say Switzerland lost in five different languages. – Kevin

Advertisements

Class Is In Session: #NXT Review – Takeover

From artfire.com

From artfire.com

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

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

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

Adam Rose vs. Camacho

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

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

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

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

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

Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd (NXT Championship)

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

Grades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Random NXT: The Arrival Thoughts

nxt-arrival-p

The opening match of NXT Arrival made absolute sense. There was no way this match was going to disappoint and really it was bound to upstage anything else on the card. Placing it first with plenty of buffer matches in between allowed the Women’s Title match as well as the NXT Title match to still make an impact.

Wow, that was just great stuff. Cesaro winning never seemed like a forgone conclusion even though he has been heavily featured on WWE programming. Sami Zayn is going to do big things when he gets the call up and after that match it seems like a forgone conclusion he will be up sometime after WrestleMania.

Thus starts the “Not ready for the big show” part of the event.

Mojo Rawley has the look of Nikoli Volkoff. That works for the 80’s but now it makes him bland. His gimmick of the over excited, hyped, frat brother isn’t going to work in the big show but it does make him standout in the smaller NXT.

CJ Parker’s promos crack me up but the overall gimmick will get lost like Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. Yeah I used Reks because they both have dreads.

William Regal is awesome.

The Ascension; yuck name. What does The Ascension even mean as a tag team name? Their gimmick is right out of that awkward transition period between the early 90’s and late 90’s. Pairing them with Too Cool though made both men look huge and absolutely intimidating. Despite the criticism this was a solid, formula tag team that did its job in showcasing The Ascension. With the right tweaking they could be up on the main stage soon enough.

There was something totally different about Stephanie McMahon. Her character was totally different and dare I say she looked like she was totally enjoying herself? Oh and maybe basking in a tad bit of pride over her husband’s baby.

William Regal is awesome.
Continue reading

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

going-up-and-down-john-babisI can’t stop watching the Pirates at Reds game to start this blog. The umpire gave Russell Martin a walk in the top of the 8th with Andrew McCutchen on first. Pedro Alvarez came up wanting to mash the ball and whiffed. That sucked. Let’s roll.

Anybody that said Alberto Del Rio is better as a heel didn’t watch him as a heel. Del Rio is terrible as a baby face and heel. He’s not good at professional wrestling. I don’t care if he brings in the Latin audience. Are you listening to this promo anyone that said that? The audience is shitting on him not in a good way. He can’t get a USA chant going for pete’s sake. Everyone in pro wrestling can get that chant going. CM Punk saves us. Punk blows him out of the water just being a dick and asking Paul Heyman how many days he was champion. Punk and Heyman start to disagree. Punk wants a non-title match tonight. After a refusal by Del Rio, Punk asks Ricardo to fight. Vickie Guerrero makes it a match.

Punk and Heyman are continuing the miscommunication. He rips on Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel. Wade Barrett is going for a record for how many times you can lose a meaningless title in one calendar. Vickie introduces her big surprise, Christian. Ha. Jeremy & I talked about not missing him last week. Kind of funny. Barrett is still going to continue his fall down the depth chart. Killswitch and Christian wins in his return. People are mildly excited.

Sheamus is taking on Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. JBL is consistent with his point as he talks about this match being unfair for a baby face. Mitchell Cool even added the point of it not being a tag match. Lawler chimes in with a dragon joke that I laughed at but his pals were confused by. Sandow gets the roll up pin on Sheamus. Awesome camera work as you didn’t see Sandow until he was rolling up Sheamus.

Brickie was talking to HHH. Of course he asks what the main event was going to be tonight. Christian had been medically cleared for a month and a half. HHH brags about signing RVD. HHH wants Vickie to make an example out of the Shield. Brad Maddox is killing me. Kane talks to Daniel Bryan. He is still the weak link. Kane wants to get them back together. Bryan wants to be Team DB. Kane goes with a douche bag line. Kane wishes him good luck which sets off Bryan.

Randy Orton comes out first. Daniel Bryan is ready to steal the show. This crowd seems gassed already. Bryan isn’t getting as big a reaction as recently. Bryan crashing into the barricade looked ouchy. Not much happened before the break. The announcers agreed by talking about anything but the match. Why is No DQ trending? Really fans? That’s all the better you can do? Christ on a pony. Orton kicks Bryan in the rib cage as he tried to skin the cat. The doctor stops the match. What’s with the injury finishes recently? I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. Orton & Bryan make up after the match.

Continue reading

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

MoreThanAConqueror

I’m trying to conquer the internet but that will have to wait until after I type this column. My introduction usually involves something from the weekend. The problem with that is that I have a column in the works about it. I hoped to get it done today but work got in the way. Let’s roll.

I’m pretty excited to see the Undertaker tonight. It should be a fun match up that I expect to end in a pin on Daniel Bryan. I haven’t looked at the spoilers either. What fun would that be? Paul Heyman starts off the top of the show. He is there on behalf of Brock Lesnar. HHH is really there and Paul Heyman makes a fantastic face. I’m not sure why the WWE feels like they need to have the three man booth. JBL & Josh Matthews should be on Smackdown. Jerry Lawler & Mitchell Cool on Raw. HHH Pedigrees Heyman. I didn’t look at the MRI results but I’m guessing not too much is wrong with Trips.

R Truth raps horribly. Antonio Cesaro yoodles horribly but the crowd goes sing song. What the hell? Downward Spiral for the win. Why is R Truth winning? Woof. The Shield makes an entrance from a helicopter into some black tinted SUV. How cheesey. I give them an A for effort. D on execution.

Brodus Clay made his entrance before the commercial break. Damien Sandow is taking him on. They’re escorted by their usual crews. Sandow gets the roll up pin. A second straight who the fuck cares match and finish. Dolph Ziggler is talking to his championship belt. AJ Lee is thinking about going after the Diva’s Title. Okay, I’m glad they’re planting the seeds for Big E to break away or turn. Vickie Guerrero & Brad Maddox are giving Dolph bad news. I think Brad has freshened her up. They give us a review on CM Punk. The Shield get a new fresh video. Believe in the Shield.

Chris Jericho comes out for his entrance. Dolph Ziggler comes out with his crew. If Jericho wins, he gets a spot in the title match. Nothing happened before the break. Everyone is shocked. Big E finally gets a shot in at Jericho to spice this thing up. This crowd is trying but no one is going to live up to the post Wrestlemania crowd until they go to Dallas or Chicago. I know Columbus won’t even be this loud next week. Jericho gets a near fall off a superplex. Code Breaker but he brags. Ziggler puts his foot on the rope. Classic. Walls of Jericho. Fandango comes out to distract Jericho. Ziggler breaks the hold. Zig Zag for the win. That’s bull honkey according to my girl. Speaking of which, my four year old nephew calls Donkey Kong, Honkey Kong. I couldn’t help but laugh. Josh Matthews gets to interview Mick Foley. He talks down to Ryback.

 

With much less fan fare, Cody Rhodes takes on Sweet T. I’m glad he’s updated his ring gear finally. Ridiculously long underhook suplex. JBL is still trying to pump up Sweet T. Hell of an announcer but I still want him on one show. I enjoy separate teams. He has been showing off more of his offense as a baby face. Power bomb then pins him with a senton. This stupid gimmick may get him somewhere if they can both shake it at some point. Daniel Bryan and Kane are backstage. Bryan wants to go over strategy. They get attacked by the Shield after their spat. Good stuff.

Ryback is with Josh Matthews. He wants an explanation. He points out the obvious. Ryback is pissed at Foley. Mick is getting beat up tonight. He’s great at selling. Big E Langston powders up before his match. Ha. Zack Ryder looks like the sacrificial lamb. The crowd is just not with Ryder any more. The Big Ending. I have no idea why Ryder had to retire the last version of his gimmick. I continue to feel bad him. He could be in a Christian spot.

The Undertaker comes out by himself. The Shield comes in from the crowd. Kane & Bryan make “the save”? We get the regular match after another break. Everyone loves Old School. The baby faces are handing the heels the beat down early. Kane is the first man to sell for his team. Bryan gets the luke warm tag so that he can be the next one to sell. This is more than a luke warm tag though. Of course he starts to sell before the next commercial. I’m glad they’re really making a match of Taker’s appearance without him doing much work. Taker gets the real hot tag. He’s pulling out most of the arsenal. Spear by Reigns breaks it up. Taker can’t quite pull off the clothesline any more. Flying Goat gets crotched. Kane & Taker fight Reigns & Rollins on the outside. The Flying Goat misses. Dean Ambrose gets the pin.

Mick Foley gets to be in a segment with John Cena. Foley knows he’s walking into a trap. Cena gives him a chair. Fandango comes out his match. We wait for a commercial to find out that William Regal is going to lose to him. They let Regal have some offense before taking the fall. Downward Spiral. Jericho attacks him as he gets to the stage. Jericho offers his hand to the female dancer. He dips her. Good exploitation.

I’m supposed to pretend that AJ isn’t going to win this battle royal. She’s the only one who got a promo tonight. Tamina super kicks her head off. AJ plays dead to stick around. Layla eliminates Tamina. Layla starts to drag her in the wrong direction. AJ played opossum. AJ wins. Cool rightfully askes for updated references.

I am not finishing this one too late. Mick Foley can really turn it on when he wants to. Ryback ends up trapped in the ring with John Cena when the Shield shows up again. Cena leaves Ryback in the ring. Cena then makes the save with a chair. Good way to tie up that loose end. Attitude Adjustment after a look down by Ryback. Fair enough segment. Not enough for show closer. -Kevin

WWE videos are on fire! (Except not.) Fandangoo dances, Sheamus-Big Show pub brawl is dumb

So last night on WWE Monday Night Raw, we were “treated” to a vignette of a new wrestler named Fandangoo. No, that’s not a typo, there’s an extra “o” on the end. Presumably not because WWE doesn’t know how to spell the name of the popular “fandango” dance, but because they’re queering up NXT lifer Johnny Curtis and they wanted the word “goo” in his name. WWE did one of those acronym deals where each letter in Fandangoo stood for a word that describes him. I’ve got an acronym for you: Fuck All this Nonsense, Don’t Anticipate Next week’s raw will Go On my Oh-I-must-watch-this-list. I remember when vignettes used to get me excited for new wrestlers, but then, that was back when the new wrestlers were exciting.

Going by this helpful video posted at Prowrestling.net, Curtis’ Fandangoo will be some hybrid of Alex Wright, Disco Inferno and the Handsome Stranger, aka Buff Bagwell. Wow, everything that was good about WCW in 1995, all rolled into one douche!

In other WWE news, according to Prowrestling.net, WWE has “released” video footage of Big Show attacking Sheamus and William Regal in a pub in England. That’s so racist; just because Sheamus is Irish and Regal is a drunk doesn’t mean they spend all night in a bar. And don’t you just love this new social-media era of WWE, where they try to fake this fan-captured-footage look and then post it on their own social channels? It’s about as disingenuous as me saying, “I can’t want to GOO over FandanGOO next week!” -Eric

Stunt Granny Audio Show #181

Oops, I think it's upside down...

Holy cow, it’s Dusty and Eric with another Stunt Granny Audio! The boys start off with a random assortment of brilliance, including thoughts on the Warlord, Haystacks Calhoun, Bob Geigel and more. Why are these multi-generational wrestlers on the docket? Also, what did the gents think of certain aspects of TNA Lockdown? How about this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw? Or the current storylines of two shining stars, Mark Henry and Chris Jericho? Also, the former Claudio Castagnoli, now Antonio Cesaro (with a side salad and breadsticks), made his Smackdown debut oops spoilers with William Regal at his side; what wonderful idea could this lead to (but won’t)? All this and more is a click away!

Stunt Granny Audio Show #181

%d bloggers like this: