The PG Era Rant, 2/3/14

Instead of my usual opening here, I
figure I’ll address CM Punk’s departure, since I’ll be the last one
to have an opinion.
I know nothing about his mindset. I
know his past actions, but as we’ve learned with others, people can
change. What I can see is that Punk is walking away from the WWE
just as all the momentum goes towards Daniel Bryan. The timing is
such that it can’t be coincidence.
That said, has he always been wanting
to leave and just chose the time when there was someone who could
fill his void? Or is he jealous and hoping to get the “Internet
darling” tag back? I don’t know.
However, if I walked out on my job, I
would have a hell of a time getting a new one, and no one would be
sympathetic to me. Then again, the rules of entertainment were never
that of the real world, were they?
Enough of that. Hopefully people won’t
be blaming the WWE for this like they blamed WCW for Ric Flair.

The live look-in talks about the steel
cage match for the WWE Tag Team Championships, plus Randy Orton will
kick off the show.
The PG Era Rant for Raw, February 3,
2014.
Live from Omaha, Nebraska. Given that
this week is an audible, that makes sense.
Your hosts are Cole and the gang.
Indeed, as promised, here’s Orton. And
this just in: he’s in a bad mood. It’s Orton, Cena, Sheamus, Bryan,
Cesaro, and Christian going at it at the Elimination Chamber. Orton
starts to talk and INSTANTLY a Punk chant begins. Orton shouts it
down and continues his conversation: it’s unfair. The Authority
wants to get rid of him. (He succeeds in lasting out the Punk
chant.) Orton is curious: how often does he have to beat Cena,
anyway? Or Bryan? And everyone else, for that matter. He knows the
fans want to see him lose, but guess what: not happening. Orton will
win at the Chamber AND at WrestleMania when he beats Not Daniel
Bryan. He brings up how they were equals in Evolution, but times
have changed. Orton is just better. What everyone needs to realize
is that Orton is the greatest superstar ever, and he’s the main
attraction of Raw. And this brings out the Authority, much to
Orton’s chagrin. Cole says Orton is where he is because of them.
Stephanie tells Orton to calm down as the Punk chants are back.
Stephanie thinks Orton gets a little paranoid and angry. “Don’t
bite the hand that feeds you, Randy. Think about everything that we
have done for you.” Stephanie says Orton is better than that. But
Orton doesn’t care, because he’s the champ in spite of tough odds.
Hunter knows that Orton comes out… saying the same thing week after
week. Hunter says he doesn’t want to hear that from the Face of the
WWE. It makes Hunter wonder if maybe there’s something behind all
this and that someone else needs to be on top. Crowd: “YES!”
Stephanie reminds Orton about the Elimination Chamber, then says
he’ll face each of them one at a time. And if tonight’s opponent is
victorious, Stephanie may change horses. Tonight’s opponent: yes,
Daniel Bryan. HHH leads a YES chant because apparently he doesn’t
realize he’s the bad guy.
Cole talks about the Royal Rumble
kickoff and how the Outlaws won the Tag Team titles on the show.
Last week, they were going for a rematch, but it was a no-contest.
So tonight, it’s a cage match for the Tag Titles – but it’s not an
escape match, it’s just pinfall or submission.
The Shield is on their way to the ring
for six-man tag team action. Rollins got the flip over the barricade
right! We recap last week and how the DQ finish indirectly put Cena,
Bryan, and Sheamus in the Chamber… and kept the Shield out. Shield
vs. Wyatts will happen at the Chamber, despite HHH’s best interest to
keep it from happening, because Roman Reigns is just that
intimidating.
SIDENOTE: why are the fans chanting for
CM Punk? He wasn’t fired, he walked away. He doesn’t want to be
there. Even if the WWE bent over backwards to keep him – and by
all accounts, Vince is going out of his way to talk Punk into coming
back – Punk doesn’t want to be there and has left WWE in the lurch.
Chanting will change nothing. He doesn’t want to come back!
The Shield v. Rey Mysterio, Big E
Langston, and Kofi Kingston.
Only Rey gets an entrance on the
face side. Ambrose and Langston start. Ambrose goes behind but gets
tossed off and rammed into the corner. Langston works the arm, and
Kofi tags in to drop an axhandle on the arm. Ambrose pulls the hair
to get out, but Kofi gets an armdrag and works the arm, but Rollins
tags in only to get caught with a back elbow. It gets one. Kofi
blocks a hiptoss with a monkey flip and smashes Rollins in the corner
for two. Ambrose tags himself in and pounds away on Kofi, stomping
him into the mat. Reigns in, and he just punches Kofi in the face.
Into the buckle goes Kofi, and Rollins is in to work the gut.
Snapmare and neck crank by Rollins. Rollins cuts off a comeback and
brings Ambrose in. Power Drive elbow gets one. Ambrose stomps the
hand and backs Kofi into the corner, with Rolins getting a Hotshot on
Kofi. Crowd is kinda dead. Rollins to the chinlock, then a slam.
Kneedrop misses, though, and it’s hot tag Rey. Seated senton to
Rollins, and a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Rana try, but everyone
rolls through and Rey kicks Rollins’ head in for two. Rollins misses
a blind charge, but he catches Rey and Reigns tags in as they get a
Hart Attack (powerbomb variant) for two, Kofi saves as we go to
break.
The Shield v. Rey/Langston/Kofi,
part two.
Reigns has Rey by the leg and drags him to the corner
before putting on a chinlock as we see that During the Break, Reigns
did his drive-by dropkick. Rey kicks out of the chinlock but gets
caught with a back elbow. Ambrose gets back in and does a leaping
stomp on Rey before choking Rey with his tibia. Big lariat gets two.
Ambrose to a camel clutch chinlock as the crowd gets behind Rey.
Rey kicks away to get loose, but Ambrose catches Rey and puts him in
the Tree of Woe, kicking away. But a charge misses Rey and hits the
post. The hot tag goes to Langston, who cleans house and gets Reigns
one on one with a huge tackle. Running shoulder ram follows in the
corner, then an overhead suplex and Ultimate Splash, Shield saves.
Kofi takes them both out as Reigns is bleeding. Rey disposes of
Rollins, Ambrose of Kofi, and Langston of Ambrose, only for the
Superpunch to floor Langston. Ambrose tags himself in, which Reigns
doesn’t approve of, and the Bulldog Driver wins at 11:30 total.
**3/4 Reigns is confused at
what Ambrose did, and Rollins has to separate them. Yeah, we got a
WrestleMania match coming up, don’t we?
But
before we go to commercial, the Wyatts hijack the feed. “Shield:
come out, come out wherever you are.” Wyatt gets it more than the
Shield does. He knows the way they behave, and he knows what they
are. They are Pawns who move forward but never backwards, crawling
forward with their useless days to the moment they sacrifice
themselves for the King. But Wyatt knows something: the moment of
sacrifice is close, and he will build his empire on them. He will
smile as the enemies drown. Harper asks if it’s worth it. What
Harper knows is that Wyatt is the King. Harper whistles in the dark
as Rowan adds the punchline: “Run.” These three are AMAZING in
their routine.
Later
tonight: Randy Orton faces Daniel Bryan. If Bryan wins, he could
become the Face of the Company™. JBL: “Could!”
Hey,
the Seahawks co-opted the YES chant!
ATTENTION
EVERYONE! Bad News Barrett has a gavel! He mentions that last
night’s Super Bowl was the most watched event in US history, but
there’s some Bad News: you ate so much junk food you’re going to get
a heart attack and will die within a year. So there! But wait –
Jerry Lawler has something to say! He has Bad News, too: next week,
with any luck, Barrett won’t be around! Barrett is fuming. Really?
We’re doing Barrett/Lawler?
Have
you gotten the WWE App yet? Here, let’s show you how to do it. And
now some news on the WWE Network and how it can save you $500 a year.
There will be original programming, such as Top 10 countdown shows
as voted on by the fans.
Later
tonight: Not Daniel Bryan will speak about the Elimination Chamber!
Christian
is back! And he’ll be in the Elimination Chamber, having beaten Jack
Swagger. He has a match, next.
SIDE
NOTE: Really? Barrett is being wasted on Jerry Lawler? Lawler
either can’t or shouldn’t wrestle, and any time an old man puts you
in your place, you’re done. He was getting over with the podium and
gavel, and they’re going to have Lawler be his first foe? I’m a
Barrett fan, and this just irks me.
Christian
v. Jack Swagger.

It’s a rematch. Christian tries to clap up the crowd as Cesaro and
Colter are at ringside. Swagger with a takedown and Gator Roll
headlock, then he works Christian over in the corner. Blind charge
misses, and Christian dumps Swagger right in front of Colter.
Christian with a baseball slide, and he follows with a fakeout that
(eventually) leads to Swagger pulling Christian off the apron.
Swagger throws Christian into the steps, and back in, it gets two.
Jerry Lawler is trending on Twitter as Swagger gets a knee in the
corner and huge throw for two. He goes for the double armbar on
Christian as Colter talks to Cesaro. Christian gets up and fights
out, then kicks Swagger only to walk into the Oklahoma Stampede for
two. Crowd gets behind Christian as Swagger chokes him on the bottom
rope. Swagger slaps Christian around and kicks him, adding a series
of rights and going up. Salute on the second rope, but Swagger dives
into Christian’s foot. JBL: “A blue dot would look better than
Christian’s face!” Yes, it was in context. Swagger misses a
lariat and gets punched, then it’s a missile dropkick by Christian,
who pumps up the crowd. Swagger catches him with a knee to the gut,
then a gutwrench try. Christian flips over the top and gets a
inverted DDT for two. Christian is ready for the Killswitch, and he
trips Swagger and does his over-the-ropes punch. He trips Swagger
again, this time to the mat, and goes up top only to be caught.
Swagger into the Patriot Lock, but Christian escapes and tries the
Killswitch. Swagger pushes out, only to get caught with a back kick.
Swagger pulls Christian does, Vaderbomb hits foot, and a sunset flip
off the second rope ends it at 5:58. Colter chews out Swagger after
the match. **1/4
If
you were here last week, you’d know that the tag title match from
last week was interrupted by the Viking Space Lord™. So we’ll have
a cage match – pin/submission ONLY – coming up next because HERE
COMES DA CAGE!
And
because they were always about bucking tradition, the champs enter
first, still not having gotten the memo to act like the bad guys.
Question: why can he say “Badd Ass” in his catchphrase, but he
can’t spell “B-a-double D A-double S” beforehand?
SIDENOTE
during this commercial break: you notice how Cody and Dustin’s heat
dissipated fast when they were put against two heels who don’t try to
act like heels? And then the Attitude Era fans chant along because,
let’s face it, people like chanting along, and suddenly Cody and
Dustin are the lesser team by default? All that effort thrown out
the window.
Okay,
two hours to go, Andy. Get set, get in a good mood.
Betty
White will be in the house next week!
Cage
match for the WWE Tag Team Titles: New Age Outlaws v. Rhodes
Brothers.

It looks like this is going to be a regular tag match, just inside a
cage. Dogg and Dustin will start. Dustin with a headlock on Dogg,
and he adds a hiptoss and taunts Dogg, forcing him to go to Gunn. No
tag, though, and Dogg tries to leave the cage. No point in that, and
Dustin rolls him up for two. Dogg: “What are we doing in here?”
Dustin throws Dogg into the cage, but he no-sells and brings in Gunn.
A wacky staredown follows, as Dustin spit-breathes at Gunn. Gunn
replies, and he gets attacked. Cody in as the challengers work the
arm. Gunn punches out (Crowd is on Cody’s side), but Cody fights out
and gets the Brisco rollup for two. Gunn to the gut, and he stares
at Dustin too long as Cody gets a small package for two. The Outlaws
regroup in the corner, stalling like the old-school heels they are,
before Gunn attacks Cody and brings Dogg in. Dogg works the arm and
kicks away, and the crowd is bored so they chant for Punk. Dogg gets
one. The poor announcers can’t say a thing about it. Gunn back in,
and he works on Cody’s arm some more, wrapping it around the ropes.
Gunn keeps working the arm, going to the armbar. He drops elbows on
Cody’s arm, and Dogg comes in with punches to the gut and more arm
work. Hammerlock into the turnbuckle, and a straight right, but Cody
with a clothesline for two. Cody works Dogg’s arm with a top
wristlock. Cody drops the knees on Dogg’s arm for two. Dustin in,
and he gets an uppercut while mocking Dogg. Snapmare and he drops
the leg on the arm before going to the armbar. This match is, like,
the OPPOSITE of what it needs to be. Goldust keeps on the arm, but
Dogg drives a knee to block and sends Dustin into the corner. JBL
says the crowd doesn’t know who to cheer for. Dustin drops with the
kneeling uppercut and goes for ten punches in the corner to get the
crowd back into it. Dustin misses a crossbody and goes into the
cage, and Gunn tags in as we go to break and the crowd chants “We
Want Punk”.
Cage
Match, part two.
Before
we get back, Alberto Del Rio says he won’t stand for hate and
discrimination. Right. Anyway, Dogg is tagged in as the Outlaws
corner Dustin. Dogg throws Dustin into the cage, over and over. It
gets two. Dogg with the chinlock from behind, and Goldust misses a
dropkick only for Dogg to miss an elbow. Gunn cuts the tag off, then
adds a whip, but Goldust with a back elbow to tease a hot tag, only
to get cut off by Gunn. Big boot by Gunn gets two. Dogg in, and he
pulls up Dustin for the punch-out and Dancing haymaker… but Dustin
ducks it and gets a spinebuster. HOT tag Cody, who goes to work on
Gunn. Gunn goes into the cage and gets hit with the sliding uppercut
and Holly Kick. Dropkick for Dogg, and Gunn misses the Famouser.
Dogg cuts off Cross Rhodes, but Dustin with a powerslam only to go
into the cage. Disaster Kick to Gunn gets two. Crowd thought it was
the finish. Cody’s the only one standing now, and he looks around
the cage. He calls the DX chop and… climbs? Dogg follows, only to
get knocked off. Cody gets to the top and he does the moonsault
press OFF THE CAGE to Dogg! Gunn then swoops in with the Rocker
Dropper, and that’s it at 16:11. Of course. **
I fail to see why they’re the tag champs, or why we couldn’t have
this be a normal cage match. On top of that, Dogg almost forgot to
catch Cody. In fact, replays show he didn’t even try to catch Cody
more than a little – he had time to get over and make the catch.
Seriously, I don’t like to call for firings, but if you can’t protect
your opponent despite ample time to do so, why are you here?
Later
tonight, Not Daniel Bryan!
Also,
Daniel Bryan! Against Randy Orton!
Meanwhile,
later tonight, we’ll have the Wyatts against Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth,
and Xavier Woods.
THERE
HAS BEEN A ZACK RYDER SIGHTING!
Zack
Ryder v. Titus O’Neil.

O’Neil gets new music as we see the Prime Time breakup. Ryder gets
in the first shot, but Titus sets him on the top rope and shoves him
over. He then throws Ryder into the barricade as Miz appears at
ringside. Back in, it gets two. Miz complains about the two of them
being on Raw. Meanwhile, Titus slams Ryder and goes to a bearhug. I
think we just saw Vince’s petty shot at what Punk did. Ryder elbows
out of the bearhug and kicks Titus only to run into a lariat. The
crowd chants for Punk again as Titus misses a blind charge. Ryder
with knees to the face on a charge for two. Broski Boot is set up
and delivered, then he goes up but gets caught. Rib breakers follow
into a flapjack. Titus barks and charges, getting an avalanche and
high spinebuster for the pin at 2:46. 1/2*
In all seriousness, smart move of Vince to put on a match that would
cause a CM Punk chant, then have someone do what he sees as Punk’s
“whine and walk” act. He can respond to Punk’s actions with
plausible deniability.
Later
tonight, it’s a main event! Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan will face
off – and HHH is watching intently.
Just
an advance note: I might not be around to rant on the Raw on March
31st,
since it’s in Washington, DC – my neck of the woods. Scott, can
you pull some strings and see if you can get me a press pass?
Black
History Month means we celebrate some of wrestling’s biggest legends.
First: Ernie Ladd. This would mean more, except that they had Big E
Langston and Kofi Kingston get no entrance compared to Rey Mysterio
just an hour ago.
DANCE-OFF:
Fandango v. Santino Marella.

Yes. This is happening. Summer Rae was furious upon seeing his
TitanTron. Santino tells “Faaaaandiiiiiingo” that they don’t
want to dance against him, because he’s a dancing FREAK. He learned
new moves that will blow him away. So, instead, he wants to see
Summer Rae dance against an audience member. Hey, guess which one he
chooses? That’s right, Emma from NXT. Complete with her own sign
with a hashtag. Nothing wrong with promoting NXT segments to Raw,
but the camera work is awful. Santino: “That’s it?” Crowd
chants for Emma. And yes, she does the arm-thrust dance. And use
her music. Summer Rae is not impressed. Santino polls the audience,
and to the surprise of absolutely no one, Emma wins. Of course,
Santino wants them to vote for her. Fandango and Summer Rae storm
off as Santino and Emma do the hoppity-hug thingy. Cole imitates
Emma’s dance. JBL looks like he wants to be on another planet. That
went about 100 times better than it should have been.
A
new program for the WWE Network: Legends House. Duggan, Atlas,
Piper, Okerlund, Hart, Patterson, Jim, and Finkel. A minion of mine
says this is almost a guarantee Hillbilly Jim is going to go to the
Hall of Fame this year, since he’s the odd man out. The Network’s
going to launch PRIOR to Raw on 2/24/14 if my math is correct…
let’s see… eleven hours from now… seems like 9AM.
Sheamus
is headed to the ring. He’ll have a match next.
Sheamus
v. Curtis Axel.

Ryback is with Axel for this one. Either fire Ryback or bring in
Goldberg – it’s reached critical mass. Lockup, and Sheamus backs
Axel into the corner as the crowd again asks for Punk. Headlock
takedown, and Axel gets to the ropes. Back to the headlock, but Axel
goes to the corner and works shoulder rams. Sheamus reverses a whip
and gets a kneelift and clothesline. Axel bails to the floor, but
Sheamus follows only to get caught in the ropes. Axel goes for a
neckbreaker on the top rope, but Sheamus reverses to the Ten of Clubs
and a clothesline to send Axel to the floor again. JBL makes a Six
Nations Rugby reference as Axel eats the table at ringside. Back in,
more axhandles and Axel goes for the ride only to throw Sheamus’s bad
shoulder into the post twice. Axel pounds away on Sheamus, kicking
him to the apron and landing an elbow on the arm. Sheamus tries to
fight up, but Axel keeps working the shoulder, getting a top
wristlock. Ryback gets heel heat? Sure, why not. Sheamus with a
big headbutt to get free, but Axel cuts it off again. Dropkick by
Axel (“That’s why I’m better than perfect!”) and he gets one.
Axel works on the arm in the ropes, then chokes Sheamus on the bottom
rope. Crowd chants for Punk again as Axel works the arm again. It
becomes a Fujiwara armbar as all the momentum has just left this
match. Sheamus is right angry and punches out, but he eats boot on a
blind charge. Sheamus recovers quickly with a Polish Hammer and
works in the corner, leading to a Finlay Roll try. Axel elbows out
the first time, but not the second. Sheamus tries to fire up the
crowd as he’s ready for the Brogue Kick, and that’s all she wrote at
7:04. Sheamus has momentum on his return and all, so really, Axel
should’ve been squashed. Not because he has no heat – although
there’s that – but because a World Title contender shouldn’t
struggle with one half of a lowly tag team on a throwaway match.
3/4*
Cole
welcomes all those who are watching Raw live for the first time in
Australia.
Not
Daniel Bryan will be in the ring next.
And
as he comes to the ring, he gets a very salty reaction. He has no
idea what to do with it, either. As the theme music ends, and before
he can say anything, here comes Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio will speak
first, and says he’s saving the crowd from being put to sleep. He
wants instead to talk about the two of them and their unfinished
business. Not Bryan doesn’t care about Del Rio and has nothing with
him. Del Rio counters that he’s going to choose when they’re done.
See, when Not Bryan was gone for four years waiting for a movie
career, Del Rio was out winning titles. “Being famous doesn’t make
you a champion.” Does Dwayne know that? Del Rio is thinks Not
Bryan is nothing more than a chihuahua afraid of Del Rio. He wants
to make Not Bryan beg. Not Bryan cuts him off, acting like he has NO
IDEA WHY DEL RIO would be mad… and Del Rio cuts him off and pounds
on him. Whose side do we take in this one? Del Rio charges and
nearly gets Not Bryan Bombed before he escapes. Not Bryan rips the
shirt off and wants to face him NOW. Del Rio says it’s on HIS terms.
Lots of macho posturing ensues.
As
a reminder: Daniel Bryan faces Randy Orton in a non-title match
tonight.
We
have another six-man coming up!
Dolph
Ziggler, R-Truth, and Xavier Woods v. Wyatt Family.

Hey, it’s the night after the Super Bowl and R-Truth knows where he
is! We also find out that next week, Mark Henry will be back.
Rowan and Woods start, and Rowan clubs Woods down and shoulderblocks
him. Slam try, but Woods fights out and kicks away only to get
thrown into the ropes. Truth tags himself in as they double-team
Rowan, and Truth with a Northern Lariat and legdrop for one, brother.
Rowan carries Truth into the Wyatt corner, and Harper comes in.
Truth fights out only to get destroyed by Harper. Harper with an
uppercut and Bray’s in. Bray with a kick and stomps, then a falling
headbutt. He traps Truth in the corner and avalanches him as the
crowd seems to be chanting for Cena. I think. Or is it Ziggler?
Harper with a Gator Roll into a headlock. Truth fights out only to
get a headbutt. Truth catches Harper with a leg lariat and both men
are down. Hot tag Ziggler, and he presses down Harper and punches
away. Dropkick follows, then a Stinger Splash into a ten-punch
sequence. Rude Awakening follows, then a Heart Stop elbow and
leaping DDT, Rowan saves. Rowan tosses Ziggler, Woods dropkicks
Rowan, and Bray with a one-hand uranage. Ziggler dropkicks Bray and
goes for the Zig Zag on Harper, who throws him off, and the discus
lariat follows. Bray in and he does the inverted look before hitting
Sister Abigail’s Kiss on Ziggler to end it at 5:01. *1/2
Nothing wrong with this match – makes the Wyatts look good. But
wait – the Shield now interrupt! Ambrose sarcastically acts scared
before saying they’re not in his fantasy world, so take his act
elsewhere! Rollins says Bray is good at rhetoric, but he’s
delusional, and his biggest delusion is thinking they’ll beat the
Shield. Reigns tells them to look around, because they’re in the
Shield’s yard. At Elimination Chamber, play time is over. Believe.
We cut back to Bray, who is just laughing. “I welcome this war!
Bring it to me!” Yeah, you can’t get in the head of someone who
isn’t there themselves.
Did
we mention Orton and Bryan are facing off tonight?
Alexander
Rusev gets a vignette in which he speaks Bulgarian and has Lana with
him.
Naomi
v. Aksana.

Cameron and Alicia Fox will be at ringside. But before we can get
someone new over, here comes AJ and Tamina to ringside. JBL has AJ’s
hat on. Lockup, and Aksana kicks away in the corner, but Naomi
reverses and throws the forearms. Naomi vaults over Aksana’s charge
and… twerks. Yup. Bubba Bomb follows, as AJ actually puts over
Naomi. After several rotations, Naomi gets two. Aksana throws Naomi
down and works the knee of Naomi as AJ blames Tamina for those
losses. Aksana gets a suplex for two. She goes to an arm/chinlock
on Naomi as Tamina glares at AJ. Aksana slams down Naomi by the hair
for one, then goes to the chinlock. AJ coins the term “Foxana”
and keeps track of Naomi’s challenge from the WWE App. Aksana
switches to a figure-four headlock and shushes the crowd. Aksana
misses whatever – who knows, we were busy looking at AJ talk –
and Naomi kicks Aksana away. Leg lariat by Naomi and a dropkick,
then… what is THAT? It’s not PG, and even AJ agrees. Naomi tries
for a sunset flip, but Aksana gets a knee to the eyes and covers for
one. Naomi fights back with a shot to the face, but her eye is
hurting. She goes up, and the split-legged moonsault finishes at
4:52. Cameron catches Alicia, and Naomi butt butts Alicia for good
measure. AJ refuses to give Naomi any credit post-match. 1/2*
Not the most stellar show for matches.
But
Orton and Bryan ought to change that! The main event is next!
Betty
White is here next week!
Yeah,
the acoustics tonight are awful, because everyone’s chanting YES, but
it’s not easy to hear. Cole is trolling JBL about Daniel Bryan being
Face of the WWE. As a reminder, Orton will be facing all five
challengers one on one from now to the Chamber. But first, a
commercial break.
Christian
will be Orton’s opponent on SmackDown.
Non-title
main event: Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton.

A long lockup begins the match, with Orton pushing Bryan into the
corner as the crowd is universally behind Bryan. Orton gets a clean
break, and then… he bails and tries to quiet the crowd. He
returns, kicking Bryan in the gut and whipping him in, but Bryan
reverses and elbows Orton. Crowd is going YES and has been loud all
night as Bryan works the arm. Orton breaks by using the beard, then
headbutts Bryan as the crowd gets a Punk chant started. Oh, dear.
Orton stomps away on Bryan and gets a suplex, getting one. Crowd
begins to shout down Punk with a Daniel Bryan chant. Orton to the
headlock, and a tackle to knock over Bryan before he poses. Orton’s
smirk is great. Next criss-cross goes Bryan’s way as he lands an
uppercut and kicks away. Bryan with a dragon screw on Orton, who
goes to the ropes for time, but Bryan follows and goes to the eyes.
Bryan goes outside and teases the ringpost figure-four, but simply
slams Orton’s leg into the post. He does it a second time, then gets
a head start and dropkicks Orton’s leg into it. Orton tries to get
away, but Bryan catches him and puts on the Celtic Knot. He switches
to an Indian Deathlock on Orton as the crowd chants for him some
more. Daniel Bryan is turning into the poor man’s Austin in the
constant chant department. Bryan adds a double-arm surfboard,
turning it to Pin-Up Strong for two. Bryan with a European Uppercut
and he stomps the knee as the crowd wants Punk again. Bryan with an
uppercut to floor Orton, for two. Back to the Celtic Knot by Orton,
who bites the leg to break. Orton with uppercuts now, but the third
one is reversed to a backslide for two. Another dragon screw
follows, and Bryan drops his weight on the leg in the ropes. Orton
goes outside, hoping to get away from Bryan, but Bryan finds him and
kicks the leg out of his leg on the outside. Bryan then throws Orton
into Michael Cole’s lap, and Cole’s headset goes into the ring with
Orton. Bryan kicks away on Orton in the corner and wraps his leg
around the bottom rope. Hamstring dropkick by Bryan as the crowd
chants for JBL for no reason. Top-rope Frankensteiner follows,
getting two. Bryan looking for the bow-and-arrow surfboard, slowly
setting it up as Orton fights it. So Bryan just jumps on the knees
instead. Big kick by Bryan hurts Orton, and more hamstring kicks
follows. It takes five or six before the crowd YESses to them.
Bryan gets a half Boston crab, but we’re in Omaha so Orton makes the
ropes… until Bryan pulls him away. Fortunately for Orton, we’re
still in Omaha and it’s only 10:50, so he makes the ropes again.
Orton goes to the outside, injured, so Bryan follows. Orton catches
him and back suplexes him into the barricade. Back in, Orton gets
two. Orton pulls himself up and goes to That Place, picking Bryan up
and stomping his head but favoring the bad leg. He stomps hard into
the gut and works the crowd a little, then headbutts Bryan in the
corner. He punches away maniacally, but Bryan reverses and kicks
away as the crowd goes YES in time. Comeback time for Bryan, but he
flies into a powerslam… which still tweaks Orton’s leg as we go to
break.
Main
event, part two.

Bryan does the YES kicks on Orton, but Orton catches the roundhouse
and gets a spinning T-Bone Suplex (!!), which hurts Bryan’s arm.
Orton pushes Bryan to the outside and follows, getting a hammerlock
and throwing the arm (the right arm, interestingly) into the post.
He does it again (“You ain’t done yet!”), then throws his
shoulder into the steps. Back in, it gets two. He goes to a
Fujiwara armbar and twists the hand of Bryan. Bryan is just bringing
out the best in Orton. Orton then holds the arm down, smiles, and
stomps the wrist against the bone. It gets one, but Bryan has no
right arm. Orton keeps working the arm, dropping his knee onto it
for one. Crowd goes nuts for Daniel Bryan as Orton wraps the arm
around the ropes. Orton poses again to draw big heel heat as Bryan
pulls himself up, so Orton goes to the outside and drops the arm on
the top rope. Orton chokes Bryan on the bottom rope, then slides in.
He pulls Bryan up by the beard again and sets him on the top rope,
delivering a big right (and checking his hand before punching). He
follows Bryan up and sets up for a superplex, but Bryan blocks like
crazy with his bad hand before headbutting Orton. Orton hangs on and
goes to the shoulder to hold on, but Bryan swings with lefts to stay
alive. The crowd YESses with it, and Bryan headbutts Orton down and
goes all the way up, nailing the missile dropkick. His arm is too
hurt to kip up, though. Both men are down and injured, but Orton’s
up first and headbutts Bryan. Now a strike-fest breaks out, with
Bryan winning with hamstring kicks only for Orton to drop Bryan on
the shoulder. Orton stalks Bryan, but Bryan catches Orton to look
for the Yes Lock. It’s locked in, bad arm and all, but Orton’s foot
makes the ropes. Both men are hurting as Bryan kicks away on Orton’s
leg. He goes coast-to-coast with a dropkick, but lands on the bad
shoulder. It happens a second time, but on the third, Orton
intercepts with his own dropkick! Orton’s smiles and crawls over,
picking Bryan up and going for the Draping DDT. He connects, then
mocks the crowd, begging them to boo him. Crowd goes NO huge as
Orton gets ready for the RKO, but Bryan superkicks Orton out of
nowhere. Bryan up top, and the Ram Jam connects, getting a VERY
close two. More YES Kicks follow, and this time the roundhouse
connects. And now Kane heads to the ring, so Bryan dropkicks HIM off
the apron and low bridges out Orton before diving onto both men.
Kane charges and gets sent into the steps, and back in, Orton is
ready for Bryan. RKO is missed, but Bryan gets the running knee to
win at 26:57. WHY THE HECK WAS THIS NOT THE WRESTLEMANIA MAIN
EVENT!? ****3/4

Bryan
leads the YES chants at the end, but Orton returns to the ring.
Bryan sends him out, then Kane, but this allows Orton to attack and
it’s two against one. Kane yanks his tie off and picks Bryan up,
giving him the chokeslam. Kane’s pyro is on one-second delay. Don’t
tell me it’s Kane they’re giving Bryan to at Mania – hopefully this
just continues the Bryan v. Authority storyline.
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
The
first hour just annoyed me – and don’t get me started on the
futility of chanting for Punk, since it’s not like he was fired –
but the main event may be one of the best Raw matches ever. I say
this a lot, I know, but considering the timing, the time given, the
finish, and everything else, I feel we just watched what should
have been the WrestleMania main event had it not been for someone
walking in from Hollywood and demanding a spot up top despite not
doing any work.
Didn’t
we go through this last year?
I’m
still baffled why the Outlaws are tag champs considering the damage
they’re doing as “heels who act like faces” – an act that just
doesn’t help anyone – plus they should never have a 20-minute match
for any reason. The official introduction of Emma will hopefully
lead to a reprise of the NXT comedy match that Tommy and Scott talked
up very highly, so I have hopes for her. The Shield and Wyatt Family
bring the goods on the mic.
There’s
more to love than hate about this show, unless you’re one of those
chanting for CM Punk.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 77:19 over eight matches.
BEST
MATCH: Orton/Bryan
WORST
MATCH: O’Neil/Ryder
NIGHT
MVP (kayfabe): The New Age Outlaws
FINAL
SCORE: Call it a 7. The main event is what people will – or should
– be talking about, but a crowd that wasn’t really up for the show
and didn’t care about much of anything outside the main event takes a
whole point off the score. I don’t know if it was the sound system
or the lackluster undercard, but they were even tuned out of the main
event, which is a shame because you saw an Instant Classic. I said
it in the match, and I mean it: Daniel Bryan is the best thing to
happen to Randy Orton. He’s gotten so much better in the ring.
Okay,
that’s all for me. No matter how much you chant for Scott Keith, he’s
not coming back to recap live Raw. You’ll have to settle for me.
Tommy Hall has SmackDown and NXT for you, though. See you next week.

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog o’Doomers,

What a shitty Super Bowl. Hate when the season ends on a boring blowout. However much respect to the Seahawks because they kicked some ass.

I watched Smackdown this week when I heard about the Titus turn and I wanted to see how they executed it. Luck have it I watched the rest of the show too and found some nice surprises.

Dean Ambrose seems to be channeling a little bit of Randy Savage in his promos. Not with the same delivery but the promo he cut on Reigns, especially when he said ‘next time I’ll do it to your face’ seemed like something straight out of the Savage book. The Shield are probably as good a booking and pairing job the WWE has done in a long time. The only exception is how they are wasting Ambrose’s title reign. He’s held the belt since May and it barely gets used in the booking for him. Would be nice for him and Big E. to actually be booked as the dominant mid-carders if they are going to hold the straps. Why they aren’t booked for weekly title defenses against the various mid-card talent makes no sense. They should open the second hour of RAW with a defense against someone.

And Roman Reigns even sounds better than average on the mic. As I said before, the only thing the WWE can do with Reigns is fuck it up by waiting too long. If things run their natural course he’s going to make them a ton of money in and out of the ring. He’s already getting face pops and they are going to grow. Having him stare down HHH and get what he wanted was a nice step and subtlely starts the power struggle that will exist with him and Ambrose. I like Rollins too, I’m actually really impressed with him. He’s likely going to get swallowed in the Reigns-Ambrose but he’s one of those guys that can find a spot for himself in the second tier of guys on the roster.

As for the rest of Smackdown, a renewed Cesaro push is a nice thing. Spitting him and Dutch from Swagger is even better. Cesaro is a little too talented to be stuck in a meddling tag team but I enjoy the pairing of him and Dutch. Like I said before if there needed to be a replacement for Swagger in the Real Americans, it should be Mark Henry. He’s great as a heel and he’s a former U.S. Olympian so the connection is there.

Anyway silly booking, enjoy the show tonight and come out swinging but always try to keep it clean.

BoD Daily Update

WWE.com RAW Preview

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2014-02-03/five-point-preview-26179108

CM Punk Update

After speaking with a number of wrestlers over the weekend that have reached out to Punk, Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com has reported that Punk has only responded to one of them. Also, Vince McMahon has been reported as dealing with the Punk situation by himself, not HHH or talent relations. Vince is also reportedly upset that the information regarding Punk’s departure as been leaked out.

Credit Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com

John Cena Injures Eye

His eye was poked in a match against Randy Orton Saturday night at a house show in Kansas City, MO. The injury is supposedly significant and no further update has been given

 http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/96-wwe/35264-cena-injured-misses-show-today

Titus O’Neil Update

Apparently, the heel turn for O’Neil has been planned for a long time

Credit Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com

Most Disappointing WM?

The question is: What is
the most disappointing WM that you remember seeing live? Obviously, that means
you cannot pick WM 1 if you weren’t born until 1992. 

My selection is a no
brainer, Wrestlemania 27. I was really looking forward to this show, and it
ended up being just utter garbage. Most of the matches had strong build going
into the event. Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole had an extremely heated feud that
felt straight out of Memphis. Randy Orton and CM Punk had a good narrative
going, in which Orton went through all of Nexus until the leader was the only
one remaining. Undertaker and Triple H had a gigantic showdown vibe to it. Cody
Rhodes was awesome in his feud against Rey. And the Rock made his homecoming
and said things about Cena that nobody thought WWE would allow anyone to say.

Edge and Del Rio’s World Heavyweight title bout ended up certain-jerking after
a pointless as well as long-winded Rock promo that did not translate well onto
TV. They had a fine match, but it about Smackdown standards at best. Plus, this
appeared to be Del Rio’s breakout moment, but ended up being one of the worst nights
of his career. Not only did he lose the match, Edge and Christian vandalized
his car, too.
Rhodes and Mysterio had
a match that bored the death out of the crowd and myself. Back-to-back matches
that were more suited for Smackdown.
CM Punk and Orton had
possibly the best match of the night, but it still came across a bit soft and light
hitting for a feud that was heated.
Jerry Lawler and Michael
Cole put the nail into the coffin by killing the entire arena. Lawler should
have delivered a few moves, did some spots that humiliated Cole, and then hit
the pile driver to end it. Instead, Cole was performing terrible looking
offense to Lawler, who sadly had to sell it, and the heel that bullied the
babyface for months leading up to this ended up having the last laugh. Out of all the Wrestlemania’s I’ve seen, this left the second biggest
sour taste in my mouth, with HHH going over Booker T being number one of
course.
HHH and Undertaker had a
disjointed match that had five minutes of slow build, no middle, and then
shifted into 20-something minutes of fabricated drama, filled with finishers,
near-falls off the finishers, hitting each other’s finishes, and all that forced
drama bullshit. It was not bad per se, but it did come off disjointed and tried
to force its “epicness” down our throats. And they ended up having a much
better structured match the following year.
And then the main event
was a total disaster. The Miz actually developed a great heel persona leading
up to this, but he wasn’t good enough in the ring to put on a long Wrestlemania
quality main event match, and Cena wasn’t the guy that could disguise his imperfections.
They wrestled for about 15 minutes and nobody cared. They did a double count
out finish, which made both wrestlers look pathetic. Rock restarted the match
only to screw Cena and then killed Miz’s heat by beating him up as well.
There you have it, the
night where I thought WWE’s booking committee and road-agents lost their minds.
 

I’m curious to see if anyone saw an earlier WM that they were looking forward to and it ended up being the drizzled shits.

Observer vs PW Torch

Hey Scott,
I've been following your blog for the past year and I have a great respect for your opinion.  All this network talk has me back into wrestling like I haven't been since the attitude area.  I'm thinking about subscribing to one of the big newsletters… What can you tell me about Me

l

tzer's Observer (which I see you reference often) vs Kell

e

r's Torch?

I can't really give you any insight into the Torch because I was only a reader very briefly in the Monday Night Wars era, but I've been a subscriber to the Observer basically since 1999, although I tend to enjoy the site more for the podcasts than the Observer itself these days.  Dave used to be much more animated in his analysis of wrestling than he is now, and he certainly doesn't crack as many jokes and bust on guys who are terrible as he used to.  Clearly he's as burned out on the sport as CM Punk is, but with the added problem of having to base his entire income on covering it.  The discussions in particular on Daniel Bryan are really interesting, as Dave is very focused on house show numbers and merch sales alone in backing Vince's stance towards not pushing him as the top guy.  Dave tends to drop a LOT of info into the radio show, given that we're paying for it and we don't need to be directed to the newsletter for the real scoops, which is nice.  
As for the Torch, Keller and Bruce Mitchell are both great guys and there's some cool people who write for it, but I have no real experience with it and I hate their website layout anyway.  

HBK and Mania

Was HBK ever really considered a possibility to make an in ring return at mania or will he always stay retired but constantly be teased as possibly returning?

By the way, HUGE HBK mark, but count me in the camp that hopes he stays retired.

I don't think anyone really took the notion seriously, but WWE was sure operating under the assumption that they'd convince him.  

Wrestlers/angles you never “got”

We all have our guilty pleasures, wrestlers or angles we enjoy despite their massive flaws or silly concepts, etc. (My childhood favorite being Psycho Sid). On the flip side, do either of you have a good example of a wrestler or angle that was generally warmly received or looked fondly upon by a significant portion of the fans, that you just didn't “get?” You don’t necessarily have to hate the guy or storyline, but merely not quite understand why it got over to the degree it did or just didn't see what the big deal was.
 
For me (and I want to be clear I don’t think the guy was talentless or didn't deserve his push), I never really bought Edge as a main event guy during his upper-card run. I remember him being a bit of a darling to a lot of causal and online fans alike for his heel work against guys like Cena and the Hardys, but he never really did much for me. And don’t get me started on the Vicki Guerrero stuff crica 2006 or so, which I remember was loved by many. I personally couldn't stand the Vicki character (still can’t), and I was rarely entertained by any of it.

Yup, I'm with you on Edge.  I like him a lot but I never really bought him as a threat to Undertaker's streak, for example.  But then keep in mind that I was WAY out of the loop at the point when he was on top of Smackdown, and Smackdown itself was the last thing I'd be watching, so maybe I just remembered him more as the tag team specialist from years before or something.  
I also never got Mr. Kennedy or understood why he was getting the push that he did, given that the entrance was kind of neat but there was nothing to back it up in the ring.  I know he wasn't exactly a smark darling or anything, but he had his supporters and I just didn't see it.  TNA for sure exposed his emptiness as a character even more, but that's TNA.  
It took me a long time to get MVP, but keep in mind he debuted at the tail end of my fandom, just before I dumped the product and went to WWE 24/7 exclusively for years.  When I came back in here and there in 2009-10, he was probably a better worker, but the original character never meant anything to me.

Why I win the Blog

Hey Scott,

You know why I win the blog? I am a Hogan fan…he is going to host Wrestlemania. I am a Triple H fan…he is going to inherit the WWF, (no thats not a typo) And to boot I have a girlfriend that I got to love wrestling….we are going to plan a weekend around Wrestlemania…. Drop mic

I hear there's very effective topical creams for the first two conditions.
And you should be more careful when holding a microphone.  They're pretty expensive and dropping them can cause damage.

Warrior/Punk

Easy question I know someone must have asked in one of the million threads: how insane would the net have gone if it was a cultural touchstone during the first Warrior walkout? Or is it mute because smarks would have hated him?

I don’t recall the reaction in 91, but the 92 walkout was pretty solidly anti-Warrior as far as RSPW went.  

Bump in the Road, Part 4: Toronto Bound

Hey Scott,

The fourth part of BUMP IN THE ROAD just went up. Do please share it with the Doomers, as you have magnificently done in the past. I must take a moment to thank you, by the way. Every time you post the link, the views on my blog skyrocket. I get around 300+ views, which for me is fantastic. So thank you again for being shameless in helping to promote other people’s work.