The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2015

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2015 (06.14.15) We get a very classy ten-bell salute to Dusty Rhodes with the entire roster on the ramp to start. Live from Columbus, OH Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler Money In The Bank: Randy Orton vs. Neville vs. Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns Dolph immediately loses cred for his 80s hair metal jean jacket by spelling “Megadeth” wrong on it. COME ON, DOLPH. Rather mixed reaction for Roman, which has actually been a change from shows as of late. Everyone sprints for the briefcase right away in a nice bit of business, but Kane manages to clean house. Sheamus gets rid of him in turn and fights off the field with a ladder, but Kofi climbs while Sheamus is busy. Sheamus breaks that up and beats on Kofi, but Neville comes back in with a missile dropkick. Kofi takes out Sheamus with the Trouble in Paradise and we get a nice sequence with Kofi and Neville before Reigns breaks it up to a chorus of boos. Tough crowd. Reigns powerbombs Kofi onto a ladder, and then powerbombs Neville onto HIM, and that finally earns him some respect. Kane takes Reigns out with a chokeslam, but Orton returns from the ether and hits the RKO OUTTA NOWHERE on both Kane and Kofi. Neville climbs and Orton gives him more of the same. Next up, Sheamus and Orton continue their insomnia cure feud and slug it out until Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick to end Orton’s run. Sheamus and Ziggler fight on top of the ladder for some near-finishes, and Dolph takes him down with a Zig Zag off the ladder, kind of. Neville adds the Red Arrow onto Sheamus, which has the crowd chanting for NXT. That’s a dangerous thing to do. So now Neville and Ziggler fight on the ladder, but Kane breaks that up and disposes of them like a couple of jobbers. Back to Roman, the real star, who gets rid of Kane with the Superman punch and then takes everyone out with a dive. Hey, the man’s doing his best, no one ever accused him of being lazy. The New Day heads out to assist Kofi and Roman beats them up as well, then tosses Kofi onto everyone, spears Orton, and looks to claim the briefcase…but Bray Wyatt appears out of the dark and takes him out. And with everyone else done, that leaves Sheamus, who wins the briefcase at 20:30. Jesus, they had Roman blow ANOTHER one? They’re gonna Luger this poor guy if they don’t let him get a big win soon. I’d call this a huge waste of the briefcase considering how directionless Sheamus has been and the groan that his win got. Like really, does any human being on earth believe that they’ll actually have SHEAMUS cash in and win against someone? Usual good MITB match, built more around the drama of the climb rather than the crazy ladder spots this time, but nothing special. ***1/2 Also, what’s the point of having Lana come out as Ziggler’s new manager and then having him do nothing and lose? Meanwhile, Paige vows to end the Bella Twins’ reign of terror. Wait, are they heels again? She also dedicates the match to Dusty, which is probably not a good sign for her chances. Divas title: Nikki Bella vs. Paige Paige gets some boots in the corner and tosses Nikki, then follows with a somersault off the apron. They fight on the floor and Nikki does some pushups while we cut to the other women watching the match in the back. Why punish the rest of the division? And really, the only other person with any kind of cred is Naomi, the rest are just there as managers and TV actors at this point. Paige comes back with a Shining Wizard, but Nikki goes to a lengthy bodyscissors on the mat. Paige fights out and now Nikki goes to the chinlock and hits a spinebuster for two, but a blind charge misses. Paige wraps her up in an STF, but Nikki quickly makes the ropes and gets another spinebuster for two. Paige escapes the Rack Attack and gets the Rampaige for two. She stops to cry about it and the announcers are like “Oh man, she hit her one move and didn’t try anything else and that didn’t work, what is she gonna do now?” Truly a conundrum. The twins switch off and Paige pins Brie, who quickly reveals that she was stuffing her bra, and thus the match continues. Nikki then finishes with the Rack Attack to retain at 11:16. So was that our tribute to Dusty? What kind of an idiot referee would not only mistake Brie for Nikki at this point, but then allow the match to continue after someone else interfered? Boring match, stupid finish. *1/2 Also you have to love that the top babyface is portrayed as friendless and the champion is portrayed as being unworthy and dragging down the entire division. Intercontinental title: Ryback vs. Big Show Glad to see Ryback at least wears the belt instead of carrying it around like a prop. Ryback flies out with a spinebuster, hits the lariat and dumps Show to the floor right away. He stops to beat on color commentator Miz, but walks into a spear in the ring. They slug it out and Ryback actually takes him down with a cross armbreaker, but Show makes the ropes. Ryback with a suplex and a splash for two, but he walks into the chokeslam for two. Ryback tries the Shellshock, but Miz runs in for the DQ at 5:40. That was no good, a crappy RAW match with a crappy RAW finish. DUD The Biggest Rematch In The History Of Our Sport: John Cena vs. Kevin Owens To be fair, Cole downgrades it a bit to “one of the most anticipated rematches in recent memory”. Clearly a pro-NXT crowd tonight. They trade shoulderblocks to start and Owens works a headlock while laying down the trash-talk, but Cena escapes with a clothesline. Owens fires back with a dropkick and senton for two, but Cena gets his own dropkick, so Owens fires back with Cena’s usual sequence of offense, including a five knuckle shuffle. Cena reverses him into the STF and gets an inverted suplex for two. Owens with a codebreaker for two. Cena escapes the powerbomb and hits his own, but Owens counters the FU with a german suplex and cannonball into the corner for two. Sideslam gets two. Owens tries a swanton bomb and lands on Cena’s knees, and that had to hurt. Cena with a faceplant out of an electric chair for two, and the FU gets two. Cena actually argues with the ref over that one, then tries a superplex and gets reversed into a powerbomb for two. We get the “This is awesome” chant, which I always hate. Cheer the babyface or boo the heel to show your support, but don’t break the fourth wall like that. Owens tries a powerbomb, which Cena turns into a rana, but Owens drops him with a kick for two. Cena goes back up with a flying shoulderblock for two. Cena goes up again and misses the guillotine legdrop, and Owens gets two off that with a powerbomb. Owens goes up and misses a moonsault, and Cena gets another FU for two. Cena tries another superplex, but Owens reverses into a fisherman’s buster for two. Yikes. Cena gets the STF, but Owens makes the ropes and Cena is getting angry now. Cena gets a sunset bomb for two after a fight for the move, and Cena is finally showing some real emotion. Owens takes advantage with the Pop Up Powerbomb for two. Owen slugs away, but Cena comes back with the stunner and FU to finish at 19:13. Cena wins, LOL. Like really, they seriously beat Owens ALREADY? Incredible match, but why waste the rub that Owens got from the first one? ****1/2 Cena offers the respect handshake, but Owens thankfully turns on him and puts him down with the apron powerbomb to redeem the loss. And then mocks Cena from the ramp. Just make this guy the champion right now. Doesn’t matter which one, all of them really. Dusty Rhodes tribute video, which is pretty great. WWE tag team titles: The New Day vs. The Prime Time Players This feels like it’s going to be the death slot before the ladder match. Funny bit with the New Day getting mad at the crowd’s lack of positivity, as Xavier almost tells them that they suck before Big E cuts him off with some therapeutic clapping. The champs quickly work Darren Young over in the corner and double splash him for two. Big E with an abdominal stretch and belly to belly for two, and Woods goes to a sleeper on the mat and gets a clothesline for two. Big E with an STO for two to keep Young in the heel corner, but Young sends him into the post and makes the hot tag to Titus. He throws the champs around with his usual grace and precision, but Big E spears Young through the ropes and Woods rolls up Titus for two before Titus comes back with Clash of the Titus to win the titles at 5:47. There are some weird booking decisions tonight. Titus is just awful, but I guess they need some kind of babyface stars with the Usos and Tyson Kidd both out. *1/2 WWE World title, ladder match: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose Rollins pounds away in the corner and tosses Ambrose, and they fight on the floor, where Ambrose gets the first dive. At this point I actually get the first glitch in the Matrix from the Network tonight, as the stream has been impeccable and crystal clear up until now. Must not be anyone watching. Rollins tries his own dive, but Ambrose blocks it with a ladder to the head. We get the first climb as they both go up the ladder, but Dean brings him down and suplexes him onto the ladder. Ambrose drops an elbow off the top of the ladder and makes another climb, but Rollins breaks it up with a chair and goes after the knee. That’s pretty smart. That goes on for a while, actually, and Rollins gets a figure-four before Ambrose reverses out. Finally he goes for a climb, but Ambrose saves and fights back before accidentally walking into the ladder on his rebound clothesline. Rollins goes back to the knee, but goes up and gets crotched and clotheslined off the top. Ambrose makes another comeback and takes him to the floor with a Cactus Clothesline, but Rollins goes to the knee again and heads back in to climb. He changes his mind and tosses the ladder at Dean instead, but gets hit with the rebound lariat. And it’s back to the floor again for a brawl into the crowd. Did they go really short on this show and just decide to stretch this out by having nothing happen for the first 20:00 or something? So Seth wins that brawl and heads back to pull out another ladder, but Ambrose returns from the crowd to stop him again. The ladder gets put between the apron and the table, and Rollins takes a backdrop through it, so Ambrose has to find yet another ladder. Seems unfair that the MITB match has 18 of them strewn around the ringside area but these poor guys have to dig them out from under the ring. Dean does the dramatic slow climb, but Rollins saves and they tumble to the floor again. Their next victim is the spanish announce table, as Dean hits Dirty Deeds on the table and fails to break it. Ambrose tries another climb, but Rollins saves with Ambrose’s mortal enemy: A TV set. Rollins adds a Pedigree and climbs, but Ambrose pulls him down and tosses him again. Rollins has just had enough of this shit and sends him into the ladder and then powerbombs him into the railing in a sick spot…and then does it again. You’d think that would sufficient, but Rollins is nothing if not thorough, so he pulls out a pile of chairs and powerbombs him on THOSE. Cole calls it a “symbolic burial” as Rollins dumps a pile of chairs on him. I think that word does not mean what you think it does, Michael. So Rollins climbs, but Ambrose somehow manages to revive from THREE POWERBOMBS on the floor and comes back to fight on top. That’s a little silly. They fight for the belt and both fall holding the belt, but Seth holds on for the win at 35:45. Weak ending after a setup that should have been a clean win for Rollins. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, as they took too long to get where they were going, but it was a great effort from both guys and at least Rollins won by himself. ***3/4 The Pulse Everything mostly delivered, although the booking was really weird tonight and there was some epic garbage in between the great matches. Thumbs up, but nothing I’ll want to watch again as a whole.

Brock and Money in the Bank

Scott:


What about Brock winning MITB? The idea of The Beast Incarnate spending a month or two stalking Rollins seems to good to pass up. Which, of course, means WWE will have Reigns win the briefcase. But seriously–Rollins could sell that kind of paranoia like no one else on the roster, and Brock cashing in could just loom over everything….

You, as always, are a huge slut, and your blog is my first stop every morning. Thank you.

Brock destroying Kofi and taking his place in the ladder match, then letting everyone kill themselves before storming out and F5'ing everyone in the match to claim the briefcase would be GENIUS.  Can you imagine how much the champion would be pissing himself knowing that Brock could literally come down to the ring and kill him any time he wanted?  That being said, two weeks of build for Brock would be silly, so it won't happen.  But that's not to say Brock won't just steal the briefcase from whoever and declare it his own property. 
The scenario floated by Dave and Bryan last night, which I also like, is Roman winning the briefcase (because, duh) and Ambrose winning the World title for realz in the main event, only to have bestest buddy Reigns go heel and beat the shit out of him to cash in.  That would rip the hearts of the crowd in the best way and probably get Roman over once and for all.  

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2014 Live from Boston, MA Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL WWE tag titles: The Usos v. The Wyatt Family Not a fan of messing with the Wyatt music at this stage of the game. Jey gets a bodypress on Harper to start, but Jimmy comes in and walks into a dropkick. The Wyatts quickly work Jimmy over in the corner, but Rowan ventures too far into the Uso territory and gets double-teamed. To the floor, where Jey gets a dive off the railing and back in with a bodypress for two. Sadly, Rowen tosses him off the top and into the railing, and Jey is YOUR twin-in-peril. Rowan tosses him around the ring for two, and Harper cuts off the tag before putting him down with a big boot for two. Rowan misses a charge and it’s hot tag Jimmy. Samoan drop for both Wyatts and he hits Harper with a corkscrew dive for two. Pair of superkicks gets two. Rowan goes after Jey on the outside and Jimmy hits them with a dive, but Harper clobbers him from behind as a result. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Jimmy rolls up Harper for two, but Harper powerbombs him for two. And now Harper is doing dives, taking out both Usos on the outside. Back in the ring, things look bleak for Jimmy and a double chokeslam gets two. Jey makes the save and dumps Harper, but Rowan goes up and gets crotched. The Usos return with a double superplex and both hit flying splashes to retain at 13:05. Kind of a surprising result, actually. Great opener, too. ***1/2 Meanwhile, Dean Ambrose is unsure whether to win the case or smash Seth’s face in. He settles on both. Divas title: Paige v. Naomi They fight out of the ring on a vicious lockup, but Naomi tosses Paige off the apron by the hair. She follows with a dive that looked like it might have broken a few ribs. Back in, that gets two. Naomi with a flying bodypress that Paige reverses for two. They trade rollups for two and Naomi rolls her into a submission move, but releases and goes up. And they mess up again and both fall to the floor, as they seem to be grasping past their skill level tonight. Back in, Paige gets the dreaded STUMP PULLER, but gets nowhere with it. It’s been well documented that the pain of the hold comes from an erection digging into the neck of the victim, and obviously that wouldn’t apply here. Naomi with the butt-butt for two, and apparently this is her deadly finisher. So, bummer for her, I guess. Paige tries a rollup and gets reversed for two, but comes back with a DDT to retain at 7:05. So yeah, Paige gets beat up the whole match and wins on a fluke, as usual. *1/2 Meanwhile, we go to the panel of “experts” for some talking. The expert picks are Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt, so you can eliminate them from the running. Adam Rose v. Damien Sandow Sandow’s costume of choice tonight is Paul Revere. This poor guy. Sandow attacks in the corner and pounds him on the apron, then goes to the chinlock while the crowd tries to get the theme song going. Sandow with the Elbow of Disdain and a chinlock while the announcers drift off into some other conversation entirely. Rose makes the comeback, but walks into a Sandow clothesline and the full nelson slam for two. Rose finishes with the facelock DDT at 4:17. I think it’s almost time to give up on both guys. Clearly the audiences aren’t getting the Rose deal and shoving him out there to die week after week isn’t gonna suddenly get him over. ½* Money In The Bank: Seth Rollins v. Dean Ambrose v. Jack Swagger v. Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler v. Rob Van Dam Apparently Dean is going minimalist with his new gear by just using jeans and wifebeater. Seems apt. He immediately brawls out with Rollins because they hate each other and that’s awesome. Kofi immediately starts with the crazy stuff, running up a ladder held by Swagger and then hitting a Boomdrop onto the ladder. Kofi climbs and Ambrose saves, pushing him into a dive on the other guys. He’s earned his pay tonight. The Dean and Seth show continues as they battle over the ladder, which Dean wins via a suplex onto the ladder. Dolph and Kofi slug it out on the ladder, but then team up to get rid of everyone and go right back to punching each other on the ladder. Rollins gets rid of them and then it’s time for a sequence with RVD. Rob with a wacky Rolling Thunder onto the ladder in the corner and he boots Ambrose off the apron and hits the frog splash on Swagger. Swagger comes back with a ladder to get rid of Kofi, and then sets it up in the corner for a crazy superplex attempt on RVD that goes horribly wrong for him. Rob looks to follow with a frog splash off the top of the ladder, but Rollins breaks it up and Swagger powerbombs RVD off the ladder instead. And then Ambrose superplexes Rollins off the ladder because SOMEONE had to. Swagger cleans house on everyone and hits a Swaggerbomb onto Kofi and the ladder, but RVD prevents him from climbing. And it’s back to Dean Hates Seth again as they fight on top of the ladder, but Swagger keeps Ambrose from winning. Rollins climbs and Ambrose stops that as well. Ambrose apparently dislocates his shoulder and the trainers haul him out of the match, drawing the biggest heel reaction of the night. So Rollins goes for the case, but now RVD saves, only for Kofi to construct a bridge out of ladders and climb up himself. Rollins is backdropped onto the horizontal ladder in a terrifying spot, leaving Kofi alone, but Dolph saves out of nowhere and runs wild. Fameasser for RVD and Zig Zag for Kofi, but Swagger uses the anklelock to keep him from climbing. But after Dolph fights him off and gets the big hope spot, Rollins saves to rip the fans’ hearts out again. Rollins climbs, but Ambrose returns and he’s fucking pissed. He beats the blond out of Seth’s hair with a chair and climbs, ONE ARMED mind you, the babyfacest babyface ever, but Kane runs in and saves. Tombstone ends Ambrose’s night, and Rollins gets the academic win at 23:14. Crazy spotfest, but the drama with Rollins and Ambrose at the end was off the charts awesome with the crowd getting played like a fiddle. ****1/2 Rybaxel v. Goldust & Stardust Give it to Cody, he’s all in with whatever crazy shit they throw at him. Also, if you want to hear someone suck the humor and fun out of something most effectively, listen to Michael Cole robotically describing the premise of Slam City here. Imagine Sheamus as a movie usher! I’m gonna say no thanks. The Dusts control Ryback, but Goldust gets clotheslined and Axel pounds away in the corner to take over. Axel chinlocks Goldust and Ryback gets the spinebuster, but the clothesline misses and it’s hot tag Stardust. DDT on Ryback and Axel gets dumped, and the Crossroads gets two. Heels collide and Stardust rolls up Ryback for the pin at 7:40. * Rusev v. Big E Tonight, Big E stands up for MURICA. Why have they not booked Jack Swagger into this feud? It’s RIGHT THERE. Big E pounds away on Rusev and tries the spear through the ropes, but Rusev blocks with a knee and starts throwing suplexes. CLUBBING FOREARMS to the back, but a splash misses and Big E comes back with a belly to belly for two. Rusev misses a blind charge and E slams him for two. Overhead suplex and he spears Rusev off the apron, which does not make Lana happy. Back in, that gets two. Rusev finally puts him down with a pair of kicks and RUSEV CRUSH at 7:15. Rusev should not be selling that much until he gets to the house show run against Hulk Hogan. ** Meanwhile, Brie Bella returns to support her husband, which draws the wrath of Stephanie. Summer Rae v. Layla So apparently the storyline is that these chicks are fighting over FANDANGO. That’s slightly below fighting over shampoo contracts in my book. I’d call this the death slot, but everything after the first ladder match has pretty much been death. Summer Rae with the Nash choke in the corner, but Layla takes her down for two. So out of curiosity, who am I supposed to be cheering for here? Because Summer is clearly a heel and so is the Layla/Fandango pairing. Layla works an indian deathlock, but Summer throws her around as this dies a thousand deaths before our eyes. Layla finishes with a high kick at 3:00. So her prize is that she gets to be with Fandango. Lucky her. DUD WWE World title: Sheamus v. Bray Wyatt v. Alberto Del Rio v. Cesaro v. Randy Orton v. John Cena v. Kane v. Roman Reigns Big slugfest to start and Reigns is the first one to clear the ring and climb, with Sheamus making the save. They have a ladder fight and both climb, which sets up Kane to dump everyone off. This allows Orton to climb with the help of Kane, but Reigns saves. Cesaro puts Cena out with the uppercut, and slugs it out with Sheamus on the ladder, but Wyatt steals the ladder and they’re left hanging onto the belts. Neither can capitalize and Orton is bleeding all over the ring from a ladder to the head. Orton and Sheamus fight on the floor and we get the draping DDT off a ladder as this thing kind of grinds to a halt. Everyone fights over the ladder and tries to climb, but Kane clears the ring. Sheamus goes on a tear next with his sixteen finishers and the crowd isn’t buying any of it. Honestly this has felt like 15 minutes of filler thus far while we wait and wait and wait for Roman Reigns to get his big spots. Sheamus and Cesaro fight on top again, giving us a weird and dangerous spot where Reigns pushes the ladder over and then Cena pushes it back again. So again Orton and Kane clear the ring, but Reigns hits Orton with the Superman punch and goes on his run. So we’re left with Reigns and Cena slugging it out until Reigns gets the spear. Orton takes him out and climbs, but Bray Wyatt finally makes an appearance in the match and saves. Del Rio gets his hope spot, saved by Sheamus, and Cesaro takes HIM out, only for Orton to RKO him off the ladder. Reigns slugs Orton off the ladder, but Kane saves and Orton is a bloody mess again. Cena hits them both with FUs and wins the WWE title at 26:30. Say it with me: Cena wins, LOL. This was a huge disappointment, with all the new faces basically treated like a complete afterthought. *** And really, one FU on Orton and he wins the belt and gets anointed as GREATEST WWE CHAMPION EVER by Michael Cole? Come on now. The Pulse Considering how hard they were pushing the Network for people who ordered the show tonight, you should probably subscribe now before PPV drops them completely, as is inevitable. As a $10/month free show, this was an easy thumbs up for the briefcase match alone, but man what a letdown from the past three years. The Daniel Bryan injury has really sucked all the life out of the promotion, sadly. I take solace in pointing out that I predicted both wins in my Sporting News columns, though. More analysis of this show coming on the Sporting News site tomorrow!

Matt’s Recap: Money in the Bank 2014

Welcome to the Money in the Bank show review!


So, I think I’m gonna cover this from top to bottom — including the pre-show.

TD Garden is packed with ladders everywhere and an armored car.

Renee Young has taken over for Josh Matthews, who was fired from WWE earlier this week. Danielle will be so happy about that.

Booker T, Alex Riley (w/ Boston accent) and Christian who apparently crawled out from where ever he’s been hiding.

Daniel Bryan will be on the show a little later.

And why are we being asked to “order” MITB on the WWE Network?!

There’s
gonna be a Vickie special on the WWE Network called “EXCUSE ME: THE
COUGAR COUNTDOWN” because Vickie was fired for realz.

Anyhow,
the Daniel Bryan spot is here. Cole asks when he’s gonna be back.
Apparently, he might need surgery again because his strength isn’t
returning.

@BelieveInTheAdo asks who he thinks will win
tonight. The crowd shits all over his first two picks: Cena and Orton.
So, he goes for the cheap pop with Roman Reigns RIGHT HERE! IN BOSTON!

Then
Bo Dallas interrupts to add insult to injury. He says he’s sorry Bryan
can’t compete tonight. It’s a “pain in the neck”, in fact. He can still
climb the ladder of LIFE. All he has to do is BOLIEVE.

Bryan
grins and says he appreciates Bo’s concern and that he should
BO-LIEVE…but Dallas is really being a BO-NER. Segment ends.

Mm-k.

Wyatt Time out of nowhere.

Usos time is up. Tick tock, tick tock. Run. Sheep mask.

Anyhow, time for the show…

We get a montage about THE CLIMB TO THE TOP. Who will endure THE CLIMB? WHO???

We are LIVE(!!!) from the TD Garden Center in Boston, Massachusetts!

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL are the guys on the mic, as usual.

Marcelo Rodriguez, Carlos Cabrera, and Ricardo Rodriguez are the guys in the Spanish booth.

MATCH
#1: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (champions) vs. The Wyatts (Luke Harper
& Erick Rowan) (challengers) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

The
Wyatts have new music. It’s even worse than the fucking
calliope/accordion death music we had. It’s this generic, unmemorable
rock bullshit. Jey and Luke start. Jey tackles Harper on a whip and tags
in Jimmy. Jimmy ends up getting drop-kicked and Rowan is tagged. He
knocks Jimmy down and it’s a two count. Tag to Harper and he hits a mean
uppercut and tags Rowan back in. Rowan goes for a Pump Handle Slam but
Jimmy breaks free and tags Jey who hits a Superkick and tackle off the
top rope. Jey goes for a tackle and ends up in a Fallaway Slam. Jey
breaks free and Harper ends up outside. Back in the ring, Jey hits a
crossbody for two. 


Jey gets dumped
outside and Harper is tagged. He attacks Jey outside and steps on his
head, rolling him back inside for two. He slings Jey’s neck into the
ring rope and gets two. Tag to Rowan and he hits an elbow RIGHT TO THE
HEART, according to Cole. He puts the Claw on Jey and then just tosses
him across the ring. Rowan whips Jey into the ropes and Jey hits a
Sunset Flip which is countered by Rowan. Tag to Harper who hits a Big
Boot on Jey for two. Tag to Rowan and a HUGE body slam to Jey. He misses
a splash and charges Jey in the corner but Jey escapes. Tags in both
corners.

Jimmy is all over Harper with uppercuts and
then gets whipped into Rowan. He hits a Samoan Drop on both men, then
hits a Butt Splash on Rowan. He hits a Corkscrew on Harper and nearly
gets a pin. He sends Rowan out and kicks Harper in the jaw twice, NEARLY
getting a pin. Outside, Rowan has Jey in his arms, so Jimmy leaps at
Harper, splashing Jey into him. Harper nails Jimmy from behind and the
two set up for a double suplex but Jey makes the save, taking Rowan out
of the ring. Jimmy rolls up Harper and NEARLY gets the fall.

Harper
hits the Falling Powerbomb and NEARLY gets a pin. Damn. Dives outside
takes out both Usos. Jey is out. Jimmy gets double powerbombed. It’s
over — NO. Jey comes in to make the save. Jey nails Harper with a kick
to the jaw and Rowan takes him out as well. Rowan goes up top but Jimmy
gets up and rattles the top rope. Jimmy hits a slap to Rowan and goes
for a Superplex but Rowan fights him off. Finally, Jey makes his way in
and both boys go for a Double Superplex! HOLY SHIT. Tag to Jimmy for the
Superfly Splash! He tags Jey in and ANOTHER Superfly Splash! Usos
retain! Time was at 13:07.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: The Usos via Superfly Splash
GRADE: B+. Much better than all the lousy matches on TV. 

Cole explains the break-up of The Shield. And we get clips of it.

Ambrose
is backstage. He wants to rip Rollins apart. That briefcase means
EVERYTHING. But Ambrose can’t decide whether he wants to get case or
smash Rollins’ face. Case or face?

MATCH #2: Naomi (challenger) (w/ Cameron) vs. Paige (champion) for the WWE Divas Championship
Danielle
thinks Paige is gonna lose the belt. I think she’s gonna keep it. This
feud is thick between the two of us. Last night, I slept alone. That’s
right. It’s big. Granted, she was overnight, visiting a friend…but,
STILL…the first lock-up between the two ends up outside. The ref
finally breaks them. Both go for a dropkick and then Paige, with a
Spinning DDT. Naomi tosses her outside after Paige grabs her hair. She
hits a huge Suicide Dive, knocking Paige flat. Paige gets back in the
ring by a count of seven. Naomi immediately knocks her down and gets
two. Naomi hits a crossbody but Paige flips it over for two. Naomi gets
her pin fro two. Paige comes back with a kick and there’s a series of
counters and roll-ups for two.

Naomi hits a modified Crab
Stretch on Paige, but then lets go and goes for a flipping pin for two.
Naomi runs for the top rope but Paige kicks her and tries for the
Superplex. Naomi fights out and both women spill out on the floor. The
ref starts counting and gets to nine. Both women get back in. Naomi hits
a backslide but Paige counters and mini-superkicks Naomi before hitting
a Stump Puller while Cameron looks happy. After a bit, Paige just rolls
Naomi up for a pin. Naomi hits a clothesline and dropkick. She hits an
uppercut and hits the Rear View but Paige kicks out at two. Naomi hits
the top rope and goes for the Spinning Moonsault but Paige gets her
knees up. She tries the PTO but Naomi counters it and goes for the move
that beat her on RAW. Paige counters into the a DDT and retains at 7:01.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Paige
GRADE:
C+. Eh. No heat or intensity, really. The match was just quick back and
forth. I wish the WWE would spend more time on these matches with
better competitors. Naomi is decent but nothing special.

Renee Young is with Booker T, Alex Riley and Christian. Booker T slurs everything and uses 47 buzzwords.

We
get a statistical recap of Money in the Bank. And it’s back to the
action in ri–fuck, it’s Sandow dressed like Paul Revere. He insults
Adam Rose. Adam Rose appears. He does his usual bullshit. Oh. It’s also a
match.

MATCH #3: Damien Sandow vs. Adam Rose
Sandow
is all over Rose to start, then Sandow runs at Rose who uses his legs
to pull Sandow’s face into his ass. Sandow pulls Rose outside and beats
on him, then pushes him back in as Rose’s band of morons dances on
stage. Headlock by Sandow is countered and then Rose runs into a back
elbow. He yells THE ELBOW IS COMING before dropping The Elbow of
Disdain, getting two. Another headlock is countered by Rose. Rose knees
Sandow in the face on a charge and then starts punching at Sandow and
kicking him in the corner. He runs at Sandow and Sandow takes his head
off and gets a HUGE pop from the crowd who is behind Sandow at this
point. Sandow hits a HUGE slam to the mat but only gets two. Rose comes
back after Sandow misses a flipping moonsault and hits the Party Foul
for the win at 4:17.
WINNER: Adam Rose via Party Foul
GRADE: C-. Better match than what I was expecting but Rose is not winning anyone over.

Post-match, the crowd BOOS Rose. Wow.

Jon Stewart is at ringside which is better than what I just saw.

Rollins,
RVD, Kofi, Ziggler, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger all do pre-taped
promos, saying they’re gonna win tonight. Zeb Colter says that, years
ago, Sam Adams came here and had some immortal words. (DANIELLE:  “Let’s Drink?”)

MATCH
#4: Seth Rollins, Rob Van Dam, Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter), Dolph
Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, and Dean Ambrose in a Money in the Bank Ladder
Match for the WWE Heavyweight Championship Contract

Ambrose
goes right after Rollins, clotheslining him out of the ring and into the
timekeepers pit. After that, it’s the Kofi Show as he takes out Swagger
with a Moondrop on top of the ladder. Kofi sets up a ladder which is
way off-center. Ambrose pushes the ladder over. Kofi leaps off the
ladder, bounces OFF the top rope and dives at everyone except Rollins.
Ambrose and Rollins both try to climb the ladder but it’s clear that
isn’t happening. Ambrose sets up a ladder in the corner and tries for a
suplex. Rollins counters and tries for it. Ambrose finally hits an Arm
Hook Suplex and Rollins hits the ladder. Ambrose goes up the ladder but
Swagger pulls him off. Another spot where they trade people on the
ladder. Ziggler and RVD and Kofi get in and it ends up being Ziggler and
Kofi climbing. Swagger and Ambrose interfere. Ambrose takes Swagger
out. Kofi takes Ambrose out. Kofi and Ziggler climb and bralw on the
ladder.

Rollins gets a ladder and nails both
guys. RVD comes into the ring to make the save on the climb. He
slingshots Rollins into the ladder as the crowd chants “ECW”. RVD sets a
ladder up in the corner and hits Rolling Thunder on Rollins. Ambrose
charges but RVD kicks him in the head. Ziggler and Swagger get the same
treatment. RVD climbs the top rope and hits the 5SFS. My feed freezes on
the WWE Network and then dies entirely. When I rejoin, RVD is set up in
the corner. Swagger pulls him up and hits a MASSIVE SUPERPLEX…but
it’s not to be. RVD knocks him off. RVD goes for a splash but Rollins
interferes…RVD manages to go for the Superplex but Swagger jumps up
and hits a HUGE powerbomb instead. Suddenly, Ambrose hits the ladder
AND, FINALLY, the Superplex gets its spotlight, lighting up this crowd.
Everyone is down.

We see the replay about four more
times, including from “Wile E. Coyote Cam” as Lawler calls it. Swagger
starts taking out Superstars and tosses Kofi clear across the ring.
Swagger gets a ladder and then just drops it on top of Kofi, then hits a
Swagger Bomb. Swagger sets up a ladder but RVD makes the save and the
two start exchanging blows. Rollins and Ambrose work together to take
them out and then exchange shots, fighting with one another at the top.
Finally, Ambrose knocks Rollins off. Ambrose climbs but Swagger pulls
him off and then HITS A SPINEBUSTER off the ladder which Ambrose
counters into a DDT. Rollins climbs but Ambrose gets to his feet and
knocks Rollins over.  However, it looks like he hurt something and the
refs and trainers send him to the back…oh boy. Rollins climbs but RVD
makes the save.

Crowd is dead now. Kofi sets up a
ladder bridge which isn’t used for anything at all. Kofi brawls with him
and knocks him off and Rollins falls right on top of the ladder! Kofi’s
got the ca–NO. Ziggler pulls him off. Kofi goes for the SOS…but
Ziggler counters with the Falling DDT! Swagger comes in and he gets
punch-tackled by Ziggler. RVD is back in but Ziggler his him with the
Fame-Asser. Swagger gets whacked with a ladder by Ziggler. Kofi comes to
life and misses a kick and Ziggler hits a ZIGG ZAGG INTO A LADDER. Holy
shit. Ziggler climbs but Swagger hits the Patriot Lock on him. Dolph
STILL climbs with Swagger on him. He kicks Swagger off! Crowd is hot
right now. Ziggler climbs…he has the case…but Rollins comes in and
nails him with a chair.

Rollins hits him again as the
crowd chants “WE WANT AMBROSE”. Rollins pushes him out of the ring and
climbs…here comes Ambrose! HE HAS A CHAIR. He whacks Rollins again and
again and again! He climbs…and BOOM, here comes Kane because
screwjob. Kane pulls him off and Chokeslams him. And there it is. Kane
pulls him up and hits a Tombstone and the crowd is PISSED. Kane waits
for Rollins and here comes Rollins who grabs the case.
WINNER: Seth Rollins
GRADE: B+. Not the best I’ve seen plus a shit finish. MITB better have a face win the belts or else TD Gardens is gonna erupt.

Post-match, Triple H appears with Steph. They hold Rollins’ hand up in victory.

We
get a promo for the Vickie documentary on WWE Network which has frozen
on me several times today. Danielle tried bravely to get us better
service, but after 13 minutes of nonstop being on hold and endless
wrestler theme songs gave up hope she would get to talk to a person.
Well, at least she got to hear full theme songs instead of snippets.

MATCH #5: RybAxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) vs. Goldust & Stardust
Stardust
will start with Axel and hits some nice a nice dropkick after a hip
toss. Ryback gets in and tries to taunt Star but Star tackles him after a
slap and tags in Gold who hits a reverse Atomic Drop, sending Gold into
the corner. Ryback throws him off and tags Axel who beats on Gold and
dropkicks him. Two count. Ryback is in and he beats on Gold and hits a
splash and clothesline. Axel follows that with a double axehandle off
the ropes. Long headlock by Axel and a tag to Ryback for a delayed
Suplex. A couple of pin reversals and a HUGE Spinebuster by Ryback. He
calls for the Meathook which takes FOREVER but Goldie moves and tags
Star who hits some flying moves and a sitting dropkick. Ryback tries a
press salm but Star counters. Ryback goes for the Shell Shock but Star
counters into Cross Rhodes. Axel comes in and makes the save but gets
dumped and Star rolls up Ryback for the win at 7:35.
WINNERS: The Dusts
GRADE: D+. Crap RAW match…and, again, what’s so special about Stardust? Nobody cares about him or Goldust.

We get the build-up for Summer, Layla and Fandango.

Fandango
is backstage with Byron Saxton. Saxton wants to know how Fandango will
call this match. Layla sucks up to Fandango and says he can’t. Summer
interferes and they start exchanging insults.

MATCH #6: Rusev (w/ Lana) vs. Big E
Lana
and Rusev do their thing. Big E has suddenly adopted some sort of MLK
Black Reverend voice. This show needs something quick. Big E hits a huge
forearm to start, then another huge running forearm, knocking Rusev out
of the ring. Big E tries that Spearr he did during Payback but Rusev
knees him in the head. He gets in the ring and hits a belly to back
suplex and a series of forearms. He puts E in a chinlock, then
stomps on E. Rusev misses a splash. E hits a belly to belly suplex and
gets two. Rusev knees E in the corner and charges but E hits a HUGE
clothesline into Spinebuster for two. E spears Rusev in the corner and a
huge clothesline. He goes into a Warrior Splash. Rusev goes for the big
kick but E holds the rope and spears Rusev out of the ring. E gets to
his feet and dumps Rusev back in, getting a two count. E calls for the
Big Ending but Rusev jams out of there. E reaches for him but Rusev
kicks E in face, then gets back in the ring and hits the Superkick. Lana
calls for the Accolade, so Rusev locks it in…and E gets to his
knees…so Rusev just pulls back harder and E finally taps at about 6
minutes.
WINNER: Rusev via Accolade
GRADE: C+. Better…but now is the time to find Rusev an angle. The squashes hit overkill weeks ago.

Bellas
are backstage. Steph is pissed that Brie is here. She wants Brie to go
away. Now. Brie says that she was just showing Nikki the video of Steph
being shoved into the mud pit from RAW. Brie gets in Steph’s face and
grins. Steph summons “security” to get her out of the building. Nikki
tells Steph she’s sorry. Steph tells Nikki to make sure Brie stays gone.

Mountain Dew Commercial because it has electrolytes. And things plants love.

MATCH #7: Summer Rae vs. Layla with Fandango as the special guest referee
Cole
says, “Layla has a unique mask…” then goes silent. That’s about how
awesome this is. Layla tosses Summer outside, then flirts with Fandango.
Summer pulls Layla down and attacks her in the corner. Summer shows off
her legs. Layla kicks Summer into Fandango and they nearly kiss. Layla
attacks and tries to pin Summer. After Summer kicks out, she puts Summer
into a Indian Deathlock as JBL and Cole argue over the PC term for the
move. The crowd, fed up, yells for CM Punk, I think. Summer breaks out
and throws Layla to the mat. JBL: “This is like Eva Gabor and Nancy
Sinatra fighting over Frank.” Summer tackles Layla in the corner and
beats her outside the ropes. Layla retaliates and tackles Summer,
pinning her. at 3:07. Anybody care?
WINNER: Layla
GRADE: F. There was no reason this match should have even been on the card. 

Post-match, the audio team plays Layla’s old music for some reason. Then Fandango kisses her. So…I guess that angle’s over.

We get the build-up for the big Championship Ladder Match.

The big match is gonna start…but first, Triple H and Steph are out. They will be at ringside. Oh man…this has the makings of something awesome.

MATCH #8: WWE United States Champion Sheamus, Bray Wyatt, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro (w/ Paul Heyman), John Cena, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, & Kane in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Chaos
to start out – Orton dumps Del Rio because he doesn’t matter anyhow.
Cena and Wyatt brawl in the corner. Reigns, Sheamus, Cesaro and Wyatt
all get dumped. Orton beats on Cena in the corner as Kane slips a ladder
up on the mat. Cesaro and Del Rio dropkick the ladder at Kane and then
clothesline Orton with it. Wyatt knocks them down. Cena tries the AA but
Wyatt kicks out and hits a Facebuster on Cena. Reigns tries a Spear and
misses. Wyatt rushes and Reigns drops him with the Samoan Drop. Sheamus
gets back into the ring and stops Reigns. Orton and Kane join in.
Sheamus and Reigns grab ladders and sandwich Kane. Sheamus and Reigns
set up their ladders. Sheamus’s ladder isn’t as big (ha) and four men
climb the ladders. Del Rio and Sheamus brawl on one and the ladder
falls. Sheamus gets taken out of the ring. Kane gets into the match and
knocks the other one down, then takes everyone out including Cena, much
to the delight of the crowd.

Kane takes the bigger
ladder and tosses it, then the smaller ladder and sets it up because
Kane is suddenly a fucking moron. He grabs Orton and puts Orton on it.
Orton tries to climb but Reigns interferes and knocks them off. Wyatt
gets in the ring and pulls Reigns off the ladder and hits a Spinebuster.
Cena slams Wyatt and goes for the 5KS but Cesaro takes him out with the
Uppercut. Cesaro and Sheamus climb the ladder. Wyatt, for some reason,
crawls around like a spider. Wyatt finally gets up and knocks the ladder
down. Sheamus and Cesaro hang from the belts and then fall. The ring is
eventually cleared as the brawl ends up outside. Orton tosses Del Rio
into the ring steps and Sheamus brawls with Orton. Sheamus sets up a
bridge from the Spanish table to the ring to the mat but Orton trips
Sheamus and DDT’s him off the ladder. Orton is cut open.

He
gets in the ring and sets up the high ladder after kicking Cena in the
chest. Orton climbs but Cena’s on his feet. A handful of stars climb
with him. Reigns climbs up after Orton is knocked off. Every single guy
keeps pulling the other off. Cesaro gets more than halfway up so Kane
knocks him off and puts him out of the ring. Del Rio tries to Enzuguri
Kane but whiffs big time. Kane closes up the ladder and puts it aside.
He grabs Sheamus and punches at him but Sheamus drops his neck on the
ropes, then hits Ten Beats. Reigns is in and Sheamus hits a Battering
Ram. Irish Curse to Del Rio. White Noise to Cesaro. Sheamus calls for
the Brogue and, instead of hitting Orton, nails poor Cena who has taken
every finisher so far. Sheamus finally grabs a ladder as Triple H and
Steph don’t look happy about it.

Sheamus climbs but
Kane drags him down by the foot out of the ring. Sheamus is pissed and
tosses Kane into the steps outside. Sheamus starts climbing as Cesaro
builds a ladder bridge for some reason instead of just running to the
ladder and stopping Sheamus. He climbs and both get to the top. Reigns
comes in and LIFTS THE LADDER WITH BOTH GUYS ON IT. Both stay on. For
some reason, Cena props the ladder back up as Sheamus has his arms on
the belt hook. Chaos as all eight guys brawl and stop Sheamus. Orton
kicks Sheamus and it’s a brawl. Ring is cleared. Kane sets up the ladder
again but Reigns comes in with a Spear and Kane is out of the ring.
Orton kicks at Reigns and plays to the crowd, setting up for the RKO.
Reigns shoves him away and hits the Superman Punch. Sheamus gets in the
ring and gets the same. Del Rio and Reigns destroys him. Wyatt charges
and he gets his head planted into the table. Missile Dropkick to Del Rio
and to Wyatt and a Spear to Cesaro! Holy shit.

Reigns
gets into the ring, turns, and see John Cena. Cena looks up and it’s a
brawl. It’s BOO-YAY punches and Cena goes for the AA but Reigns counters
into the Spear. Triple H is on his feet, watching, as Reigns sets up
the ladder. Reigns climbs but Orton is in and pulling at Reigns, then
hits the reverse chopblock backbreakers off the ladder. Reigns is out
and Orton climbs the ladder. Wyatt comes in and hits Sister Abigail! He
climbs but Del Rio interferes and hits the Enzuguri and the Mini
Superkick of Doom. Del Rio climbs and gets his hands on the hook…but
Sheamus is in and knocks over the ladder, then hits the Brogue! Sheamus
sets up and climbs but Cesaro stops him, pulls him down, his the
Uppercut and the Neutralizer! Cesaro climbs but Orton pulls Cesaro down
and hits the RKO! He climbs…

But here comes Reigns!
He pulls at Orton, headbutting him and punching. They trade headshots
and Orton pulls at Reigns’ hair. They both hit the mat and Orton starts
climbing again. Orton is cut WIDE open with blood dripping down his
face. Reigns start hitting headbutts and Orton falls. But Kane comes in
and hits the Chokeslam. Kane holds up the ladder and Orton climbs. Cena
comes in and hits the AA on Kane, then pulls Orton down and hits the AA
on top of Kane. He climbs and he’s got the belts.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: John Cena
GRADE: B-. Typical spot-fest near the end but, wow, needed a better finish. 

Post-match, Triple H and Steph are beside themselves. Cena kinda looks at them and grins as we go off the air.

OVERALL:
B-. There was a giant lull in the middle and two ladder matches that
needed more drama. The first ladder match’s finish should have set up
for Ambrose taking out Kane and Orton with Cena grabbing the belt.

Er, that’s it.

Andy PG will start your week off right with the PG Era Raw Rant on
Monday, I will be back Tuesday with the Main Event Recap, Scott has your NXT Report and Tommy’s got your weekend covered with Smackdown.

Thank
you to all the BoD’ers and, hey, if you wanna read more of our stuff,
please check me out at The Daily DDT (http://dailyddt.com/author/mattlperri/), visit WE HATE YOUR GIMMICK at
http://wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com and, of course, visit us on
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehateyourgimmick/.

Money in the Bank Thread

Quick Predictions:

Ladder Match for the Vacant Title: The favorites here are Cena, Reigns, and Orton. Cena is a safe bet but the fans do not want to see him win here. Orton is also a favorite and even though he flamed out this past Fall as the champ, you could have him win and feud with Sheamus, Cena, Bryan, Reigns or whoever wins the MiTB match. Reigns has been built up well but I think it is too soon to pull the trigger and I believe that he will win the 2015 Royal Rumble then the belt at XXXI. Sheamus and Del Rio are warm bodies to fill out the card. Kane could win, I highly doubt it will happen though, to feud with a returning Bryan and that way he could get the belt after his return from injury but I would not bet on that happening. I dont see Wyatt winning this and his character does not need the belt anyway. He could be a challenger for the belt down the line though. Cesaro is not ready for the belt as his stock has dropped since the alignment with Heyman.

Briefcase Match: I only see Rollins or Ambrose winning this. I’d bet on Rollins, personally. Kofi is there to pull out a crazy stunt or two and Ziggler is there to bump like a psycho. I have no idea if Barrett will be able to compete due to injury and I cannot see any surprise replacement winning the briefcase either. No way on the planet is Swagger winning this and RVD is not championship material in 2014.

Usos vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper for the Tag Team Titles: I see a title change here, as the division needs a shakeup. Maybe if the Stardust character takes off they can feud with the Wyatt’s down the road.

Paige vs. Naomi for the Diva’s Championship: Either Cameron costs Naomi the tile or helps her win via interference. A title might do the division good as Paige has been a flop as the champ. She has not been booked the best but at the same time, she does not appear to be ready for prime time. Her ring work is fine but that is about it as her anxiety levels appear sky high and she is horrid on the stick.

Rusev vs. Big E: Rusev is winning this as Big E as looked like a chump during every encounter they have had.

Goldust & Stardust vs. Rybaxel: I cannot see the Rhodes boys losing this and I strongly believe they are going to be over in this match.

Summer vs. Layla with Fandango as the Special Guest Referee: Fandango helps Summer win then gets slapped by her afterwards. That is the prediction that I go with anyway. The least over match on the card will be this one.

QOTD #9: Money in the Bank

WWE’s fourth hottest show of the year drops tonight, with
Money in the Bank. We’ll be looking ahead to see who’s the likely interim
champion until Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar are ready to take the strap, and
get a glimpse into who the company is rolling the dice down the road.
Today’s Question:
What are you expecting from
tonight’s pay-per-view?
I’ll post the most creative, or factually correct responses
tomorrow. If you want to jump into the discussion, please click the comments
button or scroll to the end.

Yesterday I asked you about tropes. A lot of people asked,
what is a trope? A trope is a nuance in the genre, something that is pretty
much guaranteed to happen every time. For example, whipping your opponent
towards the ropes is going to result in them bouncing off them like a pinball,
and hurtling back in your direction. And it can apply to just about any TV
show. Even this blog has its share of tropes; you can bet every thread will
feature at bare minimum 40 posts from the Red Power Ranger.
Let’s get to some of your favorites.
parallax1978: QOTD writers that ignore feedback.
Aaannnnnd we’re off …
Devin Harris: My favorite trope is the oversell of the
Undertaker’s chokeslam. Specifically, the spot when he takes his arm all the
way back to grab someone’s neck. Then they just start jumping up and down
instead of trying to get out of the hold.
 jobber123: I like to laugh at the racial stereotype gimmicks. Can’t get enough
Samoan savages, black theifs and servants, African wild men, prissy English and
French guys, Mexicans driving lawn mowers, Italian guys playing Indians,
fightin’ Irishman, black pimps, etc etc
I’ve long been convinced that Vince McMahon has absolutely
no idea what goes on in black culture; and even if one of the writers came up
with something compelling and real, it would be nixed because it didn’t have an
afro and steal wallets.
PrimeTimeTen: The “Trophy/Cake” rule.
I thoroughly enjoy watching my non-wrestling watching wife
see this stuff play out for the first time. We were watching the post-Mania
festivities this year, and during the Andre The Giant celebration, I warned her
that the trophy wouldn’t make it out of the segment in one piece. Her logic was
the trophy was nice, and there was no way the company would make such a nice
trophy to be destroyed. Her face turned to horror when Swagger and Zeb took to
it, asking me “why would they do that?” Anyway, PrimeTimeTen was kind enough to
give us his favorite cake smashing display, and he picked a classic:

MC Hesher: Nothing like a well-executed “Cocky
heel issues open challenge and regrets it immediately” trope. Examples:
–         
Honky Tonk
Man/Ultimate Warrior
–         
Chris
Jericho/Rey Mysterio Bash at the Beach 1998
–         
Triple
H/Undertaker to set up their Wrestlemania X-7 match (Not quite the same thing,
but I really liked that feud.)
thebraziliankid: Trying to make Cena submit,every heel/face
with a submission finisher should just give up before the match.It’s clear he’s
not gonna tap.
I think it’s an ego thing. Nobody could powerbomb Kidman,
but that didn’t stop every Cruiserweight from suddenly adding the powerbomb to
their arsenal. My belief is that JBL walks around goading Cena’s opponents
ahead of time, telling them they’re not good enough to make him tap out; and
once they’re fired up he offered them 10-1 it won’t happen. The stock market is
just a cover up.
 David: The
phrase “Tonight in this very ring.” I wish one would say “dang I
wanted it to be tomorrow across the street.”
Garth Holmbert, C.C.:
The referee refusing a blind tag to a
babyface making a comeback, but falls for it every time the heels clap their
hands and fake making tags. I love me a good face (or Ricky Morton style)
beatdown in tag matches, and the heels doing as much as possible to work the
crowd is always a good thing.
This is a seriously lost art that the Shield had perfected
(which is part of the reason their pointless breakup is so disheartening).
Stelio Kontos: The spanish announce table always being the
one that gets destroyed.
ONITA100: The Wargames 2nd face entrance. Absolutely
electric everytime. Especially when you get a Roadwarrior or Sting in. They hit
that first punch, crowd goes BOOOM. Great stuff
It’s a little disturbing that in dozens of Wargames (if we
include the 80’s circuit runs), the faces have yet to win a single coin flip.
It would be in Sting’s best interests to avoid craps tables at all costs.
MrJustinB: Jerry Lawler’s power is dampened by his
shoulder strap.
BeardMoney: I like the cheap pinfall tropes that we’ve
been conditioned to buy as finishes. For example, the heel’s manager distracts
the face, the face turns around, and the heel rolls him up and pulls the
tights; or the heel pins the face with his feet on the ropes; or the heel nails
the face with an “international object” behind the refs back. We’ve
seen these finishes work so many times that when the face kicks out now, we’re
actually surprised. It’s similar to kicking out of finishing moves, except that
probably happens more frequently in the modern era.
Paul Meekin: The underdog stealing one or causing real
doubt about possibly winning one he wasn’t supposed too, specifically the
wonderful Hurricane v. The Rock dynamic from a buncha years ago. Naturally
Daniel Bryan even though he was already a world champion, and then Santino in
the Elimination Chamber.
I don’t think we can have this discussion without mentioning
TAKA Michinoku’s awesome title match against Triple H. The timing was perfect,
we had just seen Vince McMahon as World Champion as recently as 6 months
earlier, and because title changes were all the rage, it wasn’t outside the
realm of possibility that maybe … just maybe. Santino’s another excellent
example, the crowd was READY for him.
SodiePop: Letting the arm drop twice and then reviving
yourself before three when in the sleeper hold. Predictable, beaten into the
ground and solely used for a wrestler to get a rest, but damned if it doesn’t
rile up the crowd.
kbjone: Here’s one nobody has mentioned yet: The
Hulk Up (created in some form WELL before Hogan, for the record), but
specifically the Hogan variation. Also called the “I’s stood all I’s
willing to stand” approach, at least in Popeye’s dialect. Heel is beating
on Hogan, or working him over with a rest hold. Hogan starts to power out,
shaking and convulsing as he walks around the ring. Eventually, he turns around
after one too many heel shots, finger pointed right at the soon-to-be hurting
evildoer. (Bonus points when the crowd yells YOU! in unison with the point.)
Cue beating, Big Boot, Legdrop, 1-2-3. As I mention above, it was used before
Hogan, but he made an art form out of the comeback.
I remember after a fight in the 4th grade, I was
licking my wounds before the end of recess, when a good friend of mine just
looked me dead in the eye, and without a hint of sarcasm told me, “you should
have hulked up”.
Jason Clark: An oldy but goody is veteran turns on
protege or vice versa. My favorite was Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II from
Mid-South. It doesn’t happen as much because those relationships are not a
standard story line anymore, but it had the ability to create nuclear heat for
guys. You could argue this is simply an overall example of tag-team wrestler
turning on partner, but the teacher-student dynamic was always effective in my
mind.
Stuart_Chartock: Seriously though, my favorite trope is
either that pretty much any ridiculous weapon or item (like a canoe) you could
imagine could be under the ring and nobody questions it.
I loved when this started finding its way into video games.
In trouble? It’s cool, just go to the crowd and grab a stop sign!
My personal favorite trope is directly tied in to tonight’s
pay-per-view. Ever since Edge re-invented the game in 2005/06 with the Money in
the Bank briefcase, babyface champions have never been at more of a
disadvantage. TV Tropes calls this effect the “Your Princess is in Another
Castle” syndrome, and rightfully so. Starting with John Cena defending his
title against 5 men inside the Elimination Chamber, only to immediately have a
fresh Edge staring him in the face, this has become a yearly tradition of
wondering after which gruelling match the heel with the briefcase is going to
rear his ugly head. Even babyfaces have got into the act, as Punk did in 2008
against the originator – Edge. It leads to months of tension and excitement,
every single time the champion is down.
Enjoy the pay-per-view tonight, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Money in the Bank 2013 Review

I was going to review ROH’s Best in the World PPV, but I just could not make it all the way through the show. I expected it to deliver, but it ended up being (from what I saw) a rather mediocre show. I decided to watch Money in the Bank 2013 on the WWE network instead.

Money in the Bank 2013 Review

Date: July 14, 2013


Arena: Wells Fargo Center

World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs.  Damien Sandow vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Fandango vs. Jack Swagger vs. Antonio Cesaro

When this was announced, I was befuddled that they would try to pull off a MITB match with all heels. I thought it would never work because the crowd wouldn’t know who to cheer for. Needless to say, I ended up being wrong. This starts off with a funny moment: Fandango tries to dance in the center of the ring, but all of the wrestlers attack him for being foolish. The ladders are quickly introduced, as Swagger and Cesaro use them to destroy the Rhodes Scholars. Ambrose is abruptly left alone in the ring. He tries to climb the ladder, but Barrett stops him. Barrett picks up a rung that broke off a ladder and uses it as a weapon. He tries to climb the ladder, but Ambrose pulls him off. Elsewhere in the ring, Rhodes delivers a devastating Muscle Buster on Cesaro, who goes back first into a ladder.

About 10 minutes in, Ambrose climbs a ladder, but Cesaro closes it up on him. The Real Americans pick up the ladder, although Ambrose manages to climb onto it. He gets near the briefcase, but Cesaro and Swagger decide to toss the ladder, with him on it, over the top rope. Without a ladder in the ring, Swagger allows Cesaro to get on his shoulders. Cesaro comes close to retrieving the briefcase, but Rhodes springboard dropkicks Swagger, which makes him drop Cesaro.
Feeding off adrenaline, Rhodes delivers Cross Roads to everyone that tries to get in his way. Rhodes climbs the ladder while Ambrose climbs the other side . The camera zooms on Rhodes’ cut near his eye. “See ya, bye”, he mutters out while he throws Ambrose off the ladder. The Shield run in to help their partner win. Both Reigns and Rollins clear the ring, allowing Ambrose to be the last one in it. The Usos, however, come out to stop the Shield from playing unfairly.
In the ring, Ambrose sneaks up the ladder, but Rhodes shoves him off it and he lands on a bunch of wrestlers that are the floor. “It’s Cody’s time!, Cole screams. The crowd is going crazy as he inches closer to the ladder, but Sandow shoves him off the ladder and retrieves the briefcase @ 16:30. Wow, that was a helluva performance by Cody Rhodes. His diligence and body language, bursting with desire, perseverance and emotion, truly enforced the crowd to rally behind him. Just an excellent job of portraying a rambunctious babyface. Unlike a lot of multi-man ladder matches, there weren’t any, if any, lapses in logic in this one. Every wrestler laid out outside the ring was there for a purpose, whether it been a big spot or finishing move that made them unable to get up. Moreover, the high spots were not only crazy, but more importantly they were realistic and malleable. And, this made Rhodes look like a star and Sandow look like a boastful coward in the process. It was truly a ladder match that every type of fan could enjoy. **** for the match, an extra 1/2* for the emergence of babyface Cody Rhodes. **** 1/2
(My two cents: The fans empathized with Rhodes because he fought hard and was screwed by someone that played incognito in the entire match. It was not because Sandow ”turned on him”. Because of his poor sportsmanship, he ended up becoming an insufferably smug bully that hazed and tormented Sandow; and consequently, the fans became reluctant to cheer for him. He did regain back his sympathy in the “Authority mistreating him and his family” angle, though.)
Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel © vs. The Miz
Axel knocks Miz to the floor early on. Miz does an Eddie Guerrero tactic by pretending Heyman slapped him. The ref turns around, sees him on the floor, and thinks that Heyman knocked him down. Heyman’s protests, but the ref boots him from ringside. He freaks out and shouts, “I’m Paul Heyman!” before walking to the back. Amusingly, the crowd chants, “We Want Heyman”. I am glad that stupid spot backfired on them. One guy in the crowd then tries to start a “you’re not over” chant as Miz is on offense. Miz yanks down on Axel’s knee to set up for the figure-four leglock center-ring. The crowd starts heavily booing him. Axel ponders on tapping out, but he manages to reverse the figure-four. On their feet, Axel punches Miz in the mouth near the ropes and then delivers the Axehole, good enough to pick up the victory @ 9:20. As a babyface, Miz lacked a lot of crowd popping moves. His offense mainly consisted of mediocre looking punches/kicks. This was of one of those matches that flows sufficiently because of its back-and-forth nature, but everything comes across as meaningless because the moves are not telling a real story. Both really struggled to work the crowd as well.* ½
Divas Title Match: Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee © 
Kaitlyn attacks AJ and then hits her with a gutbuster. Outside, AJ runs Kaitlyn into the ring-post and then goes to town on her injured arm. Back in, AJ sinks in a hammerlock, and then turns it into a sleeper. Kaitlyn reverses it with a backbreaker. She mounts a little comeback with an inverted DDT for two. AJ cuts her off by attacking her arm. A small package from AJ gets a two. On the rebound, Kaitlyn gets the spear. She hurts her elbow again, and it allows AJ to lock in Black Widow, which forces her to tap. As most probably expected, this had soft hitting spots and the pace was tedious. Oh, and AJ locked in Black Widow on the wrong arm. Not bad overall from a divas standpoint, but far from good. * 3/4
Ryback vs. Chris Jericho
Ryback throws Jericho around, but Jericho responds with chest chops. This makes Ryback roll to the outside. He recuperates, pretends to re-enter the ring, but drops back to the ring floor. Back in, Ryback gains the advantage as a “Goldberg” chant breaks out. Jericho goes for a maneuver off the top rope, but Ryback neck-snaps Jericho across the top rope.
Ryback controls the tempo with his methodical offense, but Jericho fights back with some chops. Ryback pops back to his feet and clotheslines Jericho to the mat. Ryback tosses Jericho off the ring apron onto the edge of the announce table. Around 10 minutes in, Jericho hits an enziguiri that gets a nearfall. Ryback rolls out to the ring apron, which allows Jericho to hit a codebreaker. Ryback stumbles to the outside, but he makes it back into the ring before the count of 10. Jericho hits a big splash and gets a nearfall. Jericho runs into Ryback. He lifts up Jericho and attempts to hit a power move, but Jericho counters it with a DDT for a two count.
Jericho slugs Ryback with some right hand and then knocks him down with a shoulder tackle. He goes for a Lionsault, but he avoids it by moving away. Jericho lands on his feet, but Ryback rolls him up with a sloppy small package for the win @ 12:20. Jericho worked hard, but this was a weird match because of Ryback’s undefined role. First, he is throwing Jericho around like a rag doll, then he is running away from him, then Jericho is knocking him down with ease, then he’s back to being a monster, and then he defeats Jericho due to being opportunistic. They should have just stuck with the portion where Ryback was a beast, but Jericho used his veteran intelligence by capitalizing on Ryback’s mistakes, as it would have made the story less incoherent. ** ¼
WHW Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio ©
The crowd is popping hard for Ziggler.  The action quickly goes to the floor, where Del Rio throws Ziggler into the guardrail and takes control of the tempo. Back in, Ziggler goes for a corner attack, but Del Rio moves, sending Ziggler headfirst into the corner turnbuckle. Del Rio takes advantage by attacking Ziggler’s injured head. The crowd rallies behind Ziggler with a “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant. Del Rio mocks the crowd. Rio then tries to damage Ziggler’s head, but Zigs moves and he goes stumbling to the outside. Rio tries to get back into the ring, but Ziggler hits him with a facebuster. Both fight back and forth with some strikes. Del Rio goes shoulder-first into the ringpost, but fights right back with a German Suplex and a bridged pin for a nearfall.
Del Rio tries to follow with a step-up kick in the corner, but Ziggler ducks and then delivers the Fameasser for a close two count. A “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant breaks out. Ziggler runs into a backbreaker from Del Rio for a close two count. Del Rio climbs up to the top rope, but Ziggler kicks him in the face on the way down.

Ziggler’s girlfriend, A.J. Lee, comes out. Ziggler tells her that he does not need her help. Ziggler escapes a Del Rio sneak-attack him, but Del Rio crotches him on the top rope and hits a flip-over facebuster for a nearfall. Del Rio throws Ziggler into midair and then hits him with a standing kick. Del Rio goes for a cover, but only gets a two. Del Rio lowers his kneepad, exposing his kneebrace. He goes for a running knee, but Ziggler moves out of the way. A.J. jumps into the ring and hits Del Rio in the face with her Divas Title belt, giving Del Rio a DQ win @ 12:30. Even though Dolph Ziggler was inconsistently selling his injured head, both were working hard to come up with creative ways to counter to get in their signature and finishing moves. This was building and leading to something great until the anti-climactic finish. An epic finishing sequence could have bumped this into **** territory. As is, it was about ***.

WWE Championship: Mark Henry vs. John Cena ©

This was one of my favorite feuds of the past decade. It started because of a superbly booked segment where Mark Henry announced his retirement, but his retirement ended up being an evil ploy in order to have a shot at Cena’s WWE title. Hell, he even cried and got choked up a few times during his promo. It was truly a brilliantly acted out performance by Henry. He deserved an Oscar. Anyways, Henry comes to a lot of male friendly pops. Seriously, this man just knows how to walk slowly to his music perfectly. He knows how to look so badass walking.  Details matter, people. The bell rings as Henry smashes Cena into him to the mat and then taunts him. Henry corner-smashes Cena and decelerates the pace. Henry headbutts Cena and the impact sends him out of the ring. Henry does not want to wait, so he attacks Cena on the outside. He suplexes Cena stomach-first onto the ring steps. Back in, Henry covers Cena, but only gets a two. Henry hits a big body smash, but its only good enough for a nearfall. Henry tries a right hand, but Cena blocks it. Cena runs right into a Henry forearm smash, though. Henry follows up with a Giant Swing, which sends Cena rolling to the outside.
Outside, Henry delivers another Big Swing that sends Cena into the barricade. Back in, Henry shouts to the crowd, “That’s what I do!” *Beat ‘em up, beat em’ up, break his neck, break his neck*. Henry goes for a corner attack, but Cena avoids him. Cena tries to follow up with a Feat of Strength move. But Henry don’t got time for that, so he jumps on Cena and squishes him into the mat. That gets a two. Cena fights back, as he finally gets Henry off his feet with two shoulder tackles. (See, even when you build the simplest things up, they mean something when they’re paid off).
Cena follows with a side-suplex and sells his back pain. He connects with the Five Knuckle Shuffle and then tries to go for the Attitude Adjustment. Henry, however, falls onto his back. Henry covers him, but it only gets a two. Henry screams, “Get yo ass up .” He goes for some power move, but Cena counters it with a somewhat sloppy looking DDT. Cena picks up him up and delivers an Attitude Adjustment. JBL screams, “Cena’s gonna retain the title”, but Henry kicks out just in time. Cena, in shock, asks the ref if he was sure that was only two. He climbs to the top turnbuckle, jumps off, but Henry catches him in midair. He nails the World Strongest Slam. One, two, thre-no! Cena kicks out. The crowd cannot believe it. 
A now hungry and desperate Henry removes the turnbuckle pad. He leaves the ring to grab a chair. The referee commands him to put it down. Cena, however, throws Henry stomach-first into the exposed turnbuckle and then locks in STF. More than half of the crowd beg Henry to reach the ropes, and he does. On his feet, Henry pushes Cena into the referee. Henry kicks Cena where the sun does not shine. Henry goes for a cover, but only gets a two, due to the referee being groggy. Henry has pure rage in his eye. He wants to end Cena with another World’s Strongest Slam. He goes for one, but Cena jumps over him and locks in on the STF. Cena drags him back to center-ring. Henry has nowhere to go, so he taps out @ 16:20. Henry will never considered an athletic or a technically sound wrestler. He has a limited moveset and moves around slower than molasses. However, he reinvented his in-ring work by wrestling smartly. Everything he did in this was serviceable to the story and to his character. Every one of his threats, rejoinders, or angry facial expressions towards the ref, John Cena, or the crowd adds a heavy dose of realism into this and makes the crowd feel involved. Moreover, his demeanor and facial expressions are spot-on in regards to his menacing character. Kudos to Cena as well. He made Henry look like a monster by selling convincingly and bumping hard. Henry tapping out was a questionable decision, but everyone forgot about it when Daniel Bryan was announced to be the number one contender for Summerslam. *** ½
WWE Title MITB All-Stars match: CM Punk vs. RVD vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Christian vs. Sheamus
RVD tries to do his thumbs-to-shoulder chant, but the other five wrestlers toss him to the floor.  A stare down with Bryan and Punk happens, and the Philly faithful go wild. RVD re-enters and cleans house. Both Bryan and RVD lock up. RVD drops Bryan on a ladder and hits Rolling Thunder. Christian is the only one standing in the ring. He comes close to pulling the briefcase down, but Sheamus attacks him from behind. Sheamus starts to climb the ladder, but RVD pulls him off. Sheamus awkwardly lands on the ladder coming down. Sheamus is all right, though, and proceeds to smash RVD into a ladder. Sheamus tries to powerbomb Bryan onto a ladder, but he escapes and delivers a running knee to his face. In the ring, Christian tries to climb the ladder, but Bryan stops him from doing so.
Sheamus goes crazy. He hits everyone with Irish Curse backbreakers, Polish Hammers, and a White Noise. Sheamus is left alone in the ring, so he tries to climb the ladder. RVD climbs up as well, but Sheamus throws him off. He goes for the case, but D-Bryan runs up and hits with him some forearms. Sheamus fights back with forearms to the chest. He is close to bringing down the case, but Punk pulls him down to the mat. Down the stretch, RVD sets up a ladder center-ring, but Sheamus cuts him off. RVD knocks Sheamus down, but he shoves RVD off the ladder into the top rope. D-Bryan hits  the ring and keeps kicking Sheamus and RVD in the upper-chest area. Bryan hits a flying suicide dive onto Punk, and they crash into a stack of ladders on the outside. “Vintage Bryan,” Cole mutters. Bryan hits Sheamus off the top turnbuckle. Sheamus goes lands on a ladder and breaks it in half. Outside the ring, Curtis Axel, out of nowhere, attacks Daniel Bryan. Punk, however, hits Axel with a GTS. A funny moment happens when Heyman yells and screams at a knocked out Curtis Axel.
Punk rolls into the ring with nobody in sight. Heyman rallies him on with “C-M-Punk” chants. He climbs the ladder, but he is too injured to make it all the way up. Heyman goes into the ring and encourages him to climb the ladder. Punk is almost there, but Heyman grabs another ladder and smashes him with it. Heyman looks at him with evil inventions and then smashes his head in-between two ladders. Punk, covered in blood, watches Heyman smugly walk to the exit.
RVD comes out of nowhere and climbs the ladder, but Orton rips him off and delivers an awesome looking RKO off the ladder. Orton climbs up and pulls down the briefcase @ 27:10. In terms of action, this was hollower and emptier than the first ladder match. More idle time, spots that took longer to set up, and less of an “anything can happen at any moment” vibe. However, the star power did make this feel very important, and there was a lot to like about this. Daniel Bryan, at an accelerating pace, was hovering and bouncing all around the ring. RVD was bumping around like a pinball machine. Paul Heyman, with sadistic intentions, screwed over CM Punk, who came across immensely sympathetic due to his awesomely stunned “Why, Paul!?” look on his face. And, WWE threw a curve ball by having Randy Orton win because everyone thought Bryan winning was a foregone conclusion. *** ¾
Overall Thoughts: This was a great show that built a full head of steam heading towards Summerslam (especially the Paul Heyman and CM Punk’s feud that led to some of the most razor-sharp promo exchanges in WWE’s history and to an epic Lesnar and Punk match). We also found out that Randy Orton winning was not just a surprise for the sake of it. They instead had long-term storyline planned for him winning. Granted, the angle certainly had its ups and downs, but it ended perfectly at the Grand Daddy of them All, and that’s all that truly matters.  This was seriously a really fun time to be a WWE fan. It, unfortunately, didn’t last too long, as the product cooled down after Summerslam and didn’t start improving until Wrestlemania grew closer.

Thumbs Way Up.

WWE: Handicapping the Money In The Bank briefcase match

Scott Keith lays it all the line with a look at who has a shot to win the prestigious Money In The Bank briefcase on Sunday's WWE show, and more importantly who does not.  Which is pretty much everyone.


Figured I'd try for something closer to my normal "voice" with this one.  Please continue to share and enjoy.

Window into how much money the WWE Network is losing

"Barrios said that if WWE Network produces one million subscribers by the end of 2014, it would yield a 12-month average of 650,000 subscribers for the year. The rate of adoption translates to a 2014 net loss ranging from $45 to $52 million."

And that's if they hit 1 million by the end of the year. If they stay close to where they are now, they could lose like $75 million this year. 

​Yeah, that conference call was a bit of a fail, to say the least.  Sure, we're disappointed in the number we got, but if we miraculously get another 2 million subscribers, we'll be making record amounts of money!  Isn't that what got them into trouble in the first place?  
Also, the wrestlers have to feel good knowing that their pay can always be cut back further to prop up the Network.  ​

QOTD 159: (T)here Comes (Goes) the Money

WWE Stock – Lifetime

WWE U.S. Audience Profile:
Demographics

  • 61% are male
  • 15% are ages 12-17
  • 67% are ages 18-49
  • 41% are males 18-34
  • 33% are non-white
  • 29% have a HHI of 75K or higher
  • 15% have a HHI of 100K or higher

So the WWE lost a bunch of money, huh? Over a TV deal and a gamble on the WWE Network. Thankfully it’s more-or-less theoretical money and I doubt the stock dive will affect attendance / the fanbase.

If you were the WWE what would you do to solidify investor relations? What can the WWE do to generate the same massive positive impact the WWE Network had on stock?

  My theory? I present to you “The Troll Zone”

Reality TV owes quite a lot to Pro Wrestling – they both in a sense dramatize competition and feature largely manufactured interpersonal drama between cast members. The only issue is that Reality TV still has Kayfabe. I vote the WWE shows it who’s boss.

With WWE already having a presence on Total Divas and such – it’d be easy to have feuds and story-lines branch out to things like concerts, MMA fights, sporting events, TMZ, and so on.  In my world I envision John Cena throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game and getting attacked by Bray Wyatt, or “The Whole World in his Hands” music coming on over the PA system.

If TMZ catches Triple H in an airport, I want Triple H complaining about Daniel Bryan / The Shield etc – in a way that’s still professional and ‘out of character’ but still enough to juice the given feud. Remember the time Bret Hart went H.A.M on Will Sasso and the cast of Mad TV? How AWESOME was that as a kid (sure the feud turned to shit but the moment was cool!)

Even better is if the WWE captured these things in a way they didn’t deliberately acknowledge (but actually did themselves). For example if they obtained some disturbing ‘fan captured’ footage of Kane shopping at a local hardware store for implements of destruction for his PPV match.

If the WWE did this right, they’d find themselves in a situation where they’re getting coverage on a variety of networks, TV shows, and internet sites that the buzz would grow rapidly just because of how interesting and wide-reaching it could be – especially if they kept the media outlets they’re trolling mostly in the dark. Sure, most people would know it’s fake, but the fact we wouldn’t be 100 percent sure, would make it worth talking about.

Essentially I want everything the WWE does that isn’t a typical promo, to feel dynamic enough where we have no idea where the next plot point will come from – a youtube video, public appearance – anything. Change the WWE from “Anything can happen in the WWE” to “Anything can happen where the WWE goes”. 
——————

But what we’ll get in reality is probably a consolidation and the WWE Relying on the tried-and-true. I got a chance to talk to a pretty popular TV producer a few years ago and she made a GREAT point about television.

Essentially that when things go rough for a TV show that relies heavily on ratings and they start to wane, they focus on the things that they ASSUME their audience is there for. So for CSI it’s all the cool science / gruesome stuff. For Scrubs it was smaller stories self-referential humor, Lost double-downed on the characters, and so on.

So for the WWE I thiiink this means if we see a change at all, it’ll mean more Cena, more Triple H, more Shield, more Bryan, and I would imagine more special attractions. Don’t be surprised if the WWE backs up a BRINKS truck to CM Punk and Steve Austin at some point because they’re known commodities that put asses in seats.

QOTD 126: Funny Money

Today’s QOTD suggestion comes from Wes A, whose work I loved in “Anonymous”. 

I was recently reading Cornette’s latest rant on “funny doesn’t draw
money”.
What are your thoughts on comedy in wrestling? Should it be
regulated to promos? Do you think comedy matches have a place in the
business? Any examples of good comedy matches/promos that you like?


 
I love GOOD comedy in wrestling. The key to comedy is playing it straight and not overselling the gag – and restraint isn’t really pro wrestling’s strong suit.

Poor Jared from Subway.

It’s one thing if at RAW 1000 there’s a scene with Mae Young and she’s standing next to a giant foam hand. It’s a hilarious gag for long time fans. But I think at Raw 1000 he went as far as to say “Hi, I’m Mae Young’s Son!” Which over sold the whole dang thing.

You can also get a lot of fun juxtaposition going, too. I watched Survivor Series 2008 I think, and during the pre-match interview Kane and Jeff Hardy were curious why exactly they were working with Triple H, who sent Hardy to hospital and accused Kane of being a murderer, then pretending to have sex with his dead ex girlfriend. It was a great little gag. Toss in Headcheese and all the great Rock v. Hurricane stuff and you’re giving me a ton of reasons to tune in, but I’m not buying a PPV or a ticket because I get to see Santino shave his unibrow, ya know?

That time Foley got The Rock with the “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK” and then ran around the ring to chants of “Foley! Foley! Foley!” was cool, and wasn’t “This is your life” one of the highest rated RAW segments, ever?

But in terms of selling tickets?

I don’t know. If I rack my brain and think of some of the ‘funny’ moments in big programs I’m a little sour on them. I thought the Rock v. Austin concert thing they did was a little silly and funny, but didn’t really make me want to watch the match. The Spirit Squad was kind of a joke, and The New DX was a gag-a-minute, but didn’t really do anything substantial to transcend just silly jokes.

I DO like that promotions like CHIKARA and Beyond Wrestling have some
fun with wrestling tropes. There’s a bunch of funny ‘slow mo’ matches
that somehow managed to coordinate the audience into a slow mo “This is
awesome” chant, and Beyond Wrestling has Star Man from the NES wrestling
game on the roster. 


Comedy in wrestling is at its best when it’s gratifying the long-time fan. Hogan’s jokes about being old during the Lesnar feud, the time the “new” DX plastered Triple H’s face over a picture of Vince’s granddaughter, Crash Holly fighting in all manner of places against all manner of foes. The Ho Train, Val Venis, Santino’s Power Walk, Molly Holly’s baldness, fuck, even Sexual Chocolate, are all things I remember fondly and with warmth. While there’s not the reasons I watch wrestling, They’re a great reason to keep coming back.  

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Remember to vote for the Ottie Awards here!

 Also, have I used this spin gif before? I thought I did but I can’t find where I put it.

MOTD: Steiners v. Money Inc


Steiners vs Money Inc Cage by CrossFaceChickenWing Steiners vs. Money Incorporated for the WWF tag titles…in a steel cage! Awesome ending as well that I bet Vince just loved due to the crowd reaction… Yeah, this was from the Summerslam Spectacular on USA if I’m not mistaken.  I did a review of this show a few years ago on 24/7 and the ending of that cage match was pretty insane.