Tribute to the Troops 2016

Tribute to the Troops 2016
Date: December 14, 2016
Location: Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

I try so hard to care about this show but it feels like WWE puts in less of an effort every single year. This is the annual show for the members of the United States military, meaning almost nothing of consequence will happen and the big main event will be Americans vs. foreigners. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – September 5, 2016

Brian is out for the night so I’ll be filling in.

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 5, 2016
Location: Sprint Center Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re in the Kevin Owens Era but the questions remain focused on HHH, who helped Owens win the title last week while also costing Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at the same time. This almost has to set up a big match in the very near future though it’s really not clear gets to fight whom. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – June 7, 2016

Smackdown
Date: July 7, 2016
Location: Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

This is a fresh start for a change as Monday was a completely worthless show thanks to the Fourth of July. We’re getting closer to Battleground but more importantly we’re less than two weeks away from the Draft which resets everything anyway. In other words there’s no way of knowing how good this will be so let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – June 30, 2016

Smackdown
Date: June 30, 2016
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga, Byron Saxton

We’re running out of Smackdowns on Thursday nights as we only have two more weeks before heading over to the live world for a major change. It’s also interesting to see how things go without Roman Reigns around, though the more interesting thing will be seeing how he is when he comes back. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – June 23, 2016

Smackdown
Date: June 23, 2016
Location: Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga

It’s an interesting time in WWE as we’re less than a month away from the new era really taking hold as the Draft takes place and separates the two shows into different entities. On top of that though, Roman Reigns has been suspended for thirty days, meaning the build towards the triple threat match at Battleground could be interesting. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 10, 2016

Smackdown
Date: March 10, 2016
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton

It’s the go home show for Roadblock and the big story for this week seems to be the main roster debut (well full time debut at least) of Sami Zayn. Tonight we’ll get to see Zayn and his longtime rival Kevin Owens together on MizTV, possibly to set up something between the two (or three) of them at Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 3, 2016

Smackdown
Date: March 3, 2016
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

We’re coming off a not great Raw this week and we could be in for another edition of that tonight on Smackdown. It’s always hard to guess what’s going to happen on one of these shows as they’re more wrestling based but if last week is any indication, they’re going to be recap based. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – January 14, 2016

Smackdown
Date: January 14, 2016
Location: CajunDome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler

We’re getting closer to the Royal Rumble and now it’s clear that Brock Lesnar is going to be in the match itself, making it even harder for Roman Reigns to hold on to the WWE World Title. As for tonight though, we have Alberto Del Rio getting his rematch for the US Title after losing the title to Kalisto earlier in the week. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 17, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 17, 2015
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Booker T., Rich Brennan

It’s kind of amazing to see how fast things have gone from boring to a lot more entertaining in the span of a few days. Going into Sunday’s pay per view, things were ice cold and had nowhere to go but up. Now things are hot again with a new World Champion in Roman Reigns as we’ve hit the road to the Royal Rumble running. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – November 26, 2015

Smackdown
Date: November 26, 2015
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Booker T., Rich Brennan, Jerry Lawler

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving. We’re in a strange period at the moment as we’re waiting on TLC and the fans don’t seem to be thrilled. Sheamus is World Champion again as Roman Reigns somehow managed to get screwed out of the title again. Those five minutes he held the title were the only five minutes a true good guy had held the title since Summerslam 2014. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – October 29, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 29, 2015
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan, Booker T.

We’re coming off a good Raw and we now have a fresh #1 contender in Roman Reigns. The other big story however is Bray Wyatt kidnapping both the Undertaker and Kane in order to feast on their souls. It’s pretty clear that this is leading to a Survivor Series match but the Brothers of Destruction need partners. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – October 22, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 22, 2015
Location: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

It’s the final show before Hell in a Cell and we might get some build towards the World Title match after it got little more than lip service on Monday. Aside from that I’d assume we’re in for a lot of video packages on the other big matches and maybe another cryptic promo from Bray, possibly including the prophecy he was supposed to give on Monday. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – October 15, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 15, 2015
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Jerry Lawler, Booker T.

Somehow we’re ten days away from Hell in a Cell and it’s time to put the finishing touches on the build. The announced main event for tonight is hometown boy Dean Ambrose teaming up with the Dudleyz to fight New Day in a bit of a preview for the pay per view. We might even get more speculation of what Cena is going to do there as well. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – September 17, 2015

Smackdown
Date: September 17, 2015
Location: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

It’s the final show before Night of Champions 2015 and that likely means we’ll be focusing on the midcard matches. If the past few Smackdowns before pay per views are any indications, that means it’s likely going to be about Ambrose/Reigns vs. the Wyatts while they tease who the third man might be. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – September 3, 2015

Smackdown
Date: September 3, 2015
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso

This seems like it’s going to be another midcard heavy episode as the main event players, save for the champion, who is arguably the lowest of the three people involved in the story, who is known to slum it here on Smackdown. The only major event announced is Lana and Dolph Ziggler appearing on MizTV. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – August 20, 2015

Smackdown
Date: August 20, 2015
Location: Resch Center Hall, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso

It’s the final show before Summerslam, meaning it’s time to find out how many times they can talk about Brock vs. Undertaker in about an hour and a half. It’s going to be a mixture of matches getting the hype this week as the main event is an eight man tag with three feuds being combined into one match. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 23, 2015

Smackdown
Date: July 23, 2015
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Jimmy Uso

This is an interesting show as Raw went off the air with a closed story for a change. The big story is of course the announcement of Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar…..we’re probably at V or VI over the years now. There’s no chance either guy is on this show so we should get some new stuff set up for Summerslam instead. Let’s get to it.

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Sheamus…WTF

Has there EVER been a more WTF decision than Sheamus winning MITB?  I'm serious, he was the last man anyone would've picked to win. Look at the other options:
With heel champion Rollins you have
– Neville – plucky NXT new-gen babyface who could easily survive a loss in a 20+ min main event
– Kofi – hell the freebird-style New Day MITB would be hilarious and of course he'd lose
– Dolph – see Neville
– Orton – so much main event cred, he would give Rollins a big clean win
– Kane – at least would've sense from a storyline perspective
– Roman – DUH.
Sheamus is fresh off losing to Ryback (!) in the Chamber and splitting a feud with Dolph before a few crappy TV matches with Orton. Nobody cares about him as a heel or face, he's almost X-Pac heat, so you kill the whole concept because him running out will draw groans, not boos.  Can you think of anything that made less sense than this?

​Well, I mean, Damien Sandow won the briefcase that one year, don't forget.  I wouldn't call it the most cuckoo-bananas decision of all time or anything because at least Sheamus is a former champion and Rumble winner and such, but he just doesn't fit into the main event puzzle, like at all.  And as you noted, why have him lose the IC title match to Ryback and then come back and win the case?  Unless they just wanted to swerve everyone because Reigns winning would be too predictable.  But in this case, it's predictable because IT MAKES SENSE.  Sheamus does not.  ​

Sheamus Turn

So, when are we getting the Sheamus turn? He certainly lost a fair share of his heat when he beat Bryan two years back and is currently in a kind of bland chunk of the upper-mid card. There is pretty much no chance he's going up with some clear top faces above him now. 

So, again, when are we getting the turn? I actually think there would be some decent heat for a heel Sheamus vs Bryan now, and they will need something other than Orton/Batista for him to fight, especially if the perceived Lesnar feud won't get going until Summerslam. 

Mark me down as someone interested, since their Extreme Rules match was excellent and the heel-side of things right now is pretty shallow. 

I feel like Sheamus coming back as HHHs security force would have been the money move, and now he's just another fella in the midcard.  A heel turn is only gonna be a lateral move at this point.  

The Kyle Report: Wrestlemania 29 Review

Wrestlemania 29 was the 29th annual “Grand Daddy of Them All”,
held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey on April 7th, 2013. It
drew 80,676 fans according to WWE, becoming the second highest attended WWE
event ever, and about 1,048,000 ordered it worldwide. 

The initial video package
talked about Hurricane Sandy, and it focused on the strong people that assisted
those affected by it. Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, narrated
the entire thing and then welcomed us to WrestleMania 29.
The wide-shot camera
angles showed the jammed-packed crowd in attendance. An enthused Michael Cole
said there were over 80,000 people there, and the event was sold out. Then, a
video package was shown of some of the classic moments in WrestleMania’s history
and slides of the wrestlers involved in this show.
Your Hosts Are Michael
Cole, Jerry Lawler, and John Bradshaw Layfield.
Opening
Match: Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins,  Roman Reigns, and Dean Abmrose)
As usual, the Shield arrived
through the crowd while Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton entered separately.
Their entrances foreshadowed the story of the match. The Shield worked
together as a cohesive team, while Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton were
fragmented. The Shield went to hit the three-man powerbomb on Sheamus, but the Big
Show saved Sheamus by spearing Reigns. The problems between Team Sheamus started to happen
when Sheamus tried to tag in The Big Show, but Orton selfishly tagged himself
to be the legal man. Orton cleaned house, while the camera showed Big Show
visibly pissed off. Orton set up for the RKO on Dean Ambrose, but wound up
RKO’ing Rollins, who jumped off the turnbuckle, in mid-air. Out of nowhere,
Reigns speared Orton, allowing Ambrose to pick up the win by pinning Orton. JBL
speculated that the Shield might be the greatest team ever. After the match,
Big Show ended up punching both Sheamus and Orton in the face and then walked away in disgust.
Winners:
The Shield in 10:37
Thoughts: An adequate, inoffensive opening tag
match. The story of the match was that the Shield worked as a cohesive unit,
while team Sheamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton could not put their differences aside.
People speculated whether or not Randy Orton would finally turn heel, but WWE ended
up not pull the trigger on the turn. Like I said, it was solid, but the Shield
have had much better matches on free TV. ** 1/2
A video package was
shown hyping up the John Cena vs The Rock match
Ryback
vs. Mark Henry
Henry took control early
on by delivering a powerslam and then a clothesline. Ryback went for Shell
Shock, but Henry pushed him into the turnbuckle. Henry then applied a bear hug. The
crowd then started to chant “Sexual Chocolate”, illustrating how little the
crowd cared about this match. Henry applied another bear hug, only for Ryback to drive
Henry into the corner where he delivered a couple of clotheslines. The crowd
came alive when Ryback executed the “Feed Me More” clothesline. The crowd then popped
huge when Ryback got Henry up for Shell Shock, but Henry countered by grabbing
the ropes and landing on Ryback’s back. Henry proceeded to pick up the win by
pinning him in a very anti-climactic finish. After the match, Ryback hit Shell
Shock, which made Henry’s win rather pointless.
Winner:
Mark Henry in 8:20
Thoughts: The match was tedious, and the crowd only popped
for the big spots, but it was not as bad as it could have been. They did not try to do more than they could, so neither Henry nor Ryback were exposed
for being less than stellar workers. I still do not understand why Ryback lost
this match because he ended up becoming the number one contender the next
night. I also wonder if WWE has a long-term plan for Ryback losing every big
match on PPV in his WWE career. * 1/4
Tag
Team Championship: Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) © vs. Dolph Ziggler and
Big E Langston w/AJ Lee
AJ kissed Ziggler at the
start of the match. Ziggler turned around only to be kicked in the head by
Daniel Bryan (in what was a convincing near-fall that played off how Bryan lost
to Sheamus last year). Ziggler tagged in Langston and Bryan tagged in Kane. Boo!.
Langston delivered Kane three backbreakers in a row, and then hit a running
body attack. He’s pretty strong, to be honest. The heels made some quick tags and worked over Kane, but Kane fought
back by hitting a sick-looking DDT on Langston. Ziggler pulled Bryan off the
apron, but Kane ended up hitting a sidewalk slam on Ziggler. The pace is really picking up. Kane went for a
top-rope clothesline, but Ziggler moved
out of the way. Ziggler botched a Fameasser and got a two count out of it. Afterwards,
Kane tossed Langston outside the ring, and Bryan nailed Langston in the head
with a stiff knee. Ziggler nailed the Zig Zag and got a close near-fall out of
it. AJ Lee preoccupied the ref, as Kane dodged a briefcase shot and then gave
Ziggler a Chokelsam. Kane tagged in Bryan, and he hit the Flying Headbutt on
Ziggler. It was good enough to pick up the win.
Winners:
Team Hell No in 8:22
Analysis: The de ja vu spot was a nice play off of last
year’s Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan match, and it was actually very believable
near-fall. All four men worked hard, and thus got the rather silent crowd
engaged into it. Overall, it was a rock-solid, energetic match, with all four
men playing their specific roles well. I just wish they had more time and that Bryan
and Ziggler wrestled together longer. ** ¾
John Cena discussed Make-A-Wish and told us that we can donate $10 by texting 80088.

Chris
Jericho vs. Fandango
Fan-dan-go! started by
doing a little dancing, only to get suplexed by Jericho. Bret Hart thought his dancing was more entertaining than a HHH match. Out of
nowhere, Jericho Codebreaker. (By the way, every time I say out of nowhere, Don West screaming on top of his lungs comes to my mind. God, I miss that guy.) Fan-dan-go! fell out of the ring, though.
Jericho then followed up by giving him a dropkick. Back in the ring, Fan-dan-go! started to control the match, but Jericho came back by hitting a double
axehandle and then a Thesz Press. Bah, gawd. Jericho then nailed a cross body block to
pick up a two count. Fandango, however, threw Jericho shoulder first into the ring
post. Fan-dan-go! hit a neckbreaker, and then proceeded to hit his unique Leg Drop
off the top rope, getting a close near-fall. Jericho attempted the Walls of
Jericho, but Fan-dan-go! reversed it and then executed a clothesline. Fan-dan-go! went to the top again, but it was Jericho grabbed the top rope. Jericho went for a
superplex, but Fan-dan-go! countered by hitting a headbutt. Fan-dan-go! went for his top-leg drop, but Jericho moved out of the way. Things got messy when it appeared
Jericho was supposed to hit the Liontamer, but Fan-dan-go! was too close to the
ropes. Jericho tried to cover the botch up by going for the Walls of Jericho,
but Fan-dan-go! countered with a sloppy inside cradle to pick up the win.
Winner:
Fan….dan….go! in 9:11
Thoughts:  I forgot to breathe in the A’s, I think. Anyway, another decent match. There was a good amount of
back-and-forth action and counter-for-counter wrestling exchanges. Jericho’s
mission was to make Fandango look good, and he did a good job of doing so. Aside
from the sloppy finish, Fandango appeared to have some wrestling ability.
Jericho is so good at being able to adapt with anyone and have a watchable match
with them, though. 

The next night, Fandango received a huge babyface reaction,
but the WWE failed to capitalize on it. The thing is the character never really
pissed people off and people never took him seriously. It was just a whacky,
cheesy, goofy, but rather entertaining character. The fans told WWE this, but they did not want to listen. Now, he is receiving
little-to-no reaction at all. ** ½

Diddy performed, which made me hit
the fast-forward button. I like it when they use a music performer to sing
someone’s theme, but to give them their own mini-concert would be equal to
Diddy allowing wrestlers to wrestle at his concerts. I mean people order WM to see
wrestling, not an eight-minute concert. The time wasted here should have been used for the mid-carders that were short-changed.
World
Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger
w/Zeb Colter
Zeb Colter cut a promo
on just about every nationality to get cheap heat. Del Rio started aggressively
at the start until Zeb Colter sidetracked him, which allowed Swagger get the
upper hand by throwing Rio into the post. Del Rio got a hope spot in by rolling
up Swagger for a two count but then got a big boot to the face from Swagger. Del
Rio made his comeback by using clotheslines, a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and
then a side kick for a two count. Swagger came back with a shoulder block to the
knee of Del Rio. Del Rio attempted an enziguiri, but Swagger ducked it. Swagger went
for the Swagger Bomb, but Del Rio countered and then hit a Backstabber for a
two. Del Rio tried to end it, but Swagger reversed it with a Gutwrench
Powerbomb for two. The work is solid but the crowd does not care. Swagger locked in the Patriot Lock, but Del Rio reversed it with
his Cross Armbreaker submission. Swagger countered back with the Patriot Lock. We Da People! Del
Rio managed to break the hold by kicking Swagger in the head. Colter put Swagger’s leg on the ropes
while Del Rio was pinning him. Rodriguez chased after Colter on his crutches, but Colter
ended kicking one of his crutches, which made Rodriguez fall to the ground. Honestly, I think Rodriguez and Cotler wrestling would have created more heat than this match. Del Rio was looking at what was going on outside the ring, which
allowed Swagger to attack him from behind. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Del Rio put in the
Cross Armbreaker, which made Swagger tap.
 Winner: Alberto Del Rio in 10:23
Analysis: Solid work, but
nothing remarkable. They had a rather decent scientific match that displayed some
quality mat-work, but the issue was that it just lacked emotion and intensity.
It  honestly felt like they were having an ordinary match, as it just lacked a sense of urgency and desperation and had no heat whatsoever. That could have been because the
feud was too complex for the fans to understand what it was all about. Or, because Del Rio and Jack Swagger’s characters are uninteresting. Or, because they
lacked a great deal of charisma in their particular roles. ** ½
 The
Undertaker vs. CM Punk w/Paul Heyman
Living Colour played Cult
of Personality” and received a big pop from the crowd. The Undertaker’s
entrance was somewhat weird. These goblins were trying to grab his feet but could not. Punk bitch slapped Undertaker in the face early on, only for Undertaker
to come back with a huge boot to the face. Outside the ring, Undertaker tossed
Punk into the security wall. He then threw Punk’s head right onto the announce
table and then into ring post. Undertaker executed a leg drop on the apron on
Punk’s throat. After, Punk took Taker down with an arm drag when Taker went for
Old School. Punk then hit the Old School Clothesline, and Punk dodged the Undertaker’s big boot, sending him knee first into the top turnbuckle. With Taker outside, Punk nailed a
double axehandle off the top to the floor and then inside the ring, he hit a
neckbreaker to get a two count. Undertaker attempted to mount a comeback via
punches, but Punk countered with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Punk went for
the top-rope Old School clothesline, but he was crotched on the top rope. Undertaker
punched Punk in the face, knocking him outside the ring. Undertaker tried
to dive outside the ring, but Heyman got on the apron, which allowed Punk to
attack with a top-rope clothesline.
Later, Punk went to the
top rope and hit the Flying Elbow, although the table did not break. Taker sneaked
into the ring before being counted out. Taker locked in the Hell’s Gate
submission, but Punk answered by rolling him up for two count. Punk locked in the
Anaconda Vice submission Undertaker, which led to a great visual when Undertaker
looked Punk sadistically into his eyes. Punk got out of the way of a Chokeslam
and hit the GTS. Undertaker bounced off the ropes and then hit a Tombstone,
only for two. Great spot. Punk hit a running knee in the corner, but  Undertaker caught him and went  for the Last Ride. Heyman gave Punk the urn,
and Punk nailed Taker in the back of the head. Punk only got a two, though.
Just an awesome exchange there. Punk went for the GTS, Undertaker countered and
hit the Tombstone Piledriver to for win. After the match, Taker walked off the urn that held Paul Bearer’s ashes.
Winner:
The Undertaker in 22:30
Thoughts:
This match was a perfect example of “it is not what you do, it is when and
why you do it”. Everything they did fit the context of the story they were
telling. Both men also had great body language, facial expressions, and
mannerisms, which helped elevate the match’s  drama and also helped transition the match to each different stage. They
also built the match off the audience’s reactions, had them in the palms of
their hands and sent them on a roller coaster ride.
Basically, CM Punk tried to defeat the Undertaker by using a
well-developed strategic plan. He did certain tactics to attempt to play mind games with the Undertaker (which is something that few little people have been able to pull off). Even though it
worked for a good portion of the match, it was not enough to defeat the
immortal Undertaker. 
Also, despite CM Punk going into the match with not a lot of momentum due to him losing four out of the five previous matches, both the Undertaker and CM Punk were able to fool a lot of people by making them believe that Punk had several chances of ending the streak. Just a terrific match. **** ½
No
Holds Barred: Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. Triple H w/Shawn Michaels
They brawled right off
the bat, as HHH threw Lesnar into the security wall and then slammed him into the announce table. After, Lesnar
went after Triple H on the floor, but Hunter drilled Lesnar with a stiff
clothesline, which literally knocked Lesnar out. Lesnar had a chair in his
hands, but Triple H drilled him in the face with a knee. Outside, Lesnar drilled
a belly-to-belly suplex, and then Lesnar hit vertical suplex into a slam that
broke the Spanish announce table. After that, a lot of boring stuff happened. Brock Lesnar dominated Triple H forever. HBK tried to save his friend, but Brock Lesnar was having none of that, so he F-5’d HBK. Later
on, Lesnar drove HHH into the steps that were in the ring,but HHH applied the
Kimura Lock. He picked up HHH again and drilled him into steps. This time, Triple
H hung onto his head and drilled his head into the steps. Hunter hit Lesnar with a sledgehammer and then a Pedrigree onto the steps, picking up the win.
Winner: Triple H in 23:30 minutes
Thoughts:
They worked hard. They really did. The problem was nobody cared. The reason the fans did not care was because: (A) Not many people care about Triple H anymore. (B) They never believed he had a chance of losing. Or (C), the Undertaker and CM Punk match
burnt them out. Whatever the case may have been, the match just lacked that
“career on the line” atmosphere. The match also failed to top their brawl on
Raw, which was way more of a intense and bloody back-and-forth brawl, and most of all, I didn’t know who was going get the upper hand.
In my opinion, though, the biggest problem
with the match were the dynamics. Ass-kicker vs ass-kicker matches are
difficult to pull off, especially with WWE’s violence restrictions. I mean Lesnar is a good big man worker, but it is obvious that his
matches with bigger guys aren’t that impressive. His best matches come with
people who can bump like a fish in the water and take a beating (or at
least give off the illusion that they are taking a bad one). Triple H has been known to
take a good beating in the past, but due how fragile his body has become, he can hardly bump
anymore. So, basically, he was not the right size, character, and he could not take enough sick bumps in order to mesh with Lesnar. ** 3/4
A commercial for The
Rock’s next movie, Pain & Gain, is shown. There were clips from the Hall of
Fame ceremony too. Then Hall of Famers were on the stage.
.
WWE
Championship: The Rock vs. John Cena
Rock avoided a  Five Knuckle Shuffle and then hit a DDT. The Rock went for a Rock Bottom, but Cena countered with a Crossface. Rock countered it with a pinfall
attempt but only got two. Cena hits the spinning slam and then the Five Knuckle
Shuffle. Rock wiggled his way out of the Attitude Adjustment and then delivered a
Spinebuster. Cena locked in a the STF, but the Rock got out of it. Rock then hit a
Rock Bottom in for two. Then Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment for a count. Selling, no? Okay.
Cena went to the top
rope but missed a leg drop. The Rock connected with  Spinebuster and then the People’s
Elbow for a two count. Cena caught Rock in his arms and then went for the
Attitude Adjustment, but Rock hit the Rock Bottom for another two count. Again, really? Rock
wanted another People’s Elbow, but Cena reversed it with an Attitude Adjustment
for two. This is becoming stupid. They exchanged punches, and then Cena hit a Rock Bottom for a two
count. This is like a Davery Richards match on crack. Cena went for the People’s elbow; you
know, the same move that made him lose their previous match. Nice psychology….not. He then went
for the Attitude Adjustment, but Rock countered into Rock Bottom for two. Do they even have finishers anymore? Jesus. They
exchanged finishing move attempts again a few times, but neither guy could hit.
Rock hit a DDT. Rock went for a Rock Bottom, Cena slipped out, and hit the Attitude
Adjustment, which was enough to win the WWE Championship. It’s finally over! After the match,
they shook hands. Respect is earned! 
Winner
and new WWE Champion: John Cena in 20:23 minutes
Thoughts:
This match lacked psychology, any sort of strategy by either man, a story to follow, and rarely did either John Cena or the Rock played off their previous match at all. There
was no transitional period that elevated the match into the finisher galore stage of the match either. During the beginning, they should have worked over a body part or told some
sort of story. Instead, they used a cheap method to get the fans invested into the match. Trading finisher after finisher just devalued the credibility of their finishers, and it was a very lazy way to put together the supposed biggest match of the year. And, unlike CM Punk and Undertaker, Cena’s victory was never in doubt. I might get some heat for this rating, but I do not care. I
did not enjoy this match at all. * ½
Final
Thoughts:
The mid-carders on the show were evidently held down, so their matches would not
overshadow the main events. That would have been fine had the main events
delivered. However, a show should never rely on one or two matches, because this is what could happen. 

In addition, the crowd
was ready to go home after Undertaker’s epic match yet again. I’ve always believed that a title match should go on last, but I think the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania matches have become an exception to the rule. If Taker loses, the streak is
over, whereas wrestlers lose and then win back the title all the time.

Thumbs
in the middle, leaning down.

Sheamus v. Show: Cell or what?

I know people were getting cranky on the RAW thread because they think Sheamus v. Show is a Cell match, but they went out of their way not to say that it was a Cell match, only that it was AT the Hell in a Cell PPV.  Here's the full preview article from WWE.com:

Again, notice it says nothing about it being a Cell match, whereas the Punk-Ryback match is specifically noted as being in the Cell.  
Point:  Me.  

The SmarK DVD Rant for WWE Superstar Collection: Sheamus

The SmarK DVD Rant for WWE Superstar Collection: Sheamus Maybe it’s my old age talking, but I much prefer these 90 minute bite-sized collections to the mammoth 9 hour marathon sessions that WWE pumps out on a monthly basis. Five matches, and it’s only $7 on Amazon right now, no fuss no muss. Yeah, the cheaply produced cover makes Sheamus look like he’s constipated, but it’s the content that counts. Plus this is the kind of disc that’s perfectly suited to Netflix or PPV. And there’s no documentary or anything, just a quick video intro and then the matches… RAW World title, tables match: John Cena v. Sheamus From TLC, December 13 2009. This was of course very early in Sheamus’s run as a heel, as he was basically just up from ECW and beating midcard guys. Cena had been trading the belt with Orton for the previous few months, including overcoming getting blown up (literally) to win an Iron Man match. Why was this a tables match? Good question. Cena gets a MIGHTY negative reaction for his entrance. It was kind of funny, because leading up to this I was wondering why Sheamus was getting pushed like this when he wasn’t over, and the people in WWE at the time who were talking to me about it basically said “Oh, well, HHH likes him, so he’ll probably get a pretty good push in a while.” That was about two weeks before this. Cena attacks him in the corner to start, but Sheamus takes him down and pounds away on the mat. The crowd is booing both guys, and they brawl outside and try to retrieve a table. Cena gets it first and puts Sheamus on it, but shockingly 2 minutes is enough for him to recover and Sheamus comes back in the ring. Sheamus with a powerslam and Cena bails to the apron and we get a goofy spot with Cena JUST BARELY able to hang on and not fall through his own table. Matt Striker notes the irony of that, showing what an insufferable clod he was becoming. THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. They fight on the floor again and Sheamus works on the back and tries a powerbomb through that darn table, but Cena fights back again with a suplex on the ramp. They brawl into the crowd and back to ringside, but Cena takes too long setting up the table and Sheamus catches him with a brogue kick (called “the Irish Curse kick” by Cole, as he cycled through four or five moves with that name before finally settling on the backbreaker for good.) Sheamus puts a table in the corner and tries to powerslam him through it, but Cena OVERCOMES THE ODDS and it’s the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. He sets up another table and puts Sheamus on top for an FU, but Sheamus fights him off and John slips on the proverbial banana peel and falls through the table at 16:23 to give Sheamus the belt. What kind of a bullshit fluke finish was that? Sheamus hung in there with Cena pretty well, but this was pretty dull stuff and it did nothing to establish Sheamus as a top guy. **1/2 RAW World title: John Cena v. Edge v. Randy Orton v. Sheamus From Fatal 4 Way 2010. Michael Cole listing off all the World titles between the competitors is supposed to sound impressive, but really all it does is emphasize how cheap and meaningless the titles have become. Cena starts with Orton and almost gets the FU, but Edge and Sheamus toss Orton and double-team Cena. They stretch it out so the crowd can do a dueling Cena chant, but Edge turns on Sheamus and rolls him up for two. Second rope clothesline gets two. He goes up again and Orton follows for a superplex attempt, but Sheamus breaks that up. The end result is Edge getting a high cross on Sheamus for two. Orton clears the ring, but Cena returns from the dead and gets suplexed back into the ring for his troubles. Orton slowly works him over, but Sheamus comes back in and takes Orton out with a clothesline. So now Orton gets to roll out and play dead for 10 minutes while Cena and Sheamus do their sequence. Sheamus with a backbreaker for two and sets up for the finish, but Edge breaks it up and then gets tossed again. Orton hits Sheamus and Cena with the hanging DDT and gets two on Sheamus, but Cena comes back with his VINTAGE CENA offense on Edge. Orton dumps him and goes after Edge, but Sheamus dumps Orton and beats on Edge himself. This match is going nowhere. Cena clears the ring now and puts Edge in the STF, but Sheamus breaks it up and gets two on Edge. Clothesline gets two. Can we just skip to the NXT run-in already? This is boring. So magically the ring gets down to two guys again, with Cena trying the FU on Edge, but Orton sneaks in with the RKO on Cena for two. Sheamus grabs the ref to stop the count, and Cole points out that there’s no DQ in a Fatal Four-Way match. Really? Sheamus with the bicycle kick on Orton for two. Everyone brawls to the floor and it’s a big trainwreck, but backstage the NXT guys attack the poor guys who have to stand there pretending to watch the match instead of showering. So with Cena alone in the ring, the NXT crew storms out and destroys everything, and Sheamus pins Cena to win the title back at 17:27. *** The whole match was just the setup for the run-in, much like the nWo days. King of the Ring finals: Sheamus v. John Morrison I don’t know who the chick doing ring announcing here is, but the less said about the job she does here, the better. Morrison gets booted to the floor and we take a break, and return with Sheamus covering for two. Sheamus works on the injured arm with a divorce court for two. Sheamus pounds away on the mat and goes to an armbar as Cole notes that the winner will be crowned the nineteenth King of the Ring. I was initially questioning that one, but Wikipedia confirms it. Meanwhile I miss a bunch of the match while doing that research, but it’s pretty dull anyway. Sheamus goes for the Razor’s Edge, but Morrison fights out and gets a tornado DDT for two. Morrison goes to finish with the Shining Wizard, but Sheamus blocks it and sends him into the corner. Morrison goes up, and Sheamus slams him onto the bad shoulder for two. Sheamus slaps on a Fujiwara armbar (called as such by CM Punk, something I never thought I’d hear on this show), and he’s really cranking on it, but Morrison uses the POWER OF PARKOUR to escape. Starship Pain misses, however, and the Brogue Kick and Razor’s Edge crowns Sheamus at 8:31. Good “Big heart in a bad situation” effort from Morrison here, but this didn’t end up doing much of anything for either guy. ***1/4 Sheamus and his kingship seemed to be setting him up for a beating from “King of Kings” HHH, but he just turned into kind of a joke. US title: Daniel Bryan v. King Sheamus From RAW, March 2011. So weird to see clean-shaven babyface Bryan now. Sheamus was doing a losing streak gimmick at this point, one of the few that actually ended up paying off for the guy doing it. Bryan evades him and kicks him to the floor, then follows with a suicide dive. Back in, missile dropkick gets two. Sheamus bails and we take a break. Back with Sheamus holding a chinlock and then throwing the forearms on the apron. Back in, that gets two. Bryan cradles him for two and backdrops him to the floor, injuring the ankle. Bryan takes him down wit the YESLOCK, but Sheamus makes the ropes. Bryan reverses the Razor’s Edge into a rollup for two and they slug it out, with Bryan kicking him down for two. Bryan goes up…and lands in a brogue kick to give Sheamus the US title at 5:45. That of course wouldn’t be the last time Bryan felt that kick. This did nothing for Sheamus, as he quietly dropped the belt to Kofi Kingston a few weeks later and then finally caught fire after a babyface turn around Summerslam. Royal Rumble 2012: Sorry, but this is clipped to Sheamus making his entrance at #22. I kind of figured they wouldn’t be able to put the entire match on a 90 minute DVD. So you get the last 20 minutes of the match and the big sequence at the end with Jericho and Sheamus, leading to Sheamus winning his first Rumble. The Pulse Oh well, still a pretty decent set of stuff for a few bucks, featuring most of Sheamus’ big title wins, although couldn’t they fit the 18 second win over Daniel Bryan on there as well? Cheap and lazy collection from WWE, but it’s a hell of a deal for the price, especially if you’re a fan of his. I think this is exactly the kind of format they can use to showcase guys like Kofi and Ziggler or Miz, who wouldn’t otherwise get a DVD set, but who newer fans might be interested in enough to drop $8 on a DVD primer. Zack Ryder just got one of these last month, in fact. Recommended.