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Saturday Syndies (sort of): Jan 31, 2015

Since the weather appears to have
cancelled Superstars, Part 2 of the Saturday Syndies will instead be
dedicated to the Rumble. Namely, I’m giving myself a challenge: make
the Rumble not suck. However, I’m imposing two restrictions. One, I
can’t swap anyone out or in the Rumble (which, by this definition,
means Curtis Axel is in); and two, Roman Reigns still has to win.
Could I do a Rumble that gets all the points across without causing
Philadelphia to riot? We’ll find out… but first, Main Event.
From Hartford, CT, on a delay. Your
hosts are Tom Phillips and Jerry Lawler, as JBL is probably snowed in
with any luck.

MATCH: The Miz and Damien Mizdow
v. Kofi Kingston and Big E Langston.

The hatred for New Day appears to have just been a Philadelphia
thing. Langston and Miz start. Langston stops a waistlock and judo
throws Miz, who stalls as the crowd wants Mizdow. Miz fires away,
upset at the chant, but gets tackled by Langston after some
reversals. A creative double-team high kick gets Kofi two. Miz with
a headlock and tackle, but runs into a back elbow for two. Miz gets
a jawbreaker as the announcers point out Miz is using the stunt
double wrong (much the way Scott Keith did elsewhere). Miz tries a
monkey flip, but Kofi lands on his feet and returns the favor for
two. Kofi is whipped in for a forearm to Miz, and Langston gets a
lariat for two as the heels “regroup”. Langston tosses Miz in
(and Mizdow by proxy), and he rolls all the way out (and Mizdow by
proxy), only to get tossed back in (as well as Mizdow by proxy).
Langston with multiple backbreakers, as Mizdow uses the ropes to
imitate this – even holding up on a few fake-outs in a great spot.
It gets two as well as an ovation. Langston with a cross-corner
shoulder ram, but Miz with a chop block on the second try as we go to
break.
That
Mizdow spot deserved to be on Raw.
We
return with Miz working Langston over in the corner and refusing to
tag, getting a front facelock. Langston throws him off, but Miz
comes back with a DDT for two. Miz stomps away and fakes a tag-in to
Mizdow, getting himself rolled up for two. Back to a low dropkick by
Miz and he works the knee viciously, into a kneebar. Langston fights
out, kicking Miz away, but Miz returns with a big boot for two. The
announcers are stunned Miz won’t tag as he works a chinlock.
Langston fights out, but his boot attempt is caught and Miz with a
hamstring kick and Figure-Four try. Langston kicks Miz into the
post, hot tag Kofi. Dropkick, leaping lariat, and New Day Boom Drop
follow. Cross-corner knee floors Miz and he goes up, but he’s
distracted by Mizdow and the crossbody misses. Miz tries the Million
Dollar Move, but Kofi shoves him off into Mizdow. Mizdow does the
move and tries the running clothesline, but Miz cuts him off and tags
him in, chastising him. Predictably, this leads to Trouble In
Paradise and the Midnight Hour to end it at 10:38 shown. Perfectly
Acceptable Wrestling. **1/2,
with the Mizdow backbreaker spot getting a half-star by itself.
MATCH: Curtis Axel v. Erick
Rowan.

Whoa, continuity! They even explain it in the intros. Axel offers
a handshake, but changes it to a slap and bails. (Axel even calls
himself the Royal Rumble winner during trash talk.) Rowan out, Axel
in, and Rowan returns with a clothesline. Rowan with a bulldog
buckle smash, then another. Axel slips out of a slam and bails, then
pulls on Rowan’s beard to get a Hotshot. Back in, he clips Rowan and
pounds away. Axel taunts Rowan in the ropes. Rowan fights to his
feet, but runs into a dropkick for one. Axel goes to the chinlock.
Blind charge eats elbow, and Rowan headbutts Axel down. A beal
follows, then an avalanche, and a few more for taste. Tackle leads
to the full nelson slam for the pin at 3:43. 1/2*
More of a Superstars match, if that makes sense, but Rowan needed
this win.
Sidenote:
the announcers are surprised Rowan did what he did at the Rumble and
are searching for answers. The fact that Harper and Wyatt were in
the ring waiting for him was seen as a nice side effect, but never
the main reason.
ARNOLD
SCHWARZENEGGER enters the Celebrity Wing of the Hall of Fame.
Apparently, making HHH sell a beating is so rare that it puts you in
the Hall. (Sorry, easy joke.)
RAW Recap.
Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns have a side-by-side sitdown interview,
conducted by Paul Heyman. How will Reigns handle losing? Reigns
tells Lesnar instead: he knows who Lesnar is, but Lesnar doesn’t know
who Reigns is. So Reigns will win. A brawl nearly breaks out, but
it’s a staredown instead, followed by an angry handshake. “I don’t
respect you.” “But you will.” Nice.
Stone
Cold will interview HHH on Monday. I don’t think I’m exaggerating
too much when I say this could be more important than Raw.
MATCH: Dolph Ziggler v. Luke
Harper.

Commentary during intros: “Network Network Network Network
Network.” Crowd is behind Dolph right from the bell. Harper with
a kick to start, and he ragdolls Ziggler into the buckle. European
Uppercut follows, then a headlock. He gets a tackle on Dolph, and
after some reversals, misses a clothesine before turning a backslide
attempt into a throat thrust. Crowd begins a Wash Your Shirt chant,
which Lawler gets a kick out of. Blind charge eats the middle
buckle, and Dolph with a Stinger Splash and dropkick. Neckbreaker
follows, then the Heart Attack Elbow for two. Harper gets a big
elbow to send Dolph packing. On the outside, Harper catches a
superkick and slingshots Dolph into the post as we go to break.
We
return with a headlock on Dolph on the ground. Dolph looks like he’s
going to pass out in it, but fights to his feet. Harper shoves aside
a dropkick, though, to keep control. Guillotine slingshot follows,
getting two. Harper goes to the eyes, then uppercuts Dolph down. An
elbowdrop misses, and again as Dolph keeps rolling away. Dolph with
a jawbreaker and superkick for two. He avoids a charge and rolls
Harper up for two. Sky High DDT gets two (after a few reversals).
Zig Zag gets shoved away, and Harper tries a powerbomb only to get
sunset flipped for two. Big boot by Harper sets up an uppercut and
powerbomb for two. Harper’s up first and points the guns, but walks
into a superkick only to recover with a lariat for two. Not a fan of
that spot, but if it’s just Harper I guess I’ll live with it. Harper
misses a charge, and Dolph with the Famouser and Zig Zag for the pin
at 9:27 shown. Not their best effort. *3/4
Dolph celebrates with the crowd as the show ends.
*****

Now,
Andy PG attempts to fix the Royal Rumble. I’m putting my ego on the
line – again – so you can pick me apart the way you pick the WWE
apart. Let’s see how I do.
Luke
Harper

draws #1, but before #2 comes out, Erick Rowan emerges to attack his
former partner. After a minute or so of brawling, referees separate
the two and send Rowan to the back. Harper tries to recover as Dolph
Ziggler

gets sent out for #2. The two wear each other down, with Harper
getting a few elimination tries, but never fully succeeding. Big
E Langston

is next at #3 (the crowd inexplicably frosty towards him). He and
Harper exchange power moves like crazy as Dolph rests a little before
jumping on Harper’s back for a Zig Zag. R-Truth
is
#4 and forgoes his rap in order to charge into the ring. Harper goes
for the discus clothesline, but Dolph superkicks Harper and fires
him out of the ring, the first elimination.

Kane
enters at #5 and pinballs Ziggler around before everyone gathers up
on him. But they can’t get him out.
Bubba
Ray Dudley

fires up the crowd at #6, as he and Langston team up to do the Dudley
moves on Truth. 3-D flattens him, and Bubba eliminates
Truth from the match
.
Bubba and Kane square off in the ring, face to face, before Big
Show

enters at #7 and the Authority go nuts. Dolph is first to try, but
he gets punched right
over the top rope and out.

Kane grabs Big E and fires
him out of the ring.
It’s
down to Bubba Ray being pinballed by the Authority as the crowd is
begging for D-Von to be next, but it’s not going to happen as Big
Show press slams
Bubba Ray to the floor
,
leaving just the Authority in the ring.
Tyson
Kidd

is #8 and yeah, he’s not going to get much going here. Kane
chokeslams him and throws
him out of the ring, getting him the new record.

Stardust
is #9, continuing his streak of never drawing a double-digit number.
Usually, it’s because Cody has good stamina, but this time, he’s
getting sent out
by Kane in under a minute.

Zack Ryder
returns from injury at #10, though he’s reluctant to get in. Kane
slides out and throws him in, but Ryder gets a dropkick on Show to
tie him in the ropes. Ryder gets his offense in on Kane, including
the Broski Boot and Ruff Ryder, but he can’t get Kane out, as Kane
boots Ryder down. But Ryder has help… sort of, as Curtis
Axel

arrives at #11. This doesn’t change anything, as Kane catches Axel
in a chokeslam and frees up Show. Show KO Punches Axel and tosses
him to the floor.

Ryder is on the top rope and dives onto Show, who merely catches him
and throws him
onto Axel.

Can anyone stop the Authority?
Daniel
Bryan

is going to try at #12. He gets a huge flurry of offense, kicking
both men repeatedly, but attempting the running knee on Show leads
into a chokeslam from Kane. It looks like the Authority will dispose
of Bryan, but Dean
Ambrose

is in at #13 for the save. It revitalizes Bryan into trying to fire
back, including his corner flip into a dropkick as Ambrose gets his
tangle clothesline on Kane. But still, it doesn’t seem like enough.
Maybe #14 will help? Ryback
gets that number, and it looks good. In fact, it looks even better
when Ryback gets Show up and, in an incredible feat of strength,
tosses him out of
the ring for the elimination!

Kane is alone against three people who don’t like him, and that goes
poorly as he eats running knee, Shell Shock, and Dirty Deeds, with
Ambrose getting
the elimination of the Director of Operations.
The
Miz

draws #15, but is hesitant to enter given the star power in the ring.
Thankfully for him, Ambrose attacks Ryback first, meaning it’s not a
handicap match. Miz renews hostilities with Bryan in one corner.
Damien Mizdow
is next at #16 and immediately aids Miz on Bryan. Ryback and Ambrose
get the majority of the ring to show off, with the crowd likely
behind Ambrose as they go back and forth. Goldust
draws #17 and tries to pick off Ambrose to no avail. Meanwhile,
Daniel Bryan separates the Hollywood boys and manages to toss
Miz out of the ring.

Mizdow sees Miz on the floor and panics, wondering what he’s
supposed to do next, but before we find out, Bryan
tosses him out as well.
Cesaro
enters at #18 and goes right after Goldust, swinging him for 20+
rotations. But he can’t quite get Goldust out of the ring, as
Ambrose begins pounding away. Ryback and Bryan have a mini-match in
the corner. Adam
Rose

is next at #19 and helps his friend Cesaro attack Ambrose. Goldust
grabs Rose and tries to toss him out, but the Rosebuds surround the
area of elimination. No matter where Goldust goes, it does no good.
Cesaro nearly sneaks up on Goldust, but Ambrose stops him. Kofi
Kingston
enters
at #20 as Ambrose finally gets Rose over, but on the apron. Ryback
tosses Kofi over everyone and onto the Rosebuds, who surf him around
the ring and back in. However, this means that they forget about
Rose, who is
finally knocked to the floor by Ambrose.

Meanwhile, Cesaro gets the Neutralizer on Goldust and finally
eliminates the
painted one.
Diamond
Dallas Page
returns
at #21 and it’s Diamond Cutters all around, ending with Cesaro.
Fandango
is in next at #22 and takes advantage, attacking Ryback, Ambrose, and
Bryan in turn. He dances in the ring, but this allows Cesaro to
catch him from behind and swing him, too.  Kofi leaps for a monkey flip, but is caught by DDP and eliminated.  DDP gives the sign of the Cutter, but as he does, Ambrose charges and clotheslines him out. Boogeyman
draws #23 as the participants stare at him in confusion. Fandango
gets an alarm clock to the head as Boogeyman stands over him,
spitting worms on him. Sin
Cara

is next at #24 and doesn’t change much. So let’s go ahead to Rusev
at #25, who clears some deadwood. Boogeyman
is first out. Sin Cara soon follows.

Rusev stands over Ambrose and seems ready to eliminate him next, but
Roman Reigns
is in at #26 to save his Shield brother. People begin to charge the
prohibitive favorite, but it doesn’t help. Fandango’s
out. Cesaro’s out.

Reigns turns his attention to Rusev, but Ryback tries to get both
men eliminated. It doesn’t work, as Reigns Superman Punches Ryback
and tosses him out
too.
Jack
Swagger

draws the lucky #27 and goes right after Rusev, reliving their summer
rivalry. Bryan and Ambrose get to the center of the ring as everyone
else goes to a corner. The two exchange blows in a slugfest to fire
up the crowd. Bad
News Barrett
,
though, slides in at #28 and attacks both men with punches to take
over. He turns the pad inside out, but Bryan catches the Bull Hammer
and slaps on the Yes Lock. Titus
O’Neil

is in at #29… for only a few seconds, as Reigns
charges and knocks him right back out.

Ambrose breaks the Yes Lock, while Rusev slaps the Accolade on
Swagger… until Reigns comes off the ropes and spears Rusev
mid-hold. Bray
Wyatt

draws #30, so the final field is Bryan, Ambrose, Rusev, Reigns,
Swagger, Barrett, and Wyatt (in order of entry).
Wyatt
goes right after Bryan, knocking him down. He gives Sister Abigail’s
Kiss to Ambrose, then goes to the corner and does the Inverted Look.
Meanwhile, Rusev recovers and gets a big dropkick on Reigns, followed
by a leaping superkick that knocks Reigns to the floor THROUGH the
ropes. Rusev shouts at Reigns, which is his last mistake as Swagger
recovers and scores
a stunning elimination of Rusev!

Reigns slides in as Swagger does WE THE PEOPLE and tosses
him out
,
and now Rusev is furious and keeps the attack on Swagger. He clears
the main announce table, puts Swagger on it, climbs the barricade,
and splashes Swagger through the table. Officials send Rusev to the
back and check on Swagger, who is put on a stretcher for precaution.
Meanwhile, Bray Wyatt hits Reigns with Sister Abigail’s Kiss, then
climbs to the middle rope and conducts the crowd in song… which
allows Bryan to pop up and
dropkick Wyatt over and out.
Final
Four: Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Bad News Barrett
Barrett
is the first one up, and this time, the Bull Hammer connects on
Bryan. Ambrose dives onto Barrett, but Barrett catches him in
Wasteland. A Bossman Slam connects with Reigns, but Ambrose is back
up and gets a clothesline. He tries Dirty Deeds, but it’s too close
to the ropes, and Barrett
backdrops Ambrose out of the ring.

He waves good-bye to Ambrose, but when he turns around, he gets
Superman Punched by Reigns. Reigns slides out of the ring and lands
the Drive-By Dropkick on Barrett. Bryan’s in the corner, waiting for
Barrett to stand up, and when he does, it’s the running kneesmash.
Bryan winds up again, delivering a clothesline to
send Barrett over and out.

It’s Bryan against Reigns, and Bryan opens the ante with a tope
suicida through the ropes to Reigns.
The
two brawl around the ring before returning to it. They exchange
shots, and it looks like Reigns gets the better of it. He whips
Bryan into the ropes, but a double clothesline leads to a Double KO
as the Authority – with Rollins, Kane, and Show in tow – head to
ringside. Bryan is up first and stares at the Authority. It almost
costs him, as Reigns comes up from behind for the elimination, but
Bryan holds on. Now it’s Reigns that sees why and begins yelling at
Rollins. Bryan nearly tosses Reigns, too, but Roman holds on. It’s
back to square one, but Bryan keeps the advantage. Bryan lands the
kicks, but as he bounces off the ropes for the exclamation point,
Rollins catches Bryan and
drags him over and out!

Roman Reigns is the Rumble winner… but I don’t think he wants it
that way.
Reigns
proves it when he jumps outside the ring and confronts Rollins. The
two are nose-to-nose, but HHH tries to separate the two. Allegedly –
in reality, he’s setting Reigns up to be jumped from behind by Show
and Kane. They roll Reigns into the ring and it’s a 3 on 1. Bryan
recovers on the outside and, after realizing what happened, jumps in
off the top to knock over all three men. It doesn’t last, as Big
Show picks Bryan up and KO Punches him. It looks like a massive
beating…
…but
here comes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to even the odds! HHH and
Stephanie run for cover (as Rock races past them not giving them a
second thought) while Rock goes to town on Show and Kane. A big
spinebuster on Kane leads to the People’s Elbow. Bryan lands the
running knee on Show, which staggers him into a Rock Bottom. Seth
Rollins is all alone and slowly gets up, staring first at Rock, then
at Bryan. He turns around just in time for Reigns to spear him in
half. Bryan and Reigns team up to throw Rollins onto Show and Kane
on the outside, and it’s Rock, Bryan, and Reigns in the ring
celebrating. Reigns then shakes Bryan’s hand and whispers something
to him. We find out on Raw that he said “I’ll try to fix this
injustice.”
So
what do we get out of this? First, you have a six-man main event of
Reigns, Bryan, and Rock against Rollins, Kane, and Show, with the
stipulation added that if Bryan or Rock gets a pinfall, they are
added to WrestleMania’s main event. Meanwhile, Swagger and Rusev
have a Tables Match for the US Title (which is designed to get the US
Title off of Rusev so that it can be defended at Mania and Rusev can
go to face Cena). Bad News Barrett and Dean Ambrose have an
Intercontinental Title match. Meanwhile, the unpinned John Cena gets
one last shot at Brock Lesnar.  If neither Rock nor Brock will do Fastlane, slide Cena into Dwayne’s spot in the match.
And this is the lineup you throw out
to get people to stick around after a free month. Maybe not the
strongest, but it’s what I’d do.
*****

Matt
Perri will give you Raw. Tommy Hall has NXT, SmackDown, and Impact.
Scott Keith looks into his mailbag. Brian Bayless and Logan Scisco
go back in time. Dock Muraco reports from Japan. And all of you
continue the talk in the daily threads.
See
you in seven!

Saturday Syndies: Jan. 24, 2015

So I’m going to post them both in one post to make it easier on
everyone. Main Event airs first, so it’ll go first. Superstars
follows. This way, you can clock out after the important matches if
you want. Also, Hulu Plus flows me from Main Event to Superstars, so
it’s easier on me. And that’s what really matters.

HOUR ONE: Main Event. Your hosts are Tom Phillips and JBL.
MATCH: Kofi Kingston v. Tyson
Kidd.

New Day has mics and does some firing up on the way to the ring. We
see the results from Raw that brought this match about. The Royal
Rumble Kickoff is now an elimination match. Some switch-offs to
start, with Kidd getting an arm only for Kofi to sweep the leg into a
stalemate. Kidd gets advice from Cesaro, then wins a test of
strength and gets a slam. Kidd gets a headscissors off the mat
before working the arm. Kofi’s blind charge eats boot, and he chokes
with the shin. When did Tyson Kidd start wearing long gloves? Kidd
works Kofi over in the corner and gets a snapmare and chinlock. Kofi
flips out and gets chops and a dropkick, then a clothesline. New
Boom Drop follows, and Kofi claps it up, but Kidd bails before
Trouble in Paradise. So Kofi does a flip senton onto Rose and
Cesaro, only to run into an apron kneesmash from Kidd. Kidd
celebrates as we go to break.
We
return with Kidd choking Kofi with the apron before stomping away.
Back to the chinlock now as we get replays of the senton and
kneesmash. Kofi fights out with an armdrag, then sends Kidd to the
apron before landing a running knee to send Kidd to the floor. All
the extras start talking to each other as Kidd tosses Kofi in, and in
there, it gets two. Would’ve gotten three for Daniel Bryan. Kofi
goes up, but Kidd with a running kick and draping swinging
neckbreaker. Kofi makes the ropes at two. Kidd with more choking,
but a legdrop misses and the SOS gets 2 before Kidd grabs the ropes.
Rose jumps onto the apron, Big E pulls him down, Cesaro knocks HIM
down, Kofi kicks Cesaro, and Kidd floors Koi and hooks the
Sharpshooter… but Kofi with a small package for the pin at 7:01
shown. Cesaro and Rose jump in and attack Kofi, Big E runs in for
the save, but Rose gets the Party Foul on Big E. Kidd and Cesaro
with the Code Blue Bomb to Kofi (Woods was run over by Cesaro on the
outside before this melee began). Just a preview for Royal Rumble,
which is a shame because the match itself was well done. **1/2
Royal
Rumble by the numbers bit. Never not fun.
So since it’s
an elimination match, I think the rules say that if Adam Rose beats
anyone by pinfall or submission, the Loserweight Championship changes
hands.
MATCH: The Miz and Damien Mizdow
v. Los Matadores.

Miz and Primo start. Miz with a tackle and a criss-cross, but Primo
OLE’s to stop it and gets a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and dropkick.
Del Rio dive by Primo, and Epico gets the tope atomico. Miz goes low
to take over, and he works the knee. He drops his weight on the
knee, then works a kneebar. Epico elbows out, but Miz dropkicks the
knee. Miz refuses a tag and keeps on the knee. He fakes out another
tag and stomps away, and a running kick gets two. More working the
knee, setting up the Figure Four, but Epico kicks out and dodges an
elbowdrop. Hot tag Primo, and he unloads back elbows and a flapjack.
And Mizdow takes a phantom bump in the ring from the flapjack, which
allows Miz to throw Mizdow into Primo (and El Torito into Epico).
Skull Crushing Finale wins it at 4:07. Mizdow did nothing. 3/4*
MATCH: Summer Rae v. Natalya.
So Natalya is a heel with Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, but she’s face when
teamed with Paige against the Bellas, facing Summer Rae who was a
face last week on Superstars, but is heel today and on Raw. Who
books the Divas so I can send them some cyanide? Natalya with a
quick cradle for one, but Summer slaps Natalya off a lockup. Natalya
fires back and goes to the mount, with Summer in the full guard.
Summer with a jack-knife pin for two, but Natalya bridges to a
backslide for two. Summer with a kneelift, but a blind charge misses
and Natalya gets a slingshot atomic drop and running dropkick for
two. Summer slips out the back of a slam and yanks Natalya down by
the hair, then kicks away and gets a surfboard in the ropes.
Alley-Oop bomb (allegedly) and Summer hits the chinlock. More hair
pulling by Summer, and the Celtic Knot follows. I see ya, Fit. She
turns it into a pinning predicament for two, reversed for two, and
Natalya gets the Sharpshooter for the tapout at 2:52. Natalya is
better than Cameron. This is not news. 1/2*
RAW RECAP.
From January 19, as John Cena is faced with a Sadistic Choice: win a
handicap match and get his teammates their job back; lose and lose
his title shot from Sunday; or refuse the match and keep the status
quo. Then HHH tells the fans to vote on if John Cena should refuse
or not – and the fans loudly say to take the risk. Then the match
begins, and it’s a one-sided slaughter… until Sting of all people
shows up on the stage. It’s enough to distract Rollins and allow
Cena to win the match and get everyone back.
Cena
runs through the crowd, exiting stage left, as HHH demands Sting
return and face the music… except it’s Brock Lesnar and not Sting.
Lesnar steamrolls the entire Authority, which, uh, is that a face
turn or insurance for Philadelphia?
MATCH: Bray Wyatt v. Jack
Swagger.

WE THE PEOPLE! JBL is amazed that an Oklahoma athlete would be
cheered in Austin, TX – the equivalent for you Euros of a Real
Madrid legend getting cheered in Barcelona. Swagger’s in the Rumble,
by the way. Lockup, and Swagger shoves Bray into the corner just to
get the INVERTED LOOK OF DOOM. Swagger with a waistlock takedown and
WE THE PEOPLE, but Bray smokes him with a right hand and headbutts.
Swagger knocks Bray down off of a headlock, but Bray bails of a whip.
Swagger follows and smashes Bray into the apron, but Bray pulls
Swagger into the post. Running senton on the floor follows (“Don’t
you know who I am!?”), and back in, it gets two. Bray to the
headlock as we get replays. Swagger punches out, but he runs into a
lariat (“GET UP!”). Avalanche in the corner by Bray, but on a
second try, Swagger gets a chop block. Swagger with a big boot as
he’s fired up then an avalanche, Hammer Throw, clothesline, and
Vaderbomb follow in quick succession. It gets two. Bray with an
uppercut, but a charge eats boot and Swagger dives… into a thumb to
the throat. But Bray runs into a leg trip and Patriot Lock. Bray
escapes and gets a flying running elbow and spiders up. Sister
Abigail’s Kiss ends it at 5:30. Could’ve used another 3 minutes, as
the ending sequence was rushed. *3/4
HOUR
TWO: Superstars. Your hosts are Tom Phillips again and Byron Saxton.
MATCH: Naomi v. Cameron.
Naomi feigns sickness over Cameron’s vanity. Then she attacks as
Cameron sets the mirror down, which freaks her out. Naomi with
dropkicks and a back elbow, causing Cameron to bail. And check the
mirror. Naomi dropkicks Cameron repeatedly through the ropes, and
Cameron fakes a walkout only to clothesline Naomi. Cameron with a
splits kick for two (Naomi was on her back this time). Cameron with
a hairpull slam and kicks, then a spinning hair slam for two.
Cameron chokes Naomi on the second rope, then another mat slam before
she goes to a butterfly lock. Naomi kicks Cameron to break (!!),
then gets a Thesz Press and mounted shots. Cameron cuts it off with
a clothesline for one. Bow and arrow lock follows, with another
hairpull when Naomi’s about to reverse. Naomi gets a springboard
enzuigiri in the corner to cue the comeback. Something butt-involved
in the corner happens, then the Rear View ends it at 4:07. Cameron’s
continued appearance on WWE instead of NXT baffles me. 1/4*
RAW REWIND: Daniel Bryan v. Bray
Wyatt.

Joined in progress as Bray hits the senton for two. Bray chokes
Bryan in the corner, but Bryan vaults over Bray and begins his
comeback. Corner dropkick and YES kicks follow, then they go up top
for a Frankensteiner by Bryan for two. Crowd declares this Awesome.
Bryan with more YES kicks in the middle of the ring, but the
roundhouse misses. Bryan low-bridges Bray out and follows with a
tope suicida. But Kane drops Bryan on the apron, distracting Bryan
enough that Bray sends him head-first into the middle corner. Sister
Abigail’s Kiss ends it. I know they want to protect both men, so…
yeah, isn’t that why disqualifications exist?
Post-match,
Kane applauds Bray before giving Bryan a chokeslam to prove a point.
UFC ground and pound follows as the ref begs for Kane to stop. He
does… to adjust his tie, then goes at it again.
The
Royal Rumble Pre-Game show is on Pinterest??
RAW REWIND.
The Hall of Fame Panel on the Royal Rumble. Shawn Michaels picks
Bray Wyatt (admitting it’s a dark horse pick). Hulk Hogan (after
getting into a bit of a face-off with Shawn) picks Daniel Bryan. Ric
Flair picks Dean Ambrose and WHOOs in Hogan’s face for good measure.
Big Show interrupts, wondering why no one picked him and declaring
he’ll win, because nobody is going to throw him out. He tells
everyone to leave, but Ric Flair wants to pick a fight. He fires
away on Big Show… to no effect as he runs into the KO Punch. Roman
Reigns saunters in as the Hall of Famers clear out and help Flair…
and Show promises bad things if something gets started. Reigns,
instead, fires away, but runs into a chokeslam… that he escapes.
Reigns clotheslines Show over and out, which is as good as throwing
him out.
This
leads us to Royal Rumble By The Numbers.
MATCH: Fandango v. Sin Cara.
Breaking news: Sin Cara has his trampoline back! I guess being NXT
Tag Team Champion has its perks. Fandango with an arm drag and he
dances and gets a kiss from Rosa. Cara with a hammerlock, but
Fandango makes the ropes. Cara works the arm into a judo throw, and
they trade wristlocks until Cara gets a flying mare. A huge armdrag
follows, but Fandango rolls through into a headlock in a neat
counter. Cara with a tackle and headscissors, and he tosses Fandango
outside. Cara with a tope suicida and his LUCHA cheer as we go to
break.
PS
– Don’t try this at home.
Fandango
with a whip, but Cara catches him with a leg-scissors and armdrag
into a top wristlock. Cara is elevated to the apron, getting his
hop-up kick and going up top. Rosa distracts on the apron, allowing
Fandango to get up and send Cara into the barricade. On the outside,
Fandango slams Cara’s arm into the apron, and inside it gets one.
Fandango keeps working the arm, and half-butterfly suplex gets one.
To the Fujiwara armbar as the crowd says Fandango can’t dance. Cara
fights out and gets a sunset flip for two. Fandango with the
Armstabber (Del Rio’s old move) for two, and he goes to a wristlock
of his own. Cara fights out only to run into a dropkick, but the
diving knee misses and a double clothesline follows. Cara with the
comeback, getting a springboard crossbody and standing springboard
moonsault press for two. Blind charge misses, but Cara recovers with
his armbar powerbomb from his Hunico days. Senton bomb is set up,
but it hits the knees. Fandango goes up now, and the Ballroom Jam
wins it at 7:58 shown. Shockingly good match considering Fandango
was in it. **1/4
RAW REWIND: John Cena v. Seth
Rollins, Kane, and Big Show.

As a reminder, if Cena wins Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, and Ryback
are re-instated, but if he loses, it’s just Lesnar v. Rollins at the
Rumble. They show the opening segment build-up, but we recapped it
earlier. Joined in progress as Show misses a Vaderbomb. Rollins in,
but the flying knee misses and Cena begins the comeback (with Kane
knocked off the apron). Five Knuckle Shuffle hits Rollins, but
security pulls Rollins out of the AA. Cena clears the apron, and
Rollins gets a cradle for two and a superkick for two. Cena with an
AA out of nowhere for two, Kane breaks. Show spears Cena on the
outside, and HHH taunts Cena’s prone body. Cena was playing possum,
though, and rolls in at 9, but he can’t follow up. Kane in, and the
chokeslam gets two. Rollins in, and he wants the Curbstomp… but
Sting is on the TitanTron! Needless to say, everyone is distracted
by this, more so when his music starts and it’s clear he’s in the
building and on the stage. Cena takes advantage of everyone wanting
to kill Sting by cradling Rollins for the pin to get everyone’s job
back. While for once a distraction finish makes perfect sense,
couldn’t he have pinned Big Show instead of, you know, the designated
#1 contender?
HHH
is furious after the match, understandably so, as Sting returns to
the back… and HERE COMES THE PAIN. Lesnar storms the ring and
spears Rollins into a full mount, but Kane and Big Show pull him off.
So Kane gets an F-5. He double-legs Rollins and goes to side
control, but this time Show breaks up only to get an F-5. Rollins
has learned enough by now and races to the back with Security.
Lesnar gets a huge ovation as the show ends.
HOW
I’D BOOK IT:
Yes,
I’m still doing this. Royal Rumble look:
  1. The
    New Day win the elimination match: Woods pins Rose; Cesaro pins
    Woods; Kofi pins Cesaro; Big E pins Kidd.
  2. The
    Usos defeat The Miz and Damien Mizdow when Jimmy pins Miz. Mizdow
    is too busy pretending to be hurt to make the save.
  3. The
    Ascension destroys the New Age Outlaws when Road Dogg takes the Fall
    of Man.
  4. John
    Cena wins the WWE Title from Brock Lesnar after he pins Seth
    Rollins, but Lesnar goes crazy after the match and destroys Cena,
    leading to…
  5. Seth
    Rollins cashes in the Money in the Bank contract and defeats John
    Cena to become WWE Champion.
  6. Natalya
    and Paige defeat the Bella Twins when Natalya makes Nikki submit to
    the Sharpshooter; Brie walks out on Nikki during the match.
  7. Daniel
    Bryan wins the 2015 Royal Rumble, last eliminating Big Show.
Enjoy
the Rumble, and see you next weekend!

The PG Era Saturday Syndies: Superstars, 1.16.15

So after thinking about it, here’s how
I think it’s gonna be: I work Wednesday and Thursday evenings, which
Scott knows. Friday is Impact Day, so I won’t step on Tommy’s toes
there. This means Saturday will be the day I watch and recap the two
B shows. With Main Event on Hulu Plus, this is a non-factor. Plus,
by that time it’ll have been added to the archive probably.
And really, watching Superstars on a
Saturday just makes sense, doesn’t it?
From New Orleans, LA.
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Tony
Schiavone… I mean, Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton. Sorry, had a
1989 flashback for a second.

MATCH: Cameron v. Summer Rae.
Wait,
who am I rooting for? Cameron makes sure her make-up’s in place to
start, then Summer Rae mocks that. Cameron attacks off of that, and
they botch a leapfrog (!!) before Summer lands a back elbow. Cameron
escapes a blind charge, but catches the knees and slams Summer down.
Stomping gets one. Cameron chokes Summer against the middle rope and
mocks her – so I guess Summer’s the face by default – and an
alley-oop in the corner gets one. Bow and arrow follows. Summer
bridges out, so Cameron covers for one. To a surfboard, as Cameron
works the arms. Cameron releases to send Summer to the mat, getting
two off of it. Mat slam (“Does it hurt, Summer, huh!?”) sets up
another surfboard. Summer gets out of this one, but a hairpull slam
and walkover by Cameron keeps her in charge. Legdrop misses, and
Summer with clotheslines for a comeback. DDT into mounted punches
follows. Spinning heel kick ends it at 4:17. Explain to me why
Cameron gets so much offense. DUD
RAW REWIND. From
January 5, the Authority are back and fire Dolph Ziggler, Erick
Rowan, and Ryback. But on January 12, Cena got the chance to get
them re-hired – if he could beat Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack
Match. The twist? The heel side of the locker room brings all the
Lumberjacks.
RAW MATCH: Lumberjack Match, John
Cena v. Seth Rollins.

If Cena wins, then the Corpus Christi Trio are re-hired. JIP as
Cena launches himself onto the pile. Back in, it gets two. Rollins
with a small package for two. Big kick gets two. Rollins goes up,
but Cena catches him and follows. They brawl up top, and Rollins
sunset flips off into a turnbuckle bomb for two. Rollins argues with
the ref, which gives Cena a chance for a catch powerbomb for two.
Slugfest breaks out, with Cena ducking a roundhouse. AA misses, and
Rollins gets the Sliced Bread for two. Stinger Splash by Rollins
airballs, and AA gets two before Noble and Mercury pull Cena out and
the lumberjacks mug Cena. Cesaro with the icing on the cake,
swinging Cena into the barricade, and they throw him back in. But
Rollins’ Curbstomp is caught in mid-air and changed to the STF. Kane
pulls Rollins to the ropes, but Cena pulls him back. Rollins kicks
out, and Big Show delivers the KO Punch to Cena to give Rollins the
win. Not that I expected less from this match, but would it hurt for
Rollins to deliver the coup de grace?
Renee
Young interviews Fandango and Rosa Mendes. Fandango talks about how
he got a new Pec-Tec machine, so his whole body is ready. A few more
push-ups and he’ll be at peak strength.
RAW REWIND.
From January 12, Daniel Bryan returns to the scene of the crime and
says he’ll win the Royal Rumble. Stephanie McMahon interrupts and
declares his first match back will be against Kane on SmackDown. But
Bryan takes the brawl to Kane, only to eat stairs. Kane wants to
Tombstone Bryan on the steps, but Bryan escapes and sends Kane into
the post to take over before refs break it up. Or try to, as Bryan
gets the Knee Plus on Kane, then hits a tope suicida for good
measure. Referees finally break it up as the crowd chants Bryan’s
name.
SUPERSTARS REWIND.
From last week, Stardust accidentally hits the Beautiful Disaster to
Goldust, allowing Los Matadores to win. A six-man is next!
MATCH: Justin Gabriel and Los
Matadores v. The Dust Brothers and Fandango.

Fandango and Gabriel start. Gabriel gets an armdrag, but Fandango
with a tackle. Criss-cross, but Gabriel with a round-off and hiptoss
to work the arm. Northern Lights suplex gets one. Fandango escapes,
and Stardust tags in. Gabriel catches him with a right, and the
Dusts talk strategy. Gabriel with a drop toehold into an armbar, and
Epico comes in. Chops in the corner, and Epico with left jabs before
Primo comes in. Swinging neckbreaker by Primo gets one. Stardust
bails as we go to break.
We
return with Fandango smacking Primo around but falling into the
ropes. Epico in with a Del Rio attack, and Primo adds a tope
atomico. Stardust distracts Primo, and Fandango takes over. Goldust
tags himself in and gets a spinebuster for two. Stadust in, and a
back rake and big stomp gets two. Goldust back in, and a fistdrop
and elbowdrop lead to the chinlock. Primo fights out, but a charge
eats elbow and we’re back to the chinlock. C’mon, Dustin, it’s a tag
match! Primo again fights out, but Goldust with a kneeling uppercut
and atomic drop. Double clothesline means Double KO. Hot tag Epico
and he runs over Stardust. Back elbows and chops lead to a monkey
flip. Gore in the corner and a twisting senton gets two, Goldust
saves. Gabriel dumps Goldust, Fandango dumps Gabriel, Primo dumps
Fandango, Torito dives onto Fandango with Primo shoveing him over,
and Stardust tags in to hit the Disaster Kick for the pin at 7:23.
*3/4
Good callback to the previous week.
Randy
Savage Hall of Fame package.
Raw
Reunion on January 19! Hogan! Michaels! Flair! Hall!
RAW REWIND.
There was a contract signing on Raw for the main event. Rollins
makes it clear: he has two chances to be champ while everyone else
has one. Brock Lesnar takes the mic and says he’s a conqueror. Cena
says he will go out of his way to pin Brock, not Seth – because
Cena and Brock will annihilate Rollins before Cena pins Brock.
Rollins points out that Cena’s plans backfire all the time –
assuming Cena has a plan. And the brawl is on, with Brock suplexing
everyone until Cena with an AA to Brock through the table. He
eyeballs HHH, which is a mistake as Rollins nails him from behind and
gets the Curbstomp to him. And to Brock, just because. And that’s
how we end this episode.
So
– let me ask the readers. When I do the Saturday recaps, should I
do them as two posts or one? And which one should be reviewed first:
Main Event or Superstars? I’m open to suggestions.