What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – March 23, 1998

by Logan Scisco


Vince McMahon
saying that Steve Austin winning the WWF championship would be a corporate
nightmare on last week’s show is replayed. 
Austin will have a rebuttal tonight!
We are really due
for a new RAW opening because the original video has some guys like Sid
in it that are no longer part of the company. 
To compensate, the company is having to splice in lots of recent
footage.
Jim Ross and
Michael Cole are doing commentary and they are taped from Tucson, Arizona.  This is the go home show for WrestleMania
XIV.

Kevin Kelly
interviews Steve Austin, who says that Vince McMahon cannot mold or break
him.  He says that he respects Shawn
Michaels as a wrestler, but he will go through McMahon and all of his cronies
to get Michaels in the ring and win the WWF title.  Austin says he has lots of “Steveweisers” on
hand and will drink them when D-Generation X and Mike Tyson show up later
tonight.  Commissioner Slaughter comes
out and tells Austin that he will wrestle the Rock tonight on McMahon’s orders.  Despite Austin saying that he will comply,
Slaughter threatens him with making his WrestleMania match against Michaels
non-title and that sends Austin into a rage and he gives Slaughter a Stone Cold
Stunner.  The approaching angle really
makes Slaughter’s role irrelevant, so this is about all he is good for at this
point.  1 for 1
Opening
Contest:  Cactus Jack & Chainsaw
Charlie beat The Quebecers by disqualification when the New Age Outlaws
interfere at 3:50:
Ross spends much of this match hyping the New Age Outlaw
title defense at WrestleMania against Cactus and Chainsaw and explaining the
rules of their scheduled dumpster match. 
During the match, the New Age Outlaws come out in black coat and tie,
set up tables by the entrance, and have dates with Cactus and Chainsaw blow up
dolls.  Very passable match here, as the
Outlaws antics near the entrance receive the most attention and everyone put in
the minimal amount of effort prior to the disqualification.  After the bell, the Outlaws blast Cactus with
a champagne bucket, break their table across Chainsaw’s head, and give Cactus a
spike piledriver on a chair.  Rating: 
¾* (1 for 2)
Shawn Michaels
giving Steve Austin Sweet Chin Music two weeks ago on RAW is the Bop It Slam of
the Week.  It sort of defeats the purpose
of the Slam of the Week if it is something that happened two weeks ago, no?
Jeff Jarrett
(w/Tennessee Lee) beats Steve Blackman when he falls on top of Blackman during
a superplex attempt and Lee holds Blackman’s foot down at 2:24:
Jarrett busts out the electric horse entrance for the
second straight week.  Blackman is a
solid hand, but there is nothing that helps him stand out on this roster and
he’s very bland.  Jarrett cheats to hand
Blackman his first loss and when another referee comes down to correct the
injustice, Jarrett intelligently knocks him out with a right hand.  This match is actually leading somewhere and
starts a two month feud between these two. 
This new gimmick is definitely putting Jarrett on the road to the main
event!
D-Generation X and
Mike Tyson are shown arriving at the arena in a white limousine.
Kane’s rampage on
last week’s show and his confrontation with the Undertaker is replayed.
The Undertaker
cuts a promo by his parents gravesite. 
He asks his parents to forgive him for fighting Kane and he is ready to
burn in hell if he does not defeat Kane. 
Weird promo to see the Undertaker cut, since its more sentimental than
what we usually see.  That said, it did
not add anything new to the feud.  1 for 3
Paul Bearer and
Kane come out and Bearer makes fun of the Undertaker promo we just saw.  Bearer says that Kane has equal powers to the
Undertaker and to prove it, Kane ignites some of the lights in the arena, fries
some of the announcer electronic equipment, and blasts out one of the
spotlights.  Bearer gives Kane free reign
for his last trick and he decides to set a member of the camera crew on
fire.  Pretty hokey segment that turned
into “Kane’s magical illusion show.” 
Cole’s awful explanation of the segment where he keeps telling us that
Kane set a man on fire over and over again also doesn’t help.  1 for
4
The New Midnight
Express (w/Jim Cornette) wrestle The Disciples of Apocalypse  to a double disqualification at 3:33:
It takes less than a minute for the Headbangers to come
down to the ring for a closer look at the Express and the Rock N’ Roll Express
come out as well.  Soon it becomes a
parade of teams that will be in the WrestleMania tag team battle royal, as
Savio Vega and Miguel Perez, Jesus and Jose, the Quebecers, and the Truth
Commission come out.  With all of those
teams around ringside it doesn’t take long for them to start fighting and have
that fight spill into the ring, thereby rendering this match meaningless.  This is only notable because Los Boricuas
EXPLODES as Perez and Jesus fight.  The
crowd works up an “LOD” chant and Ross says that is not going to happen because
they have broken up for good…or have they?  
Not a very good debut for the Express, but that was not really the goal
of this.  Rating:  ½* (1 for 5)
Jerry Lawler joins
the commentary team for the second hour. 
I can’t wait until we get Ross and Lawler on a permanent basis.
D-Generation X and
Mike Tyson come out.  Triple H gloats
about winning the European title from Owen on last week’s show and he says that
even though Chyna will be handcuffed at ringside that won’t change the outcome
of their match.  There is a really slutty
older woman near the front row that is a big DX fan and Shawn Michaels makes
fun of her.  Michaels compares the
Austin-McMahon fight to a catfight and says he does not care about what McMahon
thinks of him.  Michaels says if Austin
wants to win the WWF title he has to go through the greatest champion in history
and he also has to deal with Tyson, who says he will knock Austin out if he
messes with him.  Michaels says that
after WrestleMania D-Generation X will rule forever….forever….Solid promo, but
it repeated all of the same talking points we’ve heard for weeks.  1 for
6
Gennifer Flowers
urges viewers to come out of the closet and announce that they are WWF fans.
The announcers
discuss the wicked chair shot Ken Shamrock took at the hands of the Rock last
week.  Ross says that at WrestleMania if
the Rock is disqualified he will lose the Intercontinental title.
Faarooq beats
Chainz by disqualification when the Rock interferes at 3:36:
Faarooq chooses to fight his own battle without the
Nation’s help and he does not have much to worry about as Chainz gets the
jobber entrance.  The Rock decides to
wander out despite Faarooq’s instructions with a chair and he gets more heat
than anyone on the show, as fans pelt him with garbage as he comes down the
ramp.  Faarooq has the match in hand
after a spinebuster, but the Rock runs into the ring with a chair to hit
Chainz.  Faarooq tells him not to do so
and prepares for a Dominator, but the Rock knocks him out with the chair,
seemingly aiming for Chainz and misses. 
Was he really aiming for Faarooq, though?  Both of these guys tried, but the Rock had
five times more heat than both of them combined and Faarooq loved the chinlocks
in this match.  Rating:  ¾* (1 for 7)
A video package
recaps the Bradshaw-Barry Windham feud.
Bradshaw beats
Barry Windham (w/Jim Cornette) with a school boy at 3:05:
The Rock N’ Roll Express occupy seats near the front row
for this match, which is puzzling because they are talent so they should just
be able to walk out and watch the match by the entrance at the very least.  In the old days this would be perfect midcard
fodder for WrestleMania, but the feud has largely been ignored for the last few
weeks and they must have felt the need to just blow it off here.  Windham actually takes off his entrance gear
for this one, so you know it’s important. 
The Express threaten to come over the guardrail after Cornette and that
distracts Windham, enabling Bradshaw to win in the weakest way possible.  After the match, the New Midnight Express run
down and help Windham do a small beatdown on Bradshaw before the Rock N’ Roll
Express make the save.  I would have given this a
point, but the ending was terrible.  Rating: 
*½ (1 for 8)
Muhammad Ali’s
guest referee performance at WrestleMania I is the M&M WrestleMania
Millennium Moment.
D-Generation X and
Mike Tyson are shown conversing and having fun in the locker room.  The announcers hype DX’s public workout in
Times Square on Thursday.
Sable is awarded a
plaque for making the January 1997 edition of RAW magazine the highest selling
ever.  Sunny is supposed to get one as
well, but is “under the weather,” and the crowd boos that out of the building,
which makes me wonder who the more popular “diva” at this time was among the
fan base.  It’s like the Shawn
Michaels-Bret Hart feud among fans, in that you favored one over the other.  I came down on the side of Bret and
Sunny.  Marc Mero says he is going to let
Sable have her moment and leaves, but that lets Luna Vachon run down and nail
Sable with her plaque and rip her dress. 
This segment was notable at the time because it exposed Vince Russo and
“Vic Venom” as the same person.  Venom
was a smarkish writer that wrote columns for WWF and RAW Magazine and had a
short-lived newsletter along the lines of the Wrestling Observer.  Russo was the WWF Magazine editor at the
time and while people have problems with elements of his booking, his editing
made WWF Magazine a great read in the mid-1990s.  In fact, Russo wrote a column in WWF magazine
after this where he blasted fans for fooling them with the Venom character,
which I swear was what informed the “It was me all along!” part of the Higher
Power angle of 1999.  2 for 9
Non-Title
Match:  Steve Austin beat The Rock
(Intercontinental Champion w/The Nation of Domination) with the Stone Cold
Stunner at 8:25 shown:
Somewhat interesting that the main event of WrestleMania
XV is the last RAW match before WrestleMania XIV.  Austin shows that the little things can work
a crowd as he flips the Rock off when granting a clean break in the
corner.  This is a surprisingly bland and
barely average match, with lots of stalling and deliberate strikes.  Austin actually rolls out of the way of the
People’s Elbow, something that rarely happened,
and launches a comeback to finish off the Rock. 
Since this still got a good crowd reaction I will give this a point, but
it is probably the worst Austin-Rock match that I remember seeing.  Rating:  ** (3 for 10)
After the match,
D-Generation X comes out and Michaels tells Austin that he will beat him at
WrestleMania.  Michaels feigns coming
into the ring to confront Austin, but Triple H convinces Michaels not to do it
as we go off the air.
The Final Report Card:  On my scale, this is one of the worst RAW
episodes in a while.  It is not that the
angles are not hot, but most of them have run out of steam without having a
match take place, so this show was everyone treading water before WrestleMania.  The only one where that does not apply, the
Bradshaw-Windham angle, had an awful finish on this show too, but that is what
I have come to expect from the NWA angle.
Here is our finalized WrestleMania XIV card:
*WWF Championship Match:  Shawn Michaels (Champion) vs. Steve Austin
with Mike Tyson as guest enforcer
*Intercontinental Championship Match:  The Rock (Champion) vs. Ken Shamrock and if
the Rock is disqualified he loses the title
*WWF Tag Team Championship Dumpster
Match:  The New Age Outlaws (Champions)
vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
*European Championship Match:  Triple H (Champion) vs. Owen Hart with Chyna
handcuffed at ringside
*Mixed Tag Team Match:  Marc Mero & Sable vs. The Artist Formerly
Known as Goldust & Luna Vachon
*WWF Light Heavyweight Championship
Match:  Taka Michinoku (Champion) vs. Aguila
*15 Team Tag Team Battle Royal
Monday Night War Rating:  3.6 (vs. 4.6 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Down

QOTD: Abeyance1

From Abeyance1:

With the all of the wrestling story lines that have happened over the years, are there any new storylines that can still be used? What storylines that a wrestling promotion has not used would you like to see happen, or which ones that have already happened would you elaborate on more?

WWE Network must grow, not gut, Monday Night Raw, says ex-ESPN exec

A+ Match of the Day

Hello Blog O’Doomers,

Still can’t find a clean 2009 full rumble match which means I’ll have to paste five or six parts. Won’t do that today, maybe tomorrow.

Today we’ll jump back to 1998. Don’t have a full version of that match either but instead you do get the whole f’n show. Outside of the HBK-Undertaker match I don’t remember much of the card. 1998 WWF pre-Wrestlemania wasn’t much to write home about anyway.

As for the Rumble…I’ve seen this show, there were a LOT of Nation guys and I think the other gangs too, definitely a lot of Nation guys. And Marc Mero really cracked me up at times, there was genius behind that gimmick I say!…And Mike Tyson was there…And other stuff happened but there was absolutely ZERO doubt who was going to win this sucker. So Enjoy!

The SmarK RAW Rant–01.13.14

The SmarK RAW Rant – 01.13.14 Live from Providence, RI Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler As noted previously on the blog, I have two new Kindle books available to purchase: The Complete Royal Rumble Rants and The Complete Monday Night RAW 2013. Only $2.99 each for hours of snark! Daniel Bryan & Bray Wyatt v. The Usos The crowd is still cheering for Bryan, clearly unaware of the hard work that creative put into this heel turn. The Wyatts take turns beating on Jey in the corner and Bryan drops a knee on the apron. Bray with a corner splash and Bryan kicks him down, but Jey gets an enzuigiri and makes the hot tag to Jimmy. Running ass attack gets two on Bryan and the Usos clear the ring and follow with stereo dives. Back in, the Wyatt Family runs in for the DQ at 5:40. Bryan, dejected about yet another loss with his new team, allows himself to take another Sister Abagail. Nothing much to this one. *1/2 Damien Sandow v. John Cena Rather early in the show for Cena. They exchange headlocks and we take a break early, and return with Sandow escaping the FU and getting a neckbreaker for two. Cena tries the STF and Sandow clips the knee and takes him down with Edge’s old Edgecution, which Cena powers out of. Falling neckbreaker gets two as Cena busts out wacky new stuff. A tornado DDT (?!?) gets two. Another FU is reversed to a sunset flip for two by Sandow, and a wacky neckbreaker gets two. Cena takes him down with another STF, but he makes the ropes, and Sandow actually reverses into a crossface. Cena powers out of that, into the FU to finish at 11:08. Cena must really like Sandow given how much offense he’s given him in their matches. *** This rebuilding of Sandow again makes the premature briefcase cashing look all the more ridiculous. WWE: The Network, coming February 24. The hard sell is really unnecessary here, as I’m ready to give up my money freely, but we still have to wait SIX WEEKS. Just take my money now! I will review the shit out of this and die happy! Meanwhile, Libertarian Kane is confronted by Brad Maddox, who again speaks up against CHAOS on the show, which is apparently the worst thing that can happen. So they book a cage match tonight with the Usos and Wyatts, and Kane will have the key to the door. Chekhov’s Mask continues to lurk ominously in the background. CM Punk & The New Age Outlaws v. The Shield The Outlaws have their entrance omitted here, which sucks because it’s the only thing they have left. It’s probably time for Gunn to shave his head again. Gunn gets worked over in the heel corner, but comes back with a tilt a whirl slam on Rollins for two. Dogg slugs Ambrose down and drops the knee, and it’s over to Punk, who runs Ambrose into multiple turnbuckles in a fun spot. So it’s over to Reigns, who wins a slugfest with ease, but Punk tosses him and follows with a dive as we take a break. Back with Punk putting Rollins down with a neckbreaker for two. Rollins puts him on the apron, and Reigns just MURDERS him with a dropkick from the floor. Yeah, he’s gonna have to keep doing that spot, I’ve decided. So Punk is your face in peril, and Ambrose gets a short clothesline for two. They head to the floor and Punk sends Ambrose into the stairs and crawls for the tag…at which point the Outlaws abandon him and head back to the dressing room. Oh, damn, he got STINGED! Who would have suspected these lifelong scoundrels and good friends of HHH to be working with the Authority? WHO? Punk fights on, but Reigns finishes him with the spear at 16:44. Punk kind of deserved that for trusting them in the first place. ***1/2 I always like this angle if it’s done well and makes sense with the characters, which it totally does here. Batista returns next week! Randy Orton v. Kofi Kingston Orton quickly lays Kofi out on the floor and chokes away in the corner, but Kofi fights back. Orton clotheslines him for two as Kofi’s tights threaten to blow out my TV screen. Orton drops him on the top rope and to the floor, and we take a break. Back with Orton in total control, beating on Kofi on the floor and then back in for his favorite chinlock. Kofi fights up and gets swatted down by Orton as this thing is dragging really badly. Kofi comes back with a backslide, but gets put back in a chinlock. Kofi fights out and makes the comeback, but Orton cuts him off with the draping DDT, which Kofi turns into the SOS for the pin at 14:02. Considering Orton beat him like a jobber for 14 minutes prior to that, it’s not a terribly impressive win. *1/2 Orton, rather upset about this, stops to beat up John Cena Sr, just like old times. And then this happened: http://www.wrestling617.com/2014/01/as-real-as-it-gets.html Alberto Del Rio v. Rey Mysterio Del Rio quickly bails and Rey follows with the senton off the apron, but Del Rio controls in the ring. ADR works the arm and gets a backbreaker for two, but charges and hits the post. Rey comes back with the 619, but goes up and gets caught, allowing Del Rio to tap him at 4:56. *1/2 Del Rio dedicates that beating to Batista, although last time we saw Batista he was using Rey as a lawn dart on a weekly basis so I’m not sure why he’d care. Meanwhile, Punk complains to Kane about Authority shenanigans, and gets entered in the Royal Rumble. Cage Match: The Usos v. Daniel Bryan & Bray Wyatt Big brawl to start and Bray backdrops Jimmy into the cage and follows with a catapult, while Jey tries to climb out. The Wyatts cut him off as Lawler points out the folly of one team member trying to escape, since you’re basically abandoning your partner to a 2-on-1 beating. We take a break and return with Jimmy hitting a senton on Bray for two. Bryan dropkicks Jey in the Tree of Woe and tries to escape, but the Usos bring him down with a double suplex that gets two. Bray tries Sister Abagail on Jey, but Jimmy cuts it off with a superkick. So now both Usos try to escape, which is the only smart time to try it, and soon everyone is on the top of the cage. Daniel goes down, Bray get crotched, and the Usos escape at 12:13. ** And finally, Bryan has had enough of Bray’s subpar leadership, as he submits to Sister Abagail one last time and then turns on Bray, in a cage locked shut by Kane no less. Bray tells him to bring it, so Bryan kicks the shit out of him and gets rid of the garbageman gear, then kicks Bray’s ass again for good measure before leading the crowd in a chorus of Yes chants. Thank god. And the announcers had the good sense to shut the hell up during the whole thing. The Pulse Thank you college basketball crowd! Even WWE seems to be admitting that Cena v. Orton is midcard stuff at this point and Daniel Bryan is the real show, and hopefully that translates into someone pulling the trigger in a big way as we head into Wrestlemania season. The rest of the show was pretty good on Hulu, cut down to a good Cena-Sandow match and the usual good Shield match, but they nailed the landing in a big way and that’s the important thing.

BoD Daily Update

Original Plans for the Daniel Bryan/Brat Wyatt Feud


Reportedly, the decision to split Bryan from the Wyatt Family last night was due to the “YES” chants that broke out during the Michigan St. vs. Ohio St. basketball game last Tuesday. His alliance with the Wyatt Family was expected to go on longer.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Radio






List of Confirmed Participants for the Royal Rumble Match


http://www.wwe.com/videos/playlists/superstars-in-2014-royal-rumble-match






WWE Hall of Fame Rumors


The rumor for this year’s Hall of Fame is that all of the participants of the first WrestleMania main event will be inducted as a whole. Also, at this point, Paul Bearer is expected to be inducted.

Credit Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com






TNA Releases Two Wrestlers


Jay Bradley and Wes Brisco have been released by TNA

Credit Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com

Zanatudes BoD Rumble

In 2014, an anonymous poster had a dream:  that thirty other anonymous posters would get together and pretend that thirty other men were pretend fighting in their place for the right to be called the best Blog of Doom poster in the world.

Next Sunday…that dream will become reality, at the First Annual Zanatude Royal Rumble Invitational!

The rules are simple.  The thirty brave souls that agreed to be a part of this will each receive a number.  This number corresponds with the entry number of an entrant in WWE’s January 26th Royal Rumble match.  The Blog of Doomer (or “Blog Otter”, as they were once popularly known) that matches up with the wrestler that wins the Royal Rumble will win the First Annual Zanatude Royal Rumble Invitational.

To ensure fairness, the random draw was conducted today under the direct supervision of the law firm Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe.  OK, actually, nobody supervised me.  I took the entrants in the order I received and went to http://www.random.org/lists/?mode=advanced to create the list, using the randomization phrase “First Annual Zanatude Royal Rumble Invitational”, so you are free to recreate the results for yourself if you’re a stickler for fairness.

And now, here are the entry numbers of your thirty competitors!

The Ironmen:

1. AmericanWolves02
2. Paul Moseley
3. Stuart_Chartlock
4. ThePat
5. LScisco

No Chance (that’s what you got):

6. The Cooler
7. Kyle Warne
8. cultstatus
9. Knowwon Attawi
10. Stephen Jones
11. OfficerFarva
12. jobber123
13. Fistic Glory
14. Stever Ferrari
15. Your_Favourite_Loser

Longshots:

16. Stranger in the Alps
17. JohnPetuka
18. kylelitke
19. Andree Dean
20. PATRICKisLEGEND

Favorites:

21. Matt Hayden
22. YJ2310
23. Power_of_Hogans_HOF_Ring
24. MrJustinB
25. nebb28
26. ABeyAnce1

THE COVETED SPOT OF CHAMPIONS!!!:

27. ziggaman730

Injured Guys That Can’t Go Long But Might Win It Anyway:

28. Sirplss
29. Charlie Owens
30. Knuckleberry Pinn

Just to make it interesting, I will let the winner choose their choice of one of following three prizes:

1. A Sony $10 PlayStation Network Card
2. A $10 Xbox Gift Card
3. A slightly used 2013 Tesla Model S

Good luck, and may the luckiest blog poster win!

  – Zanatude

P.S. Unfortunately, I see from out my window that the Tesla has just spontaneously burst into flames.

Rapid Fire

Hey just some random thoughts I was curious what your take is on each. I just can't find an acceptable answer in my head for some of these……

Why was Nash written into the Summer of Punk II it was soooooo random?

Because HHH.

I know we are supposed to "let it play out" but how is Bryan's current role NOT considered a demotion? How can he possibly recover? He was WHITE HOT.

Well now don't you feel silly.  

WWE has NOTHING to lose by mentioning other promotions like NJPW or ROH so why don't they when appropriate?

Why give free advertising?  I totally understand the reasoning.  

I for one love to see big names come back like Batista, RVD, & Jericho is rumored again. You enjoy the part time comebacks?

I'm getting a little tired of Jericho, but as long as they're used right, I'm fine with them.  

Who is in the Rumble final four, and who wins?

Batista wins, no idea about the final four.  Since we don't even really know who's in the match, it's hard to say.  

TNA is struggling mightily….does Jeff Hardy or Kurt Angle come back & are they even sought after? Does Sting EVER jump ship and does he get a few matches in?

WWE has had numerous chances to get both Jeff and Angle and has shown no interest in them.  I have no idea what's in Sting's head right now, but my gut says he'll end up there sooner or later.  

Why is J.R. gone and isn't it painfully obvious he needs to be in the booth?

There was apparently other stuff going on, and we'll never really know.  

Superbowl winner? I have San Fran 34 New England 24

Fuck if I know.  I like the 49ers' uniforms, so go with them?  You realize you're literally asking the last person on earth who would even have an opinion on it, I hope.  I live in the most football-crazed province in Canada and barely even pay attention to the CFL as it is.  

The PG Era Rant: Raw, 1/13/14 (OR: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Mark the Heck Out)

When last we left our heroes, the
Internet exploded. With legends taking over, the word was about Jake
the Snake’s recovery, Ric Flair’s downturn, and groups growing via
unpopular ways. Now the Road to the Royal Rumble picks up in
earnest; who is going to take the bull by the horns and become the
favorite among the 30?
Our live look-in is all about the WWE
Network and details you’ll need to know. Plus, both Randy Orton and
John Cena will have matches tonight.
The PG Era Rant for Raw, January 13,
2014.
Live from Providence, RI.
Your hosts are the Three Blind Mice.

We open with a look at the Wyatt
Family’s recruitment of Daniel Bryan. Bray Wyatt brags about it in a
canned bit. Daniel Bryan is home.
Opening match: The Usos v. Bray Wyatt
and Daniel Bryan. No “we’re here” entrance. Crowd is still
chanting YES, but not nearly as loud as usual. They switch to a
“Daniel Bryan” chant. Bryan and Jey start, and Jey pounds on him
and gets a right hook in the corner. Bryan floors Jey and works him
over in the corner, tagging in Bray. Bray stomps away on Jey and
taunts Jimmy, but Jey starts a slugfest only to lose. Bray with
headbutts, and in comes Bryan. Bryan chokes Jey against the ropes
and fish-hooks Jey’s nose before kicking his kidneys. Crowd cheers
for Bryan. Bryan with the Taker apron legdrop as JBL claims the
crowd is applauding Bryan’s choice. Bray back in, and Bryan with a
guillotine on the bottom rope leading to a Bray quakedrop. Bray
throws Jey into the corner and avalanches him, then laughs at Jimmy
and tags in Bryan. Bryan nails Jey with the YES kicks, but without
the YES. Roundhouse finale hits as well, and he goes back to the
fish-hook. Crowd tries to chant for Bryan again as Bryan kicks the
back and goes TO THE CHINLOCK. Jey fights out of it, but Bryan
catches a kick only to get Dragon Whipped. Hot tag Jimmy, and Bryan
is run over with clotheslines and a Samoan Drop. Rikishi Hip Check
follows, getting two before Bray saves. Jimmy tosses Bray and Bryan
in turn, and the Usos follow with stereo pescados. Pescadi?
Everybody’s back in now, and the Usos climb adjacent corners only for
Harper and Rowan to run in and cause the DQ at 5:38. Not much heat
to this one, oddly enough. *3/4
Harper and Rowan isolate Jey and mug him in the corner, but Jey
avoids the T&A double-team and kicks down Bryan, allowing the
Usos to escape. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Bryan looks at the
others like “Dude, why you leave me to take the punishment, man?”
The crowd is just WAITING for this to fall apart. Bray whispers
some encouragement to Bryan, who again pledges his loyalty and asks
to hug it out. Bray gives him Sister Abigail’s Kiss anyway. “I do
this for all of us! This will lead to change!” It’s looking more
and more like they’re going with the Shawn/JBL “one of these days
he’s going to snap and go back to normal” stories, but the
difference is that JBL and Shawn were reasonably over and better
storytellers than Bray and Bryan. Plus, let’s face it: was Shawn
against JBL really
that good a story?
Up
next: John Cena in action.
Royal
Rumble ad, featuring the return of Batista. There’s your clubhouse
favorite, folks.
The
WWE Network will offer every Pay Per View event ever in WWF, WWE,
WCW, ECW… you have my money!
Damien
Sandow v. John Cena. We look at Sandow’s downhill run, starting with
failing at his cash-in. After the bit with Bryan had the crowd
deflated, it’s Cena to pump them back up… and he does a good job of
it. Is Cena wearing Calvin Klein underwear? Why do I notice that?
Sandow with a headlock to start as the crowd is their usual. Cena
pushes off and, after some iterations, gets an armdrag on the whip.
He works the arm, into a headlock, and this time Sandow tries to
mimic Cena’s armdrag only to get caught for a one-count. Sandow
knocks over Cena and stomps away in the corner, adding a boot choke.
Sandow with a headbutt and slam to Cena as we go to break. We come
back with Sandow working the arm – and it’s the right arm, because
that’s the one that actually got hurt. He misses a kneedrop,
however, and Cena begins the comeback. Five-Knuckle Shuffle
connects, and the AA is set up, but Sandow with the Edge-O-Matic for
two. Terminus try, but Cena fights out of it into the STF try, but
Sandow blocks that. Sandow kicks the leg out of Cena’s leg, and
Edgecation – called the Royal Arch or something – is hooked, but
Cena fights out. Half-nelson into a Rude Awakening by Cena gets two.
Cena goes up, but Sandow catches him and meets him up there. They
fight over what comes next, with Cena shoving Sandow down, then
catching him with a Tornado DDT for two. Cena’s incredulous, but
tries the AA again, but Sandow with a sunset flip for two. Sandow
with a facejam for two. Full nelson slam try by Sandow, but Cena
gets a hiptoss and STF only for Sandow to make the ropes. Sandow
with the Crossface out of nowhere on Cena, but he doesn’t really have
the arm locked well and Cena picks him up on his back. He breaks
straight into the AA for the pin at 10:26. These two have GREAT
chemistry together, which bodes well for Sandow’s future, but this
reminds me of Vampiro in WCW 2000 under Sullivan: he would get the
rub of being near main eventers, but can’t beat them, so is he really
getting over? **3/4
Cena hugs his dad at ringside.
Up
tonight: CM Punk and the New Age Outlaws face the Shield in a
SmackDown rematch. Plus, a look at the WWE Network announcement.
Tweets
from legitimate news reporters celebrate how awesome the WWE Network
is. This leads to a look at the press conference where it was all
announced. The more we hear about this, the more awesome it is. And
I can get it on my PS3? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
Meanwhile,
back in the Main Office, Kane is looking over something on paper with
Brad Maddox. Maddox approves of how the show started and brings up
the Wyatts. Kane tells Maddox to enforce the rules. Maddox: “Oh,
you want ME to enforce?” Maddox asks for the Usos/BrayBryan match
to be redone in a cage. Kane likes it, but he thinks he can top it:
no escaping through the door, and Kane has the key. Hmmm… you
know, if they were going to abort the Bryan-in-the-Wyatts story
tonight, this WOULD be the hottest way to do it.
Big
Show v. Jack Swagger. As a reminder, Brock Lesnar will throw Big
Show around like a ragdoll at the Rumble. Colter’s sign: “You’re a
BIG part of the problem.” We look back at Show and Brock facing
off. Heck of a bump by Brock, too. Show throws Swagger around to
start, and Swagger tries a double-leg takedown but gets beaten up in
the corner. Huge throw across the ring, and Show with a Hammer Throw
but Swagger gets the knees up on a charge. All momentum is cut off
as Show bowls over Swagger a bunch and begins his comeback, ending
with a shoulder tackle. Chokeslam time, and Swagger goes for the
ride and is pinned at 1:19. Squash. Cesaro enters to attack Show,
but thinks better of it and races off through the crowd. But Show
sees Colter and has an idea. He stalks Colter, who does the “Oh
crap, there’s someone behind me, isn’t there?” look. He tries to
beg off, but Show grabs him and… lets go to shove Cesaro away. So
much for the sneak attack. Back to Colter, and Show winds up, but
Colter cries for mercy and begs to be let go. It looks like Show
will listen… then he winks and knocks him out anyway before doing
the We The People pose. Be a star, folks!
Did
we mention the SmackDown rematch? It’s coming up next.
Batista.
Coming back. Next week. Wants title.
New
Age Outlaws & CM Punk v. Shield. They hit all the notes in the
intro. Did anyone tell them DX is just Shawn and HHH again and
they’re not allowed in the front door? JBL: “Billy forgot his
lines again, didn’t he?” Road Dogg introduces Punk. Does the WWE
even know Dean Ambrose still has the US Title? He’s never getting
his deposit back at this rate. Ambrose starts against Gunn. Gunn
with a headlock, which he works on, but Ambrose throws him off only
to get knocked down. Ambrose with wild shots in the corner, but a
blind charge misses and Gunn punches at him. Ambrose controls with a
headlock and brings in Rollins. Rollins kicks away at Gunn, but Gunn
with a kneelift only to run into a boot. Rollins gets caught in a
tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Dogg in, and he works the arm only to get
knocked down. Ambrose back in, and he and Rollins work over Dogg
before Ambrose rakes at the face in the corner. Punk gets Ambrose
away, but it doesn’t last as Ambrose tries to keep it up only to get
punched down by Dogg, who gets the Shake Rattle and Roll kneedrop for
one. Dogg with the chinlock as the crowd says he still got it.
Ambrose fights out of it as much as possible, but Dogg holds the arm
and Punk tags in. Ambrose races off and gets a standstill, but he
charges only to get punched down. Punk sends Ambrose pillar to post
and adds Bionic Elbows in the corner. Blind charge eats boot and
Ambrose gets control, only to be ALMOST GTS’d. Rollins in, and same
for him. So fine, the Shield bring in Reigns to a pop. Whatever
they’re doing with the Shield, it’s working. Reigns and Punk have a
staredown, then throw forearms. Punk seems to get the advantage, but
it doesn’t last as Reigns punches him down off the ropes. He stays
on top of Punk, avoiding GTS but getting low bridged out. Punk adds
a tope suicida for fun. Outlaws cut off the Shield as we go to
break. We return with Punk bowling over Rollins, adding a back elbow
and swinging neckbreaker for two. FLASH FUNK IS TRENDING ON TWITTER.
YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID. Rollins knocks Punk down and brings
Reigns in, who gets a dropkick from the floor to the apron. It gets
two. Ambrose and Reigns double-team Punk, and Ambrose punches him
down. He stomps the hand and headbutts Punk, adding a straight kick
for two. He goes to the chinlock, as Punk is holding his eye –
maybe Reigns’s kick was a little too strong? Punk tries to suplex
out of it, but gets caught with a running knee to the gut for two.
Rollins in now, and he punches Punk in the face. Rollins with a
Stinger Splash on Punk for two. Ambrose back in, and he stomps away
on Punk. Short clothesline gets two. Ambrose taunts Punk and stomps
away at his gut. Rollins points out the eye injury, and Ambrose goes
right to it. Punk tries to crawl through Ambrose to the tag, but
Ambrose catches him and headbutts him. Ambrose dumps Punk to the
outside and follows, but Punk reverses a throw into the steps. Punk
back in, and Reigns throws Ambrose in so he can tag Rollins. Rollins
is caught coming off the top, but Reigns tags in and drags him away.
He does the crotch-chop to the Outlaws, but that allows Punk a
roundhouse kick. Hot tag… to no one, as the Outlaws bail on the
match. Punk realizes this, and he is not amused. The Shield are
grinning at Punk’s predicament, but Punk goes to town on all three.
Reigns with a spear to cut it off, and that’s all she wrote at 15:38.
***1/4 As for why
they did it? Punk doesn’t like HHH and the Authority, and the
Outlaws are HHH’s friends so of COURSE they taught Punk a lesson.
See? This writes itself. Now, let’s see if they do that. Shield
get ready to leave, but Reigns wants to do more damage and they
return. Triplebomb to Punk follows.
We
tune in to the Wyatt Family as Bray speaks to Bryan. He says the
Usos do not want to be locked in a cage with them. The Wyatts have
been locked in society’s cage and now they’re out to do what they
want. Tonight, they’ll find redemption and absolution in the cage.
Run.
Cameron
and Naomi v. AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka. A theory: the more developed a
character is, the more likely they have a last name. Wait a second,
is Emma in the crowd? Cameron and Tamina start, and Tamina shoves
Cameron down. Cameron tries a rollup, but that fails. Tamina misses
a legdrop, and Cameron gets one. Cameron with headscissors on
Tamina, but she gets smashed on the top rope by Tamina. JACKET OF
DOOM follows, and Tamina gets two. She drops a knee and goes to a
waistlock. Tamina switches to a slam, and now AJ wants in. Swinging
neckbreaker to Cameron and she skips around, and because she gets to
show character, she gets cheered. It gets one. Bodyscissors to
Cameron, switching to a sleeper. Cameron fights out, but AJ stops
the tag (barely) and elbows down Naomi for fun. Shining Wizard ends
it at 2:51. Naomi did nothing. 1/4*
Tamina pounds Cameron some more, but Naomi’s had enough and throws
out AJ and destroys Tamina. Butt-butt to AJ and the heels bail.
There’s your Royal Rumble match. (By the way, yes, that was Emma.)
Randy
Orton is angry and demands to see Triple H.
Later
tonight, we restart the opening match in a steel cage. In addition,
we’ll find out who the headliner will be for the Class of 2014 in the
Hall of Fame.
Okay,
a look at the Divas’ roster: the WWE somehow thinks just BEING a
Total Diva is enough to be a face. None of the Total Divas have
shown any character on the main program outside of “they’re on that
show”. Compare to AJ, who has been very much protected, given an
in-depth character, and allowed to say everyone is beneath her and
prove it by consistently winning. Is it any wonder she’s over and
the others aren’t? Someone needs to beat AJ soon, or the whole
division is DOA.
Kane
is on his PDA when Orton demands to see HHH and Stephanie. Orton is
really really angry about the rematch with Cena, about Lesnar showing
up, about Batista’s return… dude, is he the Face of the Company or
not? Kane says he knows all this, but he’s only in charge of
tonight. And tonight, Orton will face Kofi Kingston and get to beat
him up. (Stupid, stupid, stupid. You’re all thinking it.)
Legitimate
news outlets are praising the WWE Network idea. Let’s let Vince have
this one: he’s earned it.
Your
first Hall of Fame inductee is… THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR! Slam dunk.
I’m so ready for his speech. Crowd totally approves.
Renee
Young is with Paul Heyman. Young reviews footage of Show and Brock
fighting each other again. Young asks how Heyman feels about the
Royal Rumble match. Heyman: “Wow, beauty really is skin deep around
here.” Heyman wonders if knocking out Zeb Colter was trying to
impress Lesnar. Eat / Sleep / Conquer / Repeat is Lesnar’s credo.
Heyman talks about acromegaly causing stupidity, because Show’s a
bonehead for picking a fight with Lesnar. It’s one thing to attack
Swagger, fine, or knock out Colter, whoop de doo. Heyman is
unimpressed. Lesnar is the clear #1 Contender, and he’ll prove it at
the Rumble.
Randy
Orton v. Kofi Kingston. Cole says that Orton is whining about the
pressure, which JBL finds ridiculous. Kofi will be in the Rumble
match, as will Miz, Big E Langston, the Rhodeses, R-Truth, Xavier
Woods, Alberto Del Rio… and others. Orton pounds away on Kingston
and dumps him, following to the outside and uppercutting him down.
Orton throws Kofi into the barricade and back in. It gets two.
Orton chokes Kofi in the second turnbuckle, then stomps Kofi’s leg.
Blind charge hits the boots, and Kofi begins a comeback. Orton with
a whip to the corner, and a clothesline gets two. The announcers
argue about Orton and who he whines about rather than call the match.
Orton stomps away on Kofi, hanging him up on the top rope. Kofi
falls outside, and Orton works the crowd as Kofi is trying to
recover. Orton follows Kofi outside, but Kofi throws him into the
RAW table over and over. Back in, but Orton suckers Kofi into the
turnbuckle. Orton throws Kofi to the top rope and headbutts him,
following him up with a superplex. Orton: “KICK OUT OF THAT!”
And at two, he does. Orton is quite put off by this. Orton goes to
the Garvin Stomp to Kofi, then a kneedrop for two. JBL brings up a
good point: Why is Brock Lesnar allowed to just CALL himself #1
Contender? Cole counters: not like anyone disagrees. Kofi slowly
fights back, sending Orton out of the ring with a clothesline and
followng with a fake-out. Baseball slide misses, but Kofi sends
Orton into the stairs. He leaps off the apron with a lariat to Orton
and tries to fire the crowd up as we go to break. The problem, of
course, is the crowd doesn’t give Kofi a chance (unlike with Cody and
Goldust earlier), so they’re not really rallying behind him. We
return with Orton grabbing Kofi by the dreads and suplexing him onto
the barricade. He sends Kofi into the table (“HOW DO YOU LIKE
THAT?”) and throws him back in. He follows and gets two. He’s
been grinding his forearm into Kofi’s face on the pinfall attempts.
Orton to the chinlock, but Kofi fights out and back suplexes Orton.
Kofi boxes away on Orton, but a thumb to the eye stops it, only for
Kofi to recover. Orton prevents Trouble in Paradise and throws Kofi
to the outside. Orton’s lip may be busted, and if so, Orton will be
ANGRY. Kofi goes into the steps to pay for it. Two sets of steps,
actually. Back in, Orton laughs at Kofi (who isn’t moving) before
stomping his head in. Orton’s facials are amazing. It gets two.
The stomp, not the facials. Orton back to the chinlock, smiling as
he has it on. Orton yells at the crowd to shut up, which fires them
up a bit. Kofi fights out, but Orton pounds on the back. Blind
charge hits elbow, and Kofi with double chops to fire back, but a
dropkick misses. Orton looks at his chest as if to say, “Did he
really deign to chop me?” Orton stomps at the head again as he is
not happy. Orton picks Kofi up by the hair and uppercuts him. Orton
smiles at Kofi and drags him to his feet again, but Kofi with a
backslide for two. An angry Orton uppercuts Kofi for two. Orton to
an armbar and chinlock, smiling away. Kofi fights out, but Orton
pulls him down by the hair. Kneedrop misses, though, and Kofi with a
dropkick as the crowd’s starting to get into it. Flying clothesline
by Kofi and Boom Drop follow, but the latter misses. Orton growls in
frustration before hitting the Draping DDT, but Kofi reverses to the
SOS for the pin (!!!) at 16:43. We need more massive upsets like
this. Now the question is: does it mean Kofi’s getting pushed?
Orton doesn’t need the win or loss – and his anger and post-match
tantrum proves it – but Kofi could easily be revitalized by this
win. *** I’ll
totally admit this rating may be more than you give and the story is
an acquired taste, but Orton’s arrogance getting the best of him and
Kofi’s hope spots made me enjoy it. Orton is so mad he beats up John
Cena Sr., which brings Junior out to chase Orton off and check on his
father. Awesome, awesome segment, but we’ve already seen Orton beat
up Cena’s dad to get heat on their match. They’ve literally done
everything before. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
John
Cena Sr. is being helped out of the arena on a stretcher, with Cena
following. We look back at Kofi’s big upset win and Orton taking it
out on everything and everyone. Even JBL thinks Orton went too far.
They load him into the ambulance, and Cena will follow his dad to the
hospital. JBL washes his hands of Orton. That’s a great touch.
The
Rhodes Brothers v. Ryback and Curtis Axel. Great touch on the WWE
App: Goldust promises to eliminate Cody to get even for years past.
Goldust with a hiptoss on Axel to start, but Axel slugs away to take
control. Goldust with a kick and kneeling uppercut. Ryback tags in,
and he runs over Goldust as the announcers point out Ryback’s Twitter
meltdown. Test of strength is offered, but Goldust refuses. Cody
in, and he kicks Ryback and gets a moonsault press for one. Cody
works the arm, and Goldust punches Ryback in the gut. Ryback with a
headlock on Goldust, but Axel tags in and gets a Northern lariat.
Axel works Goldust over in the corner, then nails a dropkick for two.
Axel brings Ryback in after some shots, and the duo crushes Goldust
in the corner. Ryback gets two before HITTING THE CHINLOCK. Goldust
fights out but runs into a military press slam. This match will not
get the crowd back into it. Ryback gets two. Ryback kicks away and
brings Axel in. Goldust with a back elbow off a corner whip, but
Ryback prevents the hot tag. Blind charge eats boot, and Goldust
with a running bulldog. Hot tag Cody, and Axel is run over
repeatedly. Brisco Rollup gets two. Sliding punch by Cody, and the
Holly low kick follows. Springboard dropkick by Cody, and he goes
back up, nailing Ryback with the Disaster Kick. Goldust clears
Ryback away, but Axel cradles Cody for two. Cody reverses the
neckbreaker into Cross Rhodes for the pin at 6:04. Yawn. 3/4*
Rey
Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio will meet next.
Batista
is going to win^H^H^Henter the Royal Rumble. He’ll be here next
week.
Rey
Mysterio v. Alberto Del Rio. Did one of the cameras just go dead?
Someone’s getting fired. Either that or the Wyatts hacked the wrong
feed. Superstar-style inset promo says Rey Mysterio will enter the
Rumble. Both of these men are former Rumble winners. Lillian Garcia
introduces Del Rio in Spanish just because. There’s a La Parka
cosplayer at ringside. Del Rio pounds on Rey in the corner, adding a
slam for one. Del Rio throws Rey into the ropes, but gets caught
with headscissors. Del Rio bails from a quick 619 try, so Rey with a
senton off the apron instead. Back in, Rey goes to the top and Drops
the Dime. Del Rio catches Rey with a back kick, but Rey flips
through to blast Del Rio in the head for two. Rey tries his bulldog,
but Del Rio throws it aside and gets the armbreaker. He punches away
on Rey and plays to the crowd. Del Rio works the arm with a Fujiwara
armbar. Rey fights out, but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by
Del Rio for two. Del Rio wraps the arm around the ropes to weaken
it, then begs Rey to stand up and fight him. Hammer Throw by Del
Rio, but a charge is ducked and Del Rio flies all the way out of the
ring. Del Rio rolls back in, but a blind charge misses and Rey tries
a headscissors, eventually succeeding. 619 follows as the crowd
finally wakes up. Del Rio cuts off the big splash and Rey is hung
up, as Del Rio superkicks him in the face. He calls for the
armbreaker and gets it, getting the tapout at 4:57. Is it just me,
or has Del Rio started phoning it in? He was really good a year ago
against Big Show, but now? Forget it. *1/4
Post-match, Del Rio says it was a message to Batista. He promises
to do the same thing next week if Batista shows up, and he will
personally throw Batista out. Now, they’ll stop talking about
Batista and start talking about him. Crowd wasn’t into any of this.
Tonight,
the steel cage re-start.
Now,
wrestlers are talking about the WWE Network as we get highlights of
the press conference.
Backstage,
Kane is on the phone when CM Punk asks for the Authority. But
they’re not here. How convenient, says Punk, who says that the
Shield are hired assassins and the Outlaws are his former pals. He
believes he’s being targeted. HHH doesn’t have to hide, but Kane
says HHH has no idea what Punk is talking about. Kane lets Punk know
he’s being entered into the Royal Rumble. Punk is ready and has no
problem with being in it, but he DOES have a problem with Kane.
The
Usos cut a bilingual promo about tonight, saying the Wyatts need to
be ready to step aside.
Meanwhile,
on SmackDown, the Outlaws will face the Rhodes Brothers in a
non-title match.
We
look back at Kofi’s huge upset and Orton reacting by beating up
Cena’s dad. John Sr has no heart issues, but he may have suffered a
broken orbital bone.
Main
event, cage match: The Usos v. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan. Bryan’s
not in the “We’re here” opening right now, which is interesting.
This match can be won by pinfall, submission, or escape… but it
better be over the top, because the door is locked and Kane is
guarding the door with the only key. With all the pieces in place,
SOMETHING has to happen here. I just don’t know what. It’s tornado
tag rules, and it’s a massive brawl to start. Bryan gets knocked
over and Bray is double-teamed. Bryan trips someone in the corner as
Bray blocks a turnbuckle shot. The Family seems to have an edge, as
one Uso eats cage on a backdrop. Bryan grinds one opponent’s face as
Bray chokes down the other with his boot. Bryan dropkicks the back
of one Uso – not even the announcers know which is which right now
– as the Family is dominant. Bray catapults his Uso into the cage.
Bryan lets his Uso get away as he reaches the top of the cage, but
Bryan follows and they fight on the top. Bray follows them up,
catching up with the Uso and trying to drag him in by the hair,
succeeding and bringing him back in. The other Uso knocks Bray down,
but Bryan’s still up top and is being chased. Bryan gets Russian
legswept off the ropes and all four men are down as we go to break.
We return with Bray choking one Uso on the ropes as the other is
being uppercutted by Bryan. Bray eats boot on a blind charge. Bray
and his Uso are climbing the ropes, but Bray is knocked away and one
Uso follows him down with a corkscrew moonsault for two. Oh, right,
pinfall and submission are in play. Bryan catches the other Uso
trying to escape. Uso is in the Tree of Woe, and Bryan destroys him
to YES chants. Bryan tries to leave, but he’s caught by the other
Uso. Both Usos catch Bryan and give him a double back superplex. No
one’s in any condition to cover, though, as the crowd says it is
Awesome. An Uso gets two, eventually. Bray punches both men and
throws one into the cage. He catches a superkick by the other and
punches him down, getting Sister Abigail’s Kiss… only not, because
the other Uso superkicks him. Everyone’s down again. Huge Uso chant
starting as the twins try to leave together. Harper and Rowan try to
stop them, which allows Bryan and Bray to catch them from behind.
Everyone’s on the cage now, and Bryan gets headbutted down, causing
Bray to crotch himself. Both Usos are now ready, and one splats onto
Rowan. Harper attacks him, allowing the other to drop at 10:50.
***1/4 Harper and
Rowan brawl with the Usos on the outside. But this leaves Bryan and
Bray, alone, in the cage, and Kane has the only key. Bray is
laughing at his own defeat. Crowd chants for Bryan, who has just
what he says he wanted. Bryan stares daggers at Bray, who tries to
whisper to Bryan. Bryan nods at what he hears, and Bray asks for
prostration. Bryan delivers it, much to the crowd’s chagrin, and
Bray adds Sister Abigail… but Bryan refuses! And now, it’s clear
everyone has what they want. Bray likes Bryan’s feisty behavior.
Bryan stares into the crowd, who wants it to happen. Bray tries to
explain, but the crowd is LOUD for Bryan. There’s no Kane, no
Family, no one but Bray and Bryan. Bray begs Bryan to bring it.
Moment of truth is coming… and Bray stands up, certain he has
control over Bryan. Bray attacks Bryan… who steps aside and HERE
WE GO! Bryan UNLOADS on Bray! Repeated corner-to-corner dropkicks
as the crowd LOSES IT. YES KICKS follow, including the exclamation
point! And the last thing left to do is a formality: Bryan sheds his
Wyatt armor and goes back to being himself. It was all a ruse! He
stomps away on Bray as Harper and Rowan DESPERATELY try to get in.
Bryan throws Bray into Harper, then Rowan, to knock them to the
floor. The whole crowd is SCREAMING yes as Bryan leads them on, and
it’s the Power Kneesmash! Bryan then goes to the top of the cage and
leads the entire arena, and half of Rhode Island, in YES chants.
Valkyrie rides again as the crowd is going ballistic! YES! YES!
YES!
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
…they
got me.
I
promised I’d say that. And now I will. THEY GOT ME. Hook, line,
and sinker, I was WORKED. Congratulations, WWE. You had me.
I
keep thinking I’m smarter than this. We all did. The Internet was
furious because it looked like Bryan was being taken out of the
picture. But tonight, he outsmarted ALL the Wyatts and got what he
wanted… and so did we.
I’m
not even going to suggest this may have been an aborted story, but
even if it was? So what. They fooled me. They sucked us in, they
got us talking, and they worked us all. What do you want me to say
here?
I got
worked. Congratulations, Vince. As the chants would say, You Still
Got It.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 74:26 over nine matches
BEST
MATCH: Wyatts/Usos II
WORST
MATCH: the Divas
NIGHT
MVP: I’m giving it to both Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan… with
some to Vince and Stephanie in Creative.
FINAL
SCORE: 7. The first two hours were pedestrian, but NO ONE will be
talking about ANY of that. The main event cage match stole the show.
And now, Daniel Bryan is back on the short list for Royal Rumble
winner. It was a very rare moment that even the most jaded of us was
worked, and marked out at the result. Thanks, guys. I’m ready.
Now, does anyone know how to pre-order the WWE Network?

EDIT: Actually, 7 might not be high enough.  In light of three ***+ matches, the big win by Kofi, the angle advancement with Orton/Cena, and a brilliant swerve by Vince, this gets bumped up to 8.5.

The Complete Royal Rumble Kindle!

Available now on Amazon:  Scott’s Blog of Doom Presents The Complete Royal Rumble Rants!
I’ve compiled all the “2012 Scott Sez” versions of the rants into Kindle format, for only $2.99!  That’s one-third of the cost of the WWE Network!  Or one cent per participant, 2011 excluded. 
And of course, my other books are still available here:
And now as promised, ANOTHER book announcement!  As promised, “Scott’s Blog of Doom Presents:  Monday Night RAW 2013” is also available on Kindle. 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HUD1HMA

THROW YOUR MONEY AT ME NOW!

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

It’s the Monday Night after the big Network announcement and I admit I was impressed. As they add content, which I’m guessing will be a lot of weekly TV from the old territories, I will be even more impressed.

As for the current product, this is my time to jump back in to this.From the Royal Rumble build to Extreme Rulz I’m in. They have no football to contend with, no other major sports are in playoff rush right now so hopefully the sports entertainment organization can bring the goods.

Hoping that this Punk vs. Authority stuff really gets some teeth behind it. I admit seeing Punk and HBK in the ring trading a barbs a few weeks back made me want to see them hook it up in a ***** classic in New Orleans. Maybe it leads to Punk vs. HHH which doesn’t excite me as much.

However, the whole rumor of Piper pitching a tag match…Ugh…Worst yet I don’t see Punk going for it. He seems to want to assume the HBK role of having the most memorable match at any given Wrestlemania. That being said the heat for a Hogan/Cena vs. Piper/Punk match would be something unique. Don’t know if the crowd would eat it up or shit on it but I guarantee it would be different.

Anyway, tonight’s RAW is in Providence, usually the New England crowds are fun. Enjoy the show and come out swinging but try to keep it clean.

A+ Match of the Day

Happy Monday Blog O’Doomers!

This spot was planned for the 2009 Royal Rumble since Monday is the perfect day for such a boring ass, predictable Rumble. However, even the interwebs agree that the 2009 Rumble sucked because I can’t find a full version of it anywhere yet!

So instead you guys get a good Rumble. How about the 2005 Rumble? Works for me.

BoD Daily Update

WWE.com RAW Preview


http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2014-01-13/five-point-preview-26175425

An Intercontinental/United States Title Unification Match Happening Soon?


As of right now, it is looking like a unification match will take place during the Elimination Chamber PPV

Credit Bryan Alvarez, Figure Four Weekly Newsletter






Advice For Independent Wrestlers to Want to Get Into NXT


Bryan Alvarez of Figure Four Weekly Newsletter states that he was asked to publish the following by a WWE source:

“Tell these indie kids to get their cardio in shape, get a strong workout plan (non-juice), learn less wrestling and more storytelling, utilize YouTube to cut NONPROFANITY promos, and either stay the fuck off of Twitter or don’t be dumb on Twitter. This is a lot of what NXT looks at.”

Credit Bryan Alvarez, Figure Four Weekly Newsletter






The “Kevin Steen Show” with Chris Hero Now Available


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ctw07OOUR0

The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2011

The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2011 I’ve had requests for a Royal Rumble Kindle book, but this is the one show I’m missing. So here it is! I wasn’t even watching the product at the time, so this is basically all new to me aside from knowing who the winner was. My exposure was limited to WWE sending me DVDs to review, and otherwise I was exclusively watching Classics on Demand for my fix. I barely even remember who the champions were or what the issues were, so I’m kind of looking forward to going in blind! Live from Boston, MA Your hosts are Michael Cole, Matt Striker and Jerry Lawler. World Heavyweight title: Edge v. Dolph Ziggler The spear is BANNED tonight during one of Vickie Guerrero’s reigns as Smackdown GM. Given the way Edge’s neck turned out, he probably should have heeded that warning. Dolph is noticeably more ripped here than he has been in recent times. Not that I’m accusing anyone of anything. Dolph slugs him down to start, but gets whipped into the corner and kneed for two. Edge with a gutbuster for two. Knee to the gut gets two. To the floor, but Dolph catches him with a cheapshot on the way back in to take over, and gets two. To the chinlock, but Edge fights out, so Dolph gets a sunset flip for two, reversed by Edge into a catapult for two. Ziggler puts him down with a neckbreaker for two. Back to the chinlock, as Dolph channels his inner Randy Orton and grinds on that for a while, but they collide on a bodypress attempt and everyone is out. Dolph recovers first and misses the blind charge, but Edge isn’t allowed to spear him. He hits a flapjack instead and makes the comeback, with a bulldog for two. Ziggler counters the Downward Spiral with something like a Franchiser, and that gets two. Edge counters the fameasser with a powerbomb for two as Striker is already getting on my nerves with his melodramatic clichéd commentary. They fight to the top and Edge fights out of a superplex, but Dolph rolls through a bodypress for two. Ziggler with a dropkick for two as the crowd starts to get on his side. Edge takes him down with his Edgecution submission, but Dolph makes the ropes. Edge charges and clotheslines himself, and Dolph hits the fameasser for two. The crowd is really buying into the near-falls here. Edge puts him down with a big boot and sets him up for a spear, but Ziggler catches him with the sleeper. Edge turns it into the Impaler DDT for two, but Vickie makes the save. Edge rolls Dolph up for two, but Kelly Kelly beats up Vickie to get rid of her, while Dolph hits the Zig Zag for two and freaks out the crowd. Another try at the sleeper, which Striker completely mis-explains. The sleeper doesn’t cut off oxygen, it cuts off blood via the carotid artery. A choke cuts off oxygen. Unless he meant that it cuts of blood to the brain, which carries oxygen, but really he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Edge escapes and bumps the referee, and with everyone unconscious he takes the opportunity to use the spear, which has Heel Michael Cole aghast. Edge finishes with an Unprettier as a shout-out to Christian at 20:44 to retain. Turned into a hell of a match to hook the crowd and keep everyone on the edge of their seats, pardon the pun. **** Dolph would soon end up with the belt in the most backhanded way possible. WWE title: The Miz v. Randy Orton Oh yeah, Miz used to be WWE champion. I seriously forgot about that. I will say, at least Miz as champion had confidence and swagger that is totally missing today. Like, a totally different person now. That being said, he was treated like a fluke champion and, dare I say, a B+ player next to the likes of Randy Orton and John Cena. Orton beats him down in various corners of the ring, but Miz’s lapdog Alex Riley gets a cheapshot from the outside and allows Miz to take over. Miz with the corner clothesline for two. We hit the chinlock, and Miz puts him down with a knee for two. Miz boots him down for two. Elbow gets two. We get a horrendously dull heat segment on Orton with Cole openly cheering for the Miz, but Orton fights back with a superplex for two. They slug it out and Orton tries the draping DDT, but gets backdropped to the floor as a result. Back in, Miz with a double axehandle for two. He goes to a chinlock as this thing drags on, due to Miz having no idea how to build to a climax in this kind of environment. Back to the floor, where he catapults Orton into the post, but he recovers at 8 and makes the comeback. So yeah, more clotheslines and the Garvin Stomp (which thank god he’s retired now) for two. A-Ry gets involved yet again and Miz gets a neckbreaker for two. Orton with an Angle Slam for two to escape the Finale. Miz grabs the belt and takes a walk, but Orton cuts him off, only for Miz to get a DDT for two. Orton rolls him up for two and follows with the draping DDT, but now the Nexus comes out and distracts Orton. Randy gets rid of Riley by tossing him onto the Nexus losers, but CM Punk runs in and hits Orton with a GTS and puts Miz on top at 19:53. That was WAY too long for that stupid TV finish. **1/2 Miz was like a lost sheep out there, struggling to stretch the match out to 20 minutes with his 5 minute offense. And they STILL put this guy out there to die in the main event of Wrestlemania! No wonder that show sucked ass. Divas title: Natalya v. LayCool The anonymous RAW GM buzzes in before the match and adds Eve Torres for some reason. Divas title: Natalya v. Layla v. Michelle McCool v. Eve Torres This earth-shattering announcement gets no reaction from the crowd, since Eve had not yet developed a personality. LayCool gets rid of Eve and Natalya fights them off alone, but the heels are left to face each other. It’s like a really shitty Royal Rumble! The babyfaces chase off LayCool, but Natalya gets a bizarre double Sharpshooter on Eve and Layla. I have no idea who that was supposed to hurt. Nattie fights off Laycool , but Eve dumps Natalya and moonsaults Layla for the pin at 5:13 to win the title. ½* Meanwhile, a clean-shaven Daniel Bryan and girlfriend Gail Kim (WTF was that about?) offer comments on the Rumble, but the Bella Twins interrupt with apologies for their previous shenanigans. That ends up very badly for everyone. Royal Rumble: This was the one year they tried 40 men, due to all the Nexus and Corre guys needing spots. CM Punk draws #1, and we suddenly get a giant Nexus v. Corre brawl until the anonymous RAW GM breaks it up with an e-mail. And then the #2 guy is Daniel Bryan. So that’s an awesome way to start. We get some teased eliminations as the crowd is heavily torn between these two internet geeks that no one cares about. Bryan misses a charge and Justin Gabriel is #3. He attacks Punk and quickly tries the 450, but it misses and Bryan dumps him at 2:35. Bryan goes back to beating on Punk as Zack Ryder is #4, long before he meant anything on TV. Broski boot on Punk and the Roughrider, but Bryan dumps him at 3:57. Sign at ringside: “Jobber Exit This Way” Now there’s some quality snark. William Regal is #5 and he wants to beat on everyone. I approve. He suplexes both guys around and knees Punk down, then has an awesome forearm battle with Bryan. And then everyone trades stiff kicks until only Bryan remains. Ted Dibiase is #6 and he’s throwing dropkicks! Bryan tries to get him out, and John Morrison is #7. He runs wild and hits Bryan with a C-4, but Dibiase dumps him…and he lands on the railing and hangs on! He jumps to the stairs (itself an amazing spot) and stays in. Why do they not throw money at this guy and bring him back? Yoshi Tatsu is #8 because, you know, 40 men. Regal gets eliminated at some point during the JoMo parkour show, call it 10:00. Husky Harris is #9 and he’s running interference for Punk, and he’s definitely in better shape these days. Chavo Guerrero is #10 as more filler, and hits the Three Amigos on Dibiase, Punk, Morrison and finally Bryan. Harris lays him out to end that run. Mark Henry is #11 and splits wigs, dumping Chavo at 15:21 and Tatsu at 15:49. JTG is #12 because 40 men. Husky beats on Bryan, who promptly quits and joins the Harris family rather than fight on. No, wait, that’s not right, that would be fucking stupid. Michael McGuillicutty is #13, and he’s also Team Punk for those like myself who can’t keep track without a scorecard. He dropkicks JTG out at 18:10, and there’s a real accomplishment for your resume. The Nexus geeks backdrop Dibiase out at 19:08, and Chris Masters is #14. There’s another guy they need to get back again. Masterlock on Punk looks to put him out, but Perfect Jr. makes the save. David Otunga is #15, and Bryan gets dumped at 21:16, followed by Masters at 21:23, Morrison at 21:40, and Mark Henry at 22:05 to finish clearing the ring. Tyler Reks is #16 and he’s pretty much fucked given it’s the Nexus all alone in there. And they swarm Reks and toss him at 23:07. Vlad Koslov is #17 and he gives it a go, but as a comedy guy he gets nowhere and the Nexus destroys him at 24:35. R-Truth is #18 but he’s not high level enough and also gets mauled and thrown out with suitable snark by Punk at 26:30. I think we can all see the payoff for this gag coming. Great Khali is #19 and he manages to fight them off and toss Harris at 27:48. Mason Ryan replaces him as the Nexus guy at #20, however, and dumps Khali at 28:40 to leave it all Nexus, all the time. John Cena has to be coming soon here to clear the heels out, especially with all the dead space of the Nexus waiting for their next victims. Booker T makes is surprise return at #21, however, and the crowd goes insane. Striker is marking out, bro. SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY. Booker manages to hold his own and gives us a Spinarooni, at which point Punk blindsides him and Ryan tosses him at 31:15. Punk is feeling confident about his chances at this point, and HERE’S John Cena to pay this off. OK, finally. Great Khali was one too many. And yes, Cena kicks the shit out of them and rids us of Otunga, Ryan and McGillicutty at 33:00 at one time. Punk is alone and tries a GTS, but Cena clotheslines him down and both guys are out. Hornswoggle is #23, pulling double duty after two anonymous GM e-mails, and I’m not liking his chances here. An irritated Punk kicks him down and goes after Cena, but gets FU’d to the floor at 35:40 to end his night. Cena makes peace with the midget and Tyson Kidd is #24. Hornswoggle takes him down with a flying headscissors in a physics-defying move, and then hits his own FU to allow Cena to finish him off at 37:23. Geez, poor Kidd. Heath Slater is #25 and he too is no match for MIDGET MADNESS, as he takes a 10 Knuckle Shuffle and frog splash before going goodbye at 39:08. Kofi Kingston is #26 to hopefully end the alleged comedy, and they’re STARING AT THE SIGN to really hammer home how serious this is. So Kofi controls with a dropkick and hammers away in the corner, but Jack Swagger is #27. He takes out both babyfaces, but stops to yell at Hornswoggle and gets Boomdropped as a result. This midget stuff is really killing the flow of the match. King Sheamus is #28 in his heel bully phase, and he beats up Hornswoggle to prove that. And thankfully boots him out at 44:11. Rey Mysterio is #29 as thankfully things can get serious again, and he runs wild on everyone until Sheamus cuts him off. Swagger gets eliminated via 619 at 45:59, and I’ve got some good news: Wade Barrett is #30. The bad news: There’s still 10 more guys to come. So he runs wild and hits Cena with the bossman slam, but Kofi throws kicks in the corner as Dolph Ziggler is #31 and everyone gangs up on Cena with no success. Diesel is #32 for the mega-pop of the night, with freshly dyed hair. I know it can’t happen for a variety of reasons, but can you imagine the reaction Scott Hall would get coming out for a Rumble spot as Razor Ramon one last time? Nash beats on a variety of guys, but Drew McIntyre is #33 as the crowd is unabashedly cheering for Diesel. DO YOU SEE WHAT THIS CROWD DID?! If you want to point fingers for the way the Summer of Punk went, look no further than this crowd. THANKS A LOT, JERKS. Alex Riley is #34 as Barrett boots Diesel out at 52:44, and everyone starts ignoring the match while Cole sucks up to the Miz at the commentary desk. Big Show is #35 and we get a Show-Diesel staredown that thankfully went nowhere. Show chokeslams some people and tosses Ziggler at 55:09, and then Drew at 55:28. Big Zeke is #36 and he immediately throws Big Show out a 56:00. He’s still under contract, by the way. Just sitting at home doing nothing. Speaking of sitting at home doing nothing, Santino is #37 and foolishly goes after Jackson, resulting in him getting knocked out of the ring under the bottom rope. Alberto Del Rio is #38 and Riley gets eliminated off-screen. Del Rio’s entrance is so long that Randy Orton is #39 before he even makes it to the ring, and Orton lays out Del Rio on the floor. In the ring, RKO for Del Rio, RKO for Sheamus, RKO for Kofi and out at 61:00, Sheamus out at 61:06. And then Cena and Orton have the biggest Wrestlemania Moment Epic Fail in history, as they point to the sign and the crowd shits all over it. Awesome. And Kane is #40 to close out the bloated field. Kane takes out Orton and dumps Jackson at 62:53, but Rey catches him in a headscissors and dumps him at 63:51, only to get tossed out by Barrett at 64:00. The final four: Cena, Barrett, Orton and Del Rio. Barrett gets Cena to the apron but can’t close the deal, and again we get the stupid Cena v. Orton tease. Barrett breaks it up with a suplex on Orton, and Cena hits Del Rio with an FU. This brings Miz into the ring to dump Cena at 66:54, setting up their epic Wrestlemania fail. So Orton is alone against Barrett and Del Rio, and he manages to hold his own. He bumps Wade at 68:56, but Del Rio dumps him right back at 69:00 to win the thing. However, TWIST ENDING, as Santino is still alive under the ring, and he loads up the Cobra, but also can’t close and gets eliminated for real at 70:17 to give Del Rio the win and MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA. By which I mean the opening match where he did the job while the crowd was still coming in. This had its moments, but the whole Nexus segment was way too long, and the Cena-midget comedy segment that followed was also too long, basically filling up the extra time with unneeded bloat where a 30 man Rumble would have served the purpose much better. Still, it’s a Rumble, it’s generally pretty good even with the flaws of this year. ***1/4 The Pulse Four matches, two were pretty good, two not at all, but that’s a good enough ratio for a recommendation. I literally couldn’t have told you any of the matches aside from the Rumble, though, which shows how forgettable this whole period was. And everyone forgot to buy Wrestlemania as a result. Thumbs mildly up.

Bump in the Road Pt. 3: No Other Way Out

Hi Scott,

Part Three of Bump in the Road is now up on my blog. This one doesn't exactly detail anything about wrestling school, but it is still strongly related with wrestling. Specifically, how WWF's No Way Out 2000 and Mick Foley's "last" match was that one last, stupid thing that broke me and drove me to suicide. Have a look.

QOTD

Have been laying around rewatching some old WWE and ECW stuff.  It’s amazing to me how time and hindsight can change your perception and outlooks on certain matches.  It got me thinking about a QOTD…

Are there specific matches that don’t hold up well over time for you?  If so, why? Conversely, are there older matches you’ve subsequently watched and said “wow, that’s alot better then I remembered.”

Summerslam 1991

So rewatching some old ppvs and it made me wonder why Vince went Hogan/Warrior vs Slaughtr and his crew at the 91 Summerslam after Wrestlemania 7 struggled with Hogan vs Slaughter in the main event? 

I'm guessing that Vince was kind of preoccupied with other stuff for most of 1991 and this was the easiest route to go.