Extant’s Pull List

CM Punk is back! Well, writing comics anyway. This week, the former WWE Champion provides a story for the first issue of DC/Vertigo’s Strange Sports Stories anthology. Punk joins Brian Azzarello, Paul Pope, Gilbert Hernandez and others for the first of four issues.

Also this week, Deadpool guest stars in Hulk No. 13, while Marvel’s onslaught of Star Wars comics continues with Princess Leia No. 2.

On the DC side, we have the final issues of Batwoman, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Trinity of Sin, Red Hood and the Outlaws and Supergirl as the road to Convergence and June’s mini-reboot rolls on.

My downloads this week include Teen Titans (with the return of Superboy), Superman, Batman/Superman, Supergirl (which has also featured the return of Superboy in recent issues), along with the three DC weeklies.

Comics are, of course, available at your local comic shop or for download online.

Also this week, Community returned yesterday with two episodes posted to Yahoo! Screen, a new episode of Powers on PlayStation Plus, new Flash and Agents of Shield and the debut of iZombie, based on the Vertigo comic, last night, with a new Arrow tonight.

You know, outside of the actual comics, it’s a pretty good time to be a comics fan, don’t you think?

BoD Daily Update

WWE Changing Plans For the WrestleMania Title Match?

Per former WWE Employee and Reddit user MetsFan4Ever, several people at last night’s Smackdown taping are claiming that Brock Lesnar will re-sign with the WWE. Also, these people are claiming that Roman Reigns is not receiving the crowd reaction that the company had expected and as a result, HHH is pushing the idea for Lesnar to retain at WrestleMania to Vince McMahon. From that, the idea would be for Lesnar to continue making a limited appearances while the company elevates the United States and Intercontinental Titles at WrestleMania, by putting them on John Cena and Daniel Bryan, with those titles headlining house shows and the PPV’s where Lesnar is not scheduled.

http://wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2015/0317/591475/rumor-on-change-to-roman-reigns-vs-brock-lesnar-wrestlemania/

Kevin Owens Injury Update

Owens, who underwent knee surgery last week, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks of action.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Radio

Michael Cole Chastised Backstage Over An On-Air Mistake

It has been reported that Cole botching the WrestleMania 31 start times during this past episode of RAW was a big deal backstage among Vince McMahon and likely Kevin Dunn as well. Its also reported that Vince gave Cole a “hard time” in his head set as a result.

http://wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2015/0317/591466/backstage-note-on-michael-cole-raw-botch/

RAW Ratings

This past RAW had 3.92 million viewers, up slightly from 3.86 last week. Here is the hourly breakdown:

8pm: 3.88 million viewers
9pm: 3.96 million viewers
10pm: 3.92 million viewers

http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/96-wwe-news/41676-raw-ratings-notes

Also, check out the “Great WrestleMania Re-Book” Series over at Place to be Nation as they work on WrestleMania 21. Click on the link below to view that.

http://placetobenation.com/the-great-wrestlemania-re-book-wrestlemania-21/

Monday Nitro – October 25, 1999

Monday
Nitro #211
Date:
October 25, 1999
Location:
America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance:
9,630
Commentators:
Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
finally past Halloween Havoc and as usual with pay per views, a lot
has changed. First up would seem to be Goldberg coming out as both
United States and World Champion, but only the former is for sure.
After Hogan laid down against Sting for no apparent reason, Goldberg
beat the champ in an open challenge, which may or may not be for the
title. Tonight we should find out what’s going on so let’s get to
it.

A
paintless Sting is walking through the back (I’m been skipping a lot
of these segments as they’re literally just people walking) and
shouting for JJ Dillon while throwing things all over the place.
Opening
sequence.
Sting
heads to the ring and calls out JJ Dillon, because last night he
issued a challenge for a fight, not a title match. Dillon comes out
and Sting repeats most of what he already said but throws in that he
was trying to bail them out of a bad situation with Hogan. Why do I
have a bad feeling that’s the extent of Hogan information tonight?.
The title was never on the line, so Sting wants his belt back. JJ
agrees that the title wasn’t on the line, because WCW never
sanctioned that match. Therefore, the title is vacant due to Sting
attacking the referee after the match.
Oh
come on. That’s some very convenient enforcing of the rules given
what half the roster gets away with on a regular basis. Also ignore
the fact that it wasn’t even in a match so why should it have any
impact on th…..never mind. I’m staying out of the quicksand that
is WCW/Russo logic. There’s going to be a 32 man tournament and
Sting can be a participant. That earns Dillon a beating until
Goldberg comes out for the save.
Here
are the brackets.
Bret
Hart
Goldberg
Perry
Saturn
Eddie
Guerrero
Norman
Smiley
Bam
Bam Bigelow
Kidman
Konnan
Total
Package
Rick
Steiner
Diamond
Dallas Page
David
Flair
???
Madusa
Brian
Knobs
Sting
I’m
sure we’ll see the other half later, because I’m sure it’s completely
prepared at this point. Also Madusa is now a man? JJ specifically
said 32 MAN tournament.
The
Outsiders are here with a cooler but Mike Graham comes up and tells
them they have to wrestle tonight. Nash’s retirement isn’t addressed
because that’s in the old regime or something.
Norman
Smiley says last night’s match was amusing and thinks Bigelow is
tough. Oh and he likes to dance. If Russo being in charge means
more short interviews for people who don’t often get TV time, maybe
he’s not all bad.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Norman Smiley vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Norman
is terrified so Bigelow decides this is going to be a hardcore match.
Bigelow throws in weapons as Norman hides behind the referee, only
to get hit in the head with a broom. He puts the trashcan on
Norman’s head but Norman kind of headbutts him and falls with a low
blow ala Sting. It’s time to dance before Norman quickly covers
Bigelow for the pin. This was a mess and didn’t even break ninety
seconds.
Hall
and Nash are in the back and Nash says he can’t work. Hall says he
can’t comment until the top of the hour. He won’t listen to Mike
Graham either.
Recap
of the Filthy Animals vs. Ric Flair.
Here
are the Filthy Animals with Torrie sporting a shiny silver outfit
that Kidman really seems to enjoy. Eddie talks about how WCW will
never be able to break the team up. Now Ric Flair has been coming
after them, so look at this tape to see what happened. The video
show Ric being dragged away to what looks like the desert and being
buried in sand. Egads this is really happening.
Kidman
says Flair is done and Harlem Heat is next. Mysterio cuts him off
from swearing and gives the mic to Konnan for some bad catchphrases,
one of which involves the Filthy Animals being in heat. Cue Malenko
and Saturn to destroy the Animals, but Torrie runs off, only to get
caught by Shane Douglas and Asya. Well they tried to murder Flair so
I’m not sure I can sympathize with them when one of their members is
kidnapped.
Curt
Hennig doesn’t like the Powers that Be and if he gets pinned he’s
fired. Why you ask? The better question is why would you ask “why
you ask?” You should know by now that you’re never getting a clear
answer to most of the logical questions this show brings up.
The
Outsiders drink coffee, potentially to sober Hall up.
Curt
Hennig vs. Lash Leroux
If
Hennig gets pinned he’s fired. Hennig hammers away in the corner to
start and hiptosses Lash across the ring for two. Disco Inferno
comes out to praise Lash on commentary but gets interrupted by Curt
ramming Lash into the table. They head back inside with Hennig
getting two off a knee lift as this is a total squash so far, meaning
you can expect a swerve soon. Lash comes back with some right hands
and dropkicks before loading up Whiplash, only to have Hennig hit the
referee for the DQ. Well he didn’t get pinned.
Hennig
lays out Lash and Disco with a chair.
The
Filthy Animals are looking for Torrie.
A
limping Bret Hart arrives.
Here
are the Nitro Girls for the Nitro Girls search stuff but Jeff Jarrett
comes out to interrupt. Jeff threatens to stroke each one of them
and says this tournament is a big work. See, he’s the next champion
and if Luger disagrees, he can take the Lex Express out of town.
Amazingly enough, no one responds to the five year old reference. Oh
and he didn’t hit Elizabeth last week. Their big plan to get Jarrett
over as a heel is to break up the Nitro Girls stuff? He’ll be out
popping Goldberg in two weeks at this rate.
Sid
says the war with Goldberg is far from over.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Perry Saturn vs. Eddie Guerrero
Saturn
threatens to make Torrie disappear if the Animals interfere. The
Animals leave but Eddie jumps him from behind for the early
advantage. He goes after the leg as the fans are entirely behind
him, because I guess they see kidnapping Torrie as a good thing.
Guerrero uses his wrist tape to tie the leg to the ropes for some
hard kicks but Saturn quickly rips it off.
A
hot shot and gutbuster change control though and Saturn cranks on an
abdominal stretch. Eddie’s ribs are draped over the top rope before
they head outside with Saturn whipping him into the barricade.
They’re flying through this as you can almost feel the shenanigans
coming. Cue David Flair with a crowbar to nail Eddie in the ribs,
setting up the Rings of Saturn to give Saturn the win.
Rating:
C. That’s the match of the
night isn’t it? At the end of the day, you need more than four
minutes to get anything special going and even guys like Saturn and
Guerrero can only only do so much. The David Flair stuff makes sense
as he would be upset at Torrie and doesn’t want her to be rescued,
but it’s another case of throwing so much into one show that you
can’t process it all.
Saturn
runs from the invading Animals.
Hall
and Nash don’t want to fight so they come up with ways of shutting
down the show. Nash’s
best idea: strip naked in the ring.
The
Revolution has Torrie held hostage in a secret location. Does anyone
ever think of just flagging down the cameraman and asking where they
just came from? Malenko
walks out of the room but Benoit jumps him behind and lays wastes to
him, clearly swearing without being censored.
Here
are the Outsiders, potentially for stripping. Hall does the Survey
and says they’ve been partying in Vegas, but had to come here for the
real party. Nash says no
one is going to tell them what to do, but Goldberg pops up to
threaten them with violence later in the night. The Outsiders jumped
Goldberg before the Sid match last night so we have Goldberg’s next
feud. We don’t have an explanation for Nash’s retirement before
forgotten but you can’t have everything. Or anything around here
these days actually.
Here
are Randy Savage and Gorgeous George, clad in sparkly red attire
because it makes George look good and Savage look…..well like
Savage actually. Savage
says it’s been awhile but Russo and the rest of the vultures in the
back aren’t going to see him hang himself on live TV. However,
George is right when she says he’s well hung.
You
can’t kill off the Macho Man like
you did Hogan and Flair. The
yellow and red and Space Mountain have played themselves out but
Savage is still legit. It’s
time that he passes the torch to the next superstar to win World
Titles, set ratings records
and be even better than he was. I
don’t think he would be seen for another six months.
The
Animals find the Revolution’s dressing room (hint: it was labeled
REVOLUTION) but there’s no Torrie.
The
Revolution tries to get Malenko to chill.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Madusa vs. ???
And
it’s Meng. I’m assuming there’s a joke here that I’m not smart
enough to get. Madusa fires off punches and kicks which are sold as
well as an air conditioner at the North Pole. Meng goes after her
but stops to look at her chest, earning him an eye poke. So this is
a comedy match? Some choking and a missile dropkick have no effect
on Meng so she jumps on his back, gets flipped over and the Tongan
Death Grip is good for the win.
Evan
Karagias of all people comes out to check on Madusa, but Dean Malenko
comes out to challenge Benoit to a last man standing match tonight.
There’s no connection between Malenko and Karagias. Russo just
doesn’t know what it means to wait a second.
Nash
is taping up.
Curt
Hennig and Brad Armstrong are backstage. Brad has been told to leave
until he finds a personality and the Powers that Be suggest he call
his little brother. I’m getting a headache and we’re not even
halfway done with this mess.
Bret
has his leg looked at.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Total Package vs. Rick Steiner
Please
keep up the short trend here. We get the full monty of WCW’s bad
production here as Tony asks for stills of Bret vs. Lex, has to stall
for about 45 seconds before they come up, has to ignore Rick
Steiner’s music starting and stopping during the stills, and then we
miss the opening of the match because of Benoit vs. Steiner stills.
I mean dude, even TNA has their stuff together better than this.
Luger
hammers on him to start with his usual array of kicks and forearms as
Jarrett comes out to do commentary. Steiner fights back and sends
Luger into the buckle as Jeff talks about how he didn’t attack Liz
last week because he isn’t that kind of a man. Tony brings up the
WWF but Jeff says these are different days. Jeff goes after Liz but
Luger makes a save, only to have Jarrett’s guitar shot hit Steiner by
mistake. Liz freaks out so Luger checks on her, only to drop her so
he can beat the ten count back in to win another short (sweet) match.
This would be about three weeks’ worth of story crammed into a few
minutes.
Liz
isn’t happy.
Konnan
threatens to hurt the Revolution if they harm Torrie and also speaks
on cheese.
Benoit
tapes his hands.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Konnan vs. Kidman
Time
for a stable battle. Konnan takes over quickly and snapmares Kidman
down, setting up a basement dropkick. That’s not cool with Kidman
and they slug it out until Konnan hits the rolling clothesline. The
X Factor is countered with a BK Bomb for two but the referee is
bumped, as per Russo requirement. Cue Harlem Heat to lay out both
guys with finishers, though Stevie doesn’t actually go off his feet
on the Slap Jack. Mysterio and Guerrero try to make a save but
Kidman rolls over onto Konnan to advance. This looked like a back
door out of having partners fight, but more than likely Russo had no
idea what he booked.
Eddie
has to calm Konnan and Kidman down post match. Konnan agrees and
wants a Tag Team Title shot tonight against “these two mark punk
busters.”
The
Outsiders are wondering who they’ll be facing in their big, and I’m
sure totally serious, match. Maybe the Bushwhackers or the
Kangaroos?
Quick
look back at Bagwell being annoyed at having to job last week.
Seriously, that appears to be the story they’re going with.
Here’s
Bagwell for a chat. He’s going to start breaking all the rules and
doesn’t care about all the sacred things in this business. Last week
was the last time he’ll do a job (oh here we go) for the two idiots
in the back writing this nonsense. Cue the Harris Brothers in the
soon to be named Creative Control gimmick to beat Bagwell down. This
would be the worked part after the real stuff you heard from Buff.
There are a lot of problems with this, but if you don’t know what a
job is in wrestling terms, doesn’t it sound like Bagwell just quit?
Dean
Malenko vs. Chris Benoit
Last
man standing for reasons that aren’t really explained and
both guys are
in street clothes. They
slug it out to start and tumble out to the floor with Benoit being
sent into the barricade over and over. That
goes nowhere so they get back inside, only to have Benoit crotch
Malenko against the post. That’s not something Benoit would normally
do.
Chris
chops away in the corner before a belly to back suplex sends Malenko
down. They’re both up at six so Benoit rolls some Germans, only to
get kicked low. Dean tosses
him over the top and out to the floor for
more whips into the barricade. Back
in and Benoit suplexes him down again for a short count before a
double clothesline puts both guys down but only Benoit beats the
count.
Rating:
C-. This is Vince Russo in a
nutshell: a last man standing match announced with maybe half an hour
notice that gets seven minutes and ends with a clothesline because we
need to get on to all the other AMAZING things he has planned for us,
like three minute nothing matches. How did adding a gimmick to this
match help? Benoit and Malenko can have a good match with each other
in their sleep but they have to add in a last man standing gimmick
for the sake of adding one in, thereby making it look like a less
important gimmick going forward. Well done in just seven minutes.
Post
match the Filthy Animals come out but Douglas (with his arm in a
cast) and Saturn show up on stage with Asya holding Torrie. Shane
babbles about hurting Torrie and Dean is allowed to leave. The
Animals chase after him and get to the parking lot where both groups
speed away. I guess this is action adventure or something? Also,
no explanation for why Malenko did what he did last night. I’m not
expecting any reason after this point.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Sting vs. Brian Knobs
Two
ball bat shots to the chest for the pin
in thirteen seconds. Yeah
that’s going to keep Sting a heel. To
recap, the brackets said Sting vs. Knobbs, Tony said Sting vs.
Morrus, Sting actually fought Knobbs. Conclusion:
Tony Schiavone is incompetent.
The
Outsiders talk strategy for later.
Bret
Hart has a hairline fracture but is going to fight Goldberg anyway.
Tag
Team Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Kidman/Konnan
Harlem
Heat is defending. Stevie
hammers Konnan down to start and stomps Kidman on the apron. All
hail King Stevie. More
pounding ensues until Konnan clotheslines both champs down for a
breather. Off to Kidman but he eats a clothesline as well to give
Stevie control again. It’s
quickly back to Konnan with Booker taking over with right hands and a
side slam. The champs start
double teaming Konnan as
I guess they’re heels tonight, despite the fans being all over the
Animals earlier in the night.
Stevie
knees him down and cranks on an armbar. Back
to Booker who misses the ax kick, allowing the hot tag to Kidman. A
quick Dudley Dog staggers Booker but Stevie comes back in to set up a
Hart Attack with a Harlem Side Kick instead of a clothesline. Konnan
gets back up and goes after Booker, allowing Kidman to load up
another Dudley Dog, only to have Stevie counter with a bridging belly
to back suplex, but Kidman raises his shoulder for the pin and the
titles.
Rating:
D+. Well
that happened. Was there any reason to not just give Kidman and
Konnan the belts last night? Other than a “shocking” title
change that is? The match was nothing to see, again mainly due to
time, even though this was one of the longer matches of the night at
just over five minutes. Sign
of the Russo times: that’s the third title change, not counting the
belts being vacated, in eight days.
Goldberg
says he’s always been brutal and the match with Sid was just showing
that side.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Diamond Dallas Page vs. David
Flair
Kimberly
grabs the mic and starts up the catchphrases in that great acting
voice of hers. Page wants Flair out of the ring and grabs him by the
neck before kissing him on the cheek. He
makes the mistake of turning his back on the crazy man though,
allowing David to get in some crowbar shots. Kimberly gets in to
call David off and he leaves as Page is looked at by medics. No
match.
Outsiders
vs. ???
The
Outsiders are in street clothes. Cue
the Harris Brothers…..who step aside so a bunch of porn chicks can
come out, one of which
appears to be smuggling basketballs in her shirt. The
bell rings and my goodness they’re actually doing this. Tony:
“The Powers that Be are looking for ratings and they’re going to
get them!”
Hall
starts with the blonde but doesn’t know where to put his hands. She
headlocks him into her chest and this is dying before my eyes. More
“comedy” ensues and Hall does the Flair Flop, earning him a
spank. The fans clap for
the hot tag and Nash is all fired up for the other blonde. He
gets the laughably enhanced brunette but both Outsiders lay down for
a double pin. You think I’m rating this?
Goldberg
comes out to clean house before the brunette can take her top off.
US
Title/WCW World Title Tournament First Round: Goldberg vs. Bret Hart
This
is for Goldberg’s US Title for no apparent reason. Bret
limps down to the ring because of the leg injury over the last few
weeks. Goldberg takes him
into the corner and gives a clean break. Instead
it’s the gorilla press into a powerslam to plant Bret but Goldberg
doesn’t want to follow up.
A
leg lock has Bret in trouble but he’s right next to the ropes. Bret
gets dropped again as this is coming off like an angle instead of a
match. Goldberg stomps away
in the corner and pulls Bret out by the leg. Another
leg lock makes Bret scream so Goldberg lets go and demands that the
referee stop it. Bret says keep going so Goldberg throws him back
to the mat.
Goldberg
charges into the good foot in the corner and Bret puts on a sleeper.
That goes as well as you
would expect with Goldberg throwing Bret onto the referee. Hart
is thrown outside so cue the
Outsiders and Sid (in his gear due to reasons of insanity) to
lay Goldberg out. Somehow
the referee looks at this and doesn’t call for a DQ, allowing Bret to
crawl back inside for the pin, even though Goldberg was sitting up
when Hart got back in.
Rating:
D+. This was kind of a mess but
not as bad as it could have been, again due to having more time
(nearly EIGHT minutes!).
However, it does make the events of last night seem like a big waste
of time. Was there any reason to have Luger make Bret give up if
Bret is winning the US Title here? Or to have Goldberg win two
titles in one night and then lose both twenty four hours later? What
a mess, but this was one of the less messy messes of the night.
Also, this is another
potential Starrcade main event thrown away for free on TV. Yeah
there would be a rematch, but this wasn’t really making me want to
see them again.
Here
are the updated brackets for the first half of the tournament.
Bret
Hart
Perry
Saturn
Norman
Smiley
Kidman
Total
Package
Diamond
Dallas Page/David Flair (no winner so it’s not clear)
Meng
Sting
What
a glorious set of options.
Overall
Rating:
F. When the best things
I can think of on a show are Torrie and Kimberly looking good, you
can tell it’s been a waste of three hours. The
title matches ranged from a
series of quick ways out of having a match to adding angles to
matches so Russo can cram every single thing he can think of into the
show. It’s been said that
Russo wants nothing to do with wrestling and that was never more
clear than here.
One
thing he does love though is the Filthy Animals, who were all over
this show. Their story made
sense for the most part, but it’s very clear that the audience is
already having problems with who they’re supposed to cheer for.
That’s the shades of gray idea that Russo likes to use, which still
doesn’t seem to work 90% of the time.
This
was a huge mess with WAY too much stuff going on to keep track of
anything. I watched this show over the span of about twenty four
hours and I’m struggling to remember half of what happened on it.
None of the things you see
has the chance to stick with you because they have to get on to the
next idea. There was a line from HHH when he was on Austin’s podcast
that would really serve Russo well: there’s always next week. It’s
ok to let something play out on one show and do something next week
(or on Thunder to make that show actually mean something for a
change).
Here’s
the thing: yeah the WWF is pretty lame right now with all the sports
entertainment nonsense, at least it made sense and had the charisma
to carry things through. This
show feels like someone watched Raw and said “I CAN DO THAT!” and
got a job running a wrestling comp……oh dear goodness that’s
pretty much what happened isn’t it? Maybe this is Russo getting his
first ideas out of the way early and it’ll get better later, but for
now though, the Russo Era is terrifying.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Why did Orton lose the title so soon in 2004?

Hi Scott,

Michael Xavier here. I've been off-blog because of the current product and am watching PPVs during the Reign of Terror that I missed because that was the last time I wasn't interested in the product. Plus, it was just referenced in the Max Landis short movie (by the way, congrats on the mention!)

Anyway, Orton beat Benoit for the RAW belt at SummerSlam 2004. It went on last, Orton won clean, and Benoit even did the "handshake of respect" to completely put him over. It was essentially portrayed as a career-making performance. The next night he got kicked out of Evolution and then lost the belt at the next PPV to Hunter. He was basically Hunter's bitch in rematches and Batista was later pushed into the RAW championship spot instead. Orton didn't get another run with a top title until he won the WWE title in October 2007, more than 3 years later.

What was the point of putting Orton over so strongly at SummerSlam only to have him lose the belt so suddenly? I'd get it if ratings and house shows tanked, but he was already being set up to lose it to Hunter the very next night, and then was essentially out of serious consideration of being champion for 3 years.

Anyway, any knowledge on this?

​The explanation I've always heard is that Hunter felt like they needed a heel champion for whatever the voting PPV was that year (Taboo Tuesday or Cyber Sunday, I forget) because fans wouldn't want to vote between three heels and the choices were stronger on the babyface side anyway.  Plus Orton was really a spectacular flop as champion, like really badly, so it worked out OK anyway.  ​

Taker vs Reigns


Hindsight being 20/20 would it have been better for the Streak to stay intact and do Reigns vs Taker and Bryan vs Brock for the title this year? This way you satisfy both fanbases and it's not like beating the Streak did all that much for Brock anyway. Plus, giving the rub to Reigns with the Streak would be way better than beating a lame duck champ that is leaving.

​The problem is not Brock or the streak or any of those other things.  The original plan of "Brock breaks the streak, destroys champion at Summerslam, lays waste to WWE until conquering hero gets mega-rub at WM" is totally viable and fine.  The problem has always been that Reigns is the wrong guy and has never worked in the role.  So no, giving Reigns the streak win instead of the Brock win doesn't help anything.  ​

WWF Superstars: February 9, 1997

A recap of “Royal Rumble RAW” airs, reminding us that false advertising doesn’t stop just because the show ended.
JIM ROSS and JAMES E CORNETTE welcome us to Sunday morning, and remind us NOT to go looking for wrestling on Monday night because RAW is on Thursday. No sir, no way, no how, Thursday ONLY, there is NO OTHER WRESTLING ANYWHERE.

THE SULTAN (with the Iron Sheik) vs. GOLDUST (with Marlena)
Christ almighty the mid-card of the WWF is *awful*. Think positive thoughts, think positive thoughts. This is loosely connected to Marlena displaying her tits to an appalled Bob Backlund 6 weeks ago, but if this is how quickly he reacts to his moral code being violated, it’s safe to say that Backlund is gonna get plenty taken advantage of during his golden years. Fans start a “USA” chant, because frickin’ GOLDUST is the FACE?!? Tolerance might be at an all-time low, but having The Gay is preferable to having The Turban. Sultan hits the Samoan drop, and goes for the camel clutch. Marlene threats to take off her top, but HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY arrives to kidnap her. Goldust steps forward to save, but Sultan drags him right back with a belly to back suplex for the win at 3:41. Marlena fights Helmsley strong enough to give Goldust time to save his woman, but CURTIS HUGHES joins the fray, and it’s gay bashin’ time. *
FUERZA GUERRERA and HEAVY METAL vs. OCTAGON and HECTOR GARZA
FOR GOD SAKES PUT GOLDUST AND SULTAN BACK IN THE RING!!! I can’t do a WWF interpretation of a lucha libre match! They put PEPE CASAS back in the ring to officiate, because they won’t even put their own referees through this stuff. Octagon and Fuerza trade slow moving punches, and Fuerza goes to his specialty: The Awful Old Man Punch. Fuerza’s knocked to the floor, and HOLY SHIT, Octagon flies with some SERIOUS force via tope suicida!!! That might be the best version of that move I’ve *ever* seen. The hate, it’s gone! Heavy Metal and Garza mutually clothesline eachother to the floor, because they’re “twin sons!” but not. Metal nearly kills himself with a moonsault gone wrong, so they trade off where Fuerza shows off his saggy boobs. Octagon applies a fantastic armbar / headscissors submission hold, but Fuerza feels no pain since all his joints are basically paper mache. Metal re-enters the match by slipping on the top rope, and Garza nails a picture perfect moonsault for 2. Metal goes back to the top rope, because dammit he’s gonna do something right up there eventually, and hits the swandive for 2. Guerrera comes off the second rope with a chop delivered with the kind of force he uses to dab his cards at the bingo table. Garza plants Guerrera with a spinebuster, and JR gives up on this and goes split screen with:
PAUL BEARER, who’s rummaging around a locker in the men’s room. He’s sending Vader in to battle Steve Austin tonight, AND Bret on Thursday, and JR asks what the hell he’s thinking. Bearer says he’s pissed because Austin cheated Vader out of his rightful Rumble win, and he’s gonna finish him off tonight before taking care of the “whiner and crier” Bret Hart.
Back in the ring, Fuerza’s narcolepsy kicks in and on the way down his leg connects with Garza. Garza comes back with a springboard armdrag, and despite Guerrera exploding into a ball of dust off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, the referee declares only a 2 count. Octagon uses a crucifix to end this mess at 7:59. Octagon was fantastic, Garza was ok, Heavy Metal needs a tumbling class, and … I don’t even want to talk about the rest. This is probably deserving of a rating, but it was like 4 different matches so I don’t even know what to tell you.
THE HONKY TONK MAN tries to serenade SABLE. Even Marc Mero’s so unconcerned about old Wayne’s machismo that he doesn’t bother running in to stop it.
SHAWN MICHAELS, dressed like an 80’s living room and cowboy hat, joins us in the ring. JR sells him as a man who would never quit on the fans. Let’s remember that on Thursday. KEVIN KELLY is given the privilege of having his leg humped while trying to get an interview.
Michaels pimps his match with Sid on Thursday, and since Sid was kind enough to grant Shawn a rematch after the Survivor Series, he’ll do him the same favor. Uh huh. Apparently chasing the belt has made everyone nuts over the past few months, and he’s absolutely right. That’s part of what was making the current period we’re seeing so special. The belt was *everything*. After a lackluster run by Shawn (with some spectacular matches), suddenly you had hungry superstars everywhere willing to sell out their own mothers (and in the case of Steve Austin, grandma too) just to get a shot at the title. Aside from Vader whose cred has gone the way of the Dodo bird, any one of Hart, Taker, Austin, or Sid could just as easily be on top of the promotion right now and it would feel just as desperate. Anyway, Michaels trolls Bret a little by mentioning he’s whined on live TV, cried on live TV, and quit on live TV, but since Bret doesn’t want him calling him any of those names he won’t. This is the last title shot Shawn’s handing out before Mania, and he expects to get past Sid and put on another Wrestlemania Match of the Year for the 3rd year running. Baby Jesus is swimming in his tears just from the sheer volume of lies in that 4 minute piece.
FAAROOQ (with Clarence Mason, PG-13, D’Lo Brown, Two Well Dressed Men, and One Well Dressed Woman) vs. KEN RAPER
The Raper attacks before the bell, because that’s sorta how he rolls. Unfortunately, Faarooq is probably the LAST guy Raper should try and sink himself into, and he quickly learns who the big dog in this pound is. Faarooq rams Raper, and chokes him out.
Backstage, STEVE AUSTIN hypes the main event. In a nutshell: Vader’s gonna get his ass whipped.
Back in the ring, the Dominator is putting Raper down for the count at 2:17. DUD
BRET HART joins the commentary booth for the main event, smacking Cornette in the back of the head for the hell of it. SUNNY is the guest ring announcer, another speaking role she’s terrible at.
VADER (with Paul Bearer) vs. STEVE AUSTIN
Bret defends his loss to Vader, by saying it took him a little while to get back into the swing of things when he came back to the WWF – but now that he’s in his groove, nothing’s gonna stop him. Austin spies Hart at the booth, and flips him off as he makes his way to the ring. See, that’s beautiful – these are the touches we haven’t seen from anyone not named CM Punk in years. Cornette asks about respect he might have for Austin; but Hart clarifies he has zero respect, but he doesn’t underestimate the man. Austin throws the clubberin’ in the corner, going right to Vader with the power moves. That’s a seriously ballsy strategy against a man that big, but before you know it, Austin’s stomping a mudhole and walking it dry. Still, Austin’s gonna be Austin, and during his victory lap around the ring, Vader charges at him with his barrel chest and knock Austin back to reality. Austin retaliates with a clothesline, and a very vocal “STONE COLD” conglomerate has erupted now. Vader comes back with his bear paw swats, and goes into his “WHO’S THE MAN?” routine. Of course, Austin’s a cardio machine, and clips the monster. Bret uses this as a perfect time to talk about the fact Austin’s cold enough to try and injure another man rather than just win the fight. Vader works an armbar, but Austin won’t tap, so Vader picks him up and flattens him with a clothesline. With Vader back in charge, we take a break.
By the time we’re back, Austin and Vader are trading punches at rapid speed mid-ring. Vader wins, being a good 150 pounds heavier, and Austin falls to the ropes. Vader goes to mount him, but that trick knee acts up and Vader gets punted in the pooter. He shakes it off as best as any man can shake that off, and destroys Steve with an avalanche. Seeing this, Bret talks about himself. The Vaderbomb is blocked with Austin’s knees, and suddenly Austin’s back in this and attacking like a rabid dog. As he beats on Vader, the lights go out and Undertaker’s gong hits. Bret reminds us that he’s not afraid or intimidated by the Undertaker, and nobody else in the WWF is either. The lights come on, and THE UNDERTAKER is standing behind Bret at the announce table. One soupbone knocks the Hitman on his ass, as Austin dumps Vader to the outside. All 4 guys wind up brawling in the aisle, giving us a preview of next Sunday. The referee calls for a countout at 8:30, but nobody here cares as the punches continue to fly like beads at a Mardi Gras party. **

Jim Ross, figuring this fight has no chance of ending anytime soon, signs us off and reminds us – THURSDAY, not MONDAY. In fact, if you could avoid turning on your TV to Any Channel on Monday, because there is No Wrestling Anywhere, you’ll save yourself all kinds of disappointment.

WWF Wrestling Challenge April 19th, 1987

April 19, 1987

From the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week will be Koko B. Ware, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Honky Tonk Man, and Jake Roberts. Plus, comments from Randy Savage regarding his loss to Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III and more.

Bill Howard vs. Koko B. Ware

Koko takes Howard down with a hip toss as Danny Davis is shown in an insert promo promising to shut Koko up and even shove Frankie down his throat as Heenan laughs on commentary. The action is at a snails pace as Howard lands a few shots but ducks his head and gets punched in the face. Koko takes control and hits a back elbow smash. He dodges a charging attack from Howard and hits a missile dropkick before getting the win with the Ghostbuster (2:34).

Thoughts: Looks like they are starting the Koko/Davis feud now. Sucks to be Koko.



Jim Powers & Paul Roma vs. The New Dream Team w/ Johnny V.

Powers & Roma have matching tights but are not yet referred as the Young Stallions. However, they are shown in an insert promo stating that they will give 100% and are ready for any team in the WWF. Sleep-inducing mic work from those two. They work over the arm of Bravo until he hits Roma with an inverted atomic drop. Roma comes back with a reverse rollup but Valentine tagged himself in and takes control. Bravo misses an elbow drop then Roma tags out as Powers cleans house until Valentine knees him from the apron then Bravo hits a side slam. Roma breaks that up then get tossed outside by Bravo as Valentine slaps Powers in the figure-four and gets the win by submission (2:38).

Thoughts: This is the first time they have established Roma & Powers as a team. They were on offense most of the time and looked solid but its tough to look that good with a slug like Bravo in the ring. And they now have a feud for Roma & Powers too.



Gene Okerlund is with the British Bulldogs, who do not care who they have to face in order to get the belts back from the Hart Foundation. This was the best I have ever seen Dynamite on the mic. Davey was pretty bad here. The end focused on Matilda as the camera zooms in with Okerlund asking goofy questions about the dog.

Terry Gibbs vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Duggan runs into the ring with his 2×4 like a house of fire. He knocks down Gibbs a few times as we get an insert promo from Duggan, Sheik, and Slick, who calls Duggan “monkey head” as he warns Duggan that he will not stop Volkoff from signing the Russian National Anthem. Heenan is hilarious as he rags on Duggan by the way. Duggan hits a suplex as the fans are chanting along with him. He works a chinlock for a bit until he catches Gibbs with a powerslam before putting him away with a running clothesline (3:00).

Thoughts: The crowd was into Duggan’s antics big-time. I wonder what would have happened had not he got busted with the Iron Sheik because he was getting a mega-push here.



Okerlund is with Demolition and Mr. Fuji. This is the first televised promo from them with Mr. Fuji. Ax promises they will play “Demolition Derby” in the ring as Mr. Fuji will guide them to the titles. A solid job from Ax.

Jerry Allen vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart

Allen reverses an Irish whip then catches him with a shot to the gut. He hits a poor excuse of a dropkick before Honky decks him then takes control of the match. Jimmy Hart is shown in an insert promo stating that Honky is not afraid of the DDT but the move should be banned because it is dangerous. Honky Drops Allen throat-first on top of the guardrail then taunts the fans in the ring. Allen is back in as Honky knocks him down and roughs him up for a bit until he hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (2:31).

Thoughts: Total domination of Honky as this furthered along the “Ban the DDT” angle.



They replayed the interview segments between Elizabeth, Randy Savage, and the Bonnie & Ricky Steamboat announcement of the upcoming birth of their child. The gist of this is Savage has gone completely off the deep end since losing to Steamboat.

Blackjack Mulligan cuts a promo on Ron Bass saying that he has never ran from anyone except for the time his wife got drunk and chased him around with a meat cleaver.

Dusty Wolfe vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Jake knocks down Wolfe before hitting a back suplex. He slams him down then tosses him through the ropes a few times where he slams Wolfe on the floor. Wolfe hits a few shots that Jake no-sells then we see Jake in an insert promo pissed about the “Ban the DDT” movement. Jake fires away and roughs him up until he puts him away with the DDT (4:00). The fans popped huge for the DDT. After the match Jake dumps Damien on Wolfe then wraps it around his neck.

Thoughts: Jake destroyed Wolfe in this match. The crowd went mental over the DDT and the snake too as they have successfully promoted the “Ban the DDT” angle throughout the show.



Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Tommy Sharpe

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary. Hercules beat the shit out of Wolfe as Billy Jack Haynes is shown in an insert promo begging Hercules to bring his chain with him in the ring. Man, Haynes cut some intense promos. Hercules drops an elbow as Johnny V. calls Monsoon “Monsignor.” He seems tanked tonight as he is just rambling. Sharpe gets tossed to the floor as Hercules suplexes him back inside. He drops a knee then locks on the full nelson for the win (2:43).

Thoughts: Dominant performance by Hercules as his feud with Billy Jack continues.



Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart, Danny Davis, and the Hart Foundation. The Hart Foundation let us know that they have made Davis as part of the Foundation because he was unjustly fired as a referee. The Harts laugh at the list of teams Gene names off as Bret demands that Gene call them the best in the world. Funny stuff from the Hart Foundation, especially Neidhart.

Next week we will have an “unusual” matchup between the Islanders and the Rougeau Brothers. Plus, George “The Animal” Steele, Hart Foundation, Can-Am Connection, and Billy Jack Haynes.

Final Thoughts: Good show this week as they furthered along and created some potential new feuds as well. Really not much more to say other than that.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer), Disc One
Friday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer), Disc Two
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/25/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/26/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/2/87

Taker/Wyatt Booking

Scott,

I can't remember a mania build I've been less enthusiastic about. Just thinking how WWE has more than likely booked themselves into a corner with The Taker and Bray matchup. On one hand if Taker goes over it's two straight years of Bray being built up only to not get the rub at Mania. If Taker jobs again this yr doesn't that seriously devalue the legacy of the streak with 2 consecutive losses? In retrospect, could Brock have been rebuilt as a monster without going over last year, and saving that rub for Bray this year since he seems to be as good of a long term option as any on the roster at this point?

Thanks,
Jay

Sent from my iPhone


Bray is a guy who seriously needs to get the hell off TV for a few months and go elsewhere to freshen up.  He's done nothing for months but cut nonsensical promos about nothing and hasn't had any direction since the Wyatt Family breakup, and it's killing him.  I don't even understand what the issue in the Undertaker match is supposed to be.  
My ideal situation:  Wyatt uses the reunited Wyatt Family to beat Undertaker, and then the Shield reunites in the main event when Reigns loses and Rollins cashes in after a triple powerbomb on Lesnar, and we get a few months of those two factions warring with each other again in various combinations.  Hit the damn reset button and try again.  

Jerry Lawler DVD Listing

Hi Scott, hope you are well.

http://www.wrestlingdvdnews.com/full-content-wwe-jerry-lawler-its-good-to-be-the-king-dvd/83095/

Well, what do you think? As Meltzer noted, much of it will depend on the quality of the Memphis footage. And putting the Flair match on the Blu-Ray is just nasty. Now that's an enticement.

But that Piper match? Good God. Should have been buried behind Titan Towers in a shoebox decades ago.

Take care.

Jon

That's pretty weak sauce, dude.  Like, we know they have the rights to the empty arena and Kaufman matches because they aired a million times on 24/7, but the Hennig and Von Erich matches when Lawler was past his prime are really the best "rarities" they can pull up?  And then it jumps to 93 and all the crappy WWF matches he had?  There's tons better stuff on the Wrestling Gold collection alone and I'm pretty sure they could write Kit Parker a check for $10 and get the rights to all of that stuff.  This is massively disappointing given all the buildup that Lawler was giving it.  

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–02.26.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.26.96 Taped from Cincinnati, OH Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler Isaac Yankem v. Jake Roberts This would be Jake’s first appearance on RAW, no? Yankem works on a headlock, but Jake puts him down with a hiptoss, so Yankem pounds him down and chokes away in the corner. Yankem uses the clubbing forearms and calls for the DDS, but Jake blocks it and gets the DDT instead at 3:30. Awful and embarrassing for Jake. -* Ultimate Warrior returns at Wrestlemania! Maybe. Diesel v. Bob Holly This would be the match that Bischoff was bashing on Nitro at the same time. Holly attacks in the corner and Diesel pounds him down, then follows with a side slam. Diesel’s all paranoid and checks for Undertaker’s secret trap door, which is kind of a cool touch. Holly makes the comeback as we take a break, but we return with Diesel powerbombing him for the pin at 5:10. Why would you edit 2:00 out of a 5:00 TV match? ½* Diesel feels much more confident about his chances, but Undertaker appears in the ring and then vanishes when Diesel goes to chase him. No wonder Nash went to WCW…no one there had supernatural powers! Ahmed Johnson v. Shinobi Yup, it’s another attempt at finding a gimmick for Al Snow, this time as a ninja. Ahmed looks like he literally bathed himself in baby oil before the match. Ahmed tosses Shinobi around, and the evil ninja blows a springboard spot, slipping on the top rope and falling into a spinebuster and Pearl River Plunge at 1:50. Another winner for Snow. DUD And then immediately after this match, they announce that the Godwinns will be meeting the New Rockers in the tag title tournament, giving us ANOTHER loser gimmick for Al Snow in the same SEGMENT. Mankind is still talking to the rats in a dungeon somewhere. The Observer notes that the rat is the trained pet of Jim Cornette’s girlfriend. Shawn Michaels joins us and Jerry Lawler screams about how he’s getting “the biggest reaction since the Beatles” when clearly fans aren’t reacting. Bret Hart also comes out and they do the mutual respect interview, which goes nowhere. Roddy Piper comes out and chastises the crowd for booing both guys, and announces that the Wrestlemania main event will be an Iron Man match. Yokozuna v. Owen Hart & British Bulldog Yoko manages to fight off both heels, but Owen comes off the top with a missile dropkick and they double-team him as we take a break. Yoko slowly makes the comeback as the Man They Call Vader wanders down to ringside and comes in for the DQ at 6:05. DUD Ahmed and Snake make the save, which sets up their six-man at Wrestlemania. Vince is still selling it as Vader v. Yokozuna, however, so I guess plans changed. Larry Fling Live with the Huckster and Nacho Man, and this one is actually pretty funny. Fling asking “How’s Liz doing?” and then both guys answering before sharing a shocked look is a great bit, and Huckster threatens Fling with a steel chair before backing down from a woman’s shoe. Huckster demands that he win their match to keep up his merchandise sales, and then attacks the crew with incredibly fake chairshots as a tribute to the ending of Uncensored. Ok, THIS was hilarious, and if they had stuck to this kind of cheap satire instead of swinging above their pay grade with the “predatory practices” nonsense it would have been totally harmless fun. The Pulse Probably one of the worst RAW shows I can recall. Next week is Bret v. HHH and Shawn v. Kid, so that should at least be better in the ring.

BoD Daily Update

Kevin Owens Undergoes Knee Surgery


Owens underwent a partial menisetomony last week. Although already off of crutches, there is still no timetable set for his return.

http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/96-wwe-news/41664-wwe-news-owens-undergoes-knee-surgery

Samoa Joe Update


Joe is expected to sign with the WWE after his current run in Ring of Honor, which will end WrestleMania weekend. It is then expected that he will report to NXT sometime in April after finishing up his other independent commitments.

http://rajah.com/node/46226






WWE Hires Ring of Honor Talent to Work on the Creative Team 


Jimmy Jacobs has been signed by the WWE not to wrestle but rather to work on the creative side of the company.

http://wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2015/0316/591424/ring-of-honor-veteran-wrestler-leaving-soon-for-wwe-creative-job/

Kayfabe Commentaries Release YouShoot With Alberto El Patron


The former Alberto Del Rio has his YouShoot drop today. Click on the link below to view the trailer.

And, check out Place to be Nation’s “Great WrestleMania Re-Book Series” as they tackle WrestleMania XX. You can view that by clicking on the link below.

http://placetobenation.com/the-great-wrestlemania-re-book-wrestlemania-xx/

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap: 3/16/2015

We’re two weeks from WrestleMania iPod Touch Play Button…and nobody’s listening.  


Most of us wanted Daniel Bryan to win the Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns won it instead.

A
lot of people said, “All right, fuck us,” and expected Bryan to find
his way into the main event at WrestleMania — just like last year.
Nope. Roman Reigns vs. Lesnar.
The
remaining people who cared held out some sort of hope that Bryan would
kinda, sorta limp into the main event with what fan support he had left.
Nope. Next week, it’s Snoop Lion/Dogg/Lemur/whatever and Bill Simmons
from ESPN for some reason.
Meanwhile, Sting and The Undertaker barely show up and speak to their respective opponents via Jumbotron text message.
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar don’t even cut promos together.
The fans throw their hands up and yell, “WE GIVE UP!”
“But, wait!” WWE said. “Come back…we’ve got one more surprise…”
The
fans turned around and, with the last faint hope welling up and showing
itself in the form of misty eyes — and with the Anti-Smarks folding
their arms and saying, “See, we told you they’d fix it,” WWE said, “LL
Cool J is gonna open WrestleMania. You can go. It’s cool.”
Let’s get moving.
We start with Michael Cole interviewing Randy Orton in the Barbara Walters Interview Room of Doom. He talks, seriously, about seriously attacking Seth Rollins in a serious manner.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Des Moines, Iowa! As “LIVE” as Des Moines allows one to be, that is.
Big
Show, Rollins, Kane and the two security mooks are neatly and
geometrically positioned in the center of the ring like they’re about to
take a bow after the final performance of Les Miserables. Rollins says
he was betrayed last week. Orton turned his back on him. The crowd
chants “RKO” as Rollins seethes. He says that Orton stalked him like an
animal and he got beaten up bad. He suffered. He says that what Orton
did was UNLIKE what Rollins did with The Shield. That was called for.
Orton’s behavior was borderline sociopathic.
Show
takes the mic and says he owes Rollins an apology. He says Rollins is
the biggest talent in the business right now. It’s more “Orton is evil/a
snake/an animal/horrible/etc.” Kane gets in on the sob-fest. Orton will
pay. He betrayed Rollins. Noble says that Orton’s a rat. Noble declares
himself “the secret weapon of The Authority”. (DANIELLE: “Does Rollins realize his bodyguards couldn’t stop El Torito yet? Why does he keep these guys around when they don’t do anything right?”) And, finally Joey Mercury has his turn. He cries into Big Show’s big, sagging boobs, the way you’d think of god’s as big.
Rollins
has the mic again. Orton did what he did with no consequences — but
it’s a new week and Orton’s never faced a guy like Rollins. He accepts
Orton’s challenge at WrestleMania which is cool because I had no idea
Orton ever challenged him. Rollins says there’s one condition for Orton:
he faces Rollins tonight on RAW. More Orton is
scheming/evil/snake-like/pretty awful — and, mercifully, Orton’s music
hits. 
Orton
says he isn’t the face of WWE. He’s the guy who made Rollins look like a
bitch. He says he “accepts Rollins’ challenge”. Wait…what? Who
challenged who here?!
Even still, that’s a more appealing match than the main event.
TONIGHT:
  • John Cena and Rusev go nose to nose when they sign a contract — for the United States Championship match at WrestleMania.
  • Brock Lesnar gave a really stern interview about Roman Reigns.

Paige and AJ head to the ring.

13 days until Danielle and I head to Levi’s for WrestleMania…

MATCH #1: AJ Lee (w/ Paige) vs. WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella (w/ Brie Bella) (non-title)
The
ladies lock up and AJ runs into a Bella shoulderblock. Nikki picks AJ
up and tosses her into the corner, then hits some shoulders. Nikki backs
off and does push-ups. AJ doesn’t like that and hits a nice flipping
pin combo. Nikki kicks out and runs into an AJ armbar. Nikki breaks it
and puts AJ into an armbar. AJ breaks and it’s Nikki in an armbar. Nikki
hits the weakest “clothesline” ever and gets a two count when AJ hits
the mat. AJ comes back with a clothesline of her own and it’s a side
headlock by AJ. Nikki breaks but AJ hits a Frankensteiner. Nikki flies
outside the ropes. AJ attacks but Nikki drops AJ’s arm on the top rope.
We go to break. When we come back, AJ breaks a headlock only to end up
on the mat for two. More hot armbar action as Nikki has AJ on the mat.
Crowd kinda cheers to move things along as they realize that Jay Leno
knew more moves than Nikki. AJ suddenly locks in an Octopus Hold but
Nikki backs her into the buckle. Nikki rushes at her but AJ kicks her
and hits a crossbody, nearly getting a fall. Nikki goes for a belly to
belly suplex but AJ counters into a Sunset Flip. One count. AJ rushes
Nikki and Nikki slings her out of the ring. Brie swarms like a vulture
and Paige is right there to defend AJ. Nikki backs both women off but AJ
tosses Nikki into the mat. Paige and Brie call each other names. Brie
tosses Paige into the ringpost. AJ is distracted, so she eats a Nikki
forearm and a Rack Attack for the win at 11:02.
WINNER: Nikki Bella via Rack Attack
RATING: A cautious **1/4. Decent action — and a brave move by WWE to start the night with a Divas match.

TONIGHT: 

  • Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler take on Stardust, Bad News Barrett and Luke Harper in 6-Man Tag Team action.
  • Something regarding Roman Reigns. Remember him? He’s in the main event with Brock Lesnar.

LL Cool J is going to WrestleMania.

LAST THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Mark Henry got his ass kicked by Roman Reigns.

TONIGHT: Brock Lesnar spoke to somebody about Roman Reigns.

Renee
Young has Kane and Big Show backstage. Kane announces that Big Show
will be in Seth’s corner for tonight’s match. Show yells at Kane. Kane
yells at show. Does this count as a turn, or…? Seth shows up and says
that the two of them need to see the “big picture”. Kane suddenly admits
that they kinda enjoyed seeing him get beat up last week. So, Kane, for
one will not be at ringside. He tells Big Show to ditch Rollins as
well.

Ryback is out for a match as we are reminded how Ryback crushed Miz on Smackdown while Miz-dow (who is not really on tour with Wiz Khalifa, sucker) watched backstage, smiling.

MATCH #2: Ryback vs. The Miz (w/ Damien Miz-dow)
Miz
stomps at Ryback but Ryback tosses Miz outside. Ryback grabs Miz by the
hair and instructs Miz-dow to hit Miz. Miz-dow balls his fist but can’t
do it. Miz elbows Ryback and tells Miz-dow to un-ball his fist. Ryback
attacks Miz, rolls him into the ring, hits the Meathook and Shell Shock
for the win at 1:55. And, so this Miz/Miz-dow thing continues endlessly
on into the good night…
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: DUD. 

Post-match,
Miz-dow gets into the ring and fans him with his cost. He helps Miz up
and Miz repays him with the Skull Crushing Finale. It just. Keeps.
Going.

Cole builds the United States Championship with more fervor than the actual main event at WrestleMania.

We get clips of the Cena/Rusev feud where Cena says that “Rusev doesn’t have the right to disparage America”. Well, that’s not exactly true, Cena…

NEXT: The contract signing for THE MOST IMPORTANT CHAMPIONSHIP EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THIS BUSINESS.

Cole
is in the ring when we come back from break. He welcomes John Cena to
the ring. Cena goes to sign the contract, then puts it down and hits the
‘MURICA button for about three minutes. Cena signs it after his rant.
Rusev is called out.

Rusev comes out, dressed in
Pronto Uomo like he’s guest-starring on Miami Vice. Lana’s conspicuously
absent and, instead, Rusev is lead to the ring by a guy who looks like
Ron Howard cos-playing Tyler Durden who sounds like a Yakof Smirnoff
imitating a Frenchman, imitating Yakof Smirnoff. I cannot even begin to
make this up. It doesn’t help that JBL is audibly annoyed by the dude
and calls out his horrible accent or that the dude loses his composure
and nearly laughs at his own horrible acting on live television.

He
says Rusev isn’t signing the contract because Rusev never agreed to the
match, himself. Anyhow, Rusev reaches into his coat to retrieve some
creative writing which is peppered with phrases like “stupid Americans” and
“stupid little country”. Rusev says American will die. Rusev signs the thing. Shit happens. The
table gets tossed and Rusev rolls out of the ring. Cena waves the contract at him. Russian flag falls again
because nobody ever bothers to piss Rusev off by loading up the American flag.

TONIGHT: 6-Man Tag with 6 of the IC title peeps.

ALSO: Randy Orton faces Seth Rollins.

New Day is in the ring as Big E shudders and shakes like he’s having a crack fit.

MATCH
#3: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. WWE
Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (w/ Natalya) (non-title)

Suddenly,
Los Matadores show up as they’re getting the Roman Reigns Violent Push
treatement. Cesaro enters after Big E tosses Kofi into Tyson. He hits
some uppercutes. Kofi tries to come back with a dropkick but Cesaro
shrugs him off. He hits the Spin but something happens and Cesaro needs
to drop him. All hell breaks loose and Kofi catches a goofy-looking
uppercut to the back of his head. Cesaro covers for the win at 1:52.
WINNERS: Cesaro & Kidd
RATING: DUD. The build-up for the RAW pre-show, everyone!

Post-match,
Matadores and The New Day jaw at one another. Cesaro hits a neutralizer
on Kofi. Torito hits a physically-impossible Hurricarana on Cesaro and
so it goes.

LAST MONDAY: Bray taunted The
Undertaker who didn’t show up, yet managed to light a chair on fire with
worse VFX than what was seen in Sharknado.

TONIGHT: Bray does more freaky shit in order to draw out The Undertaker.

NEXT: Lesnar speaks.

We
get a nice shot of the outside of Wells Fargo Arena. I guess it’s as
good a time as any to point out that we’ve had 3 matches in 90 minutes,
totaling 15 minutes — and 11 minutes of that was a Divas match.

Rollins
is backstage as the Lollipop Guild argues with him about his fame.
Noble gets so pissed that he quits the Security team. Mercury quits,
too. So, naturally, Rollins will be booked to job to them next week in a
handicap match.

Cole sets up the Brock Lesnar thing
where Lesnar’s curse words get bleeped…except for “ass” which will get
bleeped next week when the censors suddenly decide it’s a curse word.

Erick
Rowan is wrestling Big Show when we come back from that. Months after
his face turn and, still, no fucks have been given. Show kicks the shit
out of him, then hits the KO Punch. He goes to the second rope and hits a
elbow/body splash. There’s no match here. But, nobody wanted one
anyhow, so…

THE NEWEST INDUCTEE INTO THE WWE HALL OF FAME IS…Larry Zbyszko!

STILL TO COME: That 6-Man Tag Match

When
we come back from break, Kane is in the ring with the WWE’s also-rans:
Zack Ryder, Fandago, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Titus O’Neil, Goldust,
Jack Swagger, Adam Rose and Darren Young. He declares that he will win
the Andre Battle Royal. He will demonstrate that right now. So Mark
Henry shows up and he gets mic time because we haven’t had enough promo
spots. He says HE will win. Axel vacates. Dust, Swagger and a slew of
others eat the outside mat. Kane and Henry are the only ones left after
Kane dumps Titus. Kane hits an uppercut. Henry shrugs off his blows and
tries to dump him. He succeeds. In runs Axel, who tries to dump Henry.
Henry reverses that attempts. And that’s about as well as one could do
to pump that match up.

STILL TO COME: Orton and Seth.

After, yet, ANOTHER BREAK.

THIS THURSDAY: 6-Being Interspecies Tag Match on Smackdown…which is the reason I quit watching it.

Out
comes Paul Heyman to remind us that we’ve now had over 2 hours of RAW
with 15 minutes of actual wrestling. At this point, this has become so
tiresome, I can’t even enjoy whatever the hell this is supposed to be.
Everyone hates Reigns. Everyone loves Lesnar. Heyman gives a good promo.
None of this is working.

Roman Reigns
appears. He wants to beat up Paul Heyman but he has “respect” for him.
He’s here, instead, to speak to Brock Lesnar. Who isn’t here. So, he’ll
speak to the camera. He says he’ll kick Lesnar’s ass. Seriously. There’s
nothing here. I was in the kitchen, washing dishes during that entire segment
and I rewound the thing to write this, thinking I’d need to recap
something a lot more in-depth and sophisticated. Right now, it’s two
guys speaking to each other through lawyers. That’s it.

Anyhow,
when we come back, Renee Young catches Paul Heyman in the hallway.
Heyman states that Lesnar will be here to confront Reigns.

HOLY SHIT A MATCH.

MATCH
#4: WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper &
Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose in a Six-Man
Tag Team Match

Just FYI: all three of the faces got a bigger
pop tonight than Reigns has had in weeks. Oh, by the way, here comes
R-Truth because he’s still in this shit but not white enough to compete.
Stardust does cartwheel but Dean grabs him and slams him. Stardust
comes back with punches in the corner. Ambrose whips him into the
opposite corner, then hits a suplex. Tag to Bryan and Bryan puts him
into a Surfboard, despite the fact that Stardust is completely mobile
and not at all tired. Bryan kicks at Dust in the corner. Bryan hits an
armbar and Ziggler tags himself in. Bryan argues with Ziggler. Stardust
gets in the middle of that, so he gets dumped from the ring. It turns
into a near-Pier 6 and we go to break.

We’re
back and Harper is roughing up Dean Ambrose in the corner. Ambrose hits a
nice Tornado DDT on a counter as “R-Trizzle” (because it’s 1995, see)
sits in on commentary. Tags on both sides. Ziggler hits a DDT on
Stardust but Dust comes back with a dropkick. Ziggler flies from the
ring and Barrett attacks after a tag. He runs Ziggler into the crowd
wall, then rolls him in-ring for a two-count. He puts Ziggler into the
corner and kicks him in the ribs. Two count. Tags to Star and Harper.
They rough up Ziggler. Barrett gets back in and kicks Ziggler, then hits
a nice swinging neckbreaker for two. He tosses Ziggler into the corner
and tags Harper. Harper tosses Barrett into Ziggler who evades. Harper
charge and he flies out of the ring. Dust attacks and he gets sent to
the mat.

Ziggler goes for a hot tag and completely
misses as the heels take out Ambrose and Bryan. Ziggler counters a
powerbomb and hits the Fame-Asser. Barrett saves the pin. All hell
breaks loose as everyone gets into a huge brawl in the ring. It ends
when the ring clears. Harper hits a Big Boot and a Sitting Powerbomb —
but Ziggler kicks out! Wow. After another break, Barrett has Ziggler in a
headlock. Ziggler starts to break it and hits a nice DDT. Ziggler gets
the hot tag to Brayn. He’s all over Barrett after taking out Dust and
Harper. Flying Goat to Harper as he tags Ambrose. Ambrose hits a splash
on Barrett. Two count. Stardust sends Ambrose into the ropes. Comeback
Clothesline. Everyone goes for a spot. Ziggler hits a Superkick on Bryan
by accident, then nails Harper. Barrett goes for Wasteland but Ziggler
counters and dives at both Harper and Stardust. In the ring, Barrett
sets up for the Bullhammer but Ambrose ducks and counters with Dirty
Deeds to get the pin at 17:00.
WINNERS: Ambrose, Bryan and Ziggler
RATING: ***1/4. A VERY welcome quality match.

Post-match,
Stardust tries to steal the IC title and run into the crowd but leaves
the belt behind. Truth grabs it but Harper gets in his way. Truth throws
it back into the ring. Bryan gets up and grabs it. So does Ziggler. The
two fight over it. Barrett comes into the ring and it’s like an episode
of Oprah: everyone gets a Bullhammer. He grabs his title, takes out
Ambrose with a Bullhammer, then takes out Truth, who also gets in his
way.

Steph and Triple H are having a moment
backstage. Seth interrupts. He wants to know what Steph and Triple H are
gonna do about things tonight. Steph says that it’s time for Rollins to
lay down in the bed he made. Seth blames Steph for what’s going on.
Triple H asks who Seth thinks he’s talking to. Seth goes nose to nose
and dares him to mess up the company’s future. Steph gets between them.
Triple H says that Seth should go before things go from bad to worse.

NEXT: Bray Wyatt talks.

LAST WEEK: Bray Wyatt talked. His chair was set on fire.

Bray Wyatt time. It’s another promo. It’s not in a ring. Doesn’t involve The Undertaker. So, who honestly cares?

NEXT: Orton and Rollins.

NEXT WEEK: Lesnar and Reigns go face to face. 

ALSO NEXT WEEK: Snoop Dogg & Bill Simmons are here.

Orton’s
out for the final match. Rollins is out for a promo. Rollins says that
Orton has made the Authority look like fools. Then he laughs because,
surprise, it’s a set-up that nobody, but the entire fucking WWE Universe saw coming.
He’s made a fool out of Orton. He brings out the entire Authority in
Triple H, Steph, Big Show, Kane, and J&J Security. Orton goes
outside to grab a chair. He stands his ground. Triple H mocks him. They
surround the ring.

Crowd chants for Sting.
Everyone gets in the ring. Lights go out. The sound of a crow and Cole
ruins the fucking moment by saying, “What in the world…?” Lights come
back up. Sting’s in the ring with the baseball bat. The faces clear the
ring out. Sting hits the Stinger Splash on J&J. Sting hits a
Scorpion Deathdrop on Noble. Orton hits an RKO on Mercury. Crowd is
INSANE right now, chanting Sting’s name.

We go off the air because OMGFANSWEREOUTTATIMEENJOYTHEFIFTHELEMENTONTHETBSNETWOR–..

OVERALL:
A LOT of build-up. I’d go ** for the decent Divas match, the IC tag
battle, and the Sting/Orton team-up at the end. There was a LOT of
filler here, however. 4 matches on a RAW card totaling in 35 minutes of
actual, recorded action? Not good. 

Before we go…the best of Monday Night Open Mic: 

 
Er…that’s it.