Looking back at Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio

Looking Back at: Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler

Hi everyone! Now that I can post on here as much as I like, here’s a cheap plug for a look back at Payback 2013 and seeing if the Ziggler/ADR feud was as good as I remember.

If you don’t want to click the link, the answer’s ”yes.”

The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2013

The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2013 This is for the reader who won the 20,000,000th pageview contest on the blog, and also because it coincides with this year’s version of the show. Plus part of me wanted to see if it was really the worst show of the year, because I’m funny that way. I didn’t watch the show and barely paid attention to the results, so this is all mostly fresh to me. Live from Buffalo, NY Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler World Heavyweight title, Hardcore rules: Alberto Del Rio v. Rob Van Dam I don’t even get the deal with RVD and Ricardo, as they broke up the Ricardo-Del Rio team, literally the only thing giving Del Rio any heat, and put him with someone who didn’t need a manager or extra heat. It did nothing for anyone involved and really made RVD look like kind of a goof for associating with Ricardo. Rob dumps ADR to start and drops the guillotine legdrop as I ponder the difference between a “hardcore” match and an “extreme rules” match. Probably copyright. Back in the ring, Rob DDTs him on a chair for two, but ADR gets the backstabber for two. Del Rio with some WEAK chairshots for two. I could live just fine without ever seeing anyone take a chair to the back again, but if you’re gonna do it, DO IT. ADR sets up the chair in the corner while we get a high-speed camera replay (hey, remember the month or so when they spent thousands on that thing and then used it a bunch to justify it?) but Rob spinkicks him and retrieves a ladder. Back in, RVD with a missile dropkick and ADR bumps off the ladder and out to the floor, and back in for two. Rob climbs the ladder in the corner, but Del Rio puts him down with an enzuigiri and gets two. He goes to work with the dreaded aluminum garbage can, but Rob kicks it back at him. Slow motion reveals how non-devastating that move really is. As a general rule, high speed replays of choreographed fighting kind of undermines the whole “suspension of disbelief” deal. Rob makes the comeback with a moonsault on the ladder for two. Rolling Thunder misses, however, and it’s armbreaker time. Ricardo breaks it up since it’s no-DQ, and Rob rolls Del Rio up for two. And then we get a weird sequence with Del Rio and Ricardo beating on each other to totally kill the flow of the match. Rob suddenly reappears with a frog splash off the apron, which gets two. Rob tries the Van Terminator, but misses after his ten minute setup routine. Del Rio drops him on the chair and superkicks him, then finishes with the armbreaker in the chair at 16:03. So yeah, quite the comeback for RVD, tapping to the heel’s finisher despite having all the advantages in the match. It was like a good Smackdown main event, but didn’t seem like a good fit for a PPV blowoff. *** Meanwhile, the Real Americans rail against Mexicans and Canadians sneaking across the border. The Great Khali & Santino v. The Real Americans They seriously put this match on a show that people were paying for? Showing that the company totally misses the point of the hypocrisy behind the heel team, Santino and Khali are both legitimately foreigners, thus proving their point! The heel heat should have been from the “Real” Americans accusing two obviously American babyfaces of being immigrants. Santino tries a headlock on Swagger while the announcers are already losing interest in the match, and the cobra comes out early. Swagger runs away from it and Hornswoggle tries his own, but that goes nowhere and Santino is your clown-in-peril. This whole sequence was apparently supposed to be hilarious judging by the fake laughter from the announce team. Just in case you needed that clarified. See, a MIDGET had a smaller version of the cobra. And then Swagger just ignored him and stole the sock. Because he’s a midget and thus easily beat up. HILARIOUS. Mercifully we move to the hot tag and Khali pounds on Cesaro and the big chop gets two. Swagger and Santino fight on the floor, leaving Cesaro to Giant Swing the giant for the pin at 7:05. DUD Did we mention that BREAST CANCER IS BAD? Because this is apparently news. Seriously, they’re already all wearing their stupid pink shirts and the Susan G. Komen scam has advertising all over the arena, do we really need PSAs in between the matches as well? How much was the foundation paying for this shameless self-promotion? When you’re basically sponsoring a show on the same level as Snickers or the new Modern Warfare game does, the high moral ground is kind of lost. Intercontinental title: Curtis Axel v. R-Truth Truth slugs away while Cole reminds us that Truth was once US champion four years ago and had a single title shot at Cena as well. Wow, what a pedigree. A clothesline puts Axel on the floor and Truth follows with a clothesline and he’s like “WHAT’S UP?” and the crowd is like “Eh, not much, just watching this shit PPV.” Axel runs him into the railing for two, which we get in SUPER EXPENSIVE HIGH FRAMERATE SLOW MOTION and they’re milk every cent out of that fucking camera system if it kills them. Did the Susan G. Komen foundation buy it for them or something? RISE ABOVE 30 FRAMES PER SECOND! So back in the ring, Axel goes to the chinlock and I’m sick of this match already as we get another fucking slow motion replay. How much more slow motion could a match be? It’s CURTIS AXEL. Are you gonna sell this camera thing on chinlocks at 1200 frames per second? Truth makes the comeback with a rollup for two and the axe kick for two. The crowd is more concerned with JBL than with Truth’s title chase. Can’t say as I blame them. God forbid this company ever figures out how to film in 3D because they’d probably shove that down our throats for a month, too. Axel finishes with the neckbreaker thingie at 7:40. Thankfully, not in SUPER SLO-MO. The match was slow motion by itself. * Divas title: AJ Lee v. Brie Bella Was this during the “Total Divas hate AJ” feud that everyone raved about to start but went nowhere? Brie chases AJ around and gets a dropkick for two as Cole points out the possibility of the engaged Brie and Daniel Bryan couple becoming dual champions tonight. Which is really weird because they acknowledge the real life and Total Divas continuity of Brie and Bryan, but Nikki Bella and John Cena exist in some bizarre parallel universe where they only know each other on the E! Network. Like apparently the fans are supposed to be the perfect balance of stupid to know about one relationship but not the other. AJ works on the arm a bit but she’s got nothing to work with here. Blind charge misses but AJ just keeps beating on the arm while Cole on commentary confirms that this was indeed after AJ gave the promo that was supposed to turn her into a mega-heel in the company’s eyes by insulting the Total Divas show that everyone apparently was supposed to love non-ironically. Brie makes the comeback while Tamina beats on Nikki, and this distraction allows AJ to get the rollup to retain at 6:44. So basically AJ told all the other Divas that they sucked and then proved that she was correct by beating them all and retaining her title for a record length of time. TELLING STORIES. ½* The Shield v. Cody Rhodes & Goldust The Rhodes family fights for their jobs as we finally get something worthwhile on this show. Cody chases the heels and they work on Reigns in the corner, so the Shield bails to regroup. Dusty UNDOES THE BELT and you know he means business but sadly no one is whipped like a dog if you will. Back in the ring, Cody gets beat up in the corner, but he comes back and stomps Rollins down in the corner. Rollins puts him down again Roman overpowers him for two, and I’m wondering why they didn’t just book it as a 3-on-2 match to really put the screws to the Rhodes family and give it real stakes. Rollins with a neckbreaker for two and Cody gets caught in the heel corner, but he comes back with a moonsault and it’s hot tag Goldust. He beats on Reigns in the corner and the crowd is totally into this one, and a flying bodypress gets two. Sadly, a bodypress misses and Goldust splats on the floor to begin his revived career as the greatest face-in-peril of the past decade. He actually manages to milk crowd sympathy out of a teased countout. Back in, the Shield goes to work and Rollins gets a senton for two as Goldust’s paint starts to come off and you can see the agony on his face start to develop. What a great touch that ended up being. Although the stupid pink gloves kind of kill the gravitas. He’s desperate to fight for his very job, but not so desperate that he can’t stop to honor the company-wide charity initiative of the month! Goldust comes back with a powerslam on Rollins and it’s hot tag Cody and he’s running wild. A spinning Alabama slam gets two on Rollins. Suplex gets two and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, as Cody hits Reigns with the disaster kick and dumps him, but Rollins lays him out from behind in a great spot. This match also was fascinating for myself as a fan of tag team wrestling, because no matter how you try to kill off tag teams, wrestling crowds collectively get the rhythms and twists of a great tag match without being taught. They know to get mad at the false finishes, clap along with the face-in-peril to inspire him to make the tag, and know that the hot tag is setting up the climax of the match and turn up their response accordingly. On the floor, Dusty finally pays off the belt spot and lays out Ambrose to the delight of the crowd. In the ring, Crossroads finishes at 13:52 for the giant pop. Clearly the best thing on the show. ***3/4 Sadly their tag title reign later would prove to be a giant waste for all involved. Kofi Kingston v. Bray Wyatt Bray misses a couple of charges, but manages to lay him out in the corner and pounds him down for two. I should note that it was around this time that the Wyatt-Cena Wrestlemania rumors started and most people were like “WTF?” And then they actually managed to build him up before having him lose all the matches and drop back down the card again. So, job well done, I guess. Bray drops an elbow for two as the crowd has already given up on the match and started chanting for random people. Kofi fights out of a chinlock and gets a crucifix for two. But where’s the super slo-mo replay? The wacky kick misses and Bray lays him out for the CRABWALK OF DOOM. Kofi comes back with a dive onto all three guys and goes up with a flying bodypress for two, but Bray catches him with Sister Abagail at 8:20. This really needed to be Bray squashing the shit out of Kofi at this point and just ended up being too long for what they were trying to accomplish. ** CM Punk v. Ryback This was so clearly a setup for their Cell match two weeks later that I don’t even know why they bothered going through the motions of actually having a match. Punk kicks Ryback’s legs out and he bails to escape, so Punk hits him with a dive and sends him into the post. Back in, a flying bodypress gets two. Ryback comes back with a press slam and runs Punk into the post to take over and we hit the chinlock. Ryback with an overhead suplex for two. Who was the ad wizard that came up with this feud? “Hey, let’s book a series of matches where Ryback has to be on offense for long stretches of time against a guy who’s already beat up and unmotivated! WE’LL MAKE MILLIONS!” Ryback suplexes him on the top rope and pounds away for two. And back to the chinlock. Punk makes a comeback, so Heyman stops to cut a promo and Punk stands like a moron while Ryback attacks from behind. Powerbomb gets two. Why not just do a rollup like everyone else in the past 10 years? Another powerbomb is reversed to a sloppy high kick, thus CREATING SEPARATION, and the Macho Elbow gets two. Punk throws knees in the corner and takes him down with a rana, but Ryback gets a powerslam for two. Heyman gets caught with a kendo stick, so Punk kicks Ryback in the nuts and pins him at 15:00 while the ref is distracted. THAT was the finish they came up with? I could have spilled a bowl of Alpha-Bits on the floor and swept up random letters that would form a better finish than that. And this somehow necessitated a Hell in the Cell rematch at the next show. Punk was clearly beat up and in need of a break, basically doing nothing here and the result was a boring match. ** Meanwhile, the panel of “experts” (The Miz, Tensai and Titus O’Neil…no really) make their picks for the main event. One thing they know for sure is that we will absolutely have a champion after tonight. WWE title: Abeyance v. Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton This was the one after Bryan thought he had won the title but had it ripped away from by the establishment. Oh, and the Authority has no confidence in Randy Orton and thinks they need a new face of the company. In case you needed help narrowing down which match this one was. Orton works the headlock to start, but Bryan goes after the arm, so Orton puts him down with the neckbreaker for two. Bryan comes back with the kicks in the corner and goes to work on the knee with an indian deathlock, but Orton clotheslines from the top for two. Orton pounds away in the corner and even the announcers are like “Yeah, he’s really slowing the pace down here.” Bryan makes his comeback and puts Orton on the floor with a headscissors before following with a dive and a dropkick into the railing. Back in, he tries a flying something and gets caught with a powerbomb for two. Orton with a Boston crab, which is an oddly random choice on his part, but Bryan cradles for two. They head to the floor and Orton sends him into the post to take over again as the match just keeps meandering back and forth. Orton with a superplex for two as we finally get the super-expensive slo-mo replay that the viewing public had literally been demanding since the R-Truth match. RETURN ON INVESTMENT. If people who work with me are reading this, they’ll know why that’s funny. Bryan comes back with a backslide for two, but Orton suplexes him to the floor. They brawl by the tables and Bryan gets the better of that and follows with a dive from the top rope. Back in, flying headbutt gets two. Man, how much longer would his career (to date) have been if he had just phased that move out years ago? Bryan with dropkicks in the corner for the big comeback, but Orton suplexes him on his bad shoulder. Bryan blocks the RKO and hooks the Yes-Lock, but Big Show does the run-in and bumps the ref for some reason. This would I guess count as the finish at 22:00. This was every other Bryan v. Orton match you’ve ever seen in your life. *** And then Show knocks out both Bryan and Orton and we continue to have no champion. And that was the end of the show that people paid $60 to see in the days before the Network! See, because Bryan was considered to be the sideshow and people were supposed to get behind Big Show as the new face of the company and top babyface who avenged himself on Orton and then faced HHH at TLC to draw millions. No, really. The Pulse Not quite as infuriating a show as it was at the time, now it’s more of an incredibly boring curiosity than anything. Unfortunately the passion and greatness of the Rhodes match has also been flattened out by time and perspective for me and that basically kills the whole show for me overall now. Definitely I’d call this the worst WWE PPV of 2013, no doubt.

Money in the Bank 2013 Review

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

Money in the Bank 2013 Review

Date: July 14, 2013


Arena: Wells Fargo Center

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

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

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

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

WWE Championship: Mark Henry vs. John Cena ©

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

Thumbs Way Up.

2013 RSPW Awards results

Hey, Scott: the 2013 RSPW Awards are (finally) finished! (It took us a while to root out a couple of schmucks who were vote-spamming and recalculate all totals.)

http://mightygodking.com/2014/02/21/the-2013-rec-sport-pro-wrestling-awards-final-results/

Sorry, I just wanted to ensure that Bob Backlund finally got his Best Bowtie Slammy after Owen Hart stole it 18 years ago.  

2013 Look Back: The Raw of 6-17-2013

Yes this was the RAW the night after Payback, which was an excellent PPV by most accounts. The June PPV is often a good sign for how the rest of the promotion’s year is going to go. So if you add the PPV with the RAW the night after it looked like we were in for a hell of a second half of 2013.

Money in the Bank was a rousing success as was Summerslam but soon after the wheels sort of came off and we’re heading into 2014 with a lot of questions and silly rumors…(John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania?). Maybe things will get back on track.

So I wanted to look back at the 6-17-2013 RAW to see if it was as good as I remembered.


MONDAY
NIGHT RAW June 17, 2013

Live from Grand Rapids, Michigan

Hosted by Michael Cole, The King and JBL

** We open up the show with the new World Heavyweight Champion and freshly
turned heel Alberto Del Rio as he and Dolph Ziggler tried the double turn and
it didn’t totally go over like they hoped. However Ricardo Rodriguez’s smirk during Del
Rio’s overblown intro was terrific. Here’s the shame with Del Rio, he’s a damn good
talker, he’s a damn good heel but there is just a general disconnect with him
and the fans. Del Rio doesn’t understand why the fans are so angry with him
when Ziggler did the same thing to him the night after Wrestlemania and the
fans cheered. He’s got a point. Crowd tries feebly to get a “We Want Ziggler”
chant going but it’s not working. Del Rio calls Jack Swagger an ignorant pig
that disrespected the Mexican culture and the Mexican people but the fans, “in
support of him”, would chant U-S-A. He’s got another point. He says America is
all about pigs and cowards. Man how did this promo not get over more than it
did? Alberto is bringing the awesome! Del Rio goes on until “Cult of
Personality” cuts him off and CM Punk returns to RAW for the first time in two
months. Crowd totally eats it up, ignoring that he is with Paul Heyman. Punk
refreshes Alberto’s memory about their last encounter, Survivor Series 2011,
when he beat him for the WWE Championship and held the title for 434 days. Punk
has no problems with Del Rio though, other than Del Rio calling himself the
best. There’s only one ‘Best in the World’ and Punk is ready to fight for his
name. Heyman interrupts Punk and tries to negotiate a title shot but Punk kindly
tells him to STFU and “while this guy was stealing a title from Dolph Ziggler
last night I was stealing the show with Chris Jericho!” So after a little more
jocking, we bring Vickie and Brad out and we’ve got a match. It was about 12
minutes of promo but it was PRODUCTIVE and we got somewhere. If you’re gonna
take the time, make it count!

(Coming up: Vickie Guerrero has a BIG surprise for the McMahon-Helmsley regime
tonight; Daniel Bryan goes one-on-one with Randy Orton and up next it’s the
Barrett Barrage trying to regain the Intercontinental title from new champion
Curtis Axel!)

** We’re back and Punk officially tells Heyman that he’ll always be a Paul
Heyman guy but he doesn’t need him to help him win matches like Brock Lesnar or
Curtis Axel.


Intercontinental Title: Wade Barrett vs. Curtis Axel

Poor Barrett just gets the in-ring intro and…Vickie is out again and says this
match won’t happen because Barrett is going to face her big surprise instead
and out comes Christian.


Plain Ol’ Match: Wade Barrett vs. Christian

Is Christian still under contract? If so he’s a good candidate for a Royal
Rumble return. Barrett jumps on Captain Charisma but Christian recovers and
dumps him over the top rope. Christian climbs to the top and hits a massive
cross body to the floor. Back in the ring Barrett rallies and gets a near fall
on Christian. 90 seconds into the match and we have a chinlock. Really? Barrett
doesn’t hold it for long and Christian hits a dropkick from the middle rope and
a big clotheslines. Barrett misses a blind charge and Christian hits a tornado
DDT for another two count but Barrett stops the momentum with a gut kick.
Barrett misses another blind charge and Christian with an inverted hangman and
the killswitch ends this sucker. Basically a squash as Barrett got nothing but
transitional moves.

** More news as the WWE Universe will choose the stipulation for the
Bryan-Orton match. The choices are No DQ, No Count Out or 2 out of 3 falls.

** Wyatt Family promo. They aren’t here yet but they’re coming.


Handicap Match: The Rhodes Scholars vs. Sheamus

Speaking of candidates for Royal Rumble returns, Sheamus should be close to
ready. He will have to fight off both guys at once and accounts very well for
himself to start, hitting Sandow with a nasty forearm. However a disaster kick
changes the course and the scholars take control with a double suplex that gets
two. Sandow with a snapmare and Rhodes with a shining wizard that sets up the
ELBOW OF DISDAIN…all of that gets two. Cody adds a couple of slaps to the face
and I don’t think that’s a good idea. Sheamus dumps Cody and completely murders
Sandow one on one with the usual stuff. He goes back to Rhodes to hit his 10
forearm spot.  A powerslam dumps Sandow
as Cody tries to catch Sandow from the ropes but he lands in Sheamus’ arms and
feels white noise instead. Sheamus preps for the brogue kick but Sandow sneaks
in and rolls him up for three. Sheamus, being the sore loser he is, gives
Rhodes the brogue kick anyway.

** DOWNLOAD THE WWE APP!

** Rob Van Dam returns at Money in the Bank. He didn’t stay for very long.

** Brad and Vickie brag about their moves to HHH but he’s not impressed.
However he wants them to take control of The Shield. He doesn’t care how strong
they need to be in order to get the Shield under control, just get it done. HHH
also says that getting 3MB in the show tonight…brilliant…yep that HHH always
putting over the talent.

** Kane and Bryan are bickering about Bryan being the weak link. Both Bryan and
Kane lost last night and Kane believes that it’s a sign that Team Hell No
another shot. Bryan says the only team he can focus on right now is “Team DB”
and Kane retorts “that makes sense because you’re acting like a DB”. Ouch. Kane
wishes DB good luck and Bryan takes that as a sign that he still considers him
the weak link.

** Randy Orton says it’s because of Daniel Bryan that Team R-K-No lost to The
Shield at Payback and he’ll prove that Bryan is the weak link tonight.


No Disqualification: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

Bryan goes after the arm and then to the leg with a couple of kicks and then a
Mexican surfboard, he works on the hamstrings some more and keeps kicking as
Orton clearly doesn’t have Chris Wiedman’s defensive skills. Orton comes back
with a couple of a stomps and a slingshot suplex. Lou Thesz press by Orton but
Bryan counters the ground and pound by grabbing the leg into a half crab. Orton
fights out but Bryan goes back to the legs kicks with the crowd starting to
feel him. Orton with the eye rake and he dumps Bryan to the floor. Orton hits a
big clothesline on the floor as some of the crowd starts to get behind him.
Back in the ring for a two count. Reverse chinlock time as the referee has to
tell Orton what comes next. Orton corners Bryan and pounds away, corner whip but
Bryan walks the ropes and hits a flying lariat. Corner dropkick from Bryan and
a second one with a head of steam gets two. Bryan sets too early off a whip but
he manages to dump Orton, however, Bryan misses the suicide dive as Orton sends
him into the barricade. Orton grabs a kendo stick and goes to work, first on
the back and then the front. Then he drives the point of the stick into Bryan’s
stomach. Back in the ring and we get a two count.

** Commercial Break

We’re back as Orton has Bryan posted. Headbutt by Orton and he’s goes for the
superplex but Bryan fights gallantly and a headbutt of his own knocks Orton off
the ropes. Bryan hits a top rope missile dropkick and both men are down. Bryan
back to his feet first and he goes to town with the kicks but misses the
roundhouse and Orton hits a wicked T-Bone suplex. Orton tries to set up the
elevated DDT but Bryan tries to counter into the No Lock, Orton fights out of
it and catapults Bryan over the top. Bryan tries to scale the ropes but Orton
casually kicks him in the mid section and Bryan goes to the floor. Ref brings
in the doctor to check on Bryan, doctor clears him so Orton suplexes Bryan on
the barricade. The referee and the doctor go back to Bryan and decide they have
seen enough. Crowd not happy with that decision.

(Orton def. Bryan, referee stoppage, ***1/2, heck of a match with both guys
showing a sample of the work they would do later in the year. Orton and Bryan
hug it out.)

** Looking back on how we got to tonight’s Main Event: CM Punk vs. Alberto Del
Rio

New Divas Champion A.J. Lee skips to the ring with Big E Langston. Rarely do
they give the women any in-ring interview time so this explains what the powers
that be thought of Lee. She says she’s the best Divas champion ever and any
bitch that disputes that can come down and take it up with her. And there’s
Stephanie McMahon…to no pop…Once they get in the ring I lose focus on what they
are talking about because Stephanie TOWERS over A.J., now she’s wearing
four-inch heels but still she’s easily close to a foot taller. Anyway they go
back and forth about feminism. A.J. suggest that instead of dating superstars
she should act like Stephanie and marry one. Ugh. Stephanie says that no one
does crazy like a McMahon. She ain’t lying. Anyway this really doesn’t go
anywhere as Kaitlyn jumps out and Stephanie gets pissed at her for
interrupting. Whatever. They could have done something a little bigger here
between A.J. and Stephanie but they bailed out. A.J. and Kaitlyn had a brawl
and Kaitlyn’s tit popped out. What happened to her anyway.

** Up next: Dean Ambrose defends the U.S. Title.


U.S. Championship: Dean Ambrose vs. Kane

Kane takes the quick advantage with the power moves, misses a blind charge but
drops Ambrose with the big boot. Kane sets too early off an irish whip but
catches Ambrose with a power slam for two. Corner whip and Kane follows in with
clotheslines. Sidewalk side by Kane gets a two count. Kane up to the top and
hits the big clothesline and Roman Reigns jumps in for the quick DQ. Spear and
triple powerbomb follow.

** Mark Henry hugs it out with the Primetime Players. Apparently he’s got a big
announcement coming.

** The Shield is beaming as they walk backstage. Vickie is pissed but the
Shield don’t care and she’s about to deliver her punishment when Vince McMahon
enters the picture and says the Shield reminds him of him. Ruthless aggression.
He then tells Kane for worth it’s worth he’s never liked Kane anyhow.

** Another Wyatt Family promo. They’re still not here yet.

** Zeb Coulter introduces the newest member of “We The People”, Antonio Cesaro
and now we have a match.


William Regal vs. Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro with a take down and Regal with a kip up and a throw. Cesaro corners
Regal and pounds away. A European uppercut drops Regal and he adds a gut wrench
suplex but Regal bridges out of the kickoff. Cesaro with a double stomp to the
chest. Regal back with uppercuts of his own and drops Cesaro with a hard left.
Regal goes for the double underhook but Cesaro straight powers out of it and
drops Regal on his back. Cesaro gives Regal a swinging chinlock and the
neutralizer to finish things. Obviously this was just a squash for Cesaro as
these two can do much much better when given time.

** The Champ is Here and he’s coming up next!

** Rob Van Dam is still returning at Money in the Bank


John Cena
sprints to the ring fresh off of a 3 Stages of Hell title defense
over Ryback. He panders to the crowd a bit and points out a guy wearing a CM
Punk shirt that has started a “Cena sucks” chant. Cena says he had a terrible
2012 and he had to ask his fans to hang in there. But 2013 has proven to be his
time thus far and six months into 2013 he proudly says “The Champ is Here”. And
then Mark Henry walks out holding his wrestling boots in one hand and he leaves
them at the top of the stage which should have been a sign right there as
proper decorum says to leave them in the center of the circle (or ring,
depending).

Henry tells Cena to put his guard down and shakes his hand. Henry, fighting back
tears, plays to the crowd wonderfully and talks about when he first met Cena in
2002 and how he’s turned into the star he knew he could be. Henry, wearing a
Salmon suit says “if you forget me, you’ll at least remember this suit” and
then the crowd lovingly chants “sexual chocolate”. Henry says Cena is going at
a rate of where he’ll eventually be the greatest WWE champion of all time.
Henry talks about his accomplishments and says while he hasn’t been as
successful as Cena he’s done pretty well for himself. Seriously I didn’t see this
coming the first time? What drug was I on? Henry announces his retirement and
the crowd applauds as Cena gives Henry the belt to hold up. Henry, continuing
to sell with tears, talks about traveling the world and doing more than anyone
could have expected from a kid that grew up in Silsbee, Texas. He mentions his
family, wife and children by name and says he’s coming home! Cena raises his
hand and gets him a hug so Henry returns the favor and gives him the World’s
Strongest Slam! This was just AMAZING execution and the Monday Night Mic was going nuts
if I remember correctly. Henry tells Cena “that’s what he does”. This was
pretty much the end of awesome Mark Henry as now he’s back to being a babyface
that gets pinned way too easily.

** Main Event tonight: CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio

** A look back at Mark Henry punking out John Cena.

** Henry cuts a second promo and calls everyone who believed him a bunch of
puppets. The WWE is the only thing he hasn’t held and he’s challenging Cena for
it right now. The reason Henry has two boots is because he’s going to leave one
of them in his ass.


Chris Jericho vs. Heath Slater

Jericho and Slater do a headlock sequence and then Jericho lays in the chops
but Slater rallies with a leg lariat that gets two. Slater with a charge and he
eats boot. Two shoulderblocks from Jericho and he hits an axe from the top
rope. Running bulldog but McIntyre nails Jericho as he goes for the lionsault.
Slater gets two off the interference and body slams Jericho. Slater goes to the
middle rope but misses the knee. Another running bulldog and the lionsault hits
this time. Codebreaker finishes things. He beats up McIntyre and Mahal too.

** Matt Striker talks with Heyman and Curtis Axel backstage. Striker wants to
know about the dissension between Punk and Heyman but Heyman switches the
attention to Axel and says he was “bred to be better than perfect.”


Sin Cara vs. Curtis Axel


The Miz
joins the talking heads at ringside. They give Axel some weird glowing
light treatment, similar to what Kane got back in the day. Axel works on Sin
Cara but he rallies with a drop kick. Axel comes back  with a shoulder and a weird back suplex that
gets two. Axel tries to get Sin Cara in a powerslam but Sin Cara counters with
a reverse DDT. He hits a couple of high kicks and a somersault senton but Axel
lifts his knees. Axel with an implant DDT and the victory. Axel and The Miz
lock eyes but nothing comes of it.

** Next up is our Main Event

** Vince McMahon talks to Brad & Vickie about the Mark Henry situation and
they make the Henry-Cena match for Money at the Bank. He applauds them on a
great show. Stephanie comes in and talks about the show being out of control.
HHH walks in and screams at Vickie for not putting the Shield in their place. HHH
tells Vickie to listen to him. Vince tells her not to work about HHH and
understand he’s the boss. Stephanie suggests she not listen to either of them.


Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk

Punk jumps on Del Rio immediately and Del Rio bails out quickly. Back in the
ring and the same sequence is repeating as Del Rio takes a powder. This time
Punk follows him and roughs him up on the barricade. Back in the ring and Del
Rio gets the first shot. Big kick to the head gets two for Del Rio. Snap Suplex
by Del Rio gets another two. Punk rallies and hits knees in succession on Del
Rio in the corner until referee Charles Robinson pulls him off. Del Rio goes
after the arm but Punk fights back with forearms. Punk goes for the GTS but Del
Rio bails on him so Punk hits a suicide dive as Cole and JBL are starting to
get annoying with their bickering. Back in the ring and Del Rio goes back to
the arm and sends Punk to the floor.

** Commercial Break

We’re back and Punk escapes an arm crucifix with a throw but Del Rio catches Punk
on a charge with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Another nasty kick to the
head and a running knee gets a two count. Del Rio goes to the top but gets
caught with a shot to the gut. Spinning low kick and a leg lariat by Punk. High
knees by Punk, the roundhouse kick misses and Del Rio with an elevated
armbreaker. Del Rio  drapes Punk on the
ropes and gives him consecutive forearms to the kidneys and a backstabber for
two. Del Rio misses the superkick and Punk rolls him up for two, Del Rio hits
superkick on the second try and gets two. Del Rio looking for the cross arm
breaker but Punk counters with a high knee and the GTS that sends Del Rio to
the floor. Rodriguez helps Del Rio to his feet and they decide to take a walk
when Ziggler attacks both men from behind to…not much of a pop sadly.

(CM Punk def. Del Rio, countout, ***1/4, usual stuff from those two guys.)

And what is that music I hear….Brock Lesnar comes in with no fan fare and minimal crowd reaction probably because they were shocked. Lesnar circles the ring as
Punk looks on confusingly and asks for the mic. Brock thinks about his
statement and then decides to just give Punk the F5 because he doesn’t need to
talk.


The Bottom Line:
This card set up Money in the Bank and Summerslam perfectly,
which along with Payback, gave the WWE it’s best three-month span of the year.
The Mark Henry-Cena stuff was effective and even though the program lasted just
one month it ended with a solid blowoff match at Money in the Bank. Punk and Lesnar would have a classic at Summerslam and the early seeds of the future program with Orton and Bryan were being set up. Unfortunately they couldn’t keep up this momentum after Summerslam. 

PG WEEK: Tribute to the Troops 2013 on NBC

The
PG Era Rant for Tribute to the Troops 2013 (NBC Edit).
Okay,
no need to say what happened the last time we left our “heroes”,
because as WWE loves to point out, tonight’s show is FOR the heroes.
From
Lewis-McChord Joint Base in Tacoma, WA.
Your
hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

We
open with Daniel Bryan on his way to the ring. Our troops need to
work on their YES.
But
as he fires up the crowd, we get the opening credits and a look back
at our last 10 Tributes. It includes footage of surprise troop
family reunions that NEVER get old.
I
take it back; the troops have been YES-ing right along with Bryan all
throughout the credits. But before we can get too much into the
spirit, the Wyatt Family heads to the ring.
Daniel
Bryan v. Bray Wyatt. Bray throws Bryan around, but Bryan comes back
with kicks only to run into a back elbow. They must be in an
airplane hangar – acoustics are bad and Bray’s blowing steam. Bray
works Bryan over in the corner and Hammer Throws him. Bray punches
Bryan in the corner and charges, but Bryan flips over and gets his
comeback. Bryan with YES Kicks, including the roundhouse, and he
goes up top for the Ram Jam. Harper and Rowan race in for the DQ at
1:43. It’s 3-on-1 against Bryan, but CM Punk races down and urges
them to bring it. He races past Rowan, low bridges Harper, and dives
onto both of them before pulling Bryan up. And now Vickie Guerrero
emerges from the back to break it up. She ejects Bray from ringside
and changes the match. HOLLA! (takes drink)
Luke
Harper & Erick Rowan v. CM Punk & Daniel Bryan. Joined in
progress with Punk and Bryan working Rowan over in the corner. Bray
was allowed to stay at ringside after all. Rowan lands a back elbow
on Bryan. Harper in, and he drops a pair of elbows for two. To the
chinlock, as we look over a C-17 in the backdrop. Bryan fights out,
but gets clobbered. Rowan back in, and an elbowdrop gets two. Neck
crank follows as everyone can see their breath. Even JBL has to
admit it. Bryan fights out but runs into a fallaway slam. Rowan
misses a falling something, and hot tag Punk. A series of
clotheslines staggers Rowan, as does a roundhouse kick, so Punk
finally sends him down with a springboard clothesline. Running knee
in the corner, and the duck-under spinning neckbreaker follows. Punk
calls for GTS and succeeds in getting him up, but now Bray runs in
for the DQ at 2:52. 3/4*
So who’s next to make the save? How about John Cena. Cena cleans
house and saves Punk and Bryan as a standoff happens. Hey, here’s
Vickie again. HOLLA! (takes another drink)
Bray
Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan v. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and
John Cena. Joined in progress as Bray crushes Punk in the corner and
does the inverted look. Harper in, and he hooks the Gator Roll on
Punk. They have people watching from on top of a helicopter. Punk
gets to his feet, but Harper pushes off only to get hit with the
spinning neckbreaker Punk does. Harper bounces everyone off the face
corner and suplexes Punk, but he doesn’t get anything because Cena
distracts the ref looking for revenge. Rowan in, and he gets a
reverse powerslam into a backbreaker for two. If you go to the
dot-com, Michael Cole interviews the Governor of Washington. Anyway,
Bray in as he traps Punk in a neutral corner and puts him on it, but
Punk headbutts Bray down and gets a diving bodypress. Harper in, but
it’s hot tag Cena and Cena goes into Comeback Mode. He taunts Rowan
with You Can’t See Me and drops the Five-Knuckle Shuffle on Harper.
Harper slides out of the AA, but the STF is on, and Rowan has to
save. Everybody’s in the ring now, and Harper’s left alone at the
end to get hit with GTS, Running Knee, and AA for the pin at 4:00.
*1/2
I know I missed quite a bit in the matches that was during the
break, so don’t really give too much to my ratings.
Clips
of celebrities saying thank you to the troops: Bruce Willis (born on
a US base in Germany) and Ryan Seacrest this time.
Later
tonight, Jeff Dunham and Daughtry.
Michelle
Beadle (the other woman in the ridiculous AJ temper scandal)
interviews Army Ranger Col. Hodges, the head of the base.
Santino
Marella is in the ring to introduce Daughtry (as only he can).
Daughtry
performs their new song “Waiting for Superman”.
We
see Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza, the head of the Infantry Division of the
base.
Fandango
v. R-Truth. So apparently this is like a Saturday Night’s Main Event
where everything goes from most to least desirable. That’s the only
explanation for why we haven’t seen Jeff Dunham yet. Fun fact: this
is twice now I’ve wanted to type “Duh-nam” and caught myself.
Truth with a headlock takedown into a reversal sequence, and Round
Two ends in Truth getting crunk or something. High hiptoss by Truth
has Fandango groggy. A big uppercut and Truth rains down punches in
the corner but gets thrown off. Fandango with a clothesline, but he
runs into leg lariat. Truth adds a series of clotheslines, followed
by a sitout front suplex for two. Axe Kick misses as Fandango bails
and gets a rope-pull kick, but he runs into Little Jimmy to get
pinned at 1:48. Truth celebrates with the troops.
More
celebrity thank-yous: Alec Baldwin and Will Ferrell (“Stay classy,
US Armed Forces”).
The
Bella Twins introduce Jeff Dunham.
Dunham
(and Peanut) mis-perform the Night Before Christmas, as a commentary
on 2013. Big Show appears and says it’s his turn and he has to cut
them off. YAY BIG SHOW!
Big
Show v. Damien Sandow. Sandow comments on how ridiculous the show
has been so far and says his New Year’s Resolution is to win the
gold. Sandow tries a waistlock, but yeah right, so Show bumps Sandow
down. Big headbutt follows, then a STINKFACE OF DOOM. Yes, that
happened. Show rips off Sandow’s shirt and does the CHOP OF DOOM to
him. Sandow chops away to no effect as Show just stares at him
incredulously, then plants him with a chop. Clotheslines follow,
then an avalanche and shoulderblock. It’s chokeslam time (“USA!”),
and he calls to the fans before loading up the right hand and
connecting for the pin at 2:04. But BRYAN’S music plays as Punk,
Bryan, and Cena return to YES all the way with Big Show. The locker
room follows with YES FOR EVERYONE. Even Cole and JBL join in. The
roster fills the ring and shakes hands with troops at ringside.
Everyone is YES-ing (well, except the unconscious Sandow) as we end
the show.
Not
commenting, not recapping, not statting, just saying: thank you,
ladies and gentlemen who allow me to stay alive. Thank you.

Smackdown – December 27, 2013

Smackdown
Date:
December 27, 2013
Location:
American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Commentators:
John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the final blue show of the year and I don’t remember anything being
announced on Raw. The main story from Monday was Big E.
Langston/Cena/Punk running off the Shield after being them for the
DQ, meaning it’s payback time tonight. We’re getting closer to the
Rumble and have less than 100 days until Wrestlemania so the times
are getting exciting. Let’s get to it.

Here’s
Cena to get things going. After looking at a clip of the end of Raw,
Cena says the last Smackdown of the year is even more important than
that. Tonight the WWE Universe is going to ring in the new year so
we need NOISE. They have to have fun tonight because after the new
year everyone has to worry about new year’s resolutions.
Cena
would like to give a bear hug to a real bear or star in a 1-800-Fella
commercial or land the lead role in a musical production of No Holds
Barred (dead silence on that line) or make a hip hop album with Great
Khali (lukewarm) or reboot an animated Manimal series with Michael
Cole in the lead role or, and only if he has time, get started early
on his XFL fantasy team (nice chuckle).
There’s
one other thing he wants to do: gain forty pounds. Luckily for him
he doesn’t have to wait for the new year because the WWE World
Heavyweight Championship weighs about forty pounds and he has a
rematch clause. If Orton is listening he can get out here right now
but instead here’s Shield. They surround the ring and easily take
Cena down but here’s Mark Henry for the save. When that doesn’t
work, Big E. Langston comes out for the real save to clear the ring.
Kane comes out on stage and makes three singles matches for tonight:
Langston vs. Ambrose (non-title), Reigns vs. Henry and Rollins vs.
Cena.
Usos
vs. Wyatt Family
Before
the match we get a clip of the Family throwing Bryan off a ledge last
week. The Usos send the monsters to the floor and Jey takes Rowan
down with a dive. Jimmy gets two off a rollup to Harper and a
Whisper in the Wind gets the same. Rowan makes a blind tag and takes
Jimmy’s head off with a clothesline. A splash is enough to pin Jimmy
in just 1:10.
Post
match Bray gives Jey Sister Abigail.
Renee
Young asks Randy Orton if he has any new year’s resolutions. Orton
says he’s beaten everyone else in the company so maybe he’ll win the
Royal Rumble so he can spend Wrestlemania in a skybox writing his
Hall of Fame introduction speech. Ziggler comes up and says he’ll
shut Orton up tonight. Orton promises an RKO until Kane comes in to
make the match for later. Ziggler leaves and Kane says backstage
must be a safe zone, but out there anything goes.
Cody
Rhodes vs. Antonio Cesaro
Colter’s
sign this week: “Press 1 for English, press 2 for INS.” Cesaro
is now residing in the US. This is fallout from Main Event when Cody
went after Cesaro for interfering in a Swagger vs. Goldust match.
Cody grabs a headlock to start as the announcers talk about Kane
being the eyes and ears of the Authority tonight. Cody takes Cesaro
to the mat and then out to the floor where Goldust gives Antonio a
deep breath.
Back
in and Cesaro punches Cody in the jaw and kicks him out to the floor.
After a Goldust staredown leads nowhere, Cesaro takes Rhodes back
inside for a pummeling in the corner. Cody quickly breaks out of a
chinlock and comes back with a front suplex for two but a Swagger
distraction lets Cesaro get in a cheap shot and a rollup for the pin
at 4:11.
Rating:
D+. Another match that changes
nothing as we wait for the title match that may never come. I’m not
a fan of champions losing but at least this was a singles match
instead of yet another tag loss. On the good side though, Cesaro
getting a pin in a singles match is a nice thing to see and hopefully
the first of many.
Prime
Time Players vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel
I
refuse to refer to them as “Rybaxel.” Ryback pounds on Young to
start but Darren scores with a right hand to the jaw and a dropkick
to the knee. Off to Titus for the front suplex to Darren onto Ryback
for no cover. A hard shoulder puts Ryback down but Axel gets in a
knee to O’Neil’s back to take him down. Curtis chokes him in the
corner (“BARK LIKE A DOG!”) before it’s quickly back to Ryback
for a front facelock.
The
heels take turns on O’Neil in the corner with Axel slapping him in
the back of the head, only to run into a big boot. Darren gets the
tag and scores with an overhead belly to belly on Axel before getting
two off a northern lights suplex. Everything breaks down and Ryback
is clotheslined to the floor, allowing Young to pin Axel at 4:51.
Rating:
D+. The underlying problems
with the tag division continues: it doesn’t matter if you build up
teams if the teams are boring and keep trading meaningless wins with
no advancement in sight. This match doesn’t change anything for
either team and doesn’t move the Players up towards a title program,
at least not anytime soon.
We
get a clip from the 50 Years of WWE DVD focusing on Saturday Night’s
Main Event.
Randy
Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
Another
non-title match. Ziggler now has a streak of pink hair which leaves
JBL stunned. Dolph gets taken into the corner but comes back with a
shot to the jaw to send the champion out to the floor. Back in and
Orton headlocks him down and takes Ziggler’s head off with a
clothesline. Dolph comes back with right hands in the corner and the
big jumping elbow for two. I guess the ten elbow drops spot is long
gone.
Orton
pulls Ziggler face first into the middle buckle to take over again
and walks around very slowly. He walks around too long though and
Ziggler gets in a dropkick, sending Orton to the floor and us to a
break. Back with Orton stomping away on a fallen Ziggler. Randy
puts on a reverse chinlock for a bit but Ziggler gets out with a
jawbreaker. Dolph pounds away in the corner and scores with a
neckbreaker before getting two off a neckbreaker.
The
Fameasser misses but Ziggler avoids the powerslam and gets two off a
jumping DDT. Dolph gets crotched on the top but breaks up a
superplex attempt. A bad looking missile dropkick gets two and Orton
is sent shoulder first into the post (same thing Orton did to him
during a break). A bulldog gets two for Ziggy but Orton pokes him in
the eye and RKOs Ziggler for the pin at 13:20.
Rating:
B-. I like the ending with
Orton taking the easy way out again, just like Cena accused him of
doing leading up to TLC. The match was the usual good stuff from
these guys as they’ve shown that they have chemistry. Ziggler
getting to show off a little bit is much better than seeing him in
nothing matches against Fandango.
Post
match Orton takes Ziggler outside and gives him the Elevated DDT off
the barricade.
Shield
says they’ll win all their matches tonight. Cena vs. Rollins sounds
promising.
Daniel
Bryan vs. Damien Sandow
JBL
wants to know why there was a good Santa and a bad Santa on Monday.
Cole: “That’s the way the story was written?” JBL: “WHAT KIND
OF AN ANSWER IS THAT???” Bryan fires off some kicks in the corner
to start followed by some knees to the ribs to put Sandow down.
Damien comes back with some forearms to the back and sends Daniel out
to the floor. The Russian legsweep sets up the Wind-Up Elbow for two
and we hit the crossface chickenwing. Back up and Bryan hits the
running clothesline and dropkick in the corner to set up the top rope
hurricanrana. The YES Kicks set up the running knee for the pin at
4:01.
Rating:
D+. Just a quick win here for
Bryan in the kind of matches I wouldn’t mind seeing more of. Well,
more of as long as the opponents change every now and then and we
don’t have to sit through the same pairing every week. Sandow
doesn’t lose anything here as he’s not ready to beat someone on
Bryan’s level so there’s nothing bad in this whole thing.
Post
match Bray appears on stage and says he realizes that Bryan is the
one the people want. That means Bray has to destroy him.
Dean
Ambrose vs. Big E. Langston
Neither
title is on the line. In addition to the other Shield members, Cena
and Henry are both at ringside as well. Langston shoves Ambrose into
the corner to start and drives shoulders into the ribs but gets
clotheslined down. Dean pounds away with rights and lefts on the mat
before hitting the running dropkick against the ropes.
We
hit the chinlock for a bit before Ambrose goes up top, only to be
slammed down like a ham sandwich being thrown off a cliff. A belly
to belly puts Ambrose down again but he sends Langston to the floor
for a standoff. No brawling ensues and Ambrose throws Langston back
inside, only to have the big man run Dean over, setting up the Big
Ending for the pin at 2:46. That was close. I thought they wouldn’t
have Ambrose job clean again before the year was out.
Reigns
comes in for the showdown with Langston but Henry moves Big E. out of
the way.
Mark
Henry vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns
wants a test of strength to start but headbutts Henry instead. A
hard clothesline sends Reigns to the floor and a headbutt from Henry
puts him down. Back in and a big boot to the jaw puts Reigns down as
the slow pace continues. Roman snaps Henry’s throat across the top
rope and gets two off the Superman Punch. We hit a chinlock on Henry
for a bit but he comes back with the JYD headbutts. Reigns will have
nothing to do with that jive turkey nonsense and lifts Henry up for a
Samoan drop. Another Superman Punch and the spear are good for the
pin on Mark at 4:01.
Rating:
D. Reigns looked good but he
had to work through a lot of Mark Henry suck. It’s a good sign that
he’s pinning former world champions clean in four minutes though.
There’s a BIG future for Reigns and the fact that these wins are
becoming more and more natural are telling signs for him.
John
Cena vs. Seth Rollins
There’s
a lot of time left for this. Cena quickly takes him down and works
on a hammerlock. Back up and Cena sends Seth to the floor with a
hiptoss for a meeting with Shield. Back in and Rollins gets in some
shots to knock Cena into the corner. Rollins blocks a bulldog and
drops a knee for two before putting on a cobra clutch of all things.
Cena tries to fight out and gets caught in a one arm camel clutch,
only to fight up and drive Rollins into the corner to escape.
Rollins
gets a boot up in the corner to stop a charging John and gets two off
a neckbreaker as we take a break. Back with Rollins firing off right
hands to the jaw. Cena is sent into the corner but he reverses a
whip into the corner to put both guys down again. John tries a
comeback but gets caught in a quick Downward Spiral into the middle
buckle. Rollins does You Can’t See Me but Cena counters a
neckbreaker into the ProtoBomb and hits the Shuffle. Rollins flips
out of the AA and hits a Buff Blockbuster (that’s a finisher that
needs to be pulled out of mothballs) for two.
Cena
gets taken down by a Stinger Splash but avoids the second attempt.
He grabs a half nelson and lifts Rollins up before spinning into what
was supposed to be a neckbreaker. Cena landed a foot or so away from
Rollins but luckily the move could have passed for a half nelson
slam. Rollins kicks out at two so Cena goes up, only to get knocked
down to the mat.
The
standing Sliced Bread #2 gets another near fall for Seth but Cena
comes back with a Batista Bomb (not gimmick infringement just yet)
for two. Cena tries to pull Rollins away from the ropes but Seth
lands on his feet again and hits a jumping enziguri for a VERY close
two. Rollins gets the same off a top rope knee to the face and the
frustration sets in. The Black Out (running curb stomp) is countered
in the STF but Rollins is into the ropes before too much damage can
be done.
Ambrose
tries to come in but gets picked off by Langston before he can make
any contact. Dean is thrown over the announce table but Reigns hits
a running clothesline to drop Langston. Henry throws Reigns onto
Ambrose as Cena rolls through Rollins’ cross body into the AA for the
pin at 17:40.
Rating:
B+. I was digging the heck out
of this match and I was so glad that the ending wasn’t a DQ. Rollins
looked outstanding in there as he continues to prove his worth once
the Shield breaks up. I could see him being the next Kofi Kingston,
having awesome matches with anyone they put him out there with but
never getting the big break. That’s not a bad career to have at all.
Overall
Rating:
B-. This took some time
to get going and the main event was by far the best part of the show.
The first half of the show is only ok but the Orton vs. Ziggler
match along with Rollins vs. Cena more than make up for it. This was
using the old formula of wrestling on Smackdown and that’s what was
needed after a more entertainment based Raw. It’s a nice way to
close out the year and hopefully a good way to get us into 2014.
Results
Wyatt
Family b. Usos – Splash to Jimmy
Antonio
Cesaro b. Cody Rhodes – Rollup
Prime
Time Players b. Ryback/Curtis Axel – Rollup to Axel
Randy
Orton b. Dolph Ziggler – RKO
Daniel
Bryan b. Damien Sandow – Running knee
Big
E. Langston b. Dean Ambrose – Big Ending
Roman
Reigns b. Mark Henry – Spear
John
Cena b. Seth Rollins – AA
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Impact Wrestling – December 26, 2013

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
December 26, 2013
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We
close out the year tonight with the fallout from last week’s Final
Resolution which saw Magnus (in theory) join up with Dixie as the new
corporate champion. This should mean the imminent return of AJ
Styles and the unification match for the two titles. It should also
be interesting to see if TNA starts having more matches during the
show or sticks with around three plus a lot of talking. Let’s get to
it.

After
the usual recap of last week’s events, here’s Spud in the ring to get
things going. He gives a very elaborate introduction for someone
very important to all of us: Dixie Carter. She talks about how great
the last seven days have been and talks about how Santa didn’t
deliver the title to Jeff Hardy like the fans wanted him to. That
doesn’t matter though because the right man wanted. The fans sound
like they want AJ.
Dixie
has a major announcement that she’s been hyping up all week on social
media but Jeff Hardy cuts her off. Jeff has some complaints to make
but Dixie cuts him off. The fans aren’t interested in what Jeff has
to say so he threatens Spud for what he did to Jeff last week. Spud
goes all pompous Brit on Jeff and orders him out of the ring. Spud
is sent into the corner but EC3 runs out to jump Hardy, knocking him
to the floor. Dixie loads up the announcement but here’s Sting to
interrupt as well.
Carter
and Spud roll to the floor like proper cowardly heels should and
Sting grabs the mic. He’s tired of entitled pipsqueaks getting
everything they want, so Sting isn’t leaving until both he and the
fans get what they want: Sting beating the tar out of Ethan Carter.
The Icon wants Carter/Spud vs. Sting/Hardy but Dixie says no way.
Dixie says she’ll give Sting a tag match but doesn’t say who is in
it. Her music comes on but she wants to make her announcement. The
music keeps going as we take a break.
Back
with Dixie trying to make the announcement again but this time Gunner
interrupts. Gunner wants his title shot right now but Dixie turns
him down because Magnus is in England. Gunner grabs the mic from
Dixie and says to let Magnus know that the cash-in is coming sooner
rather than later. Dixie tries for I think the fourth time to make
the announcement but here’s James Storm to interrupt this time.
James thinks Gunner owes him something but Gunner disagrees.
Storm
talks about Gunner costing him the match against Bobby Roode when
Storm asked him to. Gunner says he did it for Storm’s own good
because Storm was in a bar fight the night before. Storm says that
may be true but he wants to know who told Roode about the bar fight.
James thinks Gunner is the stooge and wants a match for that case
tonight. Dixie says ok because Gunner interrupted her. She’s not
ready for the announcement though so everyone has to wait for later.
Gunner
vs. James Storm
For
the Feast or Fired case. They shove each other to start until Gunner
sends Storm into the corner but walks into a headlock takeover.
Gunner shoves him into the corner again but Storm hits a quick
enziguri from the apron. A running forearm gets two on Gunner and a
facebuster gets the same. Gunner gets in a knee lift to the ribs and
puts on a quickly broken chinlock as the announcers talk about the
announcement. Storm comes back with a tackle/spear to send both guys
out to the floor…..for a VERY fast double countout at 4:58.
Rating:
D. This was all about extending
the feud which is the right idea. I’d assume we’re headed for a
gimmick match at Genesis to blow this off so the ending makes sense.
That doesn’t mean it was executed well at all though as the ten count
took maybe five seconds and we didn’t see any of the count until the
end.
They
fight to the back as referees fail to pull them apart.
Brooke
is annoyed at Bully Ray for annoying her since he doesn’t seem to
want her anymore. That’s fine with her as she’ll just go air all his
dirty secrets in the ring. Bully says her name but that’s it.
Magnus
talks about all the bad characters he’s been given over the years
which counts as paying dues. He talks about being called the future,
meaning he’s not ready yet “because some people weren’t ready to
hang it up yet, BROTHER”. This felt like part of a shoot
interview.
Here’s
Brooke to demand answers from Bully. She understands that he’s mad
at her for throwing the hammer, but she’s not accepting full blame
for everything. Here’s Ray in a hoodie and sunglasses as Brooke
insists that this can be fixed. It’s neither of their faults that
Aces and 8’s ended but Ray turns his back on her. Brooke yells at
him for not respecting her and reminds him that Ray said throw the
hammer. Ray was supposed to be her ticket to the big time but now
he’s that weird high school kid that has no friends.
Brooke
says she’s no one’s property and that she’s done but Ray grabs her
arm. Ray says she’s done when he’s done with her but he doesn’t
blame her for anything. After all, she’s not the smartest girl in
the world but she was there for certain uses. She wasn’t even that
good at those things thought and sometimes he would close his eyes
and think of Brooke #1.
He
could piledrive her right now but instead he’s going to use her to
spread his word. She knows how evil he can be, so she can let
everyone know what’s in store for them. Ray takes off the glasses
and says it’s going to be a lot worse as ominous music plays. He’s
done with her.
Joseph
Park is scared to have a Monster’s Ball match.
Magnus
thinks being in the Main Event Mafia was the way the Mafia kept him
on a leash.
Ethan
tries to get out of the tag match but Dixie says she has them
covered.
We
recap Park’s revelation that he’s Abyss.
Park
is scared but Young says believe in himself. Eric says hit the music
and it’s the old Abyss song. He gives Park Janice to make him feel
better.
Joseph
Park vs. Bad Influence
Monster’s
Ball, meaning anything goes with weapons at ringside. Park has
Janice while the team grabs a kendo stick and crutch. Bad Influence
surrounds Park but he swings Janice…and drops it, allowing the
heels to score with shots to the ribs and back. Park gets taken down
and Kaz hits a backsplash before more weapons are thrown inside. Kaz
throws in a trash can which hits Park in the head but there’s no
blood yet. Daniels stomps on Park in the corner and chokes him with
a cord.
Kaz
loads up a chair shot but Daniels stops him to prevent blood. Park
comes back with his usual basic offense and picks up a kendo stick.
Kaz gets in a cheap shot with a trashcan lid though and Bad Influence
takes over again. They head outside and send Park into the steps but
have to stop and check for blood again. Back inside and Park
backdrops Daniels over the top before splashing a trashcan lid into
Kaz.
There’s
a Boston crab on Kaz’s damaged ribs but Daniels comes back in with a
crutch to break the hold. Eric Young finally comes out for some
moral support but Park says he needs help. Young loads up some right
hands to Park’s head but Bad Influence makes the save. Kaz tries a
kendo stick shot but Park shoves him out of the way to take the shot
to the forehead. We’ve got blood, kendo stick shots, Shock Treatment
to Kaz, Black Hole Slam to Daniels for the pin at 10:24.
Rating:
D. WAY too long for the end
result. This is the same idea they’ve been using for months now and
the fact that it’s taking Eric Young to get us there makes it all the
more annoying. The stuff with not letting Park get hit in the head
was smart so the match wasn’t a total loss. Just too long.
Jeff
Hardy is on the phone with his wife. He’s had a plan for a few weeks
and it goes down tonight.
Magnus
talks about the BFG Series being proof he could hang with anyone.
The loss to AJ was what changed him because he never wants to feel
that again. The win over Sting at BFG was the biggest win of his
career.
ODB
vs. Lei’D Tapa
Before
the match Gail tells Madison to stay out of her business. ODB can’t
slam her so she chops at Tapa instead. Tapa sends ODB into the
corner and slowly pounds away before kicking ODB in the face. ODB
avoids a middle rope seated senton (which would have missed if she
hadn’t moved) but still can’t drop Tapa with shoulder blocks. Gail
throws the title belt into the ring and pulls ODB’s hair to distract
her, allowing Tapa to hit the TKO for the pin at 4:16.
Rating:
D. They treated this as the
female version of the Colossal Jostle but even that match looked
great by comparison. I have no idea who TNA thinks cares about
either of these girls but the fans here didn’t seem interested in
them at all. Madison at least has some appeal to her while ODB is
just loud and unpleasant.
Gail
says that was a lesson for Madison.
Sabin
and Velvet have a nice moment in the back. Chris has an X Title
match next week and he blames Velvet for losing the title in the
first place. She doesn’t think she can help him so he says he’ll
find a girl that can.
Magnus
talks about having Dixie in his corner and how their partnership will
last for years.
Ethan
Carter III/Rockstar Spud vs. Sting/Jeff Hardy
Before
the match Dixie makes her announcement: next week there’s a
coronation. Oh and this will be a tag match, but it’s a tag team
handicap match.
Ethan
Carter III/Rockstar Spud/Bro Mans vs. Sting/Jeff Hardy
Carter
and Spud want nothing to do with Sting so they both tag out with
Jesse eventually getting the start. Sting hiptosses him down but
Zema Ion grabs Sting’s leg to get an advantage. Carter comes in but
Sting gets up so it’s off to Robbie before any contact is made. Jeff
comes in with a middle rope splash for two and a backdrop to send
Robbie out to the floor. Carter accidentally tackles Godderz to the
floor, setting up a dive (with Sting as a springboard) to take out
all four heels at once.
The
four of them pull Jeff down and stomp away for their first advantage
as we take a break. Back with Godderz getting two off a knee to the
ribs. A powerslam gets the same and it’s back to Robbie who gets two
off a clothesline. Jesse comes back in for a half crab and Sting is
suckered in, allowing a four man beatdown on Hardy. Carter mocks
Sting with a Stinger Splash but Jeff comes back with a jawbreaker.
Sting comes in and cleans house, even with Spud on his back in an
impressive feat. Sting keeps beating everyone up but Carter grabs a
rollup for the clean pin at 13:30. Taz said he had tights but I
didn’t see them.
Rating:
D+. This was another dull match
in a string of them tonight. It’s not like Sting and Hardy got
screwed over, or at least it didn’t come off like they did. The
match made the tag champions look like jobbers which is a step
backward for them after how much better they’ve looked lately.
Boring match here and I don’t know what it accomplished.
Post
match Hardy gets on the mic and thanks Sting for getting him into the
business. Last week he was the better man but lost because of the
politics. The fans chant for Hardy but he says the fight’s all gone.
This was his last match in TNA and he’s leaving until the sun shines
on this dark kingdom. Hardy says he loves the Creatures, takes off
his shirt, and leaves.
Overall
Rating:
D. Well they’re back to
boring already. Save for the decent promo work from Magnus, there
was nothing to see here. We’re still just waiting for AJ to come
back which will probably be at the coronation next week. That
doesn’t make this week any better though as we had four dull or short
matches which makes for a LONG two hour show.
Results
James
Storm vs. Gunner went to a double countout
Joseph
Park b. Bad Influence – Black Hole Slam to Daniels
Lei’D
Tapa b. ODB – TKO
Bro
Mans/Rockstar Spud/Ethan Carter III b. Sting/Jeff Hardy – Rollup to
Sting
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
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NXT – December 25, 2013

NXTDate:
December 25, 2013
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Host:
Renee Young
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
Christmas time in NXT and since this is a sane promotion, tonight is
a year in review show, plus Cesaro vs. Regal. This should be
entertaining as usual given how good NXT has been over the last year.
It’s always fun to see where guys on the main roster got started and
several guys on the main shows today were in NXT earlier this year.
Let’s get to it.

Welcome
Home.
The
arena is empty and Renee Young is our host.
First
up: a look at the opening of the WWE Performance Center.
We
get packages on all the people that have gone from NXT to the main
rosters: the Wyatts, Shield, Fandango, Xavier Woods, Damien Sandow,
Antonio Cesaro and Big E. Langston. Ignore that Cesaro, Fandango and
I beliee Sandow were in WWE before they came to NXT.
Langston
talks about the previous year has been a whirlwind and he couldn’t
have done it without the maniacal five count fans. This is just the
beginning.
Cesaro
says that William Regal is the only technical wrestler he’s ever
respected. Regal’s evilness was an inspiration for Cesaro and he
wouldn’t have a job here without William. However, Regal knew this
day was coming: the day when one of them had to go. The younger,
stronger and better man gets to stay, and that’s Cesaro.
Video
on the first NXT Tag Title match with British Ambition beating the
Wyatts.
Video
on Emma vs. Paige for the first Women’s Title.
Paige,
who towers over interviewer Devon Taylor, thinks Emma is just a
dancer. However, she now has Paige’s respect because Emma has shown
she can move in the ring. Paige insists she’s a wrestler and
promises to come for the Divas, including AJ.
Bo
Dallas knows we want to hear about his rise to the title but we need
to hear how important it is to Bo-Lieve. We get a clip of him
beating Langston to prove the power of the Bo-Lievers.
The
Wyatts talk about how they stand for a cause. Their crusades began
in a place called NXT and whether it’s there or up in WWE, their
message is simple: down with the machine.
Here’s
a package on the future of NXT: Aiden English, Mojo Rawley, Bayley,
Tyler Breeze, Alexander Rusev, Sasha Banks, Corey Graves and of
course Sami Zayn.
Video
on all of the WWE stars who have made cameos here in NXT.
William
Regal has been considering his legacy. He’s a vicious fighter and a
unique entertainer but he never became World Heavyweight Champion.
That’s his fault though because he has a tendency to get in trouble.
He’s always been a world class technical wrestler, and that’s where
Antonio Cesaro comes in. Cesaro is ten times the wrestler that Regal
has ever been and Cesaro wants to prove it. The only chance Regal
has tonight is a miracle and that’s not coming to someone like
himself. Regal is going to give this every bit of evil he has and
hopes that’s enough. This was an old school wrestling promo and it
was awesome.
Young
is about to introduce the match of the year but Shield hijacks the
signal to talk about how dominant of a year they’ve had. They’ve
destroyed everyone from Undertaker to Rock to Undertaker to John
Cena, but that was after they built NXT. All those guys that are
coming up through NXT need to be worried because Shield is waiting on
them in WWE.
Back
to Young who introduces the only match that could have been match of
the year in NXT: Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro 2/3 falls. Cesaro
going into beast mode to get the wind is still amazing and makes me
even sadder every time I see him jobbing to Los Matadores.
Sami
talks about what an honor it is to be part of the match of the year
but now his focus is on becoming NXT Champion. There’s a roadblock
in his way named Leo Kruger and this talk about 2/3 falls has gotten
him thinking. Next week: Kruger vs. Zayn 2/3 falls. Even on a
review show they set up something for next week. Can this show do
anything wrong?
Antonio
Cesaro vs. William Regal
The
Fink is doing entrances, which gives me an answer to the question I
just asked. The disgusted yet also terrified look on Regal’s face is
perfect. Cesaro cranks on the arm to start and Regal can’t counter.
Antonio takes him to the mat but Regal nips up to draw a gasp from
the crowd. Cesaro stays on the hold and takes Regal down again but
there’s another nip up. “You still got it!”
Regal
takes Cesaro down to his knees but still can’t get away from the
wrist control as we take a break. Back with Cesaro still on the arm
and jumping onto a standing Regal’s shoulders (basically putting
himself in a fireman’s carry) to apply even more pressure. Regal
flips him down into an armbar but Cesaro nips up just like Regal did
earlier. William takes him down by the other arm but Cesaro powers
up into a test of strength.
Cesaro
easily powers Regal down but the Englishman counters into a cross arm
choke. He leans backwards to put Cesaro over his knees while still
choking, only to be flipped forward to escape. Back to the test of
strength before Regal counters a front facelock into a dragon
sleeper. Cesaro flips him forward in a kind of reverse suplex for
two but Regal gets him down into the corner and does his “distract
the referee while kicking the opponent in the face” spot.
Antonio
chop blocks Regal down and rams the bad knee into the apron a few
times as we take another break. Back with Cesaro holding a leg lock
but Regal keeps fighting back with kicks to the head. Cesaro keeps
control by cranking on the knee even more and taking off Regal’s knee
brace. The knee is bent around Cesaro’s neck in an old Brock Lock
but Regal counters into a rollup and backslide for two each. Cesaro
hits a series of ten uppercuts to knock Regal silly, setting up the
Cesaro Swing.
After
some trash talk Antonio loads up the Neutralizer but Regal backdrops
his way out. He drops a knee on Cesaro’s arm to take away the
Neutralizer. Regal goes after the arm with everything he’s got and
hits an overhead suplex for two. The knee is too damaged for the
knee trembler though and Cesaro comes back with a headbutt. Regal is
fine with that and headbutts Cesaro right back before loading up a
double underhook suplex. Cesaro backdrops Regal but can’t break the
grip.
Regal
takes him to the mat again and tries the Regal Stretch but Cesaro
makes the rope. A forearm from the good arm lays Regal out and a
double stomp to the back of the head has the referee checking him.
Cesaro looks down at Regal before picking up his limp body. He sets
up the Neutralizer but thinks twice about it and lets Regal fall back
to the mat. Regal tries to pull himself up so Cesaro puts on the
Neutralizer. He looks down at Regal’s unconscious body and looks
disgusted after pinning Regal at 16:00 shown of 24:00.
Rating:
A. I loved this for a lot of
reasons. First of all, the technical stuff at the beginning was
excellent with two old school craftsmen doing their jobs as well as
anyone can. It’s wrestling in its purest form and when you have guys
who can work that style it’s as entertaining as you can get. Then
there’s the excellent storytelling with Regal trying every trick he
knew but not being able to stop Cesaro’s raw power. The ending with
Cesaro not wanting to hurt Regal anymore but giving in to his natural
instincts of winning at any cost was great stuff. I loved this match
and continue to wait for Cesaro to be taken seriously in WWE.
Regal
is taken out by referees but Cesaro goes after him and extends a
hand. Regal stares him down and shakes hands as we go off the air.
Overall
Rating:
A+. An amazing match
and clips of all kinds of awesome stuff from the undisputed best
wrestling show going today make this the best hour of wrestling I’ve
seen in a long time. Even when they’re talking about a match that
happened months ago they tie in a match next week to give us a reason
to keep watching. This show can do no wrong at this point and
somehow keeps getting better.
Results
Antonio
Cesaro b. William Regal – Neutralizer
Remember to head over to my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

PG WEEK: A Very Raw Christmas 2013

Yes, folks, it’s PG Week here on
Scott’s Blog of Doom. With Scott on vacation all week, he’s handed
the keys to me (I volunteered). Every day from today to December
30th, I’ll be providing you with new content: recaps,
retro rants, audience participation, everything. Sit back, relax,
and enjoy, as we open PG Week with a look at a Very Raw Christmas!
Welcome aboard!

When last we left our heroes, they had
come within inches of the brass ring. Although in a non-title match,
the proof remained that Daniel Bryan could hang with the best of the
best… and were it not for a DQ, he would’ve won. But the show
ended with Orton standing tall over not just Bryan, but John Cena.
With Christmas around the corner, who will enter the holidays with
something to cheer for, and can it be us?
The USA Network ad focuses on the Santa
Fight. The allegedly live look-in does as well.
The PG Era Rant for Raw, aired December
23, 2013.
Almost Live from Stone Cold Steve, TX.  This will be important later.
Your hosts are Ebenezer Scrooge and
Hermie the Elf. Herr Drosselmeyer has the night off.
Mark “Good Santa” Henry and Damien
“Bad Santa” Sandow read Twas the Raw Before Christmas.
And what would Christmas be without HHH
opening the show? He’s joined by Stephanie McMahon, Kane, and an
elf. Kane is handing out candy canes to the aiselway fans. He even
shoves it into the chest of a Daniel Bryan “fan”. HHH talks
about what a special time of year it is, and he says they’ve sent
Superstars to volunteer. But Stephanie makes it clear they would
rather be here in the WWE. They wish us a Merry Christmas with a
great show. And yes, they ham up the Santa Fight, complete with
ominous music. Stephanie: “YAY!” Also, we’ll get Rhodeses/Bryan
v. Wyatts in a 6-man tag. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! With our MAIN
EVENT ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY, it’s Langston/Cena/Punk v. Shield. I
get the feeling we’ll be light on angle advancement tonight. HHH
wishes us a Merry Christmas… and just as I’m looking forward to a
short segment, here comes Randy Orton. Did I mention Stephanie and
HHH are wearing Santa hats? Stephanie looks girl-next-door cute in
hers. Orton wishes us a Happy Holidays, and the crowd doesn’t buy
it. Orton thanks the Authority for their support in his quest to be
WWE World Champion. And yeah, he won on his own, but they inspired
him. Orton’s in a giving mood, so he’s going to give the Authority a
Christmas gift. But what do you give to the McMahon who has
everything? Himself. Really. Orton assumes he has the night off,
and we get a group hug. But Kane has something to say: Merry
Christmas to all and to all a good night. And he punctuates it by
setting the corners on fire. Welcome to the WWE.
Tonight, six-on-six women’s action in a
Jingle Belles match. JoJo is missing from the Total Divas side,
which makes it look like she’s in trouble.
It’s PG Week on the Blog of Doom, and I
will use this time to announce that on Saturday, I will do a recap of
NBC’s Tribute to the Troops!
Natalya, Eva Marie, Brie Bella, Nikki
Bella, Cameron, and Naomi v. Vickie Guerrero, Alicia Fox, Aksana,
Kaitlyn, Summer Rae, and Tamina Snuka. Manthief is at commentary.
For the record, AJ isn’t in it because she’s the champ and she’s
scouting. Tamina slams Nikki to start, only to get a tilt-a-whirl.
Kaitlyn jumps in and misses a charge, but catches Eva Marie and slams
her down. Summer Rae walks into a knee smash, and enter Naomi with a
snapmare. She misses a dropkick, but Summer Rae knocks her down and
Alicia Fox enters only to get caught with a rana. Enter Cameron, and
the Funks have a double suplex and bootylicious legdrop combo. Brie
gets caught in a Northern Lights suplex for two. And here comes
Vickie to slap Brie and leave. Yup. Aksana in, and Brie cradles her
for two. Natalya enters next as AJ mocks every single Diva. Nice.
A rollup gets one, but Aksana kicks Natalya and does a DDT/elbow drop
combo for two. And now everybody races in for on reason. This
allows Natalya to get a discus clothesline USING BRIE, then it turns
into CRACKING THE WHIP on all the heels. This may well be the best
and worst comedy spot ever. Having knocked them all down, the Total
Divas take a bow. Everybody leaves, and Natalya gets the
Sharpshooter for the tapout at 3:49. AJ: “Yay! Natalya finally
won something! Good for her!” Last I checked, Natalya has a
winning record in decisions against AJ. The Total Divas do a
not-so-coordinated dance to celebrate. Eh, it’s Christmas. 3/4*
Of note: Michael Cole wasn’t paying close enough attention during the
match and accidentally called Summer Rae “Rosa Mendes”. He then
covered for it by saying it was because he wanted to use Feliz
Navidad. AJ rightly let him have it for that mistake.
Your
Do You Know is about Santa. Hey, if you’re gonna go theme, go
all-out.
Curtis
Axel v. Sin Cara. The transformation is complete: Hunico is the Sin
Cara in Sin Cara’s TitanTron. Sin Cara does the Superstars promo
bilingually. Axel gets a headlock to start, twisting to an armlock
and a slap to the back. Round Two, and Sin Cara returns the favor
and does an armdrag. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors follows, but Axel
trips Cara on a quebrada attempt. Axel shoulderblocks Cara to the
floor and follows, throwing him into the post back-first. Back in,
Axel with an elbowdrop and front facelock as JBL keeps saying Cara
has something to hide. After all, masks mean bad people, right?
Cara fights to his feet but gets slugged down as Cole namedrops
Vampiro Americano. Cara with a bizarre pinning combo for one. Axel
with a dropkick for one. Axel facewashes Cara and taunts the crowd
before going back to the gutwrench. JBL endorses child labor on
commentary (I think) as Cara fights back up only to get slugged down.
A series of reversals sends Axel to the ground, and Cara follows
with a somersault plancha. Back in, Cara with a bodypress for two.
Another headscissors, and Cara does the Tajiri elbowsmash for two.
Axel with a Northern Lariat to avoid the finish and get a two-count.
Cara with the Angle Slam and he goes up, and the Senton Bomb ends it
at 5:22. *1/4 On a
related note, I think Cole and JBL have had eggnog before recording
commentary.
We
recap last Friday’s 3-on-2 handicap match, which sets up tonight’s
six-man. Speaking of, here on PG Week on the Blog, on Friday I will
review one of my favorite SmackDowns – the Mexico SmackDown,
featuring Lucha De Apuesta and a shockingly good Show/ADR match!
Backstage,
we replay Bad Santa’s announcement that he wishes to cancel
Christmas. Because tonight, we have a Battle for Christmas.
Next
week’s Raw is being hosted by Big Show as Baby New Year. I mean, at
least it’s not Ken Jeong in the back of a trunk, but on the
disturbing meter, it’s up there, right?
Batista
is due back: 1/20/14!
Earlier
today, Bad News Barrett was working for the Salvation Army. No, it’s
not a setup for a joke. It’s just Wade doing good things.
We
look back at the Wyatt Family torturing Daniel Bryan. It’s a
collection of crazy things Bray said, following up with the notes
that Bray and Bryan could work together and be stronger than ever.
We follow this up with Bryan fighting all three Wyatts but falling.
Then, on SmackDown, the Rhodes Brothers lost to the Wyatt Family with
help from Bray, after which they tortured Cody some until Daniel
Bryan stormed in to make the save. Then, the Wyatts used their
numbers to take Bryan out of the main event. It appears Wyatt has
finished trying to recruit Bryan and will now destroy him instead.
Rhodes
Brothers and Daniel Bryan v. Wyatt Family. Goldust has a new shirt.
Crowd opens by chanting for Bryan. Wyatt’s shirt has seven tick
marks on it. Cody and Rowan start. Sign guy sign: “IF YOU CAN
READ THIS YOU’RE NOT A WYATT”. Rowan pounds down Cody to start,
but a blind charge hits boot and Cody dropkicks the knee. The
Rhodeses double-team and get one off of it. Rowan powers Goldust
into the corner, but Goldust wins a slugfest and they put him in the
corner. Bryan tags in and kicks away, adding knees until Rowan
shoves him away. Cody tags himself in, and he and Goldust
double-team Rowan. Goldust with a headlock, but he’s in the wrong
corner and Harper tags in. A long eyerake follows, and Harper bashes
Goldust in the corner. A blind charge is two steps slow, and Goldust
uppercuts Harper but can’t snapmare him. He lifts his boot so Cody
can tag it, and Cody takes over on Harper with a dropkick. Bryan in,
and he gets kicked repeatedly in the legs. Harper stops it with a
right hand and works him over in the corner. A big boot is once
again slow, and Bryan puts Harper in the Tree of Woe and begins
kicking like crazy, ending with a baseball slide. Bryan demands
Bray, and he gets the crowd to encourage it, but Harper stays the
legal man as we go to break. When we return, Rowan drops an elbow on
Cody for one. Cole informs us Bray and Bryan didn’t face off.
Harper tags in and taunts Goldust before hitting a charging elbow on
Cody. Harper with the Gator Roll as Cody is busted open from the
elbow. Harper with a headbutt, but Cody steals Ted DiBiase’s
follow-on lariat to knock over Harper. Goldust in, and he bowls
Harper over and nails the kneeling uppercut and inverted atomic drop.
Ten-punch countalong follows, complete with taunt between 9 and 10,
and Goldust stops a blind charge and gets a rana before getting
booted down. Harper brings Bray in now, and he laughs at Bryan
before dropping elbows on Goldust. Bray works Goldust over in the
corner as Cody gets stitched up. Bray blows a kiss at Goldust and
lands an avalanche before doing the inverted look. Harper tags in
and drops an elbow on Goldust on the second rope. Harper steps on
Goldust’s throat, but he misses a drop before clearing the face apron
to keep Goldust in. Rowan clubs away on Goldust as the ref is
pre-occupied with Bryan. Big splash by Rowan gets two. Rowan puts a
neck crank on Goldust and works his gut, but misses a blind charge
only to catch Goldust and keep him cornered as JBL mocks Tony Romo.
Rowan with the IRON CLAW on Goldust, throwing him across the ring for
two. Harper in, but he throws Goldust into the Wyatt corner, and he
beats everyone up with a facejam on Harper. It’s a long crawl to the
corners, and it’s Rowan and Bryan. Bryan’s immediately dropkicks
Bray and goes to town on Rowan with kicks to the leg. He follows
with the cross-corner dropkick, twice, before working on Rowan in the
corner until he’s thrown down. Bryan sticks and moves with a
dropkick to the leg, and now it’s the YES Kicks. Including the
roundhouse! Must be a special night. Bryan goes up, and it’s the
Ram Jam to Rowan. Wyatt charges in, and Bryan punches him and chases
only to be steamrolled by Rowan on the outside. The Wyatts taunt the
Rhodeses as we go to break AGAIN. We’re back for Act 3 as Bryan
elbows out of Harper’s grasp only to get hit with a knee to the gut.
Harper guillotines Bryan in the ropes as we look at the set-up the
Wyatts did just before the break. Bray tags in and headbutts Bryan
before taunting him and boxing him in the corner. This just annoys
Bryan, and he gets fired up only to be floored with a right hand.
Bray goes ground-and-pound now, then drags Bryan into the corner and
tags in Harper, who does a Tope Atomico (!!!) for two. (That’s
Eddie’s flip senton over the ropes.) Rowan in, and he slams Bryan
and adds a diving forearm. Rowan goes back to the neck crank, but
Bryan twitches out of it and blocks a charge, getting a Tornado DDT.
Bray directs traffic, but it’s hot tag Cody, who gets a springboard
dropkick on Harper and a jumping knee. Cody with the Brisco rollup
for two and the sliding uppercut. Disaster Kick hits Rowan, and
Harper eats buckle and moonsault press, Bray saves. Goldust is sent
out, but Bryan leaps in with a missile dropkick on Bray and a tope
suicida as the fight gets personal. Rowan pulls Bryan off and into
the barricade, and Goldust with a flip senton on Rowan. WHERE DO
THEY LEARN THIS STUFF? Harper sent to the apron, but Bray tags
himself in. Harper eats Disaster Kick, and Bray follows with Sister
Abigail’s Kiss to win at 22:28. Goldust races in to help, and Harper
sends him out. Bryan eats stairs courtesy of Rowan as the crowd
chants NO. It’s a 3-on-1 on Bryan, and Bray has Bryan dragged to the
middle of the ring. He taunts Bryan and says it doesn’t have to be
this way. “I could’ve given you the world!” The Wyatts stand
tall as we go black, and when we return, they’re lounging in the
aisle. Given enough time, just about anyone in WWE can put on a good
match. ***3/4
Tomorrow,
PG Week continues on the Blog as I will give you a special What If.
It isn’t about a booking decision; it’s about life or death.
And
now, we have Good Santa being informed of Bad Santa’s intentions and
vowing to stop it. The Force of ham is strong in this one.
Meanwhile,
the WWE sent each Cy Young winner a replica WWE Title belt.
Back
in the streets, Bad News Barrett is still working the kettle and
bell. Barrett is saying all proceeds go to charity. I can only
assume that’s the name of Wade Barrett’s escort.
CHRISTMAS
CAROL SINGING CONTEST! Yeah, why not. R-Truth and Xavier Woods are
up first. Woods does a decent “O Holy Night”, with R-Truth
providing Diddy-esque remix comments. Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre
are next; they butcher a rock version of Jingle Bells. You know, it
takes talent to sing this badly. JBL: “Was Jillian busy?” Team
#3 is Santino Marella and Great Khali. They do “Deck the Halls”,
with Khali doing the fa-la-la’s… not well, mind you. Although
Santino’s falsetto singing isn’t the worst I’ve heard. The Cobra is
wearing reindeer antlers, too. Your winners: Santino/Khali. Yes,
really. 3MB are sore losers and attack, but Truth and Woods cut them
off and it’s a mass jobber beating. Santino apologizes for the
fight, and in order to make up for it: a four-man Wish You a Merry
Christmas. Khali doesn’t know the words. You get the feeling Vince
knows nobody is watching?
Up
next, a Christmas Present on a Pole Match between Fandango and Dolph
Ziggler. Yeah, Vince knows.
As
I’ve said several times, it’s PG Week on the Blog, and I’m going to
close it on Sunday with a special WrestleMania Rewind! You, the
fans, get to decide which WrestleMania I recap! Feel free to discuss
what sort of torture to put me through in the comments!
Pole
Match: Fandango v. Dolph Ziggler. The candy cane pole has a present
on it; first to claim it wins the match and, presumably, the gift.
Were they giving out Santa hats to the first five rows, or did they
all co-ordinate? All the big names are here: We Hate Cena Guy, Sign
Guy, Brock Lesnar Fan… it’s like a greatest hits in the crowd. We
then learn that the prize is an I-C title match. Wisely, both men
race to the corner and try to get up to the pole, but neither one
succeeds. Fandango punches Ziggler as we get into the match proper.
Cole: “I’d like to see [JBL] scramble up a pole.” Dolph with a
dropkick and he climbs, but Fandango stops it. Fandango works on
Dolph in the corner, then follows with a back elbow. He climbs, but
Dolph yanks him off the corner. Dolph with a big right, but Fandango
fires in a knee only to get Hammer Thrown away from the pole. Dolph
is all alone and climbs, but Fandango catches him for a powerbomb
only to get sunset flipped and Rocker Dropped. Cole more or less
admits they gave away Santa hats. Good for them. Dolph is climbing
again, but Summer Rae trips him (I think) and Fandango charges Dolph,
sending both to the outside. No, on replay, Dolph just slipped to
buy time. Fandango is higher up, but Dolph follows him and they’re
both on the top rope. Fandango goes down, but bounces back up with a
rope-assisted roundhouse kick. Fandango then climbs OVER Dolph to
the top, but Dolph recovers and makes a soprano out of him. Dolph
goes up and has his hand on it before Fandango stops him and sends
him off the ropes into the steps. And with that, Fandango will face
Langston next week. Time of the match: 4:43. It’s a pole match;
they’re kind of all the same. 1/2*
Coming
up later: Cena, Punk, Langston v. Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns.
I’ve
never plugged a commercial before (so far as I can remember), but for
our military I’ll make an exception: www.HireHeroesUSA.org.
Prime
Time Players v. The Usos. Darren gets mad that Titus O’Neil does all
the talking, then immediately addresses “Houston”. They’re not
in Houston. Darren is pouting over his mistake. Titus says they
want three things: a win, a title shot, and a superdance. O’Neil and
Jey start, and Titus with a tackle and bark. Jey with a headlock,
but Titus shoves him off and catches him with a flapjack. Young in,
and Titus suplexes him onto Jey. It doesn’t even get one. Young to
the headlock, and he catches Jey with an elbow, but Jey gets a
hiptoss as the Austin crowd lets us know where we are. Jimmy with a
hiptoss of his own and he works the arm. Crowd starts a Houston
Sucks chant as Jimmy gets a flying back elbow for one. Another
armdrag follows, and back to the arm. Jey back in, and he drops an
axhandle on the arm and covers for one. Back to the arm with a
chickenwing as Jey yells “This ain’t Houston!” He’s never going
to live this down, is he? Jimmy in, and Young gets beaten up with a
pair of double elbows for one. Back to the armbar as JBL and Cole
speculate on the University of Texas coaching job. Young with a
Northern Lights out of nowhere for two. He slugs away on Jimmy and
gets a roaring elbow and Greco-Roman throw. Jey tags himself in with
a cradle for one and superkick-throat thrust combo. Samoan Drop
follows, then a hip check on Young. Titus saves, but Jey low bridges
Titus and Young gets superkicked again. Jimmy puts on a Rudolph nose
and flies with a Superfly Splash for the win at 4:52. Not so much a
match as a sheer mockery of Darren Young. *3/4
Titus helps Young up, and everyone makes nice after the match with
the Millions of Dollars dance. Titus has to help Young do it like
Young’s a ragdoll. I got nothing.
We
get a Tale of the Tape on Good Santa and Bad Santa. That will be
next. Cole is marking out for Good Santa, and JBL is cheering for
Bad Santa.
Hey,
the Rock has earned ALL the money in 2013. WWE wins! Sort of. You
know, assuming Dwayne cares about his first job.
Mark
“Good Santa” Henry v. Damien “Bad Santa” Sandow. I’m calling
them Henry and Sandow and you can’t stop me. Both men are introduced
as Santa. Sandow comes to the ring with a giant lump of coal. And
yes, they’re both dressed as Santa. Let’s just say this won’t be a
scientific classic. Sandow charges, but gets slugged down by Henry.
Henry grabs a ginormous present in the corner… and it’s a toilet
bowl. Sandow attacks and gets headbutted. And from there, Sandow
gets the SWIRLIE OF DEATH in the corner. Sandow bails and grabs a
nearby gift – a fire extinguisher. He holds Henry at bay, but
can’t figure out how to operate it. So Henry shows him… about the
way you’d expect. Sandow crawls to the entrance as JBL and Cole
debate whether Santa’s suit is fireproof or Santa himself is. They
fight on the entranceway, where Sandow finds a kendo cane and
destroys Henry AND the decorations at the top. Henry blocks and
headbutts, breaking the stick in half and throwing Sandow down the
aisle. Henry sends Sandow into a tree and pounds him with a present.
Back in, Sandow jumps Henry and pounds away. He gets the
extinguisher, but again doesn’t know the next step. Henry kicks him
down and uses it instead. World’s Strongest Slam (which Cole
re-christens the Sleigh Ride for this occasion) finishes as Christmas
is saved at 3:17. Honestly, they should’ve given this more time like
Orton/Otunga. Henry finds some sleigh bells in a present as JBL
calls Santa a thief because those gifts are for kids, doggone it!
Henry then finds cupcakes and throws them into Sandow’s face for fun.
Eh, it’s a comedy match, what do you want? *
Renee
Young gets to interview CM Punk. She asks about Punk’s plan, and for
once he has one. It’s the middle of the holiday season, and the
Shield’s trying to ruin it. So Punk asks for help – yes, the loner
asked for help. And he asked SANTA for help. And now that Santa
saved Christmas, he gave Punk the gift of John Cena and Big E
Langston. Langston appears and says his gift is a beating for the
Shield. Cena is a little too excited about the Christmas season.
Cena found the Shield’s list, and tonight they’ll give them their
gifts. Reigns needs Big E to knock his teeth in, Rollins needs an
Attitude Adjustment, and Ambrose needs to Go 2 Sleep. Langston:
“Believe in that!”
Well,
since Christmas is saved, I’ll have a Christmas gift for you on the
Blog as part of PG Week on Wednesday as I recap my favorite nostalgia
PPV of all time! No hints, other than it’s not a WrestleMania, so
you can choose whichever one you want for Sunday.
We
the People v. Los Matadores. Zeb Colter wants us to remember one
thing during Christmas: Santa’s an illegal immigrant, sneaking across
our border and taking our jobs. But at least Santa’s only around for
one night every year. And by the way, don’t say “Feliz Navidad”;
it’s “Merry Christmas”. As always, I’m calling them Epico and
Primo. El Torito is white this week. Cole compares him to the
Abominable Snowmonster from Rankin/Bass. Crowd chants that OU stinks
as Cesaro works on Primo with uppercuts. Primo vaults over the
corner and lands on his feet, then flips some more before getting
headscissors. Twice. Cesaro misses a blind charge, but Primo gets
caught and it’s the GIANT SWING OF DOOM. We get to 22 and a half and
Primo has to bail. Even Epico is getting sympathy dizziness. The
two switch off, and Epico is thrown in, cradling Cesaro until Swagger
saves. Epico thwarts a double-team and dives onto Cesaro as Primo
gets a senton cradle for two. Swagger flips Primo, who does a
headstand rana on Swagger followed by the Boss Man Straddle. Up top,
as Epico cuts off Cesaro only to get sent into the barricade. Primo
argues with Cesaro, and Torito gores Cesaro. Primo then gets a
diving crossbody on Swagger for the pin at 3:19. NOSOTROS EL PUEBLO!
*1/4
And
if that translation’s wrong, blame Babelfish.
Another
look at last Friday’s main event to set up tonight’s main event.
Batista:
still coming.
Kofi
Kingston v. Ryback. Someone wanna clean up the entrance? Ryback
opens with a hiptoss and taunt, but Kofi kicks away and takes over.
Kofi works a headlock, but runs into Ryback. Ryback catches Kofi,
but Kofi lands on his feet and gets a dropkick. Corner forearm and
running dropkick and Ryback bails. He argues with the referee, and
Kofi sends him to the floor instead. Ryback looks to leave and is
intercepted by a Kofi somersault plancha. Back in, Ryback sends Kofi
back out. He goes to the outside as the crowd chants Goldberg, and
Kofi’s head hits the apron. Back in, a Hammer Throw to Kofi leads to
stomping. Ryback chops Kofi in the corner as JBL plugs everything he
can think of. Bearhug by Ryback to Kofi as the announcers discuss
what the wrestlers are getting for Christmas. Kofi elbows out but
runs into a stalling suplex. Ryback gets two off of it. To the
second rope, but he dives into Kofi’s feet. Ryback eats elbow on a
blind charge, then a springboard dropkick for two. Soccer kicks to
Ryback follow, then the Boom Drop. He calls for Trouble in Paradise,
but Ryback knows it and hides in the corner only to get pendulum
kicked. Crossbody by Kofi gets two. Kofi vaults onto Ryback, but
Ryback gets a faceplant on the top rope and Meathook. “Happy
Holidays. Get up!” Ryback gets Shell Shock for the win at 5:45.
Man, Ryback’s really fallen into a slump in his in-ring work – he
was BAD on offense. 1/2*
There’s
a main event tonight that you want to watch!
Thursday
on PG Week, I’ll have a little essay about recent off-screen WWE
antics, comparing them to times past and wondering whether hypocrisy
is involved.
Vince
McMahon and a few expendable superstars went to Afghanistan this
week, apparently returning “earlier today”. So R-Truth raced all
the way to the arena to take part in the sing-off? Sorry, I can’t
resist.
So
now the payoff: Bad News Barrett is at ringside to let us know that
he’s gathered money for charity. Thousands of dollars, in fact. But
the bad news: he’s not working for any charity, so the money is all
his. Cole: “Bah Humbug!”
The
Shield reports from an undisclosed location and says Punk has three
thorns in his side. Ambrose says Punk’s pain gives them pleasure.
Rollins then questions Cena and Punk being allies. And why are they
trying, since the outcome is always the same. Reigns lets us know
that Langston’s the big target and in over his head. Tonight, they
will rip everything apart.
PG
Week on the Blog will end next Monday with the final Raw of 2013,
live from Richmond! SmackDown will be pre-taped in DC, my backyard.
I’m very tempted to go, but I couldn’t tell you about it because I
don’t do spoilers. Big Show sold separately.
Main
event: CM Punk, Big E Langston, and John Cena v. Shield. Punk raises
the roof for Langston. Cena gives a kid in the front row a
T-Shirt… which would be more awesome except it appears Santino gave
the same kid a Cobra. Ambrose looks to start against Cena as the
crowd gets their duelling chant on. Cena with a headlock on Ambrose,
adding a shoulder tackle. Rollins tags in to test his luck. He
kicks Cena down, but Cena pounds away and gets a cross-corner whip
into… his comeback? Yup, tackles and spinning slam, but Rollins
rolls out before the Shuffle can get started. Shield call a huddle
before returning. Reigns tags in now and stares down Cena. A
shoving match breaks out, and Cena lands some punches only to run
into a Samoan Drop for two. Reigns corners Cena and stomps away
before tagging in Rollins as we go to break. We return with Rollins
pounding Cena in a neutral corner, but Cena reverses a whip just to
get caught with an elbow and Buff Blockbuster for two. Ambrose in,
and he punches down Cena and gets a Power Drive Elbow for two.
Headbutts and right hands follow. Cena tries to fight out of it, but
gets caught in a sleeper. It’s on for a very long time, as the crowd
gets into it, and Punk tags in DURING THE SLEEPER. Leg lariat to
Ambrose, and Punk follows with a tope suicida. Reigns is knocked
over for good measure, and Punk with a twisting neckbreaker to set up
the corner knee and short-arm lariat. He goes up top, knocking
Rollins off the apron before he can get there, and that allows
Ambrose to send him to the floor. Ambrose with a suplex on the
floor, and he rolls in, begs off to the ref, and rolls back out.
It’s the little things, really. Back in, it gets two. Rollins tags
in and kicks Punk in the back. Rollins points to his black eye (“You
did this to me”) before trying to return the favor. Rollins with a
Hammer Throw, as Cena begs for a tag only to get Rollins’ attention.
Rollins keeps kicking at Punk, stomping him down and taunting the
crowd. Punk sends Rollins into the HBK Corner Flip to get to the
corner, but Ambrose cuts him off with a front chancery. Punk gets to
his knees and tries to get the tag anyway, but Ambrose stops it and
throws him into the corner instead. Reigns tags in and headbutts an
exposed Punk. Reigns shoves around Punk, but it allows Punk to get a
flurry of offense only for him to run into a bearhug. Punk elbows
out… only for Reigns to turn it into a spinebuster for two.
Leaping elbowdrop gets two. Rollins tags in, and he hooks a
bodyscissors. Cena leads a Let’s Go Punk chant as Punk elbows out of
Rollins’s grip. Rollins charges but gets back suplexed, and now it’s
time for a hot tag. Ambrose knocks Cena off the apron to prevent it,
which allows Langston to distract the referee and Reigns to steamroll
Cena. Ambrose (somehow the legal man) stands over a prone Punk, then
looks at Langston all alone in the corner. Ambrose pulls Punk up
only to get a roundhouse kick to make him dizzy. Reigns cuts off the
hot tag (BARELY), but his blind charge airballs and NOW Langston
FINALLY gets the hot tag. Langston destroys Rollins and Reigns,
sending the latter out of the ring and hitting the former with a
Greco-Roman throw. Ambrose misses Langston and hits Rollins, and
Langston gets the Ultimate Splash on both men. The STRAPS ARE DOWN,
but Rollins tags in Ambrose. Ambrose runs into the Big Ending, but
Rollins dropkicks Ambrose on top, Cena saves. Rollins dives into an
AA, but Reigns spears Cena to stop it. Punk off the top to knock
down Reigns as Rollins and Punk are dumped. Ambrose taunts, but
Langston scoops him up for the Big Ending, but the Shield all attack
en masse for the DQ at 16:00 or so. They set up the Triplebomb, but
Cena pulls Reigns away and throws him into the barricade. Langston
bowls over Ambrose and Rollins, who get AA/GTS in stereo. Play ALL
the face music (Cena, then Punk, then Big E) to end as we all
celebrate. ***1/4
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
This
was basically a house show, since I think Vince was betting on this
show being poorly watched due to the holidays. If that’s the case, I
can’t hold anything against anyone. There was no angle advancement
tonight, and the matches didn’t really matter that much. The only
real thing you need to know is Fandango and Langston will meet next
week in an I-C title match.
So if
you didn’t watch tonight, you didn’t miss anything, and we all knew
you wouldn’t miss anything. On the other hand, I had fun watching,
so does that count for something?
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 69:35 over nine matches
BEST
MATCH: The Wyatt six-man
WORST
MATCH: Kofi/Ryback
NIGHT
MVP: Fandango
FINAL
SCORE: N/A. No need to rate this one, since it’s basically a house
show. If you get a chance to find the whole show on YouTube and have
a few hours to spare, enjoy. Otherwise, catch what you want.
Stay
tuned all week as I fill the Blog with content! I’ll be back
tomorrow with a What If as we begin PG Week! Merry Christmas,
everyone!

Smackdown – December 20, 2013

Smackdown
Date:
December 20, 2013
Location:
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators:
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
getting closer to the end of the year and the main story coming out
of Monday is the potential for a three way feud between Cena, Orton
and Bryan. Daniel had the champion beaten but Orton cheated to get
out of the match, drawing in Cena for the save. It should be
interesting to hear Bryan’s thoughts on Cena running in to help him.
Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap from Monday with Cena cutting Orton off and the
Authority giving Orton a match with Daniel Bryan, because the last
few months of the Authority trying to crush Bryan are completely
forgotten. The match recap doesn’t do it justice.
Here’s
Orton to brag about becoming undisputed champion some more. He only
has the WWE Championship this week. Orton says the Authority
rewarded him with a match against Daniel Bryan. Randy beat him then
beat John Cena when he tries to interfere because he just doesn’t
care. This brings out Cena as they’re moving fast tonight. Orton
says Cena needs to respect him but Cena says he’s here to keep Orton
from looking like a fool. If Orton doesn’t want to be a champion he
should get out.
Orton
is the center of the WWE and everyone is going to be hunting him.
It’s up to Orton to determine how he wants to be remembered and on
Monday he was a giant coward. Orton says he did what he had to do to
win, but Cena points out the truth: Bryan won by DQ. Cena spent
weeks telling us that Orton always runs away and takes the easy way
out, hoping that Orton would come to fight at TLC. That’s exactly
what happened, but the next night Orton was taking the easy way out
again.
Randy
says Bryan isn’t getting another rematch but here’s Daniel with
something to say. He understands Orton is too afraid to give him a
rematch because when Bryan beats him, the myth that Randy Orton is
the best comes tumbling down. On top of that, Bryan knows that when
Cena beats Orton for the title, he’ll get the shot he deserves.
Orton says that’s never going to happen because the Authority won’t
allow it. The fans don’t like that idea but here’s Shield to
interrupt some more. Orton bails to the floor but here’s Punk to
even the sides before Shield gets to the ring. Vickie comes out and
makes one heck of a six man for later.
Jack
Swagger vs. Big E. Langston
Colter
has a sign saying Deport Santa Claus because he’s that awesome. This
is non-title of course and was set up by the tag match from Raw. Zeb
sits in on commentary and talks about confusing Santa Claus with
Santa Anna since they were both singing Feliz Navidad. Langston runs
Jack over to start but Swagger takes him into the corner to take
over. A clothesline gets two and Langston gets caught in a front
facelock. Big E. fights out of the hold and throws Swagger down,
setting up the Warrior Splash for two. Henry runs Cesaro over for no
apparent reason and the distraction lets Big E. hit the Big Ending
for the pin at 2:54.
Tamina
Snuka vs. Brie Bella
AJ
sits in on commentary and we get a clip of that great superkick to
Nikki from Raw. Brie hits a quick cross body for two and sends
Tamina out to the floor before slapping Snuka in the face. Tamina
slams Brie down and kicks her in the ribs a few times. A knee drop
gets the same as AJ wants to know why she has to keep defending
against the same girls over and over. Cole asks if Tamina could get
a shot but AJ says Tamina knows where her bread is buttered. “And
she should know because I make a mean breakfast.”
Brie
comes back with a running knee to the face and a middle rope
dropkick. Cole talks about Brie getting engaged on the season finale
of Total Divas, giving AJ this great jab: “She’s engaged? That
should make her #1 contender!” As a follow up Cole asks if AJ has
been asked to be part of season two. “No. I was hugged as a child
and don’t need the attention.” Tamina comes back with a superkick
but the Superfly Splash hits knees, giving Brie the rollup pin at
3:04.
Rating:
C-. The match was nothing
special outside of that superkick but AJ’s commentary made this far
more entertaining. The line about making Tamina breakfast got a
laugh out of me and everything she said about the reality show is
true. Why should she keep defending the title against the same girls
she’s beaten time after time? Some of the comments she made could be
planting seeds for Tamina to turn on her as well which makes things
more interesting.
Brie
shoves AJ down post match.
Sin
Cara vs. Drew McIntyre
Drew
is quickly sent over the top rope, followed by a nice flip dive by
the masked man. Back inside and a high cross body gets two on
McIntyre but he throws Sin down. A knee drop has Cara in trouble but
he jumps over Drew in the corner and armdrags him down. I can’t
imagine how badly the original Sin Cara would have botched that. A
handspring elbow gets two on McIntyre before a kick to the head sets
up a Swanton Bomb for the pin at 2:05. Just a step above a squash
here. JBL gets in his line about how it’s like a new Sin Cara.
Brodus
Clay vs. Tensai
Tensai
takes him into the corner and drives shoulders into Brodus’ ample
gut. A clothesline drops Clay but he avoids the backsplash. Clay
hits a pair of splashes in the corner and a running splash gets two.
Another splash gets no cover and Brodus does the dinosaur claws
dance. Cue the Funkadactyls with Xavier Woods for the distraction
and, say it with me, Tensai rolls Brodus up for the pin at 1:45. I
have no idea how this is supposed to help either guy but I’m sure it
will be explained to me later.
Tensai
and Woods beat up Brodus post match, setting up a dance party.
Cody
Rhodes/Goldust vs. Wyatt Family
Non-title
again, meaning you can probably pencil in the brothers for a loss.
Goldust and Erick get things going but Rowan doesn’t move for the
deep breath. Instead Goldust punches the mask off of him, only to
get shoulder blocked down. Goldust comes back with some right hands,
sending Rowan off to the corner for the tag to Harper. Off to Cody
who brings Harper into the champions’ corner before bringing Goldust
right back in.
Luke
takes over with some uppercuts to the jaw and drags Goldust out to
the corner for the tag to Rowan. Erick is at the top of his weak
offensive game here with choking, stomping and right hands. Harper
comes back in with an uppercut for two with that disturbing look on
his face. Goldust fights back but misses a cross body, sending him
out to the floor and right in front of Wyatt as we take a break.
Back
with Harper Gator rolling Goldust as Cole asks about Sister Abigail.
Rowan comes back in for a claw hold and a big toss across the ring.
Goldust finally gets an elbow up in the corner to stop a charging
Rowan but Harper breaks up the hot tag attempt. A DDT puts Harper
down a second later and there’s the tag off to Rhodes.
Cody
speeds things up with a springboard missile dropkick followed by the
Disaster Kick to Harper. The moonsault press gets two but Rowan
makes the save. Goldust sends him to the floor and dives off the
apron to take him down, but Wyatt hits a quick big boot to Goldust’s
jaw. Harper picks Cody up by the ears (this guy really is evil) and
takes his head off with the discus lariat for the pin at 11:04 shown
of 14:34.
Rating:
C+. The losing streak is here
and there’s nothing that can be done about it. These recurring ideas
are all the proof you need that a change in the booking is
desperately needed. Earlier tonight we had the distraction into the
rollup and now we have the losing streak. That’s roughly 40% of all
the ideas they have and they used them in less than half an hour.
Post
match Bray leans upside down in the corner as he goes after Cody,
drawing out Bryan with a chair to take out the Family. He takes Bray
down and pounds away but has to fight off Rowan which allows Bray to
escape.
Damien
Sandow doesn’t like Christmas. It’s nothing but a bunch of adults
asking for stuff they don’t need, children asking for things they
haven’t earned, and filthy houses with ugly decorations. That’s why
he’s going to cancel Christmas this coming Monday, but he’s cut off
by….Miz, who I thought was a heel. Miz gives him the “really”
treatment and says he knows Santa. They celebrate Santa where he
comes from and Sandow couldn’t carry Santa’s sack.
The
Miz vs. Damien Sandow
Miz
takes him into the corner to start and scores with some clotheslines.
Sandow tries to get a boot up in the corner but Miz wraps it around
the ropes and kicks at the knee. The Figure Four goes on but Sandow
gets to the rope. A rollup with a handful of trunks is enough to pin
Miz at 1:28. I have no idea what the point of this match was as the
promo could have done the same thing. Mark Henry fighting to save
Christmas from the Latin speaking Sandow Claus is going to be
glorious though.
Ad
for the History of WWE DVD.
Kofi
Kingston vs. Fandango
Kofi
gets the jobber entrance as JBL calls Fandango a male Shakira. “His
hips don’t lie.” Cole: “….oh God.” Fandango grabs a
headlock to start but Kofi comes back with a dropkick. A clothesline
gets two on Kingston and Fandango pounds some elbows into Kofi’s
chest. We hit the chinlock for a bit but Kofi avoids a middle rope
knee drop. Kofi comes back with some chops and a dropkick followed
by the Boom Drop. Fandango bails to the floor to avoid Trouble in
Paradise and trips Kofi to send him to the mat. The guillotine
legdrop gets the pin at 3:40.
Rating:
D. I guess it’s time to push
Fandango again and we’re going with Miz as a face again. Fandango
has potential and thankfully his character has evolved past the point
of just dancing and saying his name. Kofi continues to be in the
same spot on the card as always and he’ll still be over no matter
what happens to him.
The
Wyatts jump Bryan in the back, presumably taking him out of the six
man later. Bray drops to his knees and says “ashes ashes, we all
fall down.” The Family throws him off a ledge which appeared to be
a few feet high.
Shield
vs. CM Punk/John Cena
Still
works for me. Punk and Ambrose get things going with CM going after
the arm. Ambrose is driven into the corner and it’s off to Cena for
a shoulder block. The bulldog puts Dean down again and it’s back to
Punk who gets two off a middle rope elbow. We take a break and come
back with Reigns holding Cena for a kick from Rollins. Back to
Ambrose to pepper Cena with with right hands but John belly to back
suplexes him to get a breather.
The
rest doesn’t last long though as Reigns comes in with headbutts and a
lot of shouting. There’s the awesome Superman Punch before it’s off
to Rollins for a forearm to Cena’s face. Cena avoids a charge in the
corner but rolls towards Shield, allowing Rollins to tag out to
Ambrose. Dean hits a dropkick up against the ropes before it’s back
to Rollins for some right hands in the corner.
Cena
is sat on the top rope but headbutts Rollins down to escape a
superplex. Ambrose comes back in but walks into a tornado DDT.
There’s the hot tag to Punk who takes Ambrose down with a leg lariat
and hits a running knee to Rollins’ chin. Seth rolls to the floor
for a suicide dive followed by the running knee in the corner back
inside. The Macho Elbow looks to set up the GTS but Ambrose breaks
it up. Punk drops of them with the neckbreaker/DDT combo for two on
Rollins. Reigns makes the save and Shield triple teams Punk for the
DQ at 9:48 shown of 13:18.
Rating:
C+. Good match as you would
expect from these guys but the ending was lame. Cena sold the heck
out of that beating by staying down as long as he did but there might
have been more done to him on the floor. This keeps the Punk vs.
Shield going which could keep tying him into the Authority.
Cena
comes in for the save but Reigns hits the spear to take him down.
Punk is about to take the Triple Bomb but Cena makes another save.
The superheroes are in trouble but here’s Big E. Langston for the
real save. Ambrose and Rollins are sent to the floor and we get the
showdown between Langston and Reigns but Punk gets a chair, sending
Roman out to the floor. Shield backs off to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. Langston
interfering to end the show is a really interesting idea as his NXT
work has shown how capable he is of being a monster face.
Unfortunately that’s about all that held my interest tonight other
than AJ’s commentary. There’s just nothing here of interest with a
bunch of squashes complete with overdone finishes plus Miz being a
face again for no apparent reason. Also I guess we’re just going to ignore Reigns spearing Ambrose on Sunday.  Not an interesting show here but
it wasn’t the worst two hours ever.
Results
Big
E. Langston b. Jack Swagger – Big Ending
Brie
Bella b. Tamina Snuka – Rollup
Sin
Cara b. Drew McIntyre – Swanton Bomb
Tensai
b. Brodus Clay – Rollup
Wyatt
Family b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Discus lariat to Rhodes
Damien
Sandow b. The Miz – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Fandango
b. Kofi Kingston – Guillotine legdrop
CM
Punk/John Cena b. Shield via DQ when Shield triple teamed Bryan
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Top Ten Bryan Matches of 2013 Plug


Has anyone outside of Japan ever had this many MOTYC-level matches in one calendar year? There were even matches I felt bad about leaving off, like his six man with Orton and Kane against the Shield from a June Smackdown, not to mention the Night of Champions match.

I'd still go with Punk-Lesnar over Bryan-Cena, but either way my vote will be going to something from NJPW this year.  

Impact Wrestling – December 19, 2013

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
December 19, 2013
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tazz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight
is the Final Resolution special with a double main event. The main
stories are the Dixieland match with Magnus facing Jeff Hardy in the
world title tournament final and Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode in a 2/3
falls match which might be the blowoff to their feud. The other
question is where AJ Styles fits into this whole picture, assuming he
still has a job in this company. We also get the Feast or Fired
reveals tonight. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of the AJ fiasco which set up the tournament.
Magnus
is looking for Jeff and Dixie but neither are here. That’s fine with
him as he’s got something to say that will get everyone’s attention.
Here’s
Magnus to talk about how much he loves this business just like
everyone else in the back. That’s why they’ve all worked so hard to
get where they are today. He’s made his living as a wrestler here
for five years and has learned one thing: money is power. Magnus
understands all that but thinks the respect is what really matters.
However, he isn’t sure if Jeff Hardy feels the same. Jeff might have
slayed his demons, but maybe there’s one little demon coming back in:
greed.
Magnus
wants an explanation for why Hardy was seen having drinks with Dixie
Carter last week, so here’s Jeff to respond. The Brit says Hardy has
the fans fooled but Magnus remembers 10-10-10 when Jeff sold out to
become world champion. Fans: “WE DON’T CARE!” Jeff basically
tells Magnus to mind his own business and drops the mic.
Angle
says everything changes tonight when he beats Bobby Roode twice.
We
recap Roode vs. Angle with Roode getting the better of Angle every
time since BFG.
Chavo
Guerrero is excited about his chances in Feast or Fired. Zema Ion
comes up and makes annoying noises.
Kurt
Angle vs. Bobby Roode
2/3
falls. Aggressive feeling out process with both guys countering
everything the other one has until an ankle lock attempt sends Roode
to the ropes for a break. A belly to belly sends Roode tot he floor
but Angle throws him back inside for the rolling Germans. Roode
avoids the Angle Slam and hides behind the referee to hit Angle low.
A Death Valley Driver gives Bobby the first fall at 4:10 and we take
a break.
Back
with Roode missing a knee drop and Angle coming back with forearms
and a release overhead belly to belly. Roode sidesteps a charge to
send Angle’s shoulder into the post but the Crossface is countered
into the Angle Slam for the pin at 10:00 total. Roode tries to leave
but Angle throws him back inside for more rolling Germans but Bobby
snaps on the Crossface. Angle counters into a rollup but Roode puts
him right back in the Crossface.
Kurt
escapes again but Roode DDTs his arm down and puts the hold on for
the third time. Angle rolls out one more time and puts on the ankle
lock. Roode is about to tap so Angle switches over to a Crossface.
Bobby fights out and tries another Death Valley Driver, only to have
Angle slip behind the back and hit the Angle Slam for two. Back to
the ankle lock but Roode rolls through and grabs the rope for the pin
(just like Angle did to Roode at BFG 11) at 14:55. Kurt even puts
his face in his hands like Roode did two years ago.
Rating:
B-. The match and ending in
particular were good but it never hit that level that they were going
for. The commercial hurt this a lot as any momentum they had built
up in the first section stopped cold as a result. Still though, good
stuff, but I don’t think this is the blowoff just yet.
Storm
says Gunner gambled last week, which offends Gunner for some reason.
Angle
looks shell shocked in the back and is terrified by the idea of Roode
having his number.
Video
on Madison Rayne returning with Madison talking about her history
with Gail Kim.
Ethan
Carter III isn’t worried because he knows the boss. His phone rings
and he walks off, but the camera follows him. It’s Dixie who can’t
fix things if Ethan gets fired. Thankfully he has it on speaker and
up to his ear.
Eric
Young has a gift for Abyss.
After
a video recapping Eric telling Park he’s Abyss, Young calls out Park
for a chat. Park thinks Eric is wrong, but Eric has made him a match
next week with Park facing Bad Influence. Joseph rightfully freaks
out but Eric makes it even worse: it’s Monster’s Ball. Park says
that’s Abyss’ match but Eric has gifts for Park. Park gets a chair,
a bag of thumbtacks, and barbed wire. He’s still not convinced, but
Eric has saved the best for last. Park is sent under the ring to
find….Janice, the 2×4 covered in nails. Joseph gets very serious
and says he’ll do it.
We
look at Magnus accusing Hardy earlier before going to Hardy in the
back. He looks upset when Samoa Joe sits down and asks if there’s
any truth to what Magnus suggested. Hardy is offended and leaves.
It’s
time to reveal Feast or Fired in a room backstage. Dixie comes in
and talks about how amazing an idea this is before going to Ion for
the first reveal. Zema gets an X-Division Title shot. Gunner goes
next and says Storm will be his partner if he gets the Tag Title
shot. Instead it’s the World Title shot and Storm is MAD. That
leaves Chavo and Carter with Chavo saying no matter what happens,
he’s still a Guerrero. Carter says he’ll never lose and never be
fired.
Before
we get the reveal, Sting comes in and is thrilled that Ethan might be
fired. The dramatic music actually works here for a change. Sting
offers Ethan a deal: he’ll take the case and whatever it contains in
exchange for one match with Carter. Ethan takes the case and gets
the Tag Title shot, meaning Chavo is fired.
Magnus
says he’ll win the title and all questions will be answered.
Gail
Kim/Lei’D Tapa vs. ODB/Madison Rayne
Tapa
throws Madison down to start so it’s off to ODB for the power
showdown. ODB gets slammed with ease and it’s off to Gail as the
announcers talk about a kickboxing show. The champion lays in some
kicks before it’s back to Tapa for some choking. Tapa misses a
charge in the corner and it’s off to Madison for some house cleaning.
ODB is sent to the floor but Madison counters Eat Defeat into a
backslide for the pin at 5:50.
Rating:
D+. This was what it was.
Madison is a good hand to have back and the new looks works very well
for her, but bringing in one new girl isn’t going to help the
division’s long term problems. Tapa continues to bore me to death
every time I see her. She’s big and different looking and that’s the
end of her appeal.
Sting
tells Jeff that he’s been where Jeff is before and to play it cool.
Dixie
has told Spud to get a new World Title belt made.
Video
recapping the tournament.
Jeff
Hardy comes out for the match and addresses the accusations. Three
years ago he made a mistake but he’s a different man now. Yeah he
met with Dixie, but he thought about his family and his fans so
Dixie’s offer is rejected because nobody owns Jeff Hardy. This
brings out Dixie who says Hardy owes everything he has to her. She’s
the one who stood by him and all that matters is her company, not
Hardy’s family. Jeff needs Hardy more than she needs him so she’s
going to watch from ringside.
TNA
World Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Magnus
This
is Dixieland, meaning it starts in a cage and the winner has to
escape and climb a ladder at the top of the stage to pull down the
title. Magnus sends Hardy into the corner to start but gets caught
in a headscissors. A running forearm in the corner has Magnus in
trouble and Jeff rains down right hands. Magnus comes right back
with a running clothesline but Hardy avoids the top rope elbow.
Hardy tries to leave but shoves Magnus down and misses the Swanton.
EC3 is watching at the ramp as we take a break.
Back
with Hardy being pulled back through the camera hole before kicking
Magnus in the chest to put him down. Hardy goes to climb out but
drops a Vader Bomb from the middle of the ropes to keep Magnus down.
The Twist of Fate looks to set up a second Twist of Fate but Magnus
shoves him off and chop blocks Jeff’s knee. The Texas Cloverleaf has
Hardy in trouble and a Snow Plow sets up the top rope elbow from
Magnus.
Hardy
fights up and hits a quick Whisper in the Wind before climbing up for
a HUGE Whisper from the top of the cage to put both guys down again.
They both climb over the top but EC3 goes to stop Magnus. The Brit
fights him off but Hardy goes after Carter anyway because he wants to
win fair. Magnus and Hardy slug it out on the floor but Hardy hits
another Twist of Fate on the ramp. Jeff goes to the ladder but Dixie
begs him to not go up. Hardy goes up anyway but Spud shoves the
ladder down, sending Hardy down the ramp in an ugly crash. Magnus
goes up to win the title at 17:43.
Rating:
B-. Obvious ending aside, this
was still a good match that gets better if you just make it a cage
match. The ladder felt like overkill and the match being called
Dixieland made it feel more silly than important. Hardy is good in
this role and Magnus as the Corporate Champion makes sense.
The
Author….Dixie and company celebrate to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. I liked the show
for the most part but the ending was pretty telegraphed. Luckily
here it didn’t hurt things too badly and Magnus as the Corporate
Champion makes sense with Dixie being annoyed at AJ being a country
hick. This sets up the unification match that TNA has been wanting,
even though I don’t think Magnus vs. Styles is going to draw the
biggest audience. Good show but the midcard continues to be ignored.
Results
Bobby
Roode b. Kurt Angle – Rollup while grabbing the ropes
ODB/Madison
Rayne b. Gail Kim/Lei’D Tapa – Backslide to Kim
Magnus
b. Jeff Hardy – Magnus pulled down the title
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NXT – December 18, 2013

NXT
Date:
December 18, 2013
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Tensai
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight
is the 200th episode celebration and believe it or not,
that’s actually an accurate count for a change, assuming you consider
this the same show as the original competition show. The main
stories tonight are an appearance by HHH and an NXT Title defense
with Bo Dallas defending against Adrian Neville in a lumberjack
match. NXT has a good history of making their big shows work so this
has good potential tonight. Let’s get to it.

Here’s
HHH to open the show instead of Welcome Home. The boss says he loves
hearing those NXT chants. We’re here to celebrate the 200th
episode of NXT which has seen people like Damien Sandow, Shield and
the Wyatt come through here. The fans chant FIVE and HHH adds Big E.
Langston to the list. With the new Performance Center, the next two
hundred episodes are going to be even better. HHH tells the fans to
give themselves a standing ovation because this is their house. The
question now: are we ready?
Welcome
Home.
Sami
Zayn/Tyson Kidd vs. Leo Kruger/Antonio Cesaro
Leo’s
Real American trials continue. The bell rings twice for some reason
before Kruger knees Kidd in the ribs to start. Tyson comes right
back with an armdrag into an armbar Sami gets the tag and Kruger runs
straight to the corner for the tag to Cesaro. The fans immediately
chant MATCH OF THE YEAR until Cesaro grabs a top wristlock. Sami
shoves him into the corner but the referee pulls him down because he
loves AMERICA.
Kidd
comes in with a quick rollup for two but Cesaro catches his cross
body in mid air and puts Tyson down with a backbreaker. We take a
break and come back with Kidd fighting out of the heel corner and
getting two off a rollup on Kruger. Leo stops the hot tag with a
spinebuster for two of his own though and it’s back to Cesaro. The
gutwrench suplex gets two and we hit a quickly broken chinlock.
Cesaro kicks Sami off the apron to give Leo a two count and a
chinlock of his own.
Back
up and Tyson low bridges Kruger to the floor and avoids a charging
Cesaro in the corner. Sami finally comes in off the hot tag to clean
house and gets two on Leo off a high cross body. The Slice is
countered into a sitout powerbomb for two but Cesaro makes the save.
Kidd dives on Cesaro and Sami hits a running boot in the corner to
pin Kruger at 8:17 shown of 11:47.
Rating:
B-. Did you really expect
anything other than a good match here? Sami getting a pin on Kruger
is a good thing as he’s been losing way too often lately. Kidd and
Cesaro could have some awesome matches if given the time, which keeps
my head shaking at how Cesaro is used on the main shows.
Emma
does her dance in the back and nearly pokes Natalya in the eye.
Natalya gets annoyed and Emma accuses her of going Hollywood and
forgetting the little people down here in NXT. Natalya says Emma got
her title shot through a dance off so she has no room to talk. Emma
says wrestling brought her to the dance so Natalya offers to let Emma
tango into the Sharpshooter. A #1 contenders match is made and both
girls walk off.
We
get a clip from the first episode of NXT. Daniel Bryan used to be
even smaller than he is today. That match with Jericho he had on the
first show was great stuff.
There
was a special meet and greet for the first 200 people at the taping.
That’s a cool idea.
Sasha
Banks vs. Paige
Non-title.
Sasha slaps Paige into the corner to start before slamming her face
first into the mat. Paige gets stomped in the corner and Banks
throws in a mockery of Paige’s scream. Off to a chinlock with a
bodyscissors on Paige until the champion fights up and wristdrags
Sasha off the top. Summer tries to get involved but Banks
accidentally kicks her in the chest, setting up the Paige Turner for
the pin on Sasha at 3:38.
Rating:
D+. Paige was on defense for
most of this match and it didn’t work very well. She’s still miles
ahead of most of the girls on Raw or Smackdown though, meaning she
isn’t going to see a main show for a long time. After all, she’s not
even dating one of the top guys in the company so why would the fans
want to see her?
Enzo
Amore (YES!) and Colin Cassady are talking lawsuits against a parking
lot without handicap accessibility (Enzo is in a wheelchair due to a
leg injury) when Aiden English interrupts. Enzo says Colin can out
sing Aiden and an argument over the meaning of the word moi. A
singing competition is set between English and Big Cass. English:
“Mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi.” Cass: “Sa-sa-sa-sa-sa-SAWFT!”
Ascension
vs. ???
This
is the open challenge for a non-title match. The opponents are the
American Pitbulls: Derrick Billington (originally John Cahill) and
John Cahill (originally Eric Philbin), more famously known as Davey
Richards and Eddie Edwards respectively. Thankfully their new names
aren’t horrible. The fans are entirely behind the Pitbulls and
actually don’t call them the Wolves. Billington grabs a wristlock on
Viktor to start before it’s off to Cahill for more arm cranking.
Ascension drags him into the corner and brings in Konnor but the
Pitbulls take him down with a double Japanese armdrag.
Viktor
is sent to the floor but Konnor takes Cahill’s head off. We get a
mild Davey Richards chant as Ascension takes turns destroying
Billington. Derrick backflips out of a suplex and kicks Viktor in
the chest to make the tag to Cahill. A running knee to Victor’s
chest gets two as everything breaks down. The champions are sent to
the floor for stereo dives by the Pitbulls for a near fall.
Billington goes up and howls before hitting a flying headbutt for
two. Viktor will have none of that though and blasts Cahill in the
head, setting up Fall of Man for the pin at 4:22.
Rating:
C+. This could have been a lot
worse. First and foremost, this was not a squash. The Pitbulls got
in a good amount of offense and got a near fall towards the end. I’m
not a fan of Richards at all and Edwards is only tolerable (I’m not
big on indy wrestling at all for the most part) but they deserve jobs
after this match, or at least more appearances.
Hunico
and Camacho come out to talk trash so Ascension beats up Cahill a
little more.
Kofi
Kingston is rocking a suit and is happy to be here. Lana comes up to
speak some Bulgarian before challenging Kofi to a match with
Alexander Rusev for next week. One minor note here that makes NXT
that much better: Kofi was shown as part of the meet and greet
earlier so he has an actual reason for being here tonight instead of
just showing up because the script called for him to.
Next
week is a year in review special plus Regal vs. Cesaro.
NXT
Title: Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville
This
is a lumberjack match with Dallas defending. As a special treat, THE
FINK does the announcing. The fans think Breeze is gorgeous before
shifting to a Let’s Go Neville chant. Dallas has some awesomely evil
pure white gear this week. Bo is quickly sent to the floor but runs
back inside to avoid the lumberjacks. A rollup gets two for Neville
but Dallas sends him outside. Breeze gets in Adrian’s face and earns
a slap, sending the crowd into a quick freazy.
We
take a break (including another NXT moment with Rollins becoming the
first NXT Champion) and come back with Neville taking Dallas down for
some kicks to the chest. Dallas gets in a shot to the ribs and drops
some knees for two. Tyler Breeze is seated next to the barricade and
looks livid. A cravate keeps Neville on the mat and a kick to the
head gets two. The fans chant DROP THE TITLE as Bo drives elbows
into Neville’s head. A hard clothesline flips Neville inside out for
two and Dallas is frustrated.
Adrian
escapes the bulldog out of the corner and scores with a running
forearm. Some kicks get two on Bo and an enziguri sets up a standing
shooting star for two. The fans threaten to riot if Bo wins but the
champion bails to the floor before the Red Arrow launches. All of
the lumberjacks stop him so Adrian dives on EVERYBODY in a great
visual. Back in and Adrian loads up the Red Arrow but Breeze pulls
Dallas out of the way, giving Bo the pin at 9:50 shown of 11:50.
Rating:
C+. I like the story here as it
keeps the belt on Dallas and sets up Breeze vs. Adrian down the line.
Again, it’s the difference between booking and writing with the
former almost always being better. The pop when Dallas finally loses
is going to be nothing short of unholy.
Overall
Rating:
B. Another great show
here with everything fitting perfectly and putting together an
entertaining hour. As usual, NXT knows how to build to a big show
and then actually deliver on the payoff, which is more than you get
from any major wrestling show at the moment. Good stuff.
Results
Sami
Zayn/Tyson Kidd b. Leo Kruger/Antonio Cesaro – Running big boot to
Kruger
Paige
b. Sasha Banks – Paige Turner
Ascension
b. American Pitbulls – Ascension
Bo
Dallas b. Adrian Neville – Pin after a missed Red Arrow
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Smackdown – December 13, 2013

Smackdown
Date:
December 13, 2013
Location:
Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Oregon
Commentators:
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the final show before TLC, meaning this is the last night with two
world champions. It’s hard to say what we’ll get tonight but given
that this is the blue show, I’ll take a guess and say it ends in a
big tag match. Other than that, maybe we’ll get a tables, ladder or
chairs match added to the Tables, Ladders and Chairs show. Let’s get
to it.

We
open with a clip of the ending segment from Raw with Cena calling out
Orton for living on his reputation and the huge brawl which seems to
plant seeds for Wrestlemania. I still don’t think Shawn is getting
back in the ring though.
The
belts are hanging above the ring and there are probably fifteen
ladders and tables set up around the ring.
Daniel
Bryan vs. Erick Rowan
Bryan
has one of the Slammys he won on Monday with him. Rowan shoves
Daniel down to start but Daniel comes back with a running forearm to
stagger Erick. The kicks get him nowhere though as Rowan easily
shoves him down. Rowan gets in a forearm of his own to Daniel’s back
and puts on a bearhug followed by a fallaway slam.
A
splash in the corner gets two on Daniel as Harper looks…..confused
I guess you would call it. Bryan gets a boot up in the corner and a
middle rope dropkick to drop Erick. Now the kicks work a bit better
with the big one to the head dropping Rowan. The FLYING GOAT takes
out Harper and Rowan is sent outside as well, only to have Bray trip
up Bryan for the DQ at 3:06.
Rating:
D+. This was just a quick
trailer for the match on Sunday to illustrate what Bryan is going to
have to go through. I actually like it better that way as we’ve seen
Bryan vs. Rowan in a long match recently so there’s little need to
see the same thing again. Also it keeps Rowan looking strong instead
of having him lose a second match, meaning there’s some actual
thought to the booking for a change.
Bryan
has to fight off the monsters post match and manages to get out of
the ring for a bad looking running knee to take Bray out.
Real
Americans vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust
Non-title.
Before the match Colter rants about Santa Claus telling him Feliz
Navidad. That sounds like an illegal immigrant to him and that means
we need to strengthen our border with the North Pole. Goldust runs
Cesaro down to start and it’s quickly off to Cody as the champions
start in on Antonio’s arm. Swagger comes in with some right hands to
Cody’s jaw and the Americans start some quick tagging of their own.
The Vader Bomb misses as a moderate We The People chant starts up.
Goldust
comes in with the uppercut and a spinebuster to Swagger but a blind
tag brings in Cesaro to knock Goldust out to the floor. We take a
break and come back with Swagger holding Goldust in a front facelock.
The Americans take their turns on Goldust with Swagger putting on a
chinlock. Goldust fights up and comes off the second rope for a
collision with Swagger.
The
double tag brings in Cody for the sunset flip out of the corner and
the Alabama Slam for two each on Antonio. Goldust has to break up
the Swing and Cody gets two more off the Disaster Kick. Both
Americans are sent to the floor and Cody hits a great looking dive to
take Cesaro out. Back in and Cody loads up the moonsault press but
gets distracted by Swagger, allowing Cesaro to pull him into the
European uppercut for the pin at 6:17 shown of 9:47.
Rating:
C-. It’s been at least a few
weeks since we last had the champions lose a few matches to set up a
title shot so it was long overdue. The Americans getting wins is
fine, but there must be some teams they could beat other than the
champions. If nothing else, take some of those guys that have
nothing else to do and make quick teams out of them. It’s worked
many times before.
Video
package on what the history of the titles means for the unification
match. This transitions into a nice package shows Cena and Orton’s
career paths.
Bad
News Barrett calls us losers for voting on the Slammy winners.
Damien
Sandow vs. Mark Henry
Langston
is on commentary again. Henry throws Sandow around to start and
shrugs off a boot in the corner. Sandow is sent to the floor and
takes the countout to save himself for Sunday at 1:17.
Langston
throws Sandow back inside for the beating he deserves.
AJ
Lee/Tamina Snuka vs. Bella Twins
Natalya
is on commentary. Nikki is shoved to the mat by Tamina to start but
uses the power of yelling to come back. A snap suplex and a Samoan
drop put Nikki down as Natalya talks about Total Divas. Off to AJ
who skips around a lot but misses a charge into the corner, allowing
for the hot tag to Brie. The girl named after cheese cleans a little
bit of the house but is quickly caught in the Black Widow for the
submission at 2:36.
Here’s
Cena for the PPV hard sell. Cena talks about how Monday was the
first time that the two world champions both handed the world title
away. 99% of the superstars in WWE history will never hold one of
those (true, though if you go by the WWE roster currently listed on
Wikipedia, which to be fair includes Rock, Undertaker, Lesnar and
other part timers as well as names like Ezekiel Jackson and Evan
Bourne, it’s about 30% of all male wrestlers. Think about that for a
minute and you’ll see why the titles should be unified) but they gave
the titles away. Why would they do that?
It’s
because of the moment on Sunday when the unification will change
everything. Cena knows what Orton is capable of, but he also knows
something Orton wishes he doesn’t know: Orton has a glass jaw. Think
about it: whenever Orton gets hurt, he runs away. This Sunday
there’s nowhere to run though and Orton is going to have to suffer
through the pain from falling off a ladder or going through a table.
Cena doesn’t know what Orton is going to do but he’s going to get
back up every time. The question is does Orton run again or does he
get back up? This Sunday there’s one champion and his name is John
Cena.
We
look back at Punk beating Ambrose on Raw but getting speared down
after the match.
Shield
vs. Usos
Ambrose
is on commentary here to continue a theme tonight. Jimmy leapfrogs
Rollins to start and punches him in the face before tagging Jey. The
twins hit a higher flying version of the Demolition Decapitator for
two before Jimmy puts on a standing armbar. Rollins pushes him into
the corner for the tag off to Reigns and Shield takes over. Jimmy
tries to speed things up by hitting the ropes, allowing Jey to make a
blind tag. Some Uso double teaming knocks Rollins out to the floor
and we take a break.
Back
with Jimmy fighting out of a Seth front facelock and getting two off
a backslide. Reigns comes back in and shoves Jimmy into the corner
for a chinlock. Jimmy escapes with a jawbreaker but Roman runs him
over with a clothesline. Shield tries some double teaming but
Rollins gets low bridged to the floor. Jimmy DDTs Reigns down and
dives over for the tag to Jey. Rollins comes back in to speed things
up with the throw in the air Samoan drop for a VERY close two.
The
superkick sets up the Superfly Splash but Seth rolls to the floor.
That’s cool with Jey who takes him out with a cross body, putting all
four guys outside. Reigns comes out of nowhere with a spear to Jimmy
and Jey is sent into the post. Jey barely beats the count but gets
caught by the Black Out (running curb stomp). Rollins loads up a GTS
but puts Jey on his feet instead of hitting him with the knee, only
to set up another spear for the pin at 8:55 shown of 11:10.
Rating:
C+. The tag matches continue to
be good in WWE as they’re given the time to develop. I still hope
the Usos get the titles eventually as they’ve spent years on the
roster and consistently put on entertaining matches. At the same
time, Shield, is able to have good matches no matter what combination
we get from them.
After
the match Punk appears on screen from the basement ala Shield’s
promos. Punk didn’t like it when Shield put their hands on him and
he’s going to do something about it on Sunday. He knows he’s going
down, but the question is how many of them are going with him.
Ryback
vs. Big Show
Axel
and Mysterio are the seconds here. Before the match we get the
announcement of a four way tag title match on Sunday: Rhodes/Goldust
vs. Ryback/Axel vs. Real Americans vs. Big Show/Rey Mysterio. Big
Show chops Ryback down to start and hits the loud chop in the corner.
A headbutt staggers Ryback and there’s another loud chop. Ryback
comes back with a nice spinebuster for two but the Meat Hook is
caught in a chokeslam to give Big Show the pin at 1:44.
Axel
takes a 619 post match.
We
look at Bryan attacking Bray earlier.
The
Wyatts come on screen and Bray says he was trying to prove Daniel
wrong. Bray yells that he (Bray) was a blind fool though and starts
singing about walking with the reaper and leaving this world behind.
That’s his special lullaby song that he sings to all of his babies
before he puts them down. See you Sunday Bryan.
Kofi
Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del
Rio gets the jobber entrance. No match again this week as Miz jumps
Kofi and gives him a Skull Crushing Finale on the floor. I’d assume
we have a TLC match set as a result.
In
the weekly sitdown interview, HHH says he might listen to an apology
from Orton for him running into Stephanie on Monday.
Here’s
Orton for the apology to end the show. He talks about the end of
Monday’s show and seeing Stephanie laid out on the mat. Orton can’t
get the image out of his head and wants to apologize to the Authority
in person. This brings out HHH as Orton says it was clearly an
accident. He says it’s clearly an accident if you look at the
footage so here’s the ending sequence again.
There’s
more footage from a different angle in slow motion but we have to
wait for the YES chant to die down first. Orton talks over the
Daniel Bryan chant and talks about how their relationship is
important and he wants HHH and Stephanie to accept his apology. HHH
says he’s seen the footage over and over because they’re his cameras
in the first place. There are a lot of people that need to apologize
but he isn’t one of them. They both know he could fire Orton for
this but that wouldn’t be best for business. For this one time,
Orton’s apology is accepted.
Orton
is grateful, but there’s one more thing he needs to ask about. We
look at the footage of Cena helping Stephanie to her feet and
standing next to the Authority and Orton would like an explanation.
Randy talks about proving himself on Sunday but wants to know if the
Authority has the same amount of faith in him that he has in himself.
HHH says don’t worry about it because they know exactly where their
faith lies. Orton is confused to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This show was
designed to set up the main matches for Sunday but we didn’t really
get anything new here. Bryan got in a shot at Bray and that’s really
about all that has changed. Cena still seems to be the Authority’s
guy (though I don’t buy it at all) and Punk is still promising to
take the Shield down with him. Other than adding the four way tag
match, there really isn’t anything new for Sunday. The wrestling
here was just ok but the point was setting up the PPV. Everything
was covered, but other than the main event there isn’t much of
interest to see, which cuts tonight’s show down.
Results
Daniel
Bryan b. Erick Rowan via DQ when Bray Wyatt interfered
Real
Americans b. Goldust/Cody Rhodes – European uppercut to Rhodes
AJ
Lee/Tamina Snuka b. Bella Twins – Black Widow to Brie
Shield
b. Usos – Spear to Jey
Big
Show b. Ryback – Chokeslam
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
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Impact Wrestling – December 12, 2013

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
December 12, 2013
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tazz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
tournament is finally down to two entrants with Magnus and Jeff Hardy
left to square off for the title. Thankfully they’re giving us a
week off from the matches to get ready for the title match instead of
just blasting through it tonight. We do however have Feast or Fired
tonight, with a shot at all the male titles and a pink slip up for
grabs. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Dixie trying to get the title back last week.
Rockstar
Spud is driving near Gainsville, Georgia as he tries find AJ’s house.
In
the arena, JB is standing next to four briefcases and the Wheel of
Dixie. Inside the four cases are a World Title shot, an X-Division
Title shot, a Tag Team Title shot and a pink slip. We’ll get to
those later though as we need to find out the stipulations for the
tournament final. Before we can talk about gimmick match #2 though,
here’s Angle to clear the ring and call out Bobby Roode to end this
once and for all.
Roode
comes out and says he’ll fight but not right now. He was eliminated
from the tournament by falling through a table. Angle was eliminated
because ever since he passed on the Hall of Fame, Roode has beaten
him. Kurt says he could beat Roode twice in one night and the fight
is on again. Security comes out to break it up and Roode gets in a
low blow. Next week is Final Resolution and Bobby wants a 2/3 falls
match.
We
look back at Bad Influence vs. Joseph Park, focusing on Bad Influence
finding out that the Park Park and Park law offices closed years ago.
Eric
Young has a plan for the match and asks Park to trust him.
Joseph
Park/Eric Young vs. Bad Influence
Young
takes Daniels down to start before bringing in a hesitant Park. Off
to Kaz vs. Eric with Young raining down right hands in the corner.
Back to Park as the fast tags continue and Tenay plugs every internet
feature the company can think of. A knee to Park’s gut puts him down
and Bad Influence takes turns pounding on him. Par fights back but
gets nervous again, so Eric gives him a few hard right hands to the
face, busting him open. Abyss mode ensues and Kaz is Black Hole
Slammed for the pin at 5:45.
Rating:
D+. I still don’t get the
appeal of Eric Young. He isn’t particularly funny, he isn’t anything
special in the ring, he doesn’t do anything that others couldn’t do
just as well, but he’s kept a job for several years now. Bad
Influence on the other hand is actually funny and can put on good
matches, which is clearly why they’re stuck in feuds like this one.
Post
match Eric tells Park that he’s Abyss, which apparently no one
suggested to him in 18 months.
Ethan
Carter III is getting massaged before he has a Hall of Fame moment
tonight. It’s going to make social media explode.
Here’s
Carter for his match but he makes sure to tell Brian Hebner that he
has nothing to worry about. Tonight Carter is going to face TNA’s
social media guru: Jeremy Borash. JB makes a hilarious terrified
face like he just saw TNA’s PPV numbers but Sting of all people
interrupts Carter.
Sting
asks if he can shake Carter’s hands because Carter is a skyrocket.
Carter is shooting for the stars but he hasn’t accomplished anything
at all. Sting isn’t cool with this because Carter is just riding his
family and last name through doors that never should have been opened
for him. There’s a big match coming up tonight called Feast or Fired
and Carter can either enter or fight Sting right now. Carter gets in
Sting’s face and says it’s on, meaning he’ll enter Feast or Fired.
Spud
is still looking for AJ’s house but finds a gas station attendant who
says Styles hangs out at a bar down the road.
Gail
Kim vs. ODB
This
is supposed to be the open challenge but Gail says she’s beaten ODB
too many times already. ODB says she’s here to fight Tapa though and
the brawl is on. Gail gets involved though and ODB gets double
teamed down until Madison Rayne (looking great with long reddish
brown hair) returns to make the save.
Spud
finds the bar and imitates a redneck to get some service. He calls
AJ Alan Jones (his real name) and is told he’ll get information for a
drink. Spud puts down a dollar bill and asks for some mixed drink,
getting a beer with a lemon instead.
Post
match Spud sings karaoke and is thrown out.
Video
outlining Feast or Fired.
James
Storm and Gunner apologize to each other and say good luck in the
match tonight.
Spud
keeps looking and walks off into the dark with a flashlight.
Here’s
Dixie Carter to oversee the face to face meeting between Hardy and
Magnus. Earlier tonight Angle destroyed the Wheel of Dixie but
she’ll give him the 2/3 falls match anyway. That brings her to AJ
Styles, who is still making a mockery of her world title. Next week
though she gets a new world champion and brings out the competitors.
Hardy talks about winning the Bound For Glory Series last year and
promises to win the title again next week.
Magnus
says he sees Hardy as the best today and the final obstacle. Dixie
says the final match will be called Dixieland and we get a video
explaining the concept. The match starts in a cage and you have to
climb over the top and go up the ramp and climb a ladder to pull down
the belt. I’m sure this isn’t going to be overbooked at all. Dixie
promises to make the winner the face of TNA and let them become the
most important person in the company.
Velvet
says she has Sabin’s back tonight in his title match, even though
Sabin seems oblivious to her.
Spud
breaks into presumably AJ’s house and finds the belt in a bag on the
coffee table. AJ comes down the stairs and is incredibly calm
considering someone broke into his home. Apparently people had
called him and told him to expect a British guy, hence why the door
was open. AJ says we can either call the cops or call some of his
buddies. Spud leaves the belt and runs away as AJ slams the door.
Anderson
says he had fun at the funeral but now it’s time to get the world
title back.
X-Division
Title: Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries
Sabin
is defending. Aries sends him into the corner to start and takes a
victory lap, including a look at Sky. The distraction lets Aries
slide back in for a baseball slide to take out Sabin, only to have
the champion send him face first into the apron. A gutbuster gets
three straight near falls for Sabin and he drapes Aries ribs first
across the top rope for the same.
Aries
comes right back by draping Sabin’s ribs across the top and pounding
away at Chris’ head. A forearm puts Sabin on the floor but Aries
throws him back in for a missile dropkick. Sabin stops a charging
Aries with a boot to the face but Austin Japanese armdrags the
champion into the corner. Chris rolls him up for two but the kickout
nearly sends Sabin into Velvet. The distraction lets Aries hit the
brainbuster for the pin and the title at 6:08.
Rating:
C. Not bad here and maybe this
can get the title to mean something for a few weeks. The belt has
been worthless since BFG as it always is around this time of year.
It’s just a toy that TNA dusts off every now and then to make it seem
like it matters but it’ll be nothing again in a few weeks.
Post
break Sabin gets in Aries’ face but Aries says he’ll enter Feast or
Fired and then steal Velvet.
Magnus
talks about winning the world title but gets a phone call.
Preview
for next week’s Final Resolution with Angle vs. Roode and Jeff vs.
Magnus.
Feast
or Fired
Mr.
Anderson, Curry Man, Samoa Joe, Dewey Barnes, Norv Fernum, Chris
Sabin, Chavo Guerrero, Hernandez, Zema Ion, James Storm, Gunner,
Austin Aries, Ethan Carter III
Anderson
comes out to do his entrance but Bully Ray jumps him from behind and
piledrives Anderson on the stage. Ray talks about evil standing
strong over good in what sounds like a quote from a rather epic
speech. He says Anderson’s wife is pregnant with twins but Ray will
be responsible for their future.
As
for the match, there’s a briefcase at each corner of the ring and
whoever gets the case gets whatever is inside. That could be a shot
at the World, Tag Team or X-Division Titles or a pink slip. The bell
rings and Curry Man immediately walks out and Sabin bails to the
floor. Fernum and Barnes both miss dives but Aries dives on everyone
to take them out. Ion dropkicks Aries through the ropes and SuperMex
launches himself over the top rope to take everyone out. Gunner
backdrops storm onto them as Norm and Dewey hit dives of their own.
Joe hits the suicide elbow to take the jobbers out and the ring is
empty.
Carter
gets back in the ring and gets case #3 as we take a break. Back with
Joe destroying everyone in sight until Barnes and Fernum throw him to
the floor. They both go up top but Ion shoves them to the floor,
allowing him to grab case #2. Most of the people get back inside and
it’s Aries diving onto Storm and Hernandez. A discus lariat staggers
Hernandez and Aries hits some running dropkicks in the corner. He
sends Barnes and Fernum into each other before going up top for a 450
onto both guys.
Austin
goes for a case but Sabin makes a save, only to be sent into the
steps. Joe, Chavo and Hernandez get back inside with Chavo being
launched into the corner where he grabs case #4. Gunner and Storm
get back inside but have to deal with Hernandez. Dewey and Norv come
back in to try a superplex on Hernandez but Gunner powerbombs him
down to make it a Tower of Doom. Storm Last Calls Joe to the floor
but Gunner crotches him and takes the case to end the match at 14:11.
Rating:
C+. This is always a hard match
to grade as there are four winners and technically no losers. The
whole point of the match is the drama of the cases being opened next
week and not really about the action here. Gunner turning on Storm
is kind of interesting but nothing out of the ordinary. Still
though, decent enough stuff.
Dixie
is sitting at a dinner table when Jeff Hardy comes in. He accepts a
glass of wine as the show ends.
Overall
Rating:
D+. This show was
really chatty. We had one match in the first hour and then a lot of
talking. Then there was another match and we talked some more, then
we had Feast or Fired to end things. Last week’s show worked because
they threw a lot of stuff at us to keep it interesting, but tonight
was all about only a handful of angles which got repetitive quickly.
It’s not a horrible show but it was there to set up future stuff
which doesn’t make for the most entertaining two hours.
Results
Joseph
Park/Eric Young b. Bad Influence – Black Hole Slam to Kazarian
Austin
Aries b. Chris Sabin – Brainbuster
Ethan
Carter III, Zema Ion, Chavo Guerrero and Gunner won Feast or Fired

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NXT – December 11, 2013

NXT
Date:
December 11, 2013
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Alex Riley
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Last
week’s show saw the main event angle continue as Adrian Neville beat
Bo Dallas by countout. I could see this setting up a big time triple
threat if Sami’s feud with Leo Kruger doesn’t last all that long.
Other than that we’re likely to find out who Emma’s mystery partner
is in her battle against the BFF’s. Let’s get to it.

Welcome
Home.
Tag
Titles: Hunico/Camacho vs. Ascension
Hunico
and Camacho are challenging. Viktor and Camacho get things going and
Rick rips Camacho’s shirt off to chop the skin off his chest.
Camacho rolls through a backdrop into a rollup before avoiding a
Viktor elbow drop to pound the champion down. Off to Hunico for a
dropkick in the corner and a quickly broken chinlock but Viktor comes
back with a knee to the face for two.
Back
from a break with Konnor holding Hunico in a headlock on the mat.
Regal brings up the point that every tag team to have faced Ascension
have broken up, possibly because they know there’s no chance of
taking the titles. Viktor comes in for a backbreaker before tagging
out to Konnor for some hard stomping in the corner. Back to the
chinlock for a bit before Viktor hits another backbreaker and puts on
a chinlock of his own.
Hunico
fights up and grabs a rollup but lifts Viktor up into a powerbomb
instead of covering. The double tag brings in Camacho to run over
Konnor and get a two count off a legdrop. Konnor clotheslines him
down as Viktor pulls Hunico off the apron, injuring Hunico’s knee in
the process. The Fall of Man to Camacho is enough to retain the
titles at 8:40 shown of 12:10.
Rating:
C. Not bad here but Hunico and
Camacho were just quick challengers. There’s really no one left for
Ascension to beat in NXT but they would die on the main roster. The
skills are there, but can you imagine Cole trying to talk about these
guys? They would be buried by the commentary so badly that they’d be
lucky to get a win over Los Matadores.
Alexander
Rusev vs. Kassius Ohno
Lana
introduces Rusev who looks more and more awesome every time he’s out
there. This is a result of Ohno beating Rusev’s time in the Beat the
Clock Challenge a few weeks back. Rusev takes him into the corner to
start and drops Ohno with a single right hand. He lifts Kassius up
for a slam before driving knees into his ribs in midair.
Ohno
gets slammed down for two and Alexander stays on the back and ribs.
We hit the bearhug for a bit before another forearm to the back puts
Ohno down. Ohno gets a forearm to the face to set up a small package
for two. That’s the extent of his offense as Rusev runs him over and
the Accolade ends Ohno at 3:05.
Rating:
D. Total and complete squash
here as Ohno leaves the company looking like a jobber. He never
clicked in this company at all but at least his comments after
leaving have been nothing but positive. Rusev has a spot waiting on
him on the main roster once they finally make the call and he’ll take
a lot of people apart.
Rusev
won’t let go of the hold until Lana talks him out of it.
Natalya
runs into a nervous Bayley. Apparently Natalya is going to be in
Bayley’s corner which means it’s hug time.
We
look back at Cesaro attacking Byron Saxton last week. Regal says if
Cesaro has a problem with him, don’t take it out on anyone else.
Natalya/Bayley
vs. BFF’s
Sasha
and Bayley get things going with no Charlotte in sight. Bayley takes
her down and slams Sasha’s face into the mat before it’s off to
Natalya for a double suplex. Summer comes in and is immediately
taken down with a drop toehold before it’s back to Bayley. Rae dives
back to the corner for a tag to Sasha who is taken down just as
quickly.
The
BFF’s finally double team Bayley to take over with Summer choking her
in the corner. Sasha slams her down for two but Bayley counters an
Irish whip, allowing for the hot (?) tag to Natalya. A discus lariat
to Banks looks to set up the Sharpshooter but Sasha makes the save.
Back to Bayley who knocks Summer off the apron but walks into a
double arm trap neckbreaker from Sasha (Bankrupt) for the pin at
3:30.
Rating:
C-. This didn’t have time to go
anywhere but the story still has somewhere to go until the showdown
between Bayley and Charlotte. The BFF’s are better on the mic as
Laycool II but they aren’t terrible in the ring at all, especially
when they keep it in shorter matches like this one. Natalya could
have been any main roster Diva for the sake of this match.
Summer
can’t help from talking trash as she leaves like a good stuck up heel
should.
Leo
Kruger says he’s on a task to become a Real American and it means he
has to hurt Sami Zayn to do it.
Scott
Dawson vs. Mojo Rawley
This
is Dawson’s return after an injury. Rawley takes him into the corner
to start but gets punched backwards with ease. Dawson puts on a
quick chinlock before driving elbows into Rawley’s head. Back up and
Dawson misses a charge into the corner, setting up a Mojo splash in
the corner and an Earthquake for the pin at 2:50. Mojo needs to be
squashing people instead of getting beaten up until the last 45
seconds of a match.
Post
match Dawson lays out Rawley. Again, this should not happen.
Next
week is the 200th episode, featuring an open challenge
from Ascension and Dallas defending against Neville in a lumberjack
match. HHH will be here too, which means a big announcement.
Leo
Kruger vs. Sami Zayn
Sami
charges at Kruger but can’t hang in a fist fight. Kruger catches him
in a wicked spinebuster for two and Zayn bails to the floor, only to
get more of a beating on the outside. Leo throws Sami into the
barricade and slams him down onto the concrete as this is one sided
so far. Back in for a cravate from Kruger before Sami comes back
with a dropkick. They head outside again with Sami hitting some HARD
chops. They head back inside with Zayn getting two off a high cross
body but Leo crotches him down to break up the tornado DDT. The
Slice ends Sami at 4:11.
Rating:
D+. Sami continues to lose
every big match he has and it’s getting annoying. I know he’s
awesome at being the guy that just keeps fighting but he needs to
actually win something in the near future. A win over Kruger would
be fine, especially if it’s in a long match which Sami is capable of
pulling off. The fans are still with him but it’s only going to last
so long.
Sami
clotheslines him to the floor and hits a big flip dive to extend the
feud.
Overall
Rating:
D+. This show didn’t do
it for me. It’s a lot of squashes and short matches other than the
tag titles and most of the matches are building up to another show.
It wasn’t terrible as NXT isn’t capable of having a horrid show, but
they need a good showing next week to make up for this one.
Results
Ascension
b. Hunico/Camacho – Fall of Man to Camacho
Alexander
Rusev b. Kassius Ohno – Accolade
BFF’s
b. Bayley/Natalya – Bankrupt to Bayley
Mojo
Rawley b. Scott Dawson – Earthquake
Leo
Kruger b. Sami Zayn – Slice
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The PG Era Rant: 2013 Slammys Raw

When last we left our heroes, tables,
ladders, and chairs were flying. The two championships were set to
merge, and the contract signing meant a melee. But six days remain
until the biggest match of 2013 of the week; who will leave the year
as the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, if anyone?
The live look-in is all about the 2013
Slammys. Yay, less typing for me!
– The PG Era Rant for the 2013 Slammy
Awards Raw, December 9.
– Live from Seattle.
– Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL at
ringside, and Jerry Lawler and Booker T on stage. Your stars are
John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, the Authority, Big
Show, AJ Lee, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, and the Total Divas. Special
guests are Mick Foley, the New Age Outlaws, Eve Torres, Bret Hart,
and Shawn Michaels.

– Opening match: Daniel Bryan v.
Fandango. Whoa, we’re starting with a match? Lemme get my watch.
Okay, good. Crowd is going nuts with YES. Fandango wins the tackle
to start, but a back-and-forth sequence leads to a Bryan dropkick.
European uppercuts follow from Bryan, but he runs into a knee from
Fandango for one. Fandango with a suplex for one. Fandango chops
away in the corner, then punches him in the opposite corner. A blind
charge runs into a drop toehold, then Bryan kicks the ropes to hurt
Fandango. Not sure how, but it worked. Lots of YES kicks to the
back follow, then Bryan goes to the arm over the shoulder. Bow and
arrow surfboard thing follows by Bryan, but Fandango blocks, so Bryan
just stomps on the calves instead. Big kick to the chest gets two.
Fandango dumps Bryan and follows, but misses. Bryan’s dive is more
successful (“YES! YES!”), and Fandango is sent into the
barricade and dropkicked. Back in, Bryan dives but is caught with a
powerbomb for two as we go to break. We return during Bryan’s
comeback sequence with Bryan… well, he’s hulking up, no other way
to put it. YES Kicks follow to Fandango, barely hitting the
roundhouse for two. Bryan with a cross corner dropkick and kicks to
the gut, but another cross airballs in the corner. Fandango with a
twist front suplex for two. He goes up, but the diving legdrop
misses. Now Bryan’s up, and the Ram Jam connects. Running knee time
for the pin at 8:44. FANTASTIC choice for an opener. **1/4
Bray Wyatt hacks into the light system again and talks to Bryan from
the Tron. He admits he’s intrigued by Bryan’s feistiness, but it
tests his patience. He doesn’t want Bryan to suffer, but people
don’t get happy endings when he’s involved. The story ends the same
way it started. They will hurt him. Bad. Wyatt will reveal the
monster within Bryan even if it kills him. And then, he will end the
pain. Holy heck, that is c-r-e-e-p-y. Back to the ring, where Bryan
starts a NO chant.
– We
throw to the stage with Jerry Lawler and Booker T. I say it’s two
minutes before someone makes a King Booker joke. Booker appeals for
the fans to make their vote. Our first award is the Comedy Moment of
the Year, and the New Age Outlaws present, having apparently raided
Michael Hayes’ wardrobe. Seriously, Dogg’s in all-white and Billy’s
in all-orange. Billy: “Are you not gonna let me talk again this
year?” Dogg: “You’re not very good at it. Your line was only
two words long.” Crowd: “One more match!” Dogg: “No, that’s
three words.” NOMINEES: Vickie Guerrero’s tantrum on being fired;
Titus O’Neil loses his dinner; Jinder Mahal charms Santino’s cobra;
Rock serenades Vickie on RAW20. Vote during the commercial and next
match.
– And
the winner is… The Rock! Yeah, like Rock will show up to accept.
No, it’s Vickie instead. And to prove he wasn’t the favorite…
– Santino
Marella v. Damien Sandow. Big E is at ringside as Sandow opens up on
Santino, but misses a blind charge and gets cradled for one. Santino
power-walks out of a whip, but walks into a kneesmash. Sandow pounds
away and drops a knee, then makes crossface blows in the ropes.
Russian legsweep and Cubito Aequet follow, getting two. Sandow with
a boot scrape and more cross-face blows, into a chinlock. Sandow is
getting the Cena Treatment from the fans. Santino breaks for a
double KO, leading to a Santino comeback. He almost misses the
headbutt, but recovers to pull the Cobra out. Sandow sweeps the leg
(speaking of Cobra), and the full nelson slam completes it at 2:31.
1/2* Langston and
Sandow have a face-off in the ring after the squash.
– Our
next award is Double-Cross of the Year, and the Shield will present.
And they’ve discarded their riot gear for suits. Ambrose cleans up
REAL nicely. NOMINEES: Mark Henry’s non-retirement on John Cena;
Shawn Michaels in the Cell on Daniel Bryan; Paul Heyman at Money in
the Bank on CM Punk; Triple H at SummerSlam. Does that last one
count? It’s not like he was on Daniel Bryan’s side in the first
place. And what does it say that TWO nominees involve Daniel Bryan
getting stabbed in the back? Is he the new Sting?
– And
the winner is… Shawn Michaels! (Crowd seems to have forgiven him.)
Shawn is mad that ONLY NOW does he win a double-cross award. “Look,
pinhead, I sold out a long time ago; that’s why I’m still here!”
And speaking of double-cross:

– Kofi
Kingston v. The Miz. Who crossed whom? Does anyone care? Kofi with
a dropkick out of the gate and corners Miz, adding a big Stinger
Forearm and another dropkick. Miz tries to escape, but Kofi catches
him. Boot is also caught, and Kofi with a roundhouse back kick.
Kofi punches away in the corner, but runs into a boot. Miz runs into
one as well, and Kofi gets two. Kofi with a soccer kick to Miz’s
chest, and another, then one more with an added run off the ropes,
for two. Trouble in Paradise is dodged as Miz bails out, then starts
to walk away. Kofi doesn’t want to win like that and chases Miz down
in the aisle, slamming Miz into the barricade. Back in, Kofi with a
springboard clothesline and rolling cradle for two. Miz gets one of
his own (using the tights) for the pin at 2:37. Seriously? That’s
it? 3/4* Kofi lands
Trouble in Paradise to make his point after the match. I sense
another TLC match.

– Our
next award is Diva of the Year, presented by Eve Torres. NOMINEES:
Bella Twins; Funkadactyls; Kaitlyn; Natalya; Eva Marie; AJ Lee. Just
as a reminder, this category was called Total Diva of the Year last
week, which indicates E! Network wants to rig the vote.
– And
the winner is… the Bellas!? The crowd severely disagrees with that
decision. Sadly, the string of matches following the award making
sense ends at two:
– Rey
Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, and Big Show v. We the People,
Ryback, and Curtis Axel. Ryback and Rey start. Ryback pounds Rey
down and gets a military press into an Oklahoma Slam try, but Rey
slides underneath a few times and dropkicks the knee. Quick 619 try,
but Ryback bails. Show in next as Ryback returns, with Ryback
shoving Big Show a little. Show shoves back, slightly more
powerfully, and boxes Ryback down in the corner. Hammer throw by
Show and CHOP OF DOOM, and Goldust in with the kneeling uppercut.
Snapmare and elbowdrop by Goldust as we go to break. We return with
Cesaro working a headlock on Rey as we all realize what those two
will do later in the match. We hope. Rey catches Cesaro in a crazy
tilt-a-whirl move, and in comes Goldust with a kneedrop for two.
Cesaro stops it with a kneesmash, and enter Swagger. Goldust fights
out with a clothesline and kneeling uppercut on Swagger, and it’s ten
punches in the corner. Cesaro gets knocked off the apron, which
allows Swagger to clip Goldust and bring in Cesaro. Everyone’s
outside, and Cesaro bowls over Goldust. Back in, it gets two. Axel
in now, getting a Perfect Dropkick and elbowdrop for two. Axel with
a forearm scrape, and Ryback enters. For the record, the Heyman Guys
want to be called Rybaxel. Even JBL thinks the name is bad. Goldust
tries to slug back, but Ryback wins that exchange and works with
forearms to the back. Cesaro adds a receipt, and Swagger’s in with a
front guillotine. Goldust fights toward his corner, then tries a
sunset flip, but Cesaro tags in and breaks it up, stomping away.
Cesaro with a double gut stomp for two. Cesaro to the chinlock, as
the crowd wills Goldust to his feet. He elbows out and gets a
backslide for two. Powerslam follows (“Classic Goldust”, says
Cole, so even he’s off his game), but Swagger throws Goldust back
into the corner. Cesaro in, but Goldust gives We the People a double
DDT. I love this camera view where they show how far from the corner
everyone is. Hot tag Cody, who takes over on Axel. Brisco Brothers
rollup gets two. Ryback goes flying, and a sliding punch to Axel
leads to a springboard dropkick for two. Cody goes up top again, and
moonsault press causes Ryback to save. Show spears Ryback away, then
both of We the People on the outside. Rey blind tags in, and Cody
with the Disaster Kick into a Rey top-rope rana. 619 and big splash
end it at 11:44. Not the worst use of 15 minutes I can think of.
**3/4
– Back
to Lawler and Booker for some banter, as Shawn Michaels comes back
out to present the nominees for Superstar of the Year. There’s no
way this award is decided after the commercial break – they’re
starting the voting early. Shawn even says the Superstar of the Year
gives A+ performances. (Crowd: “YES! YES!”) Shawn wants to
rename the award the HBShizzle. NOMINEES: Brock Lesnar; CM Punk; Big
Show; Daniel Bryan; Randy Orton; John Cena. Cast your vote now.
– This
show is dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela. Whoa.
– And
the winner is… wait, already? Okay, the winner is… Daniel Bryan!
Hard to argue with that one, although the announcers claim it’s a
bit of an upset. An uneasy handoff occurs as Michaels exits. He
thanks Shawn, but makes it clear he should be champ. He’s not angry
(Dr. Shelby wins!), but the people made him Superstar of the Year.
He promises 2014 will be better than 2013. Oh, and go Seahawks.
GIVE THAT MAN A YES!
– Sin
Cara v. Alberto Del Rio. Until further notice, this is Jorge Arias
under the mask. Del Rio looks angry. Superstars Promo by Del Rio is
in Spanish. Del Rio misses wildly to start, and Cara lands the knees
and windmills. Del Rio cuts him off and pounds away, but Cara gets a
crossbody for one and pounds back. Del Rio kicks the legs and gets a
snap suplex, but misses a superkick and gets dropkicked. Cara pounds
away as Del Rio bails. Cara catches Del Rio coming in with a
dropkick, following with a pescado as the crowd chants for Russell
Wilson. (For the benefit of those who are Scott Keith, Russell
Wilson plays for the Seahawks.) Del Rio goes into the barricade, and
Cara stomps away and throws him in. Back in, Cara backs Del Rio into
the corner, but Del Rio reverses and gets a step-up enzuigiri.
Second rope stomp misses as Del Rio lands awkwardly. Cara goes up
now, but again Del Rio bails as we go to break. We return with Del
Rio holding a chinlock on Cara as Del Rio landed a top rope stomp
during the break. Del Rio headbutts Cara to cut off a comeback.
Cara is in the corner and cuts off a charge, getting a missile
dropkick for two. Del Rio gets a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two.
Del Rio slaps Cara around and pushes him out of the ring, then throws
him into the timekeeper’s barricade. Cara barely rolls back in as
JBL says this isn’t the Sin Cara we’re used to. Wink wink. Del Rio
back to the chinlock. Cara punches out of it, but Del Rio rolls
through a sunset flip and gets a seated dropkick for two. Del Rio’s
charge misses, and Cara gets a Tornado DDT. Cara gets a tilt-a-whirl
headscissors and Tajiri handspring elbow for two. Del Rio cuts off
momentum with the jumping armbreaker, but Cara blocks the armbar into
an Angle Slam. Cara goes up, but Del Rio trips him and follows up
for a superplex. Cara gets MurderDeathKill off the ropes instead
(!!), and the senton bomb follows for the pin at 11:06. Holy cow,
someone explain to me how Mistico blew this golden opportunity! ***
– Prime
Time Players are the next presenters for Fan Participation of the
Year. Darren Young is upset he’s in a white tuxedo after Labor Day.
He’s also upset he didn’t get nominated. So they dance. NOMINEES:
Fandango (finger dancing); Daniel Bryan (Yes Chants); John Cena
(duelling chants); R-Truth (What’s Up). Like there’s any doubt who’s
winning.
– Your
kickoff match is Dolph Ziggler v. Fandango, while Foley, Booker, and
Miz will do the panel.
– And
the winner is… Daniel Bryan! His entire speech is basically
setting up a YES chant.
– The
final segment tonight will be the Ascension Ceremony, as tons of
former heavyweight champions will surround the ring as they raise the
two individual belts.
– Brodus
Clay v. Xavier Woods. Woods jumps to start, with a flying forearm
and punches in the corner. Clay lifts Woods out of the corner with a
powerbomb. He goes to the middle rope and splashes Woods for the pin
in 40 seconds. He’s not done, as he keeps attacking Woods. Tensai
begs him to stop, as does R-Truth. Tensai holds Clay back, and Truth
is none too thrilled. Cameron and Naomi are even upset about his
behavior.
– The
Miz will present Insult of the Year. NOMINEES: AJ Lee attacks the
Total Divas; Zeb Colter against the world; Paul Heyman hates CM Punk;
Stephanie McMahon abuses Big Show.
– And
the winner is… Stephanie McMahon! Wait, WHAT? Guys, I think this
is rigged.
– CM
Punk v. Dean Ambrose. I’m with Tommy Hall on this one: why not Seth
Rollins? The two jockey for position to start with Punk getting a
chickenwing and throwing Ambrose into the corner. Punk keeps working
the arm, knocking Ambrose over for one. Back to the chickenwing,
which Ambrose reverses to a headlock and tackle. Punk with an
armdrag and armbar. He drops a knee on the arm and kicks the
kneecap, following with an armbreaker for one. Punk goes back to the
arm, but Ambrose backs him into the ropes and punches away, raking
the eyes on the ropes. HE puts his head down and gets caught by
Punk, who rides the armhold to the ground. He leverages Ambrose to a
pinning predicament for one. Punk adds kneesmashes, but Ambrose
reverses a corner whip only to get caught in a blind charge. Punk
leaps up and dives, but Ambrose catches him in the ribs for two.
Ambrose slams his arm into the buckle to get feeling back, then
stomps away and adds a Power Drive Elbow for two. Ambrose with a
jumping headbutt and right jabs before raking the eyes on his knee.
Ambrose with a rope tangle choke. Punk tries to fight out, but can’t
do it as Ambrose corners Punk and rams his shoulder into the gut.
Ambrose works a neck crank and slams Punk headfirst into the mat for
two. Ambrose with a chinlock now, and he adds a knee to the gut. He
throws Punk into the corner and works the gut again. To the opposite
corner, and repeat. Third try, though, and Ambrose eats the post
(Reigns shakes his head on the outside). Punk goes for GTS, but
Ambrose escapes and bails. Punk keeps Ambrose from getting back in
and adds a tope suicida before making sure he’s not going to be
surrounded. Crowd does a CM Punk chant, and the Shield stare Punk
down and we go to break. We return with Ambrose working an
armlock/chinlock combo, but Punk headbutts out. Punk tries a suplex,
but Ambrose blocks and gets a bodyscissors sleeper. Punk breaks the
hold with a back suplex, but his ribs hurt too much to capitalize. A
chopping match breaks out, which Punk wins, but his leg lariat
misses. Ambrose insults Punk and talks trash before going back to
the ribs. Short clothesline misses, and Punk gets the neckbreaker.
Slugfest breaks out, and Punk wins that too, as this time the leg
lariat connects. Polish Hammers floor Ambrose, and Punk adds the
running knee and short lariat. To the top, and the Heartbreak Elbow
connects. It gets two. Punk is ready to finish Ambrose, though, and
lifts him up. Ambrose punches the ribs to escape and gets a
butterfly suplex for two. Ambrose puts Punk on the top for a
butterfly superplex, but Punk headbutts out of it. Bodypress by
Punk, but Ambrose rolls through for two. Punk with a roundhouse kick
for two. Crowd declares this Awesome. GTS try again, but Ambrose
shoves Punk down, goes to the gut, and tosses Punk right at Rollins
and Reigns. The Shield does nothing (per Ambrose’s pre-match
instructions), and Ambrose reminds them to back off (which they’re
none too thrilled with). Rollins and Reigns decide to walk away as
Punk cradles Ambrose for two. GTS misses, Bulldog Driver misses, GTS
connects for the win at 17:04. Reigns adds a spear after the match
because he needs to be the one to get over. Slow start, great
finish, no need for the follow-up. ***1/4
– A
look back at former heavyweight champions and what being the new
champ means to them. It appears they’re calling it the Champion of
Champions match.
– Mick
Foley presents the Extreme Moment of the Year award. In
pre-presentation banter, Jerry Lawler says he was responsible for one
last year with his heart attack. Hey, if he can laugh at it, so can
we. NOMINEES: The Shield dispose of the Undertaker; Ryback throws
Cena through the stage; CM Punk destroys Paul Heyman on the roof; The
Wyatt Family destroy Kane’s head at SummerSlam.
– And
the winner is… CM Punk! He’s not wearing pants.
– The
Usos v. Wyatt Family. Rowan and Jey start. Rowan misses a
clothesline, as Jey keeps up the momentum and gets a sunset flip try,
but Rowan throws him into the corner only to get uppercutted and
dropkicked out of the ring. Harper is sent out to follow, and both
Usos dive onto the Wyatts. And we go to break. Already. We return
with Harper working a headlock on Jimmy as during the break, Rowan
hiptossed Jimmy into the corner. Harper headbutts Jimmy and gets a
running elbowsmash for two. Harper holds Jimmy at bay as he tags
Rowan in, and Rowan gets a slam and running forearm to the back.
Jimmy tries a bodypress, but Rowan gets a fallaway slam, tossing him
to Harper. Rowan keeps attacking Jey (sorry, it was Jey all along)
in the corner, but a blind charge misses. Hot tag Jimmy, and Harper
is bowled over repeatedly. Superkick to Harper, but he puts his head
down and pays for it only to catch Harper with a Samoan Drop and hip
check (which is an airball) for two. Harper catches Jimmy in a
Hotshot on the middle rope and ties Jimmy up, slapping him around.
Jey frees Jimmy and takes a shot, but Jimmy rolls Harper up for two.
Superfly Splash by Jimmy, Rowan saves. Rowan is low-bridged by Jey,
who gets tossed into the table by Rowan. Jimmy superkicks Rowan but
runs into the Discus Lariat by Harper for the pin at 8:30. *3/4

(Author’s
note: I thought of fixing the misnomers, but decided to leave it as
is because I can’t tell those two apart and I’m not afraid to look
stupid. Some of you would say I am stupid.)
– Bret
Hart presents the Match of the Year. Bret has not aged well. Might
as well say it. NOMINEES: Undertaker v Punk, WrestleMania 29; Cody
Rhodes and Goldust v Shield, Battleground; Triple H v Brock Lesnar,
Extreme Rules; The Rock vs John Cena, WrestleMania 29.
– And
the winner is… Bret/Envelope! Just kidding. The winner is…
Cena/Rock! Cena shakes off the boos and thanks the voters.
– Natalya
v. Tamina Snuka. Tamina goes off on Natalya with kneedrops, adding a
running elbow smash. She stomps away on Natalya and hammer throws
her, adding a running knee in the corner and a hip check. More knees
to the gut and Tamina chokes Natalya on the middle rope. Hammer
throw again, and Tamina stomps a mudhole. A chop sets up a charge
that misses, and Natalya gets a discus lariat and goes after AJ.
Tamina scoops up Natalya, who kicks AJ mid-scop. The distraction
allows Natalya to put on the Sharpshooter for the tapout at 1:37. AJ
is not amused. The Divas don’t even get a minute to clear the ring
before HHH’s music hits. Make of that what you will.
– A
SmackDown ad focuses on the Wyatts’ effort to recruit Daniel Bryan.
– Main
event ceremony. So let’s see who all is here: Rey, Miz, Khali,
Henry, Show, Del Rio, Christian, Swagger, Punk, Ziggler, Bryan, Bret,
Kane, Foley, Booker, Shawn, and HHH. I think I’m missing a few.
Punk laughs as Stephanie calls HHH the most important champ in the
ring. HHH puts over how much it means to be a champion with the hard
work, dedication, and sacrifice. In the middle of HHH’s speech, the
crowd – with no prompting – chants for Daniel Bryan. Bryan finds
this hilarious. Stephanie is not amused. HHH tries to shout down
the chant, which just makes it louder. This is an epic protest if
that’s the point. Shawn can’t even quiet the crowd down. Henry
raises Bryan’s hand, which switches the crowd to YES. Bryan LOVES
THIS. The other wrestlers are either trying to keep a straight face
or just laughing. HHH: “That’s a lot of family for one building,
Daniel. I should’ve known; a lot of them look just like you.”
Nice try, Hunter. HHH points out both belts will be suspended above
the ring, and two champions enter, but one champion leaves. Crowd
gives HHH the WHAT treatment. This is an event – Seattle is
actively protesting the main event. Wow. HHH brings out Randy Orton
first. It looks like I got everyone in the background, by the way.
Stephanie brings in Cena. They promised 20 champs! I guess Cena and
Orton are 18 and 19… does JBL make 20? HHH asks both men to hand
over the belts. Crowd chants for Daniel Bryan again. Cena shakes
Bryan’s hand on the way to handing his belt over. He knows which
side the bread is buttered on. Orton talks about how he knows what
Cena can and can’t do. He brings up Cena’s first words (Ruthless
Aggression), but says Cena went soft last week. He’ll regret not
putting Orton in the hospital, because he left Orton to win on
Sunday. Orton reminds Cena that Cena said Orton is lazy. Crowd is
chanting BORING at Orton. This is an epic protest. It’s not even
fair to Orton – he’s doing just fine, but the crowd demands Bryan.
Orton says Cena does care about being the face of the company because
Cena is image-obsessed. But Cena will have lost the most important
match in WWE history. Crowd chants YES some more. Orton calls
himself the greatest superstar ever. He brings up the match with
Foley in 2004, which gets heel heat for him. He brings up
embarrassing Shawn Michaels over and over. He says he wouldn’t have
needed a Screwjob to beat Bret. Crowd is now booing Orton, which
shows he saved his own promo. Everything Cena has fought for will
come crashing down. Cena now with the rebuttal as the crowd tells
Orton he sucks. Cena notices Orton said “work”. He brings
Daniel Bryan out of the crowd to face Orton. Orton is amused. Cena
allows Bryan to play to the crowd some, giving him the cheap pop. He
notes that Bryan’s parents weren’t wrestlers (Bryan’s father is a
lumberjack, in fact). So, since Bryan arrived, he had to work for
everything. Cena says that they cheer for Bryan because he works for
what he has, while Orton has been handed everything. Cena provides
the truth: ever since Orton arrived he was bulletproof because the
Powers That Be like him. HHH sheltered Orton, and nothing has
changed. Orton STILL hides behind the powers. “And you’ve got the
balls to stand in this ring and say you’re better than anybody
here!?” Cena may legit be furious. Orton keeps passing the buck
when he fails. He notes Orton is a hothead both in and out of the
ring. And the worst part is that he’s in the biggest match in WWE
history! Orton just wants the gold because he thinks he’s deserved
it. He may finally live up to his potential of 10 years. Cena says
whenever he’s held the title, he’s said that whoever wants it can
come get it. TRUTH: no matter who likes him, they respect him. He
even says he gave Dolph a chance at TLC last year. He stood up for
CM Punk when Punk was walking out of WWE. And heck, he gave Daniel
Bryan his only legit championship match, and Bryan WON! He promises
that if he wins, Bryan will get a rematch. That’s what I wanted to
hear! And Cena says being champ is about respect. That’s why he
didn’t take Orton out: he just wanted to make a statement to Orton.
And here’s another: it will be physical and brutal, and he hopes
Orton is at his best. The last thing we need is an excuse after
Sunday. Good luck, says Cena, as he offers his hand. Orton stares
at it before finally taking it as the belts rise to the ceiling.
Then Orton sucker-punches Cena, leading to a melee between the two,
and a dozen champs are needed to separate them. Orton smacks Punk in
the melee, and Punk attacks Orton! HHH throws Punk off and tries to
discipline Orton. But Punk is ANGRY! He grabs HHH and attacks him.
Michaels then superkicks Punk to protect his friend. But that allows
Bryan to knee Michaels. Orton goes to RKO Bryan, and in the
confusion, Stephanie is caught in the crossfire and KO’d. HHH takes
it out on Orton with a Pedigree because sure, why not. Cena helps
Kane and HHH pick Stephanie up. And that’s our last image: Orton
down, Cena standing with the Authority, and the crowd chanting for
Bryan.
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
I
was ready to write off this show because it was the Slammys, and
although there were some good matches, it wasn’t really the point.
But then the last segment hit, and everyone brought the goods. Orton
actually managed to get heel heat on his own by the end of the
segment, Cena brought the fire in a way he’s really good at, the
crowd made it clear who should be up top anyway, and the final
segment added just enough intrigue. Do you pull the trigger on a
double-turn? Yes, I know, it’s been talked and shouted down over and
over, but now they’re actually making you think about it.
As
for the matches themselves, the Sin Cara character is being
revitalized, and now that they have someone who isn’t injury-prone in
the role, good things will happen. An excellent choice for an
opener, a good eight-man tag, and a worthwhile Punk/Ambrose match
mean I can’t complain.
They’ve
put everything into Cena/Orton now, and they want to add the question
of if HHH is losing faith in Orton. And this is where things get
weird: we all know Cena is too much of a merch-maker to be turned
heel by WWE financials. But he’s stale, Orton as the Authority’s
stooge isn’t working (and is actively hurting his character), and
Cena/Bryan II is the match people want to see with Bryan as the big
face to cheer for. Man, I just don’t know.
Well
played, WWE.
HOW
I’D BOOK IT:
This
is tougher than it should be, but here we go:
  1. Dolph
    Ziggler pins Fandango.
  2. Daniel
    Bryan beats the Wyatt Family when he pins Rowan.
  3. BONUS
    MATCH: Brodus Clay pins R-Truth. Tensai joins him in turning heel.
  4. Big
    E Langston retains the Intercontinental Title by pinning Damien
    Sandow.
  5. The
    Shield defeat CM Punk when Roman Reigns pins Punk.
  6. BONUS
    MATCH: Cody Rhodes and Goldust retain the Tag Team Titles by beating
    Rybaxel.
  7. Natalya
    beats AJ Lee by countout when AJ walks away.
  8. The
    main event…
Well,
that main event. Before this week, I would’ve predicted something
completely different as a finish, a finish that hasn’t been seen in
WWE before. But now, it’s clear there will be a winner. The
question is: what’ll it be? I could see any of a number of twists
and turns in this one, but the choice I’d make is this:
Daniel
Bryan runs in and helps John Cena win the gold. Cena thanks him by
beating him up and turning heel, but he refuses the Authority’s offer
to join. Now the Authority steps in and stops Bryan from getting his
title shot out of what they say is clear match-fixing by Bryan, and
they nominate a new foe for Cena to prove he’s best for business.
And that foe is the man who retired HHH: Brock Lesnar.
Where
does this leave Orton? Simple: aligning with Vince McMahon to
destroy the Authority. Which leads to:
MY
WRESTLEMANIA 30 CARD
Bear
in mind, this is just one shmuck’s ideas. Feel free to laugh at me.
  • Brock
    Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan: Undisputed WWE Championship
  • Randy
    Orton (for Vince McMahon) vs. Alberto Del Rio (for Triple H)
  • John
    Cena vs. Undertaker
  • US
    Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
  • Tag
    Team Championships: We the People vs. Big Show and Rey Mysterio
  • Intercontinental
    Championship: Big E Langston vs. The Miz
  • CM
    Punk, Dolph Ziggler, and Sin Cara vs. Wyatt Family
  • Divas’
    Title: AJ Lee vs. Tamina Snuka
  • Cody
    Rhodes vs. Goldust
  • Kickoff
    match: Kofi Kingston vs. Ryback
I
feel that, after TLC, you really ought to know what your WrestleMania
is going to be and be ready to work back to make it happen. If
you’re still not certain, you’re ill prepared. This is where I’m
going, given rumors, big names, and what seems to be the likely
stories that need preserving.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 64:33 over nine matches, two of which were too short for
ratings
BEST
MATCH: Punk vs Ambrose
WORST
MATCH: Clay vs Woods
NIGHT
MVP: Daniel Bryan
FINAL
SCORE: 6. This show was on its way to “Meh, 4/10” until that
final segment, where everyone brought the goods, including the
Seattle crowd with an epic protest of Creative. Let’s hope Vince
listened to it, because it’s clear Bryan needs to win at Mania 30.
I’m certain they never saw this coming, but they never saw Austin
coming, either.
Tommy
will be here for SmackDown, Scott will do NXT and whine about Raw
Lite, and I’ll try to squeeze in a PostGame. In the meantime, I want
my Slammy for Best Blog Recapper! Please?

Smackdown – December 6, 2013

Smackdown
Date:
December 6, 2013
Location:
BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Commentators:
John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
closing in on TLC and a lot more of the card has been set in stone.
The main stories coming out of Raw are the two handicap matches for
TLC with Punk taking on the Shield and Bryan facing the Wyatts.
Tonight it’s Punk against a member of Shield to be announced tonight.
Other than that we’re likely to get talking from Orton and/or Cena.
Let’s get to it.

Theme
song.
Here’s
Orton to open the show. He talks about becoming the champion of
champions at TLC (still sounds better than Unified Champion) and
shows us a clip from the end of Raw where Cena put him through a
table. Even though Orton has about five injuries as a result, he’ll
still prove his greatness at TLC. He may not be the most likeable of
characters but he’s never liked any of us or John Cena. Orton does
however revere Stephanie and HHH because they know what’s best for
business. Maybe he’s taken some things they’ve done for him for
granted so Orton would like to apologize.
Before
he can get all the way through though, here’s Daniel Bryan to point
his fingers in the air a lot. Bryan says Orton needs to apologize
for being a champion. In all of their title matches, Orton never
once legitimately beat him. Just because Bryan has been targeted by
the Wyatts, he hasn’t forgotten about Orton or what Orton did to him.
Daniel says that after TLC, he’s going to be first in line for a
title shot at the new champion. Tonight though he’s looking at the
face of the WWE and feels like putting a knee on that face. Orton
says no but Bryan appeals to the crowd for a YES chant. Randy just
stands there.
Big
E. Langston vs. Fandango
Non-title
and Sandow is on commentary. Langston’s music seems to have been
remixed. The champion throws Fandango around with ease and drives
his shoulder into Fandango’s ribs. Fandango is sent to the floor but
Langston takes too much time going after him and gets clotheslined
down. Back in and Fandango puts on a front facelock but shoves
Fandango off like he’s a cruiserweight. Some clotheslines set up the
Warrior splash but Fandango comes back with a kick to the head and a
knee to the jaw for two. Langston shrugs it off and hits the Big
Ending for the pin at 2:35.
Post
match Sandow gets in the ring to point at Langston’s belt. Dang
they’re warming up for the Wrestlemania Point early this year.
We
get the opening of Smackdown from WWE 2K14 via Youtube. Riveting
stuff of course.
Cody
Rhodes/Goldust vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel
Non-title.
This is fallout from Main Event where Goldust had Ryback beaten but
Curtis came in for the DQ. Cody starts with Ryback as JBL tries some
portmanteaus of Ryback and Axel’s names. Goldust quickly comes in
and gets caught in a gorilla press for two. Ryback hits a middle
rope splash and Axel drops a middle rope elbow for two as the
announcers talk about Superstar of the Year. The former Heyman Guys
take turns on Goldust until it’s off to Axel for a chinlock.
Back
up and Axel misses a dropkick and walks into a powerslam to give
Goldie a breather. The not hot tag brings in Cody with a missile
dropkick and the sunset flip out of the corner for two. Cody’s
moonsault press gets two and everything breaks down. Goldust knocks
Ryback to the floor and Cody lays him out with a Disaster Kick off
the announcers’ table. Rhodes heads back inside and is immediately
rolled up by Axel for the pin at 4:24.
Rating:
D+. This didn’t have time to go
anywhere, but are we really jobbing one of the hottest acts in the
company to Axel and Ryback? I was hoping this whole “champions
lose to set up a title match” bit was taking a hiatus but
apparently WWE was just luring me into a false sense of security.
Orton
vs. Bryan is official for later.
Bad
News Barrett tells us that we’re all sheep who will follow each other
to the slaughter.
Alberto
Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
Del
Rio jumps Kingston on the floor before the bell and sends him into
the barricade. Kofi gets put in the armbreaker for some screaming as
referees try to pull Del Rio off. No match, but haven’t we seen Del
Rio destroy Kofi after a loss before?
We
recap Punk’s issues with Shield leading up to the handicap match at
TLC.
Shield
promises to hurt Punk tonight but they’re going to leave him healthy
enough to make it to TLC. It’s going to be Ambrose facing Punk
tonight.
Dean
Ambrose vs. CM Punk
Non-title
because the US Title is nothing but a trophy again. Rollins and
Reigns stay in the crowd to keep it one on one. Punk has bad ribs
coming into this. Cole: “Punk didn’t tape his ribs. Why put a
target on his back?” Punk grabs a headlock to start but misses the
high kick as Ambrose hangs onto the rope. Dean charges into a big
boot of all things from Punk, setting up four straight legdrops for
two for Punk.
Dean
comes back with a knee to the ribs to take over and Cole completely
ignores it to read more nominees. We hit the chinlock for a bit but
Punk fights out and forearms Ambrose in the head. The GTS is
countered with another shot to the ribs but Ambrose bails to the
floor as we take a break.
Back
with Dean stomping on the bad ribs like the smart heel that he is.
Dean keeps taunting Punk as he peppers him with right hands before
hooking a crossface chicken wing. Punk is down so Ambrose goes up,
only to miss a top rope elbow drop. The springboard clothesline gets
two for Punk and the running knee in the corner gets the same.
Ambrose counters the swinging neckbreaker into a backslide which sets
up a Fujiwara Armbar to stay on the arm.
Dean
lets it go for some reason but counters another GTS attempt into a
sleeper. Punk rolls through that into the Anaconda Vice but Dean
quickly makes a rope. The Macho Elbow is broken up with a superplex
for two and Dean goes back to the armbar. Punk gets into the ropes
as well and finally scores with the high kick for two. The GTS,
Bulldog Driver and another GTS are all countered and Punk is sent
shoulder first into the post, giving Ambrose a rollup (with a handful
of trunks) for two more. Not that it matters as another high kick
sets up the GTS for the pin at 13:00.
Rating:
B-. Good match, annoying
booking. There are three Shield members to pick from. One is a
champion, one is the golden boy and the other is Seth Rollins. Why
in the would wasn’t this Rollins doing a job for Punk? The match
would have been entertaining and you keep the title looking strong at
the same time. It’s really not that complicated of an idea but WWE
continues to mess it up. The match was what you would expect from
Punk vs. Ambrose for 13 minutes, but why did Ambrose go after the arm
so much when Punk had bad ribs coming in?
Renee
Young (looking stunning in a red dress) is with Rey Mysterio in the
back. She asks Rey which world title means more. Before Rey can
answer, the Real Americans (now in matching jackets with Cesaro’s
saying Toni and Swagger’s saying Big Hoss) come up and asks to see
Rey’s papers.
Colter
wants to know what’s up with Mysterio’s mask, if that’s even his real
name. Rey says he was born and raised in San Diego, California but
is Mexican in his heart. Colter thinks Rey’s title reigns should be
stricken from the record books but Rey thinks the Real Americans
should be stricken from the building. Zeb throws out a challenge for
a tag match with Rey getting a partner. Rey says si.
Natalya
vs. Tamina Snuka
AJ
is on commentary and talks about how she was the most interesting
Diva in the match just by skipping around in a circle. Tamina gets
caught by a quick clothesline for two but she easily shoves Natalya
to the floor. Nattie gets rammed ribs first into the apron a few
times before Tamina takes it back inside to crank on Natalya’s arms.

Cole
spends the match trying to make AJ into a heel by asking why she
thinks she’s above the title which just isn’t working. Natalya gets
two off a low dropkick but Tamina kicks out of the Sharpshooter. A
Samoan drop puts Natalya down but she misses the Superfly Splash,
giving Natalya the pin at 2:59.
Post
match Natalya yells at AJ to no effect.
The
Funkadactyls sell stuff and annoy me by existing.
Real
Americans vs. Rey Mysterio/???
The
mystery partner is Big Show, who apparently is just going to forget
about the whole Authority ruining his life thing. Big Show chops
Swagger in the corner and headbutts him down to start. Off to Rey
for a top rope hurricanrana but Swager counters the sitout bulldog
into a wheelbarrow slam in a nice move. Cesaro gets in a neck snap
across the top rope as Cole brings up Cesaro making Titus sick last
week.
Mysterio
fights out of the corner but Jack sends him out to the floor. Back
in and the Real Americans take turns pounding on Rey until the sitout
bulldog takes Swagger down. Double tags bring in Cesaro and Big Show
so the giant can clean house. A spear gets two on Cesaro as Swagger
makes the save, only to have Rey hit a quick 619 to Jack. Big Show
chokeslams Cesaro, setting up a Rey splash from Big Show’s shoulders
for the pin at 4:20.
Rating:
D+. Just a match here with a
very short version of the tag team formula. Big Show being in the
midcard again is a better fit for him, but I really hope this doesn’t
lead to a big man/little man tag team. The Real Americans continue
to go from hot to cold like no one else on the roster.
We
get a video package of various champions over the years, talking
about what being champion meant to them. It’s mainly a collection of
promos from their careers with a few guys sitting down to talk about
what the win means. Cool stuff.
HHH’s
sitdown interview talks about how great the unification match will be
and guarantees that the King of Kings will crown the Champion of
Champions.
Bad
News Barrett has some good news for us. There will be a Champion of
Champions after TLC, but that man will have a target on his chest.
He’ll be the hunted, making him the envy of the locker room, meaning
he’s doomed.
Daniel
Bryan vs. Randy Orton
Non-title
of course. They fight into the corner to start with neither being
able to get an advantage. Orton takes over with some right hands but
Bryan fights out of the corner with punches of his own. Daniel goes
after the arm as the announcers discuss Bryan joining the Wyatts.
Orton comes back with the backbreaker for two and a clothesline puts
Bryan down. Bryan scores with a dropkick to send Orton to the floor
but Orton moves before the FLYING GOAT can launch.
We
take a break and come back with Orton getting two off something we
didn’t see before putting on a chinlock. Bryan fights out and
moonsaults over Randy to set up the running clothesline. A pair of
running dropkicks in the corner set up some kicks to Orton’s chest
and a top rope hurricanrana gets two for Bryan. Daniel sends him to
the floor and now the FLYING GOAT connects.
Back
in and the missile dropkick drops Randy again and there are the YES
kicks. The big one misses as is the new custom and Orton gets two
off a powerslam. Orton connects with the Elevated DDT but Bryan
counters the RKO into a backslide for two. Now the big kick lays out
Orton and the Swan Dive…..doesn’t launch because we’ve got Wyatts.
The distraction lets Orton hit the RKO for the pin at 8:44 shown of
12:14.
Rating:
C+. Bryan continues his roll
but it’s clear his time on top is over. The ending keeps the Bryan
vs. Wyatts feud going but doesn’t do much for Daniel himself. It
does however give Bryan some more momentum going into the PPV which
is a good idea, but unfortunately it’s at Bryan’s expense.
Post
match Bray pops up on screen and says tick tock over and over. He
doesn’t mean to keep haunting Bryan, but how many times does Bryan
have to cross a burning bridge to know he doesn’t have to fight this
battle alone? Bryan knows what they are, but at TLC he’ll learn what
he himself is. Bray laughs to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C. They’re doing a
decent job of building up to TLC but not everything was clicking
tonight. Bad News Barrett is going to bomb and it’s going to bomb
badly. There’s just nothing there at the moment and the insults are
as easy as you can think of. On the other hand, the handicap matches
are going to be solid with Bryan vs. Wyatts getting more interesting
every show. The world title match is looking more and more like a
screwy finish every week, but at least we have a new buzz phrase with
Champion of Champions.
Results
Big
E. Langston b. Fandango – Big Ending
Curtis
Axel/Ryback b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Rollup to Rhodes
CM
Punk b. Dean Ambrose – GTS
Natalya
b. Tamina Snuka – Pin after a missed Superfly Splash
Big
Show/Rey Mysterio b. Real Americans – Splash to Swagger
Randy
Orton b. Daniel Bryan – RKO
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