Let’s talk about…..Battleground

Let’s talk about….Battleground
Well, that happened.
I hesitate to label the internet wrestling community the ‘IWC’,
if for the simple fact that those initials have a negative connotation that is
unrivaled by most of the, shall we say, fringe groups on the internet. Yes, we
are all talking about wrestling on the internet, and sometimes the conversation
gets clichéd in ways that are depressingly familiar (‘Cena should turn heel‘ is
rapidly becoming the Windmill and the IWC becoming Don Quixote), but while we
are a collection of individual minds, I suppose that it seems reasonable to use
the shorthand when best applying broad strokes to the community et al.

But on the other hand, the diversity of the IWC is something
that I have come to rather enjoy very much over the last several years. From
our very webmaster to CRZ to Herb Kunze to Hyatte, we’re less than a hive mind
much of the time than we give ourselves credit for; in fact, I find the IWC as
a whole to be an incredibly rich set of people who have one thing in common –
being unrepentant fans of something that we’re told we should BE repentant of.
We’ve all gotten the ‘fake’ speech, we’ve all been asked why we still watch the
‘kid’s show’, etc. And it remains a welcoming thing, at least for myself, to
log on and have an actual discussion, be it academic or otherwise, with the
relief of not worrying about the derision that comes with still being a fan of
professional wrestling.
Sunday night, I was on full media blackout, as it was me and
my wife’s wedding anniversary. Not particularly wanting to get divorced, I knew
that the PPV would have to wait until after the lady was asleep, but I confess
to being unreasonably excited for what looked like a decent lineup. For those
of you who have read some of my past work on this blog, you can probably infer
that the Rollins/Ambrose match was at the top of my viewing list for this
particular PPV, as the feud has nicely been set to simmer ever hotter each
week; I was definitely looking forward to its boiling over. As I was forced to
wait to watch the PPV, I also had to force myself offline, as there were very
few outlets that were ‘safe’ from revealing the results of the PPV, since my
social media and other online destinations were very intertwined with this
sport that we all know and love.
As such, I spent the time with my wife and daughter, which was
no doubt the correct choice. But when my wife tapped out at the end of Good
Will Hunting, her film choice for the evening, I didn’t hesitate to haul out my
laptop and immediately log in to the Network to get my Sports Entertainment
fill at 1 AM. And the opening match heartened me, an excellent tag match that,
while not quite as high as some others had it (I had it at ***1/2, for those
that care), I was quite pleased with overall. It looked as though it would be
worth the wait.
Then, of course, Rollins/Ambrose happened.
I admit, I sort of checked out of the PPV after my most
anticipated match was bumped from the card. While I knew there was certainly a
reason to do it, and any person could see the other side of the coin, i.e.,
keep building the match until the crowd goes nuts, it still nagged at me that
the match that I desperately wanted to see more than the rest of the card would
not go on.
And, I must confess, in the back of my mind, I thought to
myself ‘Wonder what the blog is saying about this?’
My curiosity only grew as the PPV stumbled to its
predictable finish (which doesn’t bother me, as it was clearly the correct one,
assuming Brock murdercrushesdestroys Cena at Summerslam), so you can be sure
that the instant the PPV was over for me, I headed to the blog. To say that the
responses were passionate were, shall we say, a slight understatement. I grew
more and more fascinated as I read some of the comments in which some folks
were indeed arguing vociferously, but intelligently, for both sides, and that
made me want to write this column today.
To wit: Was the right call made in delaying the match to
Summerslam, or not?
Well, let’s take the arguments one at a time.
PRO CANCEL THE MATCH: Canceling the match in the storyline
sense accomplishes quite a bit, actually. The idea that Ambrose could not wait
to get his hands on Rollins plays perfectly into the Pillman-esque character that
he is channeling at this moment. The fact that the angle was given match time
(Multiple brawls, Rollins going to the ring to demand a forfeit victory like a
weasel, Ambrose at the end in the trunk of the car), as opposed to one segment,
clearly highlighted the fact that they were treating this like a top star
angle, as opposed to simple Adam Rose/Damien Sandow type buffoonery. And, of
course, taking more time to deliver on the match may put a little more pressure
on the competitors to come up with something special, but it also gives the
crowd time to ramp up the anticipation as another selling point to the PPV next
CON CANCEL THE MATCH: You advertised the match, have the
damned match. People are still ostensibly buying PPVs in some areas, and those
folks very well might have considered this match a top priority in considering
their purchase of this show. Building to a match and advertising it is tantamount
to making a contract with the audience that you will deliver on what you
promise, and while the card is always ‘subject to change’, that clause should
only be used to save a card in extreme injury or other unavoidable situations.
While Ambrose’s character may not be able to handle waiting for a match, there’s
no reason for me, as a customer, to believe that the match will take place at
Summerslam now, unless it’s a gimmick match. Of course, gimmick matches are
normally used as a feud blowoff, as opposed to how the feud begins; since we
already had a gimmick match to start this whole thing, I don’t know if we want
another to start the individual portion of the feud.
Both sides have reasonable arguments, in my opinion. I think
that a case can be made either way, and I don’t fault anyone for what they
That having been said, I was against cancelling the match. I
think that part of it may be that I wanted to see the match very much, but
there’s another part of it, one that is steeped very deeply in the DNA of
wrestling, at least for me.
See, we as viewers pretty much know the score out there.
Outside of the children in the audience, the rest of us know that the whole
thing is pretty much a show. Yes, they’re out there risking their bodies,
something that we know and don’t take lightly in our analysis of the matches.
But we make the contract with the wrestlers and say ‘you put on a good show,
and we’ll follow along.’ That may mean cheering, booing, gasping, whatever the
case may be; the best moments in wrestling for the fan is when you lose
yourself so completely in that story that you forget that it’s a story.
And, one of the ways that we’ve conditioned ourselves is
that we know that these issues are settled in the ring. The ring is our stage –
no matter how many backstage interviews these guys do, the story is always
settled inside the squared circle. We accept all sorts of silliness when it
comes to the ring being the proving ground, whether it be for titles, child
custody, shampoo commercials – all we ask is that these issues be resolved in
the ring. And a match, not a simple backstage brawl, is the act that we all accept
as a big part of the journey along the way, and to try to substitute for it is
a dangerous high-wire act for a professional wrestling company to walk. To put
it another way, there was simply no reason that the storyline could not have
continued as a result of a match as opposed to a backstage segment – it would
certainly be possible to book said match in a way that allows both wrestlers to
need another one to settle it, so for you to cancel the match you ADVERTISED,
you better have some damn good backstage story segments to make this work. And
I found those segments, while not bad, lacking. Not good enough to justify
canceling the match itself.
I’m not mad that the WWE lied to me. They do that all the
time, and that’s actually okay sometimes. I like to be surprised, I like to be
But I also like the feeling of value for my money. And I
like it when my anticipation pays off.
In short, I like it when the story continues to unfold in
the manner in which professional wrestling tells stories, where the ‘to be
continued’ part is done after the ringwork, rather than just putting up a giant
STOP sign.

Because if we can’t settle it in the ring, a day might come when we settle it with our pocketbooks. 
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter

The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2014 Live from Tampa, FL Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler. Oh, sorry, you clicked on that link expecting tonight’s PPV rant? Sorry, I meant to say “An old RAW from 1994.” But it’s the same thing, right? A bunch of fake fighting and bad finishes. It’s really your fault for being so sensitive, you marks. The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.31.94 Taped from Burlington, VT Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage Lex Luger v. Mr. Bob Backlund Lex dares to sweep Bob’s leg a few times and I bet he pays for that. Bob takes Lex down and works on the arm while Vince has the BALLS to accuse Bob Backlund of misusing the English language by throwing out words he doesn’t really understand. Well, NOTWITHSTANDING, Vince, that’s bullshit and Mr. Backlund is a great man and inspiration to us all. Or maybe it’s just because I’m getting closer to his age and starting to feel the same way. Bob with a belly to belly and more working the arm while Tatanka stands in the entrance ominously. We take a break and return with Bob holding a bearhug of all things, but Lex comes back and runs him into the corners, making the dullest babyface comeback of all time. And here’s Tatanka to distract him, which allows Bob to hook the CROSSFACE CHICKENWING before Tatanka comes in for the beatdown and DQ at 11:24. *1/2 Why would a heel bother to screwjob the finish in storyline when Luger was clearly in a position to lose anyway? How stupid is Tatanka? And then Savage nearly saves this whole thing single-handedly by making the save and chasing off Backlund, and Vince is all “He’s not supposed to be in there!” Did Savage lose another retirement match after Wrestlemania X that I’m not aware of? The Action Zone concept immediately gets flushed down the toilet this week, with a main event of Mabel v. Yokozuna. The 1-2-3 Kid v. Tony Devito Did someone perm the Kid’s hair when he was passed out backstage or something? Drugs can make you do some fucked up shit, I guess, and a curled mullet is the least of them. Speaking of hair, is Tony Devito the guy who went on to be a minor star in ECW with Da Baldies? Because he’s got a shitload more hair here. Devito actually overpowers the Kid for a bit, but gets kicked down and suplexed. Spinkick and Lightning legdrop finish at 3:30. Survivor Series report with Todd. Card looks like shit but I haven’t reviewed it in ages so I might have to go back and do it again when we get to that point in the RAW cycle. King Kong Bundy v. Bert Centino They note that Bundy is the “anchor” of the Million Dollar Team, which I assume is in the sense of the big thing that drags everyone else down to his level. Bundy pounds away and finishes with the Avalanche at 2:40. IRS continues his hard-hitting investigation of the late “John Dough”, and repossesses his flowers to pay the $121 owed. Man, if only there was someone to stand up for the rights of the deceased! The King’s Court with The Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Blah blah blah Yokozuna casket blah blah blah Chuck Norris blah blah blah rest in peace. I feel like a Chuck Norris cameo today would be a DRASTICALLY different endeavor. Jim Neidhart v. Tony Roy Neidhart with his usual array of slams and forearms and the most interesting part of the match is Savage on commentary: “The hardest part of the job is sitting in this chair. I’m tired of sitting.” None so blind as those who will not see, Vince. Anvil finishes with the camel clutch at 4:10. Meanwhile, Vince interviews Lex Luger in the back about the shoulder injury, but audio problems put the kibosh on it. This show was taped a MONTH before this! They couldn’t have fixed it in post? Next week: The British Bulldog & Bret Hart v. Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart! OH YEAH!

In Defense of Battleground (or: Marks Everywhere)

Okay, so I’m reading all the reactions and I wonder if everyone saw the same show I did.  You saw a ****1/2 tag title match, one of the best women’s matches of the year, Swagger carrying Rusev in a ten-minute war, Jericho and Wyatt putting on a good match, and an awesome Fatal Four-Way that basically MADE Roman Reigns without giving him the title so that Viking Space Lord Brock Lesnar can tear apart John Cena at SummerSlam.

(rant begins now — the following does not represent Scott Keith or anyone but me)

It’s amazing… you don’t give two smark darlings 15 minutes of MEANINGLESS wrestling before they brawl into the crowd and it’s a complete failure.  And then you say I’m the mark when I make a big deal out of Daniel Bryan’s road to Mania 30?  Wow.

Dean Ambrose is not a traditional wrestler.  He won’t wait for the opportunity in the ring because he has no patience.  It’s his character and his gimmick.  Therefore, for him to attack before the match began makes perfect sense.  For there to be no winner makes absolute sense.

“But they didn’t dance around for 10 minutes in a fake fight beforehand!”  Shut up, all of you.  This is not real and this is not Ring of Honor.  They don’t have to put on great matches to advance the story.  And tonight advanced the story.

“But it’s a Special Event and…”  SO?  Did you want it to end tonight?

“But I was watching just for that match and…”  Wait.  One match.  That’s all you care about?  If you were watching for a great match, you got it — in the opener.  If you were watching for a blood feud of a match that must continue, you got it — Swagger and Rusev will meet again.  If you were watching to see the Shield made stars, you got it — Roman Reigns looked like a million bucks.

If you’re all marks for Ambrose and Rollins and the rest of WWE can die in a fire, at least admit it.

Matt’s Recap: WWE Battleground 2014

We start with clips of John Cena vs. The Authority and the lead-up to Battleground.

We are LIVE(!!!) from The Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida!

Looks like the Usos are first…
#1: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (champions) vs. The Wyatt Family (Luke
Harper & Erick Rowan) (challengers) in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match for
the WWE Tag Team Championship
and Rowan are first and Jey just punches his sheep mask off his face.
Rowan is pissed and comes out, roaring, punching at Jey and pounding him
in the corner. Tag to Harper and he misses a clothesline. Jey hits a
Sitting Dropkick. Jimmy comes into the ring and they clear the Wyatts
out. Harper gets back in and he’s on Jey in the corner, slapping at Jey.
He tosses Jey into the other corner and Jey slides to a stop and
charges. Harper grabs him and tosses him outside. Back inside, it’s Jey
and Rowan. Rowan slams Jey and gets two. Nerve hold by Rowan and Jey
punches out and hits a kneelift. Rowan just comes back with a high elbow
for a two count. Tag to Harper and he hits a knee for two. Gator Roll
and headlock and Jey’s in trouble. Jey manages to finally pick him up
and hit a side suplex, hitting a tag to Jimmy. Jimmy jumps in and Harper nails him with a big boot. Wyatts get the first fall.
is in with Jimmy and hits a Warrior Splash for two. Jey, meanwhile, is
practically out on the floor as Rowan hits the Vice Squeeze on Jimmy.
Jimmy ights out and tries for a body slam but Rowan falls on him for
two. Tag to Harper and they just strangle Jimmy on the mat and against
the ropes. Harper hits an uppercut. Jimmy comes back with his own. They
trade shots and Harper mauls Jimmy against the ropes. Harper picks Jimmy
up for a side suplex and he flips out and tags Jey who rolls up Harper
for the second fall. Sheesh.
hits a Fallaway Slam on Jey after a beatdown, getting two. Tag to
Harper who slingshots Jey against the second rope for two. They trade
shots but Harper knocks Jey down and tags in Rowan. He beats on Jey in
the corner and charges but Jey moves. Harper tagged in. He tries the
same and he misses. Jey tags Jimmy and there’s nobody in the ring, so
Jimmy hits a Flying Uso on Harper. Rowan flies in and gets dumped and
it’s another Flying Uso to the outside. Jimmy leaps at Harper off the
barricade and Harper rolls back in the ring. Jimmy hits a cross body off
the buckle and NEARLY gets the fall. Jimmy kicks Harper and tries a
Samoan Drop but Harper escapes so Jimmy hits the Enzuguri. Harper’s in
the corner and hits the Rikishi Butt Splash. Harper gets to his feet and
nails Jimmy in the corner. Sitting Powerbomb but Jimmy escapes and hits
a Corkscrew Splash for a NEAR fall. Jimmy tries the Superkick and
Harper hits a big boot, sending Jimmy outside the ring. Harper hits a
nice Suicide Dive of his own. Harper rolls him back in and goes for the
Sitting Powerbomb but lets go off a distraction. 
tries to dive at Jey outside but Jey clocks him with a High Kick and
NEARLY gets rolled up by Jimmy. Harper gets up and hits the Sitting
Powerbomb. NEAR FALL. Rowan goes up to the top and MISSES. Tag to Jey
who hits the Superfly Splash! 1…2…NO. Jey’s confused as the crowd
has lost their shit. Jey goes back to the well again. Harper interferes.
Rowan gets to his feet. Jey fights back. The two trade shots in the
corner. Jimmy tags himself in and they attack Rowan…but ROWAN HITS A
DOUBLE SUPERPLEX!!! He pins…1…2…NO! Rowan tags in Harper. Harper
picks up Jimmy but Jey comes in and nails Rowan! Jey gets dumped! Harper
turns and HE gets Superkicked…AND COMES BACK WITH THE BIG
CLOTHESLINE! 1…2…JEY SAVES IT. Jey runs back outside, Jimmy tags
him. Harper rushes at Jimmy who moves. Jey rolls him up and NEAR FALL.
Jimmy and Jey hit a double Superkick on Harper. Rowan jumps on the mat.
He gets the same! They BOTH got to the top…AND HIT A DOUBLE SUPERFLY
GRADE: A-. THAT. WAS. AWESOME. The quick two falls at the beginning made the match more intense for the remainder.
Cole, JBL and King are worn out already. Cole plugs Rollins and Ambrose as the next match.

We get the build-up for this match.

is backstage with Tom Phillips. Rollins says he’s ready to finally
finish off Dean Ambrose who’s not a wrestler. He’s a cockroach. He says,
“NO”, that ISN’T “all he’s got”. When he’s fnished with Ambrose, his
eyes will be glued to the Fatal 4-Way. He will be the next WWE–BOOM.

Ambrose attacks backstage! The Men in Suits show up to stop him. Triple H
tells them to get him out of there. Get him out of the arena?!


Cole, JBL, and King are confused. Cole’s pissed. JBL…and, fuck this, we’re not having Dean/Seth. FUCK YOU, WWE.

MATCH #2: Paige (challenger) vs. AJ Lee (champion) for the WWE Divas Championship
goes for a handshake…and AJ shakes. Paige backs AJ into the ropes as
the crowd chants for CM Punk. The guys push the WWE Network, which is
freezing and the buffer looks awful right now. The two exchange roll-ups
and Paige hits a high kick for two. Paige tosses AJ into the corner and
chokes her with a boot. Paige picks up AJ and slams her for two. Paige
hits some knees against the ropes and gets two. Paige puts AJ in a
headlock, then just twists her to the mat. Paige puts AJ in a Surfboard
hold but AJ rolls up. AJ charges but Paige clotheslines her for two.
Paige pleads with AJ, saying “Come on1” So AJ hits a DDT. AJ gets up and
Paige charges her and both women are on the floor outside. She rolls AJ
back in and goes up to the top buckle. Paige botches a Powerbomb off
the top. Paige tries to lock her up but AJ kicks out and tries for the
Cross Body. Paige catches her and tries the Paige Turner but AJ reverses
into the Black Widow. Paige doesn’t tap and counters! She hits the
Paige Turner! 1…2…NO. Wow. AJ is out. Paige gets to her feet and
goes for the PTO but AJ counters into a cradle but Paige kicks out and
cradles AJ and AJ kicks out. AJ hits The Shining Wizard out of nowhere
and she wins at 7:14.
GRADE: C+. Are you kidding? That was it? Am I watching RAW?

Also, post-match, nothing happens.

We get clips of Orton and Kane in their new feud.

Orton is trying to find Kane. He apologizes for what happened on RAW.
Orton wants an apology for getting attacked. Kane isn’t going to. Orton
says he knows it was an accident. He says they can’t allow Cena or
Reigns to have the title. Kane says “the champ is standing right here”.
He leaves.

Cole sends us to Renee Young who is with
Booker T, Christian, and Alex Riley. They laugh and joke around but
Renee tells them to shut up! SHE WANTS FATAL 4-WAY PREDICTIONS, DAMMIT!

We get the build-up for the Rusev/Swagger thing. Are we sure about this match or did we wanna throw Swagger out of the building?

Lana and Rusev are on their way out to the ring. Guess we’re doing this.

on the mic. Crowd is hot. Rusev is shouting in anger. Lana tells them
to shut up. Lana makes reference to “current events” and says she’s
offended that America is blaming them. Lana says America is weak,
Prez-zee-dent is wuss. Poo-teen is awesome. Wow. Vince just doesn’t give
a shit. Rusev will ca-dush each and every single one of the fans. ARE

Swagger finally shows up
and, now, ZEB gets on the mic. To his credit, he FINALLY calls Rusev
“Boris” before Lana slaps the taste out of his mouth.

MATCH #3: Rusev (w/ Lana) vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter)
attacks Rusev and tosses him out of the ring. Rusev gets back in and
the match begins. He goes for the Patriot Lock but Rusev bails. Swagger
tells him to get back in. He does. Rusev kicks him and kicks him in the
corner. He headbutts Swagger and punches away but Swagger comes back.
Swagger in the corner, moves out of the way of Rusev and goes for the
Patriot Lock but Rusev bails again. Swagger chases as Rusev argues with
Lana. He rolls Rusev in and clotheslines him in the corner, hitting
multiple knees. Rusev comes back with a clothesline and hits a Fallaway
Slam, stomping at Swagger near the ropes. Rusev puts a nerve hold on
Swagger and hits elbows to Swagger’s chest. Swagger powers out but Rusev
starts kicking at Swagger, hitting the high kick with ease. He shouts a
Swagger and rakes at his eyes. More nerve holds. Swagger gets out and
runs at Rusev. Rusev body drops him from the ring. Colter checks on
Swagger who tries to get back in but Rusev keeps knocking him out of the
ring. Finally, he gets back in and starts hitting running clotheslines
and a big boot. Rusev is down. He hits a Swagger Bomb and gets two.
Swagger gets to his feet. Rusev starts fighting back with more punches
but Swagger hits a Powerslam and NEARLY gets a pin. The two trade shots
and Rusev hits a mean uppercut, knocking Swagger down. Rusev goes for
the the big kick but Swagger catches him for the Patriot Lock. Rusev
stretches for the ropes but Swagger drags him back to the center of the
ring…Rusev almost taps out…but gets to the ropes. He rolls outside
and Swagger chases, clips his knee and puts the Patriot Lock near the
steel steps. Rusev breaks free and pushes Swagger into the steel post.
Rusev gets in the ring and Swagger is counted out at 10:02.
GRADE: D+. Really? This whole thing was a middle finger to the fans.

Post-match, we get the Russian Flag and Rusev locking in the Accolade to Swagger. Fuck you, WWE. Rusev and Lana leave.

I might add: we’re not getting Rollins and Ambrose tonight.

We get an ad for Taki’s Fuego chips.

is backstage. He’s talking about alignments and luminous points and
stuff. The cosmic key is so far away. Goldust shows up to talk to him
about this stuff. Tonight…they watched the stars do stuff. Whatever.

Rollins is coming out to the ring…and this is a match? Seth gets a
mic and says Ambrose has automatically forfeited his match tonight. He
wants to be announced as the winner and his hand raised.

MATCH #4: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Not happening.
WINNER: Seth Rollins via forfeit.
GRADE: A giant pile of monkey dookey eaten by a cow and shit all over garbage.

Seth leaves…and Ambrose is back.
He attacks Rollins in the aisle and fights him in the crowd. He tosses
Rollins on the announce table and Rollins is, once again, ripping
Ambrose off of him.

Ambrose breaks free and dives at Ambrose, punching
at him. It’s a fucking orgy of zebra print as the refs physically
restrain Ambrose with guys in suits as Triple H shows up. Rollins
attacks Ambrose as they carry him off. The fight continues to rage and
they’re finally separated.

Jesus fucking CHRIST. LET THEM FUCKING FIGHT IN THE RING. This is bullshit.

Cole and King argue with JBL who, of course, is on the side of Triple H and company.

Jericho and Wyatt are next.

MATCH #5: Bray Wyatt (w/ Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) vs. Chris Jericho
better be good. The initial lock-up goes nowhere. Bray punches and
slaps at Jericho. Jericho comes back and slaps Bray. Bray roars in his
face and attacks, slapping Jericho hard. Jericho hits a back elbow and a
kneelift after getting back to his feet. He puts Bray in the corner but
Bray runs out and hits a clothesline. Bray puts Jericho in the ropes
and clotheslines him for two. Bray goes for a suplex but Jericho goes
for The Walls. Rowan jumps up on the mat to distract the ref. Harper
tries to get in the ring  Bray knocks Jericho down with a clothesline.
Jericho comes back with a dropkick and knocks Bray from the ring. The
Family consoles Bray outside so Jericho climbs the ropes and knocks them
all down. Bray gets back in the ring. Jericho tries to get back in but
the Family interferes…so, FINALLY, the Family is tossed from the match
by the ref. Bray can’t believe it. He runs at Jericho who is put

Bray is ruthless now, kicking at Jericho
outside. He puts Jericho back in, getting a two-count. He puts Jericho
in the corner and charges but Jericho moves and Bray hits the post.
Jericho comes back with punches and an axehandle off the ropes. Bray
hits a Stomach Buster for two, breaking it all up. Bray beats on Jericho
and clotheslines him but Jericho knees him in the spine on the Senton
attempt. Jericho hits the Enzuguri and gets two. Jericho drops the knee
to Bray and goes to the top rope but Bray knocks Jericho off. The two
trade shots. Bray goes for the Superplex but Jericho punches and shoves
him off. Bray grabs Jericho and drops his head to the mat for two. Once
again, Bray puts Jericho in the corner but Jericho moves and hits the
bulldog. Jericho goes for a move but Bray kicks out.

goes into Spider Mode which isn’t that impressive if Jericho can’t see
it. Bray hits a Spinebuster and gets two. Wyatt hits a clothesline in
the corner and Bray taunts him and tells him that this is goodbye.
Jericho runs at him and knocks Bray’s head into one of the turnbuckles.
Jericho tries a pin but they’re too close to the ropes. The two guys
battle outside the ropes. Bray hits a face slam on Jericho and gets two.
Bray hangs upside down in the corner and goes for Sister Abigail but
Jericho counters into the Walls of Jericho. Bray fights out, misses a
clothesline and hits a huge shoulder spear, getting two. Wyatt tells
Jericho to get up — so Jericho does and hits the Codebreaker and gets
the win at 16:23.
WINNER: Chris Jericho via Codebreaker
GRADE: C+. This just didn’t have much energy or heat. 

Rollins is still in his X-Men gear and he’s headed to the parking lot.
Is he showing up like that at his local hotel? Anyhow, Rollins tells
security he doesn’t need them. They bail. Rollins stands in the parking
lot for like a full minute, doing nothing. Ambrose crawls out of the
trunk of his car and attacks with a crowbar. He gets some shots on
Rollins as JBL shouts about Ambrose “still being in the building” even
though they’re OUTSIDE in the parking lot. Ambrose gets in his car and
speeds off as Ambrose watches him go.

We get an ad for Saturday Night’s Main Event.

IC Title Battle Royal is next.

#6: Big E, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, R-Truth, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Zack
Ryder, Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow, Heath Slater, Diego, Sin Cara,
Xavier Woods, The Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, Bo Dallas, Dolph Ziggler,
The Miz, WWE United States Champion Sheamus in a Battle Royal for the
Intercontinental Championship

Everyone’s ready to fight…but
Barrett comes out, wearing a cast. He says who ever wins tonight will be
the champ but he’s got some bad news: becoming champion will be like
being a retiring old couple in Florida — you’ll enjoy it until the
inevitable — which will come at his hands.

attacks Khali, who throws them all away from him like Neo in The
Matrix. He eliminates Woods. Sheamus Brogues Khali and Khali is gone.
Axel and Sin Cara get the boot as do Truth and Sandow. Miz appears to be
gone as is Diego. Zack Ryder is gone as well. Everyone is down except
for Ryback and Sheamus who stare each other down. Sheamus takes his
shots and gets sent into the ropes. Sheamus hits a kneelift and Brogues
him out of the ring. Miz (I guess he’s not gone) tries to eliminate
Sheamus but can’t. Miz bails under the bottom rope, protecting his face
and falls down. Wow. Titus beats on Sheamus and Bo eliminates him. Bo
celebrates and Cesaro knocks him down. Kofi NEARLY body drops Cesearo
out of the ring but he lands on his feet. Kofi tries Trouble in Paradise
and misses. The two fight near the ring ropes and nearly eliminate each
other. Swagger dropkicks Del Rio but Del Rio hits the Arm Breaker using
the ropes. He goes for another move but Swagger DDT’s him on the ropes
and knocks him out of the ring. Kofi does one of his awesome spots where
he lands on Big E’s shoulders and Cesaro suplexes him inside the ring.
Then eliminates him. Slater sliminates CESARO?! What the…? Sheamus and
Bo fight near the ropes and Swagger kicks Bo out of the ring. He’s
gone. Miz is still outside. It’s Swagger and Sheamus. They counter each
other’s moves. Swagger tries a Fame-Asser but Sheamus ain’t having it.
Sheamus misses a Brogue and slingshots Ziggler over the top rope.
Ziggler lands on his feet. They fight near the ropes until Sheamus tries
a Battering Ram but Ziggler kicks him in the stomach and Sheamus is
gone! Ziggler thinks he’s won it but Miz comes in and eliminates Ziggler. Fuck that.
GRADE: C+. Complete crap finish. 

Commercial for SummerSlam in L.A.

Build-up for the Fatal 4-Way.

#7: Randy Orton (challenger) vs. Kane (challenger) vs. Roman Reigns
(challenger) vs. John Cena (champion) in a Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE
World Heavyweight Championship

Ok…so The Big Gold Belt is
still around. Big brawl to start. All four guys are all over each other
and Orton and Cena fall out of the ring. Orton takes out Cena and goes
in the ring to help Kane double-team Reigns. Reigns fends them off and
hits a double clothesline. The heels come back with a double suplex.
Finally, Cena enters and gets a Fisherman’s Suplex for two. Cena hits a
Bulldog to Orton but Kane his a Side Suplex as Reigns falls out of the
ring. The two guys stomp at Cena but Cena goes for the AA. Kane comes
back in to break it up. Kane hits a back elbow off a whip and Orton gets
two. Reigns tries to get involved but Kane takes him out. Kane goes
outside the ring. Reigns beats on him. Cena hits Moves #1-4 on Orton. He
goes for the AA but Orton hangs on to the ropes.

gets into the ring and Cena rubs his hands together…but Orton and
Kane stop the fight. Kane knocks down Reigns and pins him for two. Orton
is furious. He gets back in the ring and pushes Orton around. Kane
belts Orton and beats on him. Kane puts Orton on the buckle and goes for
a Superplex but Cena and Reigns break it up and Powerbomb EVERYONE off
the buckle. Sheesh. Cena and Reigns square off again. Kane sits up like
The Undertaker because those powers come and go at random. Reigns and
Cena boot him out of the ring. Orton goes after Cena who goes for
Vintage Orton. Reigns gets involved but Orton hits both of them. Orton
pins Reigns but Kane breaks the pin. Kane beats on Orton and hits a Big
Boot and pins for two but Reigns breaks it up. Reigns comes back with a
Samoan Drop for two as Orton breaks that.

Orton beats
on Reigns who comes back with punches of his own. Orton hits a Half Crab
off a run but Reigns powers out and hits a Half Crab of his own. Cena
comes in and hits the STF on Orton as wel. Kane breaks it and gets an
AA…but rolls out of the ring. Orton tries to RKO Cena but Cena
counters into the STF as the crowd chants “boring”. Orton goes to tap
BUT REIGNS CATCHES HIS HAND. He drags Orton out and dumps him to the
announce desk. He gets back in the ring and it’s another face-off with
Cena. The two trade shots. Reigns hits a botched clothesline and Cena
goes for the STF which Reigns kicks out of. Reigns hits the Samoan Drop
and goes for the Superman Punch but misses and Cena hits Move #3. He
goes for the 5KS but Reigns hits the Superman Punch! Reigns goes for the
Spear! 1…2…KANE BREAKS IT.

Reigns and Kane trade
shots and Reigns hits a clothesline off a run. He nails Kane in the
corner and the two trade shots and Kane nails him with a punch, draping
him on the ropes. He hits the outside Sitting Drop Kick to Cena, then
PIT. Reigns gets into the ring and goes for a Spear but Kane tries for
the Chokeslam. Reigns powers out and HITS THE SPEAR! 1…2…3CENA SAVES
IT! Cena gets a pin but Reigns breaks it! The two break each other’s
pins left and right. Cena grabs Reigns and hits the AA and KANE breaks
the pin. Everyone is down. Cena gets to his feet as done Kane. Kane hits
the Chokeslam on Cena and Reigns. He covers Reigns but Reigns kicks
out! Kane is pissed as he gets to his feet. He calls for the Tombstone
but Reigns gets out and hits a Spear! 1…2…NO. RKO to Reigns! AA by
Cena to Orton ON TOP of Kane and Cena gets the win at 21:17.
GRADE: B-. Not bad but way too much going on.

Post-match, Cena celebrates with the titles as we go off the air.

C+. A complete lack of intensity with completely unnecessary and
illogical finishes. Like a slightly better RAW without the garbage
second hour.

Er, that’s it.

Andy PG will be back to start your week off
right with the PG Era Raw Rant on Monday, I will be back on Tuesday with the Main Event Recap.

you to all the BoD’ers and, hey, if you wanna read more of our stuff,
please check me out at The Daily DDT
(http://dailyddt.com/author/mattlperri/) for all my wrestling editorials
and opinion, visit WE HATE YOUR GIMMICK at
http://wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com and, of course, visit us on
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehateyourgimmick/.

WWE Battleground Live Thread

Kickoff Match: Cameron vs. Naomi

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
AJ Lee vs. Paige for the Diva’s Championship
20 Man Battle Royal for the Intercontinental Championship
The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family in 2-out-of-3 Falls for the Tag Team Championship
Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

BoD Battleground

This has nothing at all to do with the WWE

20 Man Preshow Battle Royal to Determine the #1 Contender for the Soon to be Shipped BoD C-List Champion: DBSM, Night81, Biscuit, “Pistol” Pete Labozetta, Flyin’ Brian Gutan, WCW1987, Bobby, SpicoliDriver, Juvydriver, Harry Broadhurst, Daminal Crossing, THE YETAAAAY, Mick, Buck Nasty, Dan Selby, Andrew Dean, X Man, James, Aric Johnson, MattIndeed

Its truly the who’s who of who gives a fuck in this ring tonight. Match starts with a lot of brawling as Flyin’ Brian Gutan is our first elimination, courtesy of the True Shooter of the BoD, Bobby. At least Gutan can beat the traffic home from the show. Juvydriver is eliminated next after he charged at Danimal Crossing and was backdropped to the floor. The New Age British Bulldogs eliminate MattIndeed with a double dropkick then press slam SpicoliDriver to the floor, sending him to the showers. Uh oh folks, THE YETAAAAY is out of control in the ring. He tosses out both Dan Selby & Andrew Dean then with one hand eliminates Bobby with a slam. Now, several of the boys gang up on THE YETAAAAY and try to eliminate him but he fights them off. As this happens, WCW1987 sneaks up from behind and eliminates James. The ACLU will not like that booking decision, folks. THE YETAAAAY again goes nuts and tosses out Danimal Crossing and “Pistol” Pete Labozetta. BANG BANG. The ring is thinning out as Aric Johnson eliminates X Man. Now, Mick, Aric Johnson, DBSM, Night81, and Harry Broadhurst all gang up on THE YETAAAAY and try to toss him out. As this happens, Buck Nasty lands on the apron after WCW1987 backdropped him then Biscuit knocks him off with a springboard dropkick but Buck Nasty is caught by his Skank Patrol. They go to raise him on the apron but decide to put him down, officially eliminating him from the match. Buck Nasty asks the skanky ho’s why they did this as they tell him how they want to go to Chang O’Reilly’s, the Saskatoon chapter and they go on their merry way. That pussy poppin’, elbow droppin’ son of a gun! WCW1987 then eliminates Biscuit by knocking him over the top ropes from behind. THE YETAAAAY breaks free and eliminates Mick and Harry Broadhurst. Aric Johnson sees an opening and tosses out WCW1987 as our final four has been set: Aric Johnson, DBSM, Night81, and the great and powerful…………THE YETAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE YETAAAAY gets charged by all three men and struggles to fight them off as they have chopped-blocked his legs simultaneously. They get the YETAAAY up and try to toss him over the top rope as MikeyMike2323 now proudly displays his delivery slip for all to see on his bowling shirt. And after much hard work, THE YETAAAAY has been eliminated. Aric Johnson tries to swing at DBSM, but misses and Aric Johnson has been eliminated and is now free to go assault any Tim Horton’s employee who he catches scalding the coffee. Night81 and DBSM are the last two and they are fighting against the ropes. They are going around the ring and spill over and are each holding on to the ropes as they fight off elimination. They go to kick each other down but lose their grips and they fall on the floor at the same time!!!!!!!! I think they did. Everyone is looking at the top timekeeper in the BoD, Mister E Mahn, if he saw who hit first and he said it was a tie as we have co-winners of the Battle Royal. Now, Garth Holmberg, Corporate Custodian comes out and says that as a result of the tie, these two men will face off in a “Best of 5” series to determine the #1 contender but most importantly, he tells the crowd to stop flushing paper towels down the toilet as it is clogging the pipes.

The Medley Alliance(PrimeTimeTen/Paul Meekin/White Thunder) vs Team Planned Activities(Beard Money/Adam Curry/Kyle Warne)

(This match is dedicated to my alive and healthy acquaintance “Self” from the GDS forums. I stole your style, but I prefer to use the term borrowed. Thanks for being awesome bud!)

The Medley Alliance comes out to a chorus of Bronx, Flint, and Oakland cheers because Meekin. Not to mention thrown urine soaked beer bottles. Because Meekin. Team Planned Activities comes out to a great reaction, because not Meekin. The bell rings and we start with Meekin and Beard Money. Is Meekin gon mess with a COUNTRY BOY?! Meekin taunts Beard Money due to the success of his whatculture Top 10 lists, but gets a right hand to the nose by Beard! Beard then cartwheels right into Meekin, knocking him down! Meekin has officially been messed with! Clothesline! Clothesline! Forearm! Irish Whip! Clothesline! Beard Money plays to the crowd while Granny watches approvingly! HA HA HA HA. Warne is tagged in, and him and Curry use a combination of unrealistic nonsense and chemically imbalanced fighting! Windmill Punching! Standing Corkscrew Shooting Star Senton! Trip! Triangle Kenka Kick! 1….2….NO! Meekin kicks out and tags in White Thunder. Thunder controls with power, slamming the former tag champs like rag dolls. Warne tries countering a hard back suplex with a flip followed by a standing Hurricane Death Drop Rana, but Thunder has that well scouted and powerbombs Warne into the corner! Ouch. Thunder tags in PrimeTime, who isolates Warne and cuts the ring in half with deceit, trickery, and more deceit. PrimeTime uses every chinlock and illegal hold in the book, while Warne struggles to think of flashy looking counters to these holds. Eventually, he says screw it and kicks his way out of a sleeperhold, then kicks PrimeTime downs to the canvas, then combines flashiness with effectiveness to hit a springboard Twisting Spinning Flipping Leg Lariat that takes out PrimeTime! HOT TAG TO BEARD MONEY! Punch! Punch! Clothesline x10! Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker! Powerslam! Meekin makes a tag to White Thunder to avoid being pinned, but White Thunder is still recovering from like 5 clotheslines! And he eats another one! THIS TEAM DUN MESSED WITH A COUNTRY BOY! Beard Money tags in Curry, who goes in with Warne…..Powerplex! Thunder is toast! 1….2…..3!

BoD Writers Championship Match: Tommy Hall v Stranger in the Alps

This feud is continuing. Hall comes out dressed to not impress in an Albert Haynesworth throwback. Stranger wears an infinitely superior Bryan Clutterbuck throwback. Hall controls early and with confidence, as Stranger in the Alps struggles to get a rhythm going in the early chain wrestling sequences. DAMN THAT INCONSISTENCY DIRT SHEET NOTE. Or maybe its part of the psychology. Who knows? Tommy Hall hides behind referees, turnbuckles, stairs, and timekeepers, using any cheapshot he can. Thumb to the eye! Stranger is blind! Hall controls, but the power of a crowd clapping along gives Stranger the power to unleash a spirit bomb in the form of a Can Opene-No, Hall counters! I don’t know how because I wasn’t told what the hell a can opener is. Its like the Petuka Bazooka. Or maybe its some alternate name for the Cross Rhodes or something that only a total mark doesn’t know. Oh yeah, the match. Stranger takes control over a supremely overconfident Hall while the match writer was busy trying to be Scott Keith, but a 2nd Can Opener attempt fails! Hall goes for a Mean Street Backslide, but Stranger counters that into a 3rd Can Opener, but thats countered into a DDT! 1….2….NO! Hall is furious, cockily claiming the referee was counting slow even though it was actually a bit fast and no one pins off a DDT anymore. Hall then goes up for the Dollar Rain(Somersault Leg Drop), saying that it’ll be over and Stranger wont get to use the can opener, but takes too long, giving Alps time to move out of the way! Hall crashes and burns! Can Opener! 1….2…..3! Stranger retains!

Last Man Standing: Jesse Baker vs Mar Solo

Mar Solo has to overcome some tremendous odds here. The UnStable is inside his head, its Last Man Standing rules, meaning he’ll have to kill Baker with some movie-esque gimmick to win, and to top it all off he fell out of the prestigious Top 18 commenters! Oh man, if this special doesn’t break 1.0 commentrate, he’ll become an enhancement talent for sure. Baker accuses Solo of committing rape against someone without the first name Stephanie and the last name McMahon. Solo punches Baker in the nose. Baker then calls on his colleagues from the UnStable, who ride in on Segways! Its Gideon Stargrave and Steve Stennick! The triple teaming begins! Stargrave turns his head away and tries to slapfight Solo without getting slapped. Solo punches him in the nose. Stennick accuses Solo of being part of an internet hivemind and not having his own original opinion. Solo punches him in the nose. Baker says he would book Archie Stackhouse to turn on Brian Bayless, forcing Bayless to call upon Dougie in order to deal with him, leading to a tag match because it turns out Bret and Archie were best friends all along. Solo punches him in the nose. Baker beats the counts at 5, and eventually, the UnStable decide their current method of attack isn’t working, so they triple team Solo with PVC pipes! This doesn’t look good. Baker then goes for Assault and Battery(Double Powerbomb), but Solo huracanranas him right into Stennick, sending them both to the outside! Stargrave tries to trap Solo with the Solitary Confinement(Inescapable Wheelbarrow Rollup), but Solo escapes! WHO KNEW? Baker beats the count at 7. Solo then grabs Baker by the back of the head and forces him towards the stage. Solo then goes for the Falcon Driver(Michinoku Driver) onto the stage, but Baker slips out of it and the two have a dynamic exchange of punches, which Solo wins on the account of not being a comedy jobbah. But wait! STEVE STENNICK IS ON TOP OF THE BOD TITANTRON, CUTTING A ROPE HOLDING A PIANO OVER A WHITE X! Stennick screams that hes finally gonna add a smark to his trophy case, but Solo steps away from the X! THE PIANO FALLS ON BAKER! Dr. James Kevorkian comes out, and assesses Baker to be able to come back in 4-6 days after some light rehab, despite multiple fractures, cuts, and a literal broken ass from the piano hitting him coccyx-first. The ref begins the count, but Stennick wants to take Solo down with him! 15 FOOT DIVE OFF THE TITANTRON! But he misses, as Solo saw him all the way and just sidestepped. Stennick landed knees first, but Dr. Kevorkian assesses it as minor ligament damage that can be healed in 2-3 weeks with light rehab, despite the purple, red, and swelling-ness of Stennick’s knees. Meanwhile, the referee counts to 10, and Solo is declared the winner! IS THE UNSTABLE EXORCIZED FROM HIS HEAD? TUNE INTO BOD RAW TO FIND OUT!

Magoonie Teddy Belmont vs. GM Bayless

This match is the result of GM Bayless failing to beat Cultstatus for the Gold. The Adminstration are strangely not present for this match. Bayless does some cheap heel stall tactics to start off the match as the crowd is yelling that he is a pussy. Well, he did back off of a feud with Dave Scherer so it makes sense. Bayless comes back and Belmont puts him in a side headlock. He then takes down the GM with a shoulderblock and comes back with an armdrag as Bayless once again rolls outside. The crowd now chants “YOU’RE A PUSSY” at the GM, who yells at them to shut up. Bayless rolls back inside and they lock up. He cheapshots after breaking cleanly then attacks the ex-parking lot attendant in the corner. Bayless charges but Belmont dodges and both men are down. They get up and brawl as Belmont wins that and sends Bayless to the floor with a clothesline. Bayless comes back in and they continue their brawl but Bayless hits a low blow as Belmont is down faster than HBK’s last H-Bomb victim. Bayless now grabs a chair and whacks Belmont in the back and the ref calls for the DQ. Bayless delivers a few more chairshots then grabs the mic.


It’s quite evident that the GM is afraid to lose to Magoonie Teddy Belmont, who got the better of the GM during the actual match.

BoD Solid B+ Player Championship: Hart Killer 09 vs Joedust

Surely a midcard match in any arena. Hart Killer 09 wins the quick opening mat wrestling sequence and goes straight into the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! Inverted Atomic Drop! Russian Legsweep! Backbreaker! Second rope elbow! Bulldog! 1….2….NO! Joedust shows heart. Joedust attempts a logical argument backed by facts and numbers as to why hes better, but Hart Killer ignores it and just calls Joedust a 4 out of 10! WORLD CLASS ACTION! NOT RUSHED TO MAKE ROOM FOR OTHER FIGHTS! HONEST! Hart Killer 09 combines repeated European Uppercuts with Greek and/or Roman wrestling takedowns, but Joedust counters a gourdbuster into a big arm drag! Russian Legsweep/Forward Legsweep combo! 1….2….NO! Joedust shifts gears into midcard to upper midcard offense. Big Air Dropkick! Mounted 10 punches in the corner! Twisting Snap Powerslam! 1….2….NO! Joedust then goes for the Dust Crusher(Fisherman’s Brainbuster), but HartKiller reverses into a Medium-sized Package! 1….2…..3! HartKiller retains! HartKiller helps Joedust to his feet and shakes his hand, saying that after losing the match he should at least be able to experience the greatest handshake of all time. Joedust brings forth a logical argument backed by facts and numbers as to why that isn’t the greatest handshake, but HartKiller ignores him and walks out of the ring with the belt! THIS FEUD MAY OR MAY NOT CONTINUE.

Rock Star Gary is chillin in his room, watching Upper Midcard Express tapes in preparation for a feud that will make its way out of the house show circuit soon, when suddenly theres a knock at the door. Rock Star Gary goes to open it……only to have the door hit him in the face! BURNING LARIAT! ROCK STAR GARY HAS BEEN COMPLETELY DESTROYED! Garth Holmberg comes in and gets thrown against a wall by Cooltrainer Bret, who we now clearly see in the invisible camera shot. Bret wants Garth to tell Bayless that this is just the beginning. Bret then spits on the locker room floor and leaves. Aw man, now Garth has to clean that up!

BoD Tag Team Championship: The Upper Midcard Express v Jef Vinson and ?????

The Express await Vinson’s mystery partner…..and its Dancin Devin Harris! LETS GET FUN-KAY! HAHAHAHA, LOOKIT D-D-H DOIN A JIG ON THE WAY TO THE RING! Vinson gets the match underway with Petuka. Petuka goes for a shock Petuka Bazooka to start, but Vinson escapes it! Oh man, that could’ve been over there, whatever it was. Vinson controls with main event offense, showing the clear gap in talent. Spinebuster! Backbreaker! Neckbreaker! Front Suplex! 1….2….NO! Petuka is knocked down with a back elbow, but was blind tagged by kbjone, who attacks Vinson from behind! The UME then cut the ring in thirds with high-end double teaming. Back Suplex/Neckbreaker combo! 1….2….NO! Vinson keeps not trying for the tag despite Devin Harris clapping his hands together and smiling for the audience, thus instantly making them like him! Finally, Vinson powers out of of a Petuka powerslam attempt and sends Petuka into the corner Bret Hart-style! Kidney Shot! Kidneyshotkidneyshotkidneyshot and pause….tag from Harris on Vinson’s raised fist! HArris thought Vinson wanted a tag in! But Vinson didn’t! HE wanted to win this match by himself, I think….. Harris then goes to work like a smooth criminal. Saturn Legsweep! Spinkick! 1….2….NO! One-handed face crusher! Funky, Funky Knee Drop! 1….2….NO! kbjone tries another blind tag off an Irish Whip, but Harris saw it coming! Left Slap(ooooooh), Right Slap(YEAH!), Down Slap(OWWWWW!), Up Slap!(YAY!) kbjone is in trouble, as Harris sets up for a Spinning Backhand Pimp Slap, but Vinson tags in just like Harris did! Harris shrugs and struts picture-perfectly to his corner, while Vinson goes for the kill. Tilt-A-Whirl Driver! 1….2….NO! Pumphandle Sla-kbjone gets out of it and goes for a desperate Anaconda Clutch! Vinson knows how to deal with this though! Kidney Shot! Kidneyshotkidneyshotkidneyshot and pause……STOMACH PUNCH! kbjone is doubled over! Vinson could have this here, as he cinches in the One Night Stand(Bow and Arrow Hold). Its in tight……kbjone might tap….but Petuka saves it and curb stomps Vinson! Harris runs in to help his partner, but eats the PETUKA BAZOOKA! That one rocked! DQ time! Crowd hates the inconclusive finish but you already gave this a hit so HAHA. kbjone and Petuka aren’t done……5 O’Clock Dash(Fall of Man) to Vinson! kbjone and Petuka raise the belts high as the crowd presumably boos, even though both teams are kinda shades of grey.

Boiler Room Brawl: Cooltrainer Bret vs Archie Stackhouse

(Two flags are seen in the ring, one saying Vanilla, and the other saying Rocky Road. For Bret to win, he has to escape the boiler room and claim the Rocky Road flag. For Stackhouse to win, he has to claim the vanilla flag.)

Bret bounces from foot to foot, awaiting Stackhouse, who walks in with fresh scars and a grin on his face. This match could get PG-17 folks. Remember, two days equals one year according to the pimply faced usher who checks your ID in the theater! The two prepare for battle, but suddenly the door locks behind them! The hell? Bret starts a comic-inspired speech about who is locked in here with who, but Stackhouse attacks, going right for the mask early on! Bret works his clinch game, using a balance between knees, elbows, and dirty boxing to establish an advantage. Finally, he creates separation, then uses Muay Thai strikes, targeted towards the ribs and legs for maximum stopping power. Stackhouse catches a kick, however, and quickly throws Bret into a wooden pallet! Stackhouse checks the door, but hard kicks seem to be ineffective against the strong lock. Stackhouse laughs, then goes back to work on Bret, swinging a small stepladder with force. Serious shots to the head and back ensue, then Stackhouse grabs the belt and collar of Bret’s attire and throws him headfirst into a giant water heater! That’ll leave a dent. You can tell by the way that its dented. Stackhouse then jumps onto the roof, attempting to break off an overhanging pipe for the finishing blow, but hes tackled off the roof by Bret! Mounted punches ensue! Brawling ensues! Further brawling ensues! Bret controls Stackhouse through the back of his head, then throws him into an electrical panel that displays cool effects from Stackhouse’s head bouncing into it. Bret then goes back to the pipe, finally breaking it down off the roof. Stackhouse’s night could end here, but he dodges the swing, leaps off the fence, and hits a crude Switchblade Kiss on Bret! Stackhouse then grabs the pipe and lays in some heavy shots. Some loud noises are heard around the door. Stackhouse looks away for a split second, enabling Bret to come back with some swings from his knees. Stackhouse laughs at this attempt at offense, but he doesn’t laugh when one catches him right in the nads! Suddenly, the door bursts in, and here comes Bayless cronies to even the score! A massive beatdown ensues on Bret, giving Stackhouse some time to recover. Just when it looks like Bret is contained….THE FORK COMES INTO PLAY! A NAMELESS WHITE COAT SECURITY MEMBER IS GOUGED! Here comes the Midcard Mafia, as well as Nebb28! ITS A PIER ELEVEN BRAWL! Midcarders and lackeys and broken bodies! Gary tries a cheap shot with a pipe, but gets intercepted by Magoonie! The brawl spills outside the boiler room! Garth Holmberg and Nebb get into it, and Garth gets Rocker Droppered onto a production case! The brawl between the two stables is dragged elsewhere, while Stackhouse and Bret have a Hollywood strangling each other contest. Stackhouse loses his balance, giving Bret the opportunity to knee his head and throw him into a car door! Valet won’t be pleased with that one. Bret staggers towards the ringside area, in an attempt to get the flag, but apparently a concussion won’t stop Stackhouse! Stackhouse brawls in desperation, trying to stop Bret from claiming the flag, but Bret manages to reach into the crowd, and he obtains Kendo Stick! Bret uses the increased attack power of the kendo stick to beat Stackhouse bloody! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 kendo stick shots! The kendo stick breaks in half! Bret throws it into the air in victory, as he slowly walks to the ring to claim his flag…..BUT STACKHOUSE IS UP? HOW?! HE WAS OUT! Stackhouse’s bloody death-head’s grin is in full glory as he tries to pull Bret out by the ankle, but Bret manages to free himself with a couple hard kicks and hurriedly takes the flag for the hard-fought win!

Stackhouse pulls himself together though, and while Bret points the flag at the hard camera and says “YOU’RE NEXT BAYLESS!” Stackhouse bumrushes him from behind with the vanilla flag! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 flag shots! Stackhouse then performs a NECK CRANK! Holy fuck! Stackhouse goes to remove the mask, but the Midcard Mafia, fresh over winning a backstage brawl against Bayless goons, chases him off. Bret is helped to his feet, but pushes away the Mafia members, apparently not happy over being helped to his feet. Bret then grabs a microphone, but is cut off before he can say anything! Bret heads to the outsi-BURNING LARIAT! A CAMERAMAN HAS BEEN COMPLETELY DESTROYED! AGAIN! Bret then walks off through the crowd in search of Stackhouse as we go to a commercial for the BoD app!

How the hell can anyone follow this match?

After the ring is cleared up, we see a buffet table inside of the ring, set up with all sorts of delicious ice cream toppings. A member of the concession crew brings out a chair and tubs of several different ice cream flavors. Hoss Lorenz comes out to the ring holding two giant spoons as this is apparently going to be part of the match.

Todd “Hoss” Lorenz vs. Abeyance

The rules here are that Abeyance will have his hands behind his back after last week’s prank when Hoss emailed Abeyance a keyboard smeared with super glue with a contract masked as a delivery acceptance sheet. Abeyance has his hands tie behind his back as the match is under way. Hoss laughs and points at Abeyance before taking his head off with a clothesline. He then sits down and has a concession worker scoop ice cream in a bowl. Hoss salivates at all of the tasty toppings available on the table but gets angry when he sees snickers. As Abeyance struggles to get up, Hoss makes the lowly concession stand worker eat the whole bowl of snickers. Hoss walks over to Abeyance and stomps him in the corner as he yells about wanting his talk show. Hoss picks up Abeyance and hits him with the Pants-Shitter (atomic drop) then goes back to the table and eats ice cream. Hoss picks up his bowl and taunts Abeyance “YOU CAN’T HAVE ANY ICE CREAM. IT’S ALL FOR ME.” The concession stand worker ate all of the Snickers and Hoss tells him to come over then punches the poor guy in the stomach and he PUKES!!!!!!!!!! Hoss laughs hysterically then chokeslams him THROUGH THE TABLE!!!!!!!!! Abeyance is in a tremendous amount of pain as Hoss yells some more at him “YOUR TALK SHOW WILL BE MINE AND YOU CANNOT HAVE ANY ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!” Hoss now takes the leftover ice cream and dumps it out on the ring then proceeds to stomp it in the mat. He lifts up Abeyance and dumps him face first in the melted ice cream!!!!!!! Hoss now kicks Abeyance outside to the floor and yells for him to get up as the referee finally counts to ten, ending this massacre. Hoss raises his spoons in victory then yells that he is still hungry and heads out of the ring to the concession stands.

Parallax1978 & Jobber123 vs. Cultstatus & The Fuj

We have just been handed word that this match is under No DQ rules. The main event is here, folks. Jobber has ordered White Coat Security to take all of the fat kids out of view from the hard camera and they oblige. Top 5’ers get a lot of leeway here folks. And the match starts out with a wild brawl. The action spills outside s Parallax and The Fuj start trading haymakers. Cultstatus sends Jobber into the guardrail then clotheslines him into the front row as those displaced fatties start throwing donuts and oreo cookies at Jobber. Parallax leaps off of the steps but The Fuj spears him in midair!!!!!!!!!!! Cultstatus drags Jobber back to ringside as he and the Fuj hit him with a double suplex on the mat!!!! They try it again but Parallax gets up and takes them both down with chairshots. Parallax continues his assault as Jobber slowly gets up and delivers stomps to Cultstatus. Parallax and Jobber take the champ and put him through a table!!!! The take Fuj and roll him into the ring. Parallax and Jobber are destroying the Fuj as Cultstatus remains out on the floor. Fuj fights back with a double clothesline as everyone is down. Cult slowly gets up and grabs a kendo stick. Fuj tries to Irish whip Jobber but it is reversed and Fuj ends up inadvertently knocking Cult back to the floor. Parallax heads up top as Jobber holds down the Fuj and delivers an elbow drop. He covers but Fuj just beats the three count. Jobber goes outside and comes back with a table. He sets it up and places the Fuj on top. Parallax heads back up but before he jumps, Cult whacks him with the kendo stick and Parallax falls to the floor. Cult is wobbly but on the apron and heads into the ring. He stops Jobber from assaulting the Fuj and beats him senseless with the kendo stick to the approval of the young and obese. Cult picks up Jobber and goes for the jackknife but Parallax stops that with a forearm to the back. Parallax bounces off of the ropes but Cult ducks and Fuj catches Parallax with a snap powerslam that gets two. Fuj tosses Parallax outside and turns his attention to Jobber. He hits a backbreaker then look at Cultstatus and appear to be setting him up for the Doomsday Device!!!!!!! Fuj picks up Jobber on his shoulders but a s this happens, Parallax cuts off Culstatus as he climbed up top. Jobber manages a victory roll on Fuj but that just gets two. Parallax grabs a pipe as shit just got real. Cult manages to wrestle it away from him and targets Jobber, but he ducks and hit ends up hitting the Fuj!!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Parallax hits Cult from behind then goes over to the Fuj and hits the curbstomp on a chair and that gets the win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What will happen after this miscommunication!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE OUT OF TIME FOLKS BUT TUNE INTO THE BoD AT 10:35 EST TOMORROW NIGHT TO FIND OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

Battleground (Probably) Lowest Buyrate In History

I'm not sure if the article is behind the paid firewall or not, but looks like Battleground did around 110K-125K worldwide buys, which would make it the biggest flop in WWE PPV history, with the exception of the ECW December to Dismember disaster.  
So clearly, Abeyance = NOT A DRAW.
Although then Hell in a Cell appears to be up from last year, so maybe he is.  

PG PostGame: Battleground 2013

So I’m going to give this a try.  I don’t know if it’s a good thing yet that I’m doing just because of the unique circumstances, but heck, it’ll at least be a thread for discussing results and stuff.

In this post, you are going to see me discuss the booking of the PPV.  As a special note, I have not seen this show.  I have a ball hockey team that plays in a Sunday league, and in fact I just got home recently.  (We won 4-0, I was in net and had a 15-save shutout.  Not that you care.)  But I can discuss the ideas put forward as if this were Vince McMahon’s fantasy booking made real.  So, with the help of Wikipedia and WWE’s dot-com, allow me to break down the show.

0] Dolph Ziggler pinned Damien Sandow.  Ziggler may be on the verge of getting re-pushed.  It’s been hard not to notice that the crowd gets behind him, even chanting for him over Daniel Bryan in the 11-on-3 on Raw.  The idea of a fierce Sandow disposing of his kneepad and revolving his offense around knee strikes backfired on him.  It makes me wonder if Sandow is going to be taking time off so that, when he feels the need to strike on Del Rio (or whomever beats him), he will be fresher and therefore rebuildable.  As it stands, this was the pre-show match, and its use as a dark match to get the crowd warm was a smart idea.  Dolph has the momentum right now anyway.

1] World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio submitted Rob Van Dam.  We all basically knew this was coming, didn’t we?  This was basically a chance for RVD to go all-out in a no-DQ match with ladders and chairs, and since upstate New York was one of ECW’s bigger former haunts, they accepted it greatly.  There was some scuttlebutt on rumor sites that Ricardo Rodriguez was going to reconcile with Del Rio, but given their interaction tonight, that seems highly unlikely.  Rodriguez probably moves on to finding a new amigo or two (perhaps Mysterio and Mistico?), while Del Rio has dispatched of RVD in the most decisive way.  The Cross Armbreaker with a Pillman Twist was a good use of the hardcore stips as well as a way to remind us of Del Rio’s MMA background and submission style.

2] We The People defeated Santino Marella and Great Khali when Antonio Cesaro pinned Khali.  All you need to know about this match is that Cesaro swung Khali, a 350-pound awkwardly built giant of a man, for double-digit revolutions (the dotcom claims 11).  There’s talk — again, these are rumor sites, so take it for what it’s worth — that Cesaro could break away and be turned face, and it’s almost exclusively due to the Swing.  Right now, Khali and Marella are a comedy act, and Swagger fumbled his last great chance and therefore is basically a midcarder for life.  If anyone’s coming out of this on top, it would have to be Cesaro.

3] WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel pinned R-Truth.  I knew this was happening, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  With all the focus on Ryback as Paul Heyman’s #1 Guy, it’s pretty clear the ship has sailed on Axel’s future.  Last month was the best opportunity to make something of him, but Punk easily dispatched him instead and basically slammed him hard into the midcard.  Now, throw in that R-Truth is part of the Revolution, and at the very least a title change isn’t out of the question, is it?  As for the match, Truth had a good amount of the offense, but right now, does the title even mean anything?  (And no, I doubt putting it on Truth would be too much of a step up, but at this point it could easily transition to someone the fans even care a little about.  Axel is unable to get heat even with Paul Heyman by his side, while Truth at least can keep the crowd involved in the match with his “What’s Up” call.)

4] WWE Divas’ Champion AJ Lee pinned Brie Bella.  Perhaps the most interesting part of this is that the result was hardly as decisive as it could have been.  Yes, AJ dominated most of the match, but the booking leaves the question unanswered — especially since Tamina and Nikki’s fight on the outside provided a critical distraction.  What worries me more about this than anything else is that AJ has gone through Natalya, has beaten Naomi, and now will likely beat Brie twice when they rematch at Hell in a Cell.  The question here is: are they really setting up either JoJo or Eva Marie as the one to topple the champion?  Or, will one of the more wrestling-oriented Divas get a second chance?  As it stands, it’s clear someone in the back is very high on AJ, who has been allowed to mock everyone she wants on commentary with only the “you’re jealous” comeback, which carries very little weight.

5] In a non-title match, The Rhodes Brothers defeated WWE Tag Team Champions The Shield when Cody pinned Seth Rollins.  I’ve said in previous Raw recaps that the Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton storyline works best, not as an Austin/McMahon rehash, but as a Dusty/Flair rehash.  Tonight, you got to see why.  The booking of this feud has been very old school: the faces lose what they have, one by one, get humiliated by the heels verbally, but when the chips are down and it’s their last stand, they find an extra gear and become invincible.  Teasing an early countout probably wasn’t the smartest of moves, but they ran with it.  Multiple heat segments also helped, as it’s clear WWE knew this was a money feud even in the midcard.  All the facepaint having been sweated off of Dustin’s face added to the feeling of a team putting forth a superhuman effort.  And if the dotcom is to be believed, the crowd was amped all match and came unglued when the brothers won.  Also, a wonderful touch in having the locker room congratulate the Rhodes family on getting their jobs back.  The real question is this: you’ve anointed the Usos the #1 contenders, and they’ve got the long build to the gold going on Raw, but the Rhodes brothers are hotter than ever.  Do you switch it off, and if so, would that hurt the Usos as potential future champions?

6] Bray Wyatt pinned Kofi Kingston.  As with others, this was not a difficult result to pick out.  This was, however, Wyatt’s first test as a solo act on Pay-Per-View — assuming you count the Ring of Fire as a dirty win — and he passed in kayfabe.  Able to win without any help from Luke Harper and Eric Rowan establishes him as a threat in the singles division, and Kofi Kingston, despite being in the midcard-for-life mold, is no pushover.  Kingston, in fact, was given a very good amount of offense on Wyatt, as this match was far from a squash.  The post-match beating delivered to Kingston helped establish that the Wyatt disciples are threats on their own, and the heel trio definitely is being sent to big things.

7] CM Punk pinned Ryback.  As with AJ and Brie, the real story here is how the win was far from a decisive one.  Ryback got in more offense than should be expected, and indeed could have won on several occasions.  Heyman’s interference using the house microphone played into the mind games he and Punk have had for a long time.  But perhaps the best bit was the finish: Heyman got too preoccupied with hurting CM Punk, and it was Punk who used the opportunity to cheat right in front of Heyman and win the match.  Certainly, the controversial finish all but guarantees a rematch inside the Cell — hopefully, though, this time Brad Maddox won’t be the referee.

8] The WWE Championship remains vacant as Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton went to a double KO.  Okay, that statement is a little misleading.  The real intrigue here — and the match is just noise compared to the finish — is how the double KO happened: by Big Show.  It’s pretty clear Big Show has been under an infinite amount of stress, and everyone wants him to haul off and attack HHH, but they’re making it less and less likely it’s feasible to happen.  So that leaves Show with this outlet: to take out his frustration on whomever he can.  Now, the first question from Raw is: what does the Authority think of this?  There’s three ways they can go here:  one, they can be furious Big Show ruined the main event and humiliate him further; two, they can make the rematch be inside Hell in a Cell in an attempt to keep Show out of it; or three, they could applaud Big Show and insert him into the Cell match.  Option 2 seems the most likely, although all three are on the table.  Raw brings us to interesting times once again.

So, that’s the breakdown.  I think the booking, overall, was made with the knowledge that Hell in a Cell is coming up in three weeks, which is frustrating.  There’s no definitive closure to Punk/Ryback, Brie/AJ, and especially not Orton/Bryan — it would not surprise me if all three were rematches at Hell in a Cell, and certainly we know the last one will be (barring Show shenanigans).  The kayfabe MVP tonight has to be Cody Rhodes, who got his job back and got the fall that may allow for a future title match.  Whether they get it right away or not is part of the intrigue.

See you tomorrow night for Monday Night Raw in Pittsburgh, where everyone will be drunk from watching playoff baseball.  If any crowd is going to top the New Jersey crowd for sheer insanity, this is it.

Battleground Predictions

As a reminder, DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE REDDIT GUY TONIGHT.  I don't want to have to put a filter in Disqus to block people, but I will if I have to.
Quick thoughts for as little as I care about this show:
– I think they REALLY need to put Daniel Bryan over and at least give him a month with the belt, even if it's only until HITC when Orton gets it for good.  A non-finish to stretch it out for another PPV also seems up their alley, but could they possibly make this show any less meaningful than it is already?  
– If Bryan wins, so does Brie Bella.  Just makes sense.
– Punk/Ryback is probably your sure-fire schmoz finish tonight, since neither can afford a loss right now and they'll need something to set up their second HITC showdown in a row.  
– Logic says the Rhodeseseseses win to set up a title match against the Shield, but the Usos are already the #1 contenders, so it seems more likely that Goldust turns on his brother to finally give us that program, with Dustin going Corporate to get his job back.  
I don't care about the rest.

Plug for Battleground PPV

Hi Scott,
I was hoping you’d be able to plug us for the Battleground Play-Per-View tomorrow.  The winner gets a copy of your book.  Below you’ll find the exact email that goes out to my mailing list.  I’m also going to announce it on Twitter in a few minutes.  If you can retweet it that would be great!
Battleground 2013 Play-Per-View

Dungeon of Death Giveaway
The winner of this PPV will receive a copy of Scott Keith’s book Dungeon of Death. You can also check out Scott Keith’s Blog of Doom or order some of his books from Amazon on paperback or on Kindle

Follow Stablewars on Twitter
Follow Stablewars on Facebook

Battleground 2013 Card
1 – WWE Title Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
2 – World Title Match: Alberto Del Rio © vs. Rob Van Dam
3 – WWE IC Title Match: Curtis Axel © vs. R-Truth
4 – WWE Divas Title Match: AJ Lee © vs. Brie Bella
5 – The Shield vs. Goldust & Cody Rhodes (Lifetime ban from WWE if the Rhodes lose, plus Dusty is fired)
6 – CM Punk vs. Ryback
7 – Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston
8 – Pre-PPV Kickoff Match Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
9 – Tiebreaker: What will be the match time of Rhodes/Goldust vs The Shield?

Picks must be submitted by Sunday, October 6th at 7:30pm EST

*** This email is sent only to email addresses that signed up for the reminder service on the website.  If you wish to be removed from the mailing list simply reply to this email and ask to be removed.***