Fighting Spirit Magazine Monday Night Raw Survey

Scott,


Brian and I over at FSM are conducting a poll to look for trends in the recent bottoming out of Raw’s ratings. While the forthcoming answers won’t be too surprising, I’m sure, we’d like some solid numbers to back up the perceptions.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XRS3PRG

​SCIENCE!

If this was WCW, they’d do this kind of poll themselves and do whatever the opposite of what it told them.​

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

Still dealing with the time zone jump and general post vacation issues. I’m sick and I have no clue what time zone this publish button is on so rather than take a chance you guys get an early thread.

Saw Beast in the East. Liked it. Really growing to like Neville a lot. His stuff looks pretty damn smooth in the ring. Last week (on the old site as I wasn’t in a spot to get my WP account), I said Rick Rude’s U.S. title reign of 14 months through 1991 and 1992 was better than any of Lex Luger’s U.S. title reigns. I say that with the precursor that Luger ABSOLUTELY should have won the World title between 1988-1990 and Flair should have put him over. But Rude had ridiculously good matches with Sting, probably had a better match with Steamboat than Luger’s match at Bash ’89 and he was the centerpiece of arguably the best match in WCW history. So there!

Anyway enjoy the go home RAW tonight for whatever PPV is coming up. Enjoy the Home Run Derby if it doesn’t rain out and enjoy the Gold Cup soccer game.

Keep it clean!

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 7/6/2015

We start with The Price is Rollins from last week and, even for a two minute recap, it runs too long.

We are LIVE(!!!) in Chicago, Illinois for Monday Night RAW!!!

Cole, JBL and Saxton are the guys at the desk.

Brock is here with Paul Heyman to start us out. Paul does his usual intro and calls Brock “The Night Mayor of Suplex City”. Heyman says that Rollins and his “band of merrymen” still think Brock’s in Japan. He says that Rollins lucked his way into the championship. He says that Brock is the king of retribution: he destroyed and conquered The Undertaker’s streak and took Cena to Suplex City. He didn’t respect Cena at all — and he doesn’t respect Rollins. He says the only way that Brock could be beaten was because he succumbed to the pack of hyenas that was Rollins and his guys — but they left Brock alive and breathing — and that’s a mistake. He says Brock will take the title back at Battleground. The fight may be in St. Louis, but the beatings and suplexes begin tonight. He calls the All-State Arena “City Hall of Suplex City”. He says that Rollins will be here tonight and they will have their retribution. “The beatings begin TONIGHT.” Brock leaves the ring with Paul and they go backstage.

Cole and the guys talk about this and, hey, Kane’s in Hawaii and, holy shit, we get Kane with “pictures” showing him in Hawaii. Hoaxers who fake UFO and alien photos are more convincing than this.

And with irony firmly propped up and showing off, Big Show comes out for a match.

And when we come back, The Miz is at ringside and he has a mic. Am I seeing things or is this exactly what happened last week?

MATCH #1: Big Show vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback (non-title)
Immediately, Miz starts barking at the two of them. Show shoves Ryback to begin. Ryback comes back with a headlock but Show shoves him into the corner again. Show nails him with a chop to the chest and Miz cheers him on, getting the crowd into this. Miz tells Show to do it again. Show lunges at Miz and Ryback fights out of the corner. Ryback hits a press and kicks at Show but Show belts Ryback and begins beating on him in the corner. He lunges at Ryback but misses a body splash. Ryback climbs the buckle and punches at Show but Show grabs him and drops him on his face. Show has Ryback in a leglock when we come back from a break. Miz continues to yell and it’s at this point that I hope Brock Lesnar is serious about “beginning the beatings”. Ryback attacks Show who confronts Miz but Show STILL manages to fall on Ryback after his legs give out. Irish Whip by Show and Ryback clips Show’s knee. Ryback punches at Show and then tackles him. Miz tries a distraction but Ryback chases him off, spears Show and hits a big splash. Ryback misses a splash off the top rope and Show hits a Chokeslam. Show hits an elbow from the second rope — but Miz is here to fuck the whole thing up at around 10 minutes.
WINNER: No contest
RATING: *1/2. The same as last week — only long, with a commercial break. Thanks for that.

Post-match, Show and Ryback gang up on Miz. Ryback hits Shell Shock. Show hits a Chokeslam, then gets taken out with a forearm by Ryback.

TONIGHT: United States Open Challenge with John Cena

Cole plugs Total Divas and calls it “the most controversial season ever”. I don’t even know anyone can tell one episode from the other.

J&J drive around in their new car. This, after we see pics of Kane in Hawaii.

And, now: a Bellas match just in case you were debating on this vs. Tanked on Animal Planet.

MATCH #2: Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox) vs. Paige
Paige roughs up Brie in the corner. Brie elbows out and tosses Paige outside the ropes, then drops her neck on the ropes. She tosses Paige back in and a two count. Meanwhile, Naomi and Tamina watch backstage because they matter in this intense Divas Division. Paige breaks an armlock by pinning Brie for two, then clotheslines Brie on a charge. Brie backs Paige into Nikki and Fox who attack Paige with impunity. Brie runs at Paige for the running knee but misses and hits Nikki and Fox instead. Fox rolls her up for two, then hits a Superkick. She sets up for a PTO but Brie breaks out and it’s a fight in the corner. Brie misses her Missile Dropkick and Paige goes for the PTO again. Fox gets on the apron, so Paige tosses Brie at her, then kicks Nikki. Brie grabs Paige and hits the Bella Buster for the win at 3:13.
WINNER: #BELLASWINLOL
RATING: *1/2. Same as the last few weeks. We’re just trading wins and losses at this point and hoping for a “story” to come to fruition.

Post-match, it’s Fox kicking Paige and Nikki hitting the Rack Attack.

We get a montage of the whole Reigns/Wyatt feud and Reigns hits the ring.

MATCH #3: Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
Reigns runs Sheamus over so Sheamus goes outside to regroup. After getting back in, he drops some shots over Reigns and puts on a side headlock. Sheamus hits a knee to Reigns’ gut and drops a knee to his head. He goes second rope but Reigns gets up and pulls him to the mat, then clotheslines him out of the ring. Reigns chases Sheamus and hits a nice forearm to his head. He puts Sheamus’s head into a barrier and rolls him back into the ring. Sheamus gets up and hits a Running Kneelift. The two exchange blows until Roman is knocked out of the ring. When we come back from a break, Sheamus has Reigns in a headlock, so the crowd gives us our first “CM PUNK” chant in about four months. Reigns breaks and hits falling faceslam. Sheamus runs at Reigns and flies out of the ring. He gets back in but Reigns clotheslines the shit out of him. Reigns goes for a Samoan Drop but it’s a series of counters as both men exchange move attempts. Finally, Reigns sends Sheamus to the bottom rope and hits the Hanging Missile Dropkick, then a Samoan Drop. He goes for the Superman Punch but Sheamus blocks and hits a backbreaker. Two count. Sheamus goes to the top rope and Reigns hits the Superman Punch on the way down. Spear attempt — and wouldn’t ya’ know it? Another Bray video spot because this act never gets old. Reigns isn’t waiting to get his ass handed to him and he attacks Bray on his way down to the ring. But it isn’t Bray. It’s some guy wearing a Bray wig, because now the backstage crew not only helps him with his video clips, they willingly dress up like Bray to get their asses kicked. Bray appears on the big screen saying, “Anyone but you, Roman,” then the ref counts out Reigns because  and we’re done around 12 minutes.
WINNER: Sheamus via countout
RATING: *1/2. Bored of this feud. Both this one and the fight between Sheamus and Reigns.

Post-match, Orton’s music hits and he beats the holy hell out of Sheamus, puts him in the ring and hits the RKO. He celebrates. That makes it all better, I guess.

Cole plugs the Network.

Rollins and J&J show up backstage and talk to Triple H. Triple H wants to talk to Rollins alone. Triple H wants to know what Rollins is gonna do about Lesnar. Rollins has no idea. Triple H says he wants to see Rollins be the champ after Battleground. Rollins says he has it in the bag. Triple H says that Rollins is cocky but he should do something nobody expects. Rollins says he doesn’t know what that means. Triple H says Heyman gave him a hint with the 11th Commandment: “Never intentionally antagonize The Beast”. Rollins says he’s gonna call out Lesnar and then he’s gonna beat up Lesnar which makes sense if you’re high.

Rusev is in the ring with Summer. Rusev would like to apologize about what happened last week. He calls Lana a “blonde snake” and for how much time he wasted with her. He calls Ziggler a weasel. Summer tries to help Rusev out but Rusev tells her not to waste her time. Out comes Ziggler with Lana. Ziggler says that he knows Rusev’s leg is broken but says his brain must be broken, too. Everything he’s gotten has been because of Lana. He says that Lana was the one who gave him everything. They make out. Summer is pissed and confronts Lana. Rusev blocks Summer. Ziggler holds Lana back. Suddenly, Rusev attacks with his crutch and beats Ziggler senseless and hits a Superkick. He removes the ankle boot from his right foot (DANIELLE: He’s healed! It’s a miracle! Man, JBL needs to study Heenan-isms.) and stomps at Ziggler. Ziggler fights back but Rusev clubs him with the crutch and then drops his throat on it. Refs and medics get into the ring but Rusev just keeps clubbing.

After the break, Cole shows us clips of Rusev’s wrath and informs us that Ziggler was wheeled to the back on a stretcher.

Bo Dallas hits the ring. He says that the attack on Ziggler was terrible. It just goes to show that bad things happen to BAD PEOPLE. Good things happen to good people. Good people, like him. All you have to do is BO-LIEVE!

MATCH #4: Bo Dallas vs. Dean Ambrose
Crowd is hot as Bo Dallas attacks and locks in a headlock. Ambrose breaks but gets clotheslined. He does a victory lap and tries for a kneedrop. He misses. Ambrose gets up and clubs away. He hits lariats and a Bulldog. He goes top rope and hits an elbow drop. He tries a neckbreaker and Bo shoves him for the requisite Rebound Clothesline, followed by Dirty Deeds for the win at 3:00.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
RATING: N/A – squash – I can dig keeping Ambrose strong but he needs a real feud. Even against Dallas, though, the crowd is white hot for him.

When we come back from a break, R-Truth is wearing his bed sheet and has a plunger. Him and Barrett are gonna face off because this feud is just red velvet on a stick.

MATCH #5: King Barrett vs. R-Truth
Truth hits a beautiful body scissors pin off an Irish Whip. Barrett kicks out and the fight spills to the corner. Barrett beats on Truth and yells “BOOM”. Truth retaliates and sends him over the top rope. Truth chases and Barrett runs Truth into the edge of the mat, then tosses him into the ring post. Barrett isn’t content and whips into another one, then rolls him into the ring for a two count. Barrett beats on Truth, then puts him in a side headlock. Truth fights out and kicks Barrett in the head. He charges again but Barrett just runs him over with a big boot. When we come back from a break (yes, even Truth’s matches get breaks now), Barrett puts Truth in a Surfboard. Truth breaks and hits a lariat. Barrett charges Truth in the corner but Truth hits a series of clotheslines and kick to the gut. He hits a Scissors Kick and Barrett just escapes a pinfall. Truth hits a splash in the corner and tries a suplex but Barrett counters. Truth pins Barrett for two but Barrett kicks out, kicks Truth and tries for the Bullhammer, missing. Truth rolls him up for a two count. Truth goes top rope but, on the way down, it’s a ROAL BULLHAMMER OUTTA NOWHERE MIGGAL to win this thing at 8:41.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: **1/4. This is the match of the night thus far. Beautifully wrestled for what it was. Both guys looked good with none of the corny “King” bullshit or prop warfare getting in the way. I enjoyed this.

Backstage, Rollins and J&J walk to the ring.

Cole recaps Rusev beating the snot out of Ziggler earlier tonight.

Seth Rollins hits the ring, carrying an axehandle. J&J drive out in their Cadillac. Can’t imagine why. They also have axehandles. (DANIELLE: Brock’s out there. It’s a trick. Get an actual AXE.)

Rollins says that Lesnar was chosen to be his opponent at Battleground because they know that Rollins is the man and the Future of WWE — something the crowd “doesn’t understand”. He says he even proved it last week when him and The Authority beat up Brock Lesnar. Then Rollins shows us an actual montage which is confusing when he can just explain it. Rollins says that he has beaten everyone in his way and he will walk out of Battleground the champion. He tells Brock that he’s right there in the middle of the ring as the crowd chants “JUSTIN BIEBER”. He calls Brock “Paul Heyman’s bitch”, then stands tall.

Brock’s music hits as the heels stand there with their weapons and egg him on. Brock slowly approaches the ring…then stops and backs up to the car. He motions to Paul and Paul rolls a production crate over. Lesnar reaches into the crate and grabs an actual goddamn axe. He grins and “accidentally” backs up into the car, then starts wrecking the shit out of the car. He bashes all the windows and the crowd loves every second. He starts swinging at the rear of the car (DANIELLE: Oh shit…that’s the gas tank…and everyone’s afraid to tell Brock he’s about to die and take everyone in the entire first section with him…) and then takes the driver’s side rear door, rips it from the hinges and tosses it away, fan safety be damned. J&J come down to face him. Brock kicks Mercury, then puts him in the Kimura Lock and “breaks his arm”. Noble attacks but Brock just beats him and tosses him into the car’s front windshield. Rollins tells Brock to bring it on so Brock runs to the ring and hops in. Rollins bails from the ring and runs into the crowd. Brock gets into the ring and holds up the title belt that Rollins left behind. The crowd eats this up

TONIGHT: John Cena’s Open Challenge

TOMORROW: Both Tough Enough and Total Divas are on…jesus…and I thought I’d get some sleep.

MOMENTS AGO: Lesnar Street Fighter II’ed J&J’s new car.

The Prime Time Players are on the commentary side of things for the net match.

MATCH #6: Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w. Xavier Woods)
The New Day looks at the damage inflicted by Lesnar and dances down to the ring anyhow. Kofi and Cara starts off. Cara avoids a corner splash by Kofi and tags Kalisto. Kofi punches him and it’s E in on the tag. Kalisto hits a beautiful shoulderblock off an Irish Whip. Too bad E practically no-sells it. E is pushed from the ring anyhow. Kofi comes in but he’s sent from the ring. They go for a dive but Xavier gets in the way. They dropkick his ass, then do twin dives off the buckle. We actually get a commercial break after that. After the break, Kalisto breaks a hold by Kofi. E tags in and he takes out Cara, then belly to belly suplexes Kalisto. Abdominal Stretch by E and it’s a tag to Kofi as the commentary gets weird with Titus telling JBL he’s smarter than JBL. Hot tag to Cara and Cara knocks down Kofi and hits a springboard moonsault for two. Kofi tries to fly at Cara who grabs him and counters into a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Cara dumps Kofi from the ring and the two dive at the New Day. Cara misses and E hits a belly to belly on Kalisto. Back in the ring, it’s the 11th Hour for the win at 10:17.
WINNERS: The New Day
RATING: **. Not bad at all. New Day and Lucha Dragons look great here.

New Day and PTP taunt one another after the match.

Cole plugs Dusty’s special on the WWE Network.

NEXT: John Cena’s Open Challenge

Out comes Cena. He stops to look at the destroyed car and smiles. Cole gives us clips of Beast in the East where Finn Balor beat Kevin Owens to become NXT Champ. Cena basically asks the crowd, “U MAD BRO?” after mentioning Owens losing the NXT Championship. He praises the Chicago crowd and says he wants them nice and loud. He issues the challenge and out comes…

KEVIN OWENS.

Owens says the worst part of RAW is when Cena comes out and talks. He’s sick of it, so he’s ending it. He needs the United States Title because, that way, Cena will finally shut up. He says he was content on waiting for Battleground but, no longer. As they’re about to get started, Cesaro’s music hits.

Cesaro says that nobody wants to see Owens whine about losing in Japan. He says that Cesaro is the only person who deserves the title shot. He says that he had Cena ready to tap out last week and Owens screwed it up. He did it because he was jealous. Owens wasn’t able to beat Cena at the last PPV and he won’t be able to do it at Battleground. He tells Owens to leave the ring or else the two of them will have a problem. Owens leaves.

MATCH #7: John Cena (champion) vs. Cesaro (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Crowd is white hot for this match. After a break, Cena hits a side suplex and goes for the 5KS but Cesaro gets up and knocks him down, then taunts him. He hits a dropkick and tries to charge Cesaro but Cesaro moves and hits a Delayed Standing Suplex, showing off by squatting while holding him up. He tries another suplex but Cena counters and puts Cesaro on his shoulders, hitting an Electric Chair Drop. The two trade shots until Cena tries the AA. Cesaro counters with a DDT. Cesaro locks in a Cobra Clutch. After a break, Cena starts hitting shoulder tackles but Cesaro catches him in a backbreaker. Cesaro tries a splash in the corner but Cena moves and hits the Side Slam. He goes for the 5KS but Cesaro gets up. Cena grabs him for another Side Slam and another 5KS but Cesaro counters with a Crossface. Cena breaks it and locks in the STF but Cesaro breaks the hold with the bottom rope. Cesaro gets up and walks over to Cena who hits a back body drop. Cena goes for a suplex but Cesaro hits three straight Gut Wrench Suplexes. Two count. Cesaro hits uppercuts in the corner and then goes for the Swing. Cena pulls himself up, grabs Cesaro and hits a DDT to counter. Two count.

Cena goes top rope but Cesaro hits a dropkick, sending Cena out of the ring. Cesaro walks outside, then hits a running uppercut. Cesaro tosses Cena back into the ring and goes top rope with a cross body but Cena catches him and goes for the AA. Cesaro lands on his feet. Counter after counter and Cena hits a Frankensteiner and a Reverse Sitting Suplex. Two count! Cesaro gets to his feet and hits an uppercut! Two count! Both men are outside the ring ropes and Cesaro nearly powerbombs Cena to the outside. Cena kicks out but Cesaro pulls him into the barricade. Cesaro runs at Cena but Cena ducks and sends him into the timekeeper’s pit. Cesaro escapes and Cena rolls him into the ring. He goes top rope but Cesaro jumps up and hits a mean uppercut. Cesaro tries a Superplex but Cena breaks out with headbutts, then hits the Flying Legdrop for a close fall.

Cena runs at Cesaro but Cesaro pushes Cena up and hits the uppercut! Close fall! Cesaro calls for the Swing but Cena stands up and hits an AA for two. Cena runs at Cesaro but Cesaro hits the Swing, getting about 10 rotations before letting go. Cesaro hits a Sharpshooter and Cena starts dragging him to the ropes, so Cesaro drops the Sharpshooter and hits a Crossface. Cena rolls over but Cesaro keeps it locked. Finally, Cena kicks out and hits the STF. Cesaro gets to his feet and counters into a suplex that looks like it wrenches his neck. He gets two. Cesaro slings Cena into a corner but Cena tries the Stunner. Cesaro counters into the Neutralizer! Two count! Cena goes for a Tornado DDT but Cesaro counters into a Crossface! Cena drags Cesaro to the ropes and breaks the hold. Cena rolls outside the ring ropes — and Cesaro suplexes him back in as Cena stands up, getting two. Cena hits a Sitting Powerbomb on a rush and HE nearly gets a fall. Both men get to their feet. Cena hits some punches and puts Cesaro on his shoulders, climbing the buckle. Cesaro elbows out and goes for the Neutralizer but Cena punches out of it. The two exchange shots but Cena grabs Cesaro for an AA to retain!
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING: *****. What a match. Beautifully wrestled by both guys and a hell of an effort.

Post-match, Kevin Owens attacks Cena but Cena fends him off and hits an AA. Owens flees. Cena celebrates as we go off the air.

OVERALL: Another show that started awful and got better as it went along. It’s nice to see the fans getting a payoff for sitting through Rollins giving gifts like it was Christmas. Brock destroying the car and the Cena/Cesaro epic were the reasons to watch and I can’t believe I’m gonna say that R-Truth and Barrett was a match worth watching.

This week’s Best of Monday Night Open Mic has some of the funniest comments I’ve ever read. Either that or I had too much wine last night:

 

 

Er…that’s it.

Monday Nitro – February 7, 2000

Monday Nitro #226
Date: February 7, 2000
Location: Tulsa
Convention Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Attendance: 6,358
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mark Madden
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re two weeks from
SuperBrawl and most of the card is coming in clear. Unfortunately
that means we can see what’s coming and therefore are all running for
the hills before it kills us all. Hogan is back and seems to hate
anyone young, Sid has been in back to back Thunder Caged Heat main
events and Jeff Jarrett has power because Nash has disappeared. Fun
times eh? Let’s get to it.

We open with the recap
of last week, with the NWO adding the Harris Twins and then the
completely unnecessary Caged Heat match on Thunder. What a great way
to open the show.
The NWO has surprises
for Sid and Funk. Nash is going to be back soon.
Here’s 3 Count for a
performance (things are looking up) but they stop to allow a woman to
get in the ring to dance with them. Disaster strikes though as the
music messes up and they can’t lip sync. We cut to the production
truck to see Norman Smiley screwing with things and now let’s have a
match.
Norman Smiley vs.
Evan Karagias
Madden
is on Evan’s side because the internet marks like Smiley. I’m
remembering why I can’t stand him. Evan quickly throws him outside
but 3 Count tosses Norman back inside. Is this a mutiny already?
Back in and Evan gets suplexed, only to counter the spanking dance
into a faceplant. Shannon gets on the apron but Evan is whipped into
him because 3 Count isn’t the brightest group of cats in the world.
Evan’s rollup is reversed (with the referee stopping halfway through
his count because it takes too long) into one from Norman for the
fast pin.
Norman wants all three
of them at SuperBrawl. You and every other teenage girl in the world
Smiley.
Danny Hodge is here.
He deserves better.
The announcers run down
the card.
J. Biggs has cops
search Booker’s bags and confiscate any Harlem Heat gear. This is
so, so sad.
Flair and some women
arrive.
Here’s
the NWO with something to say. Hall won’t say Hey Yo so a Harris
insults the crowd for being a bunch of morons. They’re kind of
missing the point of having them be muscle. Ron actually calls this
the Elite NWO. Steiner one ups that by calling himself the Purple
Warrior. I really don’t want to know what that means.
Last week he saw a 53
year old man (meaning Flair, though he’s not quite that old) come
out here and brag about how he’s still the man. Flair has a crooked
nose and yellow teeth, so why didn’t they bring in the original
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers? Steiner thinks it might be because he’s
dead. Last week when Flair came down the aisle, everyone changed the
channel to watch Stone Cold, a guy that Flair and his boys got fired
from here. A lot of Steiner’s insults are censored but WCW SUCKS
gets through.
Jarrett brings us back
to reality by saying Mark Johnson will be referee during the Sid vs.
Jarrett title match. Remember that he’s the referee that was paid
off last week. The match will also be No DQ, which is probably the
best option. Tonight it’s Hall vs. Sid in a non-title match, which
doesn’t seem to please Hall.
So to recap, in the
last five days, Hogan has said all the young guys are worthless and
Steiner has said the fans change the channel when Flair comes on
screen because they’re watching Steve Austin on Raw. These two are
both going to be World Champion at some point in the year.
Booker says Biggs and
company have taken his colors and music but they’ll never take his
dignity. No Booker, I’m pretty sure they have.
David Flair is going to
have an I Quit match against Terry Funk tonight and fight one of his
dad’s battles for him.
Booker vs. The Wall
There
are no flames for Booker’s entrance and he comes out to what sounds
like the theme to Leave It To Beaver. Madden gets in a line clever
enough that I’m sure he didn’t come up with it himself: Ice T. is now
just Ice and Hulk Hogan is now immoral. Booker slugs away and hits a
spin kick to start but charges into a boot in the corner.
Wall
throws him outside and stomps on Booker as he gets back inside.
Booker throws on a sleeper for a few seconds but Wall slams him down
and goes up top, only to dive into a kick. There’s the ax kick and a
Bookend but here’s J. Biggs to call Booker a criminal. In the
distraction a chokeslam ends Booker.
Rating:
D.
I’ll give them points for trying to push someone else. Wall may be a
big, mostly talentless lug, but at least he’s someone new. I don’t
have any faith in them to not screw up his push and turn it into a
big waste, but at least it’s happening. However, the fact that it’s
coming as part of this stupid story makes it even worse. But wait.
It gets better.
Booker is arrested for
assault and battery, reckless endangerment and attempted murder.
I’ve sat through a lot of nonsense in WCW, but this is a rare care
where it’s hard to watch. This is just so, so stupid.
Knobbs wants Finlay
tonight. Jarrett says ok but that it’s Knobbs vs. Bigelow with
Finlay as referee. Can we please get some fresh blood in this
“division?”
Funk asks Anderson
where he stands in the war with Flair. Anderson says he’ll answer
after he sees how Funk does against David Flair.
Lane and Idol ask for a
title shot again.
Tank Abbott vs.
Barbarian
Barbarian is in a
leather jacket because he’s a tough monster with a slick fashion
sense. They slug each other, Abbott does a kind of slam and a big
right hand ends Barbarian in a hurry.
Crowbar plays air
guitar in front of Demon’s casket until Daffney calls him away.
Torrie with the KidCam.
Here’s Ed Ferrara, who
has been put in charge of starting the women’s division. Those
“adorable” women have no place in wrestling though so first up,
they’ll all have to go through extensive medical tests, with Ferrara
present for all of them. This brings out a Dr. Jeter, who has done
procedures on a lot of women, including Madusa. Cue Madusa to kick
both of them low. Yet another stupid waste of time.
Terry Taylor has talked
to the executive committee. Mark Johnson will not be refereeing at
SuperBrawl and tonight’s match is for the title. Speaking of wastes
of time, these stipulations were announced less than an hour ago and
now they’re changed. Such a great use of TV time.
We get clips from 1989
of Funk vs. Flair in the I Quit match.
David Flair vs.
Terry Funk
I
Quit. David sends Crowbar and Daffney to the back. Funk asks if
David knows what he’s getting into and offers him a chance to go
ahead and quit now. David will have nothing to do with that and hits
Funk with a few chair shots to start. They head outside and it’s
already table time but Terry whips him into the barricade.
Funk pulls back the
mats for a piledriver….on the mats. To be fair he is crazy. David
still won’t quit so he gets piledriven on the concrete. That gets
the same result, followed by a piledriver through the table. A chair
to the back knocks David out and Funk quits, but he won’t do the same
against Ric. David, out cold, is the winner.
Rating:
D+.
I’ll give them some points for the violence and for the story they’re
going with, but at the same time this is for a feud that started ten
years ago and the best idea they’ve got is to just do it again.
Total squash of course, but David better take some time off after a
beating like that.
In the back, Arn yells
at Ric for letting that happen. Ric needs to stop being Ric Flair
and to start being David’s father. For once in his life, he’s bowing
out, because that made him sick. Anderson is still the best talker
in this company right now.
Stevie Ray vs. Disco
Inferno
Disco
tries to take him into the corner to start but gets slammed down.
The announcers are officially calling Booker just Booker now as the
Mamalukes and Big T. argue on the floor. Madden: “Didn’t this
Biggs guy used to carry a tennis racket?” I’m not sure if that
line is funny or not. Disco hits a quick Russian legsweep and the
middle rope elbow for two but tries to steal the slapjack, allowing
Stevie to hit the Slapjack for the pin. I guess Harlem Heat is
coming for the belts again?
Jarrett thinks WCW is
trying to rip the NWO apart but Hall laughs it off because the title
will stay in the family either way.
Sid doesn’t care who he
fights tonight because he’s outsmarted the NWO time after time.
That’s one heck of an insult.
Flair rants about Arn
being in over his head and leaves.
Hardcore Title:
Brian Knobbs vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Knobbs
is defending and has a broken wrist thanks to Luger. We see a clip
of it being broken and they put January 31 instead of a simple last
week. Finlay is guest referee again. Bigelow throws a trashcan at
Knobbs to start and the champ is in early trouble. He whips Knobbs
into the barricade and steps with Brian unable to use the bad arm to
stop the impact. In for the first time with Knobbs hitting a ladder
and having it fall on top of him. Knobbs makes a comeback but Finlay
hits him with a chair, followed by a fast count to give Bigelow the
title. Again, this is probably the most logical story in the
promotion at the moment.
Ernest Miller brags
about hanging out with James Brown and promises to have Brown on
Thunder. Well, Brown kind of fits in with WCW as he’s old, but at
least he’s still entertaining.
Steve Borden (yes Steve
Borden) will be on the Late Show.
Billy Kidman vs. The
Demon
This
has to be a test for Kidman to see what kind of miracles he can pull
off. Demon’s entrance is hyped up even more than usual here and we
cut to the back to see Crowbar having a great time watching it.
Demon eats a dropkick to start and tosses Kidman across the ring like
he’s nothing. A legdrop and butterfly suplex (but a DEMONIC legdrop
and DEMONIC butterfly suplex) get two for Demon but the fans are more
interested in Torrie. Kidman’s Bodog gets two and Demon gets the
same off a DDT. For some reason Demon goes up top, allowing Kidman
to hurricanrana him down for the pin. No miracle but watchable.
Luger comes to the
ring, holding a Hogan chair.
Ready To Rumble is
coming.
Jarrett tells the NWO
they can’t answer the ringing phone.
Here’s
Luger to discuss Hogan returning on Thunder. Hogan thinks he’s the
best ever but Luger has won every title there is (except the WWF
Title. Why not bring that up? They reference the WWF every chance
they can) and is the future of professional wrestling. Jimmy Hart is
ordered to come out to deliver Hogan a message, but Jimmy refuses.
Luger is just a Hogan
wannabe because he’ll never sell as much merchandise or as many
tickets as Hogan did. So Luger wants to talk about titles and
Hogan’s lackey wants to talk about attendance records? Luger beats
Hart up, Racks him and breaks his arm. I guess he’s not over Jimmy
leaving him alone at Uncensored 1996. I wouldn’t want to be left
alone there either.
WCW World Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Scott Hall
Sid
is defending and it’s already after 10pm so this isn’t going to last
long. Vicious punches him down before the toothpick throw, messing
up Hall’s mojo. The champ stays hyped with right hands in the corner
and a chokeslam less than a minute in but there’s no cover. Hall
pops up and slugs away before loading up the fall away slam. In the
worst ref bump I’ve ever seen, the referee stands RIGHT BEHIND HALL
so Sid is thrown into him, allowing Jarrett to come out. The
Outsider’s Edge connects but Jeff guitars Hall, for wanting the pin.
Either that or over Royal Rumble 1995 residuals. Sid is dragged on
top to retain.
Rating:
F.
I was tempted to not rate this one as it was barely a match. This
was just an angle disguised as a match as the NWO is splitting,
assuming you considered Hall part of it in the first place. I’m
assuming this sets up a three way at SuperBrawl, which has to be
better than just Jarrett vs. Sid.
Overall
Rating:
D.
They’re starting the build towards SuperBrawl and it’s one of the
least interesting shows I’ve seen in a long time. The Sid vs.
Jarrett feud is horrible and doing nothing to make me want to keep
watching. Other than that we have the veterans seemingly shooting on
the company and calling it out on all its screwups, despite being the
focal points of the whole show. Really lame show this week but at
least they seem to have a purpose now.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 6/29/2015

We are two weeks from Battleground and it looks as though The
Authority is on the same page as Seth Rollins as he looks to defend the
title against Brock Lesnar. Smackdown proved to be a fairly solid show
which is ironic since last Monday’s RAW was a dud.

Let’s see if RAW recovers…

We begin with clips from LAST MONDAY, scored by Emotional Theme #87 From Full House.

We are LIVE(!!!) from Washington, D.C. for Monday Night RAW!!!

JBL, Cole and Saxton are your guys on the mics.

Rollins
comes out to the ring with Kane and J&J Security. Rollins says that
Washington is obsessed with power. He says he took power last week when
he conquered “The Conqueror” last week. John Cena and The Undertaker
couldn’t do that, he says. He burned Suplex City to the ground. He says
that Brock isn’t here tonight. He’s going to Japan for the big WWE show.
Rollins says that Brock injured Jamie Noble by breaking three of his
ribs. But Jamie’s here with us tonight because he’s braver than everyone
in the arena and he wouldn’t miss any of this for the world.

Rollins
says he has gifts for each one of them. He lifts a red velvet blanket
off a table and there are three Apple Watches. They all wear them.
Rollins asks them what they think. Noble’s totally stoked. Rollins says
that he “broke Lesnar” and asks for #BrokenBeast to trend on Twitter
which even JBL has trouble repeating. Rollins says he is giving Kane
something special for all his hard work all these long years: a trip to
Hawaii. He calls down a hula dancer and a dude playing the ukelele. (DANIELLE: What is this, “The Price is Right”?!) Kane
is totally thankful and says he’s always wanted to relax on a beach and
think of what animal he’d like to toss into a volcano. Rollins says
that they’re gonna send Kane off in style tonight with a great tag match
for the ages. (DANIELLE: Doesn’t Kane outrank Rollins? Isn’t he a director? Why is he giving his boss permission to go on vacation?)

But,
there’s more, which is GREAT since I wanted to watch 10 more minutes of
whatever the hell this is supposed to be. Rollins says that J&J are
going to travel in style from here on out. He points to some random
blonde chick in a black dress. She ushers in a brand-new Cadillac CTS.
J&J give Rollins a group head as we get a modified version of The
Dating Game theme. Rollins follows them down the ramp and describes how
awesome this car is. Rollins goes over the specs which includes a nice
engine, leather interior and (DANIELLE: “…uh…technology and stuff…”) a sun roof which Mercury puts his body through.

Rollins thanks Kane and J&J as Rollins screams how awesome the last 17 minutes has been. J&J honk the horn loudly.

Big Show’s music hits…and…I guess we’re having a match after ALL of that. Mark Henry heads to the ring.

MATCH #1: Big Show vs. Mark Henry
Miz
is on commentary because, remember? He’s still a part of the
Show/Ryback feud for some reason. Show boots Henry in the head and
punches him in the corner. Henry kicks at Show and knocks him down with a
huge clothesline. Henry boots Show to the mat and headbutts him. Henry
hits a weak-looking Warrior Splash and gets a two count. Henry kicks at
Show but Show stands up and nails Henry with the KO Punch to win this at
1:24.
WINNER: Big Show via KO Punch
RATING: DUD. The review speaks for itself.

Post-match,
Ryback runs down to the ring and attacks Show, knocking him from the
ring. Miz attacks Ryback right after this and then runs away when Ryback
chases him. Ryback says they have a match later but he wants Miz in the
ring NOW.

Commercial.

MATCH #2: The Miz vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback (non-title)
Miz
runs away which never fucking gets old. Ryback chases him back into the
ring and slams him to the mat which Miz half-sells and nearly snaps
himself in half. Ryback beats him in a couple corners before Miz regains
control with fists to his head. Ryback goes for a delayed suplex and
holds Miz upside down for nearly a minute. Ryback marches around and
finally drops him, getting two. Miz bails from the ring and tries to go
into the crowd but Ryback grabs him and tosses him into the crowd
barricade. Ryback drags Miz into the ring and Miz quickly hits a DDT,
getting two. He hits a running boot to Ryback’s face, getting two.
Neckbreaker. Two count. Miz kicks at Ryback who grabs the foot of Miz
and then just runs him over twice, hitting a Spinebuster after two
shoulderblocks. Ryback tries for a Meat Hook but Miz runs off and…ok,
the match just stops at a count of like 5 because The Miz isn’t even
worth a full countout these days. Mark it at 5:26.
WINNER: Ryback via countout
RATING:
*. A 20-minute QVC spot followed by two matches featuring a weak feud
that’s so vaporous, it makes Reigns and Wyatt look important. This is
gonna be a long night. That said, Ryback is over as he’s ever been, so
that’s good.

Oh lord…the fucking Bellas are in the ring and we didn’t even get the Nikki twirl to make it worthwhile.

MATCH #3: Paige vs. Alicia Fox (w/ Brie Bella & WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella)
Paige
hits a couple of Snap Mares and an arm bar. Page hits a drop toehold
off a whip. Fox comes back with a slap to Paige and punches. She rams
Paige into the buckle. Paige comes back and punches Fox who dashes from
the ring. Paige chases but gets distracted by THEBELLABRAND™. Fox
wallops her from behind and — a BREAK?! For THIS match?! After the
break, Fox is “complete control” of this compelling feud. She kicks
Paige in the head and gets two. Long headlock and Paige breaks, hitting a
Spinning Backbreaker for a fall that Paige botches by kicking out late.
Fox elbows Paige in the head and it’s another headlock spot. Paige
busts free and hits a running knee, followed by several others in the
corner. Paige hits clotheslines and a Superkick. Two count. The Bellas
have had enough and try for a distraction. Fox rolls her up for the pin
— but Paige reverses to get the win at 9:35.
WINNER: Paige
RATING: **1/4. Match of the night if you can believe it. Fox and Paige are perfectly matched here.

TONIGHT: Ambrose & Reigns vs. Rollins and Kane in a No-DQ Match.

John
Cena comes out to the ring, saying that the Open Challenge is on — but
Kevin Owens’ music hits. Owens gets in the ring as Garcia starts to
announce the match. Owens goes outside and grabs a mic. He says he’s
gonna wait until Battleground. He promises to beat Cena…but, maybe,
somebody else will be first…and Cesaro’s music hits.

MATCH #4: John Cena (champion) vs. Cesaro (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
We
get a headlock by both guys as Owens joins the commentary team. Cesaro
hits a powerslam in stride. Two count. Another long headlock spot. Cena
breaks but Cesaro his a backbreaker for two. Gut Wrench by Cesaro gets
two. Cesaro puts on another headlock but Cena breaks. Cesaro counters,
punching away, then hits an uppercut. ANOTHER headlock which Cena
counters with a pin for two. Cesaro whips Cena into the corner but Cena
comes back with a dropkick. Cena misses a running elbow and Cesaro
stomps Cena’s chest after he falls. Cesaro punches at Cena and hits an
elbow drop from the buckle. When we come back, Cesaro has a two count.
Cena comes alive and hits his first few Moves of Doom but Cesaro hits a
MEAN clothesline as Cena goes for the 5KS. Two count by Cesaro. Cesaro
goes for the Swing but Cena counters with a Springboard Stunner after
Cesaro converts it to a Slingshot. Two count. Cena goes for the AA but
Cesaro lands on his feet and hits a sloppy Euro Uppercut for a near
fall. Cena comes back with the STF but Cesaro counters with a
Sharpshooter. Cena gets to the ropes to break. Cesaro puts Cena up on
the buckle for a Superplex for another near fall. Cesaro hits a Running
Uppercut. He tries again but Cena boots him in the head and hits a
Bulldog for a VERY close fall. Cesaro hits a Cross Body but Cena
counters with a DDT for a close fall. At around 17 minutes, Kevin Owens
stands up and tries to take a swipe at Michael Cole who looks legit
pissed off. Meanwhile, Cesaro dropkicks Cena off the turnbuckle and goes
outside, hitting a running uppercut for two. Cesaro goes for the
Neutralizer which we haven’t seen since 2012, I think. Cena counters
into a Sunset Powerbomb, getting two. Cena sets up for the AA but Cesaro
kicks out and hits the Neutralizer for two. He can’t believe it and
starts uppercutting Cena. He hits a big one, then the Swing, getting
nine rotations. He goes for the Sharpshooter after that but Owens gets
into the ring and attacks Cesaro, ending 20 minutes of this in a DQ.
WINNER: No contest
RATING:
***1/4. Good match here, even with a crap ending. Even still, it’s the
most logical ending, keeping Cena, Cesaro and Owens all red hot. Still a
shame it had to end the way it did.

Post-match,
Owens hits the PUPB on both Cesaro and Cena and then says Cesaro won’t
get the title tonight because Owens will be the only one with the title. 

TONIGHT: Ziggler and Lana “go public” with an IPO or something.

ALSO: The No-DQ Tag Match brought to you by Terminator: Stretching the Premise.

We get a recap of The Authority vs. Brock.

Then
it’s another Wyatt segment right as this show was beginning to regain a
pulse.. He talks about his Dad and how he’s making IRS proud. Wyatt
says that Reigns won’t succeed. He won’t let Reigns succeed. Run.

The Rock showed up in Boston once to beat up Bo Dallas. Yay?

MATCH
#5: Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) & WWE Tag Team Champions
The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) vs. Bo Dallas
& The New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E & Kofi Kingston)

Woods
and Kalisto exchange counters and armbars before Woods belts Kalisto in
the head. Kalisto comes back with chest slaps and a goofy armdrag
involving the top rope as a Springboard. Tag to Sin Cara who punches at
Woods. Woods tags in Dallas and Cara puts him in an armbar. Tag to Young
who knees Dallas in the gut. One count. Tag to Titus who sends Young
into Dallas’s stomach, then he tosses Dallas across the ring. Tag to
Kalisto and Dallas works him over with kneedrops. Dallas comes back
with a short-arm clothesline and a front facelock. Kalisto shoves Dallas
into the Face corner and it’s a tag to Young again. Young gets knocked
down by Dallas but nobody in the crowd cares. Young comes back, hitting a
Sidewalk Slam on the mat outside. We go to break as it nearly turns
into a Pier Six.

When we come back, Woods has Kalisto
in a Million Dollar Dream. Kalisto breaks and ends up in Belly to Belly
by E. Kalisto lands on his feet and rolls over to tag Sin Cara who goes
Flip City, knocking E around the ring. Tag to Young who elbows E in the
head. E breaks out of a hold and goes for a tag. Young picks on E again
but E just tosses him out of the ring. Dallas attacks Young outside,
then rolls him back into the ring for a mudhole stomp in the heel
corner. Kofi hits a dropkick and the ref finally gets involved, pulling
Kofi off Young. Young escapes the hold but Dallas catches him in a
headlock. Young breaks and chops at Dallas’s chest. Both guys run at one
another and collide. Both men make a hot tag with Titus and Kofi the
legal guys. Titus takes out the heels, then clotheslines Kofi. Chaos
hits as everyone’s in the ring. The Luchas help Titus clear the ring,
then they dive at the remainder of The New Day. Kofi flies at Titus who
counters with Clash of the Titus for the merciful end at 14:29.
WINNERS: Luchas and PTP
RATING:
**. Not bad, not good and hey, look: Luchas because reasons! Match was
overlong at near 15 minutes. Dallas and the Luchas are DOA after
building up massive heat. 

LAST WEEK: Summer hit on Rusev, kinda.

Out
comes Dolph for a long promo which pretty much tells you the state of
the roster this week. Ziggler explains making out with Lana as if that
needs an explanation. Lana takes over. She says Rusev isn’t a real man
because Ziggler’s that man. This goes on two minutes too long until
Rusev emerges with Summer in tow. Lana doesn’t look happy as they head
to the ring. Rusev says he doesn’t care about Lana anymore. He never
did. He calls Lana a “cold fish”. Ziggler stops him and says that
Rusev’s a scumbag. Ziggler says Lana belongs to him. Ziggler tells Rusev
that he blew it. He says that he can arrange the breaking of Rusev’s
other ankle. The two face off with the crowd finally deciding that
Ziggler’s a face, they guess. They start chanting “USA” even though
Bulgaria is a NATO ally. ‘Murica! Summer calls Lana a gold digger and
says that Rusev cared about Lana. But this whole thing proves that Lana
is a phony. Summer slaps the taste out of Lana’s mouth. Lana’s furious
and lunges at Summer. The two fight. Ziggler separates them and — oops,
there goes Lana’s skirt. Summer escapes the ring. So, I guess we’re
getting a mixed tag with these four in the near future.

Dean
Ambrose hangs out with some T-800’s from Terminator backstage BECAUSE
WE HAVEN’T HAD ENOUGH PRODUCT PLUGS TONIGHT. Reigns approaches him and
wants to know if Ambrose is ready. Ambrose asks the same question.
Reigns looks pensive. Ambrose says Reigns SHOULD be angry and tense.
That’s the way he likes Reigns. They leave for the ring as LOOK AT THE
ROBOTS AND GO SEE TERMINATOR 7 or whatever this one is.

We come back — and get a commercial for the new Terminator flick.

MATCH #6: Neville vs. Sheamus
Neville
and Sheamus fight into two corners until Sheamus snapmares him to the
mat. Neville breaks but Sheamus punches him. Neville flips around and
hits a Frankensteiner. He tries again but Sheamus catches him. Neville
counters and they both spill out of the ring. Neville goes for a dive
but Sheamus runs. When we come back, Neville is in control for a change.
He runs at Sheamus but Sheamus tosses him over the top rope. Neville
lands on his feet and jumps at Sheamus who catches him and hits the
Rolling Senton. He kicks at Neville and then hits a nice suplex throw.
Sheamus hits a headlock. Neville breaks but Sheamus kicks at Neville in
the corner. The ref shoves Sheamus off of Neville but Sheamus won’t
listen and lunges repeatedly until Neville flies out of the corner,
forcing Sheamus to eat a Superkick. Neville tries to follow up but
Sheamus grabs him and gives him a trio of Irish Curse Backbreakers.
Sheamus slaps Neville and Neville returns the favor and hits his set of
roundhouse kicks. Sheamus lunges at Neville and Neville sends him
outside, then hits a Springboard Moonsault to the outside. Neville hits a
sitting dropkick and then it’s a series of counters. Finally, Neville
catches Sheamus in the head with a high kick and goes for the Red Arrow.
Sheamus manages to get up and kick at the ropes which knocks Neville to
the mat. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue but misses. Neville rolls up
Sheamus for a near fall but Sheamus kicks out and hits the Brogue anyhow
to win this at 12:42.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
RATING: ***. A much better showing for Sheamus than last week’s march through apathy.

Backstage, a worker shines J&J’s car.

Hulk Hogan’s in Sports Illustrated. Wonder if they’ll mention the ‘roids and weird family life.

Holy shit, it’s Jack Swagger! Barrett says that all his opponents will bow down to him.

MATCH #7: Jack Swagger vs. King Barrett
Swagger
chases Barrett around the ring. Barrett exits and re-enters, only to
get slammed by Swagger. Swagger beats him in the corner, then tosses him
across the ring. Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock but Barrett is next
to the ropes and escapes the ring. Swagger chases and he tosses Barrett
into the barricades. When the fight gets back in the ring, it’s the ROAL
BULLHAMMER MIGGAL to finish this at about 90 seconds or so.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: DUD. Barrett’s character is pointless…and wasn’t Swagger supposed to bow? Oh well. Never mind that.

NEXT: The No-DQ tag match.

MATCH
#8: Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Kane & WWE World
Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (with J&J Security – Jamie Noble
& Joey Mercury) in a No Disqualification Match

Chaos to
start. Ambrose knocks Rollins out of the ring and dives at him while
Reigns and Kane fight in a corner. Ambrose joins the fight and the two
hit a double suplex. Ambrose goes for a top rope move but Rollins knocks
him off. Rollins lures Reigns out of the ring and back in so that Kane
can kick his head off when he gets back in. Ambrose gets tossed into the
barricade. When we come back from break, it’s Rollins with a headlock
on Reigns. Kane is tagged in but Reigns comes off the top rope with a
clothesline as, suddenly, we’re in a tag match with rules. Ambrose tags
in and he stomps the shit out of Rollins and hits a Bulldog. Kane goes
for a distraction but Ambrose knocks him off the mat, then dumps
Rollins, then dives at two of them AND takes out J&J. Ambrose
marches after Noble who runs. Ambrose grabs Rollins instead and then
clotheslines him. Ambrose rolls Rollins into the ring, then goes for a
table under the ring. He slides the table in but J&J pull the table
back out. Rollins hits a high kick to Ambrose after a cheap roll-up and
gets two. Reigns saves the day and powerbombs Rollins, then clotheslines
Kane. Mercury gets into the ring with a Kendo Stick and attacks Reigns
who no-sells it. He grabs the stick and destroys Kane with it and breaks
it over Mercury’s back. Reigns Superman Punches every single heel he
sees and goes for a Spear — but Wyatt Cut to fuck up another
match in a feud nobody gives a shit about. Wyatt beats up Reigns and
hits Sister Abigail into the announce table. The refs send Bray away despite the fact that this is NO-DQ.
Meanwhile, Ambrose is alone in the ring. Kane grabs him for a Chokeslam
but Ambrose breaks and hits the Rebound Clothesline. A series of
counters ends with a Chokeslam by Kane and Pedigree by Rollins and we
are done at around 12 minutes.
WINNERS: Kane and Rollins
RATING:
***. Entertaining match for the most part but the shit finishes
involving Bray are becoming irritating. The crowd really liked Reigns
here.

Post-match, the Authority tries to put
Ambrose through a table but Reigns attacks. The Authority disposes of
him. Rollins taunts Reigns who comes back to life and clears the ring by
himself. The Authority swarms the ring again and Reigns gets his ass
kicked again. Reigns fights back and prevents a Chokeslam.
Rollins hits a horribly botched “knee clip” spot and it’s a mudhole
stomp. Rollins tells his guys to pick Reigns up. They do and it’s a
Buckle Bomb into the table in the corner. Reigns aiin’t through and
actually struggles to get up and we’re STILL on this. Rollins hits
another Pedigree.

And we go off the a–

Oh.
Nope. Bray Wyatt is back. He re-enters the ring and hits Sister Abigail
just in case you haven’t had enough of Wyatt getting involved. He yells
“FOLLOW THE BUZZARDS” as we finally go off the air.

OVERALL:
Better than last week by far and a solid show to boot. It somehow
survived a weak opening and a horrible Ziggler segment to finish with
some decent matches. I’m still not a fan of Reigns/Wyatt but I do like
the idea of Rollins and his guys all being back together and on the same
page. It sets up a nice payoff at Battleground. 

And, before we go, we have this week’s Best of Monday Night Open Mic:

Er…that’s it.

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

Not much to talk about on here so TV tonight:

Lots of Baseball. ESPN has Texas vs. Baltimore I think.

RAW

I think the Comedy Central Website has like…every Daily Show ever or something.

There’s other stuff on too but nothing sticks out to me as worth listing unless you guys are really enjoying the final weeks of the Bachelorette. Might be a NetFlix night for me if RAW can’t deliver.

Enjoy and keep it clean!

Monday Nitro – January 31, 2000

Monday Nitro #225
Date: January 31, 2000
Location:
First Union Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 7,514
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mark Madden, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re officially in the
Madden era now, meaning things are clearly dying all around us. The
big story here is that Sid is World Champion again after winning it
back from Nash after having it stripped earlier in the night after an
off air referee’s decision. Also, Ric Flair is back. Let’s get to
it.

We get a quick clip of
the Nash vs. Sid three day saga from last week.
Nash isn’t going to be
here tonight but he’s named Jeff acting commissioner.
Here’s
the NWO to get things going complete with their girls. Jeff repeats
that Nash isn’t going to be here tonight but he’s in charge. Well
done with already changing the power. Steiner rips on the women here
in Wilkes-Barre and offers the Harris Brothers a spot on the team.
Well you had to expect that would happen. It’s back to Jeff, who
says he’s going to get the first shot at Sid at SuperBrawl. Tonight
it’s Jeff/the Twins vs. Sid/two partners of his choosing. Jarrett is
open to bribes and that’s it. They kept this short and got right to
the point so well done.
Sid, Flair and Harlem
Heat arrive in order.
Funk asks Arn to go get
Flair but Anderson tells him to go find Flair himself.
Cruiserweight Title
Tournament First Round: Lash Leroux vs. Evan Karagias
Lash
makes the mistake of going after 3 Count to start and walks into a
powerslam from Evan. The band takes him to the floor and Evan hits a
big dive to take them out again. Back in and Lash knocks him off the
ropes and does the Bourbon Street Blues (the punches into the splits)
but 3 Count makes another save. Evan’s full nelson doesn’t work but
Lash comes back with a Diamond Cutter Russian legsweep (Whiplash
2000) for the pin. Really, really dull stuff here.
The NWO sends their bad
catering to Sid.
Dustin Rhodes tells us
not to try this at home. That’s not something you often hear in WCW.
David, Crowbar and
Daffney are insane and Crowbar talks like Gordon Solie. Now this
actually sounds insane instead of some of the other modern CRAZY
wrestlers. The Mamalukes attack and the match starts fast.
Tag Team Titles:
Mamalukes vs. David Flair/Crowbar
They head outside to
start with Vito being backdropped onto a bunch of snow. That’s about
it for being outside as everyone comes inside with Crowbar carrying a
shovel. I’m going out on a limb and guessing this is a street fight.
Vito drives a trashcan lid into David’s crotch and the other two
come inside.
Cue
Ms. Hancock to watch from the aisle as Johnny slams Crowbar a few
times. Crowbar fights back with a slingshot legdrop onto a chair
onto Johnny’s face. It’s table time but Crowbar, being a bit off,
puts the table on top of Johnny instead of the other way around.
Disco breaks up a moonsault, allowing Vito to splash Crowbar through
the table to retain.
Rating:
D.
Another ECW style brawl with too many moving parts to have any really
stand out. I’m sure we’ll get one more pay per view matches out of
these teams, even though they’ve pretty definitively eliminated any
chance of the titles changing back. At least Crowbar and Flair are
entertaining with how out there they’ve gotten.
Brian Knobbs has a
bribe for Jarrett in exchange for putting Finlay in the ring against
Luger later. Jeff promises they’ll be in there at the same time.
Here’s
Booker T. with something to say but his music stops halfway down the
aisle. This brings out J. Biggs who says that music is the property
of Harlem Heat, meaning only Stevie Ray and Big T. can listen to it.
Instead, Booker can use this song instead. A generic rock song plays
and Biggs calls it a meaningless song for a meaningless man.
Now
we get to the infamous part of this story: Biggs says that the T, as
in of Booker T., is also Harlem Heat property, so Booker can’t use it
anymore, or the flames on his attire either. So yes, somehow this
feud is over Harlem Heat, which is apparently an entity instead of
just a tag team, owning the rights to a letter of the alphabet.
Harlem Heat leaves and Midnight shows up to go after Biggs, but
Harlem Heat comes back out for the save. We’re officially in one of
the dumbest stories WCW ever did and you know how much ground that
covers.
3 Count beats up Norman
Smiley.
Jarrett tells Finlay
that he’ll be in the same ring as Luger, as he referees a match
between the Total Package and Brian Knobbs.
Norman gets inside the
Demon’s casket and the lid closes. Instead of fighting for the US
Title, he’s inside a coffin to help him fight off a boy band.
Kidman vs. The Wall
Rematch
of that Cell match they had a few weeks back. Kidman slugs away to
start but gets kicked in the face. A backbreaker sets up some
choking from the Wall, before he blocks a sunset flip with even more
choking. Well no one ever accused him of being the most versatile
guy in the world. Wall plants him with a clothesline but YOU CAN’T
PUT KIDMAN ON THE TOP ROPE, as he kicks Wall away and hits a missile
dropkick. His high cross body is countered into a powerslam though
and Wall grabs him by the throat again. This brings out Vampiro to
kick Wall in the back, giving Kidman a roll up win.
Rating:
D+.
That ends the run of match of the night for Kidman but given who he
was in there with, it’s hard to argue against him being the hottest
thing in the company at the moment. Kidman is trying really hard
lately and was able to carry Wall to a passable match. That alone
makes him into a more impressive performer than most.
Here’s
Flair for his big return speech. He brags about being bigger than
the Steelers, Eagles and Pirates and lists off some hockey players
who aren’t as big a star as he is. Ten years ago there were some
people who could run with him, but Space Mountain still has the
longest line. A few weeks ago the Powers That Be asked him to be the
commissioner, but he turned them down because he’s the greatest
wrestler alive today. He came up here because the deal was right and
now he needs to say something to Terry Funk.
Flair
can’t believe that Funk has been implying that Flair would support
him, because there’s a big difference between Ric Flair and Terry
Funk. This brings out Funk, who is loudly booed. He calls Flair
banana nosed and horse toothed but praises him for all those World
Titles. However, Funk senses some jealousy in Ric’s voice. Maybe it
comes from Mick Foley saying Flair isn’t in Funk’s league in his
book? STOP PROMOTING OTHER COMPANY’S STUFF!
Anyway,
Flair needs to grow up and help in the fight against the NWO, but
then tells him to go be Governor of North Carolina and leave the
fight to himself and Arn Anderson. Flair wants to fight, even though
he’s head to toe in Armani. Funk comes in, punches him down, and
puts on the spinning toe hold until security comes out for the save.
So yeah, they’re fighting over who is a bigger legend and Flair seems
to be a heel, even though the fans booed Funk. This is one of the
top stories in the company at the moment.
Jarrett thinks Funk and
Flair will be Sid’s partners.
Sting is in some movie.
Sid isn’t worried about
the NWO.
Ms.
Hancock wants to know why Lenny and Lodi haven’t been wearing their
suits but they say they’re done. That’s not cool with Hancock, who
reminds them of the West Hollywood Blonds stunt that almost got them
fired. Lenny, and I quote: “Oh yeah, we’re REAL lucky to have a
job in WCW.” They’re sick of this stupid “gimmick” and tell
Hancock to come find them when the bun is out of her hair. So much
for the fourth wall.
Total Package vs.
Brian Knobbs
Liz
and Luger have the Sting stuff with them. Fit Finlay is guest
referee here for no apparent reason. Knobbs jumps Luger to start and
elbows him in the face. The Pit Stop is loaded up but Finlay pushes
Brian’s arm down for some reason. Knobbs responds by…..doing it
anyway. They head outside with Knobbs whipping him into the
barricade, only to have Finlay blast Knobbs from behind.
Back in and Brian,
apparently not hurt by a shot to the head, fires off clotheslines and
drops some elbows as this is the most motivated he’s been in years.
Brian goes up for a splash but Finlay stands in front of him,
allowing Liz to hit Knobbs with a bat. That’s it for Finlay as he
leaves, allowing Luger to Pillmanize Brian’s arm. We get some smack
talk about Hogan and I’m assuming it’s a no contest.
Rating:
D-.
So we have Finlay vs. Knobbs in an actually interesting feud (gah
that’s hard to say) and then Luger wanting to fight Hogan for no
reason other than the script says so. Knobbs now has a broken arm,
so maybe he’ll be off screen for a bit? Somehow this was better than
I was expecting.
Norman
Smiley comes out of a coffin dressed as the Demon. Egads.
Dale Torborg is mad
that someone has stolen his outfit. So much for staying in
character.
Shane Helms vs.
Norman Smiley
Norman
is the Demon because he’s the original Santino Marella. Helms starts
fast with a Russian legsweep but Norman pops up like a skilled guy
stuck in a horrible comedy gimmick and slams Shane down. In the
middle of this match of all things, we hear that Hogan will be on
Thunder this week. That doesn’t get a big segment of its own? Well
of course it doesn’t. Helms busts out an airplane spin but Norman
comes back with a giant swing. It’s time to dance but the other 3
Count members have to be dispatched. The Norman’s Conquest is good
for the quick submission.
Cue Torborg with the
cops to chase Norman off.
Page and Kimberly are
in the back when the Mamalukes come up. Vito gets a quick feel of
her but Kimberly thinks it was Disco, who calls her a bimbo for
accusing him. Page beats Disco up out of principle.
Diamond Dallas Page
vs. Disco Inferno
Page
drags Inferno into the arena and they get all up in DJ Ran’s area.
DJ Ran still had a job in 2000??? They fight through the crowd with
Page in control and the bell finally rings once they’re inside. A
top rope clothesline and Rock Bottom knock Disco even sillier (yet
doesn’t mess with that perfect hair) but he comes back with, what
else, a low blow. Disco’s usual neckbreaker and middle rope elbow
set up the dancing, only to have Page plant him with a helicopter
bomb. The Diamond Cutter ends this in a hurry, as it should have. I
guess Page is a full on face again.
Jeff
Jarrett/Harris Twins vs. Terry Funk/Sid Vicious/Ric Flair
And
there’s no Flair. It’s a brawl in the aisle to start with Sid
fighting the Twins and Funk not being able to keep up. Sid takes
we’ll say Ron inside and Funk throws in a chair, which the Twins
quickly throw back out. You can hear a fan complaining about his eye
hurting because the fans are that silent. Ron gets backdropped to
the floor but Don breaks up a powerbomb on Jarrett. So the powerbomb
is legal again?
Things
settle down with Funk working on Ron’s leg, only to get chaired in
the back by Don. Off to Jarrett to hammer away in the corner, only
to have Funk grab a quick piledriver for a breather. It’s off to Sid
to clean house and here comes Flair to go after Funk as we flash back
to 1989. Actually that’s a great thing. Security drags him away and
Ron gets chokeslammed with Don making a save. That earns Don a
powerbomb but Jeff comes in with the guitar to knock Sid cold for the
pin.
Rating:
D.
So is Flair a heel? Because that would be about the dumbest thing
they could do right now. Therefore, we’ll go with the idea that
Flair is a heel at the moment. The match was there so Flair could
come out and attack Funk to set up their match down the road, even
though I’m not sure how much interest there is in the two of them
fighting, as they’re a combined 106 years old at this point.
Overall
Rating:
D-.
So they bring Flair back and turn him heel, again leaving Sid and
Funk as the top faces in this company. At this point, I really can’t
bother getting annoyed anymore. Between that and Finlay and Knobbs
having one of the most developed stories on the roster, this company
really is just melting before our eyes. On top of all that, it’s
becoming clearer and clearer that Jarrett is just going to hold the
US Title without frequently, or even occasionally, defending it,
meaning a big chuck of the roster is just running around fighting for
no reason. It’s such a waste but it’s what we’re stuck with.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 6/22/2015

Just so you all know, there’s breaking news: WWE Network interviewed the Music Legend of All-Times, Machine Gun Kelly and he’s totally fine. I know you all care.
I don’t know why but I feel like it’s been forever since the last RAW.
Maybe
it’s because we didn’t have two PPV events in three weeks and I don’t
watch Smackdown or NXT but it feels like a long time.
There
are three major feuds in WWE right now: Roman/Sheamus/Wyatt, Cena/Owens
and, now, Rollins/Lesnar. For those of you looking for an update on
Machine Gun Kelly vs. Kevin Owens, go elsewhere.
Let’s go…

No
mention of “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel as we begin. That’s right. WWE
updated you on Machine Gun Kelly’s health and didn’t memorialize Buddy.
We are LIVE(!!!) in Indianapolis, Indiana for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!
Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are at the table tonight.
Brock
Lesnar and Paul Heyman start us out to a huge pop and we get clips from
last week when Seth and Lesnar went face to face last week. 
AT BATTLEGROUND: Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins
Heyman
introduces the official return of Lesnar. Heyman says a lot of fans are
wondering where Brock’s been and what happened to him. Heyman gives us
clips from the RAW following WrestleMania 31. After we come back, we
learns that Lesnar’s only back if he apologizes to Michael Cole and JBL.
Brock looks sheepish and the crowd chants “Suplex City”. He steps out
of the ring and then approaches the desk slowly. Brock extends his hand
to JBL and JBL shakes it. Cole tells Brock he doesn’t have to apologize,
then tells Brock he wants no trouble. Brock extends his hand. Cole
takes it — and Brock grabs him a headlock — only to give him a noogie.
Brock laughs and shoves Cole back into his chair, then taps him on the
shoulder and says he’s sorry. Cole: “We’re good! WE’RE GOOD!”
Brock
gets back into the ring. Heyman says Brock has done what he’s been told
to do and asks if Cole has accepted Brock’s apology. Heyman mocks Cole,
yelling, “YES, MR. HEYMAN! I DO!” He says the next order of business is
taking care of the sneaky little guy known as Seth Rollins. Rollins
will end up a resident of Suplex City, bitch. 
TONIGHT: Roman Reigns will fight Sheamus
Dean Ambrose walks backstage and he’s on his way to the ring. He will face Kane…next. 

MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose vs. Kane

Kane
boots Ambrose, then hits a Side Suplex but Ambrose kicks out of the
pin. Ambrose fights back, chopping Kane in the corner but Kane just
uppercuts the shit out of him, then kicks at him while he’s down.
Ambrose comes out of the corner with a forearm and punches away at Kane.
Kane comes back and knocks Ambrose down and covers for two. Ambrose
comes back with a press, but Kane escapes and rolls out of the ring.
Ambrose goes outside and tosses him back in. He hits a nice legdrop off
the buckle but Kane pulls him outside. After break, IT’S BEEN ALL KANE!
But Ambrose comes back with quick jabs. He runs at Kane who catches him
for a Sidewalk Slam for two. Kane goes Brie Mode with a Chinlock of
Doom. Ambrose breaks it but Kane hits a Running DDT for two. Kane beats
Ambrose in the corner, then beats him in the other corner. He tries a
third corner but Ambrose elbows out and hits a Neckbreaker. Dane hits a
Missile Dropkick and tries a Bulldog but Kane shoves him away. Dean
comes back and rolls up Kane but Kane kicks out at two. Kane runs at
Ambrose but Ambrose pulls the top rope down and Kane flies outside.
Ambrose follows and it’s a brawl with Ambrose hitting the Rebound
Clothesline. He rolls Kane back in and hits another one off of a counter
to the Chokeslam. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds — but Rollins’ music
hits. Ambrose ain’t falling for it and runs at Rollins, knocking him
down. Kane attacks Ambrose who fights back. Ambrose climbs the top rope
but Rollins leaps up to grab his leg. This should be a typical fuck
finish but referees no longer care about interference these days. Kane
grabs Ambrose and hits a Chokeslam so weak, Ambrose actually lands on
his feet before he hits the mat. Kane takes this at 11:21 because he
needs protection being a rookie and all.
WINNER: Kane via Chokeslam
RATING: *3/4. Another boring Kane match. I’m not sure Ambrose has any heat left.
Post-match, Rollins gives a thumbs-up to Kane, signalling that he stands with Kane. Kane looks confused.
After
break, Rollins walks with Kane backstage. Rollins tells him that they
should be on the same page like the old days. Kane sees through this and
says that Rollins is sucking up because he needs back-up for when
Rollins faces Lesnar at Battleground. Rollins denies this and says that
this is about family. He wants to make amends and offers his hand in
friendship. Kane shakes his head and walks away, leaving Rollins looking
worried.
Cole reviews MITB when Wyatt cost Roman Reigns the case and how he used his daughter’s photo in his promo spots.
AT BATTLEGROUND: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
ALSO AT BATTLEGROUND: The Prime Time Players fight The New Day in a re-match for the tag titles.
MATCH
#2: WWE Tag Team Champions The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil &
Darren Young) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) (non-title)
Titus
slams Konnor and does the Gator Bark. Tag to Young who splashes Konnor.
Another tag to Titus and he takes care of Viktor who flies into the
ring by slinging him across the ring. Konnor and Titus gets into a heavy
slap fight which Konnor wins and tags Viktor, who stomps a mudhole in
Titus. Viktor works him over in the heel corner and the two tag in and
out. Konnor applies a headlock. Titus breaks it with a Side Suplex. Hot
tags on both sides with Young punching at Viktor and clotheslining him.
Suplex by Young and running clotheslines in the corner. Northern Lights
Suplex gets two. Konnor comes in and Titus hits a Spinebuster. Viktor
boots Titus from the ring and Young hits Viktor with the Gut Check to
win this at 4:06.
WINNERS: The Prime Time Players
RATING: *1/4. Eh. At least the PTP looked a little better here.
PTP celebrates…and Sheamus’s music hits as we’re on to match #3…
MATCH #3: Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns
Sheamus and Reigns grapple for the first minute as Cole is so sure
that “people will be chatting about this on social media”. Reigns
ejects him from the ring, then kicks him in the head. Back in the ring,
it’s a Reigns clothesline and a running elbow. Sheamus drops Reigns’
throat on the top rope and he starts his attack. Short-arm Clothesline
gets a one-count. Sheamus goes for Ten Beats but only hits four before
Reigns has had enough. He elbows out of it but misses a running attack.
Sheamus hits the Irish Curse Backbreaker and both men just look beyond
gassed already. After a long break, Reigns breaks a headlock and hits
clotheslines and a huge flying lariat. Reigns hits several clotheslines
in the corner and Sheamus falls across the bottom rope. Reigns goes for
the Missile Dropkick but Sheamus counters with a nice clothesline.
Sheamus goes outside and tosses Reigns into the crowd barrier, then
rolls him back into the ring. ANOTHER headlock. Reigns breaks and hits
three huge Irish Curse Backbreakers for a two count. Sheamus goes for a
Cloverleaf but Reigns fights his way to the ropes. Sheamus slingshots
him into the bottom rope, then locks it in. Reigns breaks it and kicks
out. Sheamus just runs him over with a lariat. Sheamus punches Reigns in
the back but Reigns comes back with elbow shots and a side suplex.
Another side suplex gets two. Roman runs at Sheamus and both men end up
outside. Roman hits the Running Missile Dropkick and then hits a massive
clothesline into the announce table. Reigns gets back into the
ring…and we hear Wyatt humming about a tea party. And there he is,
drinking tea with a toy tea set and candles. Reigns runs off to find
Wyatt and just fuck all this. Time is 16:43.
WINNER: Sheamus via countout, presumably.
RATING: *. Holy. Shit. A slow, clunky, plodding match that went on far too long with a guy who has a very small moveset and ending in a shit finish to resolve some sort of “feud” nobody cares about. Thanks for that, WWE.
When we come back, it’s a recap of what we just saw.
Backstage,
Reigns walks backstage and finds the “tea room” that has a bunch of
photos of Reigns with his eyes gouged out and “ANYONE BUT YOU” painted
on the walls in red.
We get a look at Lesnar and Heyman from earlier tonight.
Rollins
approaches J&J backstage at the coffee dispenser. J&J ain’t
happy, man! Rollins says that he was just joking. That’s what “family”
does. He calls them both family and friends. Rollins says it has nothing
to do with Lesnar. He can face Lesnar and beat him. He wants to know if
they’re cool. J&J walks off.
John Cena was on The Today Show plugging Tough Enough.
MATCH #4: Neville vs. Kofi Kingston (w/ Xavier Woods & Big E)
Neville
hits a quick Northern Lights Suplex while Woods threatens to “call
gravity”. Neville locks Kofi’s arm but Kofi breaks and punches away at
Neville in the corner. Kofi hits a Flying Axe Handle and gets two.
Armbar by Kofi but Neville breaks and hits a Frankensteiner and then
dropkicks Kofi from the ring. Neville goes to beat on Kofi but the New
Day is there to harass him. PTP shows up but the ref tosses them from
ringside, then does the same for New Day. Kofi’s pissed. Neville hits an
Enzuguri at Red Arrow to get the win at 4:28.
WINNER: Neville via Red Arrow
RATING: *. A match that was actually hindered by Big E and Xavier Woods yelling the entire match. How many times does Neville have to look over his shoulder as Woods and E yell really loud? It just made for a slow, boring match.
LAST MONDAY: Owens beat up MUSIC LEGEND MACHINE GUN KELLY!!! OH NOES!!!
TONIGHT: John Cena returns, having only been out of action for like a week.
ALSO TONIGHT: Ryback fights Mark Henry
Then we get a peek at Mr. Robot for no reason. 

MATCH #5: Zack Ryder vs. King Barrett

Barrett
hits a shoulderblock but Ryder comes back, dropping Barrett on his
face. Ryder tries to punch at Barrett in the corner but Barrett escapes
and trips him, then beats the crap out of Ryder in the corner, finishing
with a hug short-arm clothesline for two. Ryder comes back with a big
clothesline and a nice Missile Dropkick. Running Elbow hits the mark but
Ryder misses the Broski Boot. Barrett rolls out of the ring. Ryder
climbs the buckle but Barrett trips him and hits the ROAL BULLHAMMER for
the win at 3:21.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING:
*. Barrett finally wins a match, so I guess he stopped fucking around
backstage or whatever the hell it was he was doing.
NEXT: John Cena.
Cena joins us and calls the United States Championship a “symbol of excellence”. You know, only when he
wears it. Otherwise, it’s the title that R-Truth could win at any
moment. Cena recaps what Owens did to him at MITB and says that Owens
wants to win the title. Cena calls him a great wrestler but a garbage
human being. He says that it’s gonna be hard to deal with if he loses
the United States title and says that, maybe, he has signed up for a
fight he can’t win. He says he could tell Owens “no” like Owens told him no a month ago. He says he will fight because that’s what champions do.
Owens’
music hits and he comes out to the entrance ramp. Owens says that he
isn’t upset by what Cena just said. Owens says he doesn’t put value in
what people think. He says he’s been called lazy and out of shape. He
says that Cena even called him a “dirtbag”. He says that this lazy, fat
dirtbag beat him. He says he doesn’t care about pride. He cares about
winning titles. He wants to win the title that Cena has as we continue
to pretend that the U.S. Championship is the top prize in WWE Because
Cena. He says he will make the crowd boo the “evil foreigner” and starts
speaking French like he’s in a Lady Gaga song. He wants to hear what
Cena has to say.
Cena
says that the people dislike Owens because he’s a disrespectful
“suckbag”. Then he speaks French. And Chinese. Then, he says he’s gonna
spell it out in good ol’ English: he accepts Owens’ challenge. And he
will kick Owens’ ass. 
Backstage,
Triple H and Steph hang out. Rollins shows up. Steph asks if Rollins is
letting Brock get to him. Rollins says he’s not afraid. Rollins says
he’s pissed at J&J. HHH says that Rollins doesn’t need them. Rollins
says that he’s afraid that J&J and Kane will never align with him
again. HHH tells him to cut the crap. This is all about Rollins being
afraid of Brock Lesnar. He says that a smart man has back-up and a “Plan
B”. He says that a smart man apologizes to those he pissed off. That’s
surreal. Rollins wants to know what happens if Brock shows up. HHH asks
Seth how much he wants the title.
LAST MONDAY: Paige tries to get the other girls behind her but they all left.
MATCH #6: The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) (w/ Alicia Fox) vs. Naomi & Tamina
Brie
and Naomi start out. Naomi kicks at Brie and tags in Tamina who just
tosses Brie to the ring and punches at her. Tamina tosses Brie into the
corner and elbows her, then it’s a nerve hold while Fox pounds the mat
because she’s totally with the Bellas now. Tag to Naomi and the
Bella Beating continues. Naomi hits a Bulldog into the buckle, then
tosses Brie into the ringpost. Naomi runs at her but Brie holds down the
second rope. Naomi flies out — but gets up and attacks Nikki. Nikki
eventually gets a hot tag and dropkicks everyone, plus Tamina. Alabama
Slamma gets a two count. Tamina gets involved and lunges at Brie. The
ref, however, can’t get out of the way and Tamina trips the fuck over
him in a horrible botch. Naomi hits the Rear View on Brie and goes to
nail Nikki with one but, nope. She hits Tamina. Rack Attack. Done at
3:45.
WINNER: #BELLASWINLOL
RATING: DUD. This division needs an overhaul. Shit the episode needs an overhaul.
We get a commercial for Terminator Genesys. Also, it’s just like WWE. Because editing. 

NEXT: Ryback vs. Mark Henry

Big Show’s at ringside for commentary as we learn that…
AT BATTLEGROUND: Big Show vs. Miz vs. Ryback in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

MATCH #7: Mark Henry vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback (non-title)

Mark
Henry just knocks Ryback over as Show buries Miz on commentary. Ryback
comes back with a shoulderblock and kicks Henry out of the ring. Ryback
follows him and it’s a brawl. Ryback gets tossed into the crowd barrier.
We actually get a fucking commercial break. When we come back, Ryback
has broken a hold and is punching Henry in the corner. Henry knocks him
off and runs at Ryback who counters with a Spinebuster. He tries the
Meat Hook but Henry counters with a big boot. Henry goes for the WSS
which, as we all know, now includes tossing his opponent up in the air
before doing it. Ryback escapes and knocks Henry down, then hits a Big
Splash off the ropes to win the match at 6:22.
WINNER: Ryback via Big Splash
RATING: 1/4 of a *. This is horrible stuff.
Post-match,
Show gets into the ring and lectures Henry who shoves Show. Show leaves
the ring, irritated as Henry falls to a knee.

Cole, JBL and Saxton promote Tough Enough.

JoJo
interviews Ryback who doesn’t wanna be called “Flyback”, even though
nobody was calling him that. He says he can beat anyone. The Big Guy is
here to stay. Show shows up and says he’s gonna expose Ryback for the
fraud he is. They mock one another and it’s a brawl backstage with
Ryback getting the better of it all. Ryback tells Show he doesn’t look
so big and walks off. Man, this feud really needs The Miz to make it “great”, doesn’t it?
MOMENTS AGO: Holy crap, we have to re-live that epic backstage battle.
It’s
not enough we have to watch Adam Rose wrestle, we have to hear him talk
and then make out with Rosa which isn’t much different than a bass
swallowing a goldfish.
MATCH #8: Adam Rose (w/ Rosa Mendes) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana)
Ziggler
hits a dropkick but Rose comes back and copies all of Dolph’s moves
because he suddenly has no original moveset of his own. Ziggler hits the
neckbreaker but Rose puts Ziggler in the corner and beats on him.
Ziggler tries a Fame-Asser but misses. Rose hits a Spinebuster and
SHOULD have had three except Ziggler forgets to kick out and the ref
stops the count so he can. Anyhow, this ends when Ziggler Superkicks
Rose off the top turnbuckle at 3:05.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler
RATING: DUD. I didn’t even know Rose still existed.
Post-match,
Ziggler tells Lana to let her hair down. She does. Then they make out
while Rusev watches from backstage. Rusev gets so pissed, he tosses his
crutches away, then falls on his ass. Summer Rae shows up to pick up the
crutches and hands them to Rusev. Oh, the white hot passion.
J&J
complain to Steph about Rollins’ behavior. Triple H lays the law down
and Steph asks them to hear Rollins out. Kane & J&J agree.
Rollins
hits the ring and says that it’s easier to pretend you’re right then
admit your wrong and asks that J&J and Kane come to the ring. They
do. Rollins says that he has something to say. He says it isn’t about
Lesnar. He’s not afraid of Lesnar. He beat him before. He apologizes to
J&J and tells them that they’ve always had his back. J&J discuss
it so Rollins turns to Kane and says that Kane isn’t a Dinosaur, he’s
The Devil’s Favorite Demon. He asks Kane to come back and be a family.
The three men are incredulous. Rollins begs them to come back. 
Suddenly,
Lesnar’s music hits and he hits the ring. All four men wait for
Lesnar’s next move. Surprisingly, they stand with Rollins…then they
leave. Lesnar grins and goes to get in the ring — but Kane attacks.
Lesnar tosses him to the mat, then runs Mercury into the crowd barrier.
Lesnar gets into the ring. Rollins attacks but Lesnar hits two German
Suplexes. Crowd finally wakes up for this and yells “ONE MORE TIME”.
Lesnar obliges. He goes for an F5 but Kane gets back into the ring and
chokes Lesnar. Lesnar breaks it but then runs back into it. Chokeslam by
Kane. Kane goes for another but Lesnar breaks out and hits a German on
Kane. Rollins attacks but Lesnar goes for an F5. Kane clips Lesnar’s
ankle. Lesnar gets up and goes after Kane but Rollins attacks from
behind and the two beat on him, wrap his leg around a ringpost and hit
his knee with a chair. They continue their mudhole stomp. Lesnar tries
to fight back again but Mercury joins the fight and grapples Lesnar’s
legs. Mercury punches away and it’s a 3-on-1 mudhole stomp. They hold
Lesnar in place and Rollins completely botches a flying knee from the
top rope, overshooting it by five feet. Lesnar sells it anyhow and Kane
hits a Chokeslam for good measure. Rollins finishes with a Pedigree as
this drags on and on. Rollins holds up the belt and brags as we finally
go off the air.
OVERALL:
Ugh…this show was lazy with slow, boring matches and a bunch of
filler. The only bright spot was Brock Lesnar who has so much heat, he
can turn a funeral into a rock concert.
Er…that’s it.

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–08.12.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.12.96 I was flipping through the channels at work and noticed that on the guide WWE Network was playing Great American Bash 91 tonight, and I thought “What a world we live in where you can just randomly find Bash 91 on a Sunday night”. 20 year old me would have had his mind BLOWN. 40 year old me is like “No wonder they’re losing so many subscribers.” Taped from Seattle, WA. God, even if they would have switched to a 2-week cycle at this point it would have made these shows so much more bearable and gave them more leeway to deal with stuff like Ahmed blowing out a kidney and basically ending his push. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler. For those keeping track of the downward spiral, this was one of the lowest rated episodes of RAW in history and Vince pretty much went nuts over it. I think at 2.0, it might have been THE lowest up until that point, although the Germany show eventually beat it out. Faarooq Asaad v. Skip So this is Faarooq’s wrestling debut in the WWF, and he just totally no-sells everything from Skip and beats on him in very laid-back manner. The headpiece just looks completely ridiculous for someone who was supposed to be a serious threat. Faarooq with a powerslam and he cuts off a brief Skip comeback with another powerslam, and then finishes with the Dominator at 4:35, which had no name at that point. Just a total squash of poor Candido. I’d say the writing was on the wall at that point, if his girlfriend being higher on the totem pole wasn’t enough of a clue for him. DUD Savio Vega v. Crush Our future Nation of Domination theme continues as Crush debuts his jailbird look, many years before ripping off Sons of Anarchy probably would have made him a star with that look. New look aside, this is the same old Brian Adams. He beats on Savio and tosses him outside the ring for a slam into the stairs. Back in, he goes to a lengthy neck vice and we take a break to cool off this crazy train of action. Back with more restholds from Crush as Clarence Mason has a ridiculously inane conversation with Vince on commentary about legal matters and you can practically see the crowd leaving for the bathroom by the dozens. Savio misses his leg lariat and Crush finishes with a full nelson at 7:50. Who the fuck would give this guy a job after that match? -** Meanwhile, we get a silhouette of Sunny behind a screen, which was hyped up all show long as “The naked truth” as though they were going to have full nudity on the show or something. Meanwhile, new guy Kevin Kelly has a sitdown interview with Ahmed Johnson at his home following kidney surgery. Now there’s a job I wouldn’t envy. You could literally edit this however you wanted and Ahmed’s responses would probably all sound the same anyway. The Godwinns v. TL Hopper & Who 2.0 rating, ladies and gentlemen. Bob Backlund joins us on commentary to really ramp up the trainwreck factor here from “mildly offensive” to “coal car full of dynamite running into a fireworks factory and the earth caving in from the explosion.” Just to recap, we have Backlund running for President while Lawler makes jokes about Jake Roberts and Vince does the “Who” routine. When the guy who carries a plunger to the ring is the dignified one, you’re watching some bullshit. Who and Hopper double-team Phineas while Backlund rants about whatever the fuck he’s going on about this week. The highlight is people stopping AIDS with condominiums and even Vince gives up trying to rein him in. The camera just totally ignores the match and watches Backlund yelling at Vince instead. The upshot of this, by the way, is that Backlund is bringing someone into the WWF, which ended up being Fatu repackaged as The Sultan. And then Gorilla pops in to vacate the IC title as everyone just totally pays no attention to the match going on. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Someone finishes someone else with a Slop Drop at 5:40, if anyone gives a fuck. DUD Meanwhile, Bret Hart chats with Mr. Perfect on the WRESTLE VESSEL, and his career might be over. Or not. Give him a couple of months to make up his mind. I mean, maybe if Vince offered him a 20 year contract or something… Shawn Michaels v. Owen Hart By this point the crowd is noticeably emptying out on the wide shots and the canned heat is ridiculously overdubbed. Shawn dominates with his wacky babyface offense to start and works a headlock, as I check the Observer and find this week’s notable newsbite: “There’s nothing at all to the rumors of negotiations with Too Cold Scorpio. Simply a story that had no truth to it, not that it couldn’t happen someday.” Didn’t he debut as Flash Funk like two or three weeks after this? It was pretty soon because he was at Survivor Series. Shawn controls with an armbar while Vince stresses that Vader is a MASTODON so many times that I wonder why he didn’t just change the name like he wanted to. Shawn reverses Owen into the turnbuckles, but walks into a belly to belly and Owen takes over as we take a break. Back with Owen working on the back and hitting the leg lariat for two. We take another break and return with Shawn making his comeback with the flying elbow before Vader runs in, at which point Shawn pins Owen with two superkicks anyway at 13:41. The overdubbed cheering for the messed up finish is just ludicrous and sounds so fake. Usual Shawn TV match. **1/2 I have to say, if Shawn was going over at Summerslam on Sunday anyway and getting beat up by Vader after this match, why not just have him do a job to Owen? I mean, I KNOW why, but no wonder fans were turning on Shawn in droves at this point. The Pulse Well, next week the IC title tournament starts, and you know how I feel about tournaments. Unfortunately we’re getting close to some dark, DARK times for this promotion. This show was a completely throwaway hour of junk.

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

Hope everyone had a good weekend and are excited for another week of life. I really enjoy reading this blog and reading these comments and last week we seemed to have a nice run of dream matches or pairings that never happened and some that did.

As Scott and I both mentioned in one of the threads the ultimate babyface team of Tito Santana and Ricky Steamboat did team up once against the Dream Team in like 1985 or something. It is on YouTube in full and yes it’s awesome as it sounds. For one thing it’s at the old Maple Leaf Gardens with the long ramp and for another Steamboat and Tito decided to wear matching baby blue trunks to further cement their babyfaced-ness.

The Hogan-Dusty pairing never happened to my knowledge and why didn’t they have a tag match against Savage and DiBiase on a SNME is well beyond me. For one thing we could book this match ourselves with the The Real American Dreams storming to the ring (separate entrances of course) and cleaning house for five minutes with DiBiase and Savage bumping from pillar to post. The Million Dollar Macho Kings (Fantasy Sports Team Name Alert!) eventually take over, with some distraction from Sherri and pound Dusty through a commercial break. Eventually Dusty makes the hot tag and in 1990 there’s no human being alive that could survive the big boot-elbow drop-leg drop combo right?

Figuring out how to do the Megapowers vs. Demolition in 1988 would be a lot harder. The Demos were still heels at Summerslam but they held the straps so you couldn’t just job them in the main event. So you would have to have the Harts stay heel, regain the title at Wrestlemania IV and then that frees up Demolition to be bought by DiBiase to end the Megapowers and there’s your Summerslam match. Demos could win the titles at the fall SNME against the Harts or someone else and still have a year-long reign and still turn at Survivor Series.

Anyway for TV tonight:

Women’s World Cup: U.S. vs. Colombia at 8 p.m.

College World Series: Virginia vs. Vanderbilt.

RAW of course

More baseball

American Ninja Warrior

HBO is doing a documentary of the gun violence in America that happened in the spring of 2014. How ironic is that? The sequel is happening before my eyes.

Enjoy the night and keep it clean!

Monday Nitro – January 24, 2000

Monday Nitro #224
Date: January 24, 2000
Location: Staples
Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 12,106
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s actually a big
show for once as we’re crowning a new World Champion tonight because
the idea of waiting for pay per view is a foreign concept in this
company. Kevin Nash is already in the title match but Sid has to
qualify by beating Jeff Jarrett, who I don’t think is allowed to
fight for the title. Let’s get to it.

This show is dedicated
to Bobby Duncum Jr. He had potential.
Nash,
Jarrett and Steiner arrive in separate limos with their women for the
evening, including Major Gunns and someone who looks a heck of a lot
like Victoria/Tara. Scott Hall is here too.
Cruiserweight Title
Tournament First Round: Psychosis vs. Kaz Hayashi
The finals are at
SuperBrawl, Juventud is out with Psychosis and Kaz gets a jobber
entrance. Presumably annoyed by this, Kaz shoulders him down to
start and nails a nice release German. An enziguri knocks Psychosis
to the floor and Kaz nails a plancha. Back in and Psychosis nails a
clothesline before going after the knee.
After a few kicks, it’s
back to the floor where Juvy gets in a People’s Elbow. So we have a
fake Rock and a fake Road Dogg. I wonder who they’re ripping off
next. Back in and Kaz dives right back to the floor to take Juvy
out. Psychosis goes up top but dives into a dropkick to the ribs.
Well at least they’re finally picking things up a bit. And they head
back inside where Kaz misses a spinwheel kick and gets rolled up for
the pin.
Rating:
C-.
Well the flying wasn’t bad but Juvy’s Rock impression, which still
just makes me want to watch Rock, is taking away from everything else
in the match. Psychosis, while not the best in the world, was
clearly winning here because Kaz just isn’t very exciting in the
ring. At least the division is getting some attention for a change.
Terry Funk and Arn
Anderson arrive.
Nash says Jarrett has
failed his physical and can’t go tonight, but the boss has a plan.
After a break, Nash
makes Funk vs. Bam Bam Bigelow in a hardcore match.
The Wall vs. Kid
Romeo
Squash time. We hear
about Nash putting out a $15,000 bounty on Funk. This would be
shocking, until you realize that Funk is probably the second biggest
face in the company right now. Romeo fires off dropkicks to start
and actually knocks Wall to the ropes. He doesn’t knock Wall out to
the floor as Wall jumps over the ropes to get there but at least
Romeo got him halfway. Romeo’s plancha barely works but he scores
with an enziguri back inside, only to try a sunset flip and get
chokeslammed for the pin. Wall barely had any offense until the
ending.
Sid thinks something is
afoot with the Jarrett absence.
Arn tries to talk to
Bigelow but Bam Bam would beat up his mother for $15,000. Anderson:
“It’s your funeral.”
Scott
Steiner and Hall offer the Power Plant guys a chance to fight
tonight. Their pick: Al Greene. One of the guys who didn’t get
picked was none other than Christopher Daniels, who worked a dark
match before the show.
Norman Smiley vs.
Shannon Moore
Dang I don’t know who
to cheer for. Norman, in Dodgers gear, interrupts the song,
therefore making him the instant heel. It also earns him a quick 3-1
beating until it’s just Shannon in the ring. Norman fights up and
hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and IT’S DANCE TIME! Moore doesn’t
care for the spankings and tries a rollup, only to get countered into
a front powerbomb.
It’s time to get the
rest of the boys involved but Norman is of course way too smart for
them (meaning he has an IQ higher than a squid). Shannon is back up
with an Asai moonsault to the floor though and Norman is actually in
trouble for a change. Back inside and Norman slaps on the namesake
Conquest for the submission. It’s pretty sad that this is a major
upgrade in feuds for Norman, but I’ll take what I can get.
Post match it’s time to
sing again but Moore is still down. Instead, Norman clears the ring
and dances for them.
Al Greene vs. Tank
Abbott
Abbott knees him into
the ribs, punches him in the corner, slams him down, and knocks
Greene out with a big right hand for his longest match yet.
Tank yells at his
former UFC bodyguard, who Heenan interviews after a break. The
bodyguard, who isn’t named, says Abbott is a sellout.
Here’s Ernest Miller,
now with blond hair, who promises to whip everybody as soon as he can
get back in the ring. The fat boy in the front row can sit down and
it’s dance time. How many people in this company dance at the
moment?
Greene is loaded into
an ambulance and the NWO laughs.
Terry Funk vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow
Anything goes of
course. Bigelow jumps him in the back to start and drags the elder
statesman to the arena for some choking with a well placed rope.
Some chair shots knock Funk towards the ring but he’s still able to
avoid the top rope headbutt. They’re quickly back on the floor and
Funk busts out an Asai moonsault of his own to drop the big man. Now
it’s Funk with the chair but, ever the crazy man, he tries to
headbutt Bigelow and just hurts himself even worse.
Bigelow throws it back
inside and this time the top rope headbutt connects, but here are
Finlay and Knobbs to help out their mentor (I guess?). That’s fine
with Bigelow who easily knocks both guys away and loads up another
headbutt. He’s a man of limited offense. This time though, Knobbs
puts a chair over Funk and Bigelow knocks himself cold, giving Terry
the pin.
Rating:
D.
So Funk is in a hardcore feud and a main event feud, thereby making
this company more and more like ECW every single week. The match was
exactly what you would expect from these two (both former ECW World
Champions oddly enough) and the addition of Knobbs and Finlay doesn’t
make it any better.
Funk promises
reinforcements against Nash on Thunder.
Don Harris vs. Sid
Vicious
If Sid wins, he faces
Nash for the title later tonight. Harris is replacing Jarrett
because…..I have no idea why. Sid is smart enough to go after Don
before he can even get his jacket off because you know there’s going
to be cheating here. They head outside with Sid in control, but he
takes too long throwing Don inside and the twins are already
switching. Ron clotheslines Sid out to the floor and it’s another
switch. We hit the reverse chinlock for a bit before the twins plant
Sid with a double slam. Back up and Sid grabs a chokeslam on Don,
who rolls outside for a switch, so Sid powerbombs Ron for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This is a thing that happened. I’m not sure what else there is to
say about it but I’m sure that Nash will be able to tell the twins
apart (or that he watched the match. Well in theory as not many
other people were) and it’s going to be a loophole. Boring match of
course, but did you expect anything else from the Harris Twins?
Vampiro vs. Kidman
Torrie comes out
wearing basically a zebra print bikini. Vampiro misses a kick to
start and they circle each other a bit. A headscissors doesn’t do
much good for Kidman as Vampiro throws him down with a release
powerbomb. We cut to the crowd and OH GOOD LORD NO IT’S DAVID
ARQUETTE! Please cut away from him. Please. I can’t handle it.
Kidman reverses a powerbomb as only he can but he gets planted with a
side slam for two.
Vampiro misses the top
rope legdrop and Kidman hits a big plancha to take him out on the
floor. Back up and Kidman dropkicks him to the floor, only to have a
slingshot plancha caught. That’s fine with Kidman as he slips down
the back and sends him into the post to take over again. Torrie
seems way into this. The BK Bomb gets two and Vampiro’s DDT gets the
same, much to the latter’s shock.
A little
miscommunication sets up a release Rock Bottom from Vampiro but he
gets dropkicked out of the air. That’s fine with Vampiro who
counters a hurricanrana into a powerbomb for two more. With nothing
else working, Vampiro loads up a superbomb but you can’t superbomb
Kidman (that doesn’t have the same ring to it), who hurricanranas
Vampiro down for the pin.
Rating:
B.
Again, WHY IS KIDMAN NOT DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT??? He just got
done with three matches at one pay per view and he’s had the best
match on the last three TV shows, but he can’t get anywhere near the
US Title because that’s Jarrett’s and he can’t get anywhere near the
TV Title because it was literally trashed a few months ago. Such is
life in WCW.
Arn Anderson is on the
phone with champ. “Get your pants on. Can you be in Vegas for
Thunder?”
Nash gets a massage,
which is part of his plan to win the World Title.
Vampiro has something
to say but his mic doesn’t work.
Total Package vs.
Booker T.
Liz does an over the
top introduction for Luger, who then babbles on about Sting. Just
get him back so he can crush Luger and be done with it. No one can
compare to Luger, including Hulk Hogan himself. There’s SuperBrawl I
guess. Booker comes out and slugs away because he should be moving
up the ladder but we need a Road Wild 1997 rematch.
An early Rock Bottom
gets two on Luger and the ax kick (good looking one) knocks him silly
but Liz offers a distraction. Cue Midnight to take care of Liz,
allowing Booker to hit a big side kick, only to have Big T. sneak in
with a slap jack to knock Booker silly, setting up Luger’s Rack for
the unconscious win. So glad to see Booker getting knocked cold
again so the Rack can beat him one more time to set up the big main
event Luger vs. Hogan feud that is happening for no apparent reason.
Post match Sting’s
music comes on and we have a shadowy figure with a bat on the stage.
Smoke comes on and whisks him away however. Great. So now Luger is
feuding with Sting, Hogan and Warrior.
Vampiro thinks the WWF
sabotaged his mic and wants a rematch with Kidman.
David Flair, Crowbar
and Daffney have an idea for the upcoming Tag Team Title match.
Tag Team Titles:
Brian Knobbs/Fit Finlay vs. Mamalukes
The Mamalukes are
defending but before either team comes out, David Flair, Crowbar and
Daffney take over all three commentary spots. David takes over
Tony’s job and actually isn’t terrible considering he’s sounding
normal with a twinge of crazy. Disco is suddenly fine with being
with the Mamalukes after trying to make them lose more than once.
Daffney thinks they’re the Marmadukes and Marmalades. Crowbar: “I’m
like Bobby Eaton and you have the mat skills of Sweet Stan Lane.”
They shove each other
around to start and the challengers get the early advantage. David:
“This one time, at band camp, I hit someone over the head with my
crowbar.” Standards and Practices come out to watch but only Ms.
Hancock sticks around. The camera stays on her for a bit before we
see Vito working on Knobbs in the corner. Disco and Hancock stare
each other down and Crowbar brings up the crimson mask. Crowbar
isn’t half bad as a play by play guy. “Double ax handle to the
chest! That could cave in the upper thorax!”
Both challengers crush
Johnny in the corner as David starts dancing on the table. Hancock
leaves with David and Daffney following as Finlay hits the Regal Roll
on Johnny. Disco offers a distraction so Vito can get in a belt shot
for two as everything breaks down. Knobbs throws a chair at Finlay
by mistake (Crowbar: “A FAUX PAS!”), setting up Vito’s swinging
inverted DDT to retain the belts.
Rating:
D.
Crowbar and Hancock were the highlights of the match. There’s only
so much you can expect from these four, but they’re already better in
the ring than Flair and Crowbar, almost by default. You could barely
keep track of the match with all the shenanigans though, and that
gets old in a hurry.
Here’s Nash with
something to say, though first he has to steal a fan’s sign about
Hall being afraid of O’Doul’s beer (non-alcoholic). The fans want
Goldberg but “he doesn’t work here anymore.” He and Sid are
about to fight but since the powerbomb is so dangerous, it’s banned
from use tonight. Well Nash already beat Sid in a powerbomb match
without using a powerbomb so that really doesn’t change much. The
NWO is on it’s way to Vegas so it’s one on one.
WCW World Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Kevin Nash
Thankfully Nash just
stayed in the ring instead of leaving like so many people (including
Nash in the past) have done before. Sid shoves him to the floor to
start but Nash cheats to win a test of strength to take over. They
head outside again as the announcers actually talk about Thunder
being taped tomorrow night. I know it’s not exactly a secret but
it’s not something you hear about that often. We hit the sleeper on
Sid back inside because Nash needs to rest a bit.
Tony’s logic on the
match: a loss here makes the NWO even stronger. Sid’s arm goes up
after the second drop but he drives Nash into the referee in the
corner. A big boot and legdrop set up the hand to the ear to see if
the fans want a powerbomb. Cue Jarrett (Nash LIED???) but Sid takes
the guitar away to blast Nash, but Sid is smart enough to play possum
before crawling over military style for the pin and the title. BIG
pop for that.
Rating:
D.
As I think everyone guessed coming in, this was a slow and mostly
dull power match. The ending would have been better suited after a
10-15 minute match, but I don’t think the world was ready for Sid vs.
Nash getting that much time in the year 2000. I’ll give them this
though: the idea of Sid outsmarting someone is about as entertaining
a bit of fiction as I’ve seen in a long time.
Confetti falls to end
the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
This show is getting downright tolerable. Above all else they now
have a clear focus in the main event, which is more than you could
say a few weeks back. Back then there were so many focuses that it
was almost impossible to keep track of what was going on.
Unfortunately that focus is on Sid, which isn’t the most interesting
idea in the world.
Other than that there’s
a more solid undercard being developed, but it would be nice to see
some of the people move up the ladder and WAY less emphasis on the
hardcore stuff. We get it: you can hit each other with trashcan lids
and chairs and Brian Knobbs is totally interesting and worthy of
pushing at least in the general direction of the space shuttle. I’m
scared to think of who Funk is going to get as a reinforcement, but
I’m hoping it’s just Sid so we don’t have to have anyone else coming
in. Or maybe it’s Flair, which would work a bit better. Not a good
show this week, but at least it’s a few steps ahead of where they
were.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books for under:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–07.29.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 07.29.96 True story: I have a friend who named his son LeBron James. Man I bet he feels dumb tonight. Live from Orlando, FL, one last time before they switch back to regular arenas again. Your hosts are Tony & Larry Mike Enos vs. Jim Duggan Amazingly, not only is Enos using a terrible (TERRIBLE!) ripoff version of The Ecstasy of Gold (which should be one of the all time great heel entrance pieces) as his entrance music, but apparently they’re already breaking up Rough & Ready after less than a month as a team! Thank god the Faces of Fear are still around. Duggan dumps him with a clothesline right away and slugs away, but gets low-bridged because he’s a moron and Enos takes over. Legdrop and Enos goes to a chinlock, then blocks a blind charge with a boot for two. Well, as his chaps say, he is “Ready”. I wonder if he recycled those chaps from the time when he was the Mysterious Masked Skyscraper with Mean Mark? What a team that was. Hey, more chinlocks and choking from Blake Beverly, that’s great. Collision for the double KO, but Duggan comes back with a sunset flip (called a backslide by Tony) for two, but Enos turns this around again with a neckbreaker for two. Enos goes AERIAL and misses by a mile, allowing Duggan to make the comeback, but Enos actually cuts him off and pounds him down in the corner. Finally Duggan has had enough of this terrible fucking match and finishes with the taped fist at 7:30. This was everything you’d expect out of a Jim Duggan vs. Mike Enos match and then a little less. -** Sting, Lex Luger & Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair, Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael So after leaving Flair off the show last week to tease his possible defection to the nWo, he’s right out here and they just drop that thread cold. Everyone gets into a crazy brawl immediately and we take a break…but not before some GLACIER KARATE ACTION first. Back with the match under control and the ref just restarts it. Sting gets a backdrop on Benoit to send him running away. I should note that the combination of Sting’s primary colored gear and Savage’s neon green might actually rupture my poor plasma TV. Come on, WCW, I’ve had this thing for like 5 years now and they’re not made anymore! Flair attacks Savage by the VIP table (is that gag STILL going?) to take over, but Savage fires back with the 10 punch count in the corner and Flair actually walks behind the bleachers to hide. Holy cow, if he had done a Flair Flop after taking that walk this would be the only six-star match not involving Joe Gomez. Back to the ring for the showdown of suck between Luger and Mongo, and thankfully Flair comes back in for his usual match against Luger. Luger throws him around and yells a lot, and a suplex gets two. Benoit comes in and the Horsemen sucker Savage into the ring to tie up the referee, allowing them to beat on Luger in the corner. Luger no-sells it and it’s over to Sting, however, and he does the usual with Flair. Superplex gets two. Flair tosses him and blocks a sunset flip to finally make Sting the face-in-peril. Benoit with a back elbow for two and a backdrop suplex (called a “back body drop” by Tony as the cracks in his commentary start to show already) gets two. Sting slugs it out with Flair and they do the pinfall reversal sequence before Benoit saves. Flair goes low and gets the figure-four, but Sting reverses it. So it’s over to Benoit with a snap suplex for two and a Liontamer, but Flair comes back in and suddenly Jimmy Hart runs out and pleads with the cameraman to come with him. Jimmy screams at everyone in the ring to stop fighting and come with him, and the match just ends at 13:00. Really fun before the non-finish. *** So in the back, the Outsiders have laid out the American Males and Arn Anderson, and Rey Mysterio dives on Nash from a trailer and gets LAWN DARTED into the side as a result in one of the most famous bumps of all time. The Outsiders leave in their limo and Savage dives onto the roof and hangs on like an action hero as it drives away. We take a break and return with everyone going nuts and calling for medical attention while Rey yells about FOUR GUYS laying him out. We get a very extended segment of chaos and minimal commentary, while everyone gets treated by paramedics…including Rey having his mask removed while covering his face with his hands. That shit is SERIOUS. In discussing the show in the Observer at the time, Meltzer notes that although this stuff might have been flaming ratings death in the short-term (which is was), it would absolutely have a payoff later on. Which it did, a thousand times over. In fact, I don’t think it’s overstating things to say that this one episode of Nitro changed the business forever and basically created the Vince Russo Crash TV format, where sometimes the script gets thrown out and Everything You See Is Fake Except For What You’re Watching Right Now, Which Is Real. Speaking of which, back from another break with the second hour, and Bobby Heenan has a frank discussion with Eric Bischoff and walks off the set because of his history of neck injuries and his fear of getting another one. So… Your hosts for the second hour are Eric, Tony and Larry. And you’d think they would try to go right back to the ring, but NO, the segment continues unabated while the fans turn on the show, and now the Males get loaded into the ambulance. It’s kind of like the theory of comedy where you have the joke that’s initially funny, then goes on too long and becomes unfunny, and then goes on even LONGER and becomes hilarious as a result of going so long. They just kept riding out the crowd’s boredom and let the angle go to the super-serious extremes that it needed to without undercutting it by immediately jumping back to some fake match in the ring. The Steiner Brothers vs. High Voltage Finally back to the ring with the clash of future tag team champions Rick Steiner and Kenny Kaos. Everyone’s all distracted but not High Voltage! They’re amped up on horse steroids and Red Bull (was Red Bull a thing in 1996? I didn’t start mainlining energy drinks directly into my heart until about 2005) and excited to be here! These two aren’t exactly streets ahead. Although they don’t mention it here, for some reason the Steiner Brothers ended up with a random tag team title reign between the last show and this one, trading the belts with Harlem Heat on a pair of house shows in a switch reminiscent of their WWF run. So Scott distractedly slams Kaos around while there’s a fireworks show in the background. I’m reminded of The Naked Gun every time they do the fireworks at these Orlando shows while the fans are supposed to be paying attention to the match. High Voltage beats on Rick in their corner while Bischoff is basically like “If these two geeks beat the Steiners no one is seriously going to count that as a win anyway” and Rage gets a nice flying shoulderblock for two. The Steiners finally wake up and start beating on Rage at will, and OH SHIT it’s the Steiner Screwdriver to finish him at 4:45. I feel like they might have been in a bit of a mood here. Maybe they’re Cleveland fans? ** Standby Contest: Big Bubba vs. Eddie Guerrero Eddie dropkicks him out of the ring and ponders a dive, but Bubba comes back in and overpowers him to take over. Bubba pounds away with a variety of thrilling stuff and gets a clothesline for two. Bubba chokes like he’s from Cleveland and goes to a bearhug that turns into a spinebuster for two. Bubba continues taking the whole match and goes to a chinlock as this match seemingly goes on longer than that entire nWo attack segment did. Finally Eddie comes back with a rollup to win at 10:45. DUD THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER! So yeah, this is the first black and white nWo promo, featuring Hogan rambling for hours and somehow getting cut down to 5:00 or so by the editing team in something of a minor miracle. This marks the Nitro debut of the nWo logo, the porno music, Nash cackling “WHAT DO YA BENCH, LEX?”, the crazy camera angles, and poor Scott Hall trying to hold it all together on his own. THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT WAS PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER! Tony and Larry discuss the doin’s that have been transpirin’ and replay the initial attack from what feels like hours ago. WCW World title: The Giant vs. Greg Valentine Valentine is subbing for Arn Anderson, who fell in the Battle of the nWo earlier in the show. Hammer attacks and gets nowhere, as Giant casually beats him down, chokes away in the corner, and finishes with a pair of chokeslams at 1:35. DUD The Pulse As a show this was complete and utter garbage, but it was incredibly historic and immensely influential in a million ways, so take from it whatever you wish.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 6/15/2015

We are 24 hours removed from Money in the Bank and I liked the show.
In my review,
I gave it 3 1/4 stars but my opinions were pretty much the same as
Scott and Bayless. It had some major problems and some weird, arbitrary
booking that made next to no sense.
The least of which is Brie Bella checking her own pubic hair to show Paige that her and Nikki are different. That match was actually decent up until that fuck-finish.

Sheamus
won Money in the Bank for some reason after Bray Wyatt attacked Bray
Wyatt for some reason and Renee Young is a platinum blonde for
some–wait. No. Renee’s hair color changed because Ambrose is just a
lucky fuck who jobs to TV monitors but gets what he wants in private.
We
got two really great matches in Ambrose/Rollins and Cena/Owens…but
the rest of the show is a prime example of what’s been driving WWE fans
nuts.

Look, I get wanting to shake things up, but if we’re gonna be random and different, give Kofi the case. Even that makes more sense than Sheamus grabbing it. Bray fucking with somebody else? Where’s that
gonna lead? Nowhere. It’s gonna be eight weeks of Bray saying a bunch
of cryptic shit in the middle of a room of Vick’s Vap-o-Rub and then
he’ll lose three matches in a row.

So what was the point of any of this? I guess we’ll see…

We begin with the Dusty Tribute from MITB followed by the video package.

We are LIVE(!!!) from Cleveland, Ohio for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!

Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are the guys at the desk.

Seth Rollins starts us off with a promo…and we’re already on a break because of the first portion.

Hopefully,
this isn’t what’s to come. Rollins welcomes us to “Monday Night
ROLLINS”. He says that he acknowledges Ambrose and how much of a fight
he brought to the ring last night. But, he still beat Ambrose — and he
did it all by himself. He says that he knows he really hung on and won
but he needs to recognize those who got him to the top. He thanks
himself for his own win. Over and over and over again. But, wait…he’d
like to thank Seth Rollins…and Seth Rollins…and Seth Rollins…and,
wait — he left somebody out. Seth Rollins. He says he can’t thank
J&J Security or “The Devil’s Favorite Dinosaur”, Kane. He didn’t
need Triple H or Steph because he’s that good. He says that he should
pretty much be in the Hall of Fame now. He says that Johnny Manziel and
LeBron James aren’t bringing titles to Cleveland. He says he’s leaving
town and bringing the title with him…

Dean Ambroses’s
music hit. He marches down to the ring and attacks Rollins, puts him in
the ring, then clotheslines him out the other side. They fight over the
Announce Desk and Ambrose kicks him away. Rollins retreats and leaves.
Ambrose grabs a chair and a mic and gets in the ring. He says that he
got beat last night because the title slipped through his fingers…but
Rollins shooting his mouth off reminded him of how much fun it was
torturing Rollins. He’s gonna be in the ring until Rollins gets back
into the ring.

After a break, Ambrose is still in the ring.

Backstage,
Rollins bumps into Triple H and Steph. Triple H tells Rollins that
things have been taken care of. Steph can’t believe what Rollins is
saying and says that Rollins doesn’t need them. Rollins says that he
wants to know what’s next. Triple H says that they are making that
decision. Rollins says that he should have a say and Triple H tells him
that Rollins won all by himself, so Rollins should trust them to make a
choice.

Meanwhile, Ambrose is still hanging out because
we’re 30 minutes into a wrestling show that doesn’t need wrestling.
Sheamus shows up and says that he’s a winner while Ambrose is a loser.
He says that The Authority told him to come down and kick Ambrose’s head
off his shoulders.

MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus
Sheamus
knocks Ambrose down, then starts kicking at Ambrose’s injured knee.
Ambrose comes back with forearms and a lariat on a whip. Ambrose puts
Sheamus in a corner but Sheamus fights out and the fight spills outside.
Once the match gets back inside, Ambrose hits a lariat. Sheamus quickly
comes back and takes control. After a break, Sheamus is bending
Ambrose’s knee but Ambrose kicks out of it and fights back with some
punches. Sheamus just clips his knee and tries the Cloverleaf but
Ambrose escapes and tosses Sheamus away. Sheamus comes back at Ambrose
who hits a Swinging Neckbreaker. Ambrose nails Sheamus with a corner
forearm and follows up with a Bulldog. He goes top rope but Sheamus
clips his knee, grabs him and hits the Rolling Senton. Sheamus locks in
the Cloverleaf but Ambrose don’t tap to nobody and gets to the bottom
rope. Ambrose rolls outside so Sheamus starts hitting Ten Beats but
Ambrose counters and returns the favor. Sheamus angrily elbows out of it
and tries a BROGUEOUTOFNOWHERE but misses and Ambrose kicks him.
Ambrose goes top rope with a flying elbow and nearly gets a fall.
Sheamus comes back with a kneelift but Ambrose hits the Rebound
Clothesline. He goes for Dirty Deeds but Sheamus rolls out of the ring
and grabs the MITB case, leaving. All of the sudden, Randy Orton’s music
hits and he stalks Sheamus back to the ring. Ambrose grabs Sheamus,
tosses him back into the ring and rolls him up for a highly unlikely
Distraction Pin to win it at 10:50.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
RATING:
**. Your MITB “winner”, ladies and gentlemen. Weak finish to a match
where Ambrose practically no-sold everything Sheamus had to offer. 

Orton beats up on Sheamus, post-match, whipping him into the crowd barrier and ringpost, then hits Vintage Orton. He goes for the RKO but Sheamus blocks it and rolls out of the ring with his case.

Backstage,
Rollins bumps into J&J Security, calling them “Harry and Lloyd”. He
says that he hates to be the guy that says, “I told you so”, but he’s
that guy. He calls himself “good” but, hey, if J&J want to tell him
who his next opponent was, he’ll have them back in his fold. Noble says
it’s Joey Mercury. Rollins mocks Noble and says he’s busy living his
“WCW glory days”. Mercury says that Rollins is afraid to face him.
Rollins scoffs at this but Mercury says it’s the truth because he
already lost to Mercury and Noble once and he’s afraid of being
embarrassed again.

Cole and the announcers pay tribute to Dusty Rhodes and we get clips of him in NWA.

R-Truth
is out, dressed in a sheet and has a toilet plunger for a scepter. He’s
on commentary…but soon learns he’s wrestling Barrett. Truth isn’t
happy at all, but enters the ring.

MATCH #2: R-Truth vs. King Barrett
Barrett
kicks Truth’s head off, then punches away at him. He sets up for the
Bullhammer but Truth just rolls him for the win at 22 seconds.
WINNER: R-Truth
RATING: Two fuck finishes in a row. Barrett is so beyond dead, it’s not even funny.

Post-match,
Barrett his ROAL BULLHAMMA MIGGAL then gets on the mic and still
declares himself “king”, because that’s apparently still a thing.

Machine
Gun Kelly is backstage and a bunch of Divas and Heath Slater pretend
they like him. Paige interrupts the party and asks if she can see the
Divas right now. Kelly walks off.

NEXT: Kevin Owens is here.

Kevin
Owens is out for a promo and says that Cena’s not here tonight but that
he’s insulted that Cena thinks that Owens needed his endorsement
following his loss at Money in the Bank. He says that he KNOWS he
belongs in WWE. He doesn’t need Cena’s approval. He says he isn’t a sore
loser, Cena’s a horrible winner. Cena wanted to show Owens up by
getting that “handshake” at the end. That’s why he kicked the crap out
of Cena. He says that he will always be the guy that beat John
Cena…that’s why he wants a re-match — and he wants the United States
Championship. Usually, Cena would come out and issue his challenge, but
he can’t. So, Owens issues his own “Open Challenge”…and it’s…

Dolph Ziggler.

Ziggler
hits the ring with Lana and actually fixed his “Megadeth” jacket.
Ziggler says that Owens made his night. He will never defend John Cena
but Owens has some guts talking about sacrifice. Ziggler says he’s been
through hell to get where he is now. He says that he’s gonna give Owens a
fight right now. Lillian Garcia announces that the match is for the NXT
Championship — but Owens interrupts her and says this isn’t a title
match. Somehow, Ziggler’s pissed off at this, which makes no sense at
all since it would be like an MLB team challenging for a minor league
championship, but whatever.

MATCH #3: NXT Champion Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) (non-title)
It’s
a brawl to start, then we go to break. When we come back, Ziggler
breaks from a headlock, but Owens puts him back to the mat for a Reverse
Senton. He follows by dropping Ziggler’s body on the top rope and gets
two for that. He whips Ziggler into the turnbuckles, then stomps and
taunts him. Ziggler gets back up and punches away, then sends Owens over
the top rope. Owens get up first and tosses Ziggler into the
timekeeper’s pit. Ziggler struggles to get back in and barely makes it
back into the ring. Owens attacks but Ziggler hits a DDT. After another
break, it’s another Owens headlock. Ziggler breaks free again but Owens
just continues to mow him down. When Owens goes into the Cannonball,
Ziggler counters with a Superkick and gets two. Ziggler goes for a
Fame-Asser and hits it on the second try, getting two. Ziggler tries a
corner splash but Owens hits Suplex City instead, then a Cannonball.
Ziggler kicks out at two. Owens tries a Pop-Up Powerbomb but Ziggler
counters into a Zigg Zagg, nearly getting a fall. Ziggler runs at Owens
only to see Owens kick Ziggler and hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb to win this
at 15:14.
WINNER: Kevin Owens via Pop-Up Powerbomb
RATING: ***. Not a bad match, but it didn’t need two breaks. That really broke up the momentum of this thing for me.

The
Divas hang out backstage and talk boys and take Selfies because they’re
CHICKS. Paige makes a huge speech about how awful the Bellas are.
Summer shuts her up and says it’s all about Paige. Alicia Fox agrees.
Paige continues to rant. Naomi is also hesitant to trust Paige…and
this goes on and on…and on…The Bellas interrupt and Nikki dares the
Divas to side with Paige. They all stand around, apathetic, then leave,
one by one. Then Paige leaves. The Bellas act cool and that’s
just…whatever. Seeing all the women backstage reminds me of how empty
and vapid the Divas Division has become.

MATCH #4: Randy Orton vs. Kane
Crowd
is dead for this as Orton attacks. Kane fights back, then hits a big
boot and headlock. A big, long headlock that sucks half the match. Orton
counters with a side suplex but misses a knee drop. Kane hits a
Sidewalk Slam for two. Kane puts Orton in the corner and Orton collapses
after hitting the buckles. Kane slugs away. Orton fights back but Kane
grabs Orton by the throat. A bunch of clunky counters later and Orton
clotheslines Kane in the corner. Orton hits a Powerslam in Stride, then
goes for Vintage Orton but Sheamus’s music hits and he walks down to the
ring. Kane grabs a mic and says that he is making this match a No DQ
match. So Sheamus attacks. Kane joins. Big boot by Kane and we’re done
with whatever the hell that was at 4:26.
WINNER: Kane
RATING:
DUD. This match was fucking terrible. It’s a shitty match involving
Kane who’s a shitty wrestler in order to push this weird Orton/Sheamus
“rivalry” that has no heat whatsoever.

TONIGHT: We get “answers” about why Bray Wyatt interfered in the MITB match.

Backstage,
Kane walks and runs into Seth Rollins. Rollins congratulates Kane on
his victory tonight and rubs in the fact that he lost, so tonight’s
“victory” must have put him in a better mood. Rollins just rants about
how cool he is and how much Kane sucks. Kane says that Rollins won one
match. A true champ wins over and over, night after night. Rollins says
that Kane’s always needed help, whether it’s from Paul Bearer or The
Undertaker. Kane grabs Rollins and says to never mention his family
again. Rollins tells Kane never to touch him again and says that he
hopes that Kane is his next opponent because Kane needs to be put out of
his misery.

DUSTY MEMORY: His Hall of Fame moment.

Ryback’s at ringside to do commentary with the guys.

MATCH #5: Big Show vs. The Miz
Miz
goes to take off his sunglasses. Show attacks. Miz bails and takes off
his sunglasses. Show chases him around the ring. Miz escapes. Show
chases again. Miz enters the ring. Show chases and then enters the ring,
faking a leg injury. Miz attacks and Show pushes him in the corner as
the crowd chants “THIS IS AWFUL” which part of the crowd somehow
mistakes as “THIS IS AWESOME”. Show slaps at Miz’s chest, then whips him
into the corner. Miz boots him on the charge but Show grabs Miz and
tosses him out of the ring. He beats on Miz and tosses him into Ryback.
Ryback isn’t happy. Meanwhile, Miz slides back into the ring and it’s a
countout.
WINNER: The Miz via countout
RATING: DUD. This RAW has been a giant piece of shit in terms of actual wrestling matches.

Post-match, Ryback chases Show from the ring. Yay?

When we come back from break, it’s Roman Reigns on the way to the ring as Cole announces…

AT BATTLEGROUND: Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns

Roman
says he got very little sleep because of what happened at Money in the
Bank. He says he wants Wyatt right now and tells him to get down to the
ring. Instead, it’s Wyatt, live from the Steam Room of Doom. Bray does
his usual shtick. Roman’s not interested and tells him to get down to
the ring. Bray won’t and says that the MITB case was supposed to be his.
Instead, Roman ruined his chance. Bray rants and raves about how
nothing is paradise and that him and Roman are “opposites”. He has a
picture of Roman and his daughter from that PSA that aired. He says that
him and Roman are just getting started.

AT MITB: Dusty Finish with the Divas

MATCH #6: Paige vs. The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Paige
tries to attack, but the ref holds Paige back. Finally, Brie tags Nikki
and Paige just presses her, punching away. She chokes Nikki on the
ropes but Brie trips Paige from the outside. Nikki pins for two. Tag to
Brie for a Missile Dropkick. Two count. Another long chinlock spot.
Paige finally breaks it and hits the running knee. Two count. Tag to
Nikki and they double team Paige, dropping her on the mat, face-first.
Two count. Nikki kinda apathetically kicks at Paige, then puts on Head
Scissors. Paige counters with a Bridge Pin but Nikki kicks out and tags
Brie who accidentally clocks her sister on a double team attempt. Brie
gets up and runs at Paige. Paige kicks her and hits a series of
clotheslines, then kicks at Brie’s head. She tosses Brie into Nikki and
hits the Ram-Paige. Nikki saves the pin, then tags in and hits a forearm
and Rack Attack to win it at 5:34.
WINNERS: #BELLASWINLOL
RATING: 1/2 a *. Too slow, and boring as hell. The match is uninteresting. There isn’t anything left here.

TONIGHT: We will find out who Rollins’ next opponent is.

NEXT: MGK performs! So, it’s a good time for me to start dinner.

Anyhow,
Machine Gun Kelly performs. Garcia says that he’s “Cleveland’s own”
which is weird since nobody seems to care. The performance fucking
sucks. Why is this person here? At the end, Kevin Owens attacks
him after MGK shoves him and hits a Pop-Up Powerbomb into a part of the
stage. He just stares, then walks off. Everyone tends to Machine Gun
Kelly and we actually get a replay. PLUS, a “moments ago” thing when we
come back from break.

Cole plugs “Terminator: Genesys”.

MATCH
#7: The New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. Neville
& WWE Tag Team Champions The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil &
Darren Young)

Young and Woods start off and Young finally
manages to hit a strike or two before Kofi tags in. Young kicks at Kofi
who tags Woods back in. Young clotheslines him and tags in Titus who
drops Young on top of Woods. Kofi flies at Titus. Kofi gets dumped
across the ring. E attacks and Titus tosses him from the ring. Neville
splashes everyone outside. After break, Woods has Young in a headlock.
In and out tags as New Days works Woods over with kicks and a headlock.
Tag to Woods and a double axehandle from the top rope. Two count. More
Young peril. Young breaks a headlock and it’s a hot tag to Neville who
kicks away at Woods. Neville kicks him in the head, then dropkicks
everyone in the heel corner. Woods and Neville counter one another until
Neville puts Woods to the mat. Neville goes for the Red Arrow but it’s
chaos when guys come in to botch it. Titus hits Clash of the Titus. More
chaos and Young hits a Gutbuster on Kofi and it’s Neville to finish it
with the Red Arrow to win it all around 9 minutes.
WINNERS: The New Day & Neville
RATING:
*1/2. This wasn’t terrible but incredibly disjointed. Neville didn’t
really fit here and the match really suffered after he became involved.

Post-match, we get a look at Cena/Owens and ANOTHER look at Owens destroying the idiot rapper. Apparently, Kelly was badly hurt.

Backstage,
Dean Ambrose throws darts at a picture of Seth Rollins. Kane
interrupts. Dean laughs and says he can’t picture Kane as a champion.
Kane says he’s been champ, unlike Dean. Dean says that’s
true…but that was THEDEMONKANE, not kiss-ass Kane. Dean says that, in
the end, Kane’s just doing a job and he’s loyal to The Authority. Dean
says he lives for moments like last night. He says he liked getting a
taste of the title at MITB and he says he won’t stop until he finally
has the title. Dean asks what Kane lives for. Kane stands there, a bit
taken back.

NEXT: We find out who Seth Rollins will fight next.

DUSTY MEMORY: Dusty ranting a lot.

TONIGHT: Dusty Rhodes: Celebrating the Dream on WWE Network

The
Authority hits the ring. Steph apologizes for what happened with MGK.
Cleveland cheers the concept of MGK getting beat up as Steph says that
Owens will be reprimanded. They are announcing who Seth will face next.
Triple H says that a lot of WWE superstars feel as though they deserve a
shot…but it won’t be J&J or Kane or Dean Ambrose. Steph asks
Triple H who it could possibly be.

Seth Rollins’ music
hits and he makes his way down. He shakes hands with Triple H and Steph
and then gets a mic. He tells them that it doesn’t matter who gets
picked. Rollins says that they’ve been right about him all along. Nobody
is capable of beating him. He’s ready to beat his next opponent. He
will make The Authority proud. Triple H says that might be true. Rollins
has beaten everyone. He even beat Ambrose with no help. Steph says that
she’s proud of him, too, but that he’s ripe for the pickin’. Plus, he’s
been testing their patience as well.

Triple H says
that they invested a lot in the future and in him and, sometimes, you
need to step back and check out your investment. Sometimes, you put
pressure on a piece of coal. If it’s worth something, it won’t crumble,
it will become a diamond. Triple H asks if he’s ready for the pressure.
Seth nods and smiles and says that he’s ready…

…and Brock Lesnar’s music hits.

Brock
makes his way to the ring (with a brand-new shirt reading “SUPLEX CITY”
– remind me to scoop that fucker up) with Paul Heyman. They get in and
shake hands with The Authority. Seth can’t believe it and just stands
there in blinking disbelief, looking sick to his stomach. Brock and Seth
just look at one another. Rollins backs up a bit with Brock matching
his steps. Rollins gets out of the ring and leaves.

He
slowly walks to the backstage area as Brock just stares a hole in his
head from 50 yards out. Cole says that Brock Lesnar will face Rollins at
Battleground.

We go off the air.

OVERALL: The Lesnar bit was a nice bookend to an otherwise blah show. It was basically Kevin Owens being used as sugar to coat the flaming dogshit that was the mid-card. Honestly, Sheamus with the case isn’t compelling.
Neither is his beef with Orton or Orton’s match with Kane that took a
left-turn into stupid. I don’t buy the PTP as tag champs and the
mis-match with Neville was just odd to me. The Divas division is a
dumpster fire…I mean, you look at WWE and they’re patching the ship’s
hull with Scotch tape they’ve bought in bulk. Even as good as Lesnar is,
I’m kind of wanting to know how he went from being a casualty of
Stephanie McMahon because he straight up murdered the crew of RAW to
being a guy they can trust. Nothing on this show makes any real sense
anymore.

Er…that’s it.

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’ Doomers!

Obviously it’s been a very melancholy sort of week since the last Open Mic with the death of Dusty Rhodes. For me my wrestling fandom came from my dad when I was a little kid growing up in the panhandle of Florida. Usually the Graham’s Florida territory didn’t make their way up to where I lived back then since Pensacola-through, they tended to stick between Tampa and Orlando and would usually do a Jacksonville show or two during their summer tour each year and maybe once every year they would get to Tallahassee also. But my dad would drive me and my mom to Jacksonville in like the late 70s and early 80s to see my aunt and uncle and he and my uncle would “go to the fights” and he always would bring me back a program. But he loved Dusty Rhodes, Wahoo McDaniel and Harley Race and Blackjack Mulligan and the Funk Brothers and all those guys that would work Florida. So when we’d watch Crockett Promotions or Championship Wrestling from Florida it was always about those guys. I used to love his hair — that old redneck sort of perm he sported — and my dad was so into the promos of him and all the guys. He was such a mark….

Anyway as I got older, married and moved to the Tampa Bay area…Once in a while we’d go to the FCW tapings on Dale Mabry in Tampa and after the card Dusty would stick around and meet the fans. I always enjoyed the way he interacted with the younger fans. He’d ask them who their favorite stars were and sign autographs and take pictures. And he had this cowboy he would always put on these kids before the picture so this oversized hat fell over their faces and then he would flash that smile. It was the cutest thing and he just seemed to really be drawn to fans and people in general. As a mom I’m always interested to see how people treat kids and he was just so kind and funny and personable with them.

It was big news in this area when he died. Big in the papers, big on the sports radio and you would hear these stories about him working the armories in Tampa or New Port Richey or Plant City or the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg (for the really big arena shows) and afterwards he’d see some fans and ask where the party was or where the barbecue was (in those days the big arena show was usually held in the early afternoon on weekends so they could work another house that night or vice versa) and as the stories go he would actually stop by the parties and the barbecues to meet the fans and have a drink or eat a burger or try to find him a nice woman for the evening. The more you hear the stories…the more you realized that Dusty really was a unique figure and a larger-than-life guy here in Florida during that period. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do for him tonight and on the network.

On TV tonight

The Tampa Bay Lightning will attempt to save the world from the evil known as the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

College World Series…I think Virginia vs. Florida is the game tonight.

Ray Liotta is narrating “The Making of the Mob” on AMC, it’s like 7 or 8 parts.

Apparently there’s a new Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives tonight on the Food Network.

Bachelorette and other reality crap

and RAW

Enjoy. Keep it clean.

Monday Nitro – January 17, 2000

Monday Nitro #223
Date: January 17, 2000
Location:
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 10,646
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
I have to say this way
too often around here, but everything has changed again. Benoit won
the World Title last night and that’s the last you’re going to see of
him in WCW. Unfortunately that’s also the case for Malenko, Guerrero
and Saturn, who all quit when Kevin Sullivan was announced as the
fired Vince Russo’s replacement. The Filthy tried to get out as well
but didn’t have such an easy escape. Now we get to see how
everything falls out so let’s get to it.

The NWO arrives and
Nash leaves Jeff’s hand hanging in a funny bit.
Kidman vs. Psychosis
We
immediately start with a match and Kidman gets an early advantage off
a headscissors and stops a charge by raising a boot. A high cross
body gets two but Psychosis low bridges him to the floor and hits a
big dive over the top. Thankfully the whole landing on Kidman’s head
part didn’t cripple him. Back in and a nice top rope spinwheel kick
gets two as the announcers promise to address all the major changes
after last night’s show.
They head outside again
with Kidman being sent into the barricade but he’s still able to
dropkick Psychosis out of the air back inside. Psychosis counters a
superplex into a super sitout gordbuster for two, only to walk into a
wheelbarrow suplex. That earns Kidman a DDT and the guillotine
legdrop for a very close two. YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN though and
the faceplant gets the pin. This would be four Kidman matches in two
days without a Shooting Star.
Rating:
B.
Off the top of my head, the best match WCW has had since the main
event of Mayhem back in November. You can immediately see the
cruiserweights being brought back to a respectable place as they were
allowed to just go out and have a good match instead of being used as
target practice for the heavyweights. They’re already off to a good
start.
Now we get the big
fallout from last night in the form of a statement from Arn Anderson.
Terry Funk got beaten up last night for doing what he believed in
and that’s what a real man does. Anderson has always tried to do
what he said and last night he promised to call the match down the
middle. Then he started watching the match instead of refereeing and
he didn’t notice Sid’s foot under the ropes when Benoit made him tap
out. Therefore the title is vacant.
To
recap our title holders, we have David Flair, Crowbar (both of whom
lost last night), Brian Knobbs and Ed Ferrara.
The Harris Brothers are
in suits again and now guarding the NWO’s locker room. I’m so glad
we had them turn a few weeks ago just to turn back already.
Booker says he hasn’t
forgotten where he came from and apparently he and Stevie knew Big T.
back in the day. They decided he was all wrong for them and Booker
didn’t know he was out of jail. That’s already more backstory than
we get for most new characters.
Here’s the new Harlem
Heat, with Stevie saying he and Big T. are willing to give Booker
another chance. Booker and Midnight come out but Stevie wants
Midnight to leave. Stevie mentions Booker borrowing his bike to go
get candy as a kid but the brawl is on. The team takes Booker down
and Stevie wants a referee in here right now.
Booker T. vs. Big T.
Both
guys are in street clothes. A quick Pearl River Plunge drops Booker
and a World’s Strongest Slam does the same. Booker comes back with a
forearm and ax kick followed by the Book End but Stevie throws in a
slap jack to knock Booker silly for the pin. This was nothing.
Vampiro
vs. Disco Inferno
The
Mamalukes are out with Disco and tell him there will be no dancing.
During the entrances, Tony basically begs the fans to come to the
Thunder taping tomorrow night. Vampiro nails a spinwheel kick to
start and another spin kick to the chest. Disco’s monkey flip
doesn’t get him anywhere and Vampiro plants him with a release Rock
Bottom, only to miss a corkscrew moonsault.
The
Mamalukes validate their paycheck by attacking Disco as this is
actually a faster pace than you would expect. It’s like they’re
actually being allowed to try for a change. A swinging neckbreaker
gets two for Disco but Vampiro avoids an elbow and hits another top
rope spinwheel kick, followed by the Nail in the Coffin for the pin.
Rating:
C.
Nothing great here but like I said, they were trying for a change.
It’s such a different atmosphere already with Russo gone for one show
and you can see the quality and effort going up. Vampiro looked
decent here and I can see why they wanted to push him, but they need
to do something with him already.
Scott
Steiner presents Nash with some women for secretary interviews,
including the yet to be named Major Gunns, Shakira and Midajah.
Steiner wants to play Twister.
Tag Team Titles: 3
Count vs. David Flair/Crowbar
We
get a 3 Count performance before the match to really make this show
feel better. Evan is the odd man out here. 3 Count dives onto the
champs to start and here are Standards and Practices to scout the
match. We settle down with David suplexing Moore and dropping him
with a belly to back for two. Daffney hisses at Evan on the floor so
David runs over for the save. Helms superkicks Crowbar down and
Shannon adds a top rope spinning splash for two. David low bridges
Shannon to the floor, allowing Crowbar to hit a reverse DDT for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
I loved 3 Count and there’s nothing bad about looking at Stacy
Keibler but this really didn’t work. At the end of the day, David
Flair just isn’t ready for this spot. He’s trying, but it’s very
similar to Erik Watts in the early 90s: he needed a lot more
seasoning before being thrown into this spot.
We get an encore!
Nash
asks the ladies to leave so they can have some NWO business. Bret is
nowhere to be seen. They need to get rid of the Old Age Outlaws but
Arn can stick around for some reason.
Maestro vs. Tank
Abbott
No
piano, 13 seconds, one right hand for the knockout. This was a shoot
fight, because the Brawl For All didn’t teach WCW anything.
Norman Smiley comes out
to stare down Abbott but Meng shows up to give Abbott someone a real
challenge.
Most
of the midcard is coming to the arena. Since this is WCW, it takes
far longer than it should have. They couldn’t have had them come out
during the break? Nash and the Harris Brothers come out for the
first official address of the roster. Nash praises himself but says
he has goals for everyone out there. Tenay needs a personality,
Knobbs needs a brain, Abbott needs a heart and Smiley needs courage.
Nash: “I sound like Oz up here.”
The
fans cut him off with a Goldberg chant so Nash threatens to fire him.
This brings Nash to his first real act: Jeff Jarrett is officially
the US Champion again. Jeff: “HOLY SLAPNUTS!” Next up is
health, which is why there will be mandatory rectal exams before
every match with Dr. Jellyfinger. Also, everyone is going to be in
the same locker room no matter what level they’re on and no one can
look at Nash but they all must call him Lord Master.
Nash
will decide what happens with the World Title at a later date. He’s
rapid firing through these ideas. There will be no illegal
substances in the locker room, including Viagra. Nash: “Sorry
Lex!” He praises Bagwell and Page for their match last night.
Nash: “Buff, you doing Kim or what?” As for the first main event
tonight, it’s Bagwell vs. Page in a rematch from last night with
Kimberly as guest referee. They’re the NWO, they’re in charge, and
they are gods.
Kimberly comes in to
see the NWO and is given her referee outfit and asks if Page or
Bagwell was better.
Team 2000 vs.
Varsity Club
Team
2000 is Masahiro Chono and Super J (From what I can find it’s Jeff
Farmer, better known as NWO Sting). There’s actually a story here:
Rotundo was part of NWO Japan but left to reform the Varsity Club.
Yeah this match is actually getting a story over a Japanese faction
that most people didn’t know existed.
It’s
a brawl to start until Chono starts driving knees into Mike’s ribs to
take over. Off to Steiner but Chono wants Rotundo back in, which the
fans find boring. I can’t say I blame them as there’s no reason to
care about this story. Steiner suplexes Chono down and easily takes
J to the mat. Steiner whips him into the barricade and Rotundo has a
lame slugout as this just keeps going.
Rotundo
chinlocks J as Steiner and Chono brawl in the aisle. Back in and
Rick gets double teamed for a bit but they’re quickly back on the
floor to keep up the brawling. A big boot to the face out of the
corner blasts Rick again but Chono dives into a belly to belly.
Everything breaks down again and the referee misses a small package
from Rotundo to Chono. J comes in and rolls it over to FINALLY give
Chono the pin.
Rating:
D.
This is one of the first major cases of the show having to throw in
ANYTHING else besides Benoit/Guerrero/Malenko/Saturn. There was no
reason for this to be a nine minute match and the fans might have
been on to something with the boring chant. It wasn’t the worst
match in the world, but like I said, there’s no reason to care about
these teams fighting. The match wasn’t good enough to overcome that
problem and it dragged on and on as a result.
Sid
Vicious vs. The Wall
Sid
runs him over to start and Wall bails to the floor for a breather.
Wall is thrown over the announcers’ table as this is full squash mode
so far. That’s it for the play by play right now as we cut to Disco
and the Mamalukes coming in to say they’ll get the NWO anything they
need. Nash asks if they’ve ever heard of Vinnie Vegas. Their
assignment: go beat up Sid. Then get some grinders. We cut back to
the ring to see Sid chokeslamming Wall for the pin.
The
Mamalukes come out but eat powerbombs.
Scott
Steiner, in a Michigan jersey and flanked by Midajah and a girl in a
Michigan cheerleader uniform, comes out and beats up the Ohio State
(Michigan’s big rival) mascot. Steiner does his usual stuff about
how all the women want him and tells them to take a number and wait
in the back. Michigan beating Ohio State was easy, just like the
women in Ohio. An Ohio State fan argues with him from ringside and
gets beaten down. Security quickly takes the bloody fan away as
we’re firmly in the Scott is nuts phase.
Total
Package vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Luger
is finally out of the Sting attire. Bigelow elbows him out to the
floor and pounds in some big forearms to the back. Back in and
Bigelow slugs away, eats the metal forearm, and continues slugging
away. The top rope headbutt connects but Liz distracts Bigelow to
break up the Greetings From Asbury Park. Cue Kanyon but Bigelow
nails him, only to take a champagne bottle to the head from Luger for
the pin.
Rating:
D-.
Is there a point coming to this Bigelow vs. Kanyon feud anytime soon?
They’ve been feuding, with Bigelow consistently coming out on the
losing end, for weeks now and there’s no real progression to the
story. This was another match that didn’t do anything for anyone and
was just there to fill in time.
Diamond Dallas Page
vs. Buff Bagwell
Kimberly’s
referee outfit is exactly what you would expect it to be. Page
starts fast with a shoulder and spinning Rock Bottom but Kimberly
takes her sweet time counting. Buff comes back with a clothesline
and they fight to the floor then into the crowd. Time for the ECW
phase of the show it seems. A trash can shot knocks Page back to the
barricade and they head back inside.
Bagwell
nails a hot shot onto the turnbuckle but he stops to hit on Kimberly.
Page gets back up and crotches Bagwell against the post. The
Diamond Cutter is blocked by grabbing a rope (and it actually works
unlike last night) and both guys are down again. The double arm DDT
from Buff (well maybe an arm and a quarter) gets another very slow
two count.
Back
up and they fight over a backslide before the Diamond Cutter connects
but Page can’t cover. Instead Buff gets up and loads up the
Blockbuster, only to get crotched down. Page’s superplex attempt is
countered with a low blow and now the Blockbuster connects. Kimberly
“accidentally” collides with Buff and knocks herself down,
allowing Page to get up and hit the Diamond Cutter for a slow pin.
Rating:
D+.
This is another feud that is just meandering along with little
development in sight. It’s no longer about whether Kimberly slept
with Bagwell but rather if she’s going to leave her husband for him.
That’s about all there is as far as advancement goes, but it’s not
enough to validate the boring matches that come with the feud.
Kimberly bolts from the
ring and Page follows to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-.
Suddenly Russo is out of power and this feels like a wrestling
program again. It’s certainly nothing great but we had storyline
progression that you could follow, some watching wrestling getting
time (three matches broke six minutes and with ten more seconds on
the opener they all would have broken seven) and nothing
horrible/insulting to my intelligence. In other words, it’s a middle
of the road wrestling show.
That’s the key though:
this show still isn’t really good. A lot of the wrestling was
uninspired at best and the stories were only ok. Nash as the power
mad yet entertaining boss has potential and the lack of the focus on
the mostly retired crew helped a lot. Unfortunately, I have a
feeling the bottom is going to fall out very soon because they’re
going to have to find something to fill in the void left by all the
people leaving, and it’s not NWO Japan.
This is where the
problems are going to crop up and there isn’t much WCW can do about
it. The Radicalz leaving at once was like taking the walls out from
a building. No matter what was going on, you could count on those
four guys to put on a decent wrestling match if you gave them the
chance. Now that they’re gone, there isn’t much left to take their
places.
What’s supposed to make
up for those guys missing? Page and Bagwell having lame matches?
More Varsity Club? Ahmed Johnson? Jeff Jarrett cutting the same
promo with the same slap nuts line every single week? WCW has lost
the meat of their company and there isn’t much they can throw in
there to fill in the gaps. That brings me to the big point here: the
Radicalz leaving was the point of no return for WCW.
Now here’s the thing:
WCW was going to die no matter what. In the long run, there was too
much money being burned and too much of a mess to possibly fix the
place. Somewhere along the line it was going to go under and Vince
would be left smiling. However, as long as you had those four guys
(or at least a young core group of wrestlers who could one day take
over), there was always a hope. It may have been just a glimmer, but
it was there.
However, all that went
away when they left. Those four leaving took the hope away from WCW
fans. Any chance they had to see something fresh come in and take
the company back from the Good Old Boys network at the top was gone
and the hope was destroyed. Now there’s just the old guys hanging
around at the top, collecting their paychecks and putting on the same
pitiful matches that no one wants to see except for the diehard fans.
Benoit finally got to
the top last night and it felt like yet another Dusty Finish. Yeah
he got there, but never mind because we need to take the title away
from him and just let it sit around until we find some other old guy
to put it on so he can talk about having some big match but never be
able to live up to those promises. The fans have no reason to
believe it’s possible now and once that happens, the faint chance
that WCW could turn it around was gone.
WCW was already a very
wounded animal before those four left, but there was always the
chance that they could tape themselves up, get on their feet and nail
one big right hook to knock the WWF back and have one more chance in
this fight. Instead, and no one knew how bad it was going to get in
just a few weeks when they showed up on Nitro, WWF just cut off WCW’s
arms and punched them with their own fists. WCW may appear to still
be alive and trying to come back, but at this point, without the core
talent that they built up being around anymore, there is no more
hope. WCW is dead.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–07.29.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.29.96 You know, for everyone complaining about how shitty these RAW shows are, they still do twice the pageviews of the Nitro reviews. #justsayin Taped from Seattle, WA Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler Sid vs. Justin Hawk Bradshaw The crowd of course goes apeshit for Sid, and he responds by kicking the crap out of Bradshaw and absolutely squashing him dead with a chokeslam, so Bradshaw responds with the cowbell to the head for the DQ at 1:00. Sid shrugs off a double-team attempt from the heels and powerbombs Bradshaw anyway. So why not just have that be the finish? This is the same shit they’re still doing today! If you wanna beat the guy, just beat him! DUD Meanwhile, Faarooq Asaad challenges Ahmed to an IC title match at Summerslam. Unfortunately, he already ruptured Ahmed’s kidney and so the match never happened. I actually recall really looking forward to seeing that one and being disappointed that it fell through. They eventually wrestled at Royal Rumble in a disappointing blowoff, didn’t they? Marc Mero vs. Vader Vader overpowers Mero in the corner and apparently spits on him, so Mero comes back with clotheslines and a koppo kick. Vader blocks a crucifix with a samoan drop and slugs away in the corner, just beating the hell out of him. Mero fights back and hits a dive on the floor, and back in for the flying sunset flip, but Vader evades that. Mero goes up again and Vader catches him with a powerslam for the pin at 6:21. This was quite energetic and both guys looked good. Circumstances would of course work out very well for Mero soon despite the loss. *** Jim Cornette has a face to face with Jose Lothario, and goes off on a crazed rant about how Vader is going to win the title and what a legend that Lothario is. Cornette is of course great at that sort of thing, and we cut to the back, where Shawn Michaels is watching the interview until Mankind lays him out with the Mandible Claw. The British Bulldog vs. Henry Godwinn The other subplot here is that Jerry Lawler will be facing Aldo Montoya next week in a rematch of a match from Superstars, because Aldo is Jake Roberts’ protege and all. So many possible jokes to make there. We even get Aldo promo time! Also, BREAKING NEWS, because Sunny will be live in the WWF AOL chatroom for reasons, according to a crawl at the bottom of the screen delivering like a weather warning. Henry gets a facefirst slam for two and Bulldog bails to regroup, then comes back with the clubbing forearms before running into a boot in the corner. Bulldog goes to a chinlock while commentator Owen Hart clarifies Bret’s status during his absence: He’s a loser and a coward and a crybaby and a quitter, so leave him alone and get lost. So there you are. He also further clarifies that his doctor has let him know that in “a few more months” they can look at taking the cast off his wrist, which has Vince disgustedly telling him that it takes six weeks for a bone to heal. What a heartless jerk. ARE YOU A DOCTOR, VINCE MCMAHON? We take a break from this boring match for some reason and return with Owen continuing to bury his brother. Henry sets up for the slop drop, but Owen steals his bucket and Bulldog powerslams him for the pin at 9:43. I know if someone stole MY bucket of compost, I’d be upset as well. Match was crap, commentary was hilarious. 1/2* Meanwhile, Olympic hopeful Mark Henry lifts some stuff. Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker Taker throws him into the corner and works the arm, and you can really start to feel Austin heating up as a character at this point. Austin makes a quick comeback and Taker no-sells for a great reaction from Austin. Taker goes old school, but Austin crotches him and chokes away to take over. He stomps a mudhole, perhaps the first one, and Lawler even coins that phrase for it! Austin drops the elbow for two and slugs away in the corner, but Taker ties him up in the ropes and beats him down again. Austin clips him, however, and works him over in the corner while we take a break. Back with Austin holding a chinlock, and he counters an UT comeback with a piledriver, but Taker does the zombie situp and crotches him on the top rope. Taker follows with a chokeslam off the top rope, but Mankind comes out for a distraction and Taker is counted out at 12:00. And Undertaker just comes right back in and tombstones Austin anyway. That’s twice in one show they did the same type of screwjob finish! Decent match, as Austin was way more comfortable with his character now. **1/2 The Pulse Nothing either offensive or impressive on this outing. Still a good crowd and the show breezed by, though.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 6/8/2015

Well, all
right…after my hernia surgery, I am surprisingly good enough to
finally sit at a laptop and write. I don’t think I’ve used a computer at
all except for just now. Everything’s been on my phone.
In any case, hope you’re all well.
We
have a Going Home Show coming tonight and there have been rumors
ranging from a Reigns heel turn to Lesnar showing up at Money in the
Bank to have some sort of impact on the big ladder match.
Let’s roll…

We are LIVE(!!!) from New Orleans, Louisiana for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!
Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are the guys at the desk.
John
Cena starts us off which is a welcome change which, I suppose, might be
the lesser of two evils. He basically gives a mini version of what he
said last week, pandering and yelling at the top of his lungs about how
he’s gonna prove himself because he’s “the face blah blah blah”. This
brings out Kevin Owens who the announcers kinda shit on. Owens says that
the fans are tired of Cena and his Open Challenge. Instead, they should
have an NXT Title Open Challenge. (DANIELLE: Isn’t challenging for, and possibly winning, the NXT Title a step backwards
for a WWE superstar? I’m just saying. It’s like watching a Major League
Baseball team challenging their minor league affiliate for a division
title. It’s hard to be excited for the result.)
John
Cena condescends and then says he accepts Owens’ challenge. Owens says
that Cena’s delusional. They won’t fight tonight. Cena says that it’s
kinda weak that Owens won’t accept just anyone’s challenge. He rants and
raves about the situation. Owens: “Ok…so, we’re just gonna ignore all of that…and let’s let the person coming from the back decide which title he wants.” We wait for that Superstar and it’s…
Neville.
Neville has the mic and tells Cena that they’ll fight again someday.
Neville says that Owens likes to mock the fans and the other Superstars.
He can’t let that stand. So, he chooses to take on Owens.
Cena is gonna join the guys on commentary for the love of god…
MATCH #1: Kevin Owens (champion) vs. Neville (challenger) for the NXT Championship
The
fight immediately starts outside the ring. Neville chases back in, then
hits a nice Hurricarana, tossing Owens outside. Neville dives outside,
knocking Owens down. Neville rolls him back in the ring and pins for a
one count. Owens goes on the attack, hitting a short-arm clothesline.
Neville fights back but Owens shoves Neville in the corner and hits a
splash as well as a Cannonball Splash. Two count. Owens flips Neville up
and drops his stomach on the top rope. Owens hits a headlock as John
Cena won’t shut up about himself and even compares himself to Babe Ruth.
Neville punches away at Owens but Owens catches him and drops Neville’s
stomach right on his knee. Two count. Owens chokes Neville against the
bottom rope, then hits a Side Suplex for two. When we come back from
breaks, Owens has Neville on his shoulders but Neville counters with a
nice DDT. Owens rolls out of the ring. Neville dives at him and the
fight continues. Neville rolls him back inside the ring. A couple of
counters and Neville hits a Springboard Missile Dropkick. Neville tries
to hit a high kick but Owens counters with a Pump Handle Slam and a near
fall. Neville comes back, kicking Owens in the face on a whip, then
hits a German Suplex for two. Neville goes for the Red Arrow but Owens
gets to his feet. Neville knocks him down with an Enzuguri and tries the
Arrow again. He misses. Neville lands on his feet, then hits a
Superkick. Another Red Arrow attempt fails as Owens gets up, knocks him off the top buckle, then hits the Pop-Up Powerbomb to retain at 13:53.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Kevin Owens via Pop-Up Powerbomb
RATING:
**3/4. Not a bad match. Was slow to start, then picked up. Neville
didn’t get a whole lot of offense and this match could have been light
years better if they had worked to their potential.
Post-match, Owens invites Cena into the ring. Cena obliges but Owens leaves the ring, bragging about how he’s NXT Champion.
Cole, JBL and Byron all talk about the situation with Ambrose and Rollins. We get a long segment detailing Elimination Chamber.
AT MONEY IN THE BANK: Ambrose vs. Rollins for the WWE Title.
Ambrose has been walking around New Orleans with the title.
Triple
H and Steph are backstage. Rollins interrupts and he’s so disgusted by
Dean Ambrose! Just DISGUSTED! ACTING!!! They mock Rollins about not
needing help from The Authority. Steph tells Rollins to deal with this
shit and they tell Rollins to pick an opponent to face to prove that he
can handle himself.
We
review the idiotic “Twin Magic” spot the Bellas pulled last week. On
Smackdown, Paige ridicules the Bellas for “always using that trick”.
Renee
Young brings in Nikki Bella. Nikki says that Paige is projecting her
frustration. She thinks that Paige is, like, so ny-eve! Like OMG! Nikki
says that this IS Paige’s house…but she lives in the Bellas’ world.
Next, Summer Rae vs. Nikki Bella.
MATCH #2: Summer Rae vs. WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella (non-title)
Nikki stiffly slams Summer, then does push-ups because that’s what she always
does during matches. Summer comes back with a forearm and a Cobra
Clutch. Nikki breaks because that shit only works if you’re Ted DiBiase.
She somehow knocks Nikki down and gets a two count. Summer chokes Nikki
against the buckle. Nikki comes back and hits the Rack Attack to get
the win at 2:18.
WINNER: Nikki via Rack Attack.
RATING: DUD. (Danielle: Oh, come on. Nikki’s entrance music was longer than that match.)
Cole can’t even be bothered to recap any of that. Instead, we take a look at Roman Reigns running the Gauntlet last week.
More Instagram photos of Dean Ambrose just hanging out in various spots in New Orleans.
Roman
Reigns is out here to talk. He says that he hated the MITB case and the
contract because it was tied to a guy he detests. He says he’s gonna
make history when he climbs the ladder and gets the contract. Aaaaaand
here comes Kane to dead silence. Kane says that he believes that anyone
else stands a better chance than Roman. He says that Reigns is full of
weakness, not strength. Reigns just invites Kane into the ring and he’ll
show people how to break a jaw. That brings out Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler
says that Kane can’t do a thing unless The Authority pulls his string.
He says that Kane is a human hardware store because he throws “wrenches”
into peoples’ plans and “hammers” things out and “screws” people and
he’s a “tool” because he “tools away”. Oh, jesus, please cut away to
anything. He says he has a hot Russian chick and he’ll win the MITB
case. Kane goes with the “tool” thing. He says that Ziggler and Reigns
better watch their mouths because the MITB foes will be in singles
action tonight.
That
brings out R-Truth as this segment just takes a turn. Kane: “What are
you doing out here? You’re not even IN the match!” Truth: “I’m not? You
sure? This one’s on me. My bad.” Oh…fuck. Wow. Truth leaves. 
Then
The New Day shows up. They insult Kane. Kofi says that when he wins
MITB, all of The New Day will be the winners of that case. Kane
interrupts their chant again — only to bring out Sheamus. Sheamus says
that the thought of winning the MITB case brings a smile to his face.
More ranting. Kane interrupts again and says that everyone’s forgetting
about Neville and Randy Orton.
Orton’s music hits. (DANIELLE: So…we had to sit through all that, plus R-Truth, just so Kane could introduce Randy Orton?)
When we come back, it’s Orton and Sheamus… 
MATCH #3: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
The
match starts outside but continues inside with Randy Orton hitting a
back breaker and Garvin Stomp. Sheamus rolls outside to recover but
Orton attacks with a clothesline, then rolls Sheamus back inside.
Sheamus attacks with shots in the corner but Orton hits uppercuts and a
headbutt. Sheamus hits quick uppercuts. Orton fights back and knocks
Sheamus down. Sheamus rolls out of the ring again. Orton goes outside
and shoves him back in. Orton whips him into the corner but Sheamus
elbows him on a charge, then hits a short-arm clothesline for two.
Sheamus puts on an armbar but Orton breaks it and hits a dropkick.
Sheamus comes back with some shots, then puts Orton outside. When we
come back from break, Orton breaks a headlock only to see Sheamus
powerslam him for two. Orton fights back as the two men trade punches.
Sheamus knees Orton in the gut and whips him to the ropes. Orton comes
back with a knee to the gut and clothesline along with a Powerslam in
Stride. Sheamus regains momentum only to fly into the corner post. Orton
hits a leghook suplex and goes for the Vintage Orton DDT. RKO attempt
by Orton goes awry. Sheamus tries a Brogue but misses and Orton
clotheslines him outside. It’s a brawl as Sheamus tries to toss Orton
into the table. Orton manages to fly over it and lands on his feet.
Sheamus grabs a chair but Orton punches Sheamus, then hits Sheamus in
the stomach with the chair for the DQ at 13:09.
WINNER: Sheamus via DQ
RATING: **. This was the same match we saw last week. Still, these guys put on a great brawl.
Post-match,
Orton’s in a bad mood and decides to beat the holy hell out of Sheamus,
putting him into the steel steps. He rolls Sheamus into the ring and
hits the RKO.
Rollins
is on Instagram, looking at more of Dean’s pics. J&J come by and
say they know that Rollins said some things he didn’t mean. Rollins says
he meant every single word. He calls them morons. Noble’s had it. He
says that they’ve had Rollins’ back for a long time and that he wouldn’t
continue to be champ if it wasn’t for them. Rollins says that he’s
gonna prove how awful they are — because he wants to take them on in
tonight’s main event. He laughs at Noble, then slaps him in the face.
Noble slaps him back. Rollins lunges but Mercury gets in his way and
says that they’ve defended Rollins — but, tonight, they’re gonna kick
his ass.
MATCH #4: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane
Whoa, we haven’t seen this
match before. I can hardly wait. Ziggler hits a dropkick, sending Kane
into the corner. Ziggler goes for a splash but Kane belts him in the
face. Lana, meanwhile, stands halfway down the aisle as Kane hits
uppercuts. Long headlock spot with Ziggler finally hitting a chinbreaker
to escape. Kane grabs him, however, and it’s a Side Suplex for two.
Kane punches Ziggler in the corner and then hits a hard knee to
Ziggler’s head. Kane hits a scoop slam for a one-count. Ziggler comes
back, kicking Kane in the head but Kane picks him up and hits a Sidewalk
Slam for two. When we come back from a commercial, Ziggler hits the
Fame-Asser and gets a near fall. Ziggler tries the Superkick but Kane
catches his foot and goes for the Chokeslam. Ziggler counters and does
hit the Superkick. Both men go down…and here comes Rusev on crutches
because, oh yeah, Lana’s still out there on the ramp in case you care.
Lana takes a weird fall off the ramp and does something to her ankle.
Kane grabs Ziggler on the distraction and hits a Chokeslam to end this
bullshit at 9:46.
WINNER: Kane via Chokeslam
RATING:
1/2 a *. A match that served no purpose and that ended because Ziggler
was concerned about his new g/f with whom he has no chemistry
whatsoever. 
Post-match, trainers and Ziggler tend to Lana as Cole acts like Lana took a dive off the Titantron.
Meanwhile, Ambrose is still on Bourbon Street, touring New Orleans.
J&J are talking backstage. Noble and Mercury agree that Rollins is getting cocky.
NEXT: MizTV starring Ryback and Big Show.
A bunch of people resembling models and bodybuilders are the Top 40 Tough Enough finalists.
Backstage, trainers tend to Lana backstage.
Miz
is in the ring, dressed like a Muslim woman and welcomes everyone to
MizTV. He recaps last week when Big Show clocked him and robbed him of
an IC Title shot. Ryback hits the ring and says that HE was robbed of a
chance to beat up Miz. Miz does his “how dare you” spot. Ryback
interrupts him and says that he thinks he’s big but Damien Sandow
outclassed him the entire time they were together. Ryback says that, had
they wrestled, Ryback would have taken years off Miz’s career. Miz
calls him “ugly” and says there’s only one pretty face and it’s Miz.
They argue over crowd chants until Big Show shows up. The crowd chants
that the chair Show’s sitting in is gonna break. Show tells them that
the chair won’t break. He talks up his own strength and says he can
break whatever he wants and can take whatever he wants. Ryback says that
he has no issue with fighting Show. He’s not afraid of him…unlike
Miz. Ryback stands and so does Show. Miz tries to get them to fight.
Show tells him to shut up or else he’ll shut Miz’s mouth. Miz attacks
Show. Show nails him, then tosses Ryback into his chair. He clotheslines
Miz out of the ring. Ryback comes to and hits Shell Shock on Show to
end the segment. Crowd liked that.
MATCH #5: Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito) vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
The
announcers talk about Rowan and Harper as if they’re the most awesome
tag team in the entire universe even though we’ve seen them twice on RAW
in the last month or so. Harper and Rowan beat up on one of the
matadors. Harper hits a huge boot to the face and it’s Rowan’s turn.
Rowan hits a Warrior Splash for two. Torito gets up on the mat to cheer
his team but Rowan knocks him off. Diego goes to take care of Torito as
Harper and Rowan hit 3D to win it at 2:18.
WINNERS: Harper & Rowan
RATING: n/a – squash
Crowd
chants “3D” as Harper grabs a mic and says that the time for everyone
to pay for their sins is coming. Rowan says it’s ok to be afraid.
Everyone should be.
Backstage,
Kane laughs at Ambrose’s Instagram and mocks Rollins. Rollins isn’t
happy. Kane says that Rollins is in a no-win situation. If Rollins wins
on Sunday, Kane’s gonna come down the aisle with the MITB case. Rollins
says he’s gonna teach J&J a lesson — then Ambrose — then Kane.
Kane says that he’s interested to see if that will happen…because he’s
gonna be in J&J’s corner tonight.
WWE congratulates itself for having more followers than ESPN, HBO — and GATORADE!!! SUCK IT, HYDRATION!!!
Ambrose is on his way to the arena. He has a ticket to tonight’s show.
Cole plugs “Ted 2” and we get a fucking trailer.
MATCH #6: Big E (w/ Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. Titus O’Neil (w/ Darren Young)
Holy
shit, this crowd is asleep. E puts Titus to the mat, then punches at
him. He kicks Titus, then claps in his face. More punching and an
Abdominal Stretch. Another kick to Titus’s ribs and more clapping. Titus
finally fights back, then punches at E in the corner. He slaps E’s
chest, then just throws E across the ring and hits shoulderblocks. Titus
puts E in the corner and more punches. Titus hits a huge shoulderblock.
Woods starts shoving Young outside. Titus grabs Woods by his hair. Kofi
hits the mat. E grabs Titus and hits the Big Ending on the distraction
to end it at 3:10.
WINNER: Big E via Big Ending
RATING: 1/4 of a *. Not even a match and makes the challengers look horrible heading into MITB.
The New Day celebrates as Roman Reigns’ music hits. He heads to the ring. He takes on Kofi after break. 
MATCH #7: Kofi Kingston (w/ Big E & Xavier Woods) vs. Roman Reigns
Kofi
hits a headlock. Reigns escapes and hits a shoulder tackle. More hot
headlock action but Reigns escapes again and flips Kofi to the mat and
outside. Kofi, Woods and E huddle. They surround the ring and Reigns
just stands there and falls for it like a giant dope. Kofi attacks and
puts Reigns in the corner, hitting shoulder rams while Woods rants. Kofi
runs at Reigns who grabs him for a Samoan Drop. Kofi kicks out but
Reigns hits a HUGE clothesline and then sends Kofi out of the ring.
Reigns follows him and tosses Kofi’s head into the announce table.
Reigns hits the Sitting Dropkick and gets back into the ring. He goes
for a Suicide Dive at the entire New Day but they move out of the way.
Reigns runs at them from another angle and ends up nailing Woods. Kofi
hits a missile dropkick from inside the ring. When we come back, Kofi
hits a dropkick to Reigns, then kicks him in the back, getting two.
Reigns escapes a headlock but Kofi trips Reigns, knocking him to the
mat. Kofi goes top rope with a nice Double Axehandle for two. Reigns
gets to his feet and hits clotheslines, then puts Kofi in a corner. He
rushes and splashes Kofi. Reigns hits a Gut Wrench Slam for two. Kofi
kicks at Reigns and tries the SOS but Reigns counters with a Sitting
Powerbomb for two. Reigns goes for a Superman Punch. E interferes but
Reigns sends him off the mat. Woods attacks but backs off. Kofi tries a
roll-up with a handful of tights but Reigns kicks out. Kofi goes top
tope but Reigns counters with a Superman Punch on the way down to win
the match at 12:07.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via Superman Punch
RATING:
**. Kofi really carried this match with pure physicality and Woods with
his verbal shenanigans and trolling. Other than that, this match was
so-so with Reigns suddenly popping up and winning.
Post-match,
Reigns grabs a chair at ringside and waits…Dean Ambrose arrives to
take a seat at ringside. Reigns hands him the chair so he can sit down.
Triple
H and Steph watch this backstage. Rollins approaches them. Steph asks
if Rollins needs something. Rollins says nothing even though he wants
to. He walks off for his match.
When we come back for break, it’s the Handicap Match and we’re two minutes into the overrun. Lovely.
MATCH #8: Seth Rollins vs. J&J Security (Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) (w/ Kane)
Mercury
and Rollins start. Rollins puts Mercury in a wristlock but Mercury
reverses it. Rollins counters that and Noble tags in. Ambrose barks at
Rollins. Already, this has gone on too long. Noble eats a shoulderblock
and Rollins tosses him and Mercury out of the ring as the crowd maps the
quickest way out of the building. J&J surround the ring with Kane
on the other side. J&J swarm Rollins and clothesline him out of the
ring as the crowd kinda wakes up. Rollins ends up next to Ambrose who
dumps popcorn on Rollins’ head. Rollins gets back into the ring and runs
into a Mercury dropkick and an armbar. Rollins counters with a
short-arm clothesline, then knocks Noble off the mat. Rollins tosses
Mercury into the crowd barrier outside, then stomps a mudhole in
Mercury. He tosses Mercury into the barrier in front of Ambrose, who
gives not one shit. He drinks soda and laughs at Rollins. Rollins is
furious and rolls Mercury back into the ring.
He
splashes Mercury, then taunts Noble. He stomps at the hands of Mercury
as part of the crowd half-heartedly chants for Joey Mercury by default.
Rollins locks Mercury in a chinlock as Ambrose pounds the barrier in
front of him to fire up J&J. Rollins misses a top rope attack, then a
corner splash and Mercury makes a hot tag to Noble. Noble hits a lariat
and then just crashes into Rollins. He hits a Swinging Neckbreaker and
NEARLY gets a fall. Noble goes top rope but Rollins knocks him off.
Rollins tries a suplex but Mercury grabs Rollins’ leg. Noble falls on
him for a two count. Chaos on the ring with a ton of counters before
Rollins puts Mercury to the mat. He goes for a Buckle Bomb, tossing
Mercury into Noble. Rollins slaps at Noble’s face and goes for a
Pedigree but Ambrose pops out of his seat, then tosses the title at
Rollins. Rollins grabs it. Mercury rolls Rollins up to win it at 9:00.
WINNERS: J&J Security
RATING:
**. This was your basic overbooking nonsense with the underdog heroes
getting the unlikely win. Of course, that means Rollins is gonna close
this sucker at MITB.
Post-match,
Rollins hoists the belt, bragging in Kane’s face — but Ambrose attacks
him and hits Dirty Deeds, taking the title away from Rollins once
again. Ambrose grabs a ladder and climbs it, holding the title up while
Rollins glares.
OVERALL:
**. Ok RAW. I didn’t expect much but I figured there was going to be
more to this than what I just saw. The whole Lone Wolf Rollins angle is
pointless as hell — especially when we all know it isn’t going
anywhere. Money in the Bank is not something I’m looking forward to.
Bayless is on the same line of thought. There’s nobody there I’d like to
see pull down the case and the status quo is going to continue with
Rollins keeping the title, even though he jobs as much as Barrett does.
I’ve actually really enjoyed Ambrose having the Championship. It’s
really too bad they didn’t convince much of anyone that Ambrose should
stay the “champion”. Even if it’s not Ambrose, the whole “Authority
controls who’s champion” angle needs to die soon. It weighs down
everything.
And, of course…the Best of Monday Night Open Mic:
Regarding Neville and the “Man That Gravity Forgot” thing:

Er…that’s it.

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–07.22.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 07.22.96 Oh boo hoo, so I left Nitro for a bit and went back to RAW. RAW gets me in a way Nitro doesn’t! I talked for hours with RAW on the phone the other night about feelings and Joe Gomez and stuff, and I’m lucky if Nitro calls me back after a night of drinking. I’m a human being too, you know. But that’s fine, back to Nitro. Joe Gomez better be on this show, hopefully in a super-creepy beach video. Live from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Tony & Larry   Scott Norton vs. Squire Dave Taylor Taylor fires away with forearms, but Norton no-sells them and sends him to the floor. Back in, Norton misses a blind charge, but tosses Taylor again and this time it’s a DQ at 1:45. Oh yeah, over the top rule. 1/2* They brawl on the outside while the timekeeper frantically rings the bell. Because that’s ever worked before. Meanwhile, the Horsemen are chillin’ at Flair’s fancy table, preparing for the main event tonight. VK Wallstreet vs. Konnan They trade armbars and Wallstreet tosses him and works the leg back in the ring. VK uses the ropes, but gets rolled up for two. We hit the chinlock as Tony talks up the awesome win streak that Wallstreet is on: One win over Jim Powers! And if he wins tonight, that’s TWO. Samoan drop gets two, and Konnan rolls him over for the pin at 5:18. Dammit, the Reddit guy lied to me about putting money on Rotundo here. HE WAS ON A WINNING STREAK! * I feel like Rotundo should take this gimmick back to TNA and manage the Wolves. Meanwhile, WCW’s failed babyface trio are ready to chomp on the Horsemen tonight. They all want Hogan and don’t care for him very much. It’s GLACIER, and he’s all doing karate and shit. And then the most WCW thing ever, as we get a video of the awesome team of Joe Gomez, the Renegade, Alex Wright and Jim Powers walking on a beach and taking their shirts off in what looks like the trailer for a gay porn film. Joe Gomez is so above this. And yet it stirs strange feelings in me. Things I’ve never admitted to myself about Joe Gomez. Joe Gomez, The Renegade, Alex Wright & Jim Powers vs. Hugh Morrus, Kevin Sullivan, The Barbarian and THE LEPRECHAN Not to be confused with Hornswaggle. The camera immediately ignores this bullshit and heads to the back while Alex Wright gets beat up. So in the back, the Outsiders have hijacked the truck and start messing with the broadcast, which gives us a rare glance of directing legends like Keith Mitchell and Craig Leathers. Hall and Nash keep sending the camera to the crowd, apparently looking for a friend. Nash: “Everyone back to the trailers for pot pies and Mountain Dew!” Sounds good to me. Anyway, after this gross disrespect of the legend that is Joe Gomez, we finally return to the match with Teddy Long giving Jim Powers a peptalk. So Powers’ HGH shots finally kick in and he runs wild, but Giant runs in and just chokeslams everyone like a bunch of geeks at 5:42. Clearly he was terrified of Joe Gomez going on a win streak and getting a title shot. Frankly they should talk Joe Gomez out of retirement and have him face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania because it would be the only guaranteed 200,000 ticket sellout in history. If they played that beach video beforehand, it might be 400,000. The Giant declares himself the cancer of WCW that no one can cure. I thought that was Hogan? Also, I’m pretty sure Joe Gomez could cure cancer in between bookings. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Prince Iaukea The epic clashes continue. The Prince gets a dropkick in the corner, but DDP lays him out and follows with a sideslam. Iaukea comes back with a pair of springboard bodypresses for two, but Diamond Cutter outta nowhere finishes at 1:25. Dean Malenko vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. This is Chavo’s Nitro debut, and Meltzer is immediately busting on him in the Observer, noting how green he is and how he’s been unable to adjust from the lucha libre style. Poor Chavito. Malenko pretty much dismantles him, but Chavo gets a brief comeback with a dropkick. Malenko drops him on his head with a backdrop suplex and totally ignores Chavo’s comeback, then throws him around the ring while we switch to HOUR NUMBER TWO. Your hosts are Eric & Bobby Chavo uses the distraction of the fireworks to get a sunset flip for two, but Malenko holds a headscissors on the mat and more boring holds. A brainbuster and powerbomb follow while the bored crowd messes around, but Chavo gets a pair of cradles for two. To the top, but he whiffs on something and the Cloverleaf finishes at 8:05. WAY, way too long for what was basically a squash. *1/2 Meng vs. Ice Train Well this should save the show. Meng attacks to start, but Train gets a bodypress for two while Teddy Long looks on his second segment of the show. What, the Craig Pittman revival worked so well that guys are lining up now to be managed by Long? Train works on the arm and gets a terrible sunset flip for two, and they slug it out in ridiculous fashion as this somehow gets worse by the minute. Ice Train escapes a nerve hold and comes back with a clothesline for two, but Meng slugs him down and goes to a chinlock. This match is the very definition of time-wasting garbage. Train makes the comeback with a pair of corner splashes and a powerslam for two, but he goes up and lands on the KICK OF FEAR. And then Scott Norton runs in for the DQ at 6:17 and beats up Meng for reasons that aren’t immediately clear. Then Norton stops and cuts a promo about how he’s going to protect Ice Train until the PPV so he can beat him up himself. That makes…sense? I guess? DUD But who will protect us, the fans, from shitty Ice Train matches? Eddie Guerrero vs. Psicosis Apparently the WCW agents like Terry Taylor were really high on Psi at this point, calling him one of the best workers ever, but not high enough on him to, say, suggest that he ever win a fucking match. They trade some armdrags and we take a break, returning with Psi missing a blind charge and wiping out. Psi recovers with a dropkick, but Eddie monkey-flips him onto the top rope and dumps him to the floor, following with a dive that looked like some mixed signals. Psi seemed like he was trying to catch Eddie whereas Eddie just wanted a straight bodypress. Just looked awkward. Back in, Eddie gets a suplex for two, but Psi puts him down with an enzuigiri and goes up with a flying spinning leg lariat. Eddie bails and Psi follows with a suicide dive that sends Eddie into the geeks in the front row, and back in for the flying legdrop. Eddie rolls him up for two and snaps off a rana, and a backbreaker gets two. Psi with a West Coast Pop for two. Powerbomb and a twisting senton from the top gets two. Eddie fights back with his own rana from the top and finishes with the frog splash at 9:00. Not the best for either guy, but thankfully miles better than everything else on this particular shitty show. *** Sting, Lex Luger & Randy Savage vs. Arn Anderson, Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael This was supposed to be Flair leading the Horsemen team, but he’s not here as they tease him as the fourth member of the nWo. That of course went nowhere. Finally the poor Disney crowd gets some real star power tonight with Randy Savage in the main event, and they immediately go crazy for him and literally everyone is standing. Sting cleans house on the Horsemen to start, but quickly gets railroaded on the floor and sent into the post. Back in, Benoit with a backdrop suplex for two and Mongo gets a neckbreaker for two, but Sting hits him with a bodypress for two. He follows with a dropkick that’s about 0.5 Erik Watts and Benoit comes in to beat on Sting with chops. We get a hilarious cut to the mysterious limo in the parking lot, the one that no one can figure out or open, as some WCW suit gets caught on camera and just casually opens the door and looks inside to talk to someone. D’OH! Meanwhile, Sting gets worked over in the Horsemen corner, but fights back with a suplex on AA and it’s hot tag Luger. It’s BONZO GONZO and everyone is just missing their cue like crazy, but now Savage steals the briefcase of money back from the women and nails Benoit with it to give Luger the win at 6:15. So Savage gets his money back to finally put that storyline out to pasture. This was a mess. *1/2 The Pulse RAW was a way better show this week. I don’t expect that trend to last long, so enjoy it while you can.

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

It’s summertime in this household which means dinner will come off the grill 95% of the time and I need to double down on mosquito repellent.

As for tonight there’s plenty going on.

Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals with the TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING~! against the chicago blackhawks.

Women’s World Cup match is USA vs. Australia

College Baseball is on some ESPN channels.

New episodes of American Ninja Warrior and The Bachelorette

Oh yeah RAW is on too.

So discuss among yourselves and keep it clean.

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–07.22.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.22.96 Season six of Sons of Anarchy finally wrapped up this weekend in our household, and MAN did that finale suck. Someone should have told Kurt Sutter that just because FX offers you a two-hour slot for the finale, you don’t have to take a 40 minute episode and stretch it out by having everyone make dramatic pauses in between lines. And quite the downer for the season to end on, as well. I found most of it pretty rambling and low-stakes once the whole Lee Toric thing was dealt with and I’d call it the second-worst season after the Belfast one. Especially with every episode being overly long like they were. But hey, we’ve got one season left, so hopefully it wraps up nicely. Live from Seattle, WA. This is actually shot like a full arena setup, even with only a 7000 seat capacity for this taping, which gives the show a much bigger feel than it’s been having lately. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler WWF tag titles: The Smoking Gunns vs. Shawn Michaels & Ahmed Johnson It’s Shawn’s birthday, so Sunny brings a cake with her to celebrate. She likely gave him another birthday present in the locker room beforehand as well, if you know what I mean. By which I mean a nice watch. The Gunns attack on the floor to start, before Shawn can even get his pyro, so Sunny tries to throw the cake in his face and suffers the fickle hand of irony when Ahmed dumps it on her instead. I’m sure he probably dumped another load of something onto her in the locker room, if you know what I mean. By which I mean he had sex with her. So this doesn’t happen, although Gorilla announces after the break that it will be delayed until later in the show…OR ELSE. Marc Mero vs. The Goon The next great uber-jobber gimmick debuts, as apparently Bill Irwin REALLY needed the cash. The Goon attacks with some hipchecks in the corner and an elbow. The touches with the character are kind of funny, actually, like the faux-Devils jersey and skate-shaped boots, but man what a stupid idea overall. Goon with a clothesline and high knee in the corner as Goon takes a ridiculous amount of the offense here and Jake Roberts calls in for an interview while Lawler mocks him on commentary. Mero finally comes back with a dropkick and a rollup for two. Meanwhile, Steve Austin on commentary gets an epic burial of Lex Luger and the time they “painted a school bus red white and blue so someone could go around kissing babies”, and he suggests giving HIM a bus so he could go town to town and whip everyone’s ass. Meanwhile, Goon goes to the chinlock, but Mero comes back with a sloppy headscissors that they manage to mess up, but Goon cuts him off AGAIN and dumps him to the floor. Goon charges and slips on the remains of the cake, and Mero hits him with the somersault plancha and finishes with a slingshot legdrop at 7:15. This was a DISASTER. -* Meltzer details a story about then-wrestler Scott D’Amore doing the same gimmick and making the mistake of telling the WWF about it, only to see them never call him back and then debut the exact same gimmick two weeks later. Meanwhile, Clarence Mason presses Gorilla Monsoon to allow a mysterious former convict to compete in the WWF again. Mankind vs. Freddie Joe Floyd And here’s Tracy Smothers, the next in the line of goofy jobbers. Mankind with the usual dismantling of Floyd, but he misses a charge and Floyd makes the comeback with the enzuigiri and a flying elbow for two. Rollup gets two. Floyd goes up again and Mankind brings him down with the Mandible Claw at 3:49 to finish. Energetic little squash. ** Goldust vs. Barry Horowitz Brian Pillman is on commentary and promises to say the “seven words” at some point. Well Russo wasn’t booking quite yet, otherwise he might have. Goldust finishes quickly with the Curtain Call at 2:10. Pillman is quite excited for the prospect of a three-way with Marlena and Sable before Vince quickly cuts him off and moves on. Vader announces that he’s getting a title shot at Summerslam, and he’s the bully who’s gonna steal Shawn’s lunch money, and by lunch money he’s metaphorically referring to the WWF title. WWF tag titles: The Smoking Gunns vs. Shawn Michaels & Ahmed Johnson Take two. Shawn slugs Billy down to start and clotheslines him to the floor, and Ahmed comes in to work on the arm as we take a break. Back with Bart getting a cheapshot on Ahmed to take over, but Shawn comes in and runs wild on Billy until Bart clotheslines him on the top rope to slow him down again. Press slam onto the top rope follows. Shawn bumping around the ring as face-in-peril is the role he was born to play. The Gunns beat on him outside and Billy gets two in the ring, and we get the classic cutting the ring in half heel tactics from the Gunns. And it ALWAYS WORKS. The fans in the front row are just enraged as we take a break. Back with the wide shot of the arena, where you can see it’s scaled to just the one side like a low-level concert bowl setup. Why ruin the illusion? Billy with the corner clothesline for two and he goes to the chinlock, but Shawn fights out and noggins are knocked. HOT tag Ahmed, as the asskicking babyface half of the tag team is a role that Ahmed was born to play as well, and he cleans house in impressive fashion until FAAROOQ debuts in his gladiator gear and attacks Ahmed on the floor for the DQ at 16:00. I have no idea who thought that look would be a good idea. ***1/2 Also, why would Ron Simmons let himself balloon to 300 pounds like that just before getting a big contract and push? The Pulse Big crowd and hot main event make this is a much easier show to sit through than recent weeks.

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–07.15.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.15.96 Back to RAW, because why not? Taped from Green Bay, WI, thankfully for the last show from this cycle. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler Intercontinental title: Ahmed Johnson vs. Bart Gunn Pretty long stall to start and Ahmed controls with hiptosses until Bart cheats to take over. Bart goes to work on the arm and man isn’t that thrilling. Ahmed fights out of the hammerlock and misses a charge, which gives Bart two. Aaaaaaaaand…Bart goes back to working on the arm again. Ahmed gets a powerslam for two and we take a break, returning with Bart back in control with a flying bulldog for two. However, Ahmed has had enough and finishes with the spinebuster and Pearl River Plunge at 13:40 just like that. Frankly I’m shocked they had enough “highlights” to put together a replay at the end. It was literally all Bart lying on the mat working on an armbar for 10 minutes. * Marc Mero vs. TL Hopper Yes, it’s the RAW debut of Tony Anthony, the wrestling plumber. Astonishingly, they actually have footage of Hopper going over Duke Droese, which must be the only win the poor guy ever had on record. As noted many times by smart-ass online fans at the time, a plumber would be making WAY more than a low-level WWF guy at the time would be making, so why would he care about being a wrestler? They trade headlocks and Hopper beats Mero down off a cheapshot and works him over to a dead silent crowd. Meanwhile Lawler and Vince make butt crack jokes like it’s the funniest thing ever. I know this character was never intended to get over, but this has to be an epic low even by 1996 RAW standards. We take a break and return with Hopper hitting a legdrop for two, but he misses a splash and Mero comes back with a flying headscissors and the KO punch for the pin at 10:25. This RAW crowd might be one of the worst ever. Nothing as a match, but Hopper was at least trying to do his best with a shitty gimmick. Pun intended. *1/2 And now, a special look at Undertaker, as they need to stretch this show out for another 5:00 to make up for the Ultimate Warrior bits edited out. WWF World title: Shawn Michaels vs. Billy Gunn Vince offers condolences to Bret Hart on the death of his nephew Matt, who died about the worst way that a human being can: Flesh eating bacteria. I would not wish that shit on my worst enemy. So obviously Bret had a lot of heavy stuff on his mind at this point. They trade headlocks to start as Billy really starts to develop the cocky heel persona that would get him over a year later, but Shawn dumps him and gets a sunset flip for two. Billy runs away from a superkick and Shawn chases Sunny around the ring, pretending to be a sex-craved pervert. Yeah, pretending, that’s the ticket. Shawn comes off the top rope and gets caught coming down, but Shawn takes Billy down and posts him. Slingshot clothesline and Shawn slugs away on the mat, but Billy clotheslines him to the floor to take over. We take a break and return with Shawn fighting out of a chinlock, but Billy elbows him down for two. Billy works the back while Vince tries to take another break but has to argue with Sunny and Lawler for a minute instead, and then we take our second break as Billy hits a bulldog. Back with Shawn making the comeback with his usual stuff and a flying elbow to set up the superkick. And indeed, that finishes at 15:24. The crowd at least got a little bit excited for Shawn at the end. **1/4 Meanwhile, they insert a new pre-taped segment in the back, with Camp Cornette attacking Shawn before Sid drives in to make the save. This was actually supposed to make us buy a PPV. The Pulse Yes indeed, this was the go-home show for International Incident, which I believe set the new record low for PPV buys or close to it. Thankfully, more interesting things happen next week.

Monday Nitro – January 10, 2000

Monday Nitro #222
Date: January 10, 2000
Location: Marine
Midland Arena, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 8,990
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

How can this already be
the last Nitro before Souled Out? With all the nonsense that goes on
around here these days, it’s very hard to keep up with the time
frame. It doesn’t help that they keep changing things around as
Russo continues to lose influence. Oddly enough that loss has power
has coincided with my headaches subsiding after these shows. Let’s
get to it.

We open with a recap of
Terry Funk getting beaten up over and over by the NWO. Suddenly Ric
Flair is the smartest man in wrestling.
Terry Funk, Larry
Zbyszko, Arn Anderson and Paul Orndorff arrive. This is really their
big solution to Goldberg’s injury? A lineup of wrestlers who were
veterans eight years earlier?
Tag Team Titles:
Dean Malenko/Perry Saturn vs. Kidman/Konnan vs. David Flair/Crowbar
Flair
and Crowbar are defending. Falls count anywhere, likely due to this
being close to ECW territory. The Animals and Revolution start
brawling before the champions get out here so David and Crowbar are
late to the fight. With Shane sitting in on commentary and demanding
to only be referred to as the Franchise, Crowbar lays Kidman out with
a sitout gordbuster.
It’s time to get the
weapons and they might as well start piping in the ECW chants
already. Flair and Crowbar take over with their weapons as the
Revolution destroys Rey in the aisle. In the insanity, Douglas and
Malenko put Mysterio on a table so Saturn can channel his inner New
Jack for a splash from the balcony. Saturn is broken in half (though
nowhere near as badly as Rey) so David comes over and pins him to
retain.
Rating:
E.
I think you know what that stands for. Let’s see: no wrestling in
sight, a bunch of weapons, falls count anywhere, a huge dive out of
the balcony through someone on a table. As usual, WCW has no idea
what it’s trying to be so it just rips off another promotion’s ideas
step for step.
Tony tells us that
Terry Funk is booking the show on the fly tonight so they have no
idea what the matches will be. I actually kind of like the idea as
they often make matches throughout the night so why not just admit
that you’re doing it?
Recap of Harlem Heat
splitting. That would be the 2000 split in case you’re confused with
all the other splits they’ve had over the years.
The NWO gives Scott
Steiner some women of questionable character for a birthday present.
We look back at the
ending to the opener. Mysterio leaves in an ambulance, along with
the Animals.
Steiner goes into a
room with three of the women, promising the rest will have a turn
later.
Here’s
Oklahoma to continue his anti-woman crusade. Oh geez can we go back
to the New Jack imitations? He insults women and wants them all to
stay in the kitchen where they belong, except for an open challenge
right now.
Oklahoma vs. Asya
Well
who else was it going to be? She shoves him down and knocks off his
hat so Oklahoma nails her from behind, knocking it out to the floor.
Asya slams him down and here’s Madusa, with blue hair, as Oklahoma
nails Asya with a bottle of barbecue sauce. Madusa takes a broom to
the head and Oklahoma takes the belt.
Juventud Guerrera,
Psychosis, Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Lenny Lane, La Parka.
There’s no reason I’m listing these names off. They just happened to
come to my mind.
Here
are Funk, Zbyszko, Anderson and Orndorff with something to say. Funk
says Nash’s powerbomb on Thunder is nowhere near enough and he pulled
these three men off the unemployment line to help him fight this
battle. They’re the Old Age Outlaws (egads) but they’re more than
young enough to take care of the NWO.
Arn talks about wanting
to get some revenge the old fashioned way, Zbyszko bores the crowd by
talking about tradition and Orndorff talks about the talent from the
Power Plant that he helped train. Why the Power Plant guys aren’t in
this spot isn’t exactly clear. It’s also not clear why this story
continues as the crowd is eerily silent.
Cue the NWO to make the
obvious old jokes. Nash is looking forward to being the Commissioner
on Sunday but Funk says he’s still in charge tonight. Like for
instance, tonight Jarrett, in a Tennessee Titans jersey for some
cheap heat, is going to be in three matches: a regular match, a
Bunkhouse Brawl and a cage match. The title won’t be on the line or
anything, but I guess that’s out of respect for Benoit. Speaking of
Benoit, he’ll be refereeing all three matches, which will be against
some of Funk’s close friends.
As for the rest of the
NWO, Hart will defend against Nash and if they don’t fight, both guys
are suspended for a year. Hart and Nash don’t mind the threat and
say they’ll take the year off. You know, because they don’t care
about wrestling. Steiner swears a lot, but since he isn’t cleared to
wrestle, Funk is going to wash his mouth out with soap.
Let’s stop and take a
look at this for a bit. Here’s what we have in this story:
NWO
Bret Hart – Debuted
in the WWF in 1985, fifteen year veteran on the national stage
Kevin Nash – Debuted
in WCW in 1990, ten year veteran on the national stage
Scott Steiner –
Debuted in WCW in 1989, eleven year veteran on the national stage
Jeff Jarrett –
Debuted in the WWF in 1993, seven year veteran on the national stage
Now let’s look at the
old guys.
Old Age Outlaws
Terry Funk – 54,
debuted in 1965, lost the NWA World Title twenty five years ago
Arn Anderson – 41,
debuted in 1982, retired as a regular wrestled three years ago
Paul Orndorff – 50,
debuted in 1976, retired as a regular wrestler four years ago, hit
his peak thirteen years ago
Larry Zbyszko – 48,
debuted in 1973, retired as a regular wrestler five years ago, hit
his peak twenty years ago
So we have Terry Funk
as the only active wrestler, with Larry Zbyszko probably being the
healthiest as he retired from active competition in 1994 and has
wrestled three matches since. Anderson and Orndorff can’t wrestle
and Zbyszko didn’t, so we’re left with Terry Funk, who first retired
in 1983, fighting the entire NWO. This is their main event storyline
with Benoit as the young guy fighting the midcard champion instead of
fighting for the World Title.
How is this supposed to
appeal to younger fans? I get how the older generation would appeal
to older fans or really big time fans, but even they can only hang
with this for so long. The younger fans though see these old guys
hogging the spots that the younger guys should be having.
Orndorff mentioned
training eight people at the Power Plant. Why not bring them up?
You have one of the best talkers of all time in Arn Anderson and two
very good talkers in Funk and Orndorff. What WCW needed was a fresh
batch of main event talent. You might even say they need a
revolution to take over that part of the card.
Instead,
guys like Benoit, Malenko, Saturn and Douglas are busy chasing
Janitor Jim Duggan around and trying to make him denounce America
because they view themselves as a sovereign nation and hate this
country while Oklahoma is chasing the Cruiserweight Title and a
freakshow tag team like David Flair and Crowbar holding the Tag Team
Titles because David is nuts after something about his dad sleeping
with Kimberly. Booker T. on the other hand is busy splitting up with
Stevie Ray again.
There
is no one to cheer for right now and the best solution is to bring in
people who used to be over and have them give the rub
to….themselves. Yeah Benoit is around and they mentioned him, but
you don’t see them working together or helping each other out because
the solution is to just have them talk about tradition, much like
Vince McMahon did in the early days of his war against Steve Austin.
That’s WCW’s big solution to get people to cheer: act like one of the
greatest heel characters of all time against the cool heels. It’s
like they’re taking every possible bad idea and running with it.
Post break, Funk tells
Arn to go find someone.
Arn looks into a limo
but finds Kimberly instead of whomever he was looking for.
Video on Page vs.
Bagwell.
Gene calls out Page and
Bagwell but the control room can be heard telling him that they need
a bit more because the intro didn’t go long enough. Is that some
massive rib that I just don’t get? That stuff only started when
Russo arrived and I have no idea how it’s supposed to be interesting
or how the production team could possibly be that inept. Anyway,
Gene asks them to be civil for five minutes and we have a countdown
clock on the screen.
They talk a lot of
trash and Buff insists he and Kimberly are just friends. Apparently
Buff and Kimberly have great sexual chemistry (Buff’s words) but Page
has been hearing that Buff has been telling the boys that Kimberly
has a sexy birthmark. That’s for Page’s eyes only, but Buff says
everyone has seen it. That earns him a right hand to the jaw so Buff
pulls out a police baton that he just happened to have with him. So
much for the countdown clock.
Nash and Bret insist
that they won’t sit down. I’m sure there won’t be a swerve
whatsoever.
Arn finds another car.
Jeff Jarrett vs. ???
Benoit
is guest referee and this is a Bunkhouse Brawl because this show
can’t remember the match order Funk made fifteen minutes ago. The
mystery opponent is…..George Steele, age 61 and with five
nationally televised matches since 1988. Steele brings weapons to
the ring and swings away to keep Jeff from getting in. George stops
to eat a turnbuckle but gets guitared in the head. Not that it
matters as Arn Anderson comes in and plants Jeff with a spinebuster
to give George the pin. As in a single spinebuster is enough to pin
the United States Champion. Benoit served no purpose here.
After a break, Jarrett
tells Nash to throw Hart off the team.
Here’s
Stevie Ray to tell Gene to leave so he can do the interview himself.
He talks about the history of the team and how Booker won the TV
Title because that’s all WCW wanted him to have (huh?). Stevie wants
to fight his brother one on one on Sunday because the show is already
named after Booker. This brings out Booker and Midnight with Booker
saying he’ll never fight his brother. That earns him a slap to the
face and Booker agrees to the match.
Arn goes to another
car. I’m assuming these are Jarrett’s opponents.
Jeff Jarrett vs. ???
It’s
Tito Santana, a spry 46 here and just six and a half years from
wrestling on a major national stage, in El Matador gear. This is a
Dungeon Match, meaning it’s pin, submission or your opponent leaving
the ring. Jeff beats up Orndorff on the way to the ring and mocks
the Buffalo Bills.
Tito takes over to
start with a nice dropkick and the flying forearm before going after
the knee. Jeff kicks him away and Tito has to try three times to
jump over the top rope to the apron. I love Santana but this is just
pitiful. Benoit and Jarrett argue before Jeff nails Santana with the
Stroke, only to stop to argue with one of the Bills. The distraction
lets Orndorff hit the piledriver (great looking one too) to give Tito
the pin.
Here’s
Tank Abbott to call out Doug Dillinger. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? It’s bad
enough that we have to put up with this goon who Russo loves for no
apparent reason but now we get the big showdown with the head of
security? Abbott tells Dillinger to take a shot, Doug does, Tank
drops him and Jerry Flynn comes out for the save.
I’m sure you already
know the story of what’s going to happen to the World Title situation
in the next few days. Tank Abbott was Russo’s big idea to get the
World Title, straight off a feud with Doug Dillinger and Jerry Flynn.
Putting Rick Steiner over Ric Flair back in 1988 looks BRILLIANT
now.
Jimmy Snuka arrives.
To save some space in the match, 56 here and other than a one off
appearance at Survivor Series 1996, last appeared with a major
national promotion (ECW was still regional during his run) in 1991.
The youngest opponent for Jarrett tonight is a 46 year old who hadn’t
wrestled in the WWF or WCW since 1993. The Revolution, the Filthy
Animals, Booker, and any other young and talented wrestler aren’t
important enough for this story.
Benoit is out cold in
the back.
Jeff Jarrett vs.
Jimmy Snuka
In
a cage. Jeff hammers away to start and sends Snuka into the cage a
few times. Cue referee Benoit but Jarrett shoves him away from the
cage door. That earns Jarrett some chops and a whip into the cage
but Jeff sends him into the buckle. Jeff goes outside and gets the
guitar but Zbyszko and Orndorff come in to clean house. Snuka and
Benoit go up to the top of the cage for a Superfly Splash and swan
dive, giving Jimmy the pin.
Rating:
N/A.
This was a segment disguised as a match and yeah the dives looked
cool, but Jeff’s concussion wasn’t so great. This would knock him
out of the US Title match on Sunday, but at least we got three WWF
legends out there in their old territory so Russo could relive his
childhood. Having the US Champion lose three times in one night to
three guys who won’t be there next week while getting beaten up by a
bunch of guys who can’t/won’t wrestle a match is just the price you
pay for Russo’s entertainment.
WCW World Title:
Kevin Nash vs. Bret Hart
Bret
is defending, but first of all we have to cut to the back where Funk
actually does wash Steiner’s mouth out with soap. How Zbyszko and
Orndorff managed to restrain Steiner isn’t clear. I’m so glad we got
to see this segment. It just made the entire show. Bret is in an
NWO shirt, tennis shoes and jean shorts. And he’s known for five
moves? Dang who knew Cena stole so much from Bret?
Nash
goes after him to start and drives knees in the corner but Bret comes
back with right hands. This is already one of the longest matches
Nash has had in weeks. A lot of choking ensues until Bret gets in a
kick to the leg. Snake Eyes stops him again for two but a low blow
puts Nash down again. Bret misses the middle rope elbow and both
guys are down. The side slam plants Bret and Nash bails to the floor
for a chair. Cue Arn with a steel pipe and a referee shirt to nail
Nash in the back, which I think means a no contest.
Rating:
D+.
And that’s it for Bret as his concussions were so severe that he
wouldn’t wrestle another match for over ten years. In true Bret
fashion though, he carried Nash to a watchable match and worked at
the leg a bit before the non-finish. This actually wasn’t terrible
and was by far the longest main event in a few weeks.
Post match here’s Sid
(remember him?) as the cage is lowered. Bret is planted with a
chokeslam and powerbomb so Arn can do a fast three count. Funk comes
out with a flaming branding iron to burn Nash right on the singlet to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F.
This show comes down to how do you like your bad booking. You can
have total insane booking that makes absolutely no sense and goes so
far off the rails that you forget you’re watching a wrestling show,
or you can have the booking that appeals to the over 50 audience
without a good payoff and the US Champion getting pinned three times
in an hour and a half.
This
show didn’t make me want to see Souled Out, as the majority of this
episode was to build up two stories for Sunday, one of which will
comprise three matches. The fact that it’s going to be two out of
three falls wasn’t mentioned, but why should a little detail like
that get in the way of seeing the US Champion lose three falls in a
night? This company is in a creative free fall at the moment, but
they seem to think they’re going the right way and everyone else is
crazy.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

WWE Monday Night RAW – 6/1/2015

With
Elimination Chamber behind us and Money in the Bank on the horizon,
Monday Night RAW sees Technically Champion Seth Rollins chasing after
Pseudo Champion Dean Ambrose for a belt that will soon find its way to
Kofi Kingston.

Just making sure you’re awake.

In
other news, Kevin Owens has come into his own, beating John Cena —
which, hopefully, still means something in two weeks when WWE puts that
steak back on the grill at Money in the Bank.
In any case, things seem to be getting interesting heading into the summer…let’s see what goes down…
We start with a slow-motion montage of the Ambrose/Rollins Dusty Finish.
We are LIVE(!!!) from San Antonio, Texas for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!
JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys at the talking table.
The
New Day starts us off! Just kidding. Triple H, Steph, Rollins, Kane and
J&J all head to the ring with sour faces and no World Title. Steph
introduces Rollins as champion but Rollins just folds his arms and
pouts. Steph says that Ambrose has the belt and that doesn’t mean
anything because all he can do is steal stuff and commit assault. Steph
says maybe they should fine or fire Ambrose. 
Triple
H says they won’t have to do that. Ambrose is crazy but not stupid. He
says that he gave Ambrose until tonight to bring back the belt. So, he
calls out Ambrose. He says he would be willing to discuss things.
Nothing happens. The crowd chants their “Justin Bieber” chant. Triple H
tells the crowd to shut up and says he’s waiting — then, it’s angry
Triple Hulk as he growls for Ambrose to get out to the ring.
Roman
Reigns answers instead. He comes to ring with a smug smirk on his face.
He says the Authority doesn’t seem happy to see him — but San Antonio
is. He says that Ambrose isn’t here and won’t be back — unless he’s
granted a rematch. Specifically, a ladder match. Steph says that they
don’t negotiate as the mics go all funky and start feeding back. Reigns
says that he saw Ambrose pin Rollins. Rollins loses his shit and says
Ambrose didn’t beat him. Reigns says Ambrose beat him and so did Reigns.
Reigns says that Rollins was cool when he was in The Shield but not now
that he works for Mom and Dad and the world’s smallest security team.
Rollins
has had it and says that Ambrose will get his rematch. Triple H gets in
the way of things but Rollins isn’t having it. He says he doesn’t need
anyone but himself. He trashes Kane and Security and the rest of The
Authority. Rollins storms off by himself.
Steph
turns to Reigns and tells him that he’s smug as hell. Triple H gets
between Reigns and Steph the Insane Wife. He says that Reigns is the man
going to Money in the Bank, something that he should be familiar with,
since Rollins used it to smash his hopes at WrestleMania. He says that,
after tonight, Reigns may not BE in Money in the Bank. If he loses, he’s
out. Triple H says he will find Reigns an opponent and they will be
here in a few.
With that, the segment concludes. Actually, very nicely done. Reigns was great on the mic tonight.
When we come back from break, Roman Reigns’ opponent is King Barrett. Oh, yeah. Triple H is soooo “mad”.
MATCH #1: Roman Reigns vs. King Barrett
Some
grappling to start, then a side headlock by Barrett that almost
culminates in a Samoan Drop. Barrett escapes but Roman kicks Barrett in
the jaw, then splashes him in the corner. Roman kicks at the chest of
Barrett who ends up on the bottom rope. Roman goes for the Missile
Dropkick outside but Barrett rolls out of the way. Roman presses his
attack and rolls Barrett back in the ring — then clotheslines him back
out again. Reigns goes after him and Barrett fights back. Barrett kicks
the steel steps at Reigns which Reigns sells like he broke his knee.
Barrett gets back into the ring and we’re going right back to break
after just five minutes. During commercial break, Barrett did something
awful to Reigns and has him in a headlock. Reigns comes back and tries a
splash but misses. Barrett kicks him in the stomach and gets a two
count. Another long headlock spot. Reigns breaks again and finally hits
the Samoan Drop. Both men are down, but get to their feet. Boo/Yay punch
exchange ends with Reigns hitting a Running Clothesline. Barrett takes
two more of those and Reigns puts him in a corner and just wails away.
Barrett fights back but Reigns just belts him in the mouth. Reigns gets a
near fall after a cross body off an Irish Whip. Barrett tries for
Wasteland. Reigns escapes and runs at Barrett who catches him for Winds
of Change for two. Barrett sets up for the Bullhammer but Reigns moves
and rolls Barrett up, then picks him up and Powerbombs him with one arm.
Two count. Reigns sets up for the Spear but Barrett rolls out of the
ring again. Reigns chases and Barrett rakes Reigns’ eyes, then goes for
the Bullhammer. Another miss and it’s the Spear for the win at 14:07.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via Spear
RATING:
**3/4. Better than expected but not much velocity to it and needlessly
long at near 15 minutes. Why is Reigns taking so long to beat a guy who jobs left and right? In any case, I don’t know what they’re gonna do with King Costume Shop next…but maybe it’s time to forget KOTR ever happened.
Cole puts us through a recap of Cena/Owens. Apparently, THE CHAMP IS HERE. Which one? STAY TUNED!!!
Roman
Reigns wanders around, all triumphant, backstage. He bumps into Triple H
and Steph — who tell him that was only his FIRST opponent. He’s gonna
face Mark Henry next. They wish him luck.
Byron
interviews Nikki who is like, just, like, sooooo proud of herself!
Paige interrupts and says that there was a Divas Battle Royal awhile
back but she never got to face Nikki because Naomi beat her up. Now
she’s back and she wants her title shot. Nikki accepts all heel-like, I
guess. I have no idea what the Bellas are besides models who wrestle.
Anyhow, that match is tonight.
Ryback
is out to the ring to talk to the fans. He says that he’s proud to be
the Intercontinental Champion. And that’s pretty much it. The Miz is out
to face him next.
When
we come back, Miz and Ryback are ready to throw down…and here comes
the Big Show to crash the show into the mountain. Show cocks his fist,
ready to strike Ryback…but slugs Miz instead and I can’t believe I
actually approve of that. Not so fast, though: Show grabs a mic and says
that he wants to be the one to face Ryback for the title. Show says
Ryback ain’t “The Big Guy”. He says Ryback has nothing on him. They go
nose to nose. Instead of attacking, Show leaves after what I’m sure was
both a face turn and a heel turn in the space of 48 seconds. Anyhow,
nobody in the arena cares. And nothing happening with the title, I
guess.
TONIGHT: Hey! We still have a Divas Title Match…so, y’know, there’s that…
NEXT: Kevin Owens is here.
When
we get back, Owens is here. He says he does what he claims he is going
to do. He beat Zayn, won the NXT Title and he also beat John Cena. He
delivers on his promises. Owens says he spoke to his kid about Cena. His
kid wanted to know how Cena was after Owens beat him. He says he
doesn’t blame his son for liking Cena because WWE has been portrayed as a
real-life superhero. All Cena’s done is talk and spew catchphrases
while Owens traveled and fought. He says he beat Super Cena last night.
He says that he’s gonna show that a real role model doesn’t rely on
bright colors and catchphrases. Real role models deliver on promises
like he does. 
Cena’s
music hits as Owens does that weird grimace thing. Crowd doesn’t sound
as enthused as they have been. Cena calls him a jackass, then tells
Owens to be humble. Careful, John! Owens’ son is watching! Cena says all
he’s heard about in the past 24 hours is Elimination Chamber. Cena says
he admits that he got beat. He says that Owens doesn’t deserve a shot
at the United States Championship or the NXT Title. He says that Owens
is concerned about being a real role model when he should be concerned
about being a real MAN. Cena says Owens’ son likes him because he
delivers and beats people. Otherwise, his son would be wearing “an Adam
Rose t-shirt and be worshipping the Funkydactyls while wishing he could
play in the XFL.” Sheesh, the XFL is long gone, Adam Rose is booked if
he’s lucky and Naomi’s already been buried by Paige. Cena’s
assholishness knows no bounds, it seems. He says that everyone likes him
because he doesn’t give up — then points out a young fan with Cena
gear waving a sign that reads “I AM BEATING CANCER”. Cena tells that kid
not to give up. He challenges Owens to a fight but Owens won’t have it
and leaves.
It’s
irritating that Cena did his usual, “I’m still better than you” thing
— and it got obnoxious with the “I’m still a real man”, “that kid has
cancer and doesn’t give up” pandering…but I like that we’re showing
Owens being a human being, albeit sooner than I would have liked, but
ok. On the one hand, it’s brilliant that Owens is human and Cena picked
him apart like a roasted chicken…but on the other, this is the guy
that wasn’t afraid of Cena and manhandled him the last couple of weeks
and seeing him chicken out, looking visibly afraid is really a step down
for me. It’s a bit of a sharp left turn. Still, good promo.
STILL TO COME:
  • Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry
  • Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

The New Day is out here for more fucking talking. Look, I have a gripe. According to my DVR, we’re an hour and twenty minutes into this thing and we’ve had one match.
Anyhow, Woods says San Antonio should be pleased to have champs in
their presence. He gets cheap heat for calling Tim Duncan “old” and
saying he should “retire”. He says that The New Day is hot and they’re
on fire. New Day Rocks/Sucks. Out is Ziggler with Lana.

MATCH #2: Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/ Big E & Xavier Woods)
Whoa, a match. We’re having these tonight?
Ziggler and Kofi lock up as the crowd chants for Lana who stands on the
entrance ramp because that’s suddenly what she does as a valet. Ziggler
hits a dropkick after some running around and it’s a Ziggler Splash in
the corner. Kofi misses one of his own. Ziggler tries another splash but
Kofi boots him in the face. Kofi applies a headlock but Ziggler breaks
and hits another Ziggler splash and elbow drop. Two count. (DANIELLE: Where’s Lana? ME: Top of the ramp. DANIELLE: What, are her heels so high, she can’t get to the ring?) Ziggler hits a nice DDT that should win the match but Kofi kicks out…only to have Ziggler win the match on a roll-up at 3:15.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler
RATING: 1/2 a *, if that. 

Post-match, E and Woods run in for a mudhole stomp on Ziggler. Prime Time Players show up and save the day. We go to break.

When we come back, HOLD ON A MINUTE, PLAYA! It’s a six-man tag match…

MATCH #3: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. Dolph Ziggler & The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) (non-title)
When
we come back from break, Titus drops Darren Young on top of Woods,
which gets a two count. Young stomps at Kofi and hits an armbar. Woods
escapes and tags in E. E attacks and ends up with a Belly to Belly on a
distraction by Woods, who tags in to stomp at Young. All three guys get
the mudhole stomp spot but the ref doesn’t DQ anyone for Wrestling Too
Hard, so this continues. E tosses Kofi at Young and Kofi hits a dropkcik
on the way in. Kofi kicks Young and it’s a two count. Kofi hits a
dropkick and it’s a tag to Woods who hits a flying fist drop. Woods puts
Young in a Cobra Clutch of sorts but Young breaks because DiBiase did
that better years ago. Tag to E who hits Snake Eyes with Young on the
buckle. Near fall. E tags in, attacks Ziggler, knocking him off the mat,
then misses a Warrior Splash on Young. Hot tag to Titus who is all over
Xavier Woods. He turns and clotheslines E out of the ring, then hits a
backbreaker and toss on Kofi. HUGE Powerslam to Woods nearly gets a fall
but Kofi saves the pin. Young hits the neckbreaker on him and they
leave the ring. Woods rolls up Titus for two. Titus gets up and Ziggler
hits a Superkick on Woods before Titus finishes with the Pump-Handle
Slam to finish it at 5:34.
WINNERS: Ziggler and PTP
RATING: *1/2. Not wholly necessary abut not bad either. Better than the last match.

TONIGHT: The Divas Title match

NEXT: Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry. Winner goes to MITB.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Roman Reigns confronted The Authority.

AT MITB: Dean Ambrose faces Seth Rollins.

MATCH #4: Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry
Lemme
just axe a quesshun: why doesn’t Triple H just say, “Fuck you, Roman.
You’re out of MITB for helping Ambrose”? I mean, that would make a
shit-ton more sense to me than putting him through a bunch of mid-card
crap. Henry just stomps at Reigns in the corner, then clutches at
Reigns’ left eye, which seems to be hurt. He puts Reigns in the corner
and just shoulder-rams him. Big clothesline and an Irish Whip into the
corner. Henry misses a splash. Reigns hits a clothesline and lariats.
Reigns knocks him down with a running clothesline and then tries the
Samoan Drop, hitting it on the second try. Henry rolls out of the ring.
Reigns chases but Henry rams him into the ringpost. Reigns comes back
with a Superman Punch and Henry is down. Reigns crawls to the ring and
wins via countout at 3:45. Yay?
WINNER: Roman Reigns via countout
RATING: 1/2 a *. I almost wanna see Kane face Reigns instead of this. Almost.

Post-match, Henry is suddenly conscious and attacks Reigns, hitting the WSS before leaving the ring. 

TONIGHT: Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

Roman
Reigns wanders by Triple H and Steph in the hallway. They congratulate
him again. Reigns asks them if he should keep his vest on to fight
again. Triple H tells him yes…and to Follow the Buzzards. *SUDDEN ANGRY TRIPLE H CUT*

Then,
it’s The New Mega-Powers, New Day and Big Show doing Sonic Shake
ads…for three minutes. I mean, why not just hire one of these teams or
guys to do the ads instead of putting us through Superstars acting like
they’re fucking up? 

MATCH #5: Paige (challenger) vs. Nikki Bella (champion) for the WWE Divas Championship
Nikki
and Paige exchange grapples and shoves. Nikki hits a Fireman’s Carry
Takedown and armbar. Paige forearms out of the hold but Nikki
immediately hits a belly to belly suplex, then acts like Dolph Ziggler,
doing push-ups. Snap Suplex by Nikki. Two count. Chinlock spot by Nikki.
Paige breaks but Nikki puts Paige into a leglock. Paige grabs the
ropes, then hits Nikki in the boobs with a Superkick. Nikki rolls out of
the ring, then starts doing crunches because that’s what Nikki always
does during matches. Nikki gets back in the ring. Paige catches her
with a knee and it’s a two count. Paige sets up for the PTO but Nikki
kicks out and hits an ALBAMMA SLAMMA for two. Paige comes back with a
Superkick and gets two. Paige screams in frustration and Nikki goes for
the Rack Attack. Paige fights out, then hits a Ram-Paige off the second
buckle. Nikki rolls out of the ring…and, fucking hell, Brie rolls out
from under the ring to take Nikki’s place. It’s the Twin Magic spot for
the win at 5:43 because the ref is too fucking stupid to realize that
Nikki suddenly lacked giant plastic boobs or an ass? You’d think he’d notice that…welp…’least Parallax is happy. :-/
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Nikki Bella
RATING:
*1/4. Nikki’s…what? A face? Heel? Paige is…what? Face? Heel? Anyone
know or care? Guess we’re waiting until Total Divas comes back in July
for Nikki to drop the title since that’s the only time Creative seems to
give a damn about the Divas Division. It’s beyond ridiculous that she’s
still carrying it.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Roman Reigns beat Wade Barrett and Mark Henry.

STILL TO COME: Roman Reigns faces Bray Wyatt.

MATCH #6: Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Sheamus
locks in an armbar but Orton counters with a Side Headlock. Sheamus
forces the break at the ropes. Sheamus rolls him up quickly for a
one-count. Orton returns the favor. Sheamus rolls out of the ring.
Sheamus puts on another side headlock. Orton breaks with an Irish Whip.
Shoulder tackle by Sheamus. Orton comes back with an elbow on the second
whip.  The two men exchange punches. Orton starts hitting uppercuts.
Sheamus hits a kneelift and an Irish Whip. Orton kicks Sheamus in the
jaw and clotheslines him from the ring. Orton chases and the fight
continues. Orton tries a side suplex into the crowd but Sheamus blocks
it. The fight goes to the announce table where Orton hits the Side
Suplex there. Clothesline by Orton and he gets back in the ring to
celebrate. When we come back from break, Sheamus slams Orton to the mat
for a two count. Sheamus stomps Orton in the corner. Orton kicks at him
but Sheamus clotheslines him. Sheamus hits a second buckle Kneedrop for
two. Sheamus hits a side headlock but Orton counters with a Side Suplex.
Sheamus rolls outside the ring ropes. Orton goes for the Vintage DDT
but Sheamus counters and drops his neck on the ropes. Sheamus runs back
inside but Orton clotheslines him and hits the Powerslam In Stride.
Orton goes for the Rope DDT but Sheamus counters and gets back in the
ring. Orton counters Sheamus’s grapple and hits a T-Bone Suplex, then
the Rope DDT. He sets up for the RKO but Sheamus counters and hits a
partial Brogue Kick, connecting with his knee. Orton rolls out of the
ring. Sheamus follows and it’s a brawl. Orton tosses Sheamus into the
timekeeper’s pit. Sheamus gets up and nails Orton with a chair for the
DQ at 12:57.
WINNER: Randy Orton via DQ
RATING:
**1/4. Not terrible. I actually like these two together. They’re two of
the toughest guys in WWE and that makes for some great matches.
Unfortunately, this one falls short. It was made even more frustrating
with a DQ spot after we’d invested over ten minutes in this.

Post-match,
Sheamus nails Orton with a Brogue, then tosses Orton into the crowd
barrier. Orton gets back up to collect himself and Sheamus hits another
Brogue, then celebrates.

Byron Saxton has Rusev
backstage. Rusev is wearing a medical boot and is on crutches. Rusev
says he has nothing. He doesn’t have a Championship or career or Lana.
He says he’s a broken man with a broken ankle and spirit. He is the one
who is ca-dushed this time. He knows, however, what he wants and desires
and he will get back everything he had.

TONIGHT: Roman Reigns takes on Bray Wyatt.

ON SMACKDOWN: Kevin Owens is issuing an NXT Championship Open Challenge.

Bo Dallas comes to the ring and says, “I wanted to help you, Neville…now I just wanna hurt you…”

MATCH #7: Bo Dallas vs. Neville
This
match again? For what it’s worth, I like Bo becoming something other
than what he props himself up as.  He just stomps and clubs Neville in
two corners, then celebrates. He tosses Neville from the ring, then goes
outside to follow up, hitting a running clothesline. Bo yells in his
face, telling him how much he wants to “help” Neville. He rolls Neville
back in the ring and gets a one-count. Euro Headlock by Dallas that goes
on for about half the match, as he screams for Neville to quit. Neville
finally breaks and tackles Dallas, hitting his set of quick kicks.
After flippy-floppying all over the ring, he kicks Dallas to the mat and
hits the Red Arrow for the win at 3:09.
WINNER: Neville via Red Arrow.
RATING: *. Ok, fine. Great. This is pretty much a slightly more condensed version of what was seen last night. So what?

NEXT: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt

Roman Reigns is in the ring, clutching his rib cage, waiting for Bray Wyatt.

MATCH #8: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
It’s
a brawl to start this off with both mean taking shots at one another.
Wyatt knocks him down, then props him up and punches at his throat. Bray
whips Reigns into a corner but Reigns comes back with an uppercut.
Reigns punches him in the back of the neck and gets a one count.
Suddenly, Seth Rollins, Kane and J&J appear at the entrance
ramp…soooo, I guess Rollins really does need The Authority?
Bray and Reigns go back and forth. Bray tackles Reigns for two. Bray
knocks Reigns out of the ring and we go to break. When we come back,
Wyatt tosses Reigns outside the ring ropes. Bray follows and kicks at
Reigns. Bray trips Reigns and Reigns hits the mat. Bray rolls him in the
ring and nearly gets a fall. Bray hits a Corner Clothesline, but misses
the second one as Reigns comes roaring out of the corner with a
clothesline. Reigns gets up and Bray misses another Corner Clothesline,
careening into the ringpost. Reigns hits a DDT, then gets up and hits
some huge clotheslines in the corner. He sends Bray out of the ring.
Reigns goes outside and hits the Sitting Dropkick as Wyatt flies into
the crowd barrier. Reigns rolls him back into the ring but Wyatt goes on
the attack, stomping at him. Wyatt hits a running clothesline and a
Reverse Senton for two. Bray looks up at the new MITB case and then
slaps at Reigns who smiles. Reigns slaps him back. Wyatt charges and
Reigns hits the Samoan Drop. Reigns calls for the Superman Punch but
misses and hits the Standing Spinebuster, nearly getting a fall. Wyatt
does the Spider Walk, then goes for  Sister Abigail. Reigns ducks it and
rolls Bray up for two. Reigns hits a Superman Punch…and, suddenly,
The Authority comes running down to ruin things. Reigns gets up and
attacks Joey Mercury, then turns and looks at Kane. Bray gets up and
attacks but Reigns sends Bray into Kane, knocking him down, then hits a
Spear on Bray to finish this at 12:13.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via Spear
RATING:
**3/4. Remember when Bray was over as fuck, battling John Cena for his
soul at WrestleMania? Yeah, those were good times. How the mighty have
fallen…and was there a reason why The Authority didn’t just rush down
and beat on Bray Wyatt to cause a DQ? Sigh…

Post-match,
The Authority surrounds the ring to pick at what’s left of Reigns…but
Ambrose’s music hits. Rollins tells Security to get ready and waits for
Ambrose to hit the ring…except he’s under the Announce Table as Cole
pretends he had no fucking idea Ambrose was there the entire goddamn time.
Him and Reigns clean house. Rollins attacks Ambrose but Ambrose tosses
the belt at him. Rollins catches it and looks at it. Ambrose uses that
distraction to hit Dirty Deeds, then grabs the title again. He and
Reigns book it for the crowd again as Triple H and Steph come out to the
ring to join Rollins who is livid.

OVERALL:
Enjoyable end. Show was fair with a lot of filler and matches that I
didn’t care about. I’ll go **. Better luck next week.

And, of course, the Best of Monday Night Open Mic:





Er…that’s it.

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

I hope this first day of June was fruitful to all! For the most part I enjoyed the Network Special last night even though things were pretty dull after Owens-Cena. Still Owens-Cena was so good it was going to be hard for anything else to happen that would compare to that.

Obviously that wasn’t Cena’s first great match and it wasn’t his first clean job but he truly made a star last night. He’s elevated guys many times before but they had already established themselves. C.M. Punk had a dominating run as World Champion on Smackdown and an Undertaker program before his historic MitB match with Cena. Bryan also had a dominating run on Smackdown and several high-quality matches for the WWE Title with Punk before Cena gave him the final rub at Summerslam 2013 before Orton/HHH sucked the life out of it.

This was different. Not everyone watches NXT, not everyone has the Network so there were a lot of people who really didn’t know who Kevin Owens was before he crashed the U.S. open challenge a couple weeks ago. So this match wasn’t just about Cena laying down, it was about getting Owens over as a wrestling talent and a threat on the main roster. So on June 1 the more casual viewers know who Owens is, they know he is a bad ass worker and they know he’s a threat to any top spot on the main roster. They also know that the NXT champion must be a big deal if the guy holding the strap just beat John Cena. Might have been Cena’s best work as a professional in his 9-10 years as a top guy.

Anyway for TV tonight

RAW

NCAA Softball National Championship (Florida vs. Michigan)

Brewers-Cardinals on ESPN

New Bachelorette…New American Ninja Warrior…

Enjoy, keep it clean.