Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts On WWE Money In The Bank 2016

Hey folks, I’m back once again with another wrestling review. As a reminder I’m trying to finally watch all of the WWE PPVs I’ve missed this year, and in turn am reviewing them all. This time around it’s Money In The Bank 2016’s turn. I would give a spoiler warning but…..come on…..this PPV happened in June. If you’re like me and still hadn’t seen it yet, you’ve had long enough.

Quick Thoughts On The Pre-Show Matches

Breezango vs. Golden Truth

Honestly the whole thing of Breeze & Fandango having to sell burns like that ruined the entire match for me. For one thing they barely did any actual offense, and for another….how the fuck, in kayfabe, could they have been medically cleared to compete when THEY HAVE SKIN PEELING OFF THEIR BODIES? I know it’s an odd thing to complain about in wrestling but it bothered me. Though really I just hated that it meant the two couldn’t really do anything due to having to sell the stupid angle.

Match Rating – Solid D- (Could’ve been harsher but Goldust was present so I
couldn’t)

The Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudleys

Not a bad match. Nothing memorable but nothing horrible either. Good match to warm up the crowd……yeah I got nothing. Again though this wasn’t bad, just I don’t have much to say about it.

Match Rating – Solid C+

Main Show

Fatal 4-Way Tag match for the WWE Tag Team Championships:
The New Day (Big E & Kofi; champs) vs. Enzo & Cass vs. The Vaudevillains vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows

This was a pretty solid show opener, nothing too amazing but not bad either. However, here is one glaring thing that makes me hate the finish of this match. I don’t even mind the botched Trouble In Paradise spot by comparison. What I’m talking about is how Karl Anderson tags Aiden English to make himself legal, then clears the ring……only to go after Aiden as if he was legal…..YOU JUST TAGGED HIM TO BECOME LEGAL! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

And then Kofi ends up pinning Aiden after him and Big E attack Karl anyway despite Karl & Kofi being the legal men. For fuck’s sake people, keep track of this shit. Kofi was down I guess so I can’t blame him too much, but the referee and Karl are fucking idiots for screwing that up so damn bad. Christ this bothered me so damn much. I’m just gonna end it there.

Match Rating – Solid D- (Trust me I could’ve made this an E or F rating but I’m feeling generous because the match is perfectly alright otherwise)

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

I literally could not care less about this match. Wasn’t good, wasn’t necessarily horrible. I just don’t care.

Match Rating – Solid C

Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Natalya & Becky Lynch

Honestly this match is pretty forgettable, which is sad considering most of the women involved. Ah well. Like it’s nothing horrible but it once again it’s just not memorable. However, the post-match where the frustration boils over and Natalya goes apeshit on Becky? Oh my God I fucking LOVED that shit. That shit was great. Only too bad that Nattie didn’t lock her in the Sharpshooter to show she’d really snapped.

Match Rating – Solid C+ (Would’ve been lower but YEAH THAT NATTIE HEEL TURN WOOHOO!)

Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews

Good filler match I guess, nothing too memorable happens aside from Sheamus hitting Apollo with White Noise off the 2nd turnbuckle. Kinda bugs me that Apollo wins with a roll-up of sorts (Crucifix to be specific) rather than hitting a finisher, but whatever.

Match Rating – Solid C

AJ Styles vs. John Cena

Not only does Cena gets his arse handed to him for like most of this match……but he doesn’t even get to do his usual Herculean comeback either. Like holy shit. And sure AJ goes over dirty which is kinda iffy for me, but hell, AJ WENT OVER in their first encounter. THAT surprises me. Like holy fuck.

Generally this match was pretty solid. I’ve also seen it said that it was probably better that AJ & Cena seemed to hold back from going all out in this first encounter, because in  hindsight that’s a big issue with some of these big encounters they do. They blow their load in match one and the follow ups are just rehashes.

So yeah, I was content with this for their first encounter. Looking forward to seeing their next one.

Match Rating – Solid A (Yep, not an A+)

Money In The Bank Ladder match:
Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Alberto Del Rio

Holy crap this match was fun to watch. Plenty of good ladder spots. Though obviously the most notable one was that insane Michinoku Driver Sami gave to Owens onto a ladder laying side-on rather than flat. Holy absolute fuck was that spot insane. I honestly thought Owens was gonna have to take time off after that. I’d had the outcome of this spoiled for me (because you know, months behind) but regardless the match itself was great.

Match Rating – Solid A+

WWE United States Championship match:
Rusev (champ) vs. Titus O’Neil

God damn I did NOT give a shit about this match at all. I like Titus and I’m fairly neutral on Rusev, but just….I dunno, this just reaked of “oops we need a midcard title defense”. The match is nothing to write home about despite not really being horrible, and the crowd is pretty dead for the whole thing. Poor Titus.

Honest to God the best part of this whole thing was Rusev taunting Titus’ sons after the match and being all “Happy Father’s Day!”. That was honestly funny as hell to me.

Match Rating – Solid C (Would be lower but I’m trying to not entirely be an arsehole)

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match:
Roman Reigns (champ) vs. Seth Rollins

If I’m honest, this match was better than both of the matches Roman had with AJ Styles. Just my opinion anyway. Though I guess Seth & Roman know each other better so that helps. Seth went over clean. CLEAN. I was fucking shocked. Mainly because I knew what was coming next but yeah. Holy crap. After all the shit Roman kicked out of with AJ, this seems like a rib or something.

Though Seth catching Roman mid-air with a Pedigree of sorts as a counter to the Spear was cool. What was also nice was Seth pretty much immediately just hitting another Pedigree and going for the pin. A “needs more than one finisher” finish that actually works. Who knew? Oh and of course there’s the whole double swerve where Dean comes out and cashes in on Seth.

It both bugged me because I hate shit like this (guy wins title only to immediately drop it) but also kinda made sense because well, it’s Dean. In storyline he’s always hated Seth since The Shield broke up, so I guess it makes sense for him to ruin the moment for Seth. Which ya know, fair enough. Dean winning the title in itself was cool. Would’ve been cooler if I hadn’t known about it being a thing before but ah well. That’s what happens when you’re months behind on the PPVs.

Match Rating – B+

Match Of The Night – Money In The Bank Ladder match
Overall PPV Rating – Solid C+

All-in-all this PPV had at least three above average matches, but the rest of the show was very hit and miss, or just forgettable. I don’t really know what to make of it. That said, Dean ending the show as champion was a cool memorable note to end on. I literally can’t think of anything else to say though, so I guess I’ll end it here. I’ll see you next time folks.

Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts on WWE Extreme Rules 2016

Hey folks, I’m back once again with another wrestling review. As a reminder I’m trying to finally watch all of the WWE PPVs I’ve missed this year, and in turn am reviewing them all. This time around it’s Extreme Rules 2016’s turn. I would give a spoiler warning but…..come on…..this PPV, like Payback, was from May. If you’re like me and still hadn’t seen it yet, you’ve had long enough.

Quick Thoughts On The Pre-Show Match

No DQ match:
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

Not a bad match, but nothing particularly memorable happened. Also it was No DQ, but the only illegal thing that happened was a low blow right at the end. By Corbin. Ok.

Match Rating – Solid C-

Main Show

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Usos

Very hard hitting opener, and honestly a pretty solid match. Though of course, The Usos have been hampered by over exposure and now being associated with Roman, so they got booed quite a bit during this match. It kinda bugged me cause I really like The Usos, but I guess I can see where people are coming from.

I also liked that this was a tornado tag match. Holy crap was that refreshing. Gallows & Anderson win but The Usos got in quite a lot of offense so neither team really came out of this looking weak. Best outcome you could hope for and a solid show opener. That said, the match itself was fairly unmemorable, so I can’t rate this too highly.

Match Rating – Solid C+

WWE United States Championship match:
Rusev vs. Kalisto

After Ryback/Kalisto on the Payback pre-show, this match was honestly kind of lame. It wasn’t crap, but it really doesn’t measure up, so I don’t have much to say about. But holy shit, that Accolade though. Kalisto is the only person to really make that move look brutal as hell. It also kinda bugs me that Kalisto dropped the US Title, but ah well, it’s not like WWE were really doing anything with his reign, so I guess it was for the best.

Match Rating – Solid C-

WWE Tag Team Championship match:
The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) (champs) vs. The Vaudevillains

I feel bad for The Vaudevillains getting little to no reaction outside of an initial boo. But in any case this match was good. Nothing too memorable but it wasn’t bad. It was also nice to see Xavier defending the belts. One thing I didn’t like about this match though was how The Vaudevillains hit their tag finisher, but Xavier kicked out of it. As far as I’m concerned, tag finishers are something that should have to be broken up.

Sure, within the context of the match Big E & Kofi were down, but the LEAST they could’ve done is have Xavier get hold of the ropes or something rather than kick out. It completely took me out of the match in that sense as, by rights, The Vaudevillains may as well have won then and there. Or at least they could’ve done a false finish where it turns out Xavier wasn’t legal so the pin didn’t count and they restart the match.

Overall the match wasn’t bad, but Xavier kicking out of the Whirling Dervish really bugged the hell out of me. And like most of the show, this match ended up being fairly forgettable in the long run for the most part.

Match Rating – Solid C

Fatal 4-Way For The WWE Intercontinental Championship:
The Miz (champ) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens

I’m honestly gonna keep this very short. This is the match of the night. Everyone brought their A game and it worked out out to be a damn fine match. The Miz even technically went over clean. Hell, the fucker broke out a leg-trap belly-to-belly for this. I think it turned into an exploder or something before he actually hit it due to them combining it with a German suplex from Cesaro, but even that aside it was interesting to see The Miz go for that.

Match Rating – A+ (Seriously don’t remember having any negative opinions of this match)

Asylum match:
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

Honest to God this match was actually pretty boring. Even the crowd died for most of it and only really picked up again when the thumbtacks were brought out. Which I called, by the way, without trying. I thought to myself it’d be funny if the bucket turned out to have thumbtacks in it but figured there was no way WWE would do that. Lo and behold, WWE proved me wrong. Though visually I think it would’ve been more of an “OH SHIT!” moment if the thumbtacks had just been in the bucket itself rather than a little black back within the bucket.

That said, yeah, whilst this match had it’s moments, it really did drag on way longer than it needed to. The match was a few minutes shy of being a half hour long for fuck’s sake. Had it been more of a brawl or more fast paced near the end then ok. But it wasn’t. I do give WWE credit for also actually letting Jericho use the barbed wire 2×4. I wasn’t expecting it to get used so the fact Jericho actually landed a few hits with it was nice.

Also massive kudos to Jericho for being the one to take the initial thumbtacks spot. I mean I wouldn’t call the Dirty Deeds where Dean basically put himself into them kind of a proper thumbtacks spot but it counts I guess. I fully expected Jericho to not take the spot, but I did like the teasing of “who’s gonna take the bump” before the spot finally happened. But that and Dean’s dive off the cage couldn’t really save the overall match from being fairly mediocre overall.

Match Rating – C- (I could’ve been harsher, but honestly, there was a fucking thumbtacks spot in WWE that Foley was nowhere near. Plus this match wasn’t so much shit as it was just mostly forgettable)

Submission match for the WWE Women’s Championship:
Charlotte (champ) vs. Natalya

I hated the referee during this match. It’s like someone forgot to tell him there were no DQs or count outs because IT’S A FUCKING SUBMISSION MATCH! Also, Dana Brooke comes out as fake Flair and causes a distraction to help Charlotte retain……fucking hell. Two honestly dumb finishes in a row. No wonder why the crowd stopped caring.

For real, those alone are actually bad enough for me to rate this really low. That and the match being fairly forgettable, even if it wasn’t horrible.

Match Rating – Solid D- (FUCK YOU YOU STUPID REF! REMEMBER HOW SUBMISSION MATCHES WORK!)

Extreme Rules match
for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship:
Roman Reigns (champ) vs. AJ Styles

I honestly preferred the Payback match these two had to this one. This wasn’t necessarily anything horrible, but I guess I had slightly higher expectations for an EXTREME RULES match. I mean sure I wasn’t expecting any ECW-ish spots or anything, but come on. Not even a single traditional table spot? Sure they did announce table spots but come on, no normal ones?

We got an announce table spot last time, give me a spot where Roman tries for a splash on AJ through a table or something and maybe misses and goes through it anyway. Like holy christ this was tame as hell. One thing I would like to point out though was one of the Usos pulling AJ off of Roman when AJ went for a pin near the end. I honestly was surprised because that was a fairly heel-ish move for a face team to do.

As I’ve seen someone else say, even the finish is kind of marred by being almost exactly the same as the Payback main event finish. AJ goes for the Phenomenal Elbow, only to get a Spear for his trouble. I do give them credit for Roman catching him mid-air with a Spear this time though. One thing this match has over the Payback match really was just Roman doing the Undertaker dive over the top rope.

Ultimately even though this match wasn’t too bad, it was a very lackluster main event for me, and might as well have just been called a No DQ match or something because God damn it, I just won’t let it go that this was labeled an EXTREME RULES MATCH, but the most hardcore thing that happened was like….AJ Styles unloading on The Usos and Roman with a chair for like a full minute. That’s it.

When the Asylum match was more hardcore than this, something is wrong. Though I guess one thing this match had over it was this one didn’t feel like it dragged too much. Regardless, this was still a very lackluster main event overall so I’m ultimately disappointed in the overall thing.

Match Rating – Solid C- (Could’ve been harsher but hell, this is Extreme Rules not WrestleMania, so it’s a little easier to swallow this not being all that great)

Match Of The Night – Intercontinental Championship match
Overall PPV Rating – Solid C

This show was honestly so forgettable in the long run that it took me several days to write this whole thing. I’m not even kidding. And honestly, that about sums up my thoughts on this PPV overall. Forgettable. Aside from the match of the night I can barely remember anything. I don’t even have much to say here.

The show wasn’t bad enough for me to truly tear into it, but not good enough for me shower it with praise. And really that’s one of the worst kind of PPVs you can have. And I think that’s where I’ll end it. I’ll see you next time folks.

Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts On WWE Payback 2016

Back again with another wrestling review. As a reminder I’m trying to finally watch all of the WWE PPVs I’ve missed this year, and in turn am reviewing them all. First was WrestleMania 32, and now it’s Payback 2016. I would give a spoiler warning but…..come on…..this PPV was from May. If you’re like me and still hadn’t seen it yet, you’ve had long enough.

Quick Thoughts On The Pre-Show Matches

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

Not a bad match. Nothing special but it didn’t bore me or anything either, so that’s good. Dolph won with a roll up, which made sense given the whole “working his neck” thing Corbin was doing for most of the match.

Match Rating – Solid C

WWE United States Championship match:
Kalisto (champ) vs. Ryback

Best match Ryback has ever had. Period. Also I found his pre-match antics of mocking both CM Punk and Hulk Hogan to be quite hilarious. But really the match truly was pretty damn great for a match they only allowed to happen on the damn pre-show. This match actually made watching the two pre-show matches worth it. great little guy/big guy dynamic and Kalisto/Ryback honestly was a really good pairing for matches from what I’ve seen. There were a few botches I think, but the overall match quality made them easy to forgive.

Match Rating – Solid A+ (Hey, when you can get me saying good things about Ryback with nothing really negative to add? That shit gets top grades)

Main Show

The Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass

I mainly wanted to touch on this one because holy fuck, poor Enzo. The match was going so damn well with only maybe one slip up, then bam, Enzo smacks his head on the ropes in a weird spot and ends up being rendered unconscious. Wisely after some EMTs run up the match is pretty quickly thrown out. The whole thing was treated very seriously, which I’m very grateful for. The commentators could barely talk but obviously had to, and I commend them for their efforts and showing just how serious it was.

Not the best start to the night ever but you really can’t blame anyone. Accidents happen and sometimes they have pretty horrible consequences. I’m just glad to know there was no long term damage and that Enzo came back to some capacity fairly quickly. And obviously since the match never really got going, this one won’t get a match rating. But regardless I felt I had to talk about it.

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Well, from something tragic to something great. I guess if there was any silver lining to Enzo’s injury, it was that this match probably went longer than intended to make up for it. Both guys just completely went for it, and the crowd was obviously very into it as well. I must say I’m glad that Owens won clean. They have had him kinda cheat once or twice but it just doesn’t suit what he’s trying to do with his character, so I’m glad they stopped doing that.

Besides, his sore winner routine works just fine anyway. I also assume the kind-of-awkward interview segment they did post match was also a way to fill time due to what happened in the opener, but luckily it was at least entertaining. In my head I joked that Saxton was kayfabe thinking “Oh God I thought being a commentator on the main shows meant I was done with this crap”. Regardless the match itself was great and looks to be a top contender for match of the night.

Match Rating – Solid A+ (Just to clarify Ryback/Kalisto got a rating but can’t be MOTN so yeah, this is currently the match to beat)

WWE Intercontinental Championship match:
The Miz (champ) vs. Cesaro

This match was pretty good, though in hindsight not too memorable to be honest. Also some parts of the match dragged on a bit. Cesaro almost made me never want to see him do another European Uppercut. No lie. As another negative, Kevin Owens was on commentary……..stay with me here, put the pitchforks down. It was a negative for me because even though Owens was entertaining on commentary, most of his stuff berating Byron Saxton & Michael Cole ultimately took attention away from the match itself.

Hell there were spots I’d end up missing and having to re-watch because of Owens’ antics. Then of course there’s the finish. The finish didn’t entirely bother me, with Sami coming out and brawling with Owens leading to a ref distraction that allowed for Miz to steal a win.

However. What did bug me was how forced it was to see them get in the ring then be out on the apron to brawl. Cesaro getting pissed due to their antics distracting the ref and then knocking them off was a nice touch though. But it just felt too forced. It seems like an easier way would’ve been the ref just ducking out of the ring to try and get Sami & Owens away from the ring area (or break it up entirely). That way you can do basically the same thing; Miz taps out but the ref doesn’t see, so Cesaro breaks the hold.

Cesaro could’ve then tried to get the referee’s attention only for Miz to grab him in a schoolboy. The referee notices, gets back in the ring and makes the count. Miz retains. Alternatively, whilst the referee was outside the ring, Miz could’ve either lowblowed Cesaro or hit him in the back of the head with the title, possibly following up with a second Skull Crushing Finale to cover up the heel tactics and get the ref’s attention for a normal pin.

Either way the match was good, but a few things here and there prevented it from being as good as it could of been. Oh also Cesaro attacking Miz after the loss was a nice touch, even if the Neutralizer was sort of botched.

Match Rating – Solid C+ (Would’ve been a B level rating if not for the issues I
brought up)

Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

There’s a very easy way to say how much I liked this match. It was far better than BOTH of their respective WrestleMania matches. Jericho looked slow as hell at WrestleMania for some reason, but here he looked a million times better. That said, I’m very, VERY thankful that Dean won. Jericho was still riding off a huge win at Mania, but Dean got destroyed by Lesnar. He needed to be built back up, and they did that with this match.

There were a few iffy moments in this match that knock my overall rating down a tad, but otherwise this was a pretty solid effort from both men. Aside from that I don’t really have much else to say about it to be honest, so I’ll just leave it there.

Match Rating – Solid B+

WWE Women’s Championship match:
Charlotte (champ) vs. Natalya

Holy crap was I excited when I realised Nattie was getting a title shot for some reason. I literally had no idea this match ever happened. Now, was it the best match either woman has ever had? Probably not. It dragged in spots and Nattie had some unfortunate botches, but nothing too huge. The main negative from this match, really, was the crowd itself.

Seriously, fuck the crowd during this match. If I was Nattie I would’ve found it hard not to break character and flip them all off for those “We want Sasha!” chants. Seriously, fuck you Chicago crowd for chanting that bullshit. Nattie might’ve slipped up a bit, but I just joked that she was so used to having to wrestle like a “Diva” that when the opportunity to wrestle how she used to came up, she was out of practice.

Besides, everyone has bad days. It happens. I do think the match went a bit longer than it needed to though, but that’s just me. The “screwjob” finish was bullshit though. Like, really guys? That’s the best you could come up with? “lol Bret Hart’s gonna be there let’s reference the screwjob with another worked one for the one millionth time!”….fuck off. Now, if it turned out Charles Robinson had just made a kayfabe “judgement call” due to Nattie selling a leg injury as part of the match, then that’s fine.

But if it really was Ric “probably broke as fuck now” Flair paying off the ref then like…what? Why? There was no reason to do this and the only way to resolve it would’ve been Nattie winning the belt later or the match starting over cause Robinson “just fucked up”. Once again a perfectly good women’s match screwed up by a dumb finish.

Match Rating – C- (Had the finish not been what it was, and the match not felt like it dragged in parts, this would’ve rated in the Bs probably. Nattie getting a title shot alone stopped me from being too harsh and dropping it to a D rating)

Oh right, then there was that whole segment with the Vince, Shane & Steph McMahon. Honestly the most entertaining parts were Vince acknowledging the Punk chants, and Steph gaining some heat by acting as if the “You’ve still got it” chant was directed at her. Otherwise it was a segment that easily could’ve just opened a RAW or something. Or just generally not have been right before the main event.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match:
Roman Reigns (champ) vs. AJ Styles

Like the Dean/Jericho match, I felt this match was better than both efforts these guys had at WrestleMania. That said, there were a few bits that fell flat or bugged me. Roman kicking out of the Springboard 450 Splash being one of them. I also just don’t like the Superman Punch as a signature move because……it’s just a fucking punch. Not a very effective looking one either.

One thing this match proved to me is that Roman should, in my opinion, never be allowed to have a match with a pure heavyweight wrestler ever again. I mean look at his feeble attempts to deadlift Triple H at WrestleMania. Now compare that to him lifting AJ Styles up in a similar spot with little to no trouble. For as “strong” as they want Roman to look and that people joke about, Roman himself easily ruins that image when put against bigger guys.

The outside interference didn’t really bother me by the way. Though I was expecting a bit more when the No DQ stipulation was added due to the two fake-out finishes. Speaking of, I knew AJ obviously didn’t win and even if I hadn’t been aware, but I give WWE credit for the fake-outs. In the sense that it allowed people to have hope that AJ might actually win the thing outright. That said, I was also glad AJ lost.

Do I think AJ should win a major title in WWE? Yes. Do I think he should’ve won a top tier belt this soon into his WWE run? No. If WWE are smart (and AJ doesn’t piss anyone off) he’ll get a title run in due time, but for now this was for the best. I mean, the finish itself was pretty stupid, fake-outs aside. Though I do at least like that Roman sold all the crap he’d been through to only just kind of fall on AJ for a pin rather than being able to hook a leg or something.

So yeah, overall the match wasn’t perfect, but it was a damn sight better than the main event of WrestleMania, so overall I’m at least somewhat content with it, despite its flaws. Though I want to know who thought it was a good idea to linger on that shot of Roman just leaning on the ropes and looking up the ramp for so long. That shit felt like it went on forever. It was even more awkward because the commentators had already stopped talking for like a minute. So it’s just holding on Roman……but he’s not doing anything…..so it’s just odd and pointless.

Match Rating – B- (I could’ve been a bastard and rated this lower, but it WAS still far better than the Trips/Roman and Jericho/AJ, so I felt I had to rate it higher than both, despite its flaws)

Match Of The Night – Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Overall PPV Rating – Solid B

The whole PPV overall, despite it’s faults, was FAR better than WrestleMania 32 could ever hope to be. Like, holy shit. I’m honestly kind of conflicted about it too. On one hand I’m glad the PPV wasn’t utter garbage, but I’m also annoyed that THE PPV AFTER MANIA WAS BETTER THAN MANIA! I’d keep going but I’ll just stop now before I go into a long-winded rant. So, Payback 2016? Good stuff. Here’s hoping Extreme Rules is just as good or better. I’ll see you guys next time.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Daytime-Mania (WrestleMania 31 Review)

WrestleMania 31 poster

 

Having managed to sit through it all without pulling his hair out, Thomas gives his thoughts on WrestleMania 31.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Levi-Mania (WrestleMania 31 “Predictions”)

On the eve of WrestleMania, Thomas gives his thoughts on how he thinks the PPV will go down.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Hell Froze Over (Hell In A Cell 2014 Review)

After putting it off due to finally being able to use his PS4, Thomas gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, Hell In A Cell 2014.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – WWE Night Of Champions 2014 Review

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas can’t think of a clever alternate name for the PPV……..oh and gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, Night Of Champions 2014.

 

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – A Midsummer Night’s Slam (SummerSlam 2014 Review)

Having seen the PPV, Thomas gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, SummerSlam 2014.

 

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – WinterWham (SummerSlam 2014 Predictions)

Thomas gives his thoughts on what he thinks will happen, and what he hopes will/won’t happen, at WWE’s upcoming SummerSlam PPV.

WWE Battleground Review

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(Fan poster created by deviantART user JoKeRWord)

Hello everyone. Since I haven’t gotten around to doing the article I intended to do next yet, that will have to wait. For now? It’s time for another written review of a WWE PPV!

Ah WWE Battleground. The second PPV in a row that the vast majority couldn’t care less about going in, purely because of, say it with me now, poor build up. Hell, as of late I’ve noticed a lot of people saying the WWE has basically been on rinse-repeat mode since SummerSlam, so there seems to be nothing but bad signs going in. However, despite all that, I will be giving this PPV an objective look. There has been plenty of PPVs I’ve seen where I had no/low expectations going in, and ended up actually feeling like I hadn’t wasted my time when it was all over. Was that the case this time? Well, let’s see shall we?

Oh, one last thing. This review is “late” simply because I did not watch the PPV as it happened. Like hell I was going to pay for this PPV, and streams are very untrustworthy these days. So, since I was tired already due to being up all night, I decided to go to sleep and watch the PPV when I woke up. With that out of the way, let’s get star-…wait a minute…

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What in the name of hell is that? No seriously, I am legitimately confused by this stage set up. Who the fuck thought this was a good idea? The PPV is called Battleground, where’s the tanks? Where’s the sand bags piled on top of each other to use as cover? Where’s the Army Jeeps? WHERE’S ANYTHING THAT WOULD FIT THE NAME OF THIS PPV? Don’t get me wrong, I know this is a stupid thing to complain about, but for some reason I just can’t help it. This is something you use for a generic PPV no one cares about or that doesn’t have an actual theme. Oh. Suddenly it all makes sense now. Actually wait, no it doesn’t. If WWE DON’T want us to think this is just a PPV we’ll most likely never see again and is just here to fill space it shouldn’t be occupying (considering we have another PPV in like, what, two weeks?), they could at least dress up the stage a bit better than four of those…things. We’re off to a pretty bad start now aren’t we?

Anyway, I should probably finally get started right? Right.

Street Fight for the World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. RVD w/ Ricardo Rodriquez – First off I want to say two things.

1. I will never buy that Lillian Garcia will ever be annoyed by being asked to announce someone in Spanish. Any time someone with even a somewhat Spanish sounding name comes out, she’ll accentuate the hell out of that name. So please, WWE, if you’d be so kind, STOP IT.
2. I refused to call this match by its actual name because its actual name is stupid. That and it doesn’t even appear to be a proper (even by WWE standards) ”hardcore match”, and as such I have called it a Street Fight, since that’s basically what it seems to be anyway

With that out of the way, onto the match itself. And wow, the fans seemed to be far too easily amused during this one. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good match, but I don’t think it deserved the “This is awesome” chants that happened a few times. The spots were alright, but for a match they kept referring to as a “hardcore match”, falls didn’t count outside of the ring and the only weapons we got were a chair, a ladder and a trash can. Doesn’t seem like much compared to some of the No DQ matches WWE has had this year. Ricardo getting involved to help RVD was a nice surprise I must say, you rarely see face managers do that for some reason. Can’t think of any times I’ve seen that anyway off the top of my head. The chair-aided Cross Armbreaker was a nice touch, but when that happened I honestly started questioning how long the match had been going. I know it was the show opener, but it really didn’t feel like it went long enough and felt pretty rushed in hindsight. In any case, Del Rio retains and it seems RVD is out of the title picture and possibly out of the WWE now from what I hear. That would explain the decisive win I guess.

Match rating: 6/10 – Not as good as their Night Of Champions match honestly, but not a terrible match. As I said, it felt rushed and wasn’t much of a “hardcore” match, which is odd considering the men involved. Probably not the best match to open with considering how it turned out. Axel/Kofi got the crowd more warmed up than this match did. Yes, I just said that.

The Great Khali & Santino w/ Hornswoggle vs. The Real Americans (Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro) w/ Zeb Colter – A Khali match? Ugh, do I HAVE to watch this? Fine, fine, I’ll give it a chance.

*20 minutes of loading time later*

Ok yeah that was a waste of time. Some decent wrestling from everyone but Khali, but even then this match was extremely short and pretty boring. The only highlight was Cesaro using a Giant Swing on Khali. Guess that makes it the first ever literal Giant Swing. Huh. Anyway, Cesaro & Swagger win because somehow a Giant Swing is enough to beat Khali these days. What. Just. What. I like Cesaro, but that makes this match even worse. He won using a Giant Swing? HE WON! USING A GIANT! SWING!

“That could be the greatest finish in WWE” NO JBL! NO! BAD JBL! BAD! HE WON WITH A GIANT SWING!

Match rating: 3/10 – A FUCKING GIANT SWING!

Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth for the Intercontinental Championship – Not much to say about this match; it was pretty boring honestly. The crowd even started random chants they were so bored (including a JBL chant). The finish was abysmal in the sense it was so anti-climactic. I actually thought Truth was going to kick out to get the crowd going again. Axel retains, no one cares, and the commentators almost immediately shift their attention to talking about the pre-show (which I haven’t watched by the way). All in all an extremely mediocre match from two guys I’d expect more from when paired up.

Match Rating: 4/10 – Not even close to being as good as Kofi/Axel from Night Of Champions.

AJ Lee (c) w/ Tamina Snuka vs. Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship – Ummmmm….the finish was sort of interesting? Tamina actually doing something was interesting? Yeah that’s all I got.

Match rating: 3/10 – Brie took that steel post like a champ though. Oh, and AJ retained by the way.

Goldust & Cody Rhodes w/ Dusty Rhodes vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) w/ Dean Ambrose – Ok. Wow. This match actually lived up to the hype and fan interest surrounding it. Despite knowing from the get go Goldust & Cody would win, this match still entertained the hell outta me; and I was legitimately invested in it the entire time. The crowd definitely helped, especially when they exploded for both Dusty hitting Ambrose with his belt buckle, and Cody winning the match. Not much else to say really. Oh wait, one more thing, Goldust with Darth Maul style face paint was amazing.

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Match rating: 9/10 – A great match with great emotion, and a great crowd response

Bray Wyatt w/ Eric Rowan & Luke Harper vs. Kofi Kingston – First things first. WWE, please stop using that stock “We’re here” clip before The Wyatt Family come out. It’s getting old, and we KNOW it’s the same damn thing. Stop it. That aside this was a pretty good little match for something that was basically thrown together at the last minute. Never thought I’d ever see a Crucifix Driver in WWE, and that exorcist thing Bray Wyatt did was creepy as fuck.

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Bray gets the win, of course, but thankfully Kofi gets a pretty damn good showing, instead of just getting steamrolled like I thought he might. Thank heavens for small miracles. Also, holy shit, that snap Sister Abigail came outta nowhere.

Match rating: 8/10 – Fairly short, but it didn’t feel rushed and was quite an enjoyable watch.

Ryback w/ Paul Heyman vs. CM Punk – You know, this match was surprisingly good. Not a fan of the finish, but still. I’m actually a fan of Ryback, and this may be the better of his encounters with CM Punk as far as matches go. Seems Punk decided to get revenge for that botched table spot from RAW two weeks ago though by busting Ryback’s jaw open with some shoot elbow strikes. Punk wins because of a low blow, taking advantage of an unintentional distraction Heyman causes. Now, my problem with the finish isn’t the fact that Punk (a face) won with dirty tactics. I mean, come on, it’s CM Punk, it makes sense. My issue is it makes Ryback look weaker than usual and he gains absolutely nothing with this loss.

I stand by my opinion that Ryback should’ve won this match, as it would’ve Punk more to work with leading into Hell In A Cell. There’ll most likely be a rematch anyway, but still, I doubt Ryback will win that rematch.

Match rating: 7/10 – Good effort from both guys, and even though I don’t really like the finish, at least it fits Punk’s character.

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the vacant WWE Championship – Great showing from both guys, and guess what? I actually liked the finish. Well, if you can actually call it a finish. The match was never thrown out on-screen so I’m guessing it was still technically going when RAW started. Either way I actually enjoyed the entire match, and even having spoiled for myself the fact the show ended with a still vacant title, I honestly don’t care. Hell, I’m actually HAPPY it ended that way. Now we don’t have to worry about another Bryan reign being cut way too short again for the moment. Plus, this actually furthers two stories at once. All-in-all I honestly think it worked out for the best, and I would NOT change how that PPV ended.

Well, ok, that’s a lie. If I had to change one thing, I’d have them actually announce that the match has been ruled a no contest, rather than just ending like an episode of RAW or SmackDown as if that had been done already. Aside from that I’m quite content with the ending and the overall match.

Match Rating: 8/10 – Good performances, great crowd reaction, and an ending that left me (and probably ONLY me) satisfied.

Overall PPV Rating: 6/10 – Not the best PPV ever, but it’s worth at least one watch.

Match Of The Night: Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns – ‘Nuff said.

Final Thoughts: Overall this PPV evened out and turned out to be quite watchable. It started off fairly mediocre, but once it hit my MOTN, it managed to stay above the mediocre line for the rest of the show. You could almost say that match actually inspired the guys yet to compete and that’s why. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it. The low points however, good lord. Just, good lord. “A GIANT SWING” could become my version of “Bat Credit Card” if I don’t let it go right now, so I will. I’ll try to anyway. In any case, the good luckily outweighed the bad and this show turned out to be quite entertaining. Here’s hoping that trend continues with Hell In A Cell; despite the fact WWE only has two weeks to build up anything for it. I’ll see you guys next time. By the way, those things on/near the stage are still stupid.