Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts On WWE Battleground 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 Battleground 2016’s turn. I would give a spoiler warning but this PPV DID happen in July. If you’re like me and still hadn’t seen it yet, you’ve had long enough.

Oh and be warned, I was extremely tired when watching the vast majority of this PPV. So if there’s a spot that happened that I don’t mention, I probably just briefly fell asleep and missed it. So my bad I guess.

Quick Thoughts On The Pre-Show Match

Breezango vs. The Usos

Damn fine match. Both teams came out of this smelling like roses as far as I’m concerned. They really made it look like it could go either way. I like both teams so I didn’t mind The Usos losing. It was also interesting to see Breeze get the win clean. Like damn. I did not expect that. I mean sure it was a small package but he didn’t do any dirty tactics or whatever to set it up is my point.

Match Rating – Solid B-

Main Show

Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Charlotte and Dana Brooke

Fairly solid opening tag match. Thank God the crowd popped the way they did for Bayley or it totally would’ve ruined the whole thing. I mean they were expecting her anyway, but still. There was a botch or two here and there but nothing that really ruined the match. Granted Dana needs to just never attack someone with her hands when they’re on the mat. It just looks kind of awkward. Well, that and she usually misses by a mile and the camera angle doesn’t help. Wrestling punches are pretty much always shit though so I guess I can’t entirely blame her.

I must admit I’m kind of annoyed that Charlotte didn’t defend the title at this PPV considering there wasn’t a title defense at Money In The Bank, but the match was good enough to make up for it I guess. Plus Sasha & Bayley won, so that was also nice.

Match Rating – Solid C+ (Might seem a bit low but eh, as much as I liked it it was still fairly average)

The Wyatt Family vs. The New Day

The Wyatt Family won. The. Wyatt. Family. Won. No see I don’t think you heard me clearly enough. THE! WYATT! FAMILY! WON!

Match Rating – Solid A+ (THE FUCKING WYATT FAMILY ACTUALLY WON HOLY SHIT!)

WWE United States Championship match:
Rusev (champ) vs. Zack Ryder

I must admit, whilst I knew Ryder wasn’t gonna win, the WWE actually almost tricked me. Zack Ryder got to look pretty damn good in this match. Better than Titus got to look I’d argue, which is weird since Titus was more of a physical threat to Rusev. Even the commentators sold how Rusev seemed to be surprised Ryder was putting up this much of a fight. Hell they even had him almost break out of the Accolade, so Rusev had to basically rape the poor bastard just to make him tap out. Damn good stuff.

Match Rating – Solid B-

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

As good as this match was, and it was pretty great, I feel like this match being booked as their “final encounter” would’ve made more sense if one of them was actually drafted to SmackDown. Hell, they’ve even had a RAW match since so they’ve already gone back on the claim. Regardless this match was damn good. I was honestly shocked to see that apron brainbuster spot.

And yes, I did audibly say “BRAAAAAAAAAINBUSTAAAAAAAAH!” because of course I did. Shut up. Don’t judge me. Must admit I was also surprised that Sami actually won the match. But it did seem to take two Helluva Kicks to keep Owens down, so he didn’t really come out of this looking weak, which is nice.

Match Rating – Solid A+

Natalya vs. Becky Lynch

The crowd was kind of dead and damn am I tired so I probably missed certain things in this match, but overall I thought it was ok. Nattie working Becky’s leg for most of the match was cool, though of course there were moments where Becky kinda no sold the leg work to hit some of her moves which kinda bothered me, but not all that much.

Oh also, Natalya fucking won. Holy shit. Honestly didn’t see that coming. To me this legitimised her heel turn. If she’d just lost we would’ve got another tantrum thing post-match and her turning heel wouldn’t have had much of a pay off. So kudos to WWE on that.

Match Rating – Solid C+

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

This match was a lot more technical than I can honestly say I was expecting, which was a nice surprise really. I mean at points certain parts of the crowd tried to get a “boring” chant going, but I was fine with it. The finish was a bit of a mess though. Granted, it was cool to see Darren Young go apeshit for once and just drag Miz to the ground with a Cobra Clutch.

Apparently this was a “Double DQ” finish but I don’t see how. Maryse slaps Bob Backlund then claims Backlund hit her….I’m sorry but how do either of those scenarios result in a DQ for the people in the actual match? Maryse didn’t slap Darren and Bob never touched The Miz. A no contest I could understand since Darren goes apeshit but otherwise it’s just weird.

Match Rating – Solid C

John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Club

Very solid secondary main event, and I’m also very glad to see WWE didn’t waste the second Cena/AJ singles match on a PPV like Battleground, because that would’ve been a dumb move in my opinion. Hell their first encounter being Money In The Bank was weird, but I guess it’s had enough big moments to be a PPV where that could make sense.

Regardless the match was pretty good. Enzo & Cass came out of this looking great, as did pretty much everyone else really. I also appreciated that both major fake-out finishes involved someone breaking up the pinfall, rather than AJ & Cena just kicking out of each others respective finishers. Team Cena winning didn’t bother me at all, but mainly because (as I said earlier), both teams came out of this looking great.

I am surprised the final decision involved both AJ & Cena though. I thought they’d have had AJ pin Enzo or Cass; or Cena pin Gallows or Anderson. Interesting way to go about it I guess.

Match Rating – Solid B+

Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship:
Dean Ambrose (champ) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns

Fairly solid main event, though I really wish they’d saved this specific triple threat for WrestleMania. That said that might be why, as solid as this match was, they didn’t seem to entirely go all out for it. So that was smart. Giving us a taste now for something they can go all out on later.

Dean & Seth teaming up on Roman was kind of funny considering how much the crowd popped for it. That said it also made sense since he was the biggest guy in the match, so it had that going for it too. Though I feel Roman started to stir from that announce table Powerbomb a bit early.

The finish of Roman spearing Seth only for Dean to hit him with Dirty Deeds was about what I expected, and I’m honestly glad that’s the kind of finish they went with. Though I do wish Roman had either got his foot on the rope or Dean had broke up the pinfall when Seth hit Roman earlier with a Pedigree. Can’t win ’em all I guess.

I also generally liked that Dean retained, but mainly because I hate short title reigns. Shane & Bryan’s reaction to the win was honestly pretty funny too; just running around for a bit, and I think high fiving each other as they ran past each other. Good stuff.

Match Rating – Solid A-

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

Top to bottom this was the best PPV so far this year. And really? That about sums it up right there. Even if some matches were kind of iffy, nothing was really terrible and there was only one finish that kind of bothered me, but not enough to get me riled up. With that said, I have one more PPV left to cover before I can FINALLY get to Backlash.

As of writing this Backlash has indeed happened, but I was probably going to cover it the day after it happened anyway, so this works out. I will try to get my thoughts on SummerSlam done as soon as possible though. And with that, I’ll see you next time folks.

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.

Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts On WrestleMania 32

Hey everyone. So it continues to occur to me that I meant to start getting back into doing reviews of wrestling PPVs, but it ended up getting to the point where I just haven’t watched any WWE PPVs since WWE Fastlane this year. To rectify that situation, I’m going to dedicate the next week or so (depending how the posting schedule works out) to reviewing every single WWE PPV I’ve missed before finally watching, and giving my thoughts on, SummerSlam 2016. Or Backlash 2016, since that might happen by the time I’m done for all I know.

Oh, one last thing. It’s been forever since I watched the pre-show matches for WrestleMania 32 and I just can’t be bothered watching them again, so I’ll only be talking about the matches on the main card. From what I recall neither pre-show match was terrible though, so check them out if you never did.

7-Man Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship:
Kevin Owens (champ) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Stardust vs. Sin Cara vs. The Miz vs. Zack Ryder

Well, what can I say? This was an opening match that did its job of getting the fans hyped pretty damn well. Everyone involved pulled their weight, and there luckily weren’t any botches that I could notice. Or if there were, they were fairly minor, so they weren’t really noticeable. As is the standard with these sorts of ladder matches there were plenty of huge spots, namely a moment where Sin Cara was pushed off a ladder in the ring, only to fall out onto Stardust who was lying on a ladder propped up on the ring apron and security wall, breaking the ladder in the process.

Other notable spots were things like Sami diving through a ladder and over the top rope to take out everyone else. Sin Cara saving himself from a bad fall by springing off the top rope onto a bunch of guys, and Zack Ryder hitting Dolph Ziggler with with an elbow drop off a ladder. However, the one moment that made me audibly say “HOLY FUCK!” was when Sami hit Owens with a Half-and-Half Suplex onto a ladder, because holy fuck that looked painful.

In the end the winner of the match was none other than Zack Ryder, starting his first and to date only IC Title reign. One funny thing about this match was the commentators made a big deal about how Zack’s music had apparently never been played before at WrestleMania. Which in a way is kind of sad, but it also makes his win all the more touching. I will admit his win actually hit me right in the gut and I got a bit emotional. Didn’t cry, but I felt something. I’d keep going but I’d be here all day. Long story short, this was a long time coming, and it was cool to see someone like Zack Ryder finally have a WrestleMania moment.

Match Rating – Solid B+

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Honestly? This match was kind of a let down to a degree. I mean I knew they were gonna go slow to start with, but honestly this match was pretty slow overall. It wasn’t bad though, just not really a WrestleMania quality match. Both guys have had much better matches than this. I didn’t feel like I’d wasted my time, but it didn’t live up to my expectations either. I also called the final spot like a mile away as most people also probably did.

AJ goes for some springboard move and Jericho catches him with (an honestly very sloppy looking) Code Breaker and pins him for the win. Jericho winning honestly was a nice surprise in any case, because I was fairly sure AJ was going to win and this outcome hadn’t been spoiled for me. Yes. I’m watching this in August and wasn’t aware who the winner was. I’m as shocked as you are. Overall the match had some good moments but overall was fairly forgettable, which is sad considering the guys involved. Oh well.

Match Rating – Solid C+ (Yes, I rated the opener higher than this. Sue me)

The League Of Nations (Rusev, Alberto & Sheamus) vs. The New Day (Kofi, Big E, & Xavier Woods)

This match was honestly fairly forgettable as well, despite not necessarily being bad at all. The one stand out was that they REALLY milked the absolute hell out of the wrestling tactic of isolating one guy. I swear Xavier Woods was the only New Day member to be legal for the first five or six minutes. At least it felt like it. I mean at first I gave them credit for teasing tags that never happened, but after a while it just got old. Another notable thing was Big E hitting a spear through the ropes on both Rusev and Sheamus, and almost killing himself in the process.

I swear it looked like he’d fucked himself up because he seemed to fall on his head out of nowhere, it was pretty brutal looking. Overall the match wasn’t necessarily bad, but again, I honestly don’t remember much aside from what I’ve already brought up. Though before I move on I will talk about one last thing. The fan service. Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley & Steve Austin coming out was just a drawn out fan-wank moment.

Whilst I still got some entertainment value out of it once it actually happened, I couldn’t help but realise how fan-wanky this was, and I don’t really respond well to this kind of thing when I can tell it’s them just trying to get a reaction. I could keep going but I’ll stop.

Match Rating – Solid C

Brock “Fuck Off” Lesnar vs. Dean “Not a chance” Ambrose

I fucking hated this match. Hated it. The only way I would’ve liked it was Dean winning or legit injuring Brock. I fucking hate how Brock has been booked since coming back. I could keep going but this is gonna be long enough already, so I’ll keep it at that.

Match Rating – Solid F+

It would’ve been an F- had it not been for two things. The chainsaw bit which legit surprised me, and the fact Brock actually sold the offense…..well….when the match was over anyway. Heyman looking like Dean could’ve almost won was also a nice touch, but I knew Dean was losing and no amount of booking outside of him having actually won would’ve made me think otherwise.

WWE Women’s Championship match:
Charlotte (champ) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch

Current #1 contender for my Match Of The Night pick quite honestly. The match was fairly solid throughout. These women did NOT fuck around. There were one or two slip ups but no botches that diminished my thoughts on the match. However. One thing did. Charlotte takes a superplex right near the end. She roles to the outside. Ok. Then she comes back in like it was fucking nothing and effortlessly does the Figure 8……..no. Just no. I can’t accept that. Solid match, dumb finish.

Match Rating – A- (Would’ve been an A+ if not for that dumb no selling at the end)

Hell In A Cell (with ultimately pointless stipulations) match:
The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon

This is, by far, the worst WrestleMania match Undertaker has ever had. At least in my opinion. I’m being 100% serious by the way, this match was boring as hell. Giant Gonzalez couldn’t wrestle worth a damn, but at least that match was like, relatively short. And at least entertainingly bad. This match was honestly sad as hell to watch. Five minutes in both guys already looked exhausted. Five. Minutes. In.

And then they go and blow their load early on two of Undertaker’s finishers. Why? Why would you do that? Did they KNOW Undertaker wasn’t ready for this and sent him out anyway? I mean shit the Last Ride he hit was horrible. The crowd was even pretty dead for it. Please. Take this as a sign and have him retire. Now. Please.

I bet you all want to know what I thought of Shane’s dive off the structure, right? I thought it was fucking stupid. Also, the announcers honestly undersold the fuck out of it. Where the fuck is JR when you need him? Hell LAWLER might’ve sold this better. Cole tried his best and seemed to blow his voice out but had to try and force a Mick Foley reference in there which made it fucking horrible.

Undertaker won because of course he did. Two things could’ve saved this match, at least for me personally. The first thing being someone coming out and helping Shane win. I don’t give a God damn who, just someone. Though Kane or Bray Wyatt/The Wyatt Family would’ve been my go-to guys. Second thing being the match just being ruled a victory for The Undertaker after Shane did the dive to help sell it.

The biggest fuck you in this match was easily Shane actually getting up kind of and being all “bring it” to Undertaker. Fuck. Off. You do not fall from that height and get up under your own power, even if it was just to his knees. The Mick Foley incident from years past worked much better because:

1) The table actually made a decent sound when he fell through it.

And 2) They sold it like he’d just fucking died (probably because they thought he actually had). They raised the cage, had doctors and EMTs and referees and every other mother fucker coming out to check on him and stretcher him out. Sure, Mick Foley was also legitimately fucked up from that fall, but he was deadweight for like 5 minutes, not one or two. When he got back up it was shocking, it didn’t feel like a cop out.

I could keep going but I’m gonna stop because I’ve already talked about this for far too long.

Match Rating – Solid F- (Seriously, fuck this match and the dead horse it rode in on)

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Baron Corbin won so I literally don’t care. DDP and Tatanka being in it was cool though. Didn’t care one way or the other about Shaq’s appearance.

Match Rating – D+ (For DDP & Tatanka being in it if nothing else. And just to show how much I hated Dean/Brock and Taker/Shane)

Oh, after that there was a segment with some cheerleaders that I skipped over because I literally could not give a fuck less. Then The Rock came out so I skipped ahead only to realise he had a “match”. One Rock Bottom and it was over. Wow. Way to bury Eric Rowan there guys. Beaten in under 10 seconds. I will literally never take him seriously as a monster ever again. If I ever even did.

Then Cena came out and it became a 2-on-3 thing and of course The Wyatts get beaten up because that’s how unfair advantage fights work out with them these days I guess. Literally the only thing that made me not skip this entirely was Bray’s mic work.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match:
Triple H (champ) vs. Roman Reigns

In all honesty I didn’t outright hate this match. That said, it was honestly kind of boring. Even if I’d watched this at the time I’d have known Roman was going over, so that kind of kills any sort of suspense. Also I just like Triple H more. As much as I FUCKING HATE Brock Lesnar’s booking right now, I actually prefer the match Roman had with him last year. Why? Because I fucking hate Brock, so I ACTUALLY WANTED ROMAN TO WIN!

When Roman started busting Brock’s face up I actually got invested and wanted to see Roman hurt Brock and actually pull out a win. I mean, I was glad we were saved either outcome due to Seth stealing the win, but between Brock & Roman I was obviously going to pick Roman to root for. This match didn’t have that. In fact this match felt pretty slow throughout with like two notable spots. One being Roman spearing Triple H through the barricade because well, that’s what he does. And the other being Stephanie “accidentally” getting speared by Roman.

Literally that is all that’s worth noting. Well, aside from the fact Roman seemed to run out of seem long before Triple H did. Which, considering the age gap, is just sad. I mean Triple H has the excuse of being semi-retired and in his 40s. What the hell is Roman’s excuse? Bray Wyatt has better conditioning than Roman does.

In any case the match was mildly entertaining but ultimately a pretty piss poor main event for THE BIGGEST SHOW OF THE YEAR, therefore making it hard to really defend this match too much.

Match Rating – F

Oh yes. An F. “But why Tom?” I hear you cry. “Why rank it wedged between the two matches you objectively declared the worst two matches of the night when you only thought it was kind of mediocre?”. Well, that should be pretty fucking obvious. THIS WAS THE MAIN EVENT OF THEIR BIGGEST SHOW OF THE YEAR! You are NOT allowed to have a mediocre PPV main event EVER! Let alone at the biggest event of the damn year!

If the guys get injured (which Roman might have actually been, I have no idea), then ok, that can’t be helped. But I shouldn’t come away from this show thinking the main event was barely passable. That just shouldn’t happen. Trust me when I tell you, I’ve seen matches between wrestlers I have NOT given a shit about and been able to admit they had a good match, so don’t even try to come at me with “oh but you just didn’t like the match on paper of course you wouldn’t like it”.

Fuck off. I hated The Rock vs. John Cena on paper because I thought it was gonna be boring as fuck, but the FIRST time around I actually liked it and thought both guys did a good job. I only didn’t like it because The Rock went over instead of Cena. Though it was in Miami so of course The Rock was gonna win. The second time around was utter dog shit though.

I would keep going but this has to end some time, so I’ll make that right now.

Match Of The Night – Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch for the WWE Women’s Championship
Overall Show Rating – Solid D+

I’ll keep this wrap up short and sweet. This PPV had potential, but ended up just being a bloated mess with the absolute worst Hell In A Cell match I’ve ever had to sit through, though arguable the BEST women’s match at a WrestleMania. I really feel sorry for those women in hindsight. Best match of the night on one of the worst WrestleManias I’ve ever seen.

That’s all from me for now. I’ll see you guys next time.

Life In The Carpool Lane (WWE Fastlane 2016 Review)

Hey everyone. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a wrestling review, and my video “reviews” are usually way too long-winded for their own good. So, here’s the compromise. I’m doing written wrestling PPV reviews again! Thus, these are my thoughts on WWE Fastlane 2016.

As usual my standards were honestly set pretty low going into this one. There was at least one or two matches I was looking forward to that I knew were happening. But that’s about it. Speaking of which.

Kickoff Match
2/3 Falls match for the US Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto (c)

So, I’m just going to go ahead and say this match was great. At least I thought so. The two guys had me on the edge of my seat near the end for some of those near falls. But the main point I want to bring up, and the only thing that bugged me about this match is……WHY WAS THIS THE FUCKING PRE-SHOW MATCH? I mean, are you fucking kidding me? What the hell WWE? ARE YOU HIGH?! This was at the very least a match you open a PPV proper with, NOT A MATCH YOU RELEGATE TO THE PRE-SHOW!

*Ahem* Anyway, I could honestly keep bitching about it but I’d be here for a while. In any case, great match, dumb decision to put it on the pre-show. If I had anything nice to say about that decision, it’s kind of a backhanded compliment. That being I figure the only way this match would’ve had 15 minutes or so would’ve been if it was on the pre-show.

Side note: Who the fuck is that new-ish commentator that was actually calling the action during this match? This is the first time I can remember hearing this guy, and he’s already a better commentator than literally every other commentator WWE has right now. Pair this guy with Regal and fire everyone else. You’ll save a lot of money WWE.

Winner – Kalisto (1st and 3rd falls)
Match Rating – Solid A+ (Mainly to spite WWE for putting this on the FUCKING PRE-SHOW ARGH!)

PPV proper
Opening match: Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs. Tamina Snuka & Naomi

At first I was honestly annoyed that this was the PPV opener, and I still honestly am, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like this match. In fact, this was a pretty good women’s tag match for WWE. Tamina & Naomi actually gel pretty well as a team, which is nice to see. It also helped to sell the “actual team vs. two singles people team” dynamic they were trying to push.

Not much else to say about this match. Damn good effort by all the women involved, especially considering the iffy reputation women’s tag matches in WWE usually have. Though please, give Naomi a new finisher. The Rear View is fucking stupid.

Winners – Sash & Becks (Let’s see if anyone gets that joke)
Match Rating – Solid A-

Intercontinental Championship match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens (c)

Like the match before this one, I wasn’t aware this match was happening. That said this did still turn out to be a pretty good match. I would say great, but honestly the first 5-10 minutes were kind of meh. I mean, sure, maybe Owens was doing the Orton technique of “nothing but rest holds” to piss off the crowd intentionally (in fact I’m almost certain that was the case), but it still rang a little hollow because that time frame just ended up being kinda boring.

And of course, as soon as the action picks up and gets interesting, we get a “this is awesome” chant. Which honestly I don’t think was deserved, and the fans in attendance were just easy as fuck to please. Personally my reaction was “Ok now I give a shit” not “WOW AMAZING 10/10!” but hey, that’s just me. Overall the match was pretty good, and even though I thought WWE were gonna make Owens cheat to win. Nope. He won clean. Can honestly say I’m surprised. Guess this feud isn’t going any further.

Winner (and still IC Champ) – Kevin Owens
Match Rating – Solid B+ (Would be higher but the mediocre first half brings the score down)

6-Man Tag Team match – Ryback, Kane & Big Show vs. Luke Harper, Eric Rowan & Braun Strowman

Not a horrible match, but the Wyatt Family lost so, you know what? l don’t give a shit. Fuck you WWE.

Winners – The Team That Should’ve Lost
Rating – Solid Z- (yes that rating doesn’t exist but fuck you I hate WWE that much over this)

Diva’s Championship match – Brie “My Husband’s Retirement Helped My Career” Bella vs. Charlotte (c)

I’m gonna be honest with you. I tried sitting through the video package, then realised they were just using Daniel Bryan’s retirement and Nikki Bella’s injury to emotionally manipulate us into liking Brie. Most people don’t give a shit about either one of the Bella Twins. Me? Nikki has warmed on me since she’s improved so her injury sucks. Bryan retiring also sucks. But what sucks more is trying to make us care about Brie because the other two people in her life with some actual talent are both broken.

Then I tried watching the match itself. Only to give up when they bring up Brie is wearing Bryan’s WrestleMania XXX kickpads. Fuck off. Because I only watched the ending and the match highlights I can’t say whether or not the match was good or bad, so I won’t give this a rating. But fuck you WWE. Fuck you for exploiting this shit to make us like someone. That’d be like if The Rock died and you exploited it to make more people like Roman Reigns. Hell, it’s like when Eddie Guerrero died and you used it to push Rey Mysterio to the World Heavyweight Championship.

Note that I am blaming WWE for this, not Brie herself. But she isn’t exactly an innocent party since she’s going along for the ride without complaint. But still. Fuck WWE for that. If Brie needs this to get over then that really shows how little of a shit people actually give about her.

Winner – Charlotte

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Not much I can really say about this match without going in circles, so I’ll say this much. This was a damn fine match. Considering the shape he seemed to be in, Jericho put on a good show, and even attempted a Tiger Driver/Tiger Bomb (pending which you prefer) at one point. It got reversed but the point is he broke out a move he doesn’t do anymore. It was either that or he was going for that double under-hook backbreaker thing. But I assume Tiger Driver.

AJ was great and, without trying to sound insulting, carried the match. The Pele kick he hit on Jericho when Jericho was on the top turnbuckle was cool because I honestly didn’t expect him to reach far enough to connect. But he did, thankfully. Overall this was a good match as I said. The fans were dead for the entrances, but they picked up and cheered for both when the match itself started. So that kind of made up for it.

Only issue I have is the match actually seemed a tad too drawn out. Though that may just be me being tired as I write this……also because I’m kinda distracting myself as I write this. It’s definitely one of those things anyway.

Winner – AJ Styles
Match Rating – Solid A-

The “We Realised We Had A Lot Of Time To Fill So Fuck It, Here’s Another Match” match – R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel

So yeah. This was a thing. Not a bad match but extremely short. If nothing else I give them credit for at least continuing the story between Goldust & R-Truth. By doing that the match seemed slightly less like a pre-main event filler match. It still was though.

Winner – Curtis Axel
Match Rating – Solid C+ (Didn’t have time to be anything great, but it was at least decent)

Main Event for the spot at WrestleMania because we made the Rumble match for the title, so now we have to do this even though you know Reigns is winning – Dean “I’m here to take the fall” Ambrose vs. Brock “Why Am I Even Here?” Lesnar vs. Roman “I’m Obviously Winning This Thing” Reigns

As you can tell I didn’t exactly have high hopes for this match. And to a point I was justified in that. Lesnar spammed suplexes as usual, but luckily WWE got that bullshit out of the way early to allow for an actual match to happen when Dean & Reigns would take Lesnar out of the equation. To be honest any time Brock was getting attacked was a highlight for me. That’s how much I fucking hate this run Brock has had.

In a way this match is very reminiscent of the Rollins/Cena/Brock triple threat from the Rumble last year. If only for how Brock gets taken out for most of it so we can have an actual match. Though Dean/Reigns wasn’t as good as Rollins/Cena. That said the stuff with them facing off did hold my interest, so they have that going for them. I already knew thanks to spoilers that Roman was winning but, come on, of course he was gonna win.

One thing I didn’t forsee was how exactly Lesnar would be neutralised. I had expected the Wyatt Family to come out and decimate Lesnar, probably carrying him backstage or something too. But that didn’t happen. Thanks to RAW results I know why, but yeah. Honestly I’m kind of glad about that whole thing cause now Bray doesn’t have to suffer being squashed by Lesnar……….but on the other hand, now Dean does. Well, I guess you can’t win ’em all. Which at this point might as well be Dean or Bray’s motto.

In conclusion, as I said, this match wasn’t exactly bad, and any time Brock was laid out was great, but overall the match was still only just “good”, which isn’t really good enough for a PPV MAIN EVENT! But I digress. They did the best they could with the situation at hand, and we all knew Reigns was gonna win so who even cares?

Winner – Roman Reigns
Match Rating – Solid B+. Would be lower or higher, but the predictability and Lesnar’s inclusion knocked it down a few pegs, and Lesnar getting put through two tables and smashed with a chair brings it back up a bit.

Overall PPV Rating – Solid B+ (Not going by an averages or anything, just going with what I feel it deserves)

Final Thoughts

So. Was this PPV crap? Honestly I’d say no, it wasn’t crap. Was it great? I wouldn’t say that either. The best word I can think of right now is……..decent. This PPV was decent. We’re on the fucking road to WrestleMania and all I can come up with is “decent”. How sad is that?

And honestly I’m gonna leave it at that. I could go on about how I think Triple H should’ve had a title defense on the PPV as a random short match against a midcarder to give a guy some exposure, but I’ll leave it at a mention so I don’t make this any longer. And with that, I’ll see you guys in April for what is shaping up to be a very mediocre WrestleMania. 

Prove me wrong WWE. Prove. Me. Wrong.

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 – Tender Love, Caring…..and Sharing (WWE TLC 2014 Review)

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas gives his thoughts on the last WWE PPV of the year, Tables Ladders and Chairs…….and Stairs……..seriously whose idea was that?

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor Series 2014 Review)

Not having been able to watch it live, Thomas gives his delayed thoughts on the 2014 edition of the Survivor Series PPV.

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.

Fyreharticles: Survivor Series 2013 Review

Survivor Series 2013 poster

Well, it’s come and gone so here we go, my review of the 2013 Survivor Series PPV. This is being done as I watch it online by the way. Just thought I’d clarify that. Before I start though, I would like the point out two things. One is that the theme song for this PPV is complete shite. Second, what the hell is up with the Survivor Series logo? It seems like the “VIV” either wouldn’t light up properly or aren’t supposed to. See this is what happens when you do a set up like that WWE. Next time make it the whole thing across, or actually check that shit before the PPV starts.

Can’t entirely blame them for that I guess, but still, it looks like a rundown hotel sign. Anyway, on to the PPV.

Classic 5-on-5 Survivor Series match: Team Racial Equality (Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Jimmy & Jey Uso, and Rey Mysterio) vs. Team Believe In The People/Team Real American Justice (Take your pick) (Shield & Real Americans) – Well, this match definitely didn’t disappoint. Odd that they opened the show with the match most people only wanted to see, but ok. Was kind of annoyed when it got down to 2-on-5 with the heels being down so much, mainly cause I dreaded a clean sweep, but then I realised that was purely to help Roman get over as a monster by destroying most of the face team. I can live with that.

I marked out so hard for most of the Roman eliminations, especially the final elimination where Roman caught Rey with a Spear as he was trying for the 619. That was great because it looked so damn impactful. Helps that Rey ran into it, but regardless it was pretty great. Not much else to say really.

Match rating: Solid A+ – Good way to open the PPV.

Big E. Langston (c) vs. Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship – Not a great match but it was pretty solid. Big E. retains and the Big Ending rings true as Axel will probably not be seen on RAW or SmackDown much from now on, thus ending his “big push”. I like Axel, I really do. He can’t talk his way out of a paper bag but I like him. Probably for the best that his push is over now though, as his best matches are usually on Superstars. Granted this was one of his better matches, but still.

Match rating: Solid C+ – Not a great match, but a pretty good effort from both men regardless.

7-on-7 Survivor Series match: Team Reality Show (Brie & Nikki Bella, Cameron, Naomi, Jojo, Eva Marie and Natalya) vs. Team Everyone Else (AJ lee, Tamina, Kaitlyn, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Aksana & Summer Rae) – I gave subzero fucks about this match going in, but it honestly wasn’t the train wreck I was expecting. Hell, the “dance off” between Summer Rae and….I’m gonna guess Nikki Bella, was actually kind of funny. Better than Cody & Zeb twerking before the opener (Yes, that actually happened). Natalya wins for the Total Divas team, which is honestly the only way I would’ve accepted that team winning. A funny thing to mention is that both Lillian Garcia and the commentators totally forget Natalya wasn’t the only person left on her team. Nikki tagged out, she wasn’t eliminated. I mean, it shows how little an impact the Bellas have that they forgot, and it is kind of funny, but Nikki has been improving lately and due to Total Divas WWE has a reason to care about her, so it was a bit odd.

I’m hoping this will lead to a Natalya/AJ title match at TLC in any case. And what would be interesting is if WWE actually gave the Divas one of the gimmick matches to work with. Would help it stand out a bit anyway. Not the ladder or TLC match, but the “Chairs” or Tables matches could be interesting to give to the Divas. Since they rarely use weapons anyway the Chairs match would suffice, but either or.

Match rating: Solid C- – Like the match before it, it wasn’t great. But it surprisingly wasn’t shit either, so that’s a plus.

Mark Henry vs. Ryback – Wow. This match came outta nowhere. Totally didn’t call Mark Henry accepting the challenge Ryback randomly threw out, but I should’ve seen it coming. Mark wins in a short match that was honestly forgettable, aside from Mark either attempting a crossbody, or generally hitting Ryback with something that just ended up looking like a botched crossbody.

Match rating: Solid D+ – Point added for Mark Henry’s return, but it was still pretty forgettable. And honestly, forgettable is worse than bad.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship – “Cena wins lol” would normally sum it up, but I give Cena credit for this match. He actually sold the arm several times, including after power he powered out of the Cross Armbreaker. It also looked like Alberto had it won several times, so at the very least it was an even match. Cena wins (lol) with an AA in a nice little exchange where him and Alberto reversed each other’s finishers before Cena was finally successful. Pretty good match, though the most memorable part would have to be Cena hitting a Tornado DDT. It’s not the first time he’s done it, but it was still cool to see.

Match rating: Solid B+ – Wouldn’t call it a great match, but it was still pretty good.

The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Eric Rowan) vs. Team ROH (Daniel Bryan & CM Punk) – Wait, this is AFTER the Cena match? Holy shit, WWE must have a lot of faith in this match. Pretty damn good match from these four guys. I honestly think it could’ve gone either way. Almost wanted Luke & Eric to win, but it did make sense to have Bryan & Punk win. I hope this feud isn’t over yet though. A TLC or Tables match between The Wyatt Family & Punk/Bryan would be cool to see next month. Punk & Bryan win with Punk hitting Luke with a GTS, and Luke doing one of the better sells for the move by basically crumbling in place.

Match rating: Solid A+ – Easy contender for match of the night.

Big Show vs. Randy Orton (c) for the WWE Championship – Honestly kind of surprised this is the main event of the PPV, but ok. Nice to see Big Show getting to main event a PPV in a singles match. That doesn’t happen much, if it ever has.

*Actually watches the match*

Oh. Well, damn, this should’ve been switched with the WHC match in card order honestly. That match was better by far. Granted there’s a lot more you can do with Cena/Del Rio than Orton/Big Show, so you know. I mean, wow. Not much actually happens and the crowd really doesn’t give too much of a shit. Considering the match this is following I’m not surprised. Orton retains in the biggest “we saw it coming” moment of the night. Hey, WWE, here’s a tip. If you’re gonna have ANY kind of “interference” happen, don’t hype that none will. When you say something won’t happen, we expect the opposite; especially if you bring it up constantly.

Match rating: Solid D- – Yeah, pretty piss poor main event honestly. Sad considering it’s probably the last shot at the WWE Title Big Show will ever get.

Oh, after the main event Cena comes out and they just have him kind of pose in the ring after a brief stare down like he’s just being a dick and stealing Orton’s spotlight, but really it’s just a half-arsed tease for the title unification match that may or may not be happening at WrestleMania XXX, or some time before then, I don’t know. Please WWE, if that happens, don’t have Orton/Cena. We’ve been down that road before multiple times and it didn’t work. Have Orton drop the WWE title to someone else before you do that. Also you do realise you just spoiled the next few months of PPV title matches with that tease if it goes ahead right? Just checking.

Overall PPV rating: Solid C+ – Not an entirely irredeemable PPV, so it’s worth at least one watch. I wouldn’t buy it on DVD when it comes out though.
Match of The Night: Wyatt Family vs. Punk & Bryan – Had two A+ matches, so I just picked one of the two for this. I stand by it and that’s all I really need to say I think.

Final Thoughts:
It was somewhat better than I expected, but it didn’t blow my expectations out of the water or anything. The main event was a total disappointment, especially since I can remember Big Show & Orton having better matches before. Not necessarily great matches, but matches that were better than this one by comparison. The undercard was surprisingly solid however, and I’m still surprised Punk & Bryan’s match with the Wyatt Family was after the World Heavyweight Championship match. Score one for the “vanilla midgets” I guess. Overall, like I said before, this PPV is worth at least one viewing. If you don’t watch the whole show, then I recommend the 5-on-5 match and the Luke & Eric v Punk & Bryan matches as things you should definitely check out.

That’s about all I can think of currently, aside from a few ramble-y thoughts I decided to leave out (Orton kicking out of the most devastating Chokeslam ever, Luke’s big boot not being a finisher, etc.), so I’ll leave it at that and see you guys next time, which won’t be too long this time, for reals.

Fyreharticles: Hell In A Cell 2013 Review


(Fan poster created by deviantART user sebaz316)

Hello everyone, and welcome to another PPV review by yours truly. This time around, Hell In A Cell. I honestly can’t even feign enthusiasm and I only really just woke up (slept through the PPV) so let’s just get started.

Pre-show match: Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow – Yes, that’s right, Curtis Axel/Big E Langston isn’t the pre-show match. Never fear though, if you cared about that match it did happen on the actual PPV from what they say on commentary, so I’ll get to that later. Pretty meh match in retrospect, though Kofi doing a Hilo off the steps was pretty cool. Sandow wins with a Full Nelson Slam. Ok. I can live with that.

Match Rating: Solid C+ (Figured I’d get a new rating system) – Already forgotten most of what happened and there was only 2 memorable parts of the match anyway, but it was by no means a terrible match.

Writer’s Note: Oh, seems I misheard. Big E’s facing Dean Ambrose for the US Title on the actual PPV, not Axel for the IC Title. My bad.

Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs. The Usos vs. The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) in a Triple Threat Tag Team match for the WWE Tag Team Championships – Wow. Just…wow. This match was AMAZING! AND IT’S ONLY THE SHOW OPENER! Good lord, if this is a sign of things to come, then this PPV may actually be worth it. With this we also get our first “Holy shit!” moment of the night when Cody superplexed Seth to the outside and onto the other men in the match. I honestly didn’t think the spot would happen (as it never seems to for obvious reasons), but damn when it did I legit marked out. I noticed this match actually got a good amount of time to work with; felt like it went for at least 15 minutes. WWE also managed to trick me into thinking The Usos could win, so I tip my hat to them for actually doing that. Cody & Goldust retain after Cody hits Seth with a jumping Cross Rhodes (after almost everyone else had been taken out), and hopefully they get a decent run in before the Usos FINALLY get a run with the belts.

Match Rating: Solid A+++ – THAT is how you open a PPV.

After that match The Miz came out and challenged Bray to a fight, only to get what basically amounted to a “no” from Bray and Luke & Eric show up instead. Kane of all people returns and makes the save, only to Chokeslam Miz anyway. Just goes to show, everybody hates The Miz. Normally I don’t bring up this kind of stuff when talking about PPVs, but this wasn’t an entirely pointless moment so yeah, decided to bother mentioning it.

Writer’s Note: After that we got Fandango & Summer Rae vs. Khali & Natalya. I could NOT be bothered to watch it, so I skipped to the end and noticed that Summer Rae won with a clean roll up. So there you go.

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Big E. Langston for the United States Championship – This match was alright but nothing overly special. Well, except Big E getting busted open.


(rare to see black WWE wrestlers bleed)

Plus Dean Ambrose getting a bit of that blood on him and not giving a fuck, and Big E hitting Dean with a spear through the ropes. Aside from that it was standard stuff. Big E wins via count out and therefore Dean retains, with Big E. laying out Dean anyway afterwards.

Match Rating: Solid B+ – Mainly for the things I mentioned before.

CM Punk vs. Ryback & Paul Heyman in a 2-on-1 Handicap Hell In A Cell match – Not a terrible match, but since Heyman didn’t even get involved the handicap aspect was completely pointless. I will however say that this match was fairly boring despite being mercifully short. Punk wins off a GTS and then sticks a kendo stick through his tights.

Then climbs up on top of the cell (Where Heyman had been the entire match) and beats Heyman up with it. So Punk wins the feud and hopefully both sides can move on to other things.

Match Rating: Solid C- – Still want the “Heyman Guys” thing to go the way of the stable of clients Heyman had back in late 02/early 03 though.

Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans – Well. Cesaro did that Giant Swing. And Los Matadores won with a tag move. I guess that’s cool. Seriously though, not a bad match, but not a memorable one either.

Match Rating: Solid D- – El Torito surprisingly still doesn’t bother me though

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship – This was honestly a pretty good match; not great but good. Cena pulling off a decent Tornado DDT and diving crossbody were some highlights of his stuff, as well as rolling through on the Cross Armbreaker into a an STS (What Cena does is rarely an STF). They keep panning back to Sandow watching, but that doesn’t amount to anything; shame really. Cena wins with the only successful AA of the match and I don’t know whether I care or not. Kind of indifferent on him winning to a degree. I wanted Del Rio to retain, but at the same time the WHC may stop being treated like the IC Title for a while with Cena in its title scene. Cena leaves with Sandow not even so much as coming out to tease a cash in….booooooo.

Match Rating: Solid A+ – Mainly because Cena did pretty well in this match, especially coming off an injury. Props to him for breaking out some new moves.

Writer’s Note: AJ vs. Brie up next….ugh, do I have to watch this? I do? God damn it.

AJ Lee (c) w/ Tamina vs. Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella for the Diva’s Championship – Wow. That wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Brie definitely seems to be making the effort to improve at least going by how this match started. The crowd was kinda dead for them in parts though; I felt both sorry for and laughed at Nikki for having to try for two or so minutes just to get a decent slow clap from the audience. Just goes to show how little of a shit the fans give about the Bella Twins. AJ wins via submission and keeps the belt. Thank God.

Match Rating: Solid C+ – Brie wasn’t terrible and AJ was AJ. Might’ve gone up to a B- had Brie used a Flying Mare.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton in a Hell In A Cell match for the vacant WWE Championship – Well, we finally got what we wanted at least; a WWE Champion was crowned. The match was pretty good, nothing really mind blowing but it wasn’t terrible. Despite accidentally spoiling it for myself (really should’ve avoided Facebook completely) I was content with the finish. Triple H is Shawn’s best friend, they’ve been hammering that in for weeks to remind us. Of course when Bryan attacks Triple H Shawn would retaliate, that’s what friends do. Plus if that was blatantly supposed to be a heel turn, nobody told Shawn, since he basically sold it like he was thinking “Shit! What have I done?” and my guess is that’s how they’ll play it.

As far as I’m concerned though, this should be the end of Bryan’s WWE Title matches for a few months. He should drop down a rung and feud with Triple H now. But that’s just me, I seriously want to see a Team YES vs. Team “Best For Business” match at Survivor Series. Really though I just want them to not bother putting the belt on Bryan again until they want to give him the belt for a few months. Hell, have him win the Rumble and then win the belt at Mania; that could work if done right.

But as far as this match goes, it wasn’t bad. Could’ve been better in spots but I don’t regret watching it or anything.

Match rating: Solid B+ – And no, I didn’t just give this match that rating because Bryan was in the match.

Overall PPV Rating: Solid B- – Well, the PPV wasn’t complete shit, but I didn’t have any expectations for it to meet. Go figure.

Match Of The Night: WWE Tag Team Championship match – I don’t really need to say much else, just go and watch the match for yourself, even if it’s the only match you watch from the PPV.

Closing Thoughts – Filler In A Cell more like it to be honest. I mean, good on WWE for making Los Matadores/Real Americans a PPV match to help give the tag division more exposure, but it felt more like a SmackDown match than a PPV match. Fandango/Rae vs. Khali/Natalya came outta nowhere and I didn’t bother watching it to spare my sanity. Also I have to say, it’s kind of sad when the match of the night is the opener. It gets your hopes up, only for the rest of the show to crush those hopes.

Good points? Well, ummm, Cena did a Tornado DDT, that was cool. We finally have a WWE Champion again, which was the only hope I had going into this PPV. The fans showed why the Bella Twins shouldn’t be pushed so hard, plus AJ retained. The Usos had a strong PPV showing despite not winning, and the titles didn’t change hands after only recently doing so. Yeah I’d say the outcomes were all pretty satisfying aside from Cena winning the World Heavyweight Championship. I mean, I don’t hate Cena, but if this doesn’t help to make the title relevant again then it’s an entirely pointless run in my eyes.

All in all, this PPV could’ve been a lot worse, but it also could’ve been a lot better too. Was it better than Battleground? Yes, I can safely say that it was, though I didn’t think that PPV was entirely irredeemable either. That’s what low standards will get you folks. Expect nothing and you may get some satisfaction. And with that, I bid you adieu until my next article. I leave you with a sign from the PPV that actually got a laugh out of me.

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.

Night Of Champions 2013 Review

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first ever written wrestling review. Alas my family’s computer has essentially snuffed it, so until either the memory is recovered or the hard drive generally fixed so it’ll  start working again (or we just flat out get a new computer), I can’t edit/make/post any videos. As a result, I’ve decided to do some of those “written reviews/articles” I’ve heard so much about. Anyway, Night Of Champions 2013, the PPV absolutely no one with half a brain was hyped for. How did it actually turn out though? Well, let’s get on with the review then.

For the record, I’m skipping the pre-show match because the WWE cared so little for it they decided to essentially put “ads” over it in two places. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but if WWE didn’t care, why should I?

Curtis Axel (c) vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship – This match was a very nice  surprise. Before the match Curtis had a go at HHH for ignoring Heyman’s pleas to cancel the handicap match, which led to this match being made when HHH pointed out that every title was supposed to be defended. This was honestly a great move, as I had absolutely no idea who was going to win; it really could’ve gone either way and worked. The match itself was pretty damn good, with only one or two botches here and there, fortunately nothing major. Surprisingly I found myself rooting for Axel to retain, so when he did indeed win, with his modified Snapmare Driver, I was actually relieved. I mean, I’m not a HUGE Axel fan, but I do think he’s better than most people give him credit for. God awful on the mic of course, but wrestling wise he’s good. Another nice touch was how Paul Heyman could go from being completely apathetic about the match, to actually giving Axel advice, to being outright paranoid that Axel may lose. And even when Axel retained the title, Heyman still seemed unconvinced that Axel would be able to hang with CM Punk.

Match Rating: 7/10 – A good opening match that definitely got me pumped for a PPV I didn’t care about in the slightest beforehand. An extra point or two were given due to the fact I had absolutely no idea who was going to win, making the match that much more exciting than it would’ve been normally.

AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella for the Divas Championship – As expected this match didn’t really go all that long, though it was longer than most typical Diva’s matches. Granted I stopped and started it a few times so that might be why it felt so short. Anyway, the match itself was pretty good for what it was. Naomi was the stand out woman of the match with half the things she did, though the moment of the match was Natalya getting both Naomi and Brie in a Sharpshooter at the same time. I have never seen that done before, let alone by a female wrestler. AJ Lee retains in the end in what felt like an oddly anti-climactic moment. Though I guess it at least meant Naomi & Brie had to actually sell the double Sharpshooter, so that’s fine I guess. Either way, the match was better than I expected, which was a very nice surprise.

Match Rating: 5/10 – A point was taken off due to the ending feeling a bit anti-climactic. That and because Brie never once did a Flying Mare. The Bella Twins used to do those all the damn time when they debuted; now they NEVER do them? What the hell guys? Also Brie Bella looked like jailbait in that outfit; just putting that out there.

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam for the World Heavyweight Championship – The more I thought about it, the more I realised how much potential this match had, and definitely lived up to it. Plenty of good spots, including Alberto getting his knees up to block the 5-Star Frog Splash and locking RVD in the Cross Armbreaker from the mat instead of standing. There was at least three notable things that could almost be considered botches, but the only blatant looking botch was Alberto either completely missing with the “Back Stabber”, or RVD generally reacting too late and missing Alberto’s knees, landing back first on the mat. The ending…ok yeah I’m probably in the boat of people calling BS on it, but it made sense. RVD/Del Rio is going to continue so RVD gets the DQ win but no title, and neither man gets pinned or taps out. If this was their “feud ender” then I’d be more annoyed, but it didn’t really bother me too much. If it did, it was one of those cases where the match was going so well that the DQ finish kind of wrecked it a bit. Either way, the match was good; and the post-match Van Terminator after Del Rio tried attacking RVD was a nice touch.

Match Rating: 8/10 – This didn’t really have any points taken off, since I don’t think I would’ve given it a nine. However it was held back a bit by the DQ finish, despite me not really having much of an issue with it.

The Miz vs. Fandango – To be perfectly honest, the only thing worth mentioning about this match is that Fandango pulled out a Falcon’s Arrow; that move doesn’t get used in WWE nearly enough. Not a terrible match, but it was extremely forgettable.

Match Rating: 4.5/10 – Miz won by the way

CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman in a No DQ Elimination Handicap match – I had no expectations going into this match. Honestly? That was probably a good thing, because this wasn’t necessarily a great match. It was good for what it was (and over-gimmicked way of getting Heyman into things), but it was by no means great. Regardless I did enjoy it. Axel not being completely squashed by Punk was nice. It made sense that Punk would get passed Axel in the end, unless Heyman had gotten involved to save himself, which I’m kind of surprised didn’t happen, given the “thrown-on-at-the-last-minute” No DQ stipulation. Heyman got the beating of his life, and I’ll be damned if most of those screams weren’t legitimate. Punk didn’t seem to be holding back at all with his kendo stick shots, especially after having handcuffed Heyman at one point, and it was kind of hard to watch or listen to after a while.

I figured if Heyman & Axel won that a run-in would happen, even if it was just Axel coming back in. But I can tell you right now, I had absolutely no idea the run-in would’ve been Ryback. Yet another nice surprise; and Ryback showing up allowed the table to finally get used. Due to Ryback’s involvement Punk loses, and Heyman remains undefeated as far as being involved in multi-man matches in the WWE goes, having defeated the likes of The Hardy Boyz (pinning Jeff Hardy specifically), RVD, and Eddie Guerrero; with CM Punk now being added to that list. Clearly Paul Heyman should be WWE Champion by now.

Match Rating: 6/10 – Yes. This match has a lower rating than Axel/Kingston. Deal with it, that was a better overall match.

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship – Oh, for a second there when The Shield’s music hit I thought we were getting the Tag Title match. I honestly had no idea this match was happening. Then again, aside from having boycotted RAW, I’ve been unintentionally missing SmackDown a lot lately. This was a relatively short match, and despite not being terrible, nothing much to write home about. Granted the roll-through Ziggler did after Ambrose locked him in a full nelson, turning it into a pinfall, was pretty interesting. That’s about it though. Oh, and Ambrose wins…thank God.

Match Rating: 5/10 – Relatively short and forgettable, but not as forgettable as The Miz vs. Fandango.

The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) (c) vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil) for the WWE Tag Team Championships – This match was actually better than I expected it would be, despite also being relatively short. I mean, it wasn’t great, but I did enjoy it and it was definitely worth watching. That’s about all I can say though, not much else to really point out. Reigns & Rollins pick up the win and retain the belts after Roman spears the hell out of Titus when the referee was distracted. I am ok with this. I’m a fan of both teams anyway so either result would’ve been fine for me.

Match Rating: 6/10 – Bugs me that it was so short, but they did the best they could with the time given, and the ending didn’t feel like a cop out.

Randy Orton (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship – To be perfectly honest with you, this match did not live up to the hype. Like every other match it wasn’t terrible, but aside from a few big bursts from Bryan the rest was pretty standard fair for these two. The main interesting thing was Scott Armstrong managing a fast count. Like, wow, Scot Armstrong? Possibly the slowest ref in WWE managed a fast count? Just, wow. Also, this match will go down in the history books as containing the FASTEST referee change I’ve ever seen in my life. Seconds after Scott Armstrong goes down, a new ref shows up out of nowhere. That like…never happens. Or if it does, it’s usually a pretty rare occurrence. In any case, Bryan manages to pull out the win after Armstrong fast counts. Not that that’ll necessarily amount to anythi-oh.

Well…ummmm…yeah I got nothing.

Match Rating: 6/10 – Had some decent hype, and wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.

Overall PPV Rating: 6.07/10 – Worth at least one watch, but overall this is a PPV you wouldn’t necessarily feel bad about missing.

Match Of The Night: Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio – This is going purely by the ratings I gave the matches by the way. Considering this match got the highest rating from me, it ended up being match of the night. I’d say it is pretty accurate though in any case.

Final Thoughts: I went into this with low expectations; and even though it surpassed those low expectations, the overall PPV was still pretty mediocre. The Punk match was nothing special; the main event was alright but could’ve been better, and generally I bet this PPV will be forgotten about fairly quickly, especially due to the main event’s outcome being rendered void the next night. If you haven’t watched it yet, I still suggest you give it a watch; if anything just to form your own opinion on the show. If you have seen the PPV, what are your thoughts? Do you agree with my opinion? Or do you think I’m incredibly wrong and need to be raped by a giant gorilla because of it? Hopefully the former, but I’ll leave it up to you guys.