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.

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.

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.

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.