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

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

 

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

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

WWE Battleground Review

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(Fan poster created by deviantART user JoKeRWord)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*20 minutes of loading time later*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.