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.

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 – 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.

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.

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.