Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts On WrestleMania 32

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match Rating – Solid B+

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match Rating – Solid C

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

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

Match Rating – Solid F+

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match Rating – F

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: WrestleMania 21 Review

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas finally gets around to talking about 
WrestleMania 21. Something he meant to do at least a month ago.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Royal Rumble 2005 Review

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas FINALLY gets around to giving his thoughts on the 2005 Royal Rumble PPV.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: New Years Meh-volution (NYR 05 PPV Review)

Finally getting around to an idea he wanted to do, Thomas will now be doing something where he gives his thoughts on “old” WWE PPVs. Starting with the first ever New Year’s Revolution PPV.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – Armageddon-palooza

Thomas Fyrehart rambles on about the WWE Armageddon PPVs from 2002-2005.

Skip to about 2:51 for the actual start.

Fyreharticles: Hell In A Cell 2013 Review


(Fan poster created by deviantART user sebaz316)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(rare to see black WWE wrestlers bleed)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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