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 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: Hell Froze Over (Hell In A Cell 2014 Review)

After putting it off due to finally being able to use his PS4, Thomas gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, Hell In A Cell 2014.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – WWE Night Of Champions 2014 Review

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas can’t think of a clever alternate name for the PPV……..oh and gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, Night Of Champions 2014.