Retro Express – Survivor Series 2006

wwe-survivor-series-2006-dvd-cover_0

Survivor Series 2006 was the 20th anniversary of the annual Thanksgiving event. This was the first of its kind that featured the RAW, SmackDown! and ECW brands. The emphasis was on the Survivor Series elimination matches and WWE had to put on a show for a Philly crowd that was difficult to please. Could they give us a Survivor Series to remember?

 

WWE Survivor Series

Date: November 26th 2005

Brand: RAW and SmackDown!

City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Attendance: 15,400

Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes and Ron Simmons w/Arn Anderson vs Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Nicky and Mikey in a Survivor Series elimination match
20061126_flair
Flair and Simmons both got big pops when they were coming out. Arn Anderson was in the legends’ corner wearing one of his vintage golf shirts. Ron “cleared house” until he was tripped by one of the members of the Spirit Squad. This lead to a very strange “spot” which gives us the first two eliminations. Ron Simmons followed Mitch around the ring which led to Ron and Arn trapping him. Arn threw Mitch into the ringpost which led me to believe that Ron would be disqualified for what Arn did to Mitch. Instead, Ron was actually eliminated because he was COUNTED OUT alongside Mitch. I thought this was an absurd ruling because surely Arn did the illegal move before the referee finished his count. Also, I don’t even remember the referee finishing his count while the Ron/Mitch/Arn spot was going on. I may have to go back and watch the match again but I SWEAR that I never heard the referee finish his count. I guess he could have whispered it to himself!
Jim Ross was trying to explain all of this on commentary but I think even he was baffled by all of this. To add to the confusion, Arn Anderson was thrown out as the Legends’ manager. Arn sold this ruling tremendously by the way! This led to the fans chanting “bullshit” as this took up a good two minutes of the match to sort all of this out. Not a great start.
Every member of the Spirit Squad was wearing their overalls except, if I recall, Nicky. As mentioned in past editions of the Retro Express, Nicky ended up becoming Dolph Ziggler. In this match though, Nicky was in full Ziggler-mode with his selling! After a spot with Sgt Slaughter, where the veteran fooled the youngster with a handshake, Slaughter began body-slamming Nicky over and over. Slaughter locked on the Cobra Clutch but Johnny ended up dropping him from behind with a kick. This lead to Nicky PINNING Sgt Slaughter.
Dusty Rhodes then pinned Nicky with an elbow drop. When watching this now in 2016, it seems a bit funny to see someone lose to a simple elbow drop. I know The Rock’s finisher is the People’s Elbow but surely one standard elbow drop shouldn’t beat people right? However, Dusty beat people all the time with this in his prime! It’s just also funny that Nicky lost to an elbow drop when as Dolph Ziggler, he hits wrestlers with ten repeated elbows as signature moves and can only get a two count!
Kenny pinned Dusty when he ducked the Bionic Elbow and rolled him up for the pin. This left Ric Flair alone to face Johnny, Mikey and Kenny. Flair pinned Mikey with an Atomic Drop and a pin which saw him with his feet on the ropes. Ric then pinned Kenny with the Small Package and made Johnny submit with the Figure Four Leg Lock and won the match for his team. The Spirit Squad beat up Ric Flair after the match. My biggest question was WHERE WERE THE LEGENDS when this happened? Not a fan of this match. I guess when you combine bad booking with five old wrestlers that could barely move and the Spirit Squad, you shouldn’t get your expectations up.
Match Rating: *1/2
Chris Benoit (c) vs Chavo Guerrero w/Vickie Guerrero for the United States Championship
20061110_ss_ustitle
This was a fine match. Benoit worked very hard and Chavo looked really good as the heel getting the heat on him. Vickie Guerrero kept getting involved. Benoit made the comeback with the triple German suplexes. Chavo got some serious height on these suplexes. JBL began giving us a analogy on cheating in matches which he was able to somehow relate to picking up women in a bar. Chris Benoit kicked out of Chavo’s Frog Splash to a surprisingly big reaction. Vickie got knocked off the apron and the key to the finish was that Benoit was showing care for Vickie on the outside. While he was doing this, Chavo rolled him up. Benoit countered this into a Crossface and made Chavo tap out.
Match Rating: **3/4
I have to really give JBL some credit for being so great in 2006 as a commentator. You wouldn’t think it by hearing him in 2016, but he was fantastic during this pay-per-view. He would go on some of the greatest rants while on commentary and was allowed to just go completely nuts. It was tremendous to hear him when he could just unload like this.
Edge and Lita were backstage being interview by Todd Grisham. Lita was wrestling her last match that night, defending her Women’s title against Mickie James. Lita told Todd that she wasn’t going to change her mind about retiring. She said she was going to beat Mickie James and gave some spiel about wanting respect from the fans. Edge cut a promo about Team Rated RKO’s match against Team DX. He talked about beating up the Hardy Boyz for years and called CM Punk an ECW reject. As this was going on, Cryme Tyme went into Lita’s locker room. When Edge was done, they came out with a box. JTG told Todd that he never saw anything and left.
Lita (c) vs Mickie James for the Women’s Championship
get.gif
Having watched this match back again, I think it’s safe to say that this will be one of my most memorable women’s matches of all time. The sad thing is, I will not be remembering this match in a positive way. The match itself was pretty decent and there were some good aspects to this match which really made it stand out. However, I will never forget just how badly Lita was treated by the WWE and the WWE fans on this night.
Now a lot of people will say that this was fitting considering the characters of everyone involved. I understand all of that. However, this was still Lita’s last night with the company. WWE’s idea was to have the fans get as much abuse in as they can on Lita before she left and she was a trooper for putting up with this. Jerry Lawler actually said on commentary that he was going “to get in all that he could” about Lita and he was making jokes throughout the match about her. My biggest issue is that not every fan in the company remembered Lita for the gimmick she had during the last few years of her career. There were fans who were generally going to miss Lita and there was even a big “Thank You Lita” sign which I saw. I saw one at least but there were probally more.
As it turned out though, the WWE had been CONFISCATING signs which gave Lita praise that night. The idea that WWE wanted Lita to be remembered in such a fashion and was willing to get rid of any signs which gave her some credit for the many years of blood, sweat and tears that she gave for them is one of the most disgraceful things WWE has ever done. Jerry Lawler made a point later on in the show about how the fans should chant and cheer for whoever they wanted. In reality, it honestly looked liked they were punishing the fans for thinking in ways that they didn’t want them to think. I think that is just wrong, especially considering that you saddled Lita with this gimmick for well over a year.
Anyway, there were some awful chants from the crowd. Lita and Mickie actually had a decent match, which I don’t think many fans would remember. They had a decent little women’s match. There was an interesting spot when Lita locked on the sleeper hold and jumped on Mickie’s back for a while. Lita’s pretty tall compared to Mickie, so this looked unique. Mickie pulled off a nice barrage of kicks including a sweet-looking roundhouse. Mickie went for an hurricanrana but Lita dropped her on her face. Mickie kicked out of Lita’s moonsault to a big reaction. Lita went for an Impaler DDT but Mickie countered, which saw Lita land pretty hard. Considering her previously neck problems, that was worrying. Mickie hit the Mickie-DT to win the title. Good match considering everything that happened.
Match Rating: **1/4
Lita told Lilian Garcia to give it up for the “greatest women’s champion of all time.” Nobody did which upset Lita. Lita called the fans disrespectful. This lead to Cryme Tyme coming out. They were selling all of Lita’s stuff. They were selling things like dildos, bras and vaginal yeast infection medication. I’m not making this up. They were actually selling all of this on WWE pay-per-views ten years ago. Then we got a pretty disgusting moment when JBL wanted to buy a pair of Lita’s panties RIGHT AFTER Cryme Tyme just sold yeast infection medication. JBL paid $100 but didn’t get any change, with Cryme Tyme throwing her panties into the crowd. JBL was angry and wanted his money back.
That was the end of that. It’s so astonishing when looking back on this in hindsight. Obviously all the stuff with Lita and Cryme Tyme was all horrible and disgusting. The funny thing is that if you showed these fans in 2006 a segment from the “divas revolution” ten years later, they’d be begging for Lita to not retire.  Thankfully for Lita, she would be given a much better send off years later. She did wrestle again at RAW 1000 and she was even inducted into the Hall of Fame. Thank you Lita indeed.
They showed a clip of Michael Cole interviewing Batista backstage. Batista was scheduled to wrestle King Booker in a title match. Cole asked Batista about having to relinquish his World Heavyweight Championship at the start of the year but Batista didn’t reply. Cole asked a bunch of other questions and got no response. They showed a replay of Booker hitting Batista with the “Royal Scepter.” Batista eventually broke his silence, simply saying “I am leaving tonight World Heavyweight Champion.” A few minutes with questions by Cole and a clip from SmackDown! lead to seven words from Batista to build up the main-event of the show. Lovely.
Team DX (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) vs Team Rated RKO (Edge, Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro, Mike Knox and Gregory Helms) in a Survivor Series elimination match
WWE-Survivor-Series-Team-DX
CM Punk got a really big reaction when he came out, as did DX. I made the point earlier about all the Lita signs that were taken down. Keeping that in mind, there were some signs which I couldn’t believe were allowed to stay up. The first I noticed was not a bad one or anything. However, it simply read “Nitro = Ratings.” Apparently, there were some big Johnny Nitro fans in the crowd or some old WCW Nitro fans! Whether he was a ratings grabber will be left up for debate.
Team DX were having fun with the crowd before the match started. The Philly crowd was great for this match which really did help. There were some BIG chants for CM Punk. CM Punk even asked the crowd if they were ready. DX did their spiel and told everybody to suck it. Then the heels came out. I couldn’t stop laughing during Gregory Helms’ entrance and it was for his entrance theme. This version of his theme saw Gregory Helms say his name first in such a great way, putting a lot of emphasis on the “Helms” part of his name! I don’t know why I found this to be so funny!
Rated RKO came out with a really cool sounding mash-up theme, as Orton did his pose on the apron. Triple H tried to get Kelly Kelly to show her breasts but Mike Knox got all mad. Shawn super-kicked Knox and quickly eliminated him. This lead to Shawn asking “Who was that?” Triple H simply replied by saying that “He was in the match.”  This was a tremendous burial of poor Mike Knox!
There was an awesome spot with Shawn Michaels and Johnny Nitro, with leapfrogs and stuff. Shawn then slid out of the ring and cuddled Melina, who was not aware that he was cuddling him and thought it was Nitro. They both turned around, with Melina shrieking and Shawn yelling “aaaah.” Shawn’s reaction was magnificent!
It was pointed out that Nitro and Jeff had been in a ladder match on RAW a few days before. Despite this, both men were wrestling in this match and were apparently fine. They weren’t selling that previous ladder match one bit. On the same night that Lita retired, they apparently had to get in a spot with Matt Hardy fighting Edge. Matt Hardy got busted open early. Punk got the hot tag to a big reaction. Punk tapped out Nitro. This saw Team DX have a two man advantage at this point. Jim Ross referred to the Chicago-born Punk as “Young Mr CM Punk.” This made me laugh.
Randy Orton hit the RKO on someone but Shawn Michaels broke up the pin. Triple H got the hot tag. Shawn Michaels and Jeff Hardy did a double dive to the outside with JR referring to the both of them as “Team Extreme.” Matt Hardy eliminated Helms with the Twist of Fate/Swanton combination from the Hardyz. Rated RKO tried to walk out but the Hardyz brought them back into the ring. Shawn superkicked Edge and pinned him. Orton tried to escape through the crowd but they brought him back to the ring. DX hit the Superkick and Pedigree to eliminate him. It was a clean sweep for Team DX.
This was a squash match but it was a pretty entertaining squash match. I think the only man that was really buried following this was Mike Knox. Nitro and Helms at least put up a fight of some sort. Rated RKO were main-eventers anyway, so it wasn’t like it killed any careers or anything. Thumbs up from me. I enjoyed this match.
Match Rating: ***
In case anyone was wondering, this was not the first time where there was a complete clean sweep in a five-on-five Survivor Series elimination match. There were a few in the 1990s. In 2014, there was actually a clean sweep when Team Alicia Fox defeated Team Paige.
Mr Kennedy did an interview with Kristal. Kennedy was scheduled to face the Undertaker in a first blood match. Kennedy said that this was the biggest match of his career. His interview was cut off by MVP. MVP noticed that Kennedy had vaseline all over his face. MVP bragged about beating Kane in a steel cage match. MVP said that he had Kennedy’s back.
Mr Kennedy vs Undertaker in a First Blood match
wwef_31329621_th_64
Kennedy undid three of the turnbuckles during the entrances. Taker beat up Kennedy and they brawled for a while. There was a lot of head-based offence at the start of the match, which made sense with the stipulation of the match. I remember watching a number of first blood matches were the two wrestlers would just do move after move during the match until the last few moments of the match where they would start target the head! Undertaker and Kennedy were trying to bust each other open early.
With that being said, there was one spot where Kennedy was dropped groin-first onto one of the exposed turnbuckles. One of my major complaints about Kennedy was the fact that he took this move and Kennedy sold by yelling “ooooooh” with a low-pitched voice. I was not a fan of his selling.
Kennedy was busted open in the mouth but MVP came out and wiped his mouth with a towel before the referee noticed. Despite doing this, MVP threw Kennedy back into the ring. Kennedy yelled “oooh” again and he yelled this as if he were Tarzan. MVP came back in and went to hit Kennedy with the chair but he hit Undertaker and busted him open. The referee noticed and called for the bell.
Think about this for a moment. MVP wanted to screw over Kennedy (which was apparently revenge from SmackDown!, when Kennedy screwed over MVP) by initially throwing Kennedy into the ring and then trying to bust him open with a chair. So if MVP’s goal in this match was for Kennedy to lose, why didn’t he simply rat him out for bleeding from the mouth when he came out with the towel? Why did he wipe away the blood when he could have just told the ref that Kennedy was bleeding?
So the fans were booing. MVP ran away as Kennedy beat up Undertaker after the match. Kennedy’s winning announcement was cut off by the Dead Man. Undertaker smacked Kennedy with a chair and “wrapped the chair around the skull” of Kennedy. Taker hit the Tombstone Piledriver and took off his glove to beat him up some more. JBL, being as awesome as ever, then began to berate Teddy Long for what Undertaker was doing!
There were some really bad portions of the match but I can’t hate it or anything as they at least gave us a good post-match beatdown from Undertaker.
Match Rating: **
King Booker was backstage with Queen Sharmell. He vowed to beat Batista and acted all kingly.
Team Cena (John Cena, Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Kane and Bobby Lashley) vs Team Big Show (Big Show, Umaga, Finlay, MVP and Test)
28S
 
What’s funny about this show was that despite the ECW announcers not being there, the ECW referee was there and officiating this match! Test looked jacked in this match. There were a few beauties in terms of signs that I noticed. There was a sign which said “Umaga ate my turkey” which was followed up with a “RVD and Sabu are innocent” sign. I guess they were referring to the DUI incident that the two of them had in July 2006. I don’t know how much impact that sign could have several months after the incident!
The SmackDown! referee took Finlay’s shillelagh. There were big pops for Cena and RVD. Kane’s pyro scared Sabu. Cena took it to Umaga early on. This upset Umaga who went crazy and attacked all of Team Cena with a television monitor. This caused Umaga to be DQd. The heels took over and Rob Van Dam was busted open in the mouth. RVD and MVP seemed to mess up an enziguiri. Kane chokeslammed MVP as Cena was arguing with the referee. RVD hit the Frog Splash and pinned MVP. Test pinned RVD with the big boot to eliminate him.
Lashley speared Test on the outside and Sabu pinned Test with a springboard DDT in the ring. Big Show pinned Sabu with a chokeslam. The crowd popped for a showdown between Kane and the Big Show. The chokeslam struggle between the two of them was interrupted by Hornswoggle, who I believe was going by “Little Bastard” at this time. Finlay hit Kane with the shillelagh and Show capitalised to pin Kane. Big Show got a pop for powerslamming Cena. Jim Ross mentioned that Finlay had a “PhD in cheating.” Having studied and worked at a university, I’m curious to see if such a course exists!
Lashley got the hot tag while Cena got boos. Hornswoggle was thrown into Cena, with Lashley spearing Finlay. Lashley pinned Finlay which meant it was down to Cena and Lashley taking on the Big Show. There was an awkward looking double DDT on Show by Cena and Lashley. They followed it up with a much better looking double suplex. Lashley shoulder barged Show which led to Cena FUing Show for the win. Lashley and Cena were the sole survivors.
This was slightly better than what I was expecting. One of the commentary highlights from this show was Jim Ross saying that “We will see a lot more of Lashley at Survivor Series down the road.” It was funny because this was the last time that Lashley ever appeared at Survivor Series! Lashley had left the company by the time that Survivor Series 2007 rolled around! Sorry JR. You were wrong this time!
There was one more sign I noticed before the World Heavyweight title match which said “Discharge the Marine!” I wonder who that is directed to!
Match Rating: **1/2
King Booker (c) w/Queen Sharmell vs Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship. If Batista lost, he would not get another world title match as long as Booker was the champion.
69d56752-4073-4c0b-82d4-09cb66479710
 
There was actually a really good video package for this match, with the exception of the fact that they didn’t mention the “last chance” stipulation in it at all. Fortunately, Teddy Long explained it before the match started. He also ruled that if Booker got himself DQ’d
or counted out, Batista would win the championship. Why this was announced on the pay-per-view and not on SmackDown! beforehand is a mystery. I guess it’s for the best, as they probably wouldn’t have mentioned that on the video package either!
There were some more great crowd signs, with a big “BOB” sign being hard to miss. There was also a sign which I noticed that said “Santa isn’t real.” I could only imagine what’d happen if you tried to get this sign into the arena if this was in 2016! You’d be ruffling some serious feathers!
King Booker made his entrance, to which JBL told Michael to “look at the pinkie.” During this long intro, JBL compared King Booker to William Wallace. Batista finally cut off the entrance by attacking him on the entrance ramp. There were “let’s go Booker” chants. Batista went for an early Batista Bomb but Booker rolled out of the way. Booker tried to leave but Sharmell reminded him that he couldn’t get counted out. Booker then took over.
I felt that there were some weird pacing issues between Batista and Booker. Batista was very slow and it seemed that Booker was too quick for him at times. Not the smoothest of matches.
King Booker gave Batista a side-kick which knocked him off the apron. Batista did the comeback to some boos. There was a “We Want Lesnar” sign. Batista did a top rope shoulder barge. Batista hit the Batista Bomb but Booker got the bottom rope. Sharmell threw the belt to Booker. Batista went for a Batista Bomb on Sharmell. As the referee was distracted, Booker tried to hit Batista with the belt but Batista ducked. Batista hit Booker with the belt and won.
It was a very boring match but Batista had a hell of a celebration! It’s hard to believe that this match was picked as the main-event and the fans really weren’t invested into the match until Batista won. This gets a thumbs down for me.
Match Rating: *3/4
This show was pretty darn boring at times. Even with a world title change, it seemed like nothing special really happened on this show. The crowd was great for the majority of this show but the show itself just didn’t live up to their expectations. The World title match was underwhelming and there was not one match that I would consider to be really good. The most entertaining match of the night was essentially a squash match! I would not want to watch this pay-per-view again. Not one of the stronger Survivor Series events in the now 30-year history of the pay-per-view.

Undertaker Vs Brock Lesnar III Announced For Hell In A Cell – Thoughts and Reactions

20150920_HIAC_Taker_Brock_Sponsor_Homepage_EP_Light

At Night of Champions, Brock Lesnar’s “Go To Hell” tour was announced for the month of October. It was revealed that it would first start with Brock Lesnar’s appearance at Madison Square Garden to wrestle against the Big Show. As I mentioned on my Night of Champions review, this had been announced for some time. It now appears that this event will be televised live on the WWE Network, so a lot of big names might be added on the card. Chris Jericho is already set to take on Kevin Owens, which will be quite a match. They’ve been doing matches on a few house shows but it’ll be cool to see them lock up again at the Garden.

It was also announced that Brock Lesnar would be Stone Cold’s next guest on his podcast, which will be on the WWE Network. Sting was expected to be the guest but I’m guessing with Brock’s appearance at Hell in a Cell, Brock was brought in to hype up that match. It’ll be interesting to hear what he has to say. It’s often been said by the likes of Paul Heyman that Brock’s not really much of a people person! So to see him go on Austin’s podcast and open up will be something. I don’t think Heyman’s appearance on the podcast a few months ago will be followed up on. Reportedly, Vince McMahon got very upset at Heyman for teasing Austin vs Lesnar for Wrestlemania 32. I doubt Lesnar will challenge Austin or something.

The third announcement is the big one. It was announced that Brock Lesnar will be appearing at Hell in a Cell in Los Angeles this October. He will be competing in a Hell in a Cell match against THE UNDERTAKER!

Brock-Lesnar-The-Undertaker

This was quite a shocker as I, along with many including the likes of Steve Austin and Jim Ross, all predicted that the third match would take place at Wrestlemania 32. To bring it forward to Hell in a Cell is a pretty bold decision. From a continuity standpoint, it’s kind of fitting that this third match would take place in a Hell in a Cell match in the month of October. The reason it’s fitting is because it’s a rematch from the Hell in a Cell match between Lesnar and Taker in October 2002. In that match, Lesnar won.

It’s taken a lot of us off-guard and there’s a lot of speculation already as to why this match has been brought forward. Lesnar is a big ratings grabber. Whenever he’s on TV, people tune in. Brock brings so much to the table and he brought so much to WWE programming from June to August. It’s also been speculated that this might have something to do with the WWE Network.

The chances are, in order to really boost the subscription numbers, WWE might have decided to get the match done sooner rather than later. It’s often been said that fools rush in, so Taker vs Lesnar III taking place just two months after their last match might seem like an impatient move by WWE just to get the numbers up. That’s also considering that their last match at Summerslam took place 15 months after their match at Wrestlemania 30. However, I think there’s no way Vince would have agreed to this unless he had some other plan in mind for Taker and Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32. You can say a lot of things about Vince McMahon, but his handling of the Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar storyline has been spot on so far. He cares a lot about both men so I don’t think the decision to bring their third match forward was made lightly. Having their third and final match being at Wrestlemania seemed like a no-brainer, so I wonder what Vince’s plans are now that it’s taking place at Hell in a Cell.

Of course, Hell in a Cell might have been Vince’s plans all along and that he’s got something else planned for the two of them at Wrestlemania. Maybe it’s going to be a best of five series that’ll end at Wrestlemania. However, I REALLY don’t see that last one happening unless Lesnar and Taker came up with some kind of deal.

I’m also curious about Undertaker’s health and well-being going into that match. Undertaker has actually been advertised for a tour in Mexico in October and still is. There was the video of Undertaker collapsing before he got to the back at Summerslam. I personally think that the collapse was actually a work. I think Taker got rocked. Considering what Undertaker went through at Summerslam, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a little banged up. However, I think it was just a call-back to Wrestlemania 30 when he ACTUALLY collapsed. So I think he might be good to go for this match.

wwe-hell-in-a-cell

I think it’s going to be a phenomenal match and I’m VERY much looking forward to it. Their Summerslam match was awesome, one of my favourite matches of the year. I never really did it enough justice in my Summerslam Review last month. I’m not really sure who needs the win the most. Undertaker won the last match but it wasn’t a decisive win. Brock’s not won a PPV match since Wrestlemania 31, so he might need the win. It’s really up in the air. However, I’m really looking forward to it.

WWE Night Of Champions 2015 Predictions

wwe-night-of-champions-carousel-20140920-youtube_3A002D4EB0FA436EB57C9AA647512EA3

Welcome to the Armbar Express’ Night of Champions 2015 predictions. This is very important PPV for WWE. Coming off Summerslam, the pressure is on for WWE to deliver. It’s not that they’re lacking in star power either. Usually, it’s the case where the WWE programming takes a hit as all the stars are off television. While WWE are without the likes of Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, they’ve got the talent to put together a quality show. The Dudley Boyz have returned to take on the tag team champions and they’ve got a legend in the running for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Many questions will be answered in Houston on Sunday. Will Nikki Bella’s historic title reign come to an end? Will the Dudleyz end the glorious title reign of the New Day? Will Kevin Owens capture his first title as part of the main roster? Will the Rusev and Dolph Ziggler rivalry finally come to an end? Who will Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose’s partner be for their six man tag team match against the Wyatts? And lastly… how many titles will Seth Rollins have by the end of the night? Will Sting make history at Night of Champions?

Rusev w/Summer Rae vs Dolph Ziggler

zigglerrusev

Background: Dolph Ziggler returned on RAW to challenge Rusev for a match at Summerslam. The match ended in a double disqualification as a brawl developed between Summer Rae and Lana. Their rematch on RAW eight days later ended pretty much the same way, except that Dolph Ziggler won by disqualification. After the match on RAW, Summer Rae would go into Dolph Ziggler’s locker room and come out screaming as Dolph Ziggler had his towel on. Summer claimed that Dolph had come onto her but Dolph denied it. This led to a MizTV segment on SmackDown! where Lana and Summer brawled once again. Lana ended up getting a legitimate injury as Rusev forgave Summer Rae and blamed Ziggler on television. This would lead to a rematch being announced for Night of Champions.

What Should Happen?: I’ve talked about this angle so many times. I’m not a fan of it AT ALL. If you want to read my thoughts on it, click on this link. The biggest issue is that it’s not helping the careers of Ziggler or Rusev. Therefore, there’s not good reason for having it on television anymore as no one is benefiting from it (well except Summer Rae I guess). I’d pick Rusev to win this match and I hope this storyline is wrapped up. If it were me, I’d have it somehow revealed that Ziggler and Summer didn’t do anything. If Lana will be at the PPV, I hope it’s revealed that LANA actually had an affair… with RUSEV! That way, Rusev and Lana are back together and Lana gets a load of heat off the turn.

What Will Happen?: I don’t think this storyline will end at Night of Champions… sadly. I heard that WWE are planning to keep this storyline going until Lana comes back. I REALLY hope that’s not the case. If that’s the case, then WWE would have to try and keep this storyline going for an additional FOUR MONTHS (which is how long Lana is expected to be out for). I have no idea how WWE could possibly be able to keep this storyline interesting for four months until Lana returns. After all, the storyline started… BECAUSE OF LANA! I think Rusev will win but I think it will be by cheating of some sort.

Ryback (c) vs Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship

rybackowens

Background: Ryback retained the Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam while Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro. Kevin would then begin to target Ryback on an episode of SmackDown! Following a few confrontations and an actually decent segment last week on RAW, Kevin Owens vs Ryback for the title was announced for the PPV.

What Should Happen?: Ryback’s title reign has been hurt for a few reasons. He started feuding with the same people for three months when he first became champion. He was also injured in the middle of that program so Ryback’s really not had a chance to really establish himself as a top champion as he’s not had many challengers. I’d like to keep the belt on Ryback but Kevin Owens is going to look so bad if he loses clean to Ryback at Night of Champions. If it were up to me, I’d have Ryback pin Kevin but with Kevin’s foot on the ropes. This could lead to a nice little No Holds Barred match at Hell in a Cell where Kevin could win the title. If Kevin were to win, I’d like to see him actually chase the title. I think it’d make Ryback look crap if he were to lose to Kevin in his first title defense against him. Ryback wins, but due to a bad referee call.

What Will Happen?: Kevin Owens wins. I think that’s what WWE’s plans are for him in Houston.

The New Day (c) vs The Dudley Boyz for the WWE Tag Team Championship

maxresdefault (2)

Background: The Dudleyz returned on the RAW after Summerslam and took out the new WWE Tag Team Champions New Day. The New Day would begin a campaign to “Save The Tables”! The Dudleyz would beat the New Day in a non-title match and would tell the group that they’d defend the titles at Night of Champions against them… if they retained the titles against the Prime Time Players on RAW. The New Day retained, meaning that the Dudleyz vs the New Day was set for the PPV.

What Should Happen?: THE NEW DAY WIN! I don’t care if it is the Dudleyz they are up against. The New Day are the hottest thing going in WWE right now and it would be a shame to see that title reign end at Night of Champions. I love the Dudleyz but they really came back at the wrong time to be in line for a tag title run.

What Will Happen?: The New Day retain. I sense a DQ finish in the works, because I don’t think the WWE want the Dudleyz beaten clean in their first PPV match back.

Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and ??????? vs Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman

TAG TEAM MATCH NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS 2015

Background: Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns beat Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper at Summerslam. However, Bray brought in the Wyatt Family’s “Black Sheep” in order to turn the tide in their favour. Braun Strowman was introduced and attacked Reigns and Ambrose. A six man tag team match was made for Night of Champions with Dean and Roman needing to look for a partner. On RAW, Roman confirmed that they’ve found their partner and that they were going to kick their asses.

What Should Happen?: It’s been rumoured that WWE are planning on rushing Erick Rowan back so he can be the mystery partner. I hope that’s not the case. Firstly, I’d rather Erick come back when he’s 100% rather than him coming back and working hurt. Secondly, it wouldn’t make any sense for Dean and Roman to pick Erick as their partner. The last time Erick was on TV, he was teaming with Luke Harper. Wouldn’t Dean and Roman suspect that Erick could turn on them if he was the partner? If I had to pick who I think should be the third man, I think it should be someone from NXT like Finn Balor, Samoa Joe or Sami Zayn if he’s ready. Sami would be a great pick.

Regarding the result, I think the Wyatt Family need to pick up the win. They lost at Summerslam and it wouldn’t make them so weak if they were to lose two PPVs in a row.

What Will Happen?: I don’t see the Wyatts picking up the win with this mystery partner business. Roman and Dean’s team win.

Nikki Bella (c) vs Charlotte for the Divas Championship

maxresdefault (3)

Background: Stephanie McMahon called for a Divas Revolution in July, as the NXT women Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks were called onto the main roster. Charlotte and Becky teamed up with Paige to form the PCB and won a three team elimination match at Summerslam. According to Michael Cole, Stephanie McMahon said that the winners of the three team elimination match would get a chance at the Divas title. I can confirm that Stephanie never said anything like that. However, all three members of the PCB took part in a Beat The Clock challenge on RAW. Charlotte won the match to earn a title shot. She was given a title shot on RAW but lost via DQ. The Bella Twins had tried Twin Magic which ended up with Charlotte pinning Brie. However, Steph reversed the decision and Nikki retained the title. This meant that Nikki Bella would break the record for the longest Divas title reign of all time. However, Charlotte still has a title match at Night of Champions. If Nikki Bella gets counted out or disqualified, she will lose the title.

What Should Happen?: Nikki Bella retains and read my article on Charlotte at this link to see why.

What Will Happen?: Charlotte wins the title. From what I can gather from online reports, I think the plan still is for Charlotte to win the title. If that’s the case then WWE should have Nikki retain and make Charlotte chase for the title. However, I don’t see WWE doing that. I don’t think they have the patience to do that.

Seth Rollins (c) vs John Cena for the United States Championship

rollins-vs-cena-night-of-champions-2015

Background: Alright, here we go. Match #1 for Seth Rollins. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth beat John Cena for the United States Championship after interference from Jon Stewart… which still annoys me to this day. John Cena would come out two weeks later on RAW to invoke his rematch clause for the US title. This announcement meant that Seth would have to defend both the WWE World and US titles at Night of Champions.

What Should Happen?: John Cena wins. I left a comment on an article for SLTD Wrestling about this. John Cena is best served reigning as US Champion. If he regains the title and the John Cena invitational begins again on RAW, then it’s going to benefit everyone that challenges him for the belt. Cena needs the US title a lot more than Rollins.

What Will Happen?: Cena wins. No doubt in my mind that if Seth’s going to lose a championship, it’s going to be the US title.

Seth Rollins (c) vs Sting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

stingsethrollinsnightofchampionsnoc2015wwe

Background: Sting returned on the RAW after Summerslam, declaring his intention of winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Almost immediately, Triple H announced Seth vs Sting for Night of Champions. Sting talked about the WWE World title being the one title that has he’s never won. Sting also stole a statue dedicated to Seth Rollins and ended up breaking the statue. On last week’s RAW, Sting would make Seth tap out in a tag team match and gets all the momentum heading into Night of Champions.

What Should Happen?: Sting wins… via disqualification. Seth Rollins retains the title. I think Seth should be champion for a long time. It’s not going to hurt Seth that much if he loses. However, I think WWE have to build to the moment of Sting winning the WWE World title if that’s what is going to happen.

What Will Happen?: If Seth retains the US Championship, Sting wins the title. If Cena wins the US Championship, Seth retains the title.

That wraps things up for the Night of Champions prediction. I expect this to be a big PPV for WWE. I really hope this does well as it has all the ingredients needed to being one of the best PPVs of the year if done right. If not, Houston… WWE might have a problem.

problem

14/09/2015 RAW Review – Sting And John Cena Team Up On RAW’s Season Premiere

monday-night-raw-logo

It was the Season Premiere of RAW. Considering last week’s Season Finale, the WWE had to really step up their game this week. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon started off the show. They talked about NXT and the two Night of Champions main events. Stephanie McMahon talked about the Divas Revolution and the Divas title match tonight. Triple H announced that STING would be competing on RAW tonight. I’m surprised that they didn’t announce that in advance because that’s a pretty big deal. That whole announcement was going great… until it was announced that Sting would be facing Big Show. Great.

maxresdefault (1)

The New Day vs Prime Time Players for the WWE Tag Team Championship kicked off the show. Before the match started, the New Day danced with the Authority. Stephanie was busting out some great moves but then things got even better, when Triple H jumped into the ring and started dancing! I loved it!

The match started off well. Xaiver Woods was awesome on the outside with his trombone. The highlight was Xaiver playing the Pink Panther theme! The New Day retained in a standard little TV tag match. It was still good for what it was but I do wonder what’ll happen to the Prime Time Players now that they’re seemingly out of the tag title scene.

Seth Rollins talked to the Authority backstage. Seth was worried about Sheamus and John Cena, so the Authority made Sheamus vs John Cena for RAW. Stephanie was trying to get Triple H to dance again and I REALLY wish he’d actually done it!

Renee Young interviewed Charlotte and Ric Flair backstage. Ric Flair sold the Divas Revolution better than anyone in WWE has done before! He cut an awesome promo and was just Ric in true Flair mode! I wish he could come out every week to cut promos on behalf on Charlotte! Nothing against Charlotte’s promo skills but… it’s Ric Flair!

raw-72715-paigesasha

Paige took on Sasha Banks… again. I think Sasha and Paige are both GREAT wrestlers. However, how many times can we see this these two wrestle in one month? They wrestled during the Beat The Clock, they wrestled last week and they wrestled on last week’s SmackDown! One of those matches lasted less than two minutes and one of them ended in a no contest! When you have Sasha being the only one out of Team B.A.D. competing every week, it just diminishes this “Divas Revolution” so badly. You can’t have Paige and Becky Lynch vs Sasha and Naomi? I think with Sasha being the only one that wrestles, it just makes Naomi and Tamina seem meaningless.

Paige delivered a naughty German Suplex to Sasha, who landed hard. Paige tried a rolling senton onto the outside but Sasha moved out of the way, so Paige landed on the floor. Sasha won by making Paige tap out and this was followed by Team B.A.D. beating up Paige and Charlotte. The announcers teased that Paige could have a claim for a Divas title shot during the match. That’s all great but if you want to promote Paige as a contender for the Divas title, HAVE HER WIN SOME MATCHES! In all of these matches with Sasha Banks, Paige has not won any of them. If anything, shouldn’t SASHA get a title shot over Paige? This logic just infuriates me because Sasha is the only one in the division that’s really over, and she’s nowhere near the Divas title scene. She’s not in the title picture despite BEATING Nikki Bella on RAW 4 weeks ago! She didn’t even get a shot! It was a short but sweet match between Paige and Sasha. A few hard-hitting spots and it was fine.

Ambrose-Reigns-Wyatt

They played a very heart-warming video for Connor’s Cure just before MizTV. MizTV’s guests were the Wyatt Family. Wyatt says that he wanted Miz to suffer, as well as Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. He wanted people to pay for their sins and wanted everyone to fall down. Roman and Dean interrupted. Dean beat up The Miz and then there was a big stare down. Roman cut a promo and said that Bray was gonna pay for attacking Jimmy Uso on SmackDown! Roman said that they found a third partner and they were going to whoop their asses at Night of Champions. Nobody was revealed, so I’m guess we’re going to have to wait until Night of Champions to find out.

h4Cb2dh

John Cena vs Sheamus was next. We got a small “John Cena Sucks” chant as Cena made his way down to the ring. JBL called Sheamus a “certifiable badass”. It was a pretty slow paced match. It was very hard to get into it for me. Cena did the clobbering blows on the ropes that Sheamus usually does. They didn’t look NEARLY as effective as Sheamus’. Some times, you just can’t top the original. There was one spot which I really liked. Sheamus looked like he was going for the Brogue kick but Cena countered it. He got him into a powerbomb position and then was able to transition it into an electric chair. I liked the concept of that but it was very hard for Cena to switch it into the electric chair. It looked a bit like he was struggling and it didn’t look like Sheamus was in a position to help him out all. I wouldn’t have bothered if they had just had Cena powerbomb Sheamus off the counter, because at least it would have looked more effective and wouldn’t have slowed the pace of the match down. It was an alright match which Cena won with the Attitude Adjustment. If Cena had lost, I’d guess he’d look bad heading into Night Of Champions. Of course, a US title contender shouldn’t be beating the holder of the Money In The Bank. Then again, it’s Cena so what are you going to do?

tumblr_nup80vfM3n1usf5iko1_1280

Ryback was in the ring to cut a promo. Ryback did a REALLY BAD Elivs Presley impression! What I found annoying was JBL blatantly talking during Ryback’s promo! Kevin Owens interrupted him and mentioned Ryback talking about a book called “Secret”. Ryback asked “Can you read it?” which I found to be funny! Kevin and Ryback had a good little exchange on the mic. Ryback actually cut a good promo about how Kevin had to take the long road to the WWE and how Ryback got an “elevator” to the top. Ryback told the story about how he fell flat on his face and he had to pick himself up. Ryback announced that it would be Ryback vs Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental title. I thought this was a great segment actually and good build for Night of Champions.

We were supposed to have Stardust vs Neville. It descended into a brawl between Neville, the Lucha Dragons, Stardust and The Ascension. Again, Neville and Stardust only get a minute of time on WWE’s flagship show…

tumblr_nup52hjy4i1srbyoyo1_500

Next up was Charlotte vs Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship.

Nikki worked on Charlotte’s arm to start off the match. Nikki tried to lock on the armbar and Charlotte countered it into a slam. The Bella Twins tried to pull off Twin Magic but it backfired as Charlotte pinned Brie with the roll-up. Ric Flair ran down excitedly losing his marbles. Stephanie McMahon came out to clear things up. She declared that since Brie got involved, Charlotte was the winner VIA DQ. Therefore, still the champion was Nikki Bella. Stephanie declared that Nikki vs Charlotte was still going to happen for Night of Champions. If Nikki lost by ANY MEANS necessary, she would lose the title. I thought the ending to this match WAS RIDICULOUS.

At Money In The Bank, Nikki Bella defended the Divas title against Paige. When Paige pinned Brie Bella in similar fashion to this match, the referee reversed his decision and the match was restarted. Nikki took advantage to retain the title. The Twin Magic screw-up spot happened here, but the consequences were changed! If Steph were to follow precedent and made things fair for Charlotte, she would have restarted the match. To be fair, the Money In The Bank should have ended in a DQ win for Paige anyway. However, you should stick to the precedent you set before rather than just changing it on the fly. I thought this was pretty insulting to the viewers because WWE wrote this, assuming that the fans would have forgotten what happened at the Money In The Bank PPV 3 MONTHS AGO!

I thought when Stephanie came out, she was going to strip Nikki off the championship. If she had done that, then at least there would have been serious consequences for the Bellas BLATANTLY breaking the rules in the SAME way they had before! Instead, it was just declared a DQ and Steph just re-announced the Night of Champions match!

Despite the finish, I thought it was a good match. It was legitimately on its way to being a really good match until the finish. I just hope that there’s a clean finish for Night of Champions.

tumblr_nuplexCpJw1usf5iko1_1280

Rusev took on Cesaro. It was a very short match which was interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler tried to give Summer Rae a gift which led to Cesaro rolling up Rusev for the pin. Thankfully, this storyline only got about 3 minutes of television this week! It was announced that Stardust and the Ascension would take on Neville and the Lucha Dragons on the pre-show of Night of Champions.

Next was Sting vs Big Show. It’s good to see Sting getting to wrestle on RAW. Stephanie and Triple H were at ringside. I found it funny that Sting and Big Show got a championship match introduction for just a regular singles match! Sting looked good for the few minutes him and Big Show actually wrestled until Seth Rollins came out to cause the disqualification. John Cena made the save as the good guys stood tall. Triple H then immediately announced Sting and John Cena vs Big Show and Seth Rollins for the main event instead.

Sting made Seth Rollins tap out in the tag team match and he looked very good in this match. The tag match itself was pretty boring. However, Sting looked good in the finish. I can only assume that Sting winning here could be WWE’s way of keeping Sting strong if he loses at Night Of Champions. However, you never know. Sting could be winning at Night Of Champions and this was done just so Sting can win his first match on RAW. However, I think Seth Rollins has been hurt by not getting ANY momentum in at all against Sting during this program. However, that could be a sign suggesting that Seth is going to retain. Seth hardly got any big victories in the build up to his match with Brock Lesnar (he got one week where the Authority dominated Lesnar, but that’s it). Whenever WWE does that, it always seems like the heel is going to win at the PPV. We’ll just have to wait and see.

wwe-night-of-champions-carousel-20140920-youtube_3A002D4EB0FA436EB57C9AA647512EA3

A good RAW and I think WWE did an OK job in promoting Night Of Champions itself. The PPV will be a very interesting one and I’m expecting a few title changes.

Why Cesaro And Kevin Owens’ Feud Has Hurt Both Of Them

Cesaro-Kevin-Owens-1

Kevin Owens and Cesaro are truly phenomenal in-ring performers and have had a nice little feud in the last month. They’ve had some great matches with each other, stemming from Kevin Owens’ program with John Cena which saw Cesaro getting some main event spotlight. On paper, that would seem like the perfect way to build up this feud. Cesaro would become next in line to face Kevin after getting involved with the angle involving Cena, and that would elevate HIS position on the roster. Everything should be rainbows and sunshine for these two. Except, it isn’t.

Let me explain the issues with this feud. The first issue I have with this feud was down to something that wasn’t Cesaro or Kevin Owens’ fault. This issue comes before the feud even began. It comes from Battleground, where Kevin Owens TAPPED OUT to John Cena.

cesaro

I went on a tirade about this decision on my Battleground review back in July, so I’ll keep this short. If the plan all along was for Owens to go on to face Cesaro, surely WWE could have came up with a storyline which could switch Owens’ target from Cena to Cesaro in such a way that it could have protected Owens. Cesaro and Owens had been messing with each other in their pursuits for John Cena’s US Championship in the weeks before Battleground. Owens has cost Cesaro the title before so it would only be fitting that Cesaro pays Owens back. Paying him back would be costing Owens the match with Cena and getting Cesaro over by having him interfere in the second biggest match of Battleground. However, the Battleground ending with Cena tapping out Owens already damaged Owens’ upcoming feud before it even began.

When Owens debuted on the main roster, he became a star in a matter of weeks. He beat John Cena in his first match. He’s done some incredible things in the ring and on the mic. In a perfect world, Owens would have taken the US Championship at Battleground and his stock as a main event heel would have risen tremendously. Therefore, when Cesaro begins his feud with Owens, the feud means a lot more with the title being on the line. However, considering that Owens beating Cena reportedly “hurt” Cena’s merchandise sales, WWE probably wanted to protect Cena by having him win the feud. FINE! However, the feud ending was done in such a way that Owens seemed to receive no protection and there was no way for him to save face.

Owens could have simply passed out and the next night on RAW, Owens cuts a promo on how “Cena was never able to beat him”. That didn’t happen and Owens didn’t even say anything about his loss. Owens’ promo skills is one of his key attributes and he was not able showcase it by addressing his loss the night before. He could have also began his storyline with Cesaro THAT NIGHT rather than starting it on SmackDown!, a show which is vastly inferior to RAW in terms of viewership. That didn’t happen either. There were so many little things which the WWE could have done to get this feud over quickly and they didn’t do it. If the WWE were truly interested in getting this program off on the right tracks, they wouldn’t have booked it for Summerslam.

80a1f5bc7103aa10ee19074c002dbd37_crop_north

Let me explain why. At Summerslam, Owens vs Cesaro was considering an afterthought by WWE. With so many stars on the show that night as well as the co-main events of Rollins vs Cena and Lesnar vs Undertaker, Cesaro and Owens seemed lost in the shuffle. Therefore, their match went on in the middle of BOTH of those main events basically as a cool-off match before the big main event. This hurt their match as the majority of fans were really just waiting for Undertaker vs Lesnar. Only the hardcorest of hardcore fans would have been hugely pumped for this match (even though “hardcorest” is not a real word). That’s a problem because, to be fair, Cesaro and Owens had a decent match. However, the fans weren’t paying attention nearly enough for it to be a huge hit. These two men were victims of the timing of this show, which basically meant that their match served as a filler match just before the main event.

Therefore, the momentum that Owens had built up with Cena beforehand and the momentum Cesaro had built up with the “Cesaro Section” were effectively meaningless in the end, as all eyes were on Taker vs Lesnar. Building up this match for Summerslam was going to be problematic itself, with the amount of stars and big matches they had been planning. However, a star could have been made with the finish…

Cesaro-Andre

Cesaro has been in WWE since 2012. He’s had a lot of ups and downs. Cesaro’s been so close to breaking into the main event scene. Hell, Cesaro was actually IN the main event of 2014 PPVs like Elimination Chamber and Money In The Bank. He was a part of multi-man matches, but he was still one of the stars of the shows in both those main events. With the Cesaro Section and how well Cesaro was “connecting” with the audience, WWE had a great opportunity to build on that. All they had to do… was have him beat Kevin Owens.

When I wrote my Summerslam predictions, I was undecided on a finish. However, after Summerslam itself, I had a realisation. Kevin Owens would have lost a huge amount of stock by losing in his third PPV in a row. However, Kevin Owens was only just starting on the main roster. In the future, they’ll probably will be other ways in which they could get Kevin over as a big star. However, this was CESARO’S big chance to be elevated to a main eventer. What’s hurt Cesaro in the past is the fact that WWE rarely had Cesaro beat anyone big which hurts him, because he needs to look strong by getting wins once in a while. The Cesaro Section and the support of the WWE Univerise leading to Cesaro pinning Kevin Owens, would be the moment that could make Cesaro a main event star for years to come. This could have kept the momentum up and would help him develop a streak that could possibly lead to a main event title program with Seth Rollins. If Cesaro beat Owens, Cesaro would have been made. It was so crucial for Cesaro to win that much… but he lost.

Kevin Owens had lost a great deal by losing his feud to John Cena. His win over Cesaro did claw back some credibility for Owens. However, what it also did was CRUSH the momentum Cesaro had worked so hard to build. While Kevin Owens has now moved onto a feud with Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship, Cesaro is stuck. He is floating around in that mid-card to upper mid-card sea of irrelevancy, waiting for a break. Look what happened on RAW, when he was basically an extra in the feud between Big Show and The Miz. The WWE didn’t even give Cesaro a win over The Miz in their match on Monday. It was ruled a double count out and the Big Show KO’d Cesaro. What a missed opportunity, just so Kevin Owens could save face.

cesaro-kevin-owens-raw

If the WWE wanted Kevin Owens to save face, they didn’t need to have him beat Cesaro CLEAN. Why not have Cesaro BEAT Owens first and continue to develop the feud? If Owens was supposed to go after Ryback and the Intercontinental Championship, no problem. Why not throw Cesaro into the mix as well, since he did beat the guy that’s challenging the “Big Guy” for the title? Therefore in a triple threat match at Night of Champions, Owens sneaks away with the Intercontinental Championship by pinning Ryback. What this would do was get Cesaro over as a big star and get Kevin Owens over as a champion. It’s simple. You can elevate both these guys.

Now though, Kevin has just been shot in this feud with Ryback with little promotion. Hell, they had one little backstage confrontation on RAW and that was that. Cesaro is in the middle of nowhere and it’s all because of the lack of planning which has led to both these men being in a worse of position than they should be.

People can go on about what a great program this was between Cesaro and Owens. However, this storyline has done little to help the careers of both of these gentlemen. Kevin MIGHT be able to develop a fantastic run as Intercontinental champion. That’s a big might, because I don’t think WWE will put enough effort into Owens’ feud for it to really stand out. Cesaro, on the other hand, is back to square one with all of his momentum being squash because of one fateful night in Brooklyn. Maybe I’ll be wrong about WWE’s treatment of Cesaro and Owens. Maybe, this will lead to both of them being main-eventers in a few months. However, in order for that to happen, WWE have a lot of work to do to make main-eventers out of these top talents?

AAnalysis

A bit of an announcement as well. I’ve begun writing for an awesome wrestling website called SLTD Wrestling. You can check out their website at http://www.sltdwrestling.com and truly appreciate some of the other writers involved with that site. Down below are links to the two articles I’ve done for them so far as part of the “Armbar Analysis” and I’ll be contributing for them every week. So be sure to follow them on Twitter at @SLTDWrestling as well for updates and follow @ArmbarExpress as well for updates on content from this blog!

Should WWE Forget About Sting vs Undertaker?

The New Day – From No Reaction To Biggest Reaction

How I Would Book… The nWo 19th Anniversary Special [2002] [Part Five]

WARNING: Please read the first four parts of this series first if you haven’t already. They will clue you up on the storyline for this particular “How I Would Book…”.

Last time, things picked up for the nWo. After kicking Shawn Michaels out of the group, the nWo started to assert their dominance on RAW under the reigns of World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan and RAW general manager Eric Bischoff. Hogan had to contend with HBK’s best friend Triple H at Unforgiven and No Mercy, but the Hulkster walked out with the title still in his grasps. The group rolled into the Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series, with Hogan, Big Show and Kevin Nash representing the nWo. But returning to the WWE in the Elimination Chamber match would be Shawn Michaels, who was able to pull off on hell of a comeback to win the World Title. Needless to say, the nWo have just suffered a huge loss.

Hollywood-Hogan-and-The-Disciple-NWO-1

Hollywood Hogan would come out on RAW and address the losses of the nWo at Survivor Series. On RAW, he would do a similar deal that Wade Barrett did after Nexus lost at Summerslam. He would give an ultimatum to everyone in the group. Big Show finds out he’s been booked in a inter-promotional match against a SmackDown! guy for Armageddon. If he doesn’t win that match, he’s out of the group. Knowing the heat between Scott Hall and X-Pac from Part 4, Hogan tries to get everybody on the same page. Therefore, it’s announced that Nash, Hall and X-Pac will team up in a six man tag team match against Kane, Rob Van Dam and Triple H. If they don’t get the job done, the one that gets pinned or submitted is fired. Not just fired from the nWo, but from the WWE as well. Since Bischoff and McMahon are with the nWo, this stipulation would be no problem.

Meanwhile, Hogan announces that he’s getting his rematch against Shawn Michaels for the World Title at Armageddon. X-Pac questions Hogan’s leadership in giving everybody else ultimatums for failures, when Hogan himself failed at Survivor Series too. Bischoff then agrees with X-Pac and decides that if Hogan loses at Armageddon, then he’ll face “extreme punishment”. So everybody in the group is under pressure leading into Armageddon.

bigshowlesnar_crop_north

It’s revealed that Big Show’s match at Armageddon is against SmackDown!’s WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Big Show wants the title to be on the line but SmackDown! General Manager Stephanie McMahon says no. Vince eventually makes the final call. If Big Show beats Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho in a triple threat on SmackDown!, he’ll get the title shot. If Big Show loses, he’s fired from the WWE. Big Show wins due to interference from the nWo.

This is the moment where things between Hogan and McMahon begin to go south. The nWo are now interfering with SmackDown! business which Vince doesn’t like. He reluctantly gives in to Big Show’s demand but implements severe consequences for the Big Show if he loses. Vince is now getting into the nWo’s business as Hogan already had plans for the Big Show put in place. Things are starting to break down between the two.

At Armageddon, Big Show wins his match with Brock Lesnar via disqualification. Brock Lesnar gets DQ’d for using a chair and F5s him through the announce table. Show never won the title, but he didn’t lose the match either. The stipulation clearly stated that he just had to win his match. Therefore, Big Show keeps his spot in the group. In the six-man tag, Triple H’s team win against the nWo when HHH pins X-Pac. Following this match, the Outsiders lay out X-Pac. This is his last moments in this storyline.

xpac1

X-Pac left WWE a lot sooner than he does in this storyline. However, I don’t really have any big plans for him leading up to Mania yet. By the way, X-Pac would have gotten his rematch for the Intercontinental Championship on an episode of RAW before Armageddon. In case anyone was wondering why X-Pac wasn’t getting it at Armageddon.

In the main event, Hogan loses due to a botched interference by Vince McMahon. Hogan is livid that McMahon cost him his match with Michaels. The two have a huge confrontation the next night on RAW. An argument leads to McMahon revealing that Bischoff has signed Hogan to a match at the Royal Rumble. Hogan is given one more match for the World title at the Royal Rumble. If Hogan loses, he is fired for good from the WWE. The Outsiders are in the Royal Rumble and Big Show is given one more match with Brock. This time, Big Show needs to win the title or else…

So Brock Lesnar defends the WWE Championship against Big Show. This time, it’s no disqualification. So this gives the Outsiders an open invitation to go after Brock. Brock takes them all out one by one. In the end, he goes to finish off Big Show in the ring. He hits the F5 and goes for the cover. All of a sudden, the lights go out. When they come back on, Brock is out bloodied, with the nWo logo spray-painted on his back. Big Show goes for the cover and wins the WWE Championship.

big-show-brock-lesnar

In Hogan’s match, the nWo interfere again. Nash and Hall hit their finishers on Michaels when the ref is out. Hogan hits the leg drop and regains the World title. Everybody in the group are laughing as they now have both major world titles in the company. The Outsiders could also possibly win the Royal Rumble match too. This is the worst case scenario for Vince. The nWo has now completely taken over the show. Vince goes on an angry tirade backstage about how the nWo has ruined everything. Vince then stops, smiles and walks away.

In the Royal Rumble match, it’s down to six. There’s still one more man to enter the match at #30. Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle are all still there, with all of them having been in for at least 40 minutes or so up until this point. Benoit and Jericho are like #1 and #2, and Kurt comes out at like #5 or something. The Outsiders came out very late into the match. Triple H came out late too but is completely overwhelmed by the Outsiders. The Outsiders then begin casually just throwing out Benoit, Jericho and Angle over the top rope.

I know this is similar to the 2015 Royal Rumble match, when Big Show and Kane were doing the same thing. But trust me, it’ll work. It’ll work because the heel heat on the nWo is truly immense. The fans are disgusted. The Outsiders then toss out Triple H and seemingly have the Rumble won. Nash gets on the mic saying that the nWo rule the world and to “bring out the last jobber”. Then we hear Undertaker’s music hit.

Undertaker returns and is #30 in the Royal Rumble match! Taker starts to overcome Nash and Hall but then Hogan and Big Show comes out. It’s a huge beatdown on Taker when Brock Lesnar comes out for revenge. He F5s Big Show and takes out the rest. Taker then eliminates both the Outsiders to win the match. The night ends with Hogan trying to attack Lesnar but walking into an F5 instead. Brock then hoists up the World Heavyweight title and Taker hoists up the WWE title as Vince gets onto the stage and laughs. And that’s the end of the show.

RR-BrockandUndertaker_crop_north

That’ll wrap things up for Part Five. This part was VERY hard to write up. I changed my mind on so many aspects of what happens in this time period. After all, the final part will be covering Wrestlemania. So it has to be really spot on, especially when The Rock, Undertaker and Steve Austin are coming back into play. So I’ll think I’ll give the WWE writers from back then a little slack! However, I think this scenario has set up a pretty good little set up for Wrestlemania 19. Brock Lesnar will be going after Hogan’s World title and Taker will be going after Big Show’s title. It’s a bit of work around as far as the brand structures are concerned but we can think of something. Vince could just proclaim a trade the next night on RAW where Brock goes to RAW and Taker goes to SmackDown! Then everything works… kind of.

But I hope you all are sticking with this and I’ve got quite a big finale set up for you next time!

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 10 – ROAD WILD

Previously on WCW 1998…

A bunch of feuds started, a bunch of feuds ended. Keiji Mutoh won the feud with Bret Hart. Raven retained the WCW Title against Chris Jericho! Check the link above for the full results

 

A few pointers before we dip into Road Wild..

  • Chris Jericho won the WCW Championship from Raven a week after the last PPV Bash At The Beach.
  • Bam Bam Bigelow and Curt Hennig won the tag titles the night after the PPV.
  • Rob Van Dam was introduced as the newest Paul Heyman guy and won the TV Championship from Eddie on the same night.
  • Animal has just signed with the company from the WWF. He’s not on this PPV but expect him in future ones!
  • Jushin Thunder Liger has just turned heel and joined Keiji Mutoh’s Asian Invasion.
  • And I believe that’s it. They were a few title changes since the last post and a lot of new feuds now.

Right so here’s Road Wild!

roadwild

 

 

Pre-Show – Ric Flair Books Television Championship Match

Owner Ric Flair welcomes everybody to Road Wild and hypes up the card, talking about the main event. Flair is then cut off by the Asian Invasion, led by Keiji Mutoh. The group introduce their two newest members – Low-Ki (who debuted as a group member on Thunder) and Jushin Thunder Liger (who turned heel and joined the faction). They mock Flair by doing his “stylin’ and profilin” until WCW Television Champion Rob Van Dam comes out with Paul Heyman. Heyman cuts a stellar promo and puts over his client Rob Van Dam. Ric cuts Heyman off and shouts that they would be kicking off Road Wild with a bang. Tonight, Rob Van Dam would put the WCW Television title on the line to kick off the show in a hardcore match against Jushin Thunder Liger. Everybody clears out bar Low-Ki and Paul Heyman and the ref comes down and rings the bell.

 

Match 1 – Rob Van Dam (c) w/Paul Heyman def. Jushin Thunder Liger w/Low-Ki in a hardcore match to retain the WCW Television Championship

Jushin Thunder Liger turning heel has been months in the making. He was supposed to do it months ago when Keiji Mutoh was feuding with Bret Hart, but I’d never gotten round to it. But he’s heel now and he got over from the turn. Since he was on par for overness with RVD, why not have them fight for the belt on Road Wild? RVD got the clean win and I want to keep Rob Van Dam strong, now he’s with Heyman.

 

Segment 1 (2) – Interview with Scott Steiner

Little justification is needed for this! Anytime Steiner is on the mic, it’s ratings! The purpose of this was to hype up his feud-ending Tables match with Hogan later on in the show.

 

Match 2 (3) – Bill Goldberg def. Keiji Mutoh

I told you guys that I would be pushing Goldberg eventually! Goldberg’s getting a feud with Mutoh which I’m planning to have him go over in. It’s helped Bill a great deal so far by having him beat Mutoh. The ratings for this match were very surprising! It got the same rating as RVD/Liger which really shocked me! Well done guys!

 

Match 3 (4) – “Asbury Perfection” Bam Bam Bigelow (c) and Curt Hennig (c) def. Chris Benoit and Bret Hart, Dean Malenko and Ultimo Dragon w/Paul Heyman and “The Outsiders” Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in an elimination match to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship

Since both these team feuds have only just started, I figured that I should experiment with this little four-way for the titles! Dean and Dragon are feuding with the Outsiders, while Benoit and Hart are feuding with the new WCW Tag Champions Asbury Perfection. I’ve done a little bit of tension-building between the Outsiders and Asbury Perfection as both teams are a part of the nWo. After the four men lost an elimination 8 man tag to Malenko, Dragon, Benoit and Hart, they got into a pull-apart brawl on Thunder. This all lead to this fatal four way. The Outsiders were eliminated first, Benoit and Hart second and Malenko/Dragon only just lost out to Asbury Perfection. I was really contemplating having Malenko and Dragon go-over but Asbury Perfection’s title reign has only just started! Maybe in the future but right now… Hennig and Bam Bam rule the tag division!

 

Match 4 (5) – The Giant def. Rowdy Roddy Piper

I understand this wouldn’t exactly be the greatest spectacle in the world but these two are still over after all of this time. I figured that I should feud them and make use of them. The Giant won the match clean and then beat up Piper after. A bit of a filler match!

 

Match 5 (6) – Diamond Dallas Page def. Eddie Guerrero in a falls count anywhere match

This match was Match Of The Night as far as ratings were concerned. These two are insanely over! This is actually the first time I’ve booked this two in a match in this entire thing! DDP went over but Eddie delivered a revenge attack afterwards.

 

Match 6 (7) – Scott Steiner (c) def. Hollywood Hogan in a tables match to retain the WCW United States Championship

Now I know what you’re thinking… “Tom. Why is someone like Hogan fighting for the US Title?” Well my reasoning is two-fold:

  1. It was initially just going to be a non-title feud but I figured that I might as well put the belt on the line for this last match because it could do that title a lot of favors.
  2. Hogan is a pro-American character so he might as well be competing for the US title if he thinks the nWo’s Steiner has shamed it.

It’s a tables match because why not? I bumped up my riskiness so I’m now able to access a lot more matches. Tables was one of those matches so I used it for this match. Steiner went over after RAVEN jumped Hogan during the match, leading to Steiner putting Hogan through a table!

When the idea of Hogan vs Raven popped into my head, I figured that it had to be done! I can’t wait to book that feud!

 

Match 7 (8) – Chris Jericho (c) def. Sting, Randy Savage and Raven in a fatal four way match to retain the WCW Championship

This actually came off a suggestion from one of the EWBattleground boards who suggested this match for the PPV after Bash At The Beach! These four have a great potential for a four-way (ewww!) so I shot them together. The new champion Jericho retained! 92% to end the show!