RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #51 (SEPTEMBER 2ND 1996) – THE GIANT AND TED DIBIASE JOIN THE NWO

Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.

maxresdefault (2)

The New World Order took advantage of the divide within WCW during the latest episode of WCW Nitro. They came out at the end of the show to lay waste to Sting, Lex Luger and the Four Horsemen and then took over the announce booth to end the show. The show also included debuts for Juventud Guerrera, Chris Jericho and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, who teased that either he was the fifth member of the Four Horsemen of the fourth or fifth member of the New World Order…

1d76b69cf9a57769-600x338

It is hilarious that the big mystery last week was whether there was a fifth member of the Four Horsemen or the fourth and fifth member of the nWo. Ted DiBiase teased it and walked into this episode with a lot of mystery as to who else could possibly join up with the nWo in the takeover of WCW. If you happened to watch WCW Monday Nitro on the WWE Network like I did, the thumbnail for this episode is a shot of The Giant at the end of the show hanging out with the nWo at the announce booth! No attempt at all to at least cover up the spoiler for potential first time viewers of Nitro!

To be fair to WWE, their archive is focused on meeting the old-school demographic. RAW’s key demographic in 2020 are people in their 50s who have fond memories of the Monday Night Wars. It’s probably way easier to help direct people to this episode by posting the spoiler as if to say “this is the episode that you’re looking for”. If you wanted to relive The Giant turning on WCW and the Dungeon of Doom and siding with the nWo, you’ve got it right here. Works as an archive, miserable for first-time viewers.

 

Date: September 2nd 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Rating: 4.3

Commentators (First Hour): Tony Schiavonie and Larry Zbyszko

Commentators (Second Hour): Eric Bischoff, Mike Tenay and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

 

 

DDP vs Alex Wright

a40a41301b4b373f-600x338

Could Alex Wright have come off as a bigger geek on these WCW Monday Nitros? I don’t even remember seeing him win a match on Nitro yet and he just comes off as such a nobody who barely accomplishes anything. The dude was very athletic, don’t get me wrong, but he’s in there with DDP for this match and despite of all of his efforts and athleticism, he’s still came off as such a nothing guy even compared to the cruiserweights, let alone the heavyweights. 

I was on my internet travels and I stumbled across an interview with the recently released from WWE Deonna Purrazzo. Deonna is actually a very solid comparison to how Wright was treated here. Wright ended up staying with WCW for a long time but both Wright and Purrazzo were very athletic and talented people. Deonna talked about how she never ever won while in WWE and brought up a good point of how she was ever going to engage with the fans if all she did was lose. If all she did was lose then why should she still be there on television or whatever?

If you wanted DDP on this night to squash a guy with a Diamond Cutter and win, there are so many jobber guys that they could have gotten on the cheap that would have done the job just as well as Alex Wright. That’s not a knock on Alex Wright but anybody else could get beat up for a while and get hit with the Diamond Cutter to put DDP over. If you have Alex Wright, who is an athletic guy, then he shouldn’t be reduced to just a glorified jobber to the midcarders unless you’ve actually got a plan with him. If you don’t, don’t bother wasting his time.

DDP’s over-selling really jumped the shark here. He’s pulled it off really well before but it really irritated me here when he is flopping around for Alex Wright at the start of this match. There’s nothing wrong with a cartoonish sell but his stuff selling for Wright just looked silly. Wright took control with some dives but missed a crossbody as DDP got the heat. DDP hit a side-walk slam to a ridiculous pop. The fans really liked this slam. DDP hit a sit-out powerbomb for a 2 count.

DDP tried the cutter but Wright pushed him off. Wright hit a belly to belly suplex. Wright upper-cutted the gum out of DDP’s mouth. The finish saw Wright doing a backflip from the corner and then he turned around, and walked right into a kick in the gut by DDP. DDP hit a Diamond Cutter and won the match. Why bother doing a backflip that’s just gonna lead to DDP hitting his move and pinning the guy? 

It was a short but a decent match, all things considered, but this did not help Alex Wright at all.

ymA6PnTM-600x338

The previous match had been refereed by our main man Nick Patrick. Mean Gene interviewed Patrick and talked about Patrick being “slow on the draw” for that count. I think this is kinda stretching it to hype up the “controversy” of the Nick Patrick storyline. Patrick said WCW reviewed all of his matches and he’s still in WCW. Patrick was upset of people being on his case and Mean Gene for spreading lies. He mentioned Randy Anderson blew a call with Hogan/Flair a few weeks ago but Patrick is constantly the one under the microscope. He called Mean Gene a liar. This got a fair amount of heat and Nick Patrick did actually cut a decent promo all things considered.

However, I’m still baffled at this idea of interviewing the referee after the match and completely ignoring the efforts of the wrestlers in the ring. No interview with DDP, THE WINNER, or Alex Wright. Of course we have to amp up this referee storyline.

 

Mean Gene interviewed Sister Sherri and Col. Robert Parker. Parker wanted to woo Sherri and got her a present, which was a black leather jacket. Col Robert Parker said Sherri was gonna ride his horse John Henry back in his farm and…. this storyline has been going on for one year. ONE YEAR. Do not think I am exaggerating this, because they were doing this storyline during the early Nitros with Parker and Sherri. Did this storyline ever go anywhere?

 

“Harlem Heat” Booker T © and Stevie Ray (c) vs Greg Valentine and Buddy Valentino for the WCW Tag Team Championship

hqdefault (4)

This was the one and only Nitro wrestling appearance from Buddy Valentino. Think of Valentino as what would happen if you got a picture of Greg Valentine and then stretched the width of the picture on the Paint program on your computer. This was a wide man. Greg Valentine wasn’t really in that tremendous shape in 1996 but he was Lex Luger compared to Valentino.

Valentino had this singlet on which accomplished nothing in terms of covering up the exposed parts of his chest. The singlet was draped over his shoulders with his nipples to the side of them. I mean I don’t want to get on a man for his appearance on a wrestling show and I don’t wanna get on Valentino because he wasn’t that bad in this match. He was working hard for an appearance on a big wresting show and he was able to pull off a dropkick despite being such a big man. It’s funny, he did this dropkick and Greg Valentine is laughing his ass off on the apron as he clapped on his partner! That I enjoyed!

Referee Mark Curtis was making his WCW debut as Ted DiBiase arrived coming down the steps as the fans popped. Greg went to work on Booker T as the fans paid zero attention to the match. Harlem Heat got the heat on Buddy for a while and Booker eventually hit the Harlem Hangover and Harlem Heat won for the clean win.

Say what you will but Harlem Heat getting a string of clean wins together on Nitro episodes sets themselves up very well for defending the titles against the Nasty Boys at Fall Brawl. Now the Harlem Heat come off as legitimate tag team champions and now they are up against some nasty challengers, pardon the pun.

 

Mean Gene interviewed Harlem Heat. In a line I could not believe Harlem Heat could get away with saying in 1996, Stevie called the Nasty Boys “two fat milk-drinking suckas”. The Nasty Boys jumped the Heat and kicked their arses to a huge pop. They isolated Booker in the ring as the fans chanted “NASTIES”. They hit Booker with a spike piledriver and Knobbs got in a elbow drop in before they leave to attack Stevie Ray. I have no idea who the babyfaces and the heels are in this feud. Harlem Heat are winning matches clean like babyfaces but the Nasty Boys have “turned heel” and attacked the Heat but the fans went crazy for them! The ever-changing allegiances of the Nasty Boys continues!

 

Dean Malenko vs Chris Jericho

x1080 (7)

A great match. It was the slow methodical pace of Dean Malenko against the fast pace of this recently-debuted youngster Chris Jericho. It was a crisply-worked match and the fans got into Jericho a bit more this week and it worked in all the areas that mattered. It worked with the crowd and it worked in the ring. 

Mike Tenay was joining the announce booth for this match as it was revealed he would be joining the announce booth for Nitros going forward. I love Tony Schiavonie referred to Chris Jericho as a “great cruiserweight” after he DEBUTED last week in a match where he called for a no contest as he didn’t wanna win a match against Alex Wright! At least they explained Jericho beat J.L. on Saturday Night so at least has won matches in WCW since he arrived!

Jericho ran wild as the fans chanted “ECW”. Dean then cut him off with a belly-to-back suplex. Dean smashed Jericho with a brainbuster

Dean got the heat and then Ted DiBiase decided to leave and walked all the way up the steps through the crowd. Of all the matches Ted DiBiase wanted to leave the show during, it was this one? Dean had a head scissors locked on Jericho and Jericho got him up from that position and then dropped him with an electric chair drop. That was a pretty impressive spot and as discussed last week, Jericho was not a large man at this time. 

So I guess the storyline was that Nick Patrick was more an incompetent referee than a crooked referee. He refereed this match and Dean kept grabbing the ropes and Patrick kept missing this. Dean then pointed at Jericho and Patrick of course attended to him and completely ignored Dean getting the ropes again. Weird since I guess the storyline is Patrick is now looking to call it down the middle. I think it was explained by his announcers that he’s over-compensating. Therefore, his calls have been all over the place to I guess convince the fans that he’s calling it objectively down the middle. 

Dean sent himself and Jericho crashing over the top rope with a crossbody. Jericho crashed into Malenko with a top rope crossbody to the floor. Far be it for me to critique Chris Jericho’s in-ring work, but this was a man that had yet to master the ability to slow down in the ring! This was the case of Jericho being too fast for Malenko as he came crossing down and appeared to crash into the face of Malenko which did not look pretty. 

Jericho hit a missile dropkick from the top rope. Jericho tried a tombstone but Dean reversed it into one of his own for a 2 count. Jericho hit a nice bridge German suplex for a 2 count. Jericho hit a “spin wheel kick” and then reversal after reversal leads to Jericho getting a pin fall following a victory roll-up pin. A fine match between Jericho and Malenko. I guess Dean Malenko, after being hyped up to challenge Rey Mysterio again for the Cruiserweight title, is out of the title picture and losing to the recently-debuted Chris Jericho. 

 

They showed a hype video for Rey Mysterio vs Super Calo for the Cruiserweight title at Fall Brawl. This was a simple but effective video package to hype up this match. All they needed to do was showcase these guys as doing as many flips and cool moves as possible to tell the viewer that if they paid to watch Fall Brawl, they may be able to see all of these cool moves again in a big time title match at the pay-per-view. This gets a thumbs up from me. 

More amazingly, they promoted WCW Saturday Night and one of the matches they promoted was… John Tenta vs Steve “Mongo” McMichael. That match seemed so unbelievable to me when they announced that I had to check and see if they actually did it. They didn’t do it on the episode of Saturday Night promoted nor did they do it at all. My personal theory is that John Tenta watched Mongo’s performance in the main-event and decided he was not doing that match! However, what a match that could have been!

 

Brad Armstrong vs The Giant w/Jimmy Hart

Nitro09

It’s funny, Giant got a massive pop coming out and the fans really liked The Giant, who had been wrecking guys for the last year on WCW Nitro. Keep that in mind when we cover later what happened at the end of the show. It’s a slow performance from The Giant where he slowly beat on Armstrong. It’s not particularly exciting as they cut away from the match to show a limousine. A clear indication into how Eric Bischoff felt about this match!

Giant threw Brad across the ring. Brad tried a roll up but Giant lifted him with both hands from the floor and up in the air to a thunderous roar from the crowd. Brad did a top rope dropkick to send Giant into the corner but Giant grabbed him and slammed him with a chokeslam for the victory and a big pop from the crowd. A more dragged-out squash match than usual from The Giant but it was OK for what it was.

nwoannouncement

We got a nWo announcement. WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan talked about styling and not having to sneak around anymore. Hogan booted a globe ball right at the camera. Hogan talked about The Giant crying and Ric Flair crying, referring to WCW as the World Crying Wrestlers… sick burn. He declared that in War Games at Fall Brawl, Sting would be stung, Luger will be HUNG, Flair won’t even be there and Arn won’t be Arn anymore. I love that Hogan was going for like a rhyming diss on the babyfaces and it came to Arn, so he just rhymed Arn with Arn! 

He said the nWo will take care of all the nWo business. Hogan said you’ve gotta take what you want. Hogan mocked Flair, Sting and everyone talking about the old days of WCW and he asked whatcha gonna do when the nWo ran wild on you. He added that anything else would be civilised and then Hogan unleashed on the greatest evil cackles I’ve ever heard in WCW. This was a MONEY promo. Two thumbs up for the Hulkster for a wacky but solid promo building up Fall Brawl.

 

“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs Ron Studd

hqdefault (5)

We kicked off the second hour with “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus our new glorified giant jobber in Ron Studd. That is Studd’s position now. Chris Benoit and Randy Savage have both beat this guy in to hype up their respective matches with The Giant. 

Mike Tenay actually explained the origin story of Ron Studd where he was trained by Big John Studd and then took the name of Studd for his name. Tenay left out the tales of his run as the Yeti (which you can read about at these two links below!)

Studd did clobbering blows to the back of Savage. As Studd got the heat, they showed the nWo coming out of the limo as Hogan forced the camera man to get outta here as they wanted to get the “big man” out. Speaking of big men, Kevin Nash really struggled to get out of this limousine. He’s one of the biggest stars in this nWo feud and he was having problems with his knees already. 

Studd tried to scoop slam Savage over the top rope and this tiny referee got on the middle rope to stop him from doing it, because it’s been established throwing a guy over the top rope is illegal.

Savage did a double axe handle to Studd on the outside. Savage scoop slammed Studd but hurt his back in the process and then was able to hit an elbow drop for the win. It did what it needed to do in having Savage beat up a giant to build him up to fighting The Giant at Fall Brawl, so I was OK with this.

Mean Gene interviewed Savage for what I thought was a pretty solid promo. Savage wished Halloween Havoc was tonight because he guaranteed to the people around the world AND THE UNIVERSE that he was going to beat up Hollywood Hogan and take everything he wants because that makes me happy. It was set to be Savage vs Hogan for the title at Halloween Havoc in October.

Savage said he’s living on the edge and if anyone out there was not living on the edge, they’re taking up too much room, which was actually a sweet line that got a big pop from the crowd. Savage buried Giant for “not handling the pressure” at Hog Wild. Savage said he operates better under pressure. He said both Giant and Hogan will melt when the heat of the Macho Man brings them down. A good job in building up two future big matches for Savage in the next few months. 

 

“The Steiner Brothers” Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner vs Sting and Lex Luger

nick-patrick

The Four Horsemen ran outside to the limo but there was no one inside as they figured out the nWo were in the building. 

They kicked off this match with the Steiner Brothers vs Sting and Lex Luger. Think of what a big match this would have been. These two teams wrestled at the very first WCW Superbrawl show many years before this. We have another big match between these teams on Nitro. Rick And Luger grappled as the fans were amped up for this match. In this lock-up, Luger got pushed into Patrick. Patrick had this stern look on his face. This referee, after weeks of his character being called into question, has now just been shoved into by these big men. Nick Patrick’s response was to ring the bell and call for the disqualification… and the place EXPLODED with such heat for Nick Patrick!

This is what NUCLEAR HEAT is all about. I’m not a fan of Nick Patrick but when he called for the bell after being pushed into following the first move of this match, it was like these fans wanted to jump over the barricade and beat him down. His actions made you want to see him eaten alive by the babyfaces. Sting and Luger yelled at him. All four men cornered him in the corner amongst deafening boos from the fans.

Patrick pulled off a great performance and he was such a great character during this angle. He was a man trying to do his job, in his mind at least, and was now doing everything in his power to prove that. He made questionable calls for weeks, he gets called out by “the media” as Patrick put it. He gets bumped into by these big dudes. He was not gonna take this verbal and physical abuse anymore, so he rang for the bell.

As a character, you could have read this in so many ways. You could have read this as Nick Patrick being a crooked referee that was only looking out for himself, calling for the DQ to get out of here and earn a simple pay check. He could have easily been paid off by the nWo to lure Sting and Luger to the parking lot like he did, in order to get them to steal a police car and get them into trouble. Oh we’ll get to that…

Alternatively, you could have seen this as Nick Patrick simply standing up for himself. In his mind, he feels he is genuinely a good referee and after all of the accusations, he snapped. He rang for the bell after a wrestler laID their hands on him. By the rule book though, it was not like Patrick was wrong to disqualify them. Even if it was a “soft” push or whatever, he was still provoked so he had every right to DQ them if he felt it was right. 

Or… you can can conclude that he’s just an incompetent referee that is just over-compensating to make up for his mistakes. Any one of these scenarios would work.

This I thought was solid work. This gets two thumbs up!

 

“The Dungeon of Doom” Meng, The Barbarian, Big Bubba and Taskmaster vs “The Four Horsemen” Chris Benoit, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/Debra McMichael, Woman and Elizabeth

Four-Horsemen-Steve-McMichael

This match had some of the best and worst of professional wrestling wrapped up into one match and thankfully, they got the worst of professional wrestling out the way at the very start of the match. The match started with “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan and Steve “Mongo” McMichael and I swear, the stuff these two men did together couldn’t have gotten any worse unless one of these men ended up getting accidentally killed in the ring. Everything that could have wrong went wrong.

Taskmaster, the veteran of the two, grabbed Mongo and tried to do an Irish Whip but Mongo tripped and fell down to the ground. These two were on two completely different books as Taskmaster tripped following another Irish Whip and went to grab Mongo again. I think Mongo thought it was a clothesline as he takes a bump to the ground as Sullivan just looks down at him. That spot fell apart so that’s two for two in screwed up spots so far in this match. They tried two spots and messed up both spots.

Mongo did a shoulder tackle which is successfully pulled off. Then Mongo went to the top rope as I think he wanted to do a moonsault because his back was turned to Sullivan as Flair cheers him on. Mongo lost his footing, turned around and fell onto the middle rope. Mongo did this big dive off the middle rope and just lands in the middle in front of Sullivan. It was basically a flying nothing executed by Mongo as Sullivan crawled to the bottom rope. RIC FLAIR was left speechless on the apron watching this all go down. It was like Ric Flair’s brain malfunctioned at the sight of such sheer horrific wrestling from Mongo. Words do not do these spots justice. You really should look up this episode on the WWE Network and watch the first 90 seconds of this match. It is worth seeing…

Taskmaster himself was not any better and it does take two to tango. Taskmaster, as the veteran, was supposed to walk Mongo through their four spots and they screwed up three of them. Sullivan just appeared to wanna grab Mongo and do what he wanted to do while Mongo was just clearly not able to work a match on the fly. The “dive” spot was 100% Mongo’s fault but this was some of the worst wrestling you’ll ever see. 

I love that Benoit and Barbarian proceeded to have a quickfire chop battle with such ferocity. These guys were awesome in this match. Benoit german-suplex Barbarian like it was a regular move for him and please keep in mind htat Barbarian was a large competitor.

Flair finally got the tag to a big pop. This was some of the very BEST of professional wrestling. Ric Flair talked about being a babyface during the Stone Cold Broken Skull Sessions episode he did. He said he didn’t like being babyface because he was the dirtest player in the game all and all he did was cheat, so how was he gonna get himself over as a babyface? This crowd didn’t care. Flair got the hot tag and he did low bow after low blow to the Dungeon of Doom to thunderous reactions from the crowd. It was the most heelish house of fire spot you will have ever see. The referee just let it all go as the place is going bananas. Then, as Flair is running wild, THEY CUT TO THE BACK. 

hqdefault (6)

Sting and Luger are shown chasing Nick Patrick down to the limo as Patrick pleaded for his life. Patrick ran past the limo but then Ted DiBiase is shown going into the limo.  Sting, as a rational thinking babyface, threw a cement block throw the windows of limo! If I were in that limo when Sting threw that cement block, I would have been crapping myself to see a massive cement block that was able to break through the window at such high speed. This was a scary spot. 

AND THEN, Sting and Luger decided to play Grand Theft Auto as they steal a police car and go after the limo. WHAT? They stole a police car which the announcers point out will land them in jail all because they wanted to chase a retired professional wrestler in a limo! Absolute insanity!

Back to the match, I love that it was the Horsemen vs the Dungeon with two heel groups, and both teams were trying every dirty trick in the book in the middle of this nasty stable war. It wasn’t like the Horsemen suddenly worked like complete babyfaces. They were the babyfaces but they were acting like the Horsemen and pulling off Horsemen tactics. Arn talked about needing to do the wrong thing and doing bad things to win War Games two weeks ago and they demonstrated that during this match

Benoit and Sullivan start fighting on the mat but this was broken up. Meng did one of the best-looking atomic drops ever to Benoit. I like Meng doing a curb stomp to the gut of Benoit on the floor and Benoit bounced off the mat to sell it! Barbarian hit a powerbomb on Benoit but Arn broke up the pin. Sullivan actually threw Benoit over the top rope while the referee’s back was turned.

Flair eventually got out a chair as things started spiralling out of control. Arn got in illegally and hit Bubba with a spinebuster. The Faces of Fear missed a double top rope splash. Ric ran wild with another hot tag. Flair locked on a  Figure Four as the rest of the Horesmen took care of the Dungeon. Benoit floored Jimmy Hart at ringside. In an uncomfortable spot with the benefit of hindsight, Benoit yelled at Woman to grab Flair’s arms as the Horsemen got the win. Benoit argued with Woman as Woman was upset at Benoit for mixing personal with business or something.

This was a fun train-wreck of a match when all things are considered.

hqdefault (7)

The nWo jumped everyone after the match as Bobby left the booth. Hogan floored the referee. I do want to point out before The Giant came out that the nWo were kicking WCW’s arses 3 on 8 at this point! They were controlling the ring albeit with the wrestlers already being beat-down by each other and Flair’s infinite low blows delivered. It was an un-even fair that the nWo was winning!

The Giant then walked down to the ring. The nWo back off and then Giant turned around and chokeslammed Barbarian and then Meng. He is revealed as the fifth man on the New World Order (with Ted being the fourth I guess) as he hugged Kevin Nash. The Giant has betrayed us all and joined the nWo.

It’s funny because the running joke of The Giant/Big Show’s career was that he was always turning babyface and heel like every few months, so the people could have considered this a heel turn as he joined the nWo. However, The Giant was still aligned with Dungeon of Doom who are clearly heels. He was the heel in the feud with Randy Savage and he was squashing jobbers as a heel monster. He was the defacto babyface against Hogan but other than that, he was a full-blown heel at this time. This was a heel that somehow turned heel again despite already being a heel! Only The Giant could pull that off!

Savage ran down with a chair as he cornered Hogan. This was the funniest wrestling spot of the entire night. Savage had Hogan cornered with a chair. If you recall 3 weeks ago, Hogan hit Savage with a chair to the back of his head. 3 weeks later, Savage had Hogan at his mercy with a chair and he was gonna swing this chair right at Hogan. In the most agile thing Hulk Hogan as ever done, he ducked the chair shot and shoot took Savage down to avoid the chair shot at all costs! It was the best technical wrestling Hogan had ever done and it was a necessity for him, because this crazy Randy Savage had a chair shot with Hogan’s name on it! It was the funniest spot to see Hogan take down Savage as if this were a shoot fight, which it probably was in Hogan’s eyes!

The nWo took control again as Hogan smashed Savage with the chair. Giant delivered one last chokeslam and I love Hogan had to get his hands on Savage as well as Giant slammed him down. Because apparently Hogan was concerned Giant could not lift and chokeslam RANDY SAVAGE! I think he would have been fine doing the spot Hulkster!

Because this was the Hollywood Hogan show, Hogan couldn’t help but deliver three leg drops to Savage in a homage to Bash at the Beach. The WCW guys all tried to get in the ring but the nWo holds the fort in the ring. So yes, the nWo were kicking WCW’s arses despite having a 4 on 9 disadvantage! What underdogs these nWo hooligans were! 

hulk-hogan-nitro-spit

Hogan grabbed the yellow spray paint as they painted a yellow streak on SAVAGE’s back. The nWo make they way up the ramp and Hogan even yelled: “come on you chickens” as the WCW dudes stayed in the ring like cowards… AT FIRST. The nWo take over the booth. Hogan yelled about if there’s any question about who the most powerful organisation in the world IS, they just showed everybody. The Giant then started cutting a promo. Before I get to the promo, it is a nice change of pace to see a dude turn heel and immediately being able to cut a promo to explain why he did it. There’s no need to wait a week for Giant to cut a big promo about why he joined the nWo. They had a Giant cut a big promo to explain why he did what he did. That sounded good… on paper. In execution, it didn’t work out for Paul Wright.

I’ve loved Giant’s promos for the last year, but he cut one horrible promo at the end of this show. Giant talked about how he got a phone call from Ted DiBiase and he wanted to talk to him about business. Giant talked about getting to Florida and the home of Hulk Hogan. As Hogan commanded him to spit at the WCW logo. Giant mumbled about how there was 20 Harley Davidsons and 5 Mercedes and he walked around his big home. Giant just went on and on about all of Hogan’s stuff that he owned. It sounded honestly that Giant was a realtor trying to sell Hogan’s house. He just started talking about Hogan’s house to the point where he just got completely lost by cutting a promo in a style which clearly didn’t suit him yet.

This promo was eventually interrupted as the nWo and the WCW guys continued to fight. It’s a wild brawl and it really felt like an out of control situation. Everybody is fighting everybody and this was another thing I loved. How many times do we get a big heel turn in WWE and it takes the babyfaces weeks or even months to get their revenge on the people that turned on them? The Dungeon of Doom got betrayed by The Giant and they wanted his head! They were vicious heels so when Giant betrayed him, they wanted to beat his arse. They didn’t have to wait a week to get their revenge. They wanted some of the Giant on this show!

Then the fighting stopped and Giant got back on the headset again and talked about this mansion again. Hogan decided to step and basically cut Giant’s promo for him. He steamrolled over Giant and mentioned everything he showed Giant was his. Hogan stole Flair’s line of whether you like it or you don’t like it, it’s the best thing going today. Hogan destroyed the announce desk as all you see is wreckage as Nitro goes off the air.

giant-wcw-696x392

I have to say, the chaotic nature of the ending of Nitro worked really well even by 2020 standards. It turned into a giant “shoot like” brawl and it worked. The Giant’s promo about what Hogan was offering was very weird. Big Show talked about being strong-armed into the group on the Stone Cold Broken Skull Sessions, and this remains to be seen, but he did not look like he fit with this group here. The scary Giant of the Dungeon of Doom selling out for the money all seemed like totally out of character and a weak transition. 

It was also clear from this angle alone that Giant was not going to benefit a great deal from being in this group. By the end of the show, it became clear that Giant was just another one of Hogan’s lackeys in his crew after being the biggest heel in the company for a year now. If you want to discuss wrestling politics, it is entirely possible that Hogan wanted Giant under his wing just so his status as the biggest heel in the company was not in jeopardy. If this guy in The Giant was with the nWo taking direction from Hogan, that meant he coudn’t possible surpass Hogan as the biggest heel. I mean it sucked to be Giant because after being such a stand-out star in WCW and potentially the next big star to go up against Hollywood Hogan, he is now just another guy in Hogan’s group a month after defending the title against the Hulkster.

NWO-professional-wrestling-4387268-1280-800

I did not think this WCW Nitro episode was any good. It was a very memorable show, especially because of what happened with The Giant. However, even the memorable stuff had some absurdity to it. Sting, the biggest babyface in the business, stealing a cop car and throwing cement blocks at limos. Ric Flair whipping out low blows like it was nothing and being the biggest babyface of the night. The Giant joining the nWo and selling out for the money. There was some good stuff during this show and it felt like an “easy” show to watch if that makes sense to everybody. The show didn’t feel like it dragged although the main-event was quite long. I tolerated the show and things like Chris Jericho vs Dean Malenko helped a great deal.

 

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

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!

Wrestlemania XXX Review – The Streak Is Over! Daniel Bryan Wins The Title!

Ladies and gentlemen, we had probably the biggest pay-per-view in WWE history last night. It was the first PPV to be broadcasted on the WWE Network, we had so many legends dropping in and we had some of the biggest matches in a long time for the WWE. Undertaker vs Lesnar, Cena vs Wyatt, Bryan vs HHH, the Andre The Giant Battle Royal and the WWE World Title match! This PPV was STACKED and for four hours, we were in for a treat. I won’t go through the pre-show match but I’ll just say that it was really good and I loved how over the Real Americans were! Cesaro turning was awesome too!

 

Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold and The Rock Open Wrestlemania 30!

 

Yes. Probably the greatest way to open such a big Wrestlemania… three icons together in the same ring to electrify New Orleans! Wrestlemania host Hulk Hogan got things started pumping up the Hulkamaniacs! Despite referring to the New Orleans Super Dome as the Silverdome, Hogan was somehow able to recover from his mistake and made light of his error! If there’s anyone that can make a monumental error like that and still able to get a huge reaction, it’s Hulk Hogan! It’s always best to just make light of mistakes. Hogan produced a lot of laughs and it was a great added element to this phenomenal segment. The star power of Hulkamania was added by the power of Austin 3:16 as STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN made his way to the ring!

Austin got an amazing pop! I love how Austin immediately took the piss out of Hogan’s error upon arrival! “Well it sure does feel good to be back at the Silverdome!” Epic moment seeing Hogan and Austin in the ring. No coming to blows just a mutual sign of respect between the Icon and the rattlesnake. And in came The Great One to enter the fray!

The Rock made his way down the ring to add to the star power! I was not expecting The Rock to actually be at the event! I knew that he was in New Orleans because he put it on Twitter but I never thought he’d be at Mania! Amazing! After these three came out I really wanted Sting! Unfortunately I never got that but this was still an unreal way to kick off Wrestlemania!

By the way really awesome clip of the behind the scenes before this segement below. You should check it out…

Daniel Bryan vs Triple H

WWE sure as hell didn’t start the match card lightly either! Getting straight to it with Daniel Bryan vs Triple H as the opening match! Triple H’s entrance was over-the-top as usual! I didn’t know why he was trying to be Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat! FINISH HIM!

Triple H: I AM SHAO KAHN!

Triple H: I AM SHAO KAHN!

This match was fantastic! You saw Triple H whip out a lot moves that he’s never really used before in the ring! For example, the release Tiger Suplex, which I thought he pulled off tremendously! I don’t know how, but the chemistry was top-notch between two guys that were so different in wrestling styles. It’s nice they added “Ring Psychology” in the match with Triple H targeting the arm of Bryan and even his leg. In the end it was Daniel Bryan that got the victory and qualified for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match in the main event. His celebration was short-lived as Triple H was not going to take his defeat lying down. He attacked Bryan and whacked him in the arm with a chair. Indeed the cards were stacked against Bryan just before his main event match.

 

 

The Shield vs The New Age Outlaws and Kane

This isn't gonna end well...

This isn’t gonna end well…

Very disappointing that this match was essentially a squash match. I know the Outlaws and Kane are old-timers but surely they would have lasted more than 3 minutes. This seemed heavily due to time restraints. Nevertheless, we had some cool moments in the match. Roman Reigns delivering a DOUBLE SPEAR to the Outlaws and a Triple Double Powerbomb to the Outlaws for the victory! Two cool Wrestlemania moments for the Shield! If I had to guess, a rematch is to be expected soon because I doubt the Shield and the Authority are far than through with each other.

 

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Like most battle royals, very messy with a lot going on. Nevertheless this battle royal had a lot of star power to it that gave it some added significance, especially if you’re the winner. Eliminations came fast. 3MB was surprisingly dominant! They actually eliminated three guys in the match!… until of course Big Show eliminated all of them in a dick mover. -.-

Fandango eliminated Big E Langston and then danced around the ring which the fans majorly popped for! Kinda of annoyed how easily the Intercontinental Champion was eliminated especially by someone like Fandango. Dolph Ziggler lasted quite a while in that match which took me off guard. I guess he’s back on the rise again? Kofi Kingston had an amazing elimination-escaping moment when got elevated over the top rope but landed so his feet were on the steel steps! That looked sick! This is why Kofi Kingston is going to have a job for life! We saw a lot of moments for a lot of the superstars until it came down to the final four…

Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Big Show and ANTONIO CESARO! Yes Cesaro was in this match! He was unannounced and we thought that he would be here just for the pre-show but obviously we were wrong! Sheamus and Del Rio eliminated each other leaving it down to Cesaro and the favourite to win The Big Show! And Cesaro did something that could only be described as outstanding! As a dedication to Wrestlemania III, Cesaro body-slammed Big Show over the top rope to win the battle royal! Fantastic end to the match and a more than deserving winner of the Andre The Giant battle royal! Amazing moment!

 
John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

I’m not going to lie. I actually really enjoyed this match! A bit long-winded mind you but it was really good storytelling with Wyatt trying to “unleash the monster” in John Cena. A bit of deja-vu don’t you think? XD It would have been awesome if he actually did it but it wasn’t meant to be as Cena picked up the victory after an Attitude Adjustment.

If this doesn't make you shit bricks any time you see it...

If this doesn’t make you shit bricks any time you see it…

It was disappointing to me that Bray Wyatt didn’t win the match but I don’t think a loss like this will be too damaging to his character. After all, Bray beat the shit out of him for 20 minutes! This match was a lot like Cena vs Lesnar from Extreme Rules 2012 – the heel beating up the good guy all match until the good guy finds a way to pick up an unlikely win. It’s whole good vs evil story, but something tells me that this is far from over. Good match though, regardless of the outcome.

 

Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar

And here we go…. the match everyone and their grandma is talking about. Not really because of the match quality but because of the finish.

First of all, let me start by saying this was a piss-poor match. No disrespect to both guys, but there was literally no chemistry between them and the fans were not that into it. That is until the end of the match…

Taker had been on the receiving end of an ass-kicking throughout the match. He had little offence in while Lesnar had dominated with two F5s and locked in the Kimura Lock. As Taker went for a second tombstone piledrvier, Lesnar countered into a THIRD F5 to Taker. And to the amazement of everyone… that F5 did the trick. Lesnar pinned Taker for the three count… the streak was over….

Trust me, this ain't photoshop...

Trust me, this actually happened….

I don’t think anyone knew how to make of it at the time. The Super Dome was almost completely silent (other than Paul Heyman screaming in joy)! We all thought that this was some kind of trick or something. I for one believed that the streak would never end and I think 90% of wrestling fans believed the same. And now… it’s done.

It’s still hard for it to sunk in for a lot of people including myself. A lot of rumours came about afterwards that they fucked up the ending, but of course they were wrong. Lesnar had been booked to win all along. To give WWE the credit it deserved… no one saw that coming. The shock value went THROUGH THE ROOF! The Undertaker actually lost at Wrestlemania. You never thought you’d ever saw that in your life but it happened. However, despite believing for so long that the streak should never be broken…. I’m OK with this.

I’m not particular that big on the match this historic being so bland mind you, but the decision to have Taker get beat was literally a stroke of genius. They took us of guard with the streak ending like this. If this would have been announced as Undertaker’s last match, you might have suspected that it would have ended and the surprise element would have slightly disappeared. Instead they did it so none of us would have guessed it. I saw some bookmakers make Lesnar 40/1 to win a singles match! When a wrestler is 40/1 in the bookies to win a match, you know that it would be unexpected. It’ll be the shock of the moment that’ll make it so historic. And Lesnar was not a bad candidate to break the streak. Someone as big of a star as him and someone as dominant as him should have been the one to end it. However, I do think if anyone should have broken the streak… it should have been Roman Reigns.

Sean Waltman tweeted it on Twitter as well, an up-and-comer like Roman Reigns would be elevated so much by a win as big as this one! It would have been much better to put over a wrestler that wasn’t a star yet than someone who already was. All we know now is that the Undertaker is no longer perfect at Wrestlemania… so what now? Does The Undertaker try to get revenge next year? Or does Undertaker call it quits? We’ll have to wait and see.

What a meme this is going to be...

What a meme this is going to be…

 

The Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational

I actually heard this was Vickie’s last appearance in WWE as she was pursuing business ventures outside of WWE after this. All I can say is good luck to her in her future endeavours.  Anyway… the divas match.

This was actually not that bad of a divas match! Compared to most WWE divas match nowadays, this was probably one of the best in the last six months! I think everyone though was just rattled and still shocked by what happened in the last match. Hell, AJ Lee didn’t even get a slight reaction. AJ retained in the end, but damn everyone was still shocked by what happened before.

 

Randy Orton (c) vs Batista vs Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

This really was a fantastic Wrestlemania ending match! The fans were able to refocus for this one! I actually thought Rev Theory were really good performing “Voices” live for Randy Orton! Orton had a pretty cool entrance! Bryan was still injured following his match from earlier on but it was not going to stop Bryan from the main event of Wrestlemania!

Bryan was up against it in this match. HHH and Stephanie re-emerged from the scene to try to screw Daniel Bryan with the rogue referee Scott Armstrong. However, Daniel was having none of it as he took out the ref and took out the Authority with the dive to the outside. With HHH and Steph out-of-the-way, Batista and Orton formed an unlikely alliance which saw one of the most insane announce table spots I’ve ever seen. Batista set up Bryan for a Batista Bomb which Orton caught with the neckbreaker to send himself and Bryan crashing through the table! I was literally blown away by that spot! It looked so sick and amazing! It really was the spot of the night in my opinion. And considering every thing that happened tonight, that’s saying an awful lot. By the way… it was a neckbreaker Orton caught him with, not an RKO! Why the hell are people still calling it an RKO when it wasn’t? There’s a distinct difference between the two!

Somehow, Bryan got back into the match off the stretcher. And somehow, despite all the shit that had happened to him Bryan was able to pull off the victory by making Batista submit to finally have his moment in the sun!

You know I have bitched about how much they were shoving Daniel down our throats and his push to the main event over the last couple of months but this was such a fantastic moment! Even though it was predictable as hell, WWE really pulled this ending off in style! The fans were ecstatic by the end of it! I kind of wanted to see Batista win at the end because I’m such a big Heel Batista mark, but I’m still happy with this! It was a fantastic way for the PPV to end! I think Bryan doing it all by himself was a bit too much for my liking, but I don’t think the fans cared! Amazing moment for him to finish off the show and a quality match!

Bryan_Win

 

This Pay-Per-View was something else! This was something many will remember for years to come! I’m going to go out on a limb and say this may have been one of the greatest Wrestlemanias of all time! So many moments we’ll not soon forget and a lot of matches that were off the charts! This PPV, whether it’d be for the right or the wrong reasons, will never be forgotten and that is what Wrestlemania is all about. We come into the show buzzing with anticipation and excitement and we get moments that will live on for decades to come! The moments that shook the foundation of WWE! Moments that you’ll be proud to say “I watched that live!” I’m from the UK so it’s really hard to find the time to watch WWE PPVs live so for me to able to watch it LIVE and live-tweet and for it to be as good as it was is such a great feeling for me! Hell, writing this review has been awesome because I have so much to write about. Whether certain superstars were here or not, whether you agreed or disagreed with the results, you will never forget Wrestlemania XXX…

2013 NoDQ.com Awards – My Vote For… The Worst Of The Worst

I do believe these are the last three awards in the NoDQ.com awards for 2013. Let’s have them all in one post! To check out the rest of these posts click on the link below!

https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/category/nodq-com/

WORST WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • Joseph Park
  • Eva Marie
  • The Great Khali
  • Garrett Bischoff
  • Wes Brisco
  • Ryback

RawRyback_zps92f623e1

I’m not going to give this award to Joseph Park, because quite honestly all he’s doing is playing a gimmick. As Abyss, he’s a really good wrestler so for me to give him “Worst Wrestler Of The Year” award wouldn’t be right. I’m not going to give it to Garrett either because he is slowly improving and he seems to really want to improve which I kind of like. Also Ryback has been improving himself. Yeah, he’s not exactly the greatest worker in the world but he’s had some pretty good matches with the likes of Chris Jericho and even John himself in the Last Man Standing match. A lot of people forget how good that match was. Despite the wrestling world’s HATRED of Eva Marie, due to the fact that she’s only  months into her wrestling career I’m going to save her the dishonour of “worst wrestler of the year”. And the reason for this is because the worst wrestler of the year award belongs to the UNDISPUTED WORST WRESTLER OF ALL TIME…. THE GREAT KHALI!

WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR

  • Mark Henry vs. Ryback (Wrestlemania 29)
  • John Cena vs. The Rock (Wrestlemania 29)
  • Santino Marella and The Great Khali vs 3MB (9/27/13 Smackdown)
  • CM Punk vs. Ryback/Paul Heyman (Hell in a Cell)
  • Divas elimination match (Survivor Series)
  • Big Show vs. Randy Orton (Survivor Series)

2

You know all these matches are all worthy contenders of being the shittest match of the year… AND NO SURPRISE ALL OF THEM CAME FROM WWE!

The divas match was going to be my pick, but I figured I’d save it the indignity of the award because they tried to redeem themselves the next night and improved it by 0.1%. Not trying to sound sexist or anything, but the fans did not care about the match so there was no-one being let down at Survivor Series by their shambolic display and the horrible botch with Natalya being the sole survivor.

My award goes to the match that shouldn’t have ever being booked – Big Show vs Randy Orton. The fact that Big Show found himself in the main event of a PPV like Survivor Series is ridiculous. Not to mention that he was put up against the life-zapping viper Randy Orton, who is like the worst opponent for Big Show to have. Yeah they had a good match at Extreme Rules, but this was just pure shocking for the fans to endure. 11 minutes of absolute garbage. The WWE should be ashamed that a PPV like that with a lot of eyes and attention towards it had to deal with these two in the main event. It was disgraceful to watch and this match is the worthiest contender of them all for WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR!

Winner: Big Show vs Randy Orton at Survivor Series

WORST OF PPV OF THE YEAR

  • Genesis
  • Night Of Champions
  • Battleground
  • Bound For Glory
  • Hell In A Cell
  • Survivor Series

BryanOrton_crop_north

I really wish TLC was an option, so I could vote for that as the worst PPV of the year. The reason they’re not on is because NoDQ.com take the time from TLC 2012-Survivor Series 2013 into account, because no one could really nominate TLC for the award before they could even see it! There were so many things wrong with that PPV. I might actually do a blog post or something on that PPV, since I can’t vote for it for Worst PPV Of The Year.

Also, why are Genesis and Bound For Glory on this poll? Both of them PPVs were good. Bound For Glory under-performed but on its own it was better than WWE’s two PPVs in October combined. Genesis was a good one as well. A lot of people forget how good that PPV was. Here’s my blog post about it from January. I think the worst PPV from TNA was Lockdown but none of these PPVs are worthy of Worst PPV Of The Year.

I’m going to give it to Night Of Champions because that show was so uneventful. I mean the other WWE PPVs actually had some good matches. That’s why I never voted them…

  • Battleground had the hardcore match between RVD and Alberto Del Rio, and the tag match between Shield and The Rhodes
  • Hell In A Cell had the triple threat tag team match and Orton/Bryan was a slight improvement from previous matches
  • Survivor Series had the Survivor Series match and Roman Reigns being an absolute tank!

Night Of Champions was shocking. Just have a look at this review to see why it was the worst PPV of the year.

Winner: Night Of Champions