Money In The Bank 2016 Review – The Shield’s Main Event Dominance

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Money In The Bank was a pretty important and monumental pay-per-view for WWE. Not only would a new Money In The Bank holder be decided, but we had two of the biggest and most anticipated matches in recent memory. John Cena and AJ Styles finally had their dream match and Roman Reigns finally defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Seth Rollins – the man that was never beaten for the title.

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“The New Day” Big E (c) and Kofi Kingston (c) vs Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs “The Vaudevillains” Simon Gotch and Aiden English vs Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in a fatal four way tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship  

This may have been the match that has changed my perception of the idea of a fatal four way tag team match. Despite seeing them too often, at least these tag team matches will give you a lot of action and chaos which could see anyone fight each other. In one fatal four way tag team match, the New Day tried winning the match by having Big E pin Kofi! This tag team match at Money In The Bank made me realise something… this type of match is hard for the viewers to keep up with.

It was hard when trying to keep track of who were the legal men. There were moments that I got confused, as I questioned several times who the “legal men” of the match were. There was a lot of chaos and complication with this match, with a lot of badly screwed up spots. The huge spot that was messed up was when Enzo and Cass hit their finisher. They went for the pin and the referee counted one, two, three and then Luke Gallows broke it up. Yes. Luke Gallows failed to break up the pin in time as the fans all believed that Enzo and Cass won the match. The announcers didn’t mention this as the crowd chanted “that was three” as the match rolled on.

So this match was already a mess by this point and then it got worse. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer and Anderson made the cover. In an impressive feat of strength, Big E picked up Anderson and was able to get him up from that position into the set-up for the Big Ending. This would have been an awesome finish, if it were not for what happened next. Gallows is leaning on the ropes and watches as his partner is in peril as Big E is about to drop him. Gallows stares at him and does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The reason he does nothing is because supposedly, Big Cass missed his cue for whatever came next. So for a good ten seconds, Gallows stares at Big E as he’s got Gallows’ partner Anderson up for the Big Ending. THIS WAS… EMBARRASSING.

The New Day picked up the win but I just completed hated this match. I thought that the New Day should have won as Anderson and Gallows winning the belt should be in a normal tag team match with the New Day.

 

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Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler

I was so incensed when I heard that this match was happening again at Money In The Bank and I actually have to a respond to a comment I saw on Facebook. Somebody on Facebook made a joke about Corbin and Ziggler fighting forever and some fool replied by mocking the fans who are now “complaining” after getting more feuds with slow burns. He talked about the fans wanting more lengthy storylines and then completely burying programs like this.

Let me explain something to this “fan” who made this comment. Here’s the issue with this theory. The fans do want detailed feuds that go on for months, provided that they are good. That’s all well and good. However, this feud is not good. This feud is not interesting. The WWE has not given us any new reasons for wanting to see these two fight again. The whole feud is based around one man winning a match, an attack from the loser which leads to another match. This is a cycle that is going on for some many feuds in WWE. This mindset does not give fans reasons to want to keep watching these matches. Instead, they zone out unless the match happens to be between wrestlers like Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

I actually remembered back to a feud between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels in 2008. I thought about this as I was writing up my Retro Express piece on Unforgiven 2008, which featured their unsactioned fight. You know what was so great about that feud? Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho and the WWE gave us a reason to want to keep watching these two go at it and their feud lasted from April 2008 to November 2008. That’s a really long period of time but they were able to keep the audience invested into that feud as they gave us something different each month. The feud stared with the question being asked of whether Jericho could trust Shawn. Then it became a blood feud, with Jericho turning on Shawn for lying to him. Then it became a personal feud, as Jericho punched Shawn’s wife at Summerslam. After Shawn destroyed Jericho and after Jericho won the World title at Unforgiven, it became a world title feud. The story of the feud changed each month as the WWE realised that the fans didn’t want to see these two wrestlers do the EXACT same thing each month. They wanted something different.

Ziggler and Corbin don’t give us anything like that. Not to mention that these two already did several blow-off matches, with Corbin beating up Ziggler at Extreme Rules and then Ziggler kicking Corbin in the nuts on RAW. There’s no other reason to keep the feud going, other than to waste the audience’s time. The audience felt that their time was wasted in this match. There were large chants of “boring” and “let’s go Ziggler, Ziggler sucks” among with others. With chants like that, it’s pretty obvious that the fans don’t want to see this match again.

With that said, this was an OK match. I was not blown away by it and it was boring in places but the right man won and HOPEFULLY both men can move onto different things.

 

 

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Becky Lynch and Natalya vs Charlotte and Dana Brooke

This was an OK women’s tag team match. Natalya, Becky and Charlotte are all good workers and Dana was doing fine when in the ring with these three talented wrestlers. The finish saw Dana throw Becky into Natalya, with the babyfaces clashing heads, leading to the heels picking up the win. The aftermath was the really important part.

Natalya is in tears in the ring as Becky tries to console her. Becky lifts her up as the fans start to applaud, which leads to Natalya turning on her friend Becky and attacking her. Natalya did in fact turn heel.

I don’t have a problem with Natalya turning heel and a potential feud between Becky and Natalya. Those two are really good workers and it’ll keep Natalya’s character fresh by having her be a full-blown heel for the first time in a number of years. However, the issue for me is what it took to get there.

Think about this for a moment. Natalya got beat in her last three pay-per-view matches against Charlotte and takes her anger out on Becky. Why did she attack Becky? The obvious explanation is that she was taking out her pent-up frustration but why was Becky the target? After getting beat by the heels, it did no favours for Becky and Natalya to do that angle. After losing to Charlotte and Dana, now these two losers are going to face each other in a feud. Other than personal interest in the careers of Becky and Natalya as well as the potential their matches could have, I have no other reason to see these two girls wrestle. If they had won this tag match and then they did the feud, then at least the two girls would be more interesting to the viewers. If they had the two beat the Women’s champion in a pay-per-view tag team match, fans might start to wonder whether that will lead to a title match for one of these women down the road.

Let’s say that they went with this. Natalya lost her two matches with Charlotte at Payback and Extreme Rules. She is very much disappointed with herself and is going into this match looking to at least get some redemption against her bitter rival Charlotte. So Natalya gets the hot tag and runs wild. She has Charlotte on the verge of tapping when Dana breaks it up. As Natalya is brawling with Dana, Becky makes a blind tag. Becky hits an exploder suplex and gets the pin or makes Charlotte tap out with the “dis-arm-her” finisher. However, Natalya is still annoyed at Becky for stealing this victory from her so she turns on Becky.

Natalya’s claim is that Becky was being selfish in stealing the victory from Natalya, when Becky knew how much a victory over Charlotte meant to her. Becky can lash back by claiming that all she did was try to win the match for her team. Natalya was in trouble with Dana, so Becky made the blind tag to make sure that she could capitalise on a weakened Charlotte. Both these women would have legitimate motivations for a feud and both of these women would be WINNERS after beating the heel tag team at a pay-per-view.

Maybe if the writers would stop going out of there way to elevate Charlotte and think about the rest of the women, maybe you could have an actually dandy women’s division. Instead, we’ve only got one women in the entire division that is even booked as a winner. Really does annoy me.

 

 

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Apollo Crews vs Sheamus

There was a lot of brawling between Apollo and Sheamus. It was very hard to get interested into this match but there was a lot of big hits with Sheamo and Crews. Crews won. The right man won in this match as the newcomer beat the veteran. I’m under the impression that this feud will lead to a rematch at Battleground, which is probably not the best route to take with these two. Keep Apollo fresh by squaring him off with other wrestlers. Him wrestling the same old mid-card talent is not going to do him any favours.

 

 

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John Cena vs AJ Styles

This match actually told a really good story. This was John Cena’s first match since December 2015 and he was up against a very active AJ Styles in this dream match. With Cena showing ring rust, AJ completely wrestled circles around the dude. Cena was constantly outmatched and out-thought by AJ as he had beaten him in every turn. This even led to Cena looking visually tired, which I’ll get onto later. AJ had all the tools to out-do him but he couldn’t put him away. When the referee was down, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson showed up and hit the Magic Killer, giving AJ the victory.

I will say that I will give the announcers credit in the fact that they played up how this was a big dream match that was ruined by the Club. This was exactly what the finish of the match demanded. I know there are a lot of people upset with the finish, believing that AJ should have won cleanly. However, I have no problem with this finish as AJ IS THE HEEL. He is supposed to cheat every once in a while and this match demanded a screwy finish. Anyone that has any clue about who the Bullet Club was should know that the Club were such good heels as they went against Japanese wrestling tradition. Interference and shenanigans were all part of the US adaptation of wrestling, which some will argue hurt wrestling as a whole. If a match like Kenny Omega vs Hiroshi Tanahashi ended with interference from the Bullet Club, that would lead to the Japanese being annoyed that they didn’t get a proper finish because of the dastardly Bullet Club. Gallows and Anderson ruined the match and JBL went on about how much of a disgrace that this finish was. Why do people feel that all the heels should win every match clean? Wouldn’t that defy the logic of what being a heel is all about?

Those were the positives of the match. Let me move onto the negatives. Firstly, Big Match John returned back to his glory days in terms of calling spots really loud in the ring. I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with calling spots in a match, if everything Cena said was not picked up on the referee’s hidden mic. Cena talked A LOT during this match which is not good. I have a feeling that this will decrease over time with the next few matches these two have but it is worrying for a fifteen year veteran to feel the need to call spots this loudly.

My next complaint is actually of the announcers. I did give them credit earlier but here’s the negatives. I mentioned that John Cena could have been suffering from ring rust, which would have explained why Cena looked slow in the ring. Bryan Alvarez from Wrestling Observer came up with a much better explanation, which is probably the best sounding theory. A day or two before Money In The Bank, John Cena traveled to China for that big conference where he was talking fluently in Mandarin. A short time after this trip to China, he is out there wrestling AJ STYLES of all people in a big match and looked slow and not himself. Hopefully you all are figuring out what I’m hinting towards, so I may as well just spill it out… JOHN CENA WAS SUFFERING FROM JET LAG.

These announcers, having mentioned Cena’s trip to China during that match, failed to make the link between Cena looking slow and his trip to China. The announcers didn’t bring it up. Jet lag would have been a great way to explain it so you also protect Cena even more. They could have even claimed that AJ was staying in Las Vegas for a few days before the event, to get used to the humidity. Having been to Las Vegas myself, I can tell you for a fact that the conditions at this desert were certainly hard to get used to. I’m from England and I was going to Las Vegas so OF COURSE I would not feel like myself. John Cena had made the trip from CHINA to LAS VEGAS. Of course he was going to be knackered.

With that said, it was a very well structured match. If only these writers did a better job at explaining a lot of this booking, perhaps my opinion of this match would have dramatically rose.

 

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Dean Ambrose vs Cesaro vs Kevin Owens vs Alberto Del Rio vs Chris Jericho vs Sami Zayn in a Money In The Bank ladder match

This was a really good Money In The Bank ladder match. These six have all been able to work well against each other and when you throw them together, you’re going to be in for a treat. My only major criticism, and it’s not really a big one, is the fact that this will not go down as one of the most memorable Money In The Bank matches of all time. There weren’t really a lot of memorable high-risk spots that I’ll remember in a few years time. The spot with Sami Zayn launching Kevin Owens onto the edge of the ladder was probably the closest one you’ll get, and it really was a sick bump for Owens to take. He was leaning on the ladder and the first thing that popped into my mind was a scene in the Simpsons where Homer was punched, landing on a fire hydrant and his back was arched on that hydrant. What Homer said after that punch was “this is more painful than it looks”, which was probably what Kevin Owens was thinking!

Everyone was able to get involved in the spots, including those not usually associated with this kind of match like Alberto Del Rio. We got an awesome spot from Cesaro, where he jumped off the ladder onto the ropes and then uppercutted Kevin Owens. That was one of Cesaro’s greatest uppercuts of all time and Cesaro throws some of the best uppercuts in the world. That basically means that this was one of the best uppercuts in wrestling history.

We had the usual spots of all six man battling on the ladders to reach the briefcase. They then had the ladders set up in a weird way, which allowed all six of them to do battle on the ladders. That spot might actually be one of those moments that people will remember. The end of the match saw Dean knock down Owens and win the briefcase.

I guess the reason why I don’t think that this ladder match will be that memorable is because of what happened at the end of the night being far more memorable. I sort of remembered Kane’s Money In The Bank match in 2010 when he won it, but his cash-in later that night sticks out even more. This was probably the same with Dean.

 

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Rusev (c) vs Titus O’Neil for the United States Championship

There was a great start to this match where Rusev and Titus O’Neil were outside on opposite ends to the ring. These two big bulls locked eyes, ran around the ring and clashed into each other with a massive double clothesline spot. A great big man spot to start the match.

Rusev won with the Accolade. Following the victory, we got an awesome post-match promo from Rusev. Being the absolute best heel he possibly could be, Rusev was out of the ring and stood next to Titus’ kids. He teased them about their father and told them that Titus was a loser. Then he left feeling triumphant.

I’ve got to say that Rusev will be one of the most over wrestlers in this company by the end of the year if the WWE keep going in this direction. The WWE are now well aware how great a talker Rusev is. He is tremendous at being an evil Russian and being a complete dick to his opponents and even THEIR FAMILY! He beats up these foolish mid-carders, reminds us that these mid-carders are failures and then leaves with Lana. Right now, it must be great to be Rusev! Easily my favourite thing going in all of WWE.

 

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Roman Reigns (c) vs Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship

I would not put this in the same realm as the last two pay-per-view main events, featuring Roman Reigns’ battles with AJ Styles. However, this was a good match between the two former Shield members. The match structure was very unique in the sense that Rollins worked the majority of the match as a babyface and Roman worked a lot of the match as a heel. There were even times when Roman mocked Seth, with Seth responding defiantly. Roman and Seth were both great in their roles for this match, which is another reason for why WWE should be pushing for a Roman Reigns heel turn. The dude is a natural big bad guy and Seth has the speed and the moveset of a babyface. Some great stuff here.

Seth was really going all out to try and test his knee, with a number of flips and dangerous moves. They even did a spot where Seth was thinking about doing the same powerbomb that he tried against Kane, which saw him blow his knee out. He hesitated but eventually did it and he seemed to have found his confidence. Not really sure whether it was wise for Seth to go all out in terms of testing out his knee.

There were some cool spots, including Seth countering Roman’s spear with a mid-air pedigree. The more I think about this spot, the more impressed I am by it. Seth was not able to hook the hands of Roman in mid-air, but the fact that he caught Roman’s head with his legs in mid-air and drove Roman head-first into the mat is an incredible feat. In hindsight, this should have been the finish.

Seth eventually hit another pedigree and defeated Roman CLEAN IN THE MIDDLE to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. With the news of Roman’s suspension, it does make a bit more sense about why Seth beat Roman clean here. I wouldn’t have booked a clean finish in this match due to what happened in the post-match, but I’ll dive into that in a bit. Overall, a good match with a surprising finish upon first viewing.

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Once the match was over and Seth Rollins hoisted the championship up high, Dean Ambrose’s music hits. Seth valiantly stood his ground, ready for Dean to fight him. He does not run, he does not hide and he is ready for a fight. Despite this, Dean Ambrose hits him with the briefcase from behind. Dean had an emotionless look on his face as he turned to the referee and gave him the briefcase. Dean then hits the Dirty Deeds and pins Seth Rollins. As soon as he wins, the fans go crazy. Meanwhile, the announcers are playing up the idea that Dean had finally won the big one after years of struggling. What they failed to mention however, is the fact that it was unfair for Seth to win the title fairly only to be cheapshotted and beaten for the title.

This is NOT going to be a popular opinion… but I was not a fan of this cash-in. Don’t get me wrong. The cash-in worked in getting Dean Ambrose over. Seth’s victory worked in keeping Seth looking strong. The idea of all three Shield members holding the WWE title on the same night is pretty cool when you think about it. However, this cash-in flies in the face of the idea of story-telling. For you see, the only one acting like a babyface at Money In The Bank was Seth Rollins… who is SUPPOSED to be a heel.

Seth wrestled the entire match with Roman Reigns as a full-blown babyface and WON the match as a babyface. He beat the man clean in the middle. You know what would have been really great? If you really wanted to make it seem like this was poetic justice when Dean cashed in on Seth, why not have Seth CHEAT to win? Why doesn’t he just act like a heel should and beat Roman either by hitting him with the belt or grabbing his tights? All this finish did was make Roman look bad, which was probably the idea considering Roman’s suspension. However, let’s just pretend for a second that Roman wasn’t suspend. The WWE are still promoting Roman for the main event at Battleground against Seth and Dean. Shouldn’t you do whatever you could to protect Roman before that match? By beating Roman clean, the only wrestlers that have credible claims to be in the WWE Championship match at Battleground is Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.

Seth even said on RAW that Roman had no claim to a rematch as Seth beat him legitimately and cleanly. If Seth cheated to beat Roman, then Dean cashed in, then you can actually lead the audience to believing that Seth had this coming. Dean’s actions seem justified in the fact that Seth screwed over his best friend, so Dean might as well screw over Seth. Seth still has a legitimate claim for a rematch and it’s not like you hurt Seth, and Roman still has a legitimate claim for a rematch and it’s not like you hurt Roman. That way, a triple threat match at Battleground is more justified and all three combatants seem on par with each other.

I made the argument on SLTD Wrestling that it was in the company’s best interest to turn Seth into a babyface at Money In The Bank. You don’t necessarily have to turn Roman or Dean, although one of them turning would probably be best. However, there’s no reason to keep Seth as a heel but have him wrestle as a face. If Seth’s going to wrestle like that, then he should have just came back as a babyface. Now though, the chances of an eventual Rollins babyface turn in the future having the big impact that it should have are just rapidly decreasing. The reason for this is because you’re dragging it out. It’s watered down as Seth is facing the wrath of two babyfaces (one for the next 30 days) who are screwing him out of the title. At the end of the day, you are wasting everyone’s time who are losing investment into Seth’s character. The fans are quickly losing interest in Seth as Dean Ambrose is now the face that runs the place and is the most over man in the company. There’s a chance that a turn at Summerslam might be good, depending on how you execute it. However, I’m just not that confident about the future of Seth if he doesn’t turn soon.

With that said, this cash-in was a successful one with regards to the fan reactions and how over Dean Ambrose is. He’ll be a top champion and the viewership for the RAW after Money In The Bank went up significantly from last week. I can’t argue with the numbers but the storyline aspects of this is just very detrimental. That’s actually part of a bigger issue with the company, which is the lack of definition for the characters of ALL of their talent. The fans can cheer and boo for whoever they want. That’s all fine. The bigger issue is the fact that if you don’t make it clear about the motivations and alignments of all of your talent, the fans aren’t going to care at all.

 

 

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Edge – Was He Ever “The One” In WWE?

NOTE: The following post is part three of a three-part series. The first part can be seen at this link and the second can be seen at this link.

Previously on the blog, I discussed whether Rob Van Dam or Chris Jericho were ever the “one” in WWE. This came after Triple H cut a promo on Daniel Bryan about why he would never be a star in WWE. Triple H said…

“Here’s the thing, Daniel.  I’ve seen guys like you come and go a million times.  Guys like Jericho, Edge, Rob Van Dam.  All guys that are very talented, don’t get me wrong.  Top guys!  Very popular!  But not ‘the one.’  Never were they ‘the one.’  And maybe nobody wants to say this, but it needs to be said: It’s a fact.  If any of those guys had been the face of the WWE back in the day, we’d all be working for Ted Turner right now.

You think you’re playing in the big leagues, kid?  You have no idea.  You step inside that Hell in a Cell and I have a feeling you’re gonna prove to the world that you’re a B+ player.”

I’ve talked about Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho. Now it’s time to talk about Chris Edge….

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Edge made his mark in WWE by first excelling in the tag team division with his friend Christian. Yes, friend. Not brother, as they were initially promoted as. Edge had developed a strong run as a singles star but was made a true star when battling alongside Christian. The duo would take part in quality matches with the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz. It soon didn’t take long for the three teams to completely dominate the tag team scene, with all the tag team storylines mostly being centred around them.

However, the tag team eventually had to break up. The two of them were great as a tag team but it was really time for the two of them to develop as singles stars. Edge had been an Intercontinental Champion before but he was more well known for teaming with Christian. Once Christian turned on Edge, both men were able to take off on their own.

Edge would win several singles titles after becoming a singles competitor. His first proper main event exposure came after the WWE Brand Extension. As mention during the Jericho part, Edge really rose to stardom during his program with the King of the World in 2002. This feud was ended abruptly by the decision to move Jericho to RAW. However, Edge was still given many opportunities to shine by SmackDown! head writer Paul Heyman. He main-evented SmackDown! as part of an incredible exciting tag team scenario which helped develop him as a main-eventer. Edge even main-evented WWE’s Rebellion 2002 PPV and challenged Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. However, Edge’s roll was cut short by a legitimate neck injury.

Edge would miss a year of television but returned like a house of fire in 2004 as part of the RAW brand. He quickly won the Intercontinental Championship from Randy Orton and he eventually turned his sights onto the World Heavyweight Championship… as a heel. Edge was main-eventing RAW a lot but it was very hard to become a top heel on the brand that was built around Triple H. However, Edge was becoming a star. At Wrestlemania 21, he won the “Money In The Bank” contract which would give him a title shot at any time in the next year. At the 2006 New Year’s Revolution event, with Lita by his side, Edge cashed it in to become WWE Champion for the first time.

This was Edge’s first world title in WWE and it was executed so well. John Cena had been champion since Wrestlemania 21 and it was time for a change of champion. The fans accepted Edge as the man. Triple H had been stuck in feuds with Big Show and Ric Flair, so it was really Edge’s time to shine. It was not like Edge was a ratings-killer either.

The next night on RAW, Edge held a live-sex celebration with Lita on RAW. That episode of RAW was such a success that Edge had delivered a 5.2 rating, which was the highest rated RAW in over a year. It also puts the ratings RAW gets nowadays to shame. The month of January was a month of glory for Edge.

It was also the month where Edge also LOST the title to John Cena at the Royal Rumble. To be fair, Edge never exactly struggled to recover. He stole the show at Wrestlemania 22 with Mick Foley and was WWE Champion again in July. When his feud with John Cena began once again, Edge was again on fire as the top heel in the company. With Triple H being a face now, there was little competition for Edge to compete with. Therefore, he became a feature presentation for RAW. He was still the top main event heel of RAW, even going into Wrestlemania 23.

When he was traded to SmackDown!, he went from strength to strength. It didn’t take long for Edge to become the top heel of the show. Hell, he did it on his first night by winning the World Heavyweight Championship. Again, not a lot of competition for Edge to compete with. That’s especially true considering that the next top heel on SmackDown! was The Great Khali. However, Edge developed himself as the true top star of SmackDown! in 2007 and would be rewarded with a Wrestlemania 24 main event showdown with the Undertaker. This was Edge’s first Wrestlemania main event and what a match it was. Wrestlemania 24 is widely considered as one of the greatest Wrestlemanias of all time. If your match was the show-stealer on a PPV was a strong as a card as Wrestlemania 24 had, you knew it was something special.

Edge stayed as the elite main-eventer on SmackDown! in the next few years. Again, it was an injury that ended his run as King of the Heels. He was injured in July 2009 and CM Punk would end up being the top heel of SmackDown! for a while.

Edge returned as a good guy in 2010, winning the Royal Rumble match upon his return. Edge’s return was a big deal but Edge’s Wrestlemania match wasn’t really considered the main match of the show unlike at Wrestlemania 24. Edge vs Jericho played third-fiddle to Undertaker vs Michaels and Cena vs Batista and it was a period where all the attention was really turned to RAW. Therefore, SmackDown! was starting to truly become second-fiddle RAW which took away from the World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania 26.

Before he retired, Edge turned heel and face once more but did an incredible job at waving the SmackDown! When he left, he left on top of his game as World Heavyweight Champion. Was he the top guy in WWE? We he ever the one? No. However, I think we can all agree that there was a period in WWE where Edge was truly the star of the show. From 2006 to 2008, Edge was the top heel in the company and definitely one of the biggest talking points in the WWE at the time.

Summerslam 2013 Review – Heel Dictatorships Are Back In WWE with a NEW WWE Champion

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WRESTLING FANS, my name is Tom Robinson and I have the biggest smile on my face right now after the finish to Summerslam! In fact my face is sort of like this right now…

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Because WWE did something pretty amazing last night that made up for every little thing that was wrong with Summerslam. It was actually a good PPV without this, but because of what happened at the end it’ll go down as one of the best PPVs in years. People will remember this Summerslam for a long time. Anyway, lets get down to it.

Bray Wyatt vs Kane – “Ring Of Fire” Match

To be honest, this never really provided much with all the expectation surrounding this match. It was too short of a match in my opinion. I think when you showcase match like this, people will expect someone to be put on fire. But no-one did. If WWE weren’t gonna have anyone put in flames, why bother with the “Ring Of Fire” stipulation. You might as well give the two like a street fight or something. Bray Wyatt won which is all well and dandy, but the post match beatdown on Kane seemed a little bland. I just hope that the WWE have something big planned for the Wyatts next.

Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow

Short but sweet match between the two, but they should have been given a lot more time I think. I mean Cody Rhodes was on fire tonight. That muscle buster he gave to Sandow looked really good, and a win like this puts Rhodes in a title contendership position. I think they’ve got Rhodes in mind for a shot at the World Champion after he did the “belt-around-waist” pose if you know what I mean. Good win for him, but it does damage Sandow’s credibility to have him lose to Rhodes like this. He needs to pick up some wins now Rhodes has beaten him.

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship

Solid match. These two definitely put on a show and had a great finish too their match. The fans were into this and these two great opponents for one another. I don’t think it was as good as Del Rio vs Ziggler from Money In The Bank, but it was a good match nevertheless. I like the fact that Del Rio won by making Christian submit. Its good to have some heels winning matches legitimately nowadays rather than disqualifications or some other cheap finish. It gives Del Rio credibility points and that’s what the World Champion needs to establish himself as a top dog.

Natalya vs Brie Bella

Natalya won! I think that’s all you need to say. I hope this leads to her getting a Divas Title shot at AJ at Night Of Champions.

Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk in a No Disqualification Match – The Beast vs The Best

Definitely Brock’s best match since he returned in 2012. Just a straight up brawl between the two. A lot of people before hand wondered how CM Punk would cope against Lesnar considering their sizes, but it was pretty much an even playing-field. Punk was very innovative with his submission holds here. God, Triangle Holds, Anaconda Vices, FREAKING ARMBARS! I do think Lesnar got tired quick in this match like, but Punk made up for that and was on top form tonight. However, Lesnar picking up the win does hinder Punk a little. But I don’t think it’ll hinder him THAT much. I think Punk will probably hit it big and will likely be in the WWE Title frame soon. However, Punk could have done with that big win over Lesnar. But it was not to be for the best, as he was no match for the BEAST… who’s now the best. XD

Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs Big E Langston and AJ Lee

Before we get on to the match, I just wanna state that it seemed weird to have Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn to come out together while AJ and Big E came out separately. I mean Big E and AJ are an actually duo in WWE, this was probably a one-time pairing for Ziggler and Kaitlyn. Shouldn’t Big E and AJ come out together? Hmmm. To be honest, the finish to the match saved it from being TOO bad. Ziggler’s nice coutner of the Big Ending led to the Zig-Zag and the one, two, three. I wonder where Ziggler goes from here… back in the World Title frame or are him and Big E not through?

John Cena (c) vs Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship with Triple H as the Special Referee

Phenomenal match. While the “You Can’t Wrestle” chants to Cena were really pissing me off, these two put on a great show. And the reason them chants peed me off, is because Cena is actually a really good wrestler. It’s only in matches like with Bryan and Punk that he can truly demonstrate it. What was good about this was that Bryan had a lot more of the offence. Little cool part near the end where Bryan and Cena were slapping each other to get them hyped up. It was really symbolic because Bryan said to Cena a couple of weeks back that he wouldn’t slap Cena in the face because he’s not a wrestler. And slapping him here shows he respected his wrestling ability. But despite Cena’s efforts, it was BRYAN that won the match cleanly with the one, two, three! Great moment for Bryan. I though it was a weird way for the match to end off a front dropkick, but I’ll take it. These two put a serious contender for match of the year. All is well with the world right? HEHEHE….

Randy Orton AND Triple H Turn Heel

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Just as the show was about to finish and the fireworks and the confetti was done, Randy Orton came out. It looked like he was about to cash in Money In The Bank, but Orton then though “Nah” and started walking away. But then… WHAM! Triple H hits Daniel Bryan with the Pedigree! You have no idea how much I marked out for that! And obviously, Orton cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase and became the NEW WWE Champion! HEEL DICTATORSHIPS ARE BACK!

Triple H turning heel was MUCH needed as was the Orton heel turn. And they did it on the same night! How great is that? And a Heel dictatorship with Triple H leading the charge has been long overdue in WWE. This is another Corporation for you guys! Yes, it sucked that Daniel Bryan got screwed over, but Triple H is heel. How can you not like that? Triple H is at his best when he is heel. Raw going forward is going to be great. This is a good turning point for the company. The Heels have come to take FULL control of WWE! Muahahahahaha! Let the good times roll!

Great PPV in general despite the short matches with Sandow/Rhodes and Kane/Wyatt. But epic battle between Punk and Lesnar, fantastic WWE Title match between Bryan and Cena, and a PHENOMENAL ENDING!

That was the summerslam review! I’m Tom Robinson! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us at @ArmbarExpress on Twitter and go to https://www.facebook.com/ArmbarExpress to like the Facebook Page. My Twitter account is @TomRobinson5199 so gives us a follow there as well. And to mark the new heel regime in WWE, for the YouTube Video Of The Post I give you this piece of evil music! The Imperial March theme!

The Finish of The WWE Championship Match – Who Will Walk Out On Top Of The WWE Mountain?

Wrestling fans, I’m “The Game” Tom Robinson. First of all before I start, good for WWE Wrestler Darren Young for coming out today and admitting he’s gay in an interview with TMZ. It’s really cool to see athletes getting the confidence to come out clean and he’s not really ashamed about. He said in the interview he didn’t think it mattered and that he’s right. It doesn’t. What matters is that you’re an entertaining athlete, not your personal preferences in life. Good for him for finding the courage to come out and hopefully inspire others to do the same…

Anyway – THE BLOG POST….

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Summerslam is right around the corner and the biggest thing going for the event in my mind is the WWE Championship match. Sure, Lesnar and Punk has been a great feud but Daniel Bryan and John Cena for the WWE Championship is the main match. With the McMahons getting involved and with Randy Orton lurking in the background with his Money In The Bank briefcase, expectations are high for this main event. The question is… what’s going to happen at the biggest party of the Summer?

There are like a million ways this match could finish with all the factors going towards it. You’ve got the Triple H special referee card, you’ve got the Vince McMahon card, and you’ve got the Randy Orton Money in the Bank card. After being selected as John Cena’s number one contender for the WWE Championship by Cena himself, Daniel Bryan has been subjective of a lot of criticism of the chairman of the board, Vince McMahon. Sticking with his supposed legitimate off-air views, Vince is not sure whether Daniel Bryan is the type of WWE Champion he wants to represent the company if he wins the title. While he wants Cena to lose the title, he wants Daniel to win the title much less. However, COO Triple H believes that Vince is interfering with WWE affairs too much and decides that the ultimate solution is to make himself the special referee for Summerslam so he can stop whatever Vince has planned for the WWE Title match. HHH’s wife and Vince’s daughter Stephanie McMahon has been rather on the fence, proposing alternatives to suit both men’s ideals like a “corporate makeover”, which went rather badly when Daniel refused to shave his beard.

Breaking away from the McMahon Family Feud, Daniel and John have had issues as well. Daniel has been under the impression that Cena looks down on Bryan and doesn’t respect him enough. But while making accusations of disrespect by Cena, Bryan states that John Cena is not a wrestler like Bryan but more of an entertainer. This has begun to get on the nerve of Cena who actually slapped Bryan on MizTV this Monday on RAW. But WAIT… just when you’ve thinks all of them factors aren’t enough, we have “Mr Money in the Bank” Randy Orton. With an opportunity at a title match anytime he wants, Orton is keeping a close eye on this match to prey on a vulnerable champion and cash in his opportunity right after the match.

This match I think has been built up the best out of all the matches. Punk and Lesnar have not really had as good as a build because it’s basically just been Punk, Lesnar and Paul Heyman either cutting promos on one another or beating each other up. Cena vs. Bryan has some great build and storyline. But what is going to go down?

They’re rumours floating about that Cena could spending some months on the shelves due to an elbow injury he suffered a while ago (thus is the reason why Cena has not been as active in the ring). However, rumours are just rumours. It doesn’t mean that Cena will lose the title at Summerslam. For all we know, he might be fine. But Cena has had the belt since Wrestlemania, so him losing it to Bryan or Orton would be a good idea to keep the title picture fresh with a new champion. But would he end up losing the title to Orton or to Bryan?

The dream scenario for nearly every internet fan (myself included to be honest) is to have Cena tap out to Bryan and put him over as champion by having him do something he hasn’t done in like 10 years. And it makes Bryan look like a mega star in order for him to make someone like Cena tap, which only Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit have been able to do before. If WWE want someone other than Cena waving the flag and selling the merchandise, then they’ve got to take away Cena’s invincibility aura that they’ve created with him. And I honestly don’t think Cena would have problem dropping the belt to Bryan of all people, considering they’re both dating Bellas. I would much prefer Bryan beating Cena, then Cena beating Bryan because that would be disrespectful of WWE to build Bryan up only to have him be shot down by being beaten clean by Cena. So there is always the cheap victory and by that I mean that someone gets screwed…

So the official prediction from me is….

  • Daniel Bryan Wins Via Pinfall
  • No Cash-In
  • Something big will happen involving the McMahons

Anyway that’s the blog. I’m Tom Robinson.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us at @ArmbarExpress on Twitter and go to https://www.facebook.com/ArmbarExpress to like the Facebook Page. My Twitter account is @TomRobinson5199 so gives us a follow there as well. I’ve started writing for a little site called Get Real Wrestling so go check out my stuff there and all the other content at this link http://www.getrealwrestling.com/.

And the Random YouTube Video Of The Day. I’ll give you a video from the YouTuber KSIOlajidebt. British YouTuber but funny as hell. I know a lot of Americans go on this blog and probably haven’t heard of him. But I seriously recommend that you subscribe to his account because he’s got some funny as hell videos. Watched this the other day and I was actually in tears over it. XD Goodnight everybody.

WWE Money In The Bank 2013 Predictions – Who’s Getting The Briefcases In Philideplhia?

I don’t care what every says. I love this theme!

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Hey wrestling fans, I’m “Mr Money In The Bank” himself Tom Robinson. It’s time for Money In The Bank!

MONEY! MONEY MONEY MONEY!

A grand total of 14 superstars competing in two money in the bank ladder matches this year. The objective is simple – climb the ladder, get the briefcase and earn a title opportunity that you can cash in at any time until Money In The Bank 2014. Two vastly different money in the bank ladder matches with All Stars and Rising Stars all wanting them briefcases with plenty of fireworks expected. Also we have title matches after title matches with the WWE Title, World Title, Intercontinental Title, Tag Titles and the Divas titles all being on the line. And we have a one on one clash between “Big Hungry” Ryback and “Y2J” Chris Jericho. Let’s get down to THE PREDICTIONS!

Quick Pre-Show Prediction…. The Shield defeats The Usos to retain the Tag Team Titles.

 

World Heavyweight Championship Money In The Bank Ladder Match (a.k.a. The Heel Money In The Bank)

Wade Barrett vs Fandango vs Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow vs Antonio Cesaro vs Jack Swagger vs Dean Ambrose

Background: Announced by Teddy Long on an episode of SmackDown!, the World Title Money In The Bank ladder match features up-and-coming heel superstars who are hoping that the World Title MITB Briefcase can help catapult their career. We have Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro – two of Zeb Colter’s recruits in his attempts to have “Real Americanism” spread across the country. We have partners and best friends Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes, with the latter entering his FOURTH World Title Money In The Bank ladder match in a row. Is it finally time for son of the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes to enter the main event scene? We have United States Champion and member of the Shield, Dean Ambrose looking to win even more power for the “Hounds Of Justice”. We have Wade Barrett, Britain’s own who looked set to win the Money In The Bank last year until an injury got in his way. And finally, there’s…..

What I Think Should Happen?: As far as I’m concerned, all of these guys have a legitimately good claim to the briefcase (except Fandango). Swagger would be right back where he began a year ago if he didn’t win it which is a little bit of a shame. Damien Sandow would be a good pick considering he’s starting to feud with the big faces like Sheamus. Cody Rhodes is a deserving candidate considering he should have won it last year, or the year before that. Antonio Cesaro has some incredible in-ring skills and with Zeb Colter has a manager that can help him be a big star and solve the “boring” problem Cesaro apparently has. Dean Ambrose winning would be great for The Shield’s quest for domination. But someone is in SERIOUS need to win it this year…. Wade Barrett. The Brit has some great mic skills and good in-ring abilities to back up what he says. And since he came back in September he’s been the victim of poor writing which has provided nothing for the “Barrett Barrage”. If he wins, he automatically enters the World Title frame where he rightfully belongs. I want Barrett to win because he needs it. And also because of this…

What I Think will happen?: It’s tough. Cody Rhodes could easily be the dark horse that wins the thing like Jack Swagger was a few years back. Sandow and Cesaro are slowly climbing the WWE ladder and the briefcase could elevate them further. Ambrose is even a good bet with his affiliation of The Shield. Barrett’s another dark horse. You can’t count out Swagger either. And yes…. Fandango has a chance too because apparently getting one great reaction from the crowd from the night after Wrestlemania purely because of your theme song makes you suddenly championship material. WWE Logic for you. I’m going to have to pick Barrett. He’s being booked in a similar way Dolph Ziggler was booked before he won it last year. And I think this is finally Barrett’s time.

 

Divas Championship

AJ Lee (c) vs Kaitlyn

Background: Great story behind this feud. AJ and Kaitlyn finally hooked it up for the title at WWE’s last Pay-Per-View “Payback”. It was probably the best WWE women’s match I’ve seen in the last few years and despite taking one hell of a beating, AJ was able to take advantage of Kaitlyn’s aggression to take the championship. After the loss of her title, Kaitlyn became an emotional wreck lashing out at divas and going as far as interuppting Stephanie McMahon (which she got a stern warning for). AJ had manipulated her way towards the title and continued to pile on the mental attacks on Kaitlyn, going as far as dressing up as Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn returned the favour with crappy slut jokes and dressing up as AJ. The rematch will finally happen at Money In The Bank, with these two emotional wrecks battling for the title.

What I think should happen?: AJ retains, but I hope this feud continues to AT LEAST Summerslam. These two have had a great feud going on and it will be good for the women’s division if they continued to lock up.

What I think will happen?: AJ retains. I don’t think they’ll continue the feud but I can see AJ being in a storyline with boyfriend Dolph Ziggler. Speaking of which…

 

World Heavyweight Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Dolph Ziggler

Background: Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase on Alberto Del Rio the night after Wrestlemania 29 to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio waited and waited until finally he got his rematch at the Payback PPV. Coming off a concussion at the hands of Jack Swagger, Ziggler defended the title against Del Rio in a rather one-sided affair. Del Rio ruthlessly targeted the champion’s head due to Dolph’s concussion problems. Despite been given the option to cancel the match, Ziggler refused and put up a valiant effort. But Del Rio’s ruthlessness eventually paid off and saw him win the World Title back. Since then, Ziggler has sought revenge. Ziggler attacked Del Rio a number of times during matches and even crashed his fiesta on SmackDown! Ziggler cashed in his rematch clause for the Money In The Bank PPV. Can Ziggler reclaim to gold from Del Rio?

What I think should happen?: I’d like to see Ziggler win, not because of whether I like Ziggler better but because it’d be cool to see the title constantly change hands. Yes, I’m a big fan of huge, long title reigns. BUT, the World Title is still second to the WWE Title and WWE should experiment with the belt a little and changing it back and forth between Del Rio and Ziggler could be interesting to see. Also, I’d love to see the Philadelphia crowd reaction to Ziggler winning the belt back.

What I think will happen?: Del Rio wins. I think Ziggler will have to break away from AJ and Big E before getting the World Title back. Del Rio will just keep the belt warm for him.

Will there be a cash in?: Nah. I don’t see it. If the title is gonna change tonight, I don’t think it’ll be down to a cash in. I see another Ziggler reign as Mr. MITB on the horizon.

 

Chris Jericho vs Ryback

Background: Both Chris Jericho and Ryback were irate over themselves not being included in the WWE Championship Money In The Bank ladder match. Then-Managing-Supervisor Vickie Guerrero put the two in a match with one an other on the PPV. In the weeks building up to the PPV, Jericho would get a lot of momentum over Ryback. Firstly, Ryback asked the ref for his own match with The Miz to be called off mid-match 2 weeks ago. In response, Jericho hit a codebreaker on Ryback. The next week, Jericho became the first person in WWE to beat Curtis Axel since he redebuted, giving Jericho the momentum he needed.

What I think should happen?: Ryback wins. He needs a PPV win, big time.

What I think will happen?: Ryback wins. He needs a PPV win, big time. And Jericho would be more than willing to put Ryback over since he’s back on the road with Fozzy soon (best of luck to him).

 

Intercontinental Championship

Curtis Axel (c) w/Paul Heyman vs The Miz

Background: At Payback, Paul Heyman’s newest client Curtis Axel took advantage of opportunity as he won the IC title from Wade Barrett in a triple threat match also involving The Miz. While Miz had Barrett in the figure-four, Axel covered Barrett for the 1, 2, 3. After successfully defending the IC Title against the former champion Barrett, The Miz was announced as the number one contender for Axel’s Championship at Money In The Bank?

What I Think Should Happen?: Axel wins and some other face other than The Miz goes after the championship.

What I Think will happen?: Axel wins. I’m fairly certain Axel will get in the mix with Punk and Lesnar. Miz? Well… there’s always commentating on Main Event….

 

WWE Championship Money In The Bank Ladder Match (a.k.a. The “All-Star” Money In The Bank)

CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus vs Randy Orton vs Christian vs Rob Van Dam vs A Mystery Entrant

Background: 8 days after Payback, Stephanie McMahon announced the entrants for the RAW Money In The Bank ladder match. We’d have “The Celtic Warrior” SHEAMUS, former World Champion who’s only ever been in one Money In The Bank Ladder match before (and was Chokeslammed on a ladder for his troubles). We’d have “The Viper” RANDY ORTON, former World Champion who’s not held a World Title since September 2011. We’d have CHRISTIAN, former World Champion who’s riding off a load of momentum since he returned with big wins of Wade Barrett and The Shield. We’d have DANIEL BRYAN, former World Champion determined to prove that he is not a weak link by winning the MITB briefcase. We’d have CM PUNK, former World Champion who’s put his problems with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman on the back-burner in the pursuit of a unprecedented THIRD Money In The Bank briefcase. We’d have ROB VAN DAM, former World Champion who’s return in Philadelphia on Sunday has been the hottest of topics in the wrestling world. And We’d have KANE, former World Champion which was scheduled to be in the Money In The Bank ladder match until he got taken out by the Wyatt Family (see my post about their debut by clicking on this link). This means there is still one spot in the match up for grabs. Will it be Bray Wyatt? R-Truth? Brock Lesnar? Iron Sheik? “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner? The Shockmaster? Only time will tell as 7 warriors will do battle for a briefcase that can revamp the career of one of these 7 all-stars.

What I think should happen?: Daniel Bryan should get this briefcase. After all this momentum he’s had, for him not to win it now would be so illogical. As much as I’d like to see Punk, RVD, Orton, Sheamo or Christian win the briefcase, this is Daniel Bryan’s time.

What I think will happen?: Daniel Bryan wins. And hopefully “The American Dragon” will ascend to WWE immortality with a clean victory over John Cena at Summerslam starting off the “Daniel Bryan Era”.

 

WWE Championship

John Cena (c) vs Mark Henry

Background: The night after Payback, WWE Champion John Cena addressed the WWE Universe about the Money In The Bank PPV. He welcomed whoever won the WWE Championship briefcase and vowed to be ready for anyone who dared to cash in on him as champion. At the end of the promo, Mark Henry came down to the ring in a rather dashing suit. After rumours all day about Mark Henry retirement, it seemed as if Henry was saying goodbye to us after heart-felt retirement speech. However, it all turned out to be a bluff as Henry deliereved a “World’s Strongest Slam” to John Cena. Henry declared he still had a “lot more left in the tank” and challenged Cena for the WWE Championship at Money In The Bank. Vickie Guerrero made the match official that same night. The next week, Henry showed zero guilt over his actions and said that Cena was now scared off him. This notion seemed to be true as Cena startled everytime Henry moved towards him teasing an attack. Henry might have gotten into the head of the WWE Champion, but can he get the job done on Sunday and win the WWE Championship for the first time?

What I think should happen?: Mark Henry winning the WWE Championship for the first time would be a great moment especially in front of the Philly crowd. However, Cena should really be the one holding the title when the holder cashes in (assuming Daniel Bryan wins it). Cena wins.

What I think will happen?: Cena wins. I think Henry’s time as champion came a couple of years ago. I don’t see another world title reign for the “World’s Strongest Man”.

Will there be a cash in?: No. I don’t see anyone cashing in on Cena the dick-ish way. Whoever wins will cash it in the legit way I think.

Anyway. It’s been good doing this blog post guys. It’ll be great watching Money In The Bank live. I’ll be up on Facebook and Twitter talking about the PPV as it happens. Like the Armbar Express on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at the new Armbar Express Twitter account @ArmbarExpress. Hoping to get the Armbar Express on the map through Social Networking but I need you guys to help me out and I’ll continue to provide the wrestling talk here on blog and Twitter and Facebook. I’m Tom Robinson, and I’ll leave you with the Random YouTube Video Of The Post. Because You’re Looking At The Real Deal Now!