WWE 2K16 FaM Pandora Review

NOTE: The following review has been written out of passion and respect for the writers and those that make FaM as big as it is. Forever A Movement has always been a league that cares passionately about the fans and this review will highlight some of the brilliance that FaM put together for their Pandora event as well as discussing some of the areas of the writing and booking that could possibly have been improved. The Armbar Express respects the efforts and the man hours that everyone involved with putting the show together puts in, and this is not by any means an attempt to slander the product. We do not wish for anyone to take these comments to heart, as this is simply the views of one fan who is looking forward to seeing Forever A Movement go from strength to strength. Please enjoy the review and feel free to tweet me @TomRobinson5199, @ArmbarExpress or leave me a comment with your thoughts on the show. I will appreciate the feedback on my work and I’m sure the boys at FaM will appreciate your honest thoughts on the future of the clan.

maxresdefault-1

WWE 2K17 arrived in October 2016, with WWE Games clan FaM saing goodbye to WWE 2K16. The game had previously hosted Survival and a few weeks of content including a Money in the Bank tournament, and had been good to FaM. Before they moved onto the new game though, the league decided to give its fans one last mega event on 2K16 with FaM Pandora.

The show would continue on from the shocking revelations at FaM Survival, building on the grand reveal of Rom Buster’s brother Ranik as the anonymous general manager, the real leader of the SES and the fourth founding member of FaM as a whole. Having destroyed Rom Buster at the end of Survival, putting the fear of god into BlackHeron and beating Gunnz in his FaM “debut,” his past disciple Andy Badwool was the only one left on Ranik’s hit list. In a match for control of FaM, the future of the league was interesting to wonder about as well as the fate of Pandora’s Box, the Money In The Bank briefcase and the FaM World title.

maxresdefault-2

Pandora stated with a grudge match between Cameron Bash and William Kingdom, a ladder match for the Money in the Bank briefcase. These two had beef with each other ever since FaMniversary III and had both been in a tournament, making it this far. This was the opening match of the show and by god, was this ever a great way to start off the show.

This was a fantastic ladder match, with both men taking the greatest of bumps onto the ladders. There was great brawling from the get-go. Bash did the Big E spear to the outside, which is not something that I’d encourage any wrestler to do in real life! I always fear the worst whenever Big E pulls this off. Bash would try again but Kingdom moved out of the way, resulting in Bash landing onto the big pile of ladders on the outside. It looked like it sucked for Bash on so many levels. They had Kingdom whip out some athleticism, including the handspring cutter that Lucha Underground’s Fenix would normally do.

Kingdom’s punishment to Bash included a small package brainbuster and a sit-out powerbomb on the ladders. Kingdom countered an attitude adjustment into a cutter on the outside. We had an absolutely awesome spot where Kingdom’s spear was countered into a spinebuster through the barricade. It was really executed in terms of the editing and the gameplay, and this looked really good. An innovative spot that FaM should be really proud of.

Kingdom somehow pulled off a coast-to-coast cannonball, which was pretty unbelievable. Kingdom seemed like the better man in this match, hitting the majority of the big moves in the battle. Kingdom caught Bash with a cutter in mid-air onto a ladder. The ending was really well done, with the drama being at its height with the two big men battling on top off the ladder. Kingdom went for a cutter from the top of the ladder but this was reversed into a Bash Bottom off the ladder instead. Bash grabbed the briefcase and won.

A fantastic way to start off the show with a drama-filled battle from start to finish. These two beat the living hell out of each other and even though Kingdom seemed like the better man in the match to me, it’s not like Bash was completely destroyed and then just picked up a fluke win. Kingdom had hit the cutter a few times and when he went for it again, Bash was able to see it coming and countered it. The finish made sense considering how personal this rivalry had become. I’d call it an overwhelmingly great end to the program between these two.

rom_tag_champ

Rom Buster took on Killswitch. I have all the respect in the world for Rom Buster in terms of the person himself that has done so much for FaM in order for it to evolve. He’s the ultimate worker and is extremely passionate about the product. The CAW himself has a great look and a great moveset. However, at the moment, his character right now is exactly the same as Dolph Ziggler’s character (his character up until No Mercy anyway). Dolph Ziggler’s character is the ultimate worker that puts on all these great matches but can never win. Rom Buster’s character is shockingly similar in the sense that he’s supposed to be one of, if not the, biggest star in FaM but yet he’s a big loser too.

Rom lost to Andy Badwool at FAMinversary II, Rom lost to Andy and BlackHeron at Survivor Series, he lost in the Royal Rumble, he lost to BlackHeron at FaMniversary III and he lost to Ranik at Survival. This dude is in all of the biggest matches and storylines, yet he’s failed to win in a lot of these big matches. He looks great in the ring but as a main-eventer, he’s had barely any success at all. I figured that maybe the plan was for Rom to eventually work his way through Betrayal and all the heels, eventually beating Ranik in the end which would have been great. Rom having to run through everyone that’s beaten him in the past and eventually facing of with Ranik at the end. Maybe he beats Killswitch and then Ranik forces Rom to fight both members of the Skilled Foundation, then Roberto, then BlackHeron, then Darin again and then 2TM and then it’s Ranik at FaMniversary or something. Some big plan which builds up both Rom and Ranik as unbeatable badasses which leads to a match where only one brother can win and rule FaM.

Instead, on the pay-per-view after Survival, Rom is beaten by his former tag team partner Killswitch. I can’t speak for the rest of the FaM viewers but it’s hard for me to feel sympathy for a guy who gets beat in every big match he’s in. He did get beat through shenanigans in this match but he did get beat clean by BlackHeron at FaMniversary and against Ranik at Survival. I don’t understand why Rom had to lose again. Why should I care about the guy after this? According to the storyline, he’s a loser who can’t win when it counts.

It’s very unlikely but in the off-chance that Rom’s done being in the main-event, fine. I have no problem with Killswitch winning if Killswitch is getting a push and Rom’s not in the main-event scene anymore. That’s fine. If the ultimate goal is for Rom to win control from Ranik, then I don’t think it helps Rom for him to lose against Killswitch.

The match itself was actually a good one. The finish saw an awesome spot where Killswitch went for a dive to the outside with Rom catchng Killswitch with an X-Ray. That was one of the spots of the night. Rom brought him in the ring to finish him off. The lights went out and Rom was taken out by a man in a hoodie with a chair. Killswitch hit the Super Switchback and won. It was revealed that the man that took out Rom was Sander, formerly of the SES. A SES Civil War actually sounds appealing in the middle of this conflict with Rom. If the plan is for Rom to be out of the main-event picture for a while, which it probably is with the stipulation of Rom not getting another crack at Ranik if he lost, then I have no problem with this.

maxresdefault-11

BlackHeron challenged Deaths Angel for the CyberFaM Championship in a steel cage match as selected by the fans. Let me just give you a brief run down of this championship history and explain why Deaths Angel is currently the champion. Cameron Bash, who was the rightful champion, gave up the title as he was in pursuit of the World title instead. Deaths Angel lost in a world title match at Survival. Bash GAVE the CyberFaM championship to Deaths Angel, actually GAVE Deaths Angel this belt. Deaths Angel didn’t win this championship. Bash basically said “I feel sorry for you so here’s my belt while I move onto a different title.” That’s one thing, especially when the heels were apparently so outraged by this. Ranik and Darin were so outraged by this that they somehow forgot that they can surely veto this title transcation or at least force them to have a match as they’re RUNNING the company?

So Deaths Angel is the champion. He defended the title against BlackHeron. They have this match in the cage. BlackHeron beat the crap out of Deaths Angel. He german suplexed him off the top of the cage. BH tried his Black and Gold Powerbomb but Deaths Angel countered with a Yoshi Tonic in a clever spot. BH finally gave him the Black and Gold Powerbomb for a nearfall. Deaths Angel superkicks BlackHeron for a near fall. Deaths Angel knocks BlackHeron down in the battle on top of the cage. Deaths Angel is on top of the cage. Rather than escaping with the title, he tried a HURRICANRANA off the top of the cage. BH catches him, hits the powerbomb and pins him to win the championship.

So not only was Deaths Angel given a championship that he didn’t even earn, he lost that championship after being stupid and jumping off the cage. Rom claimed that Deaths Angel wanted to jump in order to make sure of the victory and to put BH away for good. So apparently, a HURRICANRANA is the best way to do that?

I always hated it whenever a wrestler is about to win a cage match and jumps, especially in a match like this. If you’re in a heated rivalry like the Edge/Matt Hardy cage match from Unforgiven 2005, that’s one thing. This was a random mid-card title match between BlackHeron and Deaths Angel. Didn’t seem like the intensity was high enough for a spot like that.

As this was all confusing enough with the CyberFaM title, things got even more confusing.

BlackHeron celebrated with the championship when of course, Darin buzzed in. He wanted to make sure that the title was firmly within their grasps. Therefore, he ordered that BlackHeron LAY DOWN for him and basically hand the title over to him. Darin came down and BlackHeron allowed Darin to pin him and win the title.

So for the record, the title was vacated by Cameron Bash and given to Deaths Angel for no reason, BlackHeron beat him for the title and now DARIN won the title after BlackHeron laid down for him. Again, with all due respect to Forever A Moment, this title seems so meaningless to me right now. Perhaps a strong Darin title reign could change that.

With that said, this was a pretty good cage match.

maxresdefault-12

It was supposed to be Sledder, Darin, Nic Virtue and Gunnz in a four kings ladder match for Pandora’s Box. Sledder’s theme was a cover of Voodoo Child and was a pretty damn great one. Ranik buzzed in as it was time for Gunnz to come and talked about how he beat him and what Rafazo did to him. Ranik informed us that Gunnz would not be involved and that his replacement would be Betrayal member Roberto. Gunnz being out of the match was not something I was particular fond of as he would fit in really well in a match like this.

The rules of the match were as followed. This started as an elimination match, with only two men being allowed in the ring at one time. The ruling was that you could enter the match if somebody else was thrown out of the ring or made their way to the outside. No need for a tag-in although Darin and Roberto were tagging each other in as normal. There was an awesome use of this rule when Nic was looking for a dive on Darin on the outside when Roberto cut him off with a huge clothesline. Simple but effective!

Nic Virtue got the hot tag in this match were you didn’t need to tag in order to get involved. Nic hit the superkick to eliminate Roberto. It was at this point when it was made clear that this part of the match was no disqualification. With this in mind, Roberto hit the choke bomb on Sledder and Darin tapped the sheriff out with a STF.

The final part of the match between Nic Virtue and Darin was the ladder match portion of the match. Despite this, Darin tapped out Nic with a STF. Darin hit an insane alley oop on Nic into the ladder and breaking it. That was crazy. Nic did a diving crossbody from the top of the ladder. In one of the best spots of the night, Nic went for a dive but was cut off when Darin threw the steel steps at him and caused him to crash into the ropes. The way that was executed was really well done and Nic’s landing actually made it more effective than it probably should have been. A very well-worked spot from the gamers.

Darin speared Nic through the same barricade that Kingdom was spinebustered through. Rom was on top form in terms of fixing all of the broken barricades at Pandora! They took all kinds of moves on the ladder like Bash and Kingdom in the first match, including a back suplex off the top of a ladder and onto another ladder. Nic superkicked Darin a few times and eventually put him away for good with an elbow drop from the top of the ladder and through the announce table. Nic grabbed Pandora’s Box and was the winner.

Nic Virtue was probably the best option to win this match, although I would have loved a Gunnz victory. Nic is pretty much over with the FaM fan base and has been promoted as a star ever since Survival. I can imagine the FaM live chat popping for this victory and Nic did look really good in this match. He came off as a star and he did some great work with Darin. Roberto and Sledder was just there, not really being major factors in the match. I can’t help but feel as if this would have been better if Darin and Nic just had a regular match. Their ladder match battle was really well done and the drama was there. A thumbs up for the match for Pandora’s box.

maxresdefault (2)

We had the Diamonds Championship match with Middlesbrough’s own Elle facing a mystery opponent. Ranik buzzed in, which was actually pretty important considered what happened at the end of the show. Ranik put over Elle, which was actually surprising as the cold-blooded monster Ranik put over the top female babyface in the company! He claimed that BlackHeron’s girlfriend Eve was never meant to be in the Diamonds match at Survival. He buried her and called her BlackHeron’s crown jewel. Ranik suspended Eve for the forseeable future which was a fine way to get Ranik heat, even though he was suspending a heel (probably a babyface now). Ranik introduced Elle’s opponent who apparently trained under Ranik. Her opponent was Vikel, who had a Russian gimmick. She was the female Rusev and this match further solidified this comparison as she wrestled almost exactly like Rusev!

This wasn’t a complete squash as Elle got some shots in but Vikel nearly dominated this match. There was a class spot where Elle went for a dive but was caught with an uppercut on the outside. Again, the match editors were on top of their game with the matches and some of the spots. Vikel threw her around the ring. She hit several powerbombs on Elle, being a clear shot at BlackHeron. Elle actually got a near fall off a top rope victory roll. Vikel hit the Dominator and won the title. As far as putting over a new star in one match, this was a sound way to do it. Vikel looked great in this match. My only concern at this point in the show was that all the heels held the gold in FaM, which would be rectified later on in the show. A sound showing from the women.

maxresdefault-13

Tom Cushnie was backstage, trying to win favour with the don that runs the Mafia stable in FaM. Tom wanted revenge on Gore and Perkins after they beat him up at Survival. Tom eventually got the don’s attention when he claimed that Gore and Perkins called them “fake Italians” which is the ultimate insult to the Mafia. The Don agreed to help out and they hatched a plan.

The WWE Gaming YouTubers had a six man over-the-top-rope battle royal gauntlet, with the winner getting a FaM Global title shot in a regular match right after the gauntlet. I’ve really not been a fan of the usage of WWE YouTubers in FaM, although I did enjoy the FaM vs YouTube gauntlet from Survival. To be honest, I enjoy a lot of the content from YouTubers like TonyPizzaGuy, Gore and Perkins, ItsMyYard and SmackTalks. On this show however, I hated all of the YouTubers’ characters on this show. I hated their involvement and how they were utilised here. I don’t want to knock their involvement too much as I do understand why FaM have these YouTubers on their shows but the YouTubers being there does nothing for me in terms of getting me excited about the show. I’m not going to be more likely to watch it if TubbyEmu’s there for example, not that I have anything against TubbyEmu.

The match had managers accompany the YouTubers to ringside, giving us even more YouTubers and people on the screen. Element was #1 and was accompanied by BigRedNY, with his story being that he had to work his way through the YouTubers in order to get a rematch for the title he challenged for at Survival. The first opponent for Element and the second entrant in the match was supposed to be MrBigShowOff with TheGreatOne as his manager. However, TheGreatOne jumped MrBigShowOff before the match began. Somehow, this allowed TheGreatOne to take his place in the match. When has it ever became cool for someone to be able to just attack somebody on the ramp and take their spot in a match? TheGreatOne attacked him and was just simply given the OK to replace him? At least when Erick Rowan jumped Curtis Axel in the Royal Rumble in 2015, it was made clear that Rowan had not entered the match himself.

In the end, this all didn’t matter as TheGreatOne was eliminated in about a minute. The third entrant in the match was 101Gaming, who was accompined to the ring by ItsMyYard and his many dummies. Yard’s big dummy took out Big Red on the outside. Another dummy jumped Element in the ring. In the end, all of this dummy shenanigans didn’t matter as Element eliminated 101Gaming after they fought for a little bit. Why was 101Gaming even there when that portion of the match was clearly designed for Yard to show off his dummies?

download

SmackTalks was #4 in the match. He blindsided Element with a springboard dropkick. This was actually a pretty sweet exchange, with a superb little sequence which ended with an enziguiri from SmackTalks. We actually got a bit of action when, of course, more shenanigans took place. A graphic appeared in the middle of the match and it distracted SmackTalks enough for Element to eliminate him. So even when SmackTalks entered the ring, who was awesome in the FaM vs YouTube match, we had to have another random angle in this match?

Perkins from Gore and Perkins was #5 in the match. Of course, due to the segment with the Don and Tom Cushnie from earlier, we had to have even more interferences and shenanigans. Muff E and Puma jumped Gore and Big Red, who was still outside as Element had not been eliminated. Mr Sicko eliminated Perkins from the match, meaning that Element had “went through” four different men in this match. Gore and Perkins took out Sicko with a Gore and a Brainbuster.

So let’s recap this match. At this point, Element had “beaten” four men in a row without barely breaking a sweat. Either he’s destroying these YouTubers or they’ve been eliminated due to the actions of somebody else. The entire “YouTube Division” of FaM has been made to look like fools. Element is one win away from the Global Title shot that he’s been after since Survival. Up next is Grim’s Toy Show with Duhop. After four matches, Element climbs over the top rope and eliminates himself.

Rom, at commentary, explains that the worn out Element selflessly eliminated himself in order to give the fresh Grim a fighting chance against CMPulse. They make it clear that Element doesn’t care who wins, as long as Pulse is no longer the champion. He has “too much honour” to fight Pulse when he’s not 100%. Think about this for a minute. He’s so honourable and such a fighting warrior that he GAVE UP when he was at a disadvantage? When push came to shove, he really couldn’t be bothered to fight anymore after a rather easy time with the YouTubers?

Not to mention, it was stated by Rom that the YouTube Division as a whole hates Pulse and doesn’t want him as the champion. Well if they want to make sure that at least Pulse isn’t the champion, why don’t they all work together by eliminating themselves so Element can face Pulse as fresh as a daisy? Why try to beat up Element and hurt his chances of winning?

So Grim was basically given the match with Pulse for the belt. They fought for a while when Darin buzzes in once again, making the match no disqualification. A massive brawl broke out with TonyPizzaGuy, CMPulse, Element and BigRed. TubbyEmu made an appearance. At the end of the day, Grim hit a 450 and won the match. Despite all that had happened, this was a good-feel moment especially when every other title at this point was held by a heel. Seeing a babyface win a title brought a lot of joy at the end of a hectic, messy YouTuber deal which is a concept I never want to see again.

maxresdefault-14

They discussed the FaM review competition, with the winner being featured on FaM programming with the possibility of being a full-time member of the show like Rafazo. Thank you again to FaM for the cheeky mention during this! Even though I’m coming off as the biggest hater of FaM with the criticism of that last match, I do respect the efforts of the clan and I do love a lot of aspects about the product. Everyone involved with FaM, including the fans, are all passionate about the show and that’s what makes FaM stand out among the many CAW leagues around. So thanks again, and be sure to get involved with the review competition if you haven’t yet. I think there may be still time to crack out a video review which I’m sure the lads will appreciate!

2TM defended the FaM World Heavyweight Championship against Anarchymus. I’m a strong believer of the titles being the most important things in wrestling. I think the FaM title should be what the show is centred around and treating them with prestige and care. For the last five years or so, its mostly been about whose running the show as the leaders of FaM. As far as protecting the titles, this was not my kind of show. Up until this point in the show, we’d seen Vikel squash Elle to win a championship, we’d seen Darin force BlackHeron to lie down for him so he can win a championship and we’d seen Element destroy four men and then WALK AWAY from a championship opportunity. Anarchymus being in this FaM World title match didn’t help matters.

To be honest, the FaM world title match not being in the main-event hurts the image of the title anyway. However, let’s recap how Anarchymus got this title shot in the first place. Anachymus came out before Pandora and cut a promo about wanting to win a championship. 2TM buzzed in and said “hey, I’ll give you a shot at my title at Pandora.” Everyone was cool with it. This was the entire build for a FaM World Championship match at a pay-per-view. At least Deaths Angel won a 20 man gauntlet on the previous pay-per-view in order to get a shot at 2TM at Survival. Anarchymus didn’t have to do anything. It’s not like 2TM said he’d give him a shot if Anarchymus beat this guy or this many guys. He basically just got the title shot for asking politely.

To add more fuel to this fire, D.N.A even noted during the match that Anachymus shouldn’t even be in this match as he got pinned in the FaM vs YouTuber match at Survival AND HE WAS RIGHT. I do like Anarchymus and I’m sure I noted in the Survival review that he should be a bigger star than he is. Throwing him in this title match out of the blue just doesn’t seem the right way to do it.

maxresdefault-15

We had the match, which was actually a pretty fine bout. 2TM did the Kevin Owens tease when he went for a dive then simply rolled out of the ring to beat up Anarchymus. These two beat the hell out of each other with Anarchymus kicking out of the Twisted Reaction. This was a hard-hitting match, with a number of hard clotheslines, piledrivers and suplexes being dished out. Anarchymus then took over and hit his finisher when the Skilled Foundation came out. Then Anarchymus was able to take out both members of the tag team on his own. I’m not sure if this was more of an effort to make Anarchymus look really strong or to complete destroy the credibility of the Skilled Foundation. I usually wouldn’t have this much of a problem with one babyface beating two heels except for the fact that he beat up the TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS on his own. I get wanting to put over the number one contender for the world title but did he need to destroy the tag team champions? Anachymus looked great up until this point anyway.

2TM jumped in to make it a three-on-one advantage to the heels when the Resurgence came out. The Resurgence, who the Skilled Foundation beat to win the tag titles, took out the champions out with a double dive to the outside which looked sweet and well choreographed. 2TM busted open Arnachymus with a chair and then hit the Twisted Reaction to retain the title. I enjoyed this match. It was sort of like the AJ Styles/Roman Reigns matches where the Usos and the Club ran in and I liked that dynamic here. I don’t think Anarchymus got over as a main-eventer in my eyes with this match but he looked pretty good. Again, it didn’t do him any favours to just get the title shot out of nowhere but he hung in there with 2TM and looked solid. An enjoyable world title match.

forever_a_movement___andy_badwool_by_thewolfmonster-d938vw9

Thanks to TheWolfMonster for this lovely bit of fan art of Andy Badwool from their DeviantArt page

Ranik put his FaM leadership on the line against Andy Badwool. Here’s the thing I’ve really enjoyed about this Ranik fella being around. In FaM, there always seems to be a certain match-type where a lot of the matches are structured the same. These Ranik matches are so unique in their delivery, their structure, their pacing and their purpose. These matches are must-see in the same way that a Brock Lesnar match is a must-see. It separates him from everybody else, which will make the future of FaM seem interesting with the angle of who can stop Ranik.

We got the next challenger to Ranik’s throne in Andy Badwool. This was a no holds barred match and the match started with Ranik hitting a catapult punch to Andy! Ranik laid into Andy with punches and Andy was bleeding like twenty seconds into the match. Andy went for a GTS but Ranik countered it into one of his own. Andy went outside for a chair but Ranik simply hit a suplex. It tells you something about how unique a match is when the BABYFACE is so desperate that he needs to grab a weapon first. Both men traded spinebusters and Ranik even hit the balling elbow, being a call-back to the initial FaM intro video where Ranik is doing the same thing. Andy hit a pedigree but Ranik was able to kick out at one. Andy battered Ranik with a chair and then hit a Badwool Driver onto the chair. This got a two count but it was not like a near fall or a false finish or anything. Andy hit the move and Ranik got his shoulder up as soon as the referee said two. I honestly thought when I saw that move hit that Ranik had kicked at one!

Ranik did an awesome electric chair into a german suplex. Andy hit the Death Valley Driver for a near-fall. Ranik hit a Sleeping Pill but he was not content with simply gaining the pin. He went to the outside, set up a table and set fire to it. Andy cut him off and hit a suplex from the top turnbuckle to the outside and through the flaming table. In one of the greatest no-sells in FaM history, Ranik gets up from GOING THROUGH A FLAMING TABLE, he takes a GTS from Andy… and simply hits the End Of Days and pins Andy.

I love how dominant and over-powered Ranik was in this match. I don’t care what anyone says, he’s been a tremendous addition to the FaM roster so far and the idea of Ranik going through the rest of the roster until a hero rises up and is able to beat him is fine with me.

Cmy1JIuWEAExw50

Ranik cut a promo after the match and granted revenge for the people backstage that wanted to beat up Andy. 2TM, BlackHeron and Darin all came out to put the boots to Andy. 2TM beat up Andy, BlackHeron grabbed the chair which wrapped around Andy’s ankle. Darin went to the top rope and BH caught him and hit the Black and Gold Powerbomb. In the first time in what seems like forever, it seems that BlackHeron is a babyface in FaM.

Ranik buzzed in and talked about BlackHeron making the biggest mistake of his life. BlackHeron ran backstage as it was revealed that Eve was out cold in the back. BH went to her and since backstage segments in FaM are usually done with WWE 2K14, BH’s attire dramatically changed into his old 2K14 gear! BlackHeron supposedly borrowed a clothes beam from Dragon Ball Z’s Piccolo! I loved that!

Ranik attacked him from behind and put him through the window. In the ring, Andy laid out 2TM with the Badwool Driver and left. This then brought out Mr Money In The Bank Cameron Bash. Bash cashed in and won the FaM World Heavyweight title. At least they ended the show by showcasing the FaM World title and allowing a good-feel moment to end the show as the babyface became the new champion.

3094357-slide1

As negative as I seemed for a few matches, this was overall a great show to sit through. I thought the structure of the whole show was good, I thought the editing of the matches were as slick as ever and the show didn’t seem to drag that much, despite being four hours long. The opening match and the main-event are both must-see matches in my eyes, going down as some of my favourite FaM matches of all time. All the babyfaces winning the Money In The Bank, Pandora’s Box and the FaM World title are all great decisions by the company, and it looks like the guard is changing in FaM. I complained about Rom Buster getting beat but it looks with the majority of title holders having come into the company in the last few years, the future looks bright. The main FaM storyline is really exciting at the moment and that should be the key focus over everything. FaM put on a fine little match to say farewell to 2K16. Roll on WWE 2K17!

Read Also…

29/08/16 RAW Review – Kevin Owens Wins The Universal Championship, Triple H Turns On Seth Rollins

CrE3MQqUIAEqYpM-850x560

How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with the Armbar Express. Guess what? We’ve got a lot to talk about regarding the August 28th 2016 edition of Monday Night RAW. Indeed this will go down as an historic edition of the “flagship” WWE show, as a new Universal Champion was crowned in a shocking manner.

We had the fatal four way elimination match involving Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Big Cass and Kevin Owens. Big Cass was eliminated after several moves to put the big man down, followed by a big frog splash from Kevin Owens for the clean pin over Cass. Then we had the finish, with an awesome three way battle between Rollins, Reigns and Owens. Reigns had the upper-hand and hit the spear on Seth on the outside, when TRIPLE H came from out of nowhere to give the Big Dog a pedigree on the floor. Triple H rolled Rollins and Reigns into the ring, and Rollins pinned Reigns to eliminate him.

This came down to the two heels in Rollins and Owens. So Triple H rolls Owens into the ring, picks up both men and hits ROLLINS with the pedigree. Owens, with a shocked look on his face, scurries over to pin Seth Rollins and become the champion. Triple H raises Owens’ hand as the fans chant “you deserve it” after Rollins and Reigns were both screwed! Kevin Owens is the new Universal Champion.

Screen-Shot-2016-08-29-at-11.34.45-PM-850x466

Suffice to say that I was extremely shocked at this outcome. Literally the day before RAW, I told everyone that would listen on Twitter that Kevin Owens would not win and that Seth Rollins would become the champion. I ignored all of the reports of future plans and all that jazz, and stuck to my gut feeling. I thought to myself that there was no way they’d put the belt on Kevin Owens right now. Well low and behold, Kevin Owens is the champion and Seth Rollins was turned into a babyface due to the betrayal of Triple H.

What’s funny about all of this is that WWE posted an interview with Kevin Owens on social media, and Owens seemed so out of character when talking about this being the biggest night of his life. It was not like he was the boastful Kevin Owens character. He was calm and relaxed. During the opening talking segment with all four contenders on RAW, Owens seemed like the only one that was not his usual self. It made me think that possibly something was going to happen, but I still was going with Rollins.

As it turns out, I was wrong. Apologises to everyone on Twitter for me getting this one wrong, although this is one of the situations where I was kind of glad that I was wrong. They did pull off the title victory and the Rollins babyface turn really well. I was so shocked at what I was seeing and the fans were really into the main-event match. As far as the presentation of the whole thing, WWE knocked it out of the park.

197_raw_08292016jg_0872-28581adee7bf6665d22f595b7974b8f9-96b2b81e-b240-4a92-860b-61afd7352c41

Now let’s ask the million dollar question… was this the right move? Somebody asked on me on Twitter last night about who I thought was going to win. I looked at every one of the challengers and I thought that nobody was really IN a good position to win the title at all!

Big Cass is clearly not ready to be wrestling at that level, although he did fit in and get pretty over last night. No complaints on how he was used and he didn’t seem out of place to me at all. I really didn’t want to see a Roman Reigns title reign right now, as I still feel that he should be as far away as possible from the world title at the moment so he can build himself up again. The Rusev stuff did help him out and to put the title back on him would be unwise at this point, so I ruled him out. As for Kevin Owens, I really didn’t think he was in a good position either. Considering that he’d been doing comedy segments with Chris Jericho for the last month, the idea that he’s suddenly supposed to be the top man in the company is a little far-fetched. Of course, Finn Balor’s injury did change plans for WWE. However, with the knowledge of hindsight, WWE should have used Owens better leading up to the title win. He didn’t even beat Neville clean last week!

Finally, Seth Rollins was also not in a good position either. Seth won the WWE World title at Money In The Bank but was quickly robbed of the title by Dean Ambrose following a cash-in. In Rollins’ title match on the RAW before Battleground, it ended in a draw. In Rollins’ title match on the SmackDown! before Battleground, he got beat clean. At Battleground itself, he was unsuccessful again. At SummerSlam, he got beat clean by Finn Balor. Him winning the title right now would not have made a lot of sense to me.

Then a report came through, before the show, suggesting that Seth was going to turn into a babyface. I thought about it and, with the exception of Money In The Bank and Battleground (where he wasn’t the one pinned), there was no real reason to want to feel sympathy for Seth up until this point. The injury that Finn Balor sustained during Seth’s powerbomb to the barricade spot also didn’t help out. Trying to get across the idea that Seth is now somebody to root seemed strange to me, considering everything that happened.

I still think that Seth will make a really good babyface, but I think that they really should have done this turn sooner rather than later. All the buzz about Seth following his return has came and went to be honest, and it’s hard to find sympathy for Seth according to the story.

Seth-Rollins-Expected-to-Win-Universal-Championship-and-Turn-Face-900x440

Regardless of this, the fans loved the show last night as well as the conclusion. I would assume that it’ll be Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins at Clash Of Champions. I’m not sure where Triple H and Chris Jericho will stand during all of this. Maybe Owens and Jericho will go their separate ways, although there was nothing last night that would suggest such a thing. Triple H and Seth Rollins could be a match down the road at WrestleMania possibly. I’m not sure that Triple H will be a regular on-screen figure on RAW, as that would lead to three authority figures on RAW. Unless Foley is fired and Triple H replaces him as general manager or something, I’m not particularly sure how this will work.

I will mention one more concern I have for Kevin Owens. I couldn’t help but make this comparison but this title win reminded me of Sheamus’ title win last year. Owens just came off as the right guy, in the right place and at the right time, as opposed to a legitimate champion. Not to mention that Triple H was the one that essentially gave Kevin Owens the championship, according to the storyline. HHH pedigreed Roman and Seth, so it was HHH’s move that beat the two men and not Kevin. Kevin’s only claim to fame was that he pinned Big Cass clean. That doesn’t bode well for his future, I think. At least if he’d hit the pop-up powerbomb, you’d be putting over Kevin’s finisher.

The impression I got from this was that Triple H was viewed as SO superior to everyone in this match, as it was his move that beat the two favourites going in. It’s not necessarily the end of the world for Kevin, but I feel that big wins on RAW and in pay-per-views are needed for Owens to legitimatise himself.

kevin_owens_bio

I’m not sure what the plan is for RAW at the moment, although there’s rumours going around that Lesnar will be challenging for the Universal title at the Royal Rumble. Whether Owens makes it that long as champion remains to be seen but if there’s a chance he’s going up against Lesnar at the Rumble, he needs to get some serious victories under his belt.

Overall, I think this was a shocking start to a brand new storyline for the RAW main-event scene. I’m very thankfully that there’s some new blood in the title picture now, as we’ve really seen enough of Roman vs Seth for the time being. Maybe Roman can challenge Owens down the line but it looks like they’ve got some kind of plan for Owens, Rollins and HHH. I know Balor did get injured but in the week since last week’s RAW, surely they’ve got something in the works.

082916-vaughn00_01_40_22s

Let me know by tweeting me @TomRobinson5199, @ArmbarExpress or by leaving a comment of what you think about the new Universal Champion. Is it the right time for Kevin to be champion? Should Seth’s babyface turn have been done sooner? What do you think will happen in the next few months! Let me know and let me just say this… RAW put on quite the show for SmackDown! to compete with this week!

The Shield Face Turn, The Undertaker and Bully Ray vs Bobby Roode

3d7a213ccc56ce5185ec36d86925356c_crop_north

Thomas Robinson, at your service. The Robinson Rumble column is back in full swing and in an very important time for wrestling. Wrestlemania XXX is fast approaching and the future of TNA has taken a completely different turn with a new authority figure taking the reins. With many things changing in such a short amount of time, this is as interesting time as ever in professional wrestling. In the Robinson Rumble NoDQ.com column I discuss the apparent face turn of the Shield, the return of The Underaker and the feud between Bobby Roode and Bully Ray. The link to the column is at the bottom of the blog and I’d really appreciate it if you guys could check it out!

Here’s a bit of a preview of my column about The Shield!

“The WWE are owed a very well deserved applause. We all sensed that some juicy drama was in place in regards to the Shield’s status in WWE. Having been beaten not once but twice by the Wyatt Family and having be dethroned as the top stable in WWE, we figured that this would lead to a clash between all three members at Wrestlemania XXX as the three would go their separate ways. However, following The Shield summit on SmackDown!, the Shield have a new mission… and a new sense of justice.”

Read on…

 

 

TNA Lockdown 2014 Review – Lockdown Provides A Lethal Dose Of All-Out Carnage!

2014 Lockdown Review. No Time For Intro! Review Now!

TNA_Lockdown_2014_Poster

TNA vs Wrestle-1

So if TNA wanted to provide an advertisement of their new partners Wrestle-1 and to showcase some of the best X-Division stars around… THEY SURE AS HELL DID! A very slick six man tag team between Wrestle-1 and TNA. The six man duo of Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Chris Sabin just ooze chemistry between themselves. The three-man moves that were pulling out in this match were quality to see. The only complaint that I’d have is that it kinda overshadowed the Wrestle-1 guys, who TNA were supposed to showcase in this match! Speaking of Wrestle-1, I loved watching the Wrestle-1 guys. Yasu looked decent in there. Sanada looked amazing in this match. He was able to keep up with the pace of the X-Divsion stars if not surpass it, and he looks to be a great fit for the X-Division. It’s always great to see The Great Muta in action and the fans were so hyped for him. And he’s hardly lost a step. When he entered the fans just ate it up. You’ve got love this appreciation of wrestling legends like the Great Muta. What I loved at the end of the match was Sanada getting the win for hs team rather than Muta. It kinda felt that Muta was kinda putting Sanada over by having him being able to get the pin was a great way to “pass the torch” if you will and introduce Sanada to the TNA scene.

 

Sam Shaw vs Mr Anderson

A nice match to put Sam Shaw over. This guy’s got a real good thing going right now. I was half expecting a heel turn from Christy Hemme mind you to bring some kind of dignity to Christy after all the ridiculous screaming and cheer-leading she was providing. It was a slow-paced match but it was still an entertaining match. Obviously a lot of drama with Earl Hebner being knocked down and Samuel Shaw dragging Christy into the cage. Nevertheless, the right man won and I think Sam will get a lot out of this victory.

 

Bobby Lashley Returns To TNA

Ethan Carter III made his way to the ring to challenge any member of the TNA roster to a match a Lockdown since his scheduled opponent Kurt Angle was obviously out of the picture. And the man who answered the call was a real shocker… BOBBY LASHLEY! Yes, Bobby Lashley returned to TNA and basically kicked Ethan Carter’s ass. The man never took place, but it was an impressive beatdown regardless. I don’t know what TNA’s plans are with Bobby considering his MMA career, but it might be real nice to see Lashley in mainstream wrestling again. I doubt he’ll be going after the title due to his other commitments but he can provide a lot of star power for TNA that can still go in the ring – at least that’s what I’d like to believe is the case.

 

Tigre Uno vs Manik

Damn, these two put on a show. The star attraction of this match was obviously the debuting Tigre Uno, but Manik looked impressive as ever and the two were able to match each other very well with pace. Especially with the fast paced chain wrestling at the start of the match. Really well coordinated. A lot of cool moments from both athletes. Tigre Uno looked really good in this match and I just love his finisher the Sabretooth which got the win on Manik. I really hope that Tigre Uno does well in TNA because he honestly has the skills to have a fantastic career in the impact zone!

 

Gunner vs James Storm in a Steel Cage Last Man Standing Match!

I love a good old fight with a lot of intensity involved and this certainly provided that intensity. Hell it started outside the cage when Storm and Gunner came to blows during Gunner’s entrance. They did a bit of damage outside the cage including a suplex to the floor by Gunner. With a low blow and a steel cage door slam to the head, Storm takes advantage and the match begins. A lot of hard-hitting shots involved…. instead of that one bit where I think Gunner hit Storm with the side part of the steel steps and Storm sold it as if he got hit by bulldozer. I think Gunner actually did a F5 during this match. A sloppy one mind you, but I appreciate the effort. It had a bit of a lame ending with the superplex to the chairs which didn’t look that effective of a finish to me. It was Gunner that hit it and was able to beat the 10 count while Storm was down for the count… literally.

 

Madison Rayne (c) vs Gail Kim for the Knockouts Championship

Better than average women’s match is all I can about this match. It was much better than anything that WWE could deliver even on their best day these days. But of all the gimmick women’s matches TNA has done over the years, this doesn’t stack high in them matches. Other than the neckbreaker off the ropes, I don’t remember much special moments from the match. Kinda disappointed Gail didn’t pick up a win but Madison rolls on.

 

Magnus (c) vs Samoa Joe for the TNA World Championship

I’m sorry but when I was watching this match back, I had so many difficulties watching it. I could barely watch it in sync that much and it was proper annoying sitting through it. Regardless, it was an OK match which the fans ate up. A lot of brutality from both men but a lame ass ending with Abyss getting involved and helping Magnus. I would have liked it if Magnus got a clean victory once in a while. I mean for Abyss to come and bail Magnus out was so annoying to me because it happens over and over again. Abyss being the corporate tool – like I haven’t seen that a dozen times already in TNA.

 

Lethal Lockdown: Team MVP vs Team Dixie for Control of TNA Operations

I’m not going to lie… does NOT stack up to previous Lethal Lockdowns at all. I mean the Wolves, Aries and MVP did their best but there wasn’t much exciting points to the match. And the Bully Ray twist as the special referee and the double cross was not exactly surprising once we saw him come out. I prefer Bully Ray as a heel to be honest. It’ll be interesting to see Bully go up against Dixie, but after that I don’t know how affective he’ll be as a face.

 

Not a lot of words from me, but it was a decent Lockdown event. Definitely a watch. I’m sorry I didn’t go into much depth with this. As of publishing date, I’ve haven’t had any sleep at all (And trust me. That’s NOT an exaggeration)! Also Uni work has proper limited my work rate for wrestling stuff. I haven’t been able to do columns for NoDQ.com as frequently as I hoped and I do apologize to any readers of the Robinson Rumble. I don’t think I’ll be able to do much more any time soon. Fortunately I’m off in April, so expect a lot of content during that month. 🙂

WWE SPOILER – Big E Langston Turns Face At SmackDown! Taping?

‘Sup guys. TOM ROBINSON AS ALWAYS!

I do promise to upload my thoughts of RAW this week sometime. I haven’t done it yet, because I haven’t watched it yet! Honest to god, was way too busy for my own well-being yesterday! 😄

Anyway, we’re not talking about RAW. We’re talking about SMACKDOWN! Now if I did spoil anything for you guys with this post,  I do apologize. But according to some reports, there was a BIG face turn at yesterday’s SmackDown! tapings. Let me refer to a quote from an article by NoDQ.com about the SmackDown! tapings.

Initially, the original NoDQ SmackDown! Taping results were uploaded. However, some “minor” details were missed out in the original post. A match that was aired on SmackDown! was a match between CM Punk and Big E Langston. Now, the report says:

“Apparently after the match was over, Paul Heyman, Curtis Axel and Ryback confronted Punk. After Heyman and Punk had some words, The Heyman Guys then attacked Punk. Langston then turned babyface and saved Punk. Langston also then took out Axel, which may be a setup to a possible match between the two at Hell in a Cell.”

Big_E_Langston_Raw

Big E Langston turning face? It’s been rumoured for months that this was going to go down but honestly, I wouldn’t believe it’d happening. Big E was rolling along just fine as a heel, and there was real no need to do the turn. And this turn seems so abrupt in my opinion. I mean Big E seemed to break off from AJ, spend about a couple of months doing nothing and then all of sudden he turns face against the Paul Heyman guys? The turn had no context to it at all. If Big E had turned face on AJ before they split up, that would have made sense. But again, WWE hit the TURN button and turned another mid-card superstar after only a short period… AGAIN.

Why? Why do WWE feel the need to turn wrestlers face or heel so early? I mean it’s not healthy for the superstars’ character when they just get their allegiances changed wily-nilly. I mean so many turns have taken place in 2013. You don’t believe me? Ahem…..

Ryback: Heel Turn – Night After Wrestlemania 29

Dolph Ziggler: Face Turn – Payback

Alberto Del Rio: Heel Turn – Payback

CM Punk: Face Turn – Payback

Cody Rhodes: Face Turn – Money In The Bank

Mark Henry: Face Turn -Just after Money In The Bank

Layla: Face Turn – Just after Money In The Bank

Big Show: Face Turn – Just before Summerslam

Triple H: Heel Turn – Summerslam

Randy Orton: Heel Turn – Summerslam

Prime Time Players: Face Turn – Just After Summerslam I think

The Bella Twins: Face Turn – After Night Of Champions

I’m sure they’re many more turns that have happened in WWE, but we’re here to talk about Big E Langston. More importantly, we’re going to talk about why Big E Langston turning face will NOT work.

I mean Big E Langston is similar to Ezekiel Jackson and look how his face turn in 2011 turned out. He went… absolutely nowhere. Sure Big E could beat Curtis Axel and become Intercontinental Champion judging by how the report reads, but how’s that going to make a difference. Ezekiel won the IC title right after he turned face and he was like the worst IC Champion in the last 5 years. I think with how Big E’s momentum has dropped in the last couple of months, a championship victory over someone that’s been massively downgraded in the last couple of months like Curtis Axel won’t do the title the justice it deserves.

BUT….

Big E Langston was a face NXT Champion and he showed at NXT that he was a very entertaining talker and champion. I mean the fans were behind him in NXT and his “five” gimmick got him over fast. I know he’s not a natural born promo-cutter, but let’s be honest – when he talks, you laugh! 😄

I mean he’s entertaining as fuck! Big E is someone I can get behind as a face and he could be a legitimate money-maker if WWE push him right.

So in my opinion, this face turn has all the capabilities to go both good and bad. The timing is a little off-putting but he’s proven in NXT that he can get over as a face. I think this could be good for him in the short-term, but the long term… I don’t seem him going far as a face. But I dare WWE and Big E to prove me wrong. I WANT WWE and Big E to prove me wrong because we have the next Scott Steiner right here! Not exactly the guy with the golden tongue who can put 10 minute epic promos, but one HELL of a talker nevertheless! I just want to see Big E get mic time a lot more often! FIVE!

Lastly, I just want to do some plugging to a couple of things I got going:

 

1) First of all, please get sharing this article I published on WhatCulture! I want to bump up the views and the social media presence of this article and I need your help to do it so click on the link below and tweet it, share it! Get it out there for the world to see! 🙂

Why Hasn’t Wade Barrett Been WWE Champion Yet?

2) This is to those mostly from my area of Middlesbrough and the North-East but you guys can help as well. It’s a NEW blog I’ve set up which is going to showcase sports that don’t get a lot of attention in the UK and Middlesbrough and give them the spotlight they deserve. So I’m going to be writing about Teesside Sports Team on a blog called Courtside Teesside! It’s still early in development but I’ve got A LOT planned. The link is down here below. Spread the word:

Courtside Teesside

3) You can follow me on Twitter using @TomRobinson5199, but I do most of my wrestling talk on the Armbar Express twitter account @ArmbarExpress. Follow that to keep up to date with blog posts, my stuff for WhatCulture and other projects. Also, the Courtside Teesside blog has a twitter too. @CourtsideTees. Follow it! Build up the followers. And I promise, I will deliever!

 

Thanks for reading!

WWE Money In The Bank 2013 Review – The Viper Slithers His Way To The Money In The Bank Briefcase

WARNING: This was written without taking the latest RAW or SmackDown! in account. I started writing it on Monday before RAW.

Hey wrestling fans, I’m The “Intellectual Saviour Of The Masses” Tom Robinson here with the Money In The Bank PPV REVIEW!

Amazing fans at Money In The Bank in Philadelphia but did the action in the ring justify the epic audience?

 

Usos and The Shield Steal The Errrr…. Pre-Show

SETH ROLLINS AND AN USO: I really wish this match showed up on the main show.

SETH ROLLINS AND AN USO: I really wish this match showed up on the main show.

Amazing tag team match between The Usos and Shield members Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. It was a shame this match didn’t make the PPV because these 4 put on a great show. It’s a good way to showcase the talent of the Usos and despite not winning they looked really strong against The Shield. The Usos will eventually get them belts, but in order for that to happen they need to fight high-profile teams and keep up their momentum so when they fight The Shield again they are a more legitimate threat. But superb start to those that watched it, and matches this good on the pre-show will encourage more to watch pre-shows and in a way – that’s good for business.

 

 

Damien Sandow steals Money In The Bank from Cody Rhodes

CODY RHODES: Cody owned this ladder match and everyone else in it.

CODY RHODES: Cody owned this ladder match and everyone else in it.

Short but sweet Money In The Bank between these 7 heels. It was amazing when The Shield and The Usos got involved near the end. Things got so chaotic and it was cool to see Dean Ambrose “skin the cat” on the ladder if you will, pulling himself up on the ladder tying to retrieve the briefcase. But the star of the show was Cody Rhodes. WWE booked him so well in this match. He was a dominant force. He laid out everyone with Cross Rhodes’ and took out about 8 people by pushing Ambrose off the ladder onto the “sea of humanity”. But just as he was about to win, his “best friend” Damien Sandow shoved him off the ladder and stole the briefcase right from underneath Cody’s nose. Not sure whether Damien Sandow should have won it over guys like Wade Barrett or Cody Rhodes but I’m not bothered about him winning it. I’ll accept it and his potential feud with Cody could be a good one. You know what else? Fandango DIDN’T win it. Yes. I was ecstatic about him NOT winning. Oh and by the way. Someone posted on Twitter that Fandango doing a flip powerbomb off the ladder proved he can wrestler… did it fuck. It just proves he’s flexible. It doesn’t mean jack. Big deal. He did a powerbomb off the ladder. Like that isn’t the most overdone spot in ladder match history. Sorry Fandango. You’re not winning me over that easily. Also I approve of the sign that said “If Fandango wins, we riot!” Great threat. 🙂

 

 

Philadelphia’s admiration and respect of Paul Heyman steals the attention from Curtis Axel vs The Miz

THE MIZ AND CURTIS AXEL: Figure-Four-Leg-Lock slapped onto the Intercontinental Champion

THE MIZ AND CURTIS AXEL: Figure-Four-Leg-Lock slapped onto the Intercontinental Champion

An OK match between Curtis Axel and The Miz for the Intercontinental title but the main story was the amped up Philly crowd’s love for Paul Heyman due to his connection with ECW (who’s headquarters was at Philadelphia). And the fans were PISSED when Heyman got ejected from the match. But the match would end up seeing Axel pick up the win over The Miz. I’m seriously hoping that Axel gets better competition for his title now. Maybe CM Punk after he’s done with Brock Lesnar. That’d give the belt some serious prestige that it ultimately needs after Miz fighting for the title about 50 times in the last 4 months.

 

AJ Lee steals Kaitlyn’s pride winning their rematch from Payback

KAITLYN AND AJ LEE: Dropkick, bitch!

KAITLYN AND AJ LEE: Dropkick, bitch!

AJ Lee and Kaitlyn fought once more for the Divas Title. Their match at Payback was great but their rematch here at Money In The Bank was a bit of a let down. I thought it was better than the average women’s match don’t get me wrong, but this had nothing on their Payback match. This match wasn’t much special to be frank and had a rather bland ending. You’d figure Layla would have at least turned heel or something since she was out there managing Kaitlyn (because apparently she hasn’t got anything better to do). AJ made Kaitlyn tap to the Black Widow and this seemed a really dry way to end the match if you know what I mean. This ending didn’t create branches for other feuds or anything and that is what a good feud should do. It’s not great for the Divas title. There is currently no feud lined up for AJ other than with Dolph Ziggler (we’ll get to that) and it’s not good for the divas division if champion AJ is not feuding with other divas. Way to make your other divas seem insignificant.

 

Ryback steals the win from Chris Jericho with a roll up… REALLY?

RYBACK AND CHRIS JERICHO: Ryback into total control of Chris Jericho as he yells at him.

RYBACK AND CHRIS JERICHO: Ryback into total control of Chris Jericho as he yells at him.

First of all, I want to say this was one of Ryback’s best matches since he re-debuted in April 2012. Chris Jericho can have a good match with pretty much anyone and this match with Ryback proved it. I loved the bit where Jericho countered the Shell-Shocked into a DDT. That looked pretty good considering the size of his opponent. Ryback actually delivered a good showing and he finally got a pay-per-view win for the first time in actually a YEAR. Good. He’s back on the rebound after months of losing big time matches with the likes of CM Punk, John Cena, Mark Henry and The Shield. But I didn’t like the way it ended… a roll up. OK… really? Surely a Shell-Shocked should have ended it or something a little more effective. This just makes Ryback look weak in a way. Sure he put on a good match, but he got a typical heel victory. WWE have to make Ryback more than just a typical heel. They’ve got to make him look like a SERIOUS monster. I’m guessing that they’ll have Ryback finish off Jericho in some form on RAW or SmackDown! (written before watching either RAW or SmackDown!) because the feud can’t end like this.

 

AJ Lee inadvertently steals the World Title from Dolph Ziggler, as Del Rio retains at Money In The Bank

ALBERTO DEL RIO AND DOLPH ZIGGLER: Damn, what a German suplex.

ALBERTO DEL RIO AND DOLPH ZIGGLER: Damn, what a German suplex.

Really want to continue the theme of “stealing” with the sub-headings for some reason. Anyway, a quality match between Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio for the World Title. It was a great match with quality counter after the counter. I loved the bit where Del Rio countered the Fame-Asser into a German suplex that looked really well done. These two have some great chemistry in the ring for some reason. You couldn’t really see this in their Payback match because of Ziggler’s concussion storyline. These two had a great showing. Also I loved the elevation of Ziggler’s dropkick when he did a mid-air dropkick on Del Rio after Del Rio came off the rope. It looked amazing. But of course, Ziggler would not walk away champion as AJ Lee mistakenly hit Del Rio with her divas title causing a DQ loss for Ziggler. Now as much as everyone will talk ill about the ending considering how great a match this was being, I didn’t mind. I think the AJ and Ziggler break up was inevitable and it will lead to a feud at Summerslam I’m guessing. And I do think WWE will have Del Rio and Ziggler finally have a proper match with no interfering on PPV soon. These two will fight again and it will be a classic if WWE book it right and if WWE give them like 20+ minutes. I’d love it to happen, and I really we see a match with a legit ending sometime down the road.

 

The Turnbuckle steals Mark Henry’s chance of being WWE Champion for the first time

JOHN CENA AND MARK HENRY: Once again, Superman saves the day. -.-

JOHN CENA AND MARK HENRY: Once again, Superman saves the day. -.-

John Cena defeats another monster heel for the WWE Championship. Yawn. Surely WWE must know their limits on this crap. It’s just getting way too old now. This match absolutely blew and it was down-right degrading to Mark Henry to have his legacy built up by WWE for them to just have them get effectively buried by John Cena. I mean Henry ran into the exposed turnbuckle and tapped out to Cena off the STF. Come on. I wasn’t expecting Henry to win, but at least they could have done in a manner that doesn’t make Henry look weak and also doesn’t make John Cena look like a superhero. I hope they’ve got something good for Henry to build him up again.

 

Randy Orton steals Rob Van Dam’s thunder to become Mr Money In The Bank.

ROB VAN DAM AND DANIEL BRYAN: How's that kick to the face Bryan?

ROB VAN DAM AND DANIEL BRYAN: How’s that kick to the face Bryan?

Probably one of the greatest Money In The Bank ladder matches I’ve ever seen. CM Punk, the returning Rob Van Dam, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton and Christian put on an incredible display with some cool-looking spots and some hard-hitting action. And that’s not over-stating it, the wrestlers actually got seriously banged up after that match. RVD and Punk both needed stitches and  Sheamus hurt his leg after falling through a ladder. We also saw Rob Van Dam performed a Five-Star-Frog-Splash off the ladder which looked awesome. Randy Orton’s T-Bone Suplex to Punk on the ladder looked sick. CM Punk took some serious shots in and Punk was a crimson mask at the end. And it was all down to his “friend” Paul Heyman, who turned on Punk by hitting him multiple times with a ladder. Punk bled heavily afterwards and finally split of from Heyman for good. This also cements his heel turn and a match with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. That’ll be one great storyline to check out now Punk and Heyman are enemies. And the match finally met his end. Was it in fact the extremely-over Daniel Bryan who got the briefcase and basically guaranteed himself a WWE Title match? No. Instead it was Randy Orton who got the briefcase, and I don’t mind Orton winning the briefcase as this means he will no doubt turn heel. However, Daniel Bryan misses out and I hope they give him a WWE Title match with Cena at Summerslam anyway because I’d love to see him win the belt. As for Rob Van Dam… welcome back.

Sorry it came so late. But the review is done. I’m Tom Robinson. This is the Armbar Express. And I leave with the Random YouTube Video of the post. It’s Jason Sensation… amazing with WWE impressions. Watch this guy’s Ric Flair impression. It will have you in bits. Later Guys. Don’t forget to follow the @ArmbarExpress at Twitter and like the Facebook page here.

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!

Money_in_the_Bank_Briefcase_3

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!