Everything That’s Wrong With The Dolph Ziggler/Lana/Rusev Storyline

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There have been many bad love triangle storylines in WWE over the years. There are many reasons why storylines like this hardly ever work. You do get the odd little gem from time to time, like Stephanie McMahon, Kurt Angle and Triple H from 2000. However, most of the the time, they are incredibly hard to get into. It’s not necessarily down to the people involved but it’s for one simple reason. Bryan Alvarez said it best. If the casual fan base wants to watch actual soap opera storylines and scripted television, they are not going to watch RAW. They’ll watch the likes of Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones. If you want to watch soap operas in England, you’d watch Coronation Street or Eastenders. These fans would not watch wrestling for a cheap imitation of a soap opera. That’s usually the jists of why these storylines usually fail. Guess what… that’s exactly the issue with this current storyline between Lana, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev and Summer Rae.

Let me just say that I feel bad for everyone involved in this storyline. I especially feel sorry for them after watching this week’s RAW. This storyline is one of the worst aspects of WWE television nowadays… and it was more prominently featured than anything else on the show. The other thing is the timing of every angle from this storyline on Monday seemed all messed up. Firstly, they had the match between Dolph Ziggler and Rusev FIRST. This was a rematch from Summerslam that was announced two days before RAW. Fans would normally be getting excited about the prospect of seeing a clear winner after their Summerslam match solved nothing. However, they just shot this match on first like it meant nothing. It was basically there to act as a prelude for the rest of the night with regards to this storyline. The only PROBLEM with that is, the ending of the match didn’t do anything that would lead into the storyline later on in the show. It was essentially the same finish from Summerslam! That’s why this infuriates me. With everything that happened later on, surely those would be the sort of things that would hype up a match for later on?

Why not have Lana and Dolph Ziggler cut the promo about the match at the start of the show? They can talk about their relationship and making out in Disneyland, etc. Whatever. Then, Summer Rae goes into Dolph Ziggler’s locker room. After that, Summer comes out and Ziggler is seen with his towel on in his locker room. We then hear from Summer Rae as she does her interview about the incident with Ziggler. To be fair, Summer’s actually playing her role really well and she’s actually a pretty good talker on the mic. I’ll give her credit for that. Lana is asked about this interview by Renee Young but she walks off. Ziggler then tries to explain what happened to Lana but she leaves the building sad and upset. This would leave Ziggler all alone to go up against Rusev. Rusev would be pissed because Ziggler was apparently “fooling around” with Summer Rae while Ziggler would be mad at Summer and would take his frustrations out on Rusev in the match. Without Lana at ringside, Rusev beats him in the middle. Or if you still want the DQ finish, Summer attacks Ziggler to cause a DQ. That’s it. It’s simple booking that would lead to people POTENTIALLY getting more anticipated for the match between Rusev and Dolph Ziggler later on in the show!

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I’m not going to lie. Even IF they tweaked the timing of the angles, I still probably would have hated it! However, I am not a casual wrestling fan. If you want to get a soap opera storyline over with the casual fan base, you have to at least have it make SENSE. When you’re watching something like Game of Thrones or the Walking Dead, they usually don’t have a big fight scene or the most important part of the storyline be shown at the start of an episode. The writers build up to that point. These writers in WWE didn’t build up to the big advertised match of Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev. Why would anyone care if you’re just going to shot the match on first with the same finish that you delivered on pay-per-view?

Then there’s the character’s involved in the storyline. Unless you are legitimate actors, it is very hard to convince someone that you’re in a relationship with somebody when you’re not ACTUALLY with them. Dolph Ziggler and Lana have the hardest jobs in the world to try and convince everyone that they ARE in fact in a relationship. How do you convince the WWE Universe that you are in love with this girl when her kayfabe ex-boyfriend Rusev IS her real life boyfriend? I give Lana and Dolph Ziggler all the credit in the world. They’re trying so hard for this stupid storyline to work. WWE have to constantly try to force this relationship upon you in the most cheesiest of ways. The Instagram photos of Ziggler and Lana kissing in Disneyland was mentioned so much during this show! However, you’re putting two characters that are polar opposites together. It’s like when you start off in school or college. It’s the typical relationship that all your friends are trying to put together, but since you’re not that invested, it falls apart. If Ziggler and Lana don’t seem romantically involved then how is this POSSIBLY going to work?

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However, I feel that the person that gets the most sympathy from me… is Rusev. This lad was a cold-hearted destructive Russian power house. He went ONE YEAR undefeated and beat the likes of Sheamus, Mark Henry, Big Show and even JOHN CENA on television and PPV. That’s one hell of a bragging right. However, what this storyline has reduced Rusev to is a heart-broken, sensitive ex-boyfriend. If you’re seeing your ex with somebody else for the first time, of course you’re going to feel emotionally wound up. It’s an extreme reaction which has lead to Rusev doing crazy things like dressing Summer Rae as Lana. He’s the VICTIM of this entire storyline! How do you not feel sympathetic for him in this situation?

Rusev did break up with Lana and was apparently “cruel” to Lana during their relationship. However, Lana was over his relationship with Rusev… in an hour. An hour after Rusev broke up with her, she kissed Dolph Ziggler! Furthermore, with Rusev’s leg injury, he was reduced to crutches having to watch Lana and Ziggler make out every week in the first few months of this storyline! How does Rusev get credibility back as this dominating monster? Considering that WWE has now exposed Rusev as a man with exploitable weaknesses and emotional feelings, it has taken away the fear of the mighty Rusev that made him such a force to be reckoned with in 2015!

This is why I hate how monsters are used in WWE. As soon as you reveal an emotional aspect of these big, bad monsters, it complete ruins the fear factor that they hold. How do you expect Rusev to be taken seriously when he’s going into fits over his ex and having comedy angles involving fish and puppies? This storyline… sucks.

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I really wished this wrapped up at Summerslam. I really did. All they did on Summerslam itself was just waste everybody’s time. In their match on RAW, they wasted everybody’s time. In the segments following that match, they made things even worse. I’m still amazed that Ziggler and Lana are still getting massive reactions after being put through all this. All I’m hoping for at this moment is that they pull the plug on this storyline. Rusev doesn’t deserve this. Dolph Ziggler doesn’t deserve this. Who benefits from seeing this storyline? Why do we need to see this storyline? How badly do you need to cripple the careers of these two great workers until we see this tedious storyline meet its end?

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Wrestling Flashback – Heidenreich’s Hershey Bar

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This would totally be my entrance if I ever became a WWE wrestler!

2013 NoDQ.com Awards – My Vote For… 2013 Babyface/Heel of the Year

Two birds, one stone. Wrestling fans, I’m Tom Robinson. In one post we will be examining the NoDQ.com awards for the Babyface of the year and the heel of the year.

To check out my other NoDQ.com award posts, click here… https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/category/nodq-com/

Let’s kick things off with the Babyface of the year…

Babyface Of The Year nominees are….

  • Daniel Bryan
  • John Cena
  • CM Punk
  • Chris Jericho
  • AJ Styles
  • Rob Van Dam

Now in order for me to decide which one of these was the babyface of the year, I have to decide which of these connected with the fans better, which of these got the better reactions and which of these did the best job at evoking the preferred reaction. Same rules apply to the heel of the year as well. And in my opinion, no-one has been more over with the fans than Daniel Bryan and Daniel knew all he had to do to get a reaction was shout “YES!”. As far as I’m concerned, Daniel Bryan wins this by a huge mile.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

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Heel Of The Year nominees are….

  • Bully Ray
  • Triple H
  • Dixie Carter
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Paul Heyman
  • Stephanie McMahon

Same rules apply here. Which of these guys did the best job at trying to evoke the reaction they desired and who actually got the best heat out of the six? There are a bunch of great contenders here. Triple H can be a REALLY good heel on his best day, but having just turned heel once more in the summer he still needs to let loose. It feels like he’s holding back by trying to play his corporate role too much. Someone like Paul Heyman knows how to evoke fan reactions. I mean he helped CM Punk A LOT with the means of getting heat. I mean, for someone as popular as CM Punk face or heel, for Heyman to get Punk as much heat as he did was simply incredible. Paul was as incredible a heel this year as he is every other year. For me, Paul Heyman wins.

Winner: Paul Heyman

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WWE Payback 2013 Review – CM Punk vs Chris Jericho III, Shocking Title Changes And Double Turns In Chicago

Morning wrestling fans, I’m “The Ultimate Warrior” Tom Robinson here with a review of WWE Payback. Yes, I watched it live last night! 1am to 4am. Shattered at the end of it, but it was certainty worth it. WWE put on a great show here. I think it was just better than Extreme Rules, and that’s saying a lot considering how good Extreme Rules was. Anyway, let’s get down to the REVIEW!

Curtis Axel Gives His Father The Perfect Father’s Day Present With The Intercontinental Title

CURTIS AXEL AND PAUL HEYMAN: A "perfect" end for Curtis Axel

CURTIS AXEL AND PAUL HEYMAN: A “perfect” end for Curtis Axel

We kicked off the show with a decent triple threat Intercontinental Championship match. Chicago booed The Miz, sort of on the fence with Wade Barrett… but cheered the hell out of the son of the late “Mr Perfect” Curt Henning, Curtis Axel. It was a slick match with a really cool ending. And Chicago went wild when the inevitable happened – Axel became the new champion following his father’s footsteps. As Miz had Barrett in the figure four (still being booed), Axel covered Barrett for the pinfall while he was locked in the submission. A clever way to end the match. As much as I don’t like Wade Barrett losing the title, this was a great moment mostly due to the Chicago crowd going nuts, especially when Axel hit his father’s Perfect-Plex. Good opening to Payback

AJ Lee FINALLY wins the Divas Championship In The Best WWE Women’s match In Years

AJ LEE: Totally marked out when this happened. :)

AJ LEE: Totally marked out when this happened. 🙂

AJ and Kaitlyn really did have something to prove. TNA unleashed the epic Last Knockout Standing match between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell at Slammiversary a couple of weeks back, and WWE had to top that if WWE at all cared about their divas division. And I for one was really impressed with what AJ and Kaitlyn were able to pull off last night. For one it lasted a hell of a lot longer than most divas matches in WWE. Second, the match had great story-telling behind it. Remember, these two started in WWE together in 2010, been a tag team, slapped each other in the place a lot, break each other’s heart and finally have the one on one encounter. These two actually put on a decent show in Chicago. Was it on the par with Gail vs Taryn? No. But I wouldn’t be surprised if more matches will result in better quality in the ring. AJ is already a great women’s wrestler. Kaitlyn is improving and we could see that here. AJ winning is definetly something that should have happened ages ago. But, at least it’s finally happened and I actually marked out when it did.

I hope this feud continues on. I want to see what these two can REALLY do together. If WWE play it right, they can use these two to rebuild the women’s division into something worthwhile. I think this feud will continue because Kaitlyn’s starting to become the emotional wreck AJ was last year, when she cried after losing the title. To be honest, I thought the crying was a little over the top. In fact my exact thoughts at that time was….

US Champion Dean Ambrose Retains After Count Out Win Against Kane

DEAN AMBROSE: BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD!

DEAN AMBROSE: BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD!

A little bit disappointing match with a disappointing an end. I’m not a big fan of matches ending in a count out, especially PPV matches. PPV Title matches should always have a legit winner by pinfall or submission. This match seemed pretty much like the match they had on RAW except the ending was different. I think if they’d given Ambrose and Kane a no dq match, things would have actually been a little bit better. I think they will do that eventually because of the DQ and Count Out endings in their last to matches.

The Whole F’Ing Show Comes Back At Money In The Bank!

This promo video is purely orgasmic. RVD back in the WWE. Back where he belongs is awesome. As much as I like TNA, Rob Van Dam wasn’t really a fit there. Him back in WWE was epic and the fans just chanted “RVD” the rest of the night in Chicago. Even if this is a short-term contract for Van Dam, the time he is back will be the time I will be most appreciative of. There are so many matches I want him to have while he’s here. Matches with CM Punk. Matches with Daniel Bryan. Matches with a lot of superstars. RVD is here and I am loving this. He has been one of my favourites since I started watching wrestling and it’s great to see him back.

Double Turn Shocker Sees A New World Champion!

ALBERTO DEL RIO: Another Del Rio title reign... can he really cut it as a World Champion?

ALBERTO DEL RIO: Another Del Rio title reign… can he really cut it as a World Champion?

And his name is….

Yeah, total shocker here. An incredibly one-sided match which Alberto Del Rio targetted Dolph Ziggler’s head saw Del Rio regain the World Title in a very hell way. Because of Ziggler’s recent concussion Del Rio delivered brutal kicks and brutal attacks to Ziggler and a superkick to the face was enough to pick up the win for Del Rio. Not exactly a fan of Ziggler’s title reign being cut short, but I’ll give WWE credit for the Double Turn. The crowd was rightly outraged and Del Rio gained a LOT of heat. Del Rio was gaining heat anyway against this pro-Ziggler crowd, but after the manner of his victory and the promo cut afterwards Del Rio was booed by all. Ziggler refusing to stop the match also gives him a lot of credibility as a face. But now we have a new champion in Del Rio and we had a double turn, with Dolph Ziggler turning face and Del Rio turning heel. It was kinda cool to see because double-turns are really rare nowadays. I’m not exactly sure I’m looking forward to Del Rio as champion again, but Ziggler as a face will be amazing to watch. I hope he gets the title back PRONTO.

CM Punk vs Chris Jericho III – The Return Of Punk

CHRIS JERICHO AND CM PUNK: Locking up in Chicago

CHRIS JERICHO AND CM PUNK: Locking up in Chicago

For the third time in Pay-Per-View Chris Jericho and the returning CM Punk clashed and for the third time in pay-per-view they blew the roof off the place. Such true technical wrestling ability combined with the quickness and pure talent both Punk and Jericho provided. This match was easily the best in their trilogy with near-fall after near-fall and epic moment after epic moment. This will go down as one of the best matches of the year and these two were a delight in Chicago and Chicago loved every second of it. After an epic encounter, it was CM Punk who reigned supreme… again. I would’ve like for Jericho to get a victory over Punk for once but I’m sure Jericho’s going to get the win… eventually. But this was Punk’s night. I wonder what the future has in store for the Best In The World.

AGAIN! Randy Orton doesn’t turn heel! -.-

DANIEL BRYAN: Nice suplex off the top of the turn-buckle. He'll be champion again. You wait and see!

DANIEL BRYAN: Nice suplex off the top of the turn-buckle. He’ll be champion again. You wait and see!

Please turn him! That’s all I ask of you WWE. He should have done it at Mania but he didn’t. He should have done it here but he didn’t. His tag match with Daniel Bryan against Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins wasn’t much special, but at least Randy Orton could have RKO’d Daniel again or something. Really disappointed. Speaking of disappointment…

Ryback vs John Cena – 3 STAGES OF HELL

JOHN CENA: Standing tall at the end of Payback

JOHN CENA: Standing tall at the end of Payback

Yawn. Can’t believe I stayed up to watch this. Boring as hell. You know after their quality Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules, I was expecting a good match here. Instead we got a short and unproductive Lumberjack match. We got boring as tables match. And we had an ambulance match that made you want to kill yourself. -.- John Cena walked out the champion and that was an awful way for the feud to end. It ends just like every other one of Cena’s feuds with big guys end. Batista, The Great Khali, Kane and now Ryback all end in the same god damn way. Go watch the endings to them feuds. It’s the exact same thing over again. -.- At least John Cena vs Daniel Bryan is lined up for Money In The Bank. CANNOT wait for that. We might actually see one of the matches of the year in MITB.

Anyway, that was the Payback review. I’m Tom Robinson. And I’m going to leave you with this great song declaring my love for the great place known… as Chicago.