Jack Swagger’s Win/Loss Record Against Rusev

jack-swagger-we-the-people

There have been many one-sided rivalries in WWE history. I’ve seen a number of fans complain about certain wrestlers being completed dominated in feuds. 50% of John Cena’s feuds have been met with criticism about how one-sided the booking of those feuds was. However, I feel that there may not be a feud as one-sided as the feud between Jack Swagger and Rusev.

In case you missed it, WWE have decided to put Jack Swagger into the United States title picture along with Rusev and Titus O’Neil. To put this into perspective, somebody has repeatedly complained to me in the last few weeks about the continuation of the Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin feud. That feud has been going for a few months. This program between Rusev and Jack Swagger has been going on… FOR NEARLY TWO YEARS!

Rusev-and-Jack-Swagger

Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter first confronted Rusev and Lana and turned babyface on the June 30th 2014 edition of RAW. I did the research and more than 40 matches (including house shows) have taken place between Rusev and Jack Swagger in the two years since this confrontation.

Not only that but I was driving in my car one day and I was thinking about this Rusev/Jack Swagger feud. Then the question popped into my head… has Jack Swagger ever beaten Rusev?

kalisto-rusev-620x350

It’s usually hyperbole to say that this guy can never beat this guy, but I couldn’t remember a time where Swagger actually got a victory over Rusev. I even thought of DQ finishes and other potential screwjob finishes, but I couldn’t think of one. So I did the research and down below are 42 matches that have seen Rusev going up against Jack Swagger. Included in this list are house show matches, dark matches, TV shows as well as PPVs. With the help of the awesome Internet Wrestling Database, I was able to compile this list. How many times had Jack Swagger defeated Rusev? Well this list, going from earliest match to latest match, will give us the answer…

NOTE: I didn’t include Royal Rumbles and other multi-man matches, as those matches never really saw one of these men stand victorious.

List of Rusev vs. Jack Swagger matches

  1. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 12th 2014 (WWE Summer Heatwave tour)
  2. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 13th 2014 (WWE Live)
  3. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 18th 2014 (WWE Live)
  4. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 19th 2014 (WWE Live)
  5. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via count out on July 20th 2014 (Battleground 2014)
  6. Jack Swagger def. Rusev via DQ on July 22nd 2014 (WWE Main Event)
  7. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 25th 2014 (WWE Live)
  8. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 26th 2014 (WWE Live)
  9. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 27th 2014 (WWE Live)
  10. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on August 2nd 2014 (WWE Live)
  11. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on August 3rd 2014 (WWE Live)
  12. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on August 16th 2014 (WWE Summer Heatwave tour)
  13. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission in a Flag Match  on August 17th 2014 (Summerslam 2014)
  14. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on August 23rd 2014 (WWE Live)
  15. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on August 24th 2014 (WWE Live Bakersfield Show)
  16. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via pinfall on August 25th 2014 (Monday Night RAW)
  17. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission in a Submission match on August 26th 2014 (SmackDown! taping)
  18. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on September 13th 2014 (WWE Live)
  19. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on September 14th 2014 (WWE Live)
  20. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on September 25th 2014 (NXT TV Taping – Dark Match)
  21. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on October 11th 2014 (WWE Live)
  22. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on October 12th 2014 (WWE Live)
  23. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger, Justin Gabriel, Sin Cara, Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, Diego, Fernando, Big Show, Erick Rowan, Adam Rose, The Miz, Damien Mizdow, Goldust, Stardust, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Titus O’Neil, Tyson Kidd, and Cesaro in a battle royal for the United States Championship on November 25th 2014 (SmackDown! taping)
  24. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger via submission to retain the United States Championship on December 6th 2014 (WWE Live)
  25. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger via submission to retain the United States Championship on December 13th 2014 (WWE Live)
  26. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger via submission to retain the United States Championship on December 14th 2014 (TLC 2014)
  27. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger via submission to retain the United States Championship on December 20th 2014 (WWE Live)
  28. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger via submission to retain the United States Championship on January 16th 2015 (WWE Live)
  29. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger via submision to retain the United States Championship on February 14th 2015 (WWE in Abu Dhabi – Day Three)
  30. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission in a non-title match on March 3rd 2015 (SmackDown! taping)
  31. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger and Ryback via submission in a Triple Threat Match to retain the United States Championship on March 14th 2015 (WWE Live – Road To WrestleMania)
  32. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger and Ryback via submission in a Triple Threat Match to retain the United States Championship on March 14th 2015 (WWE Live – Road To WrestleMania)
  33. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission in a non-title match on March 23rd 2015 (Monday Night RAW)
  34. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 25th 2015 (WWE Summer Heatwave tour)
  35. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 26th 2015 (WWE Summer Heatwave tour)
  36. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on July 28th 2015 (SmackDown! taping)
  37. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via submission on September 15th 2015 (WWE Main Event taping)
  38. Jack Swagger def. Rusev via submission on December 8th 2015 (WWE Tribute To The Troops 2015 Taping)
  39. Rusev and Alberto Del Rio def. Jack Swagger and Ryback via pinfall on December 14th 2015 (Monday Night RAW)
  40. Jack Swagger def. Rusev via submission on February 7th 2016 (WWE Live – Road To WrestleMania)
  41. Rusev (c) def. Jack Swagger via disqualification to retain the United States Championship on May 31st 2016 (SmackDown! taping)
  42. Rusev def. Jack Swagger via count out in a non-title match on June 6th 2016 (Monday Night RAW)

THREE VICTORIES IN TWO YEARS!

bat14_photo133-1405959112

Jack Swagger has defeated Rusev THREE TIMES in two years. He defeated him via disqualification in July 2014 and beat him at Tribute To The Troops last year, making those two matches Jack’s only televised victories against Rusev.

In order to push Rusev as the United States Champion right now, WWE’s grand plan is to put Rusev against Titus O’Neil (who has never won a singles title) and a man that is essentially a loser. The numbers down lie and they spell disaster for Jack so WHY is Jack Swagger a contender for the United States Championship?

 

Advertisements

Comparing The Kayfabe Of WWE And Lucha Underground

lucha-underground-600x300

Kayfabe is a very interesting concept, especially in 2016 where the fans are more knowledgeable of the scripted side of professional wrestling. In the age of social media, there’s not going to be a great deal wrestling promotions can do to convince everyone that the things you see on their television shows are 100% legitimate. Therefore, it would surely be OK to suggest that kayfabe is dead in professional wrestling right? Well, not exactly.

Whenever someone asks me why I enjoy wrestling, I usually respond by stating that I enjoy wrestling for the same reason that someone would enjoy Game of Thrones or Walking Dead. For whatever reason, it’s entertaining. Calling out wrestling fans for liking a product that’s “fake” is the equivalent to calling out Game of Thrones for liking a show that’s unrealistic. We are wrestling fans not for the realistic nature of the content but for the story-telling and in-ring action. We don’t care about how ridiculous of a concept the “Canadian Destroyer” move is. Whenever Petey Williams hits it, it will cause a reaction every time.

However, what does interest me was one article I came across which hyped up the second season of Lucha Underground. It came from Cageside Seats and it made this point:

“The WWE doesn’t expect you to buy into the reality any more, but it sort of does. It is clear why they don’t seem to know who is getting cheers or boos or have any way of influencing it. They are strangely aware of their predicament but powerless to stop it.”

b5fssgdiyaatjkv-600x330

This line got me thinking about the kayfabe of both WWE and Lucha Underground. Lucha Underground obviously has a less intense schedule than WWE. They only have to put out one show per week which lasts about an hour. WWE have to put out content for RAW, SmackDown!, NXT, Main Event and even content for the WWE Network. Lucha’s advantage is that, with a much more relaxed schedule, they can better prepare in advance. The fact is WWE has a much harder time with writing its product than Lucha Underground. Let’s just be honest.

So in some ways, you can forgive WWE’s method of booking and writing. The one thing which it needs to be pulled up on is the consistency of their kayfabe. For the reasons stated above, Lucha has been pretty consistent with establishing that their content is scripted with the action in the ring being real. WWE is not as consistent.

It’s a very strange dynamic where, as mentioned earlier on in the Cageside Seats article, WWE goes back and forth on how they treat kayfabe. WWE doesn’t really expect its fans to accept their storylines as but if anyone in the company gets in the way of that, you are the enemy.

Dolph-Ziggler-Lana-Rusev

For example, the WWE insisted on continuing a failed love rectangle angle with Rusev, Lana, Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae. However, TMZ reported that Rusev and Lana had just become engaged. The WWE got so mad at this news coming out that Rusev and Lana were both punished for “breaking kayfabe.”

In a strange way, WWE understand that the fans know better but still insist on maintaining aspects of the storylines which the fans know for a fact is not true. Dolph did try to suggest to fans on Instagram that he was legitimately with Lana but not a lot of fans were buying it. I believe WWE’s issue with Rusev and Lana is that they made WWE look like liars, which the WWE doesn’t want. They understand that the fans can tell fiction from reality but they hate being accused of lying to the general public, despite promoting a product which is based around fiction.

I actually don’t think a lot of people outside of WWE had an issue with the Rusev and Lana engagement, as it actually got the mainstream attention from TMZ. It’s also not like they couldn’t have worked this in the angle as Rusev and Lana were both part of the storyline. If it emerged that Lana was cheating on Rusev with John Cena for example, I would totally understand why that would cause a stir as John Cena is portrayed as a hero. I can also totally understand why WWE were so upset in 2005 at Matt Hardy for revealing Edge and Lita’s affair on the internet. Edge and Lita were the ones that were having the affair in that situation but Matt was the one that got fired because he got in the way of the Kane and Lita angle, which they had been building for around a year. To get mad at Rusev and Lana for something like this just doesn’t seem right.

vince-mcmahon

The difference between WWE and Lucha Underground though is that Lucha doesn’t go out of its way to convince you that their product is real. The product is promoted and presented as fiction. That’s how Lucha Underground establishes itself as a television program rather than just a pure wrestling program. On the other hand, WWE presents itself as a three hour long television program with huge attention paid to being socially relevant. Therefore, WWE cannot properly present itself as fiction. This was made especially clear on Monday Night RAW a few weeks ago when The Rock decided to “go off script.”

It’s a very complex relationship between WWE and kayfabe. To be fair to WWE, there have been more bizarre uses of kayfabe in the world of wrestling! Remember when WCW decided to do a scripted angle on Goldberg refusing to follow the script? We can throw around several definitions of what we think kayfabe is but in the end, I don’t think EVEN Vince McMahon will ever have a definitive definition for kayfabe. The fact is, he probably doesn’t need to come up with one. For WWE, kayfabe is interchangeable. Kayfabe is whatever the company wants it to be, which is not exactly a bad thing. People will argue that inconsistent kayfabe is detrimental but tell that to those in charge of the finances of the company.

TOP FIVE MOMENTS FROM WWE RAW (13/10/15)

monday-night-raw-logo

How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with another top five moments from RAW. God, do I not want to talk about this week’s show. Luckily, I was able to pick out five moments which were at least positives on RAW. However, this show was so bad. Usually, WWE try to go all out for RAWs and PPVs in Chicago. However, it seemed like they didn’t try at all with this one. Usually in the situation where the show is so bad that the fans just take over, Chicago is usually great at doing that. However, they hardly cared for a lot of what went down. They didn’t even care enough to start chanting “CM Punk” until the last hour of the show. There was the chant of “Husky Harris” which got on my nerves during the Bray Wyatt segment but the show just lost steam after the first hour. After The New Day vs Orton and Ambrose and Cena vs Ziggler, hardly anything eventful happened. There was quick match after quick match up until the main event, which actually wasn’t that bad. Anyway, let’s run down the top five moments…
1. John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler

YGtV7fEU

As with the majority of Cena’s US Open Challenge matches, this was another good one. A few weeks ago, I did a piece about whether they should do John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler in a feud. Initially, I feared that this feud was going to be about Nikki Bella (who both of them have dated in real-life). It turns out that it’s not the case and it might just be a singles feud for the US Championship. Of course, it might not last very long if John Cena is in fact taking time off. However, I have no problem with it if it helps Dolph Ziggler in the long run. Of course, the key term is… IF.

Even though he lost clean, I can’t say Dolph Ziggler was buried. True, Dolph gave Cena everything and Cena kicked out every time. However, I at least thought that Ziggler looked good when on the attack. Ziggler was mostly in control of the match and it could have been chalked up to just not being Ziggler’s day. I think Cena beating Ziggler after one Attitude Adjustment is a bit annoying. However, I think this finish sets things up nicely for Ziggler to potentially challenge for the belt again. I don’t have a problem with the match that much and I thought it was fine.

2. The New Day vs Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton

Captura-de-pantalla-2015-10-13-a-las-8.20.16-AM

This makes the top five moments list mostly due to the New Day. Dean and Orton were fine in this match but the New Day just really stole the show. They were awesome as usual. They ripped both Dean and Orton. They talked about destroying Cena, Ziggler and the Dudleyz the week before. They said that they were the most dominating group in WWE. They said they were better than the Shield, the Authority, Legacy and Evolution. Great promo by the New Day.

The tag team match that followed was actually a decent TV tag team match. It was a match of one-upmanship with Dean and Orton arguing while working together. The New Day won after Orton got pushed into Dean. Not bad stuff from these four. Great work.

There’s one little gripe I’ve got with this. Other than John Cena facing Dolph Ziggler in the match that they were supposed to have last week, there was no fallout from the big ending of last week when the New Day dominated. The New Day mentioned it but it’s not like Cena, Ziggler or the Dudleyz were mad at the New Day or anything for kicking their arses. The Dudleyz had their match with the Ascension and Cena and Dolph had their deal. That was the only negative thing to take away.

3. The Rusev/Lana/Dolph Ziggler/Summer Rae storyline… IS OVER!

CRKcVa9UsAEHOG6

Thank the gods above that this storyline is over. It wasn’t doing any of the people involved any favours as I’ve mentioned before. It kind of seemed that they were done with it last week as Dolph challenged Cena in the US title open challenge. This week basically closed the book on the whole deal with Rusev and Lana’s engagement. That’s great but I just fear for the future of Rusev.

Rusev needed this feud to end but he sure got the wrong end of the stick with this feud ending. Rusev was beaten in three minutes by Ryback and Summer Rae humiliated him afterwards. There’s some reports going around that this is WWE’s way of punishing Rusev and Lana for their engagement as it broke kayfabe. I hadn’t seen or heard Dave Meltzer talk about it yet and I haven’t seen a lot of big wrestling news sites talk about it. Whether they were punishing him or not, this made Rusev look so bad. Rusev was probably the most integral part of the storyline and he got crushed in three minutes. Keep in mind, Rusev was one of the most protected superstars last year with his undefeated streak. Now, he’s jobbing out in three minutes. They could have easily done a finish where Summer tripped Rusev which lead to the finish and would lead into the break-up.

I’ll give the post-match segment credit. Summer Rae’s delivery was great. I think Summer is the one person in this storyline that has really excelled in her role. She’s the only one that understood her role and just shined. Rusev tried as hard as he could with it but he was just put in a hard position. However, all this storyline has done is simply wreck Rusev’s character. Rusev’s worse off now than when this storyline first started. Dolph Ziggler’s fine at the moment but only because WWE’s put him up against John Cena. However, where the hell does Rusev go from here?

This storyline… was a failure. This did nothing to elevate the careers of the people involved. Dolph Ziggler’s up against Cena but that has nothing to do with the storyline. If anything, this might have something to do with Total Divas more than anything. The storyline was also a failure in the logic of it all. This is what happens when you try to break up real life couples in a kayfabe world. Did these writers not remember what happened with Edge, Lita and Matt Hardy in 2005? To be fair, their real life problems actually helped elevate Hardy and Edge in the long run. My point is, the WWE tried to convince everyone that Ziggler and Lana were this legitimate couple that they should root for. Not only did this fool no one, it came crashing down when it was announced that Lana and Rusev got legitimately engaged.

When that happened, the WWE realised they had to pull the plug on it all. If Rusev and Lana are in the dog house for this engagement, then it’s a damn shame. You’re really going to give them heat for getting engaged and breaking kayfabe? It’s not their fault that WWE put them in this horrible storyline. It’s also not their obligation to postpone any real engagement plans until after this storyline wraps up just to satisfy WWE. I’m just thankful that it’s all over.

4. Kane vs Seth Rollins 

c57be0d612e0a32e28f0df48dd8a79c2_crop_north

I will be honest, Kane was given WAY too many backstage segments this week on RAW. The segments just seemed like time wasters, with only three of them actually having any bearing on the main event of the show at all. I don’t blame the crowd that started chanting “CM Punk” at the end. They weren’t chanting his name because they were expecting him to be Seth’s mystery opponent. They were chanting it because these segments were boring.

Kane’s delivery during this segment has usually been good but he just showed up way more than he should have tonight. The match itself was actually not that bad. I’ve seen better lumberjack matches but I haven’t seen worse ones. The KO spot with Big Show and the brawl actually added to the match a bit. I am not a fan of the finish of Seth getting beat again because this segment ended the same way all the Kane/Rollins segments have ended in the last few weeks. Masked Kane destroys Seth and Seth gets hardly any momentum in. It was great at the start but now it’s just getting repetitive and boring.

I read a shocking statistic last week. I read a statistic that in his last 16 matches, Seth had lost 15 of them. For a WWE World Heavyweight Champion, that’s shocking. Did he win this week? No! He lost again! This is really not good enough. What is preventing Seth from WINNING A MATCH? This man is representing your company and yet he’s lost to the US Champion several times and is getting beat by almost everyone else. Unbelievable.

5. New tag teams?

maxresdefault (6)

The match itself was short and not that eventful, but the tag teams that were put together were actually not bad concepts. It was Cesaro and Neville teaming up against Sheamus and King Barrett. These two teams would actually make great additions to the tag team division but I highly doubt WWE will do anything with them. After all, they gave them a small amount this week. However, the concepts were good. I actually do have a good idea for a tag team for Cesaro which I’m planning an article for so stay tuned for that…

Should WWE Do John Cena Vs Dolph Ziggler?

b0_1gw-icaamqfk-jpg

One of the rumoured future storylines that’s apparently on the horizon for WWE is as a result of the events of the season finale of Total Divas. This storyline has actually been endorsed by WWE legend Mick Foley and might actually do a decent job of making a start out of one of the wrestlers involved. That’s mostly due to the fact that he’s feuding with the man that has consistently been the WWE’s franchise star for the last 10 years. The rumour is that WWE are discussing plans to begin a feud between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler with the storyline being centred about someone that has dated both men… Nikki Bella.

It’s started off as just small rumours. I haven’t seen Total Divas (yet, but that’s a venture for another time!) but what I can gather from it was that Dolph Ziggler admitted that he was still interested in ex-girlfriend Nikki Bella. My first reaction was… “Wait… Dolph Ziggler dated Nikki Bella?” I did some research and it turns out… they did! According to former WWE diva Maria, there was an incident involving her and Nikki which resulted in heat between the Bellas after she was caught hanging out with Ziggler.

Dolph-Ziggler-Nikki-Bella-600x250

Mick Foley is convinced that this sort of angle is the kind of thing that Dolph Ziggler needs. Here’s what he posted on Facebook:

“Properly executed, a Dolph Ziggler/John Cena feud could be HUGE! The MOMENT I saw the teaser for the ‪#‎TotalDivas‬ finale – with Dolph, the very real-life former boyfriend of Nicki Bella, telling his former flame he could be a husband and a father – I literally yelled “THAT’S THE ANGLE! THIS IS WHAT ZIGGLER NEEDS!” into my living room. There’s no doubt in my mind that a vicious (as opposed to cool) Ziggler with Nicki Bella by his side could be THE man in ‪#‎WWE‬. Tell me what you think. Will this dream scenario see the light of day?”

It’s interesting because WWE have done a number of storylines in the past to tie-in to the events of Total Divas. However, those storylines really just involved the women involved in the program. Few male wrestlers are effected. However, now it’s different. I mean now we are talking about Dolph Ziggler and JOHN CENA of all people. Surely Dolph would have turn heel in order to make this storyline work. It’d also be strange to see John Cena’s WWE storylines being centred around a reality show.

Dolph-Ziggler-Lana-Rusev

Dolph Ziggler would caught in a very sticky situation. Dolph Ziggler is currently in a storyline where he is “dating” Lana but also “flirting” with Rusev’s “girlfriend” Summer Rae. Personally, I would be OVER THE MOON if they dropped this storyline tomorrow. Rusev’s career is slowly being crippled by that storyline and it would be great to just see Lana return to her position by Rusev’s side. I’m sure they’ll be much better things for Summer Rae to do to as well. She could join up with Sasha Banks again! However, if they dropped this storyline and Ziggler enters the love traingle with Cena and Nikki, how confusing would this be to the fans?

If this storyline actually happens, then Ziggler will have had two romance storylines in a row. In fact, Cena and Ziggler were both in a romance angle storyline together three years ago! That’s not great for Dolph. His character has been mostly interested with getting with every chick on the roster rather than actually competing for championships! If the US Championship were also involved, that’d be fine. However, why include Nikki Bella if that’s the case? Having Ziggler and Cena fight for a title and a woman could hurt the image of the title if those two think it’s better to fight for the affection of Nikki. A great example of this was during Kurt Angle’s feud with Triple H over Stephanie McMahon. At Summerslam 2000, The Rock defended the WWF title against both men. However, the story of the match was centred around Stephanie, Kurt and HHH. Therefore, The Rock’s championship was taking a back seat to the love traingle storyline which hurt the main event of the show. I don’t want John Cena’s US Championship to take a back seat a love traingle involving himself, Nikki and Ziggler.

john-cena-nikki-bella-and-dolph-ziggler-419129303

I would much rather Cena simply drop the title before getting involved in a storyline like this but he provides so much to the product with his US title Open Challenge. I wouldn’t want his title taking a back seat to this love traingle but I wouldn’t want him to drop the belt. I think with that in mind, this feud really shouldn’t be happening.

I’m sure that Dolph Ziggler could become a big star off of this storyline. However, WWE RAW is not a show centred around soap operas. It’s centred around competition and entertainment. If people wanted to watch soap opera storylines, they are not going to watch RAW. They’d watch something like Scandal or anything else with that kind of storyline. They would not watch three wrestlers involved in that situation. They want those wrestlers… to fight.

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

Dolph-Ziggler-Lana-Rusev

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!

maxresdefault

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?

Rusev

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.

ziggler-lana-rusev-summer-rae

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?

WWE Summerslam 2015 Predictions

maxresdefault

Welcome to the Armbar Express’ WWE Summerslam 2015 Predictions. This year’s Summerslam event is very special. Firstly, it’s special because it’s the first PPV outside of Wrestlemania to feature the Undertaker since Bragging Rights 2010. Secondly, it features a WWE World Heavyweight title and United States title unification match. Lastly, it’s the first Summerslam event to be four hours long. The PPV itself is pretty stacked to meet the four hour demand. We’ve got phenoms, we’ve got beasts, we’ve got superheroes, we’ve got a revolution and we’ve got quite the show to go through in these predictions. So let’s get down to business…

Dolph Ziggler w/Lana vs Rusev w/Summer Rae

20150817_summerslam_match_rusevdolph_light_hp-1439956804-800

Background: Rusev’s relationship with Lana ended on RAW after he lost an I Quit match to John Cena at Payback. In response, Lana kissed Dolph Ziggler the same night the relationship ended… because apparently it takes wrestlers a considerably shorter amount of time to get over a relationship. Rusev would wind up getting an injury before he could get revenge on Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler and Lana would eventually “go public” with their relationship on June 29th… which I don’t even know what that means. They were shown already on television as an on-screen couple. They were already a couple in the public’s eyes. It’s like if Spiderman was shown unmasked on television and then he revealed his identity in a press conference. What was the point of “going public”? However, Rusev would find company in Summer Rae. Rusev would then take out Ziggler with an attack of his own. Summer would eventually begin dressing like the “Ravishing Russian” Lana and they would shove their relationship in Lana’s face while Ziggler was out of action. Ziggler returned to confront Rusev on RAW this week and challenged Rusev for a match at Summerslam. Keep that in mind. This program between Rusev and Ziggler has been going on since May and they’ve not once had a single match…

What Should Happen?: This storyline promptly ends with Lana turning on Ziggler to helps Rusev get the victory. This storyline has been progressing so slowly that it amazes me that people still care about. The people might just care about Lana and Ziggler, I don’t know. Those two are the only ones getting reactions. But the two of them seem like the most unrealistic couple of all time. You’re not helping Rusev, whose been helped a lot more with his re-pursuit of the United States Championship on the side (which lasted about a fortnight). Dolph Ziggler’s not getting anywhere with this storyline either. Lana is the only one that’s gotten over from this storyline. Think about that. A MANAGER is the most over person in this feud. Someone who cannot wrestle is more relevant than Rusev and Dolph Ziggler… the two men that are wrestling this Sunday! To quote the great Bryan Alvarez… “This storyline…. sucks.”

What Will Happen?: Rusev wins after Lana accidently costs Ziggler the match. I don’t see WWE ending this program at Summerslam but I don’t see Ziggler going over. So I think they’ll go with the finish that they hope will preserve both Rusev and Ziggler but keep the focus on Lana. So this is what you’re going to get. Either that or Lana helps Ziggler wins the match. Either way, this feud is going to continue. Great….

Ryback (c) vs Big Show vs The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

20150806_Summerslam_Match_mizrybackbigshow_LIGHT-HP.0.0

NOTE: A week ago, we pointed out that Ryback had been in violation of the 30 day title defense rule as he hadn’t defended his title since July 12th. However, Ryback has now been defending the title in house shows since returning to action. He’s been defending the title against Miz and Big Show in triple threat matches as a sort of preview to Summerslam.

Background: Ryback won the Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber in a chamber match that was dreadful to be quite frank. The next night, Ryback was scheduled to defend his newly-won championship against The Miz. However, this was interrupted by the returning Big Show. Big Show knocked out Miz and declared his intentions on winning the Intercontinental Championship. Big Show would get a title match at Money In The Bank against Ryback, which would end via DQ. A triple threat match between Big Show, Miz and Ryback was scheduled for Battleground, but Ryback was sidelined with an injury so the match was postponed. Miz and Big Show would continue to bicker over a title shot until RAW two weeks ago. On MizTV, Ryback returned to take out Miz and Big Show. It was then announced that Ryback’s title defense against Big Show and Miz would now take place at Summerslam.

What Should Happen?: I think Ryback should win. I know his title reign has seemed kind of bleak due to a number of circumstances, but he’s still incredibly over with the fans at the moment. When he came back two weeks ago, people were still going nuts for him. People have been suggesting that The Miz should win it, but he’s had numerous Intercontinental title runs in the past and he’s not really went far with any of them. Give Ryback the chance to establish himself after this and you can also have him defend it against new challengers in the coming months. I don’t think it’s time yet to pull the plug on the Big Guy’s title reign.

What Will Happen?: I don’t see Miz or Big Show winning the title at all so the Big Guy retains the title.

Nikki Bella, Brie Bella and Alicia Fox vs Paige, Becky Lynch and Charlotte vs Sasha Banks, Naomi and Tamina Snuka in a three team elimination match

zzzz20150810_Summerslam_Match_Divas_LIGHT-HP.0.0

NOTE: Nikki has also been in violation of the 30 day title defense rule. She had not defended her title since July 12th either. However, she’s still yet to defend her title. On the day of Summerslam, she will have went 42 days without defending her championship. That’s really not on for a company that’s trying to emphasis on a “Divas Revolution” in the company.

Background: After failing to win the Divas title on a number of occasions thanks to “Twin Magic”, Paige declared her intention on taking down Nikki and Brie Bella. Paige claimed that the Bellas have had their run of the division for years and it was time for a change. Paige tried to gain help from the other divas on the main roster, but nobody would join her cause. In fact, Alicia Fox actually joined up with the Bellas in order to be a part of Team Bella. The constant handicaps on Paige forced Stephanie McMahon to step in. She recruited Charlotte and Becky Lynch from NXT to help Paige spark a “revolution” in the divas division. Naomi and Tamina would want in on the action in the war between Team Paige and Team Bella as well. So Stephanie introduced another NXT star that would be more suited to Naomi and Tamina’s style… “The Boss” Sasha Banks. The war was on with “Team Bella”, Naomi’s group “Team B.A.D.” and Paige’s group “PCB” for dominance in the divas division. After a LOT of matches on WWE television, Stephanie announce a three team elimination match to determine which entity was best.

What Should Happen?: I really don’t think it matters who wins specifically, but I would prefer it if either “Team B.A.D.” or the PCB were to pick up the win. Nothing against the Bellas, but this “Divas Revolution” would be kind of wasted if the Bellas were to pick up the win at Summerslam. It would make all these call-ups to the main roster meaningless if the Bellas won like they always did. Personally, I hope we get to see a Divas title defense after this match! 42 days and still counting Nikki!

What Will Happen?: I’m going to go with Team B.A.D. with Sasha Banks being the last woman standing. Out of the nine women that have appeared in this storyline, I think Sasha has looked the strongest when it comes to wins and losses. I mean she just beat the Divas Champion on RAW. I think WWE have a lot of faith in the NXT Womens Champion Sasha, so I think she and her group will win.

Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns

20150721_Summerslam_Match_BrayLukeDeanRoman_LIGHT_HP.0.0

Background: Former Shield member Dean Ambrose has had issues with Bray Wyatt before in 2014, but Bray began picking fights with another former Shield member recently… Roman Reigns. Bray cost Roman the Money In The Bank ladder match. The mind games by Bray onto Roman would eventually lead to Bray and Roman battling it out at Battleground. However, Bray picked up a cheeky win thanks to an old friend… Luke Harper. Luke re-united with Bray as part of Bray’s crusade against Roman Reigns. However, Roman had back-up himself in the form of the “Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose. In what is being dubbed as “Family vs Family”, the two teams will fight at Summerslam in what is sure to be a hard-hitting tag team match.

What Should Happen?: Roman and Dean should win. If Bray’s team won, then Roman’s stock would drop dramatically as it’s now been two losses in a row to Wyatt. Him and Dean Ambrose have actually not won a PPV match since Extreme Rules (Dean Ambrose did beat Seth Rollins via DQ at Chamber, but he didn’t actually BEAT him by pinfall or submission or anything). I think they need this big win at Summerslam.

What Will Happen?: Roman and Dean win. I don’t see Dean Ambrose turning heel during this (which is what’s being rumoured). I think WWE will want to give Roman that big event win that he was denied at Wrestlemania to give him a lot more credibility.

Prime Time Players (Darren Young (c) and Titus O’Neil (c)) vs The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston w/Xaiver Woods) vs Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando w/El Torito) vs Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

tagteam4way

Background: Then-WWE Tag Team champions the New Day began feuding with the Prime Time Players after eliminating them last in their tag team Elimination Chamber match (which wasn’t that great). The PTP got themselves a tag title match at Money In The Bank, which they won to become tag team champions for the first time. Young and O’Neil retained the titles in a rematch at Battleground. Following their title defense. The New Day would come out to interrupt The Prime Time Players during their non-title match against Los Matadores. The distraction cost the PTP their match with Los Matadores, putting the bullfighters in the title hunt themselves. However, Los Matadores would go on to lose to the Lucha Dragons the next week on RAW. It was then decided to have all four of these tag teams in a fatal four way tag team match for the tag titles to determine who really were the top dogs of the tag team division.

What Should Happen?: The New Day win. They’re the only team in this fatal four way that have a great deal of overness right now. I love the Lucha Dragons, I like the Prime Time Players and Los Matadores are OK. But the New Day really need to win the titles again. Otherwise, this group will end up going nowhere when it really does have the potential to be something really good.

What Will Happen?: I, for some reason, don’t see the Prime Time Players dropping the belts. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young are both gaining a lot of attention from mainstream media for one reason or another. I think WWE want to capitalize on that and keep the belts on the pair for a bit longer. Prime Time Players retain.

Stephen Amell and Neville vs Stardust and King Barrett

Celebrity-MAtch

Background: Stardust began a Twitter war with Arrow star Stephen Amell (that’s a series that I really need to start watching, I think :/). The Tweets went back and forth until Stephen appeared on RAW two weeks ago. He watched Neville take on King Barrett as Neville got the win with the Red Arrow… get it? Stardust immediately attacked Neville and then confronted Stephen on the outside. He shoved Stephen, which led to Stephen hitting the ring and taking out Stardust. Stephen demanded to team with Neville to take on Stardust and King Barrett at Summerslam. With Stephen vowing to sign any contracts that would not leave WWE liable for anything that would happen to Stephen, Triple H agreed to make the match for Summerslam.

What Should Happen?: I really wish King Barrett and Stardust would win ONLY because of that promo the two of them cut on this week’s RAW! I thought it was class! However, it would make sense for the actor and Neville to pick up the win I guess. I do admire Amell’s enthusiasm about WWE and getting into the ring. He’s one of the better WWE celebrity guests as it seems that he actually wants to be there.

What Will Happen?: Neville and Stephen Amell win. The Green and Red Arrow puts a stop to Barrett and Stardust’s evil schemes to uphold justice in the WWE… or something like that.

Cesaro vs Kevin Owens

cesaroowens

Background: Cesaro and Kevin Owens have been having issues since Owens had cost Cesaro the US Championship a few months back. However, things really did escalate following Kevin Owens’ loss to John Cena at Battleground. He attacked Cesaro on the SmackDown! after the PPV. Cesaro and Owens would trade wins back and forth in tag team matches with others as a singles match between the two was booked for Summerslam

What Should Happen?: It’s a tough call either way you slice it. Cesaro’s doing really well at the moment, so you don’t want to kill his momentum by having him lose to Kevin Owens. However, Kevin Owens’ stock took a huge hit when he lost to John Cena (which I went on quite the rant about on my Battleground Review). If Kevin loses again, then his momentum is really going to sink. Especially if he loses clean. If I were in WWE, I would put over the lad which I have more faith in to be the next top main eventer in WWE. If you believe reports on wrestling websites, not all of the “powers that be” in WWE are keen on pushing Kevin Owens. However, these would probably be the same guys that don’t think Cesaro is charismatic enough to become a top star either. So I really can’t make a clear decision about who I want to win, because I’m big on both lads. I could then suggest a no contest finish, but that would be a waste of everyone’s time as people want to see a winner and a loser. So I can’t really decide on a finish.

What Will Happen?: I think Cesaro is going to win. I think WWE are now really changing their minds about Kevin and I think that’s only going to spell disaster for him. Cesaro’s getting really over with the crowd at the moment, so why would WWE want to pass up the opportunity to capitalize on that just to preserve Kevin?

Sheamus vs Randy Orton

20150810_Summerslam_Match_OrtonSheamus_LIGHT-HP.0.0

Background: The two started feuding after Sheamus won the Money In The Bank ladder match. This led to Randy Orton beating Sheamus at Battleground which was actually a pretty good match. Weeks later, Randy Orton would challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on RAW. Orton would fail to win the title after Sheamus took out Orton. Sheamus tried to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase, but Randy Orton prevented the cash in from happening. Eventually, a rematch from Battleground was booked for the Biggest Party of the Summer.

What Should Happen?: Sheamus really should get a PPV win from this feud. Sheamus lost clean to Orton at Battleground, but now he must grab the win over Orton to build himself up a bit.

What Will Happen?: Randy Orton winning again seems very unlikely, so Sheamus gets the win.

Seth Rollins (c) vs John Cena (c) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and United States Championship

maxresdefault (1)

Background: Seth Rollins did a bit of bragging on the RAW after Battleground, after retaining his WWE World title in a match with Brock Lesnar. This brought out United States Champion John Cena, who buried Seth’s title reign and the importance of the championship. John had been defending the US Championship every week in the US open challenge, and therefore claimed that he was the true top champion of WWE. So according to John Cena’s logic, apparently being a glorified Hardcore Champion is more important than being the World champion. Seth argued that a title shot for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship had to be earned, rather than just given out each week by John Cena. The two eventually had a match on RAW for Cena’s US Championship. Despite having his nose broken by Seth, Cena retained the championship by making Rollins tap out to the STF. Seth challenged Cena for a rematch at Summerslam for both titles. On an episode of Tough Enough, Cena accepted the challenge. Cena appeared on RAW last week to bury Seth Rollins again. Cena pointed out that although he was getting the “Let’s go Cena, Cena Sucks” chant every week, at least the WWE universe cared about him unlike Seth. Both men vowed to walk out of Summerslam with both belts, with Seth apparently being given a statue if he wins…

What Should Happen?: Seth Rollins wins. Not Cena hating, but there is no need for him now to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Hopefully Seth wins the US title, and then drops it shortly afterwards.

What Will Happen?: Seth wins the US title. I don’t see a clean finish. I also don’t see Sheamus cashing in just yet. Sheamus might try to cash in, causing a DQ finish or something. But I don’t see him winning the title considering the title match will probably be on both Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar II. Speaking of which…

Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker 

brock-lesnar-undertaker-summerslam

Background: Brock Lesnar conquered the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania, becoming the one in 21-1. Brock used this momentum to conquer the WWE Universe, first by destroying John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at last year’s Summerslam. He would hold onto the title until Wrestlemania 31, when Seth Rollins cashed in the Money In The Bank contract. Brock Lesnar got suspended the next night on RAW, delaying his rematch for the WWE World title until Battleground. Just as Brock seemingly had Rollins beat, the Undertaker returned to exact his revenge on Brock Lesnar. Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker II would be announced for Summerslam the next night on RAW, with both men celebrating the announcement with a massive brawl on RAW involving 25 wrestlers trying to break it up! This will be quite the rematch at Summerslam.

What Should Happen?: It really does depend on the plans for Brock and Undertaker in the future, more specifically their plans for Wrestlemania 32. If Undertaker is having his last match at Wrestlemania 32, then obviously he has to look strong going into that event. On the other hand, Brock Lesnar’s mystique and unbeatable monster role is very important to WWE too. If Brock Lesnar planning to regain his WWE World Championship or win the Royal Rumble, then obviously he has to stay strong as well. With that in mind however… I think the Undertaker should win. I’m a huge fan of Brock. However, preserving Undertaker is such a priority for WWE right now, having ended his streak at Wrestlemania 30. If the plan is for Brock to win the Royal Rumble, then maybe WWE can use this loss to the Undertaker to their advantage. They can play on the storyline of “Is Brock no longer a monster?” as he’s not actually won a match since Royal Rumble 2015. Then going into the Royal Rumble, Brock looks like a man on a mission. Therefore, his win at the Royal Rumble would seem a bit more meaningful. Again, we still don’t know what WWE’s plans are yet. However, Undertaker getting his revenge shouldn’t hurt Brock to a great degree.

What Will Happen?: Undertaker wins due to interference by Triple H. It’s a very BOLD prediction from me to predict that Undertaker and the Authority are going to work together to screw Brock Lesnar, but that’s the only way I really see this going down. Like I mentioned in my piece about Undertaker getting booed, Undertaker’s newest character development revolves around him doing whatever he needs to maintain his legacy. I think selling his soul to the Authority by helping their champion beat Brock Lesnar at Battleground was a big part of this final chapter of the Dead Man. Considering the boos on Monday night, I don’t see Undertaker winning cleanly.

What do you guys think is going to happen? Who will walk out with the WWE World and US titles? Who will score a big win in the Divas Revolution? Who will win the rematch of titans between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar? Tweet me your responses at @ArmbarExpress or leave a comment below.

WWE Battleground 2014 Review – MH17 Plane Crash Mention Gets WWE In Hot Water

WWE-Battleground-logo

Ladies and gentlemen… it’s here! Battleground Review is here and for those of you who weren’t expecting much from this pay-per-view… you were right to think that way. This PPV was essentially a filler PPV, something to fill the gap before the big dance, something to fill the gap before Summerslam. This was hardly going to be a PPV of THAT caliber and expectation. However, was it able to at least put on a good display as WWE begin their road to Summerslam?

 

The Usos (c) vs The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan and Luke Harper) – 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match For The WWE Tag Team Championship

BAT14_Photo064

I’ve got to admit. I was not aware that this match was a 2 Out Of 3 Falls match, so I was pleasantly surprised! The Usos and The Wyatts always had great chemistry together… and this match certainty demonstrated that. While I was not a fan of the early falls in the 2 Out Of 3 Falls match, they made up for that with a tremendous third fall of the match. Near-fall after near-fall for both teams. A lot of the spots and stuff were from previous matches and seemed repetitive but they introduced a lot of new spots that kept the match alive. In the end, The Usos performed the double splash to, I think it was Rowan, to pick up the third and final fall of the match!

I was definitely surprised that the Usos won. I’m not saying that it was a bad move, but it was something that caught me off-guard. Because if there’s one thing I like in wrestling, that’s being kept off-guard! And NO-ONE saw the Usos retaining. It got a fair amount of boos at the end, but the Usos retain. Maybe if they’re still planning to put the belts on the Wyatts, do it at Summerslam. A bigger event gives the moment more prestige. And to avoid it from being the same thing over and over, throw in Goldust and Stardust. Or maybe bring Rybaxel into the fold again. But I loved this. Great start to the show…

 

Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins?

BAT14_Photo_143

Now it was time for Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins… or not. Before the match could take place Dean jumped Seth during his interview and as a result, Triple H called off the match and had Ambrose removed from the building.

Seth would mosey on down to the ring and have the ref declare him the winner by forfeit. But Deano was having none of that – he took matters into his own hands by taking his fists to Seth’s face. Somehow getting back into the building, Dean attacked Seth resulting a large brawl between the two former Shield members. I like that Seth was getting his fair share of hits in on Dean before it was broken up so Seth didn’t seem weak in the fight.

Seth was then sent home for his own safety but was once again jumped by Dean who decided to jump out of the boot of a car to get the job done! You gotta wonder how long he’d been in that ca…. Seth was able to get away from Ambrose and drove out. He took the car that Ambrose was hiding in so either Seth just committed Grand Theft Auto and stole a car or Dean took Seth’s keys and hid in the car! Either way, this was a hilarious way to end this little war between Seth and Dean. I would have liked to have seen a match but this was certainly entertaining. This adds fuel to the fire and intensifies the feud. I like it!

 

 

AJ Lee (c) vs Paige for the Divas Championship

BAT14_Photo_091

This was… highly disappointing. I expected a lot from these two divas. A legit match between these two you would imagine would be great. It had great build and it had a lot of anticipation to it. But to me it felt like a let-down. And I don’t think the fans were into it as much as they would have hoped, especially after watching the quality tag match between the Usos and Wyatts. I personally feel that Paige should have won because her just losing cleanly like she did here just completely diminishes her past title reign and it doesn’t make her look like a legit threat to AJ. I really hope Paige turns heel or something to give this feud some umph because right now, it’s not as interesting as I would have liked it to be because I do like these girls a lot… from an athletic standpoint!

 

Rusev vs Jack Swagger

BAT14_Photo101

This match got a lot of people talking… and it wasn’t because of the match itself. The match itself was just a little bit better than I expected it to be – and that’s not saying a lot because I thought it was going to be a huge let-down. Also, it ended in a sloppy countdown finish. It just didn’t feel when Rusev did the proud Russian celebration at the end like it was a decisive finish because like Michael Cole said, “Swagger had dominated the entire match”. However, this was not the talking point…

Prior to the match, Lana cut her usual Anti-USA promo and put Rusev over like he was a million dollars. However, during the promo she referenced to the MH17 Plane Crash in the Ukraine that killed 283 people. She stirred some controversy with these comments (hoping that this doesn’t get taken down. If it does anything like “Lana Mentions MH17 Crash” on YouTube should get it up).

This has put WWE in some serious hot water. The worldwide media have hounded WWE for allowing Lana to exploit such a tragedy just after it took place in order to gain heat for herself and Rusev.

Here’s an article from the Independent below about it…

WWE accused of ‘exploiting’ MH17 crash at Battleground pay-per-view

Whether WWE were right to do it or not is up to you. I’m not gonna offer an opinion on whether WWE were right to do it, but it’s not exactly something that took me off-guard. Vince McMahon is a proud supporter of free speech and he will go to all kinds of levels to get people talking about WWE, even mentioning major international disasters. Hell Vince once suggested that WWE run an insect angle involving him and his daughter Stephanie (Yes. Vince really wanted to do this). And it seems that WWE are gonna stick with their guns with this Russian-Supporter gimmick with Lana and Rusev. I mean they’ve had days to stool over what to do with Rusev and Lana following the crash. I just hope that should they continue with this, they tread lightly as the infamous line from Breaking Bad goes. Because sometimes, not all publicity is good publicity.

 

Chris Jericho vs Bray Wyatt

BAT14_Photo200

Holy crap, this match had a lot of blown spots! I had a lot of anticipation for this match, but it was shockingly bad for such two elite stars in the company. I always thought after Jericho’s match with Ryback at Money In The Bank last year, that Jericho could have a great match with anyone. But this match was not going to follow suit. The one thing I noticed is that when Bray is in a standard one on one match, the match pace slows RIGHT down. That’s not something I like, especially when you’re in there with someone as quick as Jericho. Jericho had to slow right down because Bray couldn’t keep up. This match was utterly dreadful. However, the result was a surprise.

For what is a rare occasion these days, Jericho was FINALLY able to pull-off a PPV victory over Bray! As a fan of Jericho, I love that he’s finally got a big win under his belt after so much putting newer talent over. However, I know Bray Wyatt fans are going to get all mad because Bray had lost another big match after losing to Cena and in the WWE Title match at Money In The Bank. However, I’d like to bring up Justin Labar’s tweet about the ending (an awesome writer in my opinion):

 

JBL called Jericho’s win an UPSET. When was the last time you heard Jericho getting an UPSET victory? WWE are building up Wyatt to be something spectacular if, even against a multi-time World Champion and mega-star, he is considered the favorite to win. I mean it’s not like Bray isn’t going to get his revenge so be patient!

 

19 Man Battle Royal For The Intercontinental Championship

BAT14_Photo_241

A very excitable battle royal. A lot of shockers and a lot of cool moments. Kofi Kingston providing cool elimination escapes once again. Cesaro with some impressive displays of strength. HEATH SLATER ELIMINATING CESARO!

Oh man. I cannot tell you how happy I was after that happened! I am such a big Heath Slater fan. I hope he gets pushed now that 3MB is gone! It was down to Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler… with Miz still on the outside. It was an epic final two between the Celtic Warrior and the Show Off… with Miz still on the outside. After a long battle, Ziggler was able to eliminated the Celtic Warrior… with Miz still on the outside. But wait? The Miz comes back in… and eliminates Ziggler. Miz wins the Intercontinental title… Really?

I got to admit I wanted Heath Slater or Ryback to win, but Ziggler winning this battle royal would have been major for him. It would have brought prestige to the title. It could have been wonderful. So why? Why did the Miz do the predictable “wait-outside-the-ring” strategy and win the whole thing? That makes the IC Title seem like a joke. Which was exactly what I didn’t want to happen. Ziggler would have been perfect to win the gold with Barrett out. Miz just seems like a joke with his stupid new movie star gimmick. Diego would have brought more prestige to the belt than The Miz. It’s just illogical and stupid. 

 

John Cena (c) vs Roman Reigns vs Kane vs Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

BAT14_Photo_282

This… was… tedious. This match wasn’t exactly a Thriller in Manila. It was a whole lot of boring as per with Orton and Cena. Kane and Reigns brought something different to the plate and Reigns did dominate a lot of the match. However for a PPV Main Event, this simply wasn’t good enough. I mean there wasn’t any interferences or anything. Not a lot of interesting spots (other than Reigns spearing Orton through the barricade… like he’s done a number of times before). Cena just flat out won clean. At least the Authority could have interfered to screw Roman Reigns or something. Not this boring ending like we’ve seen SO many times before. Maybe they wanted to have Cena look strong before he fights Brock Lesnar at Summerslam so they had him win clean or something. Other than that, I don’t see any reason as to why this was a logical way to have the match play out. 

 

 

Overall, this PPV was disappointing. Even if this was a filler PPV, that was shocking. This certainty wasn’t a good advertisement for the WWE Newtork. I loved the tag team match at the start of the show but the rest was so dire mostly because of the finishes. And that seems to be the story of the show. Rusev and Swagger ended in a lame count out. Jericho won in what was a badly botched match to begin with. The IC Title match ended with a predictable ending and a poor decision of a winner. It doesn’t put me in high spirits for Summerslam unfortunately.

But I’m glad I did this because I don’t think I did do the Money In The Bank review so it’s good to be back! Be sure to check back on the blog for more content coming soon. Follow us on Twitter @ArmbarExpress and have a fantastic day!