TOP FIVE MOMENTS FROM WWE RAW (28/09/15)

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How’s it going everyone? We’re back with another top five moments from a RAW that really wasn’t that great. I can’t say it was TOO bad either because there wasn’t a segment on this show which I thought was really bad. However, little was done that made think that this was a worthwhile show. The MizTV segment with the Divas was infuriating but I’m hoping to touch upon that segment in a separate blog post later on this week. However, there were a few high spots. Let’s pick out the top five moments from RAW.

1. John Cena vs Xaiver Woods

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John Cena came out to bring back the John Cena US Championship Open Challenge. The New Day came out and delivered some comedy. John Cena got mad and said there’s a time for comedy and a time to be serious. He basically told them to shut up and one of them to get in the ring. He came off as such a heel for saying that in my eyes as everyone was happy with the New Day! Xaiver Woods answered the call.

It’s kind of sad that we didn’t hear the trombone in action during Woods’ match! I think he played it once during the six man tag match that followed up. The match itself was actually really fun. It was good to see Xaiver in a singles match for once, because he’s usually either in six man tags or acting as a manager. You rarely see just how good Xaiver is in the ring. He put on a great match with Cena. There’s just one little issue that I have.

The match ended in a disqualification, when Big E and Kofi came down to attack Cena. I understand that they wanted to save Xaiver from Cena. However, they still cost Xaiver a chance at the US title! I always thought it made little sense when teams do this whenever one of their partners is challenging for a singles title.

Despite that, good match. The six man tag team match also involving the Dudleyz was OK. The New Day went over which largely hints that the Dudley Boyz will win the tag team titles at Madison Square Garden this Saturday. I understand why they’d do it, because it’s an important event for the Dudleyz. Them coming back to MSG and winning the titles is a great story. I think as long as the New Day win it back at Hell in a Cell, I’d be OK with this. Let the Dudleyz have their moment but it’s really the day for the New Day to shine and win this feud.

2. Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns

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This went on last for RAW. I’ll admit it. It was very hard to care at the end of the show. RAW itself was a very exhausting show. I know RAW is usually like that, being on for three hours each week. However, this week just seemed even worse.

It was actually a decent match between Bray and Roman. The fans didn’t really care about it until the finish. I think that was largely due to someone getting kicked out of the arena near the end because I think there was a “Let Him Stay” chant. They got right back into it during the finish.

Initially, the double count out finish was kind of a lame way for your RAW main event to end. However, it did play into the finish. Therefore, I don’t have that big of a beef with it.

Bray and Roman brawled into the crowd. It was quite a decent brawl. Bray actually threw someone from the tech area into Roman, which was pretty awesome to watch! It actually made Bray look like a legitimate monster. This was followed up by Bray tackling Roman through the barricade. That would have been the spot of the night, had it not been for what Roman followed it up with. Roman got up as Bray was posing, and speared Bray through the announce table. The crowd went nuts for this!

This finish helped both these men. I thought it helped the story along, especially with the brawl at the end. These two just beating the hell out of each other is exactly the kind of intensity and atmosphere you need for a feud like this. It also made Roman look like a star. It was exactly the kind of thing that Roman needs to do. They were going nuts for him here.

A little spoiler for SmackDown!, but it was announced that Bray and Roman will be having a Hell in a Cell match at the PPV. I think this match can take this feud from strength to strength. I think it’s strange that none of the Hell in a Cell matches are featuring a WWE World Heavyweight title match, but these two are still strong matches anyway.

3. Paul Heyman

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Heyman gets a spot on this list PURELY because he was on the show! Heyman was there to actually promote the Madison Square Garden show and Brock Lesnar vs The Big Show. The only problem with that is simple. Heyman had to make Big Show seem as a threat to Brock Lesnar. Anyone that has knowledge about who Brock Lesnar is would realize that Big Show was NOT a threat to Brock Lesnar. Therefore when Heyman was acting scared at the prospect that Big Show was going to end Brock Lesnar’s career, NOBODY bought it. Paul Heyman tried all he could but there’s little reason to believe that Big Show is a threat to Brock Lesnar. During Heyman’s segment with Big Show, Big Show made it seem like it was a big deal that Big Show beat Brock Lesnar one time in their match in 2002 at Madison Square Garden on Survivor Series…. which was nearly 13 years ago! There’s were two problems with Big Show’s claim…

  1. I had to double check on this one on the Internet Wrestling Database, because I was pretty sure that Big Show’s win at Survivor Series was the only time that Big Show had ever beaten Brock Lesnar. Turns out… I was right! Big Show has only ever beaten Brock Lesnar ONCE in his career. So why would Paul Heyman be afraid of the Big Show potentially ending his client’s career?
  2. Big Show’s win at Survivor Series was because of one man… PAUL HEYMAN! There was no mention of Heyman turning on Brock during Big Show’s win. On the video package of Big Show that was shown, it skipped the interference and just fast-forwarded to Big Show chokeslamming Brock onto the chair. Again, Paul knows full well that Big Show was only able to beat Brock Lesnar because of… him. Again, why would Paul Heyman think that Big Show would be able to beat Brock Lesnar?

I wish that Brock Lesnar was fighting someone else, but he’s not. I don’t actually have an issue with the Big Show himself. I have an issue with how the WWE is somehow convinced that they would be able to convince everyone that Big Show is ON PAR with Brock Lesnar. One last thing… NO MENTION OF HELL IN A CELL! WWE again failed to mention the PPV that they should be trying their hardest to promote.

Well… Heyman did his best anyway.

4. Kane’s Performance Evaluation

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Kane’s performance evaluation segments were actually not that bad to me! I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were a few issues with it however. I thought Kane and Seth Rollins’ last segment together went WAY too long. I just thought they done a lot of angles in one week for this program that could have easily stretched out for a few weeks. Couldn’t this week’s angle have ended with Seth Rollins breaking Kane’s ankle and then next week, Demon Kane gets his revenge? I thought Kane’s delivery as Corporate Kane was excellent. I’m very happy with Kane’s acting during this program. That’s one of the things that I liked about this feud because at least Kane’s having some fun with his character. I didn’t like Seth’s comments about meeting the Pope. It just seemed a bit off. Despite those little things, I thought this segment overall was fine.

5. King Barrett Returns

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The return itself was pretty miserable. Barrett simply came out, interrupted the Neville vs Stardust match and gave the Bullhammer to both men. He got on the mic and said “All hail the return of the King,” and then left. It was pretty bland but to be fair, at least Barrett came back looking strong by laying out both men. This really gets an entry only because I have huge respect for Barrett and I’m personally glad that he’s back. I don’t believe that they’ll do anything big with him which will be a real shame.

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So there you go. There were my five top moments from RAW this week. There were reports of Vince flipping out backstage over ratings. If this was Vince’s serious attempt to get the ratings back up, then he failed miserably. The RAW viewership numbers actually showed that the ratings for this week’s RAW have fallen from last week. So WWE is really going to have to pull something out of the bag to get things rolling.

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Analysing The Potential Wrestlemania 32 Opponents For Brock Lesnar

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The announcement that the third installment of the Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar rivalry would take place at Hell in a Cell caught many of us off-guard. Many of us were expecting the third match to take place at Wrestlemania 32. No better way for this rivalry to come to an then at the PPV that is responsible for this feud in the first place. Many experts predicted that the third match would take place at Wrestlemania 32 in Texas. However, Night of Champions gave us quite a shock with the announcement. The question is now, what are the Wrestlemania 32 plans for Brock Lesnar and Undertaker if they’re not facing each other? Just WHO will they be facing?

Four names have come out in reports that are linked to a potential clash with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. With this article, I’m going to run down each candidate and see which of these match-ups I’d like to see for Wrestlemania.

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The first name I noticed was Roman Reigns. The reasoning for this match is pretty simple. It’s basically a rematch from Roman and Brock’s match from Wrestlemania 31. There’s a lot of good reasons for this rematch to take place. Firstly, there was never truly a winner between the two of them at Wrestlemania 31 due to Seth Rollins. This match will determine who is the toughest of the two and just who truly is the better man. Roman Reigns will have something to prove and so would Brock. Brock never did beat Roman Reigns. Brock’s a prizefighter but is a vengeful beast if he’s not truly conquered his past foes. He was never able to put away Roman Reigns.

I also think the timing couldn’t be better for the two of them to collide again. If WWE decide to go with Roman vs Lesnar non-title, then there’s little pressure on the two of them. There’s also no real pressure on WWE when deciding a winner. A lot of hardcore fans would probably be upset if Roman beat Brock, but it won’t backfire on them nearly as badly as if they actually did have Roman BEAT Brock last year.

Roman’s a strong contender but let’s look at candidate #2… Seth Rollins.

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Reports suggest that this match between Seth and Brock would probably be for the WWE World Heavyweight title (assuming Seth makes it all the way to Mania as champion). One year after stealing the title from Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31, Seth must now defend his championship against the same man. I always like a bit of continuity being utilized, especially at a special event like Wrestlemania.

Much like the Roman Reigns match, both Seth and Brock would have something to prove. Seth would need to prove that he is the man in WWE and Brock needs to win back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Brock also was never able to beat Seth Rollins the first time, due to the Undertaker. Both men are heavily motivated going into this match. Their first match wasn’t that bad but this second, with a lot more time, could prove to be a classic Wrestlemania main event.

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The third choice is someone that has been speculated to fight Brock Lesnar a few times before, ever since Brock returned in 2012. His name… is The Rock.

WWE have had plans for Rock vs Brock II at Wrestlemania 30. However, several issues caused WWE to switch plans. From a business standpoint, Rock vs Brock II is a gold mine. The two biggest WWE stars in the mainstream media colliding in the main event of Wrestlemania would gain TRUE mainstream media buzz for the WWE. I would probably accept this as a good match for Brock… as long as he won. No disrespect to The Rock, but a Hollywood Star that hasn’t wrestled in two years shouldn’t really be beating a dominant fighter like Brock Lesnar. WWE would have to be very careful if this is their plan for Wrestlemania.

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Speaking of being careful, this last candidate can raise all kinds of hell for with a big match against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32. This man… is Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Paul Heyman teased the idea of the showdown during an appearance on Austin’s podcast. WWE really got on Heyman’s case for doing that. The WWE might not be a fan of the match and neither is Austin from the sounds of things. In fact, this was the tweet Austin sent out about these reports.

Austin getting back to the ring is obviously a big deal. However, there’s one VERY VERY MAJOR problem which should rule out the idea of this match happening. Austin’s been out of action since 2003. The main reason for his career ending in the first place was because of his neck. If you want Austin to come back, then he’s obviously got to work with a safe wrestler. He certainly shouldn’t be locking up with someone with a whole moveset that’s based around German Suplexes! Nothing against Brock Lesnar, but it’s not worth throwing Austin in the ring with Brock Lesnar. It also doesn’t help the case when Brock and Austin have very LITTLE history in WWE together. At least Roman, Seth and Rock have some sort of claim that could make a match at Wrestlemania seem like a logical match for Lesnar.

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If I had to pick an opponent for Brock right now, I think it’d be Roman Reigns. However, there’s a lot of reason to go with any of the options. However, you know Brock and Roman can deliver in a main event scenario. Therefore, it’s a safe bet when deciding the ultimate match for the Beast Incarnate…

Undertaker Vs Brock Lesnar III Announced For Hell In A Cell – Thoughts and Reactions

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At Night of Champions, Brock Lesnar’s “Go To Hell” tour was announced for the month of October. It was revealed that it would first start with Brock Lesnar’s appearance at Madison Square Garden to wrestle against the Big Show. As I mentioned on my Night of Champions review, this had been announced for some time. It now appears that this event will be televised live on the WWE Network, so a lot of big names might be added on the card. Chris Jericho is already set to take on Kevin Owens, which will be quite a match. They’ve been doing matches on a few house shows but it’ll be cool to see them lock up again at the Garden.

It was also announced that Brock Lesnar would be Stone Cold’s next guest on his podcast, which will be on the WWE Network. Sting was expected to be the guest but I’m guessing with Brock’s appearance at Hell in a Cell, Brock was brought in to hype up that match. It’ll be interesting to hear what he has to say. It’s often been said by the likes of Paul Heyman that Brock’s not really much of a people person! So to see him go on Austin’s podcast and open up will be something. I don’t think Heyman’s appearance on the podcast a few months ago will be followed up on. Reportedly, Vince McMahon got very upset at Heyman for teasing Austin vs Lesnar for Wrestlemania 32. I doubt Lesnar will challenge Austin or something.

The third announcement is the big one. It was announced that Brock Lesnar will be appearing at Hell in a Cell in Los Angeles this October. He will be competing in a Hell in a Cell match against THE UNDERTAKER!

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This was quite a shocker as I, along with many including the likes of Steve Austin and Jim Ross, all predicted that the third match would take place at Wrestlemania 32. To bring it forward to Hell in a Cell is a pretty bold decision. From a continuity standpoint, it’s kind of fitting that this third match would take place in a Hell in a Cell match in the month of October. The reason it’s fitting is because it’s a rematch from the Hell in a Cell match between Lesnar and Taker in October 2002. In that match, Lesnar won.

It’s taken a lot of us off-guard and there’s a lot of speculation already as to why this match has been brought forward. Lesnar is a big ratings grabber. Whenever he’s on TV, people tune in. Brock brings so much to the table and he brought so much to WWE programming from June to August. It’s also been speculated that this might have something to do with the WWE Network.

The chances are, in order to really boost the subscription numbers, WWE might have decided to get the match done sooner rather than later. It’s often been said that fools rush in, so Taker vs Lesnar III taking place just two months after their last match might seem like an impatient move by WWE just to get the numbers up. That’s also considering that their last match at Summerslam took place 15 months after their match at Wrestlemania 30. However, I think there’s no way Vince would have agreed to this unless he had some other plan in mind for Taker and Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32. You can say a lot of things about Vince McMahon, but his handling of the Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar storyline has been spot on so far. He cares a lot about both men so I don’t think the decision to bring their third match forward was made lightly. Having their third and final match being at Wrestlemania seemed like a no-brainer, so I wonder what Vince’s plans are now that it’s taking place at Hell in a Cell.

Of course, Hell in a Cell might have been Vince’s plans all along and that he’s got something else planned for the two of them at Wrestlemania. Maybe it’s going to be a best of five series that’ll end at Wrestlemania. However, I REALLY don’t see that last one happening unless Lesnar and Taker came up with some kind of deal.

I’m also curious about Undertaker’s health and well-being going into that match. Undertaker has actually been advertised for a tour in Mexico in October and still is. There was the video of Undertaker collapsing before he got to the back at Summerslam. I personally think that the collapse was actually a work. I think Taker got rocked. Considering what Undertaker went through at Summerslam, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a little banged up. However, I think it was just a call-back to Wrestlemania 30 when he ACTUALLY collapsed. So I think he might be good to go for this match.

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I think it’s going to be a phenomenal match and I’m VERY much looking forward to it. Their Summerslam match was awesome, one of my favourite matches of the year. I never really did it enough justice in my Summerslam Review last month. I’m not really sure who needs the win the most. Undertaker won the last match but it wasn’t a decisive win. Brock’s not won a PPV match since Wrestlemania 31, so he might need the win. It’s really up in the air. However, I’m really looking forward to it.

Wrestling Flashback – WWE Hell in a Cell 2012 Review

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When I first started with blogging, I was really first experimenting with a bunch of other websites. Among these efforts, I started a Tumblr account featuring wrestling, football and music among other things. It was during this time when I started doing wrestling reviews and viewing wrestling from a critical standpoint. Anyway, I figured I’d upload this because it’s always nice to go back and look at how I did business back then.

To give a bit of background, Hell in a Cell was a PPV WWE had six weeks to build. There was an ongoing saga on RAW about who’d face CM Punk for the WWE Championship. Ryback eventually was chosen (as John Cena had gotten injured) and there was a lot of pressure on this match to perform. Also, the finish of the match was really up in the air. Would the WWE sacrifice the historic championship reign of CM Punk or the undefeated streak of Ryback?

NOTES: The paragraphs in italics are what was written at the time, back in 2012.

Anyway, so I started things off by talking about my expectations of the main event…

  • “Well, Hell In A Cell 2012 – an event which I stayed up to watch last night. In the UK, Hell In A Cell started at Midnight, and didn’t finish until 3:00am. It was a risk I was going to take, because I thought it’d be better than I expected it to be. I thought that Ryback vs CM Punk would be a hell of a main event, and I thought some of the lower card matches would have been really good.”

It’s kind of weird going back to this review and talking about watching this PPV live. I honestly stayed up to watch it live because there was a lot of anticipation about how this match was going to go. Also, Skip Sheffield had been working mostly short matches since he returned repackaged as “Ryback” in 2012. It was interesting to see if he could deliver a top main event match with someone like CM Punk. The reasons all this is funny is because I watched RAW live THIS WEEK with high expectations and being a bit let down! By the way, you can check out this week’s RAW review at this link. You can read all about what I felt about Seth Rollins, Sting and everything.

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  • “It was sort of a card of two halves if you will. A really good first half, and a really bad second half. That’s not good news, because the 2nd half should really be the better half, considering them matches are supposed to be the big draws of a PPV. Considering they had six weeks to build up an Hell In A Cell Pay-Per-View, surely they could have done a better job at doing it. I understand why hyping up the WWE Title Match would have been awkward considering the circumstances, but the rest of the card should have had a lot more advertisement. A quarter of the matches showcased were unadvertised matches. For me, that’s not on.”

To be fair, WWE has improved a bit in terms of the promotion of its PPVs. Back then though, it was really lackluster. There were a few instances where a completely random match would be shot on the card to make up time. The reason this annoyed me is because these were usually matches we might have wanted to see. This PPV in particular featured the likes of Rey Mysterio and US Champion Antonio Cesaro wrestling in “bonus matches”. However, I think there’s been a lot more effort put in towards PPV promotions nowadays. With this year’s Night of Champions, the majority of the matches have been announced with weeks to spare. The only title match that hasn’t been announced so far has been the Intercontinental Championship. However, they’ve been hyping up the program on that title match to a degree anyway. They’ll probably just announce that match on RAW.

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  • “Now on the PPV itself. We kicked things off with Randy Orton defeating Alberto Del Rio after Orton countered an enziguri by Del Rio into an RKO for the win. While that was a pretty cool finish to the match, it is also the 2ND PPV in a row that saw Randy Orton defeat an up-and-coming heel. Orton should have let Del Rio beat him on the PPV, especially if they want the feud to continue. The match was a lot more quicker paced than I expected, but there were a few botches during the match that dampened it’s quality. I think this match should have been slightly longer, but it was good for the amount of time it was on. I hope this feud continues, and Del Rio wins the next round.”

This was the second time in a PPV that Randy Orton had beaten a heel clean. He beat “Mr Money In The Bank” Dolph Ziggler at Night of Champions 2012 and followed it up by defeating Del Rio. This match I think was the second best match of the night, looking back now. There’s one botch which I never mentioned which I think took away from the match itself. Del Rio tried to jump off the top rope and ended up landed in front of Orton and then just started punching him. With that botch in mind though, this was a great match. At least JBL actually mentioned the botched, calling out Del Rio’s decision to jump off the top. Great recovery by JBL.

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  • “Next on the agenda is the WWE Tag Team Championship match, which saw Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow defeat Kane and Daniel Bryan by disqualification after Kane wouldn’t stop hitting Cody Rhodes (I think it was Cody anyway). Seriously, a DQ FINISH on a PAY PER VIEW? That was definitely not necessary for this match. On RAW or SmackDown! YES, but not a Pay Per View. It devalues the tournament beforehand, considering Rhodes and Sandow, who went through 3 tag teams just to get the title shot, won the match but not the titles, because the other team got themselves DQ’d. It kinda gives you the feeling that Sandow and Rhodes got screwed. Nevertheless, the match was pretty good. I’ve been noticing improvements in tag team match qualities as of late, which is definitely a good sign. They played off Kane and Daniel Bryan not working together, with Daniel Bryan accidentally hitting Kane with the high knee, and stuff like that. I think it was a good match, other than the finish.”

I totally stand by what I said here. The thing about this match was that this was around the time where the Team Hell-No team were at their peak. They won the tag titles on the PPV before and were having great segments on RAW and SmackDown! The feud itself between the two teams was really good. I like how Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes had to win a tag team tournament in order to get this title shot. However, their title shot ended in a DQ. It wasn’t really like a legitimate DQ either. Kane was, to quote Vinny from the Bryan and Vinny show, disqualified for kicking too much ass. Considering all of the build with the Team Hell-No segments and the tag team tournament, the finish was pretty much a let down. However, I do remember it being a good match despite the finish.

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  • “Match of the night goes to the Intercontinental Championship match, where Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz to retain the title. This was really fast paced match, and the two put on a hell of a show. These two really work well together, and given more time, that match could have been one of the matches of the year (no kidding).  I thought it was good when Miz started focusing on Kofi’s leg. Miz targeting a body part and attacking it, actually brought a bit of realism into play. Miz started ripping of Kofi’s boots and did leg DDTs and really showed off the amount of pain Kofi was supposed to be in. Really good. The match has done wonders for the title’s prestige as this was a really good back-and-forth match, and this match will only benefit both guys. One minor complaint – DON’T GIVE KOFI THE MIC. He was interviewed after the match, and I swear, he can not cut a good enough promo, which is a shame because it has held him back in the past, just like it held John Morrison back in the pass. Miz could move on to bigger and better things following this loss, if utilized correctly.

I think, looking back, I gave this match a lot more credit than I should have. I think, compared to everything else on the show, it was probably decent. However, it was certainly not the best match of this show. It was above average at best. I said that given more time, this could have been a contender for match of the year. I realize now I was wrong. I don’t think this match was as good as I said it would be. Kofi’s not as bad on the mic as I made him out to be. If the New Day is any proof, Kofi can be great on the mic if given the chance.

  •  “Also, there was a funny segment with Kane and Daniel Bryan arguing. Good humor. What I think they are missing is Dr Shelby. Whatever happened to him? He need to be brought back.”

I think what happened to Dr Shelby was that WWE didn’t feel the need to use him. To be fair, Daniel and Kane were awesome by themselves. However, I just loved Dr Shelby’s role in their entire storyline. He was the peacemaker in this funny and he was just amazing every time I saw him. I wish there were something for him to do in WWE right now, because I miss him dearly!

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  • “Next, in the first non-advertised match of the night, Antonio Cesaro defeated Justin Gabriel to retain the US Championship. Essentially a squash match. The fans kept chanting “We Want Ryder” during the match (which shows how well they were into the match). For what it, was the match was OK. The spot with Gabriel diving to the outside only to fly into a shoryuken from Cesaro was pretty cool. However, the ending of the match was predictable. Cesaro needs some serious competition for the US Championship, in order to bump up it’s credibility. Maybe R-Truth, or Christian when he comes back. Cesaro and the US Championship needs to be built up better. He can’t be beating up these jobbers all time.”

This was actually a lot better of a match than I made it out to be. It was just infuriating seeing Cesaro’s competition at the time. In hindsight, it was a rare chance to see Justin Gabriel get a chance to shine on PPV. However, Cesaro’s title reign was not helped with who he was going up against. It was very difficult for Cesaro to ascend into stardom at the time.

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  • “Non-Advertised Match Number Two – Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeated the Prime Time Players in a tag team match. Another good tag team match. I thought they did well considering there differences in style. The match was decently paced. Sin Cara performed really well (NO BOTCHES!) and the match was given a good amount of time to showcase all the talent available. I think both tag teams will benefit from this match. Maybe if they did a Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match, with Team Hell-No, Rhodes-Scholars, Prime Time Players and Mysterio and Sin Cara at Survivor Series, then the tag team division would be given a really good boost. However, during the match, Sin Cara attempted an Asai DDT (the move Ultimo Dragon used to do) on Titus O’Neil but he landed on his head (ouch). He’s apparently doing fine now though, so good news coming off that. It’s nice that Sin Cara’s finally getting some momentum in WWE. It’d be a shame for it to end like that.”

I can’t really remember this match too well but I do remember the spot with Sin Cara’s Asai DDT. It looked naughty at the time and thankfully, he was OK after it happened. I did like the Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara tag team they had going on. I feel that it was a shame that WWE didn’t do the Lucha dream match of Mysterio vs Sin Cara. At least AAA did it recently…

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What followed this was Big Show defeating Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship. At the time, I thought this match was boring. I loved the finish but I just was not into this program. I thought the promotion they did for this program on SmackDown! was lame and I didn’t think it lived up to the build. Looking back… I was wrong.

I was amazed by how wrong I was when I first wrote it. The reason this match was so good is because I was going into this match not expecting a great deal with regards to the in-ring action. However, these two big guys put on a clinic. The near falls for the Brogue Kicks and WMDs were amazing. I got a chance to rewatch it before this review and it was a quality match. It was probably one of, if not the, greatest matches Sheamus has ever had in WWE. It was probably one of the greatest matches Big Show has ever had in WWE.

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  • “Next, a backstage segment involving Eve Torres and Teddy Long arguing, before Zack Ryder came in, dressed as a witch, and effectively calling Eve a bitch, before she stormed off for her title match (more on that later on). Santino Marrella then showed, dressed like Lady Gaga. And then one of the most WTF moments of the year happened with Santino singing some Lady Gaga song. Ron Simmons then came in to deliver the verdict, which all of us were probably thinking… DAMN.”

I remember this! It was a REALLY whacky segment! I was however hyped that Ron Simmons was there!

  • “Divas Title match next. Eve defeated Layla and Kaitlyn to retain the title in a triple threat match. Kaitlyn stood out from the crowd. Good signs of improvement from her. But other than that, it was a pretty sloppy match. Didn’t care a lot about this match.”

Yeah, the Divas Division WAS NOT strong during this period. This was a part of the “Who Attacked Kaitlyn?” angle which was one of the worst divas angles of all time. This match was very hard to enjoy for me. I think I was probably justified with my analogy of this match.

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  • “NOW it’s time for the MAIN EVENT! Ryback vs CM Punk for the WWE Championship inside Hell In A Cell. Right, they started off the match with a little game of cat and mouse – Ryback chasing Punk inside the cell. Ryback would proceed to get some attacks in, and Punk ended up getting some digs in as well, which included CM moving out of the way to allow Ryback to run in the steps which I thought was pretty good. It was pretty evenly matched, and Ryback then got some momentum which would lead to Ryback quoting Shao Kahn, and saying “FINISH HIM”. Shell-Shocked was about to delivered, before the referee Bard Maddox, stopped Ryback in his tracks, low-blowed him, and did a fast count as Punk rolled up Ryback for the win. Wow.”
  • “Not happy with the match being as short as it was. The match was ended way to early, and not a lot happened during that match. Ryback did show us a bit more to him than usual, and he did use the cell as a weapon. However, that ending was terrible. It was an abrupt end, and it was a cheap way for Ryback to lose his streak. A roll-up? It didn’t make look CM Punk look good and it doesn’t make Ryback look good either. Neither did the post-match beatdown on CM Punk and the referee, which was slow paced, and the only noticeable incident was when Ryback threw the ref into a side of the cell. Also, the anti-climatic ending with Ryback performing Shell-Shock to CM Punk on top of the cell didn’t help things. Really? I was hoping for something really big to happen, but no. A Shell-shock on top of the cell really? A really disappointing main event, with a really disappointing finish. I don’t think that Ryback and CM Punk are done either. Urgghh.”

Yes. This really was a bad match. Considering the six week build up to this match and what was at stake for both gentlemen, WWE really dropped the ball. Ryback was white-hot in this period of his career and the WWE just threw his undefeated streak away like it was nothing. Ryback was just never able to recover after he lost that streak. I remembering arguing just before this PPV that it was more important for WWE to preserve CM Punk’s title reign than Ryback’s undefeated streak. I was wrong.

Looking back in hindsight, WWE’s plan with CM Punk was to have him hold onto the title until Royal Rumble. At the Royal Rumble, he was going to lose it to The Rock. If that was the plan anyway, then he should have just dropped the title to Ryback here. If Punk was going to drop the title anyway AND lose to the Undertaker, it was going to hurt all the momentum Punk had built. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for him to face Rock and Undertaker, since it WAS Rock and Undertaker. However, they could have made a star out of Ryback. He could have beaten Punk and then dropped the title back to him in the triple threat match at Survivor Series. Cena would have been pinned, so Ryback’s undefeated streak could still continue since he wasn’t pinned.

This match in general was just a REALLY bad main event. I think in the history of Hell in a Cell matches, this was probably one of the worst. I think that’s mostly due to all the hype they put into this and everything that was on the line. This match had a big impact on future programming and they ended match like that?

This sucked.

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  • “Like I said earlier, this was a PPV of two halves, the matches like the IC Title matches, and the tag team matches were really good, but the World Title matches and the divas match were really bad.  Really disappointed. Expected a lot more of the event. Survivor Series had better be an improvement. Because WWE are starting to get some competition from Impact Wrestling. TNA have been on fire lately, while WWE have been stinking up the place recently. WWE really has to impress, otherwise they are going to lose a lot of fans to the other show. There only a few things in WWE that are making the show tolerable these days.”

I think I was a bit TOO critical of WWE around this time! WWE was bad but it wasn’t “stinking up the place”!

I was wrong about the World title match being “really bad”. However, this really was a PPV of two halves. There was a lot of good action but there was a lot of bad action too including a horrible main event. I was right about one thing… TNA really was stepping up its game around this time. This was really a great period to be a TNA fan, as they were putting on some quality shows. They had some great storylines in place. Meanwhile, WWE were really off their game. I think as soon as The Shield debuted and they hit 2013, WWE started to gain some momentum. However, this Hell in a Cell was really not good enough.

Top Five Moments From WWE RAW (24/08/15)

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This week’s RAW was quite the show, following up a highly-anticipated Summerslam (my review of Summerslam can be seen by clicking at this link). RAW had to follow up strong work from WWE and the two controversial endings to the two co-main events. Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar in a very confusing finish to their epic rematch from Wrestlemania 30. Jon Stewart cost John Cena the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins. But what would happen on RAW the next night? Well, yours truly will select what I believe were the top five talking points and top five moments from this week’s RAW.
1. The Dudley Boyz Return

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The tag team division took a turn for the better at Summerslam, when the New Day regained the WWE Tag Team titles in a great fatal four way tag team match involving themselves, the Prime Time Players, Los Matadores and the Lucha Dragons. The New Day were in action against the Lucha Dragons this week and beat them cleanly in the ring. But as they were celebrating, the Dudley Boyz arrived!

It was, dare I say… vintage Dudley Boyz here in Brooklyn! They took out all three members of the New Day, busting out all the moves that led to them winning 24 world tag team titles. The Dudleyz got an insane pop when their music hit. I marked out myself after seeing them come out! It looks like the Dudleyz are here to stay too as they were advertised for SmackDown! this week. This can only mean that there will be great things ahead for the tag team division.

2. Brock Lesnar KILLS Bo Dallas

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According to Wikipedia, Brock Lesnar actually did kill Bo Dallas on RAW last night!
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Paul Heyman addressed Brock Lesnar’s “loss” to the Undertaker in compelling fashion. Paul then made the challenge for the Undertaker to “bring his dead ass” out to the ring for one more fight. However, Bo Dallas would make his way to the ring. Bo told Brock to bo-lieve in himself. Brock responded by taking Bo on a trip to Suplex City. Not going to lie, I just started laughing as soon Bo got into the ring!

It’s interesting now to see where Brock Lesnar will go from here. Will he just forget about having one more match with the Undertaker or will he go after the WWE World Heavyweight Championship once again?

3. The Wyatt Family’s Newest Member

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Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper may have lost their Summerslam match, but the Eater of Worlds had a trick up his sleeve for their rematch on RAW. This trick turned out to be a big one as the HUGE Braun Stowman emerged to lay out Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. It doesn’t seem that Braun possess much in terms of wrestling ability. However, a mysterious debut like this is always interesting to me. Sometimes they go south (e.g. Mason Ryan) but sometimes they can surprise you. It’s still early days so it’ll be hard to imagine how he’ll do just yet. He’s been at WWE’s developmental centre and made his in-ring debut at the end of 2014. He’s won a number of “strongman” competitions in the past, including the Summerfest Strongman in 2011. Where have I heard that before?


4. We’re Gonna Make This An EIGHT MAN TAG TEAM MATCH Playa!

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This eight man tag team match was a great little main event for RAW. It basically featured everyone who faced each other at Summerslam facing each other again in a BIG eight man tag team match. Randy Orton, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback vs Big Show, Kevin Owens, Rusev and Sheamus. It was a pretty decent match. The kind of multi-man tag team match you’d expect on RAW. The miscommunication between the heel team caused the good guys to win. Rusev and Kevin Owens took their loss out on Big Show and beat him up. The faces then added to the beat down. We saw a quality little RKO from Randy Orton as Cesaro and Ryback lifted Big Show up to be dropped by Orton.

5. Sting Returns To RAW

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According to reports, the WWE were planning a “big angle” for RAW. Well WWE certainty didn’t disappoint with this corker. It was not a ground-shaking moment like CM Punk’s pipebomb or the Nexus invading RAW for the first time. However, it was a pretty quality moment. Seth Rollins was apparently set to have a bronze statue of himself to celebrate his win at Summerslam over John Cena. However, Sting crashed the party by attacking Rollins. Sting then hoisted up the WWE Championship, making it clear why he was back in the WWE!

It’s pretty great to see Sting be able to challenge for the WWE Championship like this. Sting should get this opportunity to have a WWE Championship match, whether it’s his only one or not. From my point of view, I’d love it if Sting were to actually win the title, even if he did hold it for a month. After all, he can still go in the ring and his TNA run proves he can work a full-time schedule if needed. Whether that’ll actually happen is up for debate. However, Sting vs Seth Rollins at Night of Champions sound like a corker to me!

Undertaker Booed On RAW – Thoughts and Reactions

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This week on RAW, we’ve heard something that we’ve not heard for probably more than a decade. Never in our wildest dreams did we think WWE would be able to pull this off but on RAW, they found a way to do it. They managed to get the Undertaker… booed.

Last night’s RAW was in Minnesota and it was the homecoming of Minnesota’s own Brock Lesnar. Brock got a TREMENDOUS reaction from the crowd. Brock is probably the WWE’s hottest property at this moment. Him coming back home and Paul Heyman literally singing his praises was special. But the celebrations were interrupted by the Undertaker. Having spoken earlier on in the show, Taker returned to deliver a low blow. In a similar fashion to Battleground, Undertaker chokeslammed and tombstoned Lesnar to end the show. This resulted in the Minnesota crowd booing Undertaker in what was an incredibly rare moment.

However, after watching RAW I went on Twitter. I’ve been on a few things actually and I’ve seen a lot of fans condemning the Minnesota crowd for booing the Dead Man who just attacked their hometown hero. Many fans were claiming that they disrespected the Undertaker and they were wrong to boo him. My response is this…. what did you think was going to happen?

Undertaker was technically already a heel before this segment began. He was a bad guy that LOW BLOWED Brock Lesnar at Battleground and helped the heel champion retain his title. A low blow is a DIRTY tactic that heels do to gain the upper hand. A last resort used by heels because they can’t beat their opponents straight on. Paul Heyman cut a promo last night saying that Undertaker used a low blow because he was afraid. Undertaker’s attack pretty much confirmed what Heyman said. Undertaker was acting cowardly, so of course the fans were going to boo. When Kevin Owens backs out from a fight, you’d boo because you’d want to see him actually fight. You want to see Undertaker go at it head on with Lesnar like he did a month ago on RAW in that massive brawl. Taker fans would be disappointed for Taker going down this route. In Kayfabe Land… you’d boo.

Not to mention that the attack came after a special moment with Brock Lesnar’s homecoming in front of his home town crowd. Brock is Minnesota’s champion. He is their claim to fame. He’s a Minnesota boy. Just like I’d cheer my local football team Middlesbrough FC. Just like those from Boston would cheer for the Red Sox. You cheer for those that represent you and your town. In 2012 on an episode of RAW, Chicago’s CM Punk walked out on a match in front of his home town but they still cheered him. Why would they boo him? If you watch your local sports team, you would not cheer the other team! So why would Minnesota fans boo Lesnar? And why wouldn’t they boo Undertaker?

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The ending to RAW last night was simply brilliantly worked by WWE. It was a heartwarming moment with Brock returning home followed by Undertaker ruining the party with a low blow and attacking Minnesota’s own. It was exactly what Undertaker needed to get himself “heel heat”. I understand Undertaker fans tweeting about how it was disrespectful to boo the Undertaker but it would be an insult to the Undertaker if at this moment… you didn’t.

Undertaker’s latest character development is how the Undertaker realizes he is no longer immortal. Brock conquered his streak and he realizes that in order to maintain his place in WWE, he has to do whatever it takes. And whatever it takes actually means WHATEVER it takes. The Undertaker is 50 years old now and has spent the majority of the last five years being injured. He cannot beat foes head on like he’s supposed to. He needs to do whatever it takes to stay alive in the WWE and unfortunately, he has to go against the wishes of the WWE universe to do so.

The fans now booing Undertaker is them realizing that this not the same old Undertaker that they’re used to it. It’s a vengeful reaper who will go to any depths necessary to exact his revenge. Indeed, Undertaker has returned to the darkness once more and it’s made for compelling television on RAW.

How I Would Book… The End Of The Streak – CM Punk [Part Three]

NOTE: Be sure to check out the last two parts before reading ahead.

Links

PART ONE: Introduction

PART TWO: John Cena

We discussed the possibility of John Cena breaking the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. We discussed the strengths and weaknesses of his claim to end the 20 year legacy. Now it’s time to do it again. If it shouldn’t be either Brock Lesnar OR John Cena, then who should it be? It’s actually fairly simple. In fact, it’s somebody that was a victim of the streak in the past. Had the booking of this fellow been adjusted a little, he would have been in a prime position to end the streak and etch his name as one of the all-time greats rather than becoming just another victim of the Undertaker. It’s a popular choice among fans and it’s somebody who can be transformed once more into a top draw in the company. Perhaps than the streak should have been broken… by CM Punk.

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Yes, CM Punk was himself a victim of the Undertaker’s streak. Having just had his own “streak” of being WWE Champion ended by The Rock, Punk walked into Wrestlemania 29 hoping to be the one in 20-1. Instead Punk was beaten like the rest by the Undertaker, joining the likes of Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Edge as part of the most legendary streak of all. But what if Punk had actually ENDED the streak which Paul Heyman apparently actually pitched to Vince McMahon back in 2013. It’s also a topic discussed in the video down below by the YouTuber DenkOps…

In the video, he discusses the idea of CM Punk’s 434 day title reign going on even further. He would have beaten The Rock at the Royal Rumble and the Royal Rumble would have been won by the Undertaker. DenkOps suggests that Rock/Punk would be the main event of the show, but if Undertaker were to come back as a surprise entrant you’d think that would be bumped up to the main event. After all, they would be planting the seeds for the main event of Wrestlemania with this night. So Punk would win the title FOLLOWED by Undertaker winning the Rumble if I were to book this. This would lead all the way to Wrestlemania 29, where Punk would be challenged by the Undertaker. A Title vs Streak match which see Punk conquer the streak.

I personally believe that it would have supported Punk’s claim to break the streak MORE if he had done it as WWE Champion. To have Punk simply HAVE the title for as long as he did is not enough to make someone a main event calibre star. You have to give the champion big wins over big stars to truly define him as one of the greatest champions in wrestling history. Granted, he was wrestling week-in and week-out so that puts him above the likes of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior in terms of activity as a wrestler. Hogan and Warrior only defended the WWF title on certain events where as Punk was defending it at least once a month against a huge list of wrestlers. However, the list of contenders for Punk’s title really was really lacking in star power. He did go up against main event talent like Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho, but I’m talking about bonafide megastars in WWE. The only true TOP star Punk actually successfully defended the title against… was John Cena.

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If he had beaten the likes of The Rock en route to facing Undertaker, than obviously his title reign would have been given a little weight to it. And if he beat Undertaker at Wrestlemania as well, it would have meant that the Deadman would have been beaten by somebody who, according kayfabe, were actually in the prime of their life. Undertaker was given a true top talent at the top of his game. He was given the WWE Champion. He was given the true Best in the World. And Punk’s title reign and victory over Undertaker means a HELL of a lot more than if he had just come off from LOSING the championship.

Now the one thing we’ve established so far in this series, is that it should have been someone special that broke that streak. Brock Lesnar and John Cena both fit this bill. Cena was the top dog in WWE for more than a decade and Brock Lesnar is the former UFC champion that conquered everything in his path… well almost everything.

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The point is, the breaker of the streak actually HAS to have that unique and mystique about him that separates him from the rest. Brock Lesnar and John Cena are different from the rest. Does CM Punk fit that mold? What separates him from everybody else? Well let’s take a look at Punk as a character.

CM Punk doesn’t have the UFC background of Lesnar nor is he the “franchise player” of WWE like Cena. But he does have qualities that separate him from everyone else. Think about it. On June 27th 2011, CM Punk’s original “pipebomb” was one of the first instances in years that the line between fiction and reality was beginning to shatter on WWE television. Some will argue that it was the genesis of the newly-dubbed “Reality Era” of WWE. It was the beginning of WWE’s integration into social relevancy as it attracted huge buzz on mainstream and social media. In many ways, Punk LEGITIMATELY was the catalyst of change for WWE.

Now obviously his role in throwing WWE into the social media spotlight is not a strong enough reason to have him breaking the Undertaker’s undefeated streak. But keep that last paragraph in mind if Punk actually broke the streak. WWE is now in the “Reality Era” of wrestling. Punk beating Taker gives the WWE audiences a huge reality check. It’s the reality check that literally ANYTHING can happen in WWE. Nothing would represent that change for WWE than to have the streak of the Undertaker end at the hands of CM Punk. Punk would have been a true agent of change in WWE by doing something you’d think nobody would ever do.

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I think this special effect Punk had on WWE television gives him the uniqueness that separates him from everybody else. That and his historic title reign puts Punk in a very strong position to break the Undertaker’s streak. There’s a number of other unique aspects about Punk to talk about. It may be minor but there’s nobody else that’s been given all the time on-and-off screen to speak his mind about the WWE than CM Punk. And there’s few people as polarizing as Punk either. Those that are fans of Punk are extremely passionate about him to the point where even 18 months after he left, they are still chanting his name at events. If anything, Punk’s influenced so many fans to express themselves to the point where it’s actually having drastic changes in the WWE’s plans for big events like Wrestlemania.

Fans have always been been vocal when it comes to wrestling, but Punk’s brought some of the more extreme fans out of hiding. He’s an incredibly beloved character. That’s why his name is thrown around so much for a candidate to beat Undertaker. If you love a wrestler so much, you’ll want to see them get everything you think they deserve. And it’s for this reason… why he SHOULDN’T have been the one to break Undertaker’s streak…

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Let’s discuss our other candidates. Brock Lesnar’s story is about a conquering freak of nature that is capable of beating everyone in his path and doing everything he sets his mind on. John Cena’s story, on the other hand, is of a hero who inspires others to never give up no matter the odds. If anything, he’s WWE’s version of Goku from Dragonball Z. A true representation that anything is possible. On the other hand, Punk’s story is about a man who’s true addiction is wrestling and having the desire to be the best. He’s scratched and clawed from his days as an indie wrestler to make it to the top, and is always wanting to prove that he is in fact the best in the world. He wants to prove that it doesn’t take a certain look and the build of an Olympian to be the best.

Despite calling himself the best in the world, Punk’s an underdog in the majority of his matches. Everybody likes a true underdog. But if that underdog accomplishes everything the big dogs accomplish, why would you want to root for him? What else would be left for Punk to do after conquering the streak? Punk could hold the championship for another year after beating the streak but after losing the title, Punk would have nothing left to aspire to in WWE. Having gotten his big Wrestlemania match, an historic WWE title reign and even the STREAK, he doesn’t really need anything else.

There’s also Punk’s mentality around the time with Heyman suggesting in podcasts that Punk was itching to leave WWE a lot sooner. It would be a real shame for the streak to be broken by someone who might not even be here for years to come and whose heart’s not in it anymore.

There’s other reasons for Punk not breaking the streak too but I think I’m pretty much gonna wrap things up here of my analysis of CM Punk. In the end, it would go against everything you’d love about Punk as a character if he were to break the streak. Why would you care for an underdog that accomplishes everything there is to accomplish?

To read more about what I thought about the potential of CM Punk vs Undertaker being the main event of Wrestlemania 29, click on the link below from a past “How I Would Book“. Be sure to check out Part Four of the series, when I move onto my own picks about who I thought truly should have broken the Undertaker’s streak.

How I Would Book… Undertaker vs CM Punk