Extreme Rules 2016 Review – Extremely Fine Professional Wrestling

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Extreme Rules saw the continuation of the “new era” in WWE. Feuds and storylines continued on from Payback, with Roman Reigns and AJ Styles battling for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship once again. Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose settled their differences in the first ever Asylum match and four men went to war in a action-packed fatal four way match for the Intercontinental Championship. The pressure was on for WWE to deliver.

 

PRE-SHOW: Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler in a No Disqualification match

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Ziggler fired up on Corbin early with Corbin turning the tables by sending Ziggler over the turnbuckle Triple-H-style. He took over and there was some really nice heel offense from Corbin. He yelled at Ziggler to “stay home” which led to Ziggler’s comeback. Corbin moved out of the way for Ziggler’s elbow drop but Ziggler simply dropkicked him and did the elbow drop anyway.

Corbin hit the Deep Six. Corbin caught Ziggler off the top, to which Ziggler countered with a DDT. That was a very well executed spot. Ziggler hit the famouser but Corbin kicked out. Corbin then hit the low blow on Ziggler to which Mauro Ranallo sold tremendously on commentary. He claimed that Corbin “pulverised the plums” of Ziggler! Corbin hit the End of Days and won.

It was an OK pre-show match. The right man won and hopefully Corbin can move on to somebody else.

 

The Usos vs Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in a tornado tag team match

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The Usos attacked Gallows and Anderson on the entrance ramp. Again I ask… who are the heels supposed to be?

The Usos ran wild until Anderson sent one of the Usos into the crowd. He came back out to do a dive. Gallows Irish Whipped an Uso into the ringpost and the duo did the Boot of Doom to the other one. This got applause from the crowd.

Anderson and Gallows battered Jey Uso with corner running attacks. They attempted a Doomsday Device but they are stopped. The Club tried the Boot of Doom but was stopped again. The Usos delivered the double superkick on Gallows and went for the the double splash but Anderson cut him off.

One of the Usos tried a Whisper in the Wind but missed. There was an cool spot when the Gallows Pole, Samoan Drop and a Spinebuster were delivered in one big sequence.

These guys were working at a really fast pace and they were doing a damn good job at it. Karl ran into the superkick from Jey. Jey did the running hip attack into the barricade, which was followed by a big clothesline by Gallows. This prompted JBL to yell “LARIATOOOO!”

Gallows grabbed the ring bell but was cut off by Jimmy’s superkick. Big Boos when the Usos took over. Jimmy went for the splash but missed which led to the Club hitting Black Magic and winning.

The right team won this. This was a fast but greatly worked match and both teams should really give themselves a pat on the back. The right team won as the Club obviously needed the clean win over the Usos.

 

Kalisto (c) vs Rusev for the United States Championship

Kalisto tried to cut Rusev down to size with a number of kicks but Rusev wasn’t budging. Rusev no-sold a springboard move, playing a great big man in this David vs Goliath match. Rusev laced Kalisto with a kick to the face and “We Want Lana” chants broke out. Rusev delivered a running elbow drop, which Kalisto kicked out of. Rusev looked very mean in this match.

There were “let’s go Rusev” and “Rusev sucks” chants, with the pro-Rusev chants winning. Rusev locked on the bearhug, with the Bulgarian going to the ground while Kalisto screamed. Michael Cole reminded us that this is a traditional match, as opposed to all the non-traditional matches in WWE history. There were small CM Punk chants IN 2016. Keep trying guys. Rusev did the torture rack, where he carried him around and taunted like a true heel powerhouse. This was great old-school stuff from Rusev.

Kalisto tried a sleeper but Rusev simply drops him, with Lana applauding. Kalisto fires up with a corckscrew springboard and hurricanrana facebuster. Kalisto did a hurricanrana to Rusev into the steel steps. That was a pretty innovate attack. Kalisto did a springboard frog splash but Rusev kicked out. Kalisto did an awesome moonsault to the outside. Rusev tossed Kalisto onto the ring apron. With injuries mounting up for WWE, why not risk another one by dropping Kalisto on the hardest part of the ring? Really good idea. Rusev tried to go for the accolade but the referee stopped him. The referee wanted to check on Kalisto. Rusev ignores him and went for PAINFUL accolade submission. Kalisto tapped out quickly and soon as Rusev stretched Kalisto out with the move. We had a new WWE United States Champion.

This did catch me off-guard as I expected Kalisto to win but the right man won. This was a fun and unique match, with the perfect use of the David vs Goliath chemistry.

The New Day cut a promo. Xaiver wants to “shoot his shot,” which led to a “shoot his shot” chant.  They talked about the time machine segment from RAW. Usually antics from the group. This got big reactions from the crowd.

Simon Gotch laid it in early on as the Vaudevillians beat up the New Day. JBL once again referenced to Leicester City’s Premier League title victory. Aiden hit a reverse stroke. Big E went for Big Ending but the Vaudevillians broke it up. They attacked Kofi on the outside.

Big E got the hot tag and delivered belly to bellys to English and Gotch and hit a big splash.

This was actually a great comeback from Big E as the New Day took over. Big E hit the big spear to Aiden English to the outside. I always love this spot but Big E really shouldn’t be doing it as much as he does it. He does not land well for him. After interference from Kofi, Xaiver hit the running knee to retain the tag titles.

This was a fine tag team match and Xaiver looked strong which is good. Xaiver doesn’t really wrestle in the tag team matches as much as Big E and Kofi, so it’s great to see him get his chance in the ring. Xaiver’s actually a good worker so it’s nice to see him involved. The right team won.

 

AJ was walking backstage. Renee interviewed him. AJ vowed to win the title, which was a case from deja vu as he essentially did the same promo from Payback. He went into the Club locker room.

 

The Miz (c) w/Maryse vs Cesaro vs Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship

Quite interesting to see the Intercontinental Championship match get a promo video beforehand. It was a pretty good one actually and it genuinely did a good job in hyping up the match.

Cesaro was casually doing press-ups in the ring during the entrances. The match got off to a flyer, with Sami blistering down to the other corner of the ring and blasting Kevin Owens with a Helluva kick. This was a very effective start-of-the-match finisher which played into the storylines and a great touch to the match. Gave me flashbacks to Survivor Series 2009, where Shawn Michaels hit Triple H with the superkick right away! Just awesome stuff.

Cesaro followed this up by running across the ring to uppercut Miz. This lead to Cesaro and Zayn having a nice one-on-one exchange between the Swiss Man and the Canadian.

Zayn took Cesaro to arm drag city, with Cesaro turning things around. Zayn then delivered hurricanranas and side kicks to Cesaro in a lovely little back and forth. Cesaro caught Zayn with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Miz got back involved, which eventually led to Zayn doing a dive to both Cesaro and Miz on the outside. Miz begged Zayn off, but Miz lured him into an attack. Miz hit his signature clothesline in the corner. There was a tower of doom spot building which was broken up by Kevin Owens. Owens actually did a good job in breaking up the spot. I saw somebody on Twitter calling Kevin Owens the “babyface of the year” for breaking up the tower of doom spot. It is insanely overdone though in fatal four ways.

Despite this, we still ended up getting one anyway. Owens took control for a few minutes but Miz and Zayn got involved to set up a double suplex spot. Cesaro swooped in and delivered the tower of doom spot. This did get a big pop though.

Do you remember a spot at WrestleMania 22, when Kurt Angle did the double German suplex spot with Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio? We saw quite the alternative during this match, when Miz got Zayn up for the Taz-Plex with Cesaro delivering the German suplex to Miz which launched Zayn. A tricky spot to pull off which didn’t exactly have the same effect as the WrestleMania spot, but it still looked sharp.

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Cesaro ran wild and delivered uppercuts to everyone. Kevin then took over with a German suplex to Cesaro. Owens clotheslined Miz and proceeded to do cannonballs to Cesaro, Miz and Zayn. Cesaro hit the uppercut to Zayn. Miz sneaked in from behind and hit the Skull Crushing Finale to Cesaro but Cesaro kicked out. A good way to build up Cesaro, considering that he was the one who got pinned later. The match was at such a fast pace that I really struggled to make notes of everything.

Miz slapped Cesaro for kicking out which led to a springboard uppercut by Cesaro. Cesaro did the Cesaro Swing to the Miz. He went for the sharpshooter but the Miz got the ropes. Maryse was dragged into ring from the sharpshooter. Miz eventually tapped but the referee was distracted. Kevin Owens tried a roll-up and then hit the bullfrog splash on Miz. Cesaro hit the neutriliser but Zayn broke it up!

We got big ole chants! The crowd was going crazy for this match! Zayn hit an awesome looking sunset flip on Cesaro but Cesaro kicked out. Cesaro hit a HUGE uppercut to Zayn! Zayn hit the Exploder Suplex.

Zayn tried the Helluva kick but he was cut off by Owens. Owens hit the Pop-up Powerbomb, went for the cover but it was broken up by Miz. Miz gave the Skull Crushing Finale to Owens on outside. He covered Cesaro but Cesaro kicked out.

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Zayn hit the Helluva kick on Ceasro but Owens threw him out. Zayn eventually got mad and beats up Owens on the outside. Miz covered Cesaro and finally won. This match was all kinds of awesome. Bravo to EVERYONE involved! Miz more than held his own against the likes of Cesaro, Zayn and Owens. They did everything they could to protect Cesaro before they finally beat him. It was a good finish with Zayn’s hatred of Owens getting the best of him as Miz sneaked away with the pin. If Zayn had stopped bullying Owens on the outside, he would have won!

Just remember kids – don’t be a bully! Be a star!

I know a lot of people were upset with The Miz retaining the title but the right man won and I’ll explain why. The story of the match was that Cesaro, Zayn and Owens all were fighting their arses of to try and win the championship, with the Miz having to resort to sneaky pin attempts throughout the match. Cesaro, Zayn and Owens all looked great in this match as the Intercontinental Championship meant everything to them. In fact, they all looked BETTER than The Miz.

Zayn tried over and over again to win the match but Kevin Owens cut him off every time. He hit the Helluva kick one last time but Owens broke it up again. This enraged Zayn so much that he simply decided to just try and beat Owens to a pulp, as it’s the only way that he’ll get him out of the picture. He’s blinded by rage so much though that he allowed Miz to steal the pin and finally retain the title.

You didn’t bury Zayn, as he had the match won. You didn’t bury Cesaro, as he kicked out of all sorts of moves. You didn’t bury Owens, as he was one of the smartest wrestlers in this match. You didn’t bury Miz, as he WON THE MATCH. Everybody got over and the challengers all qualified for the Money In The Bank match anyway, so who really cares if the Miz got the pin?

This was quite possibly the best match shown on the main roster in all of 2016 so far and it involved… THE MIZ.

Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho in an Asylum match

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They played “creepy” music as the Asylum cage came down and we got a Perry Saturn reference from JBL. You could tell from the get-go that this was going to be… weird.

Jericho ran to the door right away but Ambrose stops him. This match couldn’t end via escape. Ambrose grated his face with the cage. I respect Jericho for working the match in those jeans.

Ambrose smashed Jericho into the cage walls. Ambrose has some serious pondering to do as he went for the mop and the bucket but Jericho stopped him.

Think about this for a minute. In a match where weapons such as 2x4s are available, Ambrose went for the mop. As far as the structure of the match and the “build” up to the best weapon until last deal, it would make sense for Jericho and Ambrose to use the “weaker” weapons first. However I’d imagine that if I could go for any of those weapons during an actual fight, I would not go for a mop. It’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight.

 

Charlotte (c) vs Natalya in a submission match for the WWE Women’s Championship. If Ric Flair interjected himself into the match, Charlotte would lose the title.

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I’ve not been a fan of Charlotte during her title reign. In the seven days between the RAW before Extreme Rules and the RAW after Extreme Rules, the WWE found a way to make me utterly detest the idea of Charlotte being the top star on the women’s roster. The main event segment of RAW with Charlotte and Natalya did little to help with the promotion of this match. Then I watched the match. Infuriating…

Someone on Twitter mentioned that they totally expected Ric to come to the ring in a disguise to interfere. I actually would have forgiven everything bad about this Charlotte/Natalya feud if they had Ric Flair come out in some clever disguise. I just wish he came out as himself but with a GIANT mustache, which completely fools Natalya! Natalya ended up getting fooled twice in this match so if you’re going to make Natalya out to be a complete fool, at least do it in the most entertaining way possible! The finish of the Payback saw a Montreal Screwjob so why not do another completely ridiculous finish?

We got early Sharpshooter attempts by Natalya. Momentum in the match switched back and forth. Charlotte delivered a chin-lock but a snapmare by Natalya turned the tide.
Natalya hit the discuss clothesline and forearms, and the girls did some moves.
Charlotte went for figure-four but Nat countered this into an ARMBAR which led to the dead-lift spot from Charlotte.

Roman Reigns (c) vs AJ Styles in an Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

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Then we got the main event of the evening and it was quite a main event. We got big boos for Roman and big cheers for AJ. We also got a “Roman is Anoai-ng” sign from the crowd! We got a lovely little striking battle between AJ and Roman. AJ grabbed the chair but Roman cut him off. Roman grabbed the chair and went for a chair shot, but AJ moved out of the way. They battled into the crowd and even fought into the kick-off panel area. Roman threw him into the panel table, which looked like it sucked for AJ.

AJ then fired back with a Phenomenal Forearm off the kick-off table. AJ mocked Roman’s roar as they made it back into the ringside area. AJ took away the protective floor padding. A Styles Clash there would have been really nasty but Roman fought out of it. Roman went for a powerbomb but AJ punched his way out of it. They landed on the German announce table. A Styles Clash on the announce table was countered by Reigns, who backdropped AJ through the table. Styles landed right on his arse and it looked very painful for the phenomenal one. After all, AJ does get some serious air time with these backdrops that he takes!

Following that move and a big Batista Bomb by Roman in the ring (which looked great), we got “you still suck” chants from the crowd. This was a good chant for Roman as the fans acknowledged that what he did was cool but they still just didn’t like him. At least the crowd notices that what you did was awesome.

AJ did the chop block and suplexed Roman into the turnbuckle. AJ hit the running knee. Roman caught AJ’s attempt at a hurricanrana on the outside and SWUNG AJ into the ring post and the barricade before powerbombing AJ through another announce table. This was a great spot for Roman and AJ did a great job in making the guy look good.

To make sure that it wasn’t a completely one-sided beating, Roman missed a spear through the barricade. This was all great stuff. Roman then countered a Phenomenal Forerarm with a Superman punch. A great counter from the Samoan.

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Roman then speared AJ on the floor. AJ took some serious hits during this match, which is probably why WWE did all their best to protect him physically in the few weeks before the pay-per-view. As pointed out by Bryan Alvarez, AJ Styles is ridiculously great. Gallows and Andrson came out and hit the Boot of Doom on Roman. They rolled AJ into the cover but Reigns kicked out. The Usos run out and hit everyone with super kicks! This was quite the super kick party as they battered AJ. They did the Uso Splash but AJ kicked out. The brawl between the tag teams continued with Roman giving Superman Punches to Gallows and Anderson. AJ then hit the Styles Clash but Roman kicked out.

AJ caught Roman’s Superman Punch with a Pele kick. Some great stuff. Styles then hit Roman with the Styles Clash on the chair, which got a two count. Then we got the best spot in the entire match in my opinion. AJ, after everything that’s happened with Gallows, Anderson, Usos and Roman, completely snaps. He grabs a chair and unleashes hell of Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. The crowd is going crazy as AJ lays waste to everyone with chairs in an incredible 30 seconds of the match. I wish that AJ won the match off that but he didn’t. Roman got the victory by catching AJ coming off the top rope and hit him with a spear. AN INCREDIBLE MATCH.

People were upset with the finish of this one as Roman Reigns went over. However, AJ Styles put on the performance of a lifetime in order to make Roman out to be a star. Think of every wrestler than Roman Reigns has faced since his big push began. He’s wrestled against the likes of Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar but it was still hard to take him seriously as a main event star. He had good matches with Daniel Bryan and he did look good in taking the beating from Brock Lesnar. However, AJ is the first wrestler to make Roman seem like an actual Superman in the WWE. AJ sold and sold moves like crazy and did everything in his power to put Roman Reigns over. He did lose the match clean and he did take a lot of punishment, but I do personally believe that big things are ahead for AJ after this performance. You know why? Because he made Vince McMahon’s golden boy out to be such a star to the point where even Roman Reigns’ detractors are acknowledging that he’s doing some badass moves in this main event with AJ. I personally believe that this was much better than their Payback match. I did say that the Intercontinental title match may have been the best main roster match of the year, but this match is a incredibly close rival. This match was ever so good.

So following all of this, Seth Rollins appears to an insane pop. Seth hit the Pedigree on Roman and held up the WWE World title to make his return after six months out with an injury. I did not expect this to happen but I think this could lead to something great happening in their title match at Money In The Bank…

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I’m not going to lie… I thought Payback was a better pay-per-view than Extreme Rules. With that said though, NOTHING that happened at Payback was better than the Intercontinental title match and the main event match of Extreme Rules. Those two matches were something to behold. Everyone of the six men involved in those two matches came off as such stars to me. Even Gallows, Anderson and the Usos looked good and their tag match was actually pretty good. I think Payback was the better show but I think Extreme Rules did a much better job in sending the storylines and direction of the company in the right direction.

Why Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton Needs To Happen

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It’s fair to say that Brock Lesnar’s not exactly had a huge range of wrestlers to work with. Considering his lack of bookings, you’d think WWE would want to have Lesnar work with as many people and as many new talents on the roster as possible. Brock Lesnar vs Sheamus, or Brock Lesnar vs Cesaro, or Brock Lesnar vs Ryback, or Brock Lesnar vs Bray Wyatt, or Brock Lesnar vs Dean Ambrose. The possibilities are endless. If you want Brock to truly stand out as a dominant force in WWE, have him go through and destroy… EVERYONE.

So it’s just a shame that Brock’s list of matches since resigning in 2012 has included FOUR matches including John Cena, Big Show and the Undertaker… all of whom he’s feuded with before. Brock should be given the chance to try something new and challenge somebody new. His match with CM Punk at Summerslam 2013 was exceptional. Brock and Seth Rollins did some amazing work during the triple threat involving Cena at Royal Rumble. Even with Triple H, Lesnar had a challenge and their matches weren’t TOO bad, Brock wanted to comeback and wrestle new stars, not the same old people he feuded with a decade ago.

So why not give him an interesting feud with somebody that’s just as natural-gifted as him? Why not give him a feud with somebody who’s coming off a white-hot face turn? Why not book him… against Randy Orton?

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Now this is a match that has been thought up of and dreamed about by fans around the world. It’s one of the dream matches that we’ve never really seen go down…. OK well that’s a lie. It’s happened once!
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Once upon a time, the young rookie Randy Orton challenged the new Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar for the title on SmackDown! That was in 2002 and a lot has happened to both men since.

Both men are now MEGA STARS with years of experiences and at their best, are REALLY good workers. It would make great sense to have these two throw down.

It’s pretty unbelievable that since 2012, this match hasn’t been done before by WWE. It’s pretty much right up Vince McMahon’s ally. There’s been talk of these two having a match before at Summerslam 2012 but it was scrapped and WWE decided to go with Lesnar vs Triple H.

And the idea of the match has been teased at on television a few times too…

  1. First, when Triple H was trying to get Brock to stay with WWE on the night after Extreme Rules 2012. Triple H ran down a few potential dream matches that the fans wanted to see Brock compete in including matches with Sheamus, CM Punk and yes… Randy Orton.
  2. Secondly, on the night after the 2014 Royal Rumble, Paul Heyman suggested the match to RAW General Manager Brad Maddox, with then WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton putting the title on the line.

The reason for this match to happen is quite simple. In fact, Tom Clark from Bleacher Report, put it best in this article

“Anyone on WWE‘s top tier or working as a strong main event presence right now has been beaten by Lesnar. Everyone that is, except for Orton.”

And it’s not like there’s a lot WWE needs to do to bring these two together. With Seth Rollins being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, these two surely should be heading on a collision course.

Let me just break off into a scenario in which I think could work as a means to bring the two together. Yep, this article just turned into another “How I Would Book”!

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At the moment, Brock Lesnar is “suspended” at WWE but is still owed a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. Most likely, he will get this title match at Summerslam. For Brock’s title match to truly have a strong build within the context of the story, Seth Rollins NEEDS to be the champion walking into that event. I’ve seen a few articles talk about Randy Orton WINNING the WWE World title at Payback and going on to fight Brock Lesnar. That’s fine, but doing that would lead to Seth Rollins falling into obscurity, at least in the short run, while Lesnar fights Orton. You could go with a triple threat between Orton, Lesnar and Rollins at Summeslam, but I think the problem with his is simple.

Brock’s already been involved with a triple threat match with Seth Rollins this year at the Royal Rumble. Technically, he’s been in TWO triple threat matches with Rollins as the Wrestlemania main event turned into a triple threat. We really want to get away from booking the same main events over and over.

My particular scenario would have the match booked at Survivor Series as I’d like to have Lesnar vs Rollins as the Summerslam main event and “tie up some loose ends”. But this how storyline starts with Payback, where Randy would beat Rollins for the title. Orton would retain in the Elimination Chamber which would then lead to a one-on-one rematch at Money In The Bank in a tables match or something. A match which means nobody actually gets beat. With help from the Authority, Seth regains the championship. They have one last rematch at Battleground which ends in Seth getting DQ’d, which gives Randy Orton some gripe and would demand a rematch. With Brock coming back, Orton would get his title match rejected. Fastforward to Summerslam…

Randy would do something that inadvertently costs Lesnar the match. This of course, would make Lesnar want revenge. And when he comes back just before Survivor Series, Brock would target Orton. And it’s as simple as that!

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This is exactly the type of match WWE would want be a TOP PPV match for an event like Survivor Series. This is the type of match Vince McMahon would be ecstatic with. Two natural-gifted workers with great physiques that could come together sooner than you’d think with little explanation needed.

Wrestling Flashback – Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns

Thanks ToxHLRules for the awesome video highlights.

I really did like this feud between Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. There was that great amount of intensity that made this short feud really worth while. You’ve got the venomous viper against the cold soft-spoken badass Samoan. If you put them together, you’re in for a treat.

Although Orton lost, he still looked strong coming off of it. He put on a great performance against Reigns that night. I remember the Spear reversed into the powerslam and the spear into the RKO as two examples. Those two spots, when I saw them live, really had me on the edge of my seat.

The two wrestlers just played off each other so well and when you’re on the outside of a major storyline involving Cena, The Authority and Brock Lesnar, it’s hard to make yourself noticed. You have to take a backseat as obviously everybody is interested in Lesnar and Cena. Also, there was a huge interest in Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose too. But these two really blew if out of the park at Summerslam and I’m really annoyed that the feud finished so early as it had so much left in its tank. Maybe they were planning to come back to it if Roman hadn’t gotten injured. I don’t know. However, if the purpose was just to provide a short but exciting program that could elevate Roman Reigns… WWE did a hell of a job.

02/06/14 RAW Reaction – Seth Rollins Turns On The Shield

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Ah… Triple H always wins in the end.

Evolution may have lost the battles against The Shield at Extreme Rules and Payback, but he seems to have won the war with the Hounds Of Justice with perhaps the steal of the century. While Evolution’s Plan A of merely kicking their asses failed, as Triple H said…

“There’s always a Plan B….”

Plan B was the destruction of The Shield, by turning one of the hounds on their own…

Seth Rollins was the cause of the implosion of The Shield by whacking Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose with the chairs he introduced to the ring. I can’t say I’m surprised that Seth was the one that turned and joined Evolution. Reigns is too over as a face to be turning any time soon and Dean Ambrose is too  crazy to fit in Evolution! I am surprised about the timing. I think it caught us all off guard. I was actually going to write up a blog post asking the question of “How Long The Shield Would Last?” And as it turns out.. not that long!

If anyone needs a spell with Evolution, it’s definitely Seth Rollins. Triple H is a DAMN good mouthpiece for Seth. And that’s not me shitting on Seth Rollins’ mic skills. He’s an alright talker… but not as good as Triple H. He’s the kind of guy that could take shit and be able to put it over. I mean guys like Randy Orton and Batista that aren’t too powerful on the mic had a real good asset in Triple H as a mouthpiece. Seth’s gonna benefit just like them… only he’s got the in-ring ability as well. So with Triple H’s dare I say God-Like mic skills and his incredible in-ring work, Seth’s already got a tremendous future ahead of him. Now another two things to take into account… his former partners.

Roman Reigns, I believe, is going to be the next big thing in WWE. WWE already know that, that’s why they’re pushing him so hard now. He was seen as the top dog in the Shield and, in my opinion, is headed to do battle with The Game Triple H! It’s Deano I’m worried about.

Dean is a very talented wrestler in the ring and even better on the mic. The lunatic fringe is in a good state right now… but what’s his plan? I mean that long and, to be quite honest, dire US Title reign of Dean’s never helped him. What’s his next step gonna be once Roman goes out alone?

I hope it’s for the best because with Reigns and Rollins seemingly headed for glory, it’s hard to believe that Ambrose is gonna be the worst hit by the dissolution of The Shield. However, one man that’s not gonna get hit by this is the newest member of Evolution… Seth Rollins!

WWE Payback 2014 Predictions

 

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Pre-Show: Hornswoggle vs El Torito – Hair vs Mask match

Background: This legendary rivalry between Hornswoggle and El Torito has been brewing for months. Just as we thought we saw the last encounter in this epic feud, it was announced that on the Payback Pre-Show that these two wrestling icons would battle once more. This time, it isn’t just for the bragging rights. If Hornswoggle loses, he gets his head shaved bald. If El Torito loses, he gets unmasked. Máscara contra cabellera! Mask vs Hair! This is for all of the marbles!

Who Should Win?: El Torito, because I’m a major El Torito mark! 😀

Who Will Win?: Obviously, El Torito’s mask is a lot more of a marketable product than Hornswoggle’s hair so it’s not exactly hard to figure out who’s gonna win…

 

Big E vs Rusev

Background: The Bulgarian Brute Rusev (who is now apparently a Russian monster… like we haven’t seen that before) has been making his way through a majority of wrestlers since he debuted the night after Wrestlemania. However, at Payback he encounters his biggest test yet. Big E hopes to bounce of his Intercontinental Title loss to Bad News Barrett by knocking off Rusev and end his undefeated streak.

Who Should Win?: Big E, because I honestly don’t want to see Big E job out to Rusev right after losing the IC Title. That would be a step in the wrong direction for his career.

Who Will Win? Rusev. Come on, WWE aren’t going to have him get beat THIS early into his main roster tenure.

 

Paige (c) vs Alicia Fox for the Divas Championship

Background: After losing to the reigning Divas Champion on RAW (3 weeks ago I think) Alicia pretty much flipped her lid as she tore up equipment at ringside and attacking staff members. Somehow in this spell of craziness, she picked up a victory over Paige on RAW which earned her a championship match against Paige at Payback… somehow.

Who Should Win?: Paige. This new character/storyline for Alicia Fox is LAME. Alicia CANNOT act for shit, let alone play crazy. Paige needs to beat this girl and retain her championship.

Who Will Win?: Paige. I don’t see WWE having Paige drop the title THIS early.

 

Sheamus (c) vs Cesaro for the United States Championship

Background: The night after Extreme Rules, Sheamus captured the US Championship in a 20 Man Battle Royal put together by the Authority. Sheamus would then compete in a number of matches with Paul Heyman’s new client Cesaro. After fighting to a draw at Main Event, Cesaro picked up a non-title victory over the Irishman with the help of Heyman. This has led to Cesaro receiving a title shot at Payback and if he wins, he will give his manager Heyman even more reason to boast. By the way, did you know his client Brock Lesnar broke the Undertaker’s Undefeated Streak at Wrestlemania?

Who Should Win? Sheamus, because I don’t want Cesaro to win the US Title for two reasons….

  1. The last time a “Paul Heyman guy” won a mid-card championship, he never exactly went anywhere with it but down…
  2. Cesaro doesn’t need a US title run… but Sheamus does.

However, I hope that this doesn’t have a clean finish. Cesaro deserves better than that.

Who Will Win? Sheamus.

 

Bad News Barrett (c) vs Rob Van Dam for the Intercontinental Championship

Background: Rob Van Dam won a Beat The Clock challenge on RAW in London which earned him a Intercontinental Championship match at Payback. However right after winning the challenger… HE RECEIVED SOME BAD NEWS! A Bullhammer to the back of the head as Barrett stood tall.

Who Should Win?: Bad News Barrett

Who Will Win?: If you think Rob Van Dam is going to win… I’M AFRAID I’VE GOT SOME BAD NEWS!

 

Bray Wyatt vs John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match

Background: The score is currently 1-1 in this series between John Cena and Bray Wyatt. Cena thought he had saved his legacy when he beat Wyatt at Wrestlemania, but at Extreme Rules Wyatt levelled the score with a huge cage match victory. As Wyatt hopes to crush the Cenation leader for good, Cena vowed last week on RAW to show Wyatt’s true colours at Payback.

Who Should Win?: If there’s a god… Bray Wyatt.

Who Will Win?: John Cena. I just have a really bad feeling that Cena is not gonna want to lose this feud with Wyatt, which is unfortunate for Bray. I’d like to think that WWE would give Wyatt the victory he desperately needs. Otherwise, the whole world is going to slip from his hands…

 

Evolution vs The Shield II – No Holds Barred Elimination Match

Background: The Shield gained a huge victory in their fight against the Authority’s injustice at Extreme Rules when they knocked off Evolution. However, Triple H was having none of that. After forcing Dean Ambrose to defend his US Championship in a 20 man battle royal (which he lost), Evolution laid a huge beat down on the Shield. The Shield wanted Payback… at Payback. And so it was made… these two factions would go at it again. Only this time… No Holds Barred! Elimination Rules! Both sides stated that this would be the end for one of these stables, but the question is… which one?

Who Should Win?: Errr… Evolution because I do feel Evolution need to get a win out of this to look strong. Especially if Batista is taking time off soon to plug his movie (which is being suggested by wrestling reports).

Who Will Win?: I think Evolution will win. I had a small gut feeling that The Shield would win, but it doesn’t make sense for The Shield to win twice. The whole point of this rematch is to even the score for a rubber match.

 

And last but not least. The WWE World Heavyweight…. Oh wait. NO.

Apparently there is not going to be a WWE World Heavyweight Title match because our champion is injured. I think this whole storyline about Daniel Bryan, might or might not be, surrendering the championship is absurd. The championship should be vacated… hands down. The 30 DAY RULE people. In wrestling, there is a rule which WWE ignores so much nowadays which legit pisses me off. A champion is supposed to be able to defend his championship at all times really. If a champion is unable to defend his/her title in 30 days, he should be stripped of the belt… why has this rule not been enforced? Are WWE really that worried about the backlash from a decision like that. If anything that’ll get Bryan even MORE over… if that’s possible. And it’s not like Bryan couldn’t just win it back upon his return.

 

2013 NoDQ.com Awards – My Vote For… Female Of The Year

Wrestling fans, Tom Robinson on the scene with another NoDQ.com award post for you guys. If you want to read all of the ones I’ve done before, click on this link https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/category/nodq-com/ for all my votes for the awards.

This award is for the female of the year. And the nominations are…

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Miss Tessmacher – The gal with the backside that defies the laws of physics had a relatively quiet year in 2013 in comparison to the year before when she won the Knockouts Title. It wasn’t really until she aligned herself with Bully Ray and The Aces And Eights when she really started to get some attention. She would become one of the strongest knockouts in the knockouts division and even fought for the Knockouts Title at Bound For Glory. With the Aces And Eights finished, what awaits Miss Tessmacher in 2014?

AJ Lee – AJ Lee had an incredible 2012 which ended with her cementing Miss Lee’s heel turn at TLC 2012. And as a heel in 2013, AJ seemed to go from strength to strength. AJ’s main aim in 2012 was to finally win the Divas Title from best friend Kaitlyn. It took a lot of manipulation and beatdowns, but at Payback AJ finally accomplished her dream in a stellar match with Kaitlyn. AJ knocked her off again at Money In The Bank and it soon became clear that the only thing AJ wanted in life was her Divas Championship which in her words would “never leave her”. She targeted the Total Divas from the “hit” reality show calling them out on not been true divas and only caring about being reality stars rather than wrestlers. So far she is winning the war against the Total Divas but for how long can the Divas Champion remain champion in 2014?

Natalya – The Neidhart had an on-and-off year in 2013. Having been stuck in a relationship with the Great Khali and going absolutely nowhere, she found herself in the new Divas Reality show “Total Divas”. She found herself one of the victims of AJ Lee’s rant about the reality show. AJ implied that the only reason Natalya got in the WWE in the first place was through her connections as Jim Neidhart’s daughter. Incensed by AJ’s criticism, she was one of many women that targeted her title. After many shortcomings, Natalya now has the opportunity to regain the Divas Title she had not held in 2 years when she faces AJ at TLC for the gold!

Kaitlyn – Kaitlyn started off the year in style, winning the Divas title from Eve Torres in the RAW 20th Anniversary Special. And Kaitlyn was becoming a dominant champion. Defeating the likes of Tamina Snuka and even former best friend AJ Lee, Kaitlyn’s spear proved to be more than a match for any other diva on the roster. That is until AJ got her rematch for the title at Payback, where AJ used mind-games and manipulation to over-power Kaitlyn’s strength and tenacity. With Kaitlyn stuck in the middle of the war between the “True” Divas and the Total Divas, it is unknown where Kaitlyn goes from here.

Taryn Terrell – Knockouts Referee Taryn Terrell started a feud with Gail Kim after she inadvertently cost Gail a Knockouts Title match at Genesis. This feud escalated further when Taryn was the law in order during Gail’s title match against Velvet Sky. After being physical abused by Gail the entire match, Taryn said “Fuck It” and attacked Gail and costing her the title. After being fired as a referee, Taryn was put on the Knockouts roster where she continued her war against Gail Kim. This saw them produce some quality matches together, including an epic Last Knockout Standing Match at Slammiversary and a hard-hitting ladder match on IMPACT.

Gail Kim – Her feud with Taryn Terrell was easily the best feud going in women’s professional wrestling in 2013. Driven by hatred and anger, the two had some incredible matches together which blew all WWE had to offer out of the window. After winning her feud with Taryn will a ladder match victory for a title shot, Gail set her sights on the Knockouts title she was the first to hold. It took her until Bound For Glory to reclaim that title and right now is all dominant as the top diva in Impact Wrestling.

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Believe it or not, this was a close call between Gail Kim and AJ Lee. I know every WWE fan and their grandmother would have chosen AJ without doubt, but Gail Kim had a quality year herself which a lot of people seem to forget. She’s had a lot more good matches than AJ and her feud with Taryn literally blew me away. I mean Gail is probably the best actual wrestler in either WWE or TNA at this moment. Having said that, AJ takes this award for two reasons.

  1. AJ Lee proved herself to be an amazing talker on the mic and a terrific actor. These factors actually do matter to me, and Gail pales in comparison to AJ on the mic.
  2. AJ had a lot more pressure on her having to compete and showcase her skills in the big leagues of WWE. With TNA being second to WWE, TNA gave Gail and Taryn the opportunities to go bananas and tear each other apart. AJ had to remain relevant in WWE but still be able to effectively carry a divas division that seemed to be dying and she did that.

As much as I’d love to give Gail the victory, I got to give it to AJ.

Winner: AJ Lee

2013 NoDQ.com Awards – My Vote For… PPV Of The Year

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Takes a licking and keeps on ticking! The Armbar Express is here. My name is Tom Robinson. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I’ve been doing a series of blog posts dedicated to the NoDQ.com awards. If you want to read all of them, click on this link https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/category/nodq-com/ for all my votes for the awards. And here’s another post. It’s time to decide which PPV truly deserves to be called… PPV OF THE YEAR!

Uploaded from a member of the NoDQ.com Discussion Group on Facebook. Can't remember who it was, but it's a quality PPV poster mash up. :)

Uploaded from a member of the NoDQ.com Discussion Group on Facebook. Can’t remember who it was, but it’s a quality PPV poster mash up. 🙂

TLC 2012 – A PPV that suffered big time by the injury of the WWE Champion CM Punk. However, WWE were able to deliver an amazing show. Great tables match, decent chairs match, tremendous TLC 6 man tag team match (Match Of The Year candidate) and a really good ladder match between Cena and Ziggler with the shocking heel turn from AJ!

Wrestlemania 29 –  I don’t think this Wrestlemania will go down as one of the best Wrestlemanias in the world. This pay-per-view suffered from really bad time restraints. We had entrances cut, we had match lengths cut. We even had the 8 person tag match cut too. But, this event still featured a lot of new cool moments this year, and the 3 main event matches that all got 20+ minutes were very good matches on the whole. Lesnar vs Triple H II was actually good. Rock vs Cena II was good. But in the end, one match in particular will stand out above the rest. Undertaker vs CM Punk.

Extreme Rules – I enjoyed the PPV. A slow start, especially with Jericho and Fandango, but I loved a majority of the matches. The latter end of the card was great and the other matches had a lot of things going for them. Loved the WWE title match, loved Show vs Orton, and I love that Brock Lesnar won the war against Triple H.

Payback – Another really good PPV after Extreme Rules. The 3 stages of hell match did, with all due respect, suck ass. However, we had a tremendous match with CM Punk and Chris Jericho (MOTY candidate), AJ Lee FINALLY winning the divas title, Curtis Axel winning the Intercontinental Championship and a shocking double turn in the World Title. It was really enjoyable night, especially for me considering I watched the entire thing live from 1am to 4am. 🙂

Money In The Bank – Very good PPV. Featuring two quality Money In The Bank matches and a stellar World Title match between Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio. The Philadelphia crowd was very hot and like I’ve stated before, the crowd makes such a difference to a show. Quality PPV featuring the return of Rob Van Dam!

Summerslam – Great PPV in general despite the short matches with Sandow/Rhodes and Kane/Wyatt. But epic battle between Punk and Lesnar, fantastic WWE Title match between Bryan and Cena, and a PHENOMENAL ENDING with Triple H and Randy Orton turning heel.

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Winner of this is easily Summerslam. Again like with Match Of The Year, I’m not talking TLC 2012 into account because it was in 2012 and not in 2013. Even still, Summerslam provided us with the mega show we truly deserved. Tremendous action from the big matches of the show – Punk vs Lesnar and Bryan vs Cena. And it gave us an ending which we’ll never forget. No PPV, especially not Wrestlemania will not come close to this.

Winner: Summerslam