Lucha Underground: Aztec Warfare II Review

aztecwarfareii-0-0
NOTE: The following was written several months ago, days after the episode took place. Therefore, no aspects of future storylines after Aztec Warfare II will be discussed.
Season One’s Aztec Warfare match was one of my favourite matches in the first season. It saw the best in the Temple battle it out to crown the first Lucha Underground champion. When the smoke cleared, Prince Puma won the title. In Season Two they brought it back, with Lucha Underground Champion Fenix being forced to defend his title as the number one entrant. Did Aztec Warfare II deliver just like the first one?
As Catrina had declared at the end of the last episode, Fenix was the #1 entrant. He was the first entrant in the first Aztec Warfare match so this was a little case of deja vu. It was also funny, because Lucha Underground had their champion defend the title in a multi-man match that was taped in December. Fast-forward to January and the WWE had Roman Reigns defend the WWE title in a Royal Rumble! Think about that for a moment.
lucha-underground-hypes-rey-myst-620x350
#2 was the debuting Rey Mysterio. Mysterio revealed that he was in the match the week before but these fans obviously had no idea as they went nuts for Rey. As soon as Melissa Santos said “From San Diego, California,” you could hear some rumblings as if the fans started to figure out where this was going. As soon as Melissa said “Rey,” there was an eruption in the Temple!
I have to say that Rey looked in great shape during the match. Rey was very active throughout the match and he did a tremendous job in lasting the entire match. I remember watching him in the 2013 Royal Rumble and he looked blown up after like a minute. I couldn’t help but notice when I watched that particular Rumble. This Rey Mysterio was nothing like that Rey Mysterio that was in WWE a few years ago. Rey looked great and it was probably helped by the fact that this was in a taped show. If Rey was blown up at times, then Lucha did a great job in editing it out!
Fenix was, by far, the biggest mark for Rey as he came out. He showed respect for Rey and encouraged him to go up to the turnbuckles for his entrance. We started off with a great exchange between the old veteran and the young lion. Great to see and Rey was able to keep up with the pace of Fenix. Number three was King Cuerno. Mysterio, Fenix and Cuerno threw down for a while.
tumblr_o4juov3mh41sbzhteo1_500
Argenis was #4, making his return to the Temple as Argenis. He was actually a part of the Disciples of Death. I don’t actually think that the Disciples of Death are done yet though. I’ve seen a teaser Instagram post from Lucha that promoted a trios rematch between Ivelisse, Son of Havoc and Angelico against the Disciples of Death. They might wrap up that trios team after the rematch and let Argenis do his own thing. Argenis was fine in this match but he was really there to be the first of Rey’s victims. He was the first man eliminated after eating a 619. Johnny Mundo came out as #5 and then they went to the adverts.
There was a clever spot where Fenix used Mundo’s foot to boot Mysterio. Joey Ryan was #6 and his plan was to handcuff himself on the rail to keep himself from being pinned. It was a clever spot but all I kept thinking about when I watched this was when Big Show pinned Essa Rios on the wall in a hardcore match! Thankfully, this was not a Falls Count Anywhere match so Ryan was safe… FOR NOW!
maxresdefault
Prince Puma was #7. He ran wild and hit everyone (except Joey Ryan) with a Springboard Shooting Star Press. That was an incredible spot. Jack Evans was #8. King Cuerno tapped out to Rey Mysterio’s cross armbreaker to be eliminated. The luchadors (Mysterio, Puma and Fenix) then teamed up to take out the “rudos” Mundo and Evans. Rudos is another term for heels in case anyone was wondering. Evans and Mundo got together and waited for #9 to come out, who was in fact Taya. Big pop for Taya when she came out. There was awesome spot with the luchadores and the rudos faced off in a six man tag confrontation. Cage was #10 and ran wild, as we went to the adverts.
Cage beat up all the rudos until Mundo threw him into Catrina’s office. If you’ll recall, he turned heel by throwing Alberto El Patron threw the same window. Mundo has a thing for pulling a Shawn Michaels on the luchadors! Mascarita Sagrada was #11. Cage quickly re-entered the fray and hit a big discuss clothesline on Mundo. He hit the Weapon X on the outside and Prince Puma hit the standing moonsault to eliminate Mundo. Marty the Moth was #12. He dominated the match for a while. Drago came in at #13.
Drago went after the “Dragon Slayer” Jack Evans. They brawled into the crowd and Drago spit mist into Joey Ryan’s eyes. Sagrada and Mysterio teamed up to eliminate Marty. The Mack was number 14 and he hit Marty with a stunner for good measure.
cage
Then there was an awesome moment in the ring, with Mack and Cage having a stare down. As they started trading punches, there was a shot of the ring with the entrance steps behind them. So as Cage and Mack are fighting, Jack Evans starts rolling down the steps and to the floor! It was one of the funniest aspects of this match but it was also one of my biggest criticisms of the match too. There was so much going on during the match that it was hard to keep up. As stuff was going on in the ring, Drago and Evans were doing big spots in the crowd. At least in the Royal Rumble match, they make it clear over who the spotlight was on and who they wanted the fans to focus on at one time. In Aztec Warfare, it just seemed like there was too much going on at once. It was all great but it was all clunked together it seems.
There was also another spot where Fenix threw Mascarita Sagrada into Joey Ryan, who was obviously not in a position to catch him! It was almost like Sagrada hit one of the bouncers on a pinball machine and bounced off him and onto the ground! Poor Sagrada!
Chavo Guerrero was #15. Sometime during all of this chaos, Drago hit a powerbomb on Evans onto with outside benches. Chavo eliminated Mascarita Sagrada with a camel clutch submission, getting him his redemption for losing to Hornswoggle every week on RAW in 2009. Cage was eliminated by Taya, after Mundo hit him with a cinder block. I’m totally expecting a cinder block match between Mundo and Cage, with the winner having to a break a cinder block over the head of the other. Maybe that’s a bad idea for a gimmick match but that’s where it looks like it’s going with all of these cinder block attacks. I don’t know whether that’d work but I’m willing to give it a chance!
jack-evans-drago-lucha-underground
PJ Black came out as #16 and Fenix eliminated Taya with a German suplex. Black double-teamed Drago with his new buddy Jack Evans. He hit a suplex to Drago on the benches. That spot and the powerbomb spot from earlier did not look pretty. Not sure whether all of this was really necessary but the crowd was going nuts for this crowd-brawling. Aerostar was #17, which lead to a tag team battle with Aerostar and Drago battling Evans and Black. There was a double elimination with Aerostar beating Evans and Black beating Drago. Aerostar put Evans away with a top rope Canadian Destroyer-looking move which got a huge reaction.
Dragon Azteca Jr was #18. Here’s the issue with the way that the Lucha Underground shows are put together. We, at home, knew who Dragon Azteca Jr was. We got the big story with Dragon Azteca Jr and Rey Mysterio and by watching the television, it’s easy to understand his stake in Aztec Warfare. However, this crowd had no clue about who this guy was and he was met with little reaction! Vampiro did mention that he recognised the mask but it was not like anybody else in the crowd did. Dragon Azteca Jr did turn the fans around with a few high spots including an awesome dive over the ring post and onto the outside.
Texano Jr was #19. He was running wild and he eliminated PJ Black. Mil Muertes was #20, as declared by Catrina in the last episode. Pentagon Jr, who was not given an invitation to compete, took out Mil with a chair. This got an incredible reaction from the Temple. He threw him back into the ring and Mil was pinned by Rey and Puma. Catrina was angry at Vampiro and slapped him. As this confrontation was going on, the timer was counting down. Then came out Dario Cueto….
dario-cueto-640x370
I was beaming with joy when I saw Dario come out! Dario may have possibly gotten the biggest reaction of the night! He declared that he was back in charge and that there was going to be a 21st entrant into Aztec Warfare. He revealed the entrant to be his brother… Matanza!
I like Catrina a lot but seeing Dario back in charge put the biggest smile on my face. Nobody can out-do Dario Cueto as being an authority figure in Lucha Underground.
the-monster-matanza-cueto_zpsvqs1vfon
Matanza did the big roar spot as he came out, pushing away everybody that was left. I loved what came next. He immediately targeted the champion Fenix, hit a German suplex and pinned him. The fans were all stunned as the champion was the FIRST man to face the wrath of Matanza. It made you realise that this Matanza fellow was not someone to mess with!
The Mack took on Matanza but saw his Stunner on Matanza no-sold. Matanza eliminated Mack and Aerostar to boos from the Temple.
Texano tried to choke out Matanza with a bull rope but he was taken out with a sit-out powerbomb. Matanza then targeted Joey Ryan, who was still handcuffed on the railing. Matanza broke the steel to set Ryan free. He killed Ryan with three rolling gut-wrench suplexes and pinned him. I was impressed at how Matanza was able to pull this off as it would be a very difficult sequence to pull off.
Chavo tried to form an alliance with Puma, Rey and Dragon Azetca but then quickly turned on them all. Matanza and Dragon Azteca battled but Matanza quickly disposed of him. Chavo then tried to form an alliance with Dario Cueto but Dario told Matanza to kill Chavo. Matana eliminated Chavo and Puma until it was down to Matanza and Mysterio.
matanza-0-0
They had a great little final two and Rey had done really well to make it this far and looked fine at this stage. Rey hit the 619 but then Matanza caught him with a running powerslam and pinned him to win Aztec Warfare.

Dario then handed the Lucha Underground title to Matanza. It’s almost like Matanza had no clear what to do with this belt until Dario told him to raise it! It would have been awesome if Matanza had tried to eat that belt or something!

I have to say that Lucha Underground knocked it out of the park with this Aztec Warfare match. Rey Mysterio’s debut was well executed. There was rarely a dull moment as there was a lot of action. There were a number of instances where there seemed to be too much action going on at one time, preventing the fans from properly keeping up with everything. Dario Cueto’s return was awesome and Matanza came out of this looking like such a star. He destroyed everyone like few monsters had dominated before. Rarely has a monster been booked as convincingly as this. Brock Lesnar was booked dominantly but it’s not like he eliminated everyone else that was left in this year’s Royal Rumble for example. Matanza eliminated the champion right off the bat and everybody else had no hope in hell of beating him.

matanza
I’ll end this with two things. I do agree with Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez with the sentiment that “Matanza” maybe should have been a much bigger fellow. It was built up on television that Dario Cueto’s brother was a lot taller as Dario would be shown to be looking up at this monster. Maybe they were planning on having someone bigger but they changed their mind. I’m really sure what their mindset was but I was expecting someone much bigger.
With that said, Matanza was great at being Matanza. He decimated everyone. I was just in awe about this entire ending with Matanza running rough-shot on everyone left in that match. He threw everyone around like it was nothing to him. Nearly everyone was hit with one move and beaten. This dude was able to pull off standing moonsaults among other incredible feats. This guy was something else.
HUGE THUMBS UP FOR LUCHA UNDERGROUND!

The Problem With Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger In 2015

p0wyzJDa

I was very excited when I saw Alberto Del Rio return to WWE. In a past article for SLTD Wrestling, I mentioned that he’d be much better continuing on with Lucha Underground and AAA rather than continuing on with WWE. However, I’m still think it’s great that he’s with WWE and so far, he’s been booked well. He beat John Cena clean on his first night and is the WWE United States Champion. However, there are a few parts of his booking which I have a problem with. The partnership with Del Rio and Zeb Colter is one thing but it’s the possibility of Del Rio’s first challenger being Jack Swagger.

Here’s the deal. Alberto Del Rio won the WWE United States Championship by beating John Cena of all people, clean. That’s huge. The idea that the United States Champion and AAA Mega Champion goes from John Cena to Jack Swagger in the space of a few weeks seems a bit absurd and it’s all to do with how Jack Swagger has been treated since the start of the year, when he lost a feud against Rusev. Ironically enough, that feud was over the United States Championship.

What has Jack Swagger done since then? How many pay-per-views has Jack Swagger been a part of in 2015? Two. That’s right… two. Both of these matches were battle royal matches, the Royal Rumble and the Andre The Giant battle royal. He was part of multi-man matches and basically used to fill up the numbers. He’s rarely appeared on RAW and all of a sudden, Swagger is back on RAW television. It’s not a slow build for Swagger no. He’s been entered into a feud with the United States Champion Alberto Del Rio.

jack-swagger-we-the-people

What has Jack Swagger done to earn a United States Championship match? Has he won a number one contendership match? No. Did he win a tournament? No, he’s just started having trouble with Del Rio which will most likely lead to a US title match at Survivor Series. That alone is not going to make Swagger a legitimate challenge to Del Rio. Actually let’s talk about Del Rio. Alberto Del Rio has actually appeared on less PPVs this year then Swagger (obviously, Del Rio only returned recently) and yet somehow, Swagger looks like nothing compared to him. Why? Because Del Rio beat the best upon his arrival and has legitimate WWE credentials. He’s a three time world champion in WWE, won Money In The Bank and won the only 40 man rumble in history. WWE wouldn’t recognise this but he is still currently a world champion in his own right, being the AAA Mega Champion. It’s not like he’s not wrestled at all since he was fired last year. He’s got an MMA background. Getting him back and noticed wasn’t exactly hard. For Swagger, it’s difficult because WWE have allowed it to be difficult.

If WWE knew that Jack Swagger was going to compete for the United States Championship soon, surely Swagger be put on RAW a lot more frequently. The Del Rio signing was a bit sudden so it’s not like WWE have been planning this. However, if you’re building up a contender it helps to build him up a little. Nobody is going to care that Jack Swagger is winning on house shows or Main Event or SmackDown! RAW is the flagship show for a reason. He needs wins on RAW and he needs to look credible and not just be among the crowd, especially if you’re first feud in a year for him is him going up against a man that just beat John Cena.

WM29_Photo_137

What’s disappointing about the negative aspect of this feud is that on paper, it’s actually a decent feud. These two have feuded before with Alberto Del Rio beating Swagger for the World title at Wrestlemania 29 and again a month later. Swagger’s never gotten a big win over Del Rio and must prove it to himself that he cane beat the man. That on paper is great and is all you really need to get this feud running. You don’t really need Zeb Colter at all, although his involvement does add a bit to it. The point is that it’s got the ingredients for a great feud. All you need is for Jack to look credible enough to validate him going up against Del Rio. With that along with the storyline mentioned earlier, people can get behind Swagger and you can get him over. You don’t need Michael Cole to sit there on commentary and say “Man, these two have had quite the rivalry in the past few years,” or “Man, this rivalry has gotten personal” or anything like that.

Give Swagger a lot more motivation to go up against Del Rio over rather than having Zeb Colter being the focal point. Del Rio and Swagger have actually had good matches in the past so you can actually have a decent feud with Swagger proving himself being the focal point instead. It takes away people’s interest in Swagger if you make the match about Colter.

WWESSLOGO2014

If all of this business with Del Rio and Swagger is filler until John Cena returns, fine. Whatever. However, you can still make Swagger and Del Rio good coming out of it except Swagger’s not looked good going into it. There’s no real reason for the audience to believe that a man that’s not done anything note worthy in the last year despite being active is going to be on par with a man that holds the second most important title in the company and has beaten the best to win it.

Should Dean Ambrose Turn On Roman Reigns?

5557bdace47e4.image_

It appears that the 2015 Survivor Series main event is set. Around 18 months have passed since the Shield imploded. Seth Rollins betrayed his brothers to sell out to the Authority, leaving Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose in the dust. Seth’s success has been exponential, having won the Money in the Bank briefcase and then cashing it in to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania 31. Roman Reigns was the man he pinned to get the job done, with Roman earning his opportunity at the 2015 Royal Rumble. Roman now gets Seth one on one for the title, with the Roman Empire possibly about to conquer Seth Rollins. However, there is another factor that could come into play at Survivor Series…

Dean Ambrose has had a number of WWE World title opportunities himself. He’s wrestled in main events against Seth at Elimination Chamber and Money In The Bank, but was unable to capture the gold. Right now, he’s the one member of the Shield that’s been really left on the outside to watch in on his two brothers battling for the richest prize in WWE. This has left many people speculating about Dean Ambrose’s future and whether he’s going to play a huge role in the main event of Survivor Series. Will Dean get involved to screw Seth or will he get involved… to screw Roman Reigns?

Payback 2015 Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns - Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Part Two-XL

While Seth Rollins has been rolling with the Authority ever since his heel turn, Dean and Roman have stayed close friends and fought side-by-side against the likes of the Wyatt Family. Dean has even said in a promo that Roman is the closet thing to a friend he’s got in WWE, even though he’s usually just a loner. With that being said, should Dean turn his back on Roman?

The question where asking here is not if Dean Ambrose should turn heel. I would like to see Dean as a heel but the question is whether or not he should do it by turning on Roman. Turning on your friends/partners is an easy way to get the turn done. Pulling a “Shawn Michaels” could be very simple for WWE in this scenario. In fact, if you turned it around this would actually work well for a Roman Reigns heel turn. I’ve talked about Roman turning heel a few times now. This would be effective for Roman as he may feel frustrated of missing out the title time after time and may feel that he needs to break away from Dean in order to do so. This would work for Roman but would it work for Dean?

554e0ff144bba.image

This probably wouldn’t work for Dean as Dean’s not really been in the WWE World title picture since he lost to Seth Rollins at Money In The Bank. The argument that Roman is holding Dean back is pretty flawed and that reason wouldn’t be a logical one for Dean to abandon Roman. The idea that Dean’s had to be in Roman’s shadow is a much better one. In WWE’s eyes, Roman is their golden boy and Seth is the Authority’s corporate champion. Dean might think that everyone sees him as “the other Shield member” and he refuses to be seen like that. Doing it this way would actually make sense when you look back at Dean’s career since the Shield broke up. That way, he’s not just another generic bad guy as he’s got legitimate gripes that would lead to his turn to the dark side. Even when he was fighting for the title in May and June, Roman was by his side during his segments with Seth Rollins. Even then, Roman is sharing the spotlight with Dean. It’s like Roman is Hulk Hogan and Dean is Randy Savage. The Mega Powers need to explode as Dean needs to get away from the idea that he is just the third wheel in this feud.

However, even this method has it’s flaws too. The main flaw this has is that it doesn’t really make sense with regards to Dean Ambrose’s character. He is the lunatic fringe that has always been portrayed as a crazy guy. For him to get into a huff just because Roman Reigns is stealing is spotlight wouldn’t work well at all. Why would he care? All he would be bothered with is kicking ass and drinking milk. Him turning on Roman because of this reason wouldn’t suit his character unless his character is going to get suddenly repackaged. For someone like Dean, a character change needs to happen over time. If I were to turn him heel, it would because of months of pent up aggression and an increasing derangement of Ambrose. Eventually, something would happen that’d cause him to snap.

raw_1147_photo_279-2367111679-jpg

Him joining the Authority is another idea but again, wouldn’t suit his character. It’d also hurt Dean because there wouldn’t be a lot for him to do with the group. He would also have to play second fiddle to Seth Rollins, unless the Authority were priming Dean to take Seth’s spot at the top of the group. That suggestion also wouldn’t work as this has already happened with the group, with Seth replacing Randy Orton as the main man of the group last year.

That last suggestion doesn’t really have a lot to do with Reigns, unless Dean costs him the match at Survivor Series and joins the group afterwards. The point is there’s not a lot of valid reasons for Dean to want to turn on Roman other than to get out of Roman’s shadow, but even that has it’s issues.

I believe that Dean Ambrose turning heel would be a whole lot of fun, but him turning on Roman is just not the way to do it. People would go nuts but ultimately, it wouldn’t make sense from a storyline standpoint. With the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton taking time off now, the WWE needs all the top faces they can get…

WWE Night Of Champions 2015 Review – Kane Returns And New Champions Crowned At Solid PPV

wwe-night-of-champions-carousel-20140920-youtube_3A002D4EB0FA436EB57C9AA647512EA3

Welcome to the Armbar Express’ Night of Champions review. It was an important PPV for the company and I thought they delivered. There was a lot of pressure on Seth Rollins to perform, having to take part in two main-event likes matches for the WWE World and United States title. Anyway let’s get too it.

Ryback (c) vs Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship

597f21a3901239838e7ac23873cf25cb_crop_north

The fans were well behind Owens for this one. Ryback got a decent reaction but it was mostly pro-Owens for this match. Ryback pressed Kevin Owens over the top rope in what was an incredible feat of strength. Kevin was working on Ryback’s arm throughout. Ryback’s selling of the pain done to his arm was quite evident. It was evident to the point where Ryback shouted, and I mean shouted, “Referee, my elbow!” Ryback made his comeback. I didn’t like the finish to this match. Firstly, Ryback went for his Shell-Shocked but his arm supposedly “gave out” and Owens threw him into the post. Ryback went for the Shell-Shocked again but Owens raked his eyes and just rolled him up for the pin. What was the point in all the damage to the arm if it didn’t even lead to the finish of the match? It also didn’t help matters that Kevin Owens won the title with a roll-up. No finishers were hit in this match at all. Maybe Kevin didn’t think he’d be able to pull-off the powerbomb on Ryback, so this finish was set up. However, a match like this without any finishers being hit just makes the match look so weak. Considering there was a title change involved, the finish hurt the title’s prestige for me. It also makes Ryback look weak having been beaten by a roll-up. I thought it was a fine match which I think could have been helped with a strong finish.

wwe-hell-in-a-cell

A promo was then cut promoting Brock Lesnar’s “Go To Hell Tour”. The tour will include Lesnar facing Big Show at Madison Square Garden, which has been known for a few weeks now. It was announced that Brock Lesnar would be a guest on Stone Cold’s podcast, which I can’t wait for personally! Then it was announced that at Hell In A Cell, Brock Lesnar would be in a Hell in a Cell match… with the UNDERTAKER!

I’ll probably do a separate write-up on WWE doing Taker/Lesnar III at Hell in a Cell and what I think of it. It’s definitely a surprise as I was expecting the third match to take place at Wrestlemania. All I can assume is that Vince must have other plans for Lesnar and Taker with regards to Wrestlemania 32.

Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev w/Summer Rae

960x540

Dolph Ziggler debuted some new tights with Lana’s face on his crotch. JBL finally mentioned what many of us have been thinking about this storyline… JBL said that Rusev was the victim of this storyline involving himself, Ziggler and Lana. Jerry Lawler asked how Rusev was the victim and JBL’s response was “because Dolph Ziggler is a player.” Out of all the reasons JBL could have came up with that could have been a legitimate gripe, JBL went with that! I just laughed.

There was “We Want Lana” chants, which shows you just how interested the fans were in this match. I love how during this match, they were showing the tweets about the Brock Lesnar “Go To Hell” tour announcement. They picked out three tweets with the last one being about the Hell in a Cell match! You’d think the Stone Cold podcast would have been minor compared to BROCK LESNAR VS UNDERTAKER!

You may have noticed that I haven’t wrote a thing about the actual match between Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler. The truth is, this match was pretty boring. There was a spot where WWE succeeded in their quest to make Rusev look like a complete fool. Rusev hit the super kick but Ziggler clearly kicked out. However Rusev was running around as if he’d won the Olympics, thinking he’d won the match! You’d think someone like Rusev would understand the rules of the match…

The finish was that Summer was thrown out for getting on the apron. Summer angrily threw one of her shoes, but ended up hitting Rusev in the head. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag and PINNED him. Not only did Rusev look SO BAD in this match, the finish was a bit illogical. Surely the referee would have called for a disqualification when Summer threw her shoe and it hit Rusev. Rusev should have won the match! Yeah, the finish was no good.

The New Day (c) vs The Dudley Boyz for the WWE Tag Team Championship

242219

JBL was talking about the 3D. He said that 3D had never been kicked out of before. He than took a long pause, thought about it and then said “in WWE”. I’m pretty sure that Jeff Hardy once kicked out of the 3D in WWE and I know Chris Sabin kicked out of the move in TNA. So JBL really does need re-check his facts a bit!

I loved Big E’s rhythmic headlock and just Xaiver Woods on the trombone in general! I hope they never take the trombone away from Xaiver! JBL compared the New Day to Destiny’s Child and compared Xaiver’s haircut to Leonidas’ from 300! This was a very fun tag team match. What was funny was Big E went for the cover on Bubba Ray off a splash onto the apron. Bubba kicked out by D-Von still felt the need to come in and push Big E afterwards anyway! Xaiver started playing the Rocky theme which was pretty amazing!

The match ended in a disqualification after Xaiver broke up the pin. I think compared to all of the other great tag team title matches on PPV this year, this was one of the weaker ones. Felt more like a standard tag team match on RAW to be honest. The New Day, who had been petitioning to save the tables, then decided to get the tables themselves. It backfired, as Xaiver was put through a table with a 3D.

Nikki Bella (c) vs Charlotte for the Divas Championship. If Nikki got counted out or disqualified, she would lose the title

242236

Nikki worked on Charlotte’s leg throughout the entire match. This was similar to Sasha Banks working on Bayley’s hands at NXT TakeOver. The difference being that Sasha’s offense in that match was a lot more effective than Nikki’s here. There was a spot where Nikki jumped off the top rope just to chop block Charlotte, which I thought looked pretty daft. Brie Bella and Alicia Fox tried to pull away the ropes from Charlotte when Nikki had a Single Leg Boston Crab locked in. Nikki shouted at them, as she didn’t want to get DQ’d. This led to the brawl on the outside between Paige, Becky, Alicia and Brie.

Nikki tried to lift up Charlotte for what looked like an exploder suplex but she just dropped Charlotte and went for a cover. It ended up looking like Aksana’s finisher but worse. The finish was that Charlotte caught Nikki was a spear off the top. A great move in theory, but not pulled off too well in the match. Then Charlotte just locked in the Figure Eight Leg Lock and Nikki tapped out.

Out of ALL the ways the LONGEST REIGNING Divas title reign could have ended, it was like this? Charlotte did her signature and finisher and just won the match. You couldn’t have a few nearfalls or something? Charlotte couldn’t have kicked out of the Rack Attack? Nikki couldn’t have kicked out of the spear? You just made Nikki looked like crap because Charlotte got hardly any offense in until the finish. I thought this match was fine up until the finish.

Ric Flair was awesome in a backstage segment with Charlotte and the rest of PCB. It was a very touching moment with Ric calling her champ. A great-feel moment for the Charlotte.

“The Wyatt Family” Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman and Luke Harper vs Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho

chris-jericho-reigns-ambrose-night-of-champions-600x350

I was reading a few articles before this match, with many people having high expectations for it. I wasn’t sure. I figured it would be a decent six man tag team match but I didn’t think it’d blow my mind or anything. Never really knew what to expect to be honest! Some dude jumped into the ring from crowd just before Reigns and Ambrose’s partner came out! WWE’s security really need to step up their game!

Chris Jericho was the third man to team with Reigns and Ambrose. I was not expecting this but I was more than OK with it! There’s actually a bit of continuity involved, as Jericho and Wyatt feuded last year. So the commentary’s speculation of it being someone that might have unfinished business with Bray Wyatt actually came to fruition!

It was a fun little six man tag team match. The match ended when Jericho passed out to Braun’s submission hold. I’m pleasantly surprised by the WWE’s decision to put the Wyatts over. I really didn’t think they would but I’m glad that they did. This was a very sound six man tag team match and I’m happy with the result. Probably the best match of this show up until this point.

Seth Rollins (c) vs John Cena for the United States Championship

242255

The fans started going a wave… IN THE MIDDLE OF A SETH ROLLINS VS JOHN CENA MATCH. Some fans can just wind you right up. I don’t mind wrestling fans having fun, but this is a very big match. It’s one thing to hijack a match like Sheamus vs Randy Orton which can get tiresome after so many matches, it’s another thing to hijack a match that was probably going to be the best match of the night.

Cena pulled off the sunset flip successfully this time. This was a really good match. A very nice back and forth match which saw Cena win the US Championship. This was no doubt the right decision by WWE. If Cena goes back to opening up the John Cena Open Challenge on RAW, I’m all for it.

Seth Rollins (c) vs Sting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

screen-shot-2015-09-20-at-10-30-01-pm

Sting went for the Scorpion Death Lock and Scorpion Death Drop right away but Rollins was able to get out of it. They battled outside for a while until Seth pushed Sting through the announce table which was quite a hard hitting spot. Sting went for a dive from the top onto Seth Rollins on the outside which got a “Holy Shit” chant. Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop but Seth got his foot on the rope. It looked like the referee was going to call the match off when Sting got hurt from a powerbomb but it kept going. Sting locked in the Death Lock again but Seth got to the rope. Sting locked it in again but Seth countered it into a pin in order to win the match.

God damn, good match. Very good storytelling and the two put on a great match. I think it was for the best that Seth beat Sting clean, but I’m wondering how this will effect Sting in the long run. He’s now 0-2 in his WWE career. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Sheamus was looking to cash in and hit the Brogue Kick but was interrupted by the return of Kane. Kane turned his intentions to Rollins and hit  a chokeslam. Kane then hit the chokeslam on Sheamus. Kane hit the tombstone to end the show.

kane-demon-152444

I thought this was a really good ending to the PPV. I thought the PPV itself was good. There wasn’t anything really good other than Seth Rollins’ two matches. The six man tag team match was good. Everything was fine. Some of the finishes hurt a few of the matches. But, solid PPV. A very solid follow-up from Summerslam and a great ending.

NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn Predictions

NXT_Brooklyn_Posters

Tonight, NXT TakeOver will take place in Brooklyn tonight. It’s a very exciting NXT special and I’m going to go ahead and predict the entire card for you right now. This will be a very brief post, unlike my Summerslam predictions which were uploaded yesterday (you can find that at this link). To be honest, I don’t watch NXT as much as I should be. However, I am very interested in this card in particular. One reason is because it includes a Japanese wrestling legend wrestling in WWE for the first time and he’s doing it… in NXT!

Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley vs Jason Jordan, Chad Gable, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder

Prediction: Team Enzo

I’m really hoping for a win for Team Enzo! I’m a huge fan of Enzo Amore and I think he and his posse here will grab the win. I smell something special with this Enzo, Big Cass and Hype Bros alliance. Promote them up to WWE and have them feud with the New Day! That’s money right there!

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte vs Dana Brooke vs Emma

Prediction: Charlotte

As much as I’d love to see Emma win, who is killing it with her new gimmick, I have a feeling Charlotte or Becky will probably win in order to hype up the Divas Revolution on the main roster.

Bull Dempsey vs Elias Samson

Prediction: Bull Dempsey

It’s all about getting fit for Bull Dempsey!

Carmella vs Eva Marie

Prediction: Eva Marie

The WWE are clearly high on Eva, so she’s going over in this one. Eva has actually shown some signs of improvement with her ring work, which I kinda dig.

Apollo Crews vs Tye Dillinger

Prediction: Apollo Crews

I do like Apollo Crews… formerly known as Uhaa Nation. He’s something special in the ring and I’m looking forward to seeing his debut.

Blake (c) and Murphy (c) vs Aiden English and Simon Gotch for the NXT Tag Team Championship

Prediction: Blake and Murphy

I don’t see them dropping the belts just yet.

Sasha Banks (c) vs Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship

Prediction: Bayley

Sasha’s been a great champion but it’s now Bayley’s time on top of the NXT Women’s division. I’m very much looking forward to this match.

Samoa Joe vs Baron Corbin

Prediction: Samoa Joe

If Joe loses this one, I’ll be really steamed. Joe really needs this win and I’m hoping a title shot is soon on the Samoan’s horizon.

Jushin Thunder Liger vs Tyler Breeze

Prediction: Jushin Thunder Liger.

Oh yes. I’m all about Liger! It’ll be awesome to see the Japanese star appear on WWE television.

Finn Balor (c) vs Kevin Owens in a ladder match for the NXT Championship

Prediction: Finn Balor

Balor closes the book on this feud by winning this ladder match.

Fullscreen_capture_742015_55148_AM.bmp.0.0

How I Would Book… The End Of The Streak – John Cena [Part Two]

PART ONE

So who really should have broken the streak? Well before we go further with my picks, we’re going to go through two YouTube videos that tackled this particular subject. We’re looking at two hugely different candidates that have been considered to end the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. Before we go onto the videos, let me ask you guys some questions. Out of all the potential candidates we could choose, who are the guys that needed that win the most? Who are the guys, whose great careers can be turned legendary by having them end one of the biggest streaks in sport? Also, which two guys that are still physically willing and able enough to take this streak to revitalize themselves for years to come? So instead of Brock Lesnar… should the Undertaker’s streak have been broken by John Cena or CM Punk?

Taker-Cena-photos-001_006-620x350

Now, I know these candidates are going to get mixed reactions. You may be asking yourselves, “Well, why would Cena or Punk need a win over the Undertaker? They are already established stars.” Fair point, but keep in mind even the biggest of stars need big wins like this. As I pointed out in the last blog post, Brock Lesnar needed to break the Undertaker’s streak to separate himself from everyone else in the WWE and regain his mystique and turn himself into a mega-attraction once again. John Cena and CM Punk, for different reasons, needed a win like this to drastically alter their futures in WWE. Considering they are/were full-time stars with WWE, you could have been able to build the shows around them as they had the star power and they would still be here for the long haul. For CM Punk, if he had broken the streak at Wrestlemania 29, he would also have the right man to emphasize just how big a win this was for Punk… Paul Heyman.

But first, let me draw your attention to videos that discussed both Cena and Punk as wrestlers that maybe should have broken the streak instead of Brock Lesnar. Firstly, we’ll talk about John Cena…

In my nWo series, I pointed out a website called WhatCulture which began posting videos like my blog posts about how they would have booked particular scenarios. It was where I got the idea to do the nWo storyline and… well this one. Adam, who hosts these videos, did this video below.

He nominates John Cena as the man to conquer Undertaker’s undefeated streak. His reasoning is pretty straight forward as he believes that Cena conquering the streak is the best way to not only end the streak, but to turn John Cena heel. Think about it. Out of everyone in WWE, who is the one person you’d NOT want to end the Undertaker’s streak? The majority fans would know doubt utter one name… John Cena. Ending Undertaker’s streak alone would generate Cena more heat than ever, but what if he CHEATED to do it?

Cena stupid smile 4

The boos reigning onto Cena would be deafening. This would not be like a Bruno Sammartino moment which would leave the audience speechless. The fans would be PISSED at WWE for allowing somebody like Cena to end that streak. Adam does a great job with describing the execution of this shocking moment. In a match that would end the show (apologizes again to Daniel Bryan) Cena challenges Undertaker. As Adam mentions, John Cena would vow to leave WWE for a year if he could not beat the Undertaker. Because if Cena vowed to leave WWE forever or something, nobody is going to buy it. But something like a year could be something that WWE might pull off. OK… WWE would probably never write John Cena off television for a year! But at least this stipulation would raise the stakes. After all, you’d think the Undertaker would have never had his streak broken either. This night would change everything.

With the referee getting taking out somehow, Cena has the Undertaker down. Cena would look around and see a chair. He’d grab a steel chair and put in a BEATING on Undertaker with it. I mean this beating would be like Steve Austin battering The Rock with the chair at Wrestlemania 17. It would be nasty. Cena would wake up the referee and hit one final Attitude Adjustment to pin the Undertaker and initially leave the crowd shocked. Then Cena would simply smile to the crowd, causing outrage among the WWE universe. We’ve gotten two things we’d never expect to see happening at once. John Cena has turned heel and Undertaker’s streak has ended. You see, John Cena turning heel would be a surreal moment in WWE. The fans would probably go nuts if Cena turned heel tomorrow. However, for every yin there’s a yang.

maxresdefault (3)

If you want the Cena heel turn to work, you have to give Cena legitimate heat off his turn. And what else would give Cena the necessary heat than taking away something the fans hold dear. Enter the streak. So while you get something you’d “want” to see happen, you also get something you truly don’t want to see happen. Why? Because that’s what being a heel does.

If you want Cena to create legitimate heel heat for himself, you have to give him something to work with that he can shove down your throats for years to come. The Undertaker’s streak breaking in this manner would change Cena’s character in a big way, perhaps forcing him to be heel for the rest of his career. Also, Cena marks all the checkpoints outlined in the first part of this blog. For you see, John Cena… is John Cena. He’s the “franchise” of WWE, the face of the company. He’s been on top of the mountain in WWE for nearly a decade. So to group him among a bunch of other wrestlers by having him lose to the Undertaker takes away the mystique of John Cena. While he’s not the guy with the UFC credentials of Lesnar, he’s still the ONE top guy in WWE.

So while Adam does a good job in executing the ending of the streak, he fails to answer one of the main obstacles outlined in the first post of this series. If John Cena broke the streak, then what happens to him afterwards? At the start of his video, Adam mentions how WWE booked Brock Lesnar after Wrestlemania calling it “OK” and saying he could do it better. However, Adam doesn’t ACTUALLY go into the aftermath of Cena breaking the streak and stops the video at Wrestlemania itself. If you’re going to have the streak end, then you’ve got to have a plan in place for what happens next. For Brock, the plan for him was very simple.

paul-heyman-brock-lesnar

Brock ended the streak and Paul Heyman cut a superb promo for him the next night on RAW which clearly identifies Lesnar as the ONE to beat in WWE. Brock then comes back before Summerslam and is named the number one contender for the WWE World Title. After destroying John Cena at Summerslam, he becomes WWE World Champion. And he doesn’t just beat Cena either. It was a main event so unique that again, it separates a Brock Lesnar match from any other match in the company. Despite awkward bits of booking (like Cena beating Lesnar via DQ) and scheduling issues, Lesnar was still the ONE guy that is so different from the rest, that he becomes a special attraction in WWE once again. Him breaking Undertaker’s streak helped solidify him as a top draw once again.

The thing about Cena though is that with him turning heel, you’ve got a lot of fresh ideas for him to work with and he’s a full-time wrestler. Cena could go on every week how he beat the Undertaker’s streak and you’d all get sick of it. He could break Ric Flair’s title record and bring him even more heat. There’s so much you COULD do with John Cena. The question is, would it all actually work?

cena_bryan

Yes, Cena COULD do the heel turn and create a moment. But WWE turning Cena heel at all is a huge risk itself. That’s why for more than decade, WWE have not dared pull the trigger on Cena. If they did that, then they’d have to be somebody as marketable and as dedicated as Cena waiting in the wings to take over as the top face in the company. Daniel Bryan COULD have been that guy as he had the marketable catchphrases and was the most over person in the company at Wrestlemania 30. However, there’s no guarantee that Yes-O-Mania could last. After all, the overness for Bryan kind of died down during his Kane feud. There’s no reason to believe that Daniel could do an even greater job than Cena as far as merchandising and as a draw. Also, there’s always the possibilities of injuries that could hurt the YES-movement needing a draw to take his place. Of course, the only person WWE could turn to at this point… would be Cena.

The point I’m trying to make is that a Cena heel turn would NOT be able to work long term. You’re rarely going to find the right time for Cena to turn heel. You can think of a number of great scenarios for Cena to turn on the WWE universe. No doubt, Adam came up with a beauty of an idea here. But you have to think about how Cena’s turn would be received by the fans. You’d have a lot of adult fans cheering about seeing Cena as a heel, but if that were to happen… what would be the point in Cena turning heel in the first place? If there are people still cheering Cena, then why bother having Cena turn heel?

Tribute-to-the-Troops-Cena-645x370

Granted, Adam’s method involving the streak ending is a great way to help neutralize the cheers and keep the heel heat on Cena. But for how long and for what price? A Cena heel turn would cause a financial disaster for WWE. WWE have gotten themselves to the point where they are dependent on Cena’s merchandise to keep themselves financially strong. You could have the heel turn be a short-term thing, where Cena turns face once again at Summerslam. But would it really be worth ending a 20 year legacy for a short-term heel turn?

As much as I respect the efforts of Adam at WhatCulture, John Cena was just not the right person to end that streak. So if John Cena shouldn’t have broken that streak, than who should? Join me part three, where we talk about another YouTube video providing us with CM Punk being the one to break Undertaker’s streak…

WWE Battleground 2015 Review – Tombstone City Rises, Kevin Owens Falls

Battleground-Logo

St. Louis was in for a wild night at Battleground, with a number of highly-anticipated matches with huge implications for the future of not just the superstars involved but the WWE’s future in general. This night was a make-or-break night for a number of future stars as well as top stars looking to cement their legacy going forth. However, I think it’s fair to say that St. Louis wasn’t expect a night quite like this.

WWE Battleground proved a number of memorable moments along with planting the seeds for what we can expect to see at Summerslam, arguably their second biggest PPV of the year. This was a crucial night of the WWE and their talent, and the pressure were on the superstars and the writers to perform for this particular Battleground.

maxresdefault

We began things with Sheamus vs Randy Orton, in a singles match which somehow stemmed from the two of them both being in the Money In The Bank ladder match. During this match, Michael Cole and JBL pointed out a number of times that “these two know each other very well.” This comment got me thinking because comments like these that Cole and JBL throw out there are really over done nowadays. Even if two guys had been feuding for three weeks, you’d have Cole going “these guys know each other so well,” after there’s been like one counter in a match. However, at least this match in general backed up what the commentators said about their history, because there was an incredible amount of counters during this match! It may be a small thing, but at least what the commentators said were being backed up in the ring!

Now it’s easy to lose interest in a match like this, because we’ve seen it time after time on RAW, SmackDown!, on PPVs ever since their first match at Royal Rumble 2010. Despite all of that, this was probably one of the better matches I’ve seen between these two during all of that time! It was surprisingly quick-paced despite their styles. The crowd took a while to get into it, but Orton did a great job at rallying his hometown crowd near the end of the match. Randy was well over with his hometown crowd and and they were going nuts as Randy was signalling for the RKO at the end. It was a decent match that was given enough time and Orton got the RKO for the win. It’s funny, people were telling me last night that there’s no way that WWE would have their Money In The Bank holder lose in their first PPV as the briefcase holder. But as I pointed out in my predictions last night, they do it a lot more often than you think! As I predicted last night, Sheamus lost just like so many before him. I’m sure Sheamus will eventually build himself back up, but losing to Orton clean doesn’t help his chances unless they continue into Summerslam with this program. However, good match regardless.

SD_825_Photo_082-1732674772.0.0

Next up was the WWE Tag Team Championship match between the Prime Time Players and the New Day. The crowd were into this one. New Day cut a decent promo about needing to lose in order to win. I figured with the New Day being represented by Big E and Kofi Kingston rather than Big E and Xaiver Woods that this match would have been a lot better than their match at Money In The Bank… I was wrong. It was a OK match, but there wasn’t anything special about it. The finish was the Prime Time Players overcoming the three-on-two situation with Xaiver Woods interfering and getting the pin to retain the tag titles. I didn’t like the finish to this because it made the New Day look so bad.

The storyline for this feud between the Prime Time Players and the New Day has been the numbers game catching up to Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, which has been costing them the tag titles. Eventually at Money In The Bank, with Kofi not there due to the MITB ladder match, they got a proper two-on-two match and won the titles. Here, there was the numbers game again and the Prime Time Players just beat them clean. Now if it was something like Xaiver botching the interference to lead to the pinfall, then I would have liked it even more. Because in this situation, the three-on-two handicap would have actually helped the PTP win the tag titles and it means the three-on-two storyline would have meant something and actually led to an interesting finish. But here, it didn’t lead to anything. The PTP just hit their finishes and pinned them. Xaiver Woods was just there to make little interferences here and there and make a lot of noise at ringside. It’s killing the New Day’s gimmick of ganging up on the other tag teams to dominate the division. They’re probably the most over group in the company, probably more than the PTP, and here they just lost clean. Other than, it was a OK match with just a lame finish for me. Others might think differently, but I just wanted them to stick with to the outnumbered storyline and have it lead to the finish of the match. However that did not happen.

CKUfX4iUYAA5f24.0.0

Roman Reigns took on Bray Wyatt next. I was very fearful of how this match was going to finish. When Cole mentioned that Roman Reigns had not pinned or made anyone tap out since Bray Wyatt cost him the Money In The Bank contract, I felt sure that Reigns was going to win. I legitimately thought that Roman Reigns was going to beat Bray Wyatt clean here at Battleground, but thankfully I was wrong. I didn’t think much about this match. I saw a lot of people on a Wrestlezone article saying it was a good match, but I don’t really see it. I can’t say it was a bad match, because it certainty wasn’t. However, this was a very slow paced match and I thought it went a lot longer than it should have. A match like Wyatt vs Reigns shouldn’t really go 20 minutes, because it means Wyatt and Reigns having to drag out a lot of the spots and slowing down the pace of the match, and that’s what happened here. However, I did like the finish.

WWE had been teasing that Bray Wyatt had been getting into Roman Reigns’ head for the last five weeks. For the majority of the match, it didn’t seem like that storyline was being played out and it just seemed that Reigns was just acting as normal. However, they did incorporate it to the finish. Bray Wyatt got the chairs out and looked like he was going to use until Reigns knocked him down. Then Reigns himself got a hold of the chairs and threw them into the ring. I thought at this point that the ref was, for some reason, going to call for a DQ! There’s a lot of refs that just call for the DQ too early in the WWE and I legit thought Reigns throwing the chair in the ring was going to result in a DQ! Thankfully, it did not. But as the referee was distracted, a hooded man jumped Roman and hit a Superkick. I don’t know what it was like live, but on television we all saw who was underneath the hood right after he hit the move! But yet, the commentators were still pretending like they had no idea who was underneath the hood. That would be fine, but the man gave himself away by hitting one of his signature moves on Reigns. So surely, that would have given the commentators a heads up if this was real!

Bray followed the Super Kick up with a slam onto the apron and then hitting Sister Abigail for the pin. Again, it certainty wasn’t a bad match and there was a few decent spots in the middle. I liked the spot where Reigns no-sold a boot and going crazy, and walked straight into a clothesline from Wyatt. That I liked. It was OK match with a good finish. The hooded man was revealed to be Luke Harper, and he was back with Wyatt. Smart move by WWE to get Harper back with Wyatt as now he’s found himself some relevancy again in the company. I’m guessing Erick Rowan would have been with Wyatt as well had he not got injured. It’ll be interesting to see whether WWE just go with the two of them or if they’re going to bring in somebody else to join up with Wyatt.

660xNxBAT15_Photo_129-3175409550.jpg.pagespeed.ic.GEb4ZWvGT6

Next up was a bonus match for the PPV. And for the first time in years, the bonus match actually felt like a legitimate BONUS to a PPV! It was the continuation of the “revolution” of the divas division in WWE. Stephanie McMahon announced that one member of each of the new factions in the divas storyline would be picked to compete in a triple threat match. It would be NXT Womens Championship Sasha Banks from Team B.A.D. against Brie Bella from the Bella Army and Charlotte from Paige’s group. This was a great divas match. Mostly, it was down to Charlotte and Banks. Brie Bella didn’t really get involved as much as the other two, which was probably for the best. Brie was really off her game in this match. I would like to point out that during the match, Brie attempted to pay homage to her husband Daniel Bryan by doing his multiple kicks spot to both Sasha and Charlotte. And I must say that these were some of the worst kicks I’ve ever seen delivered! I actually like Brie and she has improved in the last few years, but man she looked horrible here. Especially when in the ring with divas as talented like Sasha Banks and Charlotte, Brie looked so out-of-place and really couldn’t keep up.

The match itself was great regardless of Brie. However, there’s one more spot that I want to talk about. Sasha dropkicked Brie into the rest of the Bella Army and landed hard onto the floor as Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox could not catch Brie. Nikki and Alicia have both been wrestling for nearly a decade and even now, the two of them together were not able to catch Brie Bella coming down on top of them. Brie might have launched herself a bit too far off the dropkick but Nikki and Alicia should have been a lot further back in order to catch Brie. I was just shocked by how badly their attempts at catching Brie was and Brie couldn’t have gotten badly hurt from it. In the end, after a decent little exchange between Brie and Charlotte, Charlotte locked the Figure-Eight Leg Lock on Brie to make her tap out. Again, it was a great divas match. They got a decent amount of time to do some serious work. I’m very looking forward to seeing how this “revolution” develop.

maxresdefault (1)

Next was the third match between Kevin Owens and John Cena for the WWE United States Championship. This match was another great match between these two. In my opinion, this was not as good as the other two matches at Elimination Chamber and Money In The Bank. However, it was still a fine bout. There was lot of the same stuff which we’ve seen before between these two. A lot of the same spots. However, I want to get straight to the finish of this match. Cena hit Owens with the AA off the top rope and Owens kicked out. Cena’s face sold that kick out really well. Because this finish has been used so many times by Cena to win big matches. However, Owens kicked out. At that moment, I felt Owens looked as strong as anyone else who has faced Cena. I thought that this was going to go down as a truly memorable match in WWE history and Owens was going to get the win. But what happens? Cena simply locks on the STF and makes him tap out.

8203 - The_JBL_And_Cole_Show facepalm john_bradshaw_layfield michael_cole suit wwe

I could not believe that this match ended like this. With the likes of Bray Wyatt and Rusev, there was always a lingering thought that Cena would win those feuds. Even though you believed in your heart in the past that Wyatt and Rusev were going to beat Cena at Wrestlemania, there was always a feeling that Cena was going to go over. And he did it both times. However, with this US title match between Owens and Cena, I truly believed that there was NO WAY that Cena was going to win. There’s a lot of “Cena haters” that were telling me that Cena was going to go over. I didn’t for ONE TIME believe them, because I believed that the WWE knew that Kevin Owens was something special. Owens dropped the NXT title which I believed meant that he would be committing to the main roster full-time. And to officially start his run, he’d beat Cena and win the US title. Having ALL the momentum in the world to just fly to the top of WWE. Turns out… I was wrong.

Here’s the thing, the stars have never been this well aligned for Owens to succeed. The stars were never THIS WELL ALIGNED! All he had to do was beat Cena and win the US title, as he was the right man at the right time to win this championship. In everyone’s mind, it was his time. But apparently… NOT EVERYONE. Someone in the back thought it was a great idea to kill off Owens’ momentum by having Cena MAKE OWENS TAP OUT! At least Bray Wyatt didn’t tap out to John Cena. At least Rusev simply passed out to John Cena. Not Kevin Owens! Oh no! After Cole and JBL talked about the will of Owens and made Owens sound like a billion dollars on commentary, Owens taps out to Cena. This makes Owens JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. The glass ceiling has never been more prominent as it was at Battleground. It’s now clear to me… you can only achieve this much success in WWE… but you MUST lose a feud to Cena. Just why?

I know wrestlers like Chris Jericho and Edge in the past have accused Cena of “burying” talent and putting himself over. However, I thought to myself that there was NO WAY that Cena would think him winning the feud against Owens was a good idea. I guarantee you, this can’t have been Cena’s idea. There’s one man in the WWE who thought that killing Owens momentum like this and Cena going over by making Owens tap out was a good idea but it just wasn’t. I think this match is the final acceptance by me that there is so little hope for future talent to become stars for one reason. And his name is John Cena.

Long time followers of the blog know what I actually LIKE John Cena. But when he’s booked to look like a bloody demi-god, how on earth will WWE be able to build up new talent when they can’t break the glass ceiling that is John Cena? This ending has infuriated me. Because now I finally realize, there’s little hope for the future of NXT in Vince McMahon’s WWE…

Now that’s out the way…

wwe-battleground-brock-lesnar-seth-rollins-2jpg-f8f7f4e407fc3c1e

Before Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins, The Miz actually cut an awesome promo about Big Show and Ryback. The fans were actually really into his promo and Miz talked about not getting his Intercontinental title shot tonight until Big Show came out and KO’d him. Little filler segment just before the WWE World Title match.

So next was Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins. It’s a similar type of match to what we’ve seen Brock deliver in the last year. He delivered 13 suplexes and dominated things from the get-go. However, Seth looked pretty strong when taking the abuse. He took it to Lesnar a bit himself and looked great in doing it. After a slap of defiance from Seth, Brock hit the F5 and then… we here a gong go off and the lights go out…

20150719_Thumb_battleground_LesnarTaker

IT WAS THE UNDERTAKER! Undertaker returned to do battle with Lesnar, the man who had broken his Wrestlemania streak. Undertaker delivered a low blow to the man and left Lesnar laying after a chokeslam and two tombstone pilderivers to win this particular battle. The match ended in a no contest.

Needless to say, I was not expecting this. Someone on Reddit apparently leaked Undertaker’s return but I never really believed it. However, this was an incredible way for him to do it. I just went on a tangent there about Vince McMahon, but you could tell he put a lot of thought into Undertaker’s return. Taker returning and hitting the low blow shocked a lot of people. People are still debating about whether Undertaker’s still a face or not, but I do believe that was the heel turn of the Undertaker right there. The all-mighty Undertaker shouldn’t really need to do the low blow but he did. That’s the ultimate sign of a heel turn, as he’s pulling off a desperate maneuver to win the fight with Brock Lesnar.

I loved this ending and to be fair, Seth Rollins looked good despite his beating by Brock. Seth slapped Lesnar back and fought back against Lesnar quite a bit. For a moment, I truly believed that Seth was actually going to turn face during this match. I thought it was going to be a Steve Austin-like face turn when he doesn’t give up. However, there’s still a chance that Seth could still turn face but it’ll be interesting to see if they do.

However, this ending was really well executed and the fans were going NUTS for it. Overall, this PPV was an OK PPV. There was certain decisions which I think didn’t work but there still a lot which I think payed off. I think this was a great prelude to Summerslam, and I’m excited to see what happens next with Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker!