RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #23 (FEBRUARY 5TH 1996) – STING AND LEX LUGER VS ROAD WARRIORS FOR THE TAG TITLES

Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.

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We took a detour into an alternate reality of WCW Nitro last week as things went completely haywire. Ric Flair defeated Hulk Hogan in one of the shockers of the series so far, getting the pinfall victory after a lot of interferences leading to Flair injuring Hogan’s eye to get the win. The Road Warriors appeared on Nitro, getting a win in a botch-filled match with the Faces Of Fear as they were shooting for a future tag title shot. The Dungeon of Doom and The Four Horsemen were at odds once more after Taskmaster double-crossed Arn Anderson. Madusa apparently decided to shoot on Sister Sherri after the latter picked up a upset win over the former WWF Women’s Champion. Finally, the scheduled Giant vs Randy Savage title match never even took place as The Giant and Ric Flair laid a beating on Savage and Hogan at the end of the show.

 

Date: February 5th 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Lakeland, Florida

Rating: 2.9

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

This show was not as bonkers as last week’s show was but it was interesting that this show was the go-home show for Superbrawl and it certainly didn’t feel like it. This show, for me anyway, was trying to figure out what the main-events of the Superbrawl show were. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ric Flair and The Giant have all been in a tag team like feud in the last couple of months and they announced that there was going to be “two cages” or two cage matches or whatever the deal was. That was the deal with these four men but I couldn’t figure out who was wrestling who.

I figured maybe Hogan would fight Flair and The Giant would fight Savage for the WCW World title as this show, and last week’s show really, led you to believe that this was going to happen. We do get our answers at the end of the show but it was really unclear in trying to figure out what the card was going to be for Superbrawl.

 

 

Randy Savage © w/Miss Elizabeth and Woman vs Chris Benoit for the WCW World Heavyweight title?

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This was hard to figure out whether THIS MATCH was actually a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match. It was “Macho Man” Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth and Woman versus Chris Benoit of the Four Horsemen and Eric Bischoff casually mentions that the title is on the line. This was also the same Benoit who, a few weeks ago, lost twice in two nights to Jushin Liger at Starrcade then to Steven Regal on Nitro. Here, he got a shot at the World title. Bizarre. It’s also rather eerie to see that Woman, of all people, was accompanying Savage to the ring for a match with Benoit but the less said about that the better.

Savage and Benoit wrestled for the advantage for the headlock. Benoit took a cheap shot as the referee tried to break it up. Then Benoit went to work and got the heat.

In terms of getting the heat on a babyface, Benoit was brilliant in that role. In terms of being a babyface in peril getting beat on, Savage was brilliant in that role too. However, Randy Savage, as the WCW World Champion, should not been getting this much heat on himself going into a big world title match. If Savage is presented as a fighting underdog against Chris Benoit and not presented as a legitimate champion, I think that causes problems with getting legitimacy for your championship. Then again, this title has had at least 5 title changes since this Nitro series started so it’s not like the legitimacy of the title was top priority anyway.

At this point in the show, I’m still trying to figure out what the cage matches were for Superbrawl. Dunno if it was Flair vs Hogan or Flair vs Savage, or Hogan vs Giant or Giant vs Savage. Benoit goes the top rope diving headbutt which actually connected, as opposed to every other match in the series where he goes for the headbutt and misses for the babyface to get back in the match.

Benoit, of all the things he delivers for the heat, does a snap leg drop! Benoit wrenched on the back for the backbreaker submission. Benoit just got the heat, got the heat and got the heat for a long time until Savage eventually hits a big clothesline. Woman distracts the referee and Benoit flips over Savage over the top rope and onto the outside. Benoit does a dive to the outside and lands face first on the mat on the outside. I screamed as Benoit thudded onto the ground. This was not pretty and thinking about the long term side-effects of this head trauma was just… it was not comfortable to think about.

Savage hits the elbow. Flair comes down gets a hold of Elizabeth. Savage goes after Flair. Woman then starts choking away at Savage and turns on him as the ref calls for the DQ. Yeah, Woman, who was brought in two weeks ago as just another woman in the company (pardon the pun), has already turned heel.

I do also have to point something out. Liger and Regal beat Benoit a few weeks ago. Regal beat Benoit clean but yet Savage couldn’t beat Benoit clean in this title defence? Can you let him get a clean win just one time in his life to make him seem a little bit credible?

Arn comes out as the heels gang up on Savage. Hogan makes the save with the chair. Mean Gene goes to do an interview as Savage is down and Hogan correctly points out, “Can’t you see he’s hurt?” I mean bad timing for Mean Gene. “Hey Hogan, your friend got his ass kicked. Can I have your thoughts?” That I laughed at when Hogan pointed this out. Mean Gene even says “I don’t know whats going on!”

Hogan cuts a promo. Hogan says he’s gotta put a stop to Ric Flair. He says The Giant is right in front of him on Sunday. Ric Flair then jumps Hogan and scrapes at the busted open eye of Hogan, that Flair had damaged last week. The Giant comes out and does a big swing of the chair. Zodiac stops him and then Savage comes back and chases away Giant with a chair. Savage then yells: “what he’s gonna do to Flair he can’t say on television.” Savage lays into Elizabeth for not doing anything and I’m like: “what was Elizabeth going to do?” Was Savage expecting Elizabeth to Hulk Up and beat the crap out of The Giant?

 

Hugh Morrus and Taskmaster vs Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman

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Before we get into this next match, they plugged a Benoit vs Savage rematch at Saturday Night and the announcers say that we wouldn’t wanna miss this. Why? We had the match on this show… and there was no finish. There was a disqualification. What could possibly convince me that there would be a clear cut winner on that show?

They start this tag match. Biran Pillman out crazies Hugh Morrus who just pushes away at Pillman as they have a crazy-off. Hugh no-sells Pillman’s chops and just laughs in his face. Hugh does a gorilla press to Pillman and almost killed Arn with another Gorilla Press. He barely got him up and Arn landed hard on his back. I know Arn doesn’t last much longer as a wrestler because of injuries so I was really concerned here. Then again, he did show up at AEW’s All Out show just last week in 2019 and did a spinebuster!

Pillman rakes away at Taskmaster who does a comeback. Hugh and Arn get tagged back in. Arn Anderson, to demonstrate just what a great professional wrestler he was, was then able to deliver a great spinebuster to Hugh Morrus of all people! Arn then goes for the chinlock.

Hugh tries to fight his way free from the Horsemen corner but he is overwhelmed. Pillman runs at Hugh at the corner and Hugh doesn’t do a back elbow to push him away like any other wrestler would do. He clobbers Pillman with a clothesline. It was like if a bear had just tried to paw away at you and it must have rung his bell a little bit.

Taskmaster runs wild on Pillman. Yeah, KEVIN SULLIVAN gets the hot tag and runs wild! With that being said,  I loved this brawl between Pillman and Taksmaster. They were both throwing wild punches at each other like mad men. It was awesome and as phony as the heat appeared initially between Pillman and the Dungeon of Doom in storyline, this brawl felt real. It felt like these two men, in real life, hated each other. Now granted, there is a future “unscripted” moment between these two guys but we’ll get to that later.

To an extent, this felt a little unscripted too. They brawled on the mat and the referee completely lost control of the match as Hugh and Arn got involved. They initially broke it up and then turned it into two seperate fights. Taskmaster brawled with Arn up to the entrance ramp. Arn goes for a piledriver but someone lays out Arn with a broom! This culprit is not seen but we just see a white broom pop out of the curtain and hit Arn!

Pillman tries a powerbomb on Hugh Morrus on the outside! It did not work. Taskmaster gets a a strap as Hugh delivers a moonsault headbut. Taskmaster whips Pillman. My question was where was Chris Benoit during all of this? It was so weird because after this, Pillman just walked to the back after being repeatedly whipped in the back. Like Taskmaster whipped him a few times and then Pillman just walked to the back. I’m guessing this was like a worked shoot and it makes sense when you see where this leads to at Superbrawl.

 

Ric Flair w/Woman vs Marcus Bagwell

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Woman sided with the Four Horsemen at the start of the show and is immediately coming down to the ring with Flair. “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff comes down in a neck brace to the announce table. Mr Wonderful says the funny thing about payback, is that you never know when it’s going to happen. The announcers wonder that Mr Wonderful was the guy behind the broom attack. It actually makes sense because Arn and Ric did the spike piledriver to Paul Orndorff and Arn was going for a piledriver on Taskmaster. I did like that bit of story-telling.

I didn’t think this match was any good and I think it was 100% down to Bagwell. His offense was clothesline, dropkicks and punches. If you like those three moves, I guess this was the match for you. However, there wasn’t much wrestling to this guy and really he just attacked Flair more than he wrestled.

Bagwell runs wild with clotheslines and the fans actually loved Bagwell here. No matter what I say, he was over here with the crowd. He does a big clothesline on the outside and a few of the girls are going “ooowwwwwwwww!” like wolf-whistle style!

Bagwell fires away with some pretty lame punches but the fans loved it. I don’t think Bagwell did a single wrestling move other than two backdrops by this point. Everything else was dropkicks, punches and clotheslines.

Ric eventually grabs the ropes as Bagwell goes for another dropkick. It took Flair this long to figure out Bagwell’s game! Bagwell reverses a Figure Four with a small package pin. Ric and Bagwell both bounced off the ropes, they crash into each other in the middle and Bagwell tumbles and somehow falls backwards over the top rope to the floor… this was overselling done poorly as the fans were just looking at him like: “what the?”

I like how Ric used Woman to distracted the ref… just to get a kick in at Bagwell on the outside! He didn’t cheat or break any rules but he’s the dirtiest player in the game so he can’t help himself but take any advantage he can!

Bagwell’s offense was legitimately just clotheslines, punches and dropkicks as he made the comeback. They also announced Public Enemy vs Nasty Boys at Superbrawl in a street fight. That I can’t wait to see!

Bagwell does a superplex. Bagwell tries a springboard splash but Flair got the knees up. Flair does a figure four leg lock and Bagwell gave up as Flair wins. Flair punches the ref out and refuses to let go of the hold. Savage chases him off. Savage even pushes another referee down in his pursuit of Flair.

 

Sting (c) and Lex Luger (c) VS “The Road Warriors” Animal and Hawk for the WCW Tag Team Championship

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Big “LOD” chants as Sting and Animal started off with a bit of energy about them as they battled for the upper hand. Then they tagged in LEX LUGER AND HAWK. Lex Luger does a sloppy piledriver but Hawk no sells and beats up Luger. Sting hits a Stinger Splash and goes for the Scorpion Death lock but Animal immediately breaks it up. He knew well enough to break up as if it was locked in, it was over. I liked the selling that the Scorpion Deathlock was such a killer finisher at this time!

Luger draped the ropes which sent Animal crashing over the ropes to the outside. Luger drops three elbow drops. I got a flashing light and an error message from the WWE Network as apparently it was an issue with the original clip. Bischoff then explains that the power went out! I guess WWE couldn’t restore whatever the original content was as my screen went weird!

Sting does a front facelock and grounds him as the fans chant for LOD. Sting forces Animal into Luger and Sting’s corner. Animal does a big back drop, Animal goes for a clothesline but then Sting breaks up a pin I believe. Hawk then goes crazy on the outside and just beats the living hell out of Sting like a madman! Like I have no idea what brought this on but Hawk just goes nuts in attacking Sting. Luger and Animal are still wrestling as they cut to a wide shot. Then all of a sudden, Sting goes a Stinger Splash but hits the barricade like a mad man! Like Luger and Animal are in the ring and then Sting pops up in the bottom right corner of the screen and splashes onto the barricade!

Jimmy Hart comes down and gets knocked down. Luger hits Animal with something, I don’t remember what it was, but then the ref counts the pin. Sting is not happy as he doesn’t know whats going on as the fans boo the finish.

Mean Gene goes to the ring and interviews the Road Warriors. Hawk yells and demands the winner of Sting and Luger vs Harlem Heat, which I think is taking place at Superbawl. Mean Gene talks about Luger targeting the bad back of Animal. Animal acknowledges this but says they’re the men and they want the title match. Hawk vows revenge.

Finally they clear up its Ric Flair vs Savage and its Hulk Hogan vs The Giant at Superbrawl. After all of this time, I finally figured out what the two big steel cage matches were for Superbrawl!

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Not a lot to comment on for this show. It didn’t feel like it did a good enough job to hype up the PPV. Like it hyped up the main-event program well but, as mentioned, I didn’t even know what the specific matches were. I had to wait until the end of the show until they actually told the viewers outright what the matches were. Flair goes out there and attacks Hogan when Randy Savage is his opponent for the PPV. I don’t know, maybe they’re building up Hogan vs Flair again for after the PPV but it didn’t do a good enough job with the PPV at hand for me.

BUT WAIT….

BEFORE I LEAVE YOU, I promised two bonus match reviews and I’m gonna get them out of the way. Last week, they hyped up a Lex Luger vs Eddie Guerrero match for WCW Saturday Night which I wanted to watch and see, really, just how good Eddie Guerrero was. Lex Luger has had some really bad performances as of late on the Nitro series where as Eddie had some really good performances as of late on the Nitro series. I was very curious to see whether he could get a good match out of Luger.

I also discovered The One Man Gang, the new WCW United States Champion, in a match with Super Giant Ninja from January 20th 1996. Super Giant Ninja was the former Yeti that terrorised Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc. Repackaged as the Super Giant Ninja, him going up against The One Man Gang I though was going to be a treat! So let’s get start with these bonus match reviews!

 

One Man Gang vs Super Giant Ninja on WCW Saturday Night – January 20th 1996

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I’m going to go chronological with these reviews. Super Giant Ninja did not get an entrance as the ninja, looking exactly like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, stretches in the ring!

Tony Schiavonie on the commentary says his name as the Super Giant Ninjaaaaaaaaaa. The two monsters both locked up as the two men trade blows. The Ninja chops One Man Gang as both men go “yaaaaarggh!” That I laughed at!

Super Ninja was a deer-in-headlights out there, completely out of his element in professional wrestling. When One Man Gang comes off as the more co-ordinated out of the two, it is something. One Man Gang did a good job here but it was just funny to me. One Man Gang wasn’t particular someone that struck me as co-ordinated!

One Man Gang clobbers Super Giant Ninja. One Man Gang scoop slams the Ninja like it’s just a regular move, when he’s just slammed like a 7 foot giant monster! One Man Gang then hits a splash and wins! All of that hype as the Yeti and here, he’s a Super Giant Ninja and he gets squashed by the One Man Gang!

A few notes about this ninja was that 2 weeks after this, he wrestled as the Yeti again on a house show! I looked up his details on the Cagematch website and notable matches included one where he wrestled WWE alumni Rodney Mack to a no contest in 2011 billed as “Vanilla Gorilla!” The Vanilla Gorilla is quite the ring name to come out too! Believe it or not, he still wrestles today! He wrestled as recently as August 2019 in a battle royal! Amazing to read these details after watching this match!

 

Eddie Guerrero vs Lex Luger on WCW Saturday Night dated Febuary 3rd 1996

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Luger made fun of the height of Eddie with the test of strength but Eddie one-upped him and played along. Eddie ran wild and Luger was taken back by the quickness of Guerrero, including a roll-up attempt.

Lex Luger TOWERED over Eddie in this match by the way. If there was nothing Eddie needed to make himlook like less of a star it’s this jacked-up Lex Luger standing in front of him!

One spot I liked was that Eddie was going to come off the ropes with the arm drag but Lex’s arms are too big so he transitions this on the fly and does a roll-up! I loved that worked improvisation by Eddie Guerrero!

Lex Luger Gorilla Presses Eddie into the top rope. Lex gets rough with Eddie and does a long vertical suplex. Luger caught Eddie off the top rope with a bearhug, Eddie eventually fought his way out with big Mongolian chops to the ears of Luger.

Luger gets the heat with boring just punches, elbow drops, just very long and drawn out. I think you could have shaved a few minutes from this match judging by all of this “non-action” by Luger.

Eddie reverses a Gorilla Press into another roll-up. Eddie fires up and delivers a big dropkick. Eddie went up and Eddie’s top rope dropkick crashed into the referee as Luger pushes the ref in the way. Luger went for a Torture Rack but Eddie landed on his feet. Eddie goes for a hurricanrana but Luger but barely had any grip as Eddie was only just able to get him over.

Luger then pulls off a reverse torture rack seemingly for the win as the second referee Randy Anderson seemingly calls for the bell. Luger thinks he won but the referee awards the match to Eddie via disqualification. Luger puts the stomps to Guerrero and… I don’t think this was the kinda finish that did any favours for Guerrero.

I do like how Eddie actually tended to the fallen referee! A honourable babyface! In short, this was an OK Eddie vs Luger match but it wasn’t like there was a lot Eddie could work with. They just worked your typical big man vs little match match.

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That about wraps up my WCW Nitro Review as well as two bonus match reviews! I will be reviewing Superbrawl! The card, when I read it, looked OK. There was some repetitive stuff. We’ve got another Johnny B Badd vs DDP match but I have liked that program and their matches, so I’m OK with that. The cage match results I think are going to be interesting but then again, everything before the nWo shows up I think will be “interesting” to see what direction they go in.

I will see you with my review of WCW SuperBrawl 1996!

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

 

 

 

 

 

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #12 (NOVEMBER 20TH 1995) – HULK HOGAN VS STING

Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.

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We’re on the road to World War III and tensions are running high both in the forces of good and the forces of evil. Factions like The Dungeon of Doom are cracking from within with internal conflicts between the likes of Scott Norton and The Shark. The forces of good has been divided by suspicion as the “Evil” Hulk Hogan has suspected foul play from the Stinger due to his friendship with the Dungeon of Doom’s Lex Luger. Hulk Hogan has thrown down the challenge and Sting accepted the challenge.

So now, main-eventing this episode of Nitro, is Sting vs Hulk Hogan. Who will gain momentum on the go-home edition of Nitro as we head towards war…. WORLD WAR III?

 

Date: November 20th, 1995

Brand: WCW

City: Macon, Georgia

Rating: 2.5

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

This episode was decreed as the “Superbowl of Wrestling” by Eric Bischoff, with the other commentators looking stunned as Bobby Heenan admitted he was cheering for Sting. Bobby then clarified that he would cheer for Sting to win… but then wished for Sting to fall down some stairs.

 

Scott Norton vs The Shark

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This feud kind of “jumped the Shark” for me this week. Pun always intended when it comes to The Shark! Bischoff then said, and I quote, “this man will flash you” as Scott Norton came down.

The Shark came down to brawl with Norton. The fans actually booed at this point so maybe they were sick of this feud too. They got into the ring and rang the bell. The Shark hit a big belly-to-belly slam and an elbow drop as Bobby revealed that you’d see these “two men pound each other tonight.”

Norton then began to fire up as Bischoff plugged the WCW hotline. Norton then simply picked up Shark, slammed him and pinned him. Then the two started pushing each other again after the match so this feud must continue. I was all for this feud at first but I think this was the point where the life was sucked out of this feud. I’d hate to be so negative about this feud but this act can only get good for so long.

 

Mean Gene Okerlund did another god damn interview with the Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart. It is the exact same thing every week since Jimmy Hart sided with the Dungeon of Doom.  Mean Gene called Jimmy the original Benedict Arnold and Jimmy thanked him for the compliment. Jimmy tried to stir the pot between Sting and Hogan. Jimmy’s idea to stir the pot was to make Sting jealous that Hogan was doing a Baywatch episode with “Macho Man” Randy Savage instead of Sting! In Jimmy’s eyes, this was an act of betrayal as Sting was brought in for Thunder in Paradise one time!

Taskmaster said there’s strength in numbers and Taskmaster has waited a long time for Hogan to be in the ring with all the members of the Dungeon of Doom. Mean Gene called them the two biggest pieces of garbage he knows. At the end of this Mongo said Bobby’s opinions are like his feet… they both stink.

 

Eddie Guerrero vs Ric Flair

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Disco Inferno came down to dance while promoting a CD of this. I have no idea if this was a real CD but I pray that it is and somewhat available on eBay! Eddie stopped him in his tracks anyway.

Ric Flair came out in street clothes. He looked SLICK indeed as Slick Ric got on the mic. He came out with Brian Pillman who was actually dressed to compete himself. Ric got on the mic and said WCW made a mistake when they said Eddie was gonna wrestle him tonight. Ric said he decided to let the great flyin’ Brian take care of business. Flair told Pillman to take care of his line of work for him and he’d get the plane ready. Eddie was upset as apparently he’d trained “all week” to face Ric Flair!

 

Eddie Guerrero vs Brian Pillman

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Pillman waved his red jacket in front of Eddie as if it was a bull fighting show. Brian slapped him and then hit some hard chops. Eddie hit a lovely teardrop suplex but Pillman soon caught Eddie off the top with a dropkick. Brian got in front of the camera and yelled “I LOVE YOU MAN.”

Eddie tried a roll-up but Pillman regained the heat with a face slam. Bobby did play up Eddie as a big star saying that “everybody’s talking about Eddie this and Eddie that” and even if Heenan is a heel that’s a good thing to subtlety play up the babyfaces if you’re a heel. Therefore, if Eddie is being prepared for a big match with Flair or whoever, this is a good way to build him up.

Eddie eventually fired back with a little “Latino heat” as he speared and threw punches at Pillman. Pillman suplexed Eddie to the outside and tried a double axe handle but he smashed right into the barricade.

Eddie did a big dive off the top rope. I love how Bobby suggested that Eddie’s real name is Clark Kent as he came off the top rope like Superman. In case you weren’t aware, Bobby Heenan was a really good commentator.

Eddie hit a brainbuster. Brian tried a superplex but Eddie pushed him off the top rope, hit a frog splash and got the pin. The commentators asked the questions of where the Horsemen were. Bischoff actually explained that they were on Flair’s plane but it does play up the storyline that Pillman’s doing the heavy lifting while the Horsemen were partying on a plane.

Bobby talked about how Eddie might be a future star and he really did go all out on commentary to put Eddie over as a top star.

 

They plugged WCW Saturday Night with Lex Luger being in the main-event, Disco Inferno in action, VK Wallstreet in action and Hugh Morrus who they described as, and this is a quote (as a rewound it several times to make sure it was true)… “a really exciting wrestler.” HUGH MORRUS IS A REALLY EXCITING WRESTLER.

We then cut to the crowd and these kids in the crowd were holding up peace signs and the teenagers to their right looked utterly disgusted with these cheerful kids!

 

Road Warrior Hawk vs Big Bubba Rogers

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So as these two were coming down to the ring, Bischoff asks the hard-hitting questions again of “what if that injury was not what we thought it was and Savage was gonna turn on Hogan at World War 3?”

Bischoff also suggested that someone that may not be expected to show up may show up at World War 3. This was just the part of the show where Eric Bischoff was one of the most annoying people alive, Bischoff was giving it the “big ‘un” about how wrestlers from wrestling organisations from around the world are looking to get involved in World War 3.

Now I know the idea is to build up the PPV but is it not possible to state that WCW have the biggest stars in the wrestling world instead of spearing rumour wildfire with the hope of possible last-minute PPV buys? Eric should be trying to establish that they’ve got the literal biggest stars in the wrestling world and that they’ve got a battle that everyone in wrestling will want to get involved in this big event. Outright suggesting that someone from the WWF will show up is a big sell unless a big star like Bret Hart or Diesel or Shawn Michaels is actually showing up. Spoiler alert but none of these men turn up.

Big Bubba and Hawk botched a spot where Big Bubba did a big splash but Hawk wasn’t able to move fast enough so he ended up shoulder-barging the guy instead. Big Bubba hit a spinebuster as Bobby said “THE HAWK IS GROUNDED, TWEET, TWEET, TWEET.” Big Bubba Irish whipped Hawk but tumbles out of the corner backwards at the speed of light and crashed into Big Bubba.

Hawk missed a dive. Big Bubba taped up his fist and went to hit Hawk but Hacksaw Jim Duggan came out of nowhere and tripped Big Bubba and Hawk got the pin. It was revealed that Big Bubba landed on his own taped hand but this was absolute dirt horrible wrestling. Keep in mind that Bischoff said two weeks ago that they didn’t have instant replay when Benoit got screwed out of the match with Eddie. Here, these WCW jerks magically have replays on hand to show clips of the horrible match we just watched. This was horrible.

 

Hulk Hogan vs Sting

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To say that WCW had money to blow at this time was never more clear than when you saw the pyro displays for the big stars of the company. Stinger is coming out and a flame pyro shot up right near him to which Sting even said “that was too close for comfort,” which is incredibly accurate. I screamed at this part for the safety of the man called Sting.

Interesting note about Sting, when it relates to this storyline… Sting was dressed in the red and yellow as he came out. In comparison, Hogan came out and he was all in black. Very interesting story-telling just based on what they were wearing which is pretty clever for a wrestling company. So Hogan’s music played and the fans just boo this man. But as they’re waiting for Hogan, Savage comes down to the ring with his arm in a sling.

The arm in a sling was as a result of Luger’s beatdown from last week. He’s out there, with his arm in a sling mind you, and more pyro sparks right in Savage’s face. We got firework after firework as Savage was waiting for Hogan. WWE in 2018 recently stopped doing fireworks for their talent as a cost-cutting measure but I’m glad they’ve stopped just as a safety measure for these guys. All the fireworks in the world are shot right at the talent in WCW. It’s scary.

Finally, Hogan “sneaks” into the ring. When I say sneak to the ring, I’m fairly certain Kamala could have done a more elegant job at this. Hogan tried getting over this barricade not at the speed of sound but at the speed of silence. Sting is looking away as Hogan and his broken down body struggle to get over this barricade.

Hogan, with the Batman mask on from last week, finally gets in the ring and plays to the crowd like “do you want me to get this guy?” and then he gets him.

So Eric Bischoff, who has been hyping this match up for the entirety of the show, then suddenly declares that he doesn’t want to see this match. You as a promoter, when the match finally starts, pick right when the match starts to say “on second thought, I don’t want to see this match”? Eric Bischoff got my nerves during this episode, in case you hadn’t figured it out.

Hogan could barely move. He even tripped when going for a clothesline. Sting tried his hardest to get the best out of Hogan, selling like crazy for the Hulkster. This was like their Starrcade 1997 match in reverse. We’ll talk about it whenever we get to it in the series but in their Starrcade match, Sting was out of shape so when he fired up, Hogan sold like crazy for Sting. This was remarkable to watch.

I think I figured out at this point that this was Hogan’s first match on Nitro since his match with Luger on Episode #2. You could see why he was so limited with this match. Hogan was barely in position for a crossbody as the two of them were on complete different pages of different books for a clothesline spot.

Then Hulk Hogan whipped out an ARMBAR. Paying homage to the name of the blog, Hogan does what is possible the worst armbar I’ve ever seen. It seemed Hogan had never watched a mixed martial arts fight in his life. I can tell you for a fact that UFC was around at this time and I confidentially tell you that even me, with possibly weeks worth of martial arts experience in my whole life, can do an armbar better than Hulk Hogan here in this match. That’s right ME.

Sting hit a Stinger Splash but Hogan grabbed Sting by the waist and locked on a bearhug which was actually a clever spot. The fans booed Hogan like crazy and they were all cheering for Sting. It appeared Sting went for a toe hold but Hogan didn’t register with the spot and stayed on his feet as Eric tried to convince us that this is where the action was at. Sting locked on the Scorpion Deathlock and Hogan fired up much to the fans’ dismay.

Hogan did the punches and a big boot but started selling his leg after he missed the leg drop. Sting went for a Scorpion Deathlock as Hogan grabbed the referee and yelled “HELP ME” but this was shortly broken up by the Dungeon of Doom for the DQ. Everybody was out there and then The Giant came down. The Giant grabbed Hogan and Sting for a double chokeslam but Savage hit Giant with a chair.

Giant chokeslammed Savage. Sting and Hogan both used a chair to send Giant over the top rope with an ugly spot as The Giant was held back by the Dungeon who had a hard time holding back this monster of a man.

Taskmaster and Jimmy then harassed the announcers, specifically Bobby Heenan their fellow heel. Heenan astutely pointed out that if this is how they’re gonna treat Heenan, who they like, imagine what they’re gonna do to everyone during World War 3.

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That was Nitro. I was not to high on this one this week. The end segment was sort of the only thing that really made me want to watch this World War 3 PPV. In fact, I think the battle royal for the title is the only match they’ve promoted since Halloween Havoc. That’s not good.

We will see you with our World War 3 review as WCW goes to war. After giving it some thought, it’ll be another whole PPV review. I’ve actually watched the PPV already as the time of writing this post and prepare for one of the most wackiest battle royals in wrestling history!

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

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

Hey guys! Tom Robinson here. Yeah, made a little mistake in the last post. I stated that the last 3 categories I did were the last awards in the NoDQ.com awards. But as it turns out, there’s one more left! The worst storyline of the year!

The nominations are….

Dixie Carter as the heel boss – After AJ Styles berated TNA Owner Dixie Carter for ruining TNA, Dixie lost her cool and made AJ public enemy number one in her eyes. Dixie tried to go to all lengths to make sure AJ never won the TNA World Championship. She put in roadblocks, tried to get Hulk Hogan on her side, offered him incentives and even aligning herself with the Aces And Eights. After AJ won the title and walked out on her, Dixie began the hunt for HER champion that would take TNA to new heights. In a tournament to crown a champion, she found the champion that would join Team Dixie – Magnus.

Ryback the bully – After losing his feud with John Cena, Ryback began taking his anger out on these considerable smaller than him. Taking advantage of his size, he bullied around members of staff, interviewers and wrestlers all over WWE. This led to Ryback joining Paul Heyman in his feud with CM Punk saying that Punk had bullied Heyman and that he hated bullies.

Big Show taking orders from The Authority – With the new regime arriving, Big Show talked out against their actions in screwing Daniel Bryan out of the WWE Championship. In response, Big Show was made to pay. Firstly, the Authority booked him in a three on one handicap match with The Shield and forced Big Show to do nothing as Bryan was constantly on the receiving of beatings. It turned out that Big Show’s “ironclad” contract which was signed in 2012 by John Laurinaitis had many problems with it that made it not ironclad anymore, which may have been the dumbest attempt at tying up loose ends the WWE has ever done. Big Show eventually became Stephanie McMahon’s hitman and knocked out the likes of Daniel Bryan, The Miz and Dusty Rhodes at her command. At Battleground, Big Show had enough of the bossing around and got himself fired with KOs to Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton.

Bully Ray revealed as Aces and Eights president/Bully Ray’s marriage to Brooke Hogan – At the end of 2012, Austin Aries revealed that Bully Ray had started to date the daughter of Hulk Hogan, Brooke. This peeved off the Hulkster who didn’t trust Bully even after he saved him multiple times. This led to Bully being suspended and eventually to Bully proposing to Brooke. At the wedding in January, Hogan finally accepted Bully as a member of his finally and walked his daughter down the aisle. This led to Bully Ray being named number one contender for the TNA World Title at Lockdown. It was then that the bombshell was dropped that Bully Ray had been the leader of Aces And Eights all along.

Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson feuding in TNA – In June, Quinton “RAMPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGE” Jackson was introduced in TNA as part of TNA’s deal with the MMA organisation Bellator (a MMA company which they constantly plugged over and over again on Impact). Rampage had high ambitions in TNA and even joined up with the Main Event Mafia in the battle against Aces And Eights. What followed up was the August 1st reveal that Tito Ortiz had returned to TNA. Tito’s intention were unknown until the Steel Cage TNA World Title match between Bully Ray and Chris Sabin where Tito took out Rampage to prevent him from helping out Sabin.

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Oh god. So many bad storylines. The thing I don’t get is why is the Bully Ray Reveal As Aces And Eights Leader storyline in this? I thought it was awesome. Especially when Bully Ray talked over the plan for Aces And Eights. Here it is below…

The Big Show storyline wasn’t that bad either. Stephanie McMahon was really good in this storyline “encouraging” Big Show to play ball. It was just when Big Show suddenly was overshadowing Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton that it became bad and was becoming too much to bear. I think this award is going to go to the “Ryback The Bully” storyline because it was just shocking having to watch these promos of him bullying people. From a business standpoint, you get why WWE did this. But after Ryback had just been feuding for the WWE Championship and against Chris Jericho, this made him look like a complete joke. Not to mention the execution of these segments were shocking.

Winner: Ryback The Bully

 

So there you have it. On the 1st of December 2013, I started the first of these posts going through the NoDQ.com awards and declaring my votes for each of them. And now on the 20th, all of these posts are done. Every vote of mine has been cast. But it’s up to you guys as to who wins these prestigious or not so prestigious awards like the one I just wrote about! To vote on these awards all you have to do is click on the link below and all of the awards for 2013 are up. Click on the links, cast your votes, and in early 2014 the results are revealed.

http://nodq.com/polls/

Here’s the link to all of my posts for the NoDQ.com awards…

Superstar Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-superstar-of-the-year/

Tag Team Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-tag-team-of-the-year/

Finisher Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-finisher-of-the-year/

Announcer Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-announcer-of-the-year/

Match Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-match-of-the-year/

PPV Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-ppv-of-the-year/

Breakout Star Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-breakout-star-of-the-year/

Catchphrase Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-catchphrase-of-the-year/

Faction Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-faction-of-the-year/

Comeback Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-comeback-of-the-year/

Headline Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-headline-of-the-year/

Female Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-female-of-the-year/

Theme Song Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-theme-song-of-the-year/

Babyface Of The Year/Heel Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-2013-babyfaceheel-of-the-year/

Feud Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-feud-of-the-year/

Worst Wrestler Of The Year/Worst Match Of The Year/Worst PPV Of The Year https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/2013-nodq-com-awards-my-vote-for-the-worst-of-the-worst/

 

WWE Night Of Champions 2013 Predictions – Will Daniel Bryan Dethrone The Corporate Champion?

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Wrestling fans, I’m “Dragon Dragon” himself Tom Robinson. I’m so good, I’m double the Dragon! XD

Night Of Champions PREDICTIONS! Which champions will retain their titles, and which contenders are going to walk out Detroit, Michigan a champion?

 

Pre-Show: The Prime Time Players vs The Real Americans vs The Usos vs 3MB vs Tons Of Funk in a tag team turmoil. Winners Face The Shield For The Titles On The PPV.

Background: On RAW, It was announced that with the tag team division heating up with the rise of the Prime Time Players and The Usos that a tag team turmoil will take place on the Night Of Champions Pre-Show to determine number one contenders to The Shield on the actually Pay-Per-View itself.

What Should Happen?: Either The Usos or The Prime Time Players Win. But if I had to pick out of them two, I’d say The Usos because their pre-show match with The Shield at Money In The Bank was an incredible tag team match and I really want to see The Usos finally get a run at the titles.

What Will Happen?: I’m going to say that the WWE are going to keep backing the Prime Time Players with this new push and have them challenge The Shield later on in the card.

 

“The Shield” Roman Reigns (c) and Seth Rollins (c) vs Whoever Wins The Tag Team Turmoil For The WWE Tag Team Championship

I’m going to just split this off for each possible outcome of the turmoil and judge each team’s chances of winning the titles if they get the shot and if they should win the titles. So…

3MB: To put this nicely…. there is no way in HELL of 3MB getting close to the tag team titles. So if by some divine intervention that they win the turmoil, 3MB will have literally a 1% chance of winning the tag team titles. Sorry guys. A 3MB Tag Team Title reign would be money though. XD

Tons Of Funk: Errrr… no. Tons Of Funk have jobbed to The Shield so much in the year that if they do get the title shots, I think they’ll just job to them again. Also, I really don’t think Tons Of Funk is in a remotely good position to be considered worthy to be champions. Way too far down the tag team food chain.

The All-Americans: Just for that huge spin on Santino Marrella on RAW this Monday, Antonio Cesaro deserves to win both the WWE Championship and The World Title never mind the Tag belts. I doubt that the All-Americans would win the titles if they won the turmoil, unless of course WWE are going to somehow turn them face and have them be a really pro-USA team or something. I’ll give them a 205 chance of winning the titles if they make it to the title shots. Do they deserve it? Hell yeah does Antonio Cesaro deserve it!….. oh and Jack Swagger deserves it too, I guess.

The Prime Time Players: With their new push due to Darren Young’s coming out, I wouldn’t be surprised if the PTP finally got the belts they should have had more than a year ago. Should they be champions if they do beat The Shield? It’s a good opportunity for WWE to capitalize on the Publicity. But if I do think there’s a team that should be given the belts, it should be…

The Usos: These guys NEED to get them belts. And their rematch with The Shield needs to happen. They’ve got a good thing going and it’d be a damn shame if the PTP’s push gets in the way of The Usos rise to the titles. I can see WWE giving the belts to The Usos if they do win the Turmoil like. But, that’s all down to if the WWE choose The Usos over the PTPs to win the tag team turmoil

 

Dean Ambrose (c) vs Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship

Background: Dolph Ziggler was one of the first to speak out against Triple H’s actions at Summerslam via Twitter. As punishment, the RAW after Summerslam he was booked in a 3 on 1 handicap match with The Shield. This match eventually led to Ziggler receiving more beatdowns by The Shield, specifically the United States Champion Dean Ambrose. This eventually led to Ziggler being booked in an United States Title match with Ambrose for Night Of Champions on the SmackDown! before the event.

What Should Happen?: Dolph Ziggler shouldn’t really be competing for the US title anymore. It seems such a huge step down considering he was the World Champion in June. But I guess that’s what happens when you get in the proverbial WWE “Dog House”. Honestly, I’d rather not have Ziggler beat Ambrose to be honest, because once he gets a mid-card title again it’ll be hard for him to get back in the main title picture. Dean Ambrose wins.

What Will Happen?: Dean Ambrose wins, because Dolph Ziggler is in SERIOUS shit with WWE. Poor guy. 😦

 

CM Punk vs Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman in an Elimination Handicap Match

Background: After being double-crossed by Paul Heyman at Money In The Bank, CM Punk has been craving the chance to get his hands on Heyman. At Summerslam, he had to go through one of his clients Brock Lesnar in a No Disqualification match. Despite not being able to defeat Lesnar, he was able to lock in the Anaconda Vice on Heyman during the match. However, this was nowhere near good enough for Punk. While Heyman wanted to “take Punk back”, Punk wanted to get his hands on Heyman further. So Heyman set his other client, the Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel. After a brutal brawl between Axel and Punk on the RAW after Summerslam, Punk vs Axel was made for the next week’s RAW. Due to a vote by the WWE Universe, if Punk was able to defeat Axel, Punk would be able to get Heyman in the ring post-match. Punk got the victory and seemed like he was finally going to get a little bit more than an Anaconda Vice on Heyman. However, Axel made sure that didn’t happen and with Heyman delivered a brutal beatdown with a kendo stick to Punk. An irate CM Punk confronted RAW General Manager Brad Maddox and demanded a shot at Heyman. Maddox granted Punk’s wish and made an Elimination Handicap match between CM Punk and the team of Heyman and Axel at Night Of Champions. With it being an elimination match, if Punk beat Axel first, he would have every right in the world to fight Heyman. With Curtis Axel suffering back-to-back defeats to Kofi Kingston in the weeks before NoC and Heyman being told that if he tried to get out of the match he’d be fired, the chances of Punk getting his hands on Heyman seems a very likely possibility.

What Should Happen?: I don’t care how much internet fans bum off CM Punk, Curtis Axel needs to beat Punk. WWE have done a really bad job at promoting this themselves. While Punk and Heyman have delivered wonders on the mic in the build up, the fact that Axel is being made out to be such a weak opponent for Punk is just ridiculous. Axel being the IC Champion should have been booked to look strong against Punk, like he did when they brawled on the RAW after Summerslam. If WWE are giving up Axel this early then it’s a damn shame. While it seems inevitable that WWE are going to introduce a new “Paul Heyman Guy”, what’s wrong with the old one? Give him a decent win for once. Axel beats Punk.

What Will Happen?: This is probably one of the most predictable matches of the god damn year. Punk’s going to be Axel. Heyman’s going to try to escape from Punk. Punk’s going to get some digs in. And then this new “Paul Heyman Guy” will help Heyman out. I’m guessing this guy will probably appear to attack Punk causing a disqualification, but either way Punk will end up the one being laid out at the end of it.

 

AJ Lee (c) vs Natalya vs Brie Bella vs Naomi in a fatal four way match for the Divas Championship

Background: 8 days after Summerslam, AJ Lee appeared after a divas match between Natalya and Brie Bella, two divas that have starred in the new “Total Divas” reality show. AJ delivered a scratching promo bad-mouthing the divas, accusing them off being interchangeable, useless women that weren’t good enough to be wrestlers so they were given a reality TV Show. AJ said that the majority of the divas on the show had to “suck up” to the right people to get to the WWE and that Natalya was only in WWE because of her association with the Hart family and her father being WWE legend, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. These comments infuriated the divas on the show so much that they attacked AJ when she appeared to watch the number one contendership divas title match between Natalya, Brie Bella and Naomi 2 weeks ago on RAW. With a number one contender not being crowned, Stephanie McMahon gave Brie, Natalya and Naomi a shot at the title in a fatal four way with AJ at Night Of Champions.

What Should Happen?: AJ Wins. If another result happens, I give up on the divas division. I could sort of accept Natalya as champion, but she’s still an incredibly bland diva despite having tremendous wrestling abilities. But AJ has the overness and the mic skills to be champion, and no-one is really worthy enough to be champion yet. Especially not Naomi or Brie Bella.

What Will Happen?: AJ Wins… somehow. AJ will likely be taken out the picture earlier on, but will come in later to steal the victory. While I think WWE will be tempted to put the belt on one of the “Total Divas” due to the series coming to an end, I still think with how heavily AJ’s been booked that she’ll be champion for a LONG time.

 

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Rob Van Dam for the World Heavyweight Championship

Background: After Ricardo Rodriguez inadvertently cost World Champion Alberto Del Rio a non-title match with Rob Van Dam a month ago, Ricardo suffered a beatdown and a firing from his employer Del Rio. After a couple of weeks out, Ricardo returned and announced that he would be the new personal ring announcer of Rob Van Dam. A week later, RVD was given a non-title match with Del Rio. If RVD won, he would get a shot at the World Championship at Night Of Champions. And luckily for RVD… he did!

What Should Happen?: I stressed this on my article on Del Rio for WhatCulture, Del Rio needs to keep beating his competition in a clean and fair way to keep up the prestige of the title up and Del Rio’s legitimacy as champion up. While having Ricardo turn on RVD and join Del Rio again would be the sensible thing to do to get Ricardo of RVD’s case, a Del Rio clean, submission victory would be huge for him. So just like how Del Rio submitted Christian at Summerslam, Del Rio should do it again to RVD. Oh and one other thing… please keep RVD and Ricardo apart. Seriously, that partnership won’t be missed.

What Will Happen?: I’m guessing WWE will just ignore me and have Ricardo screw over RVD and help Del Rio retain the title. Yawn. But whatever the case, Rob Van Dam will probably not win the World Title.

 

Randy Orton (c) vs Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship

Background: At Summerslam, Daniel Bryan defeated John Cena after a hard-long battle with COO Triple H as the special referee to win the WWE Championship for the first time in his career. But coming out to ruin the party was the WWE Championship Money In The Bank holder Randy Orton. Just as it seemed like he wasn’t going to bother cashing in the briefcase, Triple H stunned us all as he hit Daniel with the Pedigree – giving Randy the opening he needed. Taking advantage of opportunity, Orton cashed in and pinned Daniel to become the new WWE Champion. Triple H justified his actions the next night on RAW, stating that Randy Orton being Champion was “best for business” and that Daniel Bryan should not be the one to be the “face of the company”. An irate Daniel tried to ruin Randy’s coronation as WWE Champion, but was foiled by Triple H’s newly hired guns The Shield. Despite being considered nothing more than a B+ by the new corporation, Daniel was given his rematch clause at the title for Night Of Champions. However, the corporation has not made Daniel’s road to that event easy. The Shield has been constantly set on Bryan by Triple H, with just about every superstar in WWE being to scared of being fired to speak out against it or help Bryan out.  Despite the odds, Bryan stood tall at the end of this Monday’s RAW having beaten Dean Ambrose and laying out Randy Orton. But will he stand tall as champion at the end of Night Of Champions?

What Should Happen?: Orton wins. How bad would the corporation look if their champion would have lost the title within a month of winning it? Sorry Daniel, but he should wait a little longer before getting the gold. Orton needs to establish himself as THE guy in the WWE right now.

What Will Happen?: Orton retains. I don’t see someone turning heel to help Orton win. I just think Triple H is going to screw Daniel over somehow. I think it’ll be like when Mankind was screwed out of the title at Rock Bottom 1998. Daniel will make Orton pass out to a guillotine lock or something and then Triple H will come out and say “Since Orton didn’t get pinned or submit, Orton remains champion”. I know this corporation is not going to be exactly like the one in late 1998 and early 1999, but I do think some similar stuff will happen. Daniel’s getting screwed at Night Of Champions.

That was the Night Of Champions predictions. I am Tom Robinson. Follow me on Twitter. Follow @TomRobinson5199 and the official Armbar Express Twitter account @ArmbarExpress for blog updates and other wrestling news. Also, please read and share this new article I’ve had published for a website called WhatCulture! at this link. It’s an article by me which stresses why the Cruiserweight Division needs to be brought back to the WWE. If you click on my name at the top of that article, you’ll hopefully be able to see the other article’s I’ve uploaded on that site including one on why WWE are getting it right with Alberto Del Rio as World Champion at this link.

Random YouTube Video Of The Day! I’ve actually had a really hard week this week so I really needed to listen to a very inspiring speech  and I found one from the Rocky Balboa film which really did give me the drive to put all the shit that’s happened in the past and move forward. If you ever feel like you just wanna give up and need that drive to keep you going on watch this video. Anyway, I’ll see you later on in the week for the Night Of Champions review and possibly a RAW review. Keep connected with the @TomRobinson5199 and @ArmbarExpress Twitter accounts to keep up with all the projects I’ve got going on for the blog and for WhatCulture! Expect a lot of Social Media activity in the build up to my return to uni.

09/09/2013 RAW Review – Edge Returns And Speaks Out Against The Regime

‘Sup guys? I am the “One Man Gang” Tom Robinson with the RAW Review. A great RAW it was on Monday being held in Toronto, Canada, which is always a lively place especially for WWE. We had a lot to look forward too. Edge’s return, Goldust vs Randy Orton. Let’s get down to it!

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The Returning Edge Speaks Out Against The New Regime… and his friends suffer the consequences

Great opening to the show. Edge made his return to his hometown Tornoto, Canada. Got a THUNDEROUS pop from these Canadian fans. The fans are always great when you come to Canada. It really is “Bizarro World” there. Edge justified the reaction and did some incredible work on the mic. I think when he comes back, he does help with the stories he’s put with. Here he’s helping the Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton feud. Before when he’s made these sporadic appearances, he’s help the rise of Team Hell-No, the Cena/Lesnar feud and even with Christian’s feud with Randy Orton. He’s definetly had the upper-hand in the verbal exchange with Triple H in the opening segment, and he decimated Randy Orton on the mic. He came up with a line to Orton which was something like “While my spine is in a really bad way, I least I have one”, which I thought was a great line. Anyway, after being torn apart by Edge on the mic, Triple H stated while he couldn’t really have The Shield attack Edge or put him in a match since he doesn’t work in WWE, he could go after his friends. And with that, Christian was on the receiving end of a Shield beatdown. Great opening, but again… Randy Orton seemed overshadowed by Edge, Triple H and Daniel Bryan. He only said like three sentences through-out the entire thing, and I’m sorry if I keep saying this every week but he needs more mic time.

Oh on a side note, I love how Tony Chimel has become Edge’s new personal ring announcer. Just whenever Edge returns, Chimel is brought in to unleash his patterned voice-break!  XD

Edge and Triple H have an intense backstage segment. Edge gets kicked out.

Edge and Triple H had a REALLY intense backstage segment after Christian got taken out. You can tell that the real venom Triple H had within him as heel came back because of the way he growled at Edge. Triple H could make brushing your teeth sound intense. That’s a quality that I’ve always admired him for. Yeah, at times I’m not his biggest fan, but I love him when he’s heel. You can sort of forget about how you feel about him personally when you see him as a heel just unleashing anger. Anyway, Edge got kicked out and obviously the Canadian fans booed. Both Edge and Hunter were awesome here.

Curtis Axel’s Disqualification Sees Paul Heyman’s Confidence “Slip” Away

Curtis Axel has a rematch with Kofi Kingston (who defeated Axel on SmackDown! in a poor booking decision in my opinion). It proved to be a short match as Curtis Axel gets disqualified early on for being too aggressive and ignoring the ref’s 5 count. This was followed up by Kingston hitting the Trouble In Paradise on Axel post-match, further unsettling Axel’s manager Paul Heyman. Since the handicap match between CM Punk and the team of Heyman and Axel at Night Of Champions is an elimination match, Axel getting disqualified could mean that Heyman would have to step in the ring with Punk. With his confidence in Axel dropping, Heyman dropped to the floor after apparently slipping on some water. Heyman tried to use this as an excuse to get out of the handicap match, until General Manager Brad Maddox had WWE’s Dr Samson check Heyman. After Heyman was cleared, Punk came out with kendo stick in hand and brutally beat Heyman’s personal doctor (which Heyman brought because he didn’t trust Canada’s doctors) with it. I’ve got two complaints…

  1.  I get that Curtis Axel getting beat over and over and Heyman’s confidence dropping is supposed to make Axel look weak as hell in comparison to CM Punk. But, WWE have got to take into account that Curtis Axel still holds the very prestigious Intercontinental Championship. If Axel loses to a regular mid-carder like Kofi over and over, the title loses prestige. And considering the pay-per-view their handicap match is taking place is called “Night Of Champions”, he still needs to look strong against Punk and I don’t think WWE have got it right by making him look bad.
  2. The fact that Brad Maddox and WWE doctors had to come out to clear the heel Paul Heyman to compete kind of takes away from the supposed evil empire of Triple H if there hindering the heels. Sure, Paul Heyman and Triple H have history blah blah blah, but it makes Brad Maddox almost seem like a face when he’s helping CM Punk. It takes away some of the evilness from the Triple H empire.

And I know a third complaint from you guys would be that CM Punk has had little to no interaction with the Triple H regime yet which completely throws continuity out of the window. But then again, WWE booked themselves into that corner when they decided that the Paul Heyman/CM Punk feud would continue after Summerslam. Having Punk drift of from the feud to confront Triple H in the build to Night Of Champions is not good for his own match. I personally think CM Punk will get involved in the “Corporation 2.0” storyline or whatever you want to call it. I just think it’ll be either after Night Of Champions, unless him and Heyman have some more unfinished business after NoC. I don’t think they’ve forgot about Punk as far as the main storyline is concerned.

Booker T tells Big Show to stay professional

OK, I have no idea what Booker T’s role in WWE is supposed to be anymore now he’s been sacked as SmackDown! General Manager. Two weeks in a row on RAW, Booker T has acted as Yoda to superstars and told them to “stay professional”. Is he just supposed to keep doing this each week or has WWE actually got something for him in mind? Booker T needs something other than this. Put him back on commentary or something. These backstage segments are becoming a little tedious.

Dolph Ziggler’s run in the dog-house continues as he loses to Bray Wyatt

This is a grave period for Dolph Ziggler fans as he is in the proverbial “dog house” of WWE. This week, he went down to Bray Wyatt as he beat him with the Sister Abigail to win. It’s a shame that drops to this level only a couple of months after he lost the World Title. Now it seems like it’s going to be a LONG way back to the top for Ziggler. He tried talking himself out of it by defending the Corporation 2.0 storyline in this article. But I doubt he’ll be anywhere near the title picture in the near future, which is a shame.

AJ Lee decimates Jerry Lawler On Commentary

Yeah, my 2nd top highlight of the show was AJ Lee’s commentary during the 6 women’s tag team match between the team of Natalya, Brie Bella and Naomi from Total Divas and the team of Layla, Aksana and Alicia Fox who are a part of AJ’s new crew. The Total Divas won a very short and un-interesting women’s match. But the best part was the commentary. AJ was at ringside and she just ripped Jerry Lawler to shreds. Really feisty on commentary, She ripped Jerry by saying “I’m a little too old for you Jerry. I’m 26. I heard you like them young” which was a really good line. I put the link to the match and her commentary below. You really should watch/listen to this. Great way to hype up the Divas title match at Night Of Champions.

Alberto Del Rio makes quick work of R-Truth, Fandango distracts The Miz

Del Rio picked up a submission win over R-Truth in preparation to his World Title match against Rob Van Dam. Slapped on the cross-armbreaker, R-Truth tapped, game over. Fandango also distracted The Miz during his match with Damien Sandow, costing Miz the match after Sandow rolled him. This thing with Fandango constantly interrupting matches is really getting annoying, as is this feud. I swear, this feud between Miz and Fandango is so bland and dull as are the both of them. -.-

Santino Marrella Returns To RAW To Upset Antonio Cesaro

A very entertaining match here between Antonio Cesaro and the returning Santino. I loved that Santino was starting to look like a good grappler in the match. Of course he’s a good wrestler, I’ve known that for years. It’s just WWE never seem to let him showcase that talent, and he might be getting that chance to. Also… Antonio Cesaro did one of the greatest feats of strength I’ve ever seen him do, which was in fact my top highlight of the show. He did his giant swing on Santino… and swung him for about 30 seconds non-stop! It really was incredible. Here it is…

Unbelievable strength. And despite all of Cesaro’s swinging… he still lost. XD

Ryback lays out RVD after getting this disqualified

A short but sweet match saw Ryback get DQ’d and follow it up with a Shell-Shocked To Rob Van Dam. The booking for the end of the match seemed a little off. Why did they have Ryback destroy RVD and make him look weak before his World Title match with Del Rio? Especially considering that RVD bested Ryback in a battle royal a month or so ago. They must have something big for Ryback to have him attack the number one contender for the World Title a week before his match.

Randy Orton Dashes Goldust’s chance to get Cody Rhodes rehired

It was a really good match between these two. Mostly because of the build around it. While it wasn’t a technical classic of a match, there was a lot of emotion behind it. Goldust showed that he was still as slick as he’s always been in the ring. The fans were into it and I loved it when Goldust hit Randy with his brother Cody Rhodes’ finisher “Cross Rhodes”. However, Randy ultimately prevailed. It was a really good match with a lot of feel towards. That was added on in the backstage segment afterwards when Stephanie rubbed salt in wounds and called him a loser. She berated Goldust with such vindication. She really has that venom in her voice as well similar to her husband Triple H. Having her do a segment is always great to see.

Daniel Bryan Finally Gets The Upper Hand On Randy Orton

After weeks of the Corporation 2.0 getting the best of Daniel Bryan, Daniel finally got his own back firstly with a win over Dean Ambrose. It was a good match and he beat him clean and beat of the Shield as well. Post-match, The Shield attack Daniel with Big Show being forced to watch on. Then the WWE Champion Randy Orton came down to the ring claiming to have Triple H’s permission to tell Big Show what to do. He instructs Big Show to knock Bryan out just as he did last week, but Big Show refused. Randy said he’d pick him up for Show, but Bryan served up a flying knee to Orton. Bryan then posed with the WWE Title. It’s good that WWE finally give Daniel something to cheer about. It doesn’t make it seem that the Corporation 2.0 is over-whelming Daniel and that he’s actually got a chance. It was a good way to end RAW.

Overall, good RAW in Canada. Great match between Goldust and Randy Orton and some great promos being cut by all sorts of people. AJ Lee, Stephanie McMahon, Edge, Triple H and even Goldust all delivered goods on the mic in build up to the pay-per-view this Sunday. I’ve just got a question… why isn’t the US Champion Dean Ambrose on the card considering he himself is a champion and all titles are supposed to be defended at Night Of Champions?

That was this week’s RAW Review. I’m Tom Robinson. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us at @ArmbarExpress on Twitter and go to https://www.facebook.com/ArmbarExpress to like the Facebook Page. My Twitter account is @TomRobinson5199 so gives us a follow there as well. Also, its great to see that my Alberto Del Rio article on WhatCulture is getting a lot of views. It’s got 1000+ views since it was published on September 1st which is awesome. I’ve got something else planned on that site so stay tuned. And also, today’s the 12 year “anniversary” of the September 11 attacks. Thoughts and prayers to those affected by them horrific attacks 12 years ago.

Random YouTube video of the POST! A video I’m made of Cesaro swinging Santino… with the sound being replaced by a very appropriate song. Let’s just say this song will spin you right round! XD Someone had to do it!

02/09/2013 RAW REVIEW – Very emotional RAW sees Cody Rhodes Fired

Guys, I am “A-List” Tom Robinson here with a RAW REVIEW!

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Opening Segment – Daniel Bryan confronts Triple H, Randy Orton and The Shield

A great opening segment. A good way to start off RAW. I thought it was good how Triple H compared Daniel Bryan to Doink The Clown, saying that there’s a reason Doink The Clown was never WWE Champion. Despite how fans loved him world-wide, he’d never be championship material. Triple H did a good job at “putting Bryan down” if you will. He joked about how that he could bring back the European or Cruiserweight title belts and Daniel Bryan could go for them belts. To be honest, this back-and-forth between Triple H and Daniel Bryan is pretty much the same old stuff that’s been said the last couple of weeks. Orton had a little bit to say, but I feel he was a little overshadowed by Hunter and Bryan. Anyway, Hunter books Daniel Bryan vs Big Show for the main event. Nothing real major about this segment, but it was a good way to hype up the main event

 

The Miz vs Fandango

….meh. To be honest, I didn’t really give a crap about this match. It was hard to get into for me considering my distaste towards both men. Fandango… because he’s Fandango. And The Miz because… well, he’s stale. He’s stale as hell as a face. Anyway, The Miz picked up the win, Fandango broke his nose and this feud is really been lame. This match was… OK, but it’s not a really great match to kick things off.

 

Backstage Segment – Booker T warns Daniel Bryan

There was a segment backstage with Booker T warning Daniel Bryan about getting involved with Triple H and even suggested giving up his title shot. What was good about this segment was that despite Booker T basically telling Bryan to just settle for B+, he bigged him up by saying someone like him shouldn’t be wrestling at indie shows and stuff. He’s too good not to be in the WWE and that does build him up a bit.

 

Ryback vs Dolph Ziggler

Pre-match ass-kicking dished out to Ziggler by Dean Ambrose before his match against the billed “mystery opponent”. With this, I think it does seem like Dolph Ziggler is getting a shot at the US Title, which is a shame. Ziggler’s had plenty of years spent fighting for mid-card titles and fighting for these titles just a few months after holding the big one is a big step down. However, on the flip side Ziggler fighting for the title does give it added prestige. I think Dean Ambrose’s opponents including Kane and Rob Van Dam have helped build it up nicely. Ziggler could do it much good. After Ambrose beat up Ziggler, Ryback was revealed as his opponent and Ziggler was basically being fed to the wolves. While this is a big win for Ryback, I hope they actually do something different with him other than this stupid-ass “Bully” gimmick. Couldn’t they have given someone else the role of being the “bully” to promote their BE A STAR campaign than Ryback? He deserves more I think.

 

Stephanie McMahon Reaches Out To Big Show

Stephanie McMahon tried to convince the Big Show to compete against Bryan, after Big Show refused to. OK, really? Why did Big Show bother turning up if he was just going to say, “Nah. I’m Not Fighting”. JBL made the same point. Wrestlers shouldn’t really refuse to wrestle if they bothered to turn up. Anyway, Stephanie did a really good job at “motivating” Big Show. She got real personal, and her speech to Show really gave you an insight to the difficulties the Giant had to deal with. She brought up his health, his family and the fact that “giants don’t live long”. I was shocked when she brought that up, but I was glad she did. I mean, she really exploited Show’s weakness and their friendship when she was a child. Stephanie was certainty the best person to have this segment with Show. Her delivery on the mic is just outstanding. It’s also good to see her again. She missed out last week and I hope she’s around a lot more often. There’s always a level of interest and emotion into her segments. Hell, watch her segment with AJ Lee in June. Watch her charade with Paul Heyman on RAW 1000. She can talk SO well.

Also, WWE showed that they were not forgetting past storylines too… sort of. Ever since, Big Show did jack-shit on RAW last week to help Daniel Bryan a lot of people brought up Big Show’s “Iron-Clad” contract which he gained from John Laurinaitis in 2012. According to Stephanie, Big Show would be in “Breach of his contract” if he was unable to perform any task he is required to do. And if he was in breach of his contract, WWE had the power to fire him. I’m sorry but, isn’t the “iron-clad” contract supposed to prevent WWE from firing him at all, even if he does “breach his contract”. I mean yeah, JBL tried to cover it up by saying that it wasn’t a legit contract because Laurinaitis gave him it. But it’s still daft to have Big Show be put in this “can’t-do-shit-or-he’s-fired” role. I mean, this is way to familiar to his “firing” in 2012.

 

Prime Time Players vs 3MB (Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal)

The Prime Time Players continued their streak since Darren Young came out. This week’s victims were 3MB. Actually, Slater and Mahal actually looked like legit competition to Young and Titus O’Neill. But the players ran out victorious and set for a shot at the tag titles I believe. With Henry injured and his team with Big Show in tatters, someone’s gotta fight the Shield.

 

Cody Rhodes vs Randy Orton

Really good match between Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton. The stipulation for the match was simple… if Cody lost, he was fired. So big pressure on Rhodes. But they both delivered. But the thing I hate about this match was that the fans weren’t paying attention to the match at all until the end due to some fans dressed as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage I think, which was driving attention away from the match. I hate fans like this. You’ve got a legitimately good match going on between Orton and Rhodes. Not quite as good as their one on RAW a couple of months ago, but still good. And these idiots are not paying attention to it. In the end Orton won, and Cody Rhodes got “fired”. Apparently, this “firing” was to give Rhodes time off to spend with his wife-to-be for the next couple of weeks. But he’ll have a lot of momentum coming back because the fans were really behind Cody near the end. I sense a HUGE push in his future.

 

CM Punk Segment

Punk basically cut the same promo he’s been cutting for a couple of months now. Vowing to get his hands on Paul Heyman etc. I think Punk’s promo should have came in like the first hour of the show. It seemed a little misplaced.

 

Natalya vs Naomi vs Brie Bella

Very short number one contendership triple threat match which ended in a disqualification when AJ attacked all 3 women, and in turn got attacked herself. OK…. WHEN DOES A TRIPLE THREAT MATCH END IN A DISQUALIFICAITON! Triple Threats are NoDQ. It shouldn’t have been thrown as soon AJ entered the ring. Anyway, Stephanie McMahon decided that AJ would defend the divas title against Natalya, Naomi and Brie Bella at Night Of Championship in a fatal four way. I think a 4 way certainty beats a singles match. I think a singles match between AJ and anyone of these divas in a standard one on one would have been really bland. This adds a little excitement. I’ve heard rumours that AJ might drop the belt at Night Of Champions. I don’t think it should be the case. If WWE are going to have her drop I think it should be at a big PPV like Survivor Series. I know that the series finale of the “Total Divas” show is at Night Of Champions or something, but AJ’s title loss should be at a big event. Also, I think Kaitlyn should be added to this match and should make it a Championship Scramble or something. A 10-15 minute one or something.

 

Cody Rhodes Backstage Interview

A very good and emotional promo by Rhodes backstage after his loss. He claimed that the WWE hated the Rhodes family as they made his dad Dusty wear polka-dots and dance, and had his brother Dustin become Goldust and “never be the same again”. It was really heart-felt and it makes you think why Cody hardly ever has the mic in WWE. When he comes back, I hope WWE have something big for him because he deserves it.

 

Big Show vs Daniel Bryan

It was an OK match from Big Show. After a while spent beating Bryan up, he was about to unload the WMD punch. However, he was reluctant to do it. Triple H came out to tell him to go back it but after The Shield attacked Bryan, Big Show was still about to walk. In the end it was Stephanie who came out and told him to do it for his family. An emotional and reluctant Big Show waddled in the ring and did what he had to do to keep his job and KO’d Bryan. I think Big Show, HHH and Stephanie really did their best with the acting for this last scene of the night but I think the thing that puts down the emotion of this is the fact that Big Show was in a situation like this before just last year.

It was a good show. I think it was more of an emotional show if you will. Big Show and his emotional segments certainty kept you captivated. Cody Rhodes delivered an epic backstage promo just before he left. This RAW wasn’t really about the wrestling, it was about the dramas of the current storyline. And that’s alright, but I think things will pick up next week in the show before Night Of Champions, especially with Edge back for one night only.

I’m Tom Robinson. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us at @ArmbarExpress on Twitter and go to https://www.facebook.com/ArmbarExpress to like the Facebook Page. My Twitter account is @TomRobinson5199 so gives us a follow there as well. Also an announcement…

I’ve started writing stuff for the website called WhatCulture. It’s a UK-site which focuses on different pieces of entertainment like Comics, Video Games, TV and well… WWE. The content I’ll produce on this site will be exclusive to that site. I’ve already done an article on Alberto Del Rio here. Please like the article on Facebook, share, retweet on Twitter and all that jazz, because it really helps me and the website out. I’ll be doing totally different things on that site than what I do here and it will be exclusive to that site. If you follow me on @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter, I’ll keeping posting links to articles on that site, so you’re never out of the loop.

And as for the random YouTube Video Of The Post. Chris Jericho has something to say. XD…

WWE Payback 2013 Predictions – Chicago Gets Rocked With Ambulences, Concussions And CM Punk’s Return

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Hey there wrestling fans I am “The Fallen Angel” Tom Robinson and here are my predictions for this Sunday’s PPV – WWE Payback. To be honest, PPV has been poorly promoted. Only three matches have had proper promotion leading up to the event, with 5 of the matches being ann0unced on the last RAW before PPV. Even still, there are some great matches on the card. The Internet Wrestling Community’s God CM Punk makes his triumphant return in his hometown of Chicago. The in-ring return of Dolph Ziggler. And we’ve got 3 Stages Of Hell as the main event for Payback!

Sheamus vs Damien Sandow

Background: Typical Brute vs Intellectual feud. Intellectual Damien Sandow gives Brute Sheamus some intellectual challenges. Sheamus responds with violence. Match announced for Payback.

What I think should happen?: Damien Sandow wins.

What I think will happen?: Sheamus wins.

 

The Shield Vs The World – United States Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) vs Kane/Tag Team Championship: Seth Rollins (c) and Roman Reigns (c) vs Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton

Background: The Shield reigned supreme at Extreme Rules with each member of the team capturing gold. Dean Ambrose defeated Kofi Kingston to win the US title, and Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins won the tag titles from Kane and Daniel Bryan. The loss of the tag titles hit Daniel Bryan the hardest. Daniel started to wonder whether he was the weak-link of Team Hell-No and was determined to prove himself. This cause Daniel Bryan to snap and at times was even able to take out all 3 members of The Shield by himself. However on the 7th of June episode of SmackDown!, Kane was getting fed up with Daniel’s craziness and walked out on Daniel, splitting up Team Hell-No. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns was booked for the main event of that SmackDown! During the match Daniel Bryan inadvertently drop-kicked Randy Orton in the corner but recovered and looked like he was about to win the match for the team. However, after Dean Ambrose got involved, the match ended in a DQ. After saving Daniel from a beating post-match, Orton RKO’d Bryan in retaliation for the dropkick. Kane, Orton and Bryan eventually settled their differences last week on RAW, with Kane getting a DQ victory over Dean Ambrose, and Bryan beating Rollins. “Managing Supervisor” Vickie Guerrero would put Bryan and ORTON in a Tag Title match at Payback against Rollins and Reigns due to their DQ victory on SmackDown! Because of his DQ victory over Ambrose, Kane was given a US title match for the PPV.

What I think should happen?: ORTON TURNS HEEL! PLEASE! Turn him heel like right now! If the tag title match ends with Orton planting Bryan with an RKO and costing them the match, it’d be a quality way to get Bryan super-face and Orton super-heel. So I say, Rollins and Reigns win the tag title match. As for the US title match, I’m going with Ambrose. It’s good that Ambrose is getting some legit competition for the US Title.

What I think will happen?: The Sheild win both matches. There’s no way Kane is getting a US Title run. And there’s NOT A CHANCE IN HELL that Orton and Bryan will get a run at the tag titles.

 

Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (c) vs The Miz vs Curtis Axel – The Concussion Strikes Back!

Background: On the RAW after Extreme Rules, Wade Barrett and Fandango teamed up to take on The Miz and Chris Jericho in a tag team match. However, Fandango opted to dance than help Barrett out, who went on to lose the match for his team. A one on one match was booked on the next RAW with Fandango facing Wade Barrett in a non-title match. The Miz was voted in as the special referee and hit the Skull-Crushing finale on Barrett to help Fandango win. Post-match, Miz kicked Fandango’s ass (literally booted him in the backside) which prompted Miz vs Barrett vs Fandango to be booked for the IC title at Payback. HOWEVER the menace known as the concussion would strike again, as Fandango gained a concussion during a match with Zack Ryder on SmackDown! This meant he was OUT of the IC title match… and was replaced with Paul Heyman’s newest client Curtis Axel.

What I think should happen?: As much as I don’t want Wade Barrett to lose the IC title, it’d make no sense for Curtis Axel to not win it. I think with Paul Heyman on board, Axel can build up a really good title reign with Heyman being his mouthpiece. I will actually cry if The Miz wins the IC title. 😦

What I think will happen?: Axel will probably win, whether I like it or not.

 

Former Best Friends Collide In Chicago – Divas Championship: Kaitlyn (c) vs AJ Lee

Background: The history between these two is well documented. AJ and Kaitlyn entered the WWE around the same time, entering NXT Season 3 and forming the “highly-successful” divas tag team The Chickbusters. At around the end of 2011, AJ and Kaitlyn’s relationship started to go sour with Kaitlyn taking a distaste towards AJ’s new boyfriend Daniel Bryan. After AJ and B-Bry’s break-up in April 2012, Kaitlyn attempted to console the heartbroken AJ. She instead got slapped in the face – two weeks in a row. AJ soon became an emotional wreck, engaging in relationships with the likes of Kane and CM Punk, and being heart-broken by both. Her reign as RAW General Manager also came to an end at October 2012 after accusations of fraternizing with WWE Superstar John Cena. After being re-instated as a wrestler, she soon took a more sinister approach to life and started a relationship with Dolph Ziggler at the end of 2012. In 2013 Kaitlyn would have enough of AJ’s craziness, and was attacked numerous times by AJ over the next couple of months. Just before Extreme Rules, AJ became the number one contender for the Divas Championship held by Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn and AJ would have a confrontation at Extreme Rules, which would result in Kaityln attacking AJ this time. AJ would then play with Kaitlyn’s heart in relation for Kaitlyn “not being there for her” during her emotional roller-coaster in 2012. She would have a “secret admirer” harrass Kaitlyn with messages of love. This would lead to this last Monday on RAW…
What I think should happen?: AJ Lee wins the title!

What I think will happen?: I think they’ll have AJ win the title. It’ll sort of provides shades of the “McMahon-Helmsley” era with boyfirend and girlfriend reigning as champions of their divisions. Speaking of which…

 

World Heavyweight Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Alberto Del Rio

Background: On the RAW after Wrestlemania 29, Ziggler cashed in Money In The Bank on Alberto Del Rio to win the World Title. Then Ziggler got a concussion and was unable to defend her championship at the Extreme Rules PPV. At Extreme Rules, Del Rio made Jack Swagger in an I Quit Match to become the number one contender for the world title. The World Title match between Ziggler and Del Rio was announced for Payback last week on RAW, when Ziggler made his return.

What I think should happen?: Dolph Ziggler retains.

What I think will happen?: CONCUSSION… err.. I mean Dolph Ziggler retains.

 

The Return Of Punk – “The Internet Wrestling Community’s God” CM Punk vs “Y2J” Chris Jericho

Background: 2 weeks after losing to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29, CM Punk was supposed to address his loss on RAW. However, Punk was speechless and left the ring and said farewell to manager Paul Heyman. On the May 27th edition of the Highlight Reel, Chris Jericho asked Paul Heyman where CM Punk was. Heyman refused to answer that but did accept Jericho’s offer of a match between Jericho and Punk at Payback on Punk’s behalf.

What I think should happen?: I think there should be a double cross of some kind. I think CM Punk should have the momentum in his hometown crowd and then Heyman distracts Punk allowing Jericho to win. Something like that which sees Jericho FINALLY get a win over Punk, turns him heel and also doesn’t harm Punk. I’d like to see this scenario go down, but I don’t think it will.

What I think will happen?: CM Punk wins for the THIRD time in a row. I don’t think WWE want CM Punk losing to Jericho in Chicago in his comeback match.

 

The 3 Stages Of HEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLL – WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs Ryback

Background: At Extreme Rules, Ryback and John Cena’s Last Man Standing match ended in a no contest when Ryback drove Cena through the stage “incapacitating” both men. The next night on RAW, Ryback challenged John Cena to an Ambulence match. In response, Cena proposed a match that has only ever appeared 3 times before in WWE history… the 3 stages OF HELL! The first fall would be a lumberjack match… 30 superstars surrounding the ring to pick up the scraps if one or both Ryback or Cena goes outside the ring. The second fall would be a tables match… whoever puts his opponent through a table wins. And the third and final fall if needd… well then the Ambulence match comes into place.

What I think should happen?: A little bit on the fence with this one. I don’t want Ryback to lose his 8th PPV match in a row (And yes, I am counting the no contest at Extreme Rules as a loss since he didn’t win the title). On the other hand, I wouldn’t want the championship to change hands 2 months into Cena’s reign. Also I want Cena to be champion for when Daniel Bryan fights for the title this summer. So it’s the case of character development vs championship presitge. And I’ve got to chose the championship prestige. Cena wins, but Ryback needs something big after his feud with Cena ends.

What I think will happen?: Cena wins.

 

Anyway, that’s the Payback predictions. I’m Tom Robinson. This is the Armbar Express. And let us all enjoy Payback!