RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #30 (APRIL 1ST 1996) – A BUNCH OF PLANS CHANGE AS THE GIANT TURNS FACE… AND THEN HEEL AGAIN

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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After months of programming revolved around a plot to end Hulkamania, the storylines in Nitro became centred around Ric Flair’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship once again. Ric Flair was defending the title against The Giant last week, who earned the right to fight Flair after he defeated Loch Ness at Uncensored. The Giant dominated Flair during the match and after Arn Anderson and Taskmaster both ran down and ate chokeslams from the big man, the referee called for the bell and Flair escaped with the title.

 

Now we’ve got a new episode of Nitro to review on, of all days, April 1st 1996. This show certainly felt like one big joke. This was the show where Nitro just fell complete off the rails for me. It’s clear from just looking at my review for the last episode and now writing this episode that a whole bunch of plans got changed. Storylines were dropped or changed with Lex Luger and The Giant. There was a whole bunch of messy matches, angles and promos. If things did get changed during Saturday Night or one of WCW’s other shows then they sure didn’t let the Nitro audience know.

I had no clue of what was going on for a lot of this show and it all stemmed from the opening match where The Giant and Sting are just randomly fighting. I’m going to just jump into this match from the get-go because the whole match and the whole idea of the match was just preposterous.

 

The Giant vs Sting

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There was no opening video package as there usually is for Nitro as Sting and The Giant start an impromptu match. They didn’t explain this until after the match but the original match going in was Sting and The Giant vs Harlem Heat as Lex Luger was pulled out of it for some reason. They showed a clip AFTER the match which showed Harlem Heat taking a bribe from Jimmy Hart to not do the match. They took it and I guessed The Giant was bribed to wrestle Sting and I guess the referee just OK’d it. This all happened RIGHT BEFORE the match was supposed to take place.

So the match kicks off the show. Sting goes to work but Giant eventually starts no-selling and even no-sold a crossbody. They fought to the outside and then Giant pressed Sting over the top rope. The Giant tries a chokeslam from the apron but Sting dropkicks Giant off the apron. The Giant takes this giant bump (pardon the pun) to the floor for a dropkick which, if you look at The Giant, he should never have needed to take a bump like that. It’s actually astonishing how many big bumps The Giant was willing to take at this stage of his career because this is at least the third time in as many shows I’ve reviewed where Giant took a big bump. He did the big corner spot against Loch Ness, he did that same spot against Flair last week and he did this bump off the apron for Sting.

Lex Luger runs down to “make the save” even though Sting was in control of the match. He and Sting hold control of the ring and stand their ground as the ref then calls for the bell.

The opening moments of this episode of Nitro made me think I missed a week or two of Nitros. I even exited the episode on the WWE Network to check if I was watching the right episode but no I was. After Lex Luger was still borderline babyface/heel after Uncensored, he was full-on babyface here saving Luger. No shades of grey. The Giant turned babyface last week I guess but is now back to fighting the babyfaces and working for Jimmy Hart. The infamous legacy of The Giant’s heel and face turns in professional wrestling began with this show as they changed their mind A WEEK after he beat up Taskmaster, Ric and Arn last week.

They didn’t explain what was going on and I was so confused as to why Lex Luger was a full babyface for some reason. I was so confused by the bribing thing and The Giant fighting Sting. Think about this as well. You’ve got Sting vs The Giant which I believe was the first time they did this, and it’s an impromptu match with no build.

By the way, I love the irony that in 2019, I just watched an AEW show where did something similar where they cut the ring and the Lucha Bros and Private Party are just in the ring ready for a match! No entrance or anything, just like this Sting vs The Giant deal.

 

After this, we get the Nitro opening video package.

 

Date: April 1st 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Cleveland, Ohio

Rating: 2.8 (My theory from last week of WCW saving Hulk Hogan for this week to bolster the ratings clearly wasn’t true. Their ratings went down and they lost to RAW!)

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

 

“The Steiner Brothers” Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner vs “The Road Warriors” Animal and Hawk vs “The Nasty Boys” Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags

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I have gone back and forth since watching this episode about whether or not this match was any good. My brain tells me that this match was no good. It was really hard to keep track of and it seemed a little messy. My heart tells me that this was a decent brawl with seeded hatred from all three teams that led to a clever finish. If you’ve watched this episode, please tweet the @ArmbarExpress or leave a comment below with your thoughts.

There was no ring introductions or entrances for this match either. Two men started in the ring as the four men were on the apron. Rick Steiner and Brian Knobs started off. They have a great scrap at the start, throwing hands like mad men which I enjoyed.

Rick landed a beautiful takedown but Sags broke up the pin to which Scott dropkicked Sags. Animal waltzed in with a tag and goes to work on Knobs but then crashed face first into the top rope. Scott tagged Sags by slapping his head! Good old Scotty!

Scott goes to work on Hawk. Fans popped for a Hawk neckbreaker of all things. Scott hits a belly to belly suplex but Sags takes advantage with elbow drops. So Rick tags in Scott as Nick Patrick’s back is turned and the ref just assumes the tag happened without hearing it! The rules are loose with the referees and I’ve even asked the question to Jim Ross on Twitter about this. He mentioned on an AEW Dynamite episode a few week ago that the referees can only call what they see in a match. What does this mean for what they hear? If they hear something, does they call it or ignore it? Again, tweet me @ArmbarExpress if you have an answer!

Suddenly, all hell breaks loose on the outside as the fans go crazy. There’s a huge brawl with all six guys. The three tag teams brawl on the outside but Nick Patrick is able to somewhat restore order. The match restarts and Bobby mentions that he doesn’t even know if the Steiners speak English! Clearly the Scott Steiner vs The English Language YouTube video wasn’t available back then!

Hawk barely applied a camel clutch. Knobbs goes for the cover on Hawk I think and Animal and Rick both break it up! Sags does it a big backbreaker. Knobbs goes to work as the Nasty Boys get the heat. Sags and Hawk stumble into the barricade as they brawl. Then Scott gets the heat on Jerry in the ring. I had no idea who the heels and babyfaces were. I guess the Nasty Boys are the babyfaces as I don’t remember them doing a thing wrong. I guess The Steiners are faces too but they’ve done heelish stuff on Nitro. I’m assuming the Road Warriors are the heels but they were babyfaces in peril at the PPV. Again, I had no clue what was going on with their character alignments other than… they all hated each other which I bought. Things happened that led up to this match with all three teams.

Hawk then decides to no-sell and beats up Sags. Knobbs flies in. There’s no real chemistry to this match but it was a fun brawl in my eyes. I should have hated this match but the fans are into it. I think the wrestlers were into it and I do like that there is rooted hatred that caused all of this. There’s reasons for why they’re so mad at each other.

Rick and Sags go for a belly-to-belly suplex off the top rope but the Road Warriors knock them off. Hawk gets dumped to the outside. Then Public Enemy come down. They beat up Sags and then Grunge rolls into the ring and swaps out for Brian Knobs. Grunge had a wig on and a tie-dye shirt on. He lets Scott Steiner pin him as the Steiner Brothers win the match.

Public Enemy pulling off Twin Magic was amazing to see and it worked with the storyline where they also had beef with the Nasty Boys. Bischoff explained that this proved Public Enemy attacked the Nasty Boys on the night the Steiners returned. I don’t know how it works but the finish was pretty clever. I wrote in my notes that “This show feels like a weird trip” but I will give credit where credit is due. The finish was interesting and executed well. There was some good brawling and the fans were into it so as tacky as the match seemed, I’ll give it a thumbs up. It worked with the stories they were trying to tell and the fan reactions.

 

 

Hulk Hogan and The Booty Man w/The Booty Babe vs Arn Anderson and Taskmaster w/Woman and Miss Elizabeth

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They revealed during the entrances that they were drawing the “Lethal Lottery” on WCW Saturday Night to take place in May.

Steve “Mongo” McMichael then explained during the entrances when referencing Hogan and Booty Man that: “You start from the top down.” I understand that this is like a prison mentality where you pick on the biggest guy in the yard to assert yourself but in the confides of the wrestling business, that is a terrible strategy! It’d be like if I started training for wrestling tomorrow and I decided to call out Brock Lesnar! Bad Idea!

Whoever was picking out Kimberley’s outfits each week deserved a raise. She looked tremendous in this outfit too and she looked good in whatever they were putting her in. Bobby Heenan randomly declares that he’s announcing his retirement from wrestling which seemed completely out of the blue to do it at this moment. He just randomly goes quiet and says he’s calling it a day.

Arn gets bounced around with punches from Hogan and Booty Man. Arn Anderson is the pure definition of a true worker. He had to sell his ass off for the Booty Man every week and he went out there and bumped like crazy. He even tried to bump during that Doomsday Cage match. This Arn Anderson was a great wrestler.

Booty and Hogan do a double big boot to Arn. I totally forgot that Taskmaster and Arn argued about the chair shot last week with Giant and yet here, they’re suddenly teaming together with no signs of discord. Arn set up Taskmaster to be killed by The Giant for god’s sake.

Booty Man ran wild with knee lifts. Arn wanted Hogan tagged in and Hogan obliged. Bobby accused Hogan and Booty of brainwashing Booty Girl to which Bischoff accused Bobby of losing his mind! Taskmaster accidentally elbow dropped Arn so I guess that played into what happened last week between Arn and Taskmaster. Hogan clunked their heads together.

Booty and Hogan do a double clothesline. Booty goes for a sunset flip but unbeknownst to him, Taskmaster made a blind tag and took advantage with a kick to the back to get the heat for the heels.

Woman even raked the eyes of the Booty Man. Hogan broke up a pinfall and then Hogan threatened the referee with a punch. I swear to god this happened. The ref sent Hogan to the corner and Hogan pulled his fist back to deliver a punch! WHAT? The biggest babyface in professional wrestling everyone!

Hogan gets the hot tag and runs wild on the heels. Hogan delivers two big boots to the heels. Elizabeth tried to help Arn. Woman gave Taskmaster her shoe which has been the norm for the heels as of late but in response, Booty Babe gives Hogan her shoe as Hogan used it on Taskmaster and won. I do like the faces turning the tides of the heels with the shoenanigns… I’ll let myself.

The girls went after Booty Babe after the match. but Booty Man protects her in the most gentlemanly way possible! He didn’t hit them but he got in front of Booty Babe and basically told them to back off. Booty Babe gave Booty Man a kiss, Booty Man is in a drunken state after this kiss as Hogan had a tremendous shocked face on display!

Arn and the heels goes after Booty Man in the ring as they’re showing the replays from the match but Hogan makes the save.

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Then we got a bizarre post-match promo. Mean Gene Okerlund is with Hogan and Booty Man. Hogan said it was a shoe-in… which was as cringe-worthy as my shoenanigans joke! I may have misheard this, but I could have sworn that Hogan said that Booty Babe was on top of her game “in many ways.” This caused me to raise my eyebrow a little bit. I questioned whether this was an intended euphemism or if I was just being silly. Then Booty Man said he had something on the backburner that’s gonna give them satisfaction: “if you know what I mean.” I swear to all of the gods that he said that! There’s no way this was a slip-up!

Booty Man said he can’t give it way but it’ll give them the upper hand and give them the satisfaction. Hogan said the heels were all laughing as they beat up the Booty Man. They took forever to get to the point that they were gonna get the last laugh. Hogan threw it Booty to close the promo and Booty said: “we’re gonna kick their caaaaans.”

This was a horrible promo mostly thanks to the Booty Man. Jesus Christ, he was very energetic guy but Booty Man could not cut a promo to save his life. He’s talking about satisfaction like this is the storyline for a pornographic film.

 

 

Ric Flair © w/Woman and Miss Elizabeth vs Lex Luger for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

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This was exactly how you’d imagine a Ric Flair vs Lex Luger match going. In fact it seemed almost identical to their stuff together at Starrcade during their triangle match with Sting. It was very similar to Flair vs The Giant from last week from last week.

I think this was just a huge coincidence but this Ric Flair title reign is very similar to Randy Savage’s title reign from 1995 which I called the worst World title reign ever. On Nitros, Savage had back-to-back title defenses against Lex Luger and then against The Giant. In March/April 1996, Ric Flair defended the title against The Giant and now against Lex Luger! The big difference being that at least Ric Flair wound up winning this match which we’ll get to.

A fan flips off Flair in the front row and Flair just flexes right in from of them. Then Flair went up to who I believe was Mongo’s wife in the crowd. It was some blonde and some other woman yells right in his face. This fan proper lashed out at Flair and Flair just looks at her and kept walking down to the ring! We need more passionate fans like this in 2019 that are this much into the show!

Bobby gave Luger the advice that: “All he has to do is beat Flair, which is easy” which was an interesting way to bury Ric Flair. Flair’s a heel so I guess it doesn’t matter but he is the WCW Champion. Then Mongo bigs up Lex Luger! Last week, after Lex Luger turned face, Mongo was still calling him out and considered him a heel. A week later, he pulls a complete 180 and is on the Luger Bandwagon. You could say he was on a… Lex Express. 😉

OK, I’ll get back to reviewing the match!

Luger grabbed the arm of Flair and Flair sold this like it was death! Luger just grabbed his arm and Flair, screamed bloody murder and fell on the floor!

Luger Gorilla Pressed Flair and Flair rolled to the floor, grabbed his arm and was down for the count! Flair sold this like he was actually dead from this Gorilla Press, a week removed from being Gorilla Pressed all over the place by The Giant! This was one of the best Ric Flair sells I’ve ever seen!

Flair tries an Irish Whip but Luger’s arm was too big so Flair just fell down! Luger sent Flair off the top rope. Flair got mad on the floor as he does giant angry stomps on the floor, proper leaping into the air, and yells at the same fan that screamed at him earlier on! I’m sure that fan was so giddy after that segment, being on the receiving end of crazy Ric Flair!

Flair dropped to his knees to lure Luger in and then poked him in the eyes. Flair gets thrown off the top rope. Luger backs away the girls but then Elizabeth whispers something in Woman’s ears. Flair knocks Luger off the apron. Flair distracts the ref and Woman rakes the eyes of Luger. Bobby accused of Luger of making bad comments about her!

Flair’s Figure Four Leg Lock was then reversed by Luger as Woman squealed like a dying pig at ringside. Luger tries a sunset flip but Ric kicked out. Luger tries a backslide but gets a 2 count. Luger caught Flair off the top rope so the second straight week, Ric Flair actually does a dive from the top rope but the other wrestler caught him so it didn’t work!

Luger hits a big superplex and gets pumped up. Woman then grabbed a cup of coffee as Luger has Ric in the torture rack, and threw it in Luger’s eyes. Even though Luger has had hot coffee thrown at him, Flair still felt the need to get his feet on the rope as he pins Luger to retain the title! Sting comes down to chase off Flair.

I enjoyed this main-event. It’s a typical Ric Flair vs Big Powerful man match and Flair was awesome throughout and he got a big victory. So this gets a thumbs up.

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So to close the show, they cut to the announce booth. Bobby Heenan shakes Mongo’s and Bischoff’s hands as he again outlines his intention for this to be his last night. He cuts a big promo about walking away from the business. But then he goes… APRIL FOOLS!

I should have figured this out but I just saw the date being April 1st 1996 and I just ignored it. They had a show airing on Christmas Day and it wasn’t like that was a themed episode of the show, so I just figured this was going to be a regular show and when Bobby said he was gonna retire early on in the show, I thought it was just a random joke. He mentioned it once or twice during the show and it was just so obscure and out of the blue. So then they have this pay-off and Bobby cackles away, having a grand old time as he proclaims that he pulled one other everyone!

Bobby Heenan was so great and I’ll admit that it threw me off guard! Bobby still commentates for the next 6 years or so with WCW so I knew he wasn’t actually retiring as I thought this was some weird angle but yeah, this was a cracking April Fool’s Joke from Bobby “The Brain” Heenan!

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This episode of Nitro I was ready to just hate on, especially after the Sting vs The Giant thing but after reviewing the Booty Man/Hulk Hogan promo, I just learned to laugh at the silly stuff and the show became more enjoyable. I enjoyed the main-event, I enjoyed the pay-off to Bobby Heenan’s storyline during this show and I enjoyed certain aspects of the triple threat tag team match. This was not as good as last week’s show but this was OK. I can’t really give it the thumbs up but this was still not that bad.

I do believe there is another two weeks between Nitro episodes again so we will be back with the April 15th 1996 episode of Nitro as the reign of Ric Flair continues.

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

 

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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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…

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/

 

2013 NoDQ.com Awards – My Vote For… 2013 Babyface/Heel of the Year

Two birds, one stone. Wrestling fans, I’m Tom Robinson. In one post we will be examining the NoDQ.com awards for the Babyface of the year and the heel of the year.

To check out my other NoDQ.com award posts, click here… https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/category/nodq-com/

Let’s kick things off with the Babyface of the year…

Babyface Of The Year nominees are….

  • Daniel Bryan
  • John Cena
  • CM Punk
  • Chris Jericho
  • AJ Styles
  • Rob Van Dam

Now in order for me to decide which one of these was the babyface of the year, I have to decide which of these connected with the fans better, which of these got the better reactions and which of these did the best job at evoking the preferred reaction. Same rules apply to the heel of the year as well. And in my opinion, no-one has been more over with the fans than Daniel Bryan and Daniel knew all he had to do to get a reaction was shout “YES!”. As far as I’m concerned, Daniel Bryan wins this by a huge mile.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Daniel-Bryan-Facing-John-Cena

 

Heel Of The Year nominees are….

  • Bully Ray
  • Triple H
  • Dixie Carter
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Paul Heyman
  • Stephanie McMahon

Same rules apply here. Which of these guys did the best job at trying to evoke the reaction they desired and who actually got the best heat out of the six? There are a bunch of great contenders here. Triple H can be a REALLY good heel on his best day, but having just turned heel once more in the summer he still needs to let loose. It feels like he’s holding back by trying to play his corporate role too much. Someone like Paul Heyman knows how to evoke fan reactions. I mean he helped CM Punk A LOT with the means of getting heat. I mean, for someone as popular as CM Punk face or heel, for Heyman to get Punk as much heat as he did was simply incredible. Paul was as incredible a heel this year as he is every other year. For me, Paul Heyman wins.

Winner: Paul Heyman

heymanlesnar_original

 

 

WWE Night Of Champions 2013 Review – WWE Give Us The Worst Pay-Per-View Of The Year As Daniel Bryan Wins The WWE Title Off A Fast Count!

Wrestling fans, I am “Big Hungry” Tom Robinson here again. We’re coming off Night Of Champions with a lot of controversy coming off the main event and a lot of things to address because I really wasn’t impressed by last night’s event. Nothing really stood out for me, other than the main event. There was only one title change and all the matches seemed really flat to me, as did the fans for all but two of the matches. Let’s get to it…

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An Impromptu Intercontinental Title match sees Curtis Axel FINALLY defeat Kofi Kingston

We start off the show with COO Triple H addressing the WWE universe and stating that the WWE Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton would have ZERO interference, making it a fair one on one encounter. This was interrupted by Paul Heyman and Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel, with Heyman making a last-minute plea to Triple H to cancel his and Axel’s handicap elimination match against CM Punk later on. Triple H started to mess with Heyman and Axel by questioning Heyman’s trust in Axel’s ability and refused to cancel the match. Curtis Axel then got the mic and suggests that Triple H is still holding a grudge over his defeat to Axel on May 20th 2013. Yes, Axel actually stated when his first victory over HHH took place. Axel’s talking got him into trouble as HHH would then put Axel in an IC Championship defence to start the show against the first person he sees when he goes to the back (which just so happens to be Kofi Kingston, the guy Axel has lost to a couple of times in the last few weeks. How convenient). Two things were really off about this segment I believe….

  1. Triple H still having a grudge with Heyman and Axel sort of makes the new corporation seem sort of face if you will. It takes away the heat that the corparation has when he messes with fellow heel Paul Heyman.
  2. I hated that the fans were chanting “BORING” during Axel’s promo. For god’s sake, give the guy a chance to talk. Yeah, Axel’s not the greatest talker but at least give him the chance at least without unleashing a “BORING” chant.

The match itself was really good in comparisons to their matches on RAW and SmackDown! over the last couple of weeks. Some really good near-falls during the match, including Axel kicking out of the S.O.S. Axel got the victory and gives himself confidence ahead of going up against CM Punk in the handicap match, which was actually upgraded to a No-DQ Elimination Handicap Match. Good way to start off the show.

 

Awkward Botch Ruins An Already Awkward Divas Title Match

Before AJ Lee’s Divas Title defence against Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella in a fatal four way, Alicia Fox and Aksana both ended their alliance with AJ, with Layla possibly doing the same. This was like the shortest stable in WWE history! It lasted like 2 weeks and it could have actually been a decent stable if they didn’t lose their first match together last week on RAW. Anyway, it appears AJ will have no back-up against the 3 divas from “Total Divas” that she slandered on RAW 3 weeks ago.

To be honest, it was a decent effort by all 4 women. They tried to make the match as interesting as possible and you’ve got to commend them for that. All 4 women had their fair share of time to show their stuff. But to be honest, this never seemed to get the fans interested one bit. It felt so awkward and out of place. The only time the fans popped during this match was then Natalya locked in the double sharpshooter. Also, it didn’t help when the referee made a HUGE error near the end of the match…

Right, Natalya scoop-slammed Brie Bella onto Naomi who was taken out before. Anyway, Brie Bella’s laying on top of Naomi for about 20 seconds, Naomi’s shoulders were down, and the referee did NOTHING. He was supposed to make the count and all he and Natalya were doing was just staring at both women. Sure, it’s nice to stare at two women on top of one another but he should have made the god-damn count. Even the commentators were even yelling at him to make the count. It was one of the most awkward botches of the year in my opinion. Anyway, the one thing to take as a positive from this match was that AJ Lee retained the championship.

 

A disqualification sees RVD’s World Title Hopes Shattered By Alberto Del Rio

To be honest, this match was nowhere near as good as Del Rio’s recent title defences against Dolph Ziggler and Christian in recent pay-per-view, but it was at least a decent effort. The only thing that was off-putting about this match was the fact that it ended in a disqualification. When RVD got to the ropes after being locked-in the Cross-Armbrearker, Del Rio refused to break the hold and was disqualified. This hurts Del Rio’s credibility a bit as this is the second time in 3 PPV World Title defences that Del Rio’s retained the title on a disqualification. Del Rio should have made RVD tap out. Maybe their setting up a rematch at Battleground for all I know. At least I hope so because I think will a bit more time this match could be a lot more improved at Battleground.

 

The Miz and Fandango Are Given A Match On A PPV… why?

The Miz vs Fandango has been like the least appealing rivalry of the year and for some absurd reason they were given a PPV match. Really? I mean it’s bad enough that Fandango showed up to ANOTHER PPV but he has to go up against The Miz of all people? Two guys who I can’t stand right now and their match was such a bland match. I hope this is the end of their feud because the fact that I had to sit through that match just really wound me up. -.-

 

Ryback Helps Heyman Against CM Punk And Becomes The New “Paul Heyman Guy”

This match went exactly as I thought it would. Axel fights Punk. Punk beats Axel. Beats Up Heyman A Little Bit. Taken Out By A New “Paul Heyman Guy”. While I didn’t like the predictability of it all, I like the way it was executed. It was a really brutal exchange between Axel and Punk, with kendo sticks and chairs being used in the fray, as well as a table being set up. However, CM Punk would make Axel tap out, leaving Paul Heyman to Punk. After chasing him around a little bit, Punk finally got his hands on Heyman and beat the crap out of him with the kendo stick. He event handcuffed him and then unleashed a fury of kendo stick shots on Heyman. Just as Punk had finished the beatdown, Ryback made his way to the ring and speared Punk through the table. This proved to be enough to put Punk down for the count to three as Heyman picked up the victory over Punk.

I do feel that CM Punk should have took a lot more damage from Ryback before getting pinned. I think it should have been more than a spear through the table to put Punk away considering how resilient he was against Brock Lesnar during their feud. It seems a little bit unbelievable that Punk can take a beating from Lesnar and still keep fighting, but one spear through the table from Ryback and he’s done. However, this was a good way to introduce Ryback as the new “Paul Heyman Guy” though. Ryback does need Paul Heyman as his manager. Ryback’s bullying gimmick had to stop and with Heyman on board he could actually go places. But the question is, with Ryback supposedly on board, where does that leave Curtis Axel?

 

The Shield Retain All Their Gold At Night Of Champions With Dolph Ziggler and The Prime Time Players Getting A Taste Of “Justice”

Yep. The Shield still have all the gold they won back at Extreme Rules in May. Dean Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the US Championship and Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated The Prime Time Players to retain the tag titles.

Let’s talk about the US Championship. It’s clear that Ziggler is still not sitting well with WWE right now just because the manner of his loss. No screwjob. No Shield-interference. He flat-out LOST to Dean Ambrose. It’s sad to see Ziggler being punished by WWE. I mean it’s not like the match was a great match anyway. It sort of felt like a TV match. It’s was OK, but it didn’t deserve to be on the card if it was going to be just… OK. If Ziggler was going to lose like we all knew he would, he should have at least had a great match with Ambrose which we know he’s capable of. But of course, when you’re in the WWE Dog House, the chances of you getting to look good goes right down the drain.

And the Tag Team Championship match. A very decent match and the fans were all over the Prime Time Players. Both guys looked strong against The Shield and I actually thought they’d beat The Shield near the end. But I think this might be just a prelude to their title win in weeks to come. I think after this match, the PTP look in a strong position to win the gold despite not winning in Detroit, Michigan.

So, up until this point, every champion has retained their championship. Only one champion remains to defend their title… WWE Champion Randy Orton…

 

Randy Orton Vs Daniel Bryan For The WWE Championship

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It was not the greatest of main events. In my opinion, Daniel and Orton have had plenty of better matches than this one was. It was really slow paced and it ended abruptly (I’ll get on the ending in a bit). It was one of Orton’s better matches and it’s good to see Orton’s been developing his wrestling as of late. He’s had a couple of stellar matches in the last few months. But, of course the thing that annoyed me about the match was the result. Daniel Bryan won of the flying kick he used to win the title from Cena at Summerslam… oh and a FAST 3 COUNT BY SCOTT ARMSTRONG!

Really? The night ended with a fast count? I read somewhere after the match that the commentators were not meant to mention the fast count, but they should have said at least something about it, especially JBL. The Heel Commentator JBL would have PLENTY to say about a fast count. I mean yeah – if Daniel won of the fast count and Triple H came out and reversed the decision that night, it’d make sense. But we’ve got to wait until RAW to find out the fate of the WWE Championship? I

All I’ll say is this… if Daniel’s title win stands, then it was a daft way for it to go down, and his regaining of the title came WAY too soon. I mean what does that say of the heel regime when they don’t have the WWE Championship anymore? I hope Triple H reverses the decision of the match on RAW. Because a face winning the title of a FAST COUNT makes zero sense. And Orton would have gotten royally screwed if the result of the match stands. Let’s just hope for the best, because I am not happy with how that “title change” took place.

Overall it was a really under-whelming PPV. I think it was the worst PPV of the year so far. While the WWE, IC and Tag Team title matches were all decent matches as was Punk vs Axel and Heyman , the Divas match was EXTREMELY AWKWARD, the US Title match was such a disappointment and the World Title match ending made Del Rio look weaker as a champion. The crowd weren’t into half of the matches, and that’s worrying and really decreases how good a show is when the crowd isn’t into it? With Battleground only 3 weeks away and Hell In A Cell only 3 weeks after that, PPVs are coming in thick and fast and WWE are going to have a hard time building up each one. I just hope that RAW can recover a badly-delivered PPV.

That was the Night Of Champions review. I’m Tom Robinson!

RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE POST! Vegeta from the Dragonball Z series being the expert counter that he is! Hey, I told you it was random! XD Follow the @ArmbarExpress On TWITTER!

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.