Date: September 17th 2006
City: Toronto, Ontario
Date: September 17th 2006
City: Toronto, Ontario
A series of unfortunate events has caused the whole Survivor Series scene this year to be changed. Initially, it was business as usual for Seth Rollins as he was scheduled to defend the WWE World title against Roman Reigns. However, Rollins with struck with an injury which will sideline him for at least six months. This obviously put WWE in a VERY VERY sticky situation. Of all the times that a champion could have been injured, now was not really the most convenient with John Cena, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan all out of commotion too. As soon as the news was broke by Jonathan Coachman, we got word that the new WWE World Champion would decided in a tournament. While it’s unfortunate for Seth, this could actually work in WWE’s favour in terms of turning Survivor Series into a true mega event once more.
Once, it was part of the “big four” of WWE PPVs. Summerslam, Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania still continue to be crucial events for WWE but Survivor Series had slipped in the background. In 2009, WWE were even considering slipping Survivor Series out of it’s PPV schedule for good. The PPV was saved but it was still not really able to get even close to the significance of the other three PPVs. That was until Survivor Series 2014…
With no really major stars and no WWE World title match, the PPV was hurt to a degree. However, what was missing was made up for by the five-on-five survivor series elimination match. The five-on-five was the PPV’s trademark match so it was only fitting that it was the main event of this particular show. The Authority going up against Team Cena with the Authority out of power if they lost. This was the biggest Survivor Series match that they’d done in years and it had major implications for the WWE storylines. Triple H and Stephanie’s power in the company was in danger. This match performed in more ways than one. It gave Dolph Ziggler a truly historical moment to savour and it even debuted WCW Legend Sting. This was a special PPV in 2014.
One match can really make the difference in terms of how great or memorable a PPV is. The Royal Rumble is a prime example of this. One match would be enough to peak your interest and if it delivers, you rake in the rewards. Now, there’s no big five on five elimination match as of yet. However, WWE did introduce something which once again made the PPV out to be a special attraction. The WWE World Title tournament.
What I think this does is give it a special niche that can help the PPV go down in the history books. This was the one with the big tournament final for the WWE World title. Everyone likes a good tournament and it’s not like they’re just doing it on a show like Payback. The timing was right for this sort of tournament to take place as it can help build the prestige and importance of the Survivor Series show.
It does annoy to a degree that they didn’t do a one-night tournament but I could see why they went with just having the final at Survivor Series. They can ill-afford to have their champion risk an injury by wrestling three or four matches in one night! Not after the recent injury to Rollins! Even WWE has to have limits. The tournament final is also backed up by the appearance and 25th anniversary of the Undertaker which also helps make the event feel special. It’s true that Undertaker is going through a particularly healthy stage right now, but any Undertaker appearance at all is rare. If it’s on RAW, Survivor Series or the Jimmy Fallon show…
All of these weird set-backs and swerves have actually led to an opportunity for Survivor Series close the gap on the Rumble, Summerslam and Mania to truly becoming a major show once again. The question now remains… can WWE take advantage?
The Intercontinental Championship is supposed to be the second most prestigious championship in WWE. However, it seems that recent years haven’t been kind to those that hold it. The Intercontinental title used to be a stepping stone as a rising star is elevated to main-event status. However, many champions in the last few years have seen themselves float around in the mid card pool of irrelevancy. We’re hoping that this does not happen to Kevin Owens. In order to elevate Kevin Owens and bring prestige to the title, how would we book Kevin Owens as Intercontinental Champion?
Kevin Owens won the Intercontinental Championship at Night Of Champions, beating Ryback with a roll up. Let’s be honest, Ryback’s title reign was never really able to take off. Kevin Owens is quite possibly the perfect man to be able to bring up the prestige of this title once more. This man is a great in-ring worker with incredible mic skills as well. WWE could do no wrong with this man… other than having him lose his first feud on the main roster. -.-
The point is, not much is needed to be said other than… have him beat EVERYONE.
Kevin Owens considers himself a prizefighter. He said that the Intercontinental Championship made him feel complete. All Kevin should be worried about his keeping his title. Of course, there’s a bit of a balancing act involved. You want him to care about his championship but you don’t want to diminish the championship either. Take Nikki Bella. She cared about shoving her title reign down people’s throats but could care less about ACTUALLY defending it. The clue is in his catchphrase… Fight, Owens, Fight.
If John Cena were not already doing his US Title Open Challenge, then that would be the first option for Kevin. However, Kevin should not want to give title shots to anyone. Kevin can run down Cena by stating that shots at the IC title should be earned rather than given. Kevin says that he wants to prove himself as the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. He therefore says that only former champions can compete and Kevin himself will decide his own opponents.
Kevin’s first few challengers on RAW would be folks like Heath Slater and Curtis Axel. These would be former champions but considered jobbers to the WWE Universe. This concept gives these wrestlers TV time and an actual chance to shine. However, Kevin simply wins. At the end of every match, Kevin writes down the name of his opponent on a piece of paper. After writing it down, he reads off the list of former champions he has beaten to retain his title. It’d be kind of like what Chris Jericho used to do.
Obviously, the list would start off being kind of short. Over time however, it suddenly starts to build up. Heath Slater, Damien Sandow, Curtis Axel, Titus O’Neil, Jack Swagger, Fernando etc. It suddenly becomes a case of quantity over quality, which actually does make Kevin look quality coming out of it. More is more when it comes to a heel. The more things he can brag about, the more content he can work with. The more people Kevin beats, the more names he can brag about beating. I named a few jobbers but these are actual former champions. These aren’t exactly complete jokes!
What would be interesting is that Kevin Owens would try to duck lads like Neville, that have never won titles on the main roster, which would actually be funny to watch! It also makes these lads look great before they finally get the shot, as Kevin already fears them.
He goes through everyone until the Royal Rumble. He wins his match, reads his list and stops half-way through. He says that merely beating everyone is not enough anymore. He’s a prizefighter and he only has one prize to his name. Now he wants more. He wants to challenge the US Champion for a title vs title match at Wrestlemania 32. The US Champion turns out to be John Cena, who walks out of Fast Lane with the title. In this big match, Kevin beats Cena clean once again to win the US Championship. He dubs himself as the International Champion, having conquered the entire world of wrestling. As soon as he drops these titles, he’s in a great spot to go after his next prize… the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
A lot of this includes a lot of wishful thinking, but this would do wonders to Kevin. Beating everyone en route to beating John Cena on the biggest stage of them all would be something spectacular that could make Kevin a legitimate star in WWE.
Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!
One of the biggest things to take away from RAW was the fact that Nikki Bella surpassed AJ Lee’s record for the longest ever Divas Championship reign. Many people weren’t happy with this decision and many felt that Nikki didn’t deserve. I personally don’t agree with the notion that Nikki didn’t deserve it, because she’s had to work really hard to get to where she is right now. She has certainly improved a lot from when she first started out in WWE and has been able to withstand the test of time. However, I really just had an issue with the way her Divas title match with Charlotte ended. You can read all about that on my RAW review at this link.
However, rumours are going around that WWE are planning to break another championship record. It’s not really a record, but Bryan Alvarez believes that CM Punk’s 434 day title reign as WWE Champion could possibly be surpassed very soon. Bryan believes that with WWE and CM Punk currently at odds (the latest development being a WWE doctor suing CM Punk), the WWE doesn’t want to recognize him as the longest reigning WWE Champion of the “modern era”. Bryan believes that WWE is planning on having Roman Reigns’ future WWE Championship win be the start of an even longer run as champion.
Now it’s important to remember everybody that this is merely just speculation. It’s coming from a well-respected wrestling journalist in Bryan Alvarez, but it’s just speculation on what could happen. However, it’s no secret that WWE have been working their ass of push Roman Reigns as the next top guy in WWE. From pushing him as the standout of the Shield to having him win the Royal Rumble, the WWE want Roman Reigns as their next top guy. Considering the physical appearance of Roman Reigns and his portrayal as this legitimate badass, why wouldn’t you want to push him?
With how CM Punk left the company and the current legal issues with Punk and the WWE doctor, WWE are not that obligated to maintain his title record. If Punk’s not going to be a part of your company for the foreseeable future, then there’s no need to really protect him when you can spend your efforts on building your future talent. This is part of the reason why I sort of agree with WWE having Nikki Bella break AJ Lee’s Divas Championship record. AJ, for whatever reason, is retired as an in-ring performer. AJ’s probably not going to have any working relationship with WWE in the next few years. That’s not to say that AJ has a bad relationship with WWE herself. However, there’s no need to protect AJ when they might as well promote Nikki Bella as the face of the Divas Division. As I mentioned in my piece on Charlotte from a few weeks ago, this will help the other divas going up against Nikki too. The longer that Nikki is champion, the more it well help top faces in the Divas Divison get over as they’re going up against someone with as much heat as Nikki.
However, there’s a big difference between Nikki beating AJ’s record than Roman Reigns breaking CM Punk’s WWE Championship record. There’s a HUGE difference in terms of the prestige of these two belts. I mean we’re talking about Roman Reigns holding the WWE Championship. It’s a risky endevour to take considering that Roman Reigns has never held the WWE Championship before. The original plans for him to win the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 31 was changed due to fan reactions and how WWE had booked Roman previously. If the whole idea is to have Roman stay out of the title picture for a year and then have him win it at next year’s Wrestlemania, then it will not work nearly as well as WWE thinks it will. In my opinion, this won’t work because Roman won’t be nearly in as good a position to be considered a true title contender.
In my opinion, Roman’s storylines since Wrestlemania 31 have been very lackluster. For someone that WWE wants to push as their next top star, Roman’s not been helped with the storylines he’s been given. He feuded with the Big Show in a feud that few people cared about. The feud was so badly received that Big Show got a chant of “Please Retire”. He was briefly in the title picture for Payback, but was one of a number of wrestlers going after the gold. He was then reduced to being Dean Ambrose’s sidekick as Dean went for the title at Elimination Chamber and Money In The Bank. He’s then feuded with Bray Wyatt in a feud which has been above average at best. Really, WWE’s not had the best storylines to get him over as a singles star. In fact, most of his feuds have featured him teaming with his buddy Dean Ambrose. Unless either Dean or Roman was to turn heel to set up a program between those two, I don’t see Roman getting a storyline which will get him ready for that push to the WWE World title once more.
If WWE continue to push him like they are, Reigns is not going to get anywhere near that title in 2016. If you’re not a fan of Roman Reigns, then that’s good news for you. Roman’s got all of the credentials needed to ACTUALLY be their next top star. However, WWE’s booking of Reigns in 2015 has been so poor that I don’t think it’s possible that Reigns could get anywhere near to the level where WWE want him to be at.
After Wrestlemania 31, I posted an article talking about why Wrestlemania 31 could have been the beginning of the end for Roman Reigns. You can find it at this link. A lot of times I will write up an article and when reading it back a few months later or so, I would realise that I was talking all sorts of rubbish. In one of my recent Wrestling Flashbacks, I was very critical of MY OWN review of Hell in a Cell 2012! However, I think I might have been right on this one. The reason I think this is because since then, Roman Reigns has not been booked in such a way that could possibly convince me that he could possibly be WWE World Champion. He’s not had any major storylines which has really made Roman main event material. His feud with Big Show was lame. He did not come off well from the Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose storyline. His feud with Bray Wyatt has been… passable. However, none of these feuds are going to get Roman ready for that big title push.
What’s funny about all of this is that there is somebody that is actually in a great position to surpass CM Punk’s WWE Championship record. What’s funny is that I wrote an article for SLTD Wrestling about this person potentially holding this title until Wrestlemania 32. It’s the person that has all the tools to be a main-eventer for years to come and has been booked really well by WWE in order to do that. His name…. is Seth Rollins.
I really do encourage everyone reading this to check out my latest article for SLTD Wrestling at this link. In that article, I responded to Jim Ross’ comments from a few months ago about how Seth should be champion until Wrestlemania 32. In most of my article, I agreed with him. If you’re going to have CM Punk’s WWE title reign be beaten by anyone, why not have it be beaten by Seth Rollins? He’s an incredible worker and is incredibly over as the top heel in the company. His mic skills are improving but he’s already got people to help him out if needed. He’s already got the credentials to be the one that surpasses CM Punk and he’s ALREADY champion! Seth’s been champion for six months or so, has been in great programs with Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Sting, and is still rolling on nicely as champion. His reign has been great so far. Look at the people he’s beaten and now he can help elevate others… INCLUDING ROMAN REIGNS!
If WWE truly want to have CM Punk’s title reign surpassed and if they want Roman Reigns to be pushed as their next top guy, they don’t need to have Reigns be the one that surpasses Punk. If they took the time to re-evaluate Roman’s character and figure out what he needs to be pushed that next level, then maybe there’s hope for him. However, WWE have a golden opportunity to help everyone out by simply keeping the belt on one man. By keeping the title on Seth Rollins and by taking considerable care of Roman Reigns’ character, you’ve got a great main event title scene for years to come.
When I first started with blogging, I was really first experimenting with a bunch of other websites. Among these efforts, I started a Tumblr account featuring wrestling, football and music among other things. It was during this time when I started doing wrestling reviews and viewing wrestling from a critical standpoint. Anyway, I figured I’d upload this because it’s always nice to go back and look at how I did business back then.
To give a bit of background, Hell in a Cell was a PPV WWE had six weeks to build. There was an ongoing saga on RAW about who’d face CM Punk for the WWE Championship. Ryback eventually was chosen (as John Cena had gotten injured) and there was a lot of pressure on this match to perform. Also, the finish of the match was really up in the air. Would the WWE sacrifice the historic championship reign of CM Punk or the undefeated streak of Ryback?
NOTES: The paragraphs in italics are what was written at the time, back in 2012.
Anyway, so I started things off by talking about my expectations of the main event…
It’s kind of weird going back to this review and talking about watching this PPV live. I honestly stayed up to watch it live because there was a lot of anticipation about how this match was going to go. Also, Skip Sheffield had been working mostly short matches since he returned repackaged as “Ryback” in 2012. It was interesting to see if he could deliver a top main event match with someone like CM Punk. The reasons all this is funny is because I watched RAW live THIS WEEK with high expectations and being a bit let down! By the way, you can check out this week’s RAW review at this link. You can read all about what I felt about Seth Rollins, Sting and everything.
To be fair, WWE has improved a bit in terms of the promotion of its PPVs. Back then though, it was really lackluster. There were a few instances where a completely random match would be shot on the card to make up time. The reason this annoyed me is because these were usually matches we might have wanted to see. This PPV in particular featured the likes of Rey Mysterio and US Champion Antonio Cesaro wrestling in “bonus matches”. However, I think there’s been a lot more effort put in towards PPV promotions nowadays. With this year’s Night of Champions, the majority of the matches have been announced with weeks to spare. The only title match that hasn’t been announced so far has been the Intercontinental Championship. However, they’ve been hyping up the program on that title match to a degree anyway. They’ll probably just announce that match on RAW.
This was the second time in a PPV that Randy Orton had beaten a heel clean. He beat “Mr Money In The Bank” Dolph Ziggler at Night of Champions 2012 and followed it up by defeating Del Rio. This match I think was the second best match of the night, looking back now. There’s one botch which I never mentioned which I think took away from the match itself. Del Rio tried to jump off the top rope and ended up landed in front of Orton and then just started punching him. With that botch in mind though, this was a great match. At least JBL actually mentioned the botched, calling out Del Rio’s decision to jump off the top. Great recovery by JBL.
I totally stand by what I said here. The thing about this match was that this was around the time where the Team Hell-No team were at their peak. They won the tag titles on the PPV before and were having great segments on RAW and SmackDown! The feud itself between the two teams was really good. I like how Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes had to win a tag team tournament in order to get this title shot. However, their title shot ended in a DQ. It wasn’t really like a legitimate DQ either. Kane was, to quote Vinny from the Bryan and Vinny show, disqualified for kicking too much ass. Considering all of the build with the Team Hell-No segments and the tag team tournament, the finish was pretty much a let down. However, I do remember it being a good match despite the finish.
I think, looking back, I gave this match a lot more credit than I should have. I think, compared to everything else on the show, it was probably decent. However, it was certainly not the best match of this show. It was above average at best. I said that given more time, this could have been a contender for match of the year. I realize now I was wrong. I don’t think this match was as good as I said it would be. Kofi’s not as bad on the mic as I made him out to be. If the New Day is any proof, Kofi can be great on the mic if given the chance.
I think what happened to Dr Shelby was that WWE didn’t feel the need to use him. To be fair, Daniel and Kane were awesome by themselves. However, I just loved Dr Shelby’s role in their entire storyline. He was the peacemaker in this funny and he was just amazing every time I saw him. I wish there were something for him to do in WWE right now, because I miss him dearly!
This was actually a lot better of a match than I made it out to be. It was just infuriating seeing Cesaro’s competition at the time. In hindsight, it was a rare chance to see Justin Gabriel get a chance to shine on PPV. However, Cesaro’s title reign was not helped with who he was going up against. It was very difficult for Cesaro to ascend into stardom at the time.
I can’t really remember this match too well but I do remember the spot with Sin Cara’s Asai DDT. It looked naughty at the time and thankfully, he was OK after it happened. I did like the Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara tag team they had going on. I feel that it was a shame that WWE didn’t do the Lucha dream match of Mysterio vs Sin Cara. At least AAA did it recently…
What followed this was Big Show defeating Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship. At the time, I thought this match was boring. I loved the finish but I just was not into this program. I thought the promotion they did for this program on SmackDown! was lame and I didn’t think it lived up to the build. Looking back… I was wrong.
I was amazed by how wrong I was when I first wrote it. The reason this match was so good is because I was going into this match not expecting a great deal with regards to the in-ring action. However, these two big guys put on a clinic. The near falls for the Brogue Kicks and WMDs were amazing. I got a chance to rewatch it before this review and it was a quality match. It was probably one of, if not the, greatest matches Sheamus has ever had in WWE. It was probably one of the greatest matches Big Show has ever had in WWE.
I remember this! It was a REALLY whacky segment! I was however hyped that Ron Simmons was there!
Yeah, the Divas Division WAS NOT strong during this period. This was a part of the “Who Attacked Kaitlyn?” angle which was one of the worst divas angles of all time. This match was very hard to enjoy for me. I think I was probably justified with my analogy of this match.
Yes. This really was a bad match. Considering the six week build up to this match and what was at stake for both gentlemen, WWE really dropped the ball. Ryback was white-hot in this period of his career and the WWE just threw his undefeated streak away like it was nothing. Ryback was just never able to recover after he lost that streak. I remembering arguing just before this PPV that it was more important for WWE to preserve CM Punk’s title reign than Ryback’s undefeated streak. I was wrong.
Looking back in hindsight, WWE’s plan with CM Punk was to have him hold onto the title until Royal Rumble. At the Royal Rumble, he was going to lose it to The Rock. If that was the plan anyway, then he should have just dropped the title to Ryback here. If Punk was going to drop the title anyway AND lose to the Undertaker, it was going to hurt all the momentum Punk had built. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for him to face Rock and Undertaker, since it WAS Rock and Undertaker. However, they could have made a star out of Ryback. He could have beaten Punk and then dropped the title back to him in the triple threat match at Survivor Series. Cena would have been pinned, so Ryback’s undefeated streak could still continue since he wasn’t pinned.
This match in general was just a REALLY bad main event. I think in the history of Hell in a Cell matches, this was probably one of the worst. I think that’s mostly due to all the hype they put into this and everything that was on the line. This match had a big impact on future programming and they ended match like that?
I think I was a bit TOO critical of WWE around this time! WWE was bad but it wasn’t “stinking up the place”!
I was wrong about the World title match being “really bad”. However, this really was a PPV of two halves. There was a lot of good action but there was a lot of bad action too including a horrible main event. I was right about one thing… TNA really was stepping up its game around this time. This was really a great period to be a TNA fan, as they were putting on some quality shows. They had some great storylines in place. Meanwhile, WWE were really off their game. I think as soon as The Shield debuted and they hit 2013, WWE started to gain some momentum. However, this Hell in a Cell was really not good enough.
(NOTE: This review will include some spoilers for RAW.)
Brooklyn was packed for the second biggest PPV of the year. We had scores to settle, title for title matches to take place and quite the card for Summerslam. Let’s get into it.
Orton almost scored an RKO right away but Sheamus moved out of the way. We got “You Look Stupid” chants to which Sheamus got on the mic, replying with “I don’t look stupid”. Sheamus saying stuff like this on the mic takes away the seriousness of this lad. And that’s not good, considering that Sheamus has the Money In The Bank briefcase. Considering he’s probably going to be our next WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Sheamus looked a bit of a joke. However, it could have been a lot worse.
To be honest, after he said it, I thought as soon as he returned to the ring, Randy was gonna drop Sheamus with a successful RKO to win the match. That didn’t happen and the match went on. However, the fans interest in this match began to disappear at the start. Among the chants we got was a very loud “Ole” chant! However, the match did pick up shortly afterward, which got the fans into it again. Randy delivered a T-Bone Suplex to Sheamus over the top rope which I thought looked pretty cool. Sheamus put on a modified Clover Leaf and kept saying “ASK HIM!” as heels normally do when they’ve got a submission locked on. Chris Jericho use to do it quite a bit. What I realized though, when Sheamus had it on, was that the referee’s rarely ever actually go on ask the wrestlers if they quick! They usually just stand over them!
There was a great little spot where Sheamus lifted himself up up onto the top turnbuckle but Randy countered it into a DDT. Randy hit Sheamus with a RKO when Sheamus catapulted in him which looked awesome. Sheamus beat Orton CLEAN with two Brogue Kicks in a row. This is exactly the type of win that Sheamus needed after losing to Orton clean at Battleground. I thought this match was really good. At the start it looked a bit slow-paced but then it picked up in a big way.It was a great opener. I think this would have been better than their Battleground, had it been given a bit more time. However, considering the card, you could see why the time of this match was cut down a little.
This match seemed to go to the finishing spots rather quickly. It’s almost as if they cut a huge section of the match and then just went to the closing moments. However, despite that, it was still a good match and a great way to open the show. If there’s a rubber match at Night of Champions, Sheamus has to go over I think. However, if this is the end of the feud, at least Sheamus goes out with a win.
The fans were really into the New Day for this one as Big E was doing his intro speech for their entrance. They were on fire tonight with their promo and general antics in the ring. Everybody loved them here in Brooklyn! I loved Kofi’s boots during this match, by the way
This match was a very fast-paced tag team match. There was one spot at the start of the match which I thought was pretty clever. Big E and Titus O’Neil were the legal men in the ring. However, Kofi tagged himself in… by tagging Titus. So as he tagged himself in, Big E went for the cover on Kofi in an attempt to steal the tag titles! I’m not entirely certain if that works! I thought it was clever but… not quite sure it was allowed! I mean you didn’t have to pin the champions in order to win the title. Since you can tag anyone else in order to get into the match, I guess Kofi could have tagged Titus… giving us TWO LEGAL MEN! I guess the New Day just created a new precedent in WWE!
Big E was during this match. He did a splash onto Darren Young on the ring apron which I thought looked good and then Big E began slapping Darren to the New Day clap rhythm as he had the abdominal stretch locked on! To be honest, there were a lot of good spots by everyone during this. Darren Young and Kalisto had a sequence at the start which looked incredible. People on Twitter were comparing them moves to Tekken and Mortal Kombat, which I thought was hilarious!
Titus O’Neil came in off the hot tag and was awesome during it, taking out everyone. He was incredibly over with the crowd as they rallied him on. Xaiver Woods taking out El Torito was a highlight! There were two little botches that should really be mentioned. Sin Cara botched a hurracanrana. One of the Los Matadores members was supposed to take the Tower of Doom spot near the end of the match, but he fell off the top rope. However, they were able to recover well as the other member of Los Matadores simply took the spot also involving Titus.
But other than those small minor botches, this was a sound tag team match. The New Day’s celebrations were amazing. Totally the right call by having the New Day go over. They were so over tonight and are the most over stable in the company. WWE teased the New Day defending the tag titles against Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose next. I really hope that happens! It’d be a great way to get the group into the main event picture!
Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler
I hated the commentary for this match. It was basically JBL, Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole arguing about Lana’s role in Rusev’s success so far. It was one of the times where the commentators never pay attention, that winds me right up. Firstly, because I don’t like this storyline. I don’t like the storytelling aspects of the match, and I’m really watching this because I want to see a good match between Rusev and Ziggler. The announcers weren’t paying attention to this match as they were too busy talking about Lana, not even given Rusev and Ziggler enough respect to talk about them. I can’t speak for everyone watching this but I don’t care about the storyline aspect of it because this is a bad storyline. Anyway, to the match itself.
The match wasn’t really that exciting. Ziggler’s facebuster to Rusev. off the top looked sloppy. I thought Rusev got in a few good spots, such as the flip senton onto Ziggler which looked awesome when it connected. A good ending might have improved this match slightly, but the finish here had a negative impact. It was a double count out finish meaning that this match was basically just a waste of time. They had the brawl at the end with Lana and Summer Rae also involved but it didn’t solve anything. No new developments happened during this match that changed the fans outlook into this storyline. This ending was shameful for a PPV like Summerslam. JBL actually pointed out “Nothing was solved.” JBL basically confirmed that this match was pointless and we just wasted your time. The thing is, this storyline is now going to keep GOING. It’s not doing anything for Dolph Ziggler and Rusev. Why is WWE keeping this going? After this match, why would people possibly care about a rematch at Night of Champions?
Stephen Amell and Neville vs Stardust and King Barrett
I want to point before we get into the match that the WWE production crew missed quite a lot of important stuff during this match! They missed Stephen Amell tagging himself in for the first time, which is kind of important considering he’s the celebrity in this match! They missed Stephen’s kip up, which is supposed to make Stephen look good! I was just shocked by how much they missed during this show!
To be honest, when this match was first announced, I thought they had brought in Neville to do the “heavy lifting” for the team since he was the actual wrestler of team. However, Amell was tagged in the majority of the time. He took a lot of the bumps. He didn’t deliver a great deal of offense but you wouldn’t really expect him to. I loved during the match, when King Barrett kicked Amell in the stomach. His sell to that kick was just hilarious.
Neville actually got the hot tag for his team and scored the pin. For what it was, Amell didn’t really mess anything up. I wish that Neville had a lot more time in the ring as it meant that there was a lot of pressure on Amell to take the spots in the ring. Granted, he was able to take them well. But I think with these matches were celebrities get involved, they really should be in the ring as little as possible.
Ryback (c) vs Big Show vs The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship
This was a very short triple threat match, which I think was a good thing. I think it needed to be a short and sweet triple threat and this match wasn’t actually that bad. However, there’s a few things I need to point out.
Now if you’re a 7 foot, 450lb giant, why on earth would you need to jump off the top rope? Big Show started to do diving elbow drops off the top in a number of matches. In this match, Big Show did a rolling senton off the top! This senton completely missed Ryback! I admire the effort but since when does Big Show need to do a rolling senton off the top rope?
Michael Cole mentioned that last time the Intercontinental Championship changed hands in New York City was when Albert won the title. JBL’s response was… “Albert won a title?” I love how JBL completely buried Albert’s title reign when years ago, he was praising “Tensai” like he was a Japanese wrestling legend! Great job JBL!
I almost thought Miz was going to win when he hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Ryback but Ryback kicked out at the last minute. Miz then made like six covers on both Ryback and Big Show which was pretty funny. That was actually a pretty fun spot.
I didn’t like the ending. Ryback stole the victory after Big Show had knocked out The Miz, which is what heels do. A big, tough face shouldn’t need to be sneaky in this type of match. With that in mind tough, this match was much better than I thought it was going to be. Thankfully, it didn’t go on for too long. It was short and simple and it told the storyline well. The ending kind of ruined it for me but I’m glad Ryback got the win.
Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose
Roman Reigns got heavily booed during this match. This was a pretty fun tag team match with a lot of cool spots for everybody to get involved in. Roman Reigns got took out early on in the match, leaving Dean Ambrose on his own in the ring. Roman Reigns was out of action for so long that the fans started chanting “Roman’s Sleeping!” But as soon as he got tagged into the match, the fans started booing him! Roman just can’t get a break, can he?
I thought that the end of the match was pretty lame. All it mostly consisted of was Reigns and Ambrose dominating. There was nothing about that match that made Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper look strong at all. There was no moment where I was convinced that Bray and Luke were going to win. This match made them look really bad. However, this tag team match was still OK though. Nothing really special about it but it was a pretty fun one.
Seth Rollins (c) vs John Cena (c) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the United States Championship
John Cena was overwhelming booed. Seth Rollins got a massive pop when he came out. Early on in the match, Seth Rollins did a spot where he did three dives to the outside. However, it looked like Cena was supposed to catch him for a spot the first time he did it. Were they planning another spot? It kind of looked like it to me. Despite this, Rollins looked awesome anyway and the crowds loved it. This was a pretty great match but the fans were chanting “You can’t Wrestle” at Cena. It’s one thing if you don’t like somebody. It’s another thing to watch a wrestler when he’s having a blinder of a match and still chant, “You can’t wrestle”. Cena wasn’t having the greatest match of his life, but he was doing fine. Also, when you’re in the ring with somebody as talented as Seth Rollins that can help you along, there’s little that can go wrong. The only thing I remember Cena botching was his top rope leg drop, which didn’t really connect.
There’s one issue I have about this match. It was a great match but I had an issue with Cena and Rollins using the finishing moves of so many different wrestlers. John Cena did Ric Flair’s figure four leg lock and he did the Springboard Stunner again (paying home to Stone Cold). Seth Rollins did Triple H’s Pedigree, Eddie Guerrero’s Frog Splash and Cena’s own Attitude Adjustment. When people steal other wrestler’s moves, usually it’s cool. However, Rollins and Cena were losing their own sense of identity by obviously paying homage to other wrestlers. Now Seth Rollins’ Frog Splash has probably been one of Rollins’ signature moves for years and Cena’s Springboard Stunner is now one of Cena’s signature moves. But it’s taking away from the uniqueness of Cena and Rollins if they have to use other people’s moves so blatantly to get over. With that being said though, Seth Rollins rolling Attitude Adjustment onto Cena was just incredible. He pulled it off really well and I kind of wish that was the finish of the match. It would have been a lot better than the actual finish of the match..
Summerslam guest host Jon Stewart ran down into the ring with a steel chair. After teasing a chair shot onto Rollins, he hit Cena in the gut with the chair, allowing Seth Rollins the opportunity to pin Cena with a Pedigree onto the steel chair. I HATED this ending. I mean, if this was an ending to a title match on RAW or something, maybe it’d be OK. But Jon Stewart’s interference played into the CO-MAIN EVENT of the SECOND BIGGEST PPV OF THE YEAR! That’s why this infuriates me. It was not like Jon Stewart was going to play into future WWE programming. And on RAW, WWE basically confirmed this with Cena giving an AA to Stewart. It was atrocious. It ruined such a great match between Cena and Rollins. After all the build, it ended like that.
Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D.
The fans weren’t really into this three team elimination match. I think after Team B.A.D. were eliminated, the fans’ interest just dropped. Sasha Banks was really over at Summerslam and the next night on RAW. There were “We Want Sasha” chants on RAW and I don’t think WWE really see any potential in Sasha. Considering what happened the next night on RAW with Sasha Banks nowhere to be seen, I think the attention is now focused on the Bellas and PCB. After all, Team B.A.D. were eliminated first in this match!
Brie Bella’s facebuster off the top on Tamina to eliminate her was better than Ziggler’s in his match with Rusev. The match itself was an OK divas match.
Cesaro vs Kevin Owens
Credit to Kevin Owens this weekend. He wrestled the ladder match with Finn Balor on the night before at NXT TakeOver and followed it up with this 15 minute match with Cesaro on Summerslam. He’s had to put in a lot of work over the weekend and he put in the work in this match. It was a good match between these two. I’m not sure about killing Cesaro’s momentum by having Kevin beat him clean but I guess they had to preserve Kevin.
Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker
This match was special. It was an incredible match to watch with some great story-telling on display. Undertaker and Lesnar seemed to be taking this match slow and steady which was the right call I think for this match. The fans were into it from bell to bell. There were a lot of amazing spots to take in and it was definitely better than their last match. However, the finish is what got the fans talking.
Brock Lesnar had Undertaker locked in the Kimura Lock but Undertaker was able to force Lesnar’s shoulders on the mat, causing referee Charles Robinson to come over and make the count. But as he was watching Lesnar’s shoulders, Undertaker tapped out. Charles didn’t see the tap out but the time keeper rang the bell anywhere. Charles was arguing with the time keeper and everybody was distracted when Undertaker low blowed Lesnar. Undertaker then locked in the Hell’s Gate and he made Lesnar pass out for the “official” victory.
I guess like the Cena/Rollins ending, it’s a give or take ending. I HATED the Cena/Rollins ending. The ending for Lesnar/Taker was not really what I had hoped. However, it did preserve both Undertaker and Brock Lesnar as they both won the match in their own right.
Part One – Introduction
Part Two – John Cena
Part Three – CM Punk
I’ve recapped who others believed should have broken the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. We’ve discussed men of controversy and men of the people as the top runners to have broken the most coveted streak in wrestling history. As good as these picks may seem, I believe I have two candidates that would have been great choices to end the Undertaker’s streak. My first choice is a man who’s once faced Undertaker before at a Wrestlemania event. In my opinion, if the result of the match had been altered, then it would have had even greater implications for the conqueror.
However, let me ask you guys a question. Out of all the victims of the streak, who is the one person that was the right man, in the right place and in the right time to break that streak? Who is one person that needed the win over the Undertaker to become the WWE’s next mega star? More importantly, who is the one person with the special credentials and natural ability to justify being given such an honor? That’s right. The streak should have been broken… by Randy Orton.
OK, maybe around Wrestlemania XXX time, Randy Orton didn’t exactly need to break the Undertaker’s streak. However, when he did challenge the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 21, then it would have been perfect for Randy Orton to do the seemingly impossible. Think about it. Randy Orton was around 24-25 years old when he took on the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 21. He’s at the right age to beat the Undertaker, break his streak and elevate himself to being the very next mega star in WWE a lot sooner. He had so many years ahead of him. Now obviously, Randy does end up becoming an all-time great in WWE. However, how incredibly over would Randy have become if he had beaten the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 21? Plus, he’s got all the special credentials needed to support his claim to break the streak. Let’s look at Randy Orton’s character.
He is the son of Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton. He has the bloodline of a great WWE legend running through his veins. He was born to be in this business and born to be a star. It also didn’t take long for Randy Orton to make WWE officials realize that he was something special. He was one of the most naturally gifted wrestlers in the WWE and got his first big break as part of Triple H’s Evolution stable. Randy forged his own legacy as the “Legend Killer”, beating legends every week on RAW. He was shown to be tough too. Look no further than his brutal hardcore match with Cactus Jack at Backlash 2004. Randy Orton’s Intercontinental title reign was the longest in seven years and after dropping the title to Edge, he shockingly won the World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam just a few months later. And he did ALL of this, at the age of 24.
Now obviously WWE hyping Orton this way and putting him over to this degree is not just enough to make a star. It also doesn’t mean that Orton should be the right man to break the streak… which was only at 12-0 before Taker took on Orton. Anyone can be booked to look like a million dollars and can be “given the ball”, but it’s up to the wrestler to run with it. Even though the momentum of the initial Randy Orton face turn after Summerslam couldn’t be maintained, Orton was still able to maintain his position and look of a main eventer. He was still probably the top face on RAW at the start of January. However, with Batista now getting the chance to be the top face, Orton had to take a step back out of the top guy role. With that, Orton was turned back heel, which was perfect for his next challenge.
Randy Orton was the first person to properly acknowledge the streak of the Undertaker and vowed to beat it. Undertaker himself had referenced to it before but this was the first time where the storyline of the match was about somebody trying to break the streak. It became a Wrestlemania tradition. In my opinion, it was the exact right moment for Orton to do what no man had ever done.
Considering Randy Orton was the “legend killer”, there’s no bigger legend for him to beat than the Undertaker. Up until that point in his career, he had beaten the likes of Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and Mick Foley in matches. However, getting a simple win is one thing. However, beating somebody and effectively “killing” one of the things that made him so great is another. It would be the ultimate kill for Orton and it would be an appropriate means to pass the torch not from the Undertaker, but from Triple H.
Up until that point in WWE, Triple H had been the king of heels in the WWE universe. There was no man more hated than Triple H from both RAW and SmackDown! Fans were sick of the Game being on top, running the show. So with Triple H beaten by Batista, it would make all the sense in the world for Randy Orton to take over as the top heel in the company. And there’s no better way for Orton to garner the heel heat than to beat the Undertaker.
Now obviously at the time, the streak itself wasn’t as beloved by the fans than it would eventually become. However, Randy was the type of character that could shove his win over the Undertaker down your throat every single week. He’s a cocky and arrogant young gun whose ego would be elevated so highly by beating the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
With Randy’s constant bragging, he could wind the fans right up. However, it’ll also make the fans realize just how great a streak Undertaker had developed. Over time, after noticing that nobody is ever gonna duplicate it, the fans would have missed the streak and wanting Undertaker to be undefeated still. You don’t realize how much you miss something until it is taken away from you. And the streak is no exception…
I’ve spent quite a while going through the reasons for Orton’s big win, but now it’s time to discuss the execution. How does he break the streak? What happens next? And what is the ultimate end-game of all of this?
The Wrestlemania match these two originally had would play out exactly as it did in real life up until Orton countering Undertaker’s chokeslam into the RKO. That spot would be the finish of the match. I must admit, when Taker kicked out of the RKO in real life and went onto win the match, it took away from what was an incredible spot at the time. Yeah we see Orton pull off these “Outta Nowhere” RKOs so frequently nowadays, but this RKO was one of the original instances of Randy pulling off a cool variation of the move. Why couldn’t this be the move that ended the streak? To see Taker simply kick out of the RKO took away from the finisher’s credibility. Especially considering we had never seen a counter like this with the RKO before. If Orton got the pin off the RKO, it would make the moment seem a lot more impactful considering who he beat with it.
The win also gives Orton something else to brag about, as I mentioned before. Nothing helps give a heel credibility than when he has the wins to back it up. Therefore, the next time Orton loses a big match, it helps the victor get over tremendously.
I’m going to try and stick with some of the original incidents in real-life WWE at this time. Therefore, Orton would get sidelined with his injury through his match with World Heavyweight Champion Batista the next night on RAW. Batista does not beat Orton, of course. Triple H could do the run in to cause the DQ, leading into THEIR match at Backlash.
It’s important to note that Undertaker would still be on television around this time, like he was in real-life. Undertaker would just try to put the defeat at Wrestlemania behind him. The draft would play out the same. Randy Orton WOULD still be drafted onto SmackDown! like he was in real life, but he would not appear on WWE television until The Great American Bash. After Batista beats JBL clean to retain the World Championship, Randy drops Batista with the RKO upon his return and holds the World title over him to end the PPV.
Randy would challenge Batista to a title match at Summerslam, but Undertaker would have his own claim at a title shot too. His match with Muhammad Hassan at the Great American Bash was to determine the number one contender for the World Title. So Teddy Long would book himself a tag team match on SmackDown! Randy Orton and JBL would take on Batista and Undertaker. JBL would also be crying and demanding for another title shot himself, so Teddy states that Orton or JBL would get added to the match at Summerslam if anyone of them got the pin or submission. Of course, Orton gets the pin on Batista. This leads to the triple threat World Heavyweight Championship match at Summerslam which Randy Orton wins and becomes World Heavyweight Champion. This also gives Summerslam 2005 a world title match of significant value. That’s not to say the original WWE and world title matches at that PPV were bad, but they were easily over-shadowed by almost every other match on the card. Not to mention none of them could possibly compete with Hulk Hogan vs Shawn Michaels.
Orton’s title reign would continue on and he would face Undertaker in the casket match he and Cowboy Bob Orton faced him in at No Mercy. He would be apart of Team SmackDown! in their Survivor Series match up with RAW. Randy would be the sole survivor for his team and the Undertaker would come out like he did in real-life. Undertaker would challenge Randy Orton one last time at Armageddon for the World title in a Hell in a Cell match. Undertaker… would win.
Keep in mind, when considering the end of the streak, you must also consider how it’ll effect Undertaker. Especially considering that we’re breaking the Undertaker’s streak in 2005. The Dead Man’s still got many years left in the tank. So having him completely white-washed by Randy Orton following his big loss would make Undertaker look like a complete joke. At least if Undertaker beat Randy Orton at Armageddon and won the title off him, it would be a satisfying end to a near year-long program between the two with Undertaker finally getting the win over the man that conquered his streak. It’s a good old Rocky Balboa comeback story which fans love to see but you’re not COMPLETELY burying your future talent at the same time. Randy’s title loss at Armageddon will also play into later events…
The hell Taker would put Randy through would deter the legend killer from invoking his rematch. While this may make him look weak in the short-run, it has great long term implications. Sometimes the toughest of heels has to play the coward once in a while. Orton would then decide to enter the Royal Rumble and vowed to challenge for RAW’s WWE Championship if he won. Coming in at #30, Orton wins the Rumble. He would spitefully eliminate #2 entrant Rey Mysterio last, who was fighting for the memory of Eddie Guerrero. Orton strolls into RAW with a great deal of heel heat and will eventually beat John Cena for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 22.
And that’s about it for the first year since Orton broke the streak. His big win at Wrestlemania has led to him accomplishing more and more, even winning both brands’ titles in the span of a couple of months. This is exactly the kind of thing that someone breaking the streak needs to do. He needs to look untouchable and have the credentials to back up his hype. He’s the youngest World Champion in history. In fact, he’s held the World title twice because of this storyline. He’s now a WWE Champion. He’s now a Royal Rumble winner. He’s accomplished all of this… and he’s not even 26 years old yet! It’s how you build your next big star and Orton can use all of these accomplishment to brag about each week like Triple H used to brag about everybody he beat back in the day.
That’s about it for Randy Orton. However, I do have ONE MORE person who I think is a decent pick to have break the streak too. Stay tuned for the final part of the series, where we look at this candidate and see what he’s got.