Is Dean Ambrose A Better WrestleMania 32 Opponent For Brock Lesnar Than Bray Wyatt?

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Even weeks before WrestleMania, WWE has a tendency to change plans for their biggest show of the year. We saw it in 2014, with Daniel Bryan being asserted into the main event of WrestleMania 30 and we’ve seen it again this year. It seemed that WWE were planning on having Brock Lesnar go up against Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 32, following the Wyatt Family’s attack on Lesnar during the 2016 Royal Rumble. However, now Brock’s WrestleMania opponent has been switched from the Eater of Worlds to the Lunatic Fringe. It’s been announced that Dean Ambrose will take on Brock in a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania, with Bray Wyatt seemingly having no planned opponent at this point.
It’s worrying for Bray that after his feud with Brock was nixed (for now), there are no plans in place for the character or any indications about who his opponent is. However, is Dean Ambrose a better suit for a big match with Brock at WrestleMania then Bray Wyatt?
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As much as plans changing all the time has been as a result of forces beyond WWE’s control, I don’t think booking the Wyatts to attack Brock was a smart decision in the first place. If there was a single doubt in their mind that Bray would end up in the Mania match with Brock, they should have had Brock eliminated from the Royal Rumble in a different way. They could have found a way to have Brock eliminated and kept strong, without hinting at a potential match down the road.
If they were going all the way with Bray, then having the Wyatt Family eliminate Brock was the better way to lead to Brock and Bray. I’d argue that it’d be better for Bray to eliminate Brock personally but that’s left open for discussion.
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Dean coming in at a last minute does hurt Bray in the long run, with WWE having to book Brock vs Bray for the WWE Network “Roadblock” special instead. Now that match ended up changing as Luke Harper was brought in, but it did really make Bray seem insignificant in the long run as Bray was put in the same boat as every other heel that got beat by Brock in the house shows.
Brock’s house show matches with the like of Big Show, Rusev, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and all of those guys are all strange, as it sort of reminds me of Goldberg’s streak at WCW. Everybody that lost to Goldberg never really lost overness as it was against Goldberg of all people. Goldberg ended up beating everyone he faced. It didn’t make the losers look worse in the long run.
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When Bray took on Brock, with Luke Harper, Bray was beaten just like all of those other guys. The likes of Del Rio, Rusev and Big Show never really lost much from it as they were all lost in the mid-card wilderness of WWE but now Bray Wyatt is in the same realm. In a way it hurts Bray, as he was booked as one of the strongest contenders in the Royal Rumble match, but he’s now just like everybody else.
It’ll be difficult for Bray to bounce back from this, considering that Roadblock was aired on the WWE Network. Now granted, it was not a great night for Dean Ambrose either. Dean was essentially beaten cleanly at Roadblock, which wouldn’t put him in a good position to fight Brock Lesnar either.
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The question to ask is really who is in a better shape to fight Brock, a guy that really is in a league of his own in terms of star power and storyline power. Who looks the bigger threat? Dean or Bray? At the moment, I’d go with Dean. After the Royal Rumble, I’d go with Dean. In fact at any time after Survivor Series, I would have went with Dean.
The only time that Bray was booked that strongly in the last couple of months was the Royal Rumble, but he was still dominated by Brock in that match. Then again, so was Dean but Dean did make it to the end of the Rumble match AFTER being in a Last Man Standing match earlier on in the night.
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When making the argument about who should fight Brock, you must consider who would have the better match with the Beast Incarnate. With the exception of his match with Daniel Bryan in the 2014 Royal Rumble, there’s been few big matches that Bray’s had which have been really good. He’s had good Last Man Standing matches and Hell in a Cell matches with John Cena and Roman Reigns respectively, but a lot of that involved mostly weapons and brawling rather than standard wrestling. The chances were that Bray vs Brock would have been No Holds Barred like Dean vs Brock is currently scheduled to be, but Dean has a much better proven track record in those matches. Dean’s had a lot of really good gimmick matches in WWE, which helps his case.
Finally, there’s the question of who is over enough to fight Brock. Unfortunately for Bray Wyatt fans, Dean takes this category as well. Dean has been such a huge star since WWE really started getting behind him again at Survivor Series. On the other hand, Bray’s not really amounted to much in that same time period.
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I feel kind of bad for Bray, as I am a big fan of the Eater of Worlds. I wanted to see Bray get a big match at WrestleMania but I don’t think it should be with Brock. He’s just not over to a great enough level to be a worthy opponent and a credible threat to Brock. That’s mostly on WWE and not Bray. I have no doubt that Bray is now being planned for Brock in some program after WrestleMania but I just don’t see Bray vs Brock being a better choice than Dean vs Brock.

2016 Royal Rumble Match Review

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How’s it going everybody? Hope you all are having a great day.

In this post, I will be reviewing last week’s Royal Rumble match. I’m not going to review the entire pay-per-view, even though it was all actually really good. The Last Man Standing match was really good. Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto was good. The Tag Team title match had a really good finish, with Big E catching one of the Usos with the Big Ending. Charlotte and Becky Lynch was good but was mostly ruined by the finish. I also hated how Becky Lynch really got buried at the end of it, despite having built up this program for the last few months. After Sasha Banks came out to confront Charlotte, Becky was literally just thrown to one side.

However, the biggest aspect of the pay-per-view is the Royal Rumble match. If the Rumble didn’t perform, it doesn’t really matter how great those matches were. It didn’t matter that Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar and John Cena had one of the best matches of the year, at last year’s Royal Rumble event. Every other aspect of the pay-per-view disappointed, including the Rumble. The pressure was on in 2016 and WWE really had to deliver.

Without further ado, let’s get to it….

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Roman Reigns was obviously the number one entrant. He got thunderous boos as soon as he entered the match. This crowd did not want Roman to go the distance and it was a hard night for Roman, in terms of getting a good reaction from the crowd. Rusev was number two, meaning that the final two of last year’s Rumble would start off the 2016 Royal Rumble. Sadly, it wasn’t until Rusev’s entrance was about to finish when one of the commentators actually mentioned this fact to the viewer.

I’ll actually talk about the commentators slightly. I’m usually very down on Byron Saxton as a commentator on RAW. I never really believed he added a lot to the commentary and he was really not impressive on that show. However, Byron was the MVP of the Rumble in terms of announcing. He certainly was a lot better than Michael Cole and JBL was. Michael Cole was slipping up a number of times during the show, with Byron Saxton being the one to correct him or pick up some things that Cole forgot to mention. Things like the Roman/Rusev fact should be things that Cole should be going on about as soon as Rusev’s music hits. It’s a sense of continuity, which the WWE was really trying to keep up during the Rumble. The fact that Byron Saxton had to be the one to cover for Cole in that department is pretty sad, as Cole is the journalist that should know these facts. It should be Cole, who’s the play-by-play commentator.

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So Roman and Rusev brawled for about a minute. Rusev was eliminated right away by Roman, which would suggest that Rusev is still not in good favour with WWE at the moment! Then again, he was the one that laid out Roman Reigns later, which we’ll get onto. There were reports by Dave Meltzer and even Konnan that Lana had caused a scene in an airport, where she was yelling at Rusev in front of some people. Lana apparently got a lot of heat backstage for obvious reasons, but apparently Rusev got heat too for not defending himself. It seems odd to punish Rusev for something that Lana supposedly did, but both Rusev and Lana have been getting heat for a while since their engagement was reported by TMZ. Taking away the heat and taking into account how badly Rusev’s been booked in comparison to the rest of the League of Nations (minus Wade Barrett, who’s been on and off television), it still would make sense that Rusev would be the worst booked out of the stable in this match. Sucks to be Rusev at the moment in WWE.

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However, it doesn’t suck if you’re a fan of AJ Styles. Number three was AJ, who came to a thunderous pop. I actually don’t think there’s ever been a surprise entrant pop that was as great as this one. The place went nuts for AJ. Obviously, there is AJ’s connections with Orlando and TNA to take into account. However, AJ was just the most over man of the night. Even after AJ got eliminated, people were still going crazy and chanting his name. The entrance music was really cool and is now available on iTunes. I immediately got the song as soon as it was released! It just fit AJ’s look and style.

Bryan Alvarez actually mentioned on the Bryan and Vinny show that a lot of the WWE production crew were snowed in that Sunday, and couldn’t attend the Royal Rumble event. That would make a lot of sense, as the production crew were having a nightmare with this show! When AJ was coming out, they decided that filming AJ’s titantron was not important. It was more important to get a huge close-up of Roman Reigns. This would be fine, if it were not for the titantron saying the words “I am Phenomenal.”

A major part of AJ’s WWE debut was missed by the WWE production crew! It was not the only thing they missed tonight, which we’ll get to later. AJ seemed to fit right in during this match. His style is obviously a lot more quicker than everybody in that match (except Neville maybe) but he looked fine. They did a good job to build up AJ as he lasted a long time and eliminated a number of wrestlers. They could have done a great job in building him up, as obviously AJ could have lasted longer. However, I thought the time they gave him was just fine for AJ to get a feel of how the WWE worked. It’s still wrestling but a WWE environment is like no other. This was a good taster session of AJ.

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Tyler Breeze came out at number four but was eliminated by AJ and Roman after a minute. Tyler did actually look good in the minute that he was in the match. Apparently there’s heat on him backstage too, which would explain the early elimination. However, it would have probably been cool to see him last a little bit longer.

Curtis Axel was the number five entrant. I actually had an idea for Curtis Axel before I started watching this Royal Rumble. You know how Kofi Kingston’s Royal Rumble survival spot has become an annual Royal Rumble thing? Everyone goes into the Rumble thinking “What’s Kofi going to do this year?” and it becomes like the Undertaker’s streak. I thought about Curtis Axel not getting eliminated last year and getting really over because of it. It got me thinking. Why not do an annual spot where Curtis Axel is eliminated but never ACTUALLY eliminated from the Royal Rumble match?

Think about it. Erick Rowan attacked him last year. This year, the Social Outcasts could have dragged Curtis out from under the bottom rope and he would never be seen again in the match. Next year, it could have been Curtis being pulled under the bottom rope and attacked. One year, he would flee and then come back out again! WWE trying to come up with way for Curtis to lose but avoid actually being eliminated would actually be entertaining. Also, Curtis would never lose any of these matches! You’re actually elevating him as a character as he becomes the guy that never gets eliminated. I would have loved it if they did this…

Sadly, he was eliminated by AJ Styles. I love AJ, but this made me mad. Axelmania is well and truly dead…

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Moving on. Number six was Chris Jericho. I was doubtful that Jericho was going to be in there for long. To me, Jericho didn’t really look to be in that great of shape to be able to pull it off. I don’t want to call out Jericho for being fat or anything, but you’d expect someone like AJ or another rising star to also be putting in a very long shift in the Rumble. I was surprised that he was in there for as long as he was, which was about 50 minutes. It got me wondering because why would they push Jericho that strongly in the Rumble? Was this just something Jericho wanted or is there a big match in place for him at Wrestlemania? I’ll guess we’ll see.

Number seven was Kane. Looking back in hindsight, it’s amazing to think that Kane was in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship feud in October 2015. He was main-eventing RAWs and now he’s just another guy in the Rumble. He eliminated R-Truth later but he wasn’t really there as a dominant figure or anything. Goldust was number eight and ran wild. It’s amazing to see how well Goldust can go in the ring at the age of 46. He didn’t do a lot in the Rumble but he really did hold is own in a match filled with so much talent.

Number nine was Ryback, who was heavily booed. Ryback came in to deliver running knees in the corner to everyone. Everyone noted that CM Punk did the exact same thing as a signature move. However, Ryback looked so much wilder and cooler when he was doing it! It’s kind of like when Brock Lesnar would do high jumping attacks at people during the match. His size adds to the move as it actually makes Ryback look like a guy that will do crazy moves to win matches, including hurling himself at guys in the corner.

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Number ten was Kofi Kingston. His spot this year was when he was knocked to the outside and Big E caught him on his shoulders. Big E galloped around the ring and then Kofi decided to grab a drink of coke while he was on Big E’s shoulders! It was very creative and it was really a move that put over Big E in a weird way. It’s Kofi’s spot but Big E was the one doing the heavy lifting.

I mentioned the WWE production crew earlier missing big moments in the match. They missed another big one with Kofi’s elimination. It didn’t help that the elimination happened while the League of Nations attacked the WWE Champion. However for a few minutes, all the cameras did was focus on the League of Nations attacking Roman Reigns. They made brief shots to Luke Harper and Stardust coming into the match, but no footage of the match itself was actually shown during this period. Stardust and Titus O’Neil fighting during the match is something you’d believe would have some value to WWE storylines as they’ve been feuding. Instead, it was more important to see the Leauge of Nations slowly beat up Roman Reigns. It also didn’t help matters when all the commentators could talk about was Roman Reigns as well! I understand that he was the WWE Champion but the match itself is very important!

Titus O’Neil was number eleven and eliminated Goldust. I was kind of annoyed that the commentators couldn’t help but talk about all the charity work that Titus was doing. That’s all well and good but what does that have to do with Titus entering the Royal Rumble match? He’s entering a competitive environment and it’s not good for Titus when he is being portrayed as the charity man of WWE. It’s almost as if that’s becoming his new gimmick which doesn’t help Titus. Titus is a big strong guy but it’s portrayed as if charity is much more important to Titus than wrestling. That’s a huge problem for him.

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R-Truth came out at number twelve. R-Truth had a very funny spot where he got a ladder from underneath the ring, which just happened to be there. R-Truth set up the ladder, climbed it and went to grab a WWE Championship which wasn’t there. This gimmick where R-Truth is constantly getting confused is pretty darn awesome. If there’s anyone on the main roster that could pull this off, it would be R-Truth! Kane pulled R-Truth off the ladder, threw him out, took down the ladder and threw it to the outside. This monster eliminated R-Truth in the safest way possible and managed to miss R-Truth when throwing out the ladder. That made me laugh more than anything from this segment. The amount of care Kane took to eliminate R-Truth despite being a monster!

Stardust and Luke Harper both came out as mentioned earlier. Also, as mentioned earlier, the League of Nations came out to beat up Roman Reigns. Mr McMahon’s plan was for the League of Nations to pull Roman UNDER the bottom rope, beat him up and then put him through the announce table. This would hurt Roman so much that he wouldn’t be able to continue the match.

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Here’s the thing. Mr McMahon did not want Roman Reigns to win the WWE World title. If that was the case, why didn’t he just have the League of Nations throw Roman OVER the top rope? Mr McMahon is well aware that this match is no disqualification (as he created the match) so why didn’t he just take advantage of the rules and have them dump out Roman? McMahon also knows from experience that wrestlers that are beaten up in the Royal Rumble match can come back out later when they are fresher. Why’s that? Because in the 1999 Royal Rumble match (which Mr McMahon won), he tried the exact same plan with Stone Cold Steve Austin. What happened? Austin came back out and ALMOST thwarted his plans!

As this was going on, Jericho eliminated Kofi when he dropkicked him off Big E’s shoulders. That was another spot that the production crew missed. Number fifteen was the Big Show, who was booed quite a bit. Big Show eliminated Titus and Ryback. Last year, I complained that Big Show was eliminating all the younger talent. In this match, he did it again! To be fair, this was actually rectified when a younger man actually eliminated Big Show from the Rumble. However, it’s just funny how Ryback and Titus were both just quickly eliminated. Especially Ryback, who had been kicking Big Show’s arse throughout the summer of last year!

Number sixteen was Neville. He didn’t really do a lot but it was very hard to considering all the guys he was in there with at the time. Braun Strowman was number seventeen. WWE were really trying so hard to put Braun over during this Rumble with the Wyatt Family. They were mostly just trying to get over Braun, but the group actually eliminated a lot of men in this Rumble match. Braun eliminated Kane and Big Show which I was OK with as the younger man actually eliminated the old veterans. This was fine as this would put Braun over as the new top giant in the company. I was OK with this.

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Number eighteen was Kevin Owens, who was wobbling down to the ring after being in the Last Man Standing match earlier. He came in and eliminated AJ Styles. This caused huge uproar from the crowd! To be fair, it would have been much worse if someone like Braun Strowman eliminated AJ. At least Kevin Owens is someone the fans respect enough to accept as being the one to eliminated AJ.

There’s reports that AJ is actually expected to work a program with Kevin Owens, with this being the reason why Kevin eliminated AJ. I think this would be a good program but check out my own idea for what to do with AJ going into Wrestlemania at this link. I have a different idea for AJ which actually relates to the next entrant…

Dean Ambrose was number nineteen. He targeted Kevin right away. He was selling a lot less than Kevin Owens was. Number twenty was Sami Zayn, which got a big reaction. I guess Sami did make a lot of sense as the NXT star to go into the Royal Rumble. He’s someone that the main roster audience are familiar with (as he’s been on RAW before) and it actually tied into the angle they did on a house show, where Sami attacked Kevin. Sami eliminated Kevin, which was his payback for Kevin taking him out in May 2015. Erick Rowan was number 21. This was the moment where the Wyatt Family just took over. They dumped out Neville, Sami Zayn and Stardust. Neville actually took a really hard bump on the apron, when Luke Harper clotheslined him out of the match. It was similar to the Snitsky/Paul London spot from the 2005 Royal Rumble and there were reports that Vince was very upset with London for taking that bump. Whether Neville will get heat remains to be seen. He was in the United States Championship match against Kalisto on SmackDown!, so I guess nothing was fought of it.

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Mark Henry was number 22 and he eliminated right away by the Wyatt Family. Number 23 was Brock Lesnar, who DOMINATED the match. He suplexed everyone in the ring except Braun Strowman I think. He eliminated the 24th entrant Jack Swagger. For the record, the combined time in the match for Swagger and Henry was 45 seconds. These were also the men that won the kick-off show match to earn a spot in the Rumble. If you’re going to do a match like this, you should at least try to make it seem that the qualifying match was important. I believe these two were the only men in the match that had to win a qualifying match to get into the Rumble. At least give them some credit by having them last at least a few minutes each. Why did they get eliminated right way?

Brock was dominating as mentioned earlier. He eliminated Rowan from the Wyatt Family first. There was a spot with Brock and Braun where Brock clotheslined Braun, but Braun didn’t go down. The whole gimmick on television is for Braun to never get knocked down so I guess Braun just tried to keep that gimmick up. Apparently, nobody told Brock Lesnar! After Braun didn’t go down for the first clothesline, Brock clobbered Braun with a second one and Braun went crashing down to the mat. Brock battered this poor guy.

Maybe this was actually the plan and WWE’s idea was for Braun to take a big beating from Lesnar in order to help him sell moves in the future. Braun’s selling is not that great and he’ll eventually lose his invincibility when he loses clean for the first time. When that happens, Braun’s got to know how to sell. The idea is that if you actually get beat up in the ring, that’ll help you understand how a certain spot should be sold. For example, some wrestlers are legitimately kicked in the gut or punched during their early days of wrestling school to get a feel of how to sell it. This might have been why Brock gave Braun such a beating… or Brock just did what he wanted anyway and just beat up Braun!

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Number 25 was the Miz, who simply went over to the announce table and did commentary. Miz’s plan was to wait for the right moment so he could go in and eliminate someone. Number 26 was Alberto Del Rio, who didn’t really accomplish much. It was kind of odd that Kalisto was not involved in the Royal Rumble match yet the loser of the earlier US Championship match was! There was actually reports that Del Rio injured his back during the Royal Rumble event, which means that more wrestlers are on WWE’s injury list. The thing that bothers me is that WWE have all of these wrestlers injured and yet they still continue to double book wrestlers during television shows, further increasing the risk of injuries. Alberto Del Rio was never going to win the Royal Rumble so wouldn’t it have made sense to put someone in there that HADN’T competed earlier on in the night?

Brock eliminated Braun and Luke Harper when Bray Wyatt came out at number 27. On SLTD Wrestling, I predicted that Brock would be eliminated by the man that would face him at Wrestlemania. It was clear that his Wrestlemania was set up by his elimination but the thing is, Bray didn’t even eliminate Lesnar! What happened was that Bray set the Wyatt Family on Brock but Brock fought them off. Bray took advantage and hit Sister Abigail. He then told the Wyatt Family members to eliminate Lesnar for him! How on earth could anyone take Wyatt seriously when he wasn’t even the one that eliminated Brock? He was just stood there directing traffic. Unless the Wyatt Family ends up being a big part of the build for Bray vs Brock, I don’t see why Bray couldn’t have just thrown Lesnar out himself.

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I actually want to quickly talk about Braun Strowman again. Braun ended being eliminated by Brock during the Royal Rumble. As mentioned earlier though, Brock had BATTERED Braun during the match. The idea that Braun is supposed to go from being decimated by Brock to fighting THE UNDERTAKER at Wrestlemania (as reported by some wrestling websites) is just laughable. This’ll be an easy match for Undertaker to wrestle but how could Braun seem like a legitimate threat to Undertaker after this performance?

Dolph Ziggler came out at number 28. This was a horrible night in the Royal Rumble for Dolph Ziggler. There were three moments during this matches where Ziggler was buried to an incredible degree. The first one was when The Miz’s plan was finally put into motion. As Ziggler came in, Miz took advantage and successfully hit Ziggler with the Skull Crushing Finale. Usually, the heel’s sneaky attack should backfire on him as it would be what he’d get for breaking the rules. Not here! Miz got away with his crime and was successful in taking out Dolph Ziggler!

Number 29 was Sheamus. This was where Roman Reigns came back out to clear house. He eliminated Miz and Del Rio. He ran wild for a bit until number thirty came out. Number thirty was revealed to be Triple H.

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Against my better judgement, I convinced myself that WWE weren’t planning to have Triple H to come out as the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble match. I told myself that the WWE couldn’t possibly be going with this, as it would have been WAY too obvious. In the end, that’s what they did. The funny thing about it is the fact that the Orlando crowd didn’t seem to care.

They were ecstatic to see Triple H. A big part of that was to do with it meaning that Roman Reigns was probably not going to win. Another part though was the fact that NXT is based in Orlando. Of course, NXT is Triple H’s big project. Therefore, it made so much sense that Triple H would be cheered as heavily as he was. It was an ingenious way for WWE to put Triple H over! Even though the storyline didn’t make sense and that we’d see Triple H win the title at 46 years old, this crowd didn’t care.

Triple H and Roman Reigns did this huge stare down. Remember, Roman Reigns beat up Triple H at TLC. This was another good use of continuity by the writers. It did annoy me that Byron was the only that considered the possibility of a conspiracy by the Authority, which is a huge plot-point to overlook. It was not like the commentators were in disgust over the Authority’s abuse of power. Michael Cole and JBL were just hyping up this big return from Triple H. I understand that the commentators were excited for Triple H coming out but think about the storyline just a little.

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This was the second time during the Rumble match where Ziggler was buried. Triple H and Roman did this face-off and during the face-off, Ziggler tried to jump Triple H. Triple H just simply pedigreed Ziggler and continued to stare down Roman! This was the funniest moment of the entire match! I felt bad for Ziggler but I just laughed so hard at how Triple H laid out Ziggler with such ease and just continued to do this intense showdown with Roman.

The third and final moment where Ziggler was buried was when he was trying to eliminate Triple H. Ziggler hit the super kick, which has started to become a finisher for Ziggler. This was also the same super kick that won Triple H’s best friend Shawn Michaels so many big matches. Ziggler hit the super kick and Triple H wobbled on the apron. Ziggler tried again and Triple H just threw Ziggler out of the match. Triple H no-sold Ziggler’s finisher and just threw him over the top rope! The announcers were talking about all the great last man standing matches in the Royal Rumble earlier on in the show. Keep in mind that the first last man standing match was between Triple H and Shawn Michaels in 2004, and the finish to that match was Shawn Michaels super-kicking Hunter which lead to neither man answering the count of ten. However, Triple H just flat out no-sold this super kick from Ziggler!

There was a moment with Triple H and Bray Wyatt, where it seemed like an alliance would be formed. Wyatt instead just attacked Triple H. This would prove to be Wyatt’s undoing as HE was eventually eliminated by an alliance between Triple H and Sheamus. Dean Ambrose eliminated Chris Jericho in ANOTHER strange use of continuity. At Night Of Champions, there was a moment where Jericho and Dean had an argument following their six man tag team match. Jericho nudged Dean out of the way and this was Dean’s revenge.

 

The final four was Sheamus, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Triple H. Roman Reigns eliminated Sheamus but was then eliminated by Triple H to a HUGE reaction. This lead to a final two between Triple H and Dean Ambrose. It was a good call to have Dean Ambrose in the final two instead of Roman. If Roman was eliminated last by Triple H, the fans would have ended the night by emphatically cheering the heel authority figure. With this finish, they can still have the heel heat on Triple H as he was going up against Dean Ambrose. That night, everyone really wanted Dean to win. This got Dean over as a top babyface and Triple H was booed at the end. It got the right reaction, although there were cheers for Triple H at the end of the night too.

There was one report from Inquisitr that suggested that the WWE changed their mind on the finish in the middle of the match. The winner had already been decided but it’s suggested that Roman Reigns was attacked by the League of Nations so Vince, Roman and the rest of the powers-that-be would discuss a new finish to the match. I don’t believe that they would change the finish off the match DURING the match itself. It seems like a bit of a stretch. I thought Roman being taken out earlier on in the match was just to rest him for the finish. I don’t think it was because WWE changed their minds.

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Triple H eliminated Dean to win the Royal Rumble and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In the weeks leading up to this event, I was hugely against Triple H winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Coming out of the event, I still believe it was the wrong decision.

Let me just ask you guys a few questions:

  • Out of Brock Lesnar and Triple H, who is the better worker?
  • Out of Brock Lesnar and Triple H, who is the bigger star in mainstream media?
  • Out of Brock Lesnar and Triple H, who is the bigger draw in terms of pay-per-view buys?
  • Out of Brock Lesnar and Triple H, who has been the most over act in the last twelve months?

The answer to all of these answers is Brock Lesnar. So why was Triple H chosen to win the Royal Rumble over Brock Lesnar? Vince McMahon.

This is NOT an accusation of nepotism. However, Vince has it in his head that they needed to put Roman over by having him beat Triple H at Wrestlemania. That’s fine. I don’t mind the “passing of the torch” booking EXCEPT when the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is on the line.

When Hulk Hogan lost the WWF Championship to the Ultimate Warrior, Hogan was on top of the world. When he lost the belt to Warrior, Warrior came off looking as the new legitimate top star of the company because he had beaten the very best.

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When Roman Reigns inevitably wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H, he’ll have beaten a 46 year old Authority figure to do it. There might have been plans for Roman Reigns to beat John Cena at Wrestlemania but there’s a huge difference between John Cena and Triple H. John Cena has been on top of the WWE for a decade as an active wrestler. Triple H had not been champion since 2009 until right now. He is NOT in the prime of his life as a wrestler. So even when he’s NOT in the prime of his life, he’s still winning Rumbles in 2016. That’s the bottom line. How bad does that make everyone else on the roster look?

I laughed about Triple H defeating Dolph Ziggler so easily earlier. The main reason why I laughed is because Triple H should not be defeating Dolph Ziggler so easily. He eliminated Ziggler, Wyatt, Reigns and Ambrose who are among WWE’s elite stars in 2016. Again, these guys all looked so insignificant compared to Triple H.

HOWEVER, despite what I thought about the finish… the show was great. WWE had a plan and they stuck with it. I admire them for that, despite the leaks of what was going to happen. They stuck to their guns and the crowd loved it in the end. That alone should tell you just how good a Rumble this was. WWE gave it their all with this event as a whole. This match was just put together so well that it did feel like a very special Rumble. This was not the greatest Rumble of all time but this was a pretty great Rumble as a whole. WWE really did give the fans a great show and they should be proud of the show they put on.

WWE Survivor Series 2015 Predictions

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with a very brief prediction piece on the Survivor Series show where a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be crowned. It seems that the event will go on as planned, despite the ISIS terror threat. That’s good to hear as cowardly threats from ISIS really shouldn’t get in the way of a great WWE product.

Let’s get cracking. This won’t be like the huge prediction pieces from the past but I’ll just throw my predictions out there for all the matches. We’ll start with the traditional Survivor Series match between an unannounced team and another unannounced team and I believe it’s a safe bet that an unannounced team will win! Very upset that they didn’t come up with an advertised elimination match for this year’s show. It would be nice to know who will actually compete in it! However, this is a great opportunity for somebody to make a name for themselves. Do check out my top five Survivor Series elimination matches piece for SLTD Wrestling at this link as part of a lot of great content in time for Survivor Series.

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Charlotte vs Paige. I personally don’t think either of these women should be the Divas Champion right now, especially not Charlotte. I have a piece lined up for SLTD about Charlotte, where I talk about why Charlotte’s Divas Title Reign has not worked. I don’t think she should retain the title and I really feel that they have to take the belt off her at this point. I think I’m going to stand by my pick of Paige to win but I can totally see Charlotte also winning as well.

Dolph Ziggler vs Tyler Breeze. Tyler Breeze has to win in this match surely? I wouldn’t put it past them to beat Breeze in his first WWE PPV match but surely Breeze has to get the win as they’ve just brought him up to the main roster unless they’re purposely setting him up to fail. There’s no real evidence that they’re planning on doing that YET and to have Ziggler beat him here would be absurd. It’s not going to be a huge win for Breeze but it does get him on the right tracks.

Undertaker and Kane vs The Wyatts. I believe it’s Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman that’ll be representing the family. I highly doubt that WWE will have the Wyatts beat Taker and Kane. They have the Wyatts’ biggest guns out there but it’d be odd to hype Undertaker’s 25th anniversary this intensely to just beat him. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about Braun making the Undertaker pass out which I think would be one of the smarter ways to go but I’m not sure. I mentioned this for SLTD. The Wyatts should be the one that goes over if they want to promote new stars. However, this whole pay-per-view’s promotion beforehand was to promote one of their older stars. It seems very unlikely that Taker and Kane are losing.

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Finally the WWE Title Tournament. I think it’s safe to say that the final is going to be Roman Reigns vs Dean Ambrose. I don’t see Alberto Del Rio beating Roman Reigns. I don’t think they’ll take a chance on Kevin Owens, although I think he’s got more of a chance of winning than Del Rio. Reports are suggesting that Reigns and Ambrose were the two most lobbied names backstage. I would be surprised if one of them didn’t turn heel. All signs from RAW indicate that it’s going to be Ambrose but I’d prefer Reigns. It’s a toss-up really about who is going over. I see Roman as being more likely to win the WWE World title but I see Dean more likely to turn heel. It would be a pretty lame for them to turn him heel after losing to Roman. It’d make sense but it’d make more sense for him to win the title by selling out to the Authority. I’m going to stand with Roman Reigns but it’s very hard to guess which of the two will win the belt.

 

How Survivor Series Is Becoming A Major WWE Event Once More

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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…

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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.

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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?

Cyber FaMday 2015 Review

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The growth of the WWE gaming community in recent years has been pretty damn incredible. The content coming from WWE Gaming YouTubers have grown from strength to strength assisted with the release of recent WWE 2K games. FaM (a.k.a. Forever A Movement) has time and time again shown just what you can do with a wrestling video game and a bit of imagination.

However, there’s more to Forever A Movement then just that. There’s also the video-editing and storytelling aspects of their videos which is where FaM has previously excelled at. However, WWE 2K15 (as well as 2K16) suffered from the removal of the Create-A-Story mode and other limitations of creativity which hurt the production of these shows.

However, this would not stop FaM from marching on. Despite the obstacles, FaM were able to put out a great deal of new content, including their last mega event FaMniversary III. Cyber FaMday would be the clan’s final offering to the WWE games community on WWE 2K15 before the release of 2K16. However, did the clan deliver with this show?

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Cyber FaMday kicked off with Rom Buster taking on the anonymous general manager’s right hand man Darin. If Rom won, he’d get to fight the general manager for his role. The build-up to the match on FaM’s main show Worldwide was not something which I cared much for. The change in ownership of FaM in the storyline came so suddenly that it’s very hard for me to be invested in the storyline involving the new head honcho. Despite that though, I thought this match was excellent. Probably the best match on the show when thinking back.

It was put together really well in the editing and it was surprisingly intense for my liking. There was a lot of drama with near-fall after near-fall, which really made me question why it was the opener! It could also be questioned as to how Darin, who was wrestling his first match with the clan, was shown to be on par with a main-eventer like Rom. However it appears Darin will play a big role in the FaM storyline anyway so it was probably done to reflect the seriousness of the situation, at least from Rom’s perspective. Another part of the storyline in the build-up was Darin mocking Rom for not being able to win a big match, so the match had to be put together to reflect the struggle of Rom so it worked well in my opinion.

In the end, Rom got the win. The commentators were making a big deal about how big a win this was for Rom and what a big step forward this was. I’d just like to point this out… he beat a non-wrestler that was making his in-ring debut. To me, it was not as big of a deal as the announcers made it out to be. It was a big win because Rom gets to fight for the role of general manager and for the reasons mentioned earlier, but it was not like Rom beat a fellow main-eventer and it was not like Rom was a newcomer himself. He’s been with FaM for years now and has beaten some of the biggest names in the clan. It really shouldn’t have been considered such a huge moment for Rom when all he did was beat a man that’s not an active wrestler. I thought this was a bit of an over-the-top reaction.

It was later revealed that Rom and the anonymous general manager will face each other in a Survivor Series elimination match at their next big event Survival with the winning captain getting control of FaM. The implications of the match makes things very interesting for FaM. I’m guessing it’ll be a returning FaM wrestler coming back as the general manager but I guess we’ll see if it’s a big name or not.

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A lot of the show featured the many video packages put together in the build up to the show, including the videos from the YouTubers in the special Tug of War match between TubbyEmu and ITSMYYARD. While I appreciate the videos that were put together, whether it was all done by FaM or they were done by the YouTubers itself, I thought showing those videos again on the actual show seemed a bit unnecessary considering that it was promoting the show that I was already watching.

When you watch WWE PPVs, they don’t put out the same promo videos that they showed in the weeks leading up to the event. Imagine if you were subscribed to every YouTuber that put up a video before the event to promote it. These WWE gaming fans would be watching all of those videos again. I’m subscribed to a lot of YouTubers like ITSMYYARD, TonyPizzaGuy and Gore and Perkins and I saw those videos promoting the event. I don’t need to see them again. On a show like Cyber FaMday which was streamed live from their YouTube channel, you’d expect new and fresh content rather than the videos you’d most likely had seen in the weeks building up to the event. To me these videos just seemed like a waste of time when they showed up on the show itself, especially when you consider that the match promos were also uploaded before the show.

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Next up was the 16 man gauntlet match for a future FaM World Championship match. I found it odd that two big matches with huge implications were right next to each other at the start of the show, but I guess they didn’t want the match too close to the world title match so I can let it slide. There was a few FaM stars and YouTubers mixed together which saw a lot of comedic moments and a lot of intense exchanges too. I thought the balance between the two was fine and there were a lot of opportunities for the FaM stars as well as the YouTubers to have their moments to shine. I particularly liked the appearances of Gore and Perkins in the match, with both of them being utilised well. The match came down to BlackHeron and D.N.A., who had a really good exchange. D.N.A. won the match and became the number one contender. I don’t think the FaM world title match will be the main event of FaM Survival with the big elimination match but this is a clear indication that D.N.A. winning such a match means that big things are on the horizon for him. It’s a nice change of pace in the World title scene though and it’ll be interesting to see where they go with this.

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Next up was the triple threat elimination match between Anarchymus, CMPuls3 and TonyPizzaGuy for the FaM Global Championship. Immediately, CMPuls3 eliminated Tony by “turning” on him. He eliminated him with the running knee and pinned Tony. I wouldn’t have minded this on its own and the rest of the match played out like the normal but however, we got an ending which I really didn’t like. The match boiled down to Anarchymus and CMPuls3 and it was a pretty good exchange until the finish. Tony came back out to apparently get revenge CMPuls3 for eliminating him but then did a swerve and he went after Anarchymus instead. They revealed that this was all part of their plan for CMPuls3 to win the belt and he pinned Anarchymus for the win. After this finish, all I kept thinking was “Why didn’t you guys just work together from the start of the match in the first place?” I understand that this is wrestling and scripted but if this were real, why would CMPuls3 and Tony bother to swerve the crowd when they could have just worked together anyway and eliminated Anarchymus first? I thought it was just a swerve for the sake of swerves which isn’t really a type of swerve which I’m fond off. It didn’t make any sense to me.

I’m also kind of annoyed that Anarchymus dropped the belt considering everything that happened on Worldwide leading up to this. To those of you that hadn’t watched Worldwide, Anarchymus had been the Global Champion coming off FaMniversary. Since then, FaM started a storyline where the Global title would change hands every time it was defended. Eventually, Anarchymus would win back the title on the Worldwide before Cyber FaMday which would have been fine as it would all have came full circle to the man that won it in the first place. However, it’s not like it lead to anything big. Anarchymus just dropped the belt to CMPuls3 in his first title defence and the whole gimmick just started all over again. I’m not a big fan of this as it just ruined the potential to elevate Anarchymus as champion if he just dropped it again. The idea of the belt just being FaM’s version of the hardcore title just doesn’t seem right to me.

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Devil defended the CyberFaM Championship against the “true owner” of Pandora’s Box, which was revealed to be Bash. I started watching FaM only a couple of years ago so I really didn’t know who Bash was so I was kind of scratching my head over this one. I guess if you were a long time follower of the clan, you probably would have appreciated the reveal more than I did. However, him and Devil had a dandy little match. It was an extreme rules 2 out of 3 falls match as voted by the FaM fans. Bash got the first fall and the second fall was a submission match. Devil hit the low blow and then called out Maslingster, who he’d been threatening to fire with the Pink Slip he’d won at FaMniversary. However, Maslingster no-showed Devil and the match continued. Shortly after, Devil continued to work on the legs and just made Bash submit. I kept an open-mind as I was thinking “OK, they’ll probably bring Maslingster out at the end and this was just a tease.” However, Maslingster never ended up coming out and Bash ended up winning the third fall and the title. So what was the point in having the Maslingster no-show if it didn’t even lead up to the finish? The storyline with Devil and Maslingster was probably the biggest thing going into the match and yet it didn’t even have a major impact on the finish. Maslingster just no-showed and the match went on. Not going to lie, the finish was really good. Devil went into the chair that he set up and it lead to Bash hitting the Bash Bottom for the win. I liked this. Very well put together match despite the Maslingster spot.

Next up was the YouTube Tug Of War match with Team Tubby vs Team Yard. I didn’t really care much about this match. I thought it was alright but the thing is, the constant use of other YouTubers takes away the time from the original FaM characters which I’m personally more invested in. It’s not like I don’t care about Tubby, Yard or the rest of the YouTubers, but I like them for their own content and not because of FaM. When they make the odd appearance that’s all cool. When they constantly appear though and are even winning championships, it takes away the time that could spent developing the original FaM characters. I will give the match credit in the fact that I like how Yard got the pin on Tubby this time around and there was a number of funny moments which I liked. At least there’s a good reason to do a third match between the two if that’s the route they want to go down.

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The main event was Andy Badwool defending the World title against 2TM. If 2TM lost, he would be gone from FaM forever. I know I just went on a big tirade about using the promos that was uploaded in the weeks before, but the promo here really did help me get amped up for the match. There was a bit of a deep feeling to this match where you started to think that there was a real chance of 2TM really being done with FaM. I thought the match was built up well and I thought it started off well with it mostly sticking to being a traditional wrestling match. It just seemed to fit the stipulation and the mood of the match, with both men taking it seriously and settling it in the ring. However, I thought that peaceful/deep mood that was set was really undone when they started brawling in the crowd. It was a falls count anywhere match which I understand and I get the reason for going into the crowd. However, I just got taken out of this match after just watching an great in-ring back and forth. It then lead to big move after big move with both of them kicking out. Then came the shenanigans from Betrayal.

The Skilled Foundation interfered, attacking Andy. Now, if you hadn’t watched the pre-show, you wouldn’t have known that the Skilled Foundation had returned in that pre-show and was suddenly a part of Betrayal. To me, it would have been best served to leave it as a surprise rather than do the angle beforehand. Roberto came out and attacked Andy as well but Andy kept kicking out of all of 2TM’s covers. Then BlackHeron came out to hit one last powerbomb and help 2TM win the title. BH and 2TM shook hands and it was revealed that 2TM was now apart of Betrayal too.

I didn’t mind the finish itself and I thought it was a good main event. It was not as good as Rom vs Darin but it was fine. I would have appreciated the ending more… if the finish was not spoiled to me just before I watched it! What happened was that I logged onto Facebook and the first thing I saw was a photo uploaded by FaM’s Facebook of BH and 2TM shaking hands! That teaches me a valuable lesson. Stay off social media before watching whatever it is you’re watching!

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Overall, I thought the show was good. There’s been better FaM mega events in the past but this was still good. I preferred it over FaMniversary as I thought that was was too long. This was a lot more shorter and sharper than that PPV. I thought the placement of a lot of the matches were a bit off but I can sort of understand. Rom vs Darin being the opener was the big one but it didn’t bother me too much. The matches were put together really well with the video-editing and well worked by those actually playing the game. There was a lot of chemistry between those that were playing it. I feel kind of bad for nit-picking it as much as I did because it was actually a really good show. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here with 2TM being apart of Betrayal and being the World Champion.

WWE Hell In A Cell 2015 Review – Lesnar vs Undertaker III Delivers On Really Good Show

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Hell in a Cell brought a lot to Los Angeles, California. It featured hard-hitting matches, shocking moments and a hell of a main event with Brock Lesnar and Undertaker squaring off inside the demonic structure. However, did they bring all they could to the state of California? Could the WWE make up for a poor month of RAW ratings with a quality event on the WWE Network? Could this be the turning point the WWE need to get back on the right tracks? Well, let’s run down the card with this review.

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The night started off with the US Title Open Challenge. Cena cut his usual promo and opened the challenge up to the roster. Zeb Colter of all people came out on some kind of scooter.He called John a divider and said that it was time for people to come together. He introduced the man that he claimed would become the United States Heavyweight champion. That man was Alberto Del Rio! No words can describe how much joy I had at that moment. I truly never believed that Del Rio would be the one to answer to call for a few reasons. I was talking with a few writers from SLTD Wrestling about who would take up the challenge. Someone actually threw Del Rio’s name into the mix but I shot it down. A reason for that is I had no idea if Del Rio was still under contract with Lucha Underground or not. I heard that Del Rio could have gotten out of that contract any time he wanted but I figured it would taken a lot of time to get the paperwork through in time for Hell in a Cell. Alberto Del Rio is also still the AAA Mega Champion too which is a huge missed opportunity for WWE! After the PPV, I looked onto NoDQ.com and this how Del Rio was able to sign with WWE so easily:

“Regarding his contract with the company, Del Rio’s deal was a lot easier to put together than most. Del Rio’s deal calls for less dates, and he will also be allowed to work through his remainder indie dates that he has previously agreed on. Money played a major factor in Del Rio’s return to the company. Lucha Underground was his main source of income, but both parties had a falling out because Del Rio couldn’t agree with creative and returning to WWE was his only option to making any kind of real money again.”

I did not believe it was going to be Daniel Bryan. I did not believe it was going to Tyler Breeze. I didn’t really know who I thought was going to challenge Cena but I didn’t think it would be Alberto Del Rio. Putting Del Rio with Colter is an interesting mix. I’m not sure if it’s going to work but then again, I was critical when Colter was put with Cesaro and Cesaro ended up benefiting from it in the end. So you never know.

John Cena (c) vs Alberto Del Rio for the WWE United States Championship

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When I was doing the predictions for this on SLTD Wrestling, I really didn’t know what to think. I’d changed my mind over and over regarding whether the mystery challenger was going to win. On the predictions, I predicted that Cena would retain. When I saw Del Rio, my predictions were in a constant state of flux! I thought right away that to bring Del Rio back just to beat him on his first match back would be preposterous unless this was a one-off appearance. However, John Cena is John Cena. Having anyone beat Cena is very hard for the writers to do. They have to protect Cena. So I was thinking of all of these ways that would protect both Cena and Del Rio regardless of who win. I thought either Del Rio would win due to Zeb or Cena would just go over. Again, I was wrong. Low and behold, Del Rio pinned Cena after seven minutes… clean.

It was mind-blowing! The whole world went nuts when Kevin Owens pinned John Cena clean at Elimination Chamber. Not only did Del Rio beat Cena clean here, he did it seven minutes. He won off a backstabber and a super kick. The super kick is done by every other wrestler on the roster and is Del Rio’s signature move. It’s not even his proper finisher and Del Rio won clean. CLEAN!

Now I’ve seen a lot of fans on Twitter tweet about the logic of Cena beating the WWE World Champion Rollins clean but losing here clean to Del Rio. Let me just point something out. When John Cena beat Seth Rollins clean at Night of Champions, Seth was preparing for two opponents that night. It was not as clean a finish as you would have thought as Seth was preparing for two opponents. On the other hand, Del Rio had not been in WWE for over a year. Del Rio’s schedule in the last year has been a lot lighter than Cena’s. Cena’s been on the road with WWE nearly all year long. Del Rio’s worked for the likes of AAA, Lucha Underground and ROH but has not been wrestling as much as Cena in 2015. Cena’s body, in terms of the storyline, is hurt after putting up his US title every week. Del Rio is a lot fresher and simply took advantage of a wounded champion. It makes perfect sense as Cena was more prepared than Rollins at Night of Champions but not as prepared as Del Rio for Hell in a Cell. This is alright with me.

The only thing that took away from this moment with Del Rio coming back was Jerry Lawler down-playing Del Rio’s return like it was nothing. He criticised Cole and JBL for making it seem like he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. As someone on Twitter pointed out, he was aghast at the thought that Cole knew so much about Del Rio. I don’t know if Jerry Lawler is aware of this or not but MICHAEL COLE IS A JOURNALIST! It’s his business to know all of this stuff. You’re mad that he knew so much about a wrestler that you bury him for it? You can be a good guy all you want and you can bury the heels when you need to but not when he’s just made his return. Cole and JBL were making Del Rio out to be a star and Lawler thought it was no big deal. This was the start to a horrible night on the commentary table for Jerry Lawler. However, Del Rio’s return was still lovely despite Jerry Lawler on commentary. The pressure is now on WWE to make sure they don’t drop the ball with him.

There was a backstage segments that followed with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Seth Rollins and Corporate Kane all taking about the WWE World Heavyweight title match. Seth vowed to retain the title but Kane just wished Seth good luck as he would need it. Scary.

Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match

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Initially, I thought it was kind of strange that there was no cool-off match between Del Rio winning the US title and the first Hell in a Cell match. Having thought about it, I understand now that it was probably WWE not wanting the Cell matches to be too close together so I kind of get it. I’m going to actually give Michael Cole credit for bringing up the statistic of only 35 men or so ever competing in a Hell in a Cell match. That actually helped make the match itself a bit more sacred and special as if it’s not competed in a lot. It may be a small thing, but I think that added to the Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt match with two competitors that were in this match for the first time.

It was a decent Hell in a Cell match. Early on, Roman did his drive-by kick to Bray which caused Bray to tumble a few steps and then slam himself into a cell wall. Other than that, I thought Bray was great during this match. Bray was just innovative in general when it came to using the weapons inside the cell. I remember he was like this when he was feuding with Dean Ambrose. When he and Dean had that TLC match last year, they had a WHOLE lot of fun with the weapons. Bray grabbed the chair and was about to hit Roman with it. Bray stopped himself, sat down on the chair, picked up the Kendo stick that was used earlier on in the match and then smacked Roman over and over in the chair while sitting down. I thought that was awesome. Bray was great during this.

The crowd loved Roman hitting Bray with double kendo sticks. The match was very slow paced sometimes to a point where it seemed that they didn’t know what was going on. They were stalling for time quite a bit. What I can say is that both men looked really good coming off this match. Bray and Roman both kicked out of a lot of big moves. Roman did a big powerbomb on Bray through the table but Bray immediately kicked out. There was an awesome sequence with Roman reversing Sister Abigail with a roll up and then hitting the Superman punch. Three tables broke during this. Roman hit a spear from the apron onto the table on the outside which looked really good but Bray kicked out. There was a fan that told Roman to “take his soul.” That made me laugh. Bray had planned to throw Roman into a kendo stick that was wedged into the turnbuckle but Roman threw Wyatt into it and hit the spear for the win.

This was a darn good Hell in a Cell match which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was every bit as fun as I hoped it would be. It was a suitable finish to the feud with Roman getting Wyatt in the cell by himself. It was a great story told with the right man going over. I believe this is a great way to get Roman back into the main event picture if that’s what’s going to happen. At the end of the day, this feud was actually a worthwhile. There’s been times which I’ve been annoyed at the feud but it gave us a quality finish. Judging by the end of the PPV, it seems that both men are going to get a lot out of it. Very satisfied with this one.

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

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Xaiver Woods was not a ringside for this one. The announcers claimed it was because of Xaiver being put through the table on Monday Night RAW. I actually think Xaiver Woods was away because he was being married or something. I think that was the reason if anyone was wondering. Big E and Kofi dedicated this match to him. Kofi said he was going to play the bongo drums on D-Von’s head. Big E said he would slap Bubba’s belly like it were a drum. They told everyone to show off their “unicorn horns” which is really just putting your finger on your head. What this lead to was JBL telling Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler to “get their horns out!” I was critical of Jerry Lawler earlier but JBL was great during this show. There was a lot of stuff he threw in which I don’t think were planned. When he just goes off on his own, JBL is so awesome. It’s such a shame that Vince usually limits what JBL can say. Here, he was great somehow. Great promo as usual even without Xaiver Woods!

The match itself was much worse then the stuff they’ve done at Night of Champions and Madison Square Garden. The Dudleyz have been together for twenty years and messed up a tag team spot so bad in this match. Let me cut to the chase. Bubba had Kofi up for a side slam. D-Von came off the rope and it appeared that he was going for a leg drop onto Kofi. However, D-Von instead while running decided to switch legs at the last minute. So he got to his spot, jumped up to do the leg drop on one leg, then went for the other, but Bubba didn’t go down at the same time and didn’t drop Kofi either. It was such a bad mess up and it came from the Dudleys. Unbelievable.

Kofi tried the old Eddie tribute spot where he got the trombone, threw it to Bubba and went down. The ref didn’t buy it and the match continued. What was funny actually was that Bubba was begging the referee to not DQ them and told them to listen to the fans. However, not only were the fans mostly behind the New Day during the match, when Eddie usually did this spot, he would be cheered! Big E would then hit Bubba with the instrument behind the ref’s back and Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise for the win. I thought this match was very underwhelming as I expected more considering the amount of months this feud has went on. However, all I can say is the right team went over. With that being said and the botched spot earlier in mind, it was still a pretty average tag team match. Not the best pay-off to months of build though.

Charlotte (c) vs Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship

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It was announced on the pre-show that no divas were allowed at ringside for this match, which completely derailed my prediction of Paige screwing over Charlotte! However, I was still convinced that Nikki was somehow going to win the title. I predicted this on SLTD Wrestling. However, it appeared that I was wrong all along!

There’s something about how Charlotte throws her punches that was really off-putting to me. She doesn’t do like a jab, an uppercut or a hook or anything like that. What she does is make a fist and pokes Nikki with her fist. I think Charlotte needs to work on her striking game in the future because it came off so bad in this match.

There were “We Want Sasha” chants. There was a German suplex spot which I thought was so badly screwed up. Nikki was going for a German suplex from the top rope but she had hardly any grip. So what happens is that looked like she was going to try and suplex Charlotte by wrapping her arms around Charlotte’s waist rather than her stomach. It was the most ludicrous looking German suplex I’ve ever seen. The only redeeming quality of it was that Charlotte was able to land on her feet after Nikki tried this “German suplex” which actually made it look sort of cool. Nikki hit the Alabama slam on Charlotte onto the ring apron which looked like it sucked for Charlotte. This went along well with the story of the match, with Nikki targeting the back. Nikki went for the Rack Attack but Charlotte countered it into a botchy looking figure-eight leg lock for the win.

I didn’t like this match. It was certainly not the worst women’s match I’ve seen on PPV. However, it just didn’t come off looking good. I like the idea of wrestlers working over body-parts during the match and it worked well during their match at Night of Champions. However, it did not look good when they did it in this match. This match just seemed like a desperate attempt from WWE to turn this Divas Revolution thing around with Charlotte and Nikki pulling out all the stops and put on a very good match. The only problem with that is you’re asking Charlotte and NIKKI BELLA to put on this “great” match. Nikki is not good enough to put on this type of match and Charlotte is not THAT experienced in the ring. It just came off a cheap rip-off of the stuff Bayley and Sasha were doing on NXT. Nikki and Charlotte were going for all of these great spots in theory but a lot of them were just messed up. The only one which kind of looked cool and was pulled off great was Nikki’s Alabama slam. It was not worth giving the ten minutes they gave them on this show. This match was longer than the Tag Team title and US title matches and it just never justified the amount of time they were given. Sorry girls. You need to do more to impress me. I also don’t think Charlotte was ready for this title run in the first place and this match has not really done a lot to help the cause. Let’s see what they do on RAW anyway.

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

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This match wasn’t really that great. It was certainly not that great considering all of the weeks of hype this feud has been given. The issue is that Seth wrestled this match with Kane like it was just another guy, with the exception of the spot where Seth tried to knock Kane down but he wouldn’t budge. For weeks, the storyline was that Seth was trash-talking Kane when he was in a suit but was scared of him when he had his ring-gear on. However, he treated this match like it was nothing and pinned Kane clean in the middle. The storyline they had built up for so long didn’t even play into the match itself and the finish. All I can think at this point is that it’s going to continue on into RAW where Kane is fired or somehow spared from being fired. We shall see.

Bryan Alvarez thinks that Kane got injured when he took the powerbomb from Seth onto the table. It actually makes sense as Kane didn’t really do a lot after the spot happened and the doctor came to check on him. I hope that’s not the case but it’s really not good news for Seth if he is hurting all of these lads in high-profile matches, whether it was a mistake or not. He broke John Cena’s nose, we have no idea what the future is of Sting after what happened at Night of Champions and he might have injured Kane too. Maybe he has to tone down a lot of his hard-hitting moves because it’s getting people hurt.

Kevin Owens (c) vs Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship

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This was a pretty bad short match. Usually when a match is a short, the wrestlers try to get in as much good spots as they can. However, it just played out like a normal match which had an abrupt finish after five minutes. Ryback got hardly any reaction when he came out which was worrying. I’m shocked that people are still chanting “Goldberg” at him after all of these years. It’s amazing.

Ryback did a powerbomb on his own to Kevin Owens and the announcers just completely no-sold it. He did his opponent’s finisher and the announcers didn’t even think to mention this. Some stuff happened and Kevin raked the eyes and hit the pop-up Powerbomb on Ryback for the win. It wasn’t a very good powerbomb but at least it played into what happened on RAW with the announcers suggesting that Kevin could do the powerbomb to Ryback as well. Hopefully, Kevin gets a much different opponent than Ryback. When Kevin has to work with a fellow big man, it just doesn’t seem like it works. It certainly didn’t work with poor Ryback.

Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match

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This was it. The biggest rubber match in recent memory. Brock got busted open very early into the match by going into the ring post. What’s funny is that the announcers mentioned that Brock stopped himself from hitting the post by using his arm but he was bloody anyway. Undertaker was also bloodied in the match too. According to Bryan Alvarez, “Vince freaked the fuck out” after there was blood in the match. That’s what Bryan said on the Bryan and Vinny show but here’s a bit more from the report I read earlier:

“Bryan Alvarez mentioned on the latest instalment of Wrestling Observer Radio that he received texts from someone that was backstage and the event and witnessed Vince McMahon’s reaction to the blood. Alvarez said that Vince and Kevin Dunn were freaking out over the incident because the company has a no blood policy. Dunn was seen screaming for a doctor to get out there. However sending the doctor out there didn’t do much, as Lesnar shoved the doctor down and after that, the doctor did not return.”

I will never say that wrestlers should blade for a sake of making the match better. I was especially not at ease by the “we want blood” chants that were going on during the match. However, blood just seemed to work for this match in a weird way. They showed a shot of Undertaker busted open and he looked very scary! You could tell it was a scary and serious situation which did add to the match.

Undertaker did the chair guillotine which he hardly ever does but it always looks cool whenever he does it. Brock hit a F5 but Undertaker kicked out. As mentioned earlier, a doctor was sent down to the cell. Brock threw the doctor out the ring and just hit another F5 on the Undertaker but he kicked out again. Lesnar hit Taker with the steel steps and Michael Cole was just like “this is it” as if this was going to be the finish. I know he did that to hype up the kick out but there’s no way that it was believable that Cole thought the match was over after that! Brock went to break Taker’s leg with the steel steps. If you’ll recall, Brock did the exact same thing to Kane a few months ago to take him out. In fact, Michael Cole referenced that on commentary. A nice little bit of story-telling there. Michael Cole was actually pretty good himself tonight on commentary.

Taker locked on Hells Gate and Brock was clenching his fist as he was considering tapping. All I kept thinking was “JUST PUNCH HIM!” He eventually took my advice and he beat the crap out of Taker as if this was the end of a UFC fight and if he was just waiting for the ref to pull him away. I liked this. It played to his time in UFC as a legitimate fighter. Brock then ripped up the ring mat but Undertaker used that to his advantage. He chokeslammed and tombstoned Lesnar onto the hard floor but Lesnar kicked out. Brock won the match with a low blow and a F5 to pick up the win. The right man won this one. I don’t think it was as good as their Summerslam match but it was a good Hell in a Cell match. It finished as it should have and it was a fitting end to the feud.

At the end of the night, Undertaker was stood alone in the ring as the crowd applauded him. The Wyatt Family came out. They came out and simply beat up the Undertaker. JBL was well into this angle and even called the Wyatts “sick bastards.” They then carried him out to end the show. I’m guessing this will lead into Survivor Series, as it appears that Undertaker is promoted for that event. I think it’ll be a four on four with Undertaker, Kane, Sting if he’s healthy and somebody else against the Wyatts. I’d like to see that as Undertaker wouldn’t have to do a lot physically but we’ll see where it goes.

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Hell in a Cell was a very good show. It was a great showing by WWE with a lot of good matches to talk about. The Hell in a Cell matches were the best matches of the night which is great as it’s the marquee match of the night. There was a lot of shocking moments and I really hope the WWE can capitalize on them as they hope to turn their RAW ratings around.

Will Braun Strowman Be A Hit Or Miss In WWE

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Braun Strowman became the newest member of the Wyatt Family on the RAW after Summerslam. He was brought up from the performance centre and debuted by attacking Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. That’s a hell of a way to debut on the main roster, by going after top talents like Reigns and Ambrose. Not only that, but he is aligned with one of the best talkers on the entire roster. He’s been given the tools to really go places in the WWE. He’s also got the freakish size that gives him the look of a monster and he acts as a monster. He is the Black Sheep of the Wyatts. However, will the Black Sheep be a forced to be reckoned with or just another big disappointment in WWE?

It may seem a bit unfair to judge how well Braun will do in WWE based on being on the roster for a few weeks. With that in mind though, the few weeks he’s been here has seen him take out some top dudes in the WWE. He’s been beating up Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose every week, he beat Dean Ambrose via DQ in his first match and he’s attacked Randy Orton on RAW alongside the Wyatt Family. He’s started off as your typical monster does in WWE – squashing everyone in his path. However, a lot of monsters have done this and failed. Usually that comes down to one particular reason, which I’ll get to later. However, it’s still important to not lose sight of the past. If you lose sight of the past, it can come back to bite you.

Braun is an incredibly big dude and is quite the powerhouse. His background before arriving in WWE’s Performance Centre included Braun being a champion “strongman” in a number of international competitions. That’s quite the CV to bring into wrestling. However, his wrestling abilities are still unclear at this junction. When trying to get a new wrestler over, a promoter would focus on showing the fans what he could do in the ring. When Apollo Crews debuted at NXT TakeOver, the thing the NXT wanted to get across was his incredibly athleticism despite his size. That’s what has brought Apollo into WWE to begin with. What has brought Braun into the WWE was his size and strength. That will be the focal point of WWE’s promotion of this fella. However, I think THAT is an issue in itself because Braun reminds me of a past monster that came into WWE and was promoted PURELY because of his size. That man… was The Great Khali.

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The Great Khali was promoted as this unbeatable monster upon arriving into WWE. He overpowered and took out the Undertaker in shades of Undertaker’s battles with Giant Gonzalez. He dominated everyone. He beat World Champion Rey Mysterio in a squash match on SmackDown! He squashed THE UNDERTAKER at Judgement Day! WWE would emphasize the size of this man, putting him in big stare-downs with the likes of Undertaker and the Big Show. They did this… because they sure as hell couldn’t promote his actually wrestling ability!

His size was the crooks of his success. Braun Strowman’s size will be the crooks of his success. The reason I say this is because Braun’s only had one match since he arrived on the main roster. According to the Internet Wrestling Database, Braun has had EIGHT matches in his overall wrestling career! I think with that in mind, Braun shouldn’t have been brought up THIS early into his career. He’s not had the experience needed to really hang with the main event stars. If Randy Orton comes back for Braun, how is Braun going to fare against Orton in a big match on PPV?

Of course, his lack of experience isn’t NECESSARILY a bad thing. Big Show won the WCW Championship in his FIRST EVER MATCH against Hulk Hogan, and look where he is now. He’s been a top star in WWE AND WCW and has improved over time. Albert Einstein said “The only source of knowledge is experience,” and it could just be a matter of trial and tribulation for Braun to truly get rolling. However, I think it’s down to the WWE itself and how they treat Braun.

Whenever an emotional weakness of a monster is exposed in WWE, that usually spells the beginning of the end. Rusev is currently losing his sense of fear with his romance angle involving Lana and Dolph Ziggler (you can read my thoughts on that storyline at this link). The longer Braun stays with Bray Wyatt, the better. However, the WWE have to be REALLY careful if they want Braun to be the next big thing in WWE.