Category Archives: WWE
In case you missed my proclamation last week, I am now combining Superstars and Main Event for the top 4s. Superstars has two matches a week and without Scott Stanford on it I can’t even fake a Top 4. I’ve wanted to write about Main Event for awhile and so they both suffer for being together.
I could not put the Kofi Kingston vs. David Otunga match onto the list. Where did Otunga’s abs go? No, that’s not the only reason why, though I must admit to spending more time watching his abs and wondering what happened than I did watching the match itself.
4. Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Epico & Primo – Superstars
Rosa dances. Epico & Primo get treated worse than they deserve. And Giant Bernard goes to Lord Tensai, to Tensai, and now they are saying he’ll be called, “Sweet T.” This is an awkward pairing to say the least because it’s like they wanted another dysfunctional relationship ala Daniel Bryan and Kane without any of the chemistry or pizzazz of a good storyline. Adding insult to injury, they throw the match on Superstars. It isn’t a bad match, but it’s an odd match up with a few good spots that make up for the mess of the rest of it.
3. Mark Henry vs. Justin Gabriel – Main Event
Sure, we all knew Gabriel was going to lose. I mean, it’s against Mark Henry. What I didn’t know is they could actually put on a decent match. Gabriel is magic in the ring and he proves that even against a large man who doesn’t match his style he can show off his skills. He ultimately does lose, as we predicted, but he promises to give a good show and Henry, though losing momentum since his return and treated as another side character, still has enough of that old Henry that it makes him a star.
2. Cody Rhodes and Kaitlyn Flirting – Main Event
There is something about an awkward relationship that’s beautiful to see played out on screen. It’s cuter because Rhodes goes from this dashing character that could get any woman to a bumbling man who doesn’t know the right things to say whenever he’s around Kaitlyn. And Kaitlyn, with her quirky sense of humor, always comes off as if she finds everyone a bit intimidating or awkward to be around, which makes it more darling. Plus, you know, this seems to be leading to a continuous storyline. I like story that doesn’t disappear the next week.
1. Cody Rhodes vs. Sheamus – Main Event
At just over 10 minutes this match accomplishes everything it needs to, which is prove neither men has lost anything in the ring despite one being constantly left behind and the other falling into the moves of doom category of facedom. These two give a good pace and don’t overly use restholds to call for a slow spot. Probably going to be on my top 4 matches of the week. It helps that they give it a story and on Main Event it’s the one time the commentators try to concentrate on the story being told in the ring.
Kind of made a sacrifice for storylines in this episode with great matches, so pulling a top 4 was not easy.
4. Bo Dallas Knocked Out
The original main event for NXT was to be Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian vs. Bo Dallas. That doesn’t even sound like a suitable match up, but I think it was all a ploy to get a face into the match. Because we can’t just have two heels for no reason, blasphemy it is! Well, Bo Dallas gets knocked out and can’t make it in. Hopefully this storyline actually goes somewhere and isn’t just used as a huge tease just to get Graves and O’Brian to have the match on their own.
3. Aksana vs. Emma
Surprisingly, I enjoyed this match. Aksana isn’t much of a wrestler, though she manages to look good in tight clothing. Still, this wasn’t a match of all rest holds and Emma’s, “Oops, I’m clumsy,” moments have evolved into being a part of her character. She dances worse than before, has more bounce in her step, and looks confused whenever something she applies doesn’t work. Aksana also does the most brilliant spinebuster I’ve ever seen from the woman. In fact, I did not loathe her wrestling in this. Kudos.
2. Justin Gabriel vs. Leo Kruger
I actually went back and forth several times on what would be 1 and what would be 2 this week. Both matches were incredible and I enjoyed them immensely. However, this match did have a few more rest holds to it and that usually lowers the score for me. It started off slow, but still interesting, and had Kidd cheering on Gabriel along the outside of the ring. It’s inspiring to see Kidd with this much enthusiasm because here is a man who completely believes in the craft and won’t leave the arena because of an injury. Gabriel and Kruger pick up their pace and the match a bit more towards the middle and then at the end there are moves that are impressive, and unpredictable. Kruger does best with the right opponent and Gabriel proved to be that for him.
1. Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian
This match won out because for 9:45 I can’t remember thinking, “Wow, bored,” or, “This is slow.” It just kept moving and refused to give in. I have to admit, as much as I adore both men, I didn’t think this match had much potential. Look at the two of them! O’Brian is a beast and Graves is just… so small looking! I take back everything I thought because while O’Brian proved he is a beast, Graves showed he could stand up to him. Neither man gets to end this match (and I’m kind of glad for once) as Shield comes in to interfere. And who doesn’t love a segment that involves Shield and Ambrose on the mic?
The reason I started writing these blogs a little over a year ago, besides to praise Scott Stanford and get his name out there further, was to let people see through my eyes the greatness I see in the little shows. Superstars and NXT mostly, as they were widely neglected, or laughed at. NXT has taken a turn where people are now pretending to care, even if they still aren’t watching, but Superstars… even I laugh at Superstars now. There is less than 15 minutes of wrestling on this episode, but the show itself lasts 46 minutes. They brought Main Event to being taped before Smackdown and don’t pretend to bother with Superstars anymore.
They seem torn, as well, of whether they want to actually put on a good show on Superstars by giving you people you might care about, or by giving you complete throwaways. “We were pushing 3MB, but we have Shield, and we can’t do two stables at once, so here’s a bit of them on Superstars just to appease the die hards.” Because that’s all that watch this show anymore, die hards. Hell, you have a lot of fans who just don’t bother with Smackdown anymore. They tell you it’s because it’s taped, but the amount of people who watch the live shows would tell you that isn’t the fact. People just aren’t that interested. So what’s going wrong?
But that’s not the point here. The point is I’m supposed to do a top 4. But they give me two matches to work with. Two! I hate the commentary (sorry Striker) so I can’t even try to put that somewhere on this list. I’m about to have to break down and put “Hey, it’s that ref” as #3 and “Damn that sign was awesome,” as #4.
But then you get Main Event, where they may only have two matches, but they have promos, and they have better commentary. I could pull a Top 4 out of that.
What’s the point of all of this, you ask? Next week I’m going to combine the two together and start a Top 4 that is about Main Event and Superstars. Because, really, how do they hold up against one another?
Thanks for listening to my rant and watch Sin Cara vs. Drew McIntyre on Superstars. Because even though you’ve seen it quite a few times before, these two don’t fail in the ring. At least against one another.
This was actually a great week for wrestling in the WWE. Which I can’t say very often. It was hard to narrow it down to a Top 4. It was stranger than I threw Jack Swagger on so many of them…
4. Jack Swagger vs. Daniel Bryan – Raw
When this match was first introduced I rolled my eyes and thought, “Great. Bryan loses and this will be short and to the point.” At around 8 minutes it definitely wasn’t short, even if it was to the point. Sure, Bryan lost, because he’s becoming the jobber to the stars lately, but Bryan puts on a great match, and as I’ve mentioned in other blogs, Swagger’s new speed and almost grace in the ring lends to an even stronger presence.
3. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger – Smackdown
Well hi again Swagger. This match was even more impressive than the one with Bryan, and maybe it was because I think Orton suits Swagger’s abilities better. Orton and Swagger seem to have something in common in style at the moment, though it likely won’t last. It made this match exactly what it should be and gave Swagger a win over an opponent that was a bigger risk of who would win and who would lose.
2. Elimination Chamber Match – EC
In case you somehow missed it, this match consisted of Jack Swagger, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, Kane, and Daniel Bryan. This match was less about technique and more about the story. In the predictions I took for this match only 20 people out of 139 had Jack Swagger to win this. And 4 of those people predicted Jack Swagger in hopes of getting the Jabroni Jobber prize. 16 people had faith in Swagger. That was a pretty low number. However not one person didn’t put on a great show or tell a great story, including Mark Henry’s rage when he was eliminated by Orton at the halfway point in eliminations. This left Swagger, Orton, and Jericho and everyone was on the edge of their seats.
1. Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Ryback vs. The Shield – Raw
The only reason I left The Shielf vs. John Cena, Sheamus, & Ryback off of the list is because of this match. I want to make the point that this match was far superior to the one at Elimination Chamber, while the one at Elimination Chamber was still an excellent match. Yes, I do believe it was absolutely because they cut Cena out of this one and replaced him with Chris Jericho, who is a superior wrestler. And they let Shield win, again, which is needed for their continued momentum. Not one man in this match looked bad, not even Jericho when he ate the pin. Ambrose also proves he’s the superior bumper in the company, and while his facial expressions might be a tad over the top, he makes them work.
Well, finally, Smackdown is off of the Elimination Chamber track and onto the Wrestlemania track. Honestly, this is a much better angle for the show because it stopped trying to bring the stars of Raw over. While Smackdown has still grown repetitive on who shows up from week to week instead of the show that starred some of the people that weren’t featured enough, this week it seemed to try to do something with plot, even if the plot was twisted within the matches, which is how it should be.
4. Cody Rhodes/Kaitlyn Awkward Flirtation
Wow, this couldn’t have been more awkward, which was part of the charm. And someone backstage remembered that Kaitlyn has a thing for mustaches, which worked perfectly into this little segment. It wasn’t much, it was short, but it helped build what could become a great storyline, at least I have faith it could. That is, if Vince doesn’t forget who Kaitlyn is next week or that Cody Rhodes is no longer Damien Sandow’s partner.
3. Miz vs. Cody Rhodes
This may have been the second shortest match of the show (the divas, of course, being that shortest) but it was a well told story in the ring. Miz still has his shoulder taped and suffered through his trials in winning. Rhodes seems to have some of the fervor back that he was missing in matches recently. Together they brought together a four minute match and made it a story worth finding out more about.
2. Alberto Del Rio vs. Wade Barrett
I am not going to discuss what happened with Swagger earlier in the week and what I think it means for his future. I want to discuss what they are doing with Swagger right now, in this episode, and why the Hell they couldn’t have done this sooner? He looks on in this match, adding a hint of malice outside of the ring without him even having to step to ringside. He stands on the ramp and has this look of boredom and calculation the entire time that Del Rio and Barrett fight that you nearly forget that there is an epic match happening in the ring. But forget you do not because luckily for us the camera pans to all of the right angles. As a main event it did everything it should have and there isn’t a dull moment between the two wrestlers.
1. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger
At just over 13 minutes I expected to be bored. Instead, Swagger, despite being a heel, has picked up the pace in his wrestling. Orton, to me and possibly only me, is a better wrestler as a face because he has picked up his own speed. He’s less methodical, though he of course has his own moves of doom. However Orton is also willing to lose, or at least McMahon is willing to let him lose. Which is a great part about Orton’s matches. You don’t always go in expecting, “Orton wins, LOL”. And he doesn’t win. There is a great back and forth between the two where each dominate the other for awhile, but ultimately Swagger wins to continue his rise to the top and Orton has another reason to be bitter and anger, possibly, and hopefully, leading to a great story for him instead of his just seeming to be a general menace with no direction.
First I would like to start off the blog by saying, even though neither man made the list, thank God for Scott Stanford and Tom Phillips. Scott returns as the voice over work for NXT and introduces the match cards for later in the evening. Any chance I get to hear that honey smooth New York accent speak to me is a chance in heaven. Next is Tom Phillips taking over for commentary instead of Tony Dawson. It’s no surprise I dislike Tony Dawson’s commentary, but as everyone always assumes it’s because he replaced Scott Stanford on Superstars I’d like to take this moment to prove them wrong, because I’m a huge fan of Phillips. Sure, when Phillips first came onto the commentary table a few months ago I had my doubts, and my rage it wasn’t Scott, but every time I heard him he grew on me a little more. This week there wasn’t a flaw where I just stopped and went, “Oh God, stop.” Instead, he and Regal had great back and forth between the two of them that enhanced the experience and told a story of what was happening in ring. In the few short times I’ve heard Phillips he’s improved immensely and I want more. I still want Dawson off of commentary until he learns some basic moves if he’s going to attempt to call them.
Commentary rant/admissions over. On to the rest of the show!
What got left off that I enjoyed in this show were a couple of interviews from Renee Young (who looks more comfortable with these each week). What got left off that I didn’t enjoy: Audrey Marie’s return. It wasn’t that I was upset to see her return, in fact her character seems to have developed and she has a new attitude that works for her. It’s that what I called weeks ago came true, Audrey Marie was the secret admirer of Sasha Banks. Where’s that NXT Redemption writer when you need someone to throw in a GOOD twist to a story? The match wasn’t bad, but was just a showcase of Audrey Marie, and unfortunately Sasha Banks is the better wrestler, so watching Banks get taken down in 2 minutes is a bit lackluster.
4. Tyson Kidd Interview
Tyson Kidd, interviewed by my earlier rantee Tony Dawson, comes out and explains what happened to him that called for surgery. We pretty much are unsure of when he will return, but he’s keeping positive. He also looks incredible and I look forward to seeing him pull out of this and come back into the ring, because he will. While he’s interviewed Leo Kruger stalks out and threatens him, but Kidd is rescued by Justin Gabriel. This is great storytelling. It keeps Kidd involved, as he should be, and doesn’t forget where he came from when he was injured. It’s recognizing Gabriel and Kidd as a team, and could still tell a story of Gabriel versus Leo Kruger. Wonderful set up and inspiring to see Tyson Kidd keep his chin up and that usual passion for his ability, and for the company, come through in his every word.
3. Bray Wyatt
The match was meh at only 1:36 and wasn’t meant to showcase talent, it was meant to say, “Hey, Wyatt’s back in action!” The match was against Yoshi Tatsu, by the way. After Wyatt won he called his family into the ring to berate them for the loss. It’s interesting to see Wyatt as a proud Papa, and an insane ruler over his two members of his family. While the slap fest that came from Harper and Rowan going at each other was almost laughable the story itself was good. Sometimes you need a story in the ring and Wyatt tells it well in just the set of his shoulders.
2. El Local vs. Xavier Woods
Wait, who is this guy? I don’t know. But Xavier Woods comes out with a smile and dances himself to the ring. Since the last time Woods had a match he has definitely improved and seems to have the charisma I was promised at the beginning of the match. (Sorry, dancing didn’t constitute charisma for me, but he kept up the smiling character through the match, which is sort of impressive). The match wasn’t excellent, but it was good, and at nearly five minutes it was given a chance to show off wrestling skills of Woods and whoever-that-is.
1. Conor O’Brian vs. Big E Langston
Okay, so in this match, for the most part, it held my interest. I can deal with two large men beating one another up. And for two large men it was pretty light on the rest holds. However, at the end it kind of ached to watch the two of them throwing punches. The height wasn’t working and was making the punches look like whiffs off of their cheeks. Granted, when you are exhausted after a match not every strike is going to hit home very strongly, but WWE isn’t about realism in the ring, if that was the case there are some submission holds that would never really be broken. O’Brian and Langston needed to make those punches hold a little more impact, but otherwise I was highly entertained by the match, and not just because of O’Brian. I enjoy both men in the ring and can’t help but want to see what happens next with them. Apparently whoever is down at NXT likes both men enough to give neither a loss this round. But Graves does come in after the double count out and take the title and run.
Scott Stanford once again does the voice overs for this episode, which is magical because without him on commentary, anywhere, right now I need these moments. Regal is still great on commentary. I’m pretending Dawson doesn’t exist. Mason Ryan makes his return in the ring to a match with Sakamoto. So, Sakamoto is going to be the next to go, is he? That’s all I get out of his recent, “Let’s squash him against other guys,” push. It’s a shame, this could have been decent, and it wasn’t in fact awful, but it still wasn’t worthy of a spot on the list.
4. Sasha Banks Secret Admirer
Renee Young interviews Sasha Banks and Banks pulls out a love note and reads it aloud to the audience. Turns out the young woman has a secret admirer. That’s all you find out, and it’s nothing ground breaking, but it is plot. Plot is a good thing, and something NXT lacks a lot of the time lately. Sasha Banks is incredible in the ring but does need to work on her delivery a bit more. There’s still something there, but for now she does need to work on it.
Paige was in a match with “Rest Hold” Aksana. There was nothing special about the match, at all, because Aksana refuses to learn to wrestle. She’s fine as a character, she’s hot, but damn she can’t do anything in the ring. Luckily Paige makes the save with a submission that made me cringe. After the match Summer Rae runs out and attacks Paige, furthering storyline a bit more and ending what seemed to be Aksana’s brief storyline with Paige.
2. Bo Dallas & Michael McGillicutty vs. Epico & Primo
Hi, Epico, what did you do to your hair? Can you keep it that way? That’d be great. McGillicutty, Epico, and Primo all put on a great match. Dallas is just kind of there and when he does do tandem moves with McGillicutty it just looks sad. There is no force behind it. Still, a great tag match that ends exactly as you expect it to so Dallas and McGillicutty can move on in the tag tournament.
1. Alex Riley & Derrick Bateman vs. Kassius Ohno & Leo Kruger
Hey, Mason Ryan is back, let’s put him in a 2 minute squash match. Hey, Derrick Bateman is back, let’s put him in a nearly 11 minute tag team match! Yeah, guess which was the better decision? Well, it’s obvious, because it’s #1 on my list. Bateman hasn’t missed a step and Riley brings it better than he has before. Riley seems to be in limbo on what he’s doing character wise as he was serious in his last promo but seemed to want to be a little goofy in the ring. Still, good to see both in the ring again. Kruger is always a pleasure and his ring psychology against Bateman pulls through, especially with the help of Ohno. A few slow spots, but really for 11 minutes, this was a great show of athleticism, ring psychology, and a need to dominate
Yeah, I know, everyone wants me to put Ziggler vs. Cena on here. Again. But no. Special shoutout to Kaitlyn and Eve for making Eve’s last match with the WWE a spectacular showing. But no matter how much I adore these women, I couldn’t put it on the top 4 this week.
4. Dolph Ziggler & Big Show vs. Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio – Smackdown
Well Big Show didn’t contribute much, but everyone else made this an entertaining match. Del Rio’s face turn has been wonderful and his moveset seems to have clicked because of it. Plus, though I made fun of it at the time, I had a good laugh at the ref rolling his arms like he was a baseball umpire and throwing AJ and Big E Langston out arena. There wasn’t a dull moment to this match, even if it wasn’t all wrestling related, but we are here to be entertained.
3. Rhodes Scholars & Wade Barrett vs. HellNo & Randy Orton – Smackdown
Smackdown had better matches this week, granted that was likely because Raw’s 20th anniversary show was lackluster for most of them and, you know, the rest of the shows this week struggled with matches. Still, this match did everything it needed to, which was showcase serious star power and talent. Four minutes was enough time to give everyone a chance to be noticed, and there was that epic group hug at the end.
2. Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro – Main Event
Oh hi again, Orton. Fancy meeting you here. Cesaro and Orton put on a match that ends the only way it can, with Shield interrupting. Why? Because Orton’s willing to lose clean and already did that on Raw, and Cesaro needs to look dominant, and does manage to. Great match with great build from start to finish.
1. Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton – Raw
Oh, Orton again. “Orton sucks.” Well clearly, that’s why in 3 of the 4 matches I chose this week he made it for wrestling ability. Orton’s a little more careful of his shoulders of late, which is probably smart, but he’s still got it when it comes to ring presence. And while we’ve seen Barrett versus Orton before, many times, they don’t fail to produce and excellent 7 minutes of entertainment while in the ring. This also did more to cement Barrett’s abilities since he’d been a little lackluster of late, and since he won cleanly over Orton (stop being so damned shock, Orton loses clean often enough you shouldn’t drop your jaws every time) it made him look even better. Barrett needs it, Orton needs the great matches, win-win for me.
4. Matt Striker
Because, why the Hell not?
3. Zack Ryder vs. JTG
This match lasted a whopping 3:13 and did little for either guy. But they still went out there and tried. The commentary sucked. God, Dawson, I hate you, and did little to really elevate the men. Pointing out JTG competes “sometimes” didn’t really help him in any way or the interest for the audience.
2. Kofi Kingston vs. Michael McGillicutty
Hey! Something decent about this show! I’m not even a big fan of Kingston, but it was still a good match. Kingston knew he wasn’t hitting Trouble in Paradise at one point, and it was obvious in the way he pulled the kick, but otherwise good flow. There were dead spots but it wasn’t overly filled with rest holds. The aggression on McGillicutty’s face helped fill the spots where Kingston was laying there in wait.
1. Scott Stanford
Screw you, I don’t care he wasn’t on the show. This is Scott’s place and Tony Dawson doesn’t deserve it. Yes I’m biased, but I’m biased because Stanford has always been my favorite commentator since he first showed up on Superstars. There is a reason I’m behind him 100% and it’s not because he follows me on Twitter. The man deserves his spot back instead of making me listen to Tony Dawson on not only Superstars, but NXT. What’s the reasoning? They never gave Scott a chance, or even tried to pretend they were going to do anything with him, and now they take him off? What, they think he’s gotten stale? Screw you, WWE, Scott remains my #1.
Special mention to Tensai for having to try to put on a good match with Khali, and poor Natalya…
The match itself wasn’t that great, since it was against Aksana who only knows one move, it’s called “resthold”. Aksana matches are lackluster, and this was 3:29. Kaitlyn, though, does her best to try to sell the match. But she was even better as the diva that’s trying to come off as more of a Beth Phoenix in the backstage segment against the lovely ladies that were congratulating her on her title. Of course this likely means she’ll turn heel because an unladylike woman can’t be a face. But yay Kaitlyn!
3. Epico/Primo/Rosa/Miz Segment
Miz’s watching the match backstage actually lead to something, which was words exchanged with Rosa, Epico, and Primo. And hey, Miz even points out what everyone was thinking as he points out when was the last time they spoke on television? Epico and Primo have great delivery and Rosa was fine until she tried to speak Spanish. With all the time she’s been working with Epico and Primo you’d think some of it would roll off on her. She doesn’t even bother trying to sound like she has an accent.
2. Kane/Bryan/Orton Segment
First, this really was the best segment Orton’s been in in awhile. Granted, Orton hasn’t really been in many segments of late, either. Orton asks Kane and Bryan if they are going to act like second graders or give it their all in the ring. Kane retorts with, “Both!” Bryan teases about a group hug if they win…
1. Rhodes Scholars & Wade Barrett vs. HellNo & Randy Orton
I was one of the last people to be a fan of Bryan, and Sandow I’m still on the fence about. Sandow can wrestle, but I still am not a fan of how he carries his character. But I even had to admit that this ring was filled with six men who are talented and have star power. Yes, all six. And I was rooting for the faces. I felt dirty. After the match, after the faces won (Orton getting the pin this time) the group hug happened. And Orton was magic. So were Kane and Bryan because, well, they are Kane and Bryan.