Inside Pulse Wrestling » sin cara http://wrestling.insidepulse.com Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Sun, 30 Mar 2014 16:00:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling no Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling » sin cara http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://wrestling.insidepulse.com Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for March 28th 2014: Finally Can’t Think Of A Title http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/29/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-march-28th-2014-finally-cant-think-of-a-title/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/29/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-march-28th-2014-finally-cant-think-of-a-title/#comments Sat, 29 Mar 2014 13:59:38 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=165797 We’re fast approaching WrestleMania, and our journey’s been picking up steam. I’m your reviewer, David Spain, and I am just jolly excited for the PPV in just over a week’s time. It coincides with my holiday and my period of ‘doing sod-all coursework’, so that’s a bonus. Let’s get to grappling.

Xavier Woods is still on the opening graphic. This worries me.

We’re in Boston tonight, and our main event is Bray Wyatt vs. Big Show. Honestly, colour me intrigued; looking forward to seeing how Bray’s going to do it.

Where’s Your Scooby Now?

Sin Cara and Damien Sandow are already in the ring, apparently having a rematch from RAW. I believe I saw a person in a Scooby-Doo costume on Monday’s show and skipped through that whole segment.

Damien takes control, coming off aggressive as he backs Sin Cara into a corner, then hits him with a clothesline. He says we’re welcome, as if we’re all suddenly Canadians now, then hits a suplex. Strikes to the chest of Sin Cara, then a sleeper hold is locked in. Another clothesline to Cara in the corner, but he ducks a second attempt, then rolls Sandow up for the win.

Practically nothing to this, although thankfully one thing not included was a man in a dog costume. Really quick match, but it’s hardly a storyline. 1.5 Stars.

Renee Young, my pick for Lois Lane in the Batman vs. Superman movie, is backstage with the Big Show. She wants to get his thoughts about the match he’s heading into. Show gets all serious, acting as if three guys beating up one guy is something we’ve never seen before in this business. He says some of what Bray says makes sense, and that’s how they suck you in. Hah, like children. He says they’ve got a giant problem and walks away.

We relive last week’s assault on the Shield by a bunch of tag teams with nothing better to do (and the Real Americans). Well, at least we’re not recapping RAW just yet.

There’s Just No Calling This One

Speaking of the Shield, here they come. Rollins and Ambrose will be teaming together again, and Seth’s wearing his fucking wetsuit again. If he had a mask, that would be a gimp gimmick right there. Oh God, they’re facing 3MB. This is hilarious and sadistic at the same time.

Rollins starts off against Jinder Mahal, a man who holds the honour of almost feuding with Ryback and Khali. Tie-up, and the guys chain-wrestle for a while until Jinder elbows Rollins in the head, then runs right into a dropkick. Rollins hits the Three Amigos, tagging in Ambrose before the third, and Ambrose stays on Mahal, dropping feet and elbows before tagging in Rollins again. In case anyone was doubting what the Shield’s alignment was, Michael defends Ambrose’s lack of title defences. Glad we cleared that up.

Jinder manages to get a tag to McIntyre, who suplexes Rollins before actually thrusting his crotch at Reigns. Roman just looks at Drew, imagining unspeakable things. Rollins nearly gets his tag, but gets caught, backflips out of a back suplex, rolls under a clothesline and gets the tag. Ambrose comes in hot, knocking McIntyre and Mahal down. He hits some punches and a dropkick to McIntyre and sends Jinder out of the ring for Rollins to dive out on (Rollins likes that). McIntyre pushes Ambrose into the ropes, but Dean rebounds and comes straight back with a clothesline, hits the Dirty Deed and the Shield win.

Fun match to watch. Obviously, you don’t want that one looking too even, but it wasn’t a total squash and that makes it more entertaining. As always, could have done with seeing more, but I enjoyed what I did see. 2.5 Stars.

Kane’s music hits and he comes out with the New Age Outlaws, who look like they’re on their way to their own defence hearing. Kane says they’re going to do to the Shield what the Shield did to 3MB at WrestleMania. He makes a new match for right then; the Shield vs. Rybaxel. That bastard: either trying to get Ryback to injure them or Axel to wipe some of his non-notability on them.

We’re back from the break and Ryback knocks Ambrose down with an elbow as Kane and the Off-The-Rack Outlaws look on (that was a cheap shot and I’m sorry). Axel comes in off the tag and Ambrose drop toe-holds him, vining Axel’s legs and wrenching back on the head, then works over the legs. I take it back: Road Dogg looks like a public school principal. Ambrose is tossed over the top rope and knocks Ryback to the floor before Axel does the same to him. Back in the ring, Ryback comes in off the tag and bodyslams Ambrose. Tag to Axel and both men fall on Ambrose from the second rope. Ryback in now, and Ambrose reverses a delayed-vertical suplex into a DDT. Tag to Rollins, hitting a somersault neckbreaker from the second rope to Axel, following with a splash to the corner, then a boot. Rollins is flipped over the top rope, lands on the apron, dodges a headbutt; Axel ducks a kick and Rollins hits an enziguiri; he dodges Ryback on the floor and boots him in the face before Ambrose jumps on him; that was fantastic.

Axel charges at Rollins and gets backdropped over the top, then Rollins sentons out onto Ryback and Axel. The Outlaws and Kane look worried as they realise that if their match on Sunday sucks it is going to be all their fault. Back in the ring, Seth sunset flips right into a kick. Curtis goes for the Perfectplex; Rollins boots his way out of it and hits the Curbstomp for three.

Another very fun match to watch. The Shield’s run here seems very consistent with their dominance as heels, making this pre-match roll appear very natural. 2.5 Stars.

As Kane and the Outlaws look on, Rollins dives through the ropes and hits Ryback, just to be a dick. Ambrose then throws Ryback into the ring to taste a Superman Punch. Holy shit, a ‘Shield’ chant. Triple Powerbomb to Ryback, sending the message that if they can do this to four men in their prime, they can probably do it to three guys who are pretty old and stuff.

We get that advert for WrestleMania where we see a guy called Joe live his life with wrestling eras as milestones. What the hell is Joe thinking, wearing a button-down shirt over a Batista t-shirt for his date/paid-arrangement with that beautiful girl/probably a hooker?

Oh, speaking of Batista. And dressing terribly. Aw, that guy doesn’t disappoint. Well, it’s mainly the hat and glasses I take offence to; if you’re going to wear that hat, have the decency to dance on a rooftop with Julie Andrews and an unconvincing accent (‘Oi’m gaowing t’ RessleMoynya! Deel wiv it, Meery Boppins!’). Batista says that we begged him to come back when he left; lying bastard. He takes us to task for booing him and cheering for Bryan. Wow, the Bryan-love is strong in Boston tonight. He says that it’s a personal slap in the face, and speaking of slappers…slaps, it’s Stephanie McMahon and her sunglasses-seeking hand. If her kids saw that, they will never argue about bedtimes with her again. Batista says he’s leaving WrestleMania with the title, and that Stephanie hits harder than any of them.

Comparing Steph to muscular, hairy, orange men brings out her husband; it’s one of the easier demonic summons you can enact. Wow, I just saw a ‘CM Quitter’ sign in the crowd. How things change. He says why don’t they leave his wife out of this, and there’s probably a sex joke in there somewhere, but who am I to say? Batista makes the ‘you married the boss’s daughter’ crack, and Triple H responds by using the ‘Reality Era’ defence. Batista makes the point that Triple H has never beaten him, and that Hunter’s not going to stop him from winning the title. Triple H claims that Batista got where he was because of Triple H; once he got to the top he quit and left for Hollywood; now that he’s back we’ve never seen the Animal. Triple H showed the world what he could still do; when’s Batista going to do the same? Wow, this is actually…annoyingly compelling. Batista will be going one-on-one with Sheamus.

Dancing With The Stars, WWE Style

Goldust is in action here against Fandango in this weird ‘nobody knows what’s going on here’ programme. Man, how far can you fall in a year? Just ask the Miz. Tie-up and Goldust hits a shoulder block, then an armdrag. Fandango throws Goldust into the corner with a hard Irish whip, then stays on him with a headlock before slamming him back onto the mat. JBL calls winning the Andre The Giant Battle Royal a career-defining moment, that definition being ‘It Really Didn’t Work Out’. Goldust fights back with a back-suplex, ducks a clothesline to hit one of his own. Rhodes Uppercut, inverted atomic drop and then a boot to the side of the head. Goldust goes up on Fandango in the corner, reigning down punches. Fandango runs into a powerslam for a near-fall and scoots out of the ring.

On the outside, Summer Rae gets between Goldust and Fandango, a position hardly likely to be actualised, distracting Goldust for long enough for Fandango to hit a boot to the head as Goldust gets into the ring and gets the pin.

This wasn’t bad, although I’ve no idea where they’ll be wanting to go with it. Guess I’m a little bitter that we’re not getting the Rhodes Brothers match at the big show that would make a lot of sense. But hey. 2 Stars.

Triple H Likes To Make His Protégés Fight Each Other

Batista makes his way out to the ring as Triple H watches on the monitor, and then here’s Sheamus. The two men circle each other, and Batista leans out of the ring like the dominant force he is. Sheamus backs Batista into the corner and he leans out again. Batista applies a headlock, gets shot off the ropes, knocked down with a shoulder block and…ducks out of the ring.

Yep.

Sheamus follows Batista, who ducks inside the ring and jumps Sheamus when he follows. Shoulder thrusts in the corner, then Sheamus comes back with some right hands before his Irish whip is reversed and he’s sent straight into the turnbuckle. Dave follows up with a clothesline, but Sheamus fights back; Batista sends him off the ropes and kicks him in the stomach before hitting a knee to the face. An Irish whip sends Sheamus into the corner, and Batista’s right behind him with a clothesline. Sheamus manages to get a boot up, but runs into a spinebuster. He signals for the Batista Bomb, but takes his time doing so and Sheamus levels him with a clothesline. Axe-handles to the face, then a shoulder thrust of his own followed up by a knee lift. Batista is in position for the clubbing forearms, but fights out, but Sheamus manages to hit them anyway before bringing him right over the ropes into a powerslam. He signals for the Brogue Kick…and Batista ducks out of the ring. What a match Sunday’s going to be… Sheamus follows Batista out and gets a steel chair in the stomach for his troubles, earning Batista a DQ.

Well, if we were supposed to see the Animal here, I didn’t. Love how we’ve still got Batista ducking out of the ring every few minutes, and I honestly can’t imagine a world in which this Sunday’s main event wasn’t a triple threat. Well, I can, but it’s awful. 2 Stars.

Batista continues his assault after the bell rings, with Triple H looking on. Back in the ring, Batista hits the Batista Bomb as Michael and JBL remind us that a triple-threat match will involve no-DQ. Oh God, another thing which can go wrong. Batista grabs the microphone, says he’s going to the champ. Because we’re worth it.

I mean…deal with it.

We get a Cena-Wyatt promo, followed up by a promo from Bray Wyatt, waxing both lyrical and fucking crazy on John Cena and the mask he wears. Really, he’s just glad to take a break from trying to build up Roman Reigns’ confidence re. Renee Young (Bray Wyatt gets his fair share of feminine attention). He says tonight, his sword will slay a giant, then he sings ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’. When I was at Catholic school, one girl sang a variant where you changed the word ‘hands’ to ‘pants’. We never saw her again.

Backstage, AJ and Tamina are heading to the ring. It would be hilarious if they bumped into the Wyatts backstage, wrapping up their filming.

In our RAW recap, we watch Los Matadores fight Rybaxel until the Shield show up and wreck shit.

‘Boo, You Whore’

AJ and Tamina are in the ring and the Bella Twins arrive for a tag-team match. We’re joined by the General Manager of SmackDown, and I honestly did not know who that was until they said ‘Vickie’. AJ and Brie start off, with Brie hitting a kick to the midsection followed up by a throw; almost a release-Northern Lights suplex. She tags in Nikki, who hits a springboard knee. AJ manages to get a tag to Tamina, who catches Nikki with a Samoan Drop. Michael then defends AJ, which means all the ethical systems in the world have just burned and died. And AJ has a front-facelock on Nikki, wrapping her legs around Nikki’s waist.

Nikki manages to whirl her onto her shoulder, and AJ switches up into a sleeper. Nikki does manage to escape, but Tamina tags herself in and slams Nikki down with a clothesline. Tamina misses and splash and Brie gets the tag, taking the fight to Tamina, with a knee to the face and a missile dropkick; Tamina rolls out of the ring in the face of this as Michael thinks about JBL and Vickie’s hypothetical boning. Seriously. Brie decks AJ and Tamina decks her back, but AJ gets into Tamina’s face; Tamina shoves her, tags her, throws her in the ring and Brie gets the facebuster and the win.

Not bad at all. I continue to appreciate the fact that the Bellas can deliver a far better match than many of their contemporaries. I don’t know whether AJ or Vickie is supposed to be the bad guy here, which is good for Game of Thrones, not so great here. Fair match, though: 2 Stars.

Oh God, Emma and Santino are at a restaurant. If this doesn’t end with some kind of atomic bomb drop on that exact location, then what is the point in anything? Emma misuses the phrase ‘friends with benefits’, then mistakes Santino looking into her eyes for a staring contest…I would have less of a problem…okay, no, that’s a lie…I would have exactly this much of a problem but for other reasons with this storyline if it wasn’t for the fact that it seems like Santino wants to sleep with someone who is mentally eight years old. She then friendzones him, and he spits red wine on her and then vomits. HIGH. BROW. STUFF.

The Coveted ‘Hurry The Fuck Up’ Segment

Swagger is facing Jimmy Uso. Jack backs Jimmy into a corner, kneeing him in the stomach. Jimmy shoots him off the ropes and throws him out of the ring before diving on him. Back on the ring, Jimmy goes high, hitting a cross-body for a two, then a kick to the midsection and a calf-kick to the face. Chops to Swagger in the corner, then a Whisper in the Wind for another near-fall. Samoan Wrecking Ball is met with a chop-block to the knee, then Jack locks in the Patriot Lock and Jimmy taps.

Wow, quick match. Decent, though. 2 Stars.

We go back to RAW to watch Lesnar and Undertaker’s showdown. I recommend watching that, merely because Brock saying ‘this’ is pure, unadulterated comedy on the highest scale.

Both Of These Men Are Odds-On Favourites

Mark Henry’s in the ring following the recap, and his opponent is the Miz. Wow, the possibilities this battle royal hands us. Henry points at the WM sign and…Miz attacks him during that sacred moment? Fucking heel. He tries to toss Henry, but Mark’s going to make him pay, throwing him from corner to corner, then attempts the World’s Strongest Slam, but Miz rolls out of it, attacking Henry at the legs, finally dropkicking them out from under him. Miz continues to work the legs, then boots Mark in the face before working on the legs again.

A clothesline is countered by Mark with a boot, then a running powerslam and a headbutt. A splash misses as Miz rolls away, then he tries the Figure Four; Henry kicks him away, but Miz manages to throw him over the top rope…which totally isn’t the point. Mark pulls him onto the outside, hurling him into the barricade and steps. Back in the ring, the World’s Strongest Slam picks up the win.

Yeah, we get it: the battle royal’s important. No surprises here. 2 Stars.

Careful Bray, Big Show’s An Odds-On Favourite

Here’s Big Show, awaiting his match with Bray Wyatt, and here the Wyatts are. Bray gets into the ring after a quick cuddle with Harper and Rowan. He tries to jump the Big Show, but gets hurled away. Wyatt throws some hands, but gets thrown right out of the ring by Show. Bray comes right back at Big Show, shoving him and yelling, but Big Show throws punches, a big chop, a headbutt. Wyatt keeps on coming, fighting every step of the way until he runs right into a big boot. Bray manages to dodge the following elbow, and boots Big Show right in the face, keeping him down. He drops back-first on Big Show for a two-count, then spider-walks, which actually gets a pop.

Big Show manages to decapitate Bray with a clothesline, but Bray dodges and hits a clothesline of his own in the corner. Big Show tries for a boot, but Wyatt catches the knee and rocks it on his shoulder. Crossbody to Big Show takes him down, and Rowan distracts the referee as Harper attacks Big Show. Sister Abigail hits and gets the pin.

Interesting; as JBL said, I don’t think we thought it would happen like this. Fun to watch, though, of course, and just made me look forward to the Wyatt-Cena match more. 2.5 Stars.

It’s been a pretty decent SmackDown this week. Nothing to write home about, really, but nothing catastrophic that wasn’t Santino or Emma. Did feel like a busy week. Six out of ten.
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My Thoughts On WWE Raw 3.24.14 (Triple H, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, The Shield) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/25/my-thoughts-on-wwe-raw-3-24-14-triple-h-the-undertaker-brock-lesnar-the-shield/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/25/my-thoughts-on-wwe-raw-3-24-14-triple-h-the-undertaker-brock-lesnar-the-shield/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 22:00:13 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=165717 WWE Raw 11-13 Header

1. I absolutely LOVE the fact that four former World Heavyweight Champions are wrestling a fatal four-way match on Raw to be named the number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship! I’ve said ever since they unified the World & WWE Championships that either the IC championship or the United States Championship had to be built back up to a higher level. This is the perfect step in the right direction but out of the 4 potential matches that could have come out of that match, Christian versus Big E was the lowest on my list.

2. I will say this, the Scooby Doo movie is actually pretty damn good. Of course my 3-year-old son has watched the screener I received on repeat for a week straight but before I started tuning out the repetitiveness, the movie is written very well! There are inside jokes that relate both to the world of wrestling AND the Scooby Doo world. All of the wrestlers did their own voices (except for Sin Cara who only speaks “Lucha”) & they all put on a good performance. I actually hope they make a sequel to this direct-to-DVD movie.

3. I had horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE WCW Nitro flashbacks when John Cena saw the sheep’s mask in the mirror and then it wasn’t there. I’ll just leave you with this:

4. Triple H’s “sit-down” promo with Michael Cole was rather awkward the entire way though. First, I didn’t see a particular reason as to why Cole had to be in the ring for a Triple H promo. Sure, he set up some of the topics but does anyone really think Triple H needs to be walked through a promo at this point? Two things fell flat for me. One was that Daniel Bryan didn’t make an appearance at all. Even something where he was live “via satellite” would have worked better than a complete no-show. Last week’s Raw ended so hot I felt they needed to capitalize on that and two promos from Triple H, Randy Orton, Stephanie McMahon or Batista aren’t going to do the job. Secondly was Hunter’s forced attempt at trying to “name” this time in WWE history as the “Reality Era”. Aren’t times in history named AFTER they’ve taken place and not during? He said it so many damn times I wouldn’t be surprised if people come up with a different name for the time we are living in just to spite WWE TV.

5. My favorite part of Cody/Fandango was when Goldust danced over to Summer Rae who shouted “Are you mocking me?” To which Goldust simply yelled “Yes!” and they had an impromptu dance off. I don’t know what it is but Goldust looks like he’s having so much damn fun, I can’t help but laugh at things like this.

6. Before I get to John Cena versus Luke Harper, everyone needs to watch this tremendous piece of work again:

Cutting pieces like that is my actual job and unfortunately I’m not allowed as much creative liberty when working for a sports news network. But from one editor to another (whoever it was), getting the rights to that song, laying out the promos to match the lyrics and letting the video & music tell most of the story made it fantastic. Great work that deserves all the play I’m sure it will receive.

6b. Alright, back to the actual match. First off, I like how Luke Harper is getting little bits of promo time here and there. They didn’t throw him into a sink or swim scenario like so many others and this allows him to develop at his own pace. The match itself I believe exceeded a lot of people’s expectations. I’ve been saying that if they want Harper to eventually be a top heel, they need to get him going and having him work with a main-eventer is definitely the way to go. A non-finish was logical given that we are less than two weeks away from WrestleMania and the visual of Cena wearing the sheep’s mask is one that’s going to leave an impression on a ton of Cena’s fans. It was just creepy and weird enough that it probably freaked out the kids while the adults couldn’t help but be intrigued by a John Cena storyline.

7. Well if you thought the battle royal at WrestleMania XXX was going to be a clusterfuck, the Divas just stole that mantle. What are the rules? How many women are involved? Can AJ lose the title without being pinned or is it elimination? Whatever the answers may be, it’s definitely not going to be pretty.

8. So wait, is Scott Hall going into the Hall of Fame or “Razor Ramon”? I would think they would have shown SOME of his NWO days if Hall was being inducted based on his career but it seems like he’s being inducted based on the character he played. I’d pop if Rick Bognar came out to accept the award.

9. The Shield are OVER as babyfaces. This match was good but nowhere the quality of tag matches we’ve seen them put on and yet the crowd was into it for every offensive spot by them (or by Cesaro). I know they’re not ready to turn Cesaro yet, especially when the priority seems to be on when Roman Reigns will turn, but they must be chomping at the bit to have Cesaro turn full babyface. Hell, he’s already there in the fans eyes!

10. I’m confused as to why ANYONE gets freaked out when the druids roll a casket to the ring. You know The Undertaker is either in there or will be after he climbs into it from under the ring (nice directing going to the one camera that shows someone going under the ring, by the way). I’m sorry but Undertaker/Lesnar is purely senseless to me & not the huge money draw the WWE expect it to be. Now if they could only show footage of when Brock Lesnar confronted The Undertaker after Lesnar’s UFC fight…
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RAGER’S 10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 3.24.14 (Undertaker, John Cena, Batista) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/25/ragers-10-thoughts-wwe-raw-3-24-14-undertaker-john-cena-batista/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/25/ragers-10-thoughts-wwe-raw-3-24-14-undertaker-john-cena-batista/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 05:49:57 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=165706 …And we’re back.

1. I’m so glad we got Batista’s mic sorted out so we can hear him repeat all the things he’s been saying the past couple months. Apparently, he believes Steph enjoys getting drooled on. Is that before or after the Hemsley’s watch torture porn together? I didn’t even know drooling on people was a thing people were into. Clearly I haven’t traversed the internet enough.The part that truly saved this segment was when Steph vaporized Batista’s sunglasses with her hand. She feels very strongly about not wearing sunglasses indoors.

2. The fatal 4 way was a lot of fun to watch especially when WWE threw the crowd a bone and featured a lot of great spots with Ziggler. I’m making the assumption that Sheamus will cost Christian the IC match on Main Event that’ll lead to a WM30 match. Hopefully that ends up being the pre-show match when we’re only partially paying attention to it.

3. Sin Cara comes out with someone in a Scooby Doo mascot costume which leads me to wonder which member of the Guerrero family is in the suit. Is it possible for Hunico to be both Scooby AND Sin Cara at the same time? Did JTG somehow find a way to get TV time? Maybe we’ve already witnessed the return of CM Punk. Did WWE just confirm Half Life 3? C-O-N-spiracy

4. So I’ve enjoyed the weekly interviews between Cole and HHH. However, WWE has this tendency to take something that works and try to replicate it on Raw. This is why you see so many rematches from Smackdown the very next Monday. Hell, how else would you explain Bad News Barrett? But as enjoyable as I find this interview sessions, they translate as just another talking segment when it’s put on Raw.

5. Dear Jeebus, Goldust entertains the hell out of me. Since every other cast member of Total Divas hates Summer Rae, just give her the Jo-Jo treatment and put Goldust on the show. I’d watch the pants off that show. Or at least gives his character a reality show on the network. Its a golden opportunity. You get what I did there? Hello? Is this thing on?

6. The biggest thing I took away from the Arnold segment was Hulk Adele Dazeem-ing Joe Manganiello. Also, Miz is still alive and employed…so there’s that.

7. Speaking of Smackdown rematches, John Cena vs Luke Harper. And I could see why they would want to repeat it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the mask ending but then again, I kinda rolled my eyes at the Cena in the bathroom segment beforehand. I think it might’ve been more effective if the Wyatt’s beat up Cena and do the mask thing with the lights on.

8. The Vickie Invitational is not so much an invitational as it’s a “hey, are you a Diva and can kind of wrestle?” match. Also, this has to be a battle royal, right? Also, Vickie really should’ve just said “AJ, you’re fighting all the Divas” and end it there. It’s Wrestlemania season, time is money.

9. Cesaro really is good for Swagger because I found myself actually liking him during their match against Shield. Also, at Wrestlemania, it’ll be The Shield vs Citizen Kane and the New Age Inlaws.

10. After the druids set up the coffin at the side of the ring, I noticed Brock checking the other side of the ring in case of anyone coming out from under that side. Surprisingly smart move for Lesnar, color me impressed. Also, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Undertaker do some gimmicky things with casket, I enjoyed it.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
Chris
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My Pinterest Is Piledrivers: WWE-ish List 2K14 (Alberto Del Rio, Antonio Cesaro, Dean Ambrose) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/03/my-pinterest-is-piledrivers-wwe-ish-list-2k14-alberto-del-rio-antonio-cesaro-dean-ambrose/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/03/my-pinterest-is-piledrivers-wwe-ish-list-2k14-alberto-del-rio-antonio-cesaro-dean-ambrose/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:44:07 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163403 Hello and welcome to My Pinterest Is Piledrivers.  I am James A. Sawyer and @todaysjimsawyer, and I will continue to futilely promote my Twitter til the day I die.  Or stop writing columns.  Whichever comes first.  Oh, and fundraiser still here.

So this is interesting.  I started this article on the 20th of January.  It is now the 28th of February.  A lot of big, big things have happened since then.  Punk.  Bryan.  Batista.  It’s going to make some of my suggestions seem petty and quaint, but nonetheless I’ll begin the article as written.  Also, since my wremix remix got a whopping zero comments last week I’ll post my wishlist with a few indie DVDs for those who like belated birthdays.

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I want to see some non-PG Dean Ambrose, otherwise known as Jon Moxley.

Give Alberto Del Rio something substantial to do.

When Alberto Del Rio first came into the WWE, I thought “I have no idea who this is, but he can wrestle.”

(I love Rey’s acting in this.  “Ah!  My arm!”)

To me, Del Rio is unique in that he can scratch a lot of itches in the classic wrestler template.  He’s a mixture of the Latin Lover, Evil Foreign Heel, Asshole Rich Guy, and Arrogant “Royalty.”  You can play up any one of these traits depending on what you need.  His facial expressions, especially the best one-arched eyebrow since The Rock, are always on point.  His ringwork is amazing, and is easily some of the best in the WWE right now, which is actually saying something.

Man that was bad-ass.

“But Sawyer,” you might say, “Del Rio’s already a Royal Rumble winner, MITB winner, and two-time WWE champion and two-time World champion!”  Yeah, I know.  But his Royal Rumble victory led to an opening match job against Edge.  And his world title runs were all fairly short-lived affairs.  In my opinion, this guy needs a major program around him.  Not just “let’s put him in feuds with Mysterio and Sin Cara, ’cause… you know, Hispanic” or “let’s give him a belt for a PPV” but an actual storyarc wherein he’s a major player.  Have him replace Orton as the new corporate chosen one.  Have him win a world title and go on to well-fought matches against Bryan, Ziggler, and Punk (if he comes back).  Have him be the one to retire Christian.  Just something, because this guy is way too good to be an afterthought… or an appetizer for Batista.  As we’ve now seen since my writing of this, Del Rio is a good deal more popular than Batista.  There’s also a rumor he might be on his way out, presumably retiring.  Please don’t go, Del Rio.  Look, I even wrote a song about it.

That’s right, I was born when Reagan was president.

Realize Cesaro’s potential.  Push accordingly.

Okay, let me say this.  The way that CM Punk was misused and the WWE almost missed out on the metric ton of money and press he got them, the way that Daniel Bryan was almost forgotten about until finally, more than two years after he exploded finally getting recognition, this is the position Cesaro is in today.  How the ‘E cannot see the potential of a freakishly strong guy who speaks five languages and looks like Jason Statham’s younger brother is beyond me.  “Well what about his mic work?”

Look at that, that’s all improv.  He’s interacting with those random citizens he met while on tour there.  What he’s saying is genuinely funny, not just funny for a wrestler.  Telling the kid that when he grows up to be an architect he should replace every building?  Saying they had to sculpt a statue by the river so it would look somewhat populated?  That’s good.

They easily could’ve built the US title into a real title and had Cesaro rebrand it into a new European championship and hold onto it forever until some All-American face came along to dethrone him and reclaim it.

wwe-antonio-cesaro-authentic-t-shirt-wwe-34403710-1000-1000He even already has a cool shirt.

Since I wrote this, he’s beaten Orton clean and come close to having beaten Cena clean and was in the Elimination Chamber.  He’s getting more and more crowd support and there’s rumblings of turning him face, and I can only hope those are true and 2014 is a breakout solo year for the guy.

Don’t forget Dean Ambrose.

This guy is the next “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.  The next Jake “The Snake” Roberts.  He’s early, psycho-heel “Stone Cold” Steve Austin before he became the catchphrase shouting man of the people.  Ambrose may be the best actor in the WWE.  He makes you believe that everything he’s doing is real, and that he means everything that he says.  Honestly I could see him doing legitimate acting work as a bad guy or henchman in those new WWE movies with actual stars in them.  Or in a romantic comedy with Drew Barrymore, where he’s competing for a girl with Adam Sandler, and he just gets fed up and tosses Sandler into a wood chipper.  That’d be pretty sweet.

I know Roman Reigns has the size, and also a lot of comments on YouTube videos from lovestruck women, and Seth Rollins has the flashy moves, but Ambrose is ten pounds of charisma in a five pound bag.  He’s the rare heel that can lose but not lose face as he’s just so damn good at what he does.  This guy should be in main event feuds by the end of this year.

Please don’t use Hogan to squash your talent.  Or at all.

As of this writing, it’s being reported that Hogan has a verbal agreement to work with the WWE.  Because of course he does.  Look, I’m sure Hogan has convinced you that the fans would really love to see him leg drop Cesaro at Wrestlemania and a man in the prime of his life selling the simplest possible move by a guy old enough to be his dad would be good for business.  It wouldn’t.  If you must, have him host a show on the WWE Network about the 1980s and tell him not to bury everyone that’s not Hulk Hogan too much.

And since this writing it’s reported he’s hosting Wrestlemania.  Great.  Of course.  Getting an A-list actor in one of the most popular franchises in the world was just a trailer for getting the star of “Thunder in Paradise.”  How would Hogan work as a host anyway?  “Hey brother, didja like that last match?  Well here’s another one!”

Here’s one for the live audience…

Step your game up.

This will be an interesting one to see as when this is published, RAW will be in Chicago, the very vocal hometown of one CM Punk.  I’ve been kinda surprised at the lack of hijacking, at least in regards to him.  And I was quite disappointed in the crapping of a fine match between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt just because it was a slower-style match.  However, points to the Del Rio support and the adoption of “Boo-tista.”

The WWE is in a very weird place right now.  The Network is very exciting, Cesaro and The Shield are involved in prominent spots and there’s some amazing talent in NXT right now like Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville.  But… a lot of the booking seems to be operated out of spite, or in contempt of the audience.  Simple booing won’t work, as that might just let them pretend that was the plan the whole time.  What might work?  Silence.  Simple golden silence.  If Wrestlemania XXX does feature Batista vs Orton?  Sit on your hands.  Don’t cheer, don’t boo, get refreshments, leave to beat the traffic.  Nothing sends a message like wrestling in what sounds to be an empty arena.

Six weeks ago this might’ve been the end of my column, but luckily for me the WWE has been making more mistakes than a Monopoly player on meth, so I get to stretch this column out to two parts.  I could use the extra space anyway until I start getting indy access and I can finally wean off the McMahon teat.  Ugh.  On that image I’ll leave you.
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RAGER’S 10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 2.17.14 (Cesaro, John Cena, Big E) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/02/18/ragers-10-thoughts-wwe-raw-2-17-14-cesaro-john-cena-big-e/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/02/18/ragers-10-thoughts-wwe-raw-2-17-14-cesaro-john-cena-big-e/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 05:40:24 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=164621 1. So Christian is apparently a heel now? Is that something that developed on Smackdown or is he just operating under Alicia Fox rules?

2. Seems like WWE was tempted to use Daniel Bryan for the entire first hour of the show. I’m not complaining because it’s Bryan because he can carry two straight matches. However, this Kane business is making me believe further that Daniel Bryan will lose at EC due to authority shenanigans and get the match that CM Punk was suppose to have at WM.

3. I can be pretty cynical when it comes to certain comedy bits. Team Friendship was great because there were spots or jokes here and there that were genuinely funny but still had really great matches so I was completely on board. Anything involving Santino is usually full-on “wackity-schmakity-do” type of comedy that just annoys the life out of me (although I do realize that most of it isn’t meant for people my age or older). So now this stuff with Santino and Emma is just not doing anything for me even thought I’ve heard plenty of people talk about Emma and how good she is. Maybe she is and I’ll just see in time but for now, her dumb arm dance just angers me.

4. Roman vs Mark Henry was an impressive match. I don’t mean that Mark Henry was impressive in ANY way but it was impressive in the sense of how Roman was able to move that mass of humanity with such ease. Kayfabe or not, we’ve seen Cena and Ryback struggle to lift Mark Henry within the past year and now you have Roman who lifts him up in a Samoan Drop with about as much struggle as I have pickup up one of the many cookies I consume on a regular basis.

5. Big E had a 2-on-1 handicap match against 2/3MB and yet I still considered it a handicap match in Big E’s favor. Also, everything in this match was incredibly awkward. Perhaps some of it might be Zeb’s commentary over the live mic or more likely due to the terribleness that is Jinder and McIntyre. All I know is that Big E is great in so many ways so I know it can’t be his fault. Right, guys?

6. Cesaro and Cena was a really good match and further to prove the idea that Cena can actually pull out a good match every now and then when given the right opponent. And sure, winning over Cena would’ve been huge for Cesaro but considering Cena probably is going to look unstoppable leading up to WM30. If they were actually considering Cesaro to win at EC then WWE might have entertained the idea of him winning over Cena. Honestly, I’m just glad Cesaro has gotten this mini-push just before Mania…or at all.

7. Full disclosure, when I saw the graphic of The Wyatt Family vs Los Matadores and Sin Cara, I began to laugh loudly and uncontrollably because it’s becoming painfully obvious that WWE is running out of jobbers to feed the Wyatt’s.

8. So the main event was a rematch between two guys that were involved in a match the night after WM29 in which the crowd infamously shat on and cheered when Big Show came out to end it. You would think after that legendary night, that match would simply be forever retired…maybe retired is the wrong word…banned? Orton and Sheamus have the chemistry of a sandwich that’s made up of old cookie dough and arsenic between two slices of disappointment.

9. Why did Shield interrupt the main event? One could argue that the matchup was a crime against humanity and an injustice that was in dire need of being corrected. They are all three Batman. I suppose I could’ve named other members of the Justice League depending on which closely resemble each member of Shield. However, everybody involved in Justice League not named Batman is pretty lame. Get over it.

10. Batista shoved a man wearing a neck brace. #NotAFace

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
Chris
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Sin Cara News: WWE Contract Status, Future Plans http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/26/sin-cara-news-wwe-contract-status-future-plans/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/26/sin-cara-news-wwe-contract-status-future-plans/#comments Sun, 26 Jan 2014 23:00:13 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163818 After landing in WWE to much fanfare, Sin Cara (real name Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde) is reportedly not expected to re-sign with WWE when his contract ends in March.

Alvirde, who was known as Mistico in CMLL in Mexico, is also not expected to return to CMLL, as he left on bad terms. CMLL even went as far as to re-cast Mistico as a new person.

WWE has since re-cast Sin Cara permanently as Hunico, and is continuing on without Alvirde.

He is now expected to be signing with AAA in Mexico.

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NXT Yellow Ropes Report 1.23.14 (Neville, Rusev, Cesaro) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/26/nxt-yellow-ropes-report-1-23-14-neville-rusev-cesaro/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/26/nxt-yellow-ropes-report-1-23-14-neville-rusev-cesaro/#comments Sun, 26 Jan 2014 21:22:50 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163803 The Glimpse:

Bo Dallas wants to celebrate his long standing NXT Title reign with his Bo-lievers.

The Action:

Match 1: Adrian Neville vs Wesley Blake

Winner:  Adrian Neville via pinfall

A guy that’s never been seen before against a top title contender?  That doesn’t bode well for the cowboy.

Neville is quick to an arm wrench, then has to roll out of one from Blake.  Neville goes to to a headlock takeover then levels Blace with a shoulder and an arm drag.  Blake grabs the hair to get free but eats a back drop and a second rope missile dropkick.  Chop in the corner drops Blake to his knees, who stops the next chop attempt with a quick boot.  Blake drives shoulders into Neville but the high flyer kicks his come back into high gear with forearms and a low dropkick.  Neville heads right up top and lands the Red Arrow dead on to win it.

Devin Taylor brings in the BFFs – Summer Rae, Charlotte and Seltzer Banks (I listened to it 10 times – She absolutely said Seltzer).  Devin reminds Charlotte about her attack on Bayley.  Charlotte touts that she’s a Flair and rides jets and such.  Charlotte’s eyes are completely dead throughout this and it’s sincerely frightening.  Summer says it’s time for the BFFs to rise and says that Natalya isn’t really a diva.  That accomplished basically nothing.

Match 2:  Xavier Woods vs Alexander Rusev

Winner:  Alexander Rusev via submission

Woods making this Funky intro, without the Funkadactyls, while Tensai (half of the team he stole this music from) watches and cheers him on is wonky.  Lana announces Rusev, who is now sporting more traditional trunks, which matches with the style he’s worn on the WWE house show road.

Woods uses his speed to open up early and finally ground Rusev with a dropkick.  Rusev immediately powers Woods to the mat with a big right hand.  Rusev mounts and drops rights on Woods.  Rusev puts Woods in the corner and kicks at his legs, then lands a round kick to the face for two.  Rusev stands on Woods’ head and pulls at his arm, which the ref starts a count on for some reason.  The ref gives up and Woods starts fighting back.  Huge flurry of strikes from Woods and a shining wizard for two.  Rusev shoves him to the ropes and hits a jumping side kick, followed by the Accolade which Woods taps out to immediately.

Rusev doesn’t release until Lana says so, then puts the Accolade right back on.  For some reason, Sin Cara’s music hits and he makes the save.  Cara takes Woods toward the back.  This is like Universe Mode just got turned on in WWE 2k14 or something.  How utterly random.

Match 3:  CJ Parker vs Antonio Cesaro

Winner:  Antonio Cesaro via pinfall

I hope the end game of this match is Cesaro lands such a brutal European uppercut that it knocks the gimmick out of Parker.  There cannot be a person around who gives the slightest crap about this gimmick, especially as he’s supposed to be a babyface.

Clean break and Parker throws a peace sign.  Parker tries a senton after an arm wringer and gets knees to the back.  Soccer kick to the back from the Real American then a huge back body drop.  Cesaro clamps on a chinlock which Parker tries to escape by humping the air.  Parker boots Cesaro on another back drop attempt then hits a Harlem side kick.  Shotgun knees in the corner from the moonchild followed by a high cross body for two.  Parker takes Cesaro up for an airplane spin and comes out dizzy, but Cesaro is perfectly fine.  Quick crack of the neck and it’s time for the Cesaro Swing.  Neutralizer follow up is more than enough to seal the deal.

Sami Zayn comes out on a crutch before Cesaro can celebrate too much and says that his 2013 was a banner year.  Zayn points out that his 2/3 falls with Cesaro was one of the best matches of the year, but he needs to fix the result.  Sami wants a rematch and Cesaro walks up the ramp to deliver an emphatic “no”.

Devin Taylor welcomes Miz to NXT and he’s at a catchphrase in 5 seconds flat.  He says we might need a Miz TV.  Parker says he doesn’t understand why he gets booed.  Miz is at catchphrase number 3 with the “really” shtick.  He says Parker is full of disrespect.  For his trouble, he gets slapped by a hippie.  NXT seems like a great place for Miz to hone his craft a bit.  Honestly, my throat gets tight when he starts spewing his Miz TV nonsense and the false bravado behind it.  He’s full of “get the **** off my TV” heat…the bad kind of heat.

Match 4:  Natalya vs Summer Rae

Winner:  Natalya via submission

Despite being in the back for the chat with Devin, Charlotte doesn’t come out with Summer and Sasha.

Nattie with a quick headlock takeover then she nips up out of a headscissors.  Natalya bridges out of a jackknife pin and powers out of a backslide attempt, then runs over Summer and hits a low dropkick.  Summer sends Natalya to the ropes and hits a spin kick for two.  Summer locks in an Indian deathlock then sits up over Natalya for leverage…which backfires as Nattie rolls her over to break it.  Summer tags her with a back elbow and works Nattie’s leg on the rope Bret Hart-style.  Summer goes for another launch onto Natalya’s knee, but she launches her to the floor with her leg.  Summer throws a fit on the floor then walks into a drop toe hold.  Natalya hits a snap suplex and a clothesline but ducks too soon for a back drop.  Summer ducks a discus lariat and tries another spin kick, but Natalya catches her leg and straps on a Sharpshooter to win it.

Devin welcomes Cass and Enzo this time to give an update on Enzo’s leg.  Aiden English interrupts and dismisses Devin.  English begins to warm up to sing and Enzo runs his foot over.  Yeah, that’ll be enough to keep a rivalry going.

Bo Dallas Banner Raising Ceremony

Bo makes up chants that the crowd showers him with.  Having the longest reign with a title that only two others have held isn’t really that impressive when you sit there and name those two.  Bo thanks random people that are “in the crowd for him”.  The 224 day banner is unveiled.  Now, that doesn’t really make sense since the reign is…you know…still going on.  Neville reenters the scene and looks like he’s smelled something terrible.  Neville isn’t out here to congratulate Bo; he’s here on behalf of everyone to tell Bo to shut up.  Neville says he plans to take the NXT title from around Bo’s waist.  Bo says he could beat Neville faster than it took Neville to beat the “nobody” he pinned to earn his title shot.  Triple H sends a feed to the Titantron and settles this with a big IF – If Neville can last 4:45 in a match with Bo, he gets his NXT Title rematch live on the WWE Network.

Match 5:  Bo Dallas (NXT Champion) vs Adrian Neville, Beat the Clock challenge

Winner:  Adrian Neville via beating the clock

Bo rushes Neville in the corner and gets slapped.  Repeat in the other corner followed by a beil from Neville.  Neville tosses Bo to the floor, who sweeps his leg and throws him out.  Neville dodges a repeat, but Dallas sweeps him to the floor using the apron and tries for the easy countout win.  Neville slides in at 9 and Bo pounces on him.  Suplex and a two count for the champ, then a series of knee drops and another two.  Bo pressures Neville in the corner then scoop slams him for two.  Dallas hits a series of short arm back elbows until Neville ducks one and lays in kicks.  Neville hits his forearms, sole butt and low dropkick.  Neville wants Red Arrow, but Dallas rolls to the floor with 30 seconds on the clock.  Neville watches the clock and mocks the champ, then tosses him to the floor and dives out to beat the clock in simple fashion.

Bo tries a cheap shot and puts himself into the ringpost, so Neville puts some punctuation on the match with Red Arrow and a visual pin.

The Reaction:

Weird to have Neville kick off the show with a glorified squash.  Neville continues to show that he has the best shooting star press in the business, plus he throws a corkscrew in AND lands it dead on every time.  These guys are really learning that “WWE style”, with Neville having his comeback down (see Match 5).  Forearms, gut shot, low dropkick to head.  Every time.  Is this a bad thing?  Not necessarily.  But it gets so predictable when we see it out of guys like Bryan and Punk as well who are capable of stringing together more than just the same thing each time.

Rusev dominates and wins decisively, then Sin Cara spawns in NXT to save Woods with no warning.  I don’t even know what the point of that is.  Rusev is likely to be main roster-bound quite soon.

I’m fine with Cesaro coming in every week and swinging a goof around.  Parker isn’t over at all, his airplane spin draws boos – There needs to be a change and soon.  Oh hey…they’re doing it.

Good amount of offense from Summer this match.  Seems like working with Natalya and Sara del Rey is proving useful, because this isn’t the Summer we saw months ago.  This is competence and understanding of where she is in the ring.  That’s real, honest progress and I applaud it.  Shy of her dumping herself on her head at the end of the match there, that was pretty solid.

So uh…why is JBL even the general manager at this point?  Tell Steph to get the sand out of her vajayjay about a hand in her face that improved a segment 10 fold and get us Dusty back.  Seriously, what a petty pile of crap.  At least that explains the jobber match Neville had earlier in the show.  That’s about what I expected from a boisterous Beat the Clock challenge, and that’s just fine.  Predictability is not necessarily a bad thing.  Launching NXT’s live status on the WWE Network with a babyface title change, soon after the heel champ raises his banner is a great idea and one I expect them to execute.  Now typically that would mean Bo Dallas is heading to the main roster, because that’s how developmental works.  Do I want to see Bo on Raw/Smackdown on a weekly basis?  Nope.  And that’s a bad place for him to be.

The Preview:

Next week?  No idea.  The first live NXT?  A huge title match and a great opportunity for the man that gravity forgot.

The Shill:

As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom.  I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!
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Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for January 10th 2014: There’s A Royal Rumble Soon, Right? http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/11/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-january-10th-2014-theres-a-royal-rumble-soon-right/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/11/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-january-10th-2014-theres-a-royal-rumble-soon-right/#comments Sat, 11 Jan 2014 11:51:08 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162973 Well, it’s been a busy week, and I am still entombed under the colossal structure I’ve termed ‘Coursework Mountain’, buried so deep I could legally change my name to ‘Dolph Ziggler’, so it’s time to crack open a Corona and watch partially-nude men grab each other.

We kick things off with a Wyatt promo: bless you, WWE. I swear, I don’t know how Creative came up with the character of Bray Wyatt. He is spooky in a way that is not entirely (for me) explicable, and if nothing else (and there’s plenty else), both the concept and Rotunda’s portrayal are truly excellent.

The Wyatts’ Teleportation Would Probably Be Useful Mid-Match, You Know

We kick off again with a fucktonne of fireworks (metric, not imperial), and this summons the Usos. They’re going to be in tag-team action against the two members of the Wyatt Family who are unencumbered by storylines. I don’t know what the folks in the arena see (anyone who’s been to a live show for this, feel free to clue me in), but their teleportation no jutsu entrance is something I find highly effective. It’s going to be Harper to start off against Jimmy, and he leads with the strikes. Jimmy fights back; Jey gets a blind tag and they get the big man reeling with a combination of kicks. Jimmy’s back in, and he runs the hell into an uppercut. Tag to Erick Rowan, keeping up Harper’s game striking game; Jimmy tries for a sunset flip; Erick turns it into a leg-drop; Jimmy moves out of the way and kicks Rowan right in the face: fantastic sequence. It doesn’t help, however, and Jimmy gets pancaked.

Jimmy gets laid over the turnbuckle (only not in the Deliverance sense of the phrase), and Erick hammers on him before tagging in Luke. The fact that the crowds imitate his ‘yeah-yeah-yeah’ thing is hilarious to me, although it’s probably bullying. Frequent Wyatt tags, and Jimmy tries to get through Rowan, but Harper knocks down both Jimmy and Jey. ‘NO!’ chant starts, and we get flickering shots of some old guy at ringside (this was unexplained: probably something to do with the apocalypse). Rowan’s back in and he is just wrenching back on Jimmy’s head across the ropes. Jimmy tries to build momentum, but Erick doesn’t give him a chance, hitting a fallaway slam and tagging Harper. Jimmy keeps trying to get away, but the Wyatts specialise in stopping things like that. The beating continues amidst the tags; these Wyatt Family beatdowns are about as gruesome as you can get in this era, but Jimmy hits a corkscrew moonsault to put down Rowan. Both men do the crawl and both tag out. Jey comes in hitting anything with a beard, taking it to Harper with kicks and a Samoan Drop. Kick to Rowan, sending him off the apron; Harper hits a bodyslam; Jimmy breaks up the pin and gets tossed. Harper charges Jey and gets thrown over the top, only to have Jey dive on him.

Rowan jumps Jey as he tries to get Harper into the ring; Jimmy leaps onto him and Luke clotheslines Jimmy as the ref counts to ten: double count-out.

Really good match, though at this point that’s hardly surprising. Both teams could do very well with the titles, but I’d rather see them on the Usos; their movement in the ring is very different and they make matches exciting. 2.5 Stars.

Harper and Rowan decide that it’s mugging time, but Jimmy manages to save Jey before the damage can be done…only for Bray and Bryan (Brayan?) to teleport behind them and help with the beat-down. In the ring, Bryan hits the CENASLAYER on Jey, and Jimmy takes a Sister Abigail. Then Bryan lies Jey on top of Jimmy, like the Wyatt Family is now a drunken frat house. Rowan should have taken a photo of it and uploaded it to Facebook: ‘Guess J + J r close even 4 brothers LOL!!!!!’

Backstage, Vickie Guerrero is standing next to the plinth holding Kane’s mask (which is in every arena for what reason?), when Randy ‘Title-Bra’ Orton shows up. He wants to speak to the McMahons, and complains about the ‘Best For Business’ catchphrase: Face. Turn. This Monday, he’ll give the Authority a piece of his mind (in Stephanie’s purse).

Well, here’s Miz to interview the Big Show. Doesn’t he remember what happened the last time? Or was Show’s punch that hard? We replay the Breaking of Henry’s Arm by the Beast Brock Lesnar and the subsequent tossing of the same. I wish they’d stop making a big deal out of this: if a big guy throws a smaller guy, that’s kind of expected in wrestling. That’s why we all got excited when Lesnar F-5’d the Big Show. The first time. Eleven years ago.

Miz brings out the Big Show and does his Lois Lane schtick. Show says that there’s only so much crap a guy can take, despite the fact that both times Lesnar was essentially defending himself from an assault by the World’s Strongest Man. Does Lemony Snicket write the WWE Universe’s laws of morality? He (Big Show, not Lemony Snicket, although I’d order that PPV) challenges Brock to a fight, which brings out Heyman. Are we getting no Lesnar on SmackDown? Because that’s not fair. Match is made for Royal Rumble, and Heyman says that if Show wants a fight before that, Lesnar won’t be a hard man to find (as long as you don’t look for him on SmackDown).

We get a promo for the WWE Network. Are any of us so obsessive that we would use every feature of this service? And did they have to use DX and Austin, famously the most anti-authoritarian folks around, to stand side-by-side with the corporate people for this hype-up? I know it makes perfect sense for the advertising, but it does seem a little off. Now Austin’s rebelliousness is channelled through wearing a hat indoors and refusing to tuck in his shirt.

Other Contenders For Zeb’s Sign: ‘Down With This Sort Of Thing’; ‘Careful Now’

We return to the present (which was actually taped before that previous segment) to see Mysterio in the ring with Hunicara and Los Matadores. They will be facing the Real Americans and Goldberfect. Los 1 is in the ring with Axel and snapmares him before Axel comes back with a bodyslam. Shoulder tackle, but Los 1 gains the advantage by…I actually don’t know. Headstand in the corner by 1, then a headscissors and the tag to 2. 2 comes in with a dropkick, but Axel drives him into the Heel Corner, and Cesaro comes in. Uppercut and a bodyslam by Cesaro, but 2 hits a headscissors and springboard back-elbow. 1 gets the tag, then Sin Cara. On the other side, so does Ryback. Time to find out if that mask really is cursed. And if it’s not, Ryback’ll probably injure him anyway. Hunicara does the smart thing: not letting Ryback hit any moves and tags out to Mysterio. 619 is attempted, but Ryback wants none of it.

Back from break, Swagger is laying into Mysterio, but the Swagger Bomb is countered as Rey gets the boots up. Everyone interferes; Rybaxel gets tossed; Matadores dive out onto him, as does Torito; JBL again considers buying a person in a costume ON A KIDS’ SHOW. Mysterio escapes a Patriot Lock, tries for the 619 and gets caught and slammed. Hunicara breaks up the pin before taking Cesaro out to the outside; Swagger goes for the gutwrench, but is hurricanrana’d into the ropes, 619’d, splashed and pinned. No Sin Caras were hurt in the making of this match, and we are all just surprised as hell about that.

Call it my lack of interest in most of the people in this match, but I didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t all that exciting, and it doesn’t help that most of it involved Los Matadores either. 1.5 Stars.

One Belt: Weaker Than Two Belts

Orton approaches the ring first, followed by Langston. The two men tie up and struggle, but Langston backs Orton into the corner. Orton gets a headlock, but Big E shoots him off and shoulder-blocks him; Orton rolls out. Back in the ring, Randy ties up again; Langston gets him in a headlock, runs the ropes and knocks Orton down again. Randy now tries striking, bring Langston down to the mat as he hammers him. Orton keeps up with strikes, but Langston manages to score again with a shoulder block and hits some strikes of his own. Orton’s driven into the corner and continues to be beaten down before he brings his knee up, knocking Langston down and keeping him down: lots of strikes in this match…and as I say that, Langston hits two backbreakers. Thanks, E. Orton comes up swinging, but there’s no stopping the Big E Express, and Randy heads to the outside again.

Langston’s sick of this, however, and heads out after Orton, slamming him against the barricade like a muscular, black Enjolras. Back in the ring, E’s taking it to Orton on the apron, but a shoulder thrust goes astray and Langston falls to the outside. Orton mocks him as the count begins, then when Langston beats the count he stays on him, stomping a mudhole all around the ring. Sleeper hold’s placed on Langston and JBL tells Cole that stomping on a man isn’t ‘playing mindgames’. Langston breaks out, but Orton puts him down with a knee and it’s back to the sleeper. Well, it wasn’t on for long enough last time. Langston fights out again, but Orton throws him out of the ring to the outside and follows him; Langston’s head meets the steps and he gets thrown back into the ring. Third sleeper. Langston gets whipped into the corner, but explodes into Orton, knocking him down. Big E’s fired up now, hitting a belly-to-belly and a Warrior Splash. He tries to lift Orton, but the Viper hits his backbreaker and his DDT. He signals for the RKO, but Langston pushes him aside and shmushes him in the corner. Thumb to the eye from Orton, then the RKO and the win.

Quality match. Big E impressed here, but I’m happy to see that Orton did get in some offence and didn’t rely entirely on underhand tactics. 2.5 Stars.

Back in the usual hangout spot, we see the four-man Wyatt Family. The Shield and Punk are muttering about there being ‘too many people down here now’ and giggling over the photo of the Usos. Meanwhile, Bray babbles like an incoherent Shakespeare on acid, but then Bryan bellows ‘LIIIIIEEEE’ at the top of his voice; off-camera, Seth Rollins jumps into Roman Reigns’ arms in fright.

You Really Love These Dancing Rivalries, Don’t You, Creative?

Seems that Xavier Woods will be wrestling Fandango, and isn’t giving time to this match neglecting the pivotal Sandow/Khali rivalry? Armdrag by Fandango, then a headlock from Woods, he runs the ropes and hits a headscissors. Fandango comes back, tossing Woods out of the ring, and then he dances. Woods comes back in the ring, rolling Fandango up for the pin in the process.

Not much to say, really. Truth and Woods’ entrance was really quite impressive, though. I’d have been happy for the match to continue, considering what both men could bring. 1.5 Stars for brevity.

After the match, Summer Rae gets in Woods’ face over that clean and legitimate victory, and the Funkadactyls assault her. Fandango beats on Woods, but Truth makes the save and the two hit a double-dropkick to send him running.

An interviewer visits the Usos, and in the UK we only send reporters into a locker room of Samoans if we want him eaten. He asks ‘what went wrong out there’ and, at a guess, I’ll say it was the fact that it was a four-on-two handicap involving an undefeated guy and a former world champion. The Usos seem fired up for their match on RAW, though, which hopefully means there’ll be a bit of a spotlight on it.

Yeah, I Go Into Fights Backed Up By Old Men Too

The Shield are in the ring, and Roman reads the list of the characters in WWE Legends’ House, then proclaims himself the new ‘Best In The World’. Dean takes the microphone and spouts solid gold regarding Jake and Damien; can we just commission Ambrose and Wyatt to write songs? Seth calms him down and rips on the New Age Outlaws and Punk.

Billy Gunn and Road Dogg make their entrance, as does CM Punk, and it looks to be Punk and Ambrose to start out here. They tie up, with Punk backing Ambrose into the corner. They tie up again; headlock takeover; Punk wraps the head and Ambrose kicks out; headlock takeover by Punk and a tag to Road Dogg. Dogg makes the tag to Gunn; Ambrose tags in Rollins and Rollins gets arm-dragged and Gunn works the arm before tagging in Road Dogg. Punk comes in, dropping the elbow on the arm. Cole calls Rollins ‘the architect’ of the Shield. So, Seth builds the dream; Ambrose and Reigns perform the extraction. Ambrose is tagged in and is caught by a drop-toehold. Punk wrenches back on the leg. Ambrose backs Punk up into the corner, throwing hands before Punk comes back and Ambrose ducks out of the ring. Seth tries to jump Punk; Punk gets him up for the GTS; Reigns pulls Rollins away; Punk rolls past the two of them and the Outlaws score with some punches. Reigns is sent out of the ring by the Outlaws and it’s a stand-off.

Back in the ring, Ambrose and Punk circle each other again and tie up. Punk’s backed into the corner and Rollins is tagged in. Punk nearly gets a small package, but Rollins kicks out. Tag now to Reigns, who lays a beatdown upon Punk, wrenching back on his arm. Punk fights back, hitting a dropkick and tagging in Road Dogg; the two hit a double hip toss on Reigns, but Roman overpowers Road Dogg and tags in Ambrose, who chokes him on the ropes. Road Dogg comes back with hands, dropping some, dare I say it, vintage Road Dogg on Ambrose before he tags out and Rollins catches Road Dogg with a flying knee. Reigns comes in, hammering on Road Dogg before tagging in Ambrose. Dean throws some hands before imitating Road Dogg’s punches and hitting a dropkick, followed up by another from a tagged-in Rollins.

Seth locks a sleeper in on Road Dogg, who fires up and fights his way out, but Rollins hurls him into the corner and keeps on the heat, stomping and wrenching the face. Tag to Ambrose and then Reigns, both of them smacking Road Dogg around like they suspect he’s selling mermaid babies (this is an intense and violently-solved problem where I live). Dogg finally scores with a DDT on Reigns, but Roman makes the tag first. Rollins knocks Gunn off the apron, but Punk ducks a wild punch, Road Dogg backdrops Rollins and Punk gets the tag. Ambrose and Punk are in the ring, with Punk knocking the hell out of Ambrose, hitting a neckbreaker and a crossbody. GTS attempt, but Ambrose scoots out of it and both men collide. Both Punk and Ambrose tag in Gunn and Reigns respectively. Gunn knocks Reigns down with a boot and sends Rollins for a tilt-a-whirl slam. Hell, Gunn looks pretty good. Suplex to Roman; Road Dogg is tossed out of the ring. GTS attempt on Ambrose, but he slides out and Punk dives onto Rollins. Gunn tries for the Fame-Asser on Ambrose, but Reigns catches him with a spear mid-jump for the three.

Very fun match. Obviously the nostalgia kick was there, but both Outlaws looked great here. Punk and the Shield, of course, is definitely a help, as ever. 3 Stars.

I rather enjoyed this SmackDown. I was expecting more of a build to the Rumble itself, as opposed to just Batista being hyped for it, but maybe they do have a plan (wow, typed that with a straight face). In any event, that was a fun show with some good matches. Seven out of ten.
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CB’s Slant: CB and Swayze’s WWE WrestleMania XXX Card, Match Listings and Some Results http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/04/cbs-slant-cb-and-swayzes-wwe-wrestlemania-xxx-card-match-listings-and-some-results/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/04/cbs-slant-cb-and-swayzes-wwe-wrestlemania-xxx-card-match-listings-and-some-results/#comments Sat, 04 Jan 2014 16:40:20 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162697 Here’s what myself and Swayze came up with during an impromptu discussion for our desired WrestleMania XXX card. This is based on what we want to see more than what might actually happen, though we did make sure all of the big names that will be on the card are booked:

The below matches are in order of how they would appear on our show, along with some of the match results we feel must happen to make this a great night:

Preshow Match on YouTube: Over-the-Top Battle Royal for merged IC/US title shot on the actual show

By this time, we feel like Big E Langston should be the Unified United States/Intercontinental Champion. The winner of this Battle Royal gets to face Big E on the big show for the unified title.

This also enables anyone who didn’t make our official card to get a spot on the pre show. We didn’t have room for folks like Damien Sandow, etc., so they can just be in this battle royal.

Our result for this one is that Dolph Ziggler wins, eliminating Christian last to set up Big E vs. Ziggler later on.

CB and Swayze’s WrestleMania XXX Card and Match Listings

1. RVD and Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara and Alberto Del Rio

2. Unified IC/US Title Match: Big E Langston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

3. 3-Way Elimination Match: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose

This will be a 3-Way Elimination Match showcase that puts the spotlight on all of the now ex-Shield members as singles wrestlers. The crowd would definitely buy into this one and it would be a fascinating dynamic to watch unfold on the biggest stage of them all.

4a. Divas Title Match: AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya Neidhart

4b. Natalya Neidhart vs. The Miz (after Sheamus vs. Miz canceled)*

*For this one, we figure The Miz can make fun of all of the Divas after Brad Maddox or Vickie or someone tells him his match with Sheamus was canceled to make sure all of the title matches on the card have enough time. Sheamus would be cool with the decision, saying that the Divas title match should be allowed the time, but Miz just won’t let it go.

So, after the Divas match ends, Miz comes out and berates both AJ and Natalya and all of the Divas division. Natalya decides to stand up to Miz, call him names and then slap him. Nattie then says she could beat Miz herself, Madddox or Vickie run out and make the match, and with Sheamus and all of the Divas surrounding the ring, Nattie beats Miz with The Sharpshooter.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Miz get his ass kicked by a strong woman like Nattie? Plus this gets a bunch of Divas on the show.

5. Big Show, Sami Zayn and The Prime Time Players vs. Randy Orton and The Wyatt Family

Sami Zayn (El Generico) gets the rookie slot that Fandango got last year. He shines in this match while Orton — who is pissed he lost out on the big title match — and The Wyatts act like total merciless monsters. Ultimately, Orton and The Wyatts win, though they are not happy about it because they all have huge chips on their shoulders for whatever reasons develop between now and WrestleMania XXX.

6. Tag Titles Match: William Regal and Antonio Cesaro vs. Goldust and Cody Rhodes (c)

7. Ryback, Curtis Axel and Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) vs. Los Matadores and El Torito

Pre-Main Event Segment: Bad News Barrett and a Very Special Guest

After Match 7 ends, Bad News Barrett comes to the ring to survey the damage and then he says a few disparaging things about the previous match participants, the crowd and this country.

Suddenly, the lights go out and the song hits … “I am a Real American……..” and there he is, HULK HOGAN.

The crowd just ERUPTS for Hogan as he slowly walks down to the ring, soaking it all in.

By this time, Barrett is the only one in the ring, and Hogan then waits for the crowd to die down — of course it never does — before addressing Barrett.

Hogan then starts up: “I got some bad news for you brother, Hulk Hogan is back Jack…” and then they go back and forth a couple of times as the crowd just eats it up.

Then, Barrett tries to cheap-shot Hogan, Hogan blocks it, points to Barrett, “YOU!” and BAM, he knocks down Barrett, hits the last Leg Drop of his career, the crowd continues to go wild, and then we fade out to the next pre-match package.

8. WWE World Heavyweight Title Fatal Four-Way Match: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Batista

This could have been broken up into two singles matches, but to save room on the card and to make it more interesting at the top we let it go as a Fatal Four-Way. As for the champion going in, let’s say Orton escapes the Rumble as Champ but then loses to Brock Lesnar at Elimination Chamber. Orton then loses his rematch on Raw the next night, where Big Show costs him. After all The Authority put him through, Show wanted to make sure he ruined their previously hand-picked face of the WWE. This can then set up the Show and partners vs. Orton and Wyatts tag match that we placed earlier on this Mania card.

The key here is that CM Punk will WIN the match and become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, regardless of what else happens. We figure that if it’s not going to be Daniel Bryan winning the title, then it should be Punk. As for Bryan…

9. Daniel Bryan vs. The Undertaker

That’s right, we decided on THE BEARD vs. THE STREAK for WrestleMania XXX, something that Taker himself is actually calling for. And if Taker really does want this match to happen, I have a feeling he’ll get it.

Again, I’d personally prefer to see Bryan leave Mania as the WWE World Champion, but if that truly isn’t in the cards and the Undertaker wants to battle him, then that’s just as big of a prize as the title match anyway.

As for the result, you can debate who you think should win in this spot, and we’d love to hear your comments on this and the entire card we laid out.

We’ll see you in the comments section to discuss and I’m sure Swayze will be able to fill in the blanks on some of his desired results for the above matches as well.

That’s all from me — CB.
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Classy Ring Attire 101: The 3rd Annual Classies (With special guest Jonah) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/01/classy-ring-attire-101-the-3rd-annual-classies-with-special-guest-jonah/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/01/classy-ring-attire-101-the-3rd-annual-classies-with-special-guest-jonah/#comments Wed, 01 Jan 2014 14:33:51 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162562 As we start 2014, what a better way to look back on the past year than with our yearly review in the form of The Classies. Each host (and guest) will pick a winner for each of the following categories:

superstar of the year

match of the year

video package of the year

ppv of the year

spot of the year

storyline of the year

diva of the year

most improved/downfall

Mark Henry memorial award/Sin Cara award

best/worst return

disappointment of the year

best/worst turn

Have a different answer for any of the categories above? Let us know in the comments.
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http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/01/classy-ring-attire-101-the-3rd-annual-classies-with-special-guest-jonah/feed/ 0 2013,Brock Lesnar,cm punk,Daniel Bryan,john cena,Mark Henry,Paul Bearer,Paul Heyman,randy orton,Raw,sin cara,Summerslam Don't miss episode 101 featuring The Classies... As we start 2014, what a better way to look back on the past year than with our yearly review in the form of The Classies. Each host (and guest) will pick a winner for each of the following categories: superstar of the year match of the year video package of the year ppv of the year spot of the year storyline of the year diva of the year most improved/downfall Mark Henry memorial award/Sin Cara award best/worst return disappointment of the year best/worst turn Have a different answer for any of the categories above? Let us know in the comments. Inside Pulse Wrestling no 1:12:57
Random Thoughts: WWE Raw 12.23.13 (Is It Time For The Rumble Yet?) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/23/random-thoughts-wwe-raw-12-23-13-is-it-time-for-the-rumble-yet/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/23/random-thoughts-wwe-raw-12-23-13-is-it-time-for-the-rumble-yet/#comments Tue, 24 Dec 2013 04:38:33 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162357 Good Santa vs Bad Santa 2013

{Ed. Note: Happy Holidays to those readers who celebrate. In an effort of full disclosure, I completely underestimated the excitement & joy a three-year old feels around this time and the word “exhausted” can’t even begin to describe the shape I’m in. I apologize if my Thoughts are briefer than normal but right now my main struggle is keeping my eyes open.} 

<- “Good Santa” vs “Bad Santa” might actually put me down for a KO.

<- What a bitch it must be getting through security with those two titles. Randy Orton’s bus has paid for itself by now.

Completely Random Divas Match Where They’re Dressed Like Slutty Elves

<- They needed 12 women for this Divas match and they needed to Vickie Guerrero to participate. Now that the tag team division is soaring, maybe it’s time for the executives to turn their attention to the Divas division

<- Holy crap, that match was worse than usual. Eyes. Are. Trying. To. Close.

Sin (Hunico) Cara vs Curtis (Michael McGillicutty) Axel

<- Trying to keep my mind sharp (and awake) by adding those original names.

<- The new Sin Cara even  gets promo time?! I’d LOVE to know how Triple H is spinning this.

<- I’d prefer to see Sami Zayn debut on the main roster in a tag team with someone like Tyson Kidd but the “new” Sin Cara has definitely been on a roll. Let Sami do the talking and you might get a pretty decent set of “high-flyers” with a Zayn/Cara team.

Batista Promo

<- Welp, that was definitely better than trying to ignore the rumors floating around. I’m a little upset that he isn’t a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble. Debuting a week before helps to set up any sort of story though.

The Brotherhood & Daniel Bryan vs The Wyatt Family

<- The WWE isn’t the “Land of 1,000 Dances” anymore but the “Land of the Six-Man Tag Match”.

<- A few years ago I could absolutely see the WWE booking Daniel Bryan as a part of the Wyatt Family and it failing miserably.

<- They’re doing a great job at keeping The Brotherhood strong but still putting over the Wyatt Family as a legitimate threat.

 Dolph Ziggler vs Fandango

 <- 2 very good talents but 3 weeks in a row they’re booked against one another. Variety is the spice of life, WWE.

<- Solid mid-card match where, once again, two mid-card stars busted their butts for a #1 contendership at the Intercontinental Championship.

The Usos vs The PrimeTime Players

<- The Usos’ war dance is a bit less impressive when there’s fake snow, presents and Christmas trees behind them.

<- Holiday antics with the Rudolph nose and now we’re moving onto “Santa” vs “Santa”. I am legitimately slapping myself to stay away right now.

“Bad Santa” Damien Sandow vs “Good Santa” Mark Henry

<- While I am watching Damien Sandow hit Mark Henry with a fake candy cane, my wife and I are also watching American Horror Story: Asylum. Talk about one extreme to another.

The Real Americans vs Los Matadores

<- All I want for Christmas is for Cesaro to “Cesaro Swing” little El Torito.

<- I remember nothing from this match.

Kofi Kingston vs Ryback

<- Awww hell! I can’t stay awake and now I have to sit through Kofi & Ryback? Willpower. Willpower. Willpower!

<- Absolutely legit, my wife just woke me up. I was in the middle of having Raw playing through my headphones on my computer in my ear, typing an email to Widro on my phone & watching American Horror Story AND I STILL couldn’t stay awake! Wow…

CM Punk, John Cena & Big E Langston vs The Shield

<- When was the last time a member of The Shield wrestled a single’s match? Ambrose four months ago? Time to do a little more work separately, I believe.

<- Nice to see Big E Langston get the hot tag instead of the typical Punk offense.

<- Another typical 6-man tag team match. The novelty of it has lost its luster and it’s time to see what The Shield members can TRULY do on their own. Either way, the 3 on 3 format has definitely run its course and while its nice to see a lot of talent featured throughout the show, people need to make the sacrifice for a better product.
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Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for December 20th 2013: God Bless Us, Everyone http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/21/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-december-20th-2013-god-bless-us-everyone/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/21/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-december-20th-2013-god-bless-us-everyone/#comments Sat, 21 Dec 2013 13:36:28 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162318 Hey there, sports entertainment fans. If my mathematics is correct, then this is the last of these things I’ll be doing before the 25th, so I’ll take the opportunity now to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Kwanzaa, Wonderful Winter Festival and Happy Hannukah.

Santa’s A Fiction, You Ignorant Children

We’re in San Antonio tonight, and the Real Americans are in the ring. Zeb wants to deport Santa Claus, according to his sign, and we just couldn’t have had a Die Hard 3 reference? Out comes Langston, who will be facing Swagger. We get a recap of the tag match on RAW, which I very much enjoyed.

Lock-up and jockeying to start and did Michael Cole just say that Santa isn’t real? Langston hits headbutts; both men run rings around each other and Swagger takes E out at the legs and works him over in the corner. Hard clothesline brings Langston down for a two count and Swagger locks in a bearhug, which E counters into a belly-to-belly suplex. Clotheslines from Langston, followed up by a spear in the corner. Ultimate Warrior Splash and Cesaro gets all up in Big E’s grill before Henry knocks him down. Big Ending finishes Swagger for three.

Well, there wasn’t anything not to like but, as has been a trend of late, that was just too short. I would have been quite happy to have seen more. 2 Stars.

Back from the break, we recap the Unification Match and RAW. I wonder when they’re getting a single belt for Orton, or whether even WWE figures there’s no point to that.

Well, show a lengthy flashback of the oily, orange devil and he will appear. Still with two belts, because like they’d unveil the new one on SmackDown. I think we’re going to get the speech Cena interrupted on RAW: the promo version of sloppy seconds. This brings out Cena, because the World Title picture is the flame to that particular moth. Cena says that he’s out here to stop Orton from looking stupid, so where has he been for the last few years? John says everyone is watching Orton and that he can’t get away with anything anymore; there’s some fourth wall getting bumped into there…

Oh, and here’s Bryan with your basic ‘I’m better than you; you’re a bad champion’ promo. Bryan and Cena are seriously acting like each other’s cheerleaders here: this is reminiscent of that whole Bret Hart/Hulk Hogan/Yokozuna thing. They get into a big argument over who the Face of the WWE is, and it’s probably the Make-A-Wish one.

The Shield’s music hits and Orton decides that…well, screw this. The Shield approach, but here comes Punk and…oh, there is no way, is there?

And here comes Vickie Guerrero? 4-on-3 tag match! Oh…well, I could dream.

We recap the Brodus Clay heel turn, in which he managed to backstab Tensai after basically announcing it on Twitter. Don’t ask me to sympathise with Sweet T on this one.

Okay, that speed-dating commercial for the Royal Rumble made me laugh. We should pay Orton to show up at those things and simply pose at women. I’m pretty sure he’d do it.

Shoving = Title Match

The Bellas are in the ring, as we watch Tamina superkick the shit out of Nikki. AJ’s on commentary. Brie will apparently be facing the woman who got the better of what is essentially her clone. Yep. Brie starts by kicking and crossbodying Tamina before tossing her out of the ring and kicking her on the outside. Bitchslap, oh snap, and Tamina catches a crossbody and bodyslams Brie before stomping her. JACKET TOSS. Tamina pulls Tamina out of the ring and drives her into the apron, then brings her back in for a pin; Brie kicks out. Sleeper hold applied; Tamina tries a back suplex, but Brie rolls out of it and trips Tamina onto the ropes. Knee to the face from Brie, followed by dropkicks and another dropkick from the second rope. Brie then walks into the NIKKISLAYER, but kicks out. Tamina tries for the Superfly Splash, but Bella…I guess gets her knees up? She pins Tamina for the three and then shoves AJ in an unprovoked assault. Michael Cole takes Brie’s side, because fuck anyone who doesn’t follow his exact system of ethics.

Nothing special here. Thought we might be making the superkick a thing for Tamina, but apparently not. The idea’s been floated that AJ might be more entertaining chasing the title, but I think the problem is that she’s going to be the only entertaining one in any Diva feud so far. She was the most entertaining thing about this match and she was barely on camera. 1.5 Stars.

Battle Of Two Guys Who (Fill In Your Own Joke)

It’s Drew McIntyre vs. Sin Cara. Um…I guess? Drew starts off on the assault before Sin hip-tosses him over the top rope and flips out onto him. Drew’s sent back in the ring and Sin Cara crossbodies back in onto him. Drew regains control and hangs Sin onto the top rope with a suplex. Apparently McIntyre will have to use his ‘power game’, and I’m glad we didn’t have to see Cole’s pokerface for that particular phrase. Sin Cara is whipped into a corner, but dodges McIntyre, hits an armdrag and a headscissors before channelling Torrie Wilson for a handspring elbow off the ropes. Drew backdrops Sin out onto the apron; Sin Cara responds with a kick and goes up high. He hits the senton bomb and that’s it. Did JBL just say ‘looks like we’ve got a new Sin Cara’?

This match was unsurprisingly meh. I don’t think people are ever going to be that high on a character which had a lacklustre run when portrayed by another wrestler and who barely speaks, so it’s hard for me to be excited about Sin Cara 2.0. 1.5 Stars.

Pffft…‘Sack’…

Back from the break, Sandow is busting out a promo and uses the phrase ‘half-witted hoopla’ in the first sentence. Sold. He’s attacking Christmas from a different angle than the racially-motivated one Zeb did earlier. Man, all we need out here is Bad News Barrett and we’re Fox News. His opponent is apparently the Miz. So…what’s going on with him now? He says that Santa was in his corner at Main Event; I have no idea whether that’s true, so I’ll assume Miz was on acid at the time. He makes a ‘sack’ joke (for the kids) and I guess that really is fighting talk.

Bell rings and Sandow pounds down on Miz. Miz rolls out of a back suplex and starts attacking Sandow back with clotheslines, then a backbreaker and a neckbreaker. Sandow tries to block Miz’s corner clothesline with a kick, but Miz catches the leg and what I thought was a blatant low blow was apparently an inner-thigh shot. Miz then locks in the Figure Four, but Sandow reaches for the ropes. I guess he needs that momentum to get squashed by Henry this Monday. Sandow kicks Miz in the face and then rolls him up with a handful of tights.

Fast, over quickly, hardly inoffensive. We’re really doing some rush-jobs tonight, although the main event probably justifies it. 2 Stars.

Drink Every Time Cole Mentions WWE’s ‘Great Tag Team Scene’

Here come the tag team champions, fresh from a decisive loss against Big Show and Rey Mysterio. Their opponents are Harper and Rowan. Goldust will start off against Rowan, and they stare each other down. Goldust bites at Rowan and then punches mask off Rowan’s face: seen it before, still funny. Rowan takes exception to this historical re-enactment and starts beating the hell out of Goldust in his corner. Dust fights back with right hands and knees to the face. Rowan overpowers Goldust again, now tagging in Harper. Harper tries for a backdrop, but Goldust uses the Rhodes Uppercut and tags Cody in. Cody is immediately overpowered and tries several times to knock down Harper before finally doing it with his catch-up clothesline. He stays on Harper, dragging him into the corner to tag in Goldust. Harper fights his way out of the situation, knocking Goldust down in the corner. The two men trade blows for several moments, but Harper’s power is too much and Dust is dragged over to the Wyatt corner and Rowan is tagged in. Rowan chokes Goldust with his foot and then tries for a bodyslam; Goldust slips out of it, but is caught in a front facelock and worked over but good by Beardface. Goldust valiantly tries to fight out but good luck with that. Harper’s tagged back in and continues the task of putting the boots to Goldust. Goldust ducks two clotheslines and tries for a crossbody, but misses and flies out of the ring to land at Bray’s feet: nice visual.

Back in the ring, Harper and Rowan exchange tags as they flatten Goldust systematically. Rowan’s doing a good thing with his roughneck tactics; they can be more intimidating than the power game sometimes. Big splash to Goldust gets a two count, and Goldust isn’t even trying offense now; he just wants to get to Cody: that’s powerful. Harper’s back in now and uses the Gator Roll and then a headlock before tagging in Rowan. Bodyslam to Goldust before Rowan beats him down in the corner. Man, that paint has just been knocked off Goldust’s face. Finally, Goldust misses a charge, tries to make a tag to Cody, is stopped, hits a back elbow and nearly gets the tag before Harper stops him. Goldust then hits the Cross Rhodes, creating his chance to get the tag and he does so. In comes Cody, pounding on Harper with everything he’s got. Springboard dropkick to Harper; roll-up and Harper kicks out. Disaster Kick to Harper; moonsault to Harper and Rowan breaks up the pin. Goldust’s back now and both Brothers Rhodes try to suplex him but he shoves them away before getting clotheslined over the top rope. Harper sends Cody out over the top rope, and Goldust returns the favour before leaping out onto Rowan and getting his face kicked off by Harper. Bray also shoves Cody into a turnbuckle, probably to fulfil his ‘Be A Total Dick’ quota.

Harper manages to get back into the ring, then heads back out to pick up Cody. He hits That Clothesline for the three and the pin.

That lagged a little bit, but it was still entertaining. Goldust’s beating at the Wyatts’ hands was almost uncomfortable to watch at some points, and the Wyatts looked threatening. 2.5 Stars.

Oh, here comes Bray to stir some shit up. Oh, and here comes Bryan with a chair to beat the hell out of people. He knocks Harper and Rowan down, then guns for Wyatt; Harper grabs the chair so Bryan just kicks him in the head. He ducks a clothesline from Bray, takes him down and beats his fat ass out of the ring before dropkicking Rowan off the apron. Nice adrenaline piece to finish a decent match.

YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MY FRIEND!!

It’s Brodus vs. Tensai and due to the break I don’t know if they both used the same music. Anyway, they lock up and punch each other. Tensai beats Brodus down in the corner, hammering him with the pent-up fury of a man who’s been booked like Tensai has for the last while. Clothesline knocks Brodus down, but Tensai’s running senton misses. Brodus squashes Tensai in the corner twice, knocks him down and splashes him. Tensai kicks out, Brodus splashes him again and then goes for it again, but here come the Funkadactyls and Xavier Wood. They provide the distraction for Tensai to roll up the Funkasaurus.

Oh, so this is going to be one of those heel-turns that doesn’t matter. 1.5 Stars.

Clay attacks Tensai after the match, Xavier interferes and hits the Honour Roll. Clay is knocked out of the ring and the good guys dance. Sure.

Did We Forget Which Show Is Three Hours?

Fandango and Kofi will be fighting each other, because a great main event doesn’t need such abstracts as ‘time’. Fandango headlocks Kofi, gets shot off the ropes and shoulderblocks Kofi. Kofi gets his own headlock in, gets shoved into the turnbuckle and comes off with a flying dropkick for a one count. Kofi attempts a monkey flip, but it fails and Fandango flattens him with a clothesline. He stays on Kingston in the corner, then sends him off the ropes and into a back elbow. Sleeper hold locked in; Fandango tosses him to the ground and then misses a flying knee drop. Both men regain their feet; Dango misses a charge in the corner and Kofi takes control, knocking Fandango down for the Boom Drop. Kofi misses the Trouble In Paradise and Fandango trips him up before hitting his leg drop.

This was okay, if not really necessary. 2 Stars.

Backstage, Renee tries to interview Bryan, but is scared off by the Wyatts who then jump Bryan and…are they abducting him again? What parking lot will we find him in this time?

Christmas Is About The Broken Promises

Apparently Bryan was thrown off a ledge; our thoughts go to his fiancé at this trying time. So, what, we now don’t get the fun-looking main event that we were told we were getting? This probably wouldn’t be so annoying if JBL hadn’t kept saying ‘Christmas has come early’ and I’d agreed with him because I was excited about the match. Cena and Punk look ready to go with the Shield, but here comes Vickie, and if she’s going to be their tag partner then ALL IS FORGIVEN. The show must go on, she says, and it’s a handicap match. Man, there’s an idea that’s gotten pretty old recently.

Dean and Punk start off, and Punk takes the advantage with some chain wrestling before placing Ambrose in the corner and making a tag. Cena hits Ambrose with a dropkick and a bulldog, tagging in Punk. Double suplex, then a bodyslam and an elbow drop from the second rope by Punk. Tag to Cena, who hits a fisherman’s suplex. Dean looks freaked and tags in Reigns. Roman gets Cena in a headlock, gets shot off the ropes and knocks Cena down. Cena ducks behind Roman, headlocks him, gets shot off the ropes and Reigns knocks him down again. They do it again, but Cena ducks Roman before knocking him down this time. He tries to whip Roman into the corner, but Reigns reverses it and the impact knocks Cena down. Rollins is now in, and he hits some strikes and tags in Ambrose. Ambrose pulls Cena’s neck back on the ropes and then locks his arm, but Cena back suplexes his way out of it. Tag to Reigns, who catches Cena before he can make the tag, placing himself between Cena and Punk before knocking John down with a FALCON PUNCH. Tag now to Rollins, who hits a running forearm into Cena in the corner, but the following splash is ducked. Ambrose still gets the tag before Cena can make it to Punk, dropkicking John against the ropes and tagging in Rollins. Cena tries to drive past Rollins to get to Punk, but Seth knocks Punk off the apron and takes Cena into the neutral corner, keeping on the heat. Off a distraction from Punk, Cena nearly hits the Attitude Adjustment, but Rollins slides out and hits a jumping kick to Cena’s head.

Rollins takes Cena up for a superplex, but John powers out, headbutting Rollins off the top rope. Ambrose comes in off the tag, but gets tornado-DDT’d. Punk gets the tag, firing away on Rollins with kicks and knocking Reigns off the apron. High knee to Rollins against the ropes, and once Seth’s out of the ring, Punk dives on him. Back in the ring, Punk gets Rollins with a springboard clothesline, the high knee, the clothesline and the Macho Elbow. He signals for the GTS, but Ambrose lunges forward; Punk manages to neckbreaker Ambrose whilst DDT-ing Rollins, and Reigns breaks up the subsequent pin. The Shield all start kicking the crap out of Punk and the ref calls for the bell.

Wow, from a good match to this. Okay, it wasn’t bad; just don’t ask me to be happy with it once you show me something far better and then take it away. 2 Stars.

Cena throws Reigns into the barricade and helps out Punk, but Reigns comes right back and spears him. Punk tries to attack Reigns, but the Shield kick him out of the ring. Triple Powerbomb to Cena. Punk comes back, gets beaten down and is about to be powerbombed, but Langston rushes to the ring and clears out the Shield. But apparently didn’t care enough to be their tag team partner. Reigns and Langston tease a face-off and I’ve been waiting to see this, but Punk comes in with a chair, backing Roman down.

This show just gave the overall impression of being a mess. Towards the closing moments I was just waiting for the end, and that’s not how it should be. I am very disappoint. This show gets a four. 
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Creative Control: The GPS to Wrestlemania XXX, Part 2 (CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Shield, Wyatt Family, NXT, PPV) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/16/creative-control-the-gps-to-wrestlemania-xxx-part-2-cm-punk-dolph-ziggler-shield-wyatt-family-nxt-ppv/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/16/creative-control-the-gps-to-wrestlemania-xxx-part-2-cm-punk-dolph-ziggler-shield-wyatt-family-nxt-ppv/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 11:35:34 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162187 That did not take long at all.  Just two weeks into doing this and I embarrass myself in spectacular fashion.  I make a joke about a couple of columnists stepping on my fantasy booking toes and I go and do a Wrestlemania XXX card only three weeks after James Sawyer posted his own well-received version.  When I went and reread Sawyer’s take on the card, it came back to me that I had read it.  However, when I came up with the idea for the column in the first place, I had forgotten all about it.

In rereading Sawyer’s column, I liked a lot of his ideas and matches.  We had one nearly identical match (Taker/Cena; I just added Rock into the mix to wrap up his multi-year story with Cena), but it is one people have been speculating about for a couple of years.  We differed on the main event.  Sawyer appeared focused on booking the last dream match that is available to WWE with Punk/Austin.  I went at it from the long narrative storyline of Daniel Bryan fighting his way to the top and achieving his dream of capturing the WWE Title. He did have Bryan achieving revenge by “retiring” Triple H.  In my opinion however, any outcome that does not end with Daniel Bryan in the middle of the ring holding the WWE Title in victory to close out Wrestlemania does not provide a satisfying end to his story-arc that began at SummerSlam.

I admit some intimidation in presenting the remainder of the card.  However, since there are no fewer than five people who in some way shape or form discuss Raw on a weekly basis here, I figure there is more than enough room for multiple takes on a potential Wrestlemania card.

Second Thoughts:

There were two consistent criticisms to my card last week: one minor, one major.  The minor one was people pointing out the apparent oversight on my part that it was not possible to have a cage match (Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan) at Elimination Chamber, given the Chamber would be suspended above the ring.  I did factor that in. I thought I remember a way the WWE did a cage match where it was assembled and set up by bringing the pieces from backstage and did not require a separate hanging structure.  If my memory is off (and I do not doubt that) and that is not possible, a cage is not essential to the narrative of the match.  I like the imagery from a storytelling perspective, but they can still have a standard match that ends with Wyatt submitting to the Yes Lock and Bryan moving on to Lesnar.

The major complaint was my Triple H vs. Randy Orton match at Wrestlemania.  To say this was not well received is a massive understatement.  And the critics are right.  Even in my own write-up of the match, I stated I did not like the match, but was trying to come up with something to keep them occupied and away from the main event program.  That was lazy thinking on my part.  I should not be just looking to contain problems in fantasy booking; I should be about putting together something entertaining that tells compelling stories and when possible, make every participant shine.  Therefore, I scrapped the match and tweaked the card accordingly.  I am sure not everyone will agree or approve of the final product (I am sure universal agreement on the internet is a sign of the apocalypse), but there you go.  And as always, you have a better idea, lay it out below in the comments.

Booking Wrestlemania XXX Part II

So, here’s the card in full (explanations skipped for all matches discussed last week)

(Undisputed) WWE Championship Match:  Brock Lesnar (champion) vs. Daniel Bryan

Triple Threat Elimination Match:  John Cena vs. The Rock vs. The Undertaker

 Triple H/Kane vs. CM Punk/Dolph Ziggler 

How We Get Here:

Ziggler and Punk are still in the Elimination Chamber as I laid out last week.  Ziggler still goes through a series of qualifying matches to get in as opposed to the other participants who are just selected and Punk still taunts The Authority in the lead-up about how a Bryan/Punk main event at Wrestlemania would be their worst nightmare. Punk and Ziggler though do not have the confrontation in the Chamber as I discussed last week.  The night after Elimination Chamber, Ziggler is seen backstage commenting to someone about an earlier segment where the Authority throws their weight around.  Kane and Triple H come up behind him, hearing the comments and put him in some form of a punishment match, like a gauntlet or handicap match.  As that match progresses, Ziggler is worn down and it is clear his opponents have no plan to end the match short of referee stoppage or medical intervention.  This leads Punk to come out and make a save.

The next week, Punk and Ziggler appear together in an interview segment.  Punk notes how he and Ziggler are cut from the same cloth.  They speak their minds, they bust their backs every night to try to steal the show, and they piss off the Authority to no end.  This leads Triple H to throw his weight around determined to break the pair as they do not seem to know or understand their place in the hierarchy of the company.   They are booked into matches designed for them to lose, but they keep coming out on top.  The two hijack commentary, putting over independent talent, name dropping guys who they feel never got a fair chance.  Ultimately, this leads to Triple H deciding that the only way for the Authority to deal with the problem is to deal with it himself, and therefore taps his Director of Operations Kane to assist him to not only defeat the pair but to punish them on the biggest stage so badly, nothing could rebuild them.  The match ends with Ziggler nailing Triple H with the Zig Zag and scoring the victory.

Side Note:

I know people are salivating at the idea of Triple H/Shawn Michaels vs. Punk/Bryan after the end of Raw last week.  As I discussed above though, I feel Bryan’s storyline should end with him winning the WWE Title at the end of Wrestlemania.  I also do not think that Michaels will come back.  I vaguely remember hearing something about how he was disappointed that Flair went on to have matches in TNA after he had given Michaels the honor of retiring him at Wrestlemania 24. With this in mind, I do not see Michaels disrespecting the Undertaker by pulling a similar maneuver; no matter how common it is for a retired wrestler to come back for “one more match.”  Triple H and Punk have an established history and the seeds were sown for another altercation following the end of Raw.  I wanted though to come up with something that also helps build Ziggler back up to the main event level after his untimely concussion and subsequent burial this past year.  That was the purpose behind the original Punk vs. Ziggler match I came up with last week.  With this match, we get a D-X vs. management feel with Punk and Ziggler now as the disruptive influences, but in their own acerbic way versus the juvenile prank style of Triple H and Michaels.  Ziggler pinning Triple H would do wonders to rebuilding his standing.

Intercontinental/U.S. Unification Match:  Big E. Langston vs. Dean Ambrose

 Divas Championship:  Tamina (champion) vs. Natalya

Roman Reigns vs. Kofi Kingston

 How We Get Here:

After Ambrose secures the unification match against Langston, he notes that the Shield should use this year’s Wrestlemania to prove that each member’s individual superiority compared to last year when they showed their dominance as a unit.  Therefore, he tells Reigns and Rollins to go find challengers for themselves.

Kingston goes on a tear starting with the lead-up to the Royal Rumble.  His current feud with the Miz culminates at the Rumble in a Falls Count Anywhere match.  The match is designed to be a final confrontation between the two given their history of endless matches over the last three years along with multiple betrayals when as a tag team.  He also competes in the Rumble itself and makes it to the final six.  At Elimination Chamber, he defeats Alberto Del Rio.  During these months, he gets interview time and talks about with the new year, he made a resolution to not only wow the audience, but to climb to the top, giving it everything he had.  Kingston claims that he strapped a rocket to his own back and nothing is going to stop him.  He notes that he has been in the company for years, but has always hit a glass ceiling, and this was the year he was going to break through it.

Reigns picks Kingston as his opponent feeling that if he can derail the momentum of the veteran, he will show his individual dominance.  At Wrestlemania, as the Shield make their way escorting Reigns down to the ring, Ambrose indicates he wants Reigns to go at it alone; that he and Rollins will stay away from ringside to allow Reigns to show what he can do with no excuses from Kingston about the Shield distracting him.  This is different from earlier in the night when Ambrose and Reigns were ringside for Rollins’s match.  Reigns wins with an impressive spear that catches Kingston in the midst of a top rope maneuver.

Side Note:

The match is designed primarily to give Reigns a big win and to allow for the Shield dissolution storyline to take off after Wrestlemania.  As I mentioned last week, following Ambrose’s decision Reigns should be without the Shield at ringside, Reigns makes a similar call prior to Ambrose’s match with Langston.

The build-up is designed to push Kingston.  While not known as a great talker, when he has been allowed to be himself, or shown as driven, he has a certain charisma.  There is a moment I remember a number of years ago, where he was Intercontinental Champion and his opponent stole the belt (it may have even been the Miz).  On the following Raw, the opponent was in a backstage interview with Josh Matthews.  Kingston interrupted the segment, leveled his opponent, picked up the title belt and looked at Matthews.  He kind of shrugged his shoulders, nodded to Matthews, said “Hi Josh,” and walked off.  I loved that moment because that defined Kingston’s character as a nice guy, but at the same time a determined competitor who will not let anyone walk over him or take him for granted.  Sadly, they did not use that moment to develop him.  The lead up to Wrestlemania would do that.  Let him fly around the ring, let him do his flips and crowd participation, but let him win.  Let him be aggressive and get a string of victories.  Have the commentators note the new focus and fire driving Kingston.  Let him talk about it.  That way, not only does it build him up, but when he does lose, it makes the opponent who does it, seem that much more impressive.

3 on 2 Handicapped Match:

The Wyatt Family vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust

 How We Get Here:

Following his inability to convert Daniel Bryan to join the clan, Bray Wyatt turns his attention on the Rhodes.  He is intrigued by their dynamic.  On one side, you have the clean cut, average looking Cody; on the other his disturbed, unpredictable brother Goldust.  There is a power between the two that allowed them to weather the storm of the Authority.  It is a power that allowed them to not only win the tag titles but hold onto them for several months and defeat their rivals.  It is a power that Wyatt envies.

From there a psychological war develops as Wyatt looks to tear apart the team due to his feeling that their bond some way threatens his clan and leadership.  The Rhodes pull out their own mind games, but are not quite as effective as those of the cult’s.  At Wrestlemania, the Wyatts are victorious.

Side Note:

A fairly simple storyline based on Wyatt’s twisted logic that somehow, the Rhodes brothers are a threat to his stature.  I would have Goldust and Cody dissolve as a team following this match.  I am not sure if I would have the break-up lead to a feud between them, or if it would be a rare occurrence where two partners decide they’ve run their course.  A feud between the two has potential (as noted by Sawyer) and this storyline could be a great catalyst with Goldust becoming unhinged due to their encounters with the Wyatts.  I am curious to see if Cody can capitalize on the apparent push he received from the Authority storyline and make a run as a single’s star in the upper card or even break through to the main event.

Tag Team Title Fatal Four Way:

The Real Americans (champions) vs. Big Show/Rey Mysterio vs. The Usos vs. Randy Orton/Alberto Del Rio

How We Get Here:

Swagger and Cesaro win the titles at the Rumble (I originally had them winning last night at TLC).  They fend off Los Matadores before the participants in this match start lining up.  Rey and Big Show remains a unit both tag teaming and accompanying each other for individual matches, while the Usos continue to fight all comers, looking to climb their way to the championship.

Orton, as noted last week, loses at TLC, does not win the Rumble, and fails in the Elimination Chamber.  As a result of this string of failures, he is ignored by the Authority.  His demands go unanswered.  He is livid that someone of his stature and pedigree suddenly is cast aside.  In his mind, he is still the face of the company.

Facing similar delusions of importance but lacking stature is Del Rio.  Despite his viciousness and drive, he has failed to secure a championship.  He feels entitled, but ignored as well.  A chance encounter backstage leads the two to form a bond.  It is one of hatred for everyone else and a feeding of each other’s egos about how important they are.  This alliance forces its way into the tag team scene and secures a spot in the title match at Wrestlemania where they are able to steal the titles from what appears to be a victory for the Usos.

Side Note:

Is there any way I can claim that I had a variation of this match set up before I reread Sawyer’s column and anyone would believe me?  I did have a fatal four way tag title match lined up in my first draft, but with the Primetime Players instead of Orton/Del Rio.  After I dropped the Triple H/Orton match, I needed to find something to do with Orton, but there was no singles match that was speaking to me.  Then I started thinking about Del Rio and his recent string of losses, and realized the pair of self-important, floundering heels could work.  I debated putting the titles on them to start a feud with the Usos, who should eventually win the titles and have their stature raised from beating a pair of former main eventers. The loss of the belts can lead to a break-up of the Real Americans with Zeb Colter and Swagger blaming the foreign Cesaro for the loss and start to build Cesaro again for singles competition.

Seth Rollins vs. Sin Cara

 Not much to say for setting up this opening bout for the card.  Sin Cara is the target selected by Rollins for the Shield’s series of one-on-one matches at Wrestlemania.  With the way they are building up the Hunico version of Sin Cara, he should be at a level by Wrestlemania where his loss at the hands of Rollins appears significant.  I see a fast-paced match between these two which is perfect for firing up the crowd.

 Pre-Show

NXT vs. WWE 10-Man Tag

Sami Zayn, Bo Dallas, Adrian Neville, Alexander Rusev, Aiden English vs. R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Ryaback, Curtis Axel, Fandango

I like the idea of involving NXT in some capacity with Wrestlemania.  Including some of the talent on the cusp of joining the main roster on the biggest show of the year is a great way to promote NXT.  I am not sure how well having both teams being a blend of faces and heels would work, but it does not hurt to try it.  Also, call me whatever names you like, but I am sold just on the idea of seeing Fandango and English square off in a clash of gimmicks. 

 

There it is; my complete take on the Wrestlemania XXX card.  I am much happier with this final version then what I had first lined up.  There isn’t a match on here where I am feeling it is “making do” like I did last week.  Is it perfect?  Of course not, what card ever is?  However the match selections and the stories told to reach them I feel makes for compelling entertainment, which is the end goal.  What is the likelihood any of these matches occur?  Well, we’ll find out in about three months.

Until next week, I relinquish creative control.
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Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for December 13th 2013: Now With 30% More Basement http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/14/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-december-13th-2013-now-with-30-more-basement/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/14/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-december-13th-2013-now-with-30-more-basement/#comments Sat, 14 Dec 2013 13:57:19 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162144 A brief note as we begin: my old English teacher and my cousin bet me I couldn’t get certain words into this article. So…that’s happening. Also, I missed the Slammy Awards due to this week being like a day in Bill Murray’s life towards the end of Groundhog Day. And now that I’ve typed that, I just want to spend this report reviewing Groundhog Day. Still, we’ll soldier on; hopefully SmackDown’s got something to recommend it.

What If All Companies Hired Like The Wyatts?

Well, Daniel Bryan is approaching the ring for a match. Good way to start. And here’s the Wyatts. Oh, SmackDown. Erick Rowan will be stepping up to the plate, meaning that if Daniel loses he’s getting dragged out to a parking lot again. Rowan immediately takes the roughneck offense to Mr Slammy. Bryan ducks a clothesline, coming back with strikes only for Rowan to knock him down hard. Bodyslam by Rowan, followed up by a Frisky Bearhug. Bryan tries to fight his way out of it, and does, hitting elbows before his crossbody is caught by Rowan, who turns it into a fallaway slam. Bryan is pancaked into the corner for two; it’s interesting that they’re letting Rowan dominate this match from the start. A charge to the corner allows Rowan’s face to meet Bryan’s boot, and Bryan hits a dropkick from the second rope and starts Hulking Up, hitting his volley of kicks before knocking Harper off the apron and diving out onto him before low-bridging Rowan. He tries to dive out again, but Bray grabs his feet, tripping him. The referee sees it, which pretty much makes him a superhero in terms of WWE referees, and calls for the DQ.

Far too short, but there was nothing to dislike about the content that was there. Not much else to say, other than to question why the ref doesn’t use his supervision to spy on the Divas. 2 Stars.

Harper and Rowan immediately come in for the assault, but Bryan ducks and dives, before sliding out of the ring and nailing Bray with a CenaSlayer! (and yes, I’m calling it the CenaSlayer).

Apparently Orton is going to apologise for knocking Stephanie down without trying to molest her, thereby destroying her confidence in her appearance.

Santa: The Biggest Border-Hopper Of Them All

Back from break, the Real Americans race to the ring, and when Cesaro hurls his flag, it hits the championships hoisted above the ring. SUBTEXT. Facing them are the tag team champions, but they wait for Zeb to make a hate speech, because the Rhodeses were raised by a Texan and taught to listen whilst bigotry is spouted. The crux of the speech is that Zeb hates Santa, so he’ll be getting visited thrice by ghosts on Christmas Eve. Goldust and Cesaro lock up, with Goldust hitting a shoulder tackle and an armdrag before tagging in Cody. Elbow to Cesaro from the top rope, but Cesaro takes control to tag in Swagger. Quick tags are the name of the game here, with Swagger taking Cody into the neutral corners. Cody dodges the Swagger Bomb and trips Jack into the corner so that he can tag in Goldust.

Goldust hits clotheslines, the Rhodes Uppercut and the atomic drop, but misses the big boot to Swagger. Cesaro makes the blind tag as Swagger is spinebuster-ed by Goldust, and tosses the painted man out of the ring before clotheslining him on the outside as we go to break.

When we come back, Swagger has full control of Goldust, hitting him with shoulder-thrusts in the corner as the Real Americans continue to make quick tags. Swagger locks him a sleeper, which Goldust fights out of, leaps off the second rope and knocks skulls with Swagger. Both men get the tag and Cody immediately unloads on Cesaro, hitting fists, knees, clotheslines. He rolls up Cesaro for two, hits the Rhodes Uppercut and the Alabama Slam. The pin is counted, but Cesaro reaches the bottom rope. Cody misses a Disaster Kick; Cesaro tries to hit the Cesaro Swing, but Goldust interferes; Goldust is thrown out of the ring and Cody hits the Disaster Kick this time. Swagger breaks up the pin, tries to toss Cody and is tossed out himself, before Cesaro is thrown out onto Swagger. Cody splashes onto Jack on the outside from the top rope and goes up for a moonsault on Cesaro, now in the ring. Swagger interferes, which provides Cesaro with the kairos (HAH) he needs; he yanks Rhodes off the top rope, right into an Uppercut for the three!

The last segment of that match was what I adore in tag matches: reversals and guys coming out of nowhere to change the content. Could have gone on longer, and I wish it had, but very good. 3 Stars.

We get a promo package for the Unification Match this Sunday, which I thought was a rather wonderful advert, even for something I’m not wild about seeing. The rivalry actually makes sense; I just wish Orton looked like he had a hope in hell against Cena. That’s my main problem with how Cena is presented: everyone he faces is instantly less of a threat because they’re facing John Cena. Bryan and Punk are the last two guys to face him when I remember actually thinking ‘Cena could genuinely lose’. Orton just does not evoke that, and if it seemed like he could beat Cena, I’d be far more likely to get behind our World Heavyweight Champion.

Anyway, soapbox moment over. We recap Hunico beating Del Rio with a rolling powerbomb that looks like it caved in the back of Alberto’s skull and a senton bomb that missed by a country mile. Change the wrestler, not the gimmick, I guess.

We’re joined by Bad News Barrett, now with detachable gavel accessory. He’s still a less-biased source of facts than the Daily Mail.

Sandow Used Run. ‘Can’t Escape!’ Sandow Used Run. ‘Got Away Safely!’

Sexual Chocolate is in the ring and Big E Langston is on commentary. Damien Sandow approaches the ring to get dismembered. Sandow is immediately shoved down by Mark. Not cowed, Sandow slaps a headlock on Henry aaaaand knocked down. Both wrestlers trade control before Henry gets his boot up damn high to hit Sandow in the face and knock him out of the ring. The ref starts the count and Sandow is smart enough to realise that fighting the World’s Strongest Man is a poor decision. Henry wins by count-out.

Nothing here I can comment on, really.

Post-match, Langston shoves Sandow back into the ring to meet his maker (that is not to imply that Sandow was once a disembodied hand). Henry throws Sandow into Langston, which Langston blames Sandow for. Well, like you’d argue.

‘It’s Not About Total Divas on Sunday’: Lies Natalya Says

Back from the adverts, AJ Lee is skipping, Tamina is pouty, the Bellas are irrelevant and Natalya’s on commentary. That about sums it up. Tamina will start off against Nikki, who brings her under control with a headscissors takedown. AJ leaps into the fray, but Nikki takes her down too before Tamina throws her halfway across the ring. Suplex to Nikki and Tamina hits some hard strikes and the Samoan Drop. AJ comes into the ring to pick up the scraps, but Nikki kicks out. AJ locks a sleeper into Nikki, who manages to throw her off. AJ then charges at Nikki, only to hit the corner hard as Nikki ducks out of the way and tags in Brie. Brie comes in strong, hitting clotheslines and dropkicks to AJ before knocking Tamina off the apron. She then hits a knee to the face of AJ and climbs up to the second rope. Missile dropkick nearly gets the pin, but Tamina breaks it up. The Bellas throw the Snukette out, but AJ locks the Black Widow into Brie and makes her tap, which thankfully shuts Natalya up. Not because I have enmity towards Natalya, but because I have a terrible headache and her voice is…unhelpful.

That match was just okay. I think that Tamina could be more of a bulldozer, but it’s nice to see AJ get a pin considering she’s holding up her end of a feud between her and the cast of Total Divas. 1.5 Stars.

Well, here comes John Cena. We get yet another guarantee of one champion, and repeated promises shouldn’t make me this sceptical. John builds up the match, which would be a whole lot easier if it was going to take place at WrestleMania rather than a show that UK viewers are getting for free. Cena then remembers when he and Orton were friends and I get Batista flashing up in my head for some reason…Cena says that Orton doesn’t like to be hit too much. So then why did he become a wrestler? Cena says that he’ll keep going, whereas Orton will take the easy way out because he hasn’t got the nuts. John ends by saying that the champ is here and leaves. Good promo: simple and to the point.

Dean Ambrose Discusses Santa Claus And Spontaneous Combustion

We revisit the Shield attacking Punk, and speak of the devil and they will appear. The Shield are coming down the ramp as Rollins and Reigns get set to take on the Usos. Did Seth just use the ring-entrance animation from WWE SmackDown 4: Shut Your Mouth? Back from a brief break, Dean’s on the mic again: I appreciate this decision. Wow, the Usos are loud tonight, and I love the new shirts. Jimmy and Rollins start off the match, locking up before Jimmy puts Seth in a headlock. Jimmy’s shot off the ropes and comes back with some hard strikes before tagging in Jey. Clothesline to Rollins as Michael quizzes Dean on the Shield’s cracks…wait. Jimmy is tagged back in, locking Rollins’ arm before Roman is tagged in and begins to dismantle Jimmy. Rollins is tagged back in as the Shield stay on Jimmy. Jey gets a blind tag, and both Usos both punch Rollins, double-kick Reigns, toss Reigns out of the ring and send Rollins out to follow him.

Back from the break, Rollins is in control of Jimmy. Jimmy attempts a backslide, but Rollins kicks out and tags in Roman. Flying clothesline from Reigns and Jimmy kicks out. Sleeper hold to Jimmy as Dean threatens to sprout wings or antlers. No, really. Ambrose then says that JBL could spontaneously combust, prompting JBL to say calmly ‘that would be terrible for commentary’, before giving the greatest aside glance I’ve ever seen. Dean then moves on to talk about Santa Claus, and I swear I could listen to this forever. Back in the ring, Jimmy rocks Roman’s jaw, but it’s all for naught as Reigns brings him down with a clothesline. Rollins is tagged in, but gets low-bridged by Jimmy, who then hits a DDT that just spikes Reigns. Rollins tries to stop Jimmy, but Jey is tagged in and comes into the match on fire. Clotheslines and kicks and inarticulate screaming abound before Jey knocks Roman off the apron and gets a near-fall on Rollins from one hell of a Samoan Drop. Jey winds up for the superkick, sends an interfering Roman out of the ring, counters whatever Rollins tries to do and superkicks him. Jey goes up high, but Seth rolls out of the ring…so Jey splashes onto him from the outside. Jimmy throws Jey aside to take the spear from Reigns instead; that was surprisingly touching. Jey tries to avenge Jimmy with a kick (which is how you avenge properly), but Roman catches the leg and Rollins blasts Jey and rocks his skull off the ring post. Jey barely makes it back into the ring, just in time for Rollins to stomp his head. Seth signals for the Go 2 Sleep, but turns it into a way to set up Jey for the spear from Reigns for the three.

Great match, just great. The Shield continue to impress, like they have from day one. The Usos also were a treat to watch and the crowd really rallies behind these guys; I could definitely see them carrying the tag titles soon. 3.5 Stars.

CM Punk interrupts to broadcast from the Shield’s usual hangout spot in the basement (again, the Wyatts are just out of shot, wondering where Reigns and Rollins are and why Dean looks so scruffy today). Punk says that if he’s going down, the Shield’s going down with him. He says to Believe in the Best in the World.

Ryback Regrets Losing Paul Heyman Right About…Now

Big Show will be taking on Ryback here, and we are shown the Fatal Four-Way tag match for the titles this Sunday. Big Show immediately knocks down Ryback, slapping him across the pecs multiple times. Ryback fights back, but gets clotheslined and squashed into the corner…before Ryback spinebusters him to the mat, pulling down the straps. Ryback then goes for the Meathook, gets Chokeslammed…and that’s it.

Can we decide what to do with Ryback? Please? This match had very little to it at all. 1.5 Stars.

Axel tries to jump the Big Show afterwards, out of some strange death-wish, and gets 619-ed and Knockout Punched. End scene.

Oops, here are the Wyatts backstage (Punk and the Shield are off-camera: Punk is Tweeting about unrelated events; the Shield are regretting letting anybody know about this place). Wyatt seems to feel betrayed by Bryan and also seems to be high off his sizeable tits. Seems like the job offer’s been retracted.

Knocking Out Kofi: The Newest WWE Trend

Alberto gets to the ring; Kofi nearly gets to the ring before Miz jumps him and hits the Skull-Crushing Finale. Apparently the superstars are as bored with Kingston wrestling everyone as…everyone.

We recap Michael Cole’s weekly ‘Ask The COO Questions’ obsession. This would be much improved if each man could only speak if they were holding a conch. Triple H seems irked by someone beating up Stephanie who isn’t him or Austin or Vince; physically abusing Steph’s apparently a rare honour: the next step up from world champion, but one below breaking the Streak.

We join Orton in the ring, and I’m hoping like hell that this is prelude to him going full-psychotic and creating a mountain of unconscious Authority figures to close the show. He asks Triple H to come out, and out Trips does come, but he’s not wearing a tie. Probably some business attire-related floccinaucinihilipilification (HAHA). Orton says that what happened to Stephanie was an accident, deciding to omit the phrase ‘you know, this time’. The footage is shown and the crowd chants ‘YES’, because Oregon just loves women getting knocked out. We see the same thing again in slow-motion, and showing a guy his wife getting beaten up multiple times from different angles and at different speeds is a unique way of apologising; I personally like Randy’s style. The crowd chants for Bryan, because now they know it’s his fault they love him even more. Triple H says that he could fire Orton, because screw the Unification Match they’ve been dreaming about for so long. But he won’t do that; for this one time, he’ll accept the apology. Punt him, Randy. Punt his face off.

Orton then gets all jelly about Triple H standing near Cena, because he looks more threatening as an insecure girlfriend. Triple H trolls Orton one last time, and leaves.

What? That’s it? No vicious attack from Orton? No return of the Viper? We’re pointing out that Orton is a whiny baby and not making him then seem psychotic and dangerous? Wow, colour me intrigued for Sunday’s main event.

This show bounced around a lot. Several portions seem rushed, and I don’t see why we needed a Sin Cara match recap with all of the RAW stuff there was already. I’m entirely not sold on the Unification Match, but considering it’s had one month’s build and one competitor’s character is, in essence, ‘grizzling bitch’, I don’t see how that’s my fault. The tag matches, however, brought the show back up to what I will generously call a seven.
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Guys and Divas #11: Slammy, Go Home! (Daniel Bryan, The Bella Twins, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/11/guys-and-divas-11-slammy-go-home-daniel-bryan-the-bella-twins-jim-ross-jerry-lawler/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/11/guys-and-divas-11-slammy-go-home-daniel-bryan-the-bella-twins-jim-ross-jerry-lawler/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:52:57 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162085 Hey, hello and hi, everyone!

I believe I see a one next to a one up there, so that means I should welcome you to the eleventh edition of “Guys and Divas”; the only column on Inside Pulse Wrestling unafraid to come out and say that Mr. Not PG!‘s “Bonnie Button” tweets are only funny to Mr. Not PG! and should stop being a thing. (Seriously, if you laugh at those…let’s never meet.)

In this week’s “Divas”, the Bellas get booed AND in “The Bonus Ball”, I get all comment-y about commentators.

…BUT FIRST(!), we got a go-home show (as always, I hate that phrase) and a theme show all in one three-hour shot. How’d that go?–Find out in this week’s…

GUYS

Watching Monday Night’s 2013 Slammy Awards edition of Monday Night Raw, I was reminded of a comment from our own CB a few weeks back following the entertainment septic tank that was “Raw Country”:

“…one disturbing formula is when WWE knows a big angle is coming at the end of a show, it’s almost like they make it a point to have the rest of the show suck.”

Now, to be fair…this wasn’t an out-and-out suckfest like the disastrous Nashville affair of weeks past; but given that it was our last true 180-minute teaser for the final pay-per-view of the year, it was pretty weak sauce…UNTIL(!)–as CB notes–those final glorious moments. So many narrative threads were cast, teased, mangled and kicked in the face, and I loved every second of it.

As is becoming a staple of this segment, let’s see exactly where we stood as we faded to black with my first bullet-pointed list(!) of the week:

  • Triple H attempts to monologue about the prestige of the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships, but is roundly drowned out by the cacophonous “YES!” and “DANIEL BRYAN!” chants of the Seattle crowd.
  • John Cena cuts his best promo in quite a while, reiterating his (arguably accurate) belief that Randy has become complacent, lazy and spoiled over the past eleven years; and even pulls the crowd-demanded Daniel Bryan in to prove what hard work and perseverance can accomplish.
  • Randy mumbles something vaguely pompous and heelish and then punching happens.
  • MASSIVE Cena/Orton brawl, tamped down unsuccessfully by the former champions (including some hall of famers like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart) leading to the dynamite final sequence which goes (to a fault) as follows:
    • CM Punk takes a shot at Randy Orton.
    • Triple H pulls Punk off of Randy and tosses him aside.
    • Punk takes a few shots at The Game.
    • Shawn Michaels hits Punk with Sweet Chin Music.
    • Daniel hits HBK with the running knee.
    • Orton attempts an RKO on Daniel who counters by shoving Randy away…directly into Stephanie McMahon.
    • An enraged Triple H Pedigrees Randy.
    • The Authority, Kane and Cena check on Stephanie and then gather in a corner, staring at a prone and out-of-breath Randy in the opposite corner. The crowd is still chanting “YES!” and/or “DANIEL BRYAN!”. Fade out.

So much to say, and–as I write this–many already have.

First, I’ll take a moment to mourn my undeniably dynamite booking plan from last week’s column (although it’s still not entirely impossible…just highly unlikely). I simply yearn for the serpentine elaborate plots of my youth and what can I say?–I dig the cut of my own jib sometimes.

With that out of the way, let’s just think about everything that list up there suggests. CM Punk is still a factor in the big picture. Daniel Bryan will clearly have his day soon enough, and (as an added bonus) got some long overdue revenge on his former mentor HBK. Randy’s ego has clearly grown larger than even The Authority can handle; to the point of possibly aligning themselves with his opponent. John Cena is still John Cena.

To put it shortly, there’s a lot of places this show can go after TLC this Sunday. However, I can’t stop thinking about the suggested conclusion column reader Starcade left a few weeks past; particularly after seeing the elaborate mechanism on which the two belts will be suspended.

In the brief (but effective) lead-up to this historic match, there’s been so much pomp and circumstance; from the contract signing to this past Monday’s overdramatically-titled “Championship Ascension Ceremony”. A lot of images and ideas are being exhausted in the pursuit of telling the audience that there can be only one champion at the end of this Sunday’s pay-per-view.

Could WWE truly be oblivious enough to think that ending the match by simply swapping the belts won’t cause a bit of fuss amongst the fans? Or will we honest-to-your-chosen-deity, no joke, for realsies go into 2014 with a single, end-all, be-all best-of-the-best champion?

I can’t get these questions out of my mind; and to be honest, I have no potential answers for you. All I can do to conclude this week’s “Guys” portion is throw out the following speculation.

As reported throughout the IWC today, the home of 2015′s Wrestlemania XXXI (or 31 or…red YouTube-ish play button icon, as it may be) will be Santa Clara, California’s Levi’s Stadium. As usual, this announcement came with a Superstar-(and Diva)-studded press conference, during which the logo for the event was revealed for the first time…and here she be…

Simple. Tasteful. Elegant–hey, wait! What’s that pointy thing up top?!

Indeed, the sharp double-W we’ve seen acompanying countless premature announcements for the allegedly still-upcoming WWE Network has finally made its way to a tangible part of the WWE Universe. Naturally, speculation has run rampant as to when or if the new logo will at (arguably) long last replace the “scratch” design that has defined our favorite former Federation for almost two decades.

Some say that the recent WWE Championship redesign is still too hot off the presses to undergo such a drastic brand overhaul, but with a title unification in the offing, one certainly wonders…and look, I know this is purely cosmetic and the majority of wrestling fans don’t really care enough to gasm about newfangled iconography…but hey, look! SHINY NEW THING!

…and while you’re nice and distracted, we’ll move on to a Slammy surprise in this week’s…

DIVAS

Let’s be real. The validity of any fan-interactive shenanigan in the WWE Universe is always suspect.

For as much as we remember the name Team Hell No fondly, we all know we voted for “Team Friendship”. (Our own Chris Sanders has rightfully never let that dream die.) During 2011′s “Power to the People” episode of Raw, one poll result was memorably so far from the fans’ true intentions, WWE surprised everyone by apologizing and giving the people the match they wanted. (I know. Can you even remember a time when we wanted to see that?–I kid because I love.)

Never is the suspicion quite so high as during the (somewhat) yearly Slammy Awards, and this past Monday’s 2013 edition was not without its share of head-scratchers. (Cena vs. Rock II for Match of the Year?–Surely you jest.)

Naturally, the award I kept the closest eye on was the announcement of the 2013 Diva of the Year. When voting time came, I was thoroughly conflicted, but almost by default decided to give the duke to my spirit animal AJ Lee. For while others have made great strides this year, the Divas Champion remains the centerpiece–nay, life force–of the division.

When the envelope was finally opened (by cameoing former Divas Champion Eve Torres), I was pleased yet thoroughly puzzled at the announcement that “Total Divas” stars The Bella Twins were walking away with this year’s golden…guy press slamming another guy. For the Seattle crowd that puzzlement quickly turned to rage, as the future Mrs. Daniel Bryan and John Cena were soundly booed off the stage, and even played off to their own theme.

Now, as has been noted here at “Guys and Divas”, 2013 has been an eye-opening year for me as it pertains to Brie and Nikki. I remember very clearly groaning as they returned to the fold shortly before Wrestlemania earlier this year. Over the past nine months or so, I’ve really come to appreciate these sisters for who they are as people; and as luck would have it, the popularity of their E! reality show has helped bring personality and humanity to their kayfabe personas, as well.

In short, they certainly wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I can live with this.

However, in the spirit of Seattle’s (to put it mildly) disagreement with the decision, I’d like to take a moment to look at the remaining nominees for this year’s prize and see what they all would have brought to the Slammy table. How does one justify these potential winners?–Here’s another bullet-pointed list(!) to explain…

  • AJ LEE – What can be said that I haven’t already gushed onto my Twitter feed and this column over the past eleven weeks?–She’s the Divas’ Champion for a reason; with the strongest character and the most visually-arresting moveset, my spirit animal is the total package.
  • THE FUNKADACTYLS – While I would argue that Naomi alone deserved this nomination, the backup dancers-turned-”Total Divas” have had a truly notable year. Naomi continues to impress in competition, with a memorable bout against Natalya last August still keeping the internet talking. Cameron…well, she’s certainly got personality to burn, now doesn’t she?
  • NATALYA – In truth, the rightful winner. For years, the daughter of the Anvil has been the athletic heart of the Divas division; but with her newfound reality TV exposure and an upcoming (long-overdue) Divas Championship bout at this Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view, she’s arguably the uncrowned queen of WWE.
  • KAITLYN – No Diva makes me swoon quite like her. As the second half of this year’s strongest storyline in the division, she’s more than earned this nomination. Her disappearing act of late may have taken her off the radar a bit; but as a recent WWE.com poll shows, the fans are still waiting for her to get her hands on her former best friend one more time. In the hearts and minds of many, the second-billed Diva; which is nothing to sneer at.
  • EVA MARIE – …Sigh. …Okay. I’ll say this. While I heartily and sincerely dislike this girl, it’s clear that she’s developing quite the name for herself (despite BARELY having competed). I don’t think I’ve heard such strong heel heat for a Diva since…well, Vickie. If she could add a modicum of in-ring skill to that, maybe we’d really have something.

In truth, The Slammy Awards are nothing to get too worked up about. They’re merely a sort of annual status update for the kayfabe world of WWE; and while I may somewhat understand Seattle’s disappointment with this year’s Diva(s) of choice, it’s undeniable that all (okay, most) of these talented women have had one hell of a 12 months.

The division is on the rise, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds for my favorite female protagonists.

Lastly this week, a brief stream of consciousness on professional wrestling’s stream of consciousness. Let’s talk talking heads in this edition of…

THE BONUS BALL

Weeks ago, in preparation for the most recent edition of “Wayback Championship Wrestling Federation Entertainment”, I took a walk down memory lane with a look at the first three Survivor Series of my life as a wrestling fan. Ever since then, I’ve been a bit obsessed with revisiting the pay-per-view events that have signposted the major events of the past 15+ years of WWE action.

During these revisits, I’ve been quite taken with how much the show has changed over the years; how the characters have toned down a bit, the storylines tamed, the production values exploded, etc. However, something that has really struck me in my more recent viewings has been how a show can truly be affected by the men and women calling the action.

As I ruminated on this topic, I started to think about how the role of the commentator has changed since I started watching WWE back in 1998. As it happened, my first team were arguably the best duo to ever sit behind the desk, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Nobody did it better and I don’t think anyone ever will.

However, the J.R. and King of 1998 are stylistically almost unrecognizable compared to when they last shared the announce position (alongside JBL) this past January. In 1998, The King was firmly in the corner of the heels; always scrambling to justify their actions, no matter how heinous. J.R., ever the voice of reason, was the everyman; the viewer; the true host of this bizarre thing called sports entertainment.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this legendary duo at the time however was their commitment to the show. Rarely if ever did either Jerry or Good Ol’ J.R. break kayfabe. The events they and we saw unfold were as real as it got, no matter how insane or cartoonish. They were as much a part of the wacky cast of personas on the screen as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the Undertaker (at his most gothic and supernatural).

True, sometimes real life made its presence felt. I know there are many of us who will never forget the shock of watching Jim Ross somberly announce that Owen Hart had died before his very eyes. In many ways, the horrific accident that claimed the life of the future Hall of Famer in the spring of 1999 was the first time we the viewers were forced to truly face the fictional nature of this show we so love and how starkly it contrasts with the harshness of reality.

Surprisingly though, the fiction of the WWE Universe was pretty resilient; and as years went on and names like Paul Heyman, Jonathan Coachman and Joey Styles shuffled in and out of the booth, the kayfabe aspect of their roles remained as strong as ever.

As with many things, a marked change seemed to arrive with the 2009 decision to lower the content rating of WWE programming from TV-14 to TV-PG. The commentators seemed to be a bit more self-aware; a bit more open to the idea that they resided in a fictional universe.

I would contend that such changes have had a tremendous detrimental effect on the overall atmosphere of WWE television.

It’s just a bit more difficult to emote and react to the actions of dastardly villains, triumphant heroes and those who fall in-between in a time when the folks calling the action have subdued so incredibly much. It’s as though the current team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John “Bradshaw” Layfield have become as jaded as so many of us to the white-washed repetitiveness that plays out before them.

Meanwhile, over on Spike TV’s TNA Impact Wrestling, “The Professor” Mike Tenay and Taz are very much living in the fictional universe that surrounds them. During my brief tenure as a viewer of WWE’s biggest non-MMA competitor last year, they were one facet of the show about which I simply could not complain. No matter how ridiculous things got (and if you do the math, you’ll note I was watching during the nascent days of Joseph Park and the dreadful AJ Styles/Claire Lynch storyline), Taz and Tenay were–if you’ll pardon a colloquialism–dealing with some real sh!t; and as a viewer, I found myself gripped to even the most unwatchable moments.

As wrestling pundits, we focus our dissatisfaction with the WWE product on so many facets; the creative team, production design, the superstars and Divas themselves…but just ask yourself: how much easier would the missteps and weaker moments go down with a committed team of voices talking us through it all?–I for one would have a lot fewer reasons to grouse…for a little while, at least.

…and as that stream of consciousness enters calm waters, this week’s “Guys and Divas” comes to a close.

In next week’s “Bonus Ball”, I’ll take a look at one of my all-time favorite Raw episodes in this month’s “Wayback Championship Wrestling Federation Entertainment”. In the meantime, here are your homework assignments on which to ponder:

  • The Wrestlemania 31 logo got many of us wondering if WWE’s headed for a major cosmetic overhaul. What would you change about the look of our favorite brand of sports entertainment? How about some nostalgia? What have been some of your favorite logo designs, set designs, etc. over the now-50-year history of the McMahon family business?–Vociferate on visual changes.
  • Debate rages on the validity of this year’s Slammy Award-winning Divas. Who would you have voted for? For our NXT fans, who stands out as the yellow brand’s Diva of 2013?–Lay out your thoughts on the best ladies of the year that was.
  • For many, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are THE WWE commentary team. Who are some of your favorite personalities who have sat at the desk over the years? Any favorite moments from the voices of professional wrestling?–Talk it up about the folks who talk it up.

As always, don’t miss my weekly Raw live-tweet (@biscuitman18; #GuysAndDivas) and stay tuned in the coming weeks for some exciting news about the future of “Guys and Divas” in 2014!

Until next time, I’m Jeff Heatherly saying…”What did you see, old man?“. Good reading, all!
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10 Thoughts: WWE RAW 12.9.2013 (Daniel Bryan, Shawn Michaels, John Cena) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/10/10-thoughts-wwe-raw-12-9-2013-daniel-bryan-shawn-michaels-john-cena/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/10/10-thoughts-wwe-raw-12-9-2013-daniel-bryan-shawn-michaels-john-cena/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 06:18:14 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162073 So many people covering and giving thoughts on Raw here on Pulse Wrestling, what’s another 10 among friends, right?

1. Funny how surprising it is to start a Slammy episode with an actual match. I’m not sure if that’s much of a change from the usual but I’m not about to go back and watch old Slammy episodes to find out. But then once you realize that Daniel Bryan is in a match and they’re Seattle, you quickly understand what WWE is going for. For once, WWE made more than one smart choice in a night. More on that later. Other notable categories that could’ve been skipped: Fan Interaction (because screw the people) and Insult of the Year (hey, here’s an award for being a giant dick).

2. Could’ve done without the “LOL! Moment of the Year” category because a lot of the nominations seemed like WWE was scraping the bottom of the barrel. Too bad content on The JBL & Cole Show is ineligible for a make-believe awards show.

3. Eve made a quick return and it’s good to see her doing well. And I’m proud of Seattle for not breaking out the “Hoeski” chant as I was afraid they would. Probably best not to get Zack Ryder’s hopes up yet again, just seems cruel. Also, kudos to Seattle for not tolerating The Bellas as Diva of the year. Those two winning that award is mathematically and grammatically incorrect.

4. At least they got something right with Daniel Bryan winning Superstar of the Year. sure, it’s no scandal to talk about how the voting can be rigged for these kinds of things but anyone else getting this award would’ve been intellectually insulting. I’m loving HBK still maintaining a bit of a heel status and keeping the heat between he and Daniel Bryan alive. It gives me the (probably) unrealistic hope of Shawn coming out of retirement for a match against Bryan.

5. Wouldn’t really call Punk beating up Heyman an extreme moment. It would’ve been better served to have nominated something from Punk vs Lesnar at the very least. But again, in today’s WWE, you’re not going to have a lot to pick from in the “extreme” category.

6. Whoever was responsible for Twice in a Lifetime winning Match of the Year needs to be found, publicly flogged with the bodies of deceased rodents and banned from having access to a smartphone. Also the fact that Punk vs Lesnar, Daniel Bryan vs John Cena, Antonio Cesaro vs Sami Zayn, The Shield gauntlet match vs Daniel Bryan or literally ANY other match was not nominated in the place of Rock vs Cena is simply not good enough.

7. I find it weird to actually kinda look forward to a Sin Cara match these days not that Hunico has taken over. And let it be known that this current version of Sin Cara shall henceforth be referred to as “Hunicara.” Tell your friends and family so that they may join in and make this the next “CoDust.” And yeah, the match didn’t blow me away but I did see some improvements as he gets settled into the character. However, I’m pretty sure it was the hipsters in the crowd that was giving this match the “this is awesome” chant ironically. Sorry, Seattle, hipsters make you lose one point.

8. Once again we get a rematch that worked on Smackdown just last week. Not complaining because I’ll take a Punk vs Dean Ambrose match whenever I can. I’m not really buying into any dissension among the Shield just yet but you can see it right around the corner with WWE being so incredibly high on Roman right now. Not sure if that’s gonna happen anytime soon but I’m okay if it takes a while.

9. I’ll always be an HBK smark, it’s just a fact. But for a brief moment I found myself cursing his name for winning Double-Cross of the Year instead of Mark Henry. I don’t care if Blair looks down upon me for liking something Mark Henry did, that moment was brilliant. The fact that Mark Henry lost this award will forever be known as The Seattle Screwjob.

10. It’s like WWE woke up just before that last segment and suddenly remembered how to sell a PPV for a go-home show. First with the talking bits where Cena finally pulled out the good mic skills he doesn’t use nearly enough. Also, it’s fun to point out how much the crowd was against Cena when the segment began and how he turned them around by harnessing Daniel Bryan’s hometown love. I think this would’ve been a much different segment had Bryan not been there. And then everything broke down from there and plenty of madness went down. Does it mean anything at all? Probably not other than reestablish that nobody in the top card trusts each other but still, it was an exciting way to end the show and made me actually want to pay for TLC.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
Chris
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Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for December 6th 2013: Undisputed http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/07/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-december-6th-2013-undisputed/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/07/spains-wwe-smackdown-report-and-results-for-december-6th-2013-undisputed/#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2013 22:49:26 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162017 Fandjango (Not Because Langston’s Black, But Because I Just Finished Watching Django Unchained Again)

SmackDown kicks off as we are immediately ambushed by a wild Fandango. The hell, WWE? He will face Langston as Damien Sandow is on commentary: glorious. Fandango goes for a test of strength before Langston backdrops him and gores him into the turnbuckle. So it’s not going well. Fandango manages a kick before Langston shoves him out of the ring…and Fandango just levelled Big E with a clothesline on the outside: did not see that coming. Back in the ring, he unloads on Langston, locking him in a front-facelock. Langston throws off the facelock with authority and slams Fandango with a few of his own clotheslines, followed by a belly-to-belly slam. He splashes a prone Fandango, then the straps come down as this reporter hums The Stripper (every damn time), but Fandango counters this burlesque with a kick to the head. A knee to the face gets two for our resident dancer, who then climbs up high before E brings him down and pancakes him in the corner before the Big Ending gets three.

Quick and to the point. Fandango got in more offence than I thought he would, but after what ‘Sin Cara’ did this Monday, what’s our reference? 2 Stars.

Sandow looks cranky and gets into the ring, but Big E clocks him and the two engage in a stare-down. Michael Cole says he wasn’t sure what Sandow’s intentions were, because Sandow is apparently courting Langston in 19th century England. Sandow leaves the ring, like Mr Darcy crossed with a bitch.

Back from a commercial break, we’re met by the WWE champion, Mr Orton. He briefs us on the unification situation, and he plans on proving us all wrong. He shows us footage of him getting his ass handed to him this Monday, because even the top heel of the WWE is going to plug Cena. In ten days, Orton will prove that he is who he says he is. This is immediately undercut by the asskissing of the millennium aimed at the Authority, with an apology thrown in.

Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring, escaping three abduction attempts in the process. He says that Orton should apologise to the fans for impersonating a champion. Did Bryan just make accusations of identity theft? Because Orton will go to the papers if he has to. Bryan brings up the prospect of the two of them fighting, which comes under the heading of ‘Fighting Talk’. Orton tries to say no, but the entire arena says yes. So now if Randy goes into the match, he’s a victim of peer pressure.

I’d Back ‘The Heyman Exes’ As A Team Name

Approaching the ring for a tag match are the Rhodeses, ready for a match against Ryback and Curtis Axel. Cody and Ryback start off, with Ryback’s power allowing him to take control before Cody tags in Goldust. Ryback presses Dust above his head before dropping him on the ropes for two. Bodyslam to Goldust, then a splash from both Ryback and Axel. Ryback is tagged back in, with both men splashing onto Goldust in the corner. Axel comes back in, putting Goldust in a headlock before sending him off the ropes. Goldust avoids a dropkick and jackknifes Axel. Axel kicks out, rushes Dust and gets powerslammed. Goldust wills his way to the corner, and Cody comes right in with a dropkick, then misses the Disaster Kick. Axel gets rolled up out of the corner for two, then misses Cody with a charge to hit the turnbuckle shoulder-first. Cody heads up to the top for a moonsault and Ryback breaks up the pin. Goldust clotheslined Ryback out of the ring, and Cody hits a Disaster Kick off the announce table to the big man. Back in the ring, Axel rolls up Cody for the win.

A second loss to the tag team champs in one week. I love this team, but I can totally get behind losses accrued if this is the price of building up the tag division. The match was fine: nothing special. 2 Stars.

Returning from commercial, we are met by Bad News Barrett. As an Englishmen, his accent really throws me off; it sounds like he’s delivering this speech in a pub in one of our many soap operas.

Hey, This Way Is Quicker

Here comes Alberto Del Rio, and after that loss to ‘Sin Cara’ on Monday, he’s dead to all of us. His opponent is Kofi Kingston, who is still wearing that godawful bandanna. And Alberto, a very stylish male, jumps the everloving crap out of Kingston for his crimes against fashion. I guess if there’s no legal match, then Del Rio can’t get beaten by ridiculous underdogs… Alberto locks in the cross armbreaker for a second or two and then leaves, apparently not emotionally invested in this physical assault.

We relive the Shield’s assault on Punk, and I love JBL’s Ockham’s Razor judgement that Punk got jumped because nobody likes him. We are shown an uncertain location backstage where the Shield are hanging out (with the Wyatts out of sight, all giggling and daring each other to photobomb the promo). The Shield argue about who’s going to fight CM Punk and I cannot get over how much Roman Reigns looks like Crixus from that Spartacus series.

Better Than The Entirety Of TLC 2013

Back from break, and CM Punk approaches the ring. He will be facing Dean Ambrose, and it could be any member of the Shield and I’d love this match. Side-headlock and takeover to Ambrose, who headscissors Punk. Ambrose back into the headlock, reverses it, gets shot off the ropes, reversal follows reversal, Punk misses with a high kick and there’s a stare-down. Punk then boots Ambrose in the face, following it up with leg-drops. Ambrose reverses a suplex attempt, roughing up Punk in a corner and hitting back-elbow for two. Headlock is applied to Punk, but he shoots Ambrose off the ropes into a calf-kick. Axe-handles from Punk, followed by a GTS attempt, ending in Ambrose jumping to the outside. Is the referee not doing a count? Punk keeps Ambrose out of the ring, but when he goes out after him Ambrose drives him into the ring apron, doing damage to the already-injured ribs.

Back in the ring, Punk is guillotined on the bottom rope for two. Ambrose remains in control, wrenching Punk’s head as Punk tries to fight out…only to run right into a spinebuster. Ambrose stays on Punk, making that whole three-on-one deal look like it’s going to be pretty anti-climactic. Dean then tries to come off the top rope onto Punk, but Punk rolls out of the way, and then springboards off the top rope into a clothesline. Running high knee and a clothesline to Ambrose gets two. Ambrose tries to jump Punk as he goes for the Macho Elbow, but Punk turns it into his swinging neckbreaker, which Ambrose reverses into a backslide, turning it into an armbar. Punk makes it to his feet, goes for the GTS but Dean turns it into a sleeper hold, only for Punk to turn it into the Anaconda Vice. Ambrose gets his foot under the bottom rope, forcing the hold to be broken. Bodyslam to Ambrose, and Punk goes again for the Macho Elbow; Dean stops him as he reaches the top, bringing him down via a double-underhook superplex. Ambrose applies the armbar again, directly in the middle of the ring. Punk drags himself and Dean towards the ropes, getting his foot on them to break the hold. As Ambrose argues with the ref, Punk rolls him up for a near-fall. Dean kicks out, and promptly gets his head kicked in for another near-fall. Punk signals for the GTS; Ambrose reverses, going for his finisher; Punk turns it back into the GTS; Ambrose reverses again, shoving Punk shoulder-first into the corner and rolling him up for a two-count. Ambrose attempts his finisher, but Punk brings his foot up to kick Ambrose in the face, hits the GTS and gets the three.

Well, it was always going to be good. Punk played a great injured face, remaining wily with his kicks from out of nowhere. Dean’s facial expressions and in-ring movements make his matches fresh and interesting as well. 3 Stars.

Renee Young is backstage with Rey Mysterio, asking him about being the unified title. Is Chris Jericho seriously this hard to find? Zeb and White Power show up and get racist, which is kinda their thing. Mysterio calls them hippogriffs, which means the Real Americans now have a match against Rey and a partner of his choosing. If it’s El Torito, I swear I’ll stop watching and will just review my neighbour walking his dog instead.

The Tamina Van Dyke Show

We’re back for a Divas match, and it’s going to be Tamina Snuka against Natalya Neidhart. AJ is going to be commentating, and it’s just a shame Lawler’s not there to catch any random statutory comments. At TLC, it will be AJ against Natalya for the title, in what is the most logical match there could be for this division and therefore seems like an odd choice. Side headlock to Tamina, who powers out, then Natalya gets her in a waistlock. Tamina throws that off, then runs right into a clothesline. Tamina gets rough, throwing Natalya along the apron and into the turnbuckle, then hits her with her jacket and drives her into the apron. Back in the ring, Natalya kicks out at two and gets locked in a surfboard. AJ’s facial expression at Michael’s journalist questions is radiating so much apathy that my television sighs aloud. Natalya flips her way out of the surfboard, looking to come back, but Tamina drives her right into the corner, staying on her. Natalya avoids a charge, snapmares Tamina and follows it up with a dropkick to the face. Tamina kicks out of a roll-up, then the sharpshooter before hitting Natalya with a Samoan Drop. AJ says she’s made every cast member of Total Divas tap, which I think includes Cena, Fandango and Bryan. Tamina heads up to the top, misses the Superfly Splash and…gets pinned off that. Gee, let’s hope that AJ manages to apparently knock herself out with her own finishing move, Natalya.

I was quite enjoying that match, what with AJ’s snarkiness and the rougher (for the Divas Division) style of wrestling. Shame about the finish, which was…yeah. 2 Stars.

Three Former World Title Holders…And Cesaro

Back from break, the Real Americans are in the ring already and here comes Rey Mysterio. I’m going to bet his partner is ‘Sin Cara’…and I probably could have been more wrong, but not by much. So it’s Mysterio and the Big Show against the Real Americans. Show starts with Swagger, beating him down in the corner before Rey comes in and hits the most blatant low-blow dropkick I’ve ever seen, which is apparently cool with the ref. Hurricanrana off the second rope, then Rey tries to hit a wheelbarrow bulldog, but Swagger manages to turn it very smoothly into a German suplex. Tag now to Cesaro, who stomps on Rey before tagging Swagger back in. The announcers bring up the idea of Cesaro swinging Big Show, meaning it’s not going to happen. Cesaro hangs Rey up on the ropes and Swagger locks in a front facelock. Rey tries to fight out to his corner, but Swagger slides him out of the ring. Cesaro then jumps Mysterio on the outside before literally carrying him into the ring. Tag to Swagger, who keeps beating down Rey. Rey manages to flip Swagger into a DDT. Did Cole just say ‘Batman wears a mask’ in Mysterio’s defence? Batman also cripples people, Michael. Cesaro tries to jump Big Show on the outside, but Show just tosses him away: I’ve waited so long to see someone doing that. Big Show now in with a head of steam, tossing Cesaro this way and that before hurling Swagger out of the ring. Spear to Cesaro; the pin’s broken up by Swagger and Mysterio 619s Swagger. Chokeslam to Cesaro, Rey splashes down from Big Show’s shoulders and that’s it.

Not a bad match, really. It’s kind of a sad nostalgia to me to see Rey now as time and injuries have taken hold, when I remember being dazzled by him in 2002. That being said, it’s great to see that the fans still enjoy watching him. 2.5 Stars.

We have a quick look at the history of both championships, and we still manage not to show Chris Jericho. Are we seriously pretending this didn’t happen? Triple H, in an interview, says that this is going to be the biggest thing that’s happened in a long time. So…since December 9th, 2001? He also says it’ll be remembered forever, and the irony is just gorgeous. He guarantees that we’ll have a new champion, and all of these promises must mean they’re following through, right?

Oops, here’s Bad News Barrett. Apparently at TLC, we’ll have a champion of champions. But he’ll be a target. Can’t Wade just…I don’t know…beat people up?

No Clean Finish, Even On Free TV

Out comes Bryan, followed by Orton. The match gets underway as the two men tie up; they jockey for position in a corner, neither of them getting the upper hand. Orton gets a kick to the gut, knocks Bryan down with a shoulder block before Bryan flips him over his knee and starts kicking and punching him. Orton creates separation with a headbutt, attacking Bryan before Daniel fights his way out, going back to the kicks and then wrenching the arm. Orton manages to turn the third arm-wrench into his backbreaker, which looked nice, and then misses his high knee. Bryan comes back with kicks to the leg, and then dropkicks Orton right out of the ring; he tries to dive out after him but stops as Orton wisely ducks for cover.

Back from the break, Orton is in control of the match, pulling back on Bryan’s arm and head. We’re shown that Orton gained his advantage by throwing Bryan into the steps during commercials. Randy stays on his opponent, stomping him in the gut. A suplex to Daniel gets two, and is followed by a headlock. Dear Christ: Cole just mentioned Jericho; to the gulag! Michael explains the difference between the WCW World Championship and World Heavyweight Championship and are we seriously doing this? Bryan has managed to regain control after backflipping over Orton, who was distracted by Michael Cole’s weasel-logic. Clothesline takes down Orton, followed by two odd-looking dropkicks in the corner, followed by kicks and an even more odd-looking hurricanrana. Orton manages to counter a backdrop, but is sent out of the ring by Bryan, who dives out onto him.

Back in the ring, Bryan heads up to the top and dropkicks Orton before kipping up and bringing the kicks. Orton ducks, powerslamming Bryan for the near-fall. Randy then hits his patented DDT and then calls for the RKO; Bryan backslides Orton and then kicks him right in the head. He goes for a flying headbutt, but then Rowan and Harper appear. Orton jumps Bryan before hitting an RKO.

That was okay. Really, for a Bryan match, it seemed a little sparse and there were moments when things seemed a little off. I also think you could afford to give Orton, the man heading into a title unification match, a clean win over a guy who is not in the championship picture. 2.5 Stars.

Are the Wyatts trying to annoy Bryan into joining them? Is this like some kind of Father Ted­/Mrs Doyle situation? Bray Wyatt appears on the titantron and tries to get Bryan, again, to join them. Couldn’t he just say: ‘It’s the beard; we want it, Bryan. We want you and your Glorious Beard. Beards are to us what racism is to the Real Americans. We’re having a Beards vs. Racism match with them at WrestleMania, and we’re going to eat Zeb’s moustache’? I’d watch that.

SmackDown seemed kind of up-and-down this week. I don’t know what it was. I know I’m confused by Barrett and annoyed by the constant guarantees of a shenanigan-less unified champion. None of the matches were bad, but none were really great. I was left feeling…okay. So I think I’ll give it a five.
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Guys and Divas #10: The Conspiracy Concoction Shenanigan (Daniel Bryan, Summer Rae, Sin Cara, Big E Langston) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/04/guys-and-divas-10-the-conspiracy-concoction-shenanigan-daniel-bryan-summer-rae-sin-cara-big-e-langston/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/04/guys-and-divas-10-the-conspiracy-concoction-shenanigan-daniel-bryan-summer-rae-sin-cara-big-e-langston/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 11:35:04 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=161939 Hello and hi, everyone!

(Some said it couldn’t be done, but here we are with me saying…) Welcome to WEEK TEN(!) of “Guys and Divas”; the only column on Inside Pulse Wrestling that did a thing the others didn’t. (Yeah. Week ten…or more like WEAK ten!–Am I right, guys?)

The WWE seems to have cemented its new A-list ladies in this week’s “Divas”; plus, something else happens in “The Bonus Ball”.

BUT FIRST(!), a lot of narrative balls [hold for laughter] got rolling this past Monday and it’s all open for discussion and rampant speculation in this week’s…

GUYS

After two weeks of pretty thorough garbage, this week’s Raw was a breath of fresh air. No gimmicks, no guest hosts, just the show we love (for the most part).

At the risk of recapping (a job that multiple people now hold here at IPW) and the certainty of this week’s first bullet-pointed list(!), here’s where we stood as the screen faded to black Monday night:

  • Daniel Bryan and CM Punk will both be in 3-on-1 Handicap Matches at TLC, against The Wyatt Family and The Shield respectively.
  • John Cena vs. Randy Orton is now officially a title unification match, where The Authority assures us there can be only ONE winner when all is said and done.
  • Big E Langston will defend his recently won Intercontinental Championship against Damien Sandow at TLC.

It must be said: having what could be argued as the top stories in the company all set to ignite with two weeks to go until our final pay-per-view of the year is pretty fantastic, especially considering the dreadful rush job that was last month’s Survivor Series booking.

At the top, we have our Title Unification bout between Cena and Orton, which–no matter how you feel about either man–has some really intriguing implications. Whether or not those implications will be made manifest is still a matter of debate; particularly with the repeated insistence of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon that at the conclusion of the TLC pay-per-view, there can be only one top champion.

Not to go on too much of a tangent (apologies for last week’s “Alias” ramble), but I finally got around to watching Sarah Silverman’s new HBO stand-up special “We Are Miracles” last night. It was a delight (as if there was any doubt), but one of the concepts discussed in the special was the idea of creating doubt where none would naturally occur. Per her example, it’s as if one is getting into the shower and their roommate calls out that the showerer (if you will) needn’t worry that the roommate will read their diary. Why would the showerer have even thought that?–Quite simply, they wouldn’t.

So, by that line of logic, why would WWE insist on repeating the idea that THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE WINNER?

I draw your attention to a very thought-provoking comment on last week’s column from a reader known as Starcade:

“[It] really makes me wonder if I can call the finish at TLC…

Both men on the ladder, opposite sides. Tussle at the top, both fall off…

… each holding the other’s belt.

Meaning, I would assume, Cena is WWE Champ, Orton is WHC — which is probably what they had in mind in the first damn place.”

Has all of our intrigue been for naught? Is all of this pomp and ceremony just a long-winded setup to a simple case of the old switcheroo?–I can’t decide if, were this to truly be the result, I would feel duped and betrayed or if I would have to hand it to WWE Creative and give them a respectful golf applause?

Meanwhile as seeds of doubt are sown in our main event, we have our hard-bitten heroes CM Punk and Daniel Bryan going down separate but VERY similar paths, taking on the two most dominant trios in the company today.

In the former case, I’m as giddy as anyone to watch arguably the best worker in WWE today (Punk) take on three of the most promising faces of the next generation (The Shield); particularly the ever-impressive Roman Reigns, whose star has risen considerably on the merits of his deliciously destructive performances at Survivor Series and the following night’s Raw. Whether or not the looming presence of The Authority’s possible involvement in this plot comes to fruition, we can be safely assured that we’re getting a potential classic a week from this Sunday.

As for Daniel Bryan’s current entanglement with the Wyatts, while I’m sure the resulting Handicap bout will be a fun watch, this feels more like a story than a rivalry. In fact, I think we may have finally arrived at the true purpose of the mysterious bearded clan’s presence in the WWE Universe. After months and countless cryptic catchphrases, it’s time for everything to come together; and if I may be so bold, I think the comparable conundrums of our favorite Ring of Honor alums are one and the same.

Roll with me on this.

CM Punk trash talks Triple H last week, and shortly thereafter is brutalized by The Shield. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan is carried away by the Wyatts for an undisclosed amount of time, after which he is left in a random supermarket parking lot (admittedly, a weak throwaway explanation; thanks, WWE) with no memory of what has occurred between his match and that moment.

This past Monday, Punk takes to the ring and accuses The Authority of siccing the Hounds of Justice upon him for his derogatory comments about The Game. Stephanie–via Corporate/Citizen/Director of Operations/Whatever Kane–vehemently denies any involvement in the attack, but places Punk in his impending 3-on-1 shenanigan just for sh!ts and giggles.

Later that night, Daniel Bryan faces Erick (can’t believe that’s how I have to spell that) Rowan and afterward is the subject of a (dynamite) promo from family leader Bray Wyatt. Bray tags up on his Smackdown promo, implying that he has somehow already affected Daniel in ways of which he may not even be aware and casually throws in a comment regarding Bryan’s fiancé Brie Bella for good measure. Bray is sure Daniel will soon be joining the family, following buzzards and whatnot.

This is where things get interesting.

Let’s say next Monday, Punk continues to suspect the Authority’s involvement in his current quarrel with The Shield, to which they continue to deny, deny, deny. Meanwhile, Daniel grows more and more concerned about what influences the Wyatts may have already subconsciously had on him. It obsesses him and fuels his desire to take on the family at TLC. Bray sees this and continues to manipulate our Goatfaced hero, perhaps even targeting his beloved fiancé Brie as a means to hit him where it hurts.

At TLC, Punk faces the Shield; but win or lose, he still believes the Authority is playing games with him. Bryan faces the Wyatts, and comes close to finally trouncing these monstrous men…but when it comes time to finish the job…he can’t. Something won’t let him. He simply stops…and walks away, into the proverbial waiting arms of a triumphant Bray Wyatt. He has finally joined the family.

“But Jeff, where does Punk come in?”

Oh, dear reader…it’s only just begun.

Punk’s suspicions of the Authority’s treacheries toward him make him a major thorn in the side of Triple H and Stephanie. While still denying any involvement in The Shield’s attack, they’ve had enough. They enlist the help of any number of heels to dispatch of the Best in the World. Concurrently, Daniel Bryan and his newfound family run rampant over the roster. The underdog has finally become the monster his charismatic new leader Bray once promised.

At the Royal Rumble, Punk possibly faces an Authority-recruited opponent; but as it should be, the real story is the Royal Rumble Match itself, where Daniel Bryan is the last man standing and is on his way to Wrestlemania to face the Undisputed WWE Champion (which is what the belt should be; those poll results were EXTRA-suspect on Monday). For this scenario, either Randy Orton or John Cena will do (although Daniel’s recent history with Randy might make him the more logical choice).

At Elimination Chamber in February, the Authority finally thinks they’ve got the perfect end-all/be-all opponent for Punk: Daniel Bryan. The two square off in what is destined to be a classic and it seems that Punk is finally about to get his revenge, albeit on someone he considers a close friend.

Right on cue…”SIERRA, HOTEL, INDIA…” (you know the rest). The Shield appears and lays Punk out once again, as an emotionless Daniel Bryan walks up the ramp once again to leader Bray who grabs a mic and says something to the effect of “My apologies, Punk. The Devil made them do it.”

“WHAAAA?–Jeff. JEFF. What in the BLUE HELL are you getting at?”

THIS.

Kane’s music hits. (…I know, right?) The Devil’s Favorite Demon takes the stage, laughing a classic evil laugh. He pats a maniacally-grinning Bray Wyatt on the back and takes his former (and as you will, see current) little buddy Daniel Bryan in his arms, as the former members of Team Hell No hug it out once more!

It was a setup all along. Kane’s surrender to the Authority, the new suit, the new demeanor…it was all a cover. He has enlisted the help of the Wyatts (because of course, they’d get along famously; what with all of them being psychopaths), infiltrated the Authority, sent the Shield on a dead-end wild goose chase after Punk (unbeknownst to Trips and Steph) and pulled all the right strings so that after all the hubbub this past fall over his brother of destruction from another mother…of…destruction…ANYWAY(!) Daniel being allegedly unfit to be the face of the WWE, he is now going to Wrestlemania, where he will finally be the face we all knew he could be.

In a weird, roundabout and somewhat questionable fashion, The Wyatts, Kane and Daniel are all now faces again (or at least, antiheroes)…but what about The Shield and Punk, you ask?–Well, obviously they’re all feeling a bit duped.

WRESTLEMANIA XXX. (Oh, yes. It’s come to this.)

The team of Kane and the Wyatt Family (together at last!) take on the somewhat strange bedfellows concoction that is Punk and The Shield in an Eight Man Tag Team Match…

…and the man at the center of it all, the guy who they said couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t be the face of World Wrestling Entertainment takes on the WWE Champion (Cena or Orton; once again, it doesn’t really matter…but it should probably be Orton–and hey!–it being Mania XXX, that frees John Cena up to be the Undertaker’s opponent on this most historic of nights) and wins, as the city of New Orleans puts the waves of the Gulf of Mexico to shame with their cacophonous crashing cries of “YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!”, etc., etc. etc.

BOOM.

THREE-SPOT.

BANG IT.

UNH.

…Now. Is WWE creative capable of pulling off something that great (if I do say so myself)?–Probably not…but with your permission, dear reader, I’d like to give myself a hearty pat on the back for having concocted that entire scenario by the time Raw came to a close this past Monday. (No kidding. ALL OF THAT.)

As I bring this segment to a close, let me also pat the back of one of Inside Pulse’s newest scribes John Kincaid and his full-time fantasy booking-themed column “Creative Control“. In his first edition, he takes a pragmatic, thoughtful and wildly intriguing look at a potential full WWE overhaul. It’s a hell of a read and I hope you all check it out.

Phew.

That took a lot out of me…but not so much that I can’t talk about the latest happenings with my favorite female protagonists. It’s time for…

DIVAS

Monday night also brought us a cracker of a six-Diva tag team match, in which Natalya and The Bellas took on the team of (my spirit animal) AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka and Summer Rae. While its intended purpose was clearly to help further the idea of the victorious Natalya as a threat to AJ’s Divas Championship reign, I think it also spoke volumes about which of these wonderful women are leading the charge of the division in its current state.

I’m most delighted at the presence of Summer Rae, who after two weeks of airheaded comic relief work finally got to shine from an offensive perspective. As one of NXT’s brightest up-and-coming Divas, she–in many ways–represents what time spent in WWE’s developmental division can really do. She’s a magnetic presence, a real character in a division not currently known for many and as they say, the girl can go.

This is not to say that it wasn’t a showcase for the remainder of its combatants (it was), especially considering that the biggest name in the match (AJ) spent the majority of its duration skipping around the ring and allowing her partners to do the heavy lifting. Call me overly optimistic (and I’m sure some of you have/will), but it’s matches like this that make me think there is, indeed, a concerted effort being made–the horror of Divas Musical Chairs aside–to make this division relevant again.

Because while I love all of the Divas (wait; Eva Marie’s still a thing…so strike one, but still), I’m well aware that the strategy of keeping them all around in a big personalityless (if you will) clusterf*ck isn’t helping anyone. Set the works-in-progress aside, and wow your audience.

Put your best foot forward, they say…and in recent times that foot is wearing knee-high Chuck Taylors, pink and white wrestling boots, black leather biker boots, dancing shoes and…whatever the Bellas are wearing (in that order).

(Kaitlyn’s combat boots were on assignment getting engaged this week.)

I know that seemed awfully short, but what can I say that hasn’t already been said?–I remain optimistic and progress is being made, slowly but surely…although some story might help me fill out that segment a bit more. Just saying.

(Seriously though. This week’s “Guys” segment really winded me. If I can put an idea that grandiose into that many words and have it come out coherently enough, I suppose I can forgive myself for not being able to ramble as plentifully in the last two segments, right?)

(Right?)

Here’s…

THE BONUS BALL

So…yeah.

…How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?

…Yeah?

Good. Good. Good to hear.

Ah, screw it. Here’s a bullet-pointed list(!) of some other errant thoughts I have about WWE of late.

  • I swear to God, if Titus O’Neil ends up with an ongoing vomit gimmick…just…no.
  • It seems Hunico is finally taking over the role of Sin Cara full-time. Long overdue; although if I’m honest, am I the only one who thought he was only slightly less botchy than the real article on Monday?
    • SUB-POINT: Am I crazy or was the real Sin Cara not so bad when he first arrived?–While I’m on board with everyone’s grumbles about his spastic style and the infamous broken finger incident, I remember being pretty suitably dazzled by him and weirdly REALLY invested in the “evil Sin Cara” storyline that brought Hunico into WWE.
      • SUB-SUB-POINT: Alberto Del Rio went from feuding for the World Heavyweight Championship to losing cleanly to a character that hasn’t been seen in months AND is now played by a completely different actor (if you will) over the course of about two weeks. Wow. Just…big wow.
  • I keep quietly hoping that the resurgence of Goldust of late could finally lead to a long-overdue WWE Title run. To be fair, I felt the same way about William Regal during his villainous General Manager role a few years back; the one that ended abruptly due to wellness violations…so I don’t have the best record with these things; but seriously, never have those “YOU STILL GOT IT!” chants been more apropos. The guy’s been in the business over two decades and he honestly seems to be in the prime of his career. It’s just marvelous.
  • CM Punk’s got pipes. (I don’t have a follow-up for that one. It’s just a fact.)
  • THIS.
  • Korn is providing the theme to this year’s TLC pay-per-view…which is how I learned that Korn is somehow still a thing.
  • Xavier Woods rocks a Black Ranger t-shirt on Smackdown and then provides the commentators with a Hip-Hop Kido reference on Raw. He’s seriously rocketing up my list of favorite people.
  • …and speaking of amazing references…Big E Langston is a magical human being. Don’t believe me?–There’s also THIS (with bonus Kaitlyn swoonage).

…and I’m truly spent.

So, I’ll freely admit it. On the whole, this probably wasn’t my best. Let’s put it this way: if THIS was my “Raw Country”, this week is my Michael Strahan episode…so at least that means next week will be my this week’s Raw…so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice…if that made any sense at all. (It didn’t.)

HOMEWORK!

  • I laid out…a pretty elaborate idea of where the main event scene could be heading as we move toward Wrestlemania. What do you see as being the status quo of WWE’s top names after next Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view?–Fantasy book to your heart’s content.
  • Six of WWE’s best (and in some cases, underrated) Divas squared off in a great contest Monday night. Who are some Divas of the past who didn’t get the credit you thought they deserved?–Blab about some of your favorite underrated ladies of the past.
  • The Slammy Awards are this coming Monday night and WWE’s got most of their categories locked (as you can see here). Who would you nominate/vote on for this year’s trophies?–Open the proverbial envelope and tell us who you think will and/or should go home with those statuettes next week.


As always, join me for my weekly Monday Night Raw live-tweet (@biscuitman18; #GuysAndDivas), and seriously check out “Creative Control”. Great stuff from a great new voice here at Inside Pulse.

Until next week, I’m Jeff Heatherly saying…here’s some pure, undistilled joy for you. Take it easy, folks.
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Random Thoughts: WWE Raw 12.2.13 (More Filler Than Thanksgiving Dinner) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/03/random-thoughts-wwe-raw-12-2-13-more-filler-than-thanksgiving-dinner/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/03/random-thoughts-wwe-raw-12-2-13-more-filler-than-thanksgiving-dinner/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 20:34:55 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=161934 WWE Raw 11-13 Header

<- We end last week with a WWE/World title unification match tease and start this week with CM Punk. While we all really want to know what’s going on in the main event picture, I think it’s fantastic that other players can be thrown into this storyline as well.

<- Stephanie McMahon’s theme music hits & I roll my eyes. They obviously are doing something right with Stephanie.

<- I have to say, I’m starting to love the new Kane & his character switch was so drastic I wasn’t convinced it would actually work. Glen Jacobs has surprised us a lot over his career but this switch is definitely showing a different range for Kane.

<- Well there it is in black and white, there will be a WWE & World Championship Unification match at TLC between John Cena and Randy Orton. I like that Michael Cole announced that ONE man would walk out as ONE champion. Can’t make it much clearer than that.

#1 Contender’s Match for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs Damien Sandow

<- And now there’s a number one contender’s match for the Intercontinental Championship. Could they also be rebuilding the little prestige the IC title has since there will only be one “main” champion?

<- Damien Sandow versus Big E Langston is interesting but nowhere near appealing as a match between Langston and Dolph Ziggler. Either way, the Intercontinental Championship is being featured again.

Slammy Awards/Bad News Barrett

<- So next week is the go home show for what could be the biggest pay-per-view in recent memory with a title unification match… and it’s the Slammy Awards. Good timing.

<- OK, “Bad New Barrett” MAY not get over (at all) but he made a damn good point about Oklahoma City.

Daniel Bryan vs Erick Rowen

<- So we don’t get any explanation about what actually happened to Bryan when the Wyatts “abducted” him last week & no one when looking for him. Now everything’s just back to normal except that Bryan is feuding with The Wyatt Family, probably without CM Punk as well. What the hell happened?

<- This is the longest match I’ve ever seen Rowen in and I was surprisingly impressed. He might not have the agility or overall character that Luke Harper has but he’s a serviceable big man.

<- Very cool promo from Bray Wyatt and I love the twist of Wyatt trying to recruit Daniel Bryan. Wyatt’s strongest talent is his promos so why not have him try to talk Bryan into the “Family”.

Alberto Del Rio vs Sin Cara

<- Holy crap that is a HUGE tattoo on Sin Cara. Did they replace him without anyone knowing?

<- What the hell type of promo was that from Del Rio? The was Zeb Colter 101 and out of character for Del Rio. He just needs to be taken off of TV for a while and hope his character gets the refreshment it needs.

<- Annnnnnnd Sin Cara just knocked himself silly by missing the top rope moonsault to the floor. I guess it is still the original Sin Cara.

<- Hey, that was a pretty swanton bomb and Sin Cara gets a win on TV!

Goldust, Cody Rhodes & The Big Show vs The Shield

<- Is anyone else wondering why Dean Ambrose hasn’t been put into a single’s feud yet for the United States Championship?

<- It took a little over a year but I’m bored with these 6-man tag team matches. I don’t know if it’s The Shield or their opponents but I’ve hardly paid attention to this matchup at all & I don’t feel like I’m missing anything at all.

<- Except of course for the inhuman resurgence of Goldust. Creative finish as well & it’s nice to see The Shield winning again, although I want to see them winning single’s matches.

Kofi Kingston & The Miz vs Curtis Axel & Ryback

<- Ryback and Axel don’t even get an entrance? That’s a hard fall.

<- And Miz’s heel turn is explained as a bad night and he & Kofi have “buried the hatchet”? Lame.

<- That’s two matches where the men who didn’t get entrances picked up wins (Damien Sandow & Ryback/Axel).

<- Well all my allusions have been shattered:

Sin Caras

<- I guess I should have known it wasn’t the real Sin Cara. There’s no way a guy who had a match called off on live TV because of a dislocated finger would be able to sit through a tattoo like that.

The Contract Signing For The World/WWE TLC Championship Match

<- Trying to decipher all of the different rhetoric that is being used for this match build up is absolutely exhausting.

<- John Cena spoke a lot of truth when talking about his and Randy Orton’s history & is still pretty damn good when he decides to play his promos seriously.

<- Unfortunately this segment was everything that these segments always turn out to be. And although they have one more week to build this match, it’s the Slammys next week and an undisputed championship match shouldn’t be second to anything on any show.
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10 Thoughts: WWE RAW 12.2.2013 (CM Punk, Randy Orton, John Cena) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/03/10-thoughts-wwe-raw-12-2-2013-cm-punk-randy-orton-john-cena/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/03/10-thoughts-wwe-raw-12-2-2013-cm-punk-randy-orton-john-cena/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 05:19:42 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=161924 1. I’m going back and forth on how I feel about Punk and Daniel Bryan going their separate ways to their respective feuds. I love them as a team but I’m also glad their each on their own and that their feuds are getting a little bit more specific (although that really applies more to the Bryan/Wyatts story).

2. That Dolph and Sandow match was a little short for my liking, especially for Dolph losing that cleanly after a 3 week feud. Good that they haven’t totally forgotten about Sandow after the MitB debacle but bad for Ziggles and his decline.

3. Say what you will about the new Bad News Barrett, but kudos to the JBL and Cole Show for temporarily salvaging Wade Barrett’s career.

4. So is Brodus being a heel for being possessive or a face for being possessive? I truly don’t care one way or the other but I do know that 9 out of 10 dinosaur experts would highly disapprove of that jacket Brodus wore to the ring. That 10th doctor probably loves dubstep.

5. Not even the fact that this tattoo was a dead giveaway that we had a replacement Sin Cara tonight but it was more due to the “real” Sin Cara checking into a restaurant in Mexico on Four Square not 20 minutes after his match in OKC. Sin Cara even botches the fact that he’s not there. But really, I do hope they stick with Hunico as Sin Cara, everyone will be better off in the long run, they’ll get another masked face, far less botches and Hunico probably won’t give up on a match due to a sprained finger.

6. It will be a long time before I’m tired of CoDust facing Shield. It makes no sense at all considering Shield focusing on Punk right now but I’ll overlook WWE’s lack of consistency this one time.

7. CM Punk was such a good heel that he even sells not being a decent singer back when he sung Happy Birthday to Mysterio’s daughter. But the truth is, that was a great rendition of “I Feel Pretty.” Move over Darren Criss, Punk will be leading The New Directions to regionals this year.

8. I was a little excited to see the return of dancing Mark Henry but I was disappointed when he didn’t pull out Blair’s favorite.

9. Even after this whole Titus thing, I still catch grief from people when I don’t watch Smackdown? Shame on all of you and a pox on all of your houses.

10. I hate it when I have to agree with Cena but he essentially recited every complaint I’ve had with Orton over the entirety of his career. He’s incredibly talented and makes everything look easy and that isn’t helped by him looking bored during some matches or forgetting his lines during a live promo. And as always, the contract signing ended in redundant chaos. However, I was more worried about the contract signing table getting flipped over and how it could cause a Million Dollar Baby situation. Also, as many pointed out, they need to stop with this “First Time Ever” nonsense. I know they’re referring to a Unification TLC match but they don’t always specify it like that. But this is WWE that I’m talking about, playing fast and loose is kinda their thing.
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THE RAGER! Daniel Bryan is a Lightning Rod and CM Punk is Aaron Rodgers. http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/10/16/the-rager-daniel-bryan-is-a-lightening-rod-and-cm-punk-is-aaron-rodgers/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/10/16/the-rager-daniel-bryan-is-a-lightening-rod-and-cm-punk-is-aaron-rodgers/#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 15:00:22 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=160584 It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve done a full, regular RAGER. It’s probably because I’ve been having to do my traditional pay per view coverage for what feels like every other week seeing as how we’re in this weird scrunching of PPVs. Not saying that I might doing all that PPV coverage because then I don’t have to struggle in order to figure out a topic because the PPV is it’s own topic. But I feel like those rob all of you from the brilliance that leaks out of my brain and I’m here to service all of you…do with that information what you will.

I don’t want to go into another rant about how it’s hard to write about wrestling when there’s not necessarily anything to complain about because I’m sure you all have heard enough of that from me for a lifetime. But as cool and hip that it is to be the snarky wrestling writer that complains about the product, I still find myself with not a whole lot complain about. Sure, there are glaring spots in the shows each week that need improvement but I feel like that would always be the case.

I’m preaching to the choir here but I really don’t like the Los Matadores gimmick. Even when it comes to the music, the intro is really good, I think. It’s a little campy but I’ll allow it but then El Torito comes out and all of a sudden the music gets all jazzed up so that the kids know that they should cheer for them, right? Why is the music all funked? It goes completely against the character and clashes with the intro. Where are they from? They should be billed “from the forest moon of Planet Funk.” And then there’s the characters themselves, Diego and Fernando, guys with a very impressive move-set that I’ve always admired back in their Primo and Epico days (especially right before they got shelved). Honestly the characters resemble closely what WWE has premiered quite a bit lately. It’s something we’ve recently brought up on Classy Ring Attire (mostly thanks to Zork’s comment/question) where we went into detail about the Brodus Clay-type debuts. We get guys like Brodus Clay, Bray Wyatt and Fandango who seemingly accomplish what they’ve set out to do with the audience but then they essentially accomplish nothing in a storyline sense. I’m not sure what WWE is planning with Los Matadores (if anything at all), maybe they’ll go into a program against Real Americans, maybe they’ll flounder around and get pointless wins here and there until WWE finds a new toy.
I’m not even going to touch on El Torito, except for the fact that he’s already putting Sin Cara to shame. Not like that’s a tall order to fill seeing as how Sin Cara puts himself to shame on a nightly basis.

I don’t want to say that I’m starting dislike the Punk/Heyman program but I will say that I’m more lukewarm to it, which is far worse. The Ryback thing just doesn’t feel right but maybe that’s because he’s the substitution of a substitution and something got lost in the process. Punk does a really good job making matches look a lot better whenever he’s in the ring with someone that’s severely lacking, he’s the Aaron Rodgers of the WWE.

Obviously, I’m enjoying the pants off the Rhodes brothers story since returning at Battleground. That match was fantastic and have been maintaining momentum ever since. As I’ve stated on my 10 Thoughts on Raw a couple days ago, I could’ve done without Big Show being the cause for their championship win but I understand the overall story and how Shield still needs to be considered as almost impossible to beat.

Really, all things good right now in WWE is somehow linked to the HHH Regime story and, of course, that’s really because Daniel Bryan is just a lightening rod in terms of crowd reaction. Kids seem to start digging him, maybe not as much as they dig Cena but that’s nearly impossible. But add that response to those that were already cheering and you’ve got something amazing happening every week. Amazing to see how that all started with members of the Schrödinger IWC (I’m just assuming that it both does and does not exist to bypass resurrecting that dumb and pointless debate again) and over time, more and more people started to catch onto how amazing of a talent he really is. Sort of like how more people are catching onto just how fun Cesaro is to watch. This is coming from a guy that use to not be able to get past how weird Cesaro’s nipples looked (I’m referring to that odd segment were Teddy Long was commanded to oil of Antonio). The thing about this Regime story is how they’re constantly added new yet logical folds every week. New aspects and people that ignites a reinvestment by the viewers. Yeah, the ratings aren’t great but Americans put everything aside for Monday Night Football, even if the game is terrible. I don’t know if Cena is legit completely healed by some weird miracle or if he’s being rushed but I think this was going to be a storm WWE ends up having to ride this time of year regardless of who’s on the active roster. But then again, I want to live in a world where The Newsroom could happen in reality where people in TV would sacrifice ratings in order to maintain quality. Sadly, that isn’t the case but I desperately want at least one Raw to be written by Aaron Sorkin during my lifetime. Sure, there’ll be nothing but talking promos the entire 3 hours but I dare you not to be compelled.

As always, be on the lookout for this week’s Classy Ring Attire but until then, follow us on twitter @CRAttire and catch a bit from last week’s where we suck up to our British listeners.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
Chris

The Answer
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10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 9.23.13 (Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Roman Reigns) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/09/24/10-thoughts-wwe-raw-9-23-13-daniel-bryan-cm-punk-cody-rhodes-roman-reigns/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/09/24/10-thoughts-wwe-raw-9-23-13-daniel-bryan-cm-punk-cody-rhodes-roman-reigns/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 10:41:22 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=159831 So apparently the list of things that make Big Show cry was a hit with you guys and so that led to this happening. You guys are awesome and just for that, I’m going to give you my 10 Thoughts on Raw!

1. So we never really got an explanation as to why HHH would put Shield in such a lop-sided main event. Sure it feature some banged-up guys that were rocking the “don’t forget that I’m injured” wraps but it still seemed a bit odd. In a story-line that’s been so tipped against Daniel Bryan and his merry men, it feels kinda weird for there to be no shenanigans at the end to help Shield. I’m not upset that the match happened because it was a fine match that showcased the things we love about both teams, I just could’ve used some sort of explanation. Is this HHH’s way of keeping Shield in check? Who knows.

2. The newness of Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family is starting to wear off on me. I still like Bray Wyatt very much but I’m ready for him to actually have some sort of purpose and not just be weird for the sake of being weird. I honestly could care less about the Wyatt Family but I get that they’re a package deal. As of right now, their match against Primetime Players felt more like treading water until Kane gets back.

3. Apparently Miz isn’t important enough for Big Show to cry over. In a world where the slightest breeze makes Big Show cry, I feel like that is a bigger insult than a punch to the face.

4. So has Orton evolved into “The Current Roster Killer?” Because that’s not nearly as catchy as Legend Killer.

5. With CM Punk so badly battered and bruised as it is, is it really such a good idea to put him up against Ryback? I don’t think Ryback has the physical capability to be in a match with someone and not actually hurt them by accident. He is the opposite of Sin Cara.

6. I give it two more weeks until Curtis Axel is sadly tapping on the proverbial glass window from the outside, shivering in the snow. I’m sure Axel can pull off the Dickensian poor-person pout.

7. The Rhodes brothers attack was something I really should’ve seen coming but I still thoroughly enjoyed it because it’s keeping the Cody situation at the forefront of everyone’s minds. The allied forces against Orton and The Shield are growing and I’m still smelling some sort of team match at Battleground.

8. Speaking of The Rhodes, I like how the Goldust character would try to blend in with jeans and a hoodie but the thought of taking off the bright golden face-paint never crossed his mind.

9. I honestly had no idea Reigns had never been pinned before. Kinda odd that it came on a random Raw but to his credit, it was in a match that was grossly against him and it took 3 people to do it.

10. Can we get Chicago another Wrestlemania soon? Since they had a positive experience with a northern outdoor stadium, Soldier Field would be pretty fantastic. Do it while WWE still has CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler in the company and the crowd will give you everything you want.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
Chris
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Classy Ring Attire – Crying Like Big Show http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/09/04/classy-ring-attire-crying-like-big-show/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/09/04/classy-ring-attire-crying-like-big-show/#comments Wed, 04 Sep 2013 20:42:46 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=159440 With Joel out for the week, two temporary hosts are called in to help fill the void. Discussion of Big Show’s crying and Sin Cara’s injury abound, while Chris also tries to get someone to get invested in Total Divas with him.
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http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/09/04/classy-ring-attire-crying-like-big-show/feed/ 0 big show,cm punk,Daniel Bryan,Night of Champions,Raw,sin cara,Stone Cold,Total Divas,triple h,WWE With Joel out for the week, two temporary hosts are called in to help fill the void. Discussion of Big Show's crying and Sin Cara's injury abound, while Chris also tries to get someone to get invested in Total Divas with him. With Joel out for the week, two temporary hosts are called in to help fill the void. Discussion of Big Show's crying and Sin Cara's injury abound, while Chris also tries to get someone to get invested in Total Divas with him. Inside Pulse Wrestling no 1:14:23
10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 9.2.13 (Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Triple H, The Big Show) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/09/03/10-thoughts-wwe-raw-9-2-13-randy-orton-daniel-bryan-cody-rhodes-triple-h-the-big-show/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/09/03/10-thoughts-wwe-raw-9-2-13-randy-orton-daniel-bryan-cody-rhodes-triple-h-the-big-show/#comments Wed, 04 Sep 2013 03:43:41 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=159435 Raw (Hartford 2013)

1. Some people might complain about how Raw is opening up every week now with Triple H and Randy Orton but think about it a little bit. Triple H has been a babyface for a VERY long time & maybe even the entire time some young WWE fans have been watching. Randy Orton likewise has been a top babyface since 2010. That’s a long time in the world of the WWE where he is featured on numerous shows every week. I can see why WWE feels the need to really strongly establish these “new” personas for Triple H and Orton because there are some fans who really haven’t seen them in roles like this or have forgotten. THIS (HHH/Orton/McMahons/The Shield) is the new “big bad guy” in the WWE & cementing them as such is what’s important. I also love how the angle continued fluidly onto SmackDown. It’s been so long since the big storyline had chapters added to it during SmackDown that it is damn refreshing. That being said, I don’t want to see them open the show the same way every week for much longer but I get what they’re doing right now. OH! And did you know our newest Wallpaper Of The Week is designed for this very same group?! Yup, check out “The New CORPORATION For A New Era” Wallpaper now!

2. So Fandango was able to wrestle almost his entire match with The Miz with a legitimately broken nose but Sin Cara couldn’t even rush a finish for his dislocated fingers & decided to break character and call the match off. That’s the perfect example of what gets you respect in the locker room & what will eventually cause you to be “future endeavored”. This was a decent mid-card match where Fandango was able to display attributes we haven’t seen before. I’d like to see him get away from this feud with The Miz & even though he lost cleanly tonight, I expect a secondary title run & a refocus on Fandango’s character soon. Maybe once Kofi Kingston wins the IC title for the 40th time from Curtis Axel, Fandango could be the next heel to try to get over with the belt.

3. We’re getting a Dolph Ziggler/Dean Ambrose feud for the US Championship?

Ambrose vs Ziggler Meme

4. They’re doing a good job of keeping Dolph Ziggler involved in the main event storyline without actually being involved in the same segments as the new Corporation or Daniel Bryan. He doesn’t have to play the sap that The Big Show does but he’s still being beaten down by people associated with Triple H. This way, when the time comes for him to step up, he’ll have plenty of momentum and history to be inserted right into the main event. I’m also really glad he was moved away from Big E Langston and AJ Lee fairly quickly. They’re obviously nowhere near the top-tier of the card & while Ziggler may not be wrestling for the World Championship, this angle keeps his name in the right mix.

5. Wow, Stephanie McMahon is allowed to get really personal, really quickly and it works. It works for her character because we’ve seen her “mean streak” in the past but she still has the ability to paint a picture of herself as “daddy’s little girl” growing up in the crazy land of the WWE. The way she’s portraying this new character though is spot on and the delivery of some of the things she says is just gut-wrenching. It’s different from her “Billion Dollar Princess”, “McMahon-Helmsley” or “SmackDown GM” eras of her career and she’s blending her personal history with her professional history terrifically.

6. I’m really looking for Cody Rhodes to shine in this match with Randy Orton, especially since it seems like he’s going to get some time off for his wedding and honeymoon. I AM glad that it looks like they are finally taking a serious approach to his push after the momentum he gained after Money In The Bank. On a side note, what is it about Triple H making “career-ending matches”? Didn’t he do the same thing to Mick Foley during the “McMahon-Helmsley Era” that ended up with The Rock leading the entire roster on a walkout? The seriousness of the announcers and the backstage shot of the locker room watching the match is truly selling this match as being as big. Honestly, this could have been on a PPV if it were to take place a few months from now but Rhodes would have needed a few more big wins before that would happen. Everything about this match worked well though. Cody’s hope spots & ESPECIALLY his CrossRhodes finisher really got the crowd strongly behind him while Orton playing to the crowd as he always did as a babyface was a nice touch. Cody was pinned cleanly but it was that “one mistake” loss that we’ve seen a lot of babyfaces come back from. Like I said about Ziggler earlier, Rhodes is only going to benefit from this match & being involved with the main event storyline. Once he comes back, he’ll be inserted right in the upper-midcard with maybe even some main events. Either way, they’re finally doing something important with Cody Rhodes.

7. “A biblical ass-beating this Sunday.” – CM Punk. One of the best lines from Raw in 2013. That promo was simple, intense and sold a good amount of PPVs. It’s what Punk does best.

8. That was far and away the best promo Cody Rhodes has ever delivered and he delivered it as he was walking out of the door and off of TV for who knows how long. The passion, intensity and emotion he displayed when talking about his father & brother was fantastic and God I hope we get to see more of THIS Cody Rhodes sooner rather than later.

9. The gimmick of having the roster stand on the stage for Daniel Bryan’s matches seemed a little cheesy & over-the-top when they first started this storyline but now I think it’s really starting to resonate with the audience. It’s a gimmick they’ve done before but it was never a regular/weekly thing. I like that it’s just a simple display of Triple H’s power.

10. The Big Show was a bit over-dramatic here throughout this entire “match”. I know acting was never Show’s strong point but did he really need to be crying throughout this whole segment? I’m sorry but if it came down to being able to support my family, I would hope any one of my good friends would understand that I had to punch them in the face to keep my job. He didn’t have to injure him. He didn’t have to hurt him to the point that he needed help out of the ring. And he didn’t have to humiliate him. He punched him once & was able to keep his job. If nothing else, they should have focused more on the fact that Triple H & Stephanie can get The Big Show to do whatever they want him to do, whenever they want him to do something. All in all, the closing segment didn’t do as much for me as the last few weeks. Now that we’ve seen the new Corporation establish themselves, it’s time to see that Daniel Bryan can overcome the numbers game & become a viable threat to Randy Orton’s title at Night Of Champions. Next week is the go-home show & no matter how over Daniel Bryan is, fans need to buy into the idea that he’s going to win the belt at the pay-per-view, both figuratively and literally.
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Rabblecast #331 Summer Slam Results, Brooke Hogan Leaves TNA http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/08/22/rabblecast-331-summer-slam-results-brooke-hogan-leaves-tna/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/08/22/rabblecast-331-summer-slam-results-brooke-hogan-leaves-tna/#comments Thu, 22 Aug 2013 22:42:44 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=159178 WWE’s Summer Slam 2013 left quite an impression with many wrestling fans. “The Wrestlemania of the summer” came off like a big event thanks in part to the two main event matches, Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs John Cena. But how did the rest of the card hold up? What was the fallout from Summer Slam that played out on Monday night RAW? Also, how did John Cena’s injury, prior to his Summer Slam title defense, hold up?

 

Brooke Hogan is gone from TNA Wresting. TNA and Brooke Hogan reportedly agreed to an amicable split between the two parties. But why? There has yet to be any real comment on the situation from either party, but the speculation has already begun. Is this part of TNA’s measure to continue making financial cuts? Did, Hulk Hogan have any say in the matter? With this and other recent cuts, who is really safe in TNA Wrestling?

 

We are, The Rabblecast!

 

On this week’s show:

  • Details on John Cena’s injury
  • Darren Young comes out to TMZ
  • TNA changes X-Division match format
  • Why was Alberto Del Rio all beat up at Summer Slam

 

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