Rising Star.

Money In The Bank always feels like a surprise party to me. What does that mean? Allow me to explain!

You never quite know who will show up (okay, so you kind of do) and you know that not everybody is going to leave in the same shape they arrived in. Some crawl away, some need to be carried out, and some shit is going to get broken.

This particular MITB ladder match has a lot of significance behind it. It won’t just be seen guys clamouring to get to the top of the ladder to get a guaranteed title shot that can be used at anytime. The person who climbs that ladder is guaranteed champion status. For three of the competitors in that match, this will elevate their profile with the company and fans in a huge way. As sad as I am to have Daniel Bryan stripped of the title, this opens up the door for the three guys who have never competed in a Money In The Bank match before. Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, and Cesaro, are being handed a monster opportunity and it is up to them to take full advantage of it. I’m not saying that those three aren’t already over big with the fans but a win in a match with this much significance in sports entertainment will solidify their ‘superstar’ status.

Initially, I had a hard time picking who I thought should win. I love Roman, Bray, and Cesaro. After some thinking, I am really rooting for Cesaro. There is just a quality within him that I love, I think it’s his style of wrestling to be honest. He flawlessly integrates old school moves, like the neutralizer, with a new school type of flair. Even as I’m posting this, I can’t pinpoint it. Whoever wins this match will be bringing in a new era for fans and the company as a whole. There will no longer be a constant repeating cycle of the same guys getting the belts. The fans won’t be getting tired of seeing the same gimmicks over and over again. I’m very excited for this match because I honestly think that this will help to revitalize and refresh the superstars and the fans, especially those who constantly complain about the product being stale. I don’t think that but it definitely could use a shot in the arm, but that’s with anything that has been around as long as World Wrestling Entertainment has.

The WWE provides opportunity to everyone who walks through those ropes, it is up to the individual to capitalize on it and make the most of it. This also has potential to have the winner written into a feud with Daniel Bryan when he returns. It pretty much writes itself.

The face of wrestling may very well change on Sunday. Bring. It. On.

Kicking It Old School.

Let me start off by saying how much I really do enjoy themed episodes of Raw. They’re so much fun and allow the superstars and fans to enjoy something a little special, everyone just has a good time with them. This past Monday, the theme was Old School (probably my favourite out of all the themed episodes). We got to see legend upon legend and it was just a fun show, not just for the fans but for the superstars as well.

The show opened with Mr. Woooo himself, Ric Flair. In typical Ric style, he came out to have fun and Randy Orton interrupted him and ruined it for the rest of us. He went on his typical rant about how he is the greatest superstar of this generation or any other and how everyone should respect him (blah, blah, blah). I laughed so hard when the camera panned to Flair because he looked like he had a few and trying to stifle some laughter. Orton tried to assert his dominance as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and was promptly stopped by John Cena, who gave the legend the respect that he deserved for his accomplishments in pro wrestling. Then the usual happened, Randy Orton received a challenge and he bitched out. He rolled right out of that ring and walked away with his two belts, with that same smug look on his face that he always has. There is one thing that Orton is very good at and that is playing the role of the asshole. One hundred and ten percent brilliant.

The one thing that he said that I did agree with is that the Authority should reverse their decision on the main event match at the Royal Rumble, Randy Orton versus John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Royal Rumble is the very first step in the Road to Wrestlemania. It is the first pay-per-view of the year and it is of the utmost importance. The match will be good and all but I’m hungry for someone new to take the championship helm. I’m not saying that Randy Orton and John Cena can never be champions again, I’m just saying that they can’t be the champions all the time. There is enough time between now and Wrestlemania to bring someone new into the title race. It just has to be the right person and done properly. Nobody messes around when it comes to anything to do with Wrestlemania.

What we also got to see was Daniel Bryan as a member of the Wyatt Family. It’s still kind of weird to imagine him involved with that faction but I still love it. The Wyatt’s took on Rey Mysterio and The Usos in a three on three tag team match. The difference in Daniel’s demeanor was quite noticeable and I actually kind of liked this aggressive version of the flying goat. The match itself was fantastic, with The Usos and Rey picking up the win via pinfall. You could see the struggle that Daniel Bryan was facing. He disappointed some of the WWE Universe and disappointed some of his fellow superstars. When someone is disappointed in someone, it isn’t hard to tell. Being with the Wyatt Family is going to show everyone just how resilient and adaptable Daniel Bryan really is.

Big E. Langston also continued his Intercontinental Title run and his dominance over Curtis Axel. I really like this combination of superstars, they work really well together and that is something nice to see. There is a nice balance of pure power and calculated athleticism between the two that just makes for great matches. What I didn’t like is that they had Ryback on commentary, this man is even more boring on the microphone than he is in the ring. I could go on a rant about how much I don’t like him but I will spare everyone that 85747585 words that I will inevitably write.

One guy that could teach someone a lesson is Roddy Piper, The Shield learned that the hard way on Piper’s Pit. If someone reading this has NEVER seen a Piper’s Pit segment, you truly haven’t lived. Roddy Piper is the most talented superstar that I’ve ever seen on the microphone, with Punk being his modern-day equivalent. I’ve never seen someone so quick on his toes and have such snappy lines. The Shield, especially Dean Ambrose, thought that they had one up on Piper but he ran out of bubblegum (If no one gets that reference, please watch They Live.). What Roddy expertly did was drive an even further wedge in between The Shield. He did that by asking Roman if he beats Punk, does that make him better than his teammates? My only response to that was ‘Oh snap!’, there is no other logical retort to something like that. When they challenged the kilted one, Punk and the New Age Outlaws came to his aid. I was kind of hoping that we would get a match out of that with Piper as the referee or something crazy like that but it didn’t happen and I wasn’t upset. Just a little sad that no one got a coconut cracked over their skull…I’m kidding…maybe.

We did get a little advancement in terms of story and rivalries, nice to see since the Royal Rumble is just a few short weeks away. Alberto Del Rio started to spark a feud with Batista (I don’t really care for Batista that much but he would crush Del Rio), the Rhodes Brothers took on the Real Americans, Damien Sandow continued his losing streak against Khali, and we had a divas tag team match. Hell, we even got to see 3MB take on Too Cool and Rikishi! We also were witnesses to Big Show challenging Brock Lesnar and Lesnar running away like the little bitch that he is. I just do not understand this guy at all. Heyman and himself claim he is the beast incarnate, yet, he can’t even take on a challenge from an opponent? This all started with yet another confrontation with Henry, resulting in Henry being put in the Kimora lock by Lesnar. I don’t think in an all out brawl that Lesnar could beat either one of these men. That being said, I do like the idea of Lesnar taking on one of the big guys in the WWE but I think a triple threat match would provide a unique angle for this story. In all honesty, I just want to see Lesnar get the crap beat out of him. I’ve always said that Lesnar couldn’t wrestle his way out of a wet paper bag and he keeps proving me right with every single match he has.

My favourite match of the entire broadcast was watching CM Punk take on Roman Reigns.

This match had everything going for it. It had Mean Gene bring out the New Age Outlaws, they did the introduction for CM Punk, and we had some world-class wrestling. In the beginning, there was a definite power struggle and Roman was trying to show Punk that he wasn’t someone to mess with. The two turning points in this match were when Roman missed his flying superman punch, causing him to receive a boot from Punk, and when he could not make the superplex. I was one of those people who thought Punk had it in the bag after that mixed superplex, I was sure he was going to pick up the victory rather quickly. Boy, was I wrong.

Roman missed his first spear but connected on the second. Watching that spear is just as deadly as feeling the move first hand. You can actually feel the impact while you’re watching the broadcast from the comfort of your own couch. The moment that sealed the deal to make this the best match of the night was the appearance of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. Everyone knows that Jake has had his share of ups and downs throughout his entire life and wrestling career, he was in bad shape until Diamond Dallas Page took him in and helped him turn it all around. He looked absolutely fantastic and the fans lost their mind when he walked out carrying that snake in a bag. Dean was laid out in the ring, with Damien slithering all over him, Jake also used his ‘partner’ of sorts to scare away Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The only thing that could have made this any better would have been if he had one of them tangled in the ropes like he had Randy Savage all those years ago. You could tell by the smile on Dean’s face that this moment was just as much for him as it was for wrestling fans all over the WWE Universe.

Apparently, there will now be an annual Old School Raw episode airing every January. This wrestling fan could not be any happier about that!

There’s No ‘I’ In Team.

In a recent string of not so great pay-per-view finishes and questionable decisions, Survivor Series was a welcomed change. The matches were intriguing and enthralling, filled with a lot of things that people weren’t expecting. I actually did fairly well with my Survivor Series predictions, the only match that threw me off was the five on five traditional elimination match. The whole event was absolutely wonderful, with the main event and what happened after that starting a little bit of a debate (and by little bit, I mean a lot) amongst wrestling fans.

The kick-off show let us see the Miz take on Kofi Kingston, furthering their feud that started on Raw. I thought that this match was fantastic from Kofi’s side, Miz wasn’t doing so well. I find his work very sloppy and not enjoyable in the least. To further Miz’s heel turn, they had him pick up a win over Kofi. The best part of the match was when Kofi slapped him in the face, a little payback for Miz ditching him in their match on Raw. Like I said on Twitter, if I were Miz I would be kissing Kofi’s feet for giving him such a good match. I just don’t get what his deal is! I do not understand him at all so we’ll just move right along to the main card.

Like a small child tearing through presents on Christmas morning, I almost wept when the pay-per-view started with the traditional Survivor Series five on five elimination match. That may seem like an overreaction but those elimination matches are one of the simple pleasures of life. If you’ve never watched one, you need to because it is awesome. What makes it so awesome and exciting is that you don’t know who the sole survivor will be or how many of them there will be. It’s a numbers game that the WWE plays very well. Speaking of numbers, it was the one year anniversary of The Shield’s debut in the WWE and they celebrated in a big way. Roman Reigns was a beast during the match and carried his entire team, consisted of Ambrose, Rollins, Cesaro, and Swagger. WIth the very recent return of Rey Mysterio it seemed like a sure thing that his team would win and they would emerge the survivors. Boy, was I wrong…

Roman destroyed them.

He barreled through his competitors in such rapid succession that if you blinked, you missed it. He took out four members of the opposing team as swift as most people change their socks, it was unreal. Eventually, I think that The Shield will break up and that the three men will go their separate ways. What that traditional Survivor Series elimination match did on Sunday was cement Roman’s spot as a future star and top contender. That’s not to say that the other men in that match aren’t good or they can’t go to the top but Roman was ONE guy who single-handedly eliminated eighty percent of the other team. Mind = blown.

I also really did enjoy the Intercontinental title match that saw the newly minted champ, Big E. Langston, take on the former champ, Curtis Axel. These two wrestled a fantastic match and I really think that the power that they each possess really plays well with one another. Langston has brute strength and is pretty much a brick wall with legs, Axel has the power of perfection on his side (how can you not with a dad like Curt and a grampa like Larry?). Axel made a great champion but he just had the title and didn’t really defend it, I chalk that up to not really knowing who to pair him with. I thought that they complimented other really well in the ring and I hope that the feud carries on for a little longer. The Intercontinental title always seems to be in the background and it is exciting to see the belt and its champion getting some recognition.

Another match that I was psyched for was the seven on seven diva elimination match but I was left a little disappointed. The divas division has so much momentum from the success of the Total Divas reality show and it made them exciting again. They were so stagnant and boring for so long, this sort of resurgence was refreshing. The Total DIvas obviously won and it was a great win for them but the match lacked a little something. I think the problem was all the rapid fire eliminations, that boils down to time constraints. I thought that they all did a great job and it is so nice to see the women’s division being recognized.

We also got treated to an impromptu match between Ryback and Mark Henry. I’d like to personally thank Mark Henry for shutting Ryback up. When Ryback speaks all I hear is bitch, bitch, bitch. I also like Henry and I still think that his fake retirement angle from his last run was some of the best work I’ve ever seen in the history of WWE.

Speaking of hilarious, I find it kind of hilarious that John Cena couldn’t even get a solid ovation in his hometown. Contrary to things I’ve said recently, I actually really like John Cena but he needs to diversify himself. He needs to diversify his personality and his move set. That being said, I thought he did really well in this match and I’m glad that he retained the title, Del Rio’s high point of the match was when he nailed Cena with a beautiful DDT. Another moment that I really liked was when Alberto broke John’s submission hold, the STFU, with a single finger on the bottom rope. I give credit where credit is due and both men put on a great match. My final critique is that I am sick of this whole ‘SuperCena’ thing that always happens each and every match. I know why people don’t like him and I completely understand. They don’t like him for the same reasons that they don’t like Hogan that much.

Whoa, someone doesn’t like Hulk Hogan? Calm yourself and allow me to explain fellow wrestling fans.

Even as a child, I found Hogan very boring and bland. I think a lot of that has to do with me watching wrestling with my dad and he doesn’t care for him that much either. Before someone complains, I am not denying that Hogan was an integral figure in wrestling or that he didn’t have some fantastic moments in and out of the ring. He was just always Hulk Hogan, the same way that Cena is always Cena. Sure, Hogan turned heel and whatever in WCW but that still didn’t make me like him. What I also didn’t like is that Hogan (among others during that time) spoke so negatively of the WWE and some of his fellow superstars. I believe that if it wasn’t for the WWE, Hogan wouldn’t have been half the recognizable figure that he is today. For him to speak in not so nice terms about his former employer and coworkers speaks to his character. Cena loves the WWE and I highly doubt that you would EVER hear him speak the way that Hogan does. But I digress…

I also really enjoyed CM Punk and Daniel Bryan taking on Luke Harper and Erick Rowan from the Wyatt Family. I don’t even need to praise these guys for giving the audience more than their ticket price worth of entertainment. This tag team match was the classic David versus Goliath story and the crowd just ate up every second of it. With Bray being his crazy and intriguing self, a lot was really added to the feud in terms of story and intrigue. Nobody really understand what the Wyatt Family says but it drives you crazy when you try to figure it out. I mean crazy in the best possible way.

Now on to the screwjob, I meant to say main event.

In true Survivor Series fashion, Show got screwed over. He was killing Orton throughout most of the match and then the Authority comes out and distracts him. In that split second Randy gets the pinfall and retains his title. It was a blemish on an otherwise fantastic pay-per-view. I half expected it but I was also holding on to hope that it would be a clean win. But hey, why should Orton ever earn anything based on ability? That feat would probably be a lot easier if he actually had any.

And then Cena came out to the ring and we got treated to the biggest pissing match ever, and that screamed that a unification was amongst us. I’ve written almost 1500 words so far so I will save my rant about the possible unification of the WWE title and the World Heavyweight title for another day.

Trust me.

Strive To Survive.

This Sunday, the annual fall classic takes place. Survivor Series was founded on pitting teams of five against each other to see who is the strongest, to see who will survive the elimination match. To be honest, I was starting to get a little worried that the card wasn’t as structured as it normally is but the WWE didn’t let me down. Let’s take a look at the card and my predictions on who will win.

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz (Kick-off Show)

Winner: The Miz

As much as this pains me, I honestly think that Miz is going to win. Obviously I feel that Kofi Should get the victory. Not only is he more talented in the ring, he has way more personality. When Miz bailed on Kofi during their tag team match on Monday, I didn’t really know what was happening. They need to do something with him to make him appealing to the audience in any way.

They tried him as a heel, it was alright but he was bland. They tried him as a face, he was still bland. He tried to imitate Ric Flair by doing his signature figure four leg lock, which he can’t even apply properly. With that stunt that he pulled on Raw, they have moved him back into the heel role. Even with that, I feel like he’s trying to be like Chris Jericho. I actually feel bad for the guy but he just can’t catch a break with me.

John Cena (champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship Match)

Winner: John Cena (retain)

I’m hoping that this will be the final time that we see Del Rio compete for the World Heavyweight title.

Unlike The Miz, I actually can tolerate Alberto Del Rio. I think he is a good athlete and he’s had some fantastic moments in the ring. The problem is that he doesn’t fit the heel profile for me at all. My favorite moments with Del Rio largely happened when he was in a feud with Zeb Colter and the Real Americans. That was pure gold and I wish they would have went with that a little longer, get Del Rio to build a team to take on Cesaro and Swagger. It’s not that I can’t buy into him as a heel, that isn’t it at all, I just don’t enjoy it. Del Rio is much more enjoyable when he’s having fun and not just putting people in the cross arm breaker.

Now it’s on to Cena. The man is literally superman, coming back from a career-threatening injury four months earlier than expected. His elbow is obviously still bothering him a great deal but I’m confident he’ll keep the title. I just wonder if bringing him back so soon was such a good idea, it’s fantastic for the ratings but I can’t help but wonder if it’s good for John Cena. I saw that elbow on Raw when he announced he was having surgery and there was no way that elbow wasn’t a serious injury. You have to give him credit for working so hard to get back into the ring for the fans but he is a person, he isn’t a superhero. He needs time to heal and to heal up properly. No fan can question his devotion to wrestling or the fans but we can question his judgement regarding his health.

Cody Rhodes/Goldust/The Usos/Rey Mysterio vs. The Shield/Real Americans (Classic 5 on 5 elimination match)

Winners: Cody Rhodes/Goldust/The Usos/Rey Mysterio

This is the type of match that Survivor Series was built on, the five on five elimination match. It’s what I look forward to every fall and it is so exciting to me. You never know how the numbers will be stacked and who the sole survivor will be.

A mystery partner was teased for the Rhodes/Uso team and that man turned out to be Rey Mysterio! That really added an extra level of excitement heading into the event and it was a really cool moment that nobody expected. I think that the Rhodes/Uso/Mysterio team has a better chance of surviving because I think they will function better as a team. Allow me to further my explanation just a tad…

The Shield function fantastically as a team, between the three of them that is. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they play off of that. We got a taste of that this Monday when they teamed up with Harper and Rowan from the Wyatt Family. For a majority of the match, The Shield only tagged themselves in. That shows that they don’t trust easily in others or their work. I thought that was a really cool touch because it set the stage for a future feud between the two factions. Another fantastic story can come from this match, The Uso brothers can FINALLY get their tag team title shot against the Rhodes brothers. One thing that has always bothered me was that Cody and Goldust got those belts before Jimmy and Jey. It’s not that I don’t think that they deserved to have the belts, it’s just that they didn’t earn their spot to compete for them like Jimmy and Jey did. Hopefully the fans get to see The Usos hoist those belts above their head sooner rather than later.

Cast of Total Divas vs. Aj/Tamina/Kaitlyn/Rosa/Summer Rae/Aksana/Alicia Fox

Winner: The case of Total Divas

This really is a no brainer seeing as the show just got picked up for a second season. I just can’t wait for Natalya to slap someone in the sharpshooter.

Randy Orton (champion) vs. Big Show (WWE CHampionship Match)

Winner: Randy Orton (retains)

FOr weeks we’ve had to listen to Randy bitch and moan about Show getting a title shot and I have to say I really think that Randy is going to retain his title. With that being said, I don’t actually think he can win, I just think he is going to.

Randy admitted himself that he can’t beat Show on his own because of what happened to him last week. How much confidence can the WWE universe have in a champion who doesn’t even think that he can beat his challenger? Sure, Triple H said there would be no interference and no Shield present but that doesn’t mean that nothing will happen. I’m very confident that the Authority will find some loophole, find some way for someone to intervene. I haven’t quite figured it out yet but I am expecting an epic screwjob to come our way on Sunday.

What would Survivor Series be without someone getting screwed over?

CM Punk/Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper/Erick Rowan (Wyatt Family)

Winner: CM Punk/Daniel Bryan

I really thought that these men would be a part of a traditional Survivor Series style match but, hey, this is just as good!

I always enjoy see superstars teamed up who would normally compete in singles competition. It really gives you insight into how they operate and it is always interesting to see the dynamic of an unexpected team. Luke and Erick definitely have a size and power advantage over their competitors, Punk and Daniel are both on the smaller side. I think that what this match is going to come down to is speed and agility, which Punk and Bryan both have.

Nothing against the bigger wrestlers but, more often than not, they can’t keep up with the smaller guys. All Punk and Daniel Bryan have to do is keep Luke and Erick grounded and not let them gain any momentum. The main challenge that the new team is going to face against these two members of the Wyatt Family are that Punk and Daniel are a new team and you can’t really read Harper or Rowan. I’m sure that their minds are just as blank as the expressions on their faces. I also think that using the word challenge is putting it mildly but they’ll overcome these mountains of men with little problem.

It’s a pretty stacked card for this Sunday, I can’t wait to see who sill strive to survive!

Returning To Tradition.

I always enjoy when the WWE goes overseas, simply for the crowd reactions. Let me tell you a little secret, they never disappoint! This week, the WWE broadcasted Raw from Manchester, England. They get events with even less frequency than I do in Alberta, we get them about once every year and a half to two years. My only disappointment with them was that I wasn’t there to cheer with them against Randy Orton. This week was the second to last show leading up to the last big event of the year, let’s take a look at the card so far.

Survivor Series is only six days away and, so far, there are only three matches announced on the card. We have Randy Orton taking on Big Show, John Cena facing Alberto Del Rio, and CM Punk partnering with Daniel Bryan to take on Harper and Rowan from the Wyatt Family. I have to admit, they have me a little worried about the card but I’m confident that they will pull through and deliver. I may not really agree with the match, they’ve done a fantastic job of building Big Show versus Randy Orton for the WWE championship. Randy Orton has perfected the art of being the ultimate asshole, I mean, heel. He came out this week and said that Show didn’t deserve his title shot and that he didn’t earn it (I actually agree with him on this one, don’t have a heart attack people!).

If anyone knows anything about getting things you don’t deserve, it’s Randy Orton.

Randy was then put in a match where he had to face both Cody Rhodes and Goldust, the Rhodes brothers emerged victorious via a count out. Randy basically bailed because he knew he couldn’t win. Big Show, being the kind individual that he is, gladly helped Randy find his way back to the ring. He then proceeded to beat the holy hell out of him and put him through the commentary table, returning the gesture from last week. What I didn’t really care for was the potential injury angle that was being played up by showing Randy being checked out by the trainer backstage. He doesn’t need another excuse to not properly defend his title, what I mean by that is that he doesn’t need another easy out.

If I can’t have Daniel Bryan as my champion, I’ll gladly take the Big Show.

The second match on the card is John Cena versus Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship. All Del Rio wants to do is destroy Cena and take back his title. You have to admire his aggression and determination but there is no way that he will take the belt off of Cena. He interrupted Cena’s two on one handicap match against the Real Americans on Monday, with the sole purpose of trying to shake John Cena’s confidence heading into the event. I would call it a rather unsuccessful attempt but good for him for trying so hard. The match that I would have liked to see would have been Damien Sandow taking on John Cena. That would have been much more dynamic and entertaining, Sandow lost his Money In The Bank title shot to Cena. The storyline practically writes itself!

Much like Orton, I find Del Rio quite bland. I liked him much better when he was a man of the people and wasn’t just out to hurt people. They desperately need to do something with him because he is putting me, and the rest of the audience, to sleep. He can’t just randomly appear at ringside or have random matches. That’s the beauty of the WWE though, things always change and anything can happen. All they need to do is put him in the right feud with the right person, everything will fall into place after that. Personally, I’d like to see him take on someone like Kofi Kingston. I think that it would be a classic good versus bad storyline and it would inject some personality into Del Rio. Maybe he could even take on Curtis Axel for his Intercontinental belt, there are a multitude of possibilities. Alberto Del Rio needs to face someone who is a good foil for him in every single sense of the word.

The final announced match on the card is the one that I am most excited for is CM Punk and Daniel Bryan versus Harper and Rowan. We got a little preview of how Punk and Bryan function as a team on Monday Night Raw when they took on all three members of The Shield.

What we got before the actual match started was a little speech from Paul Heyman about how he blamed Punk for his injuries and how Ryback caused their loss at Hell In A Cell. Punk thankfully saved the day and took care of those two so we could move on with the match. Coming from similar indie backgrounds, I instantly knew that these two would make a dynamite team. What made the match even more fantastic, besides the huge ovations that both Punk and Daniel received, was that they got to face one of the strongest tag teams in recent memory, The Shield. Don’t get me wrong, the match was the best of the night but the ending is what made it. We got to see the potential rumblings of a traditional Survivor Series match that would see The Usos, Rhodes brothers, Punk, and Bryan, take on The Shied and Wyatt Family. Anyone who knows me knows that I LIVE for a traditional Survivor Series match.

To be honest, I got a little worried when I didn’t see that listed on the card but I have faith. I have faith that the WWE will listen to the fans on social media and give them what they want. The November classic was founded on team competition and that’s what the WWE universe is itching for.

Bring it on.

Fighting To Survive.

Monday Night Raw kicked off with a match that saw CM Punk take on Luke Harper, a member of the always creepy Wyatt Family. I especially enjoy when Raw kicks off with a match and this one was fantastic.

The Wyatt Family are unique individuals. They are all creepy, don’t really say much, and nobody really knows much (if anything) about them. What we can deduce from Luke’s match with Punk is that Luke is a powerhouse. He seemed like a literal brick wall that CM Punk just couldn’t seem to break through in the early moments of the match. This match signified that Punk is starting to move on from his feud with Heyman and into something else. Don’t get me wrong, I thought that their story line was beautiful and some of the best moments of this year for the WWE, I just was feeling ready to see something else.

At the end of the match, which Punk won, brought about the usual attack from the Wyatt Family but this one had an interesting twist. Daniel Bryan barreled down that ramp with a steel chair and swung the shit out of it. A lot of people seem upset that Daniel Bryan is seemingly no longer on the path to the title but his time is coming. I like the idea of seeing Punk and Daniel Bryan in the same ring, even if they have to be on a team. I especially love the emphasis that is being put on tag team wrestling in the WWE currently. Tag team wrestling is something that I have always enjoyed because it gives you a chance to see some of your favourite superstars in a whole different way. You can find out very quickly who is a team player and who takes their ball and just walks on home with it.

We also got to see the return of Tyson Kidd in a mixed tag team match. He teamed with his wife, Natalya, to take on Fandango and Summer Rae. It was the first match that Kidd had in almost a full year, he was home recovering from a nasty injury and came back swinging. Natalya was fabulous, as always, and really made her mark in this match. She is probably one of the most talented female wrestlers that the WWE has had in the last few decades. She has unrivaled technical ability and mopped the floor with Summer Rae. Tyson also had a very worthy opponent in Fandango. When Tyson caught Fandango from the leg drop and turned it into the sharpshooter, I damn near shed a tear. I’ve missed Tyson in the ring. He reminds me so much of Chris Benoit and Dynamite Kid, with a little bit of Owen Hart thrown in. The victory that he gained with his wife was well deserved.

A second tag match that we got treated to saw John Cena/Cody Rhodes/Goldust take on Damien Sandow and the Real Americans.

The WWE universe witnessed a truly touch moment when John Cena took a few moments before the match started to talk about the Rise Above Cancer campaign. I think it is so inspirational to everyone to see their favorite superstars devote so much to such a worthy cause. I’ve said this many times before but it makes me very proud to be a fan of such a wonderful organization that supports such worthwhile causes.

The match was probably my favourite of the night, it had a lot of energy and a lot of very interesting moments. Del Rio and Zeb were ringside on commentary and that added a little spice to the normal banter. I don’t really think it added much to their respective story lines but it was funny to listen to. Another unique moment was when Cena took on Cesaro, a man who equals Cena in terms of power. Seeing those two square off makes me want to see them in a future angle, they are two very powerful individuals and I’d like to see them fight for a title down the road. I may not have always liked Cesaro but no one can deny his power and strength in the ring. When he delivered that uppercut to Cena, I cringed because it was like I felt it. That must have felt like an eighteen wheeler hitting John right in the face. There was so much energy just flying around that ring, story lines were developing and the fans got treated to some fantastic wrestling. I just wish that the Rhodes brothers didn’t have those titles, I still don’t think that they deserve to have them. I especially think that seeing as The Usos earned a shot at those titles but didn’t even have the chance to fight for them. Maybe I’m bitter but I really like Jimmy and Jey and think that they are worthy of carrying those belts.

The biggest thing that happened that night concerned Big Show, Stephanie, and Triple H. In an interview that aired fairly early in the show, Triple H banned the Big Show from the WWE for life. Much to the surprise of Stephanie, Hunter, and Vickie, Show was walking around the back with a huge grin on his face. Turns out that the Board of Directors wants the lawsuit settled with no lawyers involved so that their risk is minimal, with a company worth as much as the WWE it is completely understandable. After trading barbs with each other, however brief, Hunter reluctantly agreed to meet Show in the ring and try to settle this.

I just love the Big Show when he is all smiling and joking around, that’s the giant that I know and love. All he wanted was his job back and he makes that very clear to his former bosses, he just wants to entertain the fans that spend their money to come to the show. Reluctantly, and with sound advice from his wife, Triple H gives the gentle giant his job back but that wasn’t the end of it. Show demanded a title shot against Randy Orton at Survivor Series and gets it. Amazing what a little leverage can get a person when they’ve been wronged, especially when there are tens of thousands of fans watching and the Board of DIrectors breathing down the other person’s neck. I’ve never seen Show be so hilarious and lovable in one segment before. He actually had me in stitches.

Show got his job back and was instantly placed in a handicap match against all three members of The Shield and Randy Orton. The Usual back and forth happened but it ended up with Big Show cleaning house, he just bowled through all four of those guys until Kane came out and distracted him. I was most puzzled by the fact that Kane was wearing a suit, I’ve NEVER seen him like that in all the years that I’ve been watching him on WWE television.

If anything seemed bizarre with Raw, it was that. He walked down that ramp, threw steel chairs in the ring, and oversaw Show being put through the announce table. Say what you want about it, it was an efficient and tightly run operation during that last segment. Kane reminded me of a really big and really scary version of Johnny Ace, only Kane actually gets things done.

If you need a corporate monster to oversee your takeover or orchestrate a beat down, call Kane at 1-800-666-HELL.

Going Through Hell And Back.

After a short hiatus due to school and work, I’m baaaaaack!

A lot has happened in the last few weeks so let’s jump right in by talking about Hell In A Cell.

I thought that his event was leaps and bounds better than what we got to watch earlier in the month with Battleground. As a fan, I really appreciate that the WWE made such a conscious effort to make it up to their very loyal fans. Unlike some companies who shall remain nameless, they knew they screwed up and rectified the situation. There were some moments that I loved, some I liked, and some I thought were going to make me put my fist through the television set. That mix of emotions is what makes wrestling so exciting. Now let’s get to it…

I really did enjoy each match, even if it didn’t turn out how I wanted. The main event is a completely different story but we can discuss that at length later. First of all, the kick-off match was removed from the card due to an injury that Curtis Axel suffered, replaced by Sandow versus Kofi Kingston. I really like Kofi and Sandow. I think that they both did a fantastic job with whatever time they did have in the ring. Damien Sandow should have been going against Cody Rhodes in a race for the World Heavyweight Championship but they have other plans for Cody at the moment. Kofi needs something to put him back in the spotlight, he is talented and well received by the crowd, he just needs a situation where all of his talents can be truly appreciated.

The main card was kicked off in a strong way with the triple threat tag team match that featured the Rhodes brothers (Tag Champions), The Usos, and Shield members Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. I don’t have a bad thing to say about this match except that the wrong people won. The Usos had a number one contender spot that they were never allowed to actually use and they obviously have a HUGE following. That’s what I mean when I said before that I liked them even if they didn’t turn out how I would have liked them too. There was just such a great effort put forward by everyone that competed. I even enjoyed the Divas match, as boring as I usually find them.

The Hell In A Cell match with Punk going against both Ryback and Paul Heyman was also pretty decent. What kind of disappointed me was that Heyman never actually got into the cage, talk about being a little bitch. I thought it would have a lot more action in it and maybe one of them would get split open but all it really did was show what a superior athlete Punk is compared to Ryback. You would think that someone of his size would be more adept in this type of match but no. He did his mediocre performance as he always does and got squashed.

Another huge moment of the event was Kane. I actually jumped off of my couch and scared the daylights out of my dog. In addition to how awesome his return was, it gives more purpose to the Wyatt Family and adds another layer to the authority storyline. It is brilliant on all levels to have him return at Hell In A Cell, it almost brings a tear to your eye. Having him in the clutches of Triple H and Stephanie, especially with them going against the Big Show, will inevitably result in a clash of the titans.

Now on to the giant elephant in the room, the main event. I truly thought that Shawn Michaels would do the right thing and call this match fair but I should have known better than that. If you don’t already know, let me make my feelings towards this man known to you.

I do not fucking like Shawn Michaels. (Yes, the offensive language was needed and I do apologize.)

Why don’t I like one of the most highly regarded superstars in the history of sports entertainment? I truly think that the persona he has on tv is actually him. I respect the hell out of anyone who gets into that ring and risks their life just for my entertainment, those superstars do so much for me that I couldn’t begin to show my respect and love for them. However, I think that he is the exact egomaniac that he portrays on television a majority of the time. I’m surprised he didn’t start to cry or something. To me, he just showed he was a shitty person who has two different personalities. On Raw the following evening, we had to sit and listen to this guy justify his actions because he is BFF’s with Triple H. Umm…what?

I can’t remember a time that the opening segment made me so angry.

I don’t really know why I was surprised that he screwed Daniel Bryan over, he doesn’t exactly have a squeaky clean history when it comes to doing the right thing. Anyone remember Montreal? It isn’t just that, he just doesn’t really strike me as one to put people, other than his friends, over. I seriously just do not understand why you would want to do something to keep down anybody in the wrestling business. I’m obviously not a wrestler but if I were, I would want to make sure that the younger guys got every opportunity that they could to succeed. Not everyone in the wrestling business has what it takes to reach the very top but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be given the same chances. Everybody has potential but how do you know what they are capable of if you don’t at least let them try?

Following Hell In A Cell, we got treated to a Monday Night Raw that featured a few rematches and a lot of surprises. The biggest surprise of the night was Damien Sandow cashing in his Money In The Bank briefcase for his World Heavyweight Championship title shot. He went against SuperCena, who was victorious in his title match against Alberto Del Rio the night before. The match was spectacular. It was beautifully executed and Cena actually sold his injury quite well, although I’m sure that he was in real pain during the contest. What got me is that Sandow lost…HE LOST! In my humble opinion, he never should have gone against Cena for his title shot. It should have been Cody Rhodes, that feud had so much potential. Also, just because Cena blew his title shot doesn’t mean that the WWE needs to have other superstars do the same thing.

There’s four weeks left until the final pay-per-view of the big four (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and Survivor Series). They need to keep up all of the momentum that they gained coming out of Hell In A Cell. They had dynamic matches, compelling rivalries, and introduced some new(ish) faces to both the squared circle and title fights. Summer Rae had her first match and wasn’t terrible and Big E got to tussle with Dean Ambrose.

They’re developing and expanding the talent pool even further, not having someone stomp all over a budding star just because they’re a Hall of Famer. Wrestlemania season is only two months away so if a superstar wants to secure his or her spot in the race to get on the card of the biggest event of the year, now is the time.

And hey, if I get to enjoy more Fandango on my screen, I’m okay with that!