The last few weeks of wrestling have blown my mind.
From Payback to Raw, everything has been gold. Let’s just get to it already…
The win that Curtis Axel had at Payback was simply beautiful. I was a bit weary of Axel getting the title because he has yet to have a clean win on his record but I was blown away. I’m never a big fan of new guys getting a belt unless it feels right, and this was like a brand new wrestling t-shirt. Curtis Axel was in the right place at the right time and took advantage of it. I was a little weary of Curtis Axel as a superstar but seeing him wrestle in person and then at Payback, made me see him for the talent that he is. This kid is going places and will do great things in his career. I was quite sad to see Barrett lose his Intercontinental title but it went to a deserving competitor. A side note to that last sentence is the fact that I am OVERJOYED the Miz never got it. I was beside myself during the entire match, I yelled so loud when Axel won that my dog ran upstairs. Making it even better was the fact that his father held that same title and he won on Father’s Day. What a fantastic way to pay tribute to his dad.
I’m quite intrigued to see who his first major title defense will be against. His first defense was against Sin Cara but let’s be honest, with a dad like Mr. Perfect, this kid is destined for greatness.
I’m also a tad embarrassed to admit that I actually enjoyed the match between Aj and Kaitlyn during Payback. It was the most entertaining women’s match in a while but it still wasn’t the best. Everyone knows that I have more than a few problems with the female division of the WWE. I honestly do want to like it. So it isn’t really a matter of me just bad mouthing it all the time but a matter of me wanting them to be able to have the same respect that their male counterparts do. Another thing that really gets me is how everyone is acting like Aj is the savior of the divas. SHE IS NOT! It just simply isn’t the case. She’s just an annoying little gnat that irritates the bejesus out of me each and every week. What is going to save the divas division is if they let those who can wrestle, actually wrestle. There are women with amazing talent, like Natalya and Tamina, but they aren’t allowed to wrestle because what is popular are characters like AJ Lee and Kaitlyn. Sure, she can do a spear but that’s about it.
The females in the WWE should be strong and (I hate this word) sassy but there is absolutely no reason to rag on each other for appearance. It is demeaning, embarrassing, and just downright stupid. They can be so much stronger than they are now.
Speaking of strong, everyone needs to believe in the Shield. These guys are just blowing everyone right out of the water. They have continuously proven that they are a cohesive team, and just as strong individually. Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns continue to have strong matches and poise themselves for huge angles. Dean Ambrose tried to hit Old School when he had his match against Kane, can anyone say foreshadowing? There was a sick and twisted tone to Dean doing that, he was mocking Kane and the Undertaker. He was making it very clear that his faction makes the rules and ANYONE can be taken out, even someone as legendary and respected as the Undertaker. What this match did was set up a confrontation for a future event, my guess being Summerslam. I see a singles competition between Taker and Ambrose or a six man tag match pitting the Shield against the Undertaker, Kane, and a third mystery partner.
One of the unique qualities that the Shield possesses is that they are strong as a group and individually. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins certainly proved that at Payback with their tag team title defense against Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan. While Bryan and Orton were falling apart, Roman and Seth held it together. The tension between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton could have been cut with a knife, further proof that tag teams cannot be slapped together. It was that tension that cost them the titles, not that they had any business winning them anyways. I hope that Rollins and Reigns like travelling with those belts because they are going to be holding onto them for quite a while. My only gripe is that they didn’t invoke the Freebird Rule. How epic would that have been?
There was much speculation as to what shape Dolph Ziggler would be in to defend his title after being off for five weeks due to a concussion, I was a little disappointed in one of the superstars and amazed by the other. I was amazed by Ziggler, he came back better than ever and gave one hell of a match. I was so sad that he lost that title, but I would rather him lose it in an actual match than lose it due to injury. Letting him keep that title was one of the best decision that could have been made, it provided intrigue as to who Dolph would defend his title against and how it would turn out. I was also extremely disappointed in Del Rio during this match, even a little disgusted. Those kicks were vicious and the match should have been stopped. This new side to Del Rio is not a flattering one, it is too bad because he was just starting to show some personality as a face character. Many have compared this to the double cross that happened between Austin and Hart at Wrestlemania XIII, I think it was good but nowhere near that level of ingenuity. The best thing that can be taken from the confrontation between Del Rio and Ziggler is that Ziggler is now riding that line between heel and face. Is he good? Is he bad? How do you tell?
One thing is for sure, this girl is happy that he dumped his entourage. I have always maintained that Ziggler never needed them and it shows his strength as a champion.
Payback also brought us the return of CM Punk. It was his first match since Wrestlemania and it truly was something special. Of course, one would expect Punk to win a match in his hometown after such a lengthy absence but it also helped to establish something else for Punk.
He cut managerial ties with Paul Heyman.
I liked the dynamic between Punk and Heyman quite a bit, seeing as Heyman is the one individual who gave him a chance when no one else would. However, Punk isn’t a superstar that needs a mouthpiece. When he got attacked by Lesnar, it planted a seed that suggested that Paul had something to do with it. I don’t like Lesnar but I would definitely pay good money to see Punk beat the living shit out of him. What would it do to Heyman to have two of his guys fighting with each other? Throw Curtis Axel into that mix and you have one big cluster…well, you know.
There is no reason for Heyman to be with Punk while promoting Axel, Punk can handle the WWE on his own. Someone like Curtis Axel needs guidance and direction. Another thing that I am enjoying is the tag team, for lack of a better term, that Axel and Punk are in. I know that it isn’t a permanent move as neither man seems really suited for the tag team environment. What it is doing is further helping to establish Axel as a top contender and propel him even higher as the Intercontinental champion.
However, the biggest and best moment of the last few weeks has been the ‘retirement’ speech that Mark Henry gave. To say it was beautiful would be a gross understatement. I was fooled the entire time he was in that ring, I had to applaud him when his true intentions came out. This is the feud that fans had been asking for, the one that should have been done in the place of Cena vs. Ryback. I can’t believe it took this long for it to happen but good things come to those who wait. If anyone is deserving of holding a title as prestigious as the WWE championship, it is Mark Henry. With this double cross, or whatever you choose to call it, it will be a unique development leading into Money In The Bank.
I can’t be the only one hoping that he takes the title from Cena…