In A Split Second.

Natalya lost the women’s title match at Payback.

I feel like I shouldn’t be shocked about that but I had so much hope that she would win, especially with the recent behaviour of Ric Flair. Obviously his behaviour shouldn’t determine the fate of a title match but it can’t be ignored. Of all the things that happened at Payback, Charlotte retaining the title is the biggest disappointment for me.

I think that both women can wrestle, but Nattie is better. This isn’t just me backing up a fellow Canadian, its pure fact and it’s been proven in the ring on multiple occasions. No matter where Nattie falls on the card, if she’s even on it, she gives her fans everything she has. She doesn’t need her father to accompany her to the ring for every match to interfere. I want to like Charlotte so bad, I feel like she could be a fantastic wrestler but her father is bringing her down. This sounds weird in a post about wrestling but Dr. Phil was right in his diagnosis of Ric Flair and Charlotte a few weeks ago.

An appearance once in a while, I can deal with. Ric doesn’t need to be there every single time Charlotte has a match. He just dances around and shouts like a crazy drunk person. There were a few incidents in the past that didn’t endear Ric to me but the icing on the cake was him telling Natalya to go kill herself. You heard me right, he told her to go kill herself. It wasn’t just something uttered privately, it was said in front of the entire audience at a Smackdown taping. Who does that to someone? The cherry on top of that icing was Ric getting treated in an airport for lacerations after reports of him acting like a crazy drunk person. I don’t spread rumors but I think that he has substance abuse problems of some degree. I thought for sure that Charlotte would have lost the belt because of what her father had done.

They went for the screwjob finish which was just the cheap way out. I didn’t get it because they way the camera was clearly showed that Nattie did not tap out during the submission move. I don’t think she screamed to stop the match, as Charles Robinson stated on Raw, but since when would that supersede a tap out? Even on Monday Night Raw the next night, the Flair’s explanation of this whole thing just didn’t seem to make any sense. The only thing that I can think of to even begin to clarify what happened at Payback was that was their way to write Ric off of television for his public behaviour because he did get banned from their rematch at Extreme Rules. Seems very convoluted but that’s the best explanation that I have.

It’s just such a shame that Nattie and her fans have to sit through this mess just to get a title shot. Hopefully, with Ric banned from their submission match, it will be well worth the wait. It will be nice to have a women’s champion who can win matches on her own and not have to have the help of her father every single time.

Also, I would LOVE to see her feud with Sasha Banks. That’s the stuff dreams are made of my friends.

Roadblock.

Tonight was the last major stop on the proverbial ‘Road to Wrestlemania’. What was originally just a house show changed into a WWE Network special, and it was AWESOME!

I’ve been to a few house shows and they always have this special feel to them. The crowd is wild, the unexpected can happen, and you can really see that the wrestlers are having fun with what they’re doing. I had a friend that was in attendance and I was SO jealous. The matches were fun and, for the most part, pretty damn good. Now let’s talk about my most/least favorite moments…

I thought that the tag match of Enzo and Big Cass versus the Revival was the match of the night, and that’s not just because I love Enzo. Including an NXT match in this special allowed the participants to show that they are just as good (and sometimes better) as their main roster counterparts. This match was riveting and totally had me drawn right in. I was jumping off my couch, yelling, screaming, and basically acting like a crazy person. Enzo and Cass used this match to prove why they deserve the NXT tag titles and that they are two of the baddest guys on the planet.

The moves that these four men were pulling off were unbelievable.

My only disappointing moment in that match was when the Revival retained the belts. Don’t get me wrong, Dash and Dawson are talented but they don’t have the personality that Enzo and Cass have. I like that little bit of pizzazz sometimes, and Enzo and Cass ooze pizzazz. What I’m looking forward to is how this will all play out on NXT and leading into Takeover: Dallas.

Another match that I really enjoyed was the Divas title match between Charlotte and Natalya, there was also a moment during this match that I didn’t like so much but we’ll get to that later. These women put on a clinic tonight, with each individual trying to best the other. It’s a damn shame that Nattie doesn’t get more of a chance to show off her in-ring skills because she really is fantastic. She is one of the most athletic and talented women on that roster and I was so disappointed that she didn’t get a victory. There is this secret hope I have that the women’s match will get turned into a fatal four-way so she can have some time in the spotlight but I feel pretty confident that her time will come. I would LOVE to watch her run a storyline with Sasha.

What I didn’t like about this match was that Ric was ringside. Sure, this guy is a two-time hall of famer but he had ZERO fucking business being there. He didn’t do anything except cause a lot of fans a headache and not in the way someone at ringside should. He’s no Bobby Heenan!

Now on to my least favorite moment of the night, Dean’s loss to Triple H.

I went a little bold with my prediction for this match and called a Dean victory. When that referee counted to three and rang the bell, I jumped off my couch and was screaming at the top of my lungs. I haven’t been that into a title match since Daniel Bryan won the belt at Wrestlemania XXX. I never cared for Triple H having the belt and thought that Dean versus Roman would make for a very interesting match at Wrestlemania.

I wasn’t disappointed in any other aspect of the match but Triple H’s victory was total horse shit. The C.O.O has no business holding a title belt when there are so many guys on the roster that deserve it. The only way that I will be even remotely okay with his victory is if the main event of Wrestlemania is turned into a triple threat match. Dean was so incredibly good in this match that it would be an injustice (Yes, I used the word ‘injustice’) to him and his fans if he wasn’t recognized for his performance.

Even though Wrestlemania isn’t that far away (21 days away on Sunday!), there is still plenty of time to change the card. It just had to make sense and give a chance to those that deserve it.

Tables And Ladders And Chairs, Oh My!

With the way that Monday Night Raw ended this week, I am more than excited to watch the TLC event this Sunday. All hell broke loose in the end segment and that single moment built the entire event up, not just for myself but for the rest of the WWE Universe. It’s a magical thing when you can sell an entire pay-per-view off of fifteen minutes of television. This pay-per-view also boasts the prestige of having, arguably, the single most important match in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment. That match would be the unification match that will see the WWE championship, held by Randy Orton, combined with the World Heavyweight Championship, held by John Cena. I’m going to start off my TLC predictions with that match.

Title Unification Match: John Cena (World Heavyweight Champion) vs. Randy Orton (WWE Champion) 

Winer: John Cena (Unified Champion)

Is there really any other person that should win this match?

As I said in my last post, Cena is a company guy and you almost expect him to be the one that unites both belts. I don’t think that this match will go off without a hitch and that there will be something or someone who interferes and screws it up. I am not a huge fan of the unification, as I think it should be done at a Wrestlemania, but it’s happening so people better just hop on the train and enjoy the ride. The type of match that they chose is also very interesting. A tables, ladder, and chairs match really does favor John Cena. He’s bigger, he’s tougher, and has proven himself more than Randy Orton has.

Recently, Orton has shown that he can’t win a match on his own. That is one factor that makes me think that some tomfoolery will be afoot in the title bout on Sunday. Had this been a different event, they should have gone with a 60 minute Iron Man match. That is the ultimate test of how tough someone is and how much stamina they have. It’s a tough match that very few superstars can make it through.

Divas Championship Match: AJ Lee (Divas Champion) vs. Natalya

Winner: Natalya

I don’t know about everyone else but I am more than ready for a women’s champion that actually carries the title with the respect and seriousness that it deserves. Also, I’m sick of seeing AJ carry that belt around like it’s a toy or something.

Natalya has EVERYTHING it takes to be a champion and is probably one of the most deserving wrestlers on the roster. Total Divas has helped to propel the roster of female wrestlers to new heights, having a strong and capable champion will help them go even further.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E. Langston (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Damien Sandow

Winner: Big E. Langston (retains)

I really, REALLY like Big E as champion. Everything about him holding a belt just clicks. He’s a powerhouse in the ring, has a great knack for speaking on the mic, and he seems really proud to be carrying that belt over his shoulder. You can’t ask for much more than that!

His determination to retain his title will give him an edge over him competitor, Damien Sandow. Sandow has been on a mean streak like no other recently and I hope that it continues, it really adds to his condescending character and makes his on-screen work so entertaining. I like him with a little edge and a little aggressive. All of that frustration stems from him losing his MITB title shot and from a somewhat recent string of defeats and failures. That adds so much more dimension to Damien Sandow. He wants this title so bad. He won the right to compete against Langston.

However, that will not be enough to take the title from the brick wall that is Big E. Langston.

Kickoff Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango

Winner: Fandango

I just love Fandango.

I also think that this match will be so fantastic with such strong competitors and it will be the beginning of a beautiful feud.

3 on 1 Handicap Match: Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family

Winner: The Wyatt Family

Calm down people!

I think that the Wyatt’s will win simply to keep Daniel Bryan down. That may or may not have something to do with the crowd stopping the ending segment of Raw with a massive ovation for Bryan this past Monday, who knows! Many say that Daniel Bryan is being buried by the powers that be at the WWE but I have a different theory. I personally believe that all of this is just a part of a larger moment that is coming for Bryan, perhaps at Wrestlemania. I don’t know how it’s going to happen but I am confident that it will.

As much as the Wyatt’s creep me out, this storyline is really intriguing. Yet again, you have Daniel Bryan battling against forces that are trying to change him. He’s fighting a seemingly unwinnable battle against evil, this is the kind of stuff comic books are made of and it’s awesome. Daniel Bryan is tough and a very formidable opponent but against the three members of the Wyatt Family, I’m not so sure. Bryan has faced some pretty big opponents but that was one on one. This is three on one and these guys are probably twice the size of Daniel.

The odds are not in his favor and if Bray does that creepy crab walk thing, this wrestling fan will forever have nightmares.

3 on 1 Handicap Match: CM Punk vs. The Shield

Winner: CM Punk

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a dissention forming within The Shield. Specifically after Roman Reigns had his incredible performance at Survivor Series, it was probably the biggest performance of that entire event and really put him on the map. You can see it in the way that The Shield now interacts with each other. Sure, they’re still a cohesive unit but there are tiny cracks in their foundation that are beginning to show.

Dean is acting like he’s the star and that Rollins and Reigns are nothing more than his lackeys. Very interesting, considering that Dean has had a title that he hasn’t defended in months. There is more to being a star than being the leader of a nearly unstoppable faction, you need to have the skills to back that up. Not saying that Dean or Seth don’t, but they didn’t fare nearly as well at Survivor Series.

Why CM Punk will emerge victorious this Sunday is because he will use that rift to his advantage. He is going to play off of their squabbling and secure a win. His victory will bring about the break-up of one of the most successful factions that the WWE, or sports entertainment in general, has ever seen.

Also, they added a fatal four way tag team match to determine new tag team champions. The Rhodes brothers will take on the Real Americans, Rey Mysterio and Big Show, and Ryback and Curtis Axel. I think that the Rhodes brothers will retain the titles but I do have one question. Where in the hell are The Usos in this? After they got screwed out of their earned title shot, they should at least get a chance to compete in this match. They are one of the hottest tag teams going right now and are more than deserving of a title shot.

Whatever the outcomes of these matches, I feel like we are in for a big surprise tomorrow.

I am hoping that they will turn John Cena heel and shock the hell our of wrestling fans everywhere. If they don’t, you can find me curling up in a corner in the fetal position.

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.

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.

Stepping On The Battleground.

Sunday was the inaugural Battleground pay-per-view.

And if you have been on social media in the last day or so, you’ve seen what the popular opinion of that event is. People didn’t like it. In fact, they hated it and thought it was probably the worst event they’ve ever seen/purchased from the WWE. I don’t think it was completely unfortunate but I don’t think it was the worst either. I take each event as a chance to improve and this is just another learning experience. So, let’s start breaking down the event!


Overall, I thought that the event was good. (Please don’t rip me a new one wrestling fans!)

What took me by surprise was some of the matches on the card. They had Curtis Axel face R-Truth and Kofi Kingston facing Bray Wyatt, Kofi and Truth’s spots should have been reversed. It just didn’t make any sense to me to have R-Truth go for the Intercontinental title. Kofi had a fantastic match with Axel at the last event, putting these two in a feud makes SOOOOOOO much sense. The extra letters emphasize how much I wanted that to happen. Kofi Kingston and Axel had history, it may only be a bit but it’s still history. The two of them facing off made perfect sense. R-Truth facing off against the Wyatt Family made sense. I just want to think that something got lost in translation and it is all just a colossal mix up. The matches were pretty good but you could just tell that something was a little off. Each superstar put forth a solid effort and it was reflected in the work that they did. I think what the biggest problem was that the fans could pick up on the mismatched opponents. It was a slight slip up but a slip up no matter how you slice it.

And that weird crab walk thing Bray did just creeped me out.

I thought that RVD versus Del Rio was pretty good but I just don’t like Del Rio right now. I find him almost as bland as Randy Orton, he just has no distinguishing characteristics to me. I remember when they had Alberto as a face, that was such a glorious time. I get that gimmicks need to change but I just don’t like the way he is going right now. I don’t like that he is just beating up people for the sake of beating them up. A hardcore style match should have been right up Del Rio’s alley but the king reigned supreme. Who is that king you ask? Well, it’s ROB VAN DAM!

I thought that this was a fairly strong match, with RVD getting the upper hand (although he did not secure the win). Coming from ECW, I expected Rob Van Dam to have the advantage in a hardcore match. Del Rio doesn’t really strike me as the hardcore type. Sure, he can be a little brutal sometimes but it’s nothing compared to what ECW would consider hardcore.

Another thing that didn’t really make sense was that they had Brie Bella facing Aj Lee for the women’s title. I really thought that they were going to go with Natalya for this one, just because of the on-screen tension between her and Aj on commentary and backstage. Honestly, I just want anyone but Aj to have the title. I don’t like her that much and this whole crazy girl thing she has going is wearing thin on me, she has some great moves but she just isn’t my favorite. The divas division is riding high on the success of their reality show and this is the time that they should be switching up the champion and pumping some new life into the championship picture. Someone like Natalya, with talent and beauty, could really carry the women to the same heights as their male counterparts.

The shining light of this pay-per-view was the Rhodes family versus The Shield. There aren’t enough good things that I could say about this match and anything I do say won’t do it any justice. It was simply one of the most beautifully fought matches I’ve ever seen. Storytelling was an integral part of this feud and it worked to that match’s advantage. It boiled down to good versus evil and good prevailed. The Shield is such a strong team, they know each other so well and really use their strong dynamic as a tool to defeat their opponents. The Rhodes family have had their differences and it was quite difficult to predict how they would do working together as a team. My personal favorite moment during the match was when Dusty dropped that bionic elbow on Dean Ambrose. That crowd went insane, as did I.

The truly touching moment came after Cody won the pinfall, securing the jobs of his family. Some of the WWE roster, disgruntled with how the company is being run currently, came out to congratulate the Rhodes family on a hard-fought victory. Emotion is what sold this story and it is what kept the fans interested and invested in what was happening.

What people will remember this event for mostly is the five-minute blackout that happened all across the world. I initially thought that it was just my cable provider but Twitter confirmed that it wasn’t just me. They resolved the issue and we got treated to a kind of mediocre WWE Championship match which resulted in four people being knocked out. It also resulted in apparent chants of a not so nice word towards the superstars and the company.

On Monday Night Raw we did get treated to a lot of rematches and a lot of story building towards the next event, which is Hell In A Cell (a personal favorite of mine!).

The WWE also addressed the mediocre ending to Battleground and made amends for what had happened. It takes a lot to scare me, but the images of Stephanie slapping and then firing the Big Show will haunt me for the rest of my life. In all actuality, I thought it was really cool how they brought up what happened during the pay-per-view and just dealt with it. A lot of companies would have just let it go but WWE chose to deal with it and I really feel like it worked in their favour. Another thing that it did was further the story and make the interaction between the authority figures and the rest of the roster have more depth. Sure, they had the Rhodes family come back but they never went after the guy in charge. Big Show knocked Triple H out cold, left him laying in the middle of the ring like a lump. It was beautiful.

The crowd lost their mind and all was well in the wrestling universe.

The real shocking moment of the night was when it was revealed that the real-life superhero, John Cena, will be returning to face off against Alberto Del Rio for his World Heavyweight Championship. Even I was shocked, that actually took me by complete surprise. Cena was estimated to be out for approximately four to six months with the most grotesque injury I’ve ever seen, his elbow looked like a baseball. I don’t think this is just a move for ratings, I think that WWE acknowledged that they had some displeased fans and wanted to make things right. How many companies actually do that?

I hope that Cena does take his title. John Cena holding the World Heavyweight title doesn’t mean he is ‘lowering’ himself, it doesn’t matter what title he holds. When you’re a strong wrestler and a great entertainer, any title around your waist looks like a million dollars. I personally can’t wait for Hell In A Cell, it is going to be a turning point for some of the superstars on the roster. Titles will change hands, allegiances will dissolve, and there is going to be a whole lot of fantastic wrestling coming our way!

Changing of the Guard.

Night of Champions is this Sunday, every single title in the WWE will be defended. There is probably more pressure on champions to retain their title on this night than any other. Championships are a badge of honour, something that every superstar fights their entire career to obtain. Some get it, some never do. For many, this night is their one shot at glory and their dream. Let’s take a look at the card for Sunday night…

WWE Championship:

Randy Orton (Champion) versus Daniel Bryan

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Ever since Summerslam in August, Daniel Bryan has been a corporate whipping boy. He is just being brutalized so often that it is becoming commonplace, as common as Zack Ryder being a jobber. Okay, that wasn’t that funny but I think I made my point.

Bryan is the ultimate underdog, the exact opposite of Randy Orton. Bryan didn’t have the luxury of having a famous lineage to help his career along, he worked hard to obtain his level of success. I’m not saying that Randy didn’t work hard but it is a lot easier to break into the business when both your father and grandfather can help you along. Randy doesn’t appreciate that title, he didn’t earn it, he shouldn’t have it. Why would you want to work hard when you have the boss handing you everything you could want? He is a bully and a puppet for Triple H.

The main difference between Orton and Daniel is that Daniel can wrestle. I always respect that these guys get into the ring and risk their lives to provide me with countless hours of entertainment. However, that doesn’t mean that all of them are good at it. I find Randy very bland, very boring. Sure, he has had some great moments but, overall, is very vanilla. He isn’t what is best for the business. The WWE needs someone who is dynamic, someone who has an edge, someone who doesn’t have the personality of wallpaper. They NEED Daniel Bryan to win this Sunday.

World Heavyweight Championship:

Alberto Del Rio (Champion) versus Rob Van Dam

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

As much as this pains me, I really think that Alberto Del Rio is going to retain his title this Sunday. I do want Rob Van Dam to win with all my heart but I just don’t see that in the cards. It isn’t that he is only supposed to be in the WWE until early October, there is one other variable that is more important and working against him. That variable is Ricardo Rodriguez.

Sure, Ricardo has been behind RVD ever since Del Rio brutally beat him in the ring but how long can that last. Ricardo and Del Rio have been together ever since Alberto debuted in the WWE. He’s been there when he has had some of his biggest victories, I really don;t think a little beating is going to get in the way of that. I don’t see Night of Champions playing out well for the human highlight reel on Sunday. RVD as champion is a very intriguing idea. He shows up each week, competes, actually takes the time to put in an effort instead of showing up via satellite or not showing up at all. He is dynamic and entertaining, something that Del Rio is not.

It really didn’t make much sense to me, initially, that these men didn’t face each other on the go-home show but it all came together in the end. During his match with Ryback, RVD was mocked from the ramp by Alberto, who proceeded to call the number one contender a washed up loser. Let me tell you guys something, I’d rather watch that ‘washed up loser’ over Del Rio any day. The last time I saw Del Rio live I flipped him off, not the most classy moment of my life but I got my point across.

Handicap Elimination Match:

CM Punk versus Curtis Axel versus Paul Heyman

Winner: CM Punk

The work that is being put out by these three individuals is some of the best I have seen on WWE television in a long time. Each man is so brilliant int he part that they are playing, however big or small it is from week to week. On Raw, Heyman became more and more disheveled looking and anyone could see that the weight of what could happen at Night of Champions was really starting to get to him. He knows that when Punk eliminates Axel from the match, he will finally be able to get his hands on the walrus in a sanctioned match. That terrifies the living bejesus out of Paul.

The man tried to fake a knee injury for god sakes (like anyone believed he was hurt for a second!)!

CM Punk and Heyman have an undeniable bond between them, he believed in what CM Punk was when others tried to run him down. He was there when Punk held the title for 434 days and became the longest reigning champion of the last twenty-five years. That is no small potatoes. I’ve always maintained that Punk never has, and never will, needed a mouthpiece. He isn’t the type of guy to have someone in his corner. He is the true definition of an underdog, he goes it alone and does so quite often. Punk is no longer under Heyman’s thumb and that bothers Paul to no end. When he secure a win this Sunday, he will finally be free of Heyman.

Divas Championship Fatal Four Way Match:

AJ Lee (Champion) versus Natalya versus Brie Bella versus Naomi

Winner: Natalya

I always rip on the women’s division, I usually never have good things to say about them. I used to think that their product was boring and stale.

That has changed.

They are all dynamic and entertaining now but the one I want to win on Sunday is Natalya. I always felt that she was the most talented and the most underutilized woman in the locker room. Everyone in the WWE works hard but I feel, out of the women, that Natalya works the hardest. I remember seeing her in Calgary back in May when she jobbed on her birthday. No matter what, she always goes out there and does what is required, even if it means not being put over herself. As much as I don’t care for the term ‘diva’, Natalya embodies what it means to be a strong and determined female. She is a champion that can lead the change in how women’s wrestling is received by the fans.

Tag Team Turmoil Match (Kick-off Show):

Prime Time Players versus The Usos versus Tons of Funk versus Real Americans versus 3MB

Winner: The Usos

Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have gone way too long without any formidable opponents and they need to face a team who will truly give them a run for their money. In the last year or so, the tag team division has made great strides and has really upped the quality of teams and matches. Tag team wrestling is extremely unique. You can’t just slap two people together and expect it to work, that has been proven a hundred times over. Each of the teams competing in this tag team turmoil match have that quality.

3MB I still can’t figure out but that is another post for another day.

The most entertaining matches that Rollins and Reigns have had with another team have been against The Usos. The Usos have been underutilized but the current wave they are riding is really working for them. They are being given their time to shine and they are being smart about everything that they are doing. They have an awesome entrance, great team dynamic (they should because they are related!), their moves are captivating, and they truly seem to be enjoying entertaining the fans. There is nothing better than watching someone who you know loves what they do. It pulls the audience in and keeps them there. All  of the tag teams are working really hard to make their division one to watch out for.

I’ve said it a billion times over the last few weeks and months but the quality of television that the WWE has been putting out has been so fantastic that I think my head will just explode. You may think that is an exaggeration but it isn’t. To me, there is no bigger thrill than being a fan of the WWE (whether you are there live or watching at home). THis coming Sunday there may be a revolution about to hit the WWE. CHampionships will change hands, people will realize a dream, and some people will have their dreams crushed.

Be sure to tune into Night of Champions this Sunday!