Passing Lane.

For the first time in WEEKS, Monday Night Raw was actually watchable. There were some moments that dragged but overall it was a good show. Compared to Fastlane, they didn’t have to try that hard to do better.

Can we talk about Fastlane for a moment? For the last event before Wrestlemania, it was awful. There was just nothing really special about it at all. There were no surprises, no real builds to anything, it was just mediocre. I always felt that from the time that the Royal Rumble happens until the final moments of Wrestlemania, everything has to be special in some way. With the brand split, there is only a limited amount of time for them to finish of current storylines and build to the matches. At Fastlane, they didn’t really utilize what time they did have and it felt like a regular show. And don’t even get me started on Goldberg taking the title from Kevin Owens, that’s a different post for a different day…

What we got on Monday was the show that we should have gotten on Sunday. It was full of action, built intrigue for the matches at Mania, it had the Undertaker for god sakes. You can’t really ask for much more than that. The standout moments to me were the interactions between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens and, of course, the Undertaker. I’ve been saying for months that if KO and Chris have a Wrestlemania match that it will be amazing. Those two guys have such a great rapport with each other that they could wrestle in the most ridiculous match ever and it would still be main event material. I’m actually really sad about the breakup of their friendship but I’m secretly hoping that it’s just a giant troll on their part.

My absolute favourite moment was when the Undertaker appeared because I was legitimately not expecting it at all.

When Strowman came out to confront Roman, I thought that’s who we would get. Roman’s music would hit, he’d come down the ramp, they’d get into a tussle, and then the show would be over. Instead what we got was the arena going black and the sound of a gong. I got so excited that I threw my phone and scared my dog. That stare down between Braun and Taker was the things that Wrestlemania matches are made of. I thought that they had abandoned the idea of Roman and Taker because we haven’t seen Taker since the Royal Rumble. Braun is a big guy but I didn’t think that a match between the two would go the same as the one with Giant Gonzales at Wrestlemania 9 (I think it was).

As the crowd grew louder, Braun backed out of the ring and the Undertaker was left by himself. Roman’s music then hit and the crowd let out a collective sea of boo’s. Even I turned on him, and I love Roman Reigns. One does not simply just step to the Undertaker and NOT expect an ass whooping. Now, I’m ever the WWE optimist and I want to believe that their match will be great because they both are great wrestlers and I enjoy them both. Like I mentioned before, Raw was everything that Fastlane should have been. There’s not that much time left before Wrestlemania and the build to it has been lacklustre.

They have a little over three weeks to get their asses in gear and actually build something of the biggest event of their calendar year. I hope that they can get it together…

Royal Rumblings.

The Royal Rumble is the first stop on the road to Wrestlemania and it’s always been one of my favourite events on the WWE calendar. I still count down with that clock with the same level of enthusiasm at age 28 as I did at age 8. I was really excited for this year’s Rumble because I thought that there was really no way to know what was going to happen.

You had the possibility of Kenny Omega, Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, and/or Samoa Joe being in that match. Excitement was high and I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting, counting down, and trying to contain myself.

I was a tad bit disappointed to put it politely.

I do want to make something clear, I thought that the pay-per-view as a whole was really good. The cruiserweight title match between Rich Swann and Neville was actually my favourite. As I was watching the Royal Rumble match, I could feel my excitement escape me as each entrant came out and it wasn’t who I thought it would be. I expect a few surprise entrants and maybe one or two people that are new to the roster. We didn’t get ANY of that. I had thought that with Shinsuke losing the title to Bobby Roode the night before at Takeover, he would be at the Rumble…NOPE! I thought that Finn Balor would appear as the thirtieth entrant and be dressed as the Demon King and have a stare down with the Undertaker…NOPE! With Samoa Joe being in a suit at Takeover, I thought for sure that he would be in the Rumble…and again I was a little disappointed.

The biggest disappointment for me was that Kenny Omega wasn’t there. Now, I know that he did interviews and stuff saying that he wasn’t coming to WWE but, as fans all know, that means nothing.

What really pissed me off about the Rumble was that Orton won and Roman was entrant number thirty. My heart literally sank. I love Roman but was his entering as the last man really necessary? Short answer is no, it wasn’t. The only thing that was gained from Roman even being in the match was to set up a potential feud with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. And the icing on the cake was Orton winning the entire thing and getting to main event the biggest event of the year. They could have literally given it to anyone else in that Rumble and it wouldn’t have been half as disappointing. I see no value at all in giving it to Randy other than boring the bejesus out of people.

This year was the year that they could have done ANYTHING with the Royal Rumble. There was an air of unpredictability surrounding it and literally nothing happened. There’s less than two months until Wrestlemania, now is not the time to be screwing around trying to figure things out.

New Years Resolutions.

With the year winding down, I thought it would be fun to come up with some resolutions for wrestling. Let’s face it, I’m not going to follow through with any of my own…

Dana Brooke goes away. I was actually starting to like her on Breaking Ground, and then she came to the main roster. Everything about her just annoys the holy hell out of me. She’s not entertaining, she can barely perform a move without botching it in some way, her promos are terrible, her voice sounds like a whiny teenager, and her presence elicits a silence so deadly you could hear a pin drop.

Dolph Ziggler gets a lengthy title run of at least six months to a year and a half. Dolph is one of the most talented guys on either brand roster, yet he can’t hold a title for longer than it takes to make toast. It’s actually super annoying. I get so worked up that he gets a title belt/shot and then he just loses it to someone like the Miz, someone who can’t even touch his in-ring abilities.

The Club becomes an actual thing. When it was announced that several NJPW stars were not renewing their contracts, I immediately was thinking about the Bullet Club invading the WWE. In all honesty, I’ve never been a fan of Luke Gallows but I do like Karl Anderson. I could deal with them not using the

Fans would make up their mind about Roman Reigns. I’ve said it before, in multiple posts and tweets, that fans need to make up their mind about Roman. They boo him when he comes out because they just see him as another Cena. They pop for him when he’s a bad ass. It annoys the holy hell out of me because Roman is GOOD. He may not be the best on the microphone but he’s coming into his own, he is great in the ring. Being in the S.H.I.E.L.D, he never really had to speak for himself, he was basically the muscle. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were more of the mouthpieces of that faction. I like his character right now but everyone could use a shake-up every once in a while, that brings me to my next resolution…

Roman turns heel. The fans would probably boo this as well haha! Seriously though, Roman has the potential to ride that fine line between face and heel. What I envision as a perfect heel turn scenario for him is that he and Seth celebrate their victories at the Royal Rumble and Roman just drops Seth like a bad habit. He doesn’t even have to do a signature move. He should just knock Seth out and leave the ring. Let them feud for a few months and then he can go back to being a face, I see it as a relatively easy transition for him. The audience has clearly proven that they both love and hate him, sometimes at the same time!

The Women main event one of the ‘big four’ pay-per-view events. I will have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the women’s division in WWE. I thought they were mostly boring (with a few exceptions…okay, just Natalya) and their matches were really considered piss breaks for me. When they announced a women’s match, I would literally roll my eyes and go get a snack. That doesn’t happen anymore. Ever since the women of NXT have been invading the main roster, I actually sit and watch their matches, I’m interested in what they’re saying, and they are proving that they can put on high quality matches that aren’t just fluff. Women are having Hell in a Cell matches, Ironman matches, no DQ matches, falls count anywhere, and their match quality is on par (or better than!) with their male counterparts. They aren’t just glorified models anymore. Women main-everted two events already, there is NO reason why they can’t do it at one of the big four pay-per-views for the main roster.

It’s not a big list and some of it may happen and some might not. With the last pay-per-view being subtitled ‘End of the Line’, the new year is the PERFECT time to give fans a surprise.

In A Flash.

I’ve waited a while to post my thoughts on Survivor Series weekend simply because it was just such a bizarre four days of wrestling. There were title changes, unexpected victories, unexpected losses, and it was glorious. This past weekend also bore witness to some of the best wrestling I’ve seen in a while.

The weekend kicked off with NXT: Takeover in Toronto, I had a friend in attendance and I was DYING with jealousy. Especially after that tag title match between The Revival and #DIY. I’ve always had a soft spot for tag team wrestling and this match struck me right in the heart. Both teams wrestled with so much passion and drive that you couldn’t help but be drawn in. The raw emotion on the face of Tomasso and Johnny was truly a sight to be seen and the crowd felt with them. Emotion like that is what makes wrestling something I’m happy and proud to be a part of. Years of hard work, determination, wins, losses, it’s all worth it for those three seconds leading to victory.

Those three seconds that lead to victory can also lead to defeat, as was the case when Shinsuke Nakamura lost the NXT title to Samoa Joe. That was a victory that left me absolutely floored. I was expecting to have Nakamura as the NXT champ for a few more months and then see him bumped up to the main roster to take on Finn Balor at Wrestlemania. I have lofty dreams my friends but if this weekend of wrestling has taught us anything, it’s that expect the unexpected.

Survivor Series echoed that sentiment the following night. I took a few notes but I had to stop because I was just in awe of what I was watching. The whole event was so wonderfully chaotic, it made me so happy! I thought that the show had good pacing, the matches were all pretty good, and there were some surprises. My favourite traditional Survivor Series match had to be the men’s teams from Raw and Smackdown taking each other on. Granted, the match didn’t have the same emotional tone that the NXT tag match did but it had all of the excitement and then some. The obvious standout moment was that spear that Shane McMahon took from Roman Reigns in mid-air. I thought for sure that he wasn’t going to get up from it, and that’s no fault of Roman’s. Yes, there were actually people freaking out saying that it was Roman’s fault that Shane was injured and had to be eliminated. The whole match was fantastic from start to finish and didn’t seem as long as it was.

As I had suspected, Goldberg and Brock Lesnar main evented the entire show. What I didn’t expect was how the match would end…with a Goldberg victory. The whole match lasted less than a minute and a half and the place erupted. I mentioned in my last post that Goldberg had to win to get them out of the hole that Brock had put them in with his booking. Goldberg’s victory showed that the Beast was NOT unbeatable and definitely isn’t the king of the mountain.

Lame, but let me have my moment.

I found it very curious that people complained that Bill squashed Brock but Brock does that EVERY time he has a match. What was even more curious is that only Goldberg came out to address the results of the match, he also announced that he was officially entering the Royal Rumble in January of 2017. There was no speech by Heyman, no taped interview with Brock, not a single peep. My thoughts are that this is going to result in some sort of rubber match between the two of them at Wrestlemania in Orlando.

By the time Smackdown rolled around this week, I was spent. I wish every week in wrestling was as wonderfully chaotic as this one was but I don’t know if I could handle it.

On to the next event…

Breaking Down The Empire.

Roman Reigns has been to the top of the mountain, grabbed the brass ring, or whatever phrase you feel like throwing out. He gets a different reaction from the audience depending on what city they’re in, that makes it hard to gauge how the audience actually feels about him and where they want to see him go. In the last few months, he’s been bounced around from title to title and feud to feud. What do they even do with him now?

No matter what happens, fans are going to bitch because they feel like he’s being forced on them. I obviously don’t share that opinion or I wouldn’t be writing this post. I like Roman Reigns and I like him a lot.

And no, it isn’t just because he’s a Samoan god with hair I want to run my fingers through. Although it doesn’t hurt that he’s fairly easy on the eyes.

I think that he just needs to be put in a feud that makes sense. When he stood toe to toe with Big Cass in the ring, I thought to myself what a fantastic feud that would be, no title involved. Roman is a fantastic competitor and doesn’t necessarily have to hold a title to be considered a ‘top’ guy or whatever. Some of the best matches I have ever seen don’t even have a championship as a factor. Bret vs. Owen at Wrestlemania X, Jerry Lawler vs Terry Funk in an empty arena match, Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit in tribute to Owen, and the Undertaker vs. Mick Foley in a Hell in a Cell match to name a few. It is entirely possible for Roman to be in a match of that caliber, he just needs to be given a chance.

That point brings me to my next point, the fans need to make up their minds. You don’t get to jeer the man, mark out big time when he does something amazing, and then go right back to booing him. That always irritated me because Roman puts out quality matches and never just ‘phones it in’. If he was a lazy fuck in the ring, then okay, but he isn’t. People see him as the next John Cena and that’s just not how I see it. Who would want to be just like John? Whenever someone makes that comparison, I just roll my eyes so hard that you can literally hear it. John Cena has always only been the good guy his entire career, never deviating from that position. Roman has played both sides and I think that shows that he is capable of succeeding in whatever role he’s in.

This is going to sound completely ridiculous but I believe in Roman and his abilities in the ring. I think that he can be a top superstar. Do I think that he can one day be in the Hall of Fame? He’s still too ‘new’ in his career for me to say. People clamour for change in the WWE and then shit all over it when it happens, you don’t get it both ways.

Believe that.

Friend Or Foe.

Photo Courtesy of WWE.

Photo Courtesy of WWE.

Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns have a pretty solid friendship.

Heading into Fastlane this Sunday, perception doesn’t seem to be matching reality.

The telling moment came when Dean, after assisting Roman during his attack by the Dudleys, set his brother up for Dirty Deeds. My jaw literally dropped and the fan reaction was off the charts. He didn’t get to execute the move but it was enough to put doubt in some people’s minds about how strong their friendship really is.

Sure, they seemed to be laughing and joking about it but I think that something big is going to happen on Sunday. I’m not 100% sure what it will be because, let’s face it, creative changes their mind like most people change their underpants. I was scrolling through Twitter and the consensus seemed to be that Dean would be the one turning on his best friend on Sunday. I think that it will be the other way around, Roman is going to be the one who turns on his friend.

Dean is fantastic portraying a face or a heel. He can talk, wrestle, and is bat shit crazy and the fans just eat it up. Ambrose is still pretty new on the scene but he doesn’t need to prove himself as much as I feel Roman does. When he was partnered with Seth and Dean, Roman didn’t really have his own voice. As he grew into being a singles competitor, he found that voice and kind of developed his own style in a sense. I think he’s doing better but he’s still kind of struggling here and there on the microphone but practice makes perfect! As cliché as that sounds…

A heel turn doesn’t mean that Roman has to go full on bad guy, I absolutely love the idea of a friendly rivalry between himself and Dean. They’re friends but there’s always this underlying competition between them, they both want to be the best and there’s nothing wrong with that. Having something like that happen shows that they both want to be in the main event of Wrestlemania bad enough to destroy the other man to get it, or to make sure that Brock Lesnar doesn’t.

Sunday isn’t just a test of their friendship, it’s a test of how bad they want to be on the top of the mountain (there I go with another cliché!). There is too good of a story arc here to just hand the title opportunity, and probably the belt, to someone like Brock Lesnar. To me, Brock is a footnote in the triple threat match on Sunday and all eyes will be on Roman and Dean to see who turns first.

I just hope that their friendship is strong enough to survive.

Rollercoaster.

This year’s Royal Rumble had to be one of the craziest in the last few years.

The rest of the matches on the card were pretty good but I know I’m not alone in saying that the main event was what I was waiting for. Roman Reigns was the first entrant, defending his title, and he seemed to have all of the odds stacked against him. As anxious as I was to see if Roman would retain his title, I was equally as anxious to see who the surprise entrants would be. That was always my favorite part of the Rumble and rumors were rampant, especially with top stars in NJPW becoming free agents.

Boy, did they ever deliver this year with AJ Styles. I wasn’t really sure at first who it was because I didn’t recognize the music but did that place ever erupt when he came out! When he came out, I thought my boyfriend was going to flip the damn coffee table and I immediately thought that Vince McMahon owns the world. It’s not the Monday Night War days and there aren’t a whole lot of places for wrestlers to go but what a victory for the WWE to pull a major star with many of their own out with injury.

It was just absolutely incredible to feel that energy and see the crowd be so into what was happening.

Another shocking moment to me was Brock Lesnar’s elimination. I just assumed that he would be handed the belt and everyone would call it a day. I KNEW that the Sister Abigail meant more than it seemed, there was no way it was just a fleeting moment.

On Raw, Lesnar was added to the triple threat match at Fastlane to determine the number one contender for Triple H’s newly one WWE title (that’s another blog post for another day). I still don’t think he will win because there is too much potential in both Roman vs. Dean and Lesnar versus anyone in the Wyatt Family. The Wyatt’s are finally going to be in a storyline that is heading somewhere (they have been flip-flopping for a while) and we get treated to best friends brawling. What more could a wrestling fan ask for?

I feel like I’m rambling but I’m just so excited. It’s Wrestlemania season, they’re announcing the Hall of Fame Inductees, Shinsuke Nakamura is coming, and I can barely contain myself.

I may shed a tear of joy.