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.

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.

Power Play.

Photo Courtesy of WWE

Photo Courtesy of WWE

Monday Night Raw was one of the final stops on the road to Wrestlemania XXXI.

This was the last major chance that the superstars had to show themselves off and make their mark before the Showcase of the Immortals. I personally think that they did a fantastic job.

Sting kicked off the broadcast by calling out Triple H in the middle of the ring. He spoke about the conniving and manipulative nature of the Cerebral Assassin and his words almost earned him a patented Stephanie McMahon slap. Triple H came down to confront the Vigilante and we got one epic standoff. Well, it would have been epic had Hunter not chickened out and left ringside. He had his sledgehammer but Sting had that bat. There is no guarantee who will win this fight but I think it speaks volumes that Hunter back away like he did. Will he get Sting when his guard is down? Is this all just a double-cross?

I am still in shock that I get to see Sting in a WWE ring after waiting over a decade. There is no bad outcome for this match for me. I’m just happy that I get to see him wrestle on a platform truly worthy of his ability.

(On a historic note, it was 14 years ago this Monday that Vince purchased WCW and won the Monday Night Wars.)

As stacked as the Wrestlemania card is this year, I think that the Intercontinental Championship ladder match is going to be the one to steal the show. The entire situation seems a little chaotic and comedic at times but these competitors have put on some of the most consistently entertaining matches and segments. The person who I want to win is Wade Barrett but the realist part of me is thinking that it will be Dolph Ziggler. Some may see it as a ‘downgrade’ for Dolph but I think that it doesn’t matter what belt a superstar carries, it’s all in how he carries it.

We also got treated to a divas match and some tag team matches, I may not have agreed with who won but I was still entertained. One point of contention that I have is with this whole #GiveDivasAChance movement. I think that it’s great that people want women’s wrestling to be given more exposure within the company because they do have some extremely talented women on that roster. However, it can’t just be AJ, Paige, and the Bellas; everyone needs to get a chance at the belt. AJ isn’t the saviour of the women’s division, I’d hate to break it to some people. There are women who are more talented and more athletic. If you want women to get a fair shake, they all have to be treated as equals in the division and on the roster. Maybe I’m reaching for that rainbow but that’s how I see it. They all work hard so they should all have a shot, there really isn’t that many women on the main roster to begin with. I don’t think the women’s division should be all sunshine and rainbows but you can’t just apply the movement to a small group of them.

Now that I’ve ranted, I think the biggest moment of the night was when Roman grabbed the title out of Lesnar’s hand and held it up. I was rendered speechless and I realize how hard that is to believe coming from someone like me. People will always bitch and moan about Roman and I could give two shits. Like I said in a previous post, no one is ever truly ready to be in that main event spot at an event with the grandeur of Wrestlemania (if you say you are, you’re lying through your teeth). Taking Brock’s title was a major power play by Reigns and I think that it sent a VERY strong message to Lesnar.

I also wanted to address the fact that Lesnar resigned with the WWE, inking a multi-year deal. Yeah, I’m not happy about it but I have heard rumors of what they plan to do with him and I don’t think that he’ll continue on as champ. To me, it doesn’t make sense to put that much steam behind Roman and then just take it all away because some block headed dope can write his name on a line. Before anyone loses their mind, I don’t think Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan are or were in the same type of situation so get out of here with that nonsense. I think that this signing was a strategic move on the part of Vince and WWE to keep Brock away from UFC. Did Brock honestly think that they would let him fight for both companies at once? There’s guys that work a lot harder than he does but I do understand why that decision was made from a business standpoint. I don’t like it in the least but I respect it. Since I’m such a curious cat, I want to know the terms of his deal. We all know that he can’t handle the work and he doesn’t like to travel so it will be interesting to see how often we will actually see him and what he will be doing. I’ve heard the rumors but I tend to not believe something until WWE releases an official statement or I see it for myself.

These people can change their minds like people change their underwear.

Full Moon Rising.

Money In The Bank was the first pay-per-view event without Daniel Bryan. Truth be told, it was a little scary. I, much like the rest of the WWE Universe, didn’t quite know what to expect from it. Many dismissed it as being ‘lame’ or ‘stupid’ but I thought that it was one of the best events of 2014 (so far, of course!).

I felt like the superstars really had the pressure put on them with this event, even more so than at Wrestlemania. There was no champion to act as an anchor to the event. Even at Payback, Daniel Bryan still mad an appearance in a non-competing capacity. The entire roster of WWE superstars that competed at Money In The Bank really had to be ‘on’, they had to be at the top of their game. I definitely got my money’s worth out of that event, every single match was entertaining and the highlight of the night was the MITB contract ladder match. Many of those guys had never competed in that type of match before in their wrestling careers. I know that as a wrestler, I would be shitting my pants at the thought of being in that type of match. You never know what is going to happen and that is part of the magic of the MITB matches.

Both ladder matches were extremely good and all involved put on a great show. With that being said, I found the contract ladder match much more entertaining than the ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Look at who took part in the contract match, you have; Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Rob Van Dam, and Seth Rollins. Bad News Barrett was unfortunately not able to compete due to a very serious shoulder injury (cue crying everywhere!). In this particular group of superstars, you have a lot of risk-takers and high flyers. Throw a few of those in with some ladders and you have got yourself one hell of a show. Seth Rollins may have won that contract but each one of those guys walked away a winner in my eyes. As cliché as that sounds.

Not every event can be 100% perfect so I guess I have to try to find some sort of fault with what took place at the pay-per-view. If I had to pick something I guess it would be the performance put on by Paige. She was so incredibly boring and I want to like her, I really do. I just can’t bring myself to get behind her in the ring. That scream just irritates the bejesus out of me. She’s like John Cena or something, gets beat down to pull out three or four moves and win the match. Naomi was fantastic and carried the hell out of that match and Paige should be thankful. With her losing the title to Aj on Raw the following night, she should get time to build up her relationship with the fans and precision in the ring.

I didn’t really care for Kane helping Seth win either, but that wasn’t totally unexpected so I wouldn’t necessarily count it was a low point in the event. What many (including myself) saw as a low point was John Cena winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship title in the second ladder match. Like seriously, Cena, AGAIN?! I used to love this guy, cheered him at any opportunity I had. Now, I just roll my eyes at him most of the time. My dad and I felt very apathetic towards this happening until my friend Katie brought up a good point about Cena being, essentially, a transitional champion. Just a spot filler, also pointing out how Cesaro, Roman, or Bray didn’t deserve a title run like that. Thinking about it, she is 100% right. If any three of those guys just picked up the belt to hand it over in a month or two, I’d be so upset.

What I wasn’t upset about was the episode of Monday Night Raw that treated fans to the immediate build up of Battleground, the next event happening for the company. The last episode of Monday Night Raw was all about set ups. Cena got set up to do his usual ‘rebel against the man’ title run, Naomi got set up for her pending epic beat down of Cameron, Dean and Seth added depth to their rivalry, and Roman and Hunter set up for their eventual clash.

I am so ready for Battleground.

How About This?

Initially, the preliminary card to Wrestlemania wasn’t looking so hot. The main event looked like it would be the most boring thing on the planet and the flying goat was nowhere to be seen. A certain superstar walked out on the company and put what ever the creative department had planned in complete jeopardy. Superstars, fans, and staff had no idea what was going on with the biggest event of the entire year.

Everyone has their own version of what they would do and how they would book it, I’m no different. My fellow blogger Frank (or Fdoosey, as he is known in social media land) have been messaging each other and emailing for days saying how we would book the event. Here is how I would book the Showcase of the Immortals…

WWE World Heavyweight Championship:

Randy Orton (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (Winner: Daniel Bryan)

Randy Orton isn’t my ideal champion but he was the perfect person to carry the title into Mania. There is no one in my mind that should win this match other than Daniel Bryan. He has taken such a shit kicking (literally and figuratively) in the last few months that it seems like there is nothing that he can do to secure a victory. The fans need to be given what they deserve, what they cheered so hard for. This victory wouldn’t just be for Daniel, this is for every fan that chanted ‘YES!’ alongside him.

The Streak:

The Undertaker vs. Kane (Winner: Undertaker)

If this is the Undertaker’s last ever Wrestlemania match, he should face his ‘brother’. There is no one else in my mind that should be his last opponent. Kane won’t break the streak but he will help deliver one hell of a match for the fans and for Taker.

There is no other argument to be made, if you think differently then your argument is invalid.

6 Man Tag Team Match: 

The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family (Winner: The Shield)

The fans obviously love this feud, I know that I go nuts over it. Seeing these two factions compete is much more than just a match.

It could tease the end of The Shield as we know and love them. Roman is the star, Dean gets jealous, and Seth is just there shaking his head in disbelief. Let’s face it, they’re all awesome together but they’d be just as awesome (if not more awesome) on their own. What I would want to see happen is that they split and the Wyatt Family just hangs the fact they couldn’t keep it together over their heads for months. Wouldn’t that make brilliant television?

I wouldn’t make it a permanent split, just long enough for them to do their own thing and get a greater sense of who they are as wrestlers. Nobody wants to be confined to one ideal, these guys have been working together for a few years but they still need to explore who they are individually. I may be reading a bit too much into this but that’s my job as a wrestling fan.

Tag Team Championship Match:

The Usos vs. Real Americans (Winner: The Usos)

I think that this one is pretty much a no brainer and if you pick anyone other than Jimmy and Jey to win, you need to give your head a shake.

My main point for my argument being that they got screwed over so hard when they RIGHTFULLY won a number one contenders position by it being handed to the Rhodes Brothers. They deserve a long a fruitful title reign for that reason and they are the most entertaining duo in the tag team division. However, the Real Americans will give them a run for their money.

What won’t allow Cesaro and Swagger to take the titles from Jimmy and Jey is the fact that they have a small rift forming between them. Each one of them want to best the other one and that leads to matches being lost due to stupid decisions and mistakes. That is what will bring them down and cost them the match. It’s not that they aren’t a good team, the Uso brothers just work more harmoniously.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:

Winner: ???

I think that this match is a fantastic idea for two reasons:

  1. It honours someone who was so integral to the history of sports entertainment.
  2. It allows more superstars to have a moment in the Wrestlemania spotlight.

I’m always a huge proponent of anything that gets more superstars on the card for the biggest night in the WWE and I’m VERY excited for this to become an annual event. I like the unpredictability of having so many competitors in the ring and I don’t think that it’s the same as the Royal Rumble at all. The superstar I envision winning this is someone like Dolph Ziggler or maybe even Damien Sandow. The winner has to be someone who is fantastic in the ring and deserving of a push, I’ve seen the entrants and there are more than enough of them in there.

Stay tuned for another collaboration between Frank and I! Check out his blog here!

Daniel vs. Hunter.

The WWE Universe finally (kind of) got what they wanted all along.

Daniel Bryan could potentially be in the main event at Wrestlemania XXX this year, as long as he defeats Triple H first. I will admit that I was not the biggest fan of this David versus Goliath style storyline.

In one corner we have the ‘Goliath’ of this story, that being Triple H. He is the giant that no one can seem to defeat. He, more often that not, buries smaller guys that don’t make the cut in his eyes. His buddies constantly get given everything that they want just because they are his buddies. Triple H appears to be the man on the top of the hill, with everyone bowing before him.

In the other corner, we have ‘David’, that being Daniel Bryan. Daniel is a ray of hope for wrestling fans, a break from the complacency of the main event scene. He isn’t the biggest superstar to strut down that ramp to the ring, but he is one of the most gifted that has ever stepped through the ropes. Each week, Daniel is at war with the powers to be. Bryan earns each and every adulation that he attains, he doesn’t expect anything handed to him just because he is friends with someone.

The main difference between the two? Daniel Bryan has the entire WWE Universe behind him.

At Wrestlemania 30, Daniel Bryan will get an opportunity to take down the giant that is trying to stomp him. Daniel will also get a chance to also compete for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, provided he takes down Hunter first. It’s a small victory but one I am willing to accept.

I don’t want to see Daniel Bryan buried by Hunter in favor of one of his buddies, or himself, getting the title. After the most recent episode of Raw, that all changed. Sure, Bryan got the holy hell kicked out of him at the end but I don’t think that event was meant to tip the scales in Hunter’s favor. I took that as a sign that our beloved flying goat is going to kick the holy hell out of Triple H and then proceed to do the same to both Bootista and Orton.

A pessimist might see the deck as being extremely stacked against Daniel heading into Wrestlemania. Orton, Bootista, Hunter. I think that the events that have transpired within the last two weeks give Daniel Bryan an even greater chance of winning. How, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

He has absolutely nothing to lose heading into Wrestlemania on April 6th. His opponents are the ones that should be filled with worry.

Randy Orton is risking the loss of his title. Hunter is risking the loss of any sort of control over superstars and what happens on television. Dave Bautista is risking the chance of being booed right out of the building and becoming the laughing stock of the WWE (although, I think the reaction he receives now is fairly close.). Daniel does not have to worry about any of that. Sure, he’ll have a loss to deal with but that is nothing compared to what the others stand to lose. No matter what the outcome, he will still have the fans on his side.

I don’t think that compares to having a championship. If the fans love you, you’re pretty much golden. I’ve seen many superstars hold a belt and the fans boo them to no end.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Daniel Bryan can defeat the giant that seems to be standing between him and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and I can’t wait to be on my couch joining in the YES! Movement and cheering him on.

 

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.