Raw Written by Dom
Smackdown Written by Gav
Past Events : Wrestlemania 25 Written by Dom
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Monday Night Raw 01/07/2013
We open with a speech from Vickie Guerrero, who kisses the ass of the McMahons before announcing Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena as the main event. That sounds quite good actually. There’s been too much Guerrero recently though.
We then head for the Money in the Bank setup between all of the guys in that, where the WWE definitely must have run out of microphones, as everyone turns up with them. Christian says he’s had more success than anyone with ladder matches. Did he forget that he had a tag team partner who won many more matches of that type than he did? Not much more of note goes on here, apart from Daniel Bryan and Kane having a humorous argument about who’s gonna win the match. In a great touch when shit starts to go down, everyone drops the microphones, but CM Punk sets his up ready to use, before being amused at the standoff at the end. It was a largely boring bit of nonsense really.
The Shield vs. Christian and The Usos
This is a rematch from the match that took place on the previous Smackdown, where the babyface team laughably won the match. This match has the usual great flow that matches involving The Shield tend to have. Credit to the Usos in this one, both of them looked very good, and seemed a hell of a lot more fired up than I’ve seen them. The Shield got that win back though, and in fine fashion as the ending sequence leading to the Rollins involvement and cheap pin from Ambrose was very good. I could watch Shield six man tags all day and this was no different. ***
Backstage with Daniel Bryan and Kane. Kane tells Bryan to stay out of his business. Daniel Bryan says he got Kane a rematch with Randy Orton. Daniel Bryan says he’s been named referee which has Kane fuming. Excellent. More intrigue in that little story.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Jinder Mahal
Last week seen CM Punk have a match with someone that should have been much shorter than it was. This match is the same, but as I’ve always felt with Jinder Mahal, there’s definitely something that’s there to work with. In the early days with Ziggler himself, there was an intensity there even when he was a bit green. Jinder Mahal has that same intensity about him when he wrestles, and this was a decent wee outing for him before Ziggler got the win out of nowhere. **
In an amusing post-match shenanigans, Dolph Ziggler does a wonderful job of avoiding 3MB, jumping over them and ducking and diving his way around them, and the fans lap it up, thus cementing his own babyface status.
Vickie Guerrero is backhead with the wee scrote, and then Triple H turns up. He likes the matches that Guerrero is making right now. HHH says that Guerrero shouldn’t listen to anything that a McMahon says. He includes his wife in this, aye?
Randy Orton vs. Kane – Daniel Bryan as the referee
Hopefully we get some sort of progression from Daniel Bryan in this match. This match was far too long given that it was basically a vehicle for the interaction between Bryan and the other two. Orton and Bryan basically put on a slugfest, and not a very exciting one either. When they did do the big stuff with Daniel Bryan, it was quite good. Daniel Bryan doing everything he could to hand Kane a win on a plate, and neither Orton or Kane would be happy with that. Once again though, we’re no further along than we were.
Backstage with CM Punk, Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman. CM Punk doesn’t trust Curtis Axel, and basically says he can beat the Prime Time Players by himself. So many crap and boring segments on this show so far.
Fandango vs. Sheamus
Fandango can’t have much legs left in that gimmick surely. The only place that cared about him was the UK, and even then, there’s no guarantee that they do anymore. This is decent stuff between these two guys. Fandango has come on a fair bit since his Johnny Curtis days. Fandango ends up living to fight another day and Sheamus wins by countout. I want to see more between these two guys in the future as they’re clearly capable of a cracking match but this will do for now. **1/2
Ryback vs. The Miz
Once again, I have to question the logic of going the way that they’re going with Ryback. The Miz was far too competitive with Ryback in this one. The Miz is someone that nobody takes seriously anymore, so why should I have to believe that he has any chance against the big man? Also, matches of any length of time against someone who isn’t great tends to leave Ryback totally exposed and this match is no different, and then they end it with Ryback quitting. Ugh. DUD
Post-match, Jericho hits Ryback with the Codebreaker. This whole thing is just going beyond annoying now. They turned a proper potential main event monster babyface into another heel who might main event sometimes. Well done WWE.
Mark Henry is now out here for the next segment, and says he’s called the strongest man in the world, and there is a reason for that. He cuts a really good promo basically saying he’s gonna beat Cena and he’s gonna EARN the title.
Vince McMahon is backstage with Vickie Guerrero and says that she’s throwing money away because she put a PPV main event on free TV. That’d be more convincing if he hadn’t done the same thing literally hundreds of times in the past.
Curtis Axel and CM Punk vs. The Prime Time Players
My patience is going thin with this stuff at the moment. This match doesn’t do much to change my mood. This match at least has a point dragging on the way it does, as it puts over how stubborn Curtis Axel is about dragging the tag out, and CM Punk’s growing frustration on the outside is key as well. I like Titus’ interactions with CM Punk as well. Curtis Axel steals a pin from CM Punk to win the match. It’s a story driven match and it told the story as intended, but I still found it boring. *
Kaitlyn vs. Alicia Fox
The Divas stuff recently has been very good, but this isn’t very good. Kaitlyn still has a brutal spear though. It even sounds like it hurts, let alone looking like it. Post-match sees the shenanigans with AJ Lee continuing though. And those shenanigans continue in style with a major cheap shot at Kaitlyn’s old modelling. Good fun stuff to end a pointless match.
Stephanie is backstage with Guerrero now ( for goodness sake ) and then she turns up the heat on Guerrero. There will be a job evaluation next week. Stephanie is actually world class in this segment, when she turns the moods on and off for fun to toy with Vickie. As annoying as these segments are, at least Steph brought some fun to it.
Cody Rhodes vs. Antonio Cesaro
Before this match, Zeb Colter keeps his own decent side act going on. This match shows the problem with an all heel match. The fans will struggle to find someone to root for and you end up with a flat atmosphere. Especially when both sides have just given you a bit of a slagging. The match is an average short one. Think it’s the best they could have done with what they had really. **
Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena
I hope that these guys give it a proper go here, because this has the potential to be an absolute cracker. Okay, after watching it, there’s gripes. I understand they were looking for a more two sided match, but when Cena went shoulder first into the ringpost, the focus could have gone onto that. But they opted for the two sided war between the two, and that was probably the right way, even if not the best. The match was still very good, especially for a TV match, and they actually did a better job than they’ve done on PPV. ***3/4
Post-match, Mark Henry gives the title to John Cena and walks away. And we find out next week… The Wyatt Family will be making their debut.
Right. This was a dreadful episode of RAW. So much tedious crap that I just don’t want to be watching.
Friday Night Smackdown 28/06/2013
Before I fly in, I’d like to say that Smackdown is improving! It’s a shock, I know! But since they’ve apparently allowed Zeb Colter and Paul Heyman offer their views on the writing of the show things are getting better, but we do have to cope with tedious filler sometimes.
Sheamus vs Sandow – Dublin Street Fight Match
So we kick things off with Sheamus vs Damien Sandow in a Dublin street fight match, I was wondering what this was when I first read the “spoilers”, but it seems that WWE are going with a lot of stereotypes for this match. Potatoes, beer and green stuff. We got to see basic street fight stuff, kendo sticks, back and forth action, but then Sheamus got to bouncing Sandow off the beer pumps then found a sack of tatties under the ring! Dropped them on Sandow, munched a couple of tatties then brogue kicked Sandow off a chair for the 1-2-3 count!
THOUGHTS – This match was a bit odd, I liked it initially but it sort of tailed off as Sheamus started to dominate. I think Sandow needs to go over Sheamus in a singles match if they want this feud to go anywhere.
Winner of this match – Sheamus
Next up we have MizTV whoope! Heyman is his guest this week and Miz starts to question Heyman all about the Brock Lesnar incident from Raw then Curtis Axel appears, they have a wee chat about the IC title, Heyman mocks Miz by using his catchphrase, then Miz cuts him off and tries to nail his own catchphrase but Axel just boots him then hits his finisher.
THOUGHTS – Bit of a meh segment, but this did its job in building up their match for Payback. I hope Axel retains as I really can’t take to The Miz as a face.
Natalya vs AJ Lee – Diva’s match
Before this match has the chance to get under way Kaitlyn comes out dressed like AJ with a beautifully tight t-shirt on, she mocks AJ for all the guys she’s kissed and been with in the WWE since she joined, even making up a couple then skips round the ring. The bell rings, Natalya gets a distracted AJ Lee with a roll-up for the 1-2-3 count! Kaitlyn spears AJ after the match.
WINNER = Natalya
THOUGHTS – Similar to my thoughts on Miz and Axel. It was alright, it did its job. To be honest though, this Diva’s division has been getting the best writing for absolute yonks.
Next up we have a backstage segment with Vince and Teddy Long, Teddy announces that Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Faaaaandaaaango, Dean Ambrose, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes will fight for the WHC briefcase a week from Sunday!
THOUGHTS – A very heel heavy ladder match, which is hinting at a Ziggler win in the match, but obviously the case, can be held for a year so things can change.
Kane vs Randy Orton – Singles Match
This match was a bit meh, I think we need something different instead of just having Orton vs Bryan, or Orton vs Kane. Spice it up a little! We see some decent back and forth action between the two, a few nice spots from Kane including the flying headbutt. But Orton gets his elevated DDT off, Kane falls from the ring and Bryan who was on commentary throws him back in as “encouragement” only for Kane to be hit with an RKO for the 1-2-3 count!
Winner – Randy Orton
THOUGHTS – I’m not going to lie, this is boring me now. Bryan is being underused as is Orton and Kane. But to be honest, the match was good enough for Smackdown for sure.
Justin Gabriel vs Ryback – Singles Match
Oh god, squash match incoming. I hate seeing Gabriel get squashed, I think he is a fantastic technical wrestler that really needs a push. They’ve pushed everyone else from the original Nexus in the last year except the most talented one! He gets a tiny bit of offense before Ryback hits the shellshocked for the 1-2-3 count!
Winner – Ryback
THOUGHTS – Nice to see Gabriel on Smackdown. This match does nothing for either person though, not overly good.
MAIN EVENT MATCH – The Uso’s and Christian vs The Shield
Mid-card obscurity awaits the Shield. We get some nice enough action, but why have the faces win clean? At least have The Shield lose by DQ. To finish, Christian spears Ambrose which makes me think Christian is going to be going Ambrose hunting soon enough. The joys.
Winner – The Uso’s and Christian
THOUGHTS – It made the Uso’s look like a genuine-ish threat to the tag titles, but we’ll see the Shield win a week on Sunday no bother, even though it’s on the pre-show.
We get Del Rio’s fiesta. This was boring until Ziggler showed up and opened a can of whoop ass on Del Rio and the now suspended Ricardo Rodriguez. Ricardo really sold the Guitar wallop and table spot. With Del Rio taking a ZigZag. The show goes off the air with Ziggler celebrating with the Mariachi Band.
THOUGHTS – I can definitely see the improvement on Smackdown from what I was used to seeing. I’m so glad they’re taking an interest in making it watchable again. The Fiesta stuff worked to build up the feud a bit more. I enjoyed it. 6/10 overall for the show.
PAST EVENTS : WRESTLEMANIA 25
Written by Dom
The build to this got quite a bit of complaining as WWE called it the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania quite a bit. It was actually the 24th anniversary. A bit of a small thing to moan about of course, but it was funny seeing the complaints. Anyways, this gets a reputation for being a one match show. How true is that?
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry vs. MVP vs. Finlay vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Christian vs. Kane – Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Always a good way to kick off a show this. Loads of talent and loads of ladders. You won’t ever get a boring version of this match, that’s for sure. Much of the story of the match seen the battle of the big men, with Henry and Kane going at it, including a brilliant spot where everyone else was on the ladders, and Kane and Henry just threw them all off so as they could get at each other. Some of the real highlights of the match are provided by Kofi Kingston, including a super spot where he climbs one half of a ladder, which is caught by Henry, and then he gets dropped with a slam. CM Punk wins the match for the second year running, which would lead to us seeing the evolution into the Straight Edge Superstar. A couple of awkward spots, especially with the ladder bridging the set up one, and the middle rope, but on the whole, the match was very entertaining stuff. ***3/4
Divas Battle Royal
I have zero interest in watching this. There’s some older faces in the match, and also Santina Marella, who was doing stuff with Beth Phoenix around this time which was the whole purpose of this match. Anyways, no desire to watch this, but Santina’s victory dance was superb. N/A
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat, Jimmy Snuka and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
One of Chris Jericho’s more terrific moments, post-HBK feud as he basically did his best to make some legends look like crap. This also has the added Mickey Rourke involvement, which we’ll get to later. The match itself? You really couldn’t have asked for much more than this. In the case of Snuka and Piper, it was a proper nostalgia fest. They played their part brilliantly. When Steamboat got involved… yeah, the whole thing picked up. Steamboat put on a wonderful performance, and I kinda wish he didn’t go on and have one more match with Jericho, as this would have made a fine way to go out for him, having many Mania moments in the one match before finally being put away by Jericho. Good way to keep the crowd mental. ***
Post-match, Chris Jericho has some choice words for Mickey Rourke. As a wee sidenote, Frank Shamrock is sitting ringside with him. Anyways, Jericho wants Rourke in the ring, and Rourke hits him with a jab and that angers Jericho into getting into a fist fight with Rourke, which leads to him getting knocked out. Some fans weren’t happy with this as Jericho was getting put down by a non-wrestler, but Rourke has some goodness in his boxing, and he basically suckered Jericho into getting involved in that sort of fight. I don’t mind that.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy, Extreme Rules Match
Matt Hardy has never been a bad heel, but he was much better with the Mattitude stuff, while in this role he was a bit boring. The cast stuff was pretty funny though. These two guys have never had great chemistry in the ring, which is bizarre given that they are brothers. They do their best here though to try and get the crowd involved through major bumping and sheer effort alone. For the most part it works. They even use a hoover. They pull out a fun brawl with one huge bump, which is followed by one of the most horrific match endings in Wrestlemania history, the Twist of Fate with the head in the chair. This is the best match these two are capable of if you ask me. Maybe they could do a better TLC or Ladder Match, but I guess it’s a case of “we’ll probably never find out”. ***1/2
JBL (c) vs. Rey Mysterio – WWE Intercontinental Championship
This is basically Rey getting a very quick title win. The story of the match outside of the ring is this though. JBL is a massive fan of Rey Rey and this is exactly how he wanted to retire. Which says quite a lot for the man, even if he is still a moron and a bully. He gets wrestling a bit more than most, which is probably why the JBL character is so fondly remembered. N/A
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Here we go. Shawn Michaels says that he is Mr. Wrestlemania, and The Undertaker IS Mr. Wrestlemania having gone 16-0. The Undertaker would become the star attraction of Wrestlemania from this point onwards with constant stunning matches. Is this the best of the lot? I’ll answer that when I’ve watched them all again, but this is certainly a wonderful match. The only story that this match has, or needs, is that both guys are willing to put everything on the line to defeat the other man, and are willing to go through hell. The Undertaker coming back from the Plancha from hell is one moment, and then the wonderful Wrestlemania moment of HBK kicking out of the Tombstone, which was a massive deal at that point. Tombstone = death. The match is an absolute war, and fitting for the billing that it had, and the absolutely crazy loud crowd only added to it. *****
Edge (c) vs. The Big Show vs. John Cena – World Heavyweight Championship
In among this, there’s a story between Edge and The Big Show revolving around Vickie Guerrero. This match basically acted as a way for John Cena to win the title at Wrestlemania. It also gave Cena a moment when he picked up not only The Big Show, but also Edge on top of him which is just a freaky show of strength. This match is actually quite good. Show and Cena have been involved in a few three way matches together, and this match followed the same sort of formula as before. Cena and Show have some decent chemistry, and the history with Edge and Cena is well documented, which in itself added yet more intrigue to the match. I’d also advise looking out the Last Man Standing between Edge and Cena. ***3/4
Triple H (c) vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship
This match got a hell of a buildup which was ultra personal between the two men. So this match really should have been a massive brawl. Which the two men have got previous for. They took part in a terrific match at one of the No Mercy PPVs. If they had a match that good on this night, I’d have felt better watching it. This was supposed to be the headline match of Wrestlemania after all. They could easily have put the triple threat as the main event of the show. They got the match off to a very hot start which made things even worse as it gave them something else to live up to. They weren’t capable of living up to it of course. A boring dull main event which didn’t come close to meeting the expectations that the build up set. *1/2
If you take the main event out of this show, it’s actually a really consistent PPV with lots of good moments and a bonafide Wrestlemania classic. The show ended on such a low note though, and this caused a lot of people’s memories to be pretty bad. Understandable, but this isn’t as bad a Wrestlemania as some think.