Editor’s Note: In March of this year, we posted an article titled Why We Chant For CM Punk. Although Punk has long since moved on to greener, more bruised pastures, this post is still one of our most clicked links from search engines and so we are doing an updated version of it here.
Last night, Monday Night Raw came to us from Cincinnati, OH. The fans began chanting for CM Punk during the Cruiserweight match. It was a disrespectful move to Tony Neese and our Cruiserweight Champion, TJ Perkins, but it almost seems unavoidable. No matter how often Punk stresses that he is done with WWE, fans continue to not only chant his name, but bring signs catered to him at live events.
Punk made his UFC debut in Cleveland, Ohio on September 10th against Mickey Gall. He was submitted via rear naked choke at 2 minutes and 14 seconds in the first round. Punk outlasted Gall’s last opponent, who submitted at the 45 second mark in the first round. After 20 months of training and two surgeries, Punk made a strong debut regardless of what the haters may say. He refused to give up until there was no other option and lasted longer than many of his fellow fighters could have. Still, it was a dismal debut.
I was genuinely nervous during Punk’s UFC fight. I have never been so invested in two short minutes. It was heartbreaking, exciting, and put my husband and I through a whirlwind of emotions in just a few seconds. Current and past WWE stars have had mixed reviews on his debut, ranging from “uncomfortable” and a sign that he should pursue another career, to “inspiring” and a great effort for a first fight.
As can be expected, a lot of people have hinted that his so-called failure in UFC should prompt Punk to return to WWE where he is already established as a winner. Not an event goes by in his hometown of Chicago where we don’t see fans wearing his shirts and hear at least one crowd chant for his appearance. And as we saw on Monday Night RAW, Punk is clearly still over as a fan favorite.
We can probably safely say that Punk will never set foot in a WWE ring again, and we can also safely say that the chants won’t stop for a long time. It’s not about the hope of him returning anymore, we’re past that. We chant for CM Punk because us Punk fans respect the hell out of the man. Even though he isn’t watching Monday Night Raw, we chant his name and hope somehow he knows how much we appreciate what he has done for professional wrestling. Regardless of where he goes from here, we’ll be supporting him and looking for any excuse to chant his name.
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
Paige hasn’t been on TV lately, and the official word is that she suffered minor neck and back injuries and is taking time to heal. However, the general consensus is that there is something much more serious going on with our former Divas champion. She is currently dating Alberto Del Rio, who was drafted to Smackdown while Paige was sent to Raw. The couple was reported to have been upset about the decision, and you could tell in the post-draft interview that Del Rio was certainly upset by something. The decision to separate them was reportedly done intentionally.
Paige and Del Rio took their relationship public via Instagram. Then, for some bizarre reason, Paige deleted all trace of Del Rio off her Instagram page. She later claimed that she was hacked, and that the hacker targeted only those photos for some reason. It was a lame excuse. She then went on to post new photos of her “papi” with overly mushy messages about how she needs him in her life and how she loves him so very much. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with public displays of love, it comes off as very immature. This is behavior and wording that you see out of a high school freshman; angry and deleting one minute, overly affectionate and doe-eyed the next. It has the feel of young love, not a mature adult relationship.
Paige hasn’t been booked to win a decent singles match in quite some time. She is also said to be unhappy with her character development, or lack thereof. She has taken a backseat to Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks, and has no chance of getting a title shot any time soon with the current storylines in place. Paige may have come to the main roster as the NXT champion and their golden girl, but things have changed drastically since then. Plus, her two runs as Divas champ felt like she was merely a placeholder to AJ Lee, not a true champion.
While in Las Vegas for the Money In The Bank PPV, Paige and Del Rio had a run in with the police. In what was not a Total Divas segment, Paige and Del Rio were seen arguing outside of Cesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino. Paige tried to run across the street away from him while the police were present. Paige was handcuffed for her own safety, and then she was sent to a local medical facility for a mental evaluation, also known as a Legal 2000, which allows authorities to detain someone who may be a danger to themselves or to others. No charges were filed against her, but it is concerning.
Paige’s mother, wrestler Saraya Knight, took to Twitter and Facebook to say that “a mum’s worst nightmare is her child hurting and broken, but, what hurts more is the bullshit being spread through media networks. My heart has been in my mouth over the last few weeks and not being able to talk about it whilst reading all the bullshit has made me so angry. Just wish her well instead of making up shit.” Is she simply defending her daughter? Possibly. But I’ve noticed that people get extra defensive when the truth comes out, and this could be the case here. Mental issues are often treated as something to shame, so it is very possible that the anger is present because this is no longer a secret.
Whatever is going on with Paige, it’s more than just a simple physical injury. There are too many questionable things going on and too many warning signs. I don’t wish anything bad on her, but I hope that this doesn’t go ignored. If help is needed, denial won’t fix a thing. Us fans can’t do much more than be supportive, give her space, and hope that the situation isn’t as serious as I fear it is. Hopefully, when Paige returns to the squared circle, she is rebuilt and ready for some true competition.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
This year’s Battleground PPV will be the final event before the WWE’s brand extension goes into effect. It will take place at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. and is the fourth PPV under the Battleground name. These PPVs aren’t typically the most thrilling, and this year may not be an exception considering that over half the matches on the card are some sort of tag match, plus the Tag and Women’s titles aren’t even on the line. Let’s take a look at the card and make some predictions.
Breezango vs The Usos – PPV Kickoff Tag Match
Let me preface this by saying that I am a huge fan of Tyler Breeze. I enjoyed him immensely in NXT, but unfortunately his move to the main roster hasn’t been totally positive. He’s been utilized mainly as comic relief, which is a misuse of his talent. Teaming with Fandango could have worked, but WWE hasn’t taken it seriously. In regards to the Usos, I have never been a fan. They quickly became stale to me; regardless of who they face or what the situation is, they are always the same exact duo. They never evolve or adapt, and as someone over the age of 12, that bores me. I hope to be pleasantly surprised by something incredible in this kickoff match, but I won’t hold my breath.
F2H Prediction – The Usos
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods) vs The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman) – Six Man Tag Match
After the embarrassing fight at the Wyatt compound, we look to close out this family versus family battle. The Wyatt family as it currently stands is no more due to the brand split; Braun Strowman will be going solo, while Bray and Erick are still able to band together as a duo. It may be a good move for the Wyatts, as nothing positive has been done with them lately. New Day’s dynamic is too comical and upbeat for a feud with the Wyatts to make sense, and it’s resulted in a lot of forced and uncomfortable interactions. New Day can take a loss here and be fine, but the Wyatts will suffer from yet another loss on their record. I hope for their sake, they are made to look strong.
F2H Prediction – The Wyatt Family
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens – Singles Match
Zayn and Owens are incredible together; these two represent everything that is right about wrestling. They’ve worked together for years, and it shows. Down the line, I would enjoy seeing them together as a team, but for now I’m incredibly content to watch them fight forever. Owens is by far one of my favorite wrestlers in any company; he’s skilled in the ring and in promos, brilliant when put on commentary, and hilarious on Twitter when he refuses to break character and harasses his haters and fans alike. This is only the beginning of what we’re going to see from these two; I can’t wait to see what’s in their future.
F2H Prediction – Sami Zayn
The Miz (c) vs Darren Young – Intercontinental Title Match
We’re going to make Darren Young great again! I had the pleasure of being in the same area as Bob Backlund once, at a live show in Chicago. He was outside, begging for cash in exchange for pictures with fans. It was one of the few times I’ve feared for my life; the man is unstable. The Miz has won his last few titles in very shady ways, and now has wife Maryse by his side to help him hold onto the IC title. Young has Backlund in his corner, which is like having an unarmed nuke in the hands of a toddler. There are so many ways that this match could go sideways considering Maryse and Backlund will be at ringside, Miz is notorious for finding shady ways to win, and Young is a wildcard. I truly don’t know what to expect from this match, but I hope Miz and Young deliver.
F2H Prediction – Darren Young
Sasha Banks & TBD vs Charlotte & Dana Brooke – Tag Team Match
I have two thoughts for Sasha Banks’ mystery partner. The first is the wish of most fans; Bayley will join Sasha and make her debut by winning this match after pinning Charlotte. The second is what I realistically think will happen; Nia Jax will partner with Sasha and they will form a team similar to what AJ Lee had with Tamina Snuka. Having Nia debut at Battleground and team with Sasha would be a strong way for her to make a statement and assert herself as a real force in the Women’s division. It would also even the odds, since Charlotte can’t be champion without having a sidekick around 24/7. I just hope WWE doesn’t blow this by choosing someone that doesn’t make sense for her partner, like Summer Rae or god forbid Eva Marie.
F2H Prediction – Sasha Banks & TBD
Enzo Amore, Big Cass, & John Cena vs The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson) – Six Man Tag Match
With the brand split, Enzo and Cass will be separated from John Cena, and AJ Styles will be separated from Gallows and Anderson. This will theoretically be the last time we see all six of these men compete together. Enzo and Cass don’t benefit from being paired with Cena; they are one of the strongest tag teams around and don’t need validation from “the face that runs the place.” Styles, in my opinion, is stronger alone and will be able to branch out and accomplish more with The Club over on Raw. We’ve seen enough build for this fight to know what to expect. As much as some people would love to see Finn Balor come out, reunite The Club, and make some sort of grand statement, it likely won’t happen tonight. Styles and Cena will likely continue to battle on Smackdown, as Enzo and Cass will be able to fight The Club on Raw.
F2H Prediction – Enzo, Cass, and Cena
Rusev (c) vs Zack Ryder – United States Title Match
Zack Ryder got his WrestleMania moment when he was not only able to come out to his entrance music for the first time, but he won the Intercontinental Title at WM 32. He lost the title to The Miz before he could even celebrate having it, but that’s a whole other story. Rusev is a great US champion, especially with Lana by his side. I like this pairing because Ryder isn’t a symbol of the United States like Jack Swagger is or Cena tries to be. He’s not trying to make this into a US vs Russia match, he just wants to win the title. I hope this doesn’t turn into a squash match and that Ryder is able to gain the upper hand at least a few times on his larger opponent.
F2H Prediction – Rusev
Becky Lynch vs Natalya – Singles Match
For some reason, Natalya lost her mind and decides to start attacking Becky Lynch. Natalya is finally ready to stop living in the background and assert herself to rise to the top of the Women’s division. She is a veteran in the company who doesn’t get a lot of chances for success, and for a while she was stuck playing sidekick to the tag team of Cesaro and husband Tyson Kidd. Lynch has been on the main roster for about a year now, and while she has been touted as one of the pioneers of the “revolution,” she hasn’t gotten a chance to really branch out. It would be nice to see this feud truly be about the wrestling instead of devolve into a petty girl vs girl argument over jealousy or some other trivial factor. Both women are extremely talented and can do a lot more in the ring than we’ve seen to date.
F2H Prediction – Becky Lynch
Dean Ambrose (c) vs Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins – Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
In my opinion, Roman Reigns should not be a part of this match. The failure of the drug test, allegedly for Adderall, isn’t the worst thing that a person could do, but is enough to warrant removal from this championship match. Ambrose and Rollins have been stuck throwing his name into conversations for the past few weeks in order to keep him relevant, and it isn’t fair to the two men who managed not to pop pills while in Vegas. Reigns also proved that he isn’t a successful champion. He failed to connect with the crowd as either a face or a heel, his skills on the microphone have yet to improve, and he concentrates more on theatrics than he does on wrestling. Ambrose and Rollins deserve a two on two. My hope is that they gang up on Reigns to take him out early on in the match so that they can have the fight they both deserve. Rumors state that Vince McMahon is fed up with Reigns, so there is a good chance that we don’t see a lot of him. As long as he doesn’t walk away from Battleground with the gold around his waist, I’ll be happy.
F2H Prediction – Seth Rollins
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
WrestleMania. The word is infused with magic. The descriptions surrounding it give credence to something not of this world. “The Showcase of the Immortals”, “The Grandest Stage of Them all”, “The Show of Shows”; phrases that sound like they belong more on a magician’s Las Vegas show than to pro wrestling. In twenty-four hours, the 32nd annual WrestleMania will air on the WWE Network.
This time of year is always a reflection. We look back on what happened over the last year, where we’ve come, and where we are going. I’ve seen a lot of WrestleManias in my lifetime. It’s tradition. In the spirit of that, my co-writer and wife will join me in discussing our favorite matches in WrestleMania history. I’ll begin.
The year was 1997. The place was Rosemont, IL at WrestleMania 13. Stone Cold Steve Austin was hot off his King of the Ring victory the previous year. Austin 3:16 was catching fire, but one obstacle in his path was Bret “The Hitman” Hart. A few months earlier, Austin had cost Hart a shot to win the then WWF World Heavyweight Championship. This feud was exploding and the tension leading up to this match was thicker than deep dish pizza.
Both men fed the hype machine leading up to this match. Bret Hart believed he was, “Screwed by the WWF, screwed by Steve Austin,” and it would leave him an angry, disgruntled man. Bret Hart’s fans began to turn on him. “Bret Hart on his best day can’t lace my boots. And I’m gonna prove that to the world.” That was the pissed off Austin going into this brawl. The peak of their verbal sparring came when Austin told Bret, “If you put an S in front of the Hitman, you have my exact opinion of Bret Hart.” It was a no DQ, no count out, submission match. And both men would be tested.
Ken Shamrock was the special guest referee to ensure things were fair and even. Stone Cold comes out first and even back then he had signs and t-shirts in the crowd, with a pretty decent pop. The rocket was on and he was shooting straight for the moon. Austin gets in Shamrocks face and the two yell at each other. Bret Hart comes out to a mixed reaction from the crowd. Austin’s eyes never leave Hart as he makes his way into the ring. Hart walks towards Austin and the Rattlesnake explodes out of the corner and takes him down. The bell rings and they go to war. It leads to trading punches outside of the ring.
Austin picks him up and drops him right on his testicles on the steel barricade, then clotheslines him over. They start fighting through the crowd. Austin takes a fan’s Coke, takes a sip and then slams it into Hart. They continue fighting deeper into the crowd. Once they get back outside the ring, Austin throws Hart hard into the steel steps, then waits for him to get up, flips him the bird and drops on him. Austin picks up the steel steps but Hart catches him in the stomach with a boot and he collapses. Austin pulls Hart face first into the corner post. And finally they roll back into the ring.
Hart hits a devastating spinning neck breaker and takes control of the match. He goes to work on Austin’s left knee. Austin writhes in pain. Shamrock asks if he wants to quit and Austin flips him off. Austin hits Hart with a Stunner. Hart locks in a figure four leglock using the ringpost for leverage. Austin refuses to give up. Hart picks up the ring bell and a steel chair. He puts the chair on Austin’s left ankle. He climbs the top rope but Austin pops up with the chair and decks him with it. Hart falls to the mat. Austin hits him with another chair shot and the crowd erupts. Austin whips Hart into the corner, then hits a suplex. Austin climbs to the second rope, flips off Bret and then drops an elbow on him. Austin stomps him in the groin. Bret Hart’s daughter is shown ringside covering her eyes.
Austin suplexes Hart and locks his arm into a submission hold. Austin breaks the hold, only to put Hart in a Boston crab submission. Hart reaches the ropes and Shamrock breaks them apart. Austin goes to put Hart in a Sharpshooter, but Hart rakes his eyes. Austin tosses Hart out of the ring. Hart whips Austin into the timekeeper area onto some chairs. Austin is now busted open after colliding with the security railing. His forehead is open and blood starts going everywhere, running down his arms and pooling on the floor. Hart throws Austin’s head into the turn post. Back in the ring, Hart pounces on Austin with kicks and punches to his bleeding head. The ring mat is smeared with blood, but Hart doesn’t let up.
He goes after Austin’s left knee again with chair shot after chair shot. Austin stops a Sharpshooter submission and kicks Hart in the junk. Austin whips him chest first into the corner. Then proceeds to stomp a mud hole into Hart. Austin’s face is a mask of blood. He lifts Hart onto the top rope. He climbs up and suplexes him onto his back. Austin leaves the ring and grabs a long extension cord. He wraps it around Hart’s neck. Hart gropes the ring and finds the ring bell. He smashes it right into Austin’s bleeding head wound. Hart locks in the Sharpshooter. Austin screams but continues shaking his head when Shamrock asks if he wants to quit. Blood drips from his head onto the mat. Austin visibly begins to fade. He struggles one last time to fight out of the hold. He nearly breaks it, but Hart keeps it locked in and Austin reaches for the ropes. Ken Shamrock yells, “Steve, do you give up!” Austin is unable to respond because he is unconscious. Shamrock stops the fight.
The history books record this one as a Bret Hart victory, but truth be told Stone Cold Steve Austin never tapped out, he never said I quit. He embraced the pain until it consumed him. After the match, Hart attacks Austin’s knee. Shamrock puts a stop to that and the crowd goes bananas. Hart leaves among boos from the crowd. Someone holds a sign up towards him that says CRY BABY. A ref comes out and tries to help Austin up. In typical Stone Cold fashion, Austin hits the ref with a Stunner and walks out under his own volition, solidifying himself as the toughest son of a bitch on the planet. Crowd starts chanting “Austin! Austin! Austin!” as he limps up the ramp into the back.
WrestleMania 13 isn’t the greatest Mania of all time. The match card was weird, featuring a couple of odd tag team matches. But Austin vs Hart has been my favorite WrestleMania match for almost two decades. Nothing has ever topped it for me. It was a crowning achievement that featured a rare double turn, with The Texas Rattlesnake turning from heel to babyface, and The Hitman turning from face to heel. This would ultimately lead to Bret Hart escaping to WCW via The Montreal Screwjob and Stone Cold ushering in The Attitude Era, forever changing the landscape of wrestling forever.
My husband challenged me to write about my all-time favorite WrestleMania match, and I quickly realized that it was going to be near impossible for me to do. I only started watching wrestling on a regular basis during CM Punk’s championship reign when we learned that The Rock was coming back to compete, and prior to that had only seen highlights of past Manias. I went from being a very casual and sporadic viewer to tuning in every single week, but there was still a lot that I missed. Even now, with a handful of Mania’s under my belt thanks to the Network, picking one single match is impossible. Instead, I want to take a look at my all-time favorite WrestleMania; the 30th annual event in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This was the first Mania to be broadcast on the Network and via PPV simultaneously. CM Punk, having walked out of the company after the Royal Rumble, was sadly not present in any of the matches. The preshow match, a fatal 4-way tag elimination match, was all about Cesaro. Even though he failed to win, his team was responsible for eliminating two of the four teams present, plus he got the final moment in the match after turning on his partner, Jack Swagger, and putting him into the Cesaro Swing. He came back later in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and won via huge upset by eliminating Big Show. It was a major show of strength and such a huge honor to think so highly of Cesaro that you would give him the first ever win in this new tournament.
Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker was a match I will never forget. The two went at it for nearly half an hour, with Lesnar dominating Taker from the second the bell rang. The Undertaker looked worn down and outgunned, but he would not give up. Submission holds, F5s, chokeslams, and powerbombs didn’t seem to be quite enough to put either man down, but we all watched with the knowledge and expectation that Taker would somehow find a way to win. When Taker attempted a Tombstone Piledriver, Lesnar managed to counter and hit an F5 that put Taker down. The second that the ref’s hand hit that mat for the third time, I was frozen. Everything was silent; the arena did not immediately hit Lesnar’s music, the crowd didn’t say a word, and no one in my house could even take a breath. Eventually, the “21-1” graphic was displayed as Lesnar exited the arena to a chorus of boos. The Undertaker received a standing ovation and I was pretty damn sure that we would never see him wrestle again. It was such a shockingly good ending to the match, and part of me still wishes that it was the last we saw of Undertaker, because what a way to go out.
I truly felt for the Divas to have to follow that; they not only had the job of putting on a fantastic match, but they had the job of getting the crowd back in the right mindset. At the time, AJ Lee was our reigning Divas champ, and in my opinion, the best we’ve had in recent history. She was paired with Tamina Snuka as her bodyguard, but was forced to defend her title in a 14-Diva match where the first fall or submission won the title. Not every Diva involved brought their best, but AJ always did. She was the first female to ever defend this title at WrestleMania, and she did so successfully via the Black Widow submission hold. While she didn’t compete at the two previous Mania’s, she was important enough to be present at both and have an impact on the matches. AJ broke us out of our sorrow over the fall of Undertaker and got us cheering again with her historic and successful title defense.
We can’t talk about WM30 without talking about Daniel Bryan, who competed twice. The first match on the main card saw he and Triple H face off for a spot in the main event match for the WWE World Heavyweight title. We had been hearing Bryan get called a B+ player for months, told he wasn’t good enough and didn’t look the part by Steph and her husband, something you know for a fact was the honest feelings of Vince and/or Creative. He was short and scruffy, lacking in defined abs or a chiseled jaw, but he was capable of doing amazing things and us fans couldn’t care less about whether or not he looked like a clone of Randy Orton or the guy who changes our oil at Walmart. Bryan was our guy, and watching him get screwed over time and time again made us insanely excited to see Triple H get beaten. After Daniel Bryan won his match against Triple H and qualified for the main event, he suffered a beating that looked as if it would put him out of the main event. We were certain that we just saw Bryan get screwed one last time.
The main event was a triple threat match between Batista, Bryan, and then-champion Randy Orton. This was the WWE’s day of fixing their mistake of having Batista win the Royal Rumble, a choice that the fans revolted against so strongly that it resulted in this rewrite. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Batista, but it was a kick in the face to see him win the Rumble almost immediately after returning while Bryan continued to get passed over. This match was intense and Bryan did not stop for one second. He destroyed Orton and Batista, took out Triple H and Steph, and even managed to get rid of referee, Scott Armstrong (who was sent in by Triple H). At one point, Bryan was loaded onto a stretcher and carried from the ring, but he was able to quickly return to action. We had a moment where it looked as if Batista was going to steal a victory, but Bryan took the win with his YES! Lock, forcing Batista to tap and beginning one of the most phenomenal YES! chants in history. Watching the confetti rain down as Bryan held the two belts above his head, seeing him embrace his family, and watching every single person in that arena raise their arms in the air alongside him was such a fantastic sight.
This is the WrestleMania I want to watch over and over again. The moments that were great the first time around are still just as great the 20th time I see them. For someone who only got serious about wrestling a few years ago, I connect a lot more strongly with the current (and recently retired/departed) roster than I do with some of the older lates and greats. There are countless legendary WrestleMania moments out there that I have yet to lay eyes on, but for me at this moment, nothing comes close to beating WrestleMania 30.
Article by Mr and Mrs Jamie Baker
The Divas “Revolution” celebrated its defining moment last night when Nikki Bella, the current Divas “champion”, retained her title and went on to break former WWE talent AJ Lee’s record as the longest reigning Divas champ. In a disaster of a match, aided by Twin Magic (which is rendered pointless thanks to two mounds of silicone), Charlotte pinned Brie instead of Nikki and won the match but not the title. Charlotte will very likely go on to win the title on Sunday at Night of Champions, which will now be a hollow and pointless victory.
I have no doubt in my mind that Nikki broke the record because of who she shares a bed with. This is not the angry opinion of an AJ fan, but the ugly truth about how the neon face of the company influences nearly everything. And this has been mildly confirmed via online rumors. Nikki won the title from AJ at Survivor Series last year, aided by Brie. She kept the belt in the subsequent rematch and then retained again in February 2015 against Paige. In May, she retained against Naomi, followed by Paige, yet again, a month later. Her last title defense before Raw was at Beast in the East, where she retained against Paige and Tamina.
After AJ Lee won the title at Payback in 2013, she participated in the first ever in-ring Divas contract signing for the rematch, which she won. She defeated Kaitlyn once more in August. At Night of Champions, she retained in a Fatal Four Way (Natalya, Naomi, Brie), then went on to retain three more times at Battleground against Brie, TLC against Natalya, and at WrestleMania XXX, which was the first time the Divas title had been contested at the year’s most prestigious event. She lost the title the night after WrestleMania to Paige, as AJ had requested some time off that would not allow her to hang onto the belt (i.e.: she married Phil Brooks, aka CM Punk). As soon as AJ got back to work she immediately won back the title.
Looking at the title feuds here, there are striking differences. After Nikki won the title from AJ and granted the rematch, she moved on to giving half her title matches to Paige in matches that were simply overt ads for Total Divas, much to Michael Cole’s YES MAN! chagrin. Another Total Diva stepped up, but Naomi’s chances were short lived; she was built up and quickly cast aside. Tamina had no real chance and Charlotte was only recently thrown into the picture as a push to this “revolution.” AJ won the title after a series of mind games against then-champion Kaitlyn that seriously cemented her then-heel status. After the rematch, she participated in a fatal four way, two “first time ever” title events, and had feuds with real backstory. She battled with nearly every woman on the roster and defended her title in a series of dynamic and unique matches.
We got our Divas revolution when we had AJ Lee active on the roster. Now, we have a surgically enhanced E! Network reality star, girlfriend of John Cena, who becomes repetitive in all her stale promos muttering, “And do you know whaaaat…” and, “Honestly…..” like a broken record, and doing fuck-all with the title or the division. She recruited her sister and Alicia Fox to battle against two other female trios that gave themselves stupid names and gave the audience the same matches week after week. This is not the fault of the NXT talent, who I admire, but the result of terrible booking choices geared towards pushing a reality show and keeping Cena happy.
What good has come out of the Divas division lately? Yes, we had a few amazing photo ops with the NXT talent laying waste to the veterans, but what has really happened? The Submission Sorority gave a lot of traffic to some porn sites before renaming itself Team PCB, the laziest name I can think of other than “Three Female Wrestlers.” Team B.A.D. calls themselves Beautiful & Dangerous, but how dangerous can they be when Tamina gets thrown around by scrawny Brie Bella? We basically have three cliques that don’t like each other because . . . who cares. It boggles the mind that we can see such an amazing match between Bayley and Sasha Banks on NXT Takeover, then see a trainwreck on Raw involving women who are equally talented.
We have not had a revolution, we’ve had the Power of Cena reign supreme as he dictates what happens with his arm candy and future trophy wife. The original plan was to have Nikki quickly drop the title to Charlotte after her Raw debut, which would have more than ushered in a new era in the female division. Instead, she lost a very important match that resulted in Nikki getting her moment of glory. Sasha Banks isn’t allowed to showcase her talent when hidden behind two other women; Becky Lynch hasn’t been able to break out of her “Lady Sheamus” role and show any personality; and Paige has been getting lost in the shuffle. Having nine women involved constantly doesn’t allow for any storylines or real feuds to develop. It’s just an easy way to shove as many women at us as possible.
This is why we, as fans, fast forward through Divas matches, or use them as bathroom breaks or beer runs. The matches we are given on NXT are what we should have on the main roster, but thanks to a handful of selfish and delusional morons, all we get is reality show garbage accented by a repetition of the same matches and the same promos on an endless loop. I’m tired of Team Whatever. I want to see Sasha Banks win the title and destroy every female, one by one. I want to see Naomi and Tamina become monster heels that crush anything in their path. I want Becky Lynch to be more than a quirky redhead. Hell, I even want Paige to quit being background scenery and do something already. If we have any hope of saving the Divas division, we need wrestling and athleticism to matter more than E! Network ratings and John Cena’s bedroom pillow talk happiness.
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
The time has come. The showcase of the immortals is upon us once again. Vince McMahon’s dream that started thirty-one years ago comes a little early this year, dropping in March instead of the usual April. But that won’t stop it from being another memorable night of big moments and jaw-dropping matches. Face To Heel’s editor and head writer, Jamie Curtis Baker, will be with you every step up the way with a rapid reaction of every moment, every match, recapping and reviewing each superstar and match outcome.
5:00 PM – The kick off show started right on time. Renee Young, Booker T, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves recap first Rusev vs Cena. Rusev is shown backstage with the ever intoxicating Lana. She swears to never show compassion again. Rusev says, “Crush John Cena and America dies!” A bit extreme, but it should be a pretty good match regardless. Cut to a video segment of Cena on Jimmy Kimmel this week really milking the American angle. It’s over the top, it’s a badly scripted promo that comes off very forced. Cena stands up and salutes the crowd after. If that sort of thing gets you fired up, well okay then.
5:18 PM – Eden is backstage knocking on Triple H’s door trying to get a comment about his match with Sting. Kane tells her to leave because it’s off limits. This is followed by a HHH/Sting video package which, to be honest, is pretty damn awesome. This match has amazing written all over it. Can’t wait.
5:26 PM – J&J Security shown backstage, getting coffee. Brisco and Patterson are shown, passing the torch from one set of stooges to another. This is really for the more hardcore fans who will get this segment. The casual fan won’t understand. Kid Ink and Skylar Grey revealed to be performing live tonight. WWE hits us with that Seth Rollins and Randy Orton video package, the actually covers Rollins all the way back to The Shield. Very cool. If Roman Reigns is the next John Cena, then Seth Rollins is clearly the next Randy Orton. This match will be epic.
5:38 PM – After a video package showing various news outlets with WWE superstars stopping by all week and some behind the scene looks at fans at WWE Axxess, the Divas tag match is recapped. This will feature the Bella Twins vs Paige and AJ Lee. This was all punctuated with flashbacks of Raw and Smackdown footage. No video montage for this match.
5:43 PM – Bray Wyatt vs Undertaker video package set to Johnny Cash. If you aren’t excited for this one, you might want to dig a hole and just live underground in a cave. I personally predicted that this match would steal the show tonight. On one side you have the mysterious Undertaker, shrouded in shadow after being crushed by Brock Lesnar last year. We don’t know his status. We don’t know how he will look or perform. We only know he is in the building. In the opposite corner you have the self-proclaimed “New Face of Fear” Bray Wyatt who is looking to not only solidify himself as the new creepy, dark enigma of the WWE but establish himself right here and now, building the foundation of his future in professional wrestling.
5:50 PM – The main event is previewed, with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. The interview with Lesnar on ESPN is shown of him revealing he is remaining with the WWE, having signed a new three year deal. Barring outside influence, Brock Lesnar will win this match. The key factors in this match aren’t even Lesnar and Reigns. The two people to consider during this bout is Paul Heyman and Seth Rollins. Heyman has a history of betraying Lesnar. And Rollins has the MITB briefcase. Cue video package of BABYface Reigns and Lesnar. Chances are good tonight, if both stars bring their a-game, we get a double turn by the time the bell rings and Lesnar continues running rampant through the summer.
6:02 PM – Hour two of the kickoff show begins. The crowd is still filing in as JBL, Jerry Lawler, and Michael Cole are shown right before The Usos come to the ring with Naomi. Los Matadores and El Torito come out next. A New Day comes out to a chorus of boos. This gimmick is so terrible. Please disband it and let Big E be a solo act. He is too good for this. The tag team champions, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd come out to a pretty decent pop. Cesaro and Kofi Kingston start the match. The sun is out super bright and it has to be hard for the competitors. Jay Uso gets taken out with an injury, leaving the match. Cesaro and Kidd pretty much in control for most of the start of this match. Nattie puts the Sharpshooter on El Torito. That’s what this has devolved to. Then Nattie and Naomi get into it outside the ring. This match is pretty fast paced and is honestly not too shabby for a preshow in broad daylight. The match gets punctuated with a six man double suplex off the top rope. Cesaro pins Big E and retains the titles.
6:19 PM – #AskLita segment with none other than WWE Hall of Famer Lita. She answers questions via Twitter. Nothing too enthralling here so we’ll just leave it at that.
6:27 PM – Jon Gruden shown reviewing film for the upcoming Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The match begins with so many sweaty bodies in the ring. Curtis Axel rips his shirt open and then everybody picks him up and throws him out of the ring. First eliminated. Axelmania has died. Hideo Itami of NXT takes some vicious chops from Big Show. I predicted Sheamus would be in this match, but he’s not even there so look for him to ruin the IC Title match later on. Itami takes a hard punch from Show and gets eliminated. Sort of a crappy moment for a guy who earned a shot to be here on NXT. Ryback eliminates both members of The Ascension, then quickly throws out Darren Young, Heath Slater, and Titus O’Neal. Kane hits a double chokeslam on Mix and Mizdow. Cesaro lifts Kane and throws him out. Wow. Five competitors left. Big Show picks up Cesaro and tosses him out. Ryback, Show, Miz, and Mizdow are the final four. Big Show eliminates Ryback. Big Show is clearly exhausted. He has really done a lot in this match, looking extremely tough. Miz tries to get Mizdow to help, Mizdow shakes his head. The crowd starts a YES! chant. Miz: “It’s always been us! I need you! This is for us! We take him out for us!” Mizdow grabs Miz and tosses him out, crowd goes wild! Mizdow and Big Show are the final two. Mizdow gives his all, but Big Show is too, well, big. Big Show wins second annual Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
6:50 PM – That about does it for the preshow. More panel yapping. The big event is right around the corner!
7:00 PM – WRESTLEMANIA!!!!!!!!!!! Aloe Blacc comes out and sings America the Beautiful, a really smooth rendition. Pyrotechnics go off, crowd goes wild. LL Cool J has a video package introducing everyone to WrestleMania. Unnecessary, but still cool. Ladders surround the ring, the IC Belt is hanging above the center and the first music to pop is Daniel Bryan. Crowd goes ape shit, of course. YES! chant starts immediately. The champ, BNB, enters second donning a cape. Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Luke Harper, R-Truth, and Dean Ambrose round out the competitors. R-Truth is the first to set a ladder up in the ring, but his fear of heights keeps him from climbing towards the belt. The ladder immediately becomes a weapon and painful antics ensue. Stardust takes over, knocking everyone down. Crowd starts a CODY! chant. He then proceeds to pull a bedazzled ladder out from under the ring! HaHa!Ambrose and Harper go at it in the ring. Ziggler takes a a hard punch from Harper, then gets smashed into a ladder. Ladder matches are never pretty. Wrestling is not all fake, folks. Barrett suplexes Stardust from the top of the tallest ladder. Wow. Gets a HOLY SHIT! chant from the crowd. Ambrose, Ziggler, and Bryan battle on a ladder. Luke Harper just powerbombed Ambrose THROUGH a ladder! Ziggler and Bryan go to war at the top of a ladder, pawing at the title. They trade headbutts. Ziggler falls, Bryan reaches up and collects the IC Title!
7:32 PM – Seth Rollins comes to the ring with J&J Security. The Viper, Randy Orton comes out to a big pop. The Future of the Company vs The Face of the Company. Orton sports red trucks, Rollins wearing a rejected outfit prop from the X-Men movies. Orton hits a clothes from hell and then outside the ring Rollins smashes Orton into the table. J&J Security receive a double DDT off the ring apron. It should be noted at this point I’ve had three cocktails and a beer, things might get sloppy in an hour or so. Orton gets taken out by a very clean moonsault from Rollins. So far, though, this match isn’t all that great considering who is in it. Orton hits an RKO, Rollins kicks out at two. Orton teases the punt, but J&J interferes. Rollins hits a Curb Stomp, a very sloppy Curb Stomp. Orton kicks out at two. Oh my god, Rollins goes for a Curb Stomp and Orton turns it into an RkO! Randy Orton wins! So far, a fantastic WrestleMania.
7:56 PM – A drum band performs for Sting. It’s weird but sort of cool. The sun still hasn’t gone down and it’s very strange to watch WrestleMania without the spotlights and bright lights. Stinger comes out. There is a Terminator vignette and then the stage fills with actual terminators! Triple H comes out dressed in a terminator skull outfit. Arnold: “WrestleMania is here. It’s time to play the game.” That was such a great entrance that would have been better in the dark. Sting dominates to start the match. YOU STILL GOT IT! chant from the crowd. Sting throws Triple H over the top rope. HHH can’t seem to gain much ground and the amped up Sting. HHH whips Sting into the corner, then hits him with a SUCK IT gesture. Sting gets HHH in a figure four and DX comes out! Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and XPAC come out to save HHH. Sting takes them out. Triple H hits Pedigree, Sting kicks out at two. Triple H takes a Sledgehammer out. NWO’s music hits! NWO takes out DX. Sting hits Scorpion Deathdrop and HHH kicks out! Sting locks in Scorpion Deathlock. HHH crawls to his sledgehammer, but Hollywood Hogan takes it away! Sting keeps the lock in. XPAC takes out Hogan, Nash takes out XPAC, all hell breaks loose. Shawn Michaels hits Sting with Sweet Chin Music! Triple H goes for the pin and Sting barely kicks out at two and a half! Scott Hall gives Sting his bat. Triple H has his sledgehammer. Triple H’s sledgehammer is broken in half with a baseball bat hit. Sting goes to work. This is epic. TRIPLE H WINS!
8:30 PM – Daniel Bryan backstage gets nods from Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Ron Simmons, Patterson, and they all start a YES! chant. Travis Barker is on stage playing drums, Skyler Gray sings the WrestleMania theme song.
8:40 PM – Paige’s music hits. The beautiful AJ Lee comes out, skipping to the ring. The Bellas enter. The sun still hasn’t set, so I hope Paige doesn’t get a sunburn. Nikki immediately takes control of this match, throwing Paige around the ring and delivering a cheap shot to AJ. Both Nikki and Brie try to pin Paige, but she is able to consistently kick out at two while AJ lays comatose outside of the ring. AJ continues to try to get into this match, but the Bellas won’t allow her to get close. Nikki delivers the Rack Attack, which Paige also narrowly escapes. Paige quickly takes control of this match, taking out both Bella twins while AJ finally gets back on the apron. Finally we see our Geek Goddess enter this match. She takes down Nikki, and with the assist from Paige, gets a pin on Nikki, who kicks out at two. AJ gets Nikki locked in the Black Widow, but Brie breaks it up. AJ manages to lock it in again and makes Nikki tap out! Next up is highlights from the Hall of Fame ceremony.
9:00 PM – Cena/Rusev video package. Lana comes out carrying the US title. Rusev comes out…in a tank. LOL! Cena gets an All American white bread video package. This is some Hacksaw Jim Duggan shit. Crowd boos Cena very loudly and sings JOHN CENA SUUUUUUUUUUCKS. Rusev forces Eden to introduce him first. Cena hits a clothesline and goes for a pin. Rusev kicks out at one. The sun still hasn’t set, but has gone down enough that most of the stadium is in shadows. Crowd is very anti-Cena. Crowd starts a LET’S GO LANA chant. Cena hits an STF. Lana throws her shoe at the ref. Michael Cole sells it as the most bizarre thing he’s ever seen. And WWE had a guy called Boogeyman that ate worms in the ring. BUT OKAY. Rusev hits a flying headbutt, Cena kicks out at two. Rusev tries to lock in Accolade, but Cena counters before it gets locked in. Rusev kicks out at two. Cena hits AA, Rusev kicks out and lands a super kick. Rusev locks in the Accolade. Super Cena picks him up and slams him into the corner. Then Cena locks in the STF. Rusev takes out Lana by accident, Cena hits the AA and gets a pinfall. The preshow panels recaps most of the show.
9:36 PM – Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring. They inform the crowd they set a new attendance record. Triple H destroys Sting on the mic. Says he owns Sting and the superstars and all the WWE Universe. “The Authority always wins.” The Rock’s music hits! 76,000 chant ROCKY! Rock calls out HHH. Triple H takes his jacket off. Steph and Rock trade barbs, Steph slaps Rock. The Rock exits the ring. The Rock finds Ronda Rousey ringside! The Rock attacks Triple H! Ronda Rousey slams him down! Steph grabs her. Big mistake! Ronda grabs Steph by the arm and throws her out of the ring. The Rock: “That is called being owned.”
10:01 PM – Bray Wyatt enters the arena surrounded by a bunch of creepy ass scarecrows that all stutter around behind him. The sun is still up so Undertaker’s entrance is going to fall a little flat. BONG. Fog hits, music hits, the deadman comes around. Just in the face, Taker looks years younger than he did last year. This is his 23rd WrestleMania appearance. Still, by far, the best entrance in the business. I don’t know how he looks ten years younger, but somehow he does. Taker starts the match with a huge boot and gets Bray in the corner. This is what Sting should have looked like. Taker hits Old School and crowd goes nuts. Start a YOU STILL GOT IT! chant. Bray Wyatt takes control for a little while, keeping Taker down on his back. Taker locks in Hell’s Gate submission! Wyatt fights out. Wyatt goes for Sister Abigail and Taker reverses it into a chokeslam. Taker hits a tombstone pile driver! Wyatt kicks out at two! Taker runs a thumb across his neck….goes for a second tombstone pile driver. Bray counters, hits Sister Abigail. Taker barely kicks out! Wyatt mocks Taker. Taker reverse a Sister Abigail into a tombstone piledriver. ONE TWO THREE! UNDERTAKER WINS!!!
10:34 PM – Roman Reigns comes out, going through the crowd which has to be absolutely frightening. Lesnar comes out, looking like an absolute animal. Lillian introduces Reigns. Heyman takes the mic and introduces Brock Lesnar which makes him all the more intimidating. This turns into a quick brawl. Lesnar hits a suplex and an F5! Doesn’t even go for a pin, just wipes the blood from his face. Lesnar appears genuinely pissed off at having his face busted open. Hits a couple more suplexes. “Suplex city, bitch!” – Brock Lesnar. Another suplex by Lesnar. Lesnar hits an eighth suplex. This is just an ass whooping at this point. Reigns kicks out of an F5 and Lesnar takes his gloves off, literally. He slaps Reigns with a bare open palm over and over. Nine suplexes. Ten. A third F5. Reigns kicks out at two. Lesnar gets busted open on the ring post, takes two Superman punches but doesn’t go down. After a third punch Lesnar goes down but hops up. Reigns hits a spear and Lesnar gets up. HE TAKES A SECOND SPEAR AND KICKS OUT AT TWO!!! Lesnar hits an F5 and both men are down! Seth Rollins comes out! He has the ref cash in! IT IS NOW A TRIPLE THREAT MATCH!!!!!!! Rollins hits a curb stomp on Reigns, goes to Lesnar for a curb stomp and gets it blocked, Reigns hits a spear, Rollins hits Reigns with a curb stomp and pins him for the title!!!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
I will be spending the Sunday after my 7th year anniversary watching far too much wrestling. With a two hour WrestleMania preshow before the four hour event, I had better stock up on alcohol, energy drinks and unhealthy snacks. This is the 6th WrestleMania held in California, and the first to ditch the number in favor of a red play button symbol. According to Vince McMahon, the symbol represents the “technical prowess of Silicon Valley.” Each WM from here on out will have its own unique symbol in place of the number in an attempt to make it seem less dated. After a few weeks of being wholly disinterested, thanks to the disappointing Royal Rumble ending, I am now looking forward to this event in a major way. Let’s look at the massive match card and make some predictions.
Preshow: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (c) vs Los Matadores vs The New Day vs The Usos; Fatal Four-way Tag Team Title Match
Cesaro and Kidd winning the titles was a good way of putting a band-aid on the bleeding tag team division. The Usos have been shoved so far down our throats, we’re shitting neon. Los Matadores, while a fun gimmick, got old within two weeks with everyone but the 8-year-old and under crowd. The New Day looked like it was going to be a strong trio, but quickly devolved into Sister Act on steroids. With Gold and Stardust each pretending the other doesn’t exist, Kidd and Cesaro are sadly the best we’ve got right now. Cesaro is golden when he’s given the opportunity, and this new character of Kidd’s is the only one of his I’ve ever enjoyed. Since we have such a lengthy preshow, I expect this match to be more than the five minutes we generally get prior to a PPV. I’m a little confused as to why the newly reunited Prime Time Players have been left out of this. After months of seeing the same few teams over and over, it would have been nice to get some new blood involved in this match.
WINNERS: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro via pinfall on one of the Usos.
Preshow: Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Just a few days ago, the battle royal was bumped off of the main card and demoted to the preshow. There is one thing and one thing only that has me excited about this match, and that is AxelMania. Before I get to that, I want to look at some of the other participants. Ryback is a clear favorite for me. He’s been on a roll since returning from surgery, embracing the character he was when he debuted. He has the size and strength to be the last man standing, and he’s more than earned a WrestleMania moment. Sheamus is a rumored surprise entrant into this match, and he is no doubt also one who could win. After another absence due to injury, it makes sense to have him come back in a big way. Yes, it’s predictable, but what is WWE Creative if not easy to predict? Damien Mizdow, a huge fan favorite, has to take advantage of this battle royal. The chances of Miz being able to order him around during this match are slim, so it’s the ideal time for Mizdow to show off. NXT’s Hideo Itami will be competing, so Triple H will be glad to have NXT showcased on the big stage. We have our usual throwaways; Fandango, Adam Rose, Zack Ryder, The Ascension, and Sin Cara. We have Big Show, Jack Swagger and Titus O’Neal providing size and strength obstacles for the other competitors. And then, we have Curtis Axel. I want one of two things to happen with Axel. The first, and my preference, is that he wins the entire thing. AxelMania has to come to a head with Axel winning the battle royal. It would be fantastic. With this match now part of the preshow, I feel that it’s being taken less seriously and Axel could actually win it. The second option: we begin the battle royal with the majority of the men in the ring, with the last few coming out solo to their music. Axel is the last entrant and is again knocked away and never able to enter the match. This is not ideal but it would be hilarious. Either way, something big needs to happen with him.
WINNER: Option 1: Sheamus. Option 2: Ryback. My personal pick: Curtis Axel.
Rusev (c) vs John Cena; United States Title Match
The whole “John Cena will not be a part of WrestleMania this year” lasted all of ten seconds, as Rusev and Cena signed the contract for the title match on March 16th. I’m frustrated to see the WrestleMania poster feature Cena third, not even next to his opponent, just because we have to have Cena as the center of attention at all times. It’s a shame that WWE didn’t have the balls to stick to their initial threat and not give him a match. Their money maker still could have played a part without this title match ever coming together. This WrestleMania confrontation, where Cena will likely defeat Rusev and “restore honor to our country” is one of those things we all saw coming a mile away. Rusev has been undefeated since debuting on the main roster, with Cena being the only person who has been able to get one up on him. The feud between these two men has been heavy on the USA vs Russia angle, which has unfortunately been a consistent major factor with Rusev, regardless of who he faces. All Cena has been talking about lately is pride for the USA, anger towards Rusev for disrespecting it, and it’s gotten very old very fast. No word on whether or not we will see Lana, as she’s away filming a movie while Rusev pretends to be angry with her. If it were up to me, I’d make this match 2 out of 3 falls for the victory with no disqualifications and no count outs. Rusev wins the first pinfall, and we all expect Cena to pick up the second so the match can continue, only Rusev wins that one as well and knocks Cena out of the US Title picture for good. This is about as likely to happen as it is to see Cena never hold the WWE World Heavyweight title again, but a girl can dream.
WINNER: John Cena, via submission. I hate this outcome and will be livid if it happens; I want Rusev to stay undefeated.
Sting vs Triple H
I’m too green of a wrestling fan to be into this match for the right reasons. For me, Sting has always just been some guy that dresses like he’s starring in a reboot of The Crow. To some he’s a legend, in TNA he was The Icon, and now in WWE he is The Vigilante. Except on last Monday’s Raw where he was back to being The Icon. Sting said himself that he wanted to come to the WWE to face The Undertaker, a match that is very obviously off the table this year. As far as Plan B’s go, you can’t complain about getting Triple H instead. Last year, he and Daniel Bryan put on one hell of a show, plus he was dressed like Skeletor. His current role in the WWE doesn’t allow him to be in competition as much as we’d all like, so I’m always excited to see him in action. Triple H’s win/loss record over the past couple years leads me to think that he won’t be winning this one either. My husband thinks Sting will lose since WWE won over WCW years back; that’s one he’s better equipped to elaborate on. Since Seth Rollins has his own match tonight, this should be Triple H completely on his own, leaving Stephanie and the rest of The Authority to protect Rollins and screw with Randy Orton instead. Sting may have dismantled The Authority at Survivor Series, but his battle needs to be a one-on-one. Raw provided a pretty nice build up, and Stephanie’s crazy face provided great material for a lot of memes. I hope this match lives up to the hype, and Sting finally does something with his godawful hair.
WINNER: Sting. Quite honestly though, I don’t feel confident in choosing either man as winner.
The Bella Twins vs AJ Lee & Paige
I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I am kind of excited about this one. I’m not crazy about Brie Bella as a heel after getting so used to her “real” persona on Total Divas, so this is not about the Bellas for me. I’m incredibly interested in this new tag team of AJ Lee and Paige. I hated Paige from the first second she made her debut on the main roster. I can’t stand her on Total Divas either, even though she is hailed as a “breath of fresh air” to the reality drama. I failed to get into her feud with AJ, hated the “frenemy” angle, and despised it when she skipped to the ring. But now? For some odd reason, I find myself enjoying the two of them together. They both stand out from the typical mold we see used on the Divas, especially AJ who has stood her ground and stayed far away from reality programming. Right now, The Bellas are the only strong female duo the WWE has. Even though their Twin Magic won’t fly anymore due to Nikki’s two recent additions, they can still gain multiple advantages in any match by working together. Other divas have been randomly paired to go against them, but they never mesh well together and it always fails. AJ and Paige can, should, and will work. If it can actually get me to a point where I am tolerating Paige, trust me when I say it’s worth doing. Their recent falling out shouldn’t affect the match too much, as both women seemed to come to terms with the fact that they are stronger together than they are apart.
WINNERS: AJ Lee and Paige, via submission, though I’m unsure which “anti-Diva” will get the win.
Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins (with J&J Security)
Anyone else excited to have Randy Orton back? Prior to taking a leave of absence to film a movie, Orton was acting completely insane, butting heads with The Authority and coming off like the world’s most in-shape crackhead. His revenge upon returning was a slow burn, punctuated by two glorious middle fingers that the censors were too chicken to broadcast. Seth Rollins was a good heel as part of The Shield. Alone, he is fantastic. He emerged completely unscathed from the whole unfortunate naked photo incident; he may have lost his fiancé, but his career didn’t skip a beat. He has developed into a character that can go the distance, and definitely someone who can go toe to toe with Orton on a regular basis. There is no way this is a clean match, not with J&J at ringside, plus Big Show and Kane waiting in the wings. If Stephanie is a part of WrestleMania at all, I hope she saves her presence for this match instead of overshadowing her husband. An army behind Rollins, making any opponent into the underdog, is something we’ve seen consistently ever since he left The Shield. It’s not a necessary factor in this match, but it will be fun to see an RKO here and there for the Authority members outside of the ring. This is one of those pairings that, regardless of the outcome, will be some seriously good wrestling.
WINNER: Seth Rollins, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Orton regain the upper hand after the match is called.
Bad News Barrett (c) vs Dolph Ziggler vs Dean Ambrose vs Daniel Bryan vs Stardust vs Luke Harper vs R-Truth; Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
At this point, I don’t know what to think of the IC title. It has been with other Superstars more than it has been with the current champion lately. Sad News Barrett won back the title he never really lost in the first place, only to fall into an involuntary game of keep away with his colleagues. This is another match that Sheamus is rumored to return in, as a heel in order to set up a feud between him and Daniel Bryan. The only way I see this making sense is if Sheamus costs Bryan the match somehow, either by stealing the win or simply just by not allowing Bryan to grab the belt. I would prefer that this stay free of the Irishman, since we already have seven solid competitors in a ladder match that is hectic even with two participants. Fans are gunning for Bryan to have another WrestleMania moment and win this match, but I don’t see it happening. Of course I want to see him do good, I simply don’t think it’s in the cards right now. I’m assuming Truth is here to provide some comic relief, the way he has been doing in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania. I’m excited as always to see Ambrose and Ziggler compete and expect a lot of close calls when it comes to those two stealing the win. Sadly, I don’t think things are going to go well for Wade Barrett. His entire title run this time around has been about everyone else who wants it, not about him. It makes sense for the title to find a new home.
WINNER: Stardust. Cody needs his belt back.
Bray Wyatt vs The Undertaker
This is the moment that will probably be the match of the night and have us once again talking about The Undertaker for weeks following WrestleMania. Bray Wyatt has been doing a brilliant job of building this match all on his own. We haven’t seen Taker in a year, have barely heard from him now, and have no clue what to expect. Wyatt is the perfect choice for the new face of fear, and the perfect opponent for the dead man. Both men are so theatrical and so committed to their character that I honestly believe they will do the impossible and have this match top the shock and awe of last year. Since the streak has been broken, it doesn’t matter what Taker does at this point, just as long as he does it well. As long as he makes a hell of a comeback and comes out looking stronger than ever, a loss won’t hurt him. I believed his last match would be when he went 20-0. Then I believed it would be last year when Brock Lesnar broke him. Now, I think he could potentially have a few more WrestleManias left in him; at the very least, we’ll definitely see him next year as well. With a slight hiccup while facing Jericho, Wyatt has been consistently strong since hitting the main roster. Everything he touches turns to gold. He’s a natural on the mic and incredibly skilled in the ring. Very few other superstars could have built this match from scratch, working completely on their own. I don’t know if anyone could have done it as well as Wyatt. He lured Taker out of hiding and seeks to destroy him, and I am too excited for words to see what happens.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt. I expect this to be a lengthy match, with Taker looking very dominant.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns; WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
Last week, I was ready to write off this main event. This week, Brock Lesnar signed a three year deal with WWE and announced he has no desire to return to MMA. This changes absolutely everything. Now, we have some serious options. Before, it looked like a given that Reigns would win or Lesnar would retain only to either lose to Rollins the following evening or to leave the WWE with the title, leaving The Authority to chase it down, vacate it, and start over. Either way, we were going to end up with Reigns or Rollins as our top guy. But now, with Lesnar planning to be around until 2018, we could very well see the Beast break some records with this title reign. It would be such a kick in the ass if Lesnar surpassed CM Punk’s title reign, and would give Heyman quite a bit to talk about. The bottom line is that you can’t have a guy break the Undertaker’s legendary streak and then drop the title to a newbie like Roman Reigns. You can have him lose it to Rollins via cash-in, as that allows outside influences to decide whether or not it will be a fair right, but there is no way he can legitimately lose to Reigns. If the WWE wants to make the most of Lesnar’s next three years, he needs to maintain dominance, and then surpass the destructive behavior we’ve seen from him thus far. Let’s be completely honest about Reigns now. Whether you’re a fan or you can’t stand the guy, you can’t argue the fact that he just isn’t ready to be the face of the company. He’s unsure of himself and his character, he has yet to evolve or grow, and he’s added some very uncomfortable moves to his in-ring set (fist cocking, roaring like a lion, etc). Reigns still needs time. Rollins may be ready, but his involvement with Orton should continue outside of the title picture; it’s not the right time for him to be champ. Lesnar is our best bet, and I hope he beats Reigns so bad that he knocks the colored contacts right out of his head.
WINNER: Brock Lesnar. This ride is too good to be over this soon.
If you were hoping for a Bella vs Bella match at WrestleMania, you may be disappointed. The possibility of Brie ditching her sister and returning to being the loving wife to Daniel Bryan was a pipedream, as the Fastlane PPV came and went without Brie turning on her sister and making the Divas title match somewhat interesting. Paige is once again back in the title picture, which is great for her but ultimately confusing, seeing as how we have Natalya, Naomi, and Alicia Fox waiting in the sidelines for a shot of their own. Overall, there does seem to be a bit of extra effort being put into the Divas, a response to the #GiveDivasAChance movement online and former Divas champ AJ Lee calling out Stephanie McMahon on her hypocrisy regarding the unequal treatment of the female talent.
Speaking of AJ, our resident geek goddess has returned after finally recovering from her neck injury. As you recall, she lost her Divas title to Nikki after a distraction by Brie, one that seemed more geared towards keeping with the bisexual Total Divas vibe than it did keeping with storyline. In fairness, a kiss IS what cost Brie’s husband, Daniel Bryan, the title. I have to imagine that AJ isn’t too happy about losing her title in such a quick fashion, storyline or not. Her return made her anger towards the Bellas quite apparent. In a backstage segment that followed soon after, AJ plainly stated that the enemy of her enemy is her friend, so we’re back to Paige and AJ being BFF’s I suppose.
With WrestleMania less than a month away, it’s clear that we’re seeing a major Divas match slowly coming together. I had previously assumed a Bella vs Bella match at WM was in the works, but it seems that we’re going with a tag match instead; The Bella twins vs AJ Lee and Paige. I’m definitely biased towards AJ, but I prefer this match over one with The Bellas. Nothing against Nikki and Brie, but we’ve been a tad Bella heavy lately when it comes to the Diva division. Making the main stars of your E! reality show into the main stars in the ring, night after night, can get slightly old and repetitive. Bringing in other Divas was a smart move, no doubt about it, especially when it’s the two most recent Divas champions.
I’m trying to put aside my burning disdain for Paige for a moment and concentrate on the positives. Four divas are better than two when it comes to showcasing talent at WrestleMania, and these are the four most popular women on the main roster right now. As much as I would like to see AJ holding the title again, it’s getting slightly stale having the title bounce back and forth between the same three people. Skipping the title match for now makes sense. Paige recently had her shot, AJ is bound to get a rematch, and Brie is bound to have her moment where she wants to knock her sister off of the throne. Before we jump to another title defense, repairs need to be made to the entire division. These four ladies need to elevate that title into more than simply a shiny accessory they like to kiss and carry around. It needs to be important. It needs to matter.
Nikki and Brie need to embrace their heel status and do more with it than pick on Paige and steal her ring gear. They need to stop calling everyone losers and really get ugly. The men are constantly attacking each other backstage, so why can’t we get the females doing something beyond pulling high school pranks and calling each other names? The twins need to step up their mean girl game and start taking serious shots at Paige and AJ. They also need to step up the competitiveness between each other. I get that sisters support each other, but what’s the harm in injecting a bit of jealousy and having Brie try to shove her sister aside a bit? Brie can be more than Nikki’s puppy dog if given the chance.
As far as the “frenemies” go, let’s agree to stop using that poor excuse of a word. Of course there is tension between Paige and AJ, but it’s a waste of time to make their relationship the main focus of this new partnership. Paige doesn’t seem 100% comfortable with herself, which was very obvious during the backstage promo on Raw during AJ’s return. She stands to gain a lot of experience working closely with AJ, and they have the potential to be a pretty bad ass team. I hate to admit it, but I think I could learn to tolerate Paige if her and AJ are turned into an unstoppable duo that pushes to dominate the Divas division. We haven’t had a good team of women in recent history; even the twins had their falling out and are an uneven pair now at best. Naomi and Cameron went their separate ways, but weren’t a strong team to begin with. Layla and Summer was short lived, as was Paige and Alicia. If AJ and Paige stick together, things could get pretty damn interesting.
I want my group of kick ass, strong women back. I want the modern answer to Lita and Chyna. I want WWE’s versions of Impact Wrestling’s Havok and Awesome Kong; maybe not in size but at least in showmanship. I want to watch these women and believe that they could take on half the men on the roster if given the chance, and then I want them given that chance. Maybe I’m getting way ahead of myself here after only a few minutes of positive moments on one episode of Raw. Or maybe, our voices were heard about the right thing for once, and the Divas division is finally undergoing a much needed makeover.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
On February 23rd, Stephanie McMahon tweeted the following: “Thank you @PattyArquette for having the courage to fight for #WomensRights on such a grand platform. #UseYourVoice.” This was accompanied by a photo of Arquette with text reading “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States Of America.” In response the next day, AJ Lee tweeted to Stephanie “Your female wrestlers have record selling merchandise & have starred in the highest rated segment of the show several times, and yet they receive a fraction of the wages & screen time of the majority of the male roster. #UseYourVoice.” Stephanie replied with “Thank you @WWEAJLee, I appreciate your opinion. #UseYourVoice.”
This exchange came at a time where #GiveDivasAChance was trending on Twitter, following a match between the Bella twins, Emma and Paige that lasted all of 17 seconds on Raw. While some speculate that this is a work, attempting to build a match between AJ and Stephanie for WrestleMania, there is no proof that is the case. This is likely nothing more than our former Divas champion having the balls to call out Steph on her hypocrisy. Despite Steph’s polite response, word is she was furious about AJ’s comments and felt totally blindsided by it. Backstage rumors say Vince McMahon ordered Stephanie to respond in the manner she did in order to kill controversy and reduce the online talk about this issue.
The #GiveDivasAChance movement was in direct response to the time issue, which is an easy enough fix if WWE wants to address it. No one wants (or needs) to see a ten minute match involving Eva Marie, Cameron, or Emma dancing around, but we could get one featuring Naomi, AJ, or another of the more athletic and experienced women on the roster. We also desperately need better promos involving the women. The godawful dinner date skit featuring Natalya and Naomi was almost as cringe-worthy as Summer Rae and Layla having cat litter and milk dumped on them. The Divas need to be treated as athletes that are capable of being more than a sex symbol or as comic relief. They need to address the fact that a “Better Than Divas” chant breaks out EVERY TIME the TNA Knockouts have a match, because those ladies are allowed to go for it. Why not do the same in the WWE? UFC markets Ronda Rousey as a bad ass; even if you’ve never seen her fight, you believe she can kick ass. Why not do the same for the Divas?
Nikki Bella recently spoke out at the Indianapolis Comic Con, stating, “If I was in NXT, I would not want to come up to the main roster because you get so much time down there. If you come to the live events, you’ll see we get a lot of time. When it comes to TV, we get so frustrated because it’s hard to tell a story in 3 minutes, especially when they want an entrance. We want time to wrestle. Especially after watching NXT Rival pay-per-view and seeing them go 20 minutes, it’s like a dream. It’s something we’d love and we’re trying so hard to get more time. There’s a three hour Raw and you can’t give more time to the Divas? But, hopefully in the future.” In a recent interview, Paige stated, “A lot of us could be better than the guys if we get the time. In NXT you do. I feel like a lot of people tune into NXT just to watch the women because they literally kick ass.”
In NXT, the women are reported to make more than the men, as so many of the male performers come from an indie background and are willing to accept a lower pay rate just to be part of the WWE in the hopes of being pushed to the main roster. Females make an average of over $50,000 annually while men make closer to $45,000, the official reason being the women need more pay for “their upkeep.” Raises were given when NXT moved to Orlando though, jumping to $52,000 annually, but starting salaries are said to be around $25,000 a year. On the main roster, the Divas are paid significantly less than the men, but they also are not generally as big of a draw as the male athletes. The Bellas and John Cena are both top merchandise sellers right now, but there is no way the women compare to the golden boy when it comes to merch, fan reaction, or draw. In that case, it does make sense to pay them less. AJ called for change and I hope it happens. A serious effort needs to be poured into the Divas division, which should lead to better storylines, more developed characters, more screen time, and then higher salaries and bonuses for the women who deserve it.
With a little help from Google, I was able to pull the following salaries for current and former WWE employees. Take a look for yourself and decide whether or not the pay rates are fair and balanced. Keep in mind these figures reflect the amount offered at the time the contract was signed and may not include bonuses, so certain numbers may seem off considering the new popularity or fall of certain stars. In my opinion, there are some glaring offenses in this list. Take a look and leave your own opinion in the comments below.
Jinder Mahal (prior to release) and Booker T – $72,000 annually, with Booker receiving first class travel, accommodations, and bonuses from his Legends contract.
Cameron, Hornswoggle, Summer Rae, El Torito, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler – $90,000 to $110,000 annually, with Lawler receiving first class travel and accommodations.
TNA Comparison: Mickie James – $177,000 annually with merchandise bonus in 2013.
Rosa Mendes and Eva Marie – $230,000 and $240,000 annually.
Paige, Dean Ambrose, Diego (of Los Matadores) and Damien Sandow – $290,000 annually.
The Usos, Brodus Clay (prior to release) and Natalya – $300,000 annually.
Nikki and Brie Bella – $310,000 and $280,000 annually.
Adam Rose – $310,000 annually.
Bo Dallas, Mickie James (prior to leaving WWE) and AJ Lee- $320,000 annually.
TNA Comparison: AJ Styles – $350,000 annually in 2013, not including merchandise and bonuses.
Bray Wyatt, Heath Slater, and Curtis Axel – $400,000 annually.
Big E, R-Truth, Goldust, Luke Harper, and Lita (prior to retirement)- $420,000 annually.
Ryback and Zack Ryder – $550,000 annually, with Ryder receiving an additional 1.5% bonus on merchandise sales.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns – $800,000 and $780,000 annually.
Mark Henry – $877,000 annually, including first class travel expenses.
Kane and Dolph Ziggler- $900,000 annually, including first class travel and accommodation expenses (figure is an average; some reports have Kane over $1 million and Dolph as low as $500,000).
The Great Khali – before his release, $974,000 annually, travel and accommodations are not paid by WWE.
Rey Mysterio – $985,000 annually, including first class travel and additional 4% bonus on merchandise sales.
TNA Comparison: Kurt Angle – $1 million annually at last report, prior to Impact’s switch to pre-taped shows and Destination America.
Sheamus – $1.2 million annually, including first class travel.
Big Show and Alberto Del Rio (prior to release) – $1.5 million annually, including first class travel and a personal tour bus (for Show).
CM Punk – before his departure, $1.7 million annually, plus first class travel, personal tour bus, and additional 3.25% bonus on merchandise sales.
Triple H, Daniel Bryan and The Undertaker – $2 million annually, fluctuating upwards depending on the source, with Bryan receiving a winning bonus.
Randy Orton – $2.9 million annually, plus first class travel, personal tour bus, and additional 2.2% bonus on merchandise sales.
Brock Lesnar – $3.1 million annually, though some sources put him down to $2 million and some as high as $5 million.
John Cena – $3.5 million annually, first class travel with private jet access, paid accommodations, additional 6.25% bonus on merchandise sales.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Tonight, I will be writing my first live review, and I’m excited to be able to do it for Tables, Ladders, Chairs & Stairs. The TLC kickoff featured Paul Heyman on commentary, with his typical “why am I here with these fools” expression. Our preshow match is a tag team battle between Gold and Stardust and Big E and Kofi Kingston of A New Day. To quote my 9-year-old, “What is this? I don’t get it.” I don’t have a good answer that properly explains what A New Day is doing, but I am enjoying Stardust’s new green hue. This is a better match than I imagined, but it’s a shame to see Kingston and Big E fail to expand their moveset in order to fit their new characters. Stardust is looking strong, not letting either New Day member really get off the ground. Big E eventually comes in like an angry bull, crushing both brothers and going for The Big Ending. Stardust breaks his run and nearly gets the pin but Kofi breaks it up. Cue Brock Lesnar guy sighting. Kofi tags himself in and, as expected, gets the pin to win the match. It’s a real shame to see Gold and Stardust reduced to jobbers, but this was a pretty decent 15 minute match and a good way to get ready for TLC.
Two minutes after 8pm and we’re ready to go with a video package reminding us once again that TLC is the WWE’s version of the Demolition Derby. Slightly cheesy but a good reminder of how violent and brutal this PPV can be. Could have done without the Lebron James reference from Michael Cole. We’re kicking things off with the Intercontinental Title Match between Luke Harper (c) and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler is in rare form tonight; more hyped up than usual, and no doubt excited to be back in his hometown. Harper is looking like he just finished up a month long bender that involved a lot of sweat and no soap whatsoever. The match barely begins before ladders are brought into the ring. Harper makes a go for the title straight away, giving a kick to Ziggler’s face after he stops the run. Ten minutes in and I wonder how Ziggler is still standing. Harper knocks a ladder down, the top hits Ziggler right in the face; this is clearly a one-sided match so far as Ziggler is repeatedly beat with ladder after ladder. Harper flies out of the ring to attack Ziggler and falls on the ladder in such a way that makes me think he is seriously hurt. His arm is bruised and bloody in seconds. To Harper’s credit, he gets right back in the match and sends Ziggler for a ride off the ladder and into the ropes. Both men are bloodied and cut up at this point. Ziggler’s head and hands are busted open, his arm is cut and bruised, and Harper isn’t fairing much better with his sliced up arm. I have a whole new respect for both of these athletes. With two ladders raised, Ziggler hits Harper with a kick to the face and wins the IC Title once again!!! Man, this victory was seriously earned. Both men were fantastic and both deserved to win, but I’m glad Ziggler got the win in his hometown. Now, someone get the man some ice and band-aids.
We now immediately go into our Tag Team Title match, The Usos vs The Miz & Mizdow (c). I really like Miz and Mizdow’s new gear, and feel really bad for them having to follow that insanely bad ass ladder match. One Uso and Miz go back and forth trying to get quick pins, and everyone in the audience is focused on Mizdow. My kid is in hysterics watching Mizdow throw himself around the outside of the ring. The Usos go for a submission, and it’s nice to see something different out of them for once. Miz and Mizdow end up losing the match via disqualification so thankfully, they keep the titles. I’m just waiting for the moment when Mizdow breaks away from The Miz. He was the only part of this match I really paid attention to.
Big Show’s music hits and we get into a match I’m very curious about, the Steel Stairs match vs Erick Rowan. I’m quickly becoming a big fan of Rowan; he seems to be thriving in his new role as a singles competitor. It only takes a few minutes for Rowan to go for the stairs and get Show to the ground. This match is beginning to look like a dangerous game of Jenga. Or maybe hardcore Legos. Show throws stairs on the announce table and then throws Rowan into a completely different set. Cue “Big Show Sucks” chant by the Ohio crowd. Show gets the steps wedged between the ropes and slams Rowan’s head into them over and over. Rowan quickly counters by throwing Show onto the stairs, knocking him senseless. Rowan tries to slam the stairs on top of Show, but Show rolls out of the way and manages to only get a piece of his side pinched in between instead. It’s still enough to hurt the giant, who knocks Rowan into the Jenga creation Rowan made earlier. You can tell Show is struggling at this point; he’s sweating more than normal and limping quite a bit. Show ends up getting the pin by using the stairs to immobilize Rowan. Lackluster finish to a pretty great match.
Now I’m excited, because Cena vs Rollins is NOT the main event as I initially expected it to be. Kudos to the WWE powers that be for allowing someone besides the golden boy to headline this PPV. I want Cena to lose, so he is both out of the main event picture for a while, but also out of the WWE World Heavyweight Title picture for at least a few months. Paul Heyman makes his way to the ring to get a front row seat to the match that will decide the future for his client, Brock Lesnar. You know, the guy who didn’t even realize there was a PPV going on tonight. Ghetto Cena is back in full force tonight. Rollins is getting a lot of assists from his security team, which is legal since there are no disqualifications. I’m just ready for Cena to go through a table or ten. Shout out to the guy who screamed “CENA YOU SUUUUCK!” J&J Security is popping in and out of this match, assisting Rollins and making me worried that Cena is eventually going to kick out of a tsunami and win this thing. The “Lets Go Cena, Cena Sucks” chants are filling the arena. The “Lets Go Rollins” chant that follows is much deserved, as Cena goes into his tired Five Moves Of Doom. J&J thankfully interrupt before he can get to the AA. Cena grabs a barrier for some reason to use against the security guards, prompting the announce team to praise his creativity. Shout out to the guy who yelled “You Suck, Cena!” Rollins gets two tables set up, but of course Super Cena blocks the throw and gets himself back in the match. Mr. Money In The Bank decides to use his briefcase as a weapon in order to gain the upper hand. Rollins is nearly thrown through a table, but Rollins counters by flipping right over it. Amazing. Cena AAs Rollins through a table, but the referee is knocked out and misses the winning move. J&J security quickly remove all evidence of the win and attack Cena. My heart is happy. At least until Super Cena comes to with a miraculous recovery and double AAs J&J through a table. Not a fan of Cena, but I gotta say that was impressive. Out of nowhere, both men go through two tables simultaneously and the bell is rung. The refs are split on a winner, so the match is restarted! Rollins quickly takes control, tearing apart the announce table. Cena tries to put Rollins through the announce table, but the table wins. Big Show comes out to the ring, which can’t be a good sign for Cena. Punch after punch to the gut, and then Roman Reigns’s music hits!!! Out of the audience, Reigns is back!!! He immediately goes after Show, hitting the Knockout Punch and sending Show through a table. And then, Cena puts Rollins through a table and wins. I’m pissed. Does Cena really need another title shot? Do we really need Cena vs Lesnar AGAIN?!? This was such a waste of a great opportunity. WWE Creative needs to realize that there are other people on the roster other than Cena that can (and should) face Lesnar. Come on.
Shaking off that last match, we move into the Divas Championship Match; AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella. AJ is fantastic and I adore everything about her, so it should be quite obvious who I want to win this. Brie comes out looking like the product of a porn star fused with a Hot Topic cashier, accompanying her sister Nikki to the ring. Nikki is dressed like a Christmas tree ornament. If AJ doesn’t win, I don’t care about this match. Nikki quickly leaves the ring to do push-ups for some reason. AJ takes control briefly before Nikki uses her size to her advantage and gains the upper hand. Nikki gets AJ wrapped around the ring post in a very painful move, and then the Network decides to lag out. Apparently the Network also uses Divas matches for bathroom breaks. Brie’s words of encouragement are godawful and they don’t seem to be helping, as AJ keeps kicking out and nearly securing pinfalls. Out of nowhere, Nikki sprays hairspray or something in AJ’s face, which is bullshit. And Nikki retains the title. Yawn. This PPV went to shit for me really quick.
Now some good news; Ryback vs Kane is up next in a chairs match. Be right back while I mark out to Ryback’s entrance. The match begins with both men swinging chairs at each other as if they were swords. The Feed Me More chants are loud, and it’s hard for me to write while also trying to fangirl away to Ryback crushing Kane. I almost wish that these two had been given the stairs match. A “boring” match starts, which breaks my heart a bit, but I can’t blame the crowd for losing interest. Kane just isn’t the same without the mask and fire and all the demon talk. Irate librarian Kane throws a bunch of chairs in the ring to set up a choke slam, but Ryback counters and sends Kane into the chairs instead. Would have been better with a table. Giving these two chairs was a disservice. Ryback violently takes it to Kane with a chair, making everyone at home giggle at the “I’m dumb as fuck” podcast comment. Impressively, Ryback gets Kane up for the Shell Shocked and pins the former demon for the win. It was an okay match, but could have benefited from a different stipulation. Still, I can’t be let down with a Ryback win. The big guy!
Sidenote: Super Striker commercial plays and John Cena wins. Even in the world of commercials and toys, the damn guy wins. I hate the WWE sometimes.
Rusev Petri Dish. Rusev Match Car. I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to see Lana. The lady looks ravishing in red. Swagger interrupts Lana’s speech and the match for the United States title is underway. My hopes for something new didn’t pan out, as Rusev remains undefeated. To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to this match since it was one we’ve seen time and time again.
Time for the main event! Dean Ambrose come to the ring first, ladder in hand, followed by Bray Wyatt and his creepy entrance. These two don’t waste any time getting into it; Bray barely sets the lantern down before Ambrose is all over him. 35 minutes are left in this PPV and I hope these two men use every second of it. Ambrose dives off of the preshow announce table into Wyatt, which is awesome and also sadly shows that Alex Riley has been sitting there alone this entire time. Ambrose gets the kendo sticks out, but Bray won’t back down. He almost invites the blows to the head. Somehow, the kendo stick ends up in Ambrose’s mouth, as Wyatt takes control of the match. Neither man seems to be 100% confident in this battle so far; ten minutes in and I still feel as if they are holding back. As I say this, Wyatt hits Ambrose will one hell of a clothesline. The men take it out of the ring, among the ladders and chairs and tables, and Ambrose puts Wyatt through a table with force, starting a “Holy Shit” chant that broke at least one fan’s brain. That table was beyond destroyed. Ambrose climbs a ladder to put Wyatt through another table, making the crowd go insane and leaving shards of table everywhere. A “one more time” chant starts. Back in the ring, Wyatt hits the Sister Abigail and nearly gets the pin. A second Sister Abigail is reversed, a Dirty Deeds is kicked out of, and there is too much going on to tally. Ambrose randomly throws a steel stair into the Spanish announce table and makes us remember why we love him so much. He pulls a TV out from under the ring, which the fans are eating up. Ambrose limps down the ramp and grabs the second biggest ladder out on display, while yelling “I can’t carry that one” about the giant ladder that was next to it. God bless Dean Ambrose. RIP Spanish Announce Table? Nope; Ambrose gets payback by ramming a chair into Wyatt’s windpipe, in the same fashion that Wyatt injured him days ago. He then climbs a ladder and jumps 25 feet onto Wyatt, crushing the man and the Spanish announce table. Holy shit indeed. The lunatic fringe is unhinged and then some. He grabs the TV and tries to smash it into Wyatt, but the thing explodes in his face! Was this planned??!? Wyatt quickly hits a Sister Abigail and picks up the win. I am still slightly in shock.
This was one hell of a match and an excellent PPV. Our main event was excellent, but I have to say that without a doubt, Ziggler vs Harper was the match of the evening. Please weigh in below with your thoughts, comments, and opinions on TLC. We’ll see you at the Royal Rumble.
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker