After last night’s WrestleMania, I may be ready for another vacation from wrestling; if Raw doesn’t bring the house down tonight, I’m taking a break until the Payback PPV. We started the night off with a two hour preshow that began with the US Title match. Kalisto defended his title against Ryback at 5:45pm while most of the fans weren’t even in the building, and before the preshow was on USA Network for those fans without the WWE Network. It was a terrible way to treat the title and the two men competing for it. If WWE doesn’t treat the title as something important, why should the fans care about it?
The two USA Network preshow matches were The Usos vs The Dudleys and Team BAD & Blonde vs Team Total Divas. The women’s match was all about Lana, at least in the buildup. When it came down to the match though, we barely got any Lana and instead got Brie acting like Daniel Bryan. If she’s retiring and needs to go out with a great match, fine. But how is stealing her husband’s moveset a positive way to go out? It was frustrating to watch. The Usos vs The Dudleys was the one match I assumed would be a throwaway, but it ended up being confusing. The Dudleys are meant to be the heels here, but were playing to the crowd, getting cheered, and it was the Usos who closed out the match with a questionable heel-like ending by putting Bubba and D-Von through two tables. The best part of the preshow kickoff was when Lita unveiled the new Women’s Title; that thing is a masterpiece.
WrestleMania began with the ladder match for the IC Title, which was phenomenal. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens looked like they honestly hated each other; both men were intense and focused on getting the win. There were some pretty scary spots, especially Sin Cara diving off a ladder and onto Stardust, who lay on a ladder outside of the ring. The tribute to Dusty Rhodes with Stardust’s gear and the polka dotted ladder was such a heartwarming gesture. We were teased with Miz stealing a victory, but ultimately Zack Ryder won the title. Zack Ryder. Who saw that one coming? I was incredibly happy with this entire match and pumped for the rest of the night. Every single competitor brought their A game and put everything on the line. There was not a single moment of downtime, and that ending was nothing short of genius; no one seriously thought that Ryder would walk away as champ. I loved it.
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho was basically the same thing we’ve already seen. Jericho keeps kicking out of the Styles Clash, which is frustrating, and then he beat Styles, which is confusing. You would think we’d be protecting the talent that is going to stick around and be here week after week, not handing the veteran a win so he can go off and tour with Fozzy. Outside of a confusing win, the match itself was stale and slow, and the crowd was not feeling it. Styles has been over as hell since his debut, but he keeps getting stuck in matches with Jericho. When do we get to see something else? I swear, if we get Styles vs Jericho, Take 5 at Payback, I’m cancelling my Network subscription.
New Day’s entrance was fantastic, coming out of a massive box of Booty-O’s, but the actual match with League Of Nations was very boring. The crowd looked as if they had fallen asleep at one point. I still can’t understand why the titles weren’t on the line here; every title should be up for grabs at WrestleMania. The whole competition for who is the stronger faction would be fine if that actually meant anything. Remember when Rusev came out in a tank? Where was that showmanship and fanfare this year? The best part of this match involved three men who had nothing to do with the match; Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin. Sweet Chin Music, Mandible Claw, and Stunners for everyone! It was an awesome moment that made me hopeful that the night would be picking up.
Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar was next, and this one had to be good considering it was No Holds Barred. Unfortunately, it was Kendo Stick city with an odd and abrupt ending. It felt like someone backstage ordered the ref to cut the match short. I had been looking forward to this ever since they announced it, and this is what we got? Ambrose and Lesnar could have gone to the extreme, but instead all they did was hit each other with sticks and play with a fire extinguisher. There were some good moments, of course, but overall this was confusing, short and not extreme at all. Lesnar can obviously beat the shit out of people with ease, and Ambrose can take a beating like no other, so why didn’t we get a bloody all-out brawl? Why was Ambrose suddenly unable to continue after we’ve seen him get up and come back after going through worse? I went into this match thinking it would be one of the best of the entire night, and instead was left shaking my head, wondering what the hell I just watched.
The Women’s Title was on the line next, and Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Charlotte did a great job here. They absolutely killed it and showed us what the female division should look like, and hopefully what it will look like from here on out. My complaint is that Charlotte won with the help of her daddy. Again. Ric Flair prevented Sasha from returning to the ring, which allowed Charlotte time to get Becky to tap. Why in the holy hell are we pushing the strength of a new Women’s Division and still having the champ rely on a man to help her win? Flair should have stayed the hell out of it. This made Charlotte look weak, like if it were not for daddy, she wouldn’t be champ. I don’t want Daddy’s Girl heading the Women’s Division, I want someone who doesn’t need a man standing behind her because she can stand strongly on her own.
Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker was up next, and this match looked exactly how you would expect. A fight between two old men who probably shouldn’t be doing half the things they are trying to do. This was slow and tedious. The highlight was Shane diving off of the top of the cage and onto the announce table, resulting in Taker able to pick up the win and Shane getting carried off on a stretcher. The two broke out of the cell at one point, so an interference would have been awesome, but we didn’t get that. We didn’t really get anything. This was terrible.
The Andre The Giant Battle Royal was interesting with the addition of Shaq as a competitor, but overall it was nothing special. The highlight was seeing NXT star Baron Corbin pick up the win. I hope this means we’ll’ be getting him on the main roster; the guy is seriously on fire. With the Battle Royal moved off the preshow and onto the main card at the last minute, I was expecting to see a hell of a lot of action and surprises. Shaq is gimmicky, not something main-event worthy. I don’t get why this match was moved because other than Corbin’s victory, there was nothing special about this at all. Unremarkable and forgettable. I honestly can’t remember anything about this other than being confused that Shaq showed up and Corbin being the last man standing.
The Rock finally showed up next and faced off with The Wyatt’s which got me hyped up. Rock was in his ring gear, but we didn’t get Bray in the ring; Erick Rowan stepped up to compete and got his ass handed to him in 6 seconds. What is the point? Then, the Family gangs up on Rock and John Fucking Cena comes to his rescue. Honestly, guys, could we have gone one WrestleMania without him? I’m so tired of Cena getting shoved in our faces at every opportunity, especially when he is constantly greeted by a chorus of boos because everyone over the age of 8 is fed up with his cartoonish antics. The Rock would have been better utilized in the Roman vs Triple H fight by interfering and having Reigns turn on him. It would also have been better if we weren’t informed that he would be a part of Mania months ago. We suspected that Stone Cold would be there, but we didn’t see promo after promo advertising the fact, so we got hyped up when his music hit. With The Rock, we were waiting for it all night because WWE has been telling us week after week to expect it.
Our main event was next. Triple H had an awesome entrance as usual, though the whole speech by Stephanie McMahon was a bit odd, and Roman Reigns came out looking all broody as the crowd booed him. The high point was seeing Steph get speared, and the low point was everything else. Predictably, Reigns won. I knew Reigns would win, so that isn’t my issue here. My issue is this entire match was lazy and uneventful and unworthy of a WrestleMania main event. This is the biggest match on the biggest show of the entire year, and it felt like a throwaway Raw moment. Reigns won for the third time, and no one cared.
WrestleMania went over their allotted time by almost an hour, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why it was necessary. I’ve already seen the “this is setting things up for Payback” arguments, and quite honestly, I think that is bullshit. WrestleMania is the event of the year; it should not be mediocre in order to set up things for an upcoming PPV. There is no excuse for not putting every title on the line. There is no excuse for lazy booking and shoddy performances. I shouldn’t be so bored during your main event that I mute the PPV and move to a second TV so I can watch the Walking Dead finale.
NXT TakeOver was what WrestleMania should have been. Compelling matches, lots of action and memorable moments, exciting debuts, and match endings that make you cheer even if it wasn’t the outcome you wanted. WWE’s so-called developmental division did the better job this weekend in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the people. Once TakeOver was over, we immediately went back to rewatch some of the matches. When Mania ended, we happily turned off the Xbox and almost instantly forgot about half the matches we watched. I haven’t seen as many Manias as the typical WWE fan, but this was undoubtedly the worst.
Tonight’s Raw is their chance to make things right, and the WWE has a lot of work to do. We still have The Authority in charge since Shane McMahon failed, but Triple H isn’t champion anymore, so I’m curious to see how they address it. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch should get a rematch tonight; the title should have changed hands last night. The tag titles should also be on the line tonight; not defending them last night was a mistake that needs to be righted. We should get a surprise debut tonight as well; seeing Bayley or Finn Balor on Raw would go a long way in righting some of the wrongs we saw last night. Creative needs to pull their heads out of their asses and put their all into tonight’s show. So many fans are jaded after watching a mind-numbing seven hours of wrestling last night; we need something big to pull us back in and make us want to keep watching. As it stands now, I have one foot out the door and won’t have any regrets about taking a few weeks off from Raw and Smackdown.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
WWE is no stranger to bringing in celebrity guest stars on Raw or pay-per-view events. Just last night, Snoop Dogg was inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2016. We know he’ll be at WrestleMania tonight, and we also know Stone Cold Steve Austin, a Texas native, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be in attendance. But what other celebrity surprises has WWE kept secret for tonight?
Last year, UFC wonder woman Ronda Rousey made a big splash when The Rock brought her in from the crowd to have a little square off with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Having recently lost her first UFC fight and losing her title, she may show up at WrestleMania to have a brief interaction with someone.
Also at last years big event, Triple H had Arnold Schwarzenegger usher him out to the ring with the use of Terminators. This past year, the rock ‘n’ roll world was shocked to learn of the passing of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, a close personal friend of Triple H’s and the front man for rock group Motörhead. Many times throughout his career, Triple H has used Motörhead’s music for his entrance themes, even having the band play live to bring him to the ring. It wouldn’t be surprising if they had the remaining members of Motörhead show up or played a tribute to Lemmy. Especially since Triple H is in the main event with his title on the line.
The Rock has a future movie coming out called Central Intelligence. His costar for that movie is Kevin Hart. Together, the pair are hosting the upcoming MTV Movie Awards. It’s very likely Kevin Hart will be ringside or pop out for an appearance on a backstage segment, maybe even with The Rock. It can be used to bring some humor to the crowd after a high intensity match finishes.
And let’s not forget that Stardust is in a ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. Last year, Stardust teamed with Wade Barrett to take on Neville and Arrow’s Stephen Amell. Amell put on quite the match, impressing WWE fans and pulling out a great victory on Barrett and Stardust. Although probably out of the question, it would be hilarious to see Amell run-in and screw Stardust out of winning the belt.
This year’s main WrestleMania theme song is “My House” by Grammy nominated artist Flo Rida. He has been used previously at WrestleMania 28, performing for The Rock to bring him out to the ring to face John Cena. WWE has a good history with Flo Rida and he will probably be in attendance and possibly performing his song live.
WrestleMania is always full of little surprises, so any one can show up at any time to bring a smile or a look of shock to fans faces. With an audience of over 100,000 we can guarantee that WWE has a few tricks up their sleeves.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
WrestleMania is finally here! Like many responsible adults, I opted to take paid time off on Monday so I can enjoy some drinks while watching the show of shows. After getting slightly jaded with the state of wrestling and taking a few weeks off around the winter holiday season, my husband and I are back in the middle of things and putting more energy into Face To Heel than ever before. The 32nd annual WrestleMania is taking place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and is scheduled to start on the Network at 5PM, giving us an insane six hours of wrestling and pre-show action to contend with.
A special live, hour-long presentation that includes three preshow matches will air for free on the USA Network at 6PM, and the main PPV airing begins at 7PM. An hour long WrestleMania Fallout Post Show will immediately begin after the final match on the Network. We had two dismal go-home events earlier this week that did little to get fans hyped for this event. For those of you happy to have a Cena-free WrestleMania, I suspect you’ll end up disappointed. With Cena still unable to compete, he will likely either be featured in The Rock’s segment or used in a backstage promo in preparation for his return, because he’s John Cena and he can get the crowd to pop. Let’s take a look at the massive card and make some predictions.
Kalisto (c) vs Ryback – US Title Match on WWE Network Preshow
I can’t tell you how happy I am to see Ryback in a title match at Mania! He has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few months; you can’t deny that Ryback has improved both in the ring and on the mic. One of the reasons the Goldberg chants annoy me so much is because it undermines the work Ryback has done to make himself into something more. That said, it doesn’t help that they have updated his ring gear to look like Goldberg’s. I’ve read a lot about how this is a throwaway match or a waste of time, and I wholeheartedly disagree. Kalisto has done a lot for himself, working his way from NXT to the main roster, and is gaining popularity as a singles competitor. Like them or not, they both have earned this match. The go home episode of Raw had Ryback come to the ring for all of eight seconds to quickly “confront” his competitor before leaving, which is a shame because these men and this title deserve better. Originally on the main card, they were bumped to the preshow to make room for the Battle Royal. Not even bumped to the USA Preshow, but to the 5:30PM slot on the Network. A title match shouldn’t be treated as a throwaway, competed for while people are still filing into the arena or not even tuned in yet at home. Still, I feel like big things are in the future for Ryback, and I’m excited to see where things go from here.
Lana, Summer Rae, Emma, Naomi & Tamina (Team BAD & Blonde) vs Paige, Natalya, Brie Bella, Eva Marie & Alicia Fox (Team Bella/Total Divas) – Tag Match on USA Preshow
Not only is Lana finally having her first match, but she’s getting it at WrestleMania! At least, she will if this match doesn’t get cut for time. Lana has been antagonizing Brie Bella over the past few weeks for no other reason than she can get away with it. This has given us the first few indications that she has a moveset, even if it’s a borrowed one. Putting her in such a large tag match will allow her to enter in briefly enough to do what she needs to without putting the entire match on her shoulders. I got excited about the late addition of Emma to this match, but the excitement was short-lived once they added the useless Eva Marie to the mix. I’m very worried that this is going to turn into the Daniel Bryan Tribute Match, with Brie wearing his ring gear and starting a YES! chant. Since WWE doesn’t have Daniel Bryan, they might settle for the next closest thing. Don’t let it happen. Bryan’s wrestling career is sadly over, and this match is about all of these ten individuals, not one wife of a former champ. Even if they don’t go the Bryan tribute route, there is a rumor that Brie will retire from in-ring competition due to an undisclosed health issue (which is why Bryan reportedly cancelled his recent live appearances), so this match may be all about Brie no matter what.
WINNERS: Team Bella/Total Divas
The Usos vs The Dudley Boyz – Tag Match on USA Preshow
This is the one match I’m really going to complain about on the entire card, which is an improvement for me. I’m simply bored with The Usos, and have been for some time. They were off TV for a while due to injury and came back exactly the same as when they left. The color of their shorts might change here and there, but otherwise they stay stagnant. No new moves, no new promos, just the same two guys day in and day out. The Dudleys recently turned heel, and they’ve been ticking off fans left and right, likely in preparation to face the brothers. Their match on the go-home episode of Smackdown was said to be “below average” and was one of only three Smackdown matches held. I found it hard to pay attention as they fought on Smackdown; the match was stale and didn’t do anything to build towards Mania. There’s nothing on the line for these teams at Mania either, just another two-on-two that we’ve seen countless times already. Being that it’s WrestleMania, I expected some sort of stipulation to make this match matter. As it stands, this is just filler.
WINNERS: The Dudley Boyz
Andre The Giant 20-Man Memorial Battle Royal
This year, the battle royal has downsized from 30 competitors to 20. Originally advertised for the preshow, this match was recently moved to the main card, giving us an indication that we will see a major surprise entrant. Past winners include Big Show and Cesaro, so the assumption already is that we’ll see one of the bigger men take the win this year. The Social Outcasts were the first to announce their involvement, and will also probably be among the first eliminated. Big Show, Mark Henry and Kane will also compete and present a challenge when it comes to elimination considering their sizes. I’d love to see Prince Pretty win, but I don’t think Tyler Breeze is due his WrestleMania moment just yet. Damien Sandow is a dark horse in this match; he could use the win to catapult himself back into the spotlight. Goldust and R-Truth could use this match to further tease their tag team aspirations, and The Ascension can use it to try to be relevant again. I’m hoping the Wyatt’s (minus Luke Harper) get into this match. The Wyatt Family main evented Smackdown, and by main evented I mean that Wyatt and Strowman refused to compete, so Rowan had a one-on-one with Dean Ambrose. Either they are saving them for something big, they are protecting a still-healing injury, or Creative has lost their minds.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho
I’m excited about this match because there are some rumors floating around that I desperately want to believe about Finn Balor using this match as a way to debut on the main roster by assisting AJ Styles in some capacity. The problem with this rumor is that Balor’s entrance demands our full attention, so having him run out mid-match would be a terrible waste of his first appearance. Plus, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows are currently in Dallas and are rumored to be debuting on the main roster during the post-Mania RAW under the Balor Club name, so we might not see Balor at all until then. Something needs to happen here to build the bridge that carries Styles into his next storyline, because we’ve exhausted what he can do with Jericho. Styles needs to get a victory over the veteran to end this feud and stop the “you’re just a rookie” nonsense. Yes, this is his first WrestleMania, but the guy has been wrestling for years and is anything but a rookie. Beating Jericho in their 4th (and hopefully final) match up should put the rookie talk to rest and allow him to move on, stop being the newcomer, and properly establish himself on the main roster.
WINNER: AJ Styles
Kevin Owens (c) vs Dolph Ziggler vs Sami Zayn vs The Miz vs Zack Ryder vs Stardust vs Sin Cara – 7 Man Ladder IC Title Match
Neville was intended to participate in this match, but since he is out with an injury, Zack Ryder will be taking his place. Last year, Daniel Bryan won the IC title in a ladder match that tried to recapture the amazing moment Bryan had at WM30. I like the idea of revisiting a ladder match, especially with Owens and Zayn involved. It’s a bit insulting to Ryder, Stardust and Sin Cara to be the afterthoughts, the ones Owens threw into a qualifying match as a joke, but I’m sure it’s still exciting for them to get a match and title shot. I’m looking forward to seeing Owens vs Zayn the most; neither man holds anything back, plus Owens was responsible for taking Zayn out of action for quite a bit, so things could get heated. The dynamic between the two is the best part of this match. Not to take away from the other men here, but it’s incredible to see NXT pushing themselves onto the main roster and proving that they belong and then some. I just hope The Miz doesn’t pull the hiding under the ring stunt and steal a win at the last second.
WINNER: Sami Zayn
Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar – No Holds Barred Street Fight
If we choose to believe every rumor we read online, Bray Wyatt was originally meant to face Lesnar at WM, but was sidelined by a minor back injury. WWE wanted to keep it under wraps, so they had Wyatt carefully back out of matches but still remain present as they build a new story with Lesnar and Ambrose. Now that Wyatt is cleared to compete, he may insert himself into this No DQ match. I truly hope this happens, or Wyatt is added to make this a Triple Threat at the last minute, because why not? Ambrose has been teasing an array of weapons, including a chainsaw because this is the zombie apocalypse and you just never know. These three are incredibly strong in the ring and could very well turn this into the best match of the evening. Bray Wyatt deserves to be in the title picture for countless reasons, so throwing him into this match in a big way is a good start on getting him there. The Raw before Mania didn’t do much at all to hype up this match; having a red wagon full of weapons circle the ring while Lesnar holds a kendo stick wasn’t all that thrilling. It would be interesting if Paul Heyman picks this match to turn on Lesnar, aligning himself with Ambrose and allowing him to make a seamless heel turn. Both of these guys are such over babyfaces, so something has got to give.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Charlotte (c) vs Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks – Triple Threat Divas Title Match
This is the match we’ve all been waiting for, only we imagined it without Ric Flair standing at the sidelines. It says a lot about the WWE’s main roster Divas that the three newest additions from NXT are the ones with the important women’s match on the card instead of veterans like Natalya or Brie, but the NXT trio is the most deserving out of everyone. Banks has announced that her entrance at Mania will be one-of-a-kind and something we’ve never seen before. She also announced her plans to have the first MITB match for the women, giving me another reason to call her my favorite female on the main roster. Charlotte burst onto the main roster with a vengeance, but having her daddy trail behind her 24/7 has made her look weak and incapable of winning on her own. It plays to the sad stereotype that women need a big strong man to help them out, and it’s outdated and pathetic. The belt needs to change hands because the character they turned Charlotte into isn’t who we need as our Divas champ. The women’s division still needs work, and we need to ensure that we have a strong female heading it up. Previously dubbed the Four Horsewomen (with Bayley), these three will give us a match that is main event worthy, which is what we’ve desperately needed on the main roster for some time now. If the rebranding rumors are true, whoever wins here tonight will be the last Divas champion, and the first to hold the new Women’s title.
WINNER: Sasha Banks
The New Day vs The League Of Nations – 4 on 3 Handicap Match
New Day has had a numbers advantage on other tag teams from the beginning with their third member (4th if you count the trombone), but with the League Of Nations, the odds are against them for once. I’m a big fan of the League; it’s great to finally see Wade Barrett competing again, and it’s good to have Rusev and Lana separated so they can both pursue their own stories. This match was originally billed as a tag title match from WWE’s WrestleMania specific account, but the tweet making that announcement has since been deleted. The new verbiage is that this is “a battle for supremacy” and it will determine “which team will assert itself as WWE’s prime stable.” I fail to see how becoming the prime stable could mean more than winning the titles, so this change is confusing for me. I expect this match to feature a full and unquestionable babyface turn for The New Day; they’re basically there already, and a beat down from the Nation will help push them over the edge.
WINNERS: New Day
Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker – HIAC Match
The stipulations are clear. If Shane wins, he earns control of Raw and The Undertaker can no longer appear at WrestleMania. If Shane loses, he’s out of the will and the family business. Taker is obviously past the point of safe retirement; he could have gone out when he hit 20-0, but chose to keep on going. I don’t see him having his last match against Shane McMahon. Although stranger things have happened, this feels like the wrong way for the dead man to say goodbye, so in that respect he needs to win. On the other hand, seeing Triple H and Stephanie dethroned by Shane would be an interesting twist. Quite honestly, it would probably be nice for the pair to be able to take a little time off, and losing the title and control of Raw would allow that to happen. I don’t think Shane is back to make a big commitment though; it seems like he was a choice down the list somewhere. The main problem here is trying to convince a crowd to cheer for a McMahon victory when it means that Taker won’t be at any future Mania. Shane is meant to be the face here, but this stipulation is going to make him the villain. Creative will look foolish if they backtrack after the fact and find a loophole to keep Taker at future Manias, or if they have Shane shake his hand after winning and declare that now that he’s in charge, Taker can wrestle at Manias until his legs quit working. At the end of the night, we have to have a crystal clear winner and decision on what happens from here. We can end Mania with questions, but we cannot allow any of those questions to be about whether or not one (or both) of these men has a job.
WINNER: The Undertaker
Triple H (c) vs Roman Reigns – WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
The posters and merchandise in Dallas are advertising this match as a no DQ, which would be a great way to guarantee the maximum amount of action in this match. I honestly didn’t give two shits about this match prior to Triple H breaking Reigns’s face. Now that Reigns is back to his old self, I’m seriously into it and can’t wait to see him and Triple H beat the hell out of each other. Reigns is doing a phenomenal job of making us believe he truly hates Triple H and wants revenge and the title back. He’s stopped the goofy schtick and he’s quit smiling at the crowd. Now he shows up, kicks ass, and leaves. I’m curious about The Rock’s involvement in WM and whether or not he will interfere in this match. It would make sense for him to come in and attempt to assist Reigns. It would be a smart move to have Reigns turn on The Rock, knock him out of commission, and go on to fight solo. Reigns is looking to capture his third title reign, and while I’m happy to see Reigns is done showboating for the crowd, I don’t want to see the title back around his waist. Not just yet. If he does win, I want Seth Rollins to crash the party. He’s not ready to return to the ring, though he’ll possibly be ready for SummerSlam, but he’s well enough to show up and has been rehabbing hard. Rollins showing up to make his intentions known would be an epic moment. I’d like to see Reigns and Rollins resume their battle when he returns, only with the roles reversed and Rollins as the face while Reigns plays villain. He needs to turn; we’re seeing him get booed far too often as he tries to remain face; it’s not working and needs to change. I’m not talking too much about Triple H because this match isn’t about him. He truly does whatever is best for business, in character and out, so his involvement in this match and in the title picture is for the greater good, not the individual.
WINNER: Roman Reigns
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
The more wrestling you watch, the more susceptible you are to find yourself wondering when a certain person or group is going to evolve, change lanes, or give us anything new at all. Watching the same shtick over and over again can and will get old very quickly, especially the way the WWE enjoys excessively recapping their weekly shows and PPVs. With TNA in a seemingly constant struggle to maintain public interest, they should be even more motivated to keep things fresh. Here is a list of the top 10 talents in TNA and WWE that are in desperate need of a makeover.
Instead of being her own person, Alicia has been molded into the 3rd Bella, trailing after Brie and Nikki. When she is allowed to showcase some of her personality, Alicia is pigeon-holed into the role of “crazy chick,” and not in a good way like we saw with AJ Lee. Alicia desperately needs to break away from the Bellas and stop the manic yelling and erratic behavior. She needs to be put in a role where she can shine, and it’s clearly not as a wacky sidekick.
This is not on the list due to my dislike of the gimmick, it’s here because there is no forward momentum anymore. Cody Rhodes became Stardust as a way to make his tag partnership with Goldust more effective. It was a failed attempt, and since then, he has found himself paired with various other stars in a random manner. He’s currently just “a guy” when he has the potential to be THE guy. Either the Stardust character goes or Creative finds him a story that uses his talent. Personally, I think a change back to Cody, where he denies any knowledge of Stardust, is the way to go.
I was excited when WWE’s Brodus Clay morphed into TNA’s monster heel, Tyrus. I was more excited to see him paired with Ethan Carter III, who is hands down my favorite part of TNA. And then, I was disappointed to see Tyrus not do much more than stand around looking mean and holding Matt Hardy’s baby. Tyrus has the size, definitely has the personality from what he’s done in recent interviews, so why is he left playing little more than a background prop? A change may already be in the works (I don’t read spoilers), as a pairing with Lashley has been teased.
The twins have changed very little about themselves over the years. The color of their hideously tacky outfits will vary, but overall, they have the same approach and same style every single time we see them. They are great for the younger audience, who is enamored by bright colors and loud noises, but what about the rest of us? I would enjoy seeing the brothers turn heel, but I think they’re stuck being neon-colored draws for the kids.
I missed seeing Konnor and Viktor in NXT, but from what I’ve heard, they were a successful tag team. The transition to the main roster didn’t seem to agree with them though. I enjoy their entrance music, but that’s about it. Their ring gear looks like the leftovers of a fire sale at Hot Topic, and they are so underutilized that I don’t even know which one is Konnor and which is Viktor. The tag division is on fire now, and I don’t know if there is a place for these two anymore except as glorified jobbers. A split to compete as singles competitors would be a nice change, but they also desperately need to scrap their entire image and start fresh.
I don’t like this woman at all. I’m annoyed that she seemed to insert herself back into the company once her husband, Matt Hardy, won the Heavyweight title. I’m tired of seeing her lug around her kid like he’s a designer purse. I don’t see the point of her being on my television screen whatsoever. If I’m going to be forced to see her every week, at least make some effort to make her interesting. “Wife of Matt Hardy” isn’t cutting it. She used to wrestle, so why not have her compete with Matt in some mixed tag matches? At this point, I’ll take anything more than her current role; wife who can’t mind her own damn business. Also, she got Awesome Kong fired and that is not awesome.
The Prime Time Players were at one point one of the hottest tag teams. Young was out for a while, leaving Titus O’Neil to form new partnerships and compete solo as he recovered. Now O’Neil is out until after WrestleMania due to a physical misunderstanding involving Vince McMahon (read: racism). Young is definitely able to carry a singles match if allowed to do so, but he isn’t receiving any opportunities. O’Neil is ready to retire from in-ring competition, so Young needs to branch out now in order to ensure his survival. We need to see title aspirations out of him; if he isn’t working towards something in the WWE, why is he here?
Brie seems to be having an identity crisis. When she’s not playing sidekick to her twin, she’s pretending to be Daniel Bryan. The ring gear matches his, the moves are stolen from his set, and the YES! chant has been hijacked. It’s a cheap way to get people to cheer for her, and it’s beyond old at this point. If I want to see Daniel Bryan, I’ll pop on the Network and look up some of his great matches. I don’t want to see his wife performing a cheap Bryan imitation in her matches. This year may be her last in the WWE, and she needs to go out with a bang. Enough being mini-Bryan. I’d like to see one more run for the Divas title after first reuniting with Nikki, then casting her aside so she’s not held back.
It’s not often you see a man with one leg able to out wrestle people with both of theirs, but Melendez can do it. Nicknamed “Sarge” because of his military background (which also led to the loss of his leg), he is easy to cheer for. Unfortunately, TNA barely uses him, and when they do, they either have him in short matches or have someone steal his prosthetic leg. We’ve had Melendez the hero, so why not have him turn heel? Criticize the crowd for not being anywhere near as tough as he, and go after some top guys. I’d love to see him embrace a bad ass persona and see if he’s capable of getting some genuine heat.
His flashy clothes, catchy entrance music and the drawn out way he pronounces his name used to be one of the high points on Raw and Smackdown. And then, we started to get bored with it. He lost his dance partner, Summer Rae, and tried to find various substitutes. At one point, he looked and acted like a dancing bullfighter. At no point has he ever gotten back the popularity he once had. The dancing needs to go; WWE tried changing his character once already, but kept the dancing which made it seem like he didn’t change at all. If a place can be found for the 4 Social Outcasts, surely a place can be found for Fandango.
Article Mrs Jamie Baker
WWE Roadblock premiered tonight on the WWE Network. No, not The Roadblock, Joe D’Acquisto, from WCW. We’re talking about WWE’s newly christened Saturday pay-per-view. This review will not be kind, because this so called pay-per-view wasn’t anything special and was mainly a glorified SmackDown episode.
The show kicked off with The New Day coming to the ring to cut a really forced, unfunny segment about Booty-O’s cereal. Why WWE chose to kick off the show in such a manner is beyond me. Wade Barrett and Sheamus come out to battle for the Tag Team Championship gold. It was nice to see Barrett back in competitive action, but the match was fairly stale. New Day retained with some interference from Xavier Woods. Not much to be said on this one except that New Day retaining is a smart decision. Until The Golden Truth is legitimized as a real tag team and Enzo and Cass come up to the main roster, the tag titles are on the right team.
Immediately after that short match, Paul Heyman cuts a backstage promo that really only served to hype up the crowd. It seemed like an advertisement to sell the show we were already watching, all bracketed around saying Brock Lesnar’s name a bunch. Heyman got the crowd fired up, but didn’t really give us anything new.
Y2J, aka Chris Jericho, aka a Canadian hero in his own town, comes out and insults everybody, including his native country. Another talking segment. That makes three promos and only two matches about forty minutes in. Y2J comes across as not really a good heel, but just giving off a real Donald Trump vibe. It’s awkward and the crowd seems a little confused. Jack Swagger interrupts. They put on a good match, with Michael Cole, dare I say, actually selling the play-by-play beautifully. Perhaps he has been feeling the pressure from Mauro Ranallo? In a surprise move, Y2J makes Swagger tap out. So in the same week, Jericho, a part-timer, takes out AJ Styles and then pins Jack Swagger in his return debut? Terrible booking from WWE, even if Jericho is about to go on hiatus for his shitty band again.
And what’s more… WWE booked a Canadian hero to be the heel in a match against an American babyface while in Canada. Very, very confusing. NXT was up next. Dash and Dawson, the NXT Tag Team Champions, took on Enzo Amore and Big Cass. This was extremely exciting as it introduced Enzo and Cass to the main roster fans. Rumor has it they’ll move up to Raw and Smackdown in the near future. Really great match that showed the gaping holes in the main roster tag division. Dash and Dawson, or The Revival as their known, retain. Good outing for these four. Crowd was really into it. Best thing to happen thus far in the evening.
Natalya takes on Charlotte for the Divas Championship, in what was basically a Canadian fanboy match. As female wrestling goes, it was really good. But Nattie lost, as was expected. Not sure what the point of this match was except to let Natalya, the Canadian face, take a loss in front of her home crowd. I guess Vince still hates Canada.
Next up is Brock Lesnar vs….. Luke Harper? Bray comes out without his usual lantern but instead he’s holding a microphone. (More promos? Yes. More promos.) Wyatt verbal dissects Lesnar. His music hits, crowd goes wild. You know the deal. Lesnar destroys Harper, gaining a pinfall victory after hitting an F5. Bray Wyatt spends most of the time standing on the ramp. 90 minutes into this waste of time, and we’re still not sure what the point of all this is. This match was meaningless and amounted to nothing in terms of story. It was supposed to be the comeuppance of Bray Wyatt and he didn’t even wrestle. Brilliant.
Sami Zayn’s music hits, crowd goes ape shit for the Canadian hero. As far as the night’s going, things don’t bode well for this NXT allstar. Fresh back from his injury, Zayn takes on…. Stardust??? What in the holy hell is going on? This has been one of the most bizarre matchcards in recent memory. Is WWE trying to get everyone to turn off the Network? Sami wrestles a little soft, and appears winded at times. Sami Zayn gets the pinfall victory. There is no Kevin Owens run-in during this match and it was pretty much a snoozefest.
Triple H’s music hits. The heel champion comes out first. What’s up with this booking tonight? So many poor decisions being made. Fairly mediocre match as far as World Championships go. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds and picks of a pinfall victory! But the ref restarts the match because Ambrose had his feet under the ropes. This match shows that HHH still clearly has the it factor. Ambrose is still shaky when it comes to telling a story in the ring (ie: the in-ring psychology) in my opinion. Crowd starts an unwarranted “THIS IS AWESOME” chant. This match was anything but that if we’re judging it fairly. Definitely not one of HHH’s best. Ambrose pulls out a Figure Four, a Sharpshooter, and puts himself through the announce table. HHH tries to get a count-out victory, but Ambrose rolls in. He takes a Pedigree and HHH retains. This sets up HHH vs Reigns at WrestleMania.
Face To Heel’s advice on this “Network Speacial”? Can it, erase it, cancel it for next year. Wipe it off the Network completely. It was as pointless as Fastlane. All we need is Royal Rumble then WrestleMania. Nothing in between is needed. Everything that transpired tonight could have just been slowly put out on Raw the next few weeks. If you are reading this article prior to going in to watch Roadblock for the first time, I strongly advise you just skip it. They’ll show the highlights five times during Raw in a couple days. Let us know what you thought if you ended up watching the whole thing in the comments below.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
At last year’s Night of Champions, The Usos lost the tag titles to Gold and Stardust, Sheamus was our US champ and Dolph Ziggler lost the IC belt to The Miz. Lana still loved Rusev, AJ won back the Divas title from Paige, and golden boy John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar via DQ after Seth Rollins interfered and teased a MITB cash in. Damien Mizdow and R-Ziggler were still a thing, Jericho was wrestling instead of singing, and Roman Reigns was out due to injury. A lot has changed since then, and this year’s Night of Champions definitely has a different feel to it. We have a record breaking Divas champ, a man defending two titles in the same night, and The Dudley Boyz are back in the WWE. Let’s take a look at the match card and make some predictions.
Neville & The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs The Cosmic Wasteland (Stardust & The Ascension) – Six Man Tag Match
The kickoff match features one of three tag matches scheduled for tonight. With the exception of Stardust, all competitors have recently been brought up to the main roster from NXT. For The Ascension, it hasn’t been the smoothest transition, as they have been unable to find their place and are now teamed with Stardust in a strange attempt to get fans interested again. The whole Neville vs Stardust beef never made that much sense to me, but I feel that it should have come to an end after Neville teamed with Stephen Amell to defeat Stardust and Wade Barrett. An upset victory by The Cosmic Wasteland could be a good way to get some needed heat on the trio and improve their image, but both Neville and the Lucha Dragons could also use a win to elevate their own statuses.
WINNERS: The Cosmic Wasteland
Nikki Bella (c) vs Charlotte – Divas Title Match
Anyone else finding it impossible to care about this match? After Nikki broke the record for longest reigning Divas champ, thanks to her sister stuffing her bra like an 11 year old, how can we be expected to care about Charlotte getting a win at NOC? The scene on Raw prior to Stephanie McMahon announcing that Charlotte didn’t win was picture perfect. We had Ric Flair hugging his daughter, Paige and Becky Lynch celebrating alongside, and Team Bella on the floor throwing a fit. Either Charlotte is a fantastic actress or she was truly emotional about having that belt in her hands. To do all that and take it away while Nikki rubs it in her face is disgusting. If Nikki wins this match, I am done with the Divas division until she’s dethroned. Something serious needs to happen tonight to properly push the Bellas aside, disband the teams, and finally let the new talent take center stage. Let the reality stars go be reality stars, and let the athletes take care of the wrestling.
Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev – Singles Match
The dynamic of this feud isn’t quite the same without the Ravishing Russian. While Lana is out of action as her wrist heals, Ziggler is doing his best to carry on without her, but it isn’t working. Making Ziggler pull childish pranks while Rusev acts lovesick isn’t helping anyone. We need to end this fight or create a new reason for it. If Ziggler’s goal is to destroy Rusev, he needs to alienate him from Summer at NOC, taking her out of the picture entirely. Summer can get back in the ring and Ziggler and Rusev can stop acting as if their world depends on the love of various blond women. I’d enjoy seeing both men enter into the title picture with any one of the belts. With both men being former champs, a title seems like a better thing to fight over than a woman. Once Lana returns, the bad blood involving her can be revisited, but for now it should be set aside.
Ryback (c) vs Kevin Owens – Intercontinental Title Match
Ryback is without a double my favorite wrestler on the active roster, but Kevin Owens isn’t far behind. I’m going to take a break from my regular Ryback praise and focus on the challenger. If anyone is going to take the IC title from the Big Guy, Owens is the guy to do it. He also deserves it; he got screwed over in his battle for the US title with Cena when he did more than enough to earn that title. You can poke fun at his appearance all you want, but it won’t take away his skill in the ring and his wit on the mic. On Wednesday, he told one of Ryback’s young Twitter fans that he can’t wait to make him cry on Sunday after he wins the title. Owens should have won the belt from Cena, but as long as he gets one sooner rather than later, I’ll keep my complaining to a dull roar.
WINNER: Kevin Owens
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & TBA vs The “New” Wyatt Family – Six Man Tag Match
Online speculation has Kane, Jericho, Finn Balor, The Rock, Samoa Joe, Baron Corbin, and Daniel Bryan stepping in as the one to stand with Ambrose and Reigns, but it seems that WWE is trying to keep this under wraps until the match. Braun Strowman, the newest member of the Wyatt family (and former Rosebud) looks like someone cloned Bray, then filled him with helium. I’m not sure if this means Erick Rowan is out once he returns to action or if the family will just have four at that point, because Strowman fits in too perfectly to leave any time soon. What I would absolutely love is for Seth Rollins to be the third man. Three matches in one night. I’m fully aware that it’s not going to happen, but a Shield reunion, even short lived, would be epic.
WINNERS: Ambrose, Reigns, & TBA
Seth Rollins (c) vs John Cena – United States Title Match
Rollins is pulling double duty tonight, as he has to defend his United States title in this rematch as well as a WWE World Heavyweight title match later on. For me, this match is about showing the fans that there are people in the world that are better than Cena. He got to have all his open challenge nonsense, knocking off challenge after challenge, but he couldn’t beat Rollins. Yes, it was aided by the tiniest Jewish man in entertainment, but it still counts. This has got to be a clean match, no interferences whatsoever, with a clean win that leaves nothing to question. Rollins needs to give us solid proof that he can hold his own without help from The Authority or anyone else. He can fight dirty as he always does, but the finish needs to be untouchable and above question.
WINNER: Seth Rollins
The New Day (c) vs The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) – Tag Team Title Match
Try as I might, I can’t get myself to like The New Day. Xavier Woods rubs every single one of my nerves the wrong way, and the addition of a trumpet doesn’t help. Big E is the best part of the trio, but he tends to overshadow anything Kofi does, leaving me forgetting he’s even part of the group sometimes. Just as I was about to give up on the tag division entirely, here come the Dudley Boyz. I feel that I should thank TNA for being so terrible at succeeding in life so that this could happen. A new dynamic and new faces were desperately needed, and I hope that we also see some new tag teams emerge from the current talent. As long as Xavier Woods keeps his babble to a dull roar, this will be a great match.
WINNERS: The Dudley Boyz
Seth Rollins (c) vs Sting – WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
I wasn’t a fan of Sting during his early years, so my opinion of him isn’t the same as you diehard fans out there. To me, he’s a sad clown with bad hair that wishes he was Brandon Lee in The Crow but can’t quite pull it off. He flip flops between being a dark menace to being a rubber-faced joker, as we saw when he crushed the Rollins statue. Triple H seems to have forgotten WrestleMania and all the bad blood; he talks up Sting now like he’s the greatest of all time without throwing in the slightest barb about how he beat him a few months ago. Sheamus is noticeably absent from action tonight, and I’m sure he will make some sort of appearance tonight. If he plans on cashing in, it needs to actually happen and not turn into him trying to get the ref to ring the bell for five minutes while Sting gets in position to kick him in the head. I’d rather he save the cash in and simply sit ringside to let his intentions be known without becoming part of the action. I would like for Rollins to hold the title into 2016, but I don’t think I’ll get my wish.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
We were twenty-four hours removed from NXT’s best show. WWE once again took over New York with the 2015 SummerSlam PPV. Jon Stewart, fresh off retirement, started the show with an in-ring promo. Crowd gives the mention of John Cena’s name a boo. Stewart brings out none other than the Hardcore Legend himself, Mick Foley! The duo banter back and forth, with Mick confusing Brock for Rock. And they start the show. It was good to see Foley, but a really unnecessary eight minutes wasted right at the start of the show.
Interesting choice to start the show as Randy Orton comes out to fight Sheamus. One would have thought that the four team tag title match would have kicked things off. This match might have been better suited with a stipulation. Crowd starts a “You Look Stupid!” chant and Sheamus gets on the mic calling everyone stupid, but Orton quickly quiets that. A very straight forward, almost stagnant match. Starting the show in such an anti-climatic way is a weird choice, although NXT started with a tag title match last night so Dunn probably didn’t want to copy off of HHH. Orton gets his left eyebrow cut open with a small trickle of blood from a Sheamus boot. Orton hits an RKO but Sheamus rolls out of the ring. Crowd is somewhat into the match despite it not even being good enough for a RAW main event. Orton sets up for the punt, crowd goes wild. He attempts it but misses and Sheamus catches him for White Noise, kick out at two. Brogue Kick off the ropes and Sheamus wins.
A New Day comes out and does a rap in the ring. Terrible b-footage from Smackdown sort of promo. So far, HHH has won the weekend. Lucha Dragons come out followed by Los Matadores and the champs Prime Time Players. Another match that easily could have benefited from a stipulation–maybe a ladder with the titles hanging above the ring. Or at the very least an elimination match considering only two men are allowed in the ring at one time. Mediocre booking by WWE. Four good teams in a poorly pushed division. Titus O’Neal and Darren Young both looked very strong in this match. This bout is much more exciting than Orton/Sheamus, garnering a “This Is Awesome!” chant from the crowd. Kofi Kingston gets a sneaky tag and New Day wins the tag team titles for the second time. Iffy ending on an otherwise solid match. Without the gold, hopefully this is now the time to push Titus as a solo competitor.
Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler up next. (Author’s note: I am currently wearing a throwback Dolph Ziggler t-shirt so this particular paragraph of the article might come across as biased.) This match would have been great as an inter-gender tag match because Lana can actually wrestle. Oh well, maybe someday. Ziggler starts with a headbutt and the fight is on! Both guys really did a fantastic job of selling each other and making one another look great. Fast, brutal action. Lana and Summer did their little squabble outside the ring. And then nobody wins via a double count out? What a terrible finish. Lana and Summer then fight but get separated by Ziggler and Rusev. Crowd heavily booing this and you can’t really blame them. What a dismal ending to a match. Three strikes and you’re out, WWE.
Neville and Steven Amill (aka Green Arrow from CW’s show The Arrow) defeated Stardust and Wade Barrett. And that’s all I care to say about that. 90 minutes in and this is so far one of the worst PPV’s of the year.
Big Show comes out to battle The Miz and Ryback (c) for the IC title. It’s a threeway so technically it’s no DQ, but similar to the fatal four way earlier, it isn’t being utilized. Miz looks like a child compared to the two big men. Ryback and Show look beastly, Miz looks like a pancake. Ryback retains in a quick match that I would have liked to see more of. Jon Stewart shown backstage trying to see Brock Lesnar, but Paul Heyman interferes and the two share a moment.
Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper come out. Dean Ambrose enters and Roman Reigns comes through the crowd as usual. Huge boo for the Royal Rumble winner. Pretty exciting match to start. So far this is the best match of the night. Good action, great moves from everybody both inside and outside the ring. Wyatt Family controlling a large portion of this match. The crowd does not like Reigns at all. All four competitors really turned it up a notch. They managed to feed some energy back into the PPV. Reigns hits three Superman Punches. He really needs a new finisher. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds on Bray Wyatt but instead of going for a pin, he tags Reigns back in. Reigns hits a spear for the pinfall. Another bad finish to an otherwise good match.
It’s 9:00PM now and they are about to burn Cena vs Rollins. This early in the night? Before the Divas match? Terrible. Just because The Undertaker crawls out from whatever rock he hides under for 360 days a year, suddenly the World Heavyweight Title doesn’t matter? This match is title vs title, winner take all. I made a declaration earlier in the week to friends that if Cena wins tonight, I stop watching wrestling until the next PPV. I just can’t take it. I can’t. I will delete RAW off my DVR and not listen to any news about WWE until next month. Cena enters to a chorus of boo’s. Rollins enters with a huge pop. Rollins comes out looking like the White Power Ranger. Cena looks like he plays for the Oregon Ducks. Crowd is very much in Rollins’ corner. Crowd starts a “Ce-Na-Sucks!” chant harnessing the New Day clap. Hilarious. Rollins is in control early, looking strong, putting on a wrestling clinic. Very impressive move set. It only took until 9:10, but SummerSlam finally picked up for business. Cena puts Rollins in a figure four leg lock, Rollins reverses it and Cena grabs the rope for the ref break. What. A. Match. I hate John Cena but even I can say well done in this one. Cena goes for an AA but the ref gets knocked out. So much for a clean finish. That’s a damn shame. With the ref out, Rollins knees Cena in the nose. Jon Stewart runs in with a chair. Stewart hits Cena! Rollins lands a Pedigree on the chair and Rollins wins! (Author’s Note: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!) It’s a shame this couldn’t be a clean finish, but at least Rollins wins and now holds both the WHC title and the US title, first person to ever do so. Bow down to Triple H, smarks. He is still king. Crowd starts a “Thank You, Stewart!” chant. I love it. Byron Saxton cried about it after. I loved that, too. Regardless of my feelings on Rollins winning, this ending was also badly booked.
Divas elimination match up next featuring the Bella Twins, Alicia Fox, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Tamina, Charlotte. Paige, Naomi. Everybody but Nikki and Brie look great in this match. Wait. If one gets pinned the whole team is eliminated? What sort of tedious, yawn-inducing stipulation is that? If you have nine ladies, then it should be single person elimination. More bad booking. Team BAD eliminated first. On a sidebar, Brie Bella needs to stop stealing all the moves and gimmicks of her husband. It’s terrible and makes her look as weak as she actually is. Meanwhile, back in the match, Paige takes a beating for a long time. Becky Lynch gets the pinfall eventually. So much for a “revolution.” This was a terrible match for the most part. At least Team Bella didn’t win. Not much else to say about it than that.
Cesaro and Kevin Owens go to war next. Great action right out of the gate. Kudos to Kevin Owens doing back to back PPV’s. These guys came to play. Push both guys to the moon. They are stars. Great action, crowd is really feeling it. Hard to fault this one. We’ll see how the ending goes. A lot of pretty, pretty moves in this match. Owens hit a tornado DDT and Cesaro strong armed his way into many impressive sequences. Plus, a Cesaro Swing. Kevin Owens wins via pop-up powerbomb. Good match, cleanest ending of the night. Would have liked to see that one go about five minutes longer. Great match, guys. Kevin Owens is a badass wrestler who unfortunately is at the whims of Kevin Dunn booking.
Next up, Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker. The rest of the card tonight has me apprehensive. I’m expecting Sting to interfere….or a masked Kane run-in. There’s really no win here for either guy to go over cleanly. We should all be prepared for some sort of shenanigans. And god help us if the big twist is another Paul Heyman turn. Both men come out with equal cheers from the crowd. Lesnar doesn’t even wait for Undertaker to get his trench coat off. He just starts beating on the Deadman. Crowd starts trading “Undertaker!” and “Suplex City!” chants. It doesn’t take long for Lesnar to take the Deadman to suplex city. After a big boot, Lesnar starts bleeding on his forehead. Undertaker looks miles ahead of where he was last year at WrestleMania. Younger, fresher, stronger. But no where near the physical perfection of Lesnar which makes this match hard to swallow. Especially with the devastating suplexes Lesnar keeps delivering. Kayfabe dies every time Lesnar yells, “Suplex City, bitch!” Lesnar clears the announce table and they battle outside the ring. Lesnar hits an F5 on Undertaker through the announce table! Undertaker barely beats the count back into the ring. Lesnar yells, “I’ll kill you, you son of a bitch!” Taker hits a tombstone pile driver but Lesnar kicks out at two. Lesnar sits up, laughing. Undertaker sits up laughing as well! They trade punches, crowd goes berserk. Lesnar lands the Kimora Lock. Undertaker reverses it into a Last Ride. Lesnar again kicks out at two! Lesnar hits another F5, Taker kicks out. This match is excellent, way better than last year’s. Lesnar hits a third F5, but Undertaker kicks out again! Undertaker locks in the Hell’s Gate submission out of nowhere. Lesnar reverses it into the Kimora. The bell starts ringing, Heyman screams, “He tapped him out!” Told ya, shenanigans. Undertaker hits a low blow behind the ref’s back, locks in a Hell’s Gate, and Lesnar flips him the bird. Lesnar “passes out.” More bad booking with a lazy, super lousy ending. Let it be said Lesnar never tapped and was never pinned. During the replay, Undertaker clearly tapped out. Heyman goes and rings the bell and gets on the mic. He calls Lesnar the winner by tap out submission. Crowd boos, but Heyman is right. Lesnar’s music hits and the night is over. Disappointing PPV for my money. Triple H clearly won this battle of the PPV’s. Nice try, Vince, but you came up short.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker