RAW REVIEW: Hits and misses from 4/27 show
Raw rolled into Green Bay Monday night fresh off a better than advertised Extreme Rules PPV. Seth Rollins remained top dog, we crowned new tag team champions, and Neville continued to solidify his smooth transition to the main roster in pre-show fashion. With a quite “controversial” ending in which saw Seth Rollins use a banned RKO, WWE had some questions to answer as well as develop new/fresh storylines heading into payback. Like all shows, especially one after a PPV, Raw had its high points but of course not without its share of low ones just as well. Let’s take a look at the hits and misses of this week’s Raw.
Hit: Neville’s stock rising
After putting on a match with Bad News Barrett at Extreme Rules, Neville continued to win the crowd over. It may have been in the pre-show, all due to the fact that Daniel Bryan was being pulled from the card for injuries, but it was definitely for the better. While normally in a situation like this, creative would throw together a 5 minute match to make the heel look relevant and a threat but both Barrett and Neville delivered a solid wrestling bout. Neville found himself in a King of the Ring tournament match against Luke Harper on Raw. They put on the best match of the night and both men proved that they are capable of carrying a match that keeps fans interest. Neville showed off his athleticism and took high risk while Harper showed his power and capitalized on his opponent’s weaknesses. Neville would pull out the win after the Red Arrow, and came out looking like the undisputed favorite to win the tournament despite being sold as an underdog.
Miss: New Day/Tag Team division
The creative made an interesting decision putting the tag team strap on New Day at Extreme Rules, they even followed their first championship appearance rotating the belts on each member ala Fabulous Freebirds. As much as New Day is heel (or hated) it seems like they are getting some sort of push, but creative is going about it all wrong. They are still coming out to joyful, clap-happy music and trying to get the crowd pumped up. It’s one thing to be booed because you’re “the bad guys” but it’s another thing to be booed because nobody wants to see you.
Why not change their attitude and tone down their extremely bright attire and turn it into a darker, channeled anger group that the group was originally reported to be 6 months back. Anyways, Big E came out to battle Tyson Kidd and it ended just as fast as it started. Xavier Rhodes assisted Big E in keeping Tyson Kidd pinned down while the ref wasn’t paying attention to pick up the win, so much for Cesaro and Natalya to keep the other outsiders in check. Although this may have furthered their feud, it did nothing to sell them as a legit, championship force to mess with.
Push: Bray Wyatt attacks Ryback?
Bray Wyatt finally found himself in the ring on Raw, we got to see a whole 60 seconds of him. That’s better than nothing at least coming from a Wyatt fan. His victim was Ryback- while Ryback can be sold as a strong, fierce competitor that Wyatt wants to take out, nothing WWE has done with the Big Guy has told fans that Ryback is really a credible contender that fans should care about when being in a story even with their best storyteller. While it’s great to see Wyatt in a feud, and one he probably will win it sucks because Ryback has no back story and he is completely uninteresting as a whole. His stiff in ring work mixed with his boring promo skills will make awkward matched with the Eater of Worlds (I am prepared to eat crow though if this turns out to be something good) but at the moment it looks thrown together at the last second just because everyone else is tied up at the moment and Wyatt needs to be on TV. Fans like me, will hope this feud goes only for one PPV before Wyatt can direct his attention to bigger, better things like Orton or Reigns.
Miss: Dean Ambrose back to losing ways
What seemed like a turn of events for Dean Ambrose after beating Luke Harper at Extreme Rules. Dean Ambrose made himself relevant again and gave fans something to look forward too for weeks to come. That wasn’t the case as Ambrose found himself on the losing end of a Round 1 KOTR tournament match against Sheamus. While the ladder distracted Ziggler from winning his match earlier on in the evening, it seemed destined that Ziggler would want to do the same to Sheamus in his bout with Ambrose. Instead it was Ziggler who actually interfered, attacking Sheamus costing Ambrose the match via disqualification.
Great, this furthered the animosity with Ziggler and Sheamus, setting them up for a match at Payback but this left Ambrose out of the mix. There was no point in Ziggler interfering like that, it would have been better if he actually showed up to distract Sheamus allowing Ambrose to pull off a sneaky victory but it looks like their saving that for the Neville match. After winning a huge match at Extreme Rules Ambrose found himself at the back of the line again, this man needs a heal turn desperately.
Hit: Roman Reigns back in the title picture, Rollins is as heel as ever
After putting on a better-than expected match with the Big Show at Extreme Rules, Roman Reigns showed he had not let Seth Rollins out of his focus for one minute. After coming up short agisnt Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns has been on a mission to get what he deserves, and that’s retribution on Rollins that’s dated back to last June continuing on through Wrestlemania. Randy Orton showed everybody that he is still well in the mix for the gold as the ending of him and Rollins cage match saw Rollins use the RKO, which was banned from the match so that is means for a rematch in itself.
While all three men are heading to a triple threat match at Payback they are all in the perfect position to solidify themselves as true contenders. Trust issues within the Authority sells that Rollins may be at a disadvantage while Orton and Reigns are looking as strong as ever. This match is designed perfectly for all three men. Seth Rollins looking weak with questions regarding where his partnership with the Authority lies will single him out and rely him to use his natural ability rather than depending on someone to help him out, and him beating those two men all by himself will shoot him up the stock ladder.
Knee jerk reactions from the April 13 edition of WWE Raw
Hello everyone, I would like to thank everyone in advance for reading this as I cap down some thinking points of this week’s past Raw. Last week’s edition bored us to death with hardly no stars and no real progressions in any storylines. WWE is on their annual European tour as they filled the always electric O2 arena in London with always energetic fans; let’s take a look to see what went down.
Dry wheels get oiled up for John Cenas bout with Rusev
John Cena started off the show as he came out to a mixed reaction… actually the whole crowd chanted “John Cena sucks” in rhythm with his theme music, but as he always does he evened out the crowd later on during his promo, opening his US Title challenge which was answered by Englands own Bad News Barrett.
Now I do like what WWE is doing here with restoring prestige back to the US Title, and a weekly open challenge to hungry superstars destined to etch their names alongside the immortals that carried it in the past; but it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Cena is going to win every challenge for the next couple of weeks. He just won the title three weeks ago, and he sure isn’t going to lose it so soon especially when he’s already booked in a match defining the strap at Extreme Rules in just two weeks.
I digress; both Barrett and Cena have worked with each other so much they have really good chemistry and in-ring story telling so they put together a solid opening bout in front of a hot crowd. Not even Barrett’s signature Bullhammer was enough to take the belt from Cena as the ladder hit the Attitude Adjustment for the victory to a mixed reaction. After the match, Lana walked out on stage, microphone in hand to let him know of the stipulation for him and Rusevs match next Sunday; Rusev would come out of knowhere-fist wrapped up in a steel chain and laid out the champion. The two will be involved in a ‘Russian Chain Match’
Naomi with a stunning heel turn
The second match of the night was the ‘hyped’ woman’s number one contender battle royal which, come on featured only two real favorites in Paige and Naomi. And of course guess who the final two in the ring were, you guessed it, Paige and Naomi. As awkward of an ending that match was because their divas, their always awkward, the hometown hero Paige walked out number one contender for Nikki Bellas’ Divas Championship, that’s if she was able to walk after what ensued after the match.
During a post match interview in the ring with Byron Saxton, Paige was attacked from behind by Naomi then tossed out of the ring as the ladder tossed Paige repeatedly against the barricade, slapping her in the face while mocking her “This is my house” phrase. Naomi received tons of heat but she ate it all up as she backpedaled to the locker room leaving Paige laid out outside of the ring.
This is interesting because Naomi is usually connected with the Usos, who are currently a babyface group, should be intriguing to see how creative handles that or even if a possible Uso heel turn may be in effect. But a run as a heel for Naomi could give her the opportunity to make a name for herself and develop more of a character that people want to see as a champion. Don’t get me wrong, she is a fantastic athlete who’s in ring work is good enough for Divas play, but right now she is only known as Jimmy Uso’s main squeeze.
Tension building amongst Authority Members
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are off of their ‘vacation’ but they still didn’t make an appearance on Raw this week (boy what a job that must be) which left the Director of Operations Kane in charge….. again. With both Seth Rollins and Randy Orton in two separate matches, the winner of their respected matches would decide the stipulation for their WWE Title clash at Extreme Rules.
Randy Orton beat the odds after beating Cesaro in his match, then beating both Cesaro and Tyson Kidd in a handicapped match (put together by Kane in attempts to keep Orton from deciding a stipulation) so Orton automatically gets to chose a stipulation. It was up to Rollins to win his match against Dolph Ziggler in order for him to add his own stipulation as well.
In attempt to protect himself, Rollins tried to get Kane to change the match against someone who would just lay down for him and take the L. Rollins suggested Jamie Noble take the fall, who then suggested Kane do it because “it was his bright Idea in the first place” Kane hesitantly concurred.
Kane walked down to the ring to take the loss, but not without somewhat of his pride. He wouldn’t just lay down for Rollins, he then hesitated, got in an argument then choke slammed the champion. He would then lay down next to the unconscious body of Rollins, put the ladders limp arm over his chest as the ref counted to three, making Rollins the winner of the match.
As much as I like and respect Kane, if this is signaling a face run for Kane then WWE is just fresh out of Ideas for the Big Red Machine. Maybe his actions won’t sit well with Triple H and Stephanie resulting in a firing or Kane resignation which could hopefully lead to retirement.
Stipulations, stipulations galore
Not really, only just a double stipulation match. Seth Rollins limped out to the ring aside J&J security as they lounged in some comfortable looking furniture in the middle of the ring. The challenger, Orton would enter the ring to add his stipulation only after taking shots at Rollins, suggesting they just settle everything right then and there.
Rollins stipulation ensured that Orton would be without his deadliest weapon and that is his ever so devastating RKO finisher, Rollins banned the move from being used in the match.
On the contrary, Orton decided he wanted to put his opponent at a disadvantage as well as he eliminated Seth Rollins deadliest weapon. His brains, no-his athleticism, no- not even his curb stomp, it would be the Authority.
That’s right; we finally get a good old fashioned cage match. The look on the face of the champ was priceless once he found out he would be going toe to toe with Orton inside of a steel cage match, ensuring no Authority members would be allowed to interfere and help Rollins like they always do. The show would end with chaos and Rollins running away unscathed with Orton standing tall in the ring.
This match just got a whole lot more interesting as the Viper is left like a snake with no venom, unable to use his deadly RKO. But at the same time, Rollins is finally in a true one-on-one match. Rollins has played a tremendous part in a slimy somewhat cowardly heel that is always bailed out by his posse, well not anymore. He will have to rely on his smarts and athleticism, not the Authority to walk out of Chicago WWE World Heavyweight Champion
WWE CXN Writer
Tales from the Markside- 4/9/2015
WWE SmackDown review
SmackDown kicks off with Daniel Bryan in the ring. Bryan talks about how much winning the IC title at Wrestlemania meant to him and how during his match the night after, he was attacked by Shameus, and how Shameus went after Ziggler, and how the attack that he put on him, was so bad that Ziggler couldnt compete at Smackdown, last week or this week’s Raw. He says at last week’s Smackdown he took the fight right to Shameus, but was interfered with. Out comes Bad News Barrett, says that he dropped Bryan with the bullhammer, because he could, and then Shameus comes out and says that they are coming to the ring to take out daniel bryan, because they can. Ziggler makes his way to the ring to back up Daniel Bryan. Before a tag match presumably starts, the Big Show theme song hits, and here comes Big Show, saying there was no way he would let Barrett and Shameus have all the fun taking out these Munchkins.Here comes Roman Reigns, to help clear the ring of the bad guys. After the break, we are informed that there will be a 6-man tag team match for the main event of the evening. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, and Roman Reigns vs BNB, Shameus, and the Big Show.
Match 1: New Day vs Kidd and Cesaro.
New Day come out and Big E says that they are staying positive through the New Day Sucks chants and that the fans have to like them because they are here for the fans, this is a basic tag match, with lots of new day sucks chants, that sees Cesaro and Kidd, take the win, after Cesaro hits a brutal uppercut from the outside on Kofi, allowing Kidd to get the pin.
Next we get a Raw recap of the triple threat match, and the events leading up to it. Looks like Kane may be on the outs with Seth Rollins, and possibly with the Authority after giving Randy Orton another chance to face Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules, which as the winner of the triple threat match, he (Orton) is going to face Rollins for the title at Extreme Rules.
Match 2: Neville vs. Curtis Axel
Axel says that the match that he and Neville had at Raw was a fluke and there was no way that Neville would be able to stop him this time. Short match, controlled by Neville, until he hits the Red Arrow, or as I like to call it, the best move in all of pro wrestling. Seriously, you haven’t seen it before, have a look at it.
Match 3: Alicia Fox vs Natalya
Shockingly, this match is controlled, and believably, mind you, by Alicia Fox. She hits a ton of moves, that keep Natalya on her heels for much of the match, until she gets caught in the Sharpshooter and has to submit. After the match, the special ref, Cameron, lays out both Natalya and Alicia with a ddt, making a statement that she will be the next diva to recieve a title shot.
Match 4: Bray Wyatt vs Eric Rowan
Bray Wyatt comes out and cuts a promo on Eric Rowan, how he found him, what the was after he learned from Bray, and what he has become since he left Bray Wyatt. Bray Wyatt says that the people have ruined him, and he is just like he was before. He says that he will destroy Rowan, and if he is willing to do that to someone he loves, how much worse could he do to anyone else?
Out comes Rowan, and the match is underway. Physical match, but one that's never really in question. Rowan has little offense, and Wyatt takes over on the outside with a brutal clothesline, followed by a standing senton. Once the match gets back in the ring, it's not long before Wyatt hits the sister Abigail, and it's all over.
Next we get a special Marine 4 edition of MizTV. It's basically a Miz vs Summer Rae segment over who's the star, and who's the co star. At some point Mizdow, comes down and ends up running off the Miz, and plants a big kiss Summer Rae.
Main Event : 6man tag team match, BNB, Big Show and Shameus vs Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler, and Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Bryan leads off, but ends up being trapped in the ring, before tagging Ziggler. Ziggler takes lot of punishment from Shameus and Big Show, before the ring is cleared and Roman Reigns can get in. Reigns goes nuts, hits a furious series of clotheslines on Barrett before hitting him with the spear to get the win for his team, after which smackdown goes off the air.
The good: while I personally wasn't crazy about the main event of the show, Roman Reigns is showing flashes of something special, although his ring gear leaves something to be desired.
Whoever is in charge of creative for the New Day found the best possible way for them to maintain a heel turn. Had they just became "nation of domination 2k15", they'd be getting cheered by now, but now you have the dynamic of the Freebirds(blackbirds?).
The Really Good: Bray Wyatt is getting even better in the ring and on the mic. I see him in the world title picture before the Royal Rumble.
Overall, I'd have to say this was an above average show. Couple of holes, few dead spots, but enjoyable. With the growth of some talents, new talents like Neville, and the progression of story lines getting better, smackdown has a very bright future.
RAW REVIEW: BEST AND WORST OF 4/6/2015
By Austin Montgomery
We are just two weeks removed from Wrestlemania and it seems that rather that pick up the pace from last week’s wild episode, WWE creative looks like it took the night off yesterday. Lack of star power and complete storytelling watered down the show but there were some high points in which WWE looks to build off of going forward into Extreme Rules. Let’s take a look at the highs and the lows of last night’s edition of Monday Night Raw.
BEST: Rollins runs the show
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had the night off, which leaves the Director of Operations Kane mainly in charge of booking for the night. Alongside Big Show and WWE Champion (with J&J Security) the short-handed Authority opened the show praising their guys. Rollins was just as brilliant as he has ever been on the microphone, putting out the slimy villain vibe we are so accustomed to as he bragged about his Wrestlemania accomplishments.
As he mocked Kane, the Viper Randy Orton appeared on stage and made his case for a number one contender ship for Rollin’s title. Kane announced that the former would be in a triple threat match with Roman Reigns and Ryback to determine the challenger for the aforementioned Rollins and his title at the end of the night.
As the show went on, Seth showed his dominance as champion and vocal leader of the authority by ending the show standing tall over his challenger Orton.
BEST: Neville get’s his shot
Rollins was unhappy about Kane booking a match for a number one contender, he let his frustrations be known on the Director of Operations as the ladder booked Rollins in a match and it was unclear on who his opponent would be. Out came new NXT transfer Neville. Rollins mocked Neville and put down his accomplishments when the two came to blows and had a pretty good match which saw Rollins getting his hand raised as winner of the bout.
Though he may have lost cleanly, there is nothing wrong with facing the WWE Champion on just your second match on the main roster. Neville never backed down and showed signs of what we all believe is going to be a fantastic career from the former. It shows a lot of trust from your company to put him in such a high profile match so soon. As it is going right now, the company seems to be putting some faith in Neville going forward and should have hardcore NXT fans excited to see what’s next from The Man that Gravity Forgot.
WORST: Lack of Stars
While the show was mainly carried by Rollins and in some part John Cena, the show didn’t have that ‘must watch’ feel to it and for good reason. Brock Lesnar is on vac… suspension, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose were no-shows.
Daniel Bryan is the Intercontinental Champion; he holds the second most prestigious title in the company and was nowhere to be found At least have him come out and cut a promo, remind fans he is still alive from the beating he suffered from both Bad News Barrett and Seamus on Smackdown from last week. The charismatic Dolph Ziggler found himself on the bench last night just as well, his energy he usually brings to a match hurt the show in some order. The company usually goes with a Ziggler match to start the program to get fans warmed up for the festivities that followed, and the energy just wasn’t there.
WORST: Roman Reigns in limbo
It seems like last October the plan for Reigns after Wrestlemania would the Superman that slayed Brock Lesnar, loved by any and all fans for bringing the championship back home. What a difference a few months and a couple of boo’s makes huh? Reigns found himself going against The Big Show for the thousandth time and nowhere near the closing scenes of the show which he is usually accustomed to. Instead he was taken out by Big Show and made way for Orton to earn the number one contenders spot at Extreme Rules.
It looks as if Reigns is heading into a feud with *sigh* Big Show at least till Extreme Rules which is doing him no favors at all. As great as Big Show has been for the WWE over the years, he is just a shell of himself. He isn’t scary, he is slow and a win over The Giant doesn’t seem to carry as much credibility as it once did. Reigns finds himself in the terrible world of WWE Purgatory as of right now and you can thank the fans for that.
BEST: Tag Team Division get’s some steam
Lazy writing and creativity has drastically effected the tag team division. From midgets in bull costumes to church pastors that WWE wants us to take seriously, the division is losing steam.
The New Day has not been a success that creative thought it would be, drawing ‘boring’ chants and ‘New Day Sucks’ shouts it seems that creative is looking to turn them heel, and that’s the best it can do with them right now. The group itself isn’t bad as it is loaded with talent; the gimmick however has lost the fans interest. Hopefully they can build some momentum heading into a feud with a babyface team like Prime Time Players who seem to be on a roll calling out the tag team division by mocking their chants and costumes like they did the Ascension last night.
Darren Young and Titus O’Neil have given their team a resurrection and look to be catching the love with the fans like they once did not too long ago. Add them with the aforementioned Ascension, the new and exciting Lucha Dragons and hopefully the new attitude New Day all gunning for Tyson Kidd and Cesaro’s gold should make for some exciting tag team action in the future.
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WWE Smackdown Review
April, 2, 2015
The show opens with a recap of the Post-Wrestlemania Raw, or as I like to call it, the Brockzilla tragedy AKA The Day Michael Cole became Michael Coleslaw. Because of this, Tom Phillips is taking Cole's spot at the announce table with Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler.
Seth Rollins makes his first appearance as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and brings the Authority with him. He says Brock got what he deserved and if he wasn't such an animal, they might be having their match right now. While he's in the ring bragging Randy Orton makes his way out, saying that since Lesnar is out of the picture, and considering he did beat Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania, he should be at the top of the list for title. Seth informs him that he calls all the shots as it pertains to THE WWE WHC. Kan then takes the mic and tells Randy that as director of operations he has some power, and should he beat beat his opponent , he'll consider granting him his rematch for the belt. His opponent is the big show, and the match is now.
Randy Orton vs Big Show
Orton takes the early advantage with an attack that leads to Show taking the trademark Randy Orton DDT only this time he hits it off the third rope, instead of the "vintage" way. As soon as he hits this, the Authority take to the ring, attacking Orton. Just as Rollins is about to hit the curb stomp, Ryback hits the ring, and quickly, with the help of Randy Orton , they clean house, hitting finishers on the Authority.
Next on the show is a recap on Shameus' return, new look, and his attack on Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler.
After the commercial we see the Bella at ringside on commentary for Naomi vs Natalya. This was a really good match for the time it was given, Naomi wins with a really impressive looking head scissors DDT on Natalya.
Next is Roman Reigns' 1 on 1 with Byron Saxton.
They show a lot of still images from Reigns match as he talks about how close he came to beating Lesnar, and how he knows he can beat him and says Brock knows it too. He also knows that he can beat Rollins, as he's done it already.
Miz vs R - Truth
This is a very short match,work no real offense other than miz hitting the Skull Crushing Finale to get the win. While he's celebrating the win, Sandow runs down and hits his own SCF, leaving miz laid out.
John Cena comes down and talks about how hard he's worked and how hard he will work to bring honor to the US title. He also says that he will have a open challenge for the title every at raw. Rusev comes down, and says that the belt is still his, and at extreme rules he's going to take it back. This is Rusev's world, according to the big Russian.
Next is a slight return match from wrestlemania - Luke Harper vs.Dean Ambrose
This match is just a brawl, plain and simple. Lots of stiff chops and elbows. The match concludes with Harper powerbombing Ambrose through the announce table. While this match is an obvious build to Extreme Rules, it's nearly a must watch, for the physicality.
Shameus comes out before the main event and says that the fans support losers and are disappointed when they fail. He says all he wants is to crush the dreams of each and every person in the WWE Universe.
Shameus vs. Daniel Bryan, Bad News Barrett on commentary
Another physical match, mostly with Shameus displaying some new offense and targeting Bryan's neck. Bryan gets his offense in by way of some painful sounding open Palm strikes to the ear and head of Shameus, and a brutal comeback before being unceremoniously dumped on the outside and catching a brutal bullhammer elbow, from bad news barrett, that leaves him unable to answer a 10 count. Shameus wins by countout.
This was another solid show from wwe, and with new call ups, the Lucha Dragons, and Neville it's poised to only get better.
High Point of the show: It happened exactly where it was supposed to- at the end. The last two matches were as better than most of what we've seen on recent ppvs. Physical matches that tell a story.
Tales From the Mark Side:
WrestleMania 31 Review/Reaction
March 29, 2015
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Match #1: Fatal 4way for the Tag Team Championship
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd(c) vs the New Day vs Los Matadores vs the Usos
Winners: Cesaro and Kidd retain
A typical kickoff match, fast paced and fun. Jimmy Uso went most of the match after Cesaro reinjured Jey Uso’s shoulder. While this was not bad for a fatal 4way tag match, it showed that the Tag division is two teams right now, in Kidd and Cesaro and the Usos.
Match #2: The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
WInner: Big Show
Axelmania ran into a buzzsaw in the form of all the competitors in the ring teaming up to dump him out of the ring pretty much as soon as the match starts. The high point of the match, however when Damien Sandow eliminated the Miz to be the next to last man standing, before being eliminated by the winner, the Big Show.
WrestleMania Main Show:
7 Man Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Stardust vs Daniel Bryan vs R-Truth vs Dolph Ziggler vs Luke Harper vs Bad News Barrett vs Dean Ambrose
Wrestlemania 31 kicked off with a bang with this bar fight of a title match. Good action all around, so much action, so many brutal spots, including a Luke Harper powerbomb on Dean Ambrose that broke a ladder, and nearly Dean Ambrose, in half. Bad News Barrett decimated much of the field with a flurry of late match bull hammer elbows but he was not the victor. Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler traded punches and headbutts atop the ladder before Daniel Bryan could seize the opportunity by reaching up and grabbing the title, claiming the only belt that had eluded him for his decorated career.
Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton
This is the grudge match of the night, with what could be the two most talented guys on the roster. Really solid back and forth match with both men kicking out of each others finisher. The match climbed to a fever pitch when in going for a curb stomp, just as Seth Rollins’ foot hit the back of Randy Orton, Orton rises up lifting Rollins higher into the air, and drops him with an amazing RKO, ending the match in dramatic fashion.
Triple H vs Sting
“A match 14 years in the making” for all the things this match could have been about, for all the things this match was said to be about, this match turned into the physical representation of the Monday Night Wars, nearly 2 decades later, complete with cameos from the nWo and Degeneration X. Surely this sounds too much like a blast from the past, but it held up really well. the worst thing about this match was Triple Hs entrance, as it just lacked the character and pageantry of his entrance last year. The match was good, a feel that was very old school. very slow start, but it made the high spots feel bigger. D-X hit the ring, it felt big, when the nWo’s music hit it felt big, when Sting came off the top rope onto DX, it elicited real response. I was genuinely let down when Triple H hit Sting with the sledgehammer, and scored the final pinfall, not because of any “burial” or anything like that, this was truly a let down that Sting lost, and that was ok.
AJ Lee and Paige vs the Bella Twins
Not much to say about this, other than it was all the divas tag matches that you normally see on Raw and Smackdown. Thats not to say it was bad, but it was what it was for a six minute divas tag match. AJ and Paige get the win.
Rusev(c) vs John Cena for the United Championship
Rusev comes down in an army tank in what to me was the entrance of the night. Very physical match with both men landing heavy hits on each other. Lana, after getting on the apron to distract the ref and Cena gets knocked off by Rusev accidentally when John Cena dodges one of his attacks. This allows John Cena to hit the AA, and become the new US champion 11 years after his first reign.
Triple H and Stephanie Macmahon take to the ring to brag about the fact that they made all this possible, all the wrestlers that the fans cheer, and the fans themselves are all owned by Stephanie Macmahon, which catches the attention of one Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. He proceeds to tell the Authority that they dont own the fans, and they damn sure dont own him. Triple H and the Rock have a staredown which is broken up by Stephanie, and she proceeds to slap him across the face. Yelling at him to get out of the ring because she knows that he wont hit a woman. The Rock then heads out of the ring, but instead of walking back up the ramp, he walks to ringside and stands beside UFC champ Ronda Rousey, and tells Stephanie that while he wont hit a woman, Rousey has no problem with it. The two of them have a staredown, Stephanie tries to smack Ronda but gets her arm trapped. About this time, Triple H is getting beaten by the Rock and the Authority powders out of the ring. Rocky and Ronda stand in the ring and pose for the crowd, and this, I believe, has to be the first foreshadowing of a match for Wrestlemania 32.
Semi Main Event: Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
Wyatt has a great entrance, as he is flanked by a herd of zombie scarecrows. Undertaker’s entrance is very subdued this year, but he looks good physically. The match is physical, it feels like the old school Undertaker matches, before the epics with Michaels and Triple H. Good offense for Wyatt, but the match never really felt in question. The moment of the match came when Bray Wyatt in all his crab walking glory, came face to face with a reanimated dead man, and in that moment you could see that he was thinking that he knew why the Undertaker had be the “face of fear” for so long in the WWE. Undertaker took the win after delivering a tombstone piledriver.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Brock Lesnar(c) vs Roman Reigns
The Match opens with an flurry for Brock, suplexes, strikes and even an F5 in the early going, but Reigns got up. More suplexes, even a bloody mouth, and Reigns got up. “Suplex City” Brock called it, and Reigns still, got up. As the action spilled outside the ring, then it happened. The Beast was damaged, opened up by a collision with a ring post. Roman Reigns attacks while the iron is hot, landing superman punch after superman punch, Brock stops him with an F5, but cannot get to Reigns to make the cover. As both these monsters lay prone in the ring, Mr. Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins music hits, its cash in time. This match is now a triple threat match, Rollins hits a curb stomp Brock, but cant make the cover, he battles the Beast, and ends up in postion for the F5 but before Lesnar can hit, Roman Reigns cuts Lesnar in half with a spear, which Rollins takes full advantage of, he hits one last curb stomp on Roman Reigns and scores the 3 count. Your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins!
If you’re reading this,you’ll recognize two things right off. Number one, you are aware that this WrestleMania review is a little later than the quick reactions you normally get. This is was, including the preshow matches, a monster of an event, clocking in at nearly 5 hours. There was a lot to take in, and that leads me into the second thing you may notice, this is not a blow-by-blow recap of each match, and here is why- This is the first WWE pay per view that is WORTH watching, which by now, most of you have. If you haven’t, you should, its worth more than the 9.99. Its everything that WrestleMania should be, and even though Cena, Orton, The Big Show, and Triple H winning, this was a statement to the youth of the WWE. It culminated in the crowning of Seth Rollins, the first NXT champ, as the man at the top of the hill. The title picture is perfectly pleasant, with each champion, capable of elevating their titles to new heights, even Rollins, with his ability to put on a good match with so many talents on the roster, the belts are anybody’s game.
WRESTLEMANIA 31: Biggest Winners/Loser and Knee jerk reaction:
Wrestlemania season has finally concluded, and after setting an attendance record that the San Francisco 49rs probably won’t get close to touching within the next 5 years, the event ended with Seth Rollins standing tall and pyrotechnics bursting in the Santa Clara skyline. Although this year’s edition of Mania won’t be remembered too much from an in ring perspective, the stories that were told-and concluded made the event one of the best Wrestlemania in years.
Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers of the WWE’s flagship program:
WINNER: DANIEL BRYAN
Daniel Bryan has came a long way since knocking off all three Evolution members in one night at last year’s Mania, and that’s not in a good way. Bryan found himself on injury reserve for the better part of the year. After falling to Roman Reigns for an opportunity to once again headline WrestleMania, he was thrust into the Intercontinental Championship spotlight, which IS a good thing.
After edging out Dolph Ziggler in a head but battle at the top of the ladder, Bryan unhooked the title and started off Wrestlemania where he left it last year, in a sea full of ‘YES!’ chants. Bryans name and hard work alone should restore the prestige of the IC title and help elevate it to a level it hasn’t been in nearly a decade.
WINNER: TRIPLE H AND STING
Yes that’s right, BOTH men are deserving for this mention due to the fact they had the most memorable match at this year’s Wrestlemania. It wasn’t the fight that most of us had expected, which is good because a lot of fans-including myself-thought that due to their respective age, the match would be slow and dependent on theatrics and weapons. Rather than slow the match down, both men used dug into their technical wrestling bag and pulled out tons of tricks. Triple H looked as cunning and merciful as he has ever been, while Sting looked relentless and gritty. The match actually stretched on over 15 minutes, with run-ins from the NWO and DX that had Attitude Era fans joyous. Triple H would get the win and seemingly written the final chapter in the ever so long Monday Night Wars.
LOSER: BRAY WYATT
Now before anyone gets mad or has any outcry over The Undertaker I just want to say I have always been an Undertaker fan and is more than happy he came back and avenged last year’s loss. However, from a storyline perspective, what on earth did Undertaker need this win for? Yeah I know to restore his Wrestlemania legacy but that was tarnished the second he put Lesnar over last year. In what should have been the passing of the torch moment from one supernatural being to another, Bray Wyatt broke down in fear and crumbled from his patented spider walk when he saw Taker do his trademark sit up. Although a great moment for Undertaker as he look 10x better than last year’s Mania and worked real well, Bray Wyatt now finds himself 0-2 at Wrestlemania with no direction going forward.
LOSER: ROMAN REIGNS:
I could write for days about how bad this is for Roman Reigns, but I’m going to try and keep it simple. In a shocking plot twist, I’m sure no one predicted that Roman Reigns would be left laying in the middle of the ring with Brock Lesnar both losers of the match. A memorable MITB cash in by Seth Rollins stopped Roman Reigns comeback that we’ve all seen a thousand times before with John Cena. The only offense Reigns got in was three superman punches and three spears, other than that Roman Reigns was booked as a rag doll in the main event. I think it was pretty cool that Reigns was smiling and begging Lesnar for more as it showed his heart and could help add another element to his character. However, his beating from Brock Lesnar looked even more uncomfortable than the beating Cena took from the former. I’m sure that WWE didn’t have that in mind when they booked Reigns to win the Royal Rumble a few months back.
WINNER: SETH ROLLINS
Seth Rollins left Wrestlemania in true heel fashion as he cashed in his coveted MITB Briefcase mid match and changed it to a triple threat match going on to win his first ever WWEWHC. (side note also first ever NXT alumni to capture the main gold) The image of Rollins darting out to the ring and hitting a flurry of curb stomps to anyone moving, he pinned Reigns and frantically ran up the ramp with the strap as Levi Stadium went bonkers. This was the best possible way this show could have ended, if Reigns would have went over cleanly the fans might have booed Reigns worse than his Rumble win.
This should mean a vacation for the part time Lesnar as Reigns and Rollins look to be headed into a program with each other.
What did you think of Wrestlemania? How would you have booked the cash in? Let me know
WWE CXN Writer Austin Montgomery