Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Raw 8/8 Recap

Last week on Raw recap takes the place of SmackDown. 
Jesus another 15 yrs in the making match. 
Enzo and Cass receive their big pop to open the show. Makes me ask why they couldn't let the NXT talent keep what made them hot. The Descension should have been this over. Essentially last week was used to set up the face E&C off with Jericho and KO. Jericho and Owens bring enough heel comedy relief to make this feud interesting. I'm here for it. 

Enzo vs. Jericho

Who's Line Is It still comes on? Owens worked the interference to bring Cass into the match causing the DQ. KO goes over the top with the celebration. We get the Summer Slam challenge that we've been waiting for along with KO covering Jericho's ears to avoid hearing how sawft they are.

Sasha gets an interesting stipulation for her concern surrounding Dana Brooke's possible involvement. 

Strowman vs. Jobber

Strowman's massacre continues. This time it's the speechless Jorel Nelson. He even gets entrance music. Welcome to Raw, Mr. Nelson. 

Puffy ain't shit for mentioning Lil Kim after Faith Evans. The segment got black as hell when the New Day rolled through. I'll take it. 

Titus O'Neil vs. Darren Young

Eh, Titus and Darren are back in the ring again. Break time. I come back from break and Young has won. Don't even know what happened. Black Wrestlers Matter. After watching the replay, Darren got payback by holding the tights. Classy.

Rollins came to talk about Balor and the upcoming match. It started strong; maybe it was just me, but it seemed pretty long winded. It feels like someone gave Rollins a clock and told him to kill as much time as possible. I mean dude had a 15 minute monologue.

Sheamus vs. Cesaro

Sheamus makes his way to the ring to take on Cesaro to avenge his loss last week. These two commence to exchanging blows and power moves. I saw Cesaro slide under a Brogue kick. Dude is super athletic more so than Rusev. I also saw a standing drop kick delivered to Sheamus while he was sitting on the top turnbuckle, amazing. Cesaro gets the roll up pin for the win. 

This Orton/Randy beef is being built better than the Cena/Styles one. Brock has the most filthy mouth ever. 

Dudley Boys vs. Neville and Sin Cara

The Dudleys are back to face Neville and a a partner of his choosing, Sin Cara. I legit went to sleep on this match. SC comes down donning a new less colorful ensemble.  Could this be his last chance with the cruiserweights coming up? The Red Arrow is truly an amazing move. Watching it in slow motion I realized this. 

Rusev brings his new bride to the ring for a celebration and there are 3 cakes to be destroyed. Rusev is dressed in his wedding garb sans shirt. Thus continues the Get Roman Over experiment. The man comes to be the stand in best man and channels the Rock insulting the bride and groom. Lana gets the Anna Mae treatment with a full frontal of cake. Roman slides out quietly having ruined the event. 

Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke

Sasha has her chance to ban Brooke from ringside with a victory. Charlotte attempted to help her protege win the match but it backfired. A swift double knee later, Sasha and Charlotte have a one on one match at Summer Slam. 

The commercial break ends with a replay of Razor Ramon being upset by The Kid to help promo the Ben-Hur movie. Balor gets a zen-esque video promo refuting Seth's claims of his disrespect. It was a history lesson into his character and set up the beast at SS. 

Anderson and Gallows cut a promo to explain Ringpostitis. Needless to say there were enough references to balls that makes one want to skip the segment. 

Luke Gallows vs. Kofi Kingston

Out next are the New Day sans Big E for the one on one match between Gallows and Kingston. Anderson works the distraction to his advantage for a win. Post match, there was an attempt to line Kofi up for the same fate as Big E, but Xavier comes through with the chair to run them off. 

D. Bryan accepts Foley's invite to chop it up about the superstars jumping shows. Mick puts the SmackDown GM on the spot for his comments on talking Smack. Rusev comes down to defend his GM and lay claim to him being the only champ Raw needs. Bryan plays the role of instigator when Cesaro comes to ask for his title shot which Mick grants. 

Main Event: Cesaro vs. Rusev

Cesaro pulling double duty takes on the champ. Rusev works the shoulder early, but the challenger battles back displaying his strength. It looks like he may be able to pull off the victory until Sheamus interjects himself into the match. The combination of the Bulgarian brute and the Celtic warrior were too much for the King of Swing. Rusev celebrates his victory as the show closed. Not so fast my friend Roman lands a Spear on the champ making a statement to punctuated this show. It seems that someone is understanding how to get him over with the crowd.  

By Tony A.

Friday, July 1, 2016

WWE SmackDown 6/30

There's an announcement the Fatal 4 way match for US Title #1 contender at the top of the show. Cesaro drives up. Issues a challenge to Rusev. Crews working out backstage. Sheamus spikes his hair, no Zack Ryder. I don't believe anything Del Rio said. 

Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Del Rio vs. Apollo Crews

Cesaro is out first. Otunga is sitting in for King. My first time seeing him in a long time. We've moved on from Titus already? Damn that was fast. Heels go after each other to start the match. Sheamus is a marked man with Del Rio and Crews gunning for him; Cesaro seems to be the lone wolf of the four. Is Cesaro still nursing that shoulder injury? Crews spends more time out of action. That was the quickest Swing transition I've ever seen from Cesaro. Del Rio taps to the Sharpshooter which I suspected. Del Rio ambushes the winner from the front some how and landed a stomp from the apron. Rusev makes his own appearance to congratulate his new challenger and demands to start the match immediately. 

Rusev vs. Cesaro for the the US Title

Rusev mouths off to Cesaro making him turn around like Marty McFly after he got called chicken. Just like that, we're on. The champ works over his opponent's midsection until Cesaro was able to muster up a reversal only to have Rusev to regain the upper hand with a bear hug. Cesaro manages to pull off s few athletic feats still battling a rib injury. After breaking an Accolade, Cesaro would eventually tap to the submission move as quickly as the match started. 

Titus getting another shot on Monday.

Dana Brooke vs. Billy Kaye

Dana Brooke is here to face off with Billy Kaye? Oh it's Jesse McKay coming up from NXT or maybe she just took the brief trip down to the MIA. Anyway, Dana still looking good. Billy Kaye put in some work for a before catching that Somoan Driver for the pin and win. 

Summer Rae walks up on Sasha's backstage interview saying she's tired of the Boss angle. She tries to hide behind the hopes of being drafted to different brands, but Sasha promised to show her what a boss can do before then.

Miz TV welcomes the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Dean Ambrose only after Mayrse announces the host in her heavy Canadian accent. Maroon 5: Battleground sounds like a good album though. Dean shows up with a Cuban and comments on Miz TV's set up. All of a sudden we have a challenge of show segments. Dean doesn't stop eating while Miz drops his insults. The Dude wipes his mouth with the host's jacket after its dropped in preparation for a fight. Mayrse snatches it back and tosses it over the head of the champ so that her husband can land a swift boot to face. Mind you, this was a white jacket; white no more.

John Cena has been announced as the host for the Espy's, which works with the new WWE/ESPN partnership. The Wyatts are here, Miami! 

The Wyatts vs. No Name Jobbers

Who are these dudes? Smackdown, again being booked like a houseshow complete with a squash match featuring some no name jobbers. Strowman gets the double pin for the win.

Oh shit, New Day spoofed the Wyatts promo style. We cut to Kofi in the black sheep mask with a unicorn horn through it. He adds the cryptic tone. Big E's flavor is a lanten made of horns. They ask Bray what is his fear naming off a few comical items that includes females with big ole booties. They even make the "Expose yourself" joke that isn't so PG. Xavier still isn't partying with the group. As I'm sure New Day is working this angle, this change in demeanor should be interesting.

Summer Rae vs. Sasha Banks

In the midst of summer, the time for that bashing by the Boss. Sasha is in Muscle & Fitness Her, and I think I need to get it as a collector's item. After the bell, there's a shoulder tackle, wrist lock, and arm drag. This has to be due to Summer Rae's move and skill set because we all know that Sasha is beyond this here. Not much flare before the commercial break either. I would love to say it was great perfomance from Summer, but Sasha worked to put her on. Enough is enough; there was a Bank Statement for the submission.

Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz

Dean comes charging out to the ring; apparently, he's facing off with the Miz after their showdown earlier. You can't say he's not a fighting champ. These two are fast paced from the onset. How I forget that these two have shared the ring many times in the last year or so. Miz lands three kicks in the corner that look a lot like groin kicks but the ref didn't call for the bell. Dean embraces his inner Catholic before diving through the ropes on a bum leg then he kicks out a Skull Crushing Finale; HACK! This is SmackDown. No kicking out of finishers. Dean better win with a.... Nevermind. He lands a Dirty Deeds for the pin and win. That was the show everybody.

Surprisingly there was no Darren Young. If they're unsure of how to book Primo and Epico, this is a great outlet to try them out. Hell, we already know what they can do. The only tag match was a squash, and this is how you're selling the show that's about to get expanded and go live in less than a month.

Contributed by Tony A.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Money in the Bank predictions

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
No Contest
Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus
Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch
Charlotte/Dana Brooke
Rusev (c) (with Lana) vs. Titus O'Neil
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (with Xavier Woods) (c) vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
New Day
New Day
New Day
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
AJ Styles
AJ Styles
AJ Styles
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Alberto Del Rio
Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth Rollins

SmackDown Recap for 6/9

WWE SmackDown 6/9

AJ Styles with The Club opens the show assuring us that this will be the greatest Money in the Bank ever; matter of fact it can be compared to Wrestlemania. For the first time, AJ admits that it was he who orchestrated the Club’s arrival. Hold up, wait. Enzo & Cass objects to Anderson & Gallows dominating in the tag match, which they promised to do. Mr. Clean dream team and Bro. Ray J, as named by Enzo, assured that they would not be defeated by the man who once managed a Hooters.

Anderson & Gallows vs. Enzo & Cass

After commercial break, New Day joins the 3-man announce team on commentary. Byron finds himself on grape feeding duty instead of calling the match. But he wasn’t needed because the New Day added color commentary and promo work better than any guest and some certain announcers. Meanwhile in the ring, Muscle Marinara aka Enzo was getting that work until the Vaudevillains appeared on the ramp as expected. It wasn’t long before the keg explodes, and the match ends in a no contest. Our final look has Enzo & Cass standing tall in the ring and New Day on the outside.

Jericho and Ambrose feud recapped for the upcoming main event for the first time on SmackDown. 
Renee slipped up in her interview and said the announcement was “yesterday” when referring to Rusev’s attack on Titus. Rusev followed up still claiming to be a great American. Titus steps in to set the records straight driving the point home.

Cesaro/Zayn vs. Del Rio/Owens

First thing, JoJo is filling in for Eden, just an observation. The bell rings, and Owens tags out quickly. Del Rio and Owens engage in a game of one up one another. Owens walks out; Zayn chases leaving Cesaro to fend for himself. Zayn and Owens return scrapping like usual. Back in the ring, Del Rio and Owens get into a shoving match. Zayn has a spot when he goes over the ref on the dive outside the ring. An exchange of blows end with an uppercut to Cesaro. Next, Cesaro pulls off an uppercut train into swing and sharpshooter. Owens shakes the rope while Cesaro was going for a superplex leading to Del Rio stomping out Cesaro. A blind tag by Owens for the pin and win.

Becky Lynch vs. Dana Brooke

How many releases led to Becky getting this much smoke? Also, if Becky turns heel, her gimmick could be Becky with the good hair. Dana escapes the ring but comes back to some help from Charlotte. Brooke slaps Natalya, and both ringside women are booted. Becky eventually gets the wins by submission with the Disarmer.

Backlund wants to see Darren Young celebrate. Goes into the saving of money.

Dolph comes down to sit in on commentary for Corbin vs. Kalisto

If you haven’t tagged in months, are you still a team, Lucha Dragons? Kalisto takes advantage early, but Corbin sizes seizes the match. He steps outside to face off with Ziggler. Another match must be in the mix, but why? Corbin lands End of Days for the pin and win.

Sheamus is back taking a page out of the Miz’s gimmick bragging about being Hollywood. This was his first movie? Apollo ready for his payback. What is this crew of flunkies? Summer, Golden Truth, & Zack were just hanging out in the back.

Dean vs. Jericho

This match was sold as Jericho’s retribution for Payback. All in all, I had nothing to say; Jericho won.
It seems that SmackDown is booked like a house show with the bad timing of the promos and commercial breaks.

Contributed by Tony A.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Raw Recaps

WWE Raw 6/6

We’re live from Oklahoma City and the show opens with Dean Ambrose making his way to the ring and the other Money in the Bank contestants already in the ring on ladders. Ok; we’re having ladder promos. KO killed it early with his WWE Network plug and homage to old factions, who he promised to give title shots once he’s champ. Jericho quickly reminds everyone who’s original idea created MITB, but it’s also pointed out that he has never won it. Dean is only here to fight. A brawl broke out and then it happened; Teddy Long is back, and he’s pandering, campaigning to reclaim the title of GM of Smackdown. Stephanie appears puzzled as to how he got in the building; then she took an age old page out of Booking for Dummies and made 1 on 1 matches with each of the competitors. But aren’t there usually seven participants in Money in the Bank?

Cesaro vs. Jericho

This was probably the match of the night, and it was first. The chemistry between these two led to a Cesaro swing transition into a pin by Jericho, a springboard uppercut into a Codebreaker, a superplex of Jericho with him being outside the ring, and a Neutralizer/pin/Lion tamer/Cesaro spin/Sharpshooter transition for the win. I nominate it for the next Best Matches of Raw DVD.

AJ Styles and John Cena are officially booked on the strength of that three man beatdown last week. Following the break, we get Seth’s side of the table in the title match. The video package wasn’t a good idea if the goal is to get Roman over. It played heavily on the fact that he had to sit on the sideline and watch the title that he never lost be passed to Reigns eventually. How can you boo him after that?

Lana in that red introducing Rusev, the True American Hero vs. Jack Swagger with Titus on commentary

Anytime that Titus is on commentary, he has something for Byron, and he’s never ready. Titus seems to be here to rep for the Black American heroes though. Not long into the match Swagger is pushed into Titus before being counted out. This brings Titus into the fray leaving Rusev to escape the flurry of kicks and punches from the Real American and Real Black American.

Cena comes down to sell his match and his disappointment with Styles. Amazingly this went over better than it did when Roman did the same thing even though Styles was denying his association with Anderson and Gallows at the time. The trio interrupts Cena’s segment, and I’m sure Cena screwed up when he addressed them as the Bullet Club. Whoever wrote AJ’s spill used the same old talking points about Cena’s abilities and hype. We’ve seen it from CM Punk and the like and some not so much the like, the Rock. Cena responds like he always does by admitting he is who they say he is and even clowns his selection of wrestling attire. AJ breaks the kayfabe when he discusses bringing the Club so he doesn’t get buried (When has that ever been a good idea? Now we can bury 3 instead of one.) Fed up, the Club decides to “surround” Cena in the ring. First, we know that 3 people cannot surround a four sided structure; we’ve seen two other factions do it. Secondly, why would you leave the ramp side open? Oh the New Day is coming; that’s why. Well this will be settled in the main event when we will have yet another six-man tag main event.

Vaudevillians vs. Enzo & Cass

Enzo comes out dropping them Ali lines to lead off their introduction just the way they were wrote for him. Near the end of the match, English proclaims that Enzo is going for the ride again and does it. Cass gets fed up as a result resulting in him getting DQ’d. Let’s hope this push of Cass as an unstoppable force doesn’t bury Enzo in the process because it’s looking like they were brought up as a package only to get him over as a singles competitor.

Teddy is still backstage pandering much to Stephanie’s surprise. He pitched an idea for the Tag Team division. Steph took it for her own booking a Fatal 4-way Tag Match for at MITB.

Zayn vs. Del Rio

Del Rio nailed Zayn with the kick that put Cena down; he kicked out. The match ended pretty quickly after Del Rio pulled off his second attempt at a Double stomp. Not much excitement here.
A backstage run in with KO and Dean follows the match teasing there meeting. They rehash their history until KO’s tells of his concern for Dean’s sanity. And then, Roman’s story aka bathroom break.

Dean vs. KO

The bell rings; they go back and forth. The action went ringside quickly. It wouldn’t be an Owens match if he didn’t take the mic. The Six-star frog splash from the apron was a bonus, but it was Dirty Deeds to seal the win. For some reason, it was decided that Dean should attempt to climb the ladder only to be stopped by a recovered KO.

Wasn’t that the same Darren Young clip from Smackdown? It’s time for the Women’s segment. Apparently these four ladies are the only one active; none of them are in action so this is what you got. Charlotte talks up her greatness with Dana Brooke at her side. Nattie and Becky remind Dana of Charlotte’s treacherous history with partners in an effort to turn her. I don’t remember much else after that because I was accessing Dana’s attire for the evening. Hey Dana! The Thirst is real.

Come to Puerto Rico; the Shining Star of the Caribbean. In case you haven’t booked your tickets.

Breeze vs. R-Truth

This match had so many questions that won’t be answered. What is aero gigantic? What’s the purpose of these teams? Why did this end in a disqualification? How did Teddy come back again? Who didn’t know he was going to try to restart the match?
Much respect to Muhammed Ali, but give us a Black champ. Can we do that?

The Club vs. New Day

Xavier kicked it off with a nice run only to catch the beat down with his team all before the bell. He was beaten so bad that he was sent back to the locker room. Big E ate a Pele kick and a big boot ringside. Back in the ring, the Club uses quick tags to work him in the corner. Following the breakdown, Kofi caught a Phenomenal Forearm and was pinned. What’s a show ending without a John Cena ring clearing run in?

We have one more Raw to sell the PPV, and with the fresh feuds, I hope the MITB matches are the beginnings of a Summer Slam payoff at best. Still there were many superstars missing from this show.

Contributed by Tony A.

Monday, June 6, 2016

WWE Raw Recap 5/30

WWE Raw Recap 5/30

It’s the Memorial Day edition of Monday Night Raw! The shows that land on the Monday holidays always serve as an interesting look into the operation of the company being that Raw kicks off the week for WWE, and it’s not a great idea to start with filler content. Being as it may, I give you Memorial Day Raw live from Green Bay, WI.

We open the show with the traditional video package and tribute to the U.S. of A. into the theme. Stephanie comes down to the ring to the normal boos which were quickly converted to cheers when Shane’s music drops. The two go back and forth about the announcement of the upcoming Live Smackdown and anticipated roster split, although they never specifically said it. This prompts the New Day to interject. The main concern for YOUR WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS is that there is a possibility that there could be a split in the power of positivity, which would be bad.
The New Day continues to represent for the culture, nerds, and the children in us all. First, there was the shout out to Shane for his shoes. They followed up with the imaginary dodging of the questions dodge ball. Big E also sent all the Game of Thrones fans into a moment with the “HODOR! HODOR! HOLD THE DOOR!” comment. We took that age old step, though, of having a group of Black wrestlers inspire some type of dance off between two other individuals before it was done. Finally, there was a well-placed Star Wars reference before the segment ended.

Vaudevillians vs. New Day

We got the normal back and forth between the two teams until the Unicorn Stampede. It was worth noting that Gotch did use the partying as an opportunity to sneak attack Kofi. The real purpose for this match became apparent when Anderson and Gallows appeared ringside and attacked Xavier and eventually causing the DQ. I do find it particularly disturbing when a team who lost due to interference allows the cause to have the stage as the Vaudevillains did with Anderson and Gallows; either way, the New Day wins by DQ, but loses by getting jumped by the two teams.

Big Show & Apollo talk backstage about the Jericho incident. Show flips so much I didn’t quite catch his angle so it ended up being a moment to check my Snapchat.

    II.        Uso’s vs. BreezAngo with Golden Truth on commentary

Before the commercial break, the Golden Truth entertains us with song and dance while the announce team informs us they are coming down to join on commentary. The match was filler at best but I did take a few notes:

a.    Truth calls Byron, Coach
b.    This was the second match, and we’re a quarter of the way into the show
c.    Truth is the Drax of the WWE through his literal translations, and
d.    Breezango squashed.

Roman comes down for a promo, invites Seth to the ring, and teases a fight. The whole segment seems to trim another 10 minutes off the 3 hour show while adding nothing to it.

Goldberg is back for WWE 2K17.

  III.        Lana, in that blue, announces Rusev v. Zack Ryder

Long Island Ice Z aka the Memorial Day Miracle has new attire for this match. Who’s signing off on this? Where is it in the budget? TNA could use this budget. Not only is the announce team selling the US Title, Rusev claims to be a Great American as the US Champion. He was great for the no-sell of two Broski Boots by kicking out after a 0.5 count. The match was over when a modified Accolade was applied? Anyway Ryder taps, Rusev continues on about being a Great American, and the Primetime Players theme hits. It’s Titus! Now to be honest, I would have been more excited if it was Darren Young and his new “life coach” Bob Backlund coming down. Titus, the Black man, represents for America and sucker punches Rusev. Then it hit me like a sucker punch that Titus is supposed to be leaving soon.
Next up, everyone, and I mean everyone, weighs in on Charlotte and Ric Flair to be capped off with a recording of Stephanie calling Charlotte out backstage. Another 10 to 15 minutes of show burned.

Enzo & Cass vs. Dudleys

There was nothing much to this match that we have not seen in the past three weeks. I guess it worth saying that the Dudleys are a likely victim of a team being split during the separation of brands. It always happens, and it will happen this time. Enzo & Cass win with a Rocket Launcher.

Backstage the faces of the Money in the Bank match devise a strategy for the main event. Dean also realizes Sami is Canadian.
The moment of the night is here when John Cena returns. I didn’t pay much attention to what he had to say about the New Era, or maybe I did and forgot when AJ made his appearance. The place exploded. I have to believe that the powers that be knew it would happen and told them to let it be so that it could kill some more time, and they did for what seemed like five minutes of chanting. AJ welcomes Cena back, Anderson & Gallows appear, Cena forms an unlikely alliance, and the inevitable happened. AJ caught Cena in the face as he rebounded off the ropes. The trio stomp a mud hole in the man. Oh now it comes back to me, Cena said the New Era goes through him meaning that he’s issuing an opening invitation to any new face in WWE. Invite accepted sir. Over and over again as AJ couldn’t get enough.

Natalya vs. Dana Brooke w/ Charlotte

Where are the other women? I swear these are the only three I’ve seen since before Extreme Rules. It has to be due to injury because this match was at a nice, easy pace. Brooke even seemed to pull back on her finisher. Becky’s here! There are other women working this show.

Dolph claimed to have 1005 holds but named arm bar 3 times in paying respects to Jericho, who is still active on the roster.

  VI.        Dolph vs. Baron Corbin for the 1005th time

This is supposed to be a technical wrestling match, something that even Dolph isn’t known for having. Enter the story of Dolph’s wrestling career at Kent State and head gear. All this for a low blow? If it wasn’t obvious that they’re just killing time, I don’t know what else you need. Maybe a six-man tag match compiled of competitors of an upcoming pay-per-view match?

 6-man tag match

Your standard mix superstar tag match. One superstar shows strength, Cesaro. Two opposing superstars take advantage and work him over, Jericho and Del Rio. Two other superstars on the strong star’s team shift the momentum, Ambrose and Zayn, leading to a commercial break. One team is dismantled in some way; this case the heels implode with Owens turning on his team. The winning team pulls off a pin on the isolated opponent, Dean lands Dirty Deeds on Owens.

There you have it seven matches in three hours, which is close to what you get with a PPV, but without as much filler content. Missing in action: Darren Young, Shining Stars (who just debuted again), Lucha Dragons, Sheamus, Mark Henry, Alicia Fox, Paige, and the Social Jobbers…Outcasts.

Contributed by Tony A.