RAW serves you a hotdog now to give you steak later?

I feel l like you HAVE to address the PPV in order to discuss RAW, so… It was bad. But it wasn’t bad for the effort of the people in it. They tried. Oh my god did they try. They tried all the time… for this revolution. And yes, this is the PPV before one of the big ones, so you can’t do anything that gets too close to a payoff. However, the Wyatt job felt unconvincing. They have a good match that was killed by the finish. The Usos/Wyatts were the same way, but in that case there were too many false finishes. It felt like they burned through a lot of very good a believable finishes for a title defense that didn’t feel like it was going to stick as a status quo. They just cancelled the Ambrose/Rollins match, which is never the idea you want to project. And Cena won again, which is what should have happened but felt less that satisfying considering all the action in that match.

Thus, all that overbooking led us itno RAW tonight. A RAW without Rollins. A RAW without Cena. A RAW without Cena while they are bringing up his next program with Bork Lazer.

We opened with HHH not announcing his new opposition to John Cena. Of course everyone showed up to say why they should be the next one on one opponent. The heels are arguing, which feel s like Kane is packing up and saying good bye. No evidence to support that, just … it feels weird. Maybe Kane has gone beyond being a true heel at this point? Anyway, this prompts a lot of talking and a handicapped match. Randy Orton walked on Kane and Roman Reigns wins with a continuing strong push.

Nikki Bella got stomped down by 3 divas. Her sister was a t ringside, so Stephanie slapped her. No one here can actually wrestle, so I was actually ok with this match. They did what they know how to do. It was dull and quick, which is a lot better than dull and protracted.

Bo and Sandow were good as a pseudo-comedy match. I mean, it wasn’t pratfalls or Lancashire wackiness, but it wasn’t a serious tet-a-tet. Sandow was Lebron and Bo was… Bo. Sandow took too long on the elbow drop and Bo won. I would let them do a short program and give them the warm up at SummerSlam. I think they can work well together.

Bray Wyatt decided to not let the Highlight reel happen. I was fine with this decision; Jericho’s weakest traits are his interviewing skills and his understanding of how to work in that situation. The Wyatts beat on Jericho until blood was running down his ear. Odd choice for a company who pulls back anytime they have real blood in the ring. Was this to make up for the shitty loss last night?

Also, it speaks volumes that Bray can keep losing on the big stage and maintain his level of heat. They keep on jobbing him and he still comes off as a viable threat with his gimmick.

The Miz was clever at the Battle Royal. He kept doing the Vince “hide outside” gimmick and then snuck in and won. So OGF COURSE you have him job the very next night after winning the strap. I am not going to try and say Miz should be at the top. Nope. WWE already did. They gave him the belt and had him headline Mania. With all of the good will you have invested into Miz, you are squandering it by doing what you did on Monday. You didn’t make him credible by giving him the belt. You didn’t elevate Ziggler by having him win the night after Miz got the title. You just wasted what you spent. On the plus side, Ziggler gets a win on TV!

Speaking of wins on TV, big ups to Zak Ryder! Getting an entrance AND a win! Anyone else equate this to the gold watch & hearty handshake before being future endeavored?

AJ and Paige are enemies again. They can work. Tell AJ to not be so mean girl as a face.

OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS! FLORIDA was on! Singing songs! Dancing! Woman! I would so rather have this that wrestling, amirite? Oh, then Stephanie got arrested for slapping that Bella and HHH is a dick. Not sure what that accomplishes, plot-wise, but there you have it.

Rybaxel pick up a win so that Xavier Woods can come out and complain about how the black man is being held down. It’s almost like he didn’t realize he was in pro wrestling. I get it, you are smart. But this angle has been done. A lot. Kingdom just started this angle like a month ago… and did it better. This whole show has felt like it was less about the matches and more about the talking before or after. Like with Cesaro: Clumsy dismount. “Hey, I am not a Paul Heyman guy anymore!” Show, don’t tell. I am fine with Cesaro joining the Authority, but this change of attitude is as out of left field as it could possibly be. Anyway, he goes out and beats on Ambrose and gets a win via DQed to show his loyalty to the group that hasn’t accepted him yet. Way to take that chair to the arm!

Oh, and Brock is in. Heyman made it awesome as always. His promos have a weight to them that others don’t. What he says feels important. So I am hoping that the payoffs that the WWE swerved us all on with Battleground get settled at SummerSlam.

So worth $10.

- Ryan

TNA Impact July 10, 2014

Kurt/Angle needs a cheat sheet there’s so much to remember! Tonight, dudes fight for belts and a battle royal and Jeff Hardy is Jeff Hardy again and stuff and things and stuff!

The Wolves beat Bram and Magnus, who need a team name, like Bramagnus. See, I did it.

Eric Young and Bobby Rooooo were beating up a dude in a wheelchair and then Bobby Lashley came out and killed them both. Hi, I’m someone who never watched TNA before. I assume that the heel acting like the face is the face and the faces acting and looking like heels are the heels, but they are faces and I just changed the channel.

James Storm keeps fucking with Sanada because, well, James Storm isn’t doing anything backstage but fucking with people, which seems kind of like the guy at my work that only eats sandwiches all day long. This leads to Sanada losing the X Division belt and fucking up the main event of a W-1 show, but hey, whatevs. Oh yeah, and Vince Russo wasn’t in this company.

I mean…

PWInsider.com has revealed that Vince Russo is still working with TNA Wrestling after an email was sent by Russo to Mike Johnson of PWInsider in error.

In the past, Russo has publicly declined to comment on if he is still working for TNA as a creative consultant however, the email featured clear instructions and advice from Russo to Mike Tenay and Taz on how certain segments of a TNA episode should be voiced.

This shit writes itself.

He also wrote about how Blockbuster ruined his life, but yeah. He has depression. He’s only talking about it now. Let’s just talk about TNA.

I want to like Bully Ray. But the dude is all Kingdom-ing this promo, mentioning Bam Bam Bigelow for a pop and then it’s all, “Why did you turn on me?” You know what ECW is like? Working in a used record store. It’s you against the big guys and eventually you go out of business. I know this. I worked in a used record store. And at no point do I ever miss it or the us against the world aspect or any of the people. Maybe I’m biased. Maybe I’m just sick of ticks and mosquitos sucked off the bloodless corpse of what was once ECW, a company that’s almost been dead longer than it’s been alive. I also love how Paul E and WWE get name called here. This whole thing is a joke. Oh hey – there’s Tommy Dreamer!

There was a Knockouts 4 Way. I really tried to watch it. I did. Gail Kim won and she’s really lovely and talented. Let’s just stop there.

Austin Aries talks about how he’s getting a title shot at the belt at Destination X now and how he’s made the X Division title relevant again. He just won it. Way to bury everyone, including Sanada, who is the key to getting to tape all that footage in Japan.

There was a battle royal. I hate watching battle royals as much as I hate being in them. Jeff Hardy won, drop kicking Eric Young out to win, so Eric doesn’t have to lose 4 times to Bobby Lashley.

Everyone keeps saying TNA has turned a corner. Yeah, like a baby with sharp cornered furniture.
-Sam

Really, Dave #48: Explain please

From the Battleground report on the site: RUSEV VS. JACK SWAGGER

Lana talked forever. Boy are they stalling. She got way less heat than usual. She talked about the news with American propaganda. The mention of Putin got some heat but it was like this audience just wasn’t taking her seriously at all.

She slapped Lana and the match was on.

Who is she? Lana was the only female out there. Did he mean Lana slapped Zeb?

Not much of a match. There were USA chants and We the People chants. Rusev won via count out as Swagger had the Patriot lock on him on the floor. Rusev flipped out of it and Swagger flew into the post and was “knocked out” and Swagger jumped in the ring to win.

Who won the match? He starts the report by saying that Rusev won, yet Swagger got knocked out and then jumped in the ring to win.

Look, you’re THE wrestling site in the world.

Be better than this.

RAW: Stompy stomp stomp!

Boy the world is all up in arms. Sting is gunna be there. They are passing the torch to Roman Reigns. Sting is totally hidden somewhere. What about the Total divas? Stephanie looks good standing next to women 10 years her junior. And STING!?!?

So Reigns is not a face because he has no problem beating John Cana. But he is really a face because he opposes the heels. It’s an odd way to both give him the rub and break up his group. When that happens, things get defined whether you do the defining or not. In this case, Reigns is getting defined despite being in some gray areas.

The wild card of the SHEILD is now trying to be the glue holding the Cena/Reigns faction together? Odd choice, but it is easily washed away by a group beating from the Authority. The “curb stomp,” which isn’t really one, looked good. Ambrose takes his beating like a man and then goes to a “local medical facility” to undergo “further evaluation” and possibly “get his balls tickled.” Possibly.

Oh, Miz. You did everything they asked of you… you just forgot how to get over. I, a man of my years, remember you and Morrison getting over as a tag team. You had charisma and edge and a talented partner and stuff. But you don’t have “it.” Or maybe they don’t give you a chance to show “it,” which the same as not having it for all intents and purposes. But you are still in the upper tiers of the WWE, and it seems like they are using you to… turn Sheamus? I feel like they have lit the fuse on that a dozen times and then stopped it from happening. The win actually worked, so that is good. A roll up after hanging up your yam bag on the top turnbuckle/rope is a good reason to get rolled up. So… congrats? Way to go, Miz?

So Layla and Summer Rae are all Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn… and Dolph is Batman? Or The Joker? Or just the good looking guy who gets to take advantage to the women looking to make the same guy jealous? In any case, Fandango gets easily distracted and takes a fameasser to lose. You would think someone would learn to focus in the WWE and become like a God, as someone loses once a week to theme music or standing on the announcer’s table.

Usos meet Wyatts. I look at that line up and I don’t believe that the Usos would EVER win. They aren’t bigger or stronger. They aren’t that fast. They aren’t that extreme. They aren’t that interesting. The biggest thing the Wyatts have going against them are that they are part of a small group. While it works for the shield, it would be odd to have the lower members of a messianic cult have titles. Having said that, I see the Usos keeping the belts because it feels like they are getting a Cena-esque push. A girlfriend on a TV show will take you far, won’t it, Dave Otunga?

My favorite comment I read about RAW was “Jack Swagger went from Jim Duggan to Hulk Hogan in two segments.” I have always touted Swagger’s natural ability. This gimmick is one of the gimmicks that will ALWAYS get over. Ask Jim Duggan. Ask Hulk Hogan. Rusev looks threatening, which helps. Transitioning Zeb into a face is awkward, but he did (and continues to do) the best he could with what he has to work with. The thrust kick into ankle lock spot was way over and was well-executed. I actually want to see this match.

Hey, did you guys know that I really like Del Rio? Huh, I have mentioned that before, have it? I didn’t have a problem with this match as a physical contest. I just find it odd that they are moving Del Rio down the card to go after the IC belt. Can’t be on top forever, but this match felt unimportant.

Women. Want to make Nikki turn or Brie. Or Brie turn on Nikki? I don’t know who is in there. Anyway, I think it would have been more telling had Stephanie been nice to Tits Bella. It provides some psychological reasoning for her turning on her sister when she comes back. Even if she doesn’t come back and just turns heel, it still explains it better than “was beaten into acquiescence.”

Also, Cameron can’t wrestle. Neither can Eva Marie. Alicia can’t really either, but she looks like Kurt Angle in their compared to Cameron. Natalya, who can, is nowhere to be seen. I get that Sara Del Ray is training them, but you can only do so much, no matter how good you are.

Heyman is backstage playing political games while Cesaro is out there losing to Big E. This win felt much more important to Big E than the Del Rio Win over RVD did despite the title implications in the RVD match. Not sure why Kingston was allowed to accompany Big E to the ring, or why it is a surprise that 2 faces can beat 1 heel, but the spots looked good. It didn’t feel like Cesaro paused to have the chair taken from him. This is his third loss to Big E, so it feels like it pushes him up the card a bit.

Heyman makes his move backstage. While all of the Authority have been bickering to HHH about who should get the belt and who WILL get the belt, Heyman shows up and offers a backup plan to HHHs back up plan. I hope everyone knows it is Lesner and not Cesaro. Also, no one could say for sure what was going on with Cesaro and Heyman. Don’t do that shit off camera. Show us the story, don’t tell it to us fresh off a commercial break.

Chris Jericho… talks. Bray does amazing promos, but in this dull, all talking build, it gets him a ”boring “ chant. Bray says he remembers Jericho promising to save us. Problem is, half the audience doesn’t remember that and the WWE is not one to remind anyone of the past (unless they can profit from it.) Virginia wanted action … they got the action. Jericho gets jumped and runs… and gets blindsided by Bray. For a guy who promised to play mind games and get “dark,” Jericho really hasn’t lived up to said claims yet. He is biding his time, funding the next Fozzy album with his WWE paychecks.

I loved the Bo Dallas match. Good spot to win on a count out. Good way to explain a tiny guy beating a giant without blinding speed and lucha spots. Bo’s yell of pain after getting hit was really good for the comedy spot that this match was built to. I just wish he could afford dry shirts.

The last match was all of what you expected and none of what you wanted to expect. No miraculous recovery by Ambrose, showing up with a neck brace and chair. No Sting coming down from the rafters. (Sting’s appearance, like a Goth Where’s Waldo, was in an ad for those who missed it.) Nothing but a group beating that leads to a DQ. I enjoyed RAW until the last match. It was like watching a building being erected that, once completed, is just a big gray block of warehouse.

A warehouse with Cena on it.

- Ryan

Really, Dave #47: The Meltzer Aside

From the UFC report on the site: “Joe Rogan asked Ronda Rousey if she was willing to fight on August 2nd. She said she needs knee surgery but gave the impression she would do so. Dana White seemed furious that question was asked. I guess we’ll here mor aobut it later. Ronda’s sister looks just like her by the way.”

Ignore the typo. The Observer was made of typos. It’s the Meltzer Aside.

1. Who cares about Ronda’s sister?
2. Of course she looks like her. She’s her fucking sister.

Really, Dave?

TNA Impact July 3, 2014

Tonight is Kurt Angle’s Red, White and Blue Throwdown. And it starts with a video that basically has a slideshow of dudes in boardrooms and MVP crying. Seriously. Watch this hack work right now.

Kurt’s making changes. He reinstates Earl Hebner. He brings back Bobby Roo. He makes EC3 vs. Bully in a tables match. He makes The Wolves vs. The Menagerie vs. the Bro-Mans. He forgets his lines and goes back to the script. He makes Angelina vs Gail Kim. He makes Eric Young vs. Lashley again. Samoa Joe comes out all salt, as we saw in Western Pennsylvania.

Things seem to be going well for the babyfaces.

Then, of course, a one legged man gets heat on Bobby Roo. Sure, he gets blindsided, but faces triumph against the odds. Especially their first night back. But not in TNA. Then, like a real babyface, Bobby just goes and tattles, leading to the heels calling him a snitch. This leads to a streetfight.

Tag three way was moves, moves, moves and moves. Wolves win. Man, I half assed it. Sorry.

Bobby Roo now appears for the third time tonight doing an angle in back with King and MVP. If you already thought I wrote this, you are wrong.

This blog is all TNA. No one else cares but me any more.

Roo is up for the fourth time and beats Kenny King in a street fight on free TV.

EC3 does a good promo on Bully Ray.

This leads to the fifth time Roo is on TV tonight, with a promo TO THE BACK. Austin Aries and Angle have a little talk with Angle saying they should have a match someday to prove who is the best, so I’m glad they’re following up on that Apter mag dream match that does not exist.

Brittany as a heel > Brittany as a face.

Bully Ray wants to put Dixie through a table. Lean in, motherfucker.

Anyways, this match. Bully is just fine. EC3 is just fine. Then Rhino comes back. Rhino? Yeah, Rhino comes back and he was such good friends with Bully and OH FUCK THIS IS TNA. He turns. No one is surprised.

Bobby Roo appears for the sixth segment tonight. Six times.

Sam Shaw is apologizing to people. Alright.

Brian Stiffler isn’t allowed to ref Beautiful People matches and Angelina loses the belt to Gail Kim. I just made your life better, again, just by saying that and saving you valuable life hours of not watching.

Knux is frustrated because he can’t save the carnival with these dudes being silly. I have no idea what that means and wonder why the fuck I even care sometimes. Oh, right. I don’t care at all.

The refs kick everyone out of the heavyweight title match so that the babyface, Eric Young, can lose clean as a fucking sheet. And there you go. TNA everybody.
-Sam

TNA Impact: June 26, 2014

Lashley and MVP and King arrive and that’s what TNA is about. A near fetish of seeing people arriving, walking, going to and coming from places.

Gail Kim and Taryn beat the Beautiful People in a match that showed me that as good as Taryn was against Kim, she has no real business being in the ring on national TV. There was a spot where she visually set up the tag, watching and looking and trying to be in the right place to get cut off so that it looked awkward and totally planned. Which is was. But that’s the art. Maybe the camera people are the folks who don’t deserve to be on TV. They should edit and shoot around her. There was also a cross body near the end that could never be called a high cross.

Atlas Security was all over TV.

The evil black guys come out with white women, just to remind you that pro wrestling is racist. Eric Young comes out to confront the, just to remind you that TNA is a joke. Bobby Roo makes a run-in to save him that’s way too late, just to remind you that faces are ineffective in TNA.

This leads to a long promo where Roo begs MVP to fire him and I start screaming at my computer to stop working and save me from watching TNA. This leads to Earl Armstrong coming out and firing MVP. This leads to me saying, “Who the fuck is Earl Armstrong?”

Earl Armstrong is a member of the TNA Board of Directors and Deus Ex Machina, that’s who the fuck he fucking is.

TO THE BACK. DJ Zema. Manik. Crazy Steve. Some dude the Menagerie owes money to. Things. Stuff. Inside jokes. Running away.A masked man without his mask.

Sanada beat all those guys anyways, then James Storm asks him if he will cash in his belt and how he shouldn’t choke and it gets all weird.

Wait. So I thought MVP had all the power if Lashley won the belt. What the fuck is happening?

Earl Solomon Armstrong and Dixie and Bully and Spud and tables and nope, Dixie doesn’t go through one. Yes, your top baby face’s main goal is to put a 95 lb. woman through a table. Wrestling, everybody.

James Storm then beats Mr. Anderson clean as clean gets. Then, of course, a limo arrives.

Gunnar gets Sam Shaw released from a mental hospital because wrestling.

Tommy Dreamer and EC3 battle all over fuck. No one poops tonight.

The Monsters Ball match has Jeff Hardy fall off the top rope through barbed wire boards, which is fucking crazy. That should have been the finish. But no, Bram uses Janice on Abyss. And that’s the finish. Free TV. Total garbage match. Keep in mind, that’s a compliment.

The new guy in charge is Kurt/Angle, which makes this Earl Armstrong’s third appearance of the night after we just met him. This is how an indy books. He reinstates Roo and a brawl takes us off the air, but not before we learn Eric Young against Lashley is next week.

Whew.
-Sam