Raw: I like to thing Flair & Hornswoggle are waiting in every RAW green room together, but never get used.May 21st, 2013
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
Seriously. Every time I start to write this, that is how my mind decides to begin. No idea why. I blame my mom.
We open with an ambulance. Pop Question: Want to know how to completely devalue a pay-per-view entitled “Extreme Rules?” How about having a MORE EXTREME match the PPV immediately after? Why have a Last Man Standing at Extreme Rules if you are going to have an Ambulance Match at Payback? You have made the “Extreme” PPV just another name instead of the theme you are trying to build around it. Imagine if The Rock and Cena had a title match at Extreme Rules: Wouldn’t that remove the special quality of Wrestlemania if it could happen at any time?
Ryback says Cena didn’t really defend his title because he had to be carried out of the ring. There was no winner, so they shelve the face and let the heel run their mouth to build some heat. I can’t say I am a fan of this type of match, but there have to be fans of it, right? No? That is what I thought. Anyway, this is how they start pitching the next PPV: With a match that seems really hard to sell to the public in the prime slot.
They capitalized on Fandango being popular online, so now they need you to hate him. He doesn’t need to be bad, he needs to be detestable. So they are having him team with Wade Barrett to take on Jericho and Miz. Fandango doesn’t care about anything other than himself in the match, posing on the ring apron, talking to Summer and then interrupting the match to announce that he will do some dancing. I liked that both faces and heel looked at him, confused. Miz wins with the figure four and then Jericho chases Fandango out of the arena. He runs through he crowd, abandoning Summer. Jericho flirts with her and then gives her a pie face and a laugh as he leaves. It’s a good idea in theory: Guys don’t hate dancing, they don’t care about dancing. They hate dancers. Focus on not liking Fandango, not Dancing with the Stars.
Mark Henry got beat. So who is next in line to battle Sheamus? Titus O’Neal, of course. It’s a battle of Irish names! The announcers make up some excuse about how Titus is Henry’s training partner. Even if this is true, you need to establish it before making it a motivating factor. Otherwise, it just comes off like a convenient lie to make the story work. Sheamus treats him like a $5000 shirt: He’s worn out and then quickly put away. They kept Titus looking somewhat strong, but ultimately you knew that he was going to lose.
Paul Heyman added someone to his roster. Before he came out, I laughed and said to myself “Watch it be Joe Henning. No one has seen him in a while.”
Fuck me and my rotten brain.
He has been re-christened ”Curtis Axel,” which is an awkward name. I get it; you are finally admitting that he has a wrestling pedigree. But.. Why not Axel Curtis? It’s not great, but it is better than the inverse. Joe has apparently been loading up on the good stuff since leaving RAW. The audience booed and then was silent. No one gave a shit. Heyman spun it and did well with his promo, but still: You are trying to sell us the Age of McGillicutty 2.0. Heyman can sell anything. This is a test to that idea.
Who comes out to try and save the bit? HHH. He lost to Brock Lesner and is all badass, threatening a manager and a rookie wrestler. Your front office face, ladies and gentlemen. He came out to beat the crap out of Paul Heyman because he lost to an actual wrestler, so why not rough up the manager. Alex steps in the way and just doesn’t come off like a badass at all. You look at this match up and you just assume HHH is going straight through him. Backstage, you find out that HHH bullied everyone into letting him have the match and he is not medically cleared. There is the message you want to send: “Obeying medical clearances are for pussies who aren’t man enough to fight through the pain.” Be a Star, HHH. Be a Star.
It sounds basic, but if you are going to emphasize stereotypes, then you should play up to them. Thus, the big man should wrestle a “big man” style. If he can pull off a bit of flash, that is fine, but it should be a sparkle, not the actual diamond. Thus, I like how AdR and Big E did their match. Del Rio was fast and played to his advantage. Big E powered out of Del Rio’s attempts at the cross arm breaker. I don’t get why AdR carries a spit bucket to the ring; he isn’t a boxer and he doesn’t get round breaks to use it. IT is just to hit people with, as far as I can tell, and that only works if he is a heel. Anyway, AJ distracts the ref with it and Big E hits a thumb top the eye (YAY CLASSIC HEEL MOVE INSTEAD OF LIKE A DDT OR SOMETHING) and then his finisher for the win. Cheat to win!
AJ then beat Layla. Two new finishers. Only one can win.
Zach Ryder has been Ryback’s rag doll for the past few weeks. You don’t think that a match with someone else would change that, would you? Of course not!! Ryder jobs to Cody Rhodes, but he gets more offense in than he has against Ryback. Then, while selling the Beautiful Disaster kick, Ryback comes out. Rhodes runs and Ryder gets clothes lined and shell-shocked and thrown into the ambulance. Cole even says “Well, Cena is not Ryder” Because fuck you Ryder. Why are you still here anyway? No one invited you to, Zach! Dick. Whatever, you can stay for a bit, but you have to job to whoever we say. Next week, you job to Layla. Pussy.
The Shield are now festooned with titles. They are that rare case where they can keep people interested in six man tags. My personal theory is that it is because they are an actual group, as opposed to a cobbled-together miasma of singles competitors just to have a six man match. Also, they have a gimmick: they overwhelm one person to weaken the opposing group. It was a good match. Kane has really shined in Hell No and I think it is great. In the end, they post Kofi and Rollins hits his “flying knee to the back of the head,” followed by Reigns’ spear to Kane for the win. The Shield stays strong, which is amazing considering the standard push that WWE gives.
So we all got to vote on who Jack Swagger would wrestle. I voted for Khali. I also ask for a cup for water at Subway and then fill it with Sierra Mist because I am a monster, sir! Anyway, they force the vote with Orton and he runs through Swagger because Orton needed a win… having just beat the Big Show at the PPV the night before. Uhh… yeah. So Swagger does the time honored tradition of jobbing to Orton. Orton was injured and they kept Swagger’s offense centered on the legs. But does Orton give up? Not as long as there are things to rape, people. No, as long as there is rape to be done, he will never rest.
I am assuming the idea is that a victory against HHH is a big deal, no matter how it comes about. But Jesus, I don’t think Axel came off well in that match. HHH was on top of him almost the entire time. The move that stopped HHH? A punch to the head. A regular punch. And technically it didn’t stop him, as he countered with a clothesline and threw Axel back into the ring after. Then, Trips just… can’t… get… into the … ring. It was like the physical form of William Shattner’s vocal pacing. Was this supposed to be the cautionary tale against doing stuff with a concussion? Or was this supposed to get some shine on Joe Hennig? IF so, mission aborted! Holy shit was that some crap. You can’t even let him hit his finisher on the floor to put you out? Jesus, HHH. Give him something.
You winner, via crumpling… Curtis Axel!!
I find it humorous that Miz TV is still used. You always know that tit will never be about what is being said and rather what could happen after, if not during.
We start with Miz. Little, lonely Miz. He is interviewing Big Show and Orton. For two people with bad blood, they don’t seem to have any problem standing there and talking to each other. They talk and slowing we end up adding Swagger, Del Rio, Henry and Sheamus. Sheamus has a hand behind his back, so her obviously has a “strap,” even if the straps all looked like fire hoses. Sheamus drops the match into the gas can and BOOM goes the dynamite! This ends up getting turned into a six man tag because that hasn’t been done nearly enough. Its part of the WWE PPV marketing formula: Give people tag matches of scheduled single matches. Forget that people in the US don’t react well to 6 man matches or that it feels like they are doing the same thing again: People want to see the top stars banded together like thy were the Avengers!!
Even if the Avengers hate each other? Yes, even if.
The Usos don’t have mics, but are still expected to do their tribal dance on stage with chants. It seems weird that they don’t have more pyro accents or a mic on them to be heard or even that they then go into a standard intro after they are done dancing. I feel like that could be blocked better.
Yes, I just complained about the team’s intro. I guess I did that because I couldn’t really complain about the match. I though both teams (2/3 of the shield vs the usos) did a good job. I was a much more impressed with the Usos here than the last time I saw them in anything that wasn’t a squash. Also, of course the Shield can work. Also, everyone except Rollins is related. After the Shield won, they looked for a triple power bomb, but Kofi ran out, grabbed a chair, and got a heroic push that just seemed out of place. True, he is taking on Ambrose, but it didn’t seem very “Kofi.” That was much more a Cena or Kane type of move.
Remember how the Prime Time Players beat Tons of Funk on Raw? Well, ToF brought their receipt. They went through the Prime Time Players pretty easily and nailed their double splash for the win. I’m just saying, I would LOVE for Tons of Funk to Start finishing with a Buddysault.
Jericho took on Cesaro because you can’t just have him face Fandango at this point. Go figure, these two had a good match. The Swiss Death/gutrwrench/Walls sequence was nice, even if it seemed like Jericho just dove into the European uppercut. He dove into better than most, I guess. Jericho beats Cesaro and then Fandango shows up. As Jericho pointed out months ago, everyone knew he was coming out because 1) That is why you have Jericho take on someone who isn’t Fandango, and 2) They build his entrance arch thing during the match. Jericho, after a “no more fooling around” promo on RAW, can now fend off Fandango and send s his back up the ramp.
Damien Sandow wants his own interview show. The Miz has an interview show. The Miz beats Sandow.
Kaitlyn beat Aksana. Who has ever tuned in to a wrestling show to find out who has a crush on someone? Ever? For fuck sake, know your audience.
In the Big Six man…. Well, everyone got to go home happy. The good guys won. Peace and order are restored in the universe. That is the nature of putting big guys in a format that benefits high flyers. Everyone is now more than willing to plunk down some cash to see Exreme Rules now, right?
I can hear you breathing out there.
We got these matches off luchablog. luchablog.com
It’s the best site ever.
Mistico/Valiente/Mascara Dorada vs. Rey Escorpion/Polvora/Dragon Rojo Jr.
Seriously, stop what you’re doing right now and go watch this match.
This is what lucha is all about. Seriously, it’s like Mistico and Mascara Dorada were betting backstage who was better at flying and Valiente was like, “Why am I not in on this?”
Mistico hit everything in this match and more. He really earned the mask this time out. These are two great teams with no weak link in the whole match.
Also: this match was really All Japan finish influenced, in that everyone hit a finish one after the other without lengthy pins, which is something you rarely see in lucha. Seriously. This is the best match we’ve seen all year.
We’re super excited that Cadets de Aire is a team now. Here’s to more matches like this.
La Sombra/Mascara Dorada/La Mascara vs. Hijos del Averno
Rudos up quick in the first and how awesome is this? Real teams. This is the first time Hijos del Averno have teamed in some time. Quick second fall, with Mascara Dorada hitting a ramp run rana and his sunset flip pin on Averno. Third fall was just awesome. Technicos hit a triple lance in perfect unison and timing, which is rare. The finish of this was great. The technicos hit triple ranas, but Tirantes wouldn’t count. Then the rudos had pins with the ropes, but he stopped counting. The rudos kicked out of school boys and then la tapatia! We haven’t seen that as the finish in awhile. This match was great, too!
Lightning match: Rey Escorpion vs. Stuka Jr.
Escorpion has really turned it on as of late. They gave Stuka TONS in this match, including lots of kick outs. We’d love to see these guys work one more time. Noah would rather see Stuka win.
We watched the Gran Altiva, the young guy/veteran tournament. For the most part, it was decent. The Boby Zavales/Rey Escorpion vs. Sombra/Soberano Jr. match is worth going out of your way to see, with Sombra hitting tons of dives, Soberano stepping up and a double top rope standing moonsault. The finish is shit, but you expect that.
Actually, the tourney made potential fave five news, as Noah started loving Soberano.
DIVES OF THE WEEK
1. The whole first match.
2. La Sombra’s handspring dive into a headscissors
3. Triple lance by Mascara/Mascara Dorada/Sombra
4. Soberano/Sombra double top rope moonsault to floor
5. Soberano in-ring rana
MASKS OF THE WEEK
1. Soberano/Sombra split hoods
Until next week, WATCH MORE LUCHA!
-Noah and Sam
Hulk is out to start the show. He writes off AJ likes Dusty wrote off Baby Doll…I used that one already? Oh. OK. Abyss comes out joe Park comes put instead. Devon comes out to set up a match. Oh wait. Joe Park needs to prove himself. D Lo jibber jabbers and Hogan makes a match for tonight. Also: D Lo wants a chunk of Abyss’s ass, Hulk wants Abyss to tear Devon apart and the whole Park family is going to be all over D Lo’s back.
A Christian York video airs.
Roooooooooooooooooooooooooo comes out to wrestle Chavo. I cannot find the 8X FF any faster. I wish I had fast forward to find my fast forward. It all falls apart when James Storm comes out and spits beer. That was the finish. So. Yeah.
Angle promo. Anderson. AJ. Accept this cut. Colors. Colors. Colors. Peace is a dream, reality is a knife. My colors, my honour, my colors, my all. With my colors upon me one soldier stands tall. Patching in next week. AJ kicks Angle and…he’s not a heel or a face. He’s just a dick.
Jay Bradley promo to set up his match with Christian York. It was a match, but at least they are working toward pushing angles and new guys.
In case you didn’t know, Zema Ion is in the hospital with a variety of woes, including a potential tumor. Please help if you can, as he has no insurance and there’s no way TNA is helping. https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/6hd2/zematna
James Sorm gets yelled at by Hogan and oh, D Lo is getting yelled at by Anderson backstage, who for some reason is the boss of Aces and Eights this week. Just ugh.
Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky is next. Meanwhile, Brook and Mickie are talking and it’s all girl this, girl that. This sets up a title match for next week and Bully comes out to fuck with his wife. Back to the action, Sal.
Velvet gets her hurt leg worked over, but gets a flash pin, then destroyed after the match, she oes the figure four around the post and that’s that.
X division promos. Suicide vignette. Williams vs. Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin is up next. King up clean. I can’t lie. I fast forwarded this match. You know how it is.
Daniels and Kaz talk in back and even say brother brother.
The Club business. This was fucking intolerable seeing D Lo cry and Anderson be, well, Anderson.
Daniels vs. Hernandez ends with Storm distracting Daniels. Storm makes an announcement of a tag title match, with him in it with a partner of his choice. Long necks. Red necks. And so on and so forth.
No Aries on this show. No mention of his dick in Christy Hemme’s face.
D Lo vs. Joe Park is up. D Lo did more than you’d expect: a leg lariat, shining wizard, moving and doing tons. I didn’t really remember him doing that much. But he busted open Joseph Park and that means he turned into Abyss and pinned him in a few moves.
My least favorite thing in wrestling: contract signing. This promo was actually good, with Sting promising to hurt Bully Ray. It ends up the stipulation is that if Sting doesn’t win, he never gets a title shot again for his entire career. Nobody buys stipulations any more. You know it. I know it. They don’t know it.
Natalya is out to wrestle Summer Reign. No Regal, which makes this show much worse. Summer’s offense needs some work. Good presence, though. Paige comes out to attack Summer, it backfires and Natalya loses. This never felt like a match, but what matches feel that way these days?
El Generico cuts his first promo. Not bad.
An insane Bray Wyatt vignette is next. Now, he’s coming to the ring with a mask and butcher apron, like Leatherface. He’s no longer a human being, he’s the eater of worlds. You can’t hurt him, because he’s already dead. Wow. He’ll be wrestling Danny Birch. Sister Abigail for the easy win. I still don’t see this gimmick making it in the PG WWE. But it’s still great.
Bo and Adrian argue a bit backstage. Bo has gone totally wacky.
Conor O’Brian is in a handicap match as a result of last week. He’s taking on the recently fired Sakamoto and Bradley Pierce. I love O’Brian’s rolling headlocks. He turned this match from something that could have been boring into a showcase for talent. Well done. Another member of the Ascension shows up at the end, which is an interesting angle.
Corey Graves is in the back. Bray Wyatt, maskless, comes out to fuck with him.
Big E vs. Damien Sandow is the main event for the NXT title. Nice work at the end, crossing up each other’s finishes. Big E even vs a second Big Finish for the five.
Some interesting stories are happening here. Too bad this is about to change once it goes on regular TV. I hope not.