WWE Returns to Pay-Per-View with it’s second biggest show of the year, SummerSlam. The card is loaded with two World Title fights, and “The Best vs. The Beast.” Be sure to refresh this page throughout the night for LIVE ongoing results and analysis. [Read more...]
Multiple sources are reporting that TNA has released Brooke Hogan. This is the latest in an ongoing series of cost-restructuring moves by the company.
Her release is surprising if only because her father, Hulk Hogan, is seen as such an asset to the company. Dixie’s desire to keep Hulk happy made Brooke Hogan seem untouchable. On the other hand, Brooke’s TV role in TNA had played itself out. She was the former head of the knockouts division, and most recently played Bully Ray’s (kayfabe) wife.
Hopefully TNA will use this as an opportunity to re-establish itself. The multiple high-profile releases over the summer, most of which hit the active roster or road agents, left a black-eye on the face of the company. Cutting unnecessary “name-only” talent seems like the most logical next step.
Dixie Carter has yet to release an official statement.
As the final show before this Sunday’s major Pay-Per-View event, story of the night should be SummerSlam feuds. Expect final build for Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow, the World Heavyweight Championship match, and The Shield. [Read more...]
Darren Young came out earlier today as WWE’s first openly gay superstar. That is, he’s the first to reveal himself while still under contract with the company. Several previous wrestlers have announced themselves as gay – the late Chris Kanyon and Orlando Jordan immediately come to mind – but most had distanced themselves from WWE when they finally disclosed their sexual orientation.
WWE immediately announced its support for Darren Young. Both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon took to Twitter and praised Young’s courage, and the company sent out a press release using the word “proud” and saying that it would “continue to support him as a WWE Superstar.” Company frontman John Cena even did an interview with TMZ offering his own congratulations.
Unfortunately, Young has to deal with a public that’s not quite ready for his openness. The public-opinion tide is certainly turning in favor of gay-rights equality, but we haven’t reached that point where all of society is ready to accept it with open arms. And just because the general public thinks one way, it doesn’t mean the pro wrestling world follows that same path. [Read more...]
After being advertised a few weeks ago, the Big Show finally returned on last night’s edition of RAW.
The 20-man battle royal to earn a title shot against Dean Ambrose ended with RVD and Mark Henry bumping fists. Immediately afterwards, the Shield quickly surrounded the ring, outnumbering Henry and Van Dam. Just as Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins were getting ready to swarm the ring, the Big Show’s music hit, and he re-emerged on stage. He walked down to the ring as the Shield scurried back into the crowd.
It’s worth noting that Big Show looked leaner than he has in years. When he left back in May, he was finishing up a heel run in a feud against Randy Orton. After last night’s events, and the open challenge by Reigns earlier in the night, it looks like Show will possibly be teaming up with Mark Henry to challenge Rollins and Reigns for the Tag Team Championship.
The show kicked off live from Sacramento, CA, with Daniel Bryan’s entrance to the ring. Final hype for SummerSlam should be the story of the night… [Read more...]
There’s no doubt the WWE Universe is excited to see Bryan challenge Cena for the title at SummerSlam. But it wasn’t until this past Monday on RAW that we finally got a framework for their confrontation. If Punk vs. Lesnar is “The Best vs The Beast,” then Bryan against Cena has become “The Wrestler vs. The Entertainer.” [Read more...]
Make sure to check out the new and improved WWE Raw Rundown for complete coverage of everything that happened on last night’s show.
Daniel Bryan’s corporate makeover proved more entertaining that I initially expected. WWE was smart to lead this segment with a short, but funny, video that captured Bryan’s transformation, and then move the comedy out of the way in favor of Bryan v McMahon drama. Everything that Bryan said about being a “wrestler” further cemented his status atop the mountain. I’m also curious to see where things go with Vince McMahon – while some people are saying his presence isn’t necessary, I think Vince adds an element of unpredictability to the whole affair, and only strengthen Bryan’s chances at winning the gold. Remember how Money in the Bank 2011 played out?
The middle of this segment lost me a little. Why, again, is Wade Barrett coming out to shave another man’s beard? Is he just happy to be on TV? Did WWE really need to make him look so foolish? But Bryan recovered things at the end, and him ripping-off the suit (along with the great “fear the beard” shirt) made for a memorable, crowd-pleasing moment.
Also, while I’m buying the Vince McMahon meddling (mostly in anticipation of a possible Orton heel-turn), I could do without the Triple H/Stephanie McMahon garbage. One McMahon is enough for this, or really any, storyline. My biggest concern is that the Triple H/Stephanie/Vince dynamic is going to result in some weird overbooked angle at SummerSlam, and completely overshadow whatever great moment is in store for the PPV. Sometimes simple storytelling is the best.
John Cena, on the other hand, delivered with another strong promo. He played off of Bryan’s earlier comments niceley, and cemented that he might not be a wrestler, but he is a company man. His passion for WWE seemed believable. By staying away from the “preacher-man” gimmick, and instead simply promising to beat Bryan and prove that he is the best, Cena has sold this matchup as major league. It might be a little bit like the Punk – Cena dynamic of the last two years, but that’s okay. Good stuff all around.
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow stood out yet again. While nothing really changed here last night (other than the re-introduction of the briefcase), these two continue to look like superstars. This is my favorite ongoing feud.
While a lot of other stuff happened (Lesnar/Heyman/Punk, Bray Wyatt/Kane, Christian, etc.), one thing that really stood out was the underwhelming return of Kofi Kingston. This guy has been off TV for two months, yet creative simply booked him in a quick victory over Fandango. Really guys? The show was already crowded, so why not hold off on Kingston until AFTER SummerSlam. Better yet, let him surprise attack Ryback and get an ounce of revenge. Kofi Kingston vs. Ryback would be great pre-show fodder.
Overall show was good. WWE has been booking shorter matches in favor of more stuff happening, and while I hate some wrestlers aren’t given long enough to shine, it seems to be working. First, the mid-card finally has some life in it again. Also, the main-event picture has been elevated above everything else with some great mic work by Bryan and Cena. Hopefully this momentum carries up through next week’s RAW and on to Sunday, August 18th – if so, WWE is likely to have one of the best SummerSlam cards in years.
Agree? Disagree? YES! No!? Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter @therealwiseman
During the Curtis Axel and CM Punk match last night, Punk finally got his hands on Paul Heyman. Unfortunately for Punk, the moment was short-lived. [Read more...]
Show opened with the long intro, and traditional fireworks. Finally!
Opening Segment w/Stephanie McMahon: Stephanie was in the ring, and she reminded everybody of her ambitious idea to transform Daniel Bryan to somebody Vince McMahon might like. The camera cut to a spa scene and showed D-Bry getting papmered. Next, there was a montage of Bryan working out and getting pumped. He then went to a Texas Roadhouse and ATE MEAT (because apparently corporate champions are required to break their vegan vows). Finally, the last clip showed him at a tailor getting fitted for a designer suit. [Read more...]
Very entertaining wrestling-heavy edition of WWE Smackdown tonight. There were a few misses (see below), but the in-ring action, highlighted by a fantastic main-even, made this a show worth watching. [Read more...]
For complete coverage of everything that happened on Monday Night Raw, be sure to check out last night’s WWE Raw Rundown.
Internet fans finally got what they wanted, with Daniel Bryan confronting Vince McMahon to kick-off the show. Smart decision by creative here. With Vince openly confronting Bryan about his chances to win, viewers have an even bigger reason to pull for Daniel Bryan. This segment sold Bryan both as a legitimate title contender, and as a main-event superstar. And while I thought the “anti-Cena” rherotic was a bit weird coming from the boss, it leaves me curious about where this storyline is heading. My prediction? An Orton-McMahon alliance is in the wings.
Ryback didn’t look nearly as impressive as Bryan, though. His match with Cena was fun. The problem is, he’s lost countless times now, and his character seems utterly directionless. Is he still a main-event guy? Is his heel personal even relevant anymore? Seeing him put a random backstage citizen through a table just felt forced, and inspired nothing in me but a strong desire to change the channel.
Mark Henry and The Usos lost their match against The Shield, but they ended up as the last group standing… again. I feel like they’ve gotten their “babyface revenge” at this point.
CM Punk, however, still hasn’t gotten his hands on Paul Heyman. These two didn’t cut a promo against each other last night, and they honestly didn’t need to. What’s needed to be said has already been said. Heyman sneaking away by any means necessary only makes the fans hate him more, and things should pick up considerably once Lesnar returns. This was filler, but that doesn’t make it bad by default.
Also falling into the “more of the same” category was the Wyatt Family’s attack on Kane. It was a necessary evil, having to re-introduce Kane to these guys after a few weeks off, and vice-versa. I’m looking for WWE to bring something fresh to the table in the coming weeks.
Christian’s winning streak continues to be one of my favorite things on WWE television right now. He’s already defeated a few low-to-mid profile acts, but cemented his return with a strong victory over Alberto Del Rio in a very competitive match. These two had great chemistry on Raw, and I’m hoping they end up locking horns at SummerSlam. It’s nice to see Christian finally treated as the true veteran he is.
Overall show wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. I like a little more intrigue from my WWE TV (and a little less “Total Divas” filler). And while the show tried to live by its strong in-ring action, it died by the number of non-finishes throughout the night. It was a paint-by-numbers kind of evening.
While there was nothing particularly wrong with tonight’s WWE Raw, the show seemed lacking in a few areas. I really enjoyed the focus on in-ring action. However, the show suffered from too many non-finishes, and didn’t offer any “must-see” segments. Here’s the rundown: [Read more...]
If you had a chance to catch last night’s solid WWE Smackdown, you saw Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes highlighted in a way they haven’t been before in their respective WWE tenures. Both men, especially Sandow, have the “gift of gab”. Both men know what they’re doing in the ring. But up until recently, creative seemed absolutely clueless on how to properly utilize Sandow and Rhodes, and their endless strengths. [Read more...]
Fun night for WWE Smackdown. While not every match was an instant classic, and some segments were weaker than others, the overall show delivered on what it set out to do. Let’s take a look: [Read more...]
For complete coverage of everything that happened on Monday Night Raw, be sure to check out last night’s WWE Raw Rundown.
The contract signing between John Cena and Daniel Bryan was a good way to start the show. I liked how it picked up immediately where Raw left off last week, and it seemed to have a specific purpose in promoting the WWE Title picture. The contract signing made sense (instead of just an announcement for a contract signing later in the night), because it felt like a logical part of the story.
Let me also praise John Cena for his effective mic work. I’m one of Cena’s most vocal critics, but think he did wonders in putting over Bryan as a legitimate contender in this opening segment. He cut out the “funnyman” garbage for once, and his intensity took this feud up a notch. While we can all agree here on the internet that Daniel Bryan deserves a WWE Championship match, hearing it straight from the biggest star in the company means a lot to the casual fan.
Speaking of, Daniel Bryan is on fire. Is there anybody else in all of professional wrestling that’s hotter right now? He had an instant classic with Antonio Cesaro AFTER already being in the ring with Swagger for 10 minutes already. And the fans can’t seem to get enough of him.
The CM Punk segment just went a little too long last night. I thought Punk cut another incredible, believable promo, and climaxing with his challenge to Brock Lesnar was a perfect way to end it. Unfortunately, WWE delivered Paul Heyman “live via satellite,” and while Heyman is good, his part took all the wind out of what Punk had just accomplished. Less is more in this case. Let Paul Heyman trot out next week and accept the challenge, and blab on about his new best friend. But it wasn’t needed last night. Also, I hate that he kept talking to “Brock Lesnar” who happened to be just right off the screen. Nobody’s buying that.
That “Total Divas” stuff was terrible. Grumble, grumble, grumble….
Brad Maddox continues to fill out his role as new GM of Raw in a surprising fashion. I really like him as the mouthpiece for Vince, and he plays the “caught between the bosses” role better than Vickie (mostly because Vickie was a veteran, and Maddox can act like he has a lot to prove). I also appreciate that they’re using Vince’s classic disdain for the “small guys” as fodder for this storyline, because it gives Vince a real purpose for being around.
The overall show, on the other hand, felt like it had too much padding last night. I’ve argued on numerous occasions that three hours is too much for a weekly wrestling event. I think a longer Raw has its place – just look to last week’s packed show as evidence. But last night would have been much better served as a two hour event, highlighting specific feuds, while giving other storylines time to rest. Maybe WWE should only make every Monday Night Raw after a Pay-Per-View a three hour special? That way, the creative team gets a little more time to play around, and it serves as a good kick-start towards the next major event.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below! Or follow me on Twitter @therealwiseman