The opening segment should’ve been right up my alley. CM Punk? Count me in… except, unfortunately, this feud with The Shield seems completely superfluous. Put Punk one-on-one with ANY of these three men (yes, even Seth Rollins) and my interested might be perked. But the idea of a 3-on-1 handicap matching being the attraction on a major PPV really grinds my gears. [Read more...]
It is headlined by the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match to crown a Unified Champion between WWE Champion Randy Orton and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. On Raw, both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon went out of their way to say this is a unification match and one person will leave the show as the champion.
Brian, Steve and Michael are back for the Between The Ropes Flagship video as they talk about the fallout from the WWE Survivor Series and Raw, the upcoming title unification match at the TLC pay-per-view between John Cena and Randy Orton, who they think will win as it stands right now, the rating for Raw on Monday, the favorite year for wrestling, wrestlers organically becoming stars and more,
Last night’s RAW opened right where Survivor Series left off – with the tease of champion vs. champion. This segment was a great way to re-establish The Authority, Randy Orton, and John Cena. And while I question the booking direction going forward (a match “eleven years in the making” only gets a three-week build? really?), at least this feud feels like something fresh. [Read more...]
Brian and Steve talk WWE Raw from Monday night which was another lackluster show, Michael Strahan handing out hip tosses to The Miz and Titus O’Neil, the Survivor Series rematch of the Divas elimination match, the upcoming match between John Cena and Randy Orton at the TLC pay-per-view and if it will be a unification match, other possible matches on that show, what has happened in the WWE since the summer, Jake Roberts dream of buying TNA and more.
You know how WWE always seems a little bit… different when it’s overseas? Well, last night’s show opening had to be one of the most bizarre segments ever. Not only did we find out that The Authority was on vacation (really?), we had Brad Maddox and suited-up Kane arguing about Randy Orton’s opponent. The Result? Orton got stuck in a 2-on-1 match against the tag-team champions. Huh? Because, really, WWE, it makes the MOST sense if your HEEL AUTHORITY FIGURES put the HEEL CHAMPION in a handicap match against the BABYFACE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM…. [Read more...]
Brian and Steve are back for the weekly WWE Raw recap podcast as they look back at Monday’s show including a hot main event, an angle at the end of the show involving The Shield and The Wyatts which looks to be going nowhere right now, Survivor Series is coming – really, Randy Orton goes down and who knows who is in charge. Plus, they talk about Chris Hero getting released, Hulk Hogan’s latest online note, Mickie James working with WWE and more.
Brian, Michael and Steve look back at Raw from Monday night including the feud between Triple H and The Big Show and a mini dressed as a bull trying to hump a woman on live TV(!), Rey Mysterio’s return,WWE reverting back to big guys on the top, TNA Wrestling’s latest ruse to fans, if the company is for sale or not and much more.
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Brian and Steve recap WWE raw from Monday night including the legal issues between the Big Show and Triple H, holes in the main storyline, going back to the well, Dolph Ziggler being worth 12%, Kane owns a suit, a horny bull making some moves on Renee Young and more. Plus, they talk about the card so far for Survivor Series, the latest on Hulk Hogan, TNA being for sale or maybe not and what former champion is returning on the show this week.
Anytime a show opening includes Shawn Michaels, you know you’re in for a treat. Still, this should’ve been so much more. Randy Orton deserves the most credit here for delivering the angriest face and most gravely voice he could muster – his intensity was fantastic. Unfortunately, Shawn Michaels no-sold him for most of the promo. On top of that, the logic here made little-to-no sense.
Brian, Michael and Steve talk about John Cena’s return following his triceps surgery, where he could be used, Triple’s H involvement in storylines, who the number two babyface is behind Cena, issues with Smackdown, Michael Hayes being suspended and more.
Hold on to your cowboy hats, folks – last night’s WWE RAW stoked up the hype train in a big way. The show opening, with Big Show getting “fired” by Stephanie McMahon, left me with mixed feelings. I liked the idea here (especially since it set the tone for Show’s re-emergence later in the evening). Unfortunately, Stephanie and Show both had their best Brendan Frasier acting hat on. There are ways to sell moments as believable without being over the top, but that subtlety was overlooked here. [Read more...]
Let’s go ahead get this out of the way: the overall show last night was a giant mess. Incoherency reigned supreme. If you tuned in to catch final build for WWE Battleground this coming Sunday, or even just to catch a little bit of wrestling, you undoubtedly left disappointed. So what happened?
CM Punk opened the show with a decent match against Big E Langston. My issue here is that Big E has been off screen for weeks (almost two months?), and having him lose his first match sets a bad tone moving forward. You could make the argument he was at least competitive. What you can’t argue is that nobody else, perhaps somebody NOT returning from an extended absence, would have filled this role just as easily.
Unfortunately, things only got worse for the CM Punk/Paul Heyman storyline. Curtis Axel looked like a complete fool in his loss against R Truth. Then, Paul Heyman came out and “proposed” to Ryback that he be a Paul Heyman guy. That segment was as terrible as you could envision. Heyman and Ryback were both hamming it up, just not quite enough for the audience to feel okay laughing at it, but more than enough for it to feel completely surreal. I’m not really sure why Heyman signed off on this. I also can’t figure out how this is supposed to make fans feel more hatred against Heyman and Ryback. This feud has stumbled to a crawl since Night of Champions, and it needs something to remind us why things were so incredible right before SummerSlam. Last night was just another huge misstep.
There was also something weird going on with the mid-card. Kofi Kingston won a match against Fandango, but when Bray Wyatt came out afterwards, he didn’t attack – he just sat in his rocking chair and said some stuff about Sister Abigail. Huh? In another head scratching moment, WWE gave Santino Marella a victory over Antonio Cesaro… at 10:55pm. With only five minutes left in the show. On the go-home show before a Pay-Per-View. Keep in mind that, at this point, Daniel Bryan (one of the two men in this Sunday’s main-event) had failed to even make an appearance on the show.
And perhaps that’s the biggest issue with last night’s show. WWE has failed to make Battleground an even remotely interesting Pay-Per-View purchase, in spite of the fact that Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton are both incredibly hot right now. When the last show before a pay-per-view is dedicated to as much filler as there was last night, including a time-consuming debut to creative’s new favorite “gimmick” tag-team, you have to re-think the storyline build. You should probably rethink the “pay-per-view every three weeks” mentality, too.
And what was up with Big Show? I’ve praised his work over the last few weeks, but he deserves a “vintage Big Show” bad acting award for his delivery last night. Bah.
Ending on a good note, I really liked the interaction between the Rhodes family and the power-couple. It was my favorite ten minutes of the entire show. Cody Rhodes is getting the biggest bump from this story-line, looking like an absolute star being in the ring with Triple H, Dusty, Stephanie, and Goldust. I’m looking forward to seeing him and Goldust face Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns this Sunday – even if the logic behind having your tag-team champions in action against somebody OTHER than the number-one contenders still boggles my mind. I’m really hoping bigger and brighter things are in Cody Rhodes future. Unfortunately, WWE has erased any confidence I once had in the creative direction of the company.
What did you think about last night’s show? Was it as bad as it seemed, or am I just being “internet critical”? Let me know in the comments below! And be sure to follow Between the Ropes on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest wrestling conversation.
Brian and Steve talk about WWE Raw from Monday night, the lead-in to this Sunday’s Battleground PPV, the debut of Los Matadores and El Torito (!), the Daniel Bryan – Randy Orton angle at the end of the show, the Paul Heyman ‘proposal’ to Ryback and more. Plus, they talk about Hulk Hogan with his TNA contract coming to an end, the angle involving him last week and this coming week on Impact and TNA as a company.