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...]
For a second time this week, WWE kicked off the show with CM Punk. And while his promo here against The Wyatts was decent, the follow-up match with Curtis Axel was nothing to write home about. We’ve seen these guys do this exact same thing almost every week. Furthermore, Axel continues to look like a tool for coming out and essentially sacrificing himself at the altar of Paul Heyman every week. The IC title is in bad, bad shape, folks. [Read more...]
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.
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...]
Hot opening to last night’s WWE, with Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler squaring off in a ‘battle of the dog house’ match. Both men have been on an incredible losing streak – that is, incredible in the “I can’t believe these two men are getting buried like this” way. But credit to both Ziggler and Sandow here. They took a terrible slot and made it entertaining, and did their duty by selling a few more Pay-Per-Views along the way. I’m also happy Ziggler walked away with the much deserved win. This might not have been the match of the night, but it was at least in the top three. [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.
Smackdown opened with Triple H again defending his recent actions to the fans, but took a curve when The Miz came and confronted him. I liked it. I thought Miz made the segment more interesting, and he held his own on the mic against Triple H. It also served as great storyline continuity from show-to-show. Give The Miz more stuff like this, and less MizTV time, and he’ll probably start to shine a little more. [Read more...]
Make sure to check out last night’s RAW Rundown for complete coverage of everything that happened on WWE’s flagship show. Also, hear what Brian and Steve thought on the latest Between the Ropes podcast!
Last night’s show opening was solid. I think the “every superstar on stage” gimmick is starting to run its course, but at least the result was a little different (that being the 11-on-3 handicap match). I seriously question the locker room’s ambitions, since they made Rob Van Dam their spokesperson – furthermore, they’re all buying into Triple H’s spill a little too easily. On the other hand, I really enjoyed seeing Triple H and Stephanie McMahon ham it up a little. Selling Daniel Bryan as the selfish one, not the COO, is a great way to make Hunter the type of villian fans love to hate. [Read more...]