Big Show Returns at RAW

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.

Between The Ropes | Michael Kingston – August 6, 2013

Michael Kingston talks about his “Headlocked” comic book project including the latest edition “Headlocked: The Last Territory”, how the project came together, growing up as a wrestling fan and a comic fan, getting Jerry “The King” Lawler do the cover art, having others including Ken Anderson, Christopher Daniels, Rob Van Dam and Beth Phoenix help with the project, putting together the stories, the reception it is getting at conventions, his Kickstarter page to help fund the project for his artists and distribution and more.

You can pledge to the Headlocked Kickstarter page here

Check out the official HeadlockedComic.com website

Follow Headlocked Comic on Twitter (@HeadlockedComic)

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WWE Smackdown Rundown – 8/2/2013

smackdown outlineVery 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...]

Between The Ropes Wrestling Podcast – July 23, 2013

Brian and Steve look back at Raw from Monday night including the final segments with Daniel Bryan, the great CM Punk – Paul Heyman segment, the train wreck involving the Total Divas segment as well as a little accident, Ryback, Brad Maddox, could Rob Van Dam even be a world champion again in WWE, how important ratings are for this show and more.

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WWE Raw Rundown – July 22nd, 2013

Raw SidewaysTonight’s WWE Raw seemed content to be a giant bowl of filler. While the Bryan/multiple matches concept had a little intrigue, most of the show felt only “okay.” [Read more...]

Between The Ropes Wrestling Podcast – July 15, 2013

Brian and Steve talk about Sunday’s Money in the Bank PPV including Damien Sandow and Randy Orton each winning the ladder matches, the physicality of the All-Stars ladder match, a really good John Cena vs. Mark Henry match, possibilities now for SummerSlam, the Ultimate Warrior working with the WWE for the new 2K14 video game, last week’s grand opening of the WWE Performance Center and more.

Subscribe to Between The Ropes on iTunes so you can automatically get the latest podcasts.

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WWE Money in the Bank 2013 – Reaction and Review

Last night’s highly anticipated “Money in the Bank” Pay-Per-View brought us a loaded card with numerous surprises, and the much-hyped return of Rob Van Dam. But did it deliver? Read on to find out. [Read more...]

‘Monday Night Raw’ Reaction and Review – 7/8/2013

Be sure to check out the Raw Rundown for complete coverage of last night’s show!

henry tops cenaMark Henry and John Cena faced off last night, in a take-it or leave-it segment. This feud kicked off hot a few weeks ago with Henry’s faux retirement speech. Unfortunately, things died off for the last two weeks, and this segment only managed to muster up a little more momentum heading towards Sunday. The face-off at the end gave Cena fans a reason to worry. But, it also reminded the rest of us that Henry’s chances at Money in the Bank are slim indeed.

Rob Van Dam was featured prominently on last nights show through a series of classic ladder match clips. This was a smart move by WWE. It reminded fans why they should care about Rob Van Dam returning to the company after so many years, and also highlighted his chances at winning the match this coming Sunday. For those of you that don’t like RVD, this probably didn’t do much to change your mind. But it should at least help sell a few more Pay Per Views to the casual fans.

The Wyatt Family finally debuted, and ended up deliver a Shield-esque beatdown. I’m not saying their overall persona reminded me of The Shield, or that just because they’re both three-man groups they act the same. But WWE creative has to give these guys more than just “we attack random people.” The videos hype last night climaxed in an eerie way. Let’s hope that trend continues, and these three men (especially Bray Wyatt) are treated like something special. These guys definitely have the potential to become the “creepy presence” of the next decade, and fill the void left by The Undertaker and Kane. Speaking of which, do I smell a possible SummerSlam feud?

Vickie Guerrero, love her or hate her, delivers in segments like last night’s job performance evaluation. I question her replacement (Brad Maddox? Really? Isn’t he a wrestler?), but considering he’s probably a spot-filler, I can handle it. What left me most disappointed was the McMahon family feud (again!). Just when it seemed like Vince and Triple H were taking their disagreements to a more personal level, they simply deferred to Stephanie, who settled things with the biggest non-commitment anybody could ask for. This constant bickering is leaving me indifferent. Come on, WWE, let’s kick things up a notch.

The overall show was solid. While not every match was entertaining, and not every segment lived up to the lofty expectations in place, I felt consistently entertained for three hours. A few standout matches including Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus (these guys could have stolen the show last year at Wrestlemania), without a lot of filler, made this seem like a well-booked show. This was the first night in a while where advertised segments, such as the Wyatt Family and Vickie Guerrero, kept me from changing the channel. And while I still think the WWE product (obviousy) has room for growth, it feels like creative is finally taking the charge of putting together a full three-hour show more seriously. Hopefully this is indicative of a good SummerSlam build… but only time will tell.

Rob Van Dam Returning to WWE

Last night during the WWE Payback pay-per-view, a video was shown announcing the return of Rob Van Dam to the company at next month’s Money in the Bank PPV.

Van Dam was last under contract with the company in 2007 and decided to leave when his contract was up.  He did appear at the 2009 Royal Rumble for just the one appearance.  Then in 2010, he joined TNA Wrestling where he had been until earlier this year.

Once his contract expired, it was widely speculated where Van Dam would go next, especially after he appeared at the WWE Hall of Fame the day before WrestleMania 29.  Officially, Van Dam was there as a guest of Booker T who was being inducted that night.

Hulk Hogan always seemed to be a big supporter of Van Dam’s and wanted him back with TNA Wrestling.  But even he seemed a bit off guard last night when asked about RVD jumping over to WWE.

As for Van Dam, it will be interesting to see what kind of a deal he received from the WWE.  He has made it very public over the years that he disliked the travel schedule that came with being a full-timer with the WWE.