Brian, Michael and Steve are back for the weekly Between The Ropes as they talk about the fallout from WWE Raw on Monday night and the Triple H promo to end that show, a preview of this Sunday’s Hell in a Cell PPV and some predictions, Sheamus on his comeback from injury, TNA on the move and a new initiative and more.
This will be the first time that he will be going under the knife.
“I’ve never in my whole life had to have surgery,” Sheamus told the WWE website. “I’ve always worked through pain. For the first time in four years, I’m going to be out of action.”
Sheamus was originally injured in the Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match last month when he was tossed over the top rope and crashed down hard on a ladder. Everyone could see the damage he did to his leg which had a horrible looking bruise but he also hurt his shoulder during that fall.
He continued to work through the injury while taking part in the WWE’s recent tour in South Africa. While his leg started to heal, Sheamus started feeling extreme pain in his shoulder and down his arm.
“We performed a specialized MRI with a dye inserted to highlight the structures within the shoulder joint,” said WWE ringside physician Dr. Chris Amann. “Doctor Samson and I both reviewed the film, and it appears that Sheamus has a cartilage [SLAP] tear.”
Sheamus will have surgery next week and is expected to be out for 4 – 6 months. On that timetable, he could return in time for January’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view and at worse, he should be back in time for WrestleMania XXX in April.
He said he plans on using the time off to not only rehab but to catch up on some personal time with friends and family.
“To say I’m devastated would be a serious understatement, but I’m determined to take this time to go home to Ireland to see my family, to see my friends, learn a different language, read a lot of books, and come back bigger, stronger and better than ever.”
Brian Fritz: WWE has ben putting in a little more for the Usos as of late to try and make them look like a legitimate threat to The Shield. But they really aren’t. I hope more is done with the WWE tag-team division but it has to be built around The Shield at the top and they need a long reign so it won’t end here.
World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro
Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Rob Van Dam, Randy Orton, Christian and Sheamus will compete to win a contract for a WWE Championship Match
WWE superstar Sheamus talking about the new Performance Center, his training when coming into the wrestling business, the upcoming Money in the Bank PPV and his part in the All-Stars ladder match and wanting to get back in the WWE Championship picture.
WWE has made the entire kickoff show to the Payback pay-per-view available online on its YouTube channel. The kickoff show includes the panel discussion with Josh Mathews, the Big Show, Cody Rhodes and R-Truth as well as a good, ten-minute match between Sheamus and Damien Sandow.
Opening Segment – Miz TV w/ Fandango: While I’m not normally a huge fan of the Miz TV segments, I thought this one did a good job of helping build towards the Intercontinental Championship match later. There were a few great throwaway lines by Miz here – “Your ego is the only thing more annoying than your name” and calling Fandango a “bag of skittles” both stood out. Furthermore, Wade Barrett coming out and interrupting made sense (because of what happened on Raw), and it seemed like a great way to kick-off an Intercontinental Championship feud. Barrett also got a few cheers for attacking Fandango. Could a possible face turn be in his future? I think it could be refreshing for his career if handled correctly.
Miz vs Wade Barret for the IC Championship ends in DQ when Fandango Interferes: This was a soft “good” for me. While the back-and-forth between Miz and Barrett was fun for the 30 seconds it lasted, Fandango’s dancing just made everything too distracting from the in-ring product. However, I liked it because it furthered the storyline between the three men, and It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good mid-card championship feud.
Daniel Bryan def. Jack Swagger: These two weren’t given much time to work, but they still put together a fun match. I loved the ending here, with Swagger in the “no-lock” almost reaching the ropes and still tapping out. I also thought the announcers did a good job of building up how important this match was to Bryan and regaining his confidence by proving he isn’t the weak-link.
Great ending, with Swagger in the “no-lock” almost reaching the ropes but still tapping out.. Short match, broken up by a commercial break, but I like the story it tells about Bryan. He’s trying to prove himself and build back up his psyche. Nice storytelling here for Bryan. Too bad Swagger is not in a free-fall…again.
Damien Sandow Segment: This guy is money on the mic. He speaks down the audience, and carries that air of superiority better than almost any other heel on the roster. I loved the “Call Washington! I’ve just found the problem in the education system!” directed at Matt Striker and his substitute-teaching background. Sheamus came out, which was actually a fun surprise. I think he works really well in this “correcting the heel” type-role (as he did with Henry). Is it too much to ask for a feud between these two? Sandow looked smart by escaping the Brogue kick, but looked really dumb afterwards when Striker landed on him.
Jericho def. Big Show via count-out: OK match. Slow, plodding pace at first, but they picked it up towards the end with a good number of reversals. Entertaining with a good small guy vs. big guy dynamic in play. On the other hand, it felt like they left this open for more. Is this a rivalry anybody really wants to see?
The Shield def. Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Kofi Kingston: While this format feels a little old, and the match from Monday night was better, these guys all put out a pretty good effort here. Glad The Shield won again, and I’m always happy to see Kofi Kingston wrestle with the big boys.
Team Hell No backstage segment: This one almost ended up as a “good” for me, simply because I like the fact that this backstage segment helped build up a story. However, I fear that WWE is handling this one all wrong. The focus is too much on Bryan being crazy and Kane being the sympathetic one. I still think there’s money to be made with this team and it’s revenge on The Shield. I also believe Bryan has a lot more to offer as a face, and Kane likewise as a heel, especially if they ever pull the trigger on a rivalry between these two.
Curtis Axel def. Sin Cara: For starters, WHY is Sin Cara still allowed to wrestle with the lights down like that? What makes him special now? This would have been much more impressive had Axel come out and dominated here. Instead, he looks like just another mid-carder here who barely pulls of a win against Sin Cara, a guy we rarely see on TV anymore. Is this what being a “Paul Heyman Guy” does for you? Disappointing.
Dean Ambrose vs. Kofi Kingston for the U.S. Championship ends in DQ: This match kicked off with a fun, fast pace. These two work very well together. However, after about three minutes, The Shield came out to interfere (so why did Ambrose tell them to stay back at the beginning?), followed by Orton and Sheamus to save the day.
This didn’t make sense to me. Shouldn’t Kane and Bryan be interfering? Also, I thought Orton and Sheamus had moved on past their feud with The Shield? Furthermore, Teddy Long had to come out and make it a “three-on-three” match, as though we haven’t seen enough of those recently. Actually, he said, “This show isn’t going to end like that!” (in reference to the brawl). Of course it isn’t, Teddy, there’s still about 20 minutes left in the show. But I guess that’s the new format for Smackdown – let everybody interfere, and make your main even a “surprise” tag-team matchup. It just feels stale.
Fake Audience Noises: The crowd doesn’t go from dead silence, to maximum boo/cheer level, back to dead silence like that.
Fandango on Commentary: Not to knock his skills here, but he sounds like a phone-sex operator.
ECU is Josh Matthews favorite university: As an NC State graduate (known rival of the ECU Pirates), this displeases me greatly.
Solid night for WWE Raw on Monday. While it didn’t change the landscape of the WWE (or even slightly alter it), the well-paced show gave us a few intriguing segments and some entertaining matches. Let’s dig in.
The Opening Segment w/Ryback (first 5 minutes): This segment was a hot way to kick off the show. The ambulance driving into the arena at the opening caught the attention of viewers, and Michael Cole sold the mystery of the whole thing (my wife joked that Del Rio must have brought back the car gimmick). Then Goldberg…er, Ryback came out of the back.
I liked Ryback here at first – he seemed intense, focused. The way he put over his conquering of Cena from Sunday night, while also laying the seeds for an Ambulance match at Payback, created a great wrestling promo. This was the best Ryback has been on the mic. And then he started talking about the audience… (see below)
Sheamus def Titus O Neil: At first, I hated seeing a tag-team split up for singles action. Then, WWE surprisingly made Titus O Neil feel like a legitimate prime-time player. O’Neil looked big and solid, espeically with another big man like Sheamus, and got a surprising amount of offense against the main-eventer. In fact, O’Neil dominated Sheamus for most of the match, picking him up and tossing him around like a rag doll. Is WWE prepping us for an eventual Prime-Time Players split?
Sheamus wins only by fighting his way back into it, but O’Neil looks strong in defeat. Fun, lengthy match.
Paul Heyman’s “New Guy”: With the rumors of RVD and a Ryback switch floating on Twitter shortly before the show, I was disappointed with the eventual reveal of McGillicutty…er, Curtis Axel. On the flip-side, this gave people at home incentive to watch Raw, to see what happened. I also appreciate the fact that they gave us a reason, and a good one at that, for his new name (too often WWE has selective memory loss). I also like how Heyman put him over even more by using Lesnar as the example, pointing the finger back and the audience and reminding them how they never took Lesnar seriously at first, either. Also liked how the announcers put his “pedigree” over.
I think this segment finally took off when Triple H came in as an unexpected surprise, though. Love him or hate him, he understands what it takes to sell a moment. His intensity during this face-off was great, and the challenge set up an intriguing main-event later in the night. Anytime Heyman and Hunter share the ring, I’m glued to the TV.
The Shield Gloating Segment: “The Shield brought power back to these titles.” Ambrose is such a good talker. His swagger, his intensity, it’s infectious. He has a unique promo style. You’ll notice that the audience doesn’t “WHAT?” him, they actually boo him. It’s called talent, folks. They do, however, “WHAT?” Roman Reigns.
The Shield def Team Hell No & Kingston: Overall, great match with good tags that shifted the momentum back and forth. One thing I really liked seeing was effective tagging in-and-out, and effective usage of corners. The middle of the match was slow, but it picked back up at the end. These guys all work well together. And good decision on WWE’s part to give the match to the Shield – they needed this win to cement their victory from last night. The frenetic-pace down the stretch made for an entertaining 20 minutes. Better than the Tag Team Championship last night.
Langston def. Alberto Del Rio: Good matchup here of “technique vs strength.” These guys matched up well, and both played to their individual strength. Big E was spotlighted in a big way, and the fact that he walks away with the win is both surprising and refreshing (and since it was due to AJ’s interference, it takes nothing away from Del Rio). Also, this helps make Del Rio’s number one contendership story a lot more interesting.
AJ def. Layla: Michael Cole – “I cannot wait to see the Bellas on Total Divas in July on E! It’s going to be something.” Yes, it is going to be SOMETHING… Good athleticism here, but the crowd is dead. The Diva’s division is dead. This AJ Lee – Caitlyn rivalry needs to pickup to stick some life back in it. AJ looked very impressive with her submission, and I’m glad they’re giving her some wins towards what looks like an eventual championship match (and run?)
Randy Orton def. Jack Swagger: Little bit of catch-as-catch-can wrestling to start off the match. Nice. These two have some decent in-ring chemistry. Jack Swagger wrestled out of the RKO, and turned it into a Patriot Lock. Fun stuff. But Swagger loses clean, so where does he go from here? He needs a revamp again, or something, I don’t know. However, Orton chasing Ziggler as champion could be fun (yes, I know Del Rio gets a title match first).
Pecking Order: WWE understands something that TNA historically has not – Main Eventers and World Champions should look generally stronger than the rest of the card, without completely burying the other performers. I’m glad Sheamus won, because he’s the more “seasoned” wrestler, but Titus O’Neil still looked great in defeat. Makes sense for the ‘pecking order.’ On the other hand, Del Rio’s loss doesn’t take much away from him – but it does a whole lot for the rising stock of Big E Langston.
PPV Recap: WWE did a good job of recapping the important events from ‘Extreme Rules.’
Opening Segment w/Ryback (after the first 5 minutes): WWE needs to learn that with Ryback, less is more. He’s a hulking monster, not Hamlet. His promo on Cena was FANTASTIC. The he started fumbling through something about the audience going to the hospital. Blah Blah Blah. Booring.
Look, I get it. WWE wants desperately for the fans to hate him, so they think that having him directly insult the audience will achieve that. If he had just stopped with the Cena stuff, he likely would have gotten more cheers than boos. Unfortunately, he’s still not a good enough talker to warrant this much mic time. This is why I believe his current heel push came too soon.
Wade Barret’s New Music: Seriously, this man is very talented, but WWE has NO IDEA what to do with him. They try to throw a new shine on him every few weeks and see what sticks.
Jericho and Miz def Wade Barrett and Fandango: As the first match of the night, the audience was hot. Too bad this was a giant waste of time for everybody involved. Fandango started dancing in the middle, leaving Wade Barrett to get buried by Miz and Jericho. He got hit with every finisher, and looked bad in defeat. Way to treat your IC champion. Then, Fandango ran out afterwards. Are we to assume the Fandango – Jericho feud is continuing? I hope not.
Cody Rhoes def. Zack Ryder: Bleh, short match where Ryder loses again. Ryback came out afterwards to put Ryder in an ambulance. The whole segment felt lifeless.
Triple H vs Axel: Nice to see Axel get a little bit of offense in here. Also, putting a young talent in the ring with a veteran is good experience, and helps sell the match. Unfortunately, the Triple H injury was a minor miss for me, and created a weird ending to an otherwise entertaining show. What’s the storyline here? Are we supposed to worry about Triple H’s in-ring future? Like Michael Cole pointed out – this is his first match on Raw in years. What’s the endgame?
Live Audience Interactions: Fandango pushed a fan over on the way out. Audience members are CONSTANTLY touching The Shield. Something needs to change here.
PPV Fallout: While they recapped the events, they didn’t discuss the fallout very much (the Instant Replay comes to mind). Also, John Cena was noticeably absent. Why have him no-sell the injury by refusing an ambulance, just to have him stay off Raw?
Shameless Product Placement: Last week Dominoes, this week Sonic. At least the audience gets free stuff? Michael Cole sold this better than he did any other match of the night.
Jerry ‘Horn Dog” Lawler: This isn’t the attitude era anymore, fellas. Making a statement about Summer Rae like, “I would like to read her book, and I would prefer the brail edition,” just feels inappropriate.
Kevin Jonas – SOCIAL MEDIA AMBASSADOR: There aren’t enough curse words in the English language to express my disdain over this. Way to be a Twitter whore, WWE.
Think I got it all wrong? Give me your opinion on Twitter – follow me @therealwiseman
The most important thing about being an actor is remembering your lines. It looks like someone didn’t tell that to former WWE Champion Randy Orton. The former champion appeared in a segment on Monday Night Raw this past Monday with another former WWE champion, Sheamus. Orton and Sheamus are in the ring doing a promo. You can hear in the video below of Orton forgetting his lines and asking Sheamus what his line was.
This is the one thing that has been wrong with the WWE. You can tell when a promo feels forced and the performers act like they are reading off a cue card. What do you think? Should a promo be given to the talent and be told to just hit the bullet points? Or should the talent memorize word for word of what to say?
Follow me on Twitter @S_Muehlhausen7.
WWE superstar Sheamus talks about this Sunday’s Royal Rumble PPV, winning the rumble match last year, WrestleMania 29, who he thinks he will face and who he would like to square off against, if he has personally lobbied Vince McMahon for a match with The Undertaker, CM Punk vs. The Rock, John Cena’s promo on Raw, the youth movement in the company and also his dancing moves which he showed off recently on Smackdown.
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