WWE Monday Night RAW Results From February 17, 2014

RAW_1082_Photo_007WWE RAW
February 17, 2014
Pepsi Center
Denver, Colorado

First Segment: John Cena comes out to start tonights Monday Night RAW. They show a highlight package of Cena beating Randy Orton in main event of last weeks RAW. Cena says that you can tell by the energy in the building that tonight is Monday Night RAW. Cena mentions Orton’s big losing streak. Cena says this sunday there will be a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Zeb Colter and Cesaro come out and interrupt John Cena. Colter says we’re looking at the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Cesaro takes the mic and says he will become the new face of WWE and the new face of America. Cesaro enters the ring and gets in the face of John Cena. Cena says Cesaro beat Orton on SmackDown, but that doesn’t mean Cesaro is on a winning streak, it means Orton is on a losing streak.

Sheamus comes out and interrupts John Cena and Cesaro. Sheamus says he’s going to Brouge kick both of their teeth in at the Chamber but he’s saving his Brouge for Randy Orton tonight. Christian music hits and forgives Sheamus for Brouge Kicking him on SmackDown, and says what happens to Sheamus in the Chamber Match won’t be a accident. Randy Orton comes out and thanks The Authority for giving him the opportunity to beat everybody in the Chamber Match. Orton admits he underestimated Cesaro on SmackDown, but says that won’t happen again. Orton enters the ring and was interrupted by Daniel Bryan who gets a massive pop.

Bryan says everyone came out to do a bunch of talking, but the fans are doing the talking for him. Bryan says the winner of the chamber leads them to the main event of WrestleMania XXX. Bryan says he’s worked too hard to let this opportunity slip through his fingers. Bryan says there will be one chant after the Chamber Match is over and that chant is YES!. Pyro hits and Corporate Kane comes out. Kane says that The Authority has given him a chance to rectify the mistakes he’s made in the last couple of weeks by making him in charge of Monday Night RAW tonight. Kane announces that Sheamus will take on Randy Orton, Cesaro will take on John Cena, and Daniel Bryan will take on Christian. Kane announces that the match between Christian and Bryan will start now. Christian attacks Daniel Bryan before the bell rings as we head into commercial break.

Also announced for tonights Monday Night Raw, Mark Henry will take on Roman Reigns and The Wyatt Family will take on Sin Cara and Los Matadores.

First Match: Christian vs. Daniel Bryan

Back from commercial break Christian continues to work on Bryan’s injured shoulder. Bryan turns it around with a knee to the gut. Byran gives Christian a couple of uppercuts. Bryan knocks  Christian out of the ring and goes for the suicide dive, but Christian stops his momentum by landing a big right hand as Bryan was in the air. Christian slams Bryan to the mat and continues to work on Bryan injured arm.

Christian hits Bryan with a shoulder block and goes for a pin, but Bryan kicks out at 2. Christian mocks Bryan and continues working on the injured shoulder. Christian lands another shoulder block and goes for another pin attempt and Bryan kicks out at 2. Christian mounts Bryan with right hands and Bryan turns it around and gives Christian a half-crab, but Christian rolls through and takes cotrol of the match again. Bryan gets back up and hits a big dropkick on Christian. Bryan goes for another dropkick, but Christian lands a big boot. Christian hits Bryan with a elbow off the second rope. Bryan blocks the Killswitch attempt by Christian. Bryan tries to lock Christian in the Yes Lock, but Christian breaks out of it. Christian shoves Bryan into the corner, but as he was going for another Killswitch attempt Bryan blocked it again and rolls up Christian to pick up the victory.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

After the match Kane congratulates Bryan for victory over Christian. Kane regrets to inform Bryan that he has another match tonight and its against Kane.

Second Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Kane

Back from commercial break  Kane is beating up Bryan around the ring. Kane lands a big suplex on Bryan from the ring apron. Kane keeps control of the match and whips Bryan arm first into the corner. Bryan comes back and hits a missile dropkick. Bryan tries to fight back, but Kane pushes him over the top rope. Kane goes out and whips Bryan into the barrier. Kane wraps Bryan’s shoulder around the ring post and won’t let go. Kane gets disqualified. After the match Kane continues his assault on Bryan and grabs the mic and says he knows that he got disqualified.

Winner: Daniel Bryan by DQ

Renee Young was shown backstage interviewing The Shield.She asks Reigns about Mark Henry, but Dean Ambrose speaks up and is surprised Henry showed up tonight after the beating he gave him last week. Reigns says Ambrose lost. Ambrose says he softened Henry up for Reigns. Ambrose says Reigns acts like he can do better. Reigns says he can. Rollins says they are always on the same page and will beat The Wyatt Family because they are made for war. Ambrose says The Wyatts are an illusion. Reigns says they don’t experience fear and they don’t back down.

Third Match: Fandango w/Summer Rae vs. Santino Marella w/Emma

They show us a video package of Emma’s history in NXT. A very short match, Santino jokes around the ring with Fandango and Summer Rae and Emma get into a argument. Emma gives Summer Rae a airplane spin and drops her down to the mat. Santino checks on Emma who’s dizzy at ringside they start flirting with each other. Fandango brings Santino back into the ring and hits the encore to pickup the victory.

Winner: Fandango

Renee Young was shown backstage interviewing Mark Henry. Young ask Henry how he feels about being screwed out of the United States Championship last week. Henry says he should be the United States Champion right now. Young ask Henry for his opinions on tonights match with Roman Regins. Henry says this match isn’t bout winning or losing, its about inducting Regins into the Hall of Pain.

Fourth Match: Roman Regins vs. Mark Henry

Reigns starts the match with right hands and headbutts. Henry sends Reigns to the corner and splashes him. Reigns turns it around and takes Henry to one knee. Henry fights to his feet but Reigns nails a big Samoan Drop for a 2 count. Reigns hits the Superman Punch and hits the Spear to pick up the victory. After the match The Wyatt Family are shown on the titantron.

Bray Wyatt cuts a promo and says the clock is ticking. He says their bones will pave the streets of his kingdom. Harper asks if they’re willing to die for this. Bray says if they’re not, they’ve already lost. He laughs some more and turns his back. Reigns tells them to come out here and talk that noise. Wyatt says they were thinking the exact same thing. Rowan tells them to run. The lights go out again and the music hits.

The Wyatts enter the ring and they have a big stare down with The Shield. The Wyatt Family back off and got out of the ring.

Winner: Roman Regins

Back from commercial break Michael Cole announces that on the Elimination Chamber Kickoff Show The Rhodes Brothers will take on Curtis Axel and Ryback. The Rhodes Brothers were shown backstage playing around with some WWE action figures and the new WWE Stack Down play set. Bad News Barrett comes out and kicks the toys off the table he laughs at The Rhodes Brothers then leaves.

Fifth Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter

Swagger starts the match mauling Kingston and sends him to the corner. Kingston tries a counter in the corner, but Swagger dumps him into the mat for a 2 count.Kofi tries to make a comeback but Swagger whips him hard into the corner and nails a Swagger Bomb for a 2 count. Swagger lands more big power moves on Kofi. Kofi nails a missile dropkick from the corner. Kofi with a kick to the head and a big springboard clothesline. More back and forth. Kofi nails a SOS but Swagger’s foot hits the bottom rope to break the pin. Kofi lands a big crossbody for another 2 count. Swagger rolls through and makes Kofi tap with the Patriot Lock.

Winner: Jack Swagger

Sixth Match: Big E vs. Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre

Big E hits Mahal a few times, then McIntyre joins in and Zeb stays at ringside with Swagger and starts to talk trash on the mic. Big E whips McIntyre outside and drops Mahal with a backbreaker, then McIntyre kicks Big E in the face and drops a knee. Big E takes a bit more punishment after some knees and a double suplex, then McIntyre whips him and Mahal kicks him in the face for a near fall. Big E shoves them back and backdrops Mahal, then he throws McIntyre on the floor and clotheslines Mahal. Big E follows with some more clotheslines and a belly-to-belly, then he splashes them both and tackles McIntyre in the corner. Big E goes to the opposite corner and tackles Mahal, then he suplexes Mahal into McIntyre and hits both with a Big Ending for the win.

Winner: Big E

Back from commercial break they show us a history package of WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons in honor of Black History Month. They also shows us a history of the Elimination Chamber Video Package.

Renee Young was shown backstage interviewing John Cena. Cena talks about the Elimination Chamber Match and also talks about the change thats coming to the WWE. Cena says tonight we’ll find out what Cesaro is made out of as their match is up next.

Seventh Match: Cesaro vs. John Cena

The bell rings and they lock up. Cesaro quickly rolls up Cena. They lock up again and trade holds and go to the mat.More back and forth action between Cesaro and Cena. Cesaro takes Cena down with a headlock. Cena overpowers Cesaro and slams him. Cena charges but Cesaro dumps him over the top and to the floor. Cesaro tosses Cena into the barrier. Cena comes back in the ring and drops Cesaro’s neck over the top. Cena runs into a big dropkick and Cesaro cover for 2. Cesaro with another 2 count. Cena fights out of another headlock. Cena slides off his shoulders and drops Cena’s neck over the top rope now. Cena with a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Cesaro whips Cena hard into the corner and he goes down. Cesaro kicks Cena out of the ring. We go to commercial with Cesaro in control.

Back from commercial break Cesaro and Cena land a couple right hands.Cesaro hits a big fallaway slam on Cena. Cena fights back but Cesaro applies a sleeper hold. Cesaro ends up running over Cena with a big clothesline for 2. Cena comes back with shoulder tackles and the crowd boos. Cesaro counters the big slam for a 2 count. Cesaro goes for the Cesaro Swing but Cena turns it into a STF and the crowd boos. Cesaro counters it and hits a gutwrench slam for a 2 count. More back and forth. Cena with the big slam and the Five Knuckle Shuffle as fans boo. Cesaro slides out of an Attitude Adjustment and nails the big uppercut in mid-air. Cena kicks out at 2. Cesaro grabs Cena for a Cesaro Swing but Cena counters and turns it into a DDT for a 2 count. Cena goes to the top but Cesaro runs up and knocks Cena to the floor with a big uppercut.

Cesaro suplexes Cena from the apron, over the turnbuckles and nails a big superplex for a 2 count.  Cesaro finally hits a Cesaro Swing on Cena and drops him for a close 2 count. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer but Cena counters as the fans boo. Cesaro lands on his feet from the AA and runs over Cena. Cesaro runs again but Cena nails a big clothesline. Cena rolls over and stands up with Cesaro on his shoulders. Cena nails the AA for the win.

Winner: John Cena

Back from commercial break Randy Orton was shown backstage talking to Triple H. Orton says he appreciates everything that the Authority has done for him over the years. Orton tells Triple H “Can you picture Batista being the face of the WWE?” Batista was standing right behind Orton. Batista says Orton isn’t the face of WWE, he’s the ass. Orton storms off. Alberto Del Rio walks up wearing a neck brace. He’s going to make Batista pay on Sunday. Del Rio says he’s going to break Batista’s arms and rip them off. Batista shoves Del Rio into a scissor lift. Triple H looks pissed off and Batista storms out.

Renee Young is backstage and reveals Darren Young will take on Titus O’Niel at Elimination Chamber. Titus comes over and plays the heel role. Titus says Darren has been a roadblock in him becoming champion. Titus says he will drop that dead weight on Sunday.

Eight Match: Los Matadores and Sin Cara vs. The Wyatt Family

Short match The Wyatt Family was controlling the entire the match. Bray Wyatt hits the Sister Abigail on Sin Cara to pickup the victory

Winner: The Wyatt Family

Ninth Match: Jey Uso vs. Billy Gunn

Back from commercial break and the WWE Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws are out. Jimmy Uso and Road Dogg are on commentary. Back and forth to start the match. Jey sends Gunn out to the floor and Road Dogg runs to check on him. Gunn runs over Jey with a big clothesline and covers for a 2 count.Gunn keeps control of the match and has Uso grounded with a headlock. Uso ends up getting the win with a roll up.

Winner: Jey Uso

- After the match, Jimmy lays Road Dogg out with a kick. The Usos lay The Outlaws out at ringside.

- Byron Saxton is backstage with Sheamus. Sheamus talks about his aggressive side and says Orton will get to see that side tonight. Back to commercial.

Tenth Match: Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

They lock up and go to the corner.Orton comes back in but Sheamus sends him right back out for another breather. Orton comes back in and strikes, taking Sheamus to the corner with an uppercut and a headbutt. Sheamus fights back with right hands and uppercuts of his own. Sheamus drops Orton and keeps up the attack in the corner. Sheamus hits a suplex. Orton goes back to the floor for another breather.

Sheamus comes out and they brawl on the floor. Sheamus slams Orton’s face into the announcers table. They come back in and Sheamus drops knees on Orton’s head. Sheamus with another uppercut. Sheamus misses a Brogue and lands on the top rope. Orton takes control and sends Sheamus flying into the ring post. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Orton is in control but Sheamus fights out and sends him to the floor. They brawl on the floor again. Orton gets sent into the barrier. Orton turns it back around and brings it in the ring. Orton stomps away on Sheamus. Orton climbs up for a superplex but Sheamus knocks him to the mat. Sheamus nails a battering ram. Orton goes out for a monitor from the announce table but Sheamus follows. Orton sends Sheamus crashing through the announce table and a “holy s–t” chant breaks out.

Sheamus makes it back in at the 9 count but Orton starts stomping. Orton lands big powerslam and goes for another pin attempt. Orton goes for the second rope draping DDT but Sheamus dumps him to the apron. Sheamus with the big forearm shots to the chest now. Sheamus still can’t get the pin. Orton with the second rope draping DDT now. Sheamus blocks the RKO and hits the Irish Curse backbreaker, and another, and a third. Sheamus readies for a Brogue Kick but The Shield hits the ring and beats him down for the disqualification.

Winner: Sheamus by DQ

After the match a massive brawl breaks out with all the members of the Elimination Chamber Match and the 6 Man Tag Team Match as Raw goes off the air.

JPOV: WOW! Raw really delivered with this being the last Raw before Elimination Chamber. Alot of progression for storylines heading into the chamber and couple of new matches booked for the ppv that have to do with the current storylines. 10 wrestling matches tonight on RAW there was only 2 matches I didn’t like so thats telling something. Cesaro and Cena match was awesome. Just another fun night of wrestling.

Josh’s Grade: 10/10

Follow Between The Ropes on Twitter and LIKE Between The Ropes on Facebook

 

WWE Studios Announces Movies Featuring The Rock And The Miz

dwayne johnson

Variety.com is reporting that WWE Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will be partnering up to film “The Marine 4″ and “Jingle All The Way 2″.

“The Marine” franchise once again will feature The Miz, who also appeared in the third installment of the movie and also WWE Diva Summer Rae will appear in the movie.

“Jingle All The Way 2″ will feature Larry The Cable Guy and Santino Marella will be in the film as well. The first installment of the movie was filmed in 1996 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie will be released on home video during the holiday season.

Variety also reported that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will star in the WWE Studios film, “The Fall Guy”, which will be hitting theatres in 2015.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

WWE Main Event Spoilers For Tonight’s Show

main event

Before the Smackdown tapings take place, the WWE films “Main Event” that will air on ION Television tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET. The tapings took place in Austin, Texas. Here is what took place on WWE Main Event.

- Mick Foley dressed as Santa Claus is out first to kick off Main Event. Foley makes it snow in the arena. Curtis Axel and Ryback interrupt him. Ryback and Axel start messing with Santa Foley until The Miz steps up to stop them. They sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer but change the lyrics to pick on Ryback and Axel. Foley makes Axel vs. The Miz with Foley and Ryback in the corners.

- R-Truth and Xavier Woods vs. 3MB is up next. Truth and Woods get the win after a good back and forth tag match.

- AJ Lee makes her way out next to face Kaitlyn. AJ gets the win with the Black Widow.

- The Miz is out next with St. Mick to face Curtis Axel. Foley ended up hitting Ryback with Socko and Miz hit Skull Crushing Finale on Axel for the win.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Results were courtesy of WrestlingInc.com.

WWE Raw Recap, Michael Strahan Is Having Fun

RAW_1070_PhotoBrian 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.

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

You can follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Play

WWE Main Event Spoilers For Tonight’s Show

main event

Before the Smackdown tapings take place, the WWE films “Main Event” that will air on ION Television tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET. The tapings took place in Atlanta, Georgia. Here is what took place on WWE Main Event.

- Tamina defeated Naomi in a lumberjill match. The Divas who are in the Survivor Series elimination match were all at ringside serving as the lumberjills.

- Alberto Del Rio defeated Santino Marella. An easy win for Del Rio, who had go away heat in Atlanta thus far.

- Fandango defeated Kofi Kingston. The Miz provided a quick distraction that led to Fandango getting the win. This concluded the Main Event taping.

Results were courtesy of ProWrestling.net.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

WWE Smackdown Reaction and Review – September 27th, 2013

Randy Orton Smackdown

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...]

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Non-Spoilers) For Tonight’s Show

The WWE taped tonight’s edition of Friday Night Smackdown on Tuesday from the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can watch the show tonight starting at 8 PM ET on SyFy.

Here are the matches that took place on the show.

- Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth

- The Real Americans vs. The Prime Time Players

- Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler

- WWE Divas Champion A.J. Lee vs. Cameron

- 3MB vs. The Great Khali and Santino Marella

- Randy Orton vs. The Miz

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

In Defense of The Miz

the miz

Hey internet, it’s time to give The Miz a break. Not that he doesn’t deserve the criticism, but he probably doesn’t deserve the non-stop nitpicking that happens every time MizTV comes on. He probably doesn’t deserve to be called out for using the figure-four leglock, an obviously corporate decision. And he probably doesn’t deserve to be made fun of for Real World anymore. [Read more...]

WWE Smackdown Rundown – 8/16/2013

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...]

Why Kofi Kingston is the Face of the WWE Problem

kofi kingstonIn late 2009, Kofi Kingston was finally ready for his breakout moment.

His career arc up to that point included all the typical WWE milestones: after signing with the WWE in 2006 he did a stint in developmental before eventually working his way onto the main roster. By late 2008, he had collected a few mid-card titles (including the tag-team championship with CM Punk), and had shown that his athleticism and work-ethic were some of the best in the company. Hardcore and casual fans loved him. Plus, he had paid his dues.

When October of 2009 rolled around, Kingston had been in and out of the main event picture for most of the year. His brief run-ins with Edge and Chris Jericho made him seem like a star, and a lengthy United States title run further decorated his resume. He was only looking for that one rivalry to put him over the top.

Enter Randy Orton.

Orton was fresh off a WWE Championship reign. His heel-tactics had earned him the ire of the entire WWE Universe, and so a victory for the babyface Kingston would establish Kingston’s status as a main event superstar. Their rivalry was fresh and exciting. Unfortunately, that’s as far as it went. Kofi Kingston got his victory over Randy Orton, but it was a flukey win stuck in the middle of three Orton-dominated matches. Then Kingston went on to spend 2010 in mid-card hell. Despite a few highlight-worthy moments since, and a handful of great matches, his career has never truly recovered.

So what’s the real issue here?  It seems WWE struggles with handling a sustainable build, and often fails to follow-through. Kingston undoubtedly has all the tools of a superstar, but he’s never been spotlighted long enough to create the buzz that follows other main event players. His rivalry with Orton should have been the launching pad to bigger and greater things. Instead, it was the high point of a single storyline. They had nothing serious planned for him once he lost to Orton.

Kingston’s not alone here. CM Punk captured the World Heavyweight Championship TWICE, and still had a hard time getting traction. In fact, he didn’t cement his place atop the roster until after his infamous ‘Pipe Bomb Promo’ and the ensuing rivalry with John Cena. That was when WWE Creative finally gave CM Punk both an angle he could sink his teeth into, and a storyline that kept him in the spotlight.

Fans often complain that if a young gun could just get that one victory, or grab a World Championship that one time, they’d be set. I argue that it’s less about the championship itself, or even the victory, and more about what takes place after.

Remember Zack Ryder? He got his shining moment, winning the United States Championship and celebrating with Punk and Bryan the next night on ‘Raw.’ Now he’s the jobber to the stars. What about Jack Swagger? He climbed the proverbial ladder and is billed as a “former World-Heavyweight Champion.” Today, his career can’t seem to find anything that clicks. Cody Rhodes defeated Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania over two years ago, and he’s rarely even featured on PPV pre-shows anymore. The examples go on and on.

I’m not arguing all of these guys could, or even should, be headlining pay-per-views. But I think they’re all shining examples of WWE’s short-sightedness. Creative puts a wrestler out there, gives him some momentum, then tucks tail and runs because they can’t immediately sell merchandise like John Cena or Randy Orton. News flash, WWE: Those guys took years of build to become as popular as they are today. And unfortunately, giving a superstar a small push then immediately pulling them from TV for weeks does more to harm a superstar than help them.

As a fan, I want time to invest in a superstar, so I can genuinely care. Give me feuds that build to bigger and better things, and let me see an actual progression of character. I want surprise wins and heartbreaking losses. Take The Miz, for example. He was never supposed to be a WWE main-eventer, or even a real threat for TV time. However, when he split from John Morrison, the WWE writing team laid the groundwork for his rise to success. They spotlighted him on WWE television, gave him mid-card wins, and let his stock rise for a year. Then, in late 2010, he cashed in the Money in the Bank contract for his first WWE Championship reign.

Miz Money in the BankBut notice how things didn’t just stop there. In the subsequent months, they continued to put him in meaningful rivalries, eventually culminating in a Wrestlemania match against John Cena. After he reached the top, they let him stay. It was over a year later before they finally changed The Miz into a face, and it was at a time his popularity was starting to wane. It actually felt like a great refresh.

I think the WWE had the right concept with Ryback. They wanted him to be a beast, and so they let him decimate anybody on the roster. While his feud with CM Punk last year felt premature, it also felt plausible, if only because he looked like the kind of guy that could beat anybody in the company. Fans even started chanting along with him. But then, less than four months later, WWE changed its mind and decided to make Ryback a heel. A guy that was finally starting to get over in popularity was changed to an entirely different character. And, subsequently, his current feud with John Cena feels bland.

WWE is losing viewers on a weekly basis, and people are less interested in the product than ever. When former stars like The Rock or Brock Lesnar have to show up and sell your pay-per-views, something isn’t right with the way you’re handling talent.

Kofi Kingston might never become a world champion, and Zack Ryder might never main-event again. Those are things I’ve learned to accept. But something I can’t accept is a mediocre, warmed-over product, when the WWE has all the right pieces to be so much more.

WWE Smackdown Rundown – May 24th, 2013

smackdownDecent edition of Smackdown this week.  Show kicked off fun and had a few short, but entertaining, matches. Unfortunately, it felt like it lacked any real star power.

The Good:

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.

 

The Bad:

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.

 

The Ugly:

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.