WWE Smackdown Reaction and Review – November 8th, 2013

harper vs bryan

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...]

OPINION: Triple H Insulted Daniel Bryan on Raw, and That’s Okay

Triple H and Daniel Bryan

The most recent edition of Monday Night Draw sent the internet into a fury over a closing angle involving Daniel Bryan and Triple H. During the segment, Triple H told Bryan that he isn’t the one, and while he might be very talented and very popular, so were people like Chris Jericho, Edge, and Rob Van Dam. He went on to say that if any of those guys had been “the one,” they’d all be working for Ted Turner right now. [Read more...]

WWE RAW Reaction and Review – October 7th, 2013

Big Show KO Triple H

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...]

WWE Battleground 2013 Reaction and Review

wwe championship battleground

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...]

WWE Battleground 2013 Rundown – LIVE

Refresh this page throughout the night for LIVE results as they happen!  Also, be sure to check back with Between the Ropes immediately after tonight’s show for post-PPV coverage. [Read more...]

WWE Raw Rundown LIVE – 9/30/2013

Refresh this page throughout the night for LIVE ongoing results and analysis! Coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET!

RAW logo blackWith less than one week until WWE’s newest Pay-Per-View ‘Battleground,’ the flagship show should be on high alert tonight.  Expect Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton to kick into high gear as these two sell their match-up this coming Sunday. Also, CM Punk looks to get revenge after his beat-down on last week’s show, and Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio look to promote their No DQ World Heavyweight Championship match.  Plus, Dusty Rhodes is being advertised. [Read more...]

WWE Raw Rundown LIVE – 9/23/2013

Refresh this page throughout the night for LIVE ongoing results and analysis! Coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET!

RAW logo blackRAW comes to you LIVE from Chicago tonight, and features the return of “The Best in The World,” CM Punk.  Not only that, the WWE locker room has shown growing signs of unrest over the past few weeks, so Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have promised to address the situation publicly.  Plus, with only two more weeks until WWE Battleground, fans can expect Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton to lock horns as they build towards their WWE Championship match.

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WWE Night of Champions 2013 Reaction and Review

bryanwinsLast night’s pay-per-view started off in a weird way. Triple H opened up with a segment about making the match fair, no interference, blah blah blah. But wait, isn’t he our “big bad” in WWE right now? His character has done nothing but demolish Daniel Bryan for weeks, and all of sudden he decides to play both sides. I completely understand the idea of making a heel a little more tweener. What I can’t figure out is, why does WWE think now is the time to pull him back? [Read more...]

WWE Night of Champions 2013 Rundown – LIVE

Refresh this page throughout the evening for LIVE ongoing results and analysis from WWE Night of Champions (2013).  Coverage starts at 8 pm ET!

wwenightofchampions2013posterTonight, WWE returns to Pay Per View with its annual “Night of Champions” Pay-Per-View.  The show is headlined by an exciting match, with Randy Orton defending his WWE Championship against an underdog Daniel Bryan.  Fans also have CM Punk vs Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel in a handicap match, with the stipulation that if Punk beats Axel, he gets his hands on Punk.  Be sure to watch along with us tonight! [Read more...]

WWE Smackdown Reaction and Review – September 13th, 2013

Daniel Bryan Randy Orton No LockOpening segment featuring Big Show, Triple H, and The Shield was excellent. Big Show’s fake apology letter cracked me up, and Triple H coming out to confront show about his actions made sense. But I was afraid that was going to be all there was to it. Fortunately, The Shield came out to liven things up, and Big Show entered an entertaining, hardcore, five-minute brawl with the trio. The fans in attendance were digging it, I was digging it, and it kicked things off in a hot way. [Read more...]

WWE RAW Reaction and Review – September 9th, 2013

For complete coverage of everything that happened, be sure to visit last night’s RAW Rundown. Also, check out the latest Between the Ropes podcast for thoughts from Brian and Steve!

raw christian daniel bryanShow opening last night was great wrestling television. Edge came out and gave the fans what they wanted. He put over Daniel Bryan, criticized Randy Orton, and gave Triple H even more heat. This is how you leverage a legend to create new stars. Plus, Edge was smart to bring up all the stars that Triple H has been wrong on in the past – I bet “smart marks” were eating that up. It’s also worth noting that Randy Orton and Triple H look fantastic side-by-side. They’re the kind of power-heel-duo that the WWE has been without for too long. [Read more...]

WWE Raw Rundown LIVE – 9/9/2013

Refresh this page throughout the night for LIVE ongoing results and analysis! Coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET!

Tonight, RAW looks like a packed show.  Not only can we expect final hype for Night of Champions (2013),  a rare appearance by former superstar Edge is being advertised.  Also, over the weekend Brad Maddox announced that Goldust will face Randy Orton, the stipulation being that if Goldust picks up the victory, then Cody Rhodes will be reinstated. CM Punk and Paul Heyman should be on hand as well to hype their confrontation this coming Sunday.

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WWE RAW Reaction and Review – September 2nd, 2013

Make sure to check out the WWE Raw Rundown for everything that happened on last night’s show. Also, listen to Brian and Steve discuss their opinions on the latest Between the Ropes podcast!

daniel bryan yesRaw opened solid again last night. The deeper Triple H digs into his villainous power-trip authority figure, the better he gets. We can complain about egos and self-promotion all we want, but who else in the company could play this role to such perfection? Fans absolutely hate him, and not just because they’re supposed to. They hate him for being so misguided. They hate him because he’s believable. [Read more...]

WWE Raw Rundown LIVE – 9/2/2013

Refresh this page throughout the show tonight for LIVE ongoing results and analysis.  Coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET! 

Tonight’s Raw should be interesting. With WWE Night of Champions only two weeks away, and Daniel Bryan set to take on Randy Orton in a rematch for the WWE Championship, the conflict between these two men should be at a boiling point.  Big Show probably has a bone to pick with COO Triple H, too, after being told to abandon Bryan on Friday Night Smackdown.  Plus, expect fallout from Paul Heyman and CM Punk. [Read more...]

WWE SMACKDOWN Reaction and Review – August 30th, 2013

The opening from Friday night’s show was fantastic. MizTV is often a complete waste of time, but I’m glad the creative team leveraged an establish segment to further an ongoing storyline. The Miz, Big Show, and Dolph Ziggler being together as a unified front made a lot of sense; likewise, it gave Triple H another way to continue building his corrupt boss heel-persona. I’m also happy when the opening establishes a theme for the night. [Read more...]

WWE RAW Reaction and Review – August 26th, 2013

For full coverage of last night’s show, be sure to check out the complete Raw Rundown.

Triple H and Randy Orton gloatThe Triple H and Randy Orton opening felt very old school. What I mean is that, the heels came out to put over their ongoing ‘victories,’ then the face came out and played to the crowd. [Read more...]

WWE Raw Rundown LIVE – 8/26/2013

Refresh this page throughout the show tonight for LIVE ongoing coverage and analysis!

Tonight, live on USA Network, WWE Raw is bringing a lot of hype with two major matches.  First, CM Punk sent out a tweet over the weekend accepting Curtis Axel’s challenge from Friday Night Smackdown.  Also, WWE.com is advertising Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam in what might be a prelude to an eventual Championship match-up at Night of Champions.

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WWE Raw Reaction and Review – August 19th, 2013

For full coverage of last night’s show, be sure to check out the complete Raw Rundown.  Also, get the latest Between the Ropes podcast for thoughts from Brian and Steve!

stephaniemcmahondanielbryanStephanie McMahon and Daniel Bryan opened up last night’s show in a very interesting way. It wasn’t what I expected coming out of the Pay-Per-View, but I still really liked it. Putting the McMahon’s on a unified front only makes sense (and makes this story a lot less convoluted). Furthermore, her interactions with Bryan were very, very entertaining. Bryan slapping the microphone out of her hand? Perfect. When Stephanie called for security, I had flashbacks to the ‘Attitude-Era.’ Daniel Bryan really is becoming the internet age Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow delivered an okay follow-up match to their fight at SummerSlam. Otherwise, the actual “wrestling” element of the show was sub-par. We had TWO different 3-on-1 handicap matches, both involving The Shield, and both feeling like storyline-over-form segments. And apparently creative needed some filler because even 3MB made it on the card.

A lot of stuff happened in-between the major segments, and most of it just wasn’t newsworthy. WWE made sure to push its pop-culture stuff, with ‘Total Divas’ being spotlighted in a 5 minute match, and Darren Young picking up the win over The Real Americans. And what about that Footlocker advertisement? Amazing stuff. That’s what a TV-PG rating can do for you!

Paul Heyman and CM Punk delivered a stellar opening chapter for the next part of their feud. Heyman offered the fake olive branch, and Punk turned it down with a fiery vengeance. Axel as the muscle made sense. But I’m glad Punk wiped him out, and things are ready to move forward with somebody new. Heyman needs to recruit some fresh blood in his battle against Punk, and I just don’t think Axel is ready to carry the mantle yet against a bona fide main eventer like CM Punk. Plus, Punk’s rant against that fan in the front row who booed him (poor guy!) was pure money. CM Punk is old school in the best possible way.

The show closed with Randy Orton’s Championship Coronation. This basically just turned into Triple H trying to explain away his sudden heel turned. To be fair, Hunter sold it like a champ. I liked his “best for business” logic (even if did contradict everything he said the last few weeks), and putting Orton out there in front gave the whole group a lot of heat. I’m also glad Triple H touched on his feud with Orton from a few years back. I’m still not completely buying The Shield as McMahon family lackeys, but I guess in pro wrestling heels are bffs.

Overall show was very meh. The promos were solid – especially Punk/Heyman, Bryan/Stephanie, and Triple H. Otherwise, the show lacked the great energy of SummerSlam. Hopefully the product picks back up next week.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @therealwiseman, and let me know what you think!