The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
It’s Harper and Rowan. Luke and Jimmy begin. Jey gets the blind tag, hits a strike, and brings in Jimmy. Luke runs over Jimmy, drags him into the corner, and Rowan comes in for some clubbing. Rowan misses a legdrop and takes a grounded kick. However, he comes back with a pancake. Hanging his opponent up in the corner, Rowan slugs and brings in Harper. Rowan and Harper slug away for a while. Jimmy comes back with an enzuigiri, but Harper tags in and cuts off the tag with a big boot for two. We hit the first break of the show.
We’re back with Harper holding a headlock. Luke keeps Jey down with a back elbow and Rowan enters for a heavy scoop slam and to squeeze a head with his fists. Jimmy gets a jawbreaker and comes off of the top with a corkscrew moonsault. Jey comes in as a house of fire and takes it to Harper, finishing his flourish with a Samoan drop. Jey takes out Rowan, but takes a Michinoku Driver for two. Harper gets dumped, and Jey dives out. Rowan steps up and runs over Jey, but Jimmy flies off of the apron onto him. Harper takes off Jimmy’s head with the clothesline and we have a double count out.
After the match, Jimmy is rolled back into the ring by Rowan and Harper. Jey evens the odds, however, and pulls Jimmy from the ring. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan run down with that weird glitch in the production and help Harper and Rowan beat down The Usos. I hate this storyline. In an obvious display of post production brilliance, Cole sounds like he’s been re-recording his audio for about seven hours, with Vince screaming at him to do it again with “more feeling.”
Anyway, they hit some finishers and stack up The Usos so that Bray and Bryan can pose from their knees.
Final Thoughts: The storyline taints this acceptable match. This is what we know, for the most part. This is Vince McMahon’s idea. Vince has no idea where he’s going with this. No one spoke up and stopped this from happening. It’s doing a terrific job in confusing fans, although I will say that they were much more prepared tonight for what they saw. They’re using what was their number one face in the company to get over a stable that’s best left in the midcard. They ain’t The Shield.
The leader, rumored to be John Cena’s tentative WrestleMania opponent, has not delivered in the ring to the point where anyone should be secure in him wrestling in the main event of a PPV, let alone WrestleMania. Bryan isn’t buried, but the character that fans across the entire world enjoyed, is dead. The way in which Cole sells this post-match angle, polished to the point of sanitization, goes a long in way in clubbing it over the fan’s heads that Daniel Bryan is dead. And now, I’m pissed off for the rest of this show. FEEL THE ENERGY!
-Backstage, Randy Orton, who needs his tattoo artist to draw money for him, asks to see Stephanie and HHH. Vickie tells him that they aren’t there. Orton is anti-authority now? I ask this, as he now hates the term “best for business” and is going to address them on Raw, looking to do what’s best for Randy Orton. I’m completely blank on why Orton would have problems with Stephanie and HHH this week. I mean, he has a chance to win the John Cena Super Championship! That’s where you beat Cena cleanly outside of a gimmick match, and in a one-on-one environment.
-It’s Miz TV time. His guest for the segment isn’t the remnants of Mark Henry, but instead The Big Show, who got the best of Brock Lesnar just days after dancing around in a diaper to celebrate 2014. Big Show comes out, shaking hands and smiling, just a day or so after being a cold-blooded badass against Lesnar. Big Show says that he doesn’t like Brock Lesnar. Fair enough. Big Show challenges Brock Lesnar to a FIGHT. Where have I seen this before? Paul Heyman steps out onto the stage and teases Big Show, saying that he can FIGHT him at the Royal Rumble. Well, I’m glad that we didn’t have that awkward segment where Big Show would have to drive a pen into Heyman’s rectum to get the match. This segment was missing The Miz having a couch thrown at him.
-Batista is bigger, better, and wants to be champion again. Stay out of his way! That’s what his new video says.
-We get a nice hype video for The WWE Network. I’ll have that. Man, is that going to be terrific. It’s too bad that creative doesn’t have the slightest clue on what they’re doing. Still, still, we’ll have 1500 hours of footage to work through at launch.
Los Matadores, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio w/El Torito vs. The Real Americans and Rybaxel w/Zeb Colter
This could be fun. Axel and one of the matadors begin. Axel gets snapmared and stomps away, hitting a slam. Axel hits an intense shoulderblock. Axel is halted and then chopped in the corner. Axel then takes a head scissors form the apron. Los Matadores go high and low with a double team for two. Axel gets back into the corner and brings in Cesaro. Cesaro hits a slam, but gets headscissors and a springboard elbow. Axel returns against Sin Cara, but gets dropkicked into THE BIG GUY. Ryback takes a couple of dropkicks, and bolts from the ring as Rey winds up for the 619. The heels regroup on the outside and we head to break.
We return with Ryback hitting Sin Cara with a scoop slam, but missing the splash. Cesaro gets the tag and cuts off Sin Cara with a gutwrench. The badass Cesaro goes to the chinlock. Swagger pops in to keep up the pressure with a belly to belly that gets two. Swagger gets in some trash talk on the apron, but gets kicked in the face as a result. Cara shoves Swagger away. Cesaro reenters, but takes a desperate DDT from Sin Cara. Swagger is the victim of the hot tag, with Rey stepping up and getting two from a press from the top. Rey gets the feet up on the Swaggerbomb and gets two from a kick. We break down, with Los Matadores flying out onto Ryback, El Torito leaping off the top onto Axel, as well. Swagger catches the 619 and hits a slam for two, as Sin Cara breaks it up. Sin Cara and Cesaro tumble outside. Rey gets 619 this time and drops the dime for the win. I feel like this could have been perfectly acceptable PPV filler with a bit of buildup.
Final Thoughts: **. This was fun enough, but the matchup itself certainly felt rushed.
Randy Orton vs. Big E Langston
The guy with the two big belts enters the ring first. If he’s a major player, then start acting like it. Randy’s just a guy. There’s a long lockup to begin. Big E wins this. We learn from Cole that Big E just wants to have fun. Well, that’s nice that he just wants to smile and crack jokes all of the time. Orton is leery of Langston’s power and takes a breather. Big E gets the shoulderblock after a long build up to it. Orton runs off again. Randy gets back in and punches Langston down. Then, he peers off into the crowd. This is not knocking my socks off, yet. Orton gets an uppercut, and a headbutt. Langston gets another shoulderblock for two. Big E works Orton’s arm. So that’s what The Big Ending targets!
Big E gets some shoulderthrusts in the corner. Orton reverses course, hitting some strikes. Big E no sells a strike and hits a couple of powerful backbreakers for two. Orton squirms out of The Big Ending and rolls out of the ring. We go to break following Orton once again retreating from Big E.
Orton is in control with a side headlock when we return. Big E fights back, but takes a knee to the gut for two. They have Cole do some WWE Network shilling. I didn’t know that his favorite WWE show is NXT. You wouldn’t think so after the Divas season. Big E fights back, but misses a charge and falls from the ring. Big E’s head slams off of the steps a couple of times. Back in, Randy gets two. Chinlock.
Langston comes out of the corner on Orton and runs him over. Big E gets the belly to belly and hits that sweet big splash for two. VINTAGE Orton with the neckbreaker and there’s more VINTAGE shit with the draping DDT. So, Orton takes ten years to signal for the RKO. I hate this spot. Langston counters and Orton begs off in the corner, gets a thumb to the eye, and hits the RKO.
Final Thoughts: *3/4. These guys had a very good match a few weeks back and this one was just stuck in neutral. Nothing happened. This is Randy phoning it in and Big E suffers and looks like shit as a result. Of course, there might be injuries that are being carried here and WWE hastily throwing something together
-Bray talks alongside The Wyatt Family. See, Bryan is on TV! This is fine! He’s standing comatose while Bray talks! Oh wait, Bryan goes off about LIES! Maybe he’s talking about LIMES! Bryan whines that everything that we’ve ever heard is a lie and that it makes you want to ram your head into a wall until you destroy something. Well, he joined a cult, instead. The promo was really about The Usos. I like The Usos, it’s just…you know…Daniel Bryan shouldn’t be feuding with The Usos while second banana to Bray Wyatt…The 2013 Superstar of The Year, everybody!
Fandango w/Summer Rae vs. Xavier Woods w/ R-Truth and The Funkadactyls
Summer Rae is here now to calm me down. Everything is going to be alright, I think. Before the match, we get a sneak peak of “Helix”, a new SyFy show that might be good? Xavier Woods comes out with R-Truth and The Funkadactyls. Fandango has this locked up, as Woods’ finisher came to the ring with him. R-Truth is on commentary. Fandango is proud of himself after an arm drag. They should just have a dance-off. Woods gets a head scissors and does some contemporary dance. Fandango doesn’t stand for this and tosses him out of the ring. Woods gets the win with a rollup from the apron. After the match, Summer is upset, and is then bullied and beaten up by The Funkadactyls. Fandango then gets beaten up by Truth and Woods and is knocked from the ring.
Final Thoughts: The reason that Woods isn’t getting over as a face isn’t due to a lack of talent, or the look. It’s simple booking. They’re being booked as heels, but are dancing around as faces. It doesn’t work and the crowds are uneasy with cheering these cheerful jerks.
-Backstage, Jimmy and Jey sit dejected in a corridor while being interviewed. Jimmy says that The Usos stand up when their backs are against the wall. The Usos need fiery babyface speeches like this one. They could have been cutting these months ago while feuding with The Shield.
-It’s an Old School Raw recap! Certainly, the highlight from the show was Jake Roberts’ appearance and Dean Ambrose’ joy of getting the snake treatment and not being able to hold back his smile.
-The Shield are out to talk. Reigns is actually there to talk and take center stage. He gloats about defeating CM Punk, and even rips off Rocky’s microphone pose in his triumph. Dean talks the microphone, and of course, begins with his hatred of snakes. Ambrose doesn’t know how it’s legal to own a ten foot python in this country! Ambrose would choke that snake out if it were here right now! He goes off the rails and has to be restrained by Rollins and Reigns. Rollins says that Smackdown has the future of WWE, and that does not include the New Age Outlaws. Rollins is strong here on the microphone, planning for Punk’s demise.
The Shield vs. The New Age Outlaws and CM Punk
This is a treat of reviewing shows. It’s typing about guys you watched as a kid. It’s like watching a fresh match-up on one of these shows. Punk is to begin with Dean Ambrose. Punk and Dean work on the mat for a bit, trading headlocks. Into the face corner, Road Dogg enters and puts the shoulder to Dean. Billy is next in. Rollins enters, but gets an arm drag and armbar. Billy works the arm and brings back Jesse. Punk tags in and puts the elbow into Rollins’ arm. Ambrose returns, but Punk trips him up and throws on a leglock. “Old School” Ambrose answers by dragging Punk’s face across the top rope. Dean bails soon thereafter. Rollins hops in, wiggles from the GTS attempt, but gets knocked out of the ring. Reigns is left alone in the ring and gets tossed over the top by the NAO. We hit the break.
We’re back with Dean in control of Road Dogg. Off of the whip, Road Dogg gets those jabs and the knee drop for two. I still like that. Rollins gets the blind tag and flies in with the knee for two. Billy makes the save. Dogg gets isolated and Reigns stomps away. Ambrose comes in with a big stomp. Dean gets in his own jabs, with Dogg takes exception to. Dean hits the knee in the ropes and in comes Rollins. They hit the tandem dropkicks for two. We hit the resthold. JBL has a gem, claiming that the way he would combat The Shield in his day would be tagging Ron in.
Road Dogg fights back, but gets tripped into the second buckle by Rollins. Seth gets two and stomps away. Road Dogg plays a great face in peril in a straight up tag team encounter. Between all of the garbage matches and skits, I think this was forgotten. Dean comes in for some hook punches in the ropes, and kick to the ropes for good measure. Reigns is back. He puts on the chinlock. Dogg fights back and sneaks in a DDT. Rollins cuts off the hot tag, but gets backdropped. Ambrose and Punk come in with some heat. Punk gets the neckbreaker and drives the knee in the corner. Punk gets a crossbody from the top for two and teases the GTS. They both collide in the center with a double crossbody.
Punk brings in Mr. Ass. Reigns is also in. Billy gets a big boot and hits Rollins with a tilt-a-whirl slam, which might have been the best one of his career. Good job, Seth! Reigns takes the jackhammer for two. Dean breaks it up. Dean spills Dogg and gets out of the GTS. Punk dives out onto Rollins, as Gunn looks for the Fameasser on Dean. Reigns, the legal man, flies in and hits the spear mid-move! That does it.
Final Thoughts: ***. This was a fun match that made me grieve somewhat for the NAO’s prime. With the level of workers in this match, it was fun to see how well Dogg could sell some good offense, and how Billy’s power game looks great against this talent. I think that Billy might have been shocked out how good Rollins made his slam look. “I’m over the hill, and I was part of that move?! That’s better than anything Rocky can do these days!”
–I apologize for how much I bitched about a certain development. I feel the need to get it out of my system, or I start going through the motions and not giving these things what I can. Anyhow, despite the amount of words I’ve given to this, outside of the main event, there wasn’t too much to take away from this show. There was the Usos/Bryatt story, and a whole lot of filler. You know what filler I’m going to enjoy? I’m going to enjoy all of those PPVs on the WWE Network. I’m going to enjoy some of that early 90s WCW. Plus, the newfound exposure of NXT is gigantic for WWE, as these guys are going to be debuting with fans already so aware of their existence. And, Renee Young is going to be busy and become the face of the company with her studio work. I’m excited, to say the least.
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