Cubed Circle Newsletter #55: Thoughts on Ryback Finish, WWE Hell in a Cell, RAW, RAW Rating, Mediocre Impact, NXT & SmackDown!

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Cubed Circle Newsletter

 

In this week’s issue we talk WWE Hell in a Cell 2012, the finish to the Ryback match and its repercussions, RAW, the RAW rating, a mediocre edition of Impact and Ben Carass covers NXT and SmackDown.

 

Ryback Finish Fails To Deliver Creatively

 

I have to admit, although I am not the biggest Ryback fan in the world, I was to a large extent captivated by the build to his match with Punk at Hell in a Cell. It probably wasn’t Ryback himself that intrigued me, but rather the way in which WWE had booked their way into a corner and the possibility for the creation of a new star. Still my excitement was present.

 

As we edged further and further towards the 28th more and more ideas were thrown into the fray, by fans, by writers; by everyone. It was a fun time, certainly not anywhere close to the level of Money in the Bank 2011, but still fun none the less. However, with this fun came the knowledge that no matter how intricate or clever the ideas that people came up with were, the inevitable result would always be the same; the WWE would fall to the lowest common denominator.

 

On Monday evening I sat down to watch the show and while I had avoided results the entire day, a feat that wasn’t as difficult as it normally would be due to ongoing exams, I was prepared for something interesting. I waded through the show as I would have done anyway; there was some good, some bad, but mostly dull programming up until the mainevent.

 

Finally Punk made his entrance and at that point it was completely apparent to me – they simply couldn’t take the belt off of this man and put it on Ryback. What got my feelings of an impending screwjob finish up even higher was the addition of Brad Maddox as referee, something that I took notice of immediately.

 

Punk and Ryback went on to have a terrible match, and while Punk was looking forward to a similar challenge to the NWA champions of the past in making Ryback look good, there was simply no way to save this match. Ryback has been working ten to fifteen minute matches on the road, but still, even with years of experience he is very, very green.

 

Finally after failing to even go through the motions we reached the pivotal spot in the match; Ryback was landing his last few moves in his limited arsenal and off we went, Ryback had Punk up in the marching Samoan drop, but in a move that didn’t surprise me he was in fact screwed.

 

Maddox lowblowed Ryback, administered a fast count and if that wasn’t enough helped Punk role Ryback up for the finish. I sat there staring at the TV watching Punk get Samoan dropped on the top of the cell and I honestly wasn’t surprised at the finish. Sure, it was really badly booked, but that was what I expected going in and what I received coming out.

 

Still many people were disappointed and I can’t really blame them for that; although when looking at feedback I did see people go a bit overboard with their comments. Saying that it was one of the worst decisions of recent years is a stretch, but is typical of internet hyperbole.

 

The nature of the situation is that the WWE booked themselves into a corner and tried to get themselves out without thinking of the repercussions of their actions, or the way that fans might react. If you were expecting an Eddie Graham or Bill Watts quality finish then you were probably disappointed, but this is WWE booking in 2012 and that is the key piece of information here.

 

They could have gone with any number of decent finishes having both men looking like stars coming out of the cell, but when you have a writing team full of so many people it becomes very difficult to make sense out of anything. What makes matters even worse is that ideas don’t have much time to be thought through, because plans are changed so many times.

 

RAW on Monday is a perfect example. Brad Maddox wasn’t even on the show and Foley and his team reveal were in his place, which made for illogical TV. However, that is what you get when your writing team isn’t streamlined to any extent.

 

They shouldn’t have booked Ryback in this situation in the first place and if they couldn’t find anyone else, then that showcases a major problem in regard to depth, something that has already been established on many occasions. I think the idea was to tease Ryback and then place Cena in the title spot at the last minute, but Cena wasn’t healthy in time and they were forced to go with Ryback, which was in fact stupid.

 

The other question to ask is whether or not Ryback was even the right guy to push in the first place. After all, he is extremely limited as a performer both in the ring and outside of it. I don’t want to say he is worse than Warrior, because he isn’t and not many are. However, Warrior had a far larger star aura than Ryback and whether that is a complete result of booking or not can’t really be established at this point.

 

Ryback as champion has always seemed like a really bad idea to me since they decided to go with him in the mainevent. He can’t talk, he can’t work at a decent level and all he can really do is chant “feed me more” and go around killing people. Granted, people have mainevented with far less than that, but in WWE in 2012 is that really what you want out of your champion? A huge hulking behemoth, that can’t really do much?

 

If there was visible room for improvement I would have considered it, but he has been in the business for over seven years, which really doesn’t open up many roads to go down. You could have your champion as Ryback and see if he catches on, but that is the end of the road in terms of options for him as champion.

 

Of course there was also the major issue of Punk’s title reign, which was my main argument for not putting the title on Ryback. Punk has held the title for almost a year; to derail the plans with Rock for the Royal Rumble and to throw away a year long title reign out of the blue is a bad idea. The prestige and meaning of the title is extremely damaged and has been for a long time, the chances of it making it back to previous levels are very slim; however their best shot right now is with Punk and their current Mania direction.

 

There are occasionally times where the circumstances are right to switch the title with very short notice. One of the main reasons for this would be when something catches fire, it can’t be delayed and needs the championship to succeed and help business. Then I would also call for a title switch, if the title change helped long term business or created a huge short term gain.

 

However, Ryback hasn’t showcased any signs of being really hot apart from occasional loud chants at arenas. He loses viewers in the ratings and we don’t know how well he can draw on pay-per view. The fact that he loses viewers should tell everyone something, especially because he is placed in key positions set for growth a lot of the time.

 

I understand where people were coming from when they were angry about the finish, I was too. They could have done a lot more with the finish, but the reality is that Ryback simply isn’t the right guy as champion and probably never will be. Did they make the wrong choice? Yes, they absolutely did and could have chosen a much better creative direction. Will Ryback and the finish affect long term business? The odds say “most probably not”.

 

WWE Hell in a Cell October 28th 2012

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

 

Overall Thoughts

 

This was in all likelihood the worst WWE pay-per-view of 2012. It wasn’t shockingly bad; in fact I wouldn’t even call it a bad show. However, apart from the mainevent and World Heavyweight title match there was nothing that didn’t feel like just another RAW match. The World Title match was probably the best thing on the show, but that was probably only due to the really good nearfalls and the match dragged for a large portion. I enjoyed the Miz/Kingston match and admire the fact that they tried to do something different, but the crowd just didn’t care.

 

The crowd wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was far from good either. They started off hot, but then died down and that made the Mysterio tag and most of the other matches on the show feel really long.

 

As for the mainevent, the match was bad and the finish was stupid. As soon as I saw Maddox I knew that there would be a screwjob finish. In some ways I didn’t expect anything else, sure there were a lot of good ideas floating about, but at the end of the day I was expecting your bottom level screwjob finish and that is what we got. That seems to be WWE’s slant on a lot of finishes that aren’t WrestleMania, they could do something good or even great, but they tend to slip into mediocrity, which is sad.

 

The Samoan drop on the cage was fine, but in many ways felt like a make good baring no weight, and that could have been avoided with a better finish. There was just no great match on the show, there was some decent to good content, but it really wasn’t worth the time or the pay-per-view price.

 

1. Randy Orton vs. AlbertoDel Rio

 

Orton went straight afterDel Riolanding some strikes and takingDel Rioto the outside. He landed a big clothesline on the floor and slammedDel Rio’s head into the announce table.Delwas thrown into the post next and then back into the ring. He continued to land some strikes onDel Rio. FinallyDel Riotook advantage of Ricardo and hung Orton’s arm up over the top rope.Del Riowent after the arm of Orton. Orton foughtDel Riooff with shots to the gut, butDel Riolanded an armbar in the ropes and threw Orton into the ring post shoulder first.Del Riolanded a big running kick to Orton’s back and mocked Orton doing his pose.Del Riocontinued, locking in a hold on the arm. Orton landed a headbutt and a rollup for two. However,Del Riolanded a double knee armbreaker and went right back to an arm hold. Orton landed a couple of shots, butDel Riowent back to the armbar in the ropes. Orton fought out of the hold, butDel Riowas dropped on the apron back first – it looked painful. Orton started to make his comeback, butDel Riograbbed the cross armbreaker. Orton made it to the ropes and landed a backbreaker. Orton went for the draping DDT, but he was hung up on the top rope. Ricardo did Orton’s taunt on the outside;Del Riopounded the mat.Del Riowent for the RKO, but Orton landed the draping DDT. Orton started to pound the mat, but sold the arm and was caught with a backstabber. Orton landed a snap powerslam for two. Orton landed some stomps and headbutts in the corner. He perchedDel Rioup on the top rope. JBL called Mil Mascaras “the greatest heavyweight of all time”, which was kind of incorrect.Del Riothen landed of all things, the Low Ki style double foot stomp from the top with Orton hanging from the middle ropes.Del Riowent back to the top rope, but he just jumped down and there was some awkward pushing and shoving before he was caught with a dropkick. Orton taunted again, went for the RKO, butDel Riomade his way out. Ricardo then threw Orton into the post andDel Riolocked in the cross armbreaker in the middle of the ring. Orton blocked it, butDel Riofinally got it locked in. Orton countered it into a rollup,Del Riowent for the enzuigiri, but Orton landed an RKO in midair for the win.

 

This was a really good 15-20 minute opener and the crowd was really into it. I liked the arm work, but I really think that beatingDel Rioagain was a bad idea. He has lost month after month and anyone who thinks it isn’t taking its toll is fooling themselves.

*** ½

 

They showed some tweets back and forth between John Cena and Vickie Guerrero. They showed clips of the Hell in a Cell pre-show with John Cena clotheslining Ziggler over the top rope. Vickie was backstage with Josh Matthews. She said she had pictures and she was given the evidence. She recommended that AJ defend herself in person. Heyman walked by Vickie Guerrero. He said that the mainevent shouldn’t have been a Hell in a Cell and asked for her to reverse her decision. She said that Punk was scared of Ryback. Punk couldn’t admit that he was scared and Cena couldn’t admit that he was having an affair. Heyman freaked out saying that Punk wasn’t scared of Frankenstein, the Boogeyman or Ryback. He said that she was doing a great job and she wouldn’t want to mess it up. I think Kazarian and Daniels planted the evidence against Cena.

 

2. WWE Tag Team Championship Match

Team Hell No! (Daniel Bryan & Kane) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)

 

Rhodes and Sandow came out saying “we are the tag team champions”.Bryanlanded some kicks on Sandow in the corner. Kane was tagged in and he landed a dropkick onRhodes.Bryanwas tagged back in and he was launched intoRhodeswith a flying dropkick.Bryanlanded some uppercuts and no kicks in the corner. The fans chanted “no” along with him. Kane came in with a big boot.Rhodesfought back with some strikes, Kane went for the chokeslam, but Sandow clipped his knee. Sandow and Rhodes wore Kane down in the corner. Kane fought out, but was caught with a dropkick to the knee. Sandow was caught with a big uppercut and hobbled making the tag toBryan.Bryanlanded the no kicks on Sandow. He landed a big clothesline and landed some big no kicks on Sandow. Rhodes and Sandow were sent to the outside andBryanlanded a big topé on Sandow. Rhodes caughtBryanwith a big kick and he and Sandow woreBryandown.Bryanfought back with some strikes, but was caught with a knee to the gut. Sandow landed some knees to the arm and landed his elbow. Kane yelled “come on goat face lets go!” andBryanwent for the no lock. Sandow wouldn’t allow him to lock it in, but he was able to land a drop toe hold on Sandow into the bottom turnbuckle. The tags were made to Rhodes and Kane. Kane landed a backdrop and splash in the corner followed by a sidewalk slam.Rhodesshot to the top rope, to match Kane, but he was pushed off and caught with a flying clothesline. Kane signalled for the chokeslam, butBryantagged himself in landing a diving headbutt. Kane tore him off of the cover and this led to an argument.BryanlaunchedRhodesonto Kane and landed a flying knee off the apron, but hit Kane. This led to Kane grabbingBryan’s leg ad a shoving contest ensued backstage. This led to Rhodes and Sandow “landing” dual baseball slides, but making no contact. Rhodes landed cross Rhodes onBryan, but Kane broke it up. This led to Kane staying in the ring for the DQ. More arguments ensued after the match.

 

I guess they want to prolong the program, but I wasn’t that big a fan of the way they pulled it off. There are just so many other ways that they could have done this.

** ½

 

Matthews was standing by with the Miz. They did some cheap plugs for the “Doomsday Preppers” show or whatever. He said that mediocrity had become acceptable, society would crumble and the world would end. The end was near and the guys from the new show were right. To prevent doomsday he will continue to be awesome. He would save the world by beating Kofi Kingston. This was wacky.

 

3. Intercontinental Championship Match

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz

 

Miz andKingstonhad an athletic exchange. Both men went for their finishers, but Miz slid to the outside. Miz was taken down with a takedown and thrown to the outside.Kingstoncaught him with a baseball slide.Kingstonjumped over the steps, but was caught with a big boot.Kingstonfought out of a headlock, but was sent back down to the mat by the hair. He landed a boot for two. Miz landed an axehandle from the top rope for two.Kingstoncaught Miz with a big clothesline and fought back with some slaps to the chest and a dropkick.Kingstonlanded the boom drop. He went for Trouble inParadise, but Miz rolled to the outside and was rolled up on his way back in.Kingstonlanded a huge cross body, Miz went for the neckbreaker combo, butKingstonlanded the SOS. Miz landed a knee breaker and went after the leg. Miz landed a dropkick to the leg and removedKingston’s boot. Miz locked in a single legBostoncrab; he almost made it to the ropes, but was dragged back to the centre. He got a quick cradle for two and was caught with a spike DDT.Kingstongot a quick rollup, he went for Trouble inParadise, but Miz locked in a full nelson and went for his finisher. He was sent to the outside and caught with Trouble inParadiseon his way in for the win.

 

This was a different kind of match from your typical midcard, Intercontinental fair. It told a good story and madeKingstonlook really good coming out.

***

 

After the match Striker interviewedKingston. He thanked the Miz and said he forced him to bring out “the wildcat”. He was proud to be their Intercontinental champion. There was the first commercial for WrestleMania 29. Kane and Bryan were arguing backstage. Kane said he savedBryanandBryanwas too busy thinking of all of the vegan candy that he wouldn’t get.Bryansaid that Kane wore a mask all year round and Kane started singing “Old Macdonald”. They then argued over who was the tag team champions.

 

4.United StatesChampionship Match

Antonia Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel

 

Before the match Cesaro cut a promo on Halloween – it was in Swiss, I didn’t understand. Cesaro took Gabriel to the mat rubbing his face against the canvas. He locked in wrist lock. Cesaro sent Gabriel to the outside and landed a European uppercut. He landed some elbows on the ground and followed it with an uppercut to the back of the head. Gabriel was hung up and caught with a Nakamura style knee in the corner. Cesaro landed a fall away slam. He followed it with some foot stomps to the gut. Cesaro locked in a bearhug, he went for a German suplex, but Gabriel landed on his feet. He landed an enzuigiri and as springboard moonsault for two. However, he was caught with a huge clothesline. Cesaro landed a flurry of shots in the corner. Gabriel landed a tornado DDT and went to the top rope. Cesaro moved out of the way and Gabriel rolled through. Gabriel was able to land a 560 splash following a scuffle in the corner, Cesaro rolled to the outside, Gabriel went for a springboard of some sort, but was caught with an uppercut in midair! Cesaro then landed the neutralizer for the win.

** ¾

 

There was a replay of the really emotional Layla breast cancer video. A similar Ryback video package to the one that died in the ratings was shown. Vickie was talking to someone backstage, but Heyman came by and said that Punk was so happy with her. He thanked her for cancelling the Hell in a Cell match. She said that she didn’t cancel the match and if he had a problem he knew where to go.

 

5. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. The Prime Time Players

 

Young went after Cara. Cara responded with some kicks and a flying head scissors. The tag was made to Mysterio and they landed a springboard moonsault/legdrop combination. Mysterio went for the 619, but Young was caught with a Northern lights suplex. ‘O Neil was tagged in, but Young was tagged back in pretty quickly. Young locked in a headlock, wearing Mysterio down. Mysterio made the tag to Sin Cara and he ran wild with a handspring back elbow and leaping highkick. He landed a springboard body press and went for a DDT, but he was caught with some backbreakers by ‘O Neil. Young landed a back suplex and locked in a body scissors on Cara. Cara fought his way out and landed a body press, Young kicked out and landed a couple of kicks. Cara fought against Young and ‘O Neil on the apron, but Young landed a Roderick Strong style backbreaker on the apron. Cara landed some kicks, but he was soon double teamed by Young and ‘O Neil. ‘O Neil asked Cara if he wanted to speak English and landed a suplex. The fans got behind Sin Cara; ‘O Neil locked in an abdominal stretch. They continued to wear Cara down. Finally ‘O Neil missed a football tackle in the corner and Cara landed sliced bread; Cara landed right on his head. The tag was made to Mysterio and he ran wild on Young. Mysterio landed a big highkick and bridged ‘O Neil to the outside. Cara landed a flying bodypress to the outside, Young went for the gutbuster, but Mysterio landed the 619 and splash for the win.

 

This was a perfectly fine match, but it went way too long. ‘O Neil and Young are improving and so is Sin Cara, but at one point the match just went too long. It just felt like there was a lot of stalling; although as the match wore on ‘O Neil became quite entertaining.

** ½

 

6. World Heavyweight Championship Match

Sheamus vs. Big Show

 

Big Show overpowered Sheamus early on. Show landed a chest slap in the corner and Ziggler was shown watching backstage; I am glad that led somewhere. Show went for another chop, but Sheamus landed shots of his own. Show went for a clothesline, but Sheamus speared the legs sending Show to the outside. Sheamus landed a couple of big shoulder blocks in the corner, but he was thrown to the outside. On the floor Sheamus was thrown into the barricade. Back in the ring Big Show landed a sideslam for two. Big Show landed a chop on Sheamus in the corner and knocked Sheamus to his knees. Sheamus was then thrown over the announce table. Back in the ring Sheamus attempted a comeback, but was thrown back to the floor. Sheamus landed some strikes, but he was knocked back down with a very impressive, flexible kick from the Big Show. Sheamus had welts all over, one really big benefit of having fair skin in this case. Sheamus fought back with some big strikes, but was caught in a bearhug. Sheamus fought out with clubbing blows, he tried to get Show up, but Show came down on him with a body press. Big Show came down with a splash from the second rope, again for two. Show went for the chokeslam, but Sheamus countered with a DDT. Sheamus was sent to the outside again and hung Big Show up. He landed some clubbing blows from the top rope, he went for the shoulder block, Show went for the spear, and Sheamus jumped over, but was caught with a chokeslam for two. Big Show missed an elbow and Sheamus landed a knee. He then went for the cloverleaf, but couldn’t lock it in and was sent to the outside. Big Show went for a lawn dart into the post, but was rammed into the post by Sheamus. Sheamus went back up the top for the shoulder block, he was grabbed for a chokeslam, but he fought his way out with a flying forearm. He then landed the over the shoulder belly to back backbreaker on Show for two! Sheamus went for the brogue kick, but was caught with the knock out punch for two! This was a great nearfall. Show went for another, but Sheamus ducked and landed the brogue kick, but Big Show kicked out! Sheamus went for another, but was caught with a punch for the win.

 

At no point did a really expect Big Show to really win the match, sure there was the first knockout punch, but I expected a nearfall such as that one. I probably wouldn’t have had Big Show kick out of the brogue kick, as I think you could build an angle on the fact that Sheamus never hit it – similar to how Okada lost the IWGP Heavyweight Title to Tanahashi. Still this match was far better than I expected.

***

 

Booker T was approached by Eve, but he said he had to check on Sheamus. Long said he knew that Eve was trying to make him look bad, but now Layla and Kaitlyn had their shot. Ryder came by dressed as a witch, he said he was dressed as Eve. Teddy said he was one letter off. Marella came by dressed as Lady Gaga and was singing one of her songs when Ron Simmons came by yelling “damn”. Vince was backstage when he was approached by Punk. He told Vince to call his match off. Vince asked if he was scared or lacked confidence. Punk said no. Vince recommended that Punk go out there are prove that he is the best in the world.

 

7. WWE Diva’s Championship Match

Eve vs. Layla vs. Kaitlyn

 

Layla and Kaitlyn went after Eve. Layla got a quick cover and Kaitlyn complained. This led to a shove from Layla. They both went for the cover and Kaitlyn kicked Layla. They exchanged pins, but Eve came in and landed a mic check on Layla. She body slammed Kaitlyn into the ropes and went after the leg of Kaitlyn. Layla fought back with some kicks and elbows. She landed a springboard bodypress, but Eve forced Layla into the splits. Soon both women were stuck in the splits and this allowed for Kaitlyn to land a suplex and Fujiwara armbar on Layla. Kaitlyn landed an over the knee gutbuster, but Layla responded with a highkick. Layla was thrown to the outside, Eve made the pin, but Layla broke it up. This led to an exchange between Layla and Eve. Kaitlyn the landed a bulldog on Eve and landed some clotheslines on Layla. Bradshaw and Cole went at it because JBL couldn’t “tell them apart”. Kaitlyn planted Layla with a powerslam, but Eve came in with a senton and pinned Layla for the win. It was a Diva’s triple threat.

* ½

 

Matthews interviewed Big Show. He said that he wouldn’t have any more embarrassing reigns and everyone’s worst nightmare had come true. He dared anyone to try and come take it from him. They cut to doctors looking over Sheamus/ Striker said they would give everyone an update on his condition by the end of the night.

 

8. WWE Championship Match

CM Punk vs. Ryback

 

They aired a far better video package before lowering the cage; they should have put this one on RAW. There obviously wouldn’t have been the footage from RAW, but it would have still been effective. Before the match Punk gave Heyman a big hug. Ryback came out to a decent reaction and off we went. There were very loud feed me more chants. The referee was Brad Maddox.

 

Ryback went after Punk, but he slid to the outside and Heyman told Punk that he was the best in the world. Ryback grabbed Punk and went for a tree slam, however he dropped Punk and delivered a big boot slamming Punk into the mat. Punk caught Ryback with a boot and went for a tornado DDT, but he was thrown to the outside where he collided with the cage. Punk tried to tear the door open and was slammed into the cage. Punk slid under the ring while the fans chanted “Goldberg”. Heyman screamed to Ryback that Punk was a human being. This helped Punk spray Ryback with the fire extinguisher and threw him into the cage. He landed some knees to the chest of Ryback and grabbed a chair. However, Ryback booted the chair into Punk’s face. Punk was gorilla pressed into the ring and he landed another gorilla press in the ring. The fans chanted “feed me more”, but Punk moved out of the way of a Ryback clothesline. Punk landed a springboard clothesline. He went back up to the top and landed a few axehandles. Ryback went for a crossbody, but was caught and rammed into the turnbuckle with shoulderblocks. Punk landed a leg lariat and a topé suicida on Ryback. Punk landed a neckbreaker on the floor and grabbed the chair. He rammed it into the back of Ryback and went for the neckbreaker again, Ryback broke it. He went for a powerslam, Punk got off of the shoulders, Ryback went for a spear, but Punk side stepped him and he went flying into the steps. Punk locked in a headlock, but Ryback countered with a backpack chinbreaker. Ryback ran into the post again, and Punk landed a knee in the corner and a clothesline. He went to the top rope and delivered the elbow. Punk grabbed a kendo stick and landed some shots to the back of Ryback. Ryback became angry, Punk landed some elbows, Ryback no sold and landed some shoulderblocks and a back bodydrop. Ryback landed a spinebuster and the fans got behind Ryback with feed me more chants. Ryback landed the big clothesline and landed the marching Samoan drop. However, Brad Maddox delivered a lowblow on Ryback and a fast count. They couldn’t unlock the cage in time and Ryback killed Maddox. He threw Punk into the cage and killed Maddox with the clothesline. Maddox was then gorilla pressed to the outside against the cage. Heyman was pulling Punk away, but as Ryback came by he fled. He threw Punk into the cage, but Punk climbed. This led to Ryback climbing the cage in pursuit. He then landed the Marching Samoan drop on the cage! Everyone was chanting feed me more at the end anyway.

* ¼

 

WWE Monday Night RAW October 29th 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Overall Thoughts

 

This was another lacklustre show. The Cena/AJ angle is basically a second rate version of the Claire Lynch angle, which really is something. Honestly, what evidence does Vickie have? Granted she is the heel and heels lie, but shouldn’t she have something?

 

Also the build for Survivor Series is completely out of sequence. They should have revealed Brad Maddox tonight and then had the team reveal scheduled for the next week. Alas, they don’t know where they are going with the Maddox angle, so they had to put Foley on this show and to have the reveal now made no sense.

 

Talking of the reveal, what a lacklustre line-up it was; why in God’s name would Punk choose the Miz of all people? It baffles me why guys like Barrett, Ziggler, Cesaro etc. aren’t in there. Now granted they have a shallow roster, but it isn’t that shallow.

 

The Ryback promo was terribly scripted and the matches from the second hour onwards, as always had me feeling like I had stepped into a time warp. All in all bad booking, with lots of plotholes makes for bad television; surprising, I know.

 

The show opened up with a quick recap of the Hell in a Cell finish. Punk was brought out limping and bandaged up. Ross and Cole then sold the referee’s low blow really hard. Punk said that everyone thought he would be just another victim. He proved everyone wrong and pointed to random people in the crowd saying that they were wrong. He had held the championship for 344 days and had been proving them wrong since day one. He had survived and beaten every one of their heroes. He recalled how he beat Mysterio, Orton and Cena time and time again – showing him what kryptonite is. He said that his victory should have been applauded, but people were pointing their fingers at him. He had nothing to do with the finish. He was only guilty of taking advantage of Brad Maddox’s decision. He said that Maddox was hired by AJ and he cost him on Monday Night RAW. He had nothing to do with it. He talked about how he had defeated the entireTitanTowermachine, he was inerasable; the best in the world. He looked at Ryback in a different manner and there would be no rematch. Mick Foley’s music hit and Punk went crazy.

 

Punk called Foley a homeless man affected by the storm. Foley said Punk was making light of a serious situation and he was glad that Punk was making jokes after being shell shocked at the top of the cage. The last time he saw Foley he had kicked his ass. Foley didn’t come out to embarrass Punk, because he embarrassed himself in the cell. Foley said he gave Punk a choice, a chance to live up to the cell tradition and he blew it. He showed his cut from the cell and set that was his tradition. His tradition wrecks superstars. Punk got some cheap heat. Punk said Foley was popping up like a bad penny and he wanted to have a Survivor Series match with Foley; Team Foley versus Team Punk. Foley accepted and the fans chanted Foley’s name. Punk said “whoever you pick” and Ryback came out to a pretty big pop. This led to Punk fleeing the ring into the crowd (bad idea).

 

1. Ryback vs. JTG

 

It was what you would expect. It was your typical Ryback squash and that’s fine. Ryback landed a Thesz press and shoved JYD’s head into the mat. He yelled “stupid”, landed a big clothesline and marching Samoan drop for the win.

 

Matthews appeared in the ring and he grabbed the mic. He said revenge was a confession of pain. He wasn’t hurt, he was hungry and he led the fans into “feed me Punk” chants. They shouldn’t have Ryback talk, especially not with scripts as bad as this one.

 

2. Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

 

Barrett locked in a headlock, but Orton fought out and landed a dropkick. Barrett was sent to the floor, but he went after Orton’s arm on the outside. Barrett’s head was slammed into the steps and announce table. Back in the ring Orton stomped on the extremities of Barrett. Barrett fought back with some shots, but was hung up when going for a big boot. Orton clotheslined Barrett to the outside. After the break Barrett was working over the arm of Orton. Footage was shown of Orton being thrust into the post arm first during the break. Barrett landed a knee to the gut and a stomp for the count of two. Barrett then went back after Orton’s arm. Barrett hung Orton up in the ropes and continued to go after the arm. Orton was booted onto the apron. Orton made his comeback with clotheslines and a snap powerslam. Orton landed the draping DDT and signalled for the RKO. Barrett countered and landed a spinning side slam for two. Barrett went for the short arm forearm, but Orton countered into an RKO for the win.

 

AJ was backstage when she was approached by Vickie. Vickie invited her to explain her affair. AJ was mad, but Vickie told her to calm down. She was there to see if AJ could perform under her administration. AJ apologised and was asked what she felt her biggest weakness was. AJ said she thought she was too emotionally attached to her job. Vickie asked if she was crazy and she told AJ that she would have to give her one could reason to give her a contract.

 

After the break there was a breast cancer video.

 

3. Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. The Prime Time Players

 

Young and Bryan started off.Bryanlanded a leg whip and landed some no kicks, but Kane tagged himself in. Kane landed a clothesline andBryantagged himself in. He landed the flying dropkick in the corner and refused to tag Kane in. ‘O Neil ran in with a shoulderblock whileBryanwas arguing.Bryanlanded some big kicks, but ‘O Neil landed a sideslam and made the tag to Young. Young locked in a bearhug andBryanfought out way out with elbows. He landed a big clothesline and he rolled into Kane. Kane landed a flurry of shots on Young, followed by some splashes in the corner. Kane landed a flying uppercut and knocked ‘O Neil off of the apron. Kane then landed a chokeslam. ‘O Neil ran in, he was thrown to the outside andBryancame in locking in the No Lock for the win. After the match they did their shtick; it’s getting old.

 

A recap aired of the opening segment and Hell in a Cell.

 

Vickie Guerrero came out. She said that it was a new era that stood for credibility and integrity. She had hard evidence that Cena and AJ had an inappropriate relationship. Cena was brought out.

 

Cena said that Vickie’s actions last week were ridiculous. He told Vickie to show everyone the proof. They showed a recap from three weeks ago where Cena asked AJ out to go on a date. Vickie then aired footage of Cena embracing AJ last week. Cena said AJ lost her job, because of Vickie due to Vickie’s allegations. She then asked if friends meet for romantic dinners and they showed some pictures from inside a restaurant. Cena said there were pictures from a business dinner. They then showed some videos of Cena walking into an elevator with Dixie Carter, oh, I mean AJ. Vickie asked if he was coaxing her into an elevator. Cena knew how it looked, Vickie laughed, Cena said she was going to approach Vickie and he convinced her not to. Vickie and Cena debated back and forth with excuses and accusations. Vickie suggested that Cena slept with AJ. Cena denied it and Vickie called AJ psychotic and unstable. Cena defended AJ and called her more attractive and resilient than Vickie would ever be. Vickie used this as evidence to accuse Cena. Ziggler came out.

 

Ziggler said that Cena couldn’t contain his sophomoric urges. Cena pushed Ziggler over and told him not to mention their two names in the same sentence and walked off. Bring out Claire Lynch; is AJ pregnant?

 

4. Antonio Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston

 

Miz was on commentary. Cesaro cut a promo before the match saying he discovered thatAmericahad the fattest children in the world. He mocked Halloween saying that there was a crisis dressed up as a fat Power Ranger.Americaneeded Cesaro as theirUSchampion.

 

Kinstonlanded a flying forearm and a front kick. He went to the top, but was hung up by Cesaro who landed the Nakamura knee. Cesaro landed the fall away slam and a double foot stomp. He locked in a double wrist lock.Kingstonfought out and landed a running dropkick knocking Cesaro to the outside.Kingstonlanded a splash off of the steps andKingstontaunted Miz. Cesaro landed a forearm from behind, but Cesaro threw Cesaro into Miz. This led to a beat down from Miz and Cesaro. Truth ran in for the save and they cleaned house.

 

Vickie was backstage with AJ. Vickie suggested that AJ cared about Cena. AJ denied it and Vickie asked how romantic Cena was. If she admitted it Vickie would make her a diva. She wasn’t going to do it, because nothing happened. The WWE meant everything to AJ, but Vickie wasn’t worth throwing away her dignity for. Vickie hired her, but if AJ laid a hand on her she would never be allowed in the WWE again. She then announced that AJ would face Beth Phoenix, who I thought was gone.

 

There was a Three Man Band interview. They talked about how they loved the people and the people loved him. Mahal said he was the fun one. McIntyre said that Bono couldn’t do one deadlift with his life on the line. McIntyre compared them to Michael Angelo. They then made some wacky hand signs. This act is kind of entertaining.

 

5. Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal vs. Santino Marella & Justin Gabriel

 

Ryder landed the Broski boot on Mahal early. Slater distracted him and he was hung up by Mahal who tagged in Slater. Slater landed a kick and grabbed a cover. Mahal landed a flying knee. Slater landed a snapmare and went to a headlock. Slater landed some shots in the corner, but he missed a splash and Marella was tagged in. He landed some wacky strikes, the splits and a headbutt. However, Mahal broke it up. Mahal and Ryder tumbled to the outside. Slater went for the cobra, McIntyre came in with a distraction, he was struck with a cobra, but Slater landed a playmaker for the win.

 

A graphic aired announcing that Lawler would return in two weeks. This is really great news.

 

6. Beth Phoenix vs. AJ

 

Phoenixcalled AJ a failure and pushed her to the mat.Phoenixoffered her a slap and dared her to try something. AJ went crazy with strikes and jumped onto the back ofPhoenix.Phoenixlanded a kick to the back and went after AJ. AJ was thrown to the outside and rammed into the apron byPhoenix. Back in the ring AJ grabbed a cradle for the win. Vickie came out after the match and demanded more from AJ.Phoenixattacked AJ from behind and Vickie gave her “one more chance” and told the referee to restart the match; like nobody saw this coming.Phoenixpinned AJ with the Glam Slam.

 

They aired a commercial for the old Brock Lesnar DVD/Blu-Ray this time with an extra disk. I wonder why they didn’t just make a new set; they have done it for practically everyone else who had a release in the past. A recap aired of the Hell in a Cell match and opening segment.

 

Sheamus came out. Sheamus said he had no title, but he had a smile on his face. He was disappointed, but Big Show was the better man the night before. He knocked Sheamus out. He didn’t come to always win, he came to fight (because who cares about the title right?). It was the greatest fight of his life, because he stood toe to toe with Big Show pushing him to the limit. He talked about how great the match was. He said the war was not over and the next match would be a war. After the war was over he would have a smile on his face and a title around his waist. Big Show came out.

 

Big Show was really jolly. He said he knew why Sheamus was smiling; he was hiding the truth. The truth that he gave Big Show everything, but he came up short; he walked in there knocked Sheamus out and walked out with the title. Big Show didn’t know he was capable of those levels. No one made him dig that deep, he realized that he had no limits and next year it would be like Custer’s last stand. He called Sheamus a “redheaded gingersnap” and said that he couldn’t beat Big Show and he would never take the title from him. Sheamus congratulated him and asked if he had ever seen a gingersnap. He then landed a belly to back over the shoulder back breaker (I see what you did there). They gave Sheamus the Cena/Triple H treatment here of completely blowing off a loss and it just doesn’t work. It makes the match and title seem meaningless.

 

Cena was talking to AJ backstage and told AJ to keep her chin up, but Vickie was peering around the corner you see.Phoenixthanked Vickie. However, Vickie said she shouldn’t have been put in that position and she then firedPhoenix(so she is still gone).

 

7. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Team Rhodes Scholars

 

Mysterio landed a basement dropkick onRhodesand the tags were made to Cara and Sandow. Sin Cara took Sandow down forcing the tag toRhodes. Cara and Mysterio landed tandem kicks onRhodes.Rhodestook advantage and made the tag to Sandow. They tagged in and out. Mysterio landed a drop toehold on Rhodes into the post and Cara was tagged in landing an Asai Moonsault onRhodes. Mysterio landed a seated senton on Sandow. After the break Rhodes and Sandow were in control of Cara.Rhodesworked over the arm of Cara. Cara began to fight out with kicks, so the tag was made to Sandow.Rhodeswent for the Alabama Slam, but Cara reversed and landed a flying head scissors. The tags were made to Sandow and Mysterio. Mysterio ran wild. Mysterio was thrown to the outside, but he rolled through and ran back in. Sandow caught him with a big knee and the tag was made to Sandow. Sandow landed a legsweep and his elbow.Rhodesstomped Mysterio in the corner and he and Sandow tagged in and out. Mysterio grabbed a small package and the tag was made to Rhodes who came in with a knee drop.Rhodeslanded a running knee and Sandow was tagged in. Mysterio countered a double suplex into a double DDT. He made the tag to Cara who landed a cross body on both men followed by  a handspring back elbow and highkick on Sandow. Cara stood on Sandow’s fingers and landed an armdrag. He then set up the 619 onRhodesand made the tag to Mysterio.Rhodesrolled out and threw Mysterio into the steps. Cara landed a corkscrew body press onRhodesand a leaping highkick on Sandow. He then missed the senton and Sandow landed his neckbreaker for the win. A perfectly fine tag team match that felt like it went on for years.

 

Mick Foley was with Kaitlyn backstage plugging WWE13. Heyman was there and asked what face of Foley thought video games were more important than investigating team members. Heyman said Punk placed a target on Foley and he would need backup from his team mates. He wanted to remind Foley that Punk was the best in the world.

 

There was a Susan G Komen video. Vince McMahon was then on the ramp with the whole roster and Cena was in the ring for a cancer presentation. Cena said every WWE employee agreed to help the fight. The “WWE Universe” made it work by purchasing the gear. They then revealed a check for One Million Dollars. Dorothy Jones talked about how it would help them. Some breast cancer survivors were shown in the crowd.

 

8. AlbertoDel Riovs. Justin Gabriel

 

It is that time of month again; time for the postDel Riopay-per-view lost beatdown of a midcarder.Del Riowent straight after Gabriel would got in some offense, landing a head scissors knockingDel Rioto the outside.Del Riowent after Gabriel’s arm in the ropes and worked on it in the ring.Del Riolanded an armbreaker and kick to the back. He landed some armbreakers over the shoulders and an arm trap backsuplex. He went back to an arm hold and landed a boot to the back of the head. He continued to go after the arm. Gabriel countered the enzuigiri and landed a flurry of kicks. Gabriel then landed a springboard phoenix splash for two. Gabriel missed a splash in the corner and was caught with the flying enzuigiri and locked in the cross armbreaker for the win.

 

There was a trailer for the new WWE film Barricade.

 

Heyman brought Punk out. He came out in a WWE13 hoodie and the cover of the WWE13 game was rolled out from the top of the building. Heyman revealed his first member, a man staring in movies and at the box office; the Miz. He then brought out “the next WWE tag team champions” Team Rhode Scholars. Heyman then brought out Alberto Del Rio – a mediocre team.

 

Punk said there would be a celebration at Survivor Series, a celebration of him being champion for one year. There was no better way than to put Foley out of his misery. He wanted Punk’s spotlight. He would teach Foley how to survive.

 

Foley came out. He asked if Punk in the cell was surviving. He said that Punk weaselled his way out. He could refer to him as a champion, but not as a man. Punk spoke into Foley’s ear and said the official did his own thing. Foley said he had a hell of a team (sure is Mick). He would walk to the gates of hell with them. He brought Kofi Kingston, Kane, Bryan and Randy Orton out.

 

Punk said that there goal would be to eliminate them all until Foley was left. Foley said he wasn’t competing in the team and he would be watching while they were decimated by Ryback. Ryback came out. This led to a brawl breaking out. Team Foley cleared house. The fans chanted feed me more and he killedRhodeswith a clothesline and Samoan Drop.

 

RAW Rating for Monday October 29th

 

This week’s edition of RAW was up substantially from last week, which was just like last week’s loss, expected. It did a pretty average rating by three hour show standards, doing a 2.95 rating and 4.09 million viewers. The general amount of people watching TV in theUnited Stateswas up, most likely due to the super storm on the East Cost.

 

There also wasn’t as much competition this week, which was a given considering how tough the competition was last week. There was no presidential debate or baseball and the football game wasn’t all that strong. Still, there was extra competition this week in the hurricaneSandycoverage, but I can’t see that having a colossal effect on the RAW rating.

 

The show opened up far better than last week’s opening tag segment, doing 3.21 quarter with the Punk/Foley promo. Intrigue was probably up from Hell in a Cell and the situation with the finish, but Foley is also normally a decent draw in the ratings. The Ryback squash match with JTG lost over 400,000 viewers, which really is a telling sign for Ryback. He has been pushed really strong for quite a few weeks now and was even in the mainevent of Hell in a Cell, but he still isn’t able to really hold his own in the ratings.

 

The next three segments did a good combined gain of 493,000 viewers to do a 3.25 quarter. The Orton match, which was apart of the quarter, gained 123,000 viewers, the Team Hell No/Prime Time Players matched gained 1,000 viewers and the Vickie Guerrero/John Cena nonsense gained 373,000 viewers in the now traditional 21:00 growth spot.

 

The AJ/Vickie segment, AJ match and 3MB segment lost a combined 755,000 viewers leading to the low point of the show – a 2.70. The Sheamus and Big Show promo gained 324,000 viewers at 22:00, which was pretty good. However, they were followed by the Road Scholars match which lost 189,000 viewers.

 

The Susan G Komen segment lost 143,000 viewers and what was the RAW mainevent believe it or not, Alberto Del Rio versus Justin Gabriel gained 59,000 viewers, which was a really nice sign. It doesn’t mean anything big really, but it is nice to see a regular midcard match like that gain for a change, even if it was just a result of the timeslot.

 

Finally the Punk/Foley team reveal at the end of the show gained 708,000 viewers to a 3.26 overrun. Punk has been gaining pretty well in the overrun, which is really nice to see.

 

WWE –NXT

October 31st 2012 – Full Sail University, Florida.

Ben Carass.

 

 

The Uso’s and their fearsome war-dance kicked off the Halloween instalment of NXT; the brothers headed down to the ring and Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis came out for the opening contest. Much to his partner’s dismay, Curtis did some truly horrifying gyrations on his way down the ramp.

 

The Usos vs. Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis 

 

McGillicutty sent Jey’s skull into the turnbuckle and Uso did the old Samoan no-sell then landed a headbutt. Curtis tagged in, but took an armdrag after performing a ghastly pelvic thrust; Jimmy came in and the Usos hit a double chop/elbow drop combo. Jimmy grabbed an arm-ringer and Jey came off the top with a sledge; McGillicutty got the blind tag as Jey scored an O’Connor roll. McGillicutty prevented the pinfall with a boot to the face then delivered a dropkick before making the tag; Curtis executed an inverted atomic drop and the heels hit a double clothesline.

               Jey fought from underneath but was cut off; Curtis made the tag and McGillicutty got some heat then unleashed some stomps. Jey avoided a Stinger splash and got the tag to his brother; Jimmy came in to hit a full-nelson bomb and a running hip attack in the corner then took out Curtis with a superkick. Jimmy caught McGillicutty with a big Samoan drop and Jey came off the top with a splash for the three count.

 

 The Uso’s defeated Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis via pinfall, at 4:17

After the match, The Ascension’s music hit and their spooky lighting was deployed; O’Brian and Cameron were shown high above the arena, staring down The Usos from a balcony.

The match was your typical NXT opener, quick and painless. I guess The Usos needed the win, so it’s a bigger deal when they put over The Ascension again.

Commercial Break.

Xavier Woods came out to some funk music and boogied his way on down to the ring; Regal said he liked Xavier’s taste in music. Leo Kruger emerged for the contest and Tony Luftman put over Leo’s big game hunter gimmick.

 

Xavier Woods vs. Leo Kruger

 

Xavier grabbed a tight side headlock early; Leo finally broke free with a backbreaker. Kruger hit a snapsuplex for two then grabbed a bear-hug; Xavier fought up and was taken back down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Leo held onto the hold and Xavier fought up again; this time Woods escaped with a jawbreaker. Xavier began a short comeback, punctuated by his somersault clothesline. Leo swatted a missile dropkick off the top then hit his hangman’s facebuster for the victory.

 Leo Kruger defeated Xavier Woods via pinfall, at 4:00

Poor Xavier, he’s far too good to be jobbed out in 4 minutes; I hope one of the consequences (get it?) isn’t a recurring enhancement role for Xavier. As for Leo, I’m still not convinced about this new gimmick; a little more character development is required if I’m to get on board with the big game hunter; squashing guys and pulling his hair out every other week is not getting anything across.

A video package putting over Big.E Langston’s five count deal rolled.

Big. E joined Byron Saxton on the stage; Saxton inquired about the five count. Big. E said he loved the number five because he had five fingers and five toes.

That’s the best they could come up with?

Vickie Guerrero interrupted the interview and informed everyone she is, “a WWE superstar, a manager and a cougar”. Vickie stated she wanted to “recruit men” for her “stable” and told Big.E they would be very happy together. Big.E said he had exactly what she needed then clapped his hands together, expelling a cloud of weightlifter’s chalk right in Vickie’s face. Vickie screamed and walked off.

This should have been edited out as it accomplished nothing and made no sense, since Vickie is now in charge of Raw. They’ve had plenty of time to shoot a backstage promo with Big.E that could have easily been used in place of this pointless segment. 

Commercial Break.

Jinder Mahal came out, sans his Bon Jovi leather pants. Jinder cut an in-ring promo and referred to himself as the “modern day Maharaja” then demanded Dusty Rhodes come out and give him a match for the NXT Championship. Justin Gabriel appeared and told Jinder to get to the back of the line; Gabriel then asked the fans who they’d like to see face Seth Rollins, himself or Jinder. Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring and claimed he deserved a title shot because he is the only person to hold a victory over Rollins. Bo Dallas joined the debate for no reason whatsoever; Bo told the other three guys they’ve had their shot and it was his turn for a shot at the belt.

            DustyRhodesfinally showed up and said they all made a good point; The Dream claimed “this building is where legends are made” then said in NXT you have to earn a shot. Subsequently, Dusty booked a number one contenders fatal four-way match for next week’s main event.

 

I thought this kind of segment, where guys are thrown together and the GM comes out to book a match was reserved for Raw & SmackDown. Hopefully this does not become a regular occurrence for NXT; one of the best aspects of this show is the lack of predictable WWE formatting and the late-nineties booking style felt out of place here. Just to further NXT’s continuity problem, Jinder & Drew are booked against each other next week. These people are geniuses.

 

A graphic hyping Roman Reigns debut aired.

 

Commercial Break.

 

CJ Parker hit the ring after the break. Roman Reigns came out to a subdued reaction; Regal and Luftman put him over to ridiculous lengths. Luftman claimed the hype of Roman’s debut had been “building for weeks”.

 

I must have not been paying attention all these weeks, because I don’t recall one vignette on this guy. But I do know he is Sika’s son, so that would explain Regal & Luftman selling this guy like JR sold The Rock at Survivor Series 96.

 

CJ Parker vs. Roman Reigns

 

Reigns showed his power early and CJ displayed his speed; Reigns landed a clothesline that Luftman called an “arm to the neck area”.

 

I’m begging WWE to hire guys that know the tiniest little thing about pro-wrestling.

 

Reigns worked over CJ’s arm and shut down some attempted comebacks; CJ finally hit a belly-to-back suplex and got a two count. Parker hit a dropkick then followed up with a running double knee strike in the corner; CJ came off the second turnbuckle but Roman avoided any contact. Reigns delivered Akira Taue’s, Ore Ga Taue for the three count.

 

Roman Reigns defeated CJ Parker via pinfall, at 3:39

 

This was decent enough for a debut; everything was relatively smooth and Reigns looked strong. He defiantly has the physique to get to the top and coming from the Anoa’i family, he more or less has to develop into a good worker.

 

A graphic hyping the main event of Tyson Kidd vs. Antonio Cesaro for the UStitle rolled.  

 

Commercial Break.

 

A graphic hyping next weeks’ four-way aired.

 

Tyson Kidd made his way down for the main event. Jim Ross joined Regal on commentary and Antonio Cesaro appeared to defend his title.

 

United States Championship Match: Antonio Cesaro (Champion) vs. Tyson Kidd

 

The two engaged in some nice chain wrestling early on; after a fine Greco-Roman knucklelock spot, Kidd rolled up Cesaro for a two count then transitioned into an anklelock, but Antonio got to the ropes. Cesaro lured Kidd in with another Greco-Roman tease then landed a boot to the stomach. Kidd hooked an inside cradle, which began a series of near falls that saw Tyson execute, a jackknife hold, an attempted backslide, an O’Connor roll, a school boy and a La Magistral cradle. After the pinfall exhibition, Kidd took Antonio over with an armdrag and held on for the armbar.

Commercial Break.

Cesaro was in control after the break and locked in a bear hug; Kidd fought out with some shots, but was cut off by a headbutt to the chest. Cesaro tried for the neutraliser, however Kidd rolled through to score with a basement dropkick to the face for the separation. Kidd fired off some leg kicks and Cesaro sent Tyson over the top to the apron; Kidd got a two count with a slingshot roll up. Tyson went back to the apron, where he hit an enziguri then a slingshot hurricanrana for another two count. Antonio crawled onto the bottom rope and Kidd scored with a slingshot legdrop on the apron; Cesaro rolled to the floor and Tyson drilled the US Champion with a stiff kick.

        With Cesaro back in the ring, Kidd hit a springboard elbow for a two count; Kidd then went for the sharpshooter but Antonio grabbed onto the apron skirt. Cesaro managed to kick free of the sharpshooter then landed his flapjack/European uppercut combo, followed by the neutraliser for the victory.

Antonio Cesaro defeated Tyson Kidd, to retain the US Championship at, 7:09

 

Boy was this a great match; possibly the best main event we’ve seen on the new season of NXT and it could very well could be Cesaro’s best match of his WWE tenure. The early chain wrestling exchanges were masterful and Kidd’s display of pinfalls was epic. The action was fast and executed with near surgical precision. I encourage everyone to check this match out.  

          Overall the show was fine, which is usually the case for NXT. The main event defiantly helped a mediocre episode become a good one; the 4 man in-ring was on its way to sinking the entire show before Kidd & Cesaro stepped in the ring. 

 

TNA Impact November 1st 2012

Impact Zone, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

 

Overall Thoughts

 

This show was completely mediocre; I had absolutely no strong feelings either way. The Aces & Eights weren’t too overpowering, but the mainevent reveal of Luke Gallows as one of the members of Aces & Eight was very underwhelming. There was no real good wrestling on the show either, withYorkversus Ion being the closest thing to a good match. ODB versus Jessie was very bad, but then again I didn’t expect much else.

 

The Jeff Hardy introspective videos are just so hokey and I honestly don’t see the point. However, I thought that the Aries/Hardy ladder match challenge was perfectly fine. There was no real purpose of Robbie E and T meeting backstage however. All in all this was a completely missable show, some matches were made for Turning Point, but it didn’t leave me caring all too much.

 

A graphic in memoriam of Brad Armstrong aired before the show, which was nice of them to do.

 

Joseph Park opened up the show in the ring. He knew what Open Fight Night was all about (well it’s good he knows, because I don’t). He put himself over as a lawyer and said that it only mattered that he was a man; a man that was going to stick up for himself. He didn’t have an answer from Hogan yet due to legal issues. However, he discovered a loop hole, which was Open Fight Night – I don’t think that this would stand up in court. He challenged any member of the Aces & Eights and four came out.

 

He said he only challenged one, but Angle ran out. This led to a beat down on Angle. Park cowered in a corner and Sting rushed out to save the day. Sting said they had to protect their masks, but Sting said one of their masks would be ripped off tonight.

 

They cut to Borash and Keneley and a graphic aired for ODB versus Jesse,Devonversus Bully Ray and Gut Check.

 

Magnus was interviewed backstage. He was interested in unmasking a phoney, but not the Aces & Eights. He wasn’t going to tell anyone who it was until he got in the ring. Jesse was panicking backstage saying he had an ear infection andTarasterilized his hands.

 

Magnus came out and called Samoa Joe out for the TV title. The crowd chanted “Joe is going to kill you”. He wasn’t calling him out, because of their history together; he was calling him out because he wasn’t the image that a TV champion should be. He called him the Howard Stern of wrestling, people like him, but he had a “radio face”. Joe’s music hit and out he came.

 

1. TNA Television Championship Match

SamoaJoe vs. Magnus

 

Joe went straight after Magnus landing a flurry of strikes and a leaping highkick in the corner. Joe teed off in the corner and landed an atomic drop and running dropkick. He then landed a back senton for two. He landed a couple more shots, but was cut off with a knee from Magnus. Magnus landed a big clothesline and locked in a choke. Joe made it to his feet and they had an elbow exchange. Joe locked in the rear naked choke, Magnus got out, but Joe landed a uranagi out of the corner and clotheslined Magnus to the outside. Joe rammed Magnus into the post back first and Magnus grabbed a wrench from underneath the ring. Magnus landed a shot and Hebner DQed Magnus.

 

Sting was talking to Hogan backstage about how he wanted his hands on the Aces & Eights. Angle ran in saying that he wantedDevon. Hogan said Ray hadDevon, but if there was anything left he would have him at Turning Point. Sting, Wes Briscoe, Eric Bischoff and Kurt Angle said they would go after the Aces & Eights. They cut to Joe who had an ice pack over his head. He was foaming at the mouth saying how he wanted to kill Magnus and how he wanted the rules thrown out.

 

We got a recap of Aries laying out Hardy and then travelled back into the mind of Jeff Hardy. Hardy was putting on his facepaint and we got to read his mind again; talking about how his eyes were “wide closed” – I am not making this up.

 

Daniels and Kazarian came out. Kazarian found it funny that Heath/Sting was determined to unmask the Aces & Eights, because the biggest frauds were Chavo and Hernandez. They told the truth last week, but they offended “some of the amigos in the back”. Daniels said it was Open Fight Night and they were calling out two people that were proud of their Latino heritage. Of course it wasn’t Chavo and Hernandez, but the Spanish announce team of Hector Guerrero and Willie Urbina. They returned after the break with the Spanish announce team stepping into the ring.

 

Daniels asked if they were “Mexican or Mexicants”. Urbina didn’t understand and was shoved into the corner and a beat down ensued. Hernandez and Chavo made the save and Daniels and Kazarian fled. They cut to a package of Christian York for Gut Check. There really is a different story with a 35 year old than a person just starting their career, which is a good thing.

 

ODB was talking to Young on the phone backstage. She talked about how she needed Young there.

 

1. Zema Ion vs. Christian York

 

Yorkwas in fantastic shape.Yorkwent straight after Ion ripping off his jacket and landing a chop.Yorklanded a heel kick and half nelson suplex followed by a cannonball in the corner.Yorkthen went to the top rope, but Ion rolled to the outside. He pulled Ion in by the hair, but Ion landed a big DDT. Ion landed a stomp to the face and strangledYorkin the ropes.Yorkfired back with shots, but Ion raked the eyes. Ion landed a suplex, butYorkgot his knees up on a moonsault. He was thrown to the outside for a topé, butYorklanded a big clothesline and neckbreaker for two. Ion rolled to the outside, Ion ducked under a baseball slide, but was caught with a head scissors.Yorkwas hung up on his way in and Ion locked in his armbar for the win. This was a fun X Division match, even though it was sloppy at points;Yorkshould get a contract.

 

Aries was backstage and was asked about the title. He lifted it up and said he took it because he didn’t care. He loved the spotlight and had some business to attend to. He then walked into a lockerroom with Robbie E and T.

 

Garrett walked past Ray backstage. He said that Ray could take care of business and he had his back. Ray shook Bischoff’s hand and thanked him, which was out of character. This led to a guy coming in saying the Aces & Eights were there. A brawl broke out and Ray went afterDevon.

 

2. ODB vs. Jesse

 

ODB listed all the things that Jesse did like drinking protein shakes and fake tanning and she got the what treatment. ODB slapped the chest of Jesse and sold the hand. Jesse slid to the outside and was kissed byTara. He slid back in and ODB landed some more slaps. Jesse pushed ODB out of the corner and kissedTara. ODB went after Tara and Jesse on the outside. Jesse went afterTaraand ODB caught Jesse with a facebuster. ODB then shoved Jesse’s head into the turnbuckle and missed a splash. Jesse landed a scoopslam and went back toTaraon the apron. This allowed for ODB to land a scoopslam and she spanked Jesse.Tarawent for a slap on ODB, she ducked it, but Jesse got a rollup for the win. This was just an awful match to say the least.

 

Keneley then left the announce table and was joined by Mike Tenay, due to Taz dealing with Super Storm Sandy. Robbie E and T came down to the ring. E said lighting always strikes twice and that is why he was calling out Hardy.

 

3. Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E

 

Hardy landed a splash for two and E rolled to the outside. E pulled Hardy to the outside, but E was thrown into the steps. Hardy then landed his diving leg lariat off of the steps. T however took Hardy out behind the referee’s back. After the break E was in control of Hardy. Hardy began to make a comeback with clotheslines and landed a baseball slide on T. Hardy went for the twist of fate, but E landed a DDT. E went for another, but he was caught with a front suplex and a twist of fate. He then landed the swanton for the win.

 

Aries came out after the match. He said the difference between the two of them was simply three seconds and he was still the best wrestler in the universe. He worked his way up in the company one match at a time. Hardy knocked him off of the pedestal and the title would once again be his. Hardy grabbed a mic and pulled out a ladder from underneath the ring. Hardy said that their second match would be a ladder match. Aries said that he wasn’t going to do it, because he was a pro wrestler not a ladder climber and walked off.

 

They showed the opening of Hogan’s beach shop when Morgan walked in. Morgan said that he was missing one thing and he took Hogan’s cape from his match with Andre. He said that Hogan would see what he would do with it. Storm came by and approached Hogan he said he was just asking for a chance. Hogan asked if he was a betting man and had an idea. They then cut away back to the arena.

 

Roode came out and said he was screwed once again. He talked about how he wasn’t one of the four men that was offered a shot last week. He wasn’t allowed a title shot as long as Aries was the champion and Aries wasn’t the champion anymore. He said he would have been champion, when Styles came out.

 

Styles said he should be the World Champion. Styles said Roode held the title longer than anyone else, so he should stop wining. Styles said he was dealing with some problems, like walking into an elevator with someone of the opposite sex – a problem when your name is AJ, which was an awesome line. He said nobody cared about it and everyone cared about who would be the next number one contender. He said talking wouldn’t get them anywhere and called Roode out. Roode said no, feigned walking off and attacked AJ from behind. AJ clotheslined Roode to the floor and Hogan came out with James Storm.

 

Hogan came out and said they both deserved a shot, but it would be in their hands. He said it would be a turning point for the “three men involved”, which really made no sense since everyone only knew that he was talking about Styles and Roode; not Storm. The loser wouldn’t get a shot until Bound for Glory next year (would this be both losing men, or just the man that is pinned?) it was between Storm, Roode and Styles.

 

Ryan came out with Morgan in Hogan’s cape. Morgan wasn’t waiting anymore and started showing up on house shows all over the country. Morgan said he would make more history than Hogan with the robe. He would eat through the TNA roster until he owned the title. Ryan grabbed the mic and called Rob Van Dam out.

 

4. Rob Van Dam vs. Joey Ryan

 

Van Dam landed a spinning heel kick and front kick on Ryan. He landed some shoulderblocks in the corner and a highkick. He landed a leg lariat in the corner and landed rolling thunder on Ryan. Van Dam went for the frogsplash, but Ryan moved and rolled Van Dam up for the win. I think Ryan was supposed to get the ropes, but didn’t quite make it.

 

Van Dam went after Ryan, but was caught with the carbon footprint.

 

Devonand the Aces & Eights were shown. Ray came out and gave a shout out to the fans in the North East. Ray calledDevonout and said he wanted to kick his “ass”.

 

Ray went after Devon, butDevonslid to the outside. Ray grabbed a table and set it up in the ring and called forDevonto come into the ring.Devonrefused to come back into the ring and called out about seven of the Aces & Eights. They came into the rings and Ray started swinging his chain and the Aces & Eights flinched. The TNA roster came out and predictably a brawl broke out.Devonand Ray were left in the ring. Ray landed a shot and went for the Bubba Bomb through the table, but he was attacked from behind by one of the Aces & Eights. Joe Park slid into the ring, but was caught with a shot to the gut and some stomps by the guy in the ring. His mask was pulled off and it was Luke Gallows. Gallows put Park through a table to close the show off.

 

 Something priceless happened before the table spot, where Tenay yelled “I know that guy!”, but failed to mention his name at any point following that statement; that is probably at the very best what you are going to get out of viewers.

 

WWE SmackDown – November 1st 2012

Crown Centre, Fayetteville, NC.

Ben Carass.

 

 

 

SmackDown began this week with footage of the CM Punk/Ryback finish from Hell in a Cell and the subsequent fallout from Raw. We then were treated to footage of The Big Show winning the World Heavyweight Championship from Sheamus.

 

Inside the arena, our opening segment was the perennially horrendous Miz TV. Miz recapped everything we saw in the opening video package then introduced his guest, “the former World Heavyweight Champion”. Sheamus came out and joined the host in the ring.

 

Footage of Sheamus hitting Big Show with White Noise from Raw aired.

 

The Miz stated it had been seven months since Sheamus had been on SmackDown without the big gold belt and the match with Show on Sunday was “one of the greatest in memory”. Miz then asked how embarrassing it was to be knocked out and to lose the title; Sheamus responded by questioning Miz about how his Intercontinental title match with Kofi went. Sheamus claimed losing the World title humbled him a little and his best wasn’t good enough against Show; Miz cut him off and began to explain how he was responsible for Sheamus’ defeat. Miz recalled winning the match at Mania for Team Laurinaitis, the Big Show firing angle and Show’s inexplicable return a week later; Miz took credit for Show coming back as a “force to be reckoned with”. Sheamus said Miz is the person he should be “kicking in the face right now”; Miz replied, “don’t take your shame out on me, because you couldn’t get the job done” then stated he would regain the IC title when he got his hands on Kofi Kingston.

              Kofi hit the ring and told Miz, even though he hadn’t been on the Real World in a long time, he had lost touch with reality then recounted his three victories over the host of the 5th rate “talk show”.

 

That’s right 5th, I could have gone with 6th, but MVP’s VIP lounge was truly diabolical.

 

Miz informed Kofi that he would do what he did at Mania and lead his team to victory at Survivor Series; eliminating Kofi personally in the process.

             Big Show appeared on the stage; Show said he agreed with Kofi and there must be something wrong with Miz, because he chose to have the former World Champ on his show instead of the new one. Miz played along and asked Show what it was like to K.O Sheamus and win the belt; Show began to explain, but Sheamus interrupted and asked how it felt to take white noise on Monday. Sheamus challenged Show to get in the ring so they could “do it right now”, Show replied, “you’ll get all me you could ever want at Survivor Series” and claimed he had nothing to prove by fighting tonight.

             Show headed to the back and in the ring, Miz tried to jumpKingstonfrom behind, but Kofi sent Miz over the top rope to the floor.

 

I was not a fan of Miz TV before, but after this segment it’s official; I despise this “show”. Every week it becomes more boring and pointless; Sheamus & Miz spent far too long flapping their gums at each other and nobody got anything over. Sheamus was more concerned with insulting The Miz than losing the World title and Miz stating he will win the Survivor Series match is not selling the PPV at all.

 

A graphic hyping Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett aired.

 

Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio were doing the old walking to the ring routine in the back; elsewhere backstage, The Prime Time Players were also headed out to the arena. Josh said it would be Sin Cara vs. Darren Young after the break.

 

Commercial Break.

 

In another part of the labyrinth that is the backstage area, Booker T came across The Big Show. Book congratulated Show for winning the title but said as GM, his job is to give the people what they want; Booker said the people wanted to see Sheamus & Kofi vs. Show & Miz tonight.

 

I’m a person and I did not want to see this.   

 

Back in the arena, Sin Cara made his entrance with Rey and Darren Young came out with Titus.

 

Sin Cara w/ Rey Mysterio vs. Darren Young w/ Titus O’Neil

 

The pair engaged in a bumbling opening exchanged then Sin Cara hit a hurricanrana and a springboard armdrag. Young completely no-sold and scored with a clothesline then a neckbreaker. Sin Cara fought out of a rear chinlock; JBL again referred to him as a “former CMLL Heavyweight Champion” which is simply untrue. Young went for a suplex, but Cara reversed into an inside cradle for two; Young scored with a clothesline then tried for some heat with another rear chinlock. Cara fought up again and countered a belly-to-back suplex to land a dropkick off the second rope; Young took some kicks then Cara delivered his handspring elbow for two.

              Again Young no-sold the offense and shut down Cara right away with a boot; Cara countered another belly-to-back attempt with a victory roll for two. Young landed another boot but telegraphed a backdrop; Cara scored with a kick and for the third time Young sold like The Terminator then hit his double-knee gutbuster for the win.

 

Darren Young defeated Sin Cara via pinfall, at 3.37

 

This match was the proverbial “drizzling”; there was no transition between Sin Cara’s shine and Young’s heat. Every time Cara got some offense in, Young just shut him down right away; there was no logic or reason to any of it.

 

Titus got on the mic after the match and said that’s what happens when “a little dog gets in the ring with a big dog”. Titus then challenged the other “little dog” Rey to a match; Mysterio immediately got in the ring to face O’Neil.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Rey Mysterio w/ Sin Cara vs. Titus O’Neil w/ Darren Young

 

The bell rang straight away after the break and Rey used his speed to land some kicks; Titus scored with a clothesline then stomped away at Mysterio. Young caught Rey with a cheap shot from the outside and Titus worked over Rey in the corner. Titus landed a bodyslam then tried for a second; Rey escaped but was shut down by a big tackle.

               Titus went for a big boot and got hung up in the ropes; Rey delivered a chop block then set up his opponent for the 619 with a dropkick. Rey acted like Young was supposed to grab his foot, however Young appeared to miss his cue and was taken out by Sin Cara. Mysterio went for the 619, but Titus caught Rey’s legs and speared him into the turnbuckle; Rey avoided a shoulder block and rolled up Titus with a school boy for three.

 

Mysterio and Sin Cara performed The Prime Time Players’ “millions of dollars” gimmick on the ramp.

 

Rey Mysterio defeated Titus O’Neil via pinfall, at  2.57

 

This was slightly better than the previous contest; at least the heels resorted to illegal tactics. The Prime Time Players need to work on their hope spot selling, especially Young.

 

A graphic of John Cena and AJ’s dinner rolled, followed by a second of Punk, Heyman and Ryback.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Josh and Layfield talked about Raw then we got twelve minutes of the Team Punk/Team Foley segment.

 

Twelve minutes?! That is just insanity; I would not blame anyone for hitting fast-forward during this needless segment, because I sure did.

 

Josh and JBL rambled about Punk vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell then we got some still shots of their match; Matthews and Bradshaw then blabbed about Brad Maddox explaining his actions this week on Raw. Josh claimed Maddox had been toTitanTowersto be reprimanded, which not even the most blind of fans could have possibly believed.

 

Teddy Long and Booker T were in the GM’s office; Teddy said Raw had become out of control under Vickie Guerrero. Natalya entered and pushed herself to replace Eve as the GM’s assistant for the night, since Torres was on the European tour. David Otunga showed up and asked Nattie what she knew about leadership; Teddy remarked, they must not have taught Otunga how to knock at Harvard. Otunga told Booker, “if you need anything, I’m your man”; Book said he needed an opponent for a returning superstar. Otunga asked who and the Booker man simply said, “Great Khali”; Otunga did a spit-take with his coffee that soaked poor Nattie. Book advised Otunga to go get his gear on, because the match was tonight. Nattie acted distressed and Otunga told her he had no idea why she was upset and he thought it was an improvement; Nattie slapped the Harvard man, who then did another spit-take all over Teddy’s nice beige suit. Booker uttered “oh my goodness” in his hysterically comedic manner.

 

A graphic of Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton aired.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez came out to join JBL and Josh for the upcoming match. Wade Barrett made his entrance then footage of Barrett and Orton trading victories over the past week aired; Randy Orton was out last.

            Before the referee called for the bell,Del Riojumped in the ring to try blindside Orton; Randy outsmarted the heel and beatdown Alberto. The two brawled to the outside and Ricardo sent Orton into the ring post;Del Riotook advantage with some stomps, before sending Randy into the post again.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

 

We joined the match in progress. Orton sent Barrett over the top with a clothesline; Orton pursued his foe and delivered a belly-to-back suplex into the barricade. Randy rolled Barrett back inside then sold the beatdown fromDel Rio; Wade capitalised with a big boot as Orton got back in the ring. Barrett began to get the heat with some mounted punches then tied up Randy in the ropes for some knee strikes; Orton ate a boot that sent him to the floor. Wade followed and sent Orton into the steps before taking the fight back to the ring.

               Orton fought out of a rear chinlock and scored with a belly-to-back suplex for the hope; Wade did not allow Randy to benefit from the separation and landed a boot to the stomach. Barrett hit a short-arm clothesline for a two count then cut off Orton’s comeback attempt; Wade came off the second rope with an elbow drop for another two count. Randy powered up from a reverse chinlock, but was shut down again with a bodyslam for two.

                 Barrett went up to the second rope once more, however this time Orton cut him off then delivered a superplex for the distance. Randy went into comeback mode and landed some clotheslines, followed by a powerslam; Orton drilled Wade with the hangman’s DDT and Alberto Del Rio appeared on the ramp. Ricardo jumped on the apron, but was sent to the floor by an Orton right hand; Barrett took advantage and hooked a school boy for the three count.

 

Wade Barrett defeated Randy Orton via pinfall, at 8.42 (JIP)

 

Finally an enjoyable segment on this lamentable episode; the action was solid and the story developed nicely after the pre-match attack on Orton. I was delighted when Barrett went over; I knew Orton would get his win back from last week, I just didn’t think it would be as soon as Monday. That being said, we could get some good old fashioned WWE parody booking next week if Randy and Wade go at it again.

 

A graphic hyping Sheamus & Kofi vs. Big Show & Miz aired.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Alberto Del Rio was in the back with Ricardo; Matt Striker approached the duo and asked why they constantly taunt The Viper. Alberto said Randy was not a Viper then claimed to be the “new Apex Predator”; Orton appeared down the hall, behind Del Rio and began to brawl with the aristocrat. The two fought into the catering area and Alberto tried to pick up a coffee dispenser;Del Riosold his hands like they had been burnt. Orton used some napkins to handle the metal dispenser then threw the “boiling” coffee all over Ricardo. Randy andDel Riobrawled some more then Orton poured, what I assume was chilli onto Ricardo’s head; Alberto took a backdrop through a table and Randy delivered some more shots.Del Riotook a hiptoss over another table, however managed to escape down the hall. Striker stuck his extreme right wing nose in again and asked Orton for his thoughts on what just happened. Randy sent the luckless announcer’s face into some kind of dessert; it was either a pie or a cake.

 

I know you purists out there are dying to know which it was, so I apologise for my ignorance.

 

Commercial Break.

 

A graphic hyping Jerry Lawler’s return to Monday Night Raw aired; The King will be back in two weeks.

 

The Great Khali’s jaunty music hit and the returning big man headed to the ring; David Otunga appeared for the contest.

 

The Great Khali vs. David Otunga

 

Otunga hit a dropkick to the knee early; Khali fired back with a huge overhand chop. Khali landed some back elbows in the corner and Natalya was shown watching on a monitor in the back. Otunga avoided a big boot and worked over his opponent’s leg; Khali hit his big overhand chop to the skull for the victory.

 

The Great Khali defeated David Otunga via pinfall, at 1.34

 

A standard Khali match; since we haven’t seen it in a while, it wasn’t as brutal to sit through as I remember. Khali appeared to be just as mobile, or immobile (whichever way you want to look at it) as he was before his surgery, which is good to see.

 

A graphic of the AJ and Claire Lyn… John Cena angle aired.

 

Sorry, I can’t possibly think why that happened.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Khali was in the back; Nattie approached him and said it meant a lot to her after what Otunga did. The pair shook hands and Nattie remarked about the size of the giant’s hand; Khali looked proud of himself.

 

In the ring R-Truth and Justin Gabriel were ready to square off.

 

R-Truth vs. Justin Gabriel

 

Both men danced after the early exchange then Truth hit a corkscrew forearm for a two count; Truth was sent to the apron with a backdrop, but landed a shot and went up top. Gabriel avoided any contact then scored with a dropkick; Truth fought up from a rear chinlock, only to take some kicks from Justin. Gabriel delivered a Stinger splash then went for a springboard manoeuvre; Truth ducked and hit his jumping reverse STO for the three count.

 

R-Truth defeated Justin Gabriel via pinfall, at 3.27

 

I have no explanation as to why we got a Superstars main event in the middle of the show; nor do I know why these guys had a match in the first place, because there was no justification offered to the viewers at all. We just got a match to look at for 3 minutes and were expected to care.

 

The Raw Rebound aired.

 

Big Show and The Miz were in the locker room; Miz brought up ShowMiz and told the World Champ to do what he used to do. Big Show stated he was Miz’s “team mate” before, but now was his “superior” and implored him to do as he said or he would get knocked out.

 

A graphic hyping the tag team main event rolled.

 

Commercial Break.

 

A graphic hyping Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in a falls count anywhere match, for next week aired.

 

Just as I suspected; if Orton loses this gimmick match I will be surprised…happy, but surprised.

 

Sheamus made his way out for the main event and was joined by his partner KofiKingston; Miz came out first for the heels and the Big Show’s entrance followed.

 

Sheamus & Kofi Kingston (Intercontinental Champion) vs. The Big Show (World Heavyweight Champion) & The Miz

 

Miz took it to Sheamus after the bell with some fast shots; Sheamus took over and countered a hiptoss with a big clothesline. Kofi tagged in to land some kicks and a back elbow; Miz took a clothesline over the top rope then ate a tope fromKingston.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Show came in off the tag and gave Kofi a bodyslam then delivered an overhand chop; Big Show displayed his wrestling skills for Sheamus by taking Kofi down with a waistlock and executing a front facelock gator roll.Kingstonmade it to his feet, only to take a sidewalk slam; Miz tagged in with a big boot and continued with the heat. Kofi fought up from a reverse chinlock, but was shut down by a reverse DDT backbreaker/neckbreaker combo.Kingstonbattled out of another chinlock and tried to make it to his corner; Miz prevented the tag twice, however Kofi managed to kick himself free and made the hot tag.

               Sheamus scored with some axe-handles then took Miz down with a powerslam, before delivering his clubbing forearms spot. Sheamus hit a Finlay roll and tagged Kofi back in;Kingstoncame off the top with a crossbody, but Big Show broke up the pin. Sheamus sent Show through the ropes to the floor with an axe-handle and Kofi went for his mounted punches in the corner; Show drilled Kofi with the WMD and Miz made the cover for the victory.

 

Big Show & Miz defeated Sheamus & Kofi Kingston via pinfall, at  6.43

 

Big Show headed up the ramp with his belt, leaving Miz in the ring; Sheamus had enough of Miz’s celebrations and hit him with a Brogue kick. The closing shot was of a fervent Sheamus, glaring in the direction of The Big Show.

 

The main event was a fair effort; this show had completely burned me out by this point. Even so, that match was enjoyable enough and all the guys worked well; I guess it’s time to build Miz back up since he is in the main event of Survivor Series. Although, having Kofi take the fall seems slightly counterproductive, as he is also in the 5 on 5 match.

              As for the rest of the show, Orton vs. Barrett was the best thing by far; everything else was instantly forgettable. The Miz TV opener really set the tone for the night and instantly put me in a bad mood; coincidently, the last time Miz TV kicked off the show I had a similar reaction. Let’s hope things pick up on the way to Survivor Series or WWE may be staring down 100,000 domestic buys come November 18th.   

 

Next Week’s Issue

 

Next week we look at the latest WWE quarterly earnings report, the six new inductees in the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, RAW and the Brad Maddox follow up, the rating for that show, the go-home show for TNA’s Turning Point show, NXT, SmackDown and more!

 

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Ben Carass’s Twitter Account: @BenDosCarass

 

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