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Monday, October 27, 2014

OT: Wrestling Thread November 2014

Given that the old wrestling thread got shut down, here is a new one that shamelessly links to my Hell in a Cell review!

aberg Posted: October 27, 2014 at 01:47 PM | 2456 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: wrestling

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   1801. Chokeland Bill Posted: January 29, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5392164)
Mania Card

Goldberg/Lesnar - They're going to have Goldberg squash KO at Fastlane, but they might want to try to make an actual match out of it, just to get Goldberg in shape for this. This will have to be a Hogan/Warrior scenario where they book a great match around a limited worker.

Roman/Taker - Undertaker looked REALLY bad out there tonight. This match is going to be terrible. Just the worst. Probably the best thing they can do is just have Roman go super heel and squash Taker and become the most hated man in wrestling (on purpose). I guess Roman/Strowman at Fastlane? Where does that leave Strowman for Mania? They should have just had Roman lose to the brass knucks or a missed spear through the table. Now they have to burn through a quick feud that many thought was a possibility for Mania.

Randy/Bray (after Bray wins the title at EC) - We've already seen this, maybe they'll do better at Mania.

KO/Jericho - Jericho can't go all that much anymore, but with the rest of the card looking the way it does this might still be one of the better matches.

AJ and ? - I really hope it's not Shane.

Cena and ? - I think Samoa Joe debuts and costs Cena the title at EC. If so, this should be cool.

Big Show and Shaq - Meh.

Sasha/Charlotte/Bayley/Nia - I don't think this will be good. Bayley and Charlotte don't have much chemistry (match tonight got ok by the end, but boy it started rough). Nia sucks. I think Sasha has to turn heel and steal Bayley's pin. They can waive Charlotte's rematch by saying Sasha didn't get one for Roadblock (Sasha takes coward's way out), or do a three-way for the rematch and have Sasha cheat again to set up the 1-on-1 feud with Bayley culminating at Summerslam.

No clue on the direction for Miz, Ambrose, Sami, Strowman, Corbin, lots of others. That's a bunch of important guys to throw in multi-man ladder matches or battle royals.

Things are not looking good. This could be even worse than last year's.
   1802. NJ in NJ Posted: January 29, 2017 at 11:18 PM (#5392165)
Taker looked like absolute dogshit out there. Not looking forward to whatever match he works at Mania.

Also, there's no way Goldberg has enough in the tank to do even a 5 minute match.
   1803. Hot Wheeling American Posted: January 29, 2017 at 11:22 PM (#5392167)
This could be even worse than last year's.


Really don't see how that's possible, despite the skepticism I share with the general direction of things. Really bummed if they have nothing (or maybe worse...Shane) for Styles.
   1804. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: January 29, 2017 at 11:38 PM (#5392172)
Things are not looking good. This could be even worse than last year's.
put taker/lesnar/reigns/goldberg in the same match; hell, throw HHH and kane in there, too. overbook the hell out of it and end it with taker and kane doublechokeslamming reigns through the canvas.

they could always dump a truckload of cash on cm punk's head. maybe they don't even need to go that far. they can probably just kill the lights after the main event and play his music to end the show and everyone will go apeshit.

   1805. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: January 30, 2017 at 12:57 AM (#5392186)
1801 - and hhh/rollins fits in there somewhere.
   1806. Chokeland Bill Posted: January 30, 2017 at 07:58 AM (#5392233)
1801 - and hhh/rollins fits in there somewhere.


Yep, forgot that one. That has a chance to be good, if Rollins can (is allowed to?) go off the leash a bit.
   1807. Styles P. Deadball Posted: January 30, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5392274)
I love call back, with that said I sort of view them like easter eggs. A hidden gem for hardcores to discover, but the match must stand on its own.


That's where great wrestling commentators make their hay. They can weave that information into their call and have even the casuals ready for it. Alas, JBL or David Otunga would probably lead off by telling the audience the finish...
   1808. Man o' Schwar Posted: January 30, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5392435)
I like that I can consistently count on Roman to generate a ton of heat every Rumble.

I'm not sure it would have been more possible to let down the crowd than they did with Reigns at 30. You had Brock at 26, Goldberg at 28, Undertaker at 29... they had to be building to something huge and amazing at 30. Would it be Samoa Joe? Nakamura? Kenny Omega? Kurt Angle? Oh no. Here comes Roman.

At least he didn't win. That would have been the ultimate FU from Vince to the fans.

But yeah, they have to turn him at this point. He's useless as a face. No one wants to see him win anything, aside from 7-year-old kids and some of the women in the crowd.
   1809. Man o' Schwar Posted: January 30, 2017 at 12:12 PM (#5392447)
Taker looked like absolute dogshit out there. Not looking forward to whatever match he works at Mania.

Also, there's no way Goldberg has enough in the tank to do even a 5 minute match.


This is the problem - they're building the top of the card to be a bunch of 5-8 minute matches with guys who can't go anymore. UT/Roman(?), Shaq/Big Show, Goldberg/Lesnar. These matches are going to have entrances that are longer than the match.

There is no blow-away main event lurking here. Where's the match that sends the crowd home happy? They wouldn't main event with HHH/Rollins, would they? It's not going to be Owens/Jericho, and no one will really care about Orton/Wyatt.

Your best chances here are something like Cena/Samoa Joe, and maybe something like Styles/Nakamura. But both of these require calling up someone from NXT and building to the match in the next 2 months off no (WWE) history.
   1810. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 30, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5392457)
As I watched the Rumble this morning, I have to say that while I knew Roman couldn't win out of the #30 spot (since that would be pretty much Vince taking a crap in the face of the hardcore fans), I was surprised it was Orton. I thought that it was going to be Bray's time to shine again.

I'm not sure it would have been more possible to let down the crowd than they did with Reigns at 30. You had Brock at 26, Goldberg at 28, Undertaker at 29


Yeah, you drop Reigns into the fight earlier than that and you finish with Undertaker for sure.
   1811. Guy Heckler's Veto Posted: January 30, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5392466)
I'm not sure it would have been more possible to let down the crowd than they did with Reigns at 30.


I am certain WWE was trolling fans. Not even the smarks, but the moderately informed adult WWE fans. Samoa Joe is/was NXT so any fan who even caught a couple NXT shows knows who he was/is, and probably read an article or two about the likelihood of him being in the Rumble.

Remember the 2015 Royal Rumble when Daniel Bryan was eliminated right before Goldust's music hit with "shattered dreams" on the jumbotron? That was trolling. Pretty sure not having Bryan in the 2014 match was trolling too... (as part of their general desire not to have him play a significant role in the road to Mania.)

Roman Reigns is Samoan. Samoa Joe is Samoan (presumably.) Everyone wanted the latter and WWE gave us the former, at the last possible moment it could have been the latter.
   1812. Chokeland Bill Posted: January 30, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5392637)
Roman Reigns is Samoan


And his real name is Joe.

There is no blow-away main event lurking here. Where's the match that sends the crowd home happy? They wouldn't main event with HHH/Rollins, would they? It's not going to be Owens/Jericho, and no one will really care about Orton/Wyatt.


I think Lesnar/Goldberg is closing the show for sure. It's either that or Roman/Taker (only if they commit to a heel turn and sending home with a "moment").

That's the real problem with this card. Last year had multiple matches with potential, it was just wasted. This year doesn't even seem to have potential.

   1813. MHS Posted: January 30, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5392732)
Roman/Taker


I think it'll be a three way with Braun.

I fully expect Cena versus Styles on the card.

God, I hate Bill Goldberg.

I hated that Rumble. I felt like it was 2009, no 2004, no 1999 all over again.

Watching that show made me realize how much I don't like WWE right now. Normally, in the Rumble I'm pulling for something. Around #20, I realized how much I didn't care who won. Then of course they cemented it by Stroman, Corbin, Jericho, Goldman, and Reigns all get major shine - with Orton, who was the worst getting the win. At least it was a surprise... a surprise in how stupid I am to think they might let of the anointed ones fade into oblivion. Right where he belongs.
   1814. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 30, 2017 at 04:21 PM (#5392763)
So who SHOULD have won the Rumble?

Who would be the one main eventing, and who would be his opponent?

   1815. Man o' Schwar Posted: January 30, 2017 at 04:32 PM (#5392771)
Watching that show made me realize how much I don't like WWE right now.

Which is so sad, because the roster of potential choices is miles ahead of any roster they've ever had previously. They could put together a WM card of stellar matches featuring guys at the top of their games, each match working to outdo the previous one, employing a variety of styles and exciting movesets.

Instead, we're going to get 90 minutes of Shaq/Big Show, UT/Reigns, and Goldberg/Lesnar to close the show.
   1816. Chokeland Bill Posted: January 30, 2017 at 04:46 PM (#5392786)
So who SHOULD have won the Rumble?

Who would be the one main eventing, and who would be his opponent?


Assuming the everything leading up to last night went the same? There aren't really any great choices. Reasonable possibilities would be:

5. Samoa Joe debuting, winning and facing Cena. Problem is Joe's lack of notoriety, but debuting with a Rumble win would help. They would have another PPV to build him, but the best opponents would presumably be in the EC title match, and there's no reason for Joe to be in that if he won the Rumble.

4. Jericho wins and faces Owens. This has been the 1 or 1A story on Raw for months. The problem is Owens lacks credibility and star power. He would have had to go over Roman "clean" (the brass knucks is clean enough in a match where both guys were using weapons) and that would have helped.

3. Finn Balor winning and facing Roman. Have Roman in his tweener mode from the AJ feud. I have my doubts on Balor, but he's one of the only guys who hasn't been killed by booking and at least has some chance of being popular with both marks and smarks.

2. If Taker were in say, fall 2015 shape, then Taker winning and facing Cena is a completely legit main event that has a lot of reasons to happen. After seeing Taker last night, I understand not going with it (though I don't understand doing Roman-Taker instead).

1. Orton and AJ win last night, face off at Mania. This would have a lot of potential and might have enough star power since the Lesnar-Goldberg match is enough bait for the casuals. They would just have to blow off the Orton/Wyatt angle sooner. I like this one the most.
   1817. Man o' Schwar Posted: January 30, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5392787)
So who SHOULD have won the Rumble?

If they wanted to bring someone back from a match earlier in the night at #30, it should have been Styles. Let him win, and challenge Cena at WM in the main event. They work tremendously well together, and given 30+ minutes in the Mania setting they could have torn the house down.

You could have had Zayn win and challenge Owens. Rollins, same story (plus the whole "banned from the RR" thing, which would have created some more drama when it turns out that he only got in because the SD GMs let him in). If you really wanted to have a part timer win, let Lesnar win it - make him back and very pissed off over what happened at Survivor Series. He cleans house, including Goldberg. Then (because they seem dead set on making it a title match), have Goldberg beat Owens at the next PPV, and then Lesnar/Goldberg fight at WM. They're doing it anyway, but I don't get why at this point - Goldberg has beaten him soundly twice in about 2 minutes total time. Lesnar 100% should have eliminated him last night, to make it 1-1 going to the rubber match.

You'd have to set up some story lines to have other guys win. Wyatt could have won. Ambrose could have won. I'd have been interested to see what they might have done with a New Day guy winning - the tag team itself is stale as old bread, but one of them going after a title that the other two might want is at least something new. A returning Finn Balor, back to reclaim the title he never lost, that's another one (I think I read he's officially healthy again). The Miz - he had a great 2016, and winning here would be more fuel for the fire of his feud with Bryan leading up to Mania.

(And that's putting aside the idea of elevating someone like Joe or Nakamura from NXT and having them win the Rumble in their debut.)

Orton's not a terrible choice, but he's a very boring choice. It's like having Sheamus win. No one cares. You'll get a decent match with some very predictable moves, nothing we haven't see 100 times before. Does anyone really care whether Orton is or is not the champion at this point? He could go the rest of his career not fighting for titles, and I doubt it would matter to much of anyone.
   1818. Chokeland Bill Posted: January 30, 2017 at 04:55 PM (#5392798)
Does anyone really care whether Orton is or is not the champion at this point?


I don't know, Orton has been getting great crowd reactions for months. A lot of people are bored with him, but he's still more over than basically anyone on Raw. Cena and AJ are really the only guys who consistently get a bigger reaction.
   1819. Man o' Schwar Posted: January 30, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5392813)
Orton has been getting great crowd reactions for months. A lot of people are bored with him, but he's still more over than basically anyone on Raw.

This is true, but in the same way that most guys who have been around will get great crowd reactions. They're established stars, and people like that. Orton will never not get cheered for busting out an RKO, or a hanging DDT. That's just what happens.

He's kind of transcended the need to put the title on him, in the same way that Cena has (for the record, I didn't like that result last night either). They don't need the titles, or the title matches, or the main events at WM, to be over with the crowd. WWE needs to use those things to build new stars so that, 5 or 10 years from now, they're not still bringing back 45-year-old Orton and 50-year-old Cena and sticking them in the WM 43 main event "1000th in a Lifetime" match.

Put your part-timers and your legends and your celebrities on the card to get people to watch, but put your new stars in the big matches to get people to appreciate and learn to cheer them. Or put your legends in matches with new stars, and let the new stars win. Having Orton as the champion accomplishes nothing for the company, and keeps someone else from being in that spot to create a new brand that the company can build on.

(And part of the reason that Orton is more over than everyone else is that few others have been booked to that level. If they did a better job with that, then they wouldn't have to trot out the same old guys year after year in hopes of getting people to watch the PPV.)
   1820. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: January 30, 2017 at 05:26 PM (#5392822)
"So who SHOULD have won the Rumble?"

5 cm punk
4 styles
3 roode
2 colt cabana
1 daivari
   1821. Chokeland Bill Posted: January 30, 2017 at 05:27 PM (#5392823)
And part of the reason that Orton is more over than everyone else is that few others have been booked to that level. If they did a better job with that, then they wouldn't have to trot out the same old guys year after year in hopes of getting people to watch the PPV.


This is about as true as it gets.

I'm fine with Orton winning, because he's very good when he cares and he seems to care lately. I don't think the Wyatt match is the way to go, but Orton-AJ I think would be great as A. a potentially excellent match B. a match that hasn't happened before C. a reward for AJ for carrying the company while still meeting Vince's need for an established main eventer in that spot.
   1822. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 01, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5394102)
Rollins is hurt again
   1823. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 01, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5394107)
Rollins is hurt again

He's going to end up getting left behind at this point. I guess it depends on how long he's out, but another knee injury is not a great harbinger for the future. WWE is unlikely to heavily push someone who could be out for 6 months at a moment's notice.

Hopefully it turns out to be relatively minor and he can still make WM. If not, there's no way they can drag this HHH storyline out to next year's WM. They'll have to blow it off at a lesser PPV (maybe Summerslam or Survivor Series), if they do it at all.
   1824. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 01, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5394110)
2 colt cabana


Dreidel Gershovitz
   1825. aberg Posted: February 01, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5394137)
Too bad about Rollins. The feud with HHH/Joe was shaping up as very interesting; one of the brighter spots on the Mania card.

I don't blame Joe at all, but he has now been in a main roster WWE ring twice and has ended Tyson Kidd's career and possibly sidetracked Rollins' badly.
   1826. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 01, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5394145)
They did used to chant "Joe's gonna kill you". Apparently they weren't far off.
   1827. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 01, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5394165)
So now what happens to Joe? And Rollins?
I guess they can leave Rollins on the sidelines and say Joe put him out of commission.
But then who does HHH sic Joe on next?
   1828. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: February 01, 2017 at 04:01 PM (#5394191)

I don't blame Joe at all, but he has now been in a main roster WWE ring twice and has ended Tyson Kidd's career and possibly sidetracked Rollins' badly.


I didn't really watch much TNA so I'm not real familiar with Joe's history--is he considered a dangerous wrestler?

My comment on this year's Rumble was that it wasn't great but at least the winner wasnt obvious going in, unlike the year when Reigns got booed out of the arena after winning
   1829. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 01, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5394200)
Both injuries were pretty flukish. Kidd got hurt by the Muscle Buster, which doesn't look any more dangerous than any other move that throws the opponent to the mat. It certainly seems safer than a super-plex, though I guess maybe the fact there's less release to the move makes it more risky? Maybe his head was just sitting wrong? Hard to say. It's definitely safer than the Styles Clash, aka the worst move in wrestling.

With Rollins it looks like his foot just caught the mat as they were going to the ground and twisted funny on the already bad knee. Same kind of thing where a running back plants wrong when making a cut.
   1830. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 01, 2017 at 04:36 PM (#5394214)
Both injuries were pretty flukish. Kidd got hurt by the Muscle Buster, which doesn't look any more dangerous than any other move that throws the opponent to the mat. It certainly seems safer than a super-plex, though I guess maybe the fact there's less release to the move makes it more risky?


The first time I ever saw that move was when it was done to a friend of mine who was wrestling in IWA Mid-South. After the matches were over and we were driving to grab a bite I asked him, "What the hell was that move? How do you protect yourself?" And he said it was an easy bump - very easy - UNLESS you got your head angled funny when you were first lifted up and positioned, because it was very difficult to readjust yourself from that position. I didn't see the Kidd bout, but perhaps that's what happened?
   1831. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 01, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5394221)
I would guess that has to be it. So then it would be on Joe to not do the drop until the opponent is positioned better, but if that was the first time he's ever hurt someone with it he wouldn't necessarily know there was a problem. Scary, since Tyson almost died on it (they said something like 5% chance of surviving and 5% of not being crippled if he survived).
   1832. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 01, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5394240)
And I think Kidd has said 100% that he doesn't blame Joe, and that Joe didn't do anything wrong. It was more of a fluke than anything else. I've never thought of Joe as a dangerous guy. He's a big guy and he can really get moving with a lot of momentum (kind of like Bray Wyatt), but I never noticed that he works recklessly the way that someone like Ryback used to.

Who else has a beef with HHH? And/or, who is available to back up Rollins and take on Joe as revenge? Part of me wants to say Ambrose (just as a former Shield thing) - I don't know that he had a firm WM plan, but he's also on the wrong brand. Maybe they could work out a temporary trade - Ambrose to RAW through WM (give or take) in exchange for someone who could come take his place for a WM ladder match or something similar. Zayn maybe? He and Bryan always seem to be on good terms. Then you do Ambrose/Joe at the next PPV, and Ambrose/HHH at WM.

Or you could do Roman, but then again no one wants to see HHH/Roman at WM again this year. Plus I'm sure he has to go retire the Undertaker.

Or nothing, and just leave HHH off the card this year (though I still don't know what that means you do with Joe). You could hold off on breaking up Owens/Jericho, and do Owens/Joe for the title, but I'm not sure how willing they would be to go heel/heel for the title at their biggest show.

Or you throw a million dollars at CM Punk and bring him back.
   1833. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 01, 2017 at 05:20 PM (#5394244)
HHH vs Shane

Joe vs .... Sami?
   1834. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: February 01, 2017 at 05:30 PM (#5394254)
Or you throw a million dollars at CM Punk and bring him back.
yes.

or colt cabana. if you're in front of a #smark crowd, colt cabana coming out to cm punk's music will get as big a reaction as cm punk would. and it'd be 1/100th the cost.
   1835. aberg Posted: February 01, 2017 at 05:42 PM (#5394261)
Joe vs Angle? Joe and HHH against Shane and Angle?
   1836. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: February 01, 2017 at 06:16 PM (#5394283)
@1832, that was my first thought as well, that Rollins was going to have to put together a year or two of injury free performing before he got another title push. We may have seen the end of regular main event singles competition Rollins.

Anybody else wonder about the cross-fit stuff? I've heard it's not really good for joints.
   1837. aberg Posted: February 01, 2017 at 06:21 PM (#5394287)
@1832, that was my first thought as well, that Rollins was going to have to put together a year or two of injury free performing before he got another title push. We may have seen the end of regular main event singles competition Rollins.

Anybody else wonder about the cross-fit stuff? I've heard it's not really good for joints.


My first reaction is that he will have to probably wear a brace from now on and that he will probably have to alter his style pretty significantly. Austin was never the same type of high flyer, but he successfully transitioned from being a technician to a brawler when his knees went out. I was surprised that Rollins went back to such a risky style so quickly after coming back. It seems like he has the ring intelligence to work a safer style and still build drama.
   1838. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: February 01, 2017 at 07:34 PM (#5394331)
@1837, as an unrepentant Rollins mark I hope that's how it works out.
   1839. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 01, 2017 at 08:05 PM (#5394340)
I would guess that has to be it. So then it would be on Joe to not do the drop until the opponent is positioned better, but if that was the first time he's ever hurt someone with it he wouldn't necessarily know there was a problem.


I'm not sure that's entirely fair since the man doing the lift doesn't have a good view of his opponent's head, and going by "feel" on a blind shoulder is probably not very accurate. The man being lifted needs to be aware of what the risky aspect of the move is since they can't protect themselves properly; consider the Styles Clash, which is dangerous primarily because wrestlers spend their whole careers being trained to tuck their chins when they're slammed. Do that in the Style Clash and you'll break your neck.

I would guess - just guess - that the proper protocol if you're misaligned in a Muscle Buster is to warn your opponent, "Don't go, I'm not set", like if you haven't gotten extension when you're going to receive a brainbuster. I don't see any reason why it should be a particularly dangerous move as long as the guys are working safely, or at least no more dangerous than any of a dozen other moves where you have to completely trust your opponent to protect your body.
   1840. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 02, 2017 at 09:42 AM (#5394506)
Apparently Seth is out 6-8 weeks, so the Mania match might still be on.
   1841. aberg Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5394709)
Apparently Seth is out 6-8 weeks, so the Mania match might still be on.


Still makes me wonder if he will be in a condition to wrestle a GOOD Wrestlemania match in 8 weeks.
   1842. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 06, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5396695)
So KO is likely to lose the title to Goldberg and then win the US title from Jericho. Less than two years after his debut. All he will need to be the fastest grand slam champ in history is the tag titles. The face turn with Sami writes itself, doesn't it?
   1843. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 07, 2017 at 03:28 PM (#5397346)
Samoa Joe and Austin Aries both did a really good job with the scripted promos last night. The biggest flaw in WWE's developmental system is training people for the actual promos they will be forced to do on the main roster. The long-term indie guys who basically skip the PC seem to do a much better job with it.
   1844. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 07, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5397381)
Still makes me wonder if he will be in a condition to wrestle a GOOD Wrestlemania match in 8 weeks.


Something tells me Wrestlemania 33 isn't going to be about "GOOD matches."
   1845. aberg Posted: February 07, 2017 at 04:11 PM (#5397386)
Something tells me Wrestlemania 33 isn't going to be about "GOOD matches."


If they really waste Styles on Shane, you're definitely right.
   1846. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 07, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5397392)
Depending on Rollin's Wolverine healing power, they may end up with five different matches featuring one or more people who can't really do anything.
   1847. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 07, 2017 at 05:15 PM (#5397421)
Meltzer said today that WWE expects Rollins to be back in time. But yeah, that match is almost certainly going to be ponderous. Like with Roman, HHH needs a quicker guy to work off of and Rollins will probably be too hobbled to back it up.

Apparently the Cena match is a mixed-tag with Nikki against Miz and Maryse. Kind of a waste of both guys.

It's funny how there were reports that after the Okada/Omega match that WWE was going to try for a really great main event. If that's true they are very confused as to how a great main event looks. Right now the only two matches that look they could possibly be good are Owens/Jericho and Bray/Randy. I am doubtful of Jericho being capable of great at this point, and Randy generally plays it too safe to be great. I suppose they could pull something out of Goldberg/Lesnar by following the Hogan/Warrior or Roman/Lesnar templates.
   1848. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 08, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5397582)
So top indy star Chris Hero/Kassius Ohno/Chris Spradlin is returning to NXT, which I think is great. He's a good worker and really loves the business.

A few days ago I got a call from a friend of mine who said Chris was being interviewed on a podcast about his return to NXT and he mentioned me by name as someone who helped him appreciate the history and psychology of wrestling. I was stunned to hear this, because although I had indeed spent a few days with Chris and some other wrestlers early in his career, it was literally just a few days, way back when I lived in Memphis, followed by a few emails and Facebook messages over the next dozen years. But Chris was always the most thoughtful and considerate person even back then, and he's a guy who deserves success in the industry because he works hard and shows respect to everyone.

THIS is what I remember him looking like back then. "You look like Cory Feldman in marching band pants."
   1849. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 13, 2017 at 03:35 PM (#5400771)
I was surprised by how convincingly Wyatt won last night. Clean pins on the top two guys. I was really expecting Orton to do the lights out teleport and hit an RKO on AJ, turning AJ face. The way they did it really helps Bray.

Pretty lame PPV other than the main event.
   1850. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 13, 2017 at 03:49 PM (#5400781)
I will say that they got almost the entire roster onto the PPV, given the 12-man tag match, 6-man title match, and 3 separate women's matches. If you throw out people who are hurt, and people who are barely with the company (Kenny/Mikey), the only one who didn't appear was Jack Swagger. Poor Jack.

I'm happy to see Wyatt win - it's overdue. I'll be happier if they don't just put the belt directly on Orton at WM. Orton as champion always bores me (of course, Orton in general bores me). I'd rather see Wyatt feuding with Harper for the title. Speaking of which, Harper looked like a million bucks last night, and he seems to have some crowd following behind him.

I assume the Ascension is officially dead now and will be part of the post-WM culling that happens every year. If they can't win after hitting their finisher on a guy who has already been beaten down by another team, they're not going to beat anyone.

(I don't like what they're doing with American Alpha. All of a sudden, it feels like they're being put into the classic WWE position of "hey babyface, look at all these odds! It would be a shame if someone had to... overcome them...")

Also - I know Naomi has been around forever, and this was probably some kind of a lifetime thank you award, but... Naomi? Bliss is nothing special, but there are several better options on that roster to hold the belt.
   1851. Hot Wheeling American Posted: February 13, 2017 at 04:14 PM (#5400797)
Only saw Orton/Harper and the main, but aside from the tag team mess (which I guess is a big 'aside', as it accounted for 12 guys), this seemed like a decent card. Two questions: (i) why that result in the women's title match? It seemed like they have something decent in Bliss. (ii) why use Cena as a one month transitional champ? I get wanting to get him a win back against Styles, but then why book them together at the Rumble? Why couldn't have Styles gone into the chamber with the belt? And, if the terrible rumors are true and they may try for Styles/Shane at 'mania, wouldn't having AJ upset at Shane over making him defend in the chamber be as good a reason for tension as they'll land on?
   1852. Hot Wheeling American Posted: February 13, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5400803)
I will say that they got almost the entire roster onto the PPV, given the 12-man tag match, 6-man title match, and 3 separate women's matches. If you throw out people who are hurt, and people who are barely with the company (Kenny/Mikey), the only one who didn't appear was Jack Swagger. Poor Jack.


Damn, you ain't kidding

Hadn't seen most of those real names before. Nicholas Nemeth!
   1853. aberg Posted: February 13, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5400806)
(i) why that result in the women's title match? It seemed like they have something decent in Bliss.


I had the same question. Does it really matter if she is the champ going into her home town? As usual, with questionable women's booking decisions, I assume it has something to do with storylines on the reality show.

(ii) why use Cena as a one month transitional champ? I get wanting to get him a win back against Styles, but then why book them together at the Rumble? Why couldn't have Styles gone into the chamber with the belt? And, if the terrible rumors are true and they may try for Styles/Shane at 'mania, wouldn't having AJ upset at Shane over making him defend in the chamber be as good a reason for tension as they'll land on?


Again, I also spent some time thinking about that. My best guess is that this scenario has something to do with getting heat between Miz and Cena. Maybe Miz costs Cena his rematch against Bray because Cena stood in the way of Miz achieving his big win? I don't particularly like it either and think it would have made more sense to just let AJ hold the title until this point.

Maybe I was just in an unusually good mood, but I really enjoyed the PPV. I thought the main event was very entertaining and I like that they are finally pushing all in on Bray. He is home grown, relatively young, charismatic, and a very good worker. It feels different to have him as the champion because it doesn't feel transitional. Orton and Harper were also very good together. Harper and Cesaro are the two non-main event guys whose matches I enjoy the most and I think Harper will benefit from a real singles run. I thought both Becky-Mickey and Nikki-Natalya were better than I expected.

Did anyone see the Hiromu Takahashi-Dragon Lee match from NJPW New Beginning this weekend? They took some insane chances on spots that I have never seen anywhere else. The Elgin-Naito main event was probably a better match overall, but that one is going to stick in my mind for a long time.
   1854. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: February 13, 2017 at 05:00 PM (#5400834)
Last night was a prime example of backstage producers in the announcers' headsets making them look like idiots. As soon as the final three count in the main event was made, everybody at that table should've been chirping about the ramifications of Wyatt Family members facing off at WrestleMania. Instead, they were apparently prompted to act like they totally forgot about that aspect of the match until well after Orton was on the ramp. Didn't one of them suggest Orton was coming out to congratulate Bray? Gah.
   1855. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 13, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5400835)
My best guess is that this scenario has something to do with getting heat between Miz and Cena.

I think they started setting up the WM match last night. Not necessarily by having Cena beat Miz in the chamber match, but... in the backstage segment, when Natalya attacked Nikki. Nikki bumped into someone in the background, sending powder flying everywhere. If I'm not mistaken, I think that was Maryse who got a faceful of powder courtesty of Nikki.

I assume that will be the trigger between the women that gets this thing moving forward toward a match.
   1856. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 13, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5400861)
Since Cena isn't going to be working a full schedule, I think they just wanted to get #16 out of the way because the real angle is #17.

Naomi isn't really all that great, but she is fairly popular with the live crowd and the entrance makes her stand out. Nikki Bella is going to become a part-timer (her neck is apparently not as healthy as they were hoping) so that division is really lacking in star power and there's no one ready in NXT that they can call up to help. Creative is kind of forced to throw people in spots they may not be ready for and see who swims and who sinks. It worked a bit with Alexa, and now time to try and make someone else. I think they need to move Paige over to Smackdown if/when she gets back and maybe play up the movie the Rock is doing about her.

Alexa is really, really good at mannerisms and promos, possibly the best woman in the company, but she can't really go yet in the ring. That's kind of the whole problem with the Smackdown division. It's Becky and Natalya trying to carry every else to matches that aren't half as good as what Raw gets. Mickie will help a little there. The other women mostly just know how to move from spot to spot and don't necessarily even execute those that well. The finish to the title match last night was brutal.

Both brands have a depth issue. If the women's tournament they are going to do works out, that should help fill out both rosters in the long run.

The tag division is basically dead in the water. I felt pretty bad for American Alpha getting basically no reaction last night after being white-hot in NXT. There's talent there. AA are good. The Usos are good. Heath and Rhino are good. Breeze and Fandango are good. But creative has completely let everyone down outside of the initial Heath story and the really brief Wyatts run.
   1857. aberg Posted: February 13, 2017 at 06:51 PM (#5400909)
I think they started setting up the WM match last night. Not necessarily by having Cena beat Miz in the chamber match, but... in the backstage segment, when Natalya attacked Nikki. Nikki bumped into someone in the background, sending powder flying everywhere. If I'm not mistaken, I think that was Maryse who got a faceful of powder courtesty of Nikki.


Yes, that was Maryse, and I also suspect that's the motivation. Cena pinned Miz in the chamber, which was probably not a mistake. I expect them to do some sort of story in which Miz thinks Cena cost him his title and spot at Mania, so he does the same to Cena and prevents him from beating Bray in their rematch. Maryse is already mad at Nikki for the makeup incident, and... feud!

The tag division is basically dead in the water. I felt pretty bad for American Alpha getting basically no reaction last night after being white-hot in NXT. There's talent there. AA are good. The Usos are good. Heath and Rhino are good. Breeze and Fandango are good. But creative has completely let everyone down outside of the initial Heath story and the really brief Wyatts run.


It seems that over the last several years, it has taken longer for the crowd to respond to guys whose great strength is in the ring (Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, AA) than to guys who are good on the mic or gimmicky (Enzo and Cass, Fandango, Funksaurus). In the long run, the former are obviously more popular than the latter, but it takes some patience to really get them over.
   1858. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 13, 2017 at 11:14 PM (#5401032)
Bayley and Charlotte were great tonight, much better than the Rumble match. I'm a bit baffled by the result though. I guess Charlotte wins it back at the PPV, part 4?
   1859. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 13, 2017 at 11:49 PM (#5401040)
I guess they can have Bayley forfeit the title due to the interference to build some more heat. Then pay it off with the win at Mania. I don't think they should have had the full celebration tonight if that is the plan.

The Festival of Friendship was pretty great.
   1860. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:44 AM (#5401072)
If they can put Teddy Long into the WWE Hall of Fame, it's time to close the make-believe joint for a couple of years of make-believe renovations. Next week, the WWE Hall of Fame proudly welcomes Friendship the Magician.
   1861. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:00 AM (#5401095)
Now playa, don't be a hata.

I assume he's getting in for his stellar work as the manager of Doom.
   1862. rconn23 Posted: February 14, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5401277)
The Festival of Friendship was one of the best segments in years on Raw. I know they are going to make Goldberg and Lesnar a 5-min. match for the title at Mania, but I think the Owens-Jericho feud is the much better story and deserves to be the title match.
   1863. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5401322)
The Festival of Friendship was one of the best segments in years on Raw.

It really was. They both played their parts perfectly - I liked Owens' increasingly befuddled reactions to the various gifts, and Jericho's smarmy over-the-top friendship is just great.

Owens needed this, and it's unfortunate that he'll probably get squashed by Goldberg in a few weeks. He's in position now to be the kind of badass heel that he should have been for the last year, rather than the kind of comedy heel who needs Jericho's help to beat people. We need a return of the Owens who showed up on NXT and just beat people until the refs stopped the match.

Assuming Goldberg takes the title from Owens, and then Lesnar beats Goldberg at WM, I have no idea where they go next with the title. I assume it will be Lesnar being fed to Roman, in another futile attempt to get Roman over with the crowd.
   1864. aberg Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:10 PM (#5401325)
The last hour of raw- Festival of Friendship and Bayley-Charlotte- was about as much fun as I have had watching wrestling on TV in the last few years. It was all put together really well and executed even better. Good job by everyone involved.
   1865. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5401329)
When Georgia Championship Wrestling ran our high school monthly in the late 70s, we'd get there early to see the wrestlers arrive and then we'd go in the second they opened the gym. The first guy we always saw was Teddy, in his t-shirt and jean shorts, working as part of the ring setup crew. I'm glad for the guy. Talk about working your way up.
   1866. aberg Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5401330)
Assuming Goldberg takes the title from Owens, and then Lesnar beats Goldberg at WM, I have no idea where they go next with the title. I assume it will be Lesnar being fed to Roman, in another futile attempt to get Roman over with the crowd.


I hadn't considered it until just now, but is it possible that Lesnar interferes to cost Goldberg the Fastlane match and Owens keeps the belt?
   1867. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5401364)
Goldberg winning the title is in Lesnar's best interests. He already has a match with Goldberg signed and now he can get the title as well.

Best case for KO in the Goldberg match is that his new outlook lets him make the match last a few minutes rather than just getting killed immediately. That's really what they should do. It helps KO a bit, and it helps Goldberg get at least a little bit of practice in before the presumed main event of Wrestlemania.

I imagine KO is just going to be murdered.
   1868. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 14, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5401485)
I imagine KO is just going to be murdered.

Yeah, me too. It would be nice to see them use this opportunity to push the story that Goldberg isn't 100% invincible, and they could even make it look like KO might win until Jericho interferes somehow and Goldberg regains the upper hand. That helps push both story lines forward.

I'm in the camp who believes that Goldberg/Lesnar doesn't need the title to help sell the match, so I would wholeheartedly approve of any plan that kept the belt on KO and made KO/Jericho a match for the title at WM. But I don't think there are any McMahons in that camp.
   1869. aberg Posted: February 14, 2017 at 02:52 PM (#5401509)
When I was 13, my friend won a radio call-in contest to meet wrestlers before a WCW event in Fargo (I think it was this show). The wrestlers who were there were Goldberg and Jericho. Goldberg had just won the US Title and Jericho was the TV champion. There were probably 20 people at the meet and greet, about 18 of them were trying to shake hands with Goldberg. This was fairly early in his streak, but he was very popular and had a pretty big personality. Jericho was fairly quietly at his table and ate some of the pizza. My friend and I both LOVED Jericho and spent the whole time there talking to him and picking his brain. Somewhere, there's a picture of us with him and the TV belt. I wish I still had that picture. He was such a nice guy and I have remained a big fan ever since.

So here we are, 19 years later, and I'm STILL lamenting that Goldberg gets the spotlight that Jericho deserves.
   1870. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 14, 2017 at 06:02 PM (#5401732)
If he really wanted to beat Goldberg, KO should have waited until he could get Jericho to teach him the best way to do a front-face lock.
   1871. rconn23 Posted: February 15, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5402103)
I don't think the Lesnar-Goldberg match needs the title, and when Lesnar wins it he's definitely being fed to Reigns, probably at Summerslam. And it still won't get Reigns over as a face.

If they have Goldberg just destroy Owens it makes no sense. Jericho and Lesnar will likely both interfere.
   1872. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: February 15, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5402154)
A few days ago I got a call from a friend of mine who said Chris was being interviewed on a podcast about his return to NXT and he mentioned me by name as someone who helped him appreciate the history and psychology of wrestling.

That's pretty cool, YR


One thing that is minimizing John Cena matches and title matches in general is the 287 non-finishes with his AA finisher and whatever his opponent/opponents finishers are. Last night's triple threat was full of non-finishes like that. It was a good match but you have a great match without resorting to minimizing the finishing moves of each wrestler

   1873. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 16, 2017 at 12:20 AM (#5402701)
but you have a great match without resorting to minimizing the finishing moves of each wrestler


I agree. The better option is to have the finishing moves broken up/interrupted/escaped each time, instead of kicking out after the fact.

Unless, while doing the move, the attacker injures himself...or sells a previous knee/back injury and can't get to the prone opponent in a reasonable time and thus allows the kick out. The idea of doing the finishing move and having the opponent kick out should be a huge surprise, not a common occurrence.
   1874. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5410721)
That Cena/Miz/Nikki/Maryse thing on Smackdown was amazing.

I would not have cared about a Cena/Miz match at all, but them ripping each other like that was great and NOW I care.
   1875. aberg Posted: March 01, 2017 at 02:14 PM (#5410896)
The Orton vignette went way further than WWE usually goes and it worked very well. I certainly didn't see this story evolving into Wyatt becoming the sympathetic character. Smackdown has done a good job of getting from Point A to Point Z with these guys in a way that never felt boring or obvious.
   1876. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 02, 2017 at 02:37 AM (#5411278)
I hated that Orton/Wyatt vignette more than I've hated anything on WWE TV in years. This whole angle has done nothing for me, and adding Orton's terrible acting with a nonsensical, don't want this title shot, nevermind, I'm gonna go ahead and turn now didn't help.
   1877. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 02, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5411435)
The 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards are out. Some selected results:

LOU THESZ/RIC FLAIR AWARD

(WRESTLER OF THE YEAR)

1. A.J. STYLES (462) 2.920
2. Kazuchika Okada (285) 2,637
3. Tetsuya Naito (190) 2,610
4. Kenny Omega (79) 1,530
5. Kento Miyahara (10) 189
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi (5) 145
7. Chris Hero (3) 134
8. Volador Jr. (16) 125
9. Kevin Owens (2) 99
10. Shinsuke Nakamura (3) 73

FEUD OF THE YEAR

1. CONOR MCGREGOR VS. NATE DIAZ (677) 3,582
2. John Cena vs. A.J. Styles (38) 940
3. Los Ingobernables en Japon vs. Chaos (47) 848
4. Charlotte vs Sasha Banks (41) 566
5. Gargano & Ciampa vs. Dawson & Wilder (32) 500
6. Dragon Lee vs. Kamaitachi (57) 386
7. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (30) 365
8. Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll (27) 317
9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada (36) 273
10. Jay Lethal vs Adam Cole (16) 220

TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR

1. YOUNG BUCKS (599) 3,801
2. Scott Dawson& Dash Wilder (323) 2,456
3. Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano (21) 1,059
4. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi (69) 689
5. New Day (11) 365
6. Ricochet & Matt Sydal (9) 293
7. Jason Jordan & Chad Gable (2) 273
8. Zeus & The Bodyguard (17) 195
9. Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani (23) 191
10. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian 117

MOST IMPROVED

1. MATT RIDDLE (190) 1,026
2. The Miz (127) 1,020
3. Juice Robinson (83) 991
4. Alexa Bliss (61) 558
5. Zeus (64) 513
6. Yoshi-Hashi (47) 452
7. Kenny Omega (76) 395
8. Charlotte (35) 393
9. Braun Strowman (26) 356
10. Jeff Cobb (10) 351

BEST ON INTERVIEWS

1. CONOR MCGREGOR (627) 3,468
2. The Miz (106) 924
3. Chris Jericho (32) 909
4. Kevin Owens (36) 787
5. Paul Heyman (35) 495
6. Kenny Omega (39) 376
7. Dominick Cruz (21) 299
8. Enzo Amore (7) 247
9. Matt Hardy (22) 243
10. Tetsuya Naito (18) 226

   1878. aberg Posted: March 02, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5411477)
Too low: Owens for WOTY, Miz-Ziggler Feud, Matt Hardy Interviews
Too high: All of AJPW (might as well include US indies with their limited profile), Lethal vs. Cole Feud, Omega Improved (he was already amazing)
Seems like there should have been SOME mention of LU. Cobb and Riccochet are mostly known for that and both made the list for other things.
   1879. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 05, 2017 at 11:07 PM (#5413069)
This was a really bad PPV. The booking for Roman/Braun and Bayley/Charlotte is perplexing. The Neville match was good.
   1880. Hot Wheeling American Posted: March 05, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5413071)
Two moves. I guess some people like that?
   1881. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 06, 2017 at 10:40 AM (#5413227)
Yeah, this should go down as one of the worst PPVs in recent memory, at least in terms of booking decisions. The last 3 matches were just silly. They've built their new Women's champion as someone who can't win without outside interference (which is just what you want out of your most likeable babyface), they killed the Strowman momentum in yet another futile effort to make people care about Roman Reigns, and destroyed your longest tenured universal champion by having him lose in 30 seconds to a 52-year-old man who hasn't wrestled in a decade.

There should be an over/under pool - what will be the total in-ring time for Goldberg in his 4 matches with WWE (Lesnar, Rumble, Owens, and then Lesnar again)? Lesnar I + Owens is about 2 minutes. He was in the Rumble for 3:21. So that's about 5 minutes give or take so far. I don't think the WM match will go more than 10 minutes. So that would be about 15 minutes of work, plus a few promos, for lord knows how much money they gave him to do this.

The Neville match was great. He and Jack Gallagher should just travel the country beating the crap out of each other on street corners for money. Everything else was meh or worse.

Seriously, a terrible PPV. This was as bad as last year's Wrestlemania, and that's saying something. It also gives me no real hope that this year's WM is going to be any better.

   1882. aberg Posted: March 06, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5413270)
I'm one of the more positive wrestling fans and can usually find something to enjoy in almost every WWE show. 1881 is right that Neville-Gallagher was really fun. I thought Joe-Sami was solid, too. Literally everything else on the show sucked.

First, they took three up and coming characters who have been very successful since the brand split and made them look bad for no obvious reason (Strowman, Charlotte, KO). Strowman got the treatment that Hogan opponents would get. Months of monster build and then the hero miraculously takes him down at the big PPV. Except it wasn't a big PPV and it wasn't even the main event.

Charlotte (one of the two purest heels in WWE right now, with the Miz), basically lost when a babyface interfered to help another babyface.

The main event of the wrestling show was promoted as a wrestling match and wasn't a wrestling match. I don't care if it's Goldberg or Jushin Liger, if you tell me I'm getting a wrestling match and then don't deliver it, I'm going to be disappointed. Also, way to make Owens look like a total chump. If the company thinks of him as fodder for more muscular guys, then why give him a 6 month title run? Why not build up someone else instead? I guess the answer is that this time was always meant for Balor, but that's cold comfort.

No Taker, no HHH, no Brock. What a great way to get everyone excited for the biggest show of the year. Blow up the themes and storylines that have been building through the year and have your most charismatic stars nowhere to be seen.
   1883. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 06, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5413315)
When I see Strowman right now, I see Rusev two years ago. Build him up as an unbeatable monster, until he runs into Cena. Then have Cena beat him at 3 straight PPVs, including beating him at Rusev's supposed specialty match. Next thing you know, he's throwing fish at Lana and bickering with Jinder Mahal. Rusev never again has gotten close to where he was, despite the fact that he's good in the ring and great on the mic.

Yes, the superhuman heel brute who ultimately gets his comeuppance from the shining face is a staple of old-school wrestling storytelling... but I don't think you do it at a nothing PPV like this. Also, it worked in the territory system because big guys like this could come to a new territory, wreck havoc for 3-6 months, lose to the local favorite, and then move on to the next territory and do it again. It worked for Kamala and One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy and dozens of other smaller names. But you don't keep them on the roster afterward and turn them into comedy acts.

(What makes it worse is that it feels like Strowman has really improved in the ring in the last 6 months. He's having good matches with other power guys, and he's young enough to build around as a future tentpole for the franchise. He really seems like he's trying to make himself into a good wrestler, and when you've got his natural size and strength it doesn't take too much technical prowess to become a main event-level star. I really hope that they don't just kill him off, so 6 months from now he's back to being the equivalent of a Rosebud. But that is Vince's MO, and I'll be truly surprised if he goes another way with it.)

The whole PPV just depressed me. I'll watch WM, but I expect nothing at this point. My best hope is for some insane 20-minute ladder match with all of the guys who should be in matches at the top of the card but can't find a spot because they weren't popular in 1998.
   1884. aberg Posted: March 06, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5413334)
The whole PPV just depressed me. I'll watch WM, but I expect nothing at this point. My best hope is for some insane 20-minute ladder match with all of the guys who should be in matches at the top of the card but can't find a spot because they weren't popular in 1998.


The SD branded stuff is what gives me hope for WM.
   1885. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 06, 2017 at 02:14 PM (#5413369)
SD is better booked than Raw, but the matches we're getting aren't likely to be great.

Braun is a really talented big man. Moves very well for his size. They could still have something with him. He had to lose eventually, but Roman was not the guy. They should have had Undertaker interfere to set up the Mania match and save Braun for the next big babyface.

Sidenote: I really like that Braun has this weird quirk where he actually seeks out and acquires documentation for his big matches. The video tape with Owens giving him a title shot and then setting up the contract signing with Roman. The thinking man's monster!
   1886. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: March 06, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5413416)
I don't mind Goldberg as a person--he actually seems like he was a much better human being than many of his late 90s peers (Hogan, Hall, Nash, Michaels) but I was never a fan of the super short, run through his opponents matches. The Lesnar & Owens matches would have been much better had they lasted at least five minutes and involved offense on both sides
   1887. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 06, 2017 at 03:52 PM (#5413431)
I think the Lesnar match was exactly what it should have been if the long-term plan was to set up the rematch. A perfect surprise.

The Owens match is a little bit different, because A. at some point Goldberg should be expected to work a real match if he's going to main event the biggest show of the year B. it makes little sense for Owens to leave the ring before the bell rings instead of waiting until he can force Goldberg to spend energy chasing him C. letting Owens have a real match helps Owens and anyone Owens faces later on D. music distraction finishes always suck and make no sense. Why would the sound guy hit Jericho's music when the match is about to start but not hit Sasha's music earlier in the night? Why would the ref call for the bell when someone else is walking down with music? It's little stuff that causes things to not make sense within the show's reality.
   1888. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 06, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5413459)
Why would the sound guy hit Jericho's music when the match is about to start but not hit Sasha's music earlier in the night? Why would the ref call for the bell when someone else is walking down with music? It's little stuff that causes things to not make sense within the show's reality.

Yeah, I have real problems with this stuff too. Sasha came down, grabbed Charlotte, threw her around, and the ref did nothing. How is that not a DQ? This was not the last match, where it happened behind the ref's back. He was looking and yelling at them. I've seen a hundred DQs called for far less interference than that.

It's like the rules apply, except when they don't, and if you want consistency then you need to go watch something else. But all these cheap finishes on a PPV really leave a bad taste. You could have done this on RAW - Goldberg and Owens in the ring jawing to close the show, suddenly Jericho's music hits, Owens is distracted, spear, jackhammer, Goldberg stands tall while the show goes off the air. That's fine. But you shouldn't end PPV matches with cheap distractions. The tag title match ended with the old "leg in the ropes, but thrown off" trick, Cesaro won after Mahal got distracted, Bayley won on interference, Goldberg won on a distraction. PPVs should be for clean wins, not this crap. Save your distractions for RAW, where the unfairness of it all can be the basis for setting up a PPV match where there must be a winner...

And you've beaten Owens cheaply in a way where he's never going to get that back. Goldberg is gone after WM. It's not like he's going to show up on RAW and have a 15-minute match where Owens gets a lot of offense in.

The best case scenario here is Owens gets to fight Lesnar down the line at Summerslam or something like that, but that spot is likely being reserved for Roman to get his win back from WM 30. So they fed Strowman to Roman and Owens to Goldberg, which sets up Undertaker losing to Roman and Goldberg losing to Lesnar, and then Lesnar loses to Roman. All roads lead to Roman, who essentially disposes of 3 of the top 4 part-timers (after having beaten the 4th one at WM last year). And despite it all, fans are still going to hate him.
   1889. aberg Posted: March 06, 2017 at 05:03 PM (#5413472)
And despite it all, fans are still going to hate him.


I don't think it's "despite." I think the fact that we all believe this to be true is why many people hate him.
   1890. Hot Wheeling American Posted: March 06, 2017 at 05:11 PM (#5413476)
SD is better booked than Raw, but the matches we're getting aren't likely to be great.


Yep. I actually like what they did with Wyatt-Orton last week, even if it was obviously hokey and lame. It's just that they are usually pretty poor at creating moments that can last. That seemed like something kids watching can reference years from now (like, say, Warrior's segments with Jake and Papa Shango 25 years ago, for good or ill). But...despite liking that 'moment', I've never been into Wyatt and am not expecting much out of that match. At least they did build it.

Love both The Miz and Cena and the promos will be anywhere from fair to pretty good, but I can't expect much out of a mixed tag like that. I'm mostly just pleased they didn't initiate this because Nikki accidentally knocked into Maryse a few times backstage while fighting Natalya.

AJ-Shane - only positive is this means they are high on Styles, but it's just such an obvious waste. Wasn't Shane going to stop wrestling after getting knocked dead at Survivor Series?

Is there any chance they actually put Ambrose/Corbin on the main show?

*please no Enzo on the main show**please no Enzo on the main show*please no Enzo on the main show*please no Enzo on the main show*please no Enzo on the main show*
   1891. aberg Posted: March 06, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5413482)
*please no Enzo on the main show**please no Enzo on the main show*please no Enzo on the main show*please no Enzo on the main show*please no Enzo on the main show*


My friend and I had a debate last night about whether Enzo or Nia Jax is the worst wrestler on the main roster (we agreed that Eva Marie doesn't count). The main point of disagreement is whether Enzo's ability to do stuff that hurts himself and others makes him slightly better or slightly worse.
   1892. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 06, 2017 at 05:52 PM (#5413500)
Matches we know for sure are main card:

Lesnar v Goldberg Universal title
Taker v Roman
Cena/Nikki v Miz/Maryse
Owens v Jericho US title
Bray v Randy WWE title
AJ v Shane
Raw Women's Title 4-way (after last night I could see Nia being dropped or just Bayley/Sasha, still expect the 4-way and Sasha stealing Bayley's pin of Charlotte is the most likely finish)

Matches in question, but would be main card if they happen:

HHH v Seth
Show v Shaq

There's a lot of time to fill and people to get on the card. So Ambrose v Corbin can and should be on there at this point, especially with the presumably short main event and two matches that might not happen.

Battle Royal is probably where the Joes and Samis and Brauns go, though Joe could be involved in whatever happens with Seth/HHH. Finn v Joe is also possible (ugh). Probably main show
Smackdown Women's Title could have anywhere from 3 to 6 women involved. Probably main show, but could be pre-show.
Raw tags. Possibly/probably pre-show
Neville vs ??? (Aries?) for Cruisers. Possibly pre-show, but generally the title has been on the main card and Neville/Aries is a real match on a show that needs real matches.
AA v Usos (v everyone else?) for Smackdown tags, this almost certainly is pre-show

   1893. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 06, 2017 at 05:53 PM (#5413501)
On another note, I thought of this booking angle as I was typing that last post up:

I kind of expect a draft for the post-Mania Raw. This is the first time in a while that NXT doesn't really have a ton of people really demanding call-ups (Nakamura is basically it), so they need a different way to shake things up. The main reasons for it are

- Charlotte needs to go to Smackdown or have someone come over because they don't have any faces for her to feud with given the almost certain Sasha/Bayley feud and Charlotte deserves to stay in a big role. A returning Paige could feud with Charlotte but ehhhhhh.
- AJ probably going to Raw as an end to the Shane feud. Hard for them to be co-workers after that.

But, instead of a draft, how about an AJ for Charlotte trade? Open the show with Kurt Angle replacing Foley (who is leaving for surgery) as GM, where he announces bombshell trade of AJ for an equivalent talent. Drag it out for most of the show before announcing Charlotte.

   1894. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 06, 2017 at 07:46 PM (#5413543)
[1889]And therein lies my biggest issue with today's wrestling fans. Reigns hatred has nothing to do with the performance, it's because they just know that he's being pushed over their worthy fat guys from the indies. "You can't tell me what to do mannn!!!"

Nevermind that he's never been booked to the unstoppable level his detractors want to pretend. Instead he's held to absurd standards where he's supposed to consistently job and clean at that.
   1895. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 06, 2017 at 08:18 PM (#5413550)
No ladder match at WM? That was my hope for a place they could stick 6 or 7 of the good workers and let them show off. I hate to think everyone is just going to be dumped into the ARMBAR, only to lose to... I don't even know this year. Strowman? It's not like it matters, since winning that thing has done nothing for the winners from the previous 3 years.

Reigns hatred has nothing to do with the performance, it's because they just know that he's being pushed over their worthy fat guys from the indies. Nevermind that he's never been booked to the unstoppable level his detractors want to pretend. Instead he's held to absurd standards where he's supposed to consistently job and clean at that.

It's not that for me at all. Reigns is capable in the ring, questionable on the mic. He's clearly not the best in the company, but certainly not bad by any means, and he's proven that he can hang with much better wrestlers and do a good job. But it's how he's been presented - overcoming the odds, the big underdog up against the stacked deck, when everyone knows that's not true. He's the chosen one, with the hand of Vince on his back pushing him up the mountain. Not only that, he's terrible at playing the underdog, and he's a terrible choice to be the underdog.

Underdogs are not huge muscular men with bulletproof vests and rich family lineages that everyone knows about. Underdogs aren't guys who half-heartedly take a beating for 10 minutes, then pop up like nothing happened and start hitting their finishers. Underdogs play to the crowd, suck in their energy and give it back to them, make the crowd think that if they're not 100% invested in the match then their guy is going to lose. No one thinks that with Roman. Rusev with a chain around his neck on the stairs? No problem, it's over 2 minutes later. Powerslammed through the announce table? Up and at 'em. A dozen chair shots? Eat a spear. It would have been like pushing the Undertaker as an underdog, constantly playing up how he's willing himself to victory by beating the odds, as he was using supernatural powers to burn through the roster.

Vince is booking Reigns like he booked Hogan 35 years ago - only the power of the Hulkamanaiacs, saying your prayers and taking your vitamins, will let him overcome the odds and beat the Iron Sheik, beat Orton and Piper, beat Big John Studd, beat King Kong Bundy, bodyslam Andre, beat the Macho Man. But Hogan was a larger than life cartoon character with the charisma to pull it off. Reigns is not. And it's not 1983 anymore. People are not willing to sit around and let the promotion tell them who to cheer and who to boo. They all know what's going on backstage these days, the politics of it all. We've all seen behind the curtain what the Wizard is doing, and we have opinions about who should reach the Emerald City. Do you think that Hogan stuff would fly today?

They've been fighting this for 3 years now, and it's not getting any better. Reigns has gotten better in the ring, and marginally better at promos. But it's never going to matter at this point. Either they will keep banging their heads against the wall, or they'll give up and just let him soak in the boos as a massive heel. Get him out of that vest and into some Armani suits, clean up his hair, spend 6 months training him to give promos, and make him the smarmy heel who beats them all because he's just that good (and because he cheats to win once in a while). My guess is that he'd be excellent in that role, and after a few years could eventually come back and be a face that the crowds cheer. But not like this.
   1896. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 06, 2017 at 09:04 PM (#5413564)
Reigns hatred has nothing to do with the performance, it's because they just know that he's being pushed over their worthy fat guys from the indies. "You can't tell me what to do mannn!!!"

Nevermind that he's never been booked to the unstoppable level his detractors want to pretend. Instead he's held to absurd standards where he's supposed to consistently job and clean at that.



Most of what is wrong with Roman's ring work comes down to the flaws of the Top WWE Babyface formula. Cena dealt with the same stuff, but (at least in the 4 years I've been watching) it's a little less pronounced in Cena matches because people get to kick out of the AA or escape the STF and Cena is in significantly fewer gimmick matches where he's just taking an unreal amount of punishment and then winning with his normal stuff. If you're going to have commentary portray Top WWE Babyface as something other than an overwhelming favorite, you have to let his opponent get at least somewhat equal treatment in the match. It's been better lately. Strowman got to kick out of the spear and Roman didn't really get to kick out of KO's power bomb.

Roman's delivery on promos is entirely on him. All of the other babyfaces have to deal with the same scripting issues he does, yet Roman is almost certainly the worst of the main event level men on the mic. Cena is an all-time great. Ambrose and KO are miles ahead of Roman. Samoa Joe has only been dealing with it for a month and is already miles ahead. Seth is slightly better as a babyface and way better as a heel. Sami Zayn is clearly better. AJ has been clearly better since turning heel. Daniel Bryan had similar issues with delivery, but had an inherent charm and likability that Roman just does not have. Roman might be better than Finn, we haven't seen enough of Finn to really tell. He's about on par with Orton, but Orton's mannerisms are better.

   1897. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 06, 2017 at 10:38 PM (#5413592)
Hmmm, the Women's match was made w/o Nia. If that sticks, that's a nice change. Maybe Vince finally noticed her dubious abilities and lack of any real involvement in the story.

Having the champ tap out is pretty questionable. Bayley tapping out is even worse. Sasha needs a pinfall finisher. They could also have had Charlotte cause a DQ because she took offense to the suggestion she feared a triple threat.
   1898. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 06, 2017 at 11:11 PM (#5413603)
You see, Roman says it's his yard now, but Undertaker disagrees with him! This is a compelling reason for a match to happen!
   1899. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5413698)
You see, Roman says it's his yard now, but Undertaker disagrees with him! This is a compelling reason for a match to happen!

These sorts of property disputes could be settled on Judge Judy without subjecting us to a match.
   1900. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5413717)
[1889]And therein lies my biggest issue with today's wrestling fans. Reigns hatred has nothing to do with the performance, it's because they just know that he's being pushed over their worthy fat guys from the indies. "You can't tell me what to do mannn!!!"

Nevermind that he's never been booked to the unstoppable level his detractors want to pretend. Instead he's held to absurd standards where he's supposed to consistently job and clean at that.


he has one clean loss in his wwe singles career. one. and that only happened cuz of adderall. yes, he's been booked to an unstoppable level.
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