Monday, October 3, 2016

Smackdown Live! - 9/27/2016

In Ring Segment - Orton Calls out Wyatt

(S): It was meh at best. Raw was right to start strong with combat. Hopefully we see less of this.

J): I was hoping that Smackdown would take a page out of Raw's book and kick it off with an actual match. One of the things that made Smackdown different from Raw back during the first brand split, was ths Smackdown took the time to tell stories like this. I'm willing to go with it for now. Let's see where this takes us.

Backstage Segment - Dean Ambrose

(S): Ugh more backstage. Get on with it.

J): I would also like to get on with it, but at least Dean is working this well. If I thought this would matter at all, then I could go with it. But we know Dean is not walking out with the title tonight, so why bother with it.

Match 1 - Usos and Ascension vs American Alpha and Rhyno & Slater (aka Beauty and the Man-Beast)

(S): New music for the Usos, nice slow burn heel transition. This was mostly to further Usos v Slater & Rhyno soon. Ok match for what it was. 3/5

(J): I feel like we have an odd cross pollinated story line here, and I feel bad for the Ascension for being the awkward fourth wheel... But heay at least they getting screen time unlike the Vaudvillains or the Hype Bros. I agree with Stew, the match was what it was. The real thing to talk about here is the Usos. I'm loving this evolution that they are going through. Their look is coming together, the music is a good change, and the finishing move is a nice new touch (though I do wish they could figure out a smoother transition from the kick to the hold). I just don't konw what they are planning here. Rhyno and Slater are the champes, Usos are #1 contenders, but AA have a grudge with the Usos, and the Ascension are... well they are there. Match Rating: 2.5/5/

Backstage segment: The Miz

(S): They are playing up the Miz being hometown guy here.

(J): At least this is just a quick cut to the back and not really a true promo done backstage.

Backstage segment: Orton Searches for Wyatt

(S): What even is this? Is this going to continue all night? 

(J): I like it. Bray is at his best when he can play these mind games with people. As long as this pays off well, I'll go for the ride.


Match #2 - Nikki and Naomi vs Natalya and Carmella

(S): Another quick match to put Carmella over Nikki. I'm assuming Nikki gets the babyface win at the next PPV? 2/5

(J): Well, not much to say here. They weren't really out long enough for me to even start getting into the match. I was really hoping that after last week we would actually get to see a good match. Guess they fooled me. Match Rating: 2/5.

 Backstage segment: Orton Searches for Wyatt

(S): Please hurry up on this.

(J): The search for Wyatt continues. I'm actually enjoying this. I'm already in a Halloween state of mind, and this is suiting my mood quite well. It does seem a little extraneous to linger quite so long on some of the shots, but again, I'll go with it. 

In-ring Segment: The Miz Celebrates

(S): Great promo from these guys. I wonder if Ziggler is going to leave and come back after a break with a new gimmick? I assume Ziggler takes the title, but could go a different direction.

(J): I agree, great work here. Where was this about 2-3 weeks ago? If they had kept this level of intensity, I would have been much more forgiving of them in that last bout. Again, if it turns out that Miz is jumping ship to the Red Brand, I look for Ziggler to take the title. If not though, I'm not sure what to expect at this pint.

Match 3 - Becky Lynch vs -- wait never mind

(S): Standard fake match interrupted by an attack here. Makes Bliss look like a real threat. While WWE seems to book Becky badly sometimes, I don't see her losing the title already, especially if my prediction of the Usos taking the tag titles from Slater and Rhyno happen..

(J): Didn't we see this last week in the women's division? I guess they couldn't get some jobber to show up for Becky to wrestle for a bit before Alexa attacked. I agree, with Stew. We won't see the Lass Kicker drop the title at No Mercy, but I'm glad to see Bliss breaking out.

Backstage Segment: Wyatt Promo

(S): Finally Orton finds him and beats him up. Bray looks dumb. Not happy with this. 

(J): Well you lost me. A little part of me perked up when Orton rose up behind Bray in the Sheep mask like the Great Pumpkin, and if Bray had been set up previously to this story line as being a dominant force to be reckoned with, it would have worked. I probably would have even cheered a little bit... but this? This is not a payoff. Stew is right, Bray is just looking weak and dumb, and I'm losing any interest I had in him.


Match 3 - (For real this time) Styles vs. Ambrose

(S): Wow only 3 matches in 2 hours? Good match as expected of these guys. Of course Cena was involved in the finish. Cena hits a finisher on both guys and stands strong. No way he takes the belt from Styles, as they are touting how close he is to tying Flair's record. I think Cena will tie it or even exceed it one day, but I don't think the triple threat is that day. I hope Styles keeps it forever. 3/5

(J): Pretty solid match here. So, Ambrose stood tall last week, this week Cena is left starnding, so I guess next week will be AJ. I really wish they would have left this as AJ vs Ambrose for No Mercy before interjecting Cena. Given that this was still going to be a Triple Threat regardless of the result, I would almost have preferred to see Ambrose walk away with the title tonight just to shake things up. Given how most of the PPVs have been going lately, I think they need to do something to get our attention when it comes to these kinds of matches on TV. Match Rating: 3/5. 


(S): Lackluster Smackdown, a huge letdown after how good it's been. They spent entirely too much time on Orton and Wyatts stuff, with only 2 hours. Only 3 matches was a let down as well. Overall a 2/5 for evening. While the average was 2.5 or 3, the excessive dragging feeling pulled down solidly to 2. I hope they get back on stride as this has consistently been the better show since the split.

(J): What is going on with Smackdown tonight? Only three matches, and one of them was somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes? With only 3 matches, and no big pay off really to any of the segments, tonights show just really fell flat. Stew is absolutely right, up to this point, Smackdown has been better show, but Raw is making some interesting choices, and the additions of the Cruiserwights are starting to shift things in their favor. Overall Rating: 2/5.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mega Ran's Mat Mania

Mat Mania is a wrestling themed album by indie rapper, Raheem "Mega Ran" Jarbo. In the vein of WWE AggressionWWF Forcible Entry, and WWE Reckless Intent, the tracks remix themes and pay tribute to the superstars. The mix features tracks about classic wrestling pros and some of the new breed. The superstars featured are: Brock Lesner, Macho Man, The New Day, The Undertaker, Triple H, Jake the Snake, The Wyatt Family, Chris Jericho, and Mr. McMahon

This album definitely isn't for everyone. If you aren't open to indie rap, then this isn't going to be for you. That being said, you can tell that a lot of love went into its release. The album can be downloaded for free or purchased on cassette for 8 dollars.

If you want to hear more by Ran you can check out his music here. If you'd like to here his thoughts on wrestling, check out his (mostly monthly) podcast, also entitled Mat mania, here.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Raw 9/26/2016



Match #1 - United States Championship: Reigns vs Rusev

(J): Nice to see them kick Raw off with a match rather than a monologue, even if it was a rematch from last night (the first of many we'll see tonight I'm sure).. This match was just about as good as last nights match, but given that this was one of the only matches that actually ended definitively and cleanly, I felt like they tarnished it. It was nice to see Roman take the chair to Rusev after you thought he was going to be playing the totally white-hat baby-face. Match Rating: 3/5.
(S): Holy Hell, a 30+ minute match to kick off the show and no talking? Is this 1997? Really good match from these guys and I truly wondered if Rusev was going to take back the belt. Double countout lets this drag to HiaC as I expected. I would of rather seen these guys do other stuff but I am ok with one or two more matches. The end bit with the chair was kind of funny and the way Reigns played nice onl to mess it up got a pop from the crowd. They are definitely on the right track to get him out of his Corwd hate, and this is where he needs to be. That ending though kind of made Rusev look stupid somewhat imo. Overall 3.5/5

In-Rig segment: Foley, Shemus, and Cesaro
(J): Seriously? A tag team set up? So much for my Iron man match. These two tried the team stuff and it didn't play out. Here's hoping they can pull something out of it.
(S): Could be interesting. Let's see how they play this out.

Match #2 - WWE Tag Team Championship: New Day vs Gallows and Ander
(J): Wow... that was a helluva match! Nice hard hitting from Gallows and Anderson. Surprised to see the color in this match. This is the second rematch of the night, and I really thought we were going to see Gallows and Anderson take the titles this time. New Day marches on to now take on Cesaro and Sheamus, Raw's new odd couple. I really hope they don't drop the titles to them just to legitimize them as a team. Match Rating: 4.5/5.
(S): Thought G & A was going to take it. My god Kofi was bleeding terribly, I think he legitimately clipped the ring steps and pokes a skull hole. Since Gallows and Anderson lose clean here, what the heck do we do with them? Bad choice in my opinion. Good match otherwise. 3.5/5

Backstage Segment: Foley, Cesaro and Sheamus
(J): What speech from Foley. I'll give them that explanation for why they are going to be a team. Solely on Foley's delivery, I'll give them this one.
(S): Again, could be interesting. This has worked before, and if anything this can be good for Sheamus.

Match #3 - Bayley vs Anna Fields

(J): A meh, job match to let Bayley get some momentum behind her. Nothing to speak of here. Match rating: 2/5.
(S):I agree this was just to help Bayley as she took the pin last night. I guess this means she's out of the title hunt for now. Good luck Sasha.

Backstage Segment: Foley and Stephanie
(J): Uuhhhhh... ok. Steph definitely seems to be slipping back into that heel persona. She makes a good point, and I actually felt really bad for Mick in that segment. She really laid into him, and I'm not sure if it was her delivery or Mick's reaction, but I just felt bad afterwards.
(S): Slipping? I'd say diving. I could barely hear Foley, and it was awkward. Can she go away for a while please or do something to actually make this storyline advance? Ugh.


Match #4 - Cruiserweight Tag Team match: Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander vs Drew Gulak and Lince Dorado
(J): This was easily the best match of the night! So incredible to see those guys knock it out of the park with their performnace. I don't know what kind of driver that move was that Cedric Alexander used on Dorado to drive his head into his knees, but it was damned impressive. The cruiserweights are going to take this company by storm. Match rating: 5/5.
(S): Cedric Alexander was on Raw Last week in that fatal fourway, NXT in a match, and now back on Raw this week. Great tag match, and I'm digging Swann. 4/5


Match #5 - Cesaro and Sheamus vs a couple of Jobbers

(J):I liked how Sheamus interrupted Cesaro and the dynamic between them with the tagging in and out. Has to say something though when the fans are chanting "Let's go Jobbers!". These guys needed a night off, but oh well. Match rating: 1.5/5
(S); I think this was too soon of a rush for this “team” this should have been next week at the earliest. But I guess they needed to steup the “dynamic” before the inevitable clash with the New Day. Also who's face and who's heel in that match? Sheamus was the heel, Cesaro could be heel at any given second given his attitude, but New day has numbers and cheats. Confusing. 2/5 for at least letting the two of them trash talk and mess with each other the whole match.

In-ring segment: Charlotte and Sasha
(J): Charlotte has not disappointed me. She has been running this division, and  she's done it "with Flair". The only thing that I'm disappointed in is that it seems like she and Dana are suddenly back on the same page. I'm hoping that they are just realizing that having that dynamic while setting up this major rivalry with Sasha would just be too much business with Charlotte.
(S): Sets up the Sasha/Charlotte match for next week. I wonder if there is some mandate that Sahsa goes undefeated at PPVs but loses titles on raw? I expect her to retain this time though due to obvious interference and Sasha get another one at HiaC. That's generally hwo this goes. Or rather Sasha wins by Dana accident and the rematch is at HiaC. I guess it depends on the boss' back issues.

Back Stage Segment: Rollins and Foley
(J): Surprise, surprise, Rollins is still here. And Foley doesn't want him going to the Highlight Reel later. I'm sure there weill be consequences and repercussions, like having to wrestle Bo Dallas. Wait that might actually be a punishment. I know it would punish me to have to watch it. Glad they threw him out. I'm sure that will keep Rollins from doing anything to get at Owens... If you can't read the sarcasm here, it is dripping.
(S): Standard segment here. Nothing new, move along.

Match #6 - Cruiserweight Championship: Perkins vs Nyce

(J): Great macth here! This was just awesome. Tony Nyce really lives up to the monacre of "Premiere Athlete". It did feel like Perkins wrapped him up and submitted him a little quickly though. Match Rating: 4.5/5.
(S): Good match, and so far the cruiserweights are stealing the show. 4/5

Highlight Reel: Kevin Owens
(J): I love the dynamic between JeriKO. I was glad to see Enzo and Cass interrupt. I was concerned that they were going to just let them wait until next week, and since they weren't on the pay-per-view and did actually pick up a win last week, it would take away that momentum from the win. That lap section was hilarious! I was trying not to laugh too hard so that I didn't wake anyone up. And I guess we have a match. Seems an odd choice for a main event, but one I want to see!
(S): Wsince Rollins might be legit hurt from the prior night and need a week of rest we get Enzo and Cass rather than the expected Zaybe & Rollins team. Good stuff from everyone involved. Enzo and Cass are super over with casual viewers. My wife loves their catch phrases.


Match 9 - JeriKO vs Enzo and Cass

(J): Enzo is scrappy and fun to watch, but Cass is just scary impressive. That boot to Jericho as he came off the top rope was a thing of beauty. KO is probably the best taunter in the company right now. Also, that last Power Bomb had some authority on it! Wow, no Rollins. Not even a Sami Zayne tonight. After all the crap last night I thought for sure we'd see one of them running in, if not both. Match rating: 4/5.
(S): Surprised by straight forward match after the prior night, but that's a good thing. This rivalry created JeriKO so it makes sense to hit this well if Rollins is truly banged up too much to get physically involved. 3.5/5

(J): Tonight was an interesting show. Coming off of a PPV where pretty much nothing happened, we had a bit of a shake up to several of the dynamics. I feel like Clash of Champions was just a bonus Raw episode to fill a slot until they could get a few items settled and now we're going to get to the real stories that they wanted to tell. We still got a couple of job matches tonight that really brought down the quality of the show, but at least we weren't subjected to Strowman/Jax/Bo matches that would just eat up time. To be fair though, Jax at least has actually looked impressive lately. Overall raiting: 3.5/5
(S): Raw was better than Clash of Champions, I will say that much. It was still lackluster but can't win em all I guess. I want the Foley/Steph stuff to get somewhere fast and one of them to go away. Smackdown doesn't have Shane on all that often it seems, and Bryan does most of the work as it is supposed to. Steph needs this or to fire Foley and just be the evil boss. I want that done asap. Overrall 3/5

Clash of Champions 2016

Match #1 - Tag Team Championship: New Day vs Gallows and Anderson

(J): I thought for sure that we were about to see the a squashing of the New Day the way that Gallows and Anderson started this match. The match itself was pretty good, even though it was a bit one sided. I think I liked it just because we finally got to see Gallows and Anderson really be dominate the way they should be. The finish to the match, though, was a bit of a let down. It's not that I wanted to see New Day lose the titles. I'm really not sure how I wanted this one to go, as I love New Day as champs, but I also think that Gallows and Anderson need something to help establish them as legit in WWE. But having New Day pick up the win via a trombone shot from Woods... Stew has said this before, but New Day a face team with numbers advantage just plays weird, and face team with numbers advantage and foreign object hit for the win is even weirder. Considering this ending, I guarantee that this is not the end of this rivalry. Match Rating: 3/5.
(S): I just don't know. I was looking for the club to pick it up here. They need the titles to stay relavent after being booked less than even 50/50. You want mean tough beleivable heels, but don't want them to dominate your merch selling “faces”? I mean Numbers plus cheating? Who the hell are even the heels these days? First half is a 3.5, while last is 2. Total 3/5 and I'm being generous.

Match #2 - Cruiserweight Championship: The Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins

(J): First of all, Perkins entrance is awesome! Second, this match was a lot more technical than I expected. There were a few awesome high risk spots, but for the most part, this was a very technician based match up. I really enjoyed it, and I liked seeing all the little touches they added to the different holds and reversals. This was not the match that I was expecting for the cruiserweights pay-per-view debut. Glad to see Perkins retain the belt here, as a loss would have made the whole tournament seem pointless. Didn't see that headbutt from Kendrick coming. Nice touch to wrap up the match. A really solid performance from these two, and I really enjoyed the match, but I think this one could have been much better than it was. Match Rating: 4/5.
(S): Match went as expected. Great start for the cruiserweights, but you can tell everyone excpeted flippy stuff and instead we got a wrestling clinic. Was a great match and the post match Heel Kendrick was good for the division, as he is somewhat established with the crowd and while he is fighting the champ, the other cruiserweights can let the crowd get to know them before chasing. 4/5

Backstage Interview: Cesaro
(J): What does Cesaro need to do to prove that he can work the mic? Every once in a while he stumbles, but for crying out loud, he's not the only one and at least his delivery has some depth to it!
(S): Cesaro on the mic isn't perfect but he is getting better.

Match #3 - Best of Seven Series, Match Seven: Cesaro vs Sheamus

(J): These two have done a fantastic job of building this series up to this point. Everyone always talks about how Cesaro is under utilized and held back, but even though Sheamus has had the top spot on more than one occasion, I don't think the fans give him enough credit for being able to deliver great matches. These guys have been telling some great stories throughout these bouts and this match has been a great culmination of those previous fights. We[ve seen them come back to some of the same spots that ended previous fights, but it not be enough this time around. I can really appreciate the way this match has been constructed. That dive out of the ring from Cesaro got me really worried. I was glad to see him continue on. I hated the ending. These matches have been great, but I wanted to see an ending to this story they've been telling. Whatever it was that happened there at the end, it was major cop-out. The only way they make this right for me, Iron Man match at the next PPV. This match would have score much higher, but that ending just really brought me down. Match Rating: 3.5/5.
(S): Brutal, that's what this was. That suicide dive needs to go, he looked like he broke his neck. They definitely made this match more interesting than I thought it'd be prior to the ppv. That ending though. So far for dusty finishes we are 2/3. That isn't a good rate. Hopefully this isn't a theme. 3/5

Backstage segment: Bailey and Charlotte
(J): Just what I want to see on a PPV, more back stage segments of stuff they already did on Raw.
(S): Less of this please. I like Bayley, just let her be Bayley.


Match #4 - Sami Zayne vs Chris Jericho

(J): This was a great match, but I'm really surprised that Jericho picked up the win here, especially so cleanly. Both of these guys have a similar style and I think they worked really well together. They had some great spots, and Jericho didn't come across as the whiny Jericho that we've seen lately. I know Sami is supposed to be the "underdog from the underground", but if he doesn't pick up a substantial win soon, he might as well be six feet underground. Match Rating: 3.5/5
(S): Great Match, and I love current Jericho, but he didn't need the win. Wtf are they even doing with Zayne? 3/5
(J): Please stop showing that gods awful KFC commercial!
(S):I agree

Backstage Segment: KO with the Comish and GM
(J): This was entertaining, but unnecessary. This is a PPV, let's just get to the matches. I don't want a backstage story segnent unless it's something incredibly entertaining or vital to the story. This was neither.
(S): I'm actually getting tired of these. I hope they do some shake ups with Foley and Steph and maybe make Steph go away and save her for special occasions like here. I thought that was the point of the double authority figures was the Mcmahons would be off doing corporate and special appearances while Foley and Bryan were the weekly guys. The authority figure overload is boring.

Match #5 - WWE Women's Championship: Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Dana Brooke and Charlotte


(J): This match had some really great high points, but I feel like putting an extra competitor was a hindrance here more so than adding anything worthwhile. Especially given the ending. I really think that the only reason that Bayley should have been in this match was if they decided to put the belt on her. The Moon Sault from Charlotte though was incredible. She gets some major height on those things. Match Rating: 3/5.
(S); TOO MUCH INTERFERENCE. Seriously, Out of 5 matches we have had shifty and interference endings in 3 of them now. Also if triple threats are no dq to the point Dana can just get involved whenever, why did she not just get in and beat someone down a bunch? How does any heel ever lose a triple threat? I mean I would come in with 3 dudes and ball bats and never lose one of these. It's a mar on what was otherwise a good match. 2.5/5


Match #6 - United States Championship: Roman Reigns vs Rusev
(J): This was a really good match. I enjoyed the story they told here and I was glad to see Reigns win and win in a legit way. No interferrence, nothing shady, just Roman exploding with that Spear for a 3 count. I agree with what Stew has said about his moves: he needs a new finisher, or at least the Superman punch needs to become an out of nowhere type of move as a set up rather than set up the Superman punch to set up the Spear. Rusev is a beast, and I hope we get to see him involved in another good storyline coming up. Match Rating: 3.5/5
(S): Decent match, but their raw match prior to Summerslam was maybe better. Surprised Reigns took this, but they did the classic manager gets ejected. Oddly enough she should have forced the DQ rather than getting ejected, but as always in wwe rules are fluid. I presume rematch at Hell in a Cell. Also, even though she got thrown out there was still shenanigans here so out of 6 matches we have 4 shifty/dusty finishes. Not good. 3.5/5

Match #7 - WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens

(J): Finally we get to the main event (it felt like it took forever to get here), and this truly is the main event. This is probably one of the two or three matchs I was most looking forward to tonight, and these two delivered. I was surprised to see Owens so dominate in the early going of this match. I loved the Foleyesque elbow drop from Owens off the ring apron. Then the ref bites it and all the hard work these two put in to making this a classic match up goes right down the crapper. These two put themselves through this much for the sake of putting on a helluva show, and you end it like this? Shame... Match rating: 3/5 (probably wold have been a 4.5 or even a 5 if it weren't for that ending).
(S): Great match for the first bit, then as this PPV has shown, in no surprise interference AND a ref bump leads to Owens going over. So for intereference/dusty finishes we are at a total of 5/7. That's terrible. 3/5
(J): First of all, I like that they went back to Claschof Champions rather than Night of Champions. I like this little nod back to the hay day of WCW. However, perhaps this was a bad thing, because I felt like I was watching an episode of Nitro. Do Pay-per-views mean anything any more? I feel like nothing really happens other than one or two segments that actually carry some weight over to the next show. Too much was left unanswered. They had a whole month to develop this one, and I konw the loss of Balor set them back a bit, but seriously, why did we leave so many loose ends? The matches promised great things, but the execution left this Payperview being less than the sum of it's parts. Overall Ratiing: 3/5,
(S): Oddly Backlash was much more PPV than this was. Outside of a few talents Smackdown has been the better show week after week and was definitely the better PPV. I find that amusing seeing as everyone was saying the opposite would be true and that Raw got all the star power. This show proves that it wasn't the case as none of these men wowed me tonight, and the writing was atrocious. These guys have the ability to outwrestle some of the greats and this is what they are given to work with? Too much dusty finishes and no resolutions to any storyline except MAYBE Zayne/Jericho. I am not excited for Raw to be honest and that is what this show should make me. 2.5/5 overall as the grade of the matches put at a 3 but the overrall phoned in nature and dusty finishes downgrades it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Smackdown Live! - 9/20/2016

In Ring Segment - Smackdown Women's Championship Contract Signing

(S): Bryan made the comment “this signing will be different, civil. I knew it was a lie. The segment made me less hyped for Bliss, which is sad, and they are pushing the Harley Quinn too much. I don't see Becky losing the title in the first defense and if she does it will be a stupid decision. I was worried that they were going to leave Becky looking weak and crying when she got the table put on her and Bliss triumphantly left, was glad Becky ran out and gave it to her. Was worried but ended well.
J): So I guess we're definitely not even going to pretend that Bliss isn't ripping off Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, as this is the second week in a row that Renalo has called her the "Harley Quinn of the WWE." I, too, was glad to see Becky come back with a beating of her own. She's the champ now, she needs to present a strong front.

Backstage Segment - The Miz and Daniel Bryan

(S): Ugh this crap. I hope it plays into something. Also I expect Bryan to screw Miz to prove a point, because he should after all this.
J): I agree with Stew that something needs to come of this to take time to focus on it like this. Perhaps we'll see the title change hands tonight?


Match 1 - Usos vs American Alpha

(S): Usos look is getting more defined, and now they have no video, just their names. Good touch, hopefully new music soon too. Expected Alpha to get back heat here, until it was announced the winners would get title shots at CotC, then I knew Usos with the leg injury angle for the win. I expect Rhyno and Slater to drop the titles so AA can chase em. What's with the Usos new heel taunt after a match where they shush the crowd? It doesn't play into anything they're doing.  Overall 3/5
(J): Chad Gable is a fantastic technical wrestler, but Jason Jordan is just scary impressive. He pretty much botched the launch on that flapjack, but he still just muscled Jimmy up into the air. I also liked how they had Jordan make the decision to not tag in Gable because of his injury. Really set those guys up as major baby-faces, but keeping them looking strong at the same time. Excellent touch! Match Rating: 4/5.

Backstage segment: Slater and Rhyno confronted by the Usos

(S): Also the Rhyno and Slater eating cheese and crackers was great. After the match they did a backstage bit with the Usos and Rhyno and Slater and the promo work of the Usos here was just bad. Rhyno crushing the crackers in anger was funny.
(J): Slater and Rhyno might just be the most entertaining thing on TV, bar none. Those damn crackers... And can we please call them Beauty and the Man-Beast? Screw it I'm calling them that anyway. Rhyno's dead pan is just perfection. I think the Usos might legitimately be scared of Rhyno, no Kayfabe.


Match 2 - Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews: Jack Swagger on commentary

(S):Take 3,735. Still no smiles Crews here, sadly he is now just a prop for a Swagger and Corbin feud. Such a bad idea for both guys. If Swagger wins, Corbin is dead in the water. If/when Corbin wins, he gets no prestige from Swagger who has lost like for the last 3 years straight. 1.5/5
(J): First Swagger on commentary: he started off strong, but then he kind of flagged as the match went on. I don't know if he got wrapped up watching it, or just ran out of stuff to say. Still I think it's a promising step forward for him. Crews got dominated again, but we starting to see a more intense side of him. Corbin is really impressing me with how far he's come from being a speed-squash machine in NXT to getting pretty innovative in his dismantling of opponents. He's still got a way to go before he'll be holding any gold I think, but he's making great strides. The match itself though, was just kind of meh. Match rating: 2.5/5.

Backstage Interview: Dolph Ziggler

(S): We get it Ziggles, do or die. I hope you do or change characters because I'm over it.
J): I think Dolph just stole Becky Lynch's speech.


Match 3 - Ziggler vs Miz: Intercontinental Championship

(S): Good match but I was pretty angry at the lazy writing of Miz wins via hairspray again. I needed Bryan to come out and restart it or do anything that made sense for him. Nope, he saved that for later in the evening. Miz looks like a million bucks because he gets what he wants and Bryan is just looking like the dumbest person ever after their interactions. I assume more on this next week and I CAN wait... 2.5/5 Would have been a 3.5-4 but that ending was just dumb writing as Bryan looks stupid
(J): Here's how this match should have ended. After Maryse gets ejected, Ziggler picks up the win and we have a surprising title change on live TV. Then Miz demands his rematch, and then he uses the spray to get the win to get the title back. At No Mercy, just before Miz jumps brands, Ziggler takes back the title. It's not like WWE is dependent on PPV sales where only really big stuff happens then (let's face it, most of the time only a couple of really big things happen at each PPV). A title change on live TV would indicate that anything could happen, so tune in to see what we do next week. Great match though. Just didn't care for the ending. Match Rating: 3.5/5.


Match 4 - Orton vs. Rowan

(S): I am unsure where this is going, as it's just pointlessly dragging now. I get Orton wasn't cleared at Backlash, but this feud is drowning to me. Also why is Rowans mask now a Sheep clown? WTF. Super quick match with no surprises followed by a Wyatt promo on the tron. 2/5
(J): Meh. Orton looks like a BA again this week. Shocker. I like Orton, but come on. Why is Bray just talking instead of getting his turn at leaving Orton laying? Match rating 2/5.


Match 5 - Women's Tag Match: Naomi and Nikki Bell vs. Natalia and Carmella

(S): No Match, more Nikki and Carmella Feud. Looks like the feuds are Lynch/Bliss, Nikki/Carmella, and by default Naomi/Natalya. Though the last one isn't even a feud right now.
(J): I guess, you could call this a match? Really it was more of an excuse to let Carmella wail on Nikki, again. I wouldn't have minded this result, but could we at least have a match first? Just now really payed attention to the time. Guess they needed to hurry it along to get to the main event. Match rating: 1/5.

Match 6 - Cena vs. Ambrose

(S): Ambrose looks kinda heel to me, I feel we may see more of the tweener psycho Dean. Not a bad match, that saw Cena kick out of a finisher but lose anyway, surprisingly. Afterward AJ attacked both and Bryan announced Ambrose v Styles for the title next week because that matters. Ambrose getting the one up on Styles at the end was surprising. On this night he got one over an Cena AND Styles which is huge. They are definitely putting some stock in him for now. Match was 4/5
(J): JBL said it best. Ambrose pinning Cena wasn't an upset, but it was surprising. Decent match between these two filled with the usual spots. I'm guessing everyone is booing the announcement of the title match next Tuesday between Ambrose and Styles because they know that there's no way in hell Ambrose walks away with the title that night. Match Rating: 3/5.


(S): Not as exciting or interesting as prior Smackdowns have been. I really feel like both brands are in the middle right now. Raw has improved from it being somewhat unwatchable and Smackdown this week was not as intriguing. It wasn't a bad show by any means and they did some good stuff, but the roster depth is showing and it is lacking. To make matters worse, this week Raw got the cruiserweights which is some of the best wrestling available. 3/5 for the Over all.
(J): At first it seemed like we were shaping up to have a much better show tonight than last week. For the most part, I would say that we did. Unfortunately, while we did have two whole matches more this week than last, but the quality of those matches just drug down the over all quality of the show. Fortunately, segments like Becky and Bliss contract signing, and Slater and Rhyno helped save it. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like even though Smackdown was supposed to be the place that everyone got a chance, but we're still only seeing a few select individuals. Overall show rating: 3.25/5.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Raw 9/19/2016

Opening Segment: Reigns, Stephanie, Foley, and Owens
(J): Good to see they didn't try to make Reigns deliver the entire opening bit himself. At least they are learning somethings. Then again, having Foley say, "how can they boo Roman Reigns" is a sure fire way to make sure they boo Roman Reigns. Looking forward to the Cage Match tonight. It's been a while since we've seen one of those on Raw.
(S): I'm glad they are at least going oh yea continuity is a thing and addressing stuff. The cage match makes sense. Now Reigns can go over with nothing to lose for owens, but later when they want to pull the trigger on reigns v owens they can justify it with this win. Rollins v Rusev just before the ppv is bad though, because neither can look bad given their spots. I expect a lame finish to what would be a good match.


Match #1 - Rollins vs Rusev

(J): Rusev took on some big names in his undefeated streak, but one of the top names he never faced was Rollins. This match delivered what I expected from these two, just not on the scale I would have like to have seen. I was wondering what they would do here since I don't think they would want either of them losing steam going into Sunday. I guess the double count out is the most logical choice. I was surprised to see Rollins clearly standing victorious over the Bulgarian Brute though. Match Rating: 4/5.
(S): Double countout was expected, well the indecisive finish part anyway. The crowd was pretty upset at it from the boos, I thought the pairing was odd but what can ya do. 3.5/5

Backstage segment: Dana, Charlotte, Foley
(J): Saw this coming from last week. Surprised they waited until now to address it. Unsure if this is a work or a shoot turned into a work, but I'm surprised that they are going to go with the triple threat angle here. Sasha and Charlotte need a one-on-one match to settle this.
(S): I wonder how much the psuedo injury of Sasha changed plans? I know at one point it was rumored Sasha was considered injury prone by Vince and he didn't want her having the title. If that's the case expect Bayley to take it sunday. I am for Charlotte turning to her feud with Dana and a long proper Sasha Bayley feud on the main roster.

Interlude: Cruiserweights
(J): This is going to add a whole new level to Raw, and I'm glad to see its addition! This is going to be awesome!
(S): Cruiserweights so excited. Cedric Alexander looks amazing, and I've always like The Brian Kendrick.

Backstage segment: JeriKO
(J): Was good, but not quite up to the standard I expect from these guys.
(S): Love Jericho. This is my favorite run of his in a long time.


Match #2 - Stowman vs Sin Cara

(J): Nice to see Strowman actually work here. Strowman finally got the catch spot without dropping the guy and having to recover. Match Rating: 2.5/5.
(S): I'm not sure what to think here. Strowman v Sin Cara is a snooze because of the vastly different sizes and skill and Sin Cara by himself has been a dud for a while. This was just a snooze. 2/5

Backstage Segment: Bayley and Sasha
(J): I love some Bayley and Sasha, but I don't think this was necessary. Let's just get to the match please.
(S): I feel the same as Josh. Too much backstage and authority figure stuff.

Match #4 - Bayley and Sasha Banks vs Dana Brooke and Charlotte
(J): Good match here. Pretty much what I expected, except Dana held her own a little better than I expected. I really thought we'd see someone turn on their partner here. Either Charlotte would leave Dana high and dry, or Sasha would jump on Bayley after the match. Glad to see that neither happened, but I really expected it. I'm not sure what to expect here going in to Sunday. I kind of think Bayley just might walk away with the title. We haven't had an underdog champion in a while, and I think Bayley would make an excellent one. It's also a route they haven't done in the Women's division for a while. Match Rating: 3/5.
(S): Was a decent match. Dana didn't look as lost as she does usually so there's that. I'm glad she's improving, it would be a waste of her time being around 3 great women wrestlers and not pick stuff up. 3/5

Backstage Segment: Rollins and Stephanie
(J): Finally some hint at the explanation for HHH's actions. More tweener stuff from Steph. It's working to sell Rollins as the anti-face, but I'm not finding it very interesting. I feel like Stephanie can't commit to this new character very well.
(S): Steph doesn't really know if she's a face or heel any better than any of us. Her interactions with Foley are weird and awkward to me where she's all “I'm obviously heel but my right hand is a loveable face so I'm not sure what to do”. I'm excited for Rollins v Triple H though and sundays Rollins v Owens should be good and it's a feud we haven't seen in wwe.

Match 5 - Bo Dallas vs Gary Graham
(J): "Let's go jobber" chant. Can't even get the guys name, and they still chant him over Bo. More of a squash this week, with only one real move from Graham. Match Rating 2/5. 
(S): Bo isn't getting over with the jobber matches, but the chant was funny. 2/5


Match 6 - Best of Seven series, match #6: Cesaro vs Sheamus

(J): Loving that Celtic Cross Back Breaker from Sheamus. Good back and forth here. These two are telling some great stories in their matches. It concerns me though that they are only saying that the winner will get a "title opportunity"and not a "universal title opportunity". When they first said that the winner would get a title shot, I automatically assumed that it would be for THE title. Guess I must have been wrong about that. I look for Cesaro to take the series on Sunday, but I'm not sure now if that's a good thing. If they were to give him a Universal Title shot, it would be awesome, but they would have to put it off a little while since I'm not sure what his place would be in the current title picture, and I don't look for it to be reset back to zero after Sunday. Match Rating: 3.5/5.
(S): As expected, tied and finale at NoC. The Sheamus tries to cheat and gets caught was funny. Presume Cesaro wins and gets a shot at the still US Champ Rusev. 3/5

Backstage segment: Foley and Jericho
(J): Jericho is money anytime he's on the screen. Great stuff here between these two.
(S): Love Jericho. And his ...of Jericho stuff is great. Drink it in maaaaan.

In-Ring Promo: Jericho, Enzo and Cass, Shining Stars, New Day, and Gallows and Anderson
(J): I was curious about why Enzo and Cass came out, but once New Day's music hit, I pretty much knew we were headed for a 10 man tag. Short segment, but some good delivery from these groups. 
(S): I wasn't shocked about Enzo and Cass as they justhad a mini feud that started the Owens/Jericho friendship. As soon as people started joining in I was like “10 Man tag”. Sure enough. WWE is nothing if not predictable at times. 

Match 7 - 10 man tag match: Jericho, Shining Stars and Gallows and Anderson vs. New Day, Enzo and Cass, and Sammi Zayne

(J): Usually matches this big wind up a mess because you can't keep track of everyone once it breaks down, which it inevitably will. They did a good job of this one tonight though, and I was glad to see Enzo and Cass finally pick up a win. Match Rating: 3/5.
(S): Standard giant tag match. Wasn't as sloppy as I'd expect with so many moving parts. Decent enough. 3/5

Cruiserweight division introduction: Innaugural match - Gran Metallik vs The Brian Kendrick vs Cedric Alexander vs Rich Swann, Fatal Four Way - winner takes on TJ Perkins Sunday for Cruiserweight title.
(J): I've missed the cruiserweight division. This is THE must see match of the night. Absolutely stole the show. So many good spots. You just really need to see this match for yourself. You won't be disappointed. I have to say, I never really cared much for Kendrick in his first run, but I'm really enjoying this "savvy veteran" style that he's taking on. The little touches, like jamming Rich Swann's foot into the ring steps to keep him tied up, just give him a very different dimension to his wrestling than the other cruiserweights. I think the only thing holding this back is the fact that it's a Fatal Four-way, and while that does allow more superstars to be showcased, I also feels like it limits what they superstars can really pull off becaues they have to make sure to give everyone their time. Match Rating: 4.5/5.
(S): Good god I love cruiserweights and Luche Libre. Surprised Kendrick picked up the V. Gonna be a good one sunday. 4/5


Match 9 - Cage Match: Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens

(J): Mick Foley is right about one thing at least: Roman Reigns can work. Keep him off the mic and in the ring. Kevin Owens can have a great match with anyone, but he is most definitely not carrying Reigns in these last two match ups. Hard to follow that cruiserweight actions, but I think they did it well and in a way that was meaningful and entertaining. Reigns wins. Guess his probation is coming to an end. We'll know after the US title match on Sunday. Rusev for the beat down. Much like the first match, they are trying to keep anyone from looking like the weaker opponent. Match Rating: 3.5/5.
(S): See I like Reigns. I agree his superman punch needs to go, at least the cocking motion he does. Also as much as I like the spear I hate it as a finisher outside Rhyno. Even Goldberg used it to set up a finish. I love Reigns' powerbomb, and he needs more of that as a finish. This was a good match, and I wasn't shocked as nothing but bragging rights were on the line. 4/5

(J): So glad to see the cruiserweights added to the show. They are going to really bring the show to another level. All in all, this was a pretty good show tonight. It did get a little heavy on backstage stuff, but we are heading into the PPV this Sunday, so they have to squeeze in the story whenever they can. Good note to bring us into Sunday with. Overall Ratiing: 3.5/5,
(S): Decent show. Typical go home for a PPV, settling the matches and tying things up for the blow offs of feuds. I hate that they did Rollins/Rusev as there was no good way for that to end for the guys as they need the momentum. Reigns going over Owens doesn't hurt him, because to be honest it's Owens. He has so much good will and fan backing that his losses rarely hurt him. Rusev needs to look like a beast always or he turns into the next Mark Henry. I don't expect Reigns to go over, not necessarily because of the suspension punishment, but because I feel the powers that be want him to be top dog again pretty badly and this is only a momentary sidestep till he's ready. Finally the crusierweights debuted. I know the CWC just finished and that's why, but this has been the thing on raw most anticipated. Honestly if they were just doing the Strowman/Jax/Bo jobber/squash matches to kill time until cruiserweights hit then good, if they still try to fit 3 of these in one show while they have a good amount of cruiserweights I'm gonna be nonplussed. I'm still on the fence on Steph/Foley as it doesn't make much sense right now, but I'm hoping for the payoff that Steph is straight up Heel and in the end it was alla plot to get fans to love her by appointing the loveable Foley. Here's looking to Night of Champions 3.5/5