Archive for the ‘Wrestling’ Category

Sting’s WWE “Debut,” Plus WWE Battleground 2014 Predictions (UPDATED w/ Results!)

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Before we get into Battleground, the topic of the week is obviously Sting’s appearance on Raw. Or at least a WWE video game commercial that aired during Raw. It was tremendously produced, and a great way to plant that seed for what could be an epic angle down the road.

Supposedly, Sting hasn’t officially signed a deal yet. But purely from an outsider’s perspective, it seems to be imminent. And that’s a great thing. With WWE trying so damn hard to get people to buy the network, the timing couldn’t be more right for Sting to finally work for them, even if it’s only for one match. As for who that match would be with, obviously a lot of people are calling for Sting vs. Undertaker to finally happen. There are many who question whether that match should take place, given what happened with ‘Taker at Wrestlemania XXX, and the notion that given the age of both men, it might not be the dream match we’ve always imagined it being. Personally, I’m of the belief that if both guys are healthy, they can make it special. Both Sting and The Undertaker have been able to defy father time for years. I won’t doubt they can each do it one more time.

But if Sting vs. Undertaker isn’t in the cards, there are a plenty of guys Sting could wrestle and draw money with. Triple H, John Cena, and Randy Orton all come to mind. But we’ve got plenty of time to speculate and analyze. For now I’m keen to sit back and enjoy the simple fact that Sting and WWE are working together after all these years.

And now, on to Battleground.

PRE-SHOW MATCH:
Cameron vs. Naomi

I’m intrigued to see how Naomi develops now that these two are no longer a duo. I think some of the stuff we’ve seen her go through with the eye injury, combined with her athletic prowess in the ring, have earned her some respect in the eyes of the “smart” fans. Cameron, on the other hand, does not seem to have earned that respect. But in her case, that may be a good thing. It’s extremely easy to dislike Cameron. Even Michael Cole seemed legitimately annoyed by her a few weeks back. That could be the basis for a great heel persona, assuming Cameron can back up what she says in the ring. This match might not be the best pick in terms of drawing last minute buys for the pay per view. But it could be interesting to watch from the standpoint of where these two performers are, in relation to where they could be later.

Rob’s Prediction: Naomi
WINNER: Cameron

Jack Swagger vs. Rusev

A few days ago, I would have easily picked Rusev as the victor here. But in light of what happened with that Malaysian Airlines jet this week, and the potential Russian involvement there, it’s a rather inconvenient time to be a in an act that sings the praises of Vladimir Putin every week. Still, I don’t expect WWE to soften Rusev or Lana from a character standpoint. I just think they’ll scale back his dominance a bit on this show. I expect Lana will get involved somehow, allowing Swagger to get a DQ victory. A brawl will follow, and Swagger will come out looking strong without actually beating Rusev. For my money, it’s best to proceed with caution for the time being.

Rob’s Prediction: Jack Swagger
WINNER: Rusev by count out

WWE DIVAS TITLE MATCH:
AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige

So they’re “frienemies,” huh? Meh, that’s not really my cup of tea. But hey, it’s AJ and Paige on a pay per view. I won’t complain. These two have helped break WWE’s fitness model mold for female wrestlers. So it’s great to see them getting a chance to shine together on pay per view. But it must be said: Paige is pretty bland from a character standpoint. I don’t see her winning the belt back until she develops a bit more in that respect. Maybe a few losses to AJ will bring some more emotion out of Paige, and we’ll get to know her a bit better. But for now, the belt stays with AJ.

Rob’s Prediction: AJ Lee
WINNER: AJ Lee

2 OUT OF 3 FALLS MATCH FOR WWE TAG TEAM TITLES:
The Usos (c) vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

Here’s another kind of match I don’t think we’ve seen on pay per view in awhile. Two out of three falls for the tag straps? How cool is that? This isn’t necessarily a hot rivalry, but the Usos and the Wyatts have an old school hero/villain dynamic going on. Harper and Rowan are more than worthy of holding tag team champions. But I think right now it’s the Usos’ time to shine, and build a reputation as a dominant babyface tag team. Still, this being the kind of match that it is, it’s likely the Wyatts will at least get to beat the champs once. That’s a nice little feather in their caps.

Rob’s Prediction: The Usos
WINNER: The Usos

20 MAN BATTLE ROYAL TO CROWN NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION:

Firstly, I’m happy Bad News Barrett is popping in for this match. That character was on such a role, and hopefully this will help him hold on to at least a little bit of that momentum.

Typically, battle royals like this can be tough to predict. But in this case, I think there’s a clear winner: The Miz. He’s quickly resumed his heel run with a new “Don’t hit me in the face!” M.O., and he’s as easy to dislike as ever. What’s more, he was clashing with Sheamus this past week. A win for Miz here might lead to the often-discussed unification of the Intercontinental and United States Championships via a match with Sheamus at Summerslam. But even if that’s not the case, a heel Miz would certainly make a better IC Champ than the babyface Miz did.

Rob’s Prediction: The Miz
WINNER: The Miz

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

These two are arguably even better as rivals than they were as partners. Rollins’ new role as the sell out is a perfect contrast to Ambrose’s defiant bad boy attitude. And the idea that Ambrose can run in and ruin Rollins’ Money in the Bank cash-in is something they’ve never done before. So the build up for this match has been excellent. From a wrestling standpoint, it may be the dark horse pick to steal the show. In picking a winner here, oddly enough, there’s an X factor that needs to be considered: Brock Lesnar. Rollins is supposedly The Authority’s designated plan B to take the WWE Championship back, right? But then Paul Heyman interjected this past week on Raw, and floated the idea of Brock being their back up plan. Rollins losing to Ambrose here would provide the perfect incentive for Triple H and Stephanie to cast him aside in favor of the man who just broke The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak. Thus, Ambrose wins this round. But I expect we’ll get at least one more pay per view go-around with these two.

Rob’s Prediction: Dean Ambrose
WINNER: Seth Rollins via forfeit

Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt

As great as the inciting incident for this program was, the subsequent build up for this match has been frustrating. Bray Wyatt has yet to give us a definitive reason as to why he doesn’t like Chris Jericho. This past week on Raw he said something like: “You said you would save us, Chris!” But what does that even mean? In any event, hopefully the match will make the confusing build up worthwhile. I see Bray Wyatt picking up the win here. This would, ideally, lead Jericho to take more of a proactive approach against Bray. Instead of asking why Wyatt attacked him, Jericho would now be the one doing the attacking. To see Bray on the defensive against a man like Jericho might make for compelling television.

Rob’s Prediction: Bray Wyatt
WINNER: Chris Jericho

FATAL FOURWAY MATCH FOR WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:

Meh. I’m not really into this one at all. We know who wins here. This is the obligatory pay per view title match between Cena’s title victory, and his big match with Brock at Summerslam. To WWE’s credit, they’ve at least made it look like a big important match. And if these four do their jobs well (which I’m sure they will), there’ll be a point in this match where it looks like someone other than Cena (most likely Roman Reigns) will walk out with the title. But make no mistake about it, this night belongs to Cena. And that’s fine. Bring on Cena vs. Lesnar at Summerslam. Plus, if this match goes how I imagine it will, this’ll also lead us to Reigns vs. Orton at the August spectacular.

Rob’s Prediction: John Cena
WINNER: John Cena

Images from WWE.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like 
Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition

Share

Protecting Roman Reigns, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Let’s talk about Roman Reigns. I mean, why not? Everybody else is.

In the past year or so, much has been made of Reigns’ potential to become a main event level talent. Out of the three former Shield members, he has clearly emerged as “the chosen one.” While Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were immediately pit against each other, Reigns has graduated to multi-man pay per view main events with the likes of Kane, Randy Orton, and John Cena. He’s also been getting into staredowns with Triple H (as we saw last week on Raw). Signs are definitely pointing to Roman Reigns as WWE’s choice for the next top babyface.

But here’s the thing: If you want to be WWE’s top star in 2014, the stars really need to align in your favor. The WWE machine, as bizarre as it is sometimes, needs to be behind you. More importantly, the fans have to be behind you. And as we saw crystal clear earlier this year, sometimes those two groups want very different things. WWE had constructed the main event program for Wrestlemania XXX as Batista returning to disrupt his old mentor’s regime. But when “The Animal” was met with almost universal boos, they were forced to go with the people’s choice, Daniel Bryan.

Whether it’s the ever present “Cena sucks” chants, the flat out rejection of Batista’s babyface return, or the question of pushing wrestler A over wrestler B, what WWE creative wants has an undeniable tendency of clashing with what the fans want. And now, the WWE machine wants Roman Reigns to be a top star…

But do the fans want Roman Reigns to be a top star? They seem to be receptive to him, but a lot can change between now and Wrestlemania XXXI. I’m of the mindset that Reigns can be a star if he’s protected.

What do we mean by protected? It’s a simple case of accentuating the positives and hiding the negatives. Admittedly, Reigns doesn’t have many negatives. But there’s one glaring blemish on his game: His mic work.

When he was part of The Shield, Reigns was really effective at wrapping up those three-man promos with Rollins and Ambrose. He didn’t have to say very much at all. He’d just give us a line or two at the end to put an exclamation point on what they were saying. Something like “Believe in The Shield” was all it took. That quite and menacing demeanor, his look, and his intense physicality in the ring were enough. But whenever Reigns took the mic for a more extended period of time, he came off very weak, especially compared to someone like Ambrose. If Reigns is forced to rant and pander like Cena and Sheamus tend to do, he’ll be dead in the water.

Case in point? His promo to kick off this week’s Raw. It was decent, but not at all what you’d hope to see from the next big superstar. Hell, in the middle of it the Montreal fans started chanting about Cena. To his credit, Reigns ran with it. But the fact remains: The mic work is painfully absent.

This is why, even though he’s on his own now, the old Shield formula really shouldn’t change much. Let’s let Reigns keep that mystique about him, and keep him a man of very few words. Emphasize his look and his ring work, and let his actions do the talking. That way when he does get on the mic for a little bit, it’s that much more meaningful.

Also: No attempts at WWE-style comedy, i.e. bad comedy. That whole shtick from a few weeks ago where he put something in Stephanie’s coffee? Stupid. Roman Reigns should not be funny. He’s a serious, stone faced destroyer with an understated charisma, who’s on his way to the top whether The Authority likes it or not. He’s a locomotive that takes down everything in his path. Now THAT’s a character you can get behind.

Thoughts From Raw:

The Authority is “on vacation,” not at Raw this week. As I recall, this has been done a few times since Triple H and Stephanie have been put in their current on-screen roles. It always turns me off. From a fan’s standpoint, if the two people who run the damn show can’t be bothered to show up, then it must not be that important. So why should I show up?

Obviously, Hunter and Stephanie aren’t there because their real-life positions at WWE prevent them from being at all the international shows. But hey, here’s an idea: Bret Hart is in the building. Why not make him the guest general manager? That’ll inject a little extra excitement into the show!

But no, instead they put Bret in a segment with Damien Sandow. Hey, it’s always nice to see the Hitman. But come on…

Chris Jericho def. The Miz. I’m interested in what Miz is doing with the whole “no face shots” M.O. It’s sort of a callback to what Rick Martel and Shawn Michaels did at Wrestlemania VIII all those years ago. It could be cool to see Miz focus a decent portion of his in-ring offense on face and head shots, and then in turn by terrified to take them.

As for Jericho’s latest run-in with The Wyatt Family, Bray gave us some pretty good mic work, and we got a peek at his morivation before Y2J cut him off with the “Shut the hell up!” catchphrase. Not quite the response promo I would have liked from Jericho, but there’s still plenty of time.

Randy Orton def. Dean Ambrose. So…about Ambrose’s jump from the top rope. Did Orton miss his cue? Did Ambrose jump before Orton knew where he was? I’m not trying to place blame. I’m just curious about what actually happened. Still, Orton and Ambrose had a pretty good showing otherwise.

Alberto Del Rio def. Dolph Ziggler. One of the reasons I miss guys like Jim Ross and Joey Styles being on commentary, is that they’d actually call the wrestling moves. What the hell was that move Del Rio hit Ziggler with from the top rope? According to Michael Cole it was: “What a move!”

Rusev def. Rob Van Dam via submission. I liked the increased emotion from Rusev, especially put combined with a good guy the fans can really get behind, and actually mount a believable offense against the big man. Slowly but surely, the Rusev/Lana act is getting better. I do, however, wish RVD hadn’t had to tap out.

Bo Dallas def. El Torito. Considering El Torito actually holds a victory over Drew McIntyre, I was actually concerned Dallas was going to lose this one. It was nice to see a more despicable side of the Bo Dallas character, though. Perhaps we’ve got more than a comedy act on our hands.

Images from wwe.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition.

Share

Chris Jericho, Miz, AJ, and the Night of Returns. Plus, Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From Raw:

Chris Jericho returns to Raw, spoils The Miz’s return, comes face-to-face with The Wyatt Family. The news about Chris Jericho returning to Raw this week leaked a bit before the show aired. Happily, yours truly avoided the spoiler, and experienced Jericho’s latest comeback in all its glory. Seeing him come back in that segment with The Miz would have been enough, I suppose. But adding the Wyatts to the mix made it a true Raw moment. That’s the match that’ll sell Battleground, or at the very least, get folks to tune in for the next few weeks. It’ll be interesting to see how long Jericho stays around this time.

While Miz’s return obviously played second fiddle to Jericho’s, it’s great to see him as a heel again. The whole “cross brand” star thing, or whatever it is, should be a good fit for him. Miz is as easy to dislike as just about anybody. The question is, can he make his act in 2014 different from his act from two or three years ago?

AJ Lee returns, wins the Divas Title from Paige. I was honestly convinced we weren’t going to see AJ Lee again. At least not for awhile. She just got married, to CM Punk no less. Thus, the rumors she was pregnant weren’t exactly unfounded.

John Cena wins the WWE World Heavyweight Title at Money in the BankLike a lot of folks, I’m not particularly upset that Cena won the title at Money in the Bank. It’s a means to an end, folks. And that end is Summerslam. You want a big money pay per view match? John Cena’s been a key ingredient in a lot of big money pay per view matches. And if the rumors are true, that opponent will be Brock Lesnar.

Incidentally, Stephanie should do more “rap dancing,” or whatever she was doing when that WWE 2K15 poster dropped. Those five seconds were pretty damn entertaining. She seems to be having as much fun out there as she’s ever had.

John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane announced for Battleground. Eh, I’ve seen worse filler between major pay per views.

Seth Rollins wins the Money in the Bank briefcase. Not surprised to see Seth Rollins take the briefcase home. The briefcase element always works best when used with a heel. It just doesn’t behoove a babyface to attack a champion when he’s vulnerable. Oddly enough, the only face to really have a great Money in the Bank briefcase pay off (no pun intended) was the man Rollins faced tonight, Rob Van Dam. Come to think of it, Cena was the champ back then too…

Kofi Kingston is annihilated after come-from-behind win over Cesaro. As good as Kofi Kingston is, it’s gotten to the point where when I hear his music, my brain goes: “Heel enhancement match.” Tonight was no different. Even when Kofi wins, he loses. He beats Cesaro, but then proceeds to take one of the worst ass kickings of his career. Some things never change, I suppose.

Intercontinental Championship vacated due to Bad News Barrett’s injury. That separated shoulder is a terrible break for Bad News Barrett. He was obviously doing some of the best mic work of his career, and he and WWE had turned the whole “Bad News” persona into something entertaining and cool. Here’s hoping he can parlay a comeback into a babyface turn in a few months.

Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter emerge to challenge Rusev and Lana. This segment was packed with intrigue. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter as babyfaces? Why not? The fans seem like they’ve been ready to cheer Zeb and the whole “Real American” thing for awhile now. And they were actually chanting for Swagger! Who’d have thought that?

The Wyatt Family def. Sheamus & The Usos. That big boot from Luke Harper to Sheamus deserved all the replays it got. Right in the damn face!

Nikki Bella is placed into a handicap match with the Funkadactyls. I can’t hear either of the Bella Twins talk without thinking of the Kardashians…

Images from WWE.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition.

Share

Vickie Guerrero’s Sloppy Swan Song, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From Raw:

Stephanie McMahon def. Vickie Guerrero, forcing her out of the company.  A Vickie Guerrero babyface turn? A bunch of Eddie Guerrero references? Well damn, there was no way this wasn’t her last night. Some might cry fowl over it being a slop match. But really, what else were they going to do? Neither of them are wrestlers. And in the end, Vickie got her moment in the sun. Incidentally, Layla El gets a lot of crap here, but that splash she made into the slop was awesome!

I give Vickie Guerrero a world of credit for going above and beyond expectations during her WWE tenure. Did anyone ever envision her becoming the heat magnet she became? She was never the best pure promo on the roster, but what she delivered was so over, it really didn’t matter. Once she started with the “Excuse me!” line, and started venturing into that annoying teacher/boss routine, she was made. So kudos to you, Vickie, for living up to the Guerrero family name, and ultimately doing your husband’s memory proud.

Kane is added to the WWE Championship Ladder Match. Um…sure? This makes sense, I suppose. Although I wish they could have added Kane sooner. That way he could’ve taken the place of someone like Cesaro or Bray Wyatt, who might have benefitted from carrying the briefcase around for awhile. But Kane was kind of in that weird limbo space for awhile, due to Daniel Bryan’s injury. So I suppose it is, what it is.

Triple H announces that Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam, Bad News Barrett, Kofi Kingston, and Jack Swagger will join Seth Rollins in second Money in the Bank Ladder Match this Sunday. What really interested me was Hunter’s remark about the audience thinking he doesn’t appreciate Ziggler’s talents. That’s a curious thing to say about someone the office is supposedly trying to “bury.” Even Jim Ross has speculated on The Ross Report that Ziggler “isn’t high on somebody’s list.” But why? And how long do we all have to wait before Ziggler moves up said list?

Also, Rollins had a really focused, effective promo this week. Much better than anything we’ve seen him do on the mic previously. That. combined with the match he put on with Rob Van Dam, gave me a bit more hope for his future as a solo act in WWE.

Dean Ambrose baits Triple H and Rollins into adding him to the ladder match. I always have to roll my eyes a bit when something like this happens. I understand we’re dealing with wrestling logic, but come on. Rollins wants to “keep an eye” on Ambrose, so he gets Hunter to put him in a position to earn a guaranteed title shot any time he wants? Yeah, that makes sense.

Alicia Fox def. Naomi, as Cameron and Paige join the announce position. Cameron’s definitely a heat magnet, I’ll give her that. She’s somewhat reminiscent of Michelle McCool and Layla El back when they were a team, in that her heel mic work is so grating and irritating that it almost prompts one to hit the mute button. Even Cole seemed to be irritated: “Well, I have no idea what you’re talking about, but you just continue to ramble on.” Paige on the other hand, as good as she is in the ring, came off like the stereotypical white meat babyface.

Big E. def. Damien Sandow, who is dressed as Abraham Lincoln. Okay…so the idea behind Sandow doing all the crazy stuff he’s being doing lately is that he wants to be “entertaining.” Alright, I guess that kind of makes sense. But where does it go from here? Also, what the heck was Big E. trying to do in that post-match promo? Was he channeling some kind of overcharged preacher? Either way, I don’t recommend he revisit that idea.

Bo Dallas def. Titus O’Neil. Did they really need to start calling him “The Inspirational” Bo Dallas? I think most of us got the point…

Images from WWE.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition. 

Share

Roman Reigns, Kevin Hart, Stardust, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Before we get into Raw, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about all the talent cuts that occurred last week. WWE parted ways with Brodus Clay, Evan Bourne, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Teddy Long, and Aksana, among others.

None of these names were particularly surprising to see, as none of them have contributed to notably to WWE programming lately. The biggest effect this will have on Raw and Smackdown is that 3MB is now forcibly disbanded.

It is sad to see a few of these talents go. Evan Bourne never got to make a return to TV, and he was always a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Seeing Drew McIntyre go is sad, as he was once such a prominent part of WWE TV, and a heck of a talent. But at the end of his run, he was jobbing to El Torito. It’s also a little bit depressing that Aksana’s last TV appearance consisted of her being humiliated by Alicia Fox.

But in the end, that’s just business. And it certainly leaves a lot of open roster spots for the current NXT regime…

Thoughts From Raw:

Roman Reigns won a battle royal to earn a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose have already started to go their separate ways, as Reigns hovers close to the main event picture, while Ambrose occupies his time with Seth Rollins. I wasn’t surprised to see Rusev as the runner up, but what did surprise me was that we finally got to see some emotion and intensity out of Rusev. Where has that guy been these past several weeks?

John Cena def. Kane in a stretcher match to earn a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match. This wasn’t a surprise either, as it’s only logical to put Cena in a multi-man pay per view main event. Adding Cena to the mix certainly injects some hefty emotions and opinions into the ladder match. It was also nice to see them pay off the stretcher match stuff, to an extent at least. Cena and Kane didn’t give us anything too extraordinary, but it made for a cool TV main event.

Kevin Hart joins the announce position during Raw. Kevin Hart got a couple of grins out of me during his segment, which is more than I can say for most of Raw‘s celebrity guest stars. So I’ll give him a passing grade. He did the best he could with what he was given, and what I can only assume was a limited knowledge of the product.

Cody Rhodes wrestles as “Stardust” alongside his brother Goldust. I LOVED the Stardust segment. Cody Rhodes pulled it off wonderfully. Seeing Cody play his own version of the “Bizarre One” may just turn out to be a milestone in this slow burn program between the Rhodes brothers. What’s more, Cody was obviously having fun. Knowing what we know of Cody’s love of comic books and superheroes, it was undoubtedly a blast.

Stephanie McMahon “vomits” on Vickie Guerrero after Roman Reigns spikes her iced coffee. Yeesh, if anything ever had “Vince” written all over it. Incidentally, it’s interesting that Roman Reigns just happened to have…whatever he put in Steph’s coffee on him as he just happens to run into Vickie Guerrero carrying their drinks. But hey, that was the least offensive thing about this bit. On the up side? Vickie gave us a pretty nice outraged scream. Obviously her tenure with WWE is winding down, and her putting Reigns in the battle royal opened the door for The Authority to fire her. I assume we’ll be talking about that as early as next week, or possibly the night after Money in the Bank.

Sheamus def. Bray Wyatt via disqualification. “…comin’ out here and talkin’ and singin’ about how you’ve got the whole world in your hands. Well tonight, how about we change that tune to more like: “How about I shove my whole boot down your throat?” Wow. I’m a Sheamus fan, but wow was that a bad line. Still, the match delivered, as Sheamus’ usually do.

Bad News Barret def. Dean Ambrose via count out. Obviously WWE is now playing up the crazy, unhinged aspect of Ambrose’s character. Hopefully they don’t go too far with it, and toss him into a straightjacket or anything. Ambrose’s mic with is truly unique, and it would be a crying shame if they somehow overplayed their hand by casting him in a cheesy psycho role.

Heath Slater seemingly turns face before losing to Rusev. I’m a Heath Slater fan, and in a perfect world, the departure of his “bandmates” would lead to an opportunity at singles stardom. Based on what we saw this week, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Still, at least he got to have a little moment to shine.

Image 1 from wrestleenigma.com. All other images from WWE.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition. 

Share

Picking Up the Pieces, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From WWE Raw:

Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns break their silence after Seth Rollins’ betrayal. Awesome promo by Dean Ambrose this week. Everything from his face to his body language suggested a man who was an just an inch away from snapping. And that bit about rearranging Rollins’ face was excellent. The only downside to the segment was that Roman Reigns had to follow Ambrose. If I’m Reigns, I’d be a man of few words. Reigns is a little bit like Brock Lesnar or Batista, in that he does his talking in the ring. He doesn’t need to actually say very much in order to get his point across. In terms of verbage, less is more for Reigns.

Seth Rollins explains why he turned on The Shield. Aside from Seth talking about “destroying his own creation,” and what not. There really wasn’t much to this promo. It essentially seemed like your standard “He were never really my friend” post heel turn speech. One can definitely argue that Rollins was The Shield’s most gifted in-ring performer. But for my money, he was usually the weakest on the mic. From a delivery standpoint, he’s just not interesting to listen to. So it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of him now that he’s broken off from The Shield, and he’s working as a bad guy.

WWE announces Daniel Bryan will not be able to compete at Money in the Bank, strips him of the title. Championship to be decided in Money in the Bank Ladder Match. It’s good to finally have an answer to the question of whether Daniel Bryan will keep the championship. And in truth, this could be an instance where a negative turns out to be a heck of a positive. Bryan makes for a fantastic underdog. And for him to have his huge Wrestlemania moment, only to have it snatched away by an injury, is a hell of a story at the end of the day. And it’ll make for a hell of a comeback story too. So I say we let Bryan heal up, and come back better than ever. And for God’s sake, no more diving headbutts.

John Cena, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins def. The Wyatt Family. It was no surprise at all to see John Cena join forces with The Shield to take on the Wyatts. I’ll wager Cena and Bray Wyatt end up being the last two guys who qualify for the ladder match. If that does wind up being the case, Bray Wyatt could very well end up walking away with the WWE Championship. He just seems like the best guy for the role, quite frankly. He just seems like the most compelling choice. Of course, they could go the safe route and give it to Randy Orton.

Sheamus def. Bad News Barrett to qualify for Money in the Bank Ladder Match. As often happens, Sheamus had a hell of a match on this week’s Raw. He and Bad News Barrett gave us exactly what we wanted to see. A tough-as-nails Brit and an Irish brawler teeing off on one another. Great victory for the “Celtic Warrior.” Heck, it would have been the match of the night if not for…

Cesaro def. Rob Van Dam to qualify for Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Excellent match between Cesaro and RVD, capped off by Cesaro finishing Van Dam with a neutralizer. To his eternal credit, Paul Heyman has managed to put some heat on the “Swiss Superman,” as we saw this week with his tease of Brock Lesnar. But it’s still tough not to respect the hell out of the guy. Could he take the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank? My gut says no, but stranger things have happened…

Lana compares “girly man” Obama to Vladimir Putin in pre-match promo. The showing of those Obama clips seems like a Vince McMahon-inspired move. Still, their use, combined with Lana’s venomous words provided some nice heat for Rusev before he squashed Zack Ryder yet again. I think his face might have even changed expression this week. He actually looked like a live human being! Imagine that.

Ryback & Curtis Axel def. Goldust & R-Truth. So this week, Cody picks R-Truth as his brother’s partner, after picking Sin Cara last week, and Kofi Kingston on Main Event. What better way to build up for a heel turn than to team your brother with a bunch of jobbers?

Images from WWE.com. 

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition. 

Share

Seth Rollins, Bluetista, Crowd Control, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From Raw:

Seth Rollins turns heel on The Shield. I’ll say this much: I didn’t see that coming. I was expecting Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to turn on Roman Reigns. But obviously, the decision was made to go with Rollins alone. I think that’s a wise move. Ambrose is such an awesome talker, it would likely be difficult to get a good portion of the fans to boo him. And of course, WWE is grooming Reigns to be a big babyface. In turns of turning just one member of the group heel, Rollins was the best choice.

So I suppose that’s it. That’s the end of The Shield. WWE breaks the group up at the height of their popularity, which is exactly the way it should be done. Break it off when the fans are most invested. I imagine this will lead to Rollins & Orton vs. Ambrose & Reigns at Money in the Bank.

Bryan to defend at Money in the Bank, or the title will be decided in the ladder match. Wow. So it really is touch and go with WWE and Daniel Bryan. I’ll give them credit. At least they’re trying to keep the belt on him. But I’m ready to have a WWE Heavyweight Champion, even if it isn’t Daniel Bryan.

Alberto Del Rio def. Dolph Ziggler to qualify for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Hm. I wonder who the fans would have rather seen in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match…

Stephanie McMahon strikes back at Chicago crowd chanting for CM Punk during PaybackI’ve got to applaud Stephanie McMahon, and whoever came up with that line about the fans wanting Daniel Bryan to quit “just like CM Punk.” That was not only an effective way to strike at the heart of those same fans who wanted to hijack Raw before Wrestlemania XXX, but an interesting way for WWE to say: “Hey, it’s not us. It’s him.” And that’s not exactly a false notion, is it? Punk walked out on WWE. I’m not bashing him for that. But, at least to the public’s knowledge, that is what happened. He did what he felt he had to do. And thus, it seems WWE is doing what it feels it needs to do in terms of the public’s desire to see CM Punk. It’s a sad situation, but it is what it is.

Bray Wyatt absent after losing to John Cena at Payback. If I may be so bold: Fans who think Bray Wyatt got “buried” in his match against John Cena at Payback seem to be unable to see the forest for the trees. Bray Wyatt is a villain (at least in theory). Villains can lose and come back quite easily. How many times has The Joker lost to Batman? The Green Goblin to Spider-Man? Lex Luthor to Superman? Bray Wyatt is coming off a lengthy program with the WWE’s biggest star, and has upped his game in the process. There are great things in store for Bray Wyatt. Heck, he might even be carrying around a Money in the Bank briefcase before long…

Batista “Quits” WWE. This was expected, as Batista is apparently set to start the publicity tour for Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s certainly sad we didn’t get to see a big pay per view match between Batista and Daniel Bryan. With luck, that’s still in the cards for later this year. For as much crap as I, and other fans gave Batista when he came back earlier this year, I now give him a lot of credit. He helped save Wrestemania XXX by contributing to an awesome main event that revived the crowd after Brock ended The Undertaker’s streak. Then he proceeded to lose on three consecutive pay per views.  Considering what he was likely told he’d get when he came in, that’s a pretty rotten deal. So kudos to Batista on being a professional. Or is it Bluetista now?

Luke Harper and Erick Rowan def. The Usos. The Usos had a nice little promo before this match, which helped showcase their personalities a bit more. The match that followed was solid, and set up a title match between the two teams at Money in the Bank, which the Wyatts could very well win. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Wyatts walk out with the tag straps, and a Money in the Bank Ladder match victory in the same night.

Bo Dallas def. Kofi Kingston. Bad camera angle on that “Running Bo-Dog.” Kofi’s head didn’t even come close to the mat. Still, I’m definitely a fan of the whole “Bolieve” character.

Ryback & Curtis Axel def. Goldust & Sin Cara. So Cody wants his brother to have a “better tag team partner,” and yet he picks a guy who can’t win a match unless Scooby Doo is with him at ringside. Yeah, way to not be transparent, Cody…

Images from WWE.com 

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition. 

Share

Delaying the Inevitable? Plus, Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From Raw:

Daniel Bryan hangs on to the WWE Championship…at least until PaybackAfter this week’s show, I suspect Daniel Bryan will indeed be hanging on to the WWE Championship. They’re weaving the will he/won’t he stuff into the underdog fabric of his character. I think if they’d gotten bad news back from his surgery, they would have gone ahead and taken the title off him by now. I think he just won’t wrestle at Payback, but we’ll get the Kane rematch/blow off at Money in the Bank.

On the subject of injuries, I’ve never been a fan of wrestling moves being banned outright. But as long as WWE is banning certain manuevers (i.e. the piledriver), I say ban the flying headbutt. I was watching Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story this weekend, and it really became clear just how little sense that move makes. A guy takes a front bump off the top rope, and in theory, butts heads with his opponent. That would take just as much out of the wrestler performing the move as the one receiving it, if not more. Why Bryan felt the need to incorporate that into his arsenal is beyond me. But let’s just get rid of it.

Randy Orton & Batista def. Cody Rhodes & Goldust. I had a good feeling about the Batista & Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust match when that pre-tape aired, in that this match would likely further the budding animosity between the Rhodes brothers. We didn’t really get much in terms of Cody being angry with his brother. But what we did do is build up some good sympathy for Goldust. I’m wondering if next week, we’ll see Cody say mouth off to him about this match.

The Shield and Evolution’s contract signing erupts into chaos. Triple H’s portion of this week’s finale was pretty good. The talk about how he watched the ink dry on The Shield’s original contracts gave us a nice perspective on how new the “Hounds of Justice” are, compared to Evolution. It put the match in a compelling new light. As for the match this Sunday, I expect it’ll be an interesting night for Roman Reigns. Whatever happens to him at Payback may go a long way toward building to a big singles match at Summerslam.

Bray Wyatt attempts to attack Jerry Lawler. It’s nice to see Bray Wyatt actually act like a heel this week, and pick on Jerry Lawler,  who as far as WWE is concerned, is weaker than he is. They obviously played up the whole heart attack thing, which I’d like to think will be the catalyst for Lawler returning to the ring some time soon (assuming he’s healthy, of course). All in all, it was a good segment. At least Bray didn’t do quite as much singing…

Triple H and Stephanie fire Brad Maddox. Were we supposed to feel bad about Brad Maddox getting beat up and fired? He’s still a heel, right? Well, I suppose we saw him so seldomly, it doesn’t really matter. So does he become a babyface now? Or perhaps he takes over as the general manager of Smackdown once Vickie Guerrero leaves the company (as she’s been rumored to do for some time now).

Alicia Fox throws another tantrum after losing to Emma. So Alicia Fox’s thing these days is that she’s ripping men’s clothes off and pouring soda all over herself? Yeesh, she might be a babyface before long.

Rusev def. Zack Ryder. They’re letting Rusev talk now? Why? His mic work doesn’t exactly bring anything new to his character. He’s as bland as he’s ever been.

Eva Marie def. Summer Rae. Good lord, is this Eva Marie push going to cross over on to Raw and Smackdown? Why do they insist on making this woman wrestle? As we saw this week, and countless times in the past, she leaves MUCH to be desired in terms of her in-ring ability. So why keep trying to force a square peg into a round hole? Just let her be someone’s valet for the time being. Let the suffering end!

Hornswoggle def. El Torito. To the Jim Rosses and the Jim Cornettes of the industry who are always talking about how “bad comedy for the sake of bad comedy” is never a wise decision, I give you Drew McIntyre vs. El Torito. And with it, I say: Congrats on being right.

Images from WWE.com. 

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition. 

Share

Live vs. Memorex, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From Raw:

Raw is recorded in the UK. Thus, pre-recorded show airs in the states. Weeks like this really make it clear just how important it is that Raw is a live show. They broadcast from the UK this week, and because of the time difference, the results were made available to us in the states before the show actually hit the air. Practically speaking, there’s really no difference between a live show and a taped show if you’re not part of the internet wrestling community. But for die-hard fans like yours truly, it’s a vital element to that “anything can happen on Raw” mentality that was created back in the late ’90s. As all taped editions of Raw do, this week’s show felt really watered down.

Stephanie McMahon encourages Daniel Bryan to “do the right thing” next week. So it seems WWE don’t be stripping Daniel Bryan of the WWE Championship…yet. They announced him for Raw next week, and teased him “doing the right thing.” Ultimately, this could mean anything. Either way, I suspect WWE didn’t want to resolve this issue without Bryan being there for drama’s sake. Also, giving us the big answer on a taped show would have been a big no-no.

Bray Wyatt prompts more singing and cheers. Over on The Ross Report at PodcastOne.com, Jim Ross has said that Bray Wyatt’s presentation has been rather confusing in terms of whether we should be booing or cheering him. At the risk of being a bandwagon jumper, it’s tough not to agree with him. I’ve reached the point where I no longer classify Bray Wyatt as a bad guy. If The Wyatt Family are supposed to be bad guys, then why does Bray keep prompting the fans to sing along with him? I don’t fault the fans for doing it. But as a performer, he’s eliciting that reaction.

Batista def. Seth RollinsWas it just me, or is Batista ready to be done? When he was on his way to the ring, he just looked like he was tired and out of it. Maybe that’s just how it is on those overseas tours sometimes…

By the by, WWE.com did a story last week, asking different WWE stars who their favorite wrestlers of all time were, and Seth Rollins actually picked Necro Butcher. There’s a name I never thought I’d see mentioned on a WWE web site. He also put over Samoa Joe in the process.

Summer Rae makes her return. I’m a little confused about Summer Rae stomping down to the ring in a fury, only to lay a big wet one of Fandango, before getting into an old fashioned catfight with Layla. You’d think Summer would want to get her revenge on the man who dumped her via Twitter. So is this going to be a thing where they’re competing for Fandango’s affection? That could work for a short time, I suppose. But in the end, Summer will have to turn on Fandango. Otherwise she looks pretty damn weak. And considering they gave her a Total Divas spotlight, they cast her in The Marine 4, and she even has her own theme music now, I’m pretty sure weakness isn’t what they’re going for.

Alicia Fox def. Paige, continues to act bizarre. Supposedly Triple H has become high on Alicia Fox, thus her getting the spotlight these past two weeks, and after this week, I can only assume she’s got a title shot coming at Payback. It’s been a long time since I actually sat down and studied an Alicia Fox match. But I did this week. She’s still not the greatest actress in the world. But she’s got some nice intensity. It’s always cool to see wrestlers get rewarded after putting a lot of work in, and Fox has been with the company since 2006. I don’t know if she’ll win the title, but it’s cool to see her get a push.

Bo Dallas to debut on Smackdown this week. I’m actually anxious to see what all these “Bolieve” vignettes have been leading up to on Smackdown this Friday. Bo popped up on Raw awhile back and got a win over Wade Barrett (oddly enough, he was the IC Champ then too), but was clearly too white meat to have any real star power, at least as a babyface. Now let’s see what he can bring to the table with a little more experience under his belt.

Images from WWE.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition.

Share

Daniel Bryan’s Neck Surgery, Roman Reigns, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From WWE Raw:

Daniel Bryan to undergo neck surgery this Thursday. What’s frustrating about this Daniel Bryan situation, other than Bryan potentially being out of commission so soon after winning the WWE Championship, is just how little we know. Long time wrestling fans are no stranger to hearing about neck injuries, and we have a decent knowledge of how serious they can be for the performers we love to watch. So hearing that Bryan is having problems with his neck is alarming to say the least. Hopefully we’ll have more info once Thursday rolls around. In any event, WWE seems to be preparing fans for a potential title vacation by Bryan, but at the same time keeping the door open for a match with Kane at Payback.

The Shield set for a rematch with Evolution at PaybackThis was pretty anti-climactic for my tastes. I was hoping we’d either see them break the trios off into singles matches, or add some sort of gimmick to the match. Hell in a Cell, perhaps? But no…just another, regular ol’ six-man tag. It was nice to hear Triple H call out Roman Reigns, though. Threatening to make him the one who “doesn’t come back” from Payback obviously puts a special spotlight on him. We may have just started down a road to Triple H vs. Roman Reigns at Summerslam.

In the meantime, The Shield looked awesome at the close of this week’s show. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: They may be the best babyface faction we’ve seen in wrestling since Degeneration X turned face in 1998.

Bray Wyatt apparently challenges John Cena to an “I Quit” Match at PaybackI LOVE this idea. It’s the ultimate way to place John Cena’s ideals against Bray Wyatt’s. If it is indeed an “I Quit” Match they’re going for, I see Cena coming out on top. And that’s fine. The way I see it, a heel can lose a submission match and then come back and gripe about it the following night. That just makes him look like more of a slime ball. But if Cena taps, he loses an important moral victory. Then again, Bray could somehow threaten or blackmail Cena into quitting. I think at one point that was how The Rock and Mick Foley’s famous “I Quit Match” in 1999 was supposed to end. Foley would have looked at his wife crying at ringside, and then simply given up to end her agony. It’d be really interesting if WWE could find a way to pull that finish off.

Dolph Ziggler def. Fandango. So we’re obviously preparing for a feud between Fandango & Layla and Summer Rae & The Miz, which will of course tie into The Marine 4. If it gives Fandango a little more exposure, I’m alright with that. Considering his on-screen persona, this might sound odd to some, but I think Fandango might fare better if he acted a little less goofy with his dancing. The character could really draw some heat if they changes his music so the fans couldn’t sing along, and acted a bit more like an elitist snob who happens to have a flair for dancing.

Paige def. Alicia Fox. So Alicia Fox ends her big “tantrum” by stealing JBL’s hat and doing a sexy prance up the ramp? Uhhh…pwned?

Sheamus beats Curtis Axel and Ryback in back-to-back matches. So….Sheamus is still a babyface, then? I mean, he beat Dean Ambrose on Smackdown, which was supposedly the beginning of his heel turn. But then he’s clearly positioned as the hero on Raw against “Rybaxel.” Either way, I think a turn to the dark side is clearly in order for the big Irishman. Either way, he put on a great performance tonight, as usual.

Rob Van Dam def. Jack Swagger, after Adam Rose brings his “Exotic Express” to ringside. Ugh. What a way to waste a Rob Van Dam match. I like Adam Rose and all, but man oh man…

Brodus Clay is one of the interfering heels during the main event. So I know Brodus was a bodyguard for Snoop Dogg at one point, but is he actually trying to look like him now? How much bronser did that man use?

Images from WWE.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter at @PrimaryIgnition.
Like Primary Ignition on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition.

Share
Return top