Sunday, August 17, 2014

LIVE SummerSlam thoughts - August 17, 2014

10:49 - Wow, what a dominant victory.  And bravo to John Cena.  Very rarely will you see THE top babyface take such a legitimately vicious beating and then lose in such convincing fashion.  He's a real good sport.

10:40 - Yeahhhhh, so that "Let's Go Cena!" kid has got to go, right?

I also like the story with the announcers here, with JBL adamantly pulling for Brock, Cole losing hope in Cena and Lawler doing his best to keep his faith in Cena.  It'll make all the impact if, eventually, Lawler succumbs and admits that Cena is done for.

10:32 - Also, slightly disappointed that Cena isn't rocking those snazzy red knee pads he was sporting on Raw.  Believe it or not, it was a subtle change that, even slightly, freshened up his appearance.

10:31 - So much for "no wrist bands" and all that jazz.

10:27 - Okay, I really DO want to see this match, so I hope the feed holds up.  Also, what are the chances that Cena doesn't come out in his usual gear?

10:23 - So SummerSlam is coming to NY/NJ next year?  Does that mean they'll be in New Jersey but New York will, for some reason, not only be on the logo, but will also get top billing?

10:18 - Cool spot with the Spear going into the RKO.  Glad they had enough sense to have Roman kick out, though.

10:07 - After refreshing the screen a few times, the stream is now back.  There was a long stretch that the stream was working fine, but this is without a doubt the most issues I've had with the Network since I subscribed.  I'd say it was absolutely 100% flawless for the first four months.  Last month I had some issues for the first half hour or so of the last PPV, but it was otherwise smooth sailing.  Tonight it's been pestering.

10:05 - Annnnnnnnnnnd the screen just went black.

10:03 - Looks like Reigns has some new gear as well -- rocking the blue trim.  He's previously done gray and army green.  Looks good, too.

10:00 - Two PPVs in a row that Orton ditches the black trunks for some colored ones.  I approve.  Well done, Randall.

9:56 - When Nikki came down but didn't do anything to stop Triple H's interference, her turn was expected.  Also worth noting -- after an hour or so of perfection, this match did feature a lot of choppiness and buffering issues.  Anybody else experiencing a blinking screen too?

9:53 - I do have to say, Steph gives a great Pedigree.  And Brie takes it mighty well.  There actually IS a good story behind Nikki turning on Brie, but I'm not sure I even want to see that feud.

9:48 - What's interesting is that when Stephanie wrestled 10 years ago, she was treated like she was completely out of the league of every other Diva.  Now, a decade later, she's completely dominating a current Diva.  I understand that she legitimately is a lot bigger and stronger than Brie, but I don't quite see what advantage there is to making one of your current Divas look second rate against the owner of the company.

9:41 - I guess Stephanie McMahon and Seth Rollins shop together?

9:37 - I know that this feud has gotten a fair amount of positive feedback, but I'm just not into it.  I can't stand the Bellas and Stephanie, in my view, is best in extremely small dosages.

9:35 - Expected -- and right -- winner there.  Let's hope this gets Wyatt back on track.

9:26 - Also, the referee shirts still have the old logos.

9:19 - Fun entrance for both guys.  Wyatt, with the fans just knowing to turn on their cell phone lights, is one of the most unique entrances of anybody in WWE.  Such an awesome visual.  Also love that he wore the leather apron (which I believe he wore in NXT) because there's something oddly disturbing about it.  Bringing back the countdown for Jericho's entrance gave it a certain epic feeling.  And that was a pretty bad ass jacket, too.

9:13 - While I expected Rollins to win and have no problem with it, I do hope that Ambrose wins the blowoff of this feud.  Rollins has walked away with enough big victories (including Money in the Bank) that he can suffer a clean loss against Ambrose without suffering.  The fans are into Ambrose and he's the one who got turned on, so he should win in the end.

9:10 - Really fun spots here in this lumberjack match.  Unique twist on the stipulation.  Really enjoying this match and the use of the Superstars who typically just stand around the ring.

9:00 - I like how they're playing up the fact that all of the lumberjacks have, at one time, been victimized by the Shield (showing that they're BOTH potential victims), but there's something....off....about the Wyatts being lumberjacks.

8:51 - The old "pass out because he won't tap out" finish was probably the safest finish to keep Rusev strong while also protecting Swagger.  Somebody brought up a good point, though:  Will Swagger retain this level of "overness" after he's moved on from feuding with an anti-American?

8:44 - Feed seems to be pretty consistent and good now.  I do have to say -- I like both of these guys' new gear.

8:35 - Since I missed the first half hour of the show anyway, I might just rewatch Paige vs. AJ in the replay.

Also, interesting that the WWE isn't utilizing their logo in easily used places.  Like, they've updated the ring apron, but not the turnbuckles.  It's being used for the SummerSlam logo, but not on the WWE logo at the bottom of the screen.  Very odd.

8:32 - Feed returned just in time for the finish.  Now frozen again.

8:29 - I finally turned on SummerSlam on the WWE Network ($9.99) for AJ Lee's introduction.  Imagine my excitement.  Except I'm ALREADY having some choppiness and buffering issues with my feed.  Same thing happened last month, but it was quickly resolved for the rest of the show.  I'm hoping that happens here again, however I was really looking forward to AJ vs. Paige, so this is a bit of a disappointment.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - August 11, 2014

11:16 - Really fun segment and it was genuinely nice to see some old, familiar faces.  However, is there a reason why the entire roster just let Brock Lesnar walk into the ring?  Why did they have to wait for Cena to come down to stop him?

I will say this, though:  Showing the Hogan celebration on the WWE Network is enough reason for me to switch over to that.  Good use of the Network and making people feel like they're missing exclusive content.  Now they just have to make sure not to post it on WWE.com.

10:38 - I don't know why, but it really annoys me when the announcers refer to Kane as "Corporate Kane."  It's a little too self referential.

10:24 - Things I enjoy:  Miz's heel character (and his outrageous character) and the genuine energy Ziggler displays during his entrance.  Something really missing in this era of people who need to be calmer and cooler than the room.

10:13 - I haven't loved this Stephanie/Brie storyline as much as most on the internet, but I do like Brie's Daniel Bryan-inspired ring gear.  Nice.  Wondering what happens here, though.

10:06 - Really, REALLY enjoyed that Cena promo.  However, it's based on the premise that he comes out at SummerSlam NOT wearing his usual gear.  And since he JUST debuted new merchandise, I find that hard to believe.  But great stuff otherwise.

9:56 - Wow, shocking.  John Cena usually has a new entrance video the day he debuts a new color scheme.  He came out in his new red/yellow gear, but his video is still the neon green.

9:49 - I'm not quite sure I understand why Eva Marie was in pain on the arena floor in the first place.

9:41 - Very, very effective segment and the most I've enjoyed Bray Wyatt's character since he's debuted.  However, I'll say it again:  I hate it when they do the abrupt Wyatt cut, only to jump to the announcers.  They should ALWAYS go to commercial.

9:28 - While I admit it was at least a competitive match (that Cesaro looked fine in), I still can't get over the fact that he's tapping clean to Swagger considering where these two were after WrestleMania.  Is there any reason why Cesaro, and not -- say -- the half dozen guys they regularly job out has to fill that role?

I certainly can't wrap my head around this "well, we're pushing Reigns right now.  We gotta taper off on Cesaro" argument.  There's a difference between strapping a rocket to somebody's ass and simply making them look strong.  There's no reason why Cesaro should be regularly losing clean, with no entrance on television, without any storyline whatsoever.  Ridiculous waste of an over talent.

9:15 - After WrestleMania, would you have believed that Swagger would have gotten a big babyface entrance while Cesaro's would be untelevised?  So sad.

8:53 - I actually liked that....with them teasing that Ambrose was hiding in the gift, then backing away from it, and then revealing he was in the present.  I could've done without the Network shilling in the midst of an intense promo, though.

8:50 - It's really strange seeing Rob Van Dam doing so many clean jobs.  Not complaining, per se, but he's somebody who's typically been pretty protected his entire career (no matter where he wrestled on the card), and yet now he's pretty frequently losing cleanly.

8:31 - As others have noted, Ryback went from squashing people 2 on 1, to being the guy on the "two" side of the handicap match.

8:19 - Call me a sucker....but I kinda like the whole story of Kane portraying two completely different characters depending on whether or not he's wearing his mask.  I don't, however, necessarily like him acknowledging as two separate people (like him saying "you beat Kane").

8:11 - Not shockingly, utterly fantastic opening segment.  That promo, and the anticipation it set for the SummerSlam title match, probably sold more Network subscriptions than the shilling and saying "$9.99" over and over again.

8:05 - Brock not destroying those Hogan gifts was very uncharacteristic.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge #IceBucketChallenge

You may have heard a thing or two about this Ice Bucket Challenge trend.  Basically, somebody nominates you to either pour a bucket of ice cold water on your head within 24 hours of the challenge, or you donate $100 to the Pete Frates #3 Fund.  The intent is to raise money and awareness for the fight against ALS.  Well, anyway, yesterday I get a Facebook notification that I've been challenged by one of my co-workers.  Did I accept?  Check out the video to find out:



And for more information on the fight against ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge, please visit:
Pete Frates #3 Fund
Ice Bucket Challenge goes Viral (ESPN.com)

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Monday, August 4, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - August 4, 2014

11:32 - Mini rant, but I think WWE's emphasis of $9.99 was misguided.  I don't think there's anyone out there who didn't realize what the price of the network was.  The issues, as best as I can tell, is the general understanding of the Over the Top provider and the content in general.  If WWE incessantly pushed the content that most people are watching, I think that would have gone a lot further.

11:22 - On the one hand, those Pedigrees were better than I expected.

11:08 - I actually liked the throwback to the past year's storylines -- mentioning Big Show and the Rhodes family in particular.

11:06 - Are they honestly ending Raw two weeks in a row with Stephanie/Brie?

11:02 - By the way, awesome promo for the Network.  THIS is what they should be doing -- show us what's on, when, and hype it!

10:52 - Love the expression on Ambrose's face when he tore up the contract.

10:49 - Who else expected Zack Ryder to get the "jobber" nod here?  Also, why is Heath Slater's body a completely different shade than his head?

10:35 - Those abrupt Wyatt cuts really lose their impact when they don't go immediately to a commercial break.  It's just not the same when they cut away and then go to the announce team shilling the Network.

10:21 - Bo Dallas vs. R-Truth again?  Considering the size of their roster and the amount of people who can't seem to buy TV time, it's a wonder they can't mix up their midcard a lot more.

10:16 - This isn't an especially easy Raw to review, I gotta say.

9:55 - Personally, I'm impressed that Kane managed to wrestle so many matches (some rather long and physical) wearing a wig.

9:51 - So do Goldust and Cody, like, exclusively fight Rybaxel?

9:45 - Love this Paige/AJ stuff.  Love it.

9:42 - Not that I'd ever complain about a Ziggler win, but this Cesaro stuff is mind boggling.  I mean, he's jobbing clean to Dolph Ziggler, the man who needed a distraction to beat Fandago. And then there will be a rumor that he's actually being set up to face Lesnar.  Mind boggling.  And frustrating.

9:26 - I actually like this use of the WWE App.  Make people think they missed something.  Of course, that's immediately defeated once you do a recap of everything they missed.  But I appreciate the attempt.

9:18 - I don't love the Brie/Stephanie storyline, but I do have to wonder if the manner in which Brie challenged Stephanie being so similar to the way Daniel Bryan challenged Triple H was intentional.  The way they asked for one thing, which was granted, only to follow up with (paraphrasing) "that's not all I want" happened in both instances.  If it was deliberate, bravo to those writers.

9:07 - Not to be the guy who complains about all the gimmick matches, but my issue with the Beat the Clock Challenge -- particularly when two guys are competing -- is that it never touches upon the possibility that both guys lose.  The announcers are doing a good job of reminding viewers that victory isn't a given, but what happens if both guys lose?  It works when multiple people are competing because it's a fairly safe assumption (realistically) that at least one person would win....but it doesn't work as well with two people.

8:59 - Remember how I said the whole Network shilling thing was a thin line?  Well, Lawler is crossing that line.  Yes, the 9.99 line was pretty funny during the Last Man Standing match....but everything since has been brutal.

8:50 - Just think....7 months ago these two were fighting dressed as Santa.

8:48 - Wow, Sandow is practically in regular wrestling attire this week.

8:41 - Incredible video package with John Cena and Brock Lesnar....where both hit their mark and came off looking great.  I had asked this before, but why don't they take more advantage of Lesnar's limited dates?  Why NOT film a bunch of these videos during one of his appearances and show them during the weeks that he's not there live?

8:20 - For what it's worth, I also find Last Man Standing matches exceptionally boring.  There's nothing worse than following up a big, crowd inducing move with 5-10 seconds of just standing around.  The momentum is killed, and for the majority of the match nobody believes they're actually going to hit 10.

8:17 - It feels like we've seen this match -- or variations of this match -- every show for weeks now.

8:09 - Liking the look of Randy Orton and Seth Rollins in black suits.  ANYTHING is better than the standard t-shirt/jeans combo.  I also didn't mind the Authority's WWE Network shilling once it became obvious that they were being ironic.  They've gotta cool it with that, though, and make sure that every single major Superstar isn't coming out and shilling the network as well.  It's a thin line.

7:58 - I'm back!  Yeah, I know it's been a few weeks since I've done my LIVE Raw thoughts, but it's always a little tougher over the summer.  I'm back from a week long vacation and I'm going to give this episode a shot.  Raw has been pretty back and forth lately -- some great episodes, some really tedious ones -- and I'm obviously hoping for the former.  Show begins in about two minutes, let's see what they've got.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

LIVE Battleground thoughts - 7/20/14

10:49 - Right winner.  Right person took the pin.  Now they need to keep Roman Reigns out of the title picture until they're ready to have him win it.

10:44 - I'm constantly complimenting John Cena....but one thing he does that he's awful at is he always looks up (when he's supposed to be knocked up) when somebody is supposed to come in for a save.

10:28 - And the Big Gold Belt lives on.  Will it survive the logo update of 2014?

By the way, I'm guessing Cena retains here tonight.

10:27 - New gear for Reigns as well.  Looks like army green trim instead of gray.  Sidenote:  I love that he doesn't high five the fans when he walks through the crowd.

10:24 - Hold the damn phone.....for the first time in, I think, 10 years or so.....RANDY ORTON IS NOT WEARING BLACK TRUNKS!!!!!!!!  Welcome back to the world of color, Randy!

10:22 - I beg to differ, Triple H.  I think the big question is whether or not John Cena comes out with the Big Gold Belt -- speculated to have been retired when Cena handed it over to Flair on Raw.  It's probably my favorite title of all time, but I do think it's time to consolidate to one physical championship.

10:16 - Based on that booking, you had to expect Miz to win it.  I am surprised that it was at Dolph's expense and not Sheamus', though.  Not that I'm complaining....I love that Dolph got his fake moment in the sun.  Sidenote:  My feed crapped out A LOT during the Sheamus/Dolph portion of that match.  A lot of freezing and the quality got fuzzy.  Let's see if it's just another blip....it has otherwise been fine.

10:09 - I kinda love the booking of Miz repeatedly sneaking in and FAILING to eliminate people.

10:05 - Did Ryback eliminate Axel and did the camera and announcers all miss it?

9:59 - New gear alert - Zack Ryder (black/silver), Sin Cara (red, white, and blue), ADR (IC title colors), Ryback (blue), Heath Slater (back to tights), Kofi Kingston (green/orange -- I assume for Florida?), and Dolph Ziggler (new expression on the back of his trunks -- couldn't make it out).  Not too shabby.

9:55 - Smart money seems to be on Cesaro here, but honestly, who knows?  Could be anyone, really.  Part of me does want to see Sheamus win just to consolidate the secondary titles.

9:49 - Wow, pretty shocked by that victory.  I didn't expect Bray to win the feud with Cena or the championship in last month's ladder match....but he's really in need a big, major victory.  He had that when he beat Daniel Bryan (when, honestly, he probably shouldn't have).  I'm sure Wyatt WILL win this feud, so I'm not too hung up on this result.  Just....surprised.  And they definitely ARE making it seem like a fluke/underdog victory.

9:45 - I do love the visual of that Bray Wyatt crab walk.

9:34 - Does Jericho even have a shot at winning this one?

9:03 - I'm really glad that someone explained to Zeb that Boris, and not Bullwinkle, was Natasha's partner in crime.

9:00 - Well that answers that one.

8:55 - By the way, according to some websites this is a "hot storyline" and people are concerned it might be dropped because of the Putin aspect of it.  This is a hot storyline?

8:47 - Love that AJ is back and really enjoyed that match. I'm also glad that the fans got over their CM Punk chanting and gave these ladies the respect that they deserve.  I don't think the announcers, though, did the justice to the storyline and emotions that they could have.  Also, right person won.

8:36 - Of course I'm disappointed if Ambrose/Rollins doesn't happen....but I can't complain if AJ/Paige are about to have a full blown match.

8:25 - The Usos are a true Cinderella story here.  These guys KEEP overcoming these pushed teams....which I love.  The first two falls were kinda lame, but the action for the last fall was fantastic.  Great opener.

8:11 - I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wyatts win this in two straight falls.

8:04 - When they update the titles with the new WWE logo, what are the chances that they just create a new pair of tag titles altogether?

Also, I'm guessing the Wyatts finally win the gold tonight.

7:48 - Alright, I AM here with my LIVE Battleground thoughts tonight.  Things are improving, but when I first turned on WWE Network the visual was EXTREMELY choppy and practically unwatchable.  Like I said, it's improved now....but that was not good.  Granted, it is the first time I've had issues since before WrestleMania.....so let's hope that was just a momentary blip.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - July 14, 2014

11:08 - Yikes, I sure hope Rollins isn't legitimately injured.

10:44 - Personally, I wouldn't mind if that was how they wrote off the World Heavyweight Championship.  Handing it off to Flair -- arguably the man most associated with the Big Gold Belt -- would be fitting.  Don't get me wrong, I love that championship.  Probably my all time favorite.  But the vast majority of champions look awkward with two titles, let's consolidate to just one.

10:19 - Loved that Paige/AJ scene on the commentary table.  Their insincere interaction was brilliant.  Loved it.

10:15 - Did Paige just take credit for inventing the term "frenemy"?

10:14 - AJ vs. Paige in a legit match?  Sign me up!

10:07 - Did the production of that segment seem odd?  Returning to Jericho from Wyatt's promo, only to continue Wyatt's promo and cut to black.  Then going to the announce team when the lights were still off.

10:03 - The thing about the Wyatt character that bothers me is that all of his opponents always talk about how crazy and everything he is, but he never seems to do anything particularly crazy.

10:00 - Loving this Jericho promo so far.  Very reminiscent of his early stuff.  And best of all -- FUN!

9:51 - That chair throw was surprisingly dangerous.

9:40 - I kinda get a kick out of the fact that Cody and Goldust need to paint their faces for 30 second backstage segments.

9:34 - Pretty cool commercial for the Sting reveal.  But two generations?  Does that mean we get surfer Sting AND crow Sting?

9:28 - Shouldn't Stephanie have given that speech to Reigns and Cena?  And if you don't have enough Divas to sustain these matches, just stop with them.  Enough with this Nikki vs. Alicia and Blank matches.

9:20 - For virtually his entire WWE run, I never really recall RVD submitting.  Certainly not on a frequent basis.  But man, RVD has been tap happy lately.

By the way, I do love the emphasis on the Intercontinental Championship -- with the title on display throughout the entire show.

9:10 - "It was an obvious set up!"  Yeah, apparently the Authority knew that Cena and Reigns were both dicks.

9:06 - Wow, Zeb is an immensely sexist babyface.

9:04 - Wow, shocked that McMahon actually used an image of Obama to draw some face heat.

9:01 - It's hard to fault a segment when the crowd is this riled up for it.

8:55 - Why does WWE insist upon debates?  Do they think we want to see debates?  And why do muscular people wave flags so awkwardly?

8:48 - What the hell is Adam Rose looking at?

8:47 - Jesus, between the WWE Network shilling and this Sonic segment, Raw is basically just a giant commercial now.

8:41 - So how about the fact that Dolph was more distracted by Fandango dancing than Summer and Layla?  Oh, whatever, I guess I'm happy he at least won.

8:32 - That make out scene was beyond unnecessary and awkward.

8:18 - This is the exact character the Miz should be playing.  Well done.

Also, I'd hate to see Sheamus win...but I would love to see the US and IC titles unified.

8:15 - Wait, they're not even going to show that Cena and Reigns DID try to save him?????

8:12 - Loved the Ambrose interruption.  It quickly made me recognize that he's the best part of Raw right now.  Even the beatdown was fun -- the reveal of Kane, and then Rollins, and then Orton....and then to have Ambrose be the one to make the attack.  The biggest issue is the obvious one -- they didn't do anything to show the audience that Cena and Reigns cared.  I have no doubt they'll show the two of them tending to him backstage...but too little, too late.  They should have shown Cena and Reigns run out of the ring, only to not get there in time.

8:04 - With the WWE apparently changing their logo to the Network version (a great move, in my estimation) next month, one must assume they'll be redesigning the "Big Logo" WWE Championship.  It'll probably be as simple as swapping the two logos...but I do wonder if, when they make the switch, they'll just abandon the former World Heavyweight Championship (Big Gold Belt) and merge to one physical title.  Which they should do, honestly.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer of Excitement: Independence Weekend - [a case of the summer]


As one might expect, the aforementioned excitement that occurred last week centered mostly around the activities of July 4th weekend.  I actually took off July 3rd (Thursday), although not for exciting reasons.  I had a dentist appointment at 10:00 (which I incorrectly thought was at 10:30, so I was a half hour late.  Oops), then dropped by my parents' house to do some laundry, and then finally went to the barber to get a haircut.  That evening I also decided to grab a few more things for the apartment (including a TWO TIER fruit bowl!) at which point it started to absolutely pour out.  Like, blankets of water falling from the sky.  Within minutes streets and parking lots were literally flooding.  I don't think I've ever gotten THAT drenched in such a short amount of time from just being outside for less than a minute at a time.  It was ridiculous.  Unfortunately, I was so massively uncomfortable that I couldn't meet a few friends later, so that ended up being a relatively tame night.  But that's okay, because there would be more fun later.


On Friday, my friend had people over for an intended BBQ.  However, since it was raining, we ended up having everybody inside (using the toaster oven in place of the BBQ), which was just fine.  However, when I walked in, I noticed three of my guy friends all wearing the USA World Cup Jersey with matching shorts, in addition to American Flag bandannas.  They explained that they went to the dollar store down the street and, on a whim, talked the guy down to $24 and got everything.  Not to be left out, I went to the very same dollar store and did the same.  He even remembered my friends, which meant I got the same discount.  And so we spent the whole afternoon wearing our matching outfits, and then went to the bar doing the same.  Somehow, we managed to pull it off and had a great time.

Saturday was our yearly tradition of taking my nephew and nieces to the boardwalk in Point Pleasant.  It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun, but holy hell was it crowded.  And I was exhausted, too.  Plus we didn't even eat until, like, 3:00, and I don't like to be kept from food.  But, of course, it was nice to have a beautiful day.

Sunday was a beautiful day as well, as we went to my aunt's house for a BBQ.  A day in the pool with lots of food (see, told you I like food) and family.  Oh, Margaritas too (those are American, right?)  A very nice time.  It was certainly a long, tiring weekend, though, and I didn't feel especially good on Monday!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - July 7, 2014

11:08 - Once again, the final segment of the show was (in my opinion) red hot.  They've got great stuff going on now with Cena, the Authority, and the former Shield.  Love the stuff with Ambrose and Rollins, especially.  I think they made a huge mistake in ending the show with Reigns and Cena repeatedly raising each other's hands instead of them staring each other down.  People who are drawn to Reigns probably don't like Cena....and as a result, having him pal up to him will only turn away the fans' support of him.  They like the Reigns who said that Cena DOES suck.  Does he need to be an outright jerk and spear Cena when Cena had done nothing to him?  No.  But at least tease it and entice the audience.  Other than that, the ending was great but the show, overall, seemed to drag a bit.  Or maybe I'm still not feeling well.

10:52 - I wasn't blown away by that Monday Night War preview.  It didn't show us anything that we wouldn't have otherwise seen on countless DVD's related to that era.  If it is something different -- and I sure hope it is, since it has been anticipated since the announcement of the Network -- then show us HOW it is different.

10:34 - Trust me, I love seeing Kofi win but I hate these victories.  They make Cesaro look bad without making Kofi look good.

10:31 - It's a strange pet peeve of mine that Cesaro doesn't complete shave his head anymore.  The horseshoe look isn't a good one.

10:25 - That was already more intensity than we saw from Tons of Funk.

10:19 - Paige and AJ Lee together?!?!  I'm down with that!  Also, which of these two teams do you see turning against each other first?

10:11 - REALLY love the visual of the audience turning on their cell phones for Wyatt.  It is an AWESOME shot....why are they just doing gilmpses of it?  USE THAT SHOT!

10:03 - LOVE the new Miz entrance.  Obvious allusions to Hollywood Rock, but that's a good thing!  But why on EARTH is the heel commentator (JBL) badmouthing him and the face commentator (Lawler) defending him?

10:02 - I'm kinda over Jericho in the trunks.  Wish he'd go back to his long tights.

9:55 - Eck, didn't care for Sandow/Sheamus.  One character is beyond bland and the other is just frustrating to watch.  I did enjoy that Miz promo, though....and it was the first time I enjoyed him in years.  THIS is exactly the character he should be playing.  And not to toot my own horn, but I was firmly in belief that he never should have turned face to begin with.

9:30 - Ziggler:  "Okay, so how does the match end?"  WWE:  "Well, you lose.  After getting distracted by a man dancing."  Man, way to make him look like a schmuck.

9:28 - How many times do we need to see these two wrestle, also?  And I certainly hope it's not for us JUST to see Ziggler tap to Del Rio again.

9:19 - Don't love the fact that Ambrose lost that one (and that top turnbuckle spot was a bit odd), but I get it.  One's in the title match and the other isn't.  Still, disappointing, despite being a strong match.

9:01 - Still not completely sold on this Dean Ambrose gear.  I like the jacket/vest thing he wears.  I don't mind the jeans (it's close enough to his Shield gear while also being distinctly different).  I think my main issue is the wife beater.  First off, it's so close to what Luke Harper wears (just cleaner).  Why not a sleeveless athletic shirt like he wore with the Shield?  Or even a black wife beater (which I know he's worn on occasion).

8:51 - Acting as fodder on Raw for a Jack Swagger PPV match....why does RVD even continue to return?

8:38 - What in the blue hell was Jerry Lawler babbling about just then?  With the hand tied behind their back thing?  Jesus, this guy is awful.

8:31 - I'm so tired of this whole "challengers win a non-title match to become #1 contenders" thing.

I did really enjoy that Kane, Orton, Rollins segment, though.

8:15 - Still think it was a massive mistake changing the Wyatts' music.  And haven't we seen this match enough times?

8:03 - It is extremely easy to bring up instances in which an association with Triple H has slowed down, halted, or completely killed somebody's momentum or even career.  But I cannot say this enough:  An alliance with Triple H ABSOLUTELY meant gold for all three members of the Shield.  It is very easy to forget that the Shield was losing traction before the creation of the Authority.  People were already writing them off, saying that the Wyatts would be the new favored three man team.  But simply standing in front of the ring during each and every Authority promo and segment meant that they were a fixture in the main event scene.  And throughout the entire Authority storyline, they remained strong.  And just take a look at the end of last week's show.  Who were the exciting parts?  Rollins with the cash in, Ambrose with the interception, and Reigns with the save.

7:22 - Yes, I do plan on doing some LIVE Raw thoughts after last night's spectacular show (from what I've seen, anyway).  However, I'm not feeling great and I have to go away Thursday, so if I'm really struggling I'm going to call it a night.  But here's hoping WWE rides their momentum from last week.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

LIVE Money in the Bank thoughts - June 29, 2014

10:56 - Not a shocking result, but I don't blame the decision either.  He's a safe choice and it's been a while since Cena has held the championship.  He's only played a secondary role all year -- I don't mind seeing him as the champion again.  I did actually enjoy the story, though, of Kane and Orton trying to ensure Orton's victory while everyone else tried to thwart it.  It did make the booking of the remaining heels -- Wyatt, Del Rio, and Cesaro -- a little awkward, though.

Overall an enjoyable show.  Apologies for being so exhausted that I didn't post much.

10:26 - Some subtle new gear from Roman Reigns too.

10:24 - Nice new entrance gear for Cesaro.

By the way, interesting observation on Cena.  If he's ever not the last to come out, he's usually the first.  Right now he's about right in the middle.

10:21 - Sorry for the lack of updates, I actually dozed off for a bit.  But I'm back for the main event.  My current guess is John Cena, although I'm not ruling out Roman Reigns only for Seth Rollins to cash in.

9:32 - Curtis Axel in a singlet -- like his father -- is a bit surreal.  Too bad it looks more like what X-Pac would wear than what Mr. Perfect would wear.

9:25 - A fun match with the obvious -- and most likely correct -- winner.  There's a lot that can be done with Rollins as the briefcase holder.  It was a match that highlighted the talents of underappreciated guys like Kofi and Dolph, and helped make a singles star out of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.  Job well done.

9:17 - Is it me, or have we not seen Dolph Ziggler in like 20 minutes?

9:03 - If tonight can be a coming out party for Kofi Kingston, I will be a happy man.

9:00 - New gear for Kingston.  Wondering if they're inspired by anything.

8:57 - They're doing the MITB ladder match first, which normally I favor, but it does create a bit of a logistical mess for the title match.  Theoretically, the new champion should be exceptionally beat up, whereas the Money in the Bank winner will have had a two hour rest.  Why wouldn't the briefcase holder cash in tonight?

8:47 - Re:  Damien Sandow:  What a difference a year makes....

8:40 - Another entertaining match and a possible "coming out" party for Naomi.  Great job, all around.

8:26 - I'm guessing that Paige retains and Cameron and Naomi officially break up.  And is it too much to ask for AJ Lee to finally return?

8:21 - Really awesome match and a surprising victory.  Not disappointing, though.  I love the way the Usos have been pushed over the past year or so and they deserve this great moment of glory.  Good for them, and great performance all around.

And does it bother anybody else that Dean Ambrose's new "street clothes" gear is just a cleaner version of what Luke Harper wears?

8:06 - What is this music?  The theme they used last week was sooooooooo much better than this generic nonsense.

8:05 - Cool new gear for the Usos.  I'm guessing the Wyatts win this one, if only to create the idea that Bray may take home the title in the main event.

7:58 - Considering the big matches going on tonight -- the Money in the Bank ladder match and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match -- I'm shocked that they ended the pre-show with the final push being for the tag team championship.

7:44 - LOVED that "By the Numbers" Money in the Bank video.  Awesome stuff.  Also, great to see Christian on TV again!

7:27 - Okay, welcome to my LIVE Money in the Bank thoughts.  I'm thrilled that they added a second ladder match to the briefcase, as (and I've noted this many times) I think that the briefcase adds a certain level of intrigue to every single segment the champion appears in.  I just wish it wasn't SO thrown together.

By the way, I have a Smart TV and recently learned that WWE Network isn't compatible yet.  I was obviously disappointed, but I decided to try something new.  Using the Web browser option, I simply visited the Network website and viewed the streaming video through the site.  I maximized the screen size so it takes up the whole TV.  It's just as if I was watching normally.  Works perfectly.

Alright, the pre-show is about to begin.  Follow tonight for my LIVE thoughts throughout the show.

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Summer of Excitement: Special Olympics - [a case of the summer]


Well, as you can see, I've been slagging off already.  I actually did have a Summer of Excitement post to report last week, but it was insanely busy and I didn't have an opportunity to do so.  Therefore, this post really refers to the week of June 22nd.  And as this Summer of Excitement feature is in an evolution process, I've decided to not "force things" even further.  If I have nothing to write, I won't.  If I write it late, so be it.  Maybe I should rename this the Summer of Relaxation?  Anyway, this week I'll discuss the excitement that was my volunteering at the Special Olympics games!


My workplace was one of the many sponsors of this year's Special Olympics (along with a little company known as WWE) and as a result, we were encouraged to volunteer if your schedule permitted.  I, along with the rest of the marketing team, devoted our day to the Flag Football competition.  Yes, it was rewarding.  And definitely a once in a lifetime experience, but man....was it grueling!

I joke that I definitely feel mislead about what I was getting in for.  My assignment was "ball retriever," which meant -- as I was told -- if the ball was overthrown I would have to run to get it so that they could begin the next play.  Unfortunately, that is NOT what it was.  Instead, I had to run to go grab the ball EVERY SINGLE PLAY and, once again, EVERY SINGLE PLAY I would have to run a fresh ball over to the line of scrimmage.  And if the line of scrimmage changed, I would have to reset it.  So I was running out into the center of the field every single play of every single game.  It was absolutely exhausting.  Not to mention that it was 100 degrees out (SLIGHT exaggeration) and I wore pants since I didn't know I'd be doing THAT much activity.  There's a girl I was working with who is about 100 times more active with fitness than I am, who didn't run as much as me, who was absolutely exhausted as well.  Imagine how I felt!

Finally, for the last two games, we had to switch with the people who were announcing because we felt so dead.  So there I was -- the guy who knows absolutely nothing about sports -- doing announcing on the loud speaker for a flag football game at the Special Olympics.  And I only got yelled at twice to stick to the script!

It was definitely an interesting experience.

Oh yeah, check back at 7:30-ish for my Money in the Bank LIVE thoughts!

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