Monday, October 20, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - October 20, 2014

11:10 - Didn't love Orton pinning Ambrose, but I did enjoy Rollins hitting the curbstomp on Orton.

Absolutely love the main event attention on Rollins and Ambrose, but they NEED to earn some significant and meaningful wins.

11:06 - I'm not really I get the point of the cage lowering, from a kayfabe perspective.  It's not as if anyboyd was trying to interfere OR escape.

10:40 - I love WWE with their "By the Numbers" video packages.

10:27 - "You can't coach strength!" exclaims JBL, infuriating strength coaches across the world.

10:20 - See this is why they've shot themselves in the foot with their recent booking of Dolph Ziggler.  If Ziggler loses, it means he's lost to Rusev, Orton, Rollins, and Cesaro in two or so weeks.  If Ziggler wins, then Cesaro lost to the guy who lost clean to Rusev, Orton, and Rollins.  Neither guy comes out of this looking great.

10:14 - Fun promo that was really strengthened by a rare and unexpected Mick Foley appearance.  Foley thankfully kept it light on the cheap pops and self promotion, and as a result did a great job.  Line of the night also goes to him with his "I also subscribe to the Network for an undisclosed monthly sum" comment.

10:03 - I am so grateful that we have Lawler and JBL here to explain all of Ambrose's puns.

9:52 - How is there still over an hour of this show left?

9:35 - Oh God, is Big Show gonna cry?!?!

9:18 - As I said last week....why are we to be invested in the Natalya/TJ divorce story when we can clearly see they're still together in current WWE storylines?

And by the way, how many times have we seen Big E vs. Rusev?

9:11 - Am I crazy or did Heyman just take the RKO better than Cena did?

9:00 - Gotta admire the "book the match, then create the conflict" philosophy of the Orton/Cena match.

8:57 - Again, I applaud WWE here.  Make people feel like they're missing something special by not subscribing to the WWE Network.

8:45 - Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd here's ANOTHER match we've seen countless times before.  What is this, the third show in as many weeks that we've seen AJ vs. Alicia?

8:32 - The Miz/Sandow pairing is quite possibly the best thing on Raw right now outside of the rise of Ambrose and Rollins.

8:21 - Any acknowledgement about the fact that Sandow and Rhodes used to team?

8:14 - I may be mistaken but didn't we JUST see this match?  Or was that with Ziggler/Cesaro?  For that matter, didn't we JUST see Cena/Ambrose vs. Orton/Rollins/Kane?

8:12 - Is it me or did ending that segment with Kane's music/pyro/lighting extremely random?  He was the only person who didn't speak during the promo and he was a completely afterthought in the story being told.  Why on earth did it end with his music?

8:03 - Don't get me wrong, he wears it well....but I'm not convinced Seth Rollins has an outfit other than black suit with a black button down.

Read more!

Monday, October 13, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - October 13, 2014

11:07 - Fine enough match.  Gave us the match we REALLY want to see, but Orton vs. Cena seems so out of place.  Out of all four combinations, they seem like the two that have the least amount of issues with each other.  Yet that match belongs in the Cell?

10:57 - In five years, will we see a WWE Network promo hyping up that time Dean Ambrose threw ketchup at the Authority?

10:51 - I can't imagine it will be long before somebody plays that audio backwards and let's us all know what it says.

I will admit to enjoying these Wyatt videos.  Actually, I've always enjoyed the videos more than the actual execution of the character.

10:33 - That segment made me hate everybody involved just a little more.

10:28 - I still get a kick out of this whole Miz/Sandow thing.  I do miss Miz's multicolored attire, though.  His all black look is a little strange considering his "street clothes" have gotten so outrageous.

10:23 - Odd how the Intercontinental and United States Championship feuds have essentially swapped -- yet the original pairings (Dolph/Miz, Sheamus/Cesaro) were far superior.

10:13 - For the life of me, I just CANNOT get into Rusev.

10:09 - Are we expected to be invested in a Tyson/Natalya "divorce" when current WWE television shows us that they're still together?

9:48 - Interesting conundrum:  The combination people most want to see (Rollins vs. Ambrose) would also result in the combination people least want to see (Orton vs. Cena).

9:34 - Has anybody else noticed how often Michael Cole uses the expression, "Misses wildly"?

9:24 - It's funny, when I was trying to think of people who could have filled Ziggler's role and essentially gotten the same impact, I was going to suggest Jack Swagger.

9:17 - A highly competitive, extremely entertaining match where the guy higher up on the card won....but again, what was the point?  Why make Ziggler suffer two clean losses in a row when they finally rehabilitated his image?

9:09 - I still don't think WWE understands what "exclusively" means.

8:52 - So after FINALLY re-establishing Dolph Ziggler as a competitive, winning Superstar, they needlessly fed him to Rusev on Smackdown and now, presumably, they're feeding him to Orton tonight.  What's the point?  What's the gain here?

8:43 - "I guess nobody likes Layla anyway."  Made me laugh.

8:40 - Well that's baffling.  They spend all that time building up the "suspense" of who AJ's partner might be, and then they don't even show her entrance?

8:32 - That was a really fun 20+ minute opening match.  I am confused, though.  For the second PPV in a row, they've given away a marquee match on Raw before the actual show (last time it was Rollins vs. Reigns).  What's the purpose?

8:27 - Geez, WWE is putting more effort into getting this whole "standard bet" thing over than they do putting over half of their roster.

8:06 - Is it me or has WWE taken a HUGE step back with their pink merchandising efforts this year?  For the first year, only Cena's merchandise was turned pink (and that included his t-shirt, hat, and wrist/head bands).  The following year, practically EVERYBODY on the roster had pink merchandise -- everybody from Cena to Daniel Bryan to Christian to Randy Orton to RVD to AJ Lee to Dolph Ziggler to the Miz.  This year, Cena barely even has any pink merchandise.  He's wearing his "Keep Calm" t-shirt (with the same wording as it always has been) which is now gray and pink.  But his hat and wrist/head bands remain the normal red/yellow.

This year's line seems to focus on the Bellas (Support the Twins) who are feuding with each other, Hulk Hogan (who isn't even on TV), and Brock Lesnar (Courage, Conquer, Cure seems to be a variation of Eat, Sleep, Conquer, Repeat), who is the company's biggest heel.  Very odd.

8:01 - During the last few months of Punk's title reign, Raw would kick off with a montage similar to what you'd see on a "previously" clip before a television show.  I quite enjoyed those and I'm happy to see that they've brought that back.  It gives a little direction for the show.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about Dean Ambrose coming out wearing a WWE Authentic Dean Ambrose t-shirt.

7:26 - It's been way too long since I've last updated the blog with one of these LIVE thoughts, so I figured this was as good a time as any to get back on the horse.  In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit to not being that into the current storylines right now (outside of the awesome rise of Ambrose and Rollins), so it's been tough to discuss the show at any substantial length.  But let's see if tonight is the turnaround point.  Check back in about a half hour.

Read more!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Hello there, bloggers (or is it "bloggees"?)

For the second year in a row, I will be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 19.  Rest assured, I will be pinkified out there.

If you're feeling generous, please consider making a donation to my page.  This is the only time this year that I will be soliciting donations.

Thanks in advance!

http://main.acsevents.org/goto/mattbasilo

Read more!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

LIVE Night of Champions thoughts - September 21, 2014

10:46 - So to be clear:  We didn't get a proper ending to the match, we didn't get a cash in, and the announcers don't even remember how the match ended two minutes after the conclusion of the match?  They were STILL talking about whether Lesnar would have tapped out when the interference came after a pin attempt.  Lackluster ending to an otherwise entertaining show.

10:34 - I'm wondering if they'll actually have Cena tap out....

10:30 - I'm a sucker for matches that begin with a finishing move.  Also, I'm BEGGING for them to do something with Cena that shows a little edge.  Even if it's little, like him not coming out with his hat or even just cutting the sleeves off his shirt.  SOMETHING that shows he means business.

I see Lesnar retaining here.

10:15 - Hooray!  My fav wins!  Although, since Nikki didn't play into the finish, I'm concerned that she will stay in the title picture.  Keep this about AJ and Paige!

9:58 - I'm HOPING for an AJ win, but I'm willing to accept a Paige win.  Whatever happens, I'm hoping for two things:  (a) that the feud with AJ and Paige continues and (b) that, if AJ loses, that it won't result in people saying, "I think AJ's leaving."

9:56 - What move exactly was Jericho going for there?

9:45 - I'm guessing Orton wins this one, although I can see them "swerving" us with a Jericho win.

9:38 - Sigh.  And there goes Orton's two PPV streak of not wearing black trunks.

9:24 - By the way, I see Rusev winning.

9:22 - I'm not saying he hasn't done anything, but I'm struggling to think of what EXACTLY Rusev has done that has been so diabolical in regards to his acts against the United States.  It feels like we're supposed to hate him because he's dominant and he's Russian.  Is that reason enough to get all sort of rallied up behind America?  Although I do like Henry's USA singlet.

9:15 - A fun segment that made up for what the fans missed out on (a Rollins/Reigns match).  Plus, it's great to have Ambrose back (the cab bit was cool, too).

9:04 - Looks like slightly new gear for Rollins (with gray accents).  I suspect we'll see Ambrose tonight.

9:00 - I WAS going to complain about how both of our title changes happened with a roll up, but I legitimately laughed out loud when a completely fresh Sandow fell down and pretended his head was hurt because Miz was doing the same.

8:51 - I see Ziggler retaining here.  By the way, I am not a huge fan of Miz's black trunks with black designs on them.  I like his colorful versions more -- which actually fit in better with his gaudy dress clothes.

8:48 - LOVE Miz's Hollywood style entrance video.  And I still get such a kick out of the Sandow mimicking act.  Which is significantly less funny when Truth and Ziggler do it.  However, I do get a kick of the announcers' need to clarify which one is Dolph and which one is Truth.

8:40 - Fun match and great aggression from both, but it's rather shocking that probably the most boring champion on the entire roster is the one that retains.  Disappointing result, but fun match.

8:24 - So the Roku in my bedroom seems to be doing much better, but the SmartTV in my living room seems to have less of a delay.  So I'm going to lean with the SmartTV if it survives.  Right now we have Cesaro (in a snazzy red robe) vs. Sheamus.  I predict a new champ, again.

By the way, I noticed during last match that they don't have the championship belt aprons hanging near the entrance any more.

8:09 - Roku is doing MUCH better than the SmartTV (where I use the web browser).  SmartTV is having both streaming issues and audio issues.  By the way, I'm guessing we see a new champion tonight.

On the gear situation -- I like the Usos' black/gold/purple look.  Like Startdust's new blue lining.  Don't mind Goldust's new gear, but hate the facepaint.

Also, did Stardust change his gloves from the backstage segment?

8:02 - Buffering issues have improved but still not perfect.  My Roku seems to be doing better than my SmartTV, so I might be switching between rooms.

8:01 - Already love this opening video, detailing the making of the physical WWE Championship.  Very cool.

7:51 - Wow, the streaming issues are REAL bad right now.  I've reloaded about 5 times and am not to go a full minute without disruption.  I'm guessing this is the result of a huge surge of people logging on at once, but I'm hoping it improves.  Especially since I actually want to see segment.

7:46 - It's almost show time.....so I'm starting to have some buffering issues.  The pre-show had otherwise streamed perfectly.

I will take this opportunity note that I have come to dislike these "challenge John Cena's character" storylines because they never seem to result in any long-term character growth.  Just makes the past month seem like a waste.

7:43 - I really like these match segments, where they show photos of the prior champions with the title belts.

7:35 - They've done a good job building up AJ Lee and Paige that it would be sooooooooooo disappointing if they gave the title to Nikki so that they could involve the title in the Bellas feud (which is not necessary).  Just have Brie cost Nikki the match as payback.

7:30 - I do have to wonder what the logic was behind removing Booker T from the discussion about tag teams that are brothers, but okay.  And I'm not a fan of Goldust's new facepaint design.

7:25 - The ONE upside of this immensely annoying "$9.99" oversell is that they're creating such a strong connection between the Network and that price is that we likely won't see a price increase for quite some time.

7:14 - I find it interesting how guys like Chris Jericho and Hulk Hogan went, like, 40 or 50 years of their life without tattoos (or obvious ones) and then goes out and gets a bunch of really large ones.

7:07 - That bell to bell by the numbers segment regarding the Cena/Lesnar SummerSlam match was awesome.  MORE OF THIS SORT OF STUFF!  Awesome.

6:36 - I know I've been pretty quiet as of late, but things have been very busy on my end so I haven't had much time to post.  However, with TV starting up soon, I'm sure I'll have things to write about.  Plus I want to write about the finales of True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and Once Upon a Time, not to mention the first season of The Leftovers.

Anyway, I renewed my WWE Network subscription over the weekend (and I have to admit, it was incredibly easy) so, for the very first time ever, I'm going to watch Night of Champions -- a concept that I've always loved.  So, what happens tonight with Roman Reigns out?  Does that mean Dean Ambrose returns?  Does Cena get dominated by Lesnar again?  Does Cesaro actually get to win a title?  Does anybody from WWE remember that Christian was a heel last time he was on TV for his Peep Show segment?

Check back in about 20 minutes for my thoughts during the pre-show.

Read more!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

REPOST: September 11

The following was originally posted on September 11, 2009, and then posted again on the 10 year anniversary of the attack.  It's important to remember what happened that day, so I decided to repost it once again:

It's often said that the attacks on September 11, 2001 is our generation's JFK assassination. As in, you'll never forget where you were that day when you received the news. And in my case, that's true.

I was a sophomore at Rutgers and I went to class that morning just like any other day. As I was walking through the halls, I faintly overheard two teachers discussing the World Trade Center, and an attack. I didn't think much of it. I obliviously assumed that it was the anniversary of the 1993 bombing.

Class progressed as usual, until one student came in late -- probably more than halfway into the period. He reported the news that the South Tower had collapsed. Everybody was naturally shocked. After all, the Twin Towers is an American landmark -- just about as recognizable to New York City as the Empire State Building.

At the time I didn't have a computer in my dorm room, so I immediately rushed to the computer lab to find out what in the world was going on. It was still early in the morning -- before the North Tower collapsed -- so phones and Internet access hadn't yet flooded. As I sat there constantly refreshing the news page, I would quickly discover that the second tower had fallen. I was inundated with IM's (remember those?) as I read people's worried and depressing away messages.

Shortly thereafter classes were canceled and I returned to my room, where everybody continued to be in a state of shock. We would spend the next couple of days glued to the TV watching the news. Believe it or not, my freshman year roommate -- who lived on the fourth floor of our dorm building -- could see the billows of smoke coming from the city.

It's been eight years, and while I remember that day so vividly, it also feels like a lifetime ago.

Read more!

Monday, September 1, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - September 1, 2014

10:35 - Alright, I'm heading to bed for the rest of the show (that is to say, I'm going to watch the rest of this show from my bed).  I'll tweet my thoughts for the rest of the night.

10:25 - So Corporate Kane IS fighting tonight?  That would probably explain why nobody sold the announcement that Demon Kane would be in the main event....but way to mess up a big match, Trips.

10:22 - By the way, I'm confused as to why Corporate Kane is being used in the graphic for tonight's main event.  Didn't Triple H quite clearly say that the "Demon Kane" would be competing tonight?

10:14 - I also hate this "Star & Goldust" thing.  It's not like their names are Star Dust and Gold Dust.  They're one word!

10:12 - So, what?  They had Jericho put over Wyatt in order to establish him as a main eventer....only to have Cena plow through him a little over a week later, so now Jericho has to put him over again?

10:05 - THANK GOD for AJ and Paige in that segment.  Although I sorta wish they would just keep the Bellas nonsense away from the Divas Championship angle, which has actually been entertaining.

10:03 - Is it me, or does Nikki hit the wrong word when she yells stuff?

9:54 - Really?  You're going to end the hour on Stephanie?  Talking about the Bellas, no less?  This is not making it easy to stick around for the last hour.

9:45 - I'm guessing this episode of Raw won't be making any "10 Hottest" lists.

9:37 - Is Adam Rose still undefeated?

9:31 - To be perfectly honest, this is a pretty rough Raw to get through.  I can't promise I'll make it to 11:15.  Especially if these Bella segments continue.

9:06 - Okay, so now can we agree to not show that match again for at least another month or so?

8:38 - So I'm guessing that report of Nikki getting heat backstage about that womb comment was BS?  Otherwise, why would they reshow it?

8:36 - While that ending DID make Ziggler look like an idiot (which they often do), I kinda got a kick out of it.

8:24 - I'll say it....this is the PERFECT way to use the Miz.  Love this version of his character.  And for what it's worth, I was one of the people who said he should NEVER turn face, even when he was gaining momentum as a heel.

8:17 - It's a VERY thin line, but I was okay with Triple H saying "the Demon Kane" because the "Corporate" and "Demon" prefix is an acknowledged method to differentiate between the two characters.  It just annoys me when they say it EVERY time.  Like, Kane is in a mask, we understand that it's the Demon Kane.  He's in a suit, we understand that he's Corporate Kane.  The way Triple H used it was the proper way to do it.

And for the love of God....how many times do we need to see Big Show/Mark Henry vs. Rowan/Harper?

8:04 - In fairness, Seth Rollins is more the sell out and Kane is more the suck up.

8:02 - Thank God the Authority came out.  Could you imagine anything more dull than Randy Orton, alone, on the Highlight Reel? Yikes.

Also, I detest how the announcers refer to Kane as "Corporate Kane."  Those sort of meta references don't work.

7:37 - And my birthday month begins!  Is summer REALLY over?  Anyway, let's give these LIVE Raw thoughts a shot, shall we?  Check back in about 20 minutes for the beginning of the show.

Read more!

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.

Read more!

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.

Read more!

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)

Read more!

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.

Read more!