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 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

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 (

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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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