Thursday, January 29, 2015

LIVE Smackdown thoughts - January 30, 2015

9:58 - Fun enough match but the casket aspect really limited them.  I do sincerely hope that this is the absolute last of Kane/Bryan though.  And again....when the powers that be sees the audience reaction to Bryan vs. virtually everybody else, you have to wonder why on earth they're so stubborn about just making him the focal point of the company.

I will admit to being intrigued by Triple H's announcement, though.  I suspect it might be a match between Reigns and Bryan at Fast Lane, with the winner getting the title shot (which Reigns will win).  I think this would be a mistake, if they go that route.  No need to give the audience even MORE reason to resent the guy.

9:36 - Bryan wearing the Bruiser Brody fur boots tonight.

9:35 - Bryan really needs to bring back those awesome ring jackets he used to wear.

9:19 - I love the variations of the "drop down and hit" move that Gold and Stardust do.  Goldust punches, whereas Stardust kicks.

9:14 - Goldust's new entrance jacket is a little fancier than usual.

I also love that Stardust changes up his color scheme.  I kinda wish that Goldust would do the same.  Keep gold as the constant, but maybe mix up the secondary color.  Or add a new color to the trim.

And if these two get fed to Ascension, something's seriously wrong.

9:05 - Really fun, passionate promo from Cena (which contained some really great lines, actually).  I just don't know if the anger justifies the situation.  What exactly is Cena so angry about?  For a guy who lets everything slide, it seems odd that he's so pissed about somebody saying he's not a challenge.

Also, what's the status of the United States Championship?  Cena's last line seemed to imply the title was on the line, but has that been officially clear?

8:59 - Wouldn't it have made more sense to show a clip of the, ya' know, confrontation.  Instead of the clip we've already seen earlier tonight.

8:43 - Ryback coming out wasn't the least bit surprising because WWE's Instagram account already posted a photo of him.  They have a nasty habit of doing that and it's quite annoying.

8:32 - Am I mistaken or did Vince McMahon just give essentially the same exact promo that Triple H did about a half hour ago, which was just repeated from a story reported earlier today on

8:26 - King....a shark is a far better and more intimidating nickname than a "killer whale."

8:22 - All of these promos from different Superstars, all of these things the announcers need to say, all of the dominance Reigns gets to's a lot of work.  Wouldn't it just have been easier to let one of those guys that you openly acknowledge the fans wanted to win, win?

8:17 - Surely they'll be smart enough to give Reigns the dominant victory in this match.  Now is not the time to make him look weak or physically incapable.

By the way, I feel like I'm still getting my value for the WWE Network so I'm not all bothered by it, but I do understand why people are annoyed by the fact that WWE repeatedly gives a free month to new subscribers.  They do VERY little, if anything, to reward their long-time subscribers.  When you teach people that you're better off not subscribing than subscribing, you're doing something wrong.

8:11 - I must say, it's kinda cool that Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, and Dean Ambrose are explicitly mentioned as people the fans are upset were eliminated.  It at least shows that the WWE is aware that these three guys have a connection with the audience.  Let's hope that all three do something special at WrestleMania.

8:06 - You can tell they're using the script from Raw.  Deflated ball jokes on a Thursday?

8:05 - This is an extremely odd heel promo by Triple H.

8:02 - Sure, why not?

Read more!

Monday, January 26, 2015

LIVE Raw thoughts - January 26, 2015

11:12 - An admittedly effective sit down interview and something a lesson to be learned for the next contract showing:  Not everything has to descend into a brawl in order to be memorable or intense.  "I don't respect you," "You will" was an awesome way to end things.  Far better than somebody going through a table.

10:57 - Nobody in WWE ever seems to get upset about anything, particularly babyfaces.  They're all so congenial.  Cena never seems to be heartbroken when he loses the title.  Reigns doesn't seem to mind that fans boo him.  And right now, Bryan is being nothing but gracious about not winning the Rumble.  He's borderline endorsing Reigns.

10:53 - I genuinely hope they do something special with Ambrose at WrestleMania.  The guy deserves SOMETHING significant.  It's unfortunate that he's been the afterthought in the Shield split.  None of them really deserve it, but I'm particularly sad to see it happen to him.  He's the one guy in the group who seemed to have the TOTAL package (could wrestle and had natural charisma) so he was the one who they didn't bother to protect.  And, as a result, he's the obvious third in line.  Which is unfair.

10:14 - There really does seem to be something.....malicious about the people Big Show and Kane collectively and literally dumped out of the ring.  Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, and Dean Ambrose.  Three sentimental favorites for the audience (with Wyatt being a bit of a stretch).  These eliminations happened in a nonchalant, anticlimactic manner.  Only to be overcome by Roman Reigns.  It was a message of SOME sort.  Likely not a positive one.

10:01 - I missed this last night but did JBL say that Lex Luger is the only Royal Rumble winner to never win a WWE Championship?  How about Jim Duggan?  Or Big John Studd?

9:25 - I think I'll watch some Arrested Development.

9:14 - Is it me, or did Bubba find all that weight that Bully lost in TNA?

8:58 - I commend WWE for trying to do something to get people to watch tonight, but I have to wonder if this was the best use of Brock's limited dates.  A studio show that's airing on a night when a portion of your night potentially doesn't have power?  I'm wondering if they already committed to this date (that is to say, this counts as a Brock appearance whether he appears or not).

Would they possibly have the guts to pull a Money in the Bank cash in stunt tonight?

8:49 - Moments after showing the match in its entirety, what's the purpose of showing these highlights?  And for using still photos, for that matter?

8:47 - WWE really pushing this Daniel Bryan/Kane thing on us, huh?  And what's somewhat ironic is that their feud doesn't even focus on the emotional impact of them once being tag team partners.

8:06 - Interesting decision to reshow the triple threat and Royal Rumble match in their entirety.

8:01 - So, like, are all of the Superstars and crew sleeping in WWE Headquarters (you'll always be Titan Tower to me) tonight?

7:52 - Not even sure what to expect for tonight, so this may die out really quickly.

Read more!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

LIVE Royal Rumble thoughts - January 25, 2015

10:58 - The Rock telling unseen people to stop laughing, when we can't hear or see them, came across as kinda sad and self-congratulatory.  Also, nothing says "I'm ready for Brock Lesnar" like "I'm bleeding and need to see the trainer."

10:57 - "He won the Rumble, let him speak." - The Rock....before interrupting Reigns every second.

10:50 - And there you go, the beginning of your build for Cena/Rusev.

10:45 - The blatant attempt to use the Rock's popularity to get Reigns' on the fans good side is both obvious and desperate.  And, when you KNOW you have to go to that level, why not just do the things that you know your fans want.

10:43 - Well, I guess technically Ambrose wasn't in the Final 4.

10:41 - I'm confused....why are the announcers surprised that the Rock is in Philly, or even here at the Rumble?  It was blatantly announced earlier.

10:38 - "And now it's down, to Roman Reigns..."  This company....

10:36 - I was right though.  Ambrose in the final 4.

10:36 - That Ziggler thing....the worse....

10:32 - So I guess that means Ziggler at #30?  Which means we won't see some sort of Bunny appearance that turns out to be Daniel Bryan.

10:30 - Cesaro gets some extra points from me for wearing different trunks for his two matches tonight.

10:23 - Got a kick out of the fact that Ryback clotheslining Reigns got an inordinately loud pop.

10:20 - I tell ya....they better have something up their sleeve better than Reigns winning, because otherwise we're in for a Batista Year 2.

10:16 - Yep.  Eating him alive.

10:14 - Liked the use of the rosebuds....particularly that they DIDN'T save Rose seconds later.  But it bothers me that Kofi's appearance is now ONLY to do a stunt.  Then he gets promptly eliminated.

10:12 - Roman Reigns is dead in the water.  This crowd is going to tear him apart.

10:09 - I think that's the first time in Rumble history that the crowd was so deflated they didn't even countdown.

10:05 - Number 14 is my pick in a Rumble pool I'm in.  I suspect I won't be winning that.

10:04 - I think we're all kinda wondering why Fandango is still in there.

9:58 - This confrontation would be soooooooo much more fulfilling and meaningful if these two didn't face off in a needless match on Raw a week or two ago.

9:55 - Bray Wyatt getting the CM Punk Straight Edge Society treatment right now.

9:52 - The Wyatt reunion was fun and a satisfying enough resolution to their storyline.  I also loved Bray's sadistic reaction to both of them setting their sights on him.

9:47 - Again....shocked they turned down the obvious comedic spot of the Mizdow self elimination.

9:45 - Has it really been 10 years since the Dudleys have been in WWE?  That's incredible.  I feel old.

9:43 - Ugh, WWE's Instagram just spoiled the surprise #3 entrant.  :(

9:42 - Surprised they turned down the chance of doing Mizdow as #2.  Miz would try to convince him to eliminate himself, but the only way he would is if Miz does it first (since he mimics him).  Mizdow would just continue aping Miz.

9:41 - Mizdow as #2?

9:31 - What an awesome match. Truly thrilling.  And all three men did an awesome job.  Rollins ate the pin -- which made sense from a storyline perspective (they had to create a reason why he didn't cash in post-match) -- but I think this was his coming out party as a singles competitor.  Bravo to all three.  And they really did build Lesnar up so that whoever does defeat him becomes a huge star.

9:24 - Did anybody have a better year than Seth Rollins?  This guy is a blast to watch and I really would be thrilled if he's the first member of the Shield to hold the gold.

9:18 - Brock takes the best looking Curb Stomps.

9:12 - This dominance would still mean a lot more if Lesnar had made more than one title defense (which he had to be saved from) since winning the title in August.

9:03 - I am shocked that we are yet to see a gray variant of Seth Rollins' attire yet.

8:55 - I was wrong about the Dudleys returning during the Ascension match....but I was right about Stardust wearing purple!

8:49 - I really don't like the Bella twins, but I'm happy they're at least heels again.

8:47 - We have some extremely strict referees when it comes to these tags tonight.

8:42 - Fun tag team title match.  Really happy to see the continued success of the Usos.  And Miz and Mizdow remain entertaining as always.

8:26 - Nice looking new gear for the Usos.  Nothing new for Miz & Mizdow.  I kinda miss the days when Miz would wear those flashy outfits.  You could always count on a fresh appearance from him.

8:19 - LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that they're putting these live Stone Cold podcasts on the Network.  This is EXACTLY what they need to be doing to bring in those subscriber numbers.

8:11 - This certainly doesn't need to be a squash, but anything less than a fairly dominant victory would not be a good thing for the Ascension.

8:06 - Fun opening segment.  I particularly appreciated the appearance of veteran midcard guys who likely have no chance of winning, but were made to look like bigger deals.

7:49 - I'm betting that Kofi Kingston appears in the Rumble tonight (for his stunt false elimination) and I'm hoping he comes out with his annual fun comic book inspired ring gear, instead of the New Day attire he's been wearing.

7:40 - This was a generally fun match but also seemed to look very messy and disjointed.  I'm also happy to see Kidd and Cesaro with a victory, but really, considering where Cesaro was coming out of WrestleMania last year, he should be so far beyond this.

7:34 - Alright, I hit the "reload" button on my Roku and that seems to have done the trick.

7:27 - Starting to have issues with the WWE Network.  Getting a lot of "Loading, Please Wait" interruptions and the quality of the feed has gone down a lot.  I'm HOPING this is just the result of a lot of new people joining at once, hopefully this isn't a whole night thing.

7:24 - WWE 24 looks amazing.  What's the "24" refer to, though?  24 hours?

7:20 - I wonder if they're trying to swerve us by putting SO much attention on the possibility of Reigns winning.  Having said that, I guess the same could be said about Daniel Bryan.

7:04 - Oh, another random prediction:  New purple attire for Stardust.  He posted a pic of all of his wrestling boots on Twitter, and there was a random purple pair that he hasn't worn yet.

6:57 - Did anybody else watch that Santino's Rumble Lottery special?  If so, how was Hulk Hogan not turned heel, like, 40 times during his memorable run?  I was a blind Hulkamaniac as a kid, but that special really highlighted what a dick he could be.  He's getting double teamed during one Rumble and is saved by the Ultimate Warrior.  Those two guys then double team the Warrior and what does Hogan do?  HE ELIMINATES WARRIOR!!!  The guy who just rescued him.  Then a year or two later he comes in and eliminates his best friend Tugboat.  And then a year or two after that, he's eliminated (completely legally) by Sid.....actually, in almost an identical fashion as he eliminated Warrior....and what does he do?  He CHEATS and pulls him out of the ring, giving Flair the victory.  And, evidently, NONE of this was done with the intention of turning Hogan heel.  Which makes me think WWE may be successful despite itself, not because of itself.  They have a history of really questionable decisions.

6:32 - Tonight is quite possibly my favorite event on the wrestling calendar -- the Royal Rumble.  A night where, ideally, there really are so many possibilities.  And a night that can easily set the tone for what is supposed to be the most entertaining two or three months of WWE's year.

There's a lot to wonder about tonight.  Will Brock Lesnar retain?  If not, will they give a huge rub to Seth Rollins or will they go the "easy" route with John Cena?  And, regardless of what result, who wins the Rumble?  Will they "make it up" to the fans last year but giving the win to perennial favorite Daniel Bryan, or will they strap the proverbial rocket to Roman Reigns and give him the nod?  Or, will they completely swerve us with something unexpected?  A surprise Cena appearance or win?  Ditto for Lesnar?  Or Rollins?  Or will they "make it up" to the fans for the past few months and give somebody like Ambrose his due?  Or Ziggler?  Or Wyatt?  Or will it be Rock?

And with that in mind, which Superstars make a surprise appearance?  Rock?  Hogan?  DDP?  Dudleys?  Sting?  Chris Jericho?  Batista?

Well, here are my early predictions:

I want to say Lesnar retains.  But regardless of the result, I don't think Cena leaves the night as champion.  I see Lesnar winning, but if he doesn't, Rollins ultimately leaves as the champion.  Whether that means Cena wins, only for Rollins to cash in and win, or Rollins straight up wins (after, perhaps, a Heyman double cross?) remains to be seen.  I personally hope for the latter, as we've never seen a champion with the Money in the Bank briefcase.

I do think we'll see a Rock appearance.  WWE has already teased it, and it would be foolish of them to drop that hint and not follow through.  You saw what happened last year.

If the Dudleys do appear, I think it'll be as a post-match attack against the Ascension and not as Rumble participants.  Since there are two of them, the impact will be diluted with them coming out separately.

I see Mizdow coming out early and doing the predicted self elimination after Miz gets eliminated.  I see him coming out early and lasting a long time, though, adding a little tragic element to that comedy ("he lasted that long just to eliminate himself!?!?!")

I think either Ziggler or Ambrose will make it to the final four, but will ultimately lose.

In the end, I think Daniel Bryan wins.  Bryan hasn't even been involved in any significant feud, so there really was no need for them to bring him back before the Rumble.  And, really, putting him in the Rumble only for him to lose in favor of their golden boy (Reigns) isn't fair to Reigns.  There simply is no upside to having Bryan make a monumental return and participate in the Rumble if he's not winning.  Surely they have to be smart enough for that.......right?

Anyway, check back around 7 or 7:30 or whenever the pre-show stars for my LIVE thoughts.

Read more!

Monday, January 19, 2015

LIVE Raw thoughts - January 19, 2015

10:50 - Okay, I can't imagine they're going to have this handicap match last another 15 minutes.  They can't, right?  Well, nonetheless, I'm pretty exhausted and wish to watch the remainder of this show in the comfort of my bed.  So, follow me on Twitter for the rest of my thoughts!

10:09 - That was a fun segment.  I actually expected Booker to return with Stevie Ray (or maybe even Goldust!)  But I didn't quite expect them to SO dominantly overcome the Ascension.

10:03 - How utterly disrespectful for Ascension to interrupt the group that made itself famous over utilizing gang warfare.

10:03 - Why does X-Pac sound like Ryback?

10:01 - Introducing Sean Waltman under his DX name while portraying his nWo character is just plain confusing.

9:53 - Has WWE decided if it's "A New Day" or "THE New Day" yet?

9:46 - Still a sucker for that Royal Rumble by the numbers video.

9:30 - Regular readers should I know that I detest when they have champions lose clean, but I think it needs to happen here.  Ambrose needs as many high profile wins as possible.  Although I do love that he got the nod as Flair's predicted Rumble winner.

9:18 - I noticed that Roman Reigns has reverted back to the Shield version of his ring gear.  No more colored trim.

9:04 - Wow, Shawn really took that Remington t-shirt criticism to heart.

8:53 - So wait, is Shawn still a heel from the whole Daniel Bryan thing?

8:44 - Really?  I mean, it makes me a LITTLE less angry about all of those Dean Ambrose losses....but surely even they can see the idiotic nature of having Daniel Bryan lose in his, like, third match back.  Ridiculous.

8:28 - I miss Daniel Bryan's awesome entrance jackets.  They wouldn't be so stupid as to have Bryan lose here, right?  Anything less than a cleanish win would be foolish.

8:22 - That opening was needlessly complicated.  Why involve the App?  Why not just make the match?  The one thing I really did like was the fact that Seth Rollins was on the big screen while everybody else was in the ring.  It added a nice element of cowardice to his character.

8:12 - I'm not necessarily wild about Cena's new color scheme (although I don't actively dislike it), but I actually really like the design.  Have you seen it?  It's got drawings of Cena's old looks.  It's actually kinda cool.

8:06 - Who knew?  You give Lesnar the mic and he can't stop saying "Baby."

8:01 - Random observation:  Imagine how much more fun this Raw Reunion would be if Ultimate Warrior hadn't passed away.  Don't get me wrong -- I'm not a huge Warrior fan and I think his act could get pretty tired, but we see pretty much the same Legends each and every time they do a reunion.  He, at the very least, would've been something different and new.

Read more!