Monday, May 23, 2016

The RAW View - Adam Rose, Money in The Bank, Owen Hart, TNA, RAW & More

Hello and welcome to the Basement... and the RAW VIEW...

We got a few topics to talk about before going over this week's episode of RAW...

Adam Rose was granted his release, though I expected that he would've been let go in the near future anyway considering the melt down he had following his suspension and the domestic dispute he had recently. I don't see him returning to the WWE anytime soon, but he could go to TNA and reinvent himself there the way Derrick Batman did as Ethan Carter III... I don't see him landing in Ring of Honor... they don't treat guys who know what they are doing well, just ask Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin after Jim Cornette left...

There are reports that there may be a Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank event next month… and… I’m kind of for it. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a Women’s ladder match in the WWE, and this would be a first. For those of you who may not know (which is probably a couple of folks), a Money in the Bank ladder match has about 6 competitors trying to climb a ladder to retrieve a briefcase which contains a contract allowing them to have a title match any time and any place they choose (most often when the reigning champion is at a disadvantage), they are proverbial car-wreck matches, with a lot of high risk spots or stunts done to wow the crowd. It would certainly raise the bar, and if Sasha Banks is healthy, she would seem like a logical person to win.

POP TV President Bradley Schwartz (why is it nearly every TV executive is named Schwartz?) ended speculation about TNA’s future for the time being, saying the show will still be on their network come the fall. He is also quoted as saying that Dixie Carter knows wrestling, which is an out right lie. The real question is will TNA even be around come September with all its financial problems.  And to top it off… more people watched a two-hour replay of last week’s RAW last Friday on SyFy than watched Impact.

George the Animal Steele has apparently fallen ill, I had the pleasure of meeting the Hall of Famer several years back, and he’s one of the kindest folks one could meet. Hopefully he gets well.

On this day in wrestling history, Owen Hart was victimized by Vince Russo who at the last minute put in a spot for him to descend from the rafters at the 1999 Over the Edge Pay-Per-View. Basically, it was this day that wrestling went to far with the hot-shoting, because it cost someone their life. That pay-per-view was actually the first I paid for (out of my own allowance) and that was something you don’t forget. So to Vince Russo, screw you pal.

As far as Owen himself goes, I can’t say that I was a fan of his, he was good, there’s no question about it, but I never really bought him of being at the same level as his brother Bret. He did have several memorable spots with the WWE and while he was never the ‘guy’, he certainly could work with ‘the guy’ to have quality performances, regardless of who it maybe. He had a role and did his job well. Which is something that guys today need to realize. Amazing how it comes back to that.

And finally… tonight’s episode of RAW, first the positives.  I was disappointed they went with Seth Rollins being a heel considering the reactions he got, but we did get it confirm that he’ll face Roman Reigns and we got a number of qualifying matches to set up things at the Money in the Bank event next month. Those involved with the match include Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, I just love that Bob Backlund just buries Darren Young week in week out with the Make Him Great segments. Also Enzo Amore was back with Big Cass this week, addressing his concussion and joining the revived feud with the Dudleys, with Big Cass getting a win over Bubba. And Charlotte’s ‘state of Women’s Championship’ segment was decent as it continued to get her over as a heel, establishing Dana as her ‘Double A’ an her FINALLY kicking Ric Flair to the curb. Plus the Baron Corbin / Dolph Ziggler story will continue thanks to the backstage segment, while on SmackDown Cesaro will get a shot at Miz’s Intercontinental title thanks to his victory tonight over him.

Couple of things that that did tick me off was Apollo Crews no-selling an attack my Sheamus which was clearly to set up a story between the two. The now Adam Rose’less Social Outcasts ambushed the New Day while they were wasting time, but the attack was pointless as the New Day just ate them up in a six-man tag where the Social Outcasts got NO offense in. And then there was AJ Styles being forced to say Roman Reigns is ‘The Man’, and one of the better men he has been in the ring with… well that’s a real indictment of guys like Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle and Christian… and the rather pointless dissolving of the Club… and the facy that Rusev, despite being the new US Champion wasn’t on RAW tonight. But he will be defending the title

So that will do it for this week, tomorrow night... LET'S PLAY STAR TREK ONLINE!

The RAW View: Cody Rhodes & Extreme Rules 2016

Hello and Welcome to the Basement… 

Tonight was the Extreme Rules, which of course aired live on the WWE Network. Because this is only a couple of weeks after Payback, it’s a firm reminder of why having the Network trumps paying for these events on Pay-Per-View!

Before we get to tonight’s events, lets talk about Cody Rhodes, aka Stardust, who asked for his release and stated as such via Twitter on Friday. I saw a lot of comments from people saying the WWE wasted him and that he deserved better…. Better than what? He was a solid wrestler who went up and down the card, having some high-profile matches and feuds while winning several championships. The fact is he’s been on the WWE main roster since 2007, and after 10 years, there’s not much for him to do with the influx of new talent. It’s the nature of the business and he probably knows this. Now he can go elsewhere if he wants to continue wrestling, reinvent himself and then comes back to the WWE down the road. It’s happen before and continue to happen. His brother Dustin Rhodes, aka Goldust, is proof of that.

Anyway Let’s Get To Breaking Down Extreme Rules

First off… Renee Young had a great dress… it was extremely good. See what I did there?

The fun of the night started with the Dudleys heeling it up in the ring only for Big Cass to come down to take them down both verbally and physically. Crowd chanted for Enzo Amore, but he’s still on the shelf with the concussion, but this would’ve been a great spot for him to make his return. Cass looks like a huge star on the rise and you can’t teach that.

Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler in a no-DQ match, I’ve said it before, but Baron needs to run through guys like Ziggler, who had too much offense in the match. He sells too much for guys much smaller than him, and it’s why he isn’t getting over the way he was on NXT. There was some nice continuity tying this to their match at Payback. Finish came with Baron hitting an uppercut to Ziggler’s groin and hitting the End of Days

The Usos vs The Club match was under Texas Tornando Tag Rules… it wasn’t anything special, lots of brawling and chaos. Finish came with Jimmy Uso missing a splash on Gallows, and landing on the ring bell and the Club won with their Magic Killer finish. Nothing really memorable happened here.

Rusev won the US Title defeating Kaliso via submission. I really liked this match bell-to-bell, there was a storyline reason for Kalisto losing, having strained muscles in his back. Rusev looked big bad and brutal, dominating the match like he should, swatting Kalisto down like a fly. Kalisto did get a hope spot with a nice flurry, but Rusev would not be denied, power slamming him off the top rope onto the outer frame / edge of the ring and locking in the accolade. Both guys got over here, with Rusev looking like a beast and Kalisto looking valiant in defeat

The WWE Tag Team titles remain with the New Day, who were represented in their match with the Vaudevillains with the combo of Big E and Xavier Woods, the weak link of the New Day. Aiden English and Simon Gotch should’ve won this match as dominated two-thirds of the match, had the New Day on the ropes, but then stupidity reared its ugly head, with Xavier of all people kicking out of the Whirling Dervish. Kofi Kingston got involved nailing Gotch with the Trouble in paradise, which allowed Xavier to get the win.

The Miz remained in the Intercotinetnal Champion, pinning Cesaro to retain a chaotic Fatal-Four Way match that included the Quebeccers. Maryse stole the show with her presence at ringside, particularly any time she was leaning forward, you could yodel in that valley. There was a sweat spot of Cesaro hitting Miz with German Suplex at the same time Miz had Zayn set up for an Exploder Suplex. 

The Asylum Cage match between Jericho and Ambrose went way too long. From an aesthetic standpoint, it was just the normal steel cage painted black with weapons hanging above it from a lighting rig, The match rules were that it had to end by pinfall or submission… which seemed pointless, I would’ve thought having a 10-count finish or even the rule being get your opponent in the straightjacket and beat them to the point they said I Quit would’ve been how this match was won. The set up of the weapons was absurd, as some where used for comedic effect, others for just specific moments…. And it exposed the over planning that goes into matches like this when Jericho was LOOKING FOR A WEAPON TO USE when he all he had to do was look down.  The finish came when Ambrose counter a codebreaker, dumping Jericho onto Thumbtacks and then hitting the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap-T on Jericho for the win. Good lord was this horrible.

Finally we got to the main event, Charlotte versus Natalya in a Submissions match for the Women’s Championship, and Ric Flair is banned from ringside. Thank goodness for that, because Ric’s presence has taken away from many Women’s matches. I did find it funny that the WWE made a fact to point out how over-pushed Charlotte is, having matches on 13 straight WWE Network Events. The match was great, down to basic wear down wrestling, since this match was a submission match, so you had to have psychology and work towards that style of victory, and both women did that. However Dana Brooke came out dressed as Ric Flair, causing a distraction which allowed Charlotte to take the advantage and to lock in the Figure-8 for the submission victory.  I really liked this match and the result continues the story of Charlotte being unable to do anything on her own, and it gets Dana Brooke aligned with folks that can cover her weaknesses.

The night closed with the Extreme Rules match for the WWE Title between Roman Riegns and AJ Styles… this was basically another gimmick match designed to hide the fact that Roman can’t do squat, as they went all around the arena for the first good portion of the match. When they got back to the ring, a ‘knee injury’ was introduced to try and gain sympathy for Roman while showing how big a ‘bad ass’ he is. What really made this pointless was the commentary saying with the knee injury, Roman loses much of offense… but then he ended up doing things he shouldn’t be able to do with a weaken knee. The Usos and The Club got involved, AJ hit two Styles Clashes, one on a steal chair and both of which Roman kicked out. If that moved wasn’t already pointless and buried thanks to Jericho kicking out of it, it is now. AJ went for tor the Phenomenal Forearm but is speared in mid air, Roman get’s the win.

However the event ends with Seth Rollins returning to a heroes welcome, hitting the Pedigree on Roman Reigns and posing with the WWE Title. If Seth is still playing a slimey heel, I’ll be disappointed considering he has all the motivation to be a babyface as it’s clear he’s Roman’s next challenger.

So all that being said… what are my overall thoughts… this PPV was very… sloppy. Somethings I liked,The Women’s Championship match, The US Title Match and the chaotic fun of the Fatal-Four Way plus Seth’s return, but there was a lot that just went beyond the realm of credibility, in particular the Asylum and WWE Championship matches, with others being beyond idiotic decisions, such as the amount of offense Dolph got in and the result of Tag Team title match.

Overall… I’ll give Extreme Rules 2016 a C… pretty much average. So that will just about do it, tomorrow night I’ll be doing the RAW View and we’ll see where things go from here.

Catch ya then.

9/22/2019 Sunday Night Overwatch