I walked into this PPV thinking it would be mediocre, so I didn’t have the greatest hopes for it. This is due to the fact that the WWE doesn’t even both doing storylines for anything except the stuff HHH happens to be doing at any given time. Though I guess CM Punk still gets a reasonable storyline here and there, even if that storyline is just him vs Paul Heyman for the seventeenth time….
Still, I walked into the PPV hoping the WWE would find a way to get me excited about the next few months of programming leading up to my favorite PPV of the year, the Royal Rumble. Did they succeed? Read on to find out.
The Miz vs Kofi Kingston – Miz wins
Why do we care about this match? The entire basis of this match was the fact The Miz turned heel last week (nobody saw) by not tagging into a match when Kofi came to the corner looking for a tag. Of course since the WWE is in 100% John Cena mixed reaction mode now, where they find it seemingly impossible to commit people to being pure heels or babyfaces, they had The Miz explain his actions by saying he did it because both he and Kofi deserve to be stars, that they should both be showing everyone what they can do in the ring, that they shouldn’t be mired in tag team action. Yeah. The match opened with Miz offering a handshake to Kofi, which we all assumed would be the heel moment where Miz slapped him or gave him a cheap shot, but no, he floated that god damn Cena line by randomly being good and randomly being a heel, and simply shook Kofi’s hand as if he was a good sport.
The match was an average Miz match you see on Raw all the time, it was nothing special. Miz screwed up his figure four as usual, but eventually got the win with a roll up. After the match, again because heaven forbid the Miz go full heel here, Miz offered a hand shake to Kofi, but Kofi slapped the Miz instead of taking his hand.
So even in a shitty, put together at the last minute story line, the WWE has again failed to establish good or bad. Do we boo Kofi next time? Cheer Kofi? Boo Miz? Ugh.
Match was 2 out of 5 stars.
Curtis Axel vs Big E Langston (IC Champion) – Big E wins
Curtis Axel is a sub par wrestler. His reign with the IC title was very forgettable, though to be fair to Curtis, 90% of the IC title reigns have been forgettable the last several years due to the fact it’s never given a really decent storyline or feud. Still, one would hope natural talent would allow at least some interesting moments during a title reign, but no, Axel is boring in the ring, and below average on the mic. The crowd is usually dead for his matches due to the fact his offence is tepid and he struggles to draw the crowd in with his charisma.
As a result, Big E winning the title last week was a good thing, because at least it gives the title to someone else to see what they can do with it. The sad thing about the IC title was that the storyline behind Big E and Curtis was again just kind of thrown together, so paying to watch these two fight on a PPV feels like a rip off because nobody really has any reason to care about it. The IC title has no luster anymore, so simply fighting for the title means jack shit, and the feud between the two men hasn’t been built up, so there is no reason to watch it for any sort of pay off.
The worst part of this match? It was basically the exact same match as the one they had on TV last week when Big E won the title in the first place. Seriously, the finishing sequence was the exact same sequence they used in the last match. So basically they didn’t even bother putting together a new match, they recycled an old one THEY JUST HAD.
The match itself was below average, it was a 2 out of 5 star match. Though Big E needs to stop taking his boobs out as a signal he is going for his finisher. It disturbs me.
After the match Big E took the mic and sucked up to the Boston crowd, which is odd, considering the WWE struggles to define roles lately.
Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Rey Mysterio and The Usos vs. The Shield and The Real Americans – Shield and RA wins
The one traditional Survivor Series match on the card. It was one of the best fights on the card and had several good spots throughout. The storyline behind it wasn’t the deepest, but at least the Rhodes Brothers and the Usos have some history with the Shield, and it’s nice to see a survivor series style match actually be on the PPV.
The three highlights of the match for me:
-Goldust continuing to wrestle like a boss. The dude has never looked better and the crowd loves him. It’s been exciting to watch him on this run. I still remember when he first burst on the scene and began sexually harassing Razor Ramon. How far we’ve come….
– Cesaro’s swing move is one of the most over moves in the company. The fans start counting each rotation he does now. The crowd really gets into it. It’s a bit odd for a heel to have such an over move and to use it to get a positive reaction from the crowd, but that is the WWE’s MO as of late. Still, Cesaro did a swing of about 18-20 rotations on each Uso and it brought the crowd to their feet.
– Roman Reigns will be a world champion sooner rather than later. The WWE loves his size and they pushed him hard in this match, as he got four eliminations with his spear finisher. Even though it seems like everyone in the WWE has a spear, Reigns is the best at making it look devastating. The WWE has pushed big guys in the past due purely to their size (they love their big men) but at least this time Reigns isn’t some muppet in the ring, he has actual talent, and he has that Lesnar quality of making his offence look really really painful, which makes him fun to watch.
The WWE has been planting subtle seeds as of late of the Shield possibly having issues. At one point last month Ambrose mentioned how he is the only guy in the Shield left with a title (which caused Rollins and Reigns to look upset with him), and in this match Ambrose was eliminated right away. It could lead to a situation with Ambrose claiming he is the best Shield member while the Shield members point out he was first one eliminated sort of deal. Keep an eye out on it.
Match was 3.5 out of 5 stars.
AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Summer Rae, Kaitlyn, Rosa Mendes, Aksana and Alicia Fox vs. JoJo Offerman, Eva Marie, Natalya, The Funkadactlys and The Bellas – I think Nattie won
I got a hot dog during this match but I believe Nattie won. The diva division is a joke (except for AJ, she does a great job) so I don’t really care what happens in it. It’s honestly being used as background noise for Total Divas more than anything as of late. This match doesn’t make the PPV if it wasn’t for Total Divas being so successful, let’s not lie.
Still, if watching a match where a successfully landed drop kick can lead to a pin, then this might have been the match for you!
0 stars out of 5.
Ryback’s Open Challenge – Taken up by a returning Mark Henry – Henry wins
Ryback openly challenged anyone on the roster, and Mark Henry made his return. They fought their usual slow paced match with Henry winning with his slam. Again, another match with no background or basis.
1 star out of 5.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan – DB and CM Punk win
On paper this looked like it would be the best match of the night and lo and behold it was. Punk and Bryan are the best wrestlers on the roster, and Rowan and Harper do a good job wrestling as big men (Luke Harper might be the best out of the three of Wyatt, Rowan and himself, to be honest).
Unfortunately the WWE stuck to the tag match formula of making you know nothing of use was going to happen until the “hot tag” was made (the situation where one good guy gets beat up and isolated from his corner before heroically making his way back to his partner for the tag, where the partner then goes on to clean house), but the match took off after the hot tag. Good spots from both Bryan and Punk, and like I said, Harper has a solid base of power moves in his arsenal, plus he makes really weird noises in the ring, really lending to the creepy vibe the Wyatt family gives off.
End sequence saw Bryan nail Rowan with his finishing knee, allowing Punk to hit GTS on Harper (although the GTS continues to look like shit when Punk has to do it to a big man. I’m sorry, but the GTS is a move meant for lightweights on lightweights, it looks like garbage on big men) for the win.
After the match Bray Wyatt teased getting into the ring but eventually he backed off and walked to the back, letting us know this feud is far from over.
Match gets 4 stars out of 5
John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio – Cena wins
This match could have been the best wrestled match of all time, and it still wouldn’t get five stars from me due to the fact that nobody believed for one second that Del Rio had any chance of winning.
The match itself was ok (Cena actually did some new moves), but it followed the traditional route of Cena getting the crap beat out of him only to magically pull out his god damn AA for the win.
Seriously, I have never seen a crowd less invested in a match then this one. Even John Cena fans in the front row, fans who one would assume paid a ton of money for those front row seats to see John Cena, were bored and spent the match texting or looking at their phones. Nobody believes Cena will lose (because he doesn’t) so there is no point of watching his matches. This makes any build up for a Cena match quite useless because again, the majority of the time Cena’s opponents have zero chance of winning, so nobody gives a shit about his storylines (unless you’re 5-12 years old, in which case you love his god damn bright t-shirts).
Match was 2.5 stars out of 5.
Randy Orton vs. Big Show – Randy Orton wins
Christ, I can’t believe this is a main event of a PPV.
Randy Orton is not my cup of tea, nor is Big Show. I tend to find Big Show and Orton need to be used in a specific way for them to really shine, but putting them together is not such a way. The match itself was sloppy as hell, with Big Show screwing up several spots (Randy tried his DDT move with Show’s feet hanging off the top ropes, but Show slipped and fell off), and at one point Randy tried running out of the ring to escape Show, but ended up nutting himself on the bottom rope instead). It was a poorly wrestled match.
The end came when HHH’s music hit and he walked on stage with Kane and Stephanie, which distracted Show, leading to Orton giving him the RKO, followed up by the punt to the head.
The show didn’t end there, though, as John Cena walked out and raised his title and seemingly threw the gauntlet down that he was going to come for Orton. Yay?
Match was 1 star out of 5.
I know this review comes across pretty negative, but I’m sorry, the WWE can do so much better, so I find it hard to sift through the shit they offer me in the hopes of finding some golden nuggets for the future. Here are just some of the problems the WWE has right now, as highlighted by this PPV:
– Shitty story telling. If it isn’t a HHH storyline, it doesn’t get a back story. Seriously, how hard is it to come up with a basic feud for some of the roster? Even if it’s a simple case of “this dude stole my car!” kind of storyline, where it’s a basic basic feud, why not do it? Why force a Miz vs Kingston feud that nobody gives a shit about? Build up a feud more than one week, actually spend time on some of the other people on the roster.
– Too much HHH. Seriously, he started the PPV, and he ended the PPV. You god damn retired HHH, stop making yourself the central focus of everything like you always used to.
– If HHH is so intent upon being the central theme of everything, learn how to be a god damn heel again. HHH can be a very very effective heel. He is not an effective heel right now, though. As I wrote earlier, he likes to blur the lines of being a cocky good guy mixed with being a cocky bad guy, so as a result, the fans have no idea what’s going on. For instance tonight HHH came out and started off the PPV with a speech about nobody interfering in any matches (physically), and then did his “Are you readyyyyyyyyy” tag line.
You’re a god damn heel you stupid son of a bitch. Don’t do your face shit when you’re a god damn heel. Christ.
– John Cena going after Orton looks like the start of a potential title unification. While unifying the titles isn’t a bad idea (the World title acts like a super IC title right now anyways), I wish it wasn’t Orton vs Cena doing it. We’ve seen Cena vs Orton before many many times. I don’t think it’s the right storyline to be pushing now.
My worst fear is that Cena wants to unify titles, but HHH tries to prevent him from doing so, so Cena goes on to win the Rumble so he can force a unification bought.
I love the Royal Rumble. I hate John Cena. Don’t let Cena win my Rumble.
– WWE is more concerned with marketing now. It’s depressing as shit to see mid carders being used on a PPV to sell merch. This time it was Fandango, R Truth, Santino and a couple others that were playing with WWE toys during a segment. It’s depressing that selling toys to kids has become a bigger focus than the actual wrestling itself.
– The fans chanted “BORING” for many chunks of the Show/Orton match. It was not a good match nor was it ever going to be a good match. Orton and Show do not have good chemistry. It just further saddens me that Bryan, still one of the most over guys in the company, has been discarded from the title scene in favor of Show.
– The WWE needs competition. Tonight’s card would NEVER have happened if they had a hot WCW style product competing against them. The WWE is stale and complacent because they can be, being the only show in town. If TNA wasn’t run by a bunch of idiots and actually had money behind them, it would help the business tremendously.
Anyways, some people actually enjoyed the PPV and if you did, good on you. If you enjoy the current product then I am glad someone is. I am just currently not finding any hope for the current product. I think HHH is too involved with everything and the big business aspect of WWE is taking over everything. Why have a good feud when you can have Ziggler trying to sell you a mock title belt?
The WWE could do great things with Punk, Bryan, the Shield, Rhodes and the Wyatt family (Wyatt family is a great gimmick, original and fun to watch), but I fear that the Cena marketing machine and HHH being HHH will bury everyone for the foreseeable future.