March 24, 2014
Live from Brooklyn, NY
Your hosts are JBL, Jerry Lawler, and Michael Cole
The show starts with a video highlight package on last week's brutal beatdown of Daniel Bryan at the hands of HHH.
Stephanie comes out to the ring and tells the crowd that Daniel Bryan will not be here and mentions that she saw on social media how the fans thought HHH went too far last week and she agrees, but adds that they want to show that any subordination will not be tolerated. She then calls the "Yes Movement" a fad, causing the crowd to start a giant "YES" chant. The crowd then starts a "WHAT" and a "CM Punk" chant as she goes on about her family's tradition and how the fans need them for leadership.
Randy Orton's music hits and tells Stephanie that he respects her as the crowd starts a Daniel Bryan chant that Steph acknowledges by telling the crowd he is not going to show up. Orton then says after HHH beats Bryan, he will beat him and Batista to a pulp. He then offers a suggestion of letting HHH beat Bryan to a pulp and leave WrestleMania a winner by walking away from the title match afterwards.
A boring chant ensues then Batista comes out. The crowd boos him as Batista's mic goes in and out as he yells at the crowd to deal with it as he leaves Mania the champ. This segment has now turned into a trainwreck as Batista gets a mic that works as he tells Steph that HHH has never beaten him. Batista then tells Orton that he makes him sick because he is drooling all over Steph, then adds that Steph has been drooled on a lot. Steph then smacks the glasses off of his face, which has Orton crack up. Batista sees this and spears him then picks up both title belts and raises them in the air before leaving. The actual segment was horrible and something you would expect from watching the first year of TNA but the crowd was lively and made it come across better than it was.
Christian pinned Dolph Ziggler in a "Fatal Four Way" that also included Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio to become the #1 Contender to the Intercontinental Title (11:55) **3/4.
Solid match that got a lot better after the break. Ziggler looked the best he has in months here and he even busted out a top rope X Factor. He got a lot of cheers too. Sheamus continues to struggle since returning from injury. Del Rio continues to coast along. The finish saw Christian sneak in and pin Ziggler with the Killswitch after he hit the Zig Zag on Del Rio. After the match, Big E came into the ring and extended his hand to Christian, who laughed before walking away. They will face off tomorrow night on Main Event.
Bray Wyatt cuts a promo on Cena about how he is shoved down everyone's throat but wonders if Cena sees what he is? Harper then said that they were coming to find him as Bray closes by saying run.
A Plug for the Scooby Doo WrestleMania DVD.
Sin Cara d. Damien Sandow (1:08) 1/4*.
Cara came out with Scooby in the "Mystery Machine." He put away Sandow with the senton in a little over a minute. Sandow won the MiTB Briefcase nine months ago and now he loses clean as a sheet in under a minute. Its not like he should have been a champion or anything but he has a great character and in a company that is lacking that, he can certainly be used better. The crowd didnt give a shit about this and the only noise they made was a light chant for CM Punk. Overall, it was a harmless plug for the DVD.
A video of the Shield getting destroyed on Smackdown by the New Age Outlaws, Real Americans, and Curtis Axel & Ryback
Los Matadores d. Curtis Axel & Ryback (1:01) NR
Cole lets us know that Axel & Ryback have been pulled from the WrestleMania Battle Royal and will now face the Usos for the Tag Titles at WrestleMania. The announcers played that up as Kane making a deal with them. The finish saw Diego rollup Axel, who was distracted by the Shield. The Shield then surround the ring and beat them down, complete with the triple powerbomb. The segment was designed to show that the Shield was pissed and out for revenge, not to build up the challengers for the Tag Titles.
Michael Cole is sitting in the ring and brings out HHH. After HHH is shown the footage of his beatdown on Daniel Bryan, he smirked. Cole asked him about how could he justify his attack. HHH tells Cole that is question is confusing then asks him if he wants to answer that as a COO or as a competitor. HHH then tells Cole that Bryan put people in harms way when he occupied RAW two weeks ago and asks Cole where was his outrage for that. HHH says that Bryan asked for the Game, not for the COO, then blames Bryan and the fans for forcing his hand and now, Bryan got what he deserved and that people will cry. HHH then goes on about how people are soft today and when he was a competitor he saw the lust for success from others but now he just sees apathy. He now sees pathetic, little people without power or desire and the cry when they dont get what they want and mocks the crowd that they should send him a tweet to show their displeasure. HHH then says that maybe it is up to him to change thing and says that he might start the "reality era" and at WrestleMania he ends Daniel Bryan's run at the top as well as the "Yes Movement" then plans to enter the triple threat match and no one living off of their "past glory" or "untapped potential" will stop him and will walk out as the World Heavyweight Champion. A great job on the mic by HHH
Cody Rhodes d. Fandango (2:45) 1/2*
The announcers spent the match talking about "Total Diva's" and just about anything else that was going on. Cody got the win with the Disaster Kick after Fandango was distracted by Goldust dancing with Summer Rae. After the match they teased some tension between Summer Rae and Fandango. When this duo ends, Fandango is screwed.
Hulk Hogan comes out to pump up the crowd then brings out Joe Manganiello and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plug their film "Sabotage." Arnold put over Hulk's physique. Manganiello kinda looks like a pro wrestler. He puts over Hogan then Arnold lets Hogan know that Andre the Giant was one of his favorite wrestlers and had a great time with him on the set of "Conan the Destroyer" then asks Hogan if he and Joe could enter the Battle Royal at WrestleMania. The Miz interrupts wearing a suit and does his "Really" bit and puts over his two straight-to-DVD films. He then says that he is a tough guy and not an actor, like those two, then proclaims that he will win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Miz then says that people are still talking about him when he defeated Cena at WM 27. Miz then tells them all that they do not belong here as Joe dares the Miz to throw him out. Joe towered over him. The Miz tries a sneak attack but Joe blocks the punch then Arnold hits him before Hulk tosses him to the floor. The segment was fine and Arnold was great and seemed very thrilled to be there.
Big Show d. Titus O'Neill (2:22) 1/4*
Show beat him with the KO punch. Titus's offense looked pretty bad. His stomps need a lot of work as they showed a ton of light. The announcers put over the Battle Royal and at one point Titus tried to dump Show over the top rope. The Show is being pushed as the favorite to win the Battle Royal.
The Shield interrupts Stephanie and HHH and asks where they stand. HHH said that whatever happens between them and Kane & The Outlaws is between them as Stephanie books them in a match against the Real Americans.
Cena is in the bathroom mirror, breathing heavy and splashing water on his face when he sees Rowan's sheep mask. He turns around and it went away as the announcers talk about his match against Luke Harper tonight.
John Cena NC Luke Harper (15:05) ***
Good match. The crowd was pro-Wyatt family and Harper received a ton of chants throughout the match, which made him come off like a star. The finish saw the lights go out and when they came back on, Cena was tied up in the ropes while wearing Rowan's sheep mask. That had the crowd start a "This is Awesome" chant. The match was nice but the finish was more about extending the storyline than declaring a winner.
Naomi d. AJ Lee by countout (1:10) NR
AJ and Tamina walked out of the match and got counted out on purpose. Then, Vicki Guerrero's music hit and she called AJ a bitch and told her that at WrestleMania, she will be facing all of the other Diva's on the roster, including Tamina, in the "Vickie Guerrero Invitational." The crowd heavily booed Eva Marie when she was announced. Whatever, I mean, this division is garbage and if they want to get everyone on the card, then do that and make everyone happy. I imagine that AJ retains and in the process screws over Tamina as at least that is somewhat interesting but who knows what will happen.
The Shield (Rollins & Ambrose) d. The Real Americans (13:58) ***1/4
Rollins pinned Swagger with the Peace of Mind (curb stomp). Match was good and nice to see the Brooklyn crowd really go crazy for the Shield, especially Rollins who is thriving as a face. He had an awesome dive sequence during the match. Ambrose does not make for a good babyface wrestler but Reigns and Rollins are becoming crowd favorites. The crowd also did a few "We the People" chants during the match. The Shield also powerbombed Cesaro through the announcers table. After the match ended, Kane and the New Age Outlaws, wearing suits, came out. Kane told the Shield that they will be facing them at WrestleMania.
And now, the final segment. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar come out to the ring as Heyman more or less cuts the same promo he has been for the past few weeks about Brock beating the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Then, we hear some chanting and see druids approach the ring. A casket is now in front of the ring as Brock is getting anxious. He finally opens it and reveals nothing. Then, after almost five minutes,the casket opens as Taker pops out. Heyman runs away. Taker then hammers away on Brock and clotheslines him over the ropes as he bounces off of the casket and lands on the floor. Then, Brock points at the WrestleMania sign as Taker gives the throat slash gesture. I thought this segment was a pile of shit and way too corny overall. And as far as the buildup to the match itself, no one is buying Lesnar at all and Taker has destroyed him in each confrontation so far. If this match doesnt end up being good, there is a chance the crowd could turn because they only selling the Undertaker as a special attraction exclusive to Mania and if his match does not deliver, then it is a complete waste.
Final Thoughts: Certainly not the greatest show and the lack of Daniel Bryan can be disappointing to some but they have at least built up WrestleMania better than it had been as recently as a few weeks ago. HHH was great on the mic and the Wyatt/Cena feud is getting better each week. The intrigue for the World Title match is growing too. They now have less than two weeks to hype the matches on the show.