Here we are, at a Pay Per View that should be exciting...but has to be one of the most boring cards I've ever seen. It stinks of uninteresting feuds, both new and old with no real velocity or energy behind them.
Obviously, WWE can't wheel out Sting again and Brock Lesnar isn't gonna be around until the Royal Rumble next year...so what are we gonna see tonight that's of any interest?
Let's find out...
We begin with gritty footage of WWE superstars inter-cut with footage from a Demolition Derby.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Cleveland, Ohio!!!
JBL, Cole, and King are the guys at the desk. Marcelo Rodriguez and Carlos Cabrera are manning the Spanish Desk of Eventual Destruction.
MATCH #1: Dolph Ziggler (challenger) vs. Luke Harper (champion) in a Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph gets a NICE ovation from his hometown crowd. Dolph misses a couple of Superkicks to start, then both men bolt outside and put some ladders into the ring. Harper walks around the ring and just tosses Ziggler into one of the standing ladders outside, then into the Timekeeper's area. Harper sets up a tall ladder and begins to climb but Ziggler manages to run in and knock the ladder over. Harper lands on his feet and boots Ziggler's head off his shoulders. Ziggler rolls out and Harper follows him, attempting a powerbomb into a ladder outside. Ziggler evades this and rushes at Harper who just slams him into the cement. Harper rolls back into the ring and sets up another ladder but Ziggler pulls him off again. Harper just tosses him across the ring and drops a ladder on his face. He picks Ziggler up and puts him in the corner, then just slams him with a ladder. Ziggler manages to get up to the top turnbuckle with a ladder on a comeback but Harper just uses the ladder to knock him ouside. Then he press slams a ladder at Ziggler's face. Harper tries a Suicide Dive but collides with a ladder that Ziggler has set up. Ziggler rushes inside and sets up a tall ladder. He gets his hands on the belt but Harper grabs him, Ziggler kicks him away and NEARLY grabs the belt but Harper gets up and knocks the ladder over, sending Ziggler into the buckle.
Ziggler gets to his feet. Harper goes for a Powerbomb but Ziggler counters it, only to get Powerbombed into a ladder anyhow. Harper slingshots Ziggler into a rope, smashing his body against a ladder and the abuse continues. Ziggler is busted open as he rolls outside and doctors check on him. Inside the ring, Harper sets up another ladder and climbs. Ziggler suddenly gets up and rushes to Harper, managing to knock the ladder off. The two men fall but Ziggler gets the worst of it. Harper gets another ladder. Ziggler grabs it so Harper goes for a Powerbomb. Ziggler counters with a Facebuster and climbs. Harper pulls him off and Ziggler falls, hitting a DDT on the way down. Harper gets to his feet and grabs a ladder and clocks Ziggler in the face. He swings at Ziggler again but Dolph ducks and hits a Superkick, then knocks Harper off the mat to the outside area. Ziggler gets to his feet and climbs the ladder. Harper gets up and shoves the ladder. Ziggler takes a NASTY fall, landing on his shoulder. The fans chant "THIS IS AWESOME" as Harper sets up the ladder again. Ziggler gets to his feet and swings across the ring with a ladder, knocking Harper down and grabbing the ladder. He climbs...but Harper grabs him. He kicks Harper away. Harper sets up a ladder next to Ziggler -- but Ziggler Superkicks Harper off his ladder! He grabs the belt! Ziggler's the new champ!
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Dolph Ziggler
RATING: ***1/4. This was pretty good stuff.
We get an ad for Florida Georgia Line at WWE Salute to the Troops, both of which we must all enjoy or the terrorists win.
MATCH #2: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (challengers) vs. The Miz & Damien Miz-dow (champions) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Jey starts with Miz and there's about 72 counter spots until Jey hits an armdrag. Jimmy tags in but Miz escapes. After re-entering the ring, Jimmy is all over Miz, punching at him after a press and chopping at him. Tag to Jey. They hit a Double Suplex and Miz-dow imitates that. Then he imitates getting tosses from the ring like The Miz. Naomi watches from the back as the action goes back into the ring. Miz hits a DDT as the crowd chants for Miz-dow. Jey pulls Miz into a roll-up pin as Miz and Miz-dow argue about who should be in the ring. Two count. Miz puts Jey into a headlock but Jey escapes and hits an Enzuguri. Hot tag to Jimmy who clotheslines Miz, hits a kick and Samoan Drop. Miz-dow continues to imitate Miz. Jimmy hits a Rikishi on Miz and goes for one on Miz-dow who escapes. Miz comes out of the corner and boots Jimmy to the mat. Jimmy counters and nearly gets a pin but Miz-dow finally interferes. All hell breaks loose with Jimmy going for a Superfly Splash which doesn't happen because Miz escapes the ring, grabs his titles and starts to leave. Jimmy hits Uso Crazy on Miz-dow, but Miz clocks Jimmy after that.
WINNERS: The Usos via DQ.
STILL CHAMPIONS: The Miz's
RATING: DUD. Shit from top to bottom. A played-out gimmick, sloppy wrestling, clunky coreography...this was bad. Miz-dow doesn't even wrestle anymore. This is really pathetic.
Byron has Rollins backstage with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble. He says that the Authority isn't around because of "The Vigilante Known as Sting" which is his name now, I guess. He says that, tonight, he's gonna end all of Cena's dreams.
Cole gives us an "Anatomy of the Stairs" analysis which includes interesting facts like, "The steps are 275 pounds" and "they can withstand 2200 lbs of pressure" which totally matters in a match like this.
MATCH #3: Big Show vs. Erick Rowan in a Stairs Match
Rowan is all over Show, splashing him in the corner and hitting a nice high spinning kick. Show exits the ring. Rowan follows and gets kneed in the stomach and slammed. He whips Rowan in the stairs and, yay. Stairs. He rolls Rowan back into the ring, grabs some steel stairs and climbs to the mat. Rowan dropkicks the stairs into Show's face and clocks him after exiting the ring. Rowan starts throwing stairs everywhere and kicks Show in the ribs. He picks up some stairs and stacks them vertically, aligning them like a wall. Show grabs him and tosses him into the ringpost. He puts Rowan on the mat and slaps his chest, then tosses him into the timekeeper's pit. Show picks up some steel steps and tosses it on the announce desk much to Cole's surprise. Rowan gets up and starts slugging away but Show knocks him down and uses some stairs to nail him in the stomach. Show puts more stairs in the ring and then rolls Rowan in.
Once in the ring, Show just nails Rowan in the back with some steps and sets up the steps underneath the top buckle, throwing Rowan into them. He does it even harder the second time, then clotheslines Rowan for good measure. He goes for a Chokeslam but Rowan fights out. Rowan lifts Show up and slams him on the stairs. Rowan goes for the top portion of the stairs and goes to the second buckle and just misses Show. Rowan rolls out of the ring. Show follows and knocks him through the wall of stairs Rowan set up earlier. Back in the ring, Show lifts up some stairs but Rowan boots them into Show's face. Rowan rushes at Show who counters and Chokeslams him into the stairs, then hits the KO Punch and pins Rowan under the curve of the stairs.
WINNER: Big Show
RATING: **. Big and clunky with a pointless weapon. And why can't Big Show job to put the new guy over?
We get a commercial for the return of Total Divas.
We get the build-up for Cena/Rollins.
Paul Heyman comes down to the ring so you know this finish isn't gonna be clean.
MATCH #4: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. John Cena in a Tables Match (If John Cena loses, he is no longer the #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Brawl to start, culminating in a bulldog by Cena. Security distracts Cena and Rollins takes over, stomping at Cena in the corner. Cena comes back with a clothesline. He goes under the mat for a table as Rollins' security force looks on. Mercury and Noble pull the table away from Cena once he gets back into the ring. Rollins beats up on Cena and goes for a table under the ring but Cena nails him. The table ends up in the ring. Security goes to get it but Cena pushes them into the crowd wall using the table. Rollins attacks Cena and sets the table on the top buckle. Noble and Mercury come in and pull the table off which makes no sense, but we move on. Rollins attacks Cena and hits a DDT. Rollins goes for a table under the ring and it doesn't get stolen, so I guess that's progress. Rollins stomps Cena in the corner. He sets the table up in the corner and tries to whip Cena into it. Cena baseball slides and hits Moves 1 through 4. He goes for the AA but Security comes in and it's a 3-on-1 mudhole stomp. Ref does nothing. They set Cena up for a Table Bomb but Cena kicks Rollins and fights off Security, then just beats the hell out of Noble. He grabs a crowd gate and knocks down all three men near the entrance ramp.
Cena suplexes Noble on the crowd gate and Rollins immediately attacks. Mercury takes over, punching at Cena, tossing his head into some chairs, then tossing him into the ringpost. They go to smash Cena with a table but Cena moves. Cena grabs Mercury and tosses him into the Timekeeper's Pit with an AA. Rollins goes after Cena and whips him into the crowd barrier. He puts a table up outside and then grabs another table, propping it next to the one he just set up. Cena is inside the ring. Rollins goes for a Suplex to the outside but Cena reverses it. The two exchange shots and both exchange counters until Rollins hits a Reverse Inverted Suplex. Rollins tries to toss Cena into the corner table but Cena whips Rollins up and over the top rope to the outside. He slides a table into the ring and goes after Rollins who clocks Cena with the briefcase. Cena rolls into the ring and Rollins just clocks him again and again.
Rollins raises the case in victory, then tosses it aside. Rollins sets up another table and he tells Cena "Your time is up, my time is now." Cena gets up and grabs him for an AA. Rollins blocks it and the ref takes a bump. Rollins ends up clocking Cena, who falls, face-first on the table. Rollins sets up for the Curb Stomp but Cena gets up and AA's Rollins through the table...but the ref is still out. Suddenly, Noble and Mercury miraculously wake up and the same time and run into the ring, attack Cena, get rid of the broken table for some reason, and then try to help Rollins win the match with another Table Bomb. Cena fights out, knocks Rollins out of the ring and AA's the Security through the table. Rollins comes in and attacks and both men end up going through the tables outside. The bell rings and two other refs who were absent during the first ref bump fly into the ring to confer. One of the refs calls Cena the winner while the other ref somehow calls Rollins the winner, which should make no sense to anybody, sober, crazy, drunk or high. Chiota restarts the match and Cena AA's Rollins into the Announce Table. It doesn't break. Cena gets into the ring and here comes Big Show who nails Cena and calls for a Chokeslam...but Roman Reigns' music hits and he comes out of the crowd, hits the Superman Punch on Show, Spears him through the table, Superman Punches Rollins and Cena finishes it by AA'ing Rollins through a table.
WINNER: John Cena
RATING: ***3/4. Overbooking killed a lot of it. Big Show really has nothing to do with any of this anymore and Reigns should have been the only one making an appearance.
We get an ad for the Royal Rumble on January 25th.
AT THE ROYAL RUMBLE: Cena faces Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
ON THE KICK-OFF SHOW: New Day beat The Dusts.
Renee and her lisp is back at the WWE News Desk.
Byron has the Bella Bewbz backstage. Nikki's sick of talking about AJ. Brie says that they've had their problems...but blood is thicker than water. Here comes the face turn...
MATCH #5: AJ Lee (challenger) vs. Nikki Bella (champion) (w/ Brie Bella) for the WWE Divas Championship
AJ hits a Hurricarana, whipping Nikki out of the ring. AJ attacks. Brie tries to help but AJ ducks and attacks Nikki, sending her into the ring. AJ corners Nikki who comes back, slamming AJ to the mat and hitting a backbreaker. Two count. Nikki hits a quick suplex and then chokes AJ against the ringpost. She puts a Surfboard on AJ, who fights out. Nikki just whips her to the mat. She locks AJ's chin but AJ gets to her feet again. Nikki tries a whip but AJ counters into an Octopus and attempts the Widow. Nikki rams her into the corner buckle to break it. Both Divas rush at one another and clothesline each other. AJ gets to her feet and splashes Nikki in the corner. She hits a Tornado DDT off the buckle as Brie yells "C'MON NIKKI" until she's blue in the face. Nikki hits a dropkick off the buckle and gets two. Nikki sets up for a falling facebreaker but AJ counters with a standing bulldog for two. AJ hits the Shining Wizard and gets two because Brie puts Nikki's foot on the rope. The ref ejects Brie from ringside. On the distraction, Nikki sprays something in AJ's eyes and hits the Rack Attack and we're done.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Nikki Bella via Rack Attack
RATING: **. What was the point of tossing Brie?
Todd Phillips has Roman Reigns backstage. He says he'd be back and he'd make an impact. He took out Big Show and punched Seth Rollins in the mouth. At the Royal Rumble: he'll do damage this year.
MATCH #6: Kane vs. Ryback in a Chairs Match
Kane and Ryback grab a chair each and smack them together. Both chairs fall and it's a quick brawl. Kane grabs a chair and whacks Ryback with it. He props a chair between the buckles but ends up taking the hit on a reversal on the whip. Ryback hits a forearm and press, then hits a Splash. He hits a Bulldog Powerslam and goes to the second buckle, hitting three consecutive body splashes. He grabs a chair and just destroys Kane with it. He puts a chair on top of Kane and goes for another splash but Kane lifts the chair up and Ryback hits that instead. Kane whacks Ryback with the chair and sets it on the top buckle, then nails him with Snake Eyes. Kane picks up another chair and just whacks Ryback with it again. Kane goes for a suplex. Ryback reverses but Kane blocks it. Kane hits a running DDT into the chair for two. Kane goes to nail Ryback with a chair but Ryback kicks the chair into Kane's face. He goes for an axehandle off the buckle but Kane uppercuts him. Two count. Kane sets up a chair but Ryback fights back. Kane uppercuts him and then boots Ryback into the chair, which falls over. Kane splashes Ryback in the corner, then tries again but Ryback hits a belly to belly. Ryback grabs a chair but Kane just kicks the chair into Ryback's face. He takes the chair and hits a half dozen chair shots, then goes outside and tosses six chairs into the ring. He sets the chairs up the way he wants and goes for a Chokeslam. Ryback counters and hits a Spinebuster into the chairs which just doesn't look as painful as it was intended because Ryback botched the landing. Ryback hits about 6 or 7 chair shots and goes for the Meat Hook Clothesline but Kane just throws a 97 MPH fastball of a chair into Ryback's face. He hits a Chokeslam from Hell and NEARLY gets a fall. He calls for a Tombstone but Ryback counters with a Meathook. He goes for Shellshock and hits it for the win.
WINNER: Ryback via Shellshock
RATING: **. Just by-the-numbers. The use of chairs and stairs is really superfluous.
WWE Week starts tomorrow on USA.
JBL's excited about WWE Week and says that Y2J will be the host of RAW tomorrow, calling him "Y2-Jizzle". (DANIELLE: "Oh...are you sure you wanna use that now or ever again?")
MATCH #7: Rusev (challenger) (w/ Lana) vs. Jack Swagger (champion) for the WWE United States Championship
Quick brawl and Swagger barely slams Rusev. Rusev's ankle is bad and he won't let Swagger near it. Swagger chases him into the ring, splashes him, boots him, then celebrates. He goes for the Swagger Bomb but misses. Rusev goes for a Superkick but Swagger grabs it and hits the Patriot Lock. Rusev counters it and hits an Accolade. Swagger breaks it the first time but Rusev locks it again and we're do--...wait. Swagger gets to his knees and fights out of it. He gets to his feet, then counters into the Patriot Lock. Rusev screams, then kicks Swagger in the face. He rolls out of the ring, to the floor. Swagger chases and Rusev hits a Superkick. Rusev gets into the ring. Swagger beats the count at nine, then enters the ring and gets a Superkick and another Accolade.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: #RUSEVWINSLOL
RATING: DUD. Really? A month of build-up for a second Swagger run and another glorified squash is all we get? How many more matches is Rusev the Overrated gonna win?
We get the Rollins/Wyatt build-up...this match is going to be about 25 minutes if the 7:45 stop time holds.
MATCH #8: Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match
The lights come back on, Wyatt sets his lantern down -- and Ambrose just throws a ladder at him, knocking him down. It's a brawl to the entrance ramp. Ambrose throws his head into the table and then chases him to the announce table, hitting a Suicide Dive from the ring mat. Wyatt ends up in the time keeper's pit. Ambrose runs across the table and hits a forearm. They fight into the crowd all the way to Lisp Central where Alex Riley is sitting. They brawl to the ring again and Ambrose grabs a chair, whacking Wyatt in the back. He tosses more chairs into the ring and starts headbutting Wyatt. He sets up a table outside, then grabs some Kendo Sticks. Wyatt is on his hands and knees, staring at Ambrose. He tells Ambrose to hit him -- then goes for a chair but Ambrose just nails him in the head and back. He picks up a chair and hits a Flying Chair Splash on Wyatt. He sets up another chair, then grabs Wyatt, choking him with the Kendo Stick, then grinds it into his neck. Ambrose goes top rope but Wyatt gets up and knocks him off the top, into the table outside.
Wyatt tosses him into the ring and hits him with a Kendo Stick, then tosses him, face first, into another Kendo Stick. He beats on Ambrose some more, then goes outside and gets a ladder. He comes back into the ring, nails Ambrose with a chair, hits an uppercut and Ambrose lands on the ladder. Wyatt hits the Reverse Senton and starts trying to choke Ambrose with the Kendo again. Ambrose gets up so Wyatt clocks him and sends him flying into the ladder. He tells Ambrose that he asked for this. He tries another ladder splash but Ambrose moves out of the way. The two trade punches and Ambrose sends Wyatt into the ladder and splashes him, then hits a Bulldog. Ambrose props a ladder on the top rope and goes up top, nailing Wyatt from above and getting two.
Wyatt leaves the ring but Ambrose grabs a chair, hits him in the stomach and dropkicks him. Wyatt is left hanging on the second rope and hits a legdrop, putting Wyatt's head into the chair for two. Both men get to their feet. Wyatt tries Sister Abigail but Ambrose counters and runs into the ropes. Wyatt hits a HUGE clothesline and NEARLY gets a fall. Wyatt rolls out of the ring. Ambrose follows. Wyatt tosses Ambrose back in. Ambrose rolls right back out and hits the Comeback Clothesline. It's another brawl as Ambrose grabs a couple of chairs, tossing them to the floor. He sets up a table as the two men brawl. Ambrose places Wyatt on the table and climbs a ladder, dropping an elbow on Wyatt, breaking the table. The crowd nearest to them chants "HOLY SHIT". The rest of crowd is kinda apathetic. Ambrose grabs Bray again and grabs another table, setting it up and placing Bray on it. He climbs another ladder, hitting another elbow smash through the table.
The crowd chants, "ONE MORE TIME" as Ambrose gets to his feet. He lifts Bray up and drags him to the ring. Ambrose grabs a rib and goes into the ring...and runs right into a #SisterAbigailOutofNowhere. Bray nearly gets a fall. Bray does the Hanging Spider and goes for Sister Abigail which Ambrose counters with a roll-up. Bray kicks out and rushes Ambrose who side-steps, sending Bray, head-first, into a chair. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds but Wyatt kicks out! Wyatt rolls outside and Ambrose follows, laughing crazily and grabbing more chairs. Then he pulls out an LED monitor that is fully functioning. Ambrose laughs his ass off and goes to the aisle to grab an extra tall ladder. Bray is still unconscious as Ambrose lugs the ladder and sets it up near the announce table. He tells Marcelo and Carlos to leave the table so they don't get heard and starts taking their table apart.
Ambrose goes for Bray who gets up and whacks Ambrose with a chair. He headbutts Ambrose and sets the chair up under his chin but Ambrose blocks and reverses and sends Wyatt into the chair with the stairs instead. He puts Wyatt on the table, climbs the tall ladder and hits a HUGE Flying Elbow into the announce table. Crowd chants "THIS IS AWESOME". He pushes Bray back into the ring after getting to his feet. He picks up the monitor but the TV won't reach across the ring due to the power cable being too short. He pulls on the TV even harder and it sparks and explodes in his face like a product from the ACME Company. Ambrose is blinded, can't see and walks right into Sister Abigail. Wyatt wins.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING: **1/2. Needlessly long and mostly dull, save for the big elbow shot near the end. The TV exploding was completely silly. I can't decide which one is worse: the exploding TV or the Wyatt Hologram.
Bray celebrates as we go off the air.
OVERALL: **. This was a mixture of pointless weapons matches. The only one that worked had the benefit of good storytelling and surprises.
Andy PG will rant on RAW tomorrow, I'm back Tuesday with Main Event, Bayless and Scott have the retro programming as well as NXT and Tommy Hall will bring you WCW Thunder and Smackdown on Friday.
We are at We Hate Your Gimmick (http://wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com) so be sure to visit us!