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WWE RAW: December 29, 2014

Oh hi, I’m the WCW guy. Andy PG won’t be here tonight due to a medical issue. (I don’t wish to start rumors, but I hear he got a new TV for Christmas and when he removed the old one it BLEW UP IN HIS FACE!) As a result, you and I are going to forge some sort of unholy alliance to get us through the next 3 hours.

I haven’t seen any of tonight’s previews, but I heard through the grapevine we’ll be treated to a number of matches we have seen many times before, and will see many times again. Also, after months of teasing separation, will Dean Ambrose’s tongue officially take on a life of its own and start a solo push?

I’d love to speculate all night but the show is starting.


Oh cool, we’re getting an Edge montage reliving his retirement from nearly 4 years ago, a stark reminder we’re all getting really old. The good news is, he’s back tonight with Christian. The bad news is, they now totally reek of mothballs.

There’s no point in wasting any more time, as EDGE and CHRISTIAN head down to the ring. Believe it or not, they’re actually my favorite tag-team of all time (please don’t tell the Faces of Fear!!!). Christian promises a Peep Show for later tonight, but the host of the Cutting Edge takes issue with this. However, because they’re friends this week, they settle on the Cutting Edge Peep Show, which gets a mild reaction. Seth Rollins will be our guest, before he wrestles Roman Reigns later tonight. Christian hypes Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler, and they’ll both be completely naked! Ok, it turns out that last part is a lie. Edge tells Christian nobody wants to see that (which is NOT true, I’d thoroughly enjoy watching every sponsor simultaneously drop the WWE on account on Dolph’s new finishing move – Flapping in the Wind.) Also, Daniel Bryan is here. We wrap things up with a 5 Second Pose, but just as we prep for the benefit of those with Flash Photography, BROCK LESNAR and PAUL HEYMAN interrupt. This probably doesn’t bode well for soon to be sacrificial lamb Christian.

Heyman asks why a couple of lads with neck and concussion problems would come swimming alongside the shark that is Brock Lesnar. Heyman reminds us that both guys are a step away from being in a wheelchair, so Brock won’t be hurting either of them since their careers are already over. Instead, he’d rather destroy the virgin neck of JOHN CENA, who is the wrestling equivalent of Beetlejuice; arriving immediately on the 3rd mention of his name. Cena gives us his 2015 resolution; to take the belt off of Brock Lesnar. I was betting on a 21-day juicing cleanse, I’m out $20. They almost come to blows, but you aren’t paying $9.99 for this, so no fighting for you. But what of my 5 second pose?

We are LIVE from Washington, DC, as evidenced by these shots of the White House!

DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. THE BULGARIAN FRUIT (with Katy Perry) (in a non-titles match)

The fans bust out a “USA” chant, in the hopes of sending that pesky Bulgarian back to Mother Russia with their united racism disguised as patriotism. Rusev beats down Ziggler, and puts him in a half nelson lock. Ziggler escapes with a jawbreaker, and stalls the monster with a dropkick and DDT combo that gets a quick 2. Off to commercial, lest Ziggler’s momentum excite you.

Back live, the momentum has shifted, as has Rusev’s hair. The post-coital Ron Jeremy is a fantastic look. Ziggler hits another jawbreaker, so Rusev hulks up. Ziggler heads to the top rope, and leaps into the awaiting arms of his beefy ring-mate. He escapes the fallaway slam by landing on his feet (a fantastic metaphor for all you young wrestlers facing adversity), and nails a missile dropkick. Rusev tries the superkick, but Ziggler ducks and hits the Rocker Dropper for 2.  The Zig Zag is set up, but Rusev shoves him away. Blind avalanche misses, and Ziggler quickly hits a superkick for 2. Next Shawn Michaels my ass. The Zig Zag is blocked with the ropes, and Rusev kicks Ziggler in the kneecaps. After a quick meeting of shoulder and ring post, Rusev stomps away in the corner, where he’s promptly disqualified at 10:07. So wait, we’re disqualifying guys in 2014 for using what was essentially Steve Austin’s opening act? Rusev applies the Steiner Recliner anyway, cuz nobody tells him what to do. **1/2

RYBACK has seen all he can stands, and he can stands no more, and heads right for Rusev. One Meathook knocks the mad Bulgarian to the outside, where he grabs his flag and calls it a night. Ryback leads the fans in a “FEED ME MORE” chant and promptly takes 15 years off their lives.

Your hosts are MICHAEL COLE, JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER, and “JOHN” BRADSHAW “LAYFIELD”. Lawler is sporting a custom made Ugly Christmas Sweater. I’m looking forward to the eventual reveal that Lawler died in 2003 and the last 11 years have been a Weekend At Bernies rib that just carried on far too long, like the Anonymous GM, or Triple H as “the prodigy”.

Back from a quick break, Ryback is still here, and he has the STICK! He talks about his first live event when he was 12 years old. He somehow got the gig of being the guest bell keeper, and it was at that point he knew he wanted to be a wrestler someday. Then, he appeared as a contestant on Tough Enough in 2004 as “The Silverback” Ryan Reeves. Here’s footage to prove it (holy crap, he ain’t kidding!). When he was eliminated from the competition, he fell into a depression and took a job at a BBQ place in Louisville, KY, working 12 hours a day. Sorry, as a smoking enthusiast, that sounds all kinds of awesome.  He spent his long lonely nights eyeballing his Wrestlemania DVDs as a reminder of what he lost. But, on one fateful day, he read “The Secret”, a book on positivity, and once he changed his thinking, he got a second chance with the WWE. In 2010, he re-arrived as Skip Sheffield, a member of the Nexus, and was on top of the world until he broke his leg a couple of weeks later. He shows off his scar to the cameras (which is COMPLETELY unnecessary in the HD era!). He refused to listen to the doctors who told him he was done, and he returned as the man he always had deep inside of himself … Bill Goldberg Ryback. That takes us to today, where he sees all the negativity Rusev brings, and he’s going to kick his ass and turn it into a positive. Or something. Trying to tie his life into Rusev was a little weak, but the rest was good stuff, and the kind of background stuff I wish we’d see more of.

NIKKI BELLA (with Brie Bella) vs. NATTIE NEIDHART (with Tyson Kidd) (in a non-title match)

Nikki is knocked off the apron right off the bell, and we get right into the Sportz Entertainment as she falls in the arms of Tyson Kidd who seems to dig it. This causes some sort of distraction with Nattie, who falls prey to the Rack Attack at 1:07. This went about 1:08 too long. DUD

Backstage, TEAM MIZDOW rub their collective titles like a fine set of nipples. And, speaking of nipples, NAOMI wanders in to thank Miz for getting her a shot at producing music. She promises to show how much she appreciates it, and wishes him luck in his match against the Uso Brothers tonight. I thought we’d moved past the “Women are easily manipulated sluts” era, but apparently the PG rating has taken us back to the stone-age.

I made the mistake of looking at the clock and I realized only 1 hour is behind us. It’s gonna be a long night.

THE USOS vs. THE MIZ & DAMIEN MIZDOW (for the WWE world tag-team titles)

Backstage, NAOMI is watching this on a MONITOR! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!? Miz starts with Jimmy, and gets his ass kicked so that Mizdow can showcase his shtick of selling alongside his buddy. Full disclosure: I abhor this gimmick. I like some semblance of suspension of disbelief, and this ain’t it. But alas, it’s over, so we’re going to beat it into the ground. On queue, the fans chant for Mizdow, who sells an atomic drop with his best method acting, and throws himself out of the ring when Miz suffers the same. As the tag-team champions appear to be in peril, we take a commercial break.

Upon return, Miz has regained control, and cock-teases a Sandow tag. His decision not to turn to his buddy turns out to be a poor one, as Jimmy does a number on Miz, and tosses Sandow to the outside when he rushes to save his partner. Uso Crazy connects, but back in, Miz gets a quick DDT for 2. Miz goes for a Figure Four, but is shoved off and given an uppercut. Whisper in the Wind gets 2. Miz turns things around, and gets the Figure Four applied this time – and the fans show the requisite respect to Ric Flair; still The Man after all these years. Jimmy makes the ropes, and ties Miz up in the Tequila Sunrise. Sandow saves the day, but Jey hits the ring. Miz spies him, and throws Sandow in the way to eat the Superkick. Jey delivers one to Miz anyway, and heads up for the Superfly Splash. Miz blocks with the knees, and hits the Skull Crushing Finale … for 2! The fans start a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant, but I haven’t a clue why. Jimmy gets the tag, and the Usos hit duelling superkicks. How Sweet It Is connects, and Jimmy scores the pin at 13:03 to start their second tag-team title reign. Naomi runs down and jumps into her man’s arms in delight. ***

JERRY LAWLER hits the ring to quickly remind us why we’re in dire need of a real backstage interviewer. The Usos have big plans; they’re going to JR’s BBQ. Lawler attempts a Johnny Manziel joke which falls flat. Regarding Naomi’s relationship with the Miz: It was a SWERVE! Oh.

After a break, CESARO has hit the ring, and is sulking in the corner with a towel over his head. Cesaro reminds us that he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania, which should have been the start of “his year”. Instead, he’s being told he doesn’t connect with the audience. He agrees; because he has no interest in connecting with anyone. He doesn’t need gimmicks, because he’s the best wrestler in the world. He issues an open challenge for anyone to prove him wrong.

CESARO vs. “BAD NEWS” BARRETT

Barrett’s return comes with bad news: That Cesaro will be connecting alright. His head, with the Bullhammer. I know what you’re thinking, and I agree; I was hoping for Sid too. Barrett knocks Cesaro to the floor, and follows behind. Cesaro hits a European uppercut, and rolls BNB back into the ring, getting 2 off a top rope axehandle. Cesaro tries the rolling Germans, but only gets 1 before Barrett wriggles loose. A boot to the head from Barrett gets 2. The pumphandle slam doesn’t work, and Cesaro catches Barrett with the Swing. He only goes a handful of rotations, before releasing and moving to a half crab. Lawler calls BNB “Wade”, which is probably going to cost him his paycheque this week. Barrett gets the ropes, and a thumb to the eye sets up the Bullhammer for the win at 3:40. Not a good night for Cesaro, I assume it’s because he’s too Swiss. *

Elsewhere, LUKE HARPER bemoans the fact he’s been cast aside like trash. He reminds whoever he’s talking to that he’s a product of “your” environment, a social pariah. Dammit Luke, less talk, more ass kicking.

The Ascension is coming! Tonight!

JACK SWAGGER vs. LUKE HARPER

Harper makes fun of the “We the People” nonsense, with a series of unintelligible grunts. A throat punch staggers Swagger, and Luke then steps on his face for good measure. The fans are SILENT here. If anyone in attendance farts, the Universe is gonna know about it. A dropkick gets a quick 2 for Harper. Harper works a front facelock, but Swagger escapes and dumps Harper to the floor. After a quick “We the People”, we head to commercial.

We’re back, with Swagger trapped in a chinlock. Swagger escapes, and takes a big boot to the face for his effort, getting 2. Gator roll goes nowhere, and Swagger starts his comeback. A boot catches Luke off guard, and a clothesline gets 2. A 3 point stance sets up a powerslam, but Harper kicks out at 2. Harper tries for a powerbomb, but Swagger fights it and escapes. The Patriot Lock is blocked, and Harper nails a superkick for 2. Swagger is able to go for the Patriot Lock a second time, but Harper makes the ropes immediately. Swagger Bomb is blocked with a kick to the face, and the Clothesline from Smell scores the win for Harper at 9:45. Luke is one of those guys who needs a steady stream of jobbers fed to him. He’s not a character meant for long competitive matches, even if he’s got the goods, because the fans just aren’t buying it. This one died a long, painful death. *1/2

Backstage, JOHN CENA, EDGE, and CHRISTIAN relive old times. John Cena yuks it up about the first time Edge cashed in the MITB contract, after Cena had wrestled 45 minutes in the Elimination Chamber. Edge chums up to his new buddy about the time Cena tossed him in the most polluted lake in the USA. Things get a little awkward when they start reminding each other about the times they beat each other in their hometowns, except Christian who’s wearing a shit eating grin from ear to ear. In fact, he brings up the time Edge went to Cena’s father’s house and slapped him around. Sensing he might have gone too far (judging by the fact Cena’s put the death glare on him), Christian quickly makes his exit. Cena’s cool though, and he thanks Edge for making him a better performer, and for being a decent human being.

ROMAN REIGNS vs. SETH ROLLINS (with Jamie Knoble and Joey Matthews)

THE BIG SHOW joins the commentary team, turning face, then heel, then face again, before settling on heel, all in the span of 18 seconds. This is of course the blow-off to Roman’s big injury; silly that it’s not happening on PPV, even if they go with a shmoz. And, they start by wrestling your standard WWE match, with Reigns wringing the arm and throwing Rollins into the buckle from a hammerlock position. You’d THINK Roman would have a little more intensity considering this guy tried to commit homicide and all. They slowly head to the floor, and don’t really do much. Back in, Rollins punches Reigns in the back of the head to get control, and stomps him down. Reigns comes back with a schoolboy, but he then picks up Rollins right through the move for a chokeslam! Reigns takes this time to scare off the Stooges, and then hits a dropkick from the floor, to Rollins’ face who is hung through the ropes. However, during the replay, Rollins does something we aren’t privy to, and as he takes control, we take a commercial break.

Apparently, Rollins has “completely taken over this match”, and is working a chinlock. Roman shows a little fight, but a chop block stops that quickly. Rollins drops a knee, and applies a rear chinlock as Roman takes a nap. Reigns stands up eventually, and fights out, but Rollins gives him a drop toe hold face first to the buckle. Seth starts to get cocky and stalls way too long, letting Reigns recover and hit a tilt-a-whirl slam to even the playing field. Both guys slowly stand and go into the Rocky and Apollo routine. Reigns nails a backdrop suplex for 2, and seems to have the momentum now. Rollins senses this too, and throws a couple of back elbows. A kick is blocked by Reigns, but Rollins still manages an enzuigiri for 2! Rollins doesn’t stop, hitting a lightning fast superkick, scoring another 2. Rollins spends a half hour telegraphing the Curb Stomp, so Roman is able to avoid it easily. Rollins misses a leap off the top, and walks right into the Superman Punch. The spear is eminent, and Big Show senses it too, pulling Reigns to the outside for a DQ at 16:14. Big Show tosses Reigns like a garbage bag right over the Spanish announce table, and then tips the table over on top of him, burying our hero. ***

Rollins heads backstage with the Stooges, and decides he’s going to invite John Cena to the Cutting Edge Peep Show for a toast later tonight.

BRAY WYATT is sitting in the back of an ambulance. Why? Because an Ambulance match has just been booked against Dean Ambrose, for next week. Wyatt figures the concept is ridiculous since Ambrose is already dead, and he owns Dean’s soul.

Meanwhile, RON TRUTH and DANIEL BRYAN are sharing a private moment. THE USOS are voyeuristically hanging out nearby, but Daniel’s cool like that and gives them props.

After a quick break, DANIEL BRYAN makes his live return, allegedly armed with a big announcement tonight. If you want to talk about it, you can use the hashtag yesyesyes, or you can try talking like a regular human being. Bryan sucks up to the locals, and thanks them for believing in a B-Plus player, allowing him to main event a Wrestlemania. A couple days later he married his wife, and had the greatest week of his life. From there, shit got real, because his dad passed away, and he wasn’t there because he was wrestling. A month later, he suffered an injury, and nobody was able to figure out what was wrong. He’s spoken with Edge, who suffered a career ending injury, because he’s at a crossroads with his life and career. And he’s decided that NO, it’s not over. His announcement: He’s in the 2015 Royal Rumble! The fans are lead in a loud “YES” chant.

Queue the Roman Reigns backlash in t-minus 27 days and counting. I don’t feel that the Bryan movement is anywhere near as strong as it was last year, but they’re in real trouble if they don’t think they’re angling for a repeat. It’s going to take some tight booking to make the fans want to want Roman.

Elsewhere, EDGE and CHRISTIAN have been reunited with their Kazoos. MIZ and DAMIEN MIZDOW aren’t amused, so they try to appease them by playing their music instead. Miz sarcastically offers to set Christian up with his agent, and Christian offers to set him up with a breath mint. Miz wants a rematch with the Usos tonight for the belts, but Edge declines. He does, however, have something special planned for Miz, upcoming next.

THE MIZ and DAMIEN MIZDOW vs. THE ASCENSION

This is my first viewing of the Ascension (don’t judge me!), and I’m delighted to see some new faces on the show. Mizdow is double teamed with shoulderblocks early, but manages to kick Victor in the face. A clothesline does little, because Victor quickly gives one right back. The Fall of Man (Total Elimination variation) finishes things fast at 1:16. They’re really going to force me to watch NXT so I can actually see if they’re any good, aren’t they? 1/2*

EDGE and CHRISTIAN are out for the main event Cutting Edge Peep Show. Unfortunately, their Year 2000 shtick is absolutely lost on this group, who are sitting on their thumbs quietly, watching a couple of old dudes who just aren’t connecting with them anymore. SETH ROLLINS, JAMIE KNOBLE, and JOEY MERCURY come down to the ring, armed with champagne and flutes. Rollins calls E&C a couple of his heroes because they ushered in the era of high impact wrestling. Edge thinks Rollins is full of it, and finds his comments condescending. Seth reflects on his accomplishments of the year, but E&C smack him down with a number of superstars who performed at just as high a level (including the Reverend Slick!). Rollins ignores them, and introduces his new best friend THE BIG SHOW. Before he starts his toast, he also wants to welcome John Cena (who promptly fails to show up). Edge laughs at him, but Rollins doesn’t care because he’s still better than Edge. Edge: “You couldn’t be better than me if you had a live sex celebration with the big goiter here.” Rollins finally admits he doesn’t want to toast John Cena, he actually has something he wants. He orders Cena to get his ass to the ring, lest he force his hand. And with that, he smacks Christian with the briefcase. Edge gets all up his grill, but he quickly realizes he’s surrounded and in big trouble. Show goozles him, and forces Edge’s head to the mat, setting him up for a Curb Stomp on the briefcase. Rollins gives Cena one last chance to save Edge from paralysis. That’s all JOHN CENA needs, running down even without his entrance music. Rollins orders Cena to stay put, because if he attacks, Edge is getting his neck broken. Rollins wants the one thing Cena can give him, the one wish only he can grant. He wants the Authority back. Cena tucks his tail, and agrees to bring back the Authority. Rollins celebrates with a fantastic movie villain scream, and then decides “I’m gonna kill him anyway”. Cena dives into the ring and saves Edge now (why couldn’t he have just done that from the start?), and winds up taking a Knockout Punch quickly. With Cena down, he eats a Curb Stomp, but Edge is spared.

The heel contingency celebrates on their way up the ramp, not seeing BROCK LESNAR and PAUL HEYMAN appear behind them. It’s all good however, because it’s handshakes all around. We have one more appearance however, as TRIPLE H and STEPHANIE MCMAHON emerge from behind the curtain, carrying champagne and celebrating like Dusty Rhodes during a clubberin’.

I have no idea how the regulars do this week in and week out – but god bless ‘em.


NEXT WEEK: Chris returns to playing Sports Trivia at a nearby bar, while Andy takes his show back.

Comments

  1. Andy, the blog turning against you is not an official medical diagnosis.

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  2. "You can't stop what's coming. That's vanity."

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  3. Is that how you lost your thumb?

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  4. Yes! Yes! Yes! Chris, please keep recapping Raw! Please!!

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  5. Please keep recapping Raw.

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  6. Oh fuck the authority is back? Glad I stopped watching after the first hour

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  7. Did anyone else think, for just a moment, that Ryback (of all people) was winding up for a retirement announcement when he was giving us his retrospective and looking a bit teary-eyed? Was a good, yet strange, piece of mic work...

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  8. Decent recap, although the "wrong names" stuff gets old very fast.


    I like Andy PG though. Dude gets a hard time for being enthusiastic.

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  9. 'The fans are SILENT here. If anyone in
    attendance farts, the Universe is gonna know about it.' ..this is the funniest line in decades!

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  10. You know, I don't know if you ever did say why you thought Shane Douglas was an awful person

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  11. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Almost word for word the story he told on jericho's podcast. Not saying that's a bad thing. Was something that I think could really help the crowd genuinely like the big guy

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  12. This instead of AndyPG forever, please.

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  13. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Nice review

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  14. Were Ziggler and Ryback locked in a room or something? Why were HHH and Stephanie standing there?

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  15. Bryan announcing his return for the Rumble instead of simply coming back as the ultimate surprise entrant should tell you he's not winning.

    Man, they'd better know what they're doing, because that Reigns backlash, as mentioned here, could get really ugly.

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  16. Fuck yoga, Meekin. You thumbless sack of shit.

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  17. Surprise guests don't sell subscriptions.

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  18. Ah, didn't know that - I don't tend to listen to podcasts, so had no idea.

    I remember seeing the brief (and slightly similar) interview he gave on a Raw Fallout about two months ago and thought back then that it was something they should have put on the main show, as it was quite sensible and actually addressed the fact he'd been a face, then a dick heel, and was now a face again in a *gasp* coherent fashion.

    I've grown to like the Big Guy, I have to admit. He's never going to be Bret Hart level in the ring, but he's got a weird sort of deranged charisma of his own when he's allowed to be natural.

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  19. How so? I think it's a very smart move by WWE

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  20. Neither does Monday Night Raw week in week out.

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  21. Should Triple H have been a surprise entrant in 2002?

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  22. Especially in Philadelphia.

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  23. The surprise entrant route works when nobody expects it. Look at John Cena in 2008.

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  24. Exactly this. They've got a Network to pull in subscribers for - especially seeing as the UK launch seems to be fading further and further into oblivion.

    Makes a lot of sense to announce he's in it nice and early. I'm presuming the Authority are going to give him #1 next week, in which case that's the "out" for him not to win it, seeing as he's just back from a long lay-off.

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  25. E&C didn't really add that much to the show.

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  26. Triple H in 2002 did a monster buyrate. People wanted to see him come all the way back and win the Rumble. Daniel Bryan will work too since the crowd will be dying for him to come out and win

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  27. Snapchat had bonus behind the scenes pics and video of them doing poses with Road Dog. Really horrible stuff.

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  28. Indeed. It gets old when you get flack for the horrible crime of liking anything WWE does.

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  29. Well yeah, because we thought he'd be out for 8 months. We'd already heard chirpings that Bryan could be back by WrestleMania season.

    There's no one way to do these things. WWE's in dire straits right now, so being able to advertise the show with a big return makes far more sense then pulling off a surprise.

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  30. They are in dire straits. Better bring back The Authority and never bring out "The Vigilante" Sting.

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  31. Cesaro gets fucked again, HHH and Steph are back, and they don't even have the foresight to use D Bryan as a surprise entrant in the Rumble.


    I've given up on RAW ages ago, but now even reading the recaps is just painful

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  32. They were filming vignettes for HHH leading up to his comeback and everyone was expecting him.


    NOBODY would have seen Bryan coming this year, like the Cena and Edge wins.

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  33. Exactly. This is the internet, it's not like we're lacking for moaning, miserable cynics (I class myself in this bracket, btw) - Andy's puppy-like enthusiasm with a lack of snidey bastardry is actually quite refreshing.

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  34. He gives people too much flack for not liking the show. Ugh, that Battlegrond rant.


    I like his recaps though.

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  35. Everybody would've seen Bryan coming. Just like they did Edge.

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  36. Announcing D-Bry's return is a smart move.

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  37. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Yeah I'm with you. His post return promo was so awesome. They really need to do a better job of giving guys chances to sink or swim. Hopefully this and Cesaro's odd promo are slight signs that they may do that. Let someone's personality shine through even if it is just in post or pre match things or brief interviews picture in picture style as a guy is entering the ring.

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  38. Really? Everyone here thought Bryan was done.

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  39. His whining about how people think he's a bad person for enjoying the show was one of the saddest things I've ever read on the BoD. AndyPG is shit.

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  40. There were just as many rumors that Bryan would need another surgery. This totally would have worked.

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  41. They need to add people into the Rumble match that have a chance of winning and with the lack of depth that they have, announcing Bryan beforehand was a smart move.

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  42. Yeah, Edge was pretty telegraphed. They didn't have vignettes but Chris Jericho starting talking shit about him a lot more frequently. I can't speak for everyone but I wasn't very surprised.

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  43. But it's the Rumble, that's one of the few things that sells itself so I think they robbed themselves a HOLY SHIT moment for something that isn't going to move the needle all that much (because it's the Rumble and everyone will buy/watch it) anyway.

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  44. It would've been a great moment, but it's a smart business move to announce his return in advance. You lose the holy shit moment to make money and hope that by having him win, you create another moment

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  45. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    I would have been shocked to see Bryan as an entrant. For all we knew he might be gearing up for another surgery.

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  46. With subscribers down they really can't take any chances. Look how much people were shitting on it with the prospect of the alleged Reigns backlash. Now they've created an instant hook for people to watch it.


    You can't always assume people are going to buy/watch a show because of the name value. That gets you into trouble

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  47. I don't know about the last hour but the first two were pretty good. I'm shocked it took this long for the author to come back.

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  48. Bryan as a surprise would have been a cool moment, but I understand why they announced him, and it was probably the smarter move.

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  49. Unless they had gone out of their way for him to not be an entrant, I would've expected it.

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  50. I disagree. I get the flip side of the coin, but I would've saved it for a real surprise moment that people would've talked about for a long time a la Cena 2008, because the Rumble sells itself so there isn't that much of a gain anyway.

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  51. I really enjoy Chris's WCW recaps. I wasn't trying to insinuate Andy's are bad, just that I like Chris's better. Chris gets to the point a bit quicker and the commentary is worked in naturally. Andy's fine; he's just a bit wordy at times.

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  52. For once, I agree with you. It's smarter to announce his return, since people might want to watch the show now.

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  53. Me and Bayless v. The World

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  54. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Yeah Jericho did pick up the trash talk but not quite enough to totally telegraph edge returning. I was mildly surprised. The Cena return in 2008 is still the bar for ridiculous comebacks when nobody expected it.

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  55. I missed basically the last hour. The first two were decent enough.

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  56. Also, I know that this was mentioned in the Open Mic thread, but who had 5 weeks in the pool for HHH and Stephanie McMahon?

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  57. It's the Rumble. Wrestling fans all watch the Rumble.

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  58. I've said it a lot, but there's a place for 'managers' in the modern WWE - imagine the talent of Cesaro paired with the mic skills of a Heenan? Would be dynamite. I know they like the guys to be all-rounders nowadays, but some folk are just never going to be big talkers. I know it didn't work for him with Heyman, but I think that was partly because they took a growing face momentum and threw it against a brick wall at speed.


    If they don't want to have someone talk for him, I'd quite like to see Cesaro do a persona where he basically turns up, suplexes (etc) the utter fuck out of his opponent, then walks off leaving them lying in the dust. No promos needed, just a good old-fashioned arse-kicking machine.

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  59. If an issue brings me and Kyle together, clearly our stance is the correct issue.

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  60. People want to see it AND announcing it ahead of time gets us prepared for him to be eliminated.

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  61. It's weird seeing so many people here saying it was obvious Bryan was going to be in the Rumble because I saw quite a few people ready to quit watching because it seemed certain Bryan was retiring.

    ReplyDelete
  62. That's a dangerous game to play.

    ReplyDelete
  63. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Good point. I was honestly expecting something from a storyline standpoint to happen to explain him not being a surprise.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I predicted after Rumble. Too positive.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Two for two. Oh my.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Same, it was a great Raw! lol

    ReplyDelete
  67. They just can't help themselves. They really can't.

    ReplyDelete
  68. AndyPG seems like a good guy. He just isn't the best when he's getting attacked, which few people. I would welcome his return next week!

    ReplyDelete
  69. So Steph and HHH were just hanging around backstage with champagne?


    Have they been doing that every week, just waiting?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Now you're scaring me....

    ReplyDelete
  71. I think Bryan winning the Rumble and facing Brock is way to great/simple of a storyline for WWE to actually do it.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Andy isn't shit, he's just super sensitive. That's not a good mix with this particular audience. His persecution complex gets a bit heavy handed at times, but this is a tough crowd.

    ReplyDelete
  73. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, MY WIFE AND I DOING TWENTY MINUTE PROMOS EVERY WEEK IS WHAT'S BEST FOR *THIS* BUSINESS, JACK

    ReplyDelete
  74. This I agree with. D-Bry kneeing Lesnar out of the WWE? Oh man

    ReplyDelete
  75. Is there any chance, now that we know he's coming back, that D-Bry and Roman aren't the last two guys standing in the Rumble?


    And, knowing the WWE might do that, is it a good idea? 'Cause I think that they aren't going to get the desired result if they do....

    ReplyDelete
  76. I think if folk are just whining AT you constantly, every time you show up, eventually something has to snap and you make a pass at defending yourself. It didn't come across well, admittedly, but he had a right to reply.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Bryan returning now is a smart move.


    The Rumble is in Philly, and WWE doesn't need another Pittsburgh event where even smarkier fans are shitting on the show the entire time before Bryan eventually comes out for a huge surprise.


    At worst, now, you've got more subscriptions for the Rumble, not to mention fans chanting for Daniel Bryan KNOWING he's in the Rumble.

    ReplyDelete
  78. If Lesnar is really done after WM then Bryan is the guy to send him packing.

    ReplyDelete
  79. They cant make it that obvious Reigns is winning. Announcing Bryan will be in the match before hand will give the crowd someone else they can by winning. Who else will they buy on the roster?

    ReplyDelete
  80. I'll be the hindsight douche, but Bryan said a few weeks ago on Raw or one of the shows that he was returning to ring action. And Lawler/Cole telegraphed it was good news 2 hours prior. You marks... wish I could be like you.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Jericho as #2 out of the blue was a brilliant one. Absolutely no one expected that, iirc.

    ReplyDelete
  82. It would have been funnier to see them hanging out with champagne every week being all fingers crossed and, "Come on, Cena! We need this!"

    ReplyDelete
  83. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    I miss good managers. So many legendary managers helped add a lot to certain characters. I think Cesaro needs one. The Heyman thing just wasn't executed correctly but he could really use a hype man. Cesaro would be awesome as a James Bond kinda guy. Wears swank suits and always has a hot lady on his arm but enjoys nothing more than competition. Not sure a James Bond esque character would translate well but it's just something he could pull off.

    ReplyDelete
  84. We said in the live thread it was telegraphed...but yes, you are definitely an e-mailer.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Fucking MARKS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  86. A friend of mine wrote this on facebook: WWE bringing back Hunter was really done well. Creative and borderline uncomfortable. Putting the proverbial gun to John Cena's head was great storytelling. Now the best part of Raw, lets hear the marks start complaining.

    ReplyDelete
  87. But as the last few months have evidence, the Network's not picking up enough wrestling fans anyway. They need to try to squeeze out as many potential subscribers as they can.

    I'm not gonna argue that Bryan returning as a surprise wouldn't be a great moment, but look at the excitement his announcement has generated anyway. If he wins, it'll be a well-executed comeback story.

    ReplyDelete
  88. It's better with HHH promos

    ReplyDelete
  89. You think like a penis.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hows that Ziggler Rumble win looking? Good thing freaking RYBACK was there to save him tonight. The guy constantly needs saving.

    ReplyDelete
  91. The look on Lesnar's face at the end looked like he was thinking "This shit is stupid."

    ReplyDelete
  92. The segment was great. I just didn't want them back for.....oh another five months.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I hope he's trolling. I don't want to point out the many stupid flaws of the segment.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieDecember 29, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Excellent review

    ReplyDelete
  95. a good brawler group or tag team would do wonders for him

    ReplyDelete
  96. He wouldn't be wrong

    ReplyDelete
  97. So was him running the gauntlet at Mania.

    ReplyDelete
  98. You need smarter friends.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I derailed the Ziggler train in the live thread, pay attention.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Two things I miss - managers (as mentioned) and proper stables-based feuds.


    Cesaro would be the ideal big hitter in a technical-based stable. You could bring Adrian Neville in as the high flyer, add a decent tag team and you're laughing.

    ReplyDelete
  101. There was never anything to derail. It was stupid when you started it.

    ReplyDelete
  102. The segment was incredibly flawed. Why didn't Cena just run after him when he went to curbstomp Edge? Where were Ziggler and Ryback?

    ReplyDelete
  103. It's also the look that says he's SO out of here in four months.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Ugh. None of you are going to stop watching. Here's to another 100 years of WWE programming.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Moose and Squirrel: Funny.
    This: NOT funny.


    Also: Shut up, Meekin.

    ReplyDelete
  106. They were necessary for bringing The Authority back!

    ReplyDelete
  107. If Drew McIntyre was still around, he'd have been a great tag partner for Cesaro, imo. Put them up against a Sheamus + Barrett team and you'd have a superb stiff as fuck feud with four big, but still technically adept, guys knocking the utter living hell out of one another.

    ReplyDelete
  108. HHH & Steph walking out at the end was way too contrived as well.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Everybody's Tim Roth in Lie To Me, all of a sudden.

    ReplyDelete
  110. After all that Team Cena went through, to not show up at all during that is just terrible, stupid, fire every writer.

    ReplyDelete
  111. He's a huge wwe mark. He has like 2-300 wrestling shirts going back to the 80s wrestlers, lots of wwe props, the fancy championship belts (including the minor ones), and goes to the wrestler signings.

    ReplyDelete
  112. If history has taught us anything they'll have changed their name from WWE in 100 years.

    ReplyDelete
  113. That was a convoluted mess that they made up on the fly. It proves my point.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Nope, you're just a pessimistic smark who likes to trash people he doesn't agree with. Grow up.

    ReplyDelete
  115. If anything it means more people order the PPV like Survivor Series. It doesn't lead to more subscribers.

    ReplyDelete
  116. If you want to see a badass Drew match, look for his match against Roderick Strong at Evolve 35. Gabe put it up on YouTube recently.

    ReplyDelete
  117. World Sports Entertainment?

    ReplyDelete
  118. "Chris returns to playing Sports Trivia at a
    nearby bar, while Andy takes his show back."

    Champion.

    ReplyDelete
  119. It made more sense than your anti-Sheamus train fella.

    ReplyDelete
  120. I'll check it out, thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  121. Lesnar the smartest guy in wrestling: show up for 30 seconds, stand there and do nothing, leave

    ReplyDelete
  122. Having an advertised return is a safer gamble than just assuming it will sell itself.

    ReplyDelete
  123. And you're never going to stop trolling my posts.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Universal Sports Entertainment

    ReplyDelete
  125. My only concern is Bryan's health. Has the guy regained his strength back in his arm yet?

    ReplyDelete
  126. Ugh indeed. I ugh'd when some guy was like, "Hey guy, ugh."

    Not really a great story, but the sentiment is there.

    ReplyDelete
  127. You're just an idiot who likes to think the guys he likes are all in for huge pushes and when people point out it won't happen he gets cranky. Fuck off with your bullshit. You're a childish mark.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Here it is - Daniel Bryan guts out a Rumble win, and beats Brock for the belt....until Seth Rollins finally pays off the MITB and cashes in, winning the title and setting off the chase though Summerslam for Roman Reigns. Have Bryan get screwed out of the belt in the rematches and move on to someone else, and give Reigns six more months to work with Bryan and Rollins in Triple threats until the inevitable gimmick match where he wins the strap at SS.

    ReplyDelete
  129. I love batting around retards, like a kitten with a ball of yarn.

    ReplyDelete
  130. I think that was the point. It was all a set up.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Ziggler and Ryback wouldn't have mattered. If they had come out, it would have been the same reaction: stop or I'll break his neck.


    Isn't that what Cena did?

    ReplyDelete
  132. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    I'll check that out also.

    ReplyDelete
  133. You know, I wouldn't put it past them to have Bryan beat Lesnar and then Rollins cashes in at the end of WM, ala SummerSlam 2013 all over again

    ReplyDelete
  134. Plus, the logic in it is dumb. I honestly hate when wrestlers come back and get like a 28, 29, or 30th spot. Why are they rewarded a favorable spot when they were out of action for a long time?

    ReplyDelete
  135. That is like... My opinion man. Way different than arguin inch about how my favorite wrestler is in for the HUGE PUSH! Just you watch! He gets such awesome pops for his Faneasser. Please.

    ReplyDelete
  136. So you're like a cat.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Won't you listen?

    ReplyDelete
  138. It was probably intentionallly overblown to obfuscate Bryan's eventual return.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Exactly. Use it to transfer the heat from Bryan to Reigns.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Well it's a "random" draw. Good thing or bad thing, it seems like in recent years they don't even try to hide the rigging

    ReplyDelete
  141. That ending for Summerslam is one thing, but you end the biggest show of the year with that and it's a total disaster.

    ReplyDelete
  142. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    A couple mid card stables could help elevate a few people at once.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Ernest Miller-ish.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Ziggler and Ryback couldn't attack from behind? Why didn't Cena run after him to begin with? Also, strength in numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  145. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 29, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Hell if they took him and Kidd seriously they could be good

    ReplyDelete
  146. You're the worst at it.

    ReplyDelete
  147. If he had brought out yarn for a promo that shit woulda got literal.

    ReplyDelete
  148. We're gonna have to keep a close eye on the reactions for the next few weeks, but I say go all out a book a four way elimination, Cena v. roman v. BROCK v. Bryan and let the fan reactions decide.

    ReplyDelete
  149. I could buy that if they advertise it as a random draw still. I cannot remember the last time they called it one.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Damn, I apparently shit in your cheerios and banged your mother. Such hostility is not needed.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Strength in numbers, especially with guys who helped you fight against the authority.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Hey bro, if you wanna come at the king, you best not miss.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Dolph Zi--hahahahahahahahahaha

    ReplyDelete
  154. I think it's kayfabe still supposed to be random.

    ReplyDelete
  155. They've done it before, it's not the worst idea for LIFE IN THE FAST LAAN

    ReplyDelete
  156. Huh? How does that work exactly?

    ReplyDelete
  157. I think he should've brought Peter Criss out for a promo one time.

    That would've been META, as the kids say.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Assuming Bryan wins the Rumble, there's no reason that WM shouldn't be Reigns and Rollins in the final Shield blowoff.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Remember, at one point they thought he would be ready in June after the surgery. Apparently it wasn't as major as they played it up to be and gave him extra time to rest.

    ReplyDelete
  160. http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/13/132947/4122337-0226737847-colbe.gif

    ReplyDelete
  161. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt your fragile widdle feewings.

    ReplyDelete
  162. That's a big goddamn assumption. This time last year we were looking at Bryan v. Sheamus.

    ReplyDelete
  163. I don't think that I've owned that many shirts in total since the 80s. Wrestling or otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  164. True, but they weren't invited. You wouldn't want them to be rude now would you?


    Otherwise, Ziggler was too banged up from Rusev and Ryback was presumably off having dinner.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Heh heh. /unclepaul

    ReplyDelete
  166. No. You're just an idiot.

    ReplyDelete
  167. I wouldn't be surprised if Reigns vs Dean vs Rollins is on the undercard. Would like to see them save that one though.

    ReplyDelete
  168. So, Bryan gets screwed out of the title... again... and Reigns just takes his spot as the face? I don't think that goes over well.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Just have Rollins cash in, have Reigns win on the undercard, have Rollins cheat Bryan like nuts in the rematches; Reigns becomes the guy who finally ends the reign after all that at Summerslam. With the authority back, they can run an angle using them as a catalyst.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Same answer I gave earlier: if Cena attacks, Edge gets his neck broken and Cena didn't want that to happen. As for Ziggler and Ryback, Ziggler was banged up and Ryback wasn't too keen on being on Team Cena to begin with.

    ReplyDelete
  171. No one helped. Ziggler beat The Authority all by himself. That's why he's in line for the huge push and Rumble win.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Miss him dearly.

    ReplyDelete
  173. That'd be about the most meaningful match that the three of them could be in. It'd be a great upper-card attraction.

    ReplyDelete
  174. If Rollins goes to do the Curbstomp, Cena could run after him....like he did anyway.


    Ryback wouldn't want the Authority to not come back given he just fought a match to begin with?


    Dolph was saved, it was 2.5 hours later, come on.


    You're really reaching to defend a shitty segment.

    ReplyDelete
  175. Ryback offered his career! How is that not being keen.

    ReplyDelete
  176. I feel like you two should get together like Sting and Lex.

    One of you call yourselves Lex. That'd be funny.

    ReplyDelete
  177. Such hostility is not needed. I'm here to discuss wrestling in a civil matter.

    ReplyDelete
  178. Reigns is not hot enough for this rocket push, and putting him over a bunch of guys by dq isn't getting the job done.

    Time to reheat Bryan and push him for real, and maybe give Reigns the rocket push through Summerslam.

    ReplyDelete
  179. It can be done, if they book it as Bryan goes after the guys who screwed him out of the belt, and Reigns ends up the guy who ends the reign of Rollins. They're in a corner here - they can't be stupid enough to put Reigns over Bryan at this point at the Rumble, can they? After all these years, I'm sure that Vince has to know that the Reigns push isn't working the way they need it to - Bryan is a good title win while Reigns gets over.

    ReplyDelete
  180. Yeah, that didn't work out so hot for Batista the last time they tried to push Bryan out of the title picture.

    ReplyDelete
  181. Okay but I get to be Sting... no wait, I call Lex! Shit!

    ReplyDelete
  182. Yeah, but people LIKE Reigns. I....think?

    ReplyDelete
  183. Uh.....dang this is harder than I thought it would be. He can only focus on one opponent at a time?

    ReplyDelete
  184. They're British with a daughter who will be hot once legal?

    ReplyDelete
  185. You really hurt my feelings by replying shush over and over again. I don't know how I'll ever recover.

    ReplyDelete
  186. Oh I'm aware these are stretches. My real argument would be that you're overthinking the story and it's one of those things you just have to overlook as a wrestling fan. This is more fun though.

    ReplyDelete
  187. It'd be a great main event.

    ReplyDelete
  188. http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/373686/peter-criss-wasted-o.gif

    ReplyDelete
  189. If they don't trust Reigns now, I don't see how that changes in a few months. If Reigns is in the lower card this Mania, he's heading towards that loser stigma after the big deal they've made about him.

    ReplyDelete
  190. Rest In Peace Andy PG.


    Say 'Hi' to Farva for us..

    ReplyDelete

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