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.