Sunday, February 22, 2015

WWE Fastlane 2015

WWE Fastlane is a new pay-per-view gimmick, following in the grand tradition of former car-related shows such as WWF Breakdown, and Hermie Sadler Presents TNA #1. The show emanates LIVE from Memphis, Tennessee, and tonight’s Panel features BOOKER T, COREY GRAVES, BYRON SAXTON, and RENEE YOUNG. Renee is the first female broadcaster with any credibility in well over a decade, and possibly since Sunny. She’s fantastic. Byron Saxton is not.

The big pre-show angle features Paul Heyman on MizTV. Half of that sounds awesome, and it's not coming the guy whose gimmick is based around that very concept.


Sting and Triple H’s saga is looked at. In essence, at Survivor Series, Sting appeared for Some Reason and helped Dolph Ziggler stop the Authority for roughly 4 days. Since then, Triple H has maintained Issues. Booker T speculates that Sting’s actions were the deep down hatred WCW has from the time DX drove up to the WCW arena in April of 1998. If that’s the case (it’s not the case), then dude – seek therapy. Bret Hart is the most bitter, vindictive wrestler on the entire planet and even HE found closure with Shawn Michaels faster than that.

Dean Ambrose expresses his desire to capture the IC title, causing Booker to fondly reflect on his first IC title win over Christian … you know, the one that came long after he was an established main eventer, until Triple H destroyed his cred by pointing out the black man had no place atop the company, and then proved exactly that.

Lots of discussion about Paige. She grew up in a wrestling ring. She became a woman in a wrestling ring. Did she date Jerry Lawler or something?

Meanwhile, John Cena is Old. This angle is nothing until he’s offered a Legends Contract and is banned from appearing on RAW unless they need a Serious Person to tell Roman Reigns that Brock Lesnar is too tough for any one man.

THE USOS celebrate their father Rikishi going into the Hall of Fame this year. In particular, the prospect at seeing him for the 4th time in their lives has them almost giddy!

Sheamus Returns! Not now, but at some point.

Hosts MICHAEL COLE, JOHN “BRADSHAW” LAYFIELD, and JERRY LAWLER welcome us to the show.

THE MIZ and DAMIAN MIZDOW head down to fire up MizTV, but Mizdow steals the fans adulation and he’s banned to the corner as a result. Miz chose to skip the Oscars (Rock took his place apparently) in order to see the Daniel Bryan / Roman Reigns match. PAUL HEYMAN power walks to the ring, and is asked if Lesnar’s here tonight. To quell everyone’s fear, no, he’s not. Miz reminds us he once defended the belt successfully in a Wrestlemania main event (UGH), and asks if Lesnar’s concerned about Daniel Bryan seeing as how he defeated all of Evolution in last year’s show single-handedly. Heyman angrily asks why Mizdow is staring at him, and Miz berates him for acting like a Caliber Winfield and forces him to face the corner for the rest of the interview. Heyman talks Roman Reigns, a savage warrior coming from the Island of Sam Hoa. Either way, no matter who wins, Lesnar leaves Mania with the belt.

And with that, the fireworks display kicks this baby off, on the Road to Wrestlemania. Your line for Sign Points is set at 5.5 wrestlers. Take the Over and don’t question it.

TEAM EXPLOITED COMMON BOND vs. LOS AUTHORITATOS (with J&J Security)

Cole takes us through the Exciting History that brought this match together 3 days ago. I will never understand why this company always takes the most convoluted ways to get to what they want. It’s easy: the Authority fired Team Exploited, they got their jobs back, and now it’s stompin’ time. Erick Rowan’s continued insistence in wearing the sheep mask is going to do him no favors, seeing as how it’s been like 6 months since he left Bray Wyatt. A new look might go a long way, otherwise he has no hope in doing anything but tread water as a heatless midcarder scheduled to be wished well in about 17 months. Speaking of Big Red, a pumphandle backbreaker on Rollins looks great, and gets 2. Korporate Kane is slammed with ease, and a big leg drop keeps Rowan in command. Kane powers him back to the corner, and turns over to Big Show, who beats down Erick like a frozen hunk of beef. Rowan gets dumped, but he clumsily shoves Show into the ringpost before missing a spin kick and injuring himself. Back in, Kane starts to stomp on Rowan’s leg, as we get our first glimpse at our SummerSlam 16 main event: Big Red vs. Big Red Machine. You won’t be laughing when it’s announced the show is being booked in Cincinnati. Show botches the Indian deathlock, so he stops that and goes for a Chokeslam. Rowan blocks with a DDT, but Show tags in Rollins to stop the momentum. A dropkick to Ziggle sends him sprawling, but Rowan fights him off and tags in Ryback. Ryback nails Rollins with the Dick to the Face, but misses a big splash. He dodges a Curbstomp, nails Kane with a meathook, but interference from J&J get a schoolboy from Rollins for 2! Superkick gets 2! A top rope Curbstomp misses again, and Ryback catches him coming off the top again with a Shellshock. Show dives in with a splash to stop him from getting a pin, as Ziggler is only now getting back to his feet after selling that dropkick for the last 48 minutes. He gets the latest hot tag, walking right into a Chokeslam from Kane – but he dances backwards and DDTs Kane for 2! The Fameasser is blocked with a sidewalk slam, but Ziggler escapes and nails a Superkick. Rollins takes the Fameasser now, and Kane faces the wrath of 4 punches before Show hits him with the KO punch behind the referee’s back. Kane gets the easy pin at 12:58. Post-match, Ziggler takes a Curbstomp anyway, and the other two get beaten down. Hot enough opener, but the babyfaces looked like total chumps, getting virtually no offense except for a couple of quick bursts of energy. I get that Rollins needs all the protection he can get, but Kane and Show? In 2015? **1/2

RANDY ORTON returns to chase off the heels since the other 3 are completely incapable. J&J take RKOs, but Rollins bails before he can pay his receipt for putting Orton out, firing up his Wrestlemania program.

DUSTY RHODES, mistaking this show for WCW Saturday Night, remains completely incomprehensible. Goldust reflects on going to see Dusty’s matches with Cody, when Cody was a kid. Cody was born in 1985, what matches were these? Dusty running around with Jim Duggan looking for Thweet Thapphire?

STARDUST vs. GOLDUST

JBL reflects on all the great brother battles from years back, and somehow having the gall to name Rick vs Scott Steiner. That’s just laziness, now you’re just naming known brothers, their matches were AWFUL. Goldust wears his solemn face tonight, while the fans root for “CODY” because they suck. Dustin’s been doing some of the best work of his life for the last 2 years, give the guy a break. Goldust goes for a piledriver, but Cody quickly reverses. Goldust falls backwards into a Curtain Call position, but Cody escapes and hits the floor. Cody tries a bulldog, but Goldust hangs on and turns it into a backbreaker. Cody takes a quick break, but comes back in for more abuse, getting set up for the Golden Globes. He escapes, so Goldust goes up instead but leaps right into a big boot. They brawl to the floor, where Cody drives Goldust into the ring apron kidneys first and rolls him back in. According to the announcers, Cody’s been wearing the makeup at home and genuinely believes he’s Stardust. Well shit, that sounds like a perfect opportunity for a series of vignettes, why haven’t these been produced? It’s easy character development. Cody stops working over Goldust long enough to ask the camera “who’s your favorite?” A rear bearhug is applied to work over the softened up ribs, as the fans try to rally Goldust. He tries a springboard elbow, but Cody sidesteps and Goldust eats canvas. Crossrhodes is blocked with a reversal, and Goldust somehow sneaks in a cheap pin at 8:57. Goldust looks like he’s going to cry, perhaps because he just had such a lousy match with his brother on pay-per-view. The pair shake hands, reluctantly, and the ghost of Dusty Rhodes lets out a sigh of relief in the back. Can we put them back together now? *1/2

After a quick vignette on Jon Stewart, Stardust attacks Goldust in front of Dusty. He blames daddy for killing Cody Rhodes, because he’s tired of living in his shadow. A superkick to Goldust’s head against Mr. Dressup’s Tickle Trunk is the cherry on top. Sad.

THE USOS (with Naomi) vs. CESARO and TYSON KIDD (with Nattie Neidhart) (for the WWE world tag-team titles)

This feud was set up when Jey Uso called Tyson Kidd an Initt Jackass on a date. With the girls, not with each other. For WWE dates, it was a long way from topping the Dean Malenko / Terri / Perry / Sherri quartet, but we can’t all top the comedy stylings of the former WCW cruiserweight champion. Cesaro chop blocks Jimmy and gives him a European uppercut. Kidd starts to work over the leg, and Cesaro smells what he’s cooking by stomping on it from the second rope. A one-legged swing is both vicious and creative, and Kidd comes off the top with a guillotine to the leg to add to the pain. An Indian deathlock is applied, but fails to yield a submission. Jimmy fights off Kidd for a second, long enough to get the hot tag to Jey who hits Cesaro with a Samoan drop. Enzuigiri has Cesaro seeing stars which fail to include himself because he’s too Swiss, and Jey gets 2. He comes back with a superplex, and Kidd comes off the top with an elbow getting a near pinfall. A Sharpshooter attempt is shoved off, and a monkey flip is blocked, getting Jimmy involved again. An assisted Samoan drop is only saved by Cesaro, and all hell breaks loose. Uso takes Kidd off the apron in position for a Samoan drop, but he stumbles backwards and both guys crash hard into the security wall! Nice looking spot. Jimmy recovers first and heads in with the Superfly Splash on Kidd, but Tyson lifts the knees and gets 2. Shaprshooter is applied dead centre of the ring, but Jey stops it with a superkick! Cesaro brawls with Jey, taking them both down to the floor, as Jimmy rolls over and gets 2. The fans start an overused “THIS IS AWESOME” chant. Come on guys, that used to be saved for four star matches or better. Somewhere in the mess of this, Kidd comes back in and hits the Roll of the Dice to score the win and claim the tag-team titles at 9:36. Kidd and Nattie swap spit, and then in tribute to her father, she tugs on her beard. ***

TRIPLE H makes his way down to the ring for his confrontation with The Vigilante Sting, and he’s serious because he’s hauled out an old t-shirt, the leather jacket, and spits water all over himself. He brings up his conversation with “two time hall of famer Ric Flair”. I love that we’re keeping count now, and quietly thank god that Russo’s not around to inflate that total. “13-time Hall of Famer John Cena might be over the hill, but he’s still got heart Maggle!” STING and his Horrible Theme Music makes his way out. One passionate fan tries leading a “WCW” chant, and to quash all rumors; no, it’s not me. Triple H reminds us that Sting backed the wrong horse by sticking with WCW, and that his legacy was putting Sting’s legacy out of business. After all, failure is what Sting is all about. Still, Triple H offers him a chance to win his legacy back, if they can do a little biznezz. He offers him spotlight on the WWE Network, DVDs, merchandise, wrestling figures, making him bigger than he’s ever been before. In fact, he might even put Sting in the Hall of Fame someday if he plays his cards right. But if he continues to show Triple H disrespect, he’ll erase him from history like that Chris Benoit guy. Before Sting can answer, Triple H tries a cheapshot, but Sting fights him off … for like 2 seconds, before Triple H takes over and beats him into the mat. “I GAVE YOU A CHANCE!” Now, since we’re playing Retroactive Triple H tonight, it should come as no surprise he’s got a sledgehammer hidden under the ring. Of course, he didn’t take into account that Sting’s always got a black bat nearby, and it’s pointed at Hunter’s throat. The sledge is dropped, and takes a number of fantastic bounces for an allegedly heavy metal object. The bat is moved from the chin, and towards the Wrestlemania sign. As he walks away, Triple H charges, but Sting’s got the peripheral vision of a Bumble Bee and cracks Helmsley in the ribs. Then, a Scorpion Deathdrop because that’s how we do. I really, really, really want to be excited for this, but I’m not feeling it. It just seems at LEAST 5 years too late (and probably closer to 10), and with the wrong guy. If anything, this just seems more about Triple H’s legacy, than Sting’s.

PAIGE (with clothes) vs. NIKKI BELLA (with Brie Bella) (for the WWE divas title)

Nikki takes Paige to the floor where she tosses the challenger into the security wall. Back in, a double leg slam gets 1 (or 2, if you’re Michael Cole). Paige hits a dropkick, but can’t capitalize because a stomp is blocked with a schoolboy for 2. Paige tries to go for her finisher, but Nikki fights out, so Paige is forced to hit a superkick instead for 2. They slowly make their way to the top, and Nikki comes out ahead with a sunset flip into a running powerbomb for 2. Paige recovers and puts on a PTO, but Nikki makes the ropes to break. A handful of tights from Nikki a second later gets the pin, and Bella continues her reign at 5:34. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the divas typically speaking, but Nikki seems to have come along a bit in the last few months. She’s still not great, and Paige has yet to back up any of the hype, but this was ok. *

BREAKING NEWS: Triple H and Sting has been signed. “It’s hard to believe that the two icons of the two respective companies …” Triple H, the WWE Icon.

DEAN AMBROSE vs. WADE BARRETT (for the WWE intercontinental title)

Barrett comes out with the aggression early, hitting Ambrose with those ham hocks, but Ambrose comes back and knocks Barrett to the floor. Back in, Ambrose nails the People’s Elbow for 2. Dean jumps to the top rope, but Barrett knocks him right off and to the floor with a boot to the face (getting some quality height!). Dean is slammed into the ring steps, and back in Barrett hits another boot to the face. Ambrose’s eyes roll as Barrett drives him into the ring, but he refuses to be tossed back in and clotheslines the champ. Barrett gives chase, walking right into a tornado DDT, and both guys get some air. Barrett tries to block a bulldog, but succumbs to the move, and an inside cradle gets 2. Barrett goes low and tries to go off the ropes, but Ambrose is right behind him and knees him in the midsection. Savage elbow off the top (onto a standing Barrett – hah!) gets 2. Barrett nails a mule kick, and follows with Wasteland for 2. Ambrose’s tongue takes on a life of its own as Barrett preps the Bullhammer. Dean ducks the move, and nails a violent clothesline that’d make JBL cringe. Barrett figures that’s about all he’s prepared to deal with, grabbing his belt and calling it a night, but Ambrose stops him on the way by with tope suicida! Barrett tries the crowd next, but Ambrose grabs him and introduces his face to the ring steps. Ambrose stomps on Barrett’s face in the corner, and the referee asks him to stop. Dean refuses, and the referee DQ’s him at 8:02?!?!? What … the … fuck? How many more ways are they gonna screw over Ambrose? They had, about 6 months ago, their next big star, and they have done everything in their power to slow and neuter his progress. It feels like Nick Patrick has been assigned to every one of his matches; except they are allegedly playing it straight. I just … this company man! Ambrose, thankfully, redeems the finish a little by stealing the belt. I’m HOPING this leads to a ladder match at Mania for possession of the gold, but we’ll see. **

THE DRUIDS make their yearly February appearance, and the gong hits – but I’ve gotta assume we’re looking at Bray Wyatt playing games here, as given away by JBL immediately screaming that the Undertaker is here. Sure enough, popping out of a casket is BRAY WYATT to a pretty good response. He remembers fearing the Undertaker when he was young, but he’s weak and broken now, a shell of his former self. He calls for the Undertaker to hear him, because he doesn’t fear him. He is the new Face of Fear (LOVE IT), and he vows to claim the soul of the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. And, with that, he lies back in the coffin and returns to the darkness. HELL … YES. This is the polar opposite of Sting / Triple H – Wyatt is easily the best mid-card guy ready to burst, and he’s targeting the right guy for the right reasons. Take ALL the rub from this that you can, Bray, and make yourself a star.

RUSEV (with Katy Perry) vs. JOHN CENA (for the WWE United States heavyweight title)

Will a xenophobia angle put Cena back in the good graces of the fans? Of course, it’s the easiest trick in the book, and I can’t believe they haven’t spent the last few years feeding him evil foreigners. Is Muhammad Hassan available? He’s already a jihadist, a quick jump to ISIS shouldn’t be an issue. Of course, the heroes’ response lasts until the bell rings, when the fans dive into their usual “LET’S GO CENA / CENA SUCKS” routine, but it took longer than usual. Cena attacks first, but gets a knee to the face for his effort and Rusev gets 2. A spinning heel kick misses by 8 feet, but Cena’s a pro and sells it for 2. The announcers point out that Rusev has pinned 6 former WWE champions, but one of those is Jack Swagger and shouldn’t count. Cena finds himself on the ring apron, where a hearty shove sends him crashing into the security wall. Back in, Cena surprises Rusev with a dropkick, but Rusev returns the favor with a much better dropkick for 2. A crossbody block is caught, and Rusev hits the fallaway slam for 2. Cena crawls to his feet, and Rusev stands there allowing it to happen, giving Cena a chance to start teeing off on his kidneys. Still, Rusev quickly turns it around and we find Cena locked in a cobra clutch. Cena suplexes loose and hits a clothesline for 2. The FU is countered with a DDT, but Cena won’t stay down. A Stinger splash doesn’t get the job done, and Rusev starts showing frustration. Cena starts in with a series of shoulderblocks, and the 5 Knuckle Shuffle sets up the FU, but Rusev escapes again and hits a superkick for 2. An STFU is countered with the Bossman Slam, and Rusev starts stomping around like an angry bull. A charge in the corner is blocked with the knees, and Cena comes off the second rope with a DDT for 2. Both guys start duking it out in the middle of the ring, and Cena goes for the FU for a 3rd time, but Rusev uses the ropes to escape again, so Cena turns to the STFU, dead centre of the ring. Rusev refuses to tap, breaking the hold with brute force, and he slams Cena for 2. Rusev, desperate, starts dropping elbows, and goes for the stomp to set up the Accolade, but Cena blocks and applies the STFU again. Rusev makes the ropes, but not without giving up a world of energy, and he looks completely shot. Still, he charges, but Cena goes for the FU for a 4th time, but AGAIN Rusev gets loose. A kick is dodged, and the 5th attempt FINALLY hits, but Rusev kicks out! A closeup reveals some incredibly chapped lips on the Bulgarian Brute, and I’d encourage the producers not to do that again. Cena comes off the top, but he’s stopped and Rusev locks on the Accolade. Cena fights like hell, turning various shades of purple in the process, but every time he seems to get the grip broken, Rusev re-applies it even harder. Finally, in a last ditch burst of power, Cena powers to his feet, so Lana gets in the ring and Rusev kicks him in the nuts as hard as he can! Accolade is re-applied, and he ain’t going anywhere this time, passing out at 18:42. Perfect, it sets up the all American comeback at Wrestlemania, and the fans get their feel good moment in seeing the hero conquer the unbeatable badass. A shame Lesnar’s not hanging around, because there would be an argument to keeping him undefeated and rolling them out for SummerSlam. ***

ROMAN REIGNS vs. DANIEL BRYAN (for the WWE title shot at Wrestlemania)

Lawler: “Has there ever been more riding on a single match than this guys?” I don’t even know how to respond to that appropriately. This announce crew has been Mark Madden levels of bad for months now. The crowd, unbelievably, is split between Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. I’m impressed. Daniel works a headlock, and it takes a number of kidney punches to fight loose. Bryan tries a drop toe hold, but a surfboard is blocked with a quick leg flip. A tilt-a-whirl slam puts Reigns in charge for the first time, and Bryan is clotheslined to the outside. Back in, Bryan kicks Reigns in the hamstrings, and the Indian deathlock is whipped out for an impressive 3rd time tonight. Reigns gets loose by punching Bryan in the face repeatedly, and a hot shot sets up a Samoan drop. Reigns charges in with a spear, but Bryan sidesteps and delivers a drop toe hold on to the buckle. Bryan rears back and charges, and nearly has his head taken off with the forearm shot to the face that’s delivered. Roman starts talking to his fist, setting up the Superman punch, but Bryan stops it with a kick to the ribs. Daniel refuses to let up, kicking away at the herniated area, and follows with a bunch of double leg dropkicks in the corner. He puts Roman on the top rope and tries for a super rana, but Reigns counters with a superbomb for 2. Reigns heads up, but Bryan crotches him and hits a superplex for 2. The fans are completely heatless for every single nearfall so far, and the wind is being sapped out of this place REALLY quickly. Bryan applies the YesLock, but Reigns quickly makes the ropes and hits the floor for a break. Reigns catches Bryan coming off tope suicida, and goes to boot him in the face by the ringsteps, but Bryan sidesteps and Reigns crashes in. Reigns barely beats the 10-count, and Bryan goes for the Flying Goat, but it’s stopped with a punch to the face and Reigns gets 2. Roman goes for the spear, but it’s countered by a cradle for 2. Bryan starts a YES chant to get the fans back into this, hits the flying knee, and as Cole screams “DANIEL BRYAN IS GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA”, you can feel the kickout at 2. The fans wake up now, starting a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant for god knows WHAT reason, because this has been anything but. Daniel kicks away at Roman, but the big kick is blocked, so Bryan bitchslaps Reigns and puts on the YesLock. Reigns looks up at the Wrestlemania sign, and it gives him a newfound inspiration to fight loose, and he immediately delivers a violent ground and pound assault on the former champion. Bryan applies an armbar desperately, but Reigns fights up and powerbombs him off. Bryan kicks his way to his feet, and a big spin kick knocks Reigns into next week. The Running Knee is blocked by a Spear, and Roman wins it clean as a whistle for the second month in a row at 20:15. Bryan tells Reigns he was the better man, and shakes his hand to a mixed reaction. **

Sorry Bryan fans, no more outs. Reigns has effectively wiped the floor with all the top challengers, and whether you like it or not, he’s main eventing Mania because Vince has decreed it so. Where this takes Daniel is anyone’s guess, but he’ll likely be shuffled into one of the backup plans of Sheamus or Ziggler; neither of whom has any momentum right now.

Look, as much as I want to join the bandwagon of declaring Reigns a disaster, I’ll give them credit for picking a new star and refusing to give up on the push after a slow start – because it’s pretty much the polar opposite of what they’ve done with everyone else for years now. The only way we’re going to get anything going is to start making some choices and running with it, and while there are probably a number of far more popular choices in Ziggler, Wyatt, or Ambrose, they could do a whole lot worse than Roman Reigns. Worst case, he tanks and is forced into a heel turn which might be the best thing for him anyway.


That aside, this show wasn’t particularly good, and we’re not looking at a promising Wrestlemania right now. 5 weeks is enough time to fix matters some, so we’ll see if they’re able to make lemonade and tighten the card up into something a little more palatable.

400 comments:

  1. Nah. He'd be less entertaining in that role. Less believable too, despite the probable real-life basis for the character.

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  2. A chant for Rowan, geez. This crowd is active and soon ot

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  3. Why is Rowan playing the Face in Peril when Ziggler, Grandmaster Seller Extraordinaire, is RIGHT THERE?

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  4. Oh shit, it's Randall!

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  5. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighFebruary 22, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    Good to see Randy. Time off did him good

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  6. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 22, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Absolutely no reason Kane should be pinning anyone in 2015.

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  7. Wait, is there new Caliber being a nut stuff?

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  8. "SummerSlam 16 main event: Big Red vs. Big Red Machine. You won’t be laughing when it’s announced the show is being booked in Cincinnati."

    Another great line! Your ability to nail these while live capping the show is incredible.

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  9. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    Vince would nut in his pants if Reigns becomes the next Cena

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  10. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    For what it's worth, I think Rusev vs. Bryan would be tremendous

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  11. Was the finish to Dust v. Dust a botch?

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  12. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighFebruary 22, 2015 at 6:50 PM

    Looks like the ref didn't have room to finish the count? Couldn't really tell

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  13. I think the idea behind the Rhodes match was that Goldust was being timmid the whole time. While a boring match, I get the story. This should lead to a balls to the wall brawl at Mania, with Goldust putting his career on the line to spice it up.

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  14. My only question(s)

    Why does it take a month before wm to give the dust program ANY heat when it could be boiling by now?

    Why are the usos still champs?

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  15. But but no rematch clause

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  16. Cause it's still 7 WEEKS til mania

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  17. Gotta keep Kane strong for his title shot feud against Reigns after WrestleMania.


    ...oh god, that's exactly what it is, too, isn't it?

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  18. It's nice to see HHH in his old attire.

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  19. That tag match was a lot of fun. Can we do a rematch at Mania? Ladder match anyone?

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  20. God bless the poor guy chanting WCW

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  21. No, but I just feel bad for the guy.

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  22. Cool daniel bryan shirt

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  23. It was effective as this thread...

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  24. I posted here thinking it was the live thread.

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  25. Geez, is it cool to crap on everything, all the time? I thought the Sting/Triple H segment was fun. Should be a good match. I think they'll be working at the performance center a lot until Mania.

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  26. I'm picturing Howard Finkel coming back to announce the Sting/HHH Wrestlemania match and imagining hearing him say "Because REASONS!" to explain the impetus for the match

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  27. Great.

    The rats are in the ring.

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  28. I share plenty of love when I have love to share, but the build-up has been ridiculous (zero reason for Sting to come in after 30 years in the business and target Triple H because of the Survivor Series; we've had a zillion Bad Owner angles he didn't care about). They could have got from point A to Mania a whole lot better than this, and I'm just not wowed. If they tear the house down at Mania, I'll be delighted.

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  29. Think this one is tape delayed....

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  30. I agree with you on Sting/HHH. I've always been a WCW guy, so Sting is totally one of my all time favorites. That being said, I'd rather have seen this when Sting could still go. His last few years in TNA were dire.

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  31. In fairness, that *was* TNA. I'd have to think he will be a little bit more motivated and in shape for Wrestlemania than some forgettable show in Orlando in front of 50 people.

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  32. I see your point, but it wasn't a lack of motivation...he just looked slow and beaten up. I mean, he's in his 50s, so it's not like he can do what he could do at 20.

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  33. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:43 PM

    Closer to 10? More like 20, and with the wrong clique guy.

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  34. Fun fact: HHH is a bigger star and closer to being an icon than WWE-branded icon HBK.

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  35. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    lol @ "the two respective companies" as if that's been relevant since about 1999

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  36. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    That would be cool. That show can use all the workrate potential it can get

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  37. Thanks for letting us know it wasn't Taker by saying "It's him" immediately, JBL, you fucking moron.

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  38. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    It would have been hot last year. They missed this feud by literally a full year

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  39. You could probably pencil in a ****match from the get go. I think if Triple H/Sting is about ***, most people would be happy.

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  40. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    Randy returning is about as exciting as Bob Orton doing a run-in at this point

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  41. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    JBL, Cole, and Lawler are so embarrassingly bad

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  42. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:53 PM

    Yeah, a **** match to open the show isn't the worst idea.


    I think HHH vs. Sting going to *** is pretty miraculous at this point.

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  43. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    I loved Sting, but I have absolutely zero desire to see him wrestle in WWE. Or anywhere in 2015 for that matter. I wish he would have just kept the "only big WCW star to never work for WWE" thing going. Because I don't have much hope for this "enhancing" his legacy or anything like that.

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  44. Renee young has a lisp.

    Aw

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  45. I wouldn't count out that match. Triple H brings it whenever he needs to, and I think Sting will go all out for this after hitting the breaks a bit in TNA.

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  46. Gorilla and Ventura, Gorilla and Heenan, Ventura and Tony, Tony and Heenan (pre nWo), JR and Bob Caudle.

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  47. I think they will work around that though. Triple H always bring it and Sting will want to go out on a high note IMO.

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  48. Wow this recap is something.

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  49. Holy hell cena stop yellin the spots!

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  50. Why should anyone care about Taker at this point? The streak is over. The allure is gone. Why would he come back now and why would Bray even care?

    SMH

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  51. Of course it was. 55 or not he can pull out all the stops for one night on the grandest stage of all.

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  52. I hope so. I'm a Sting mark till the end, so I'd like to see him do well.

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  53. Hhh will kill his heat don't worry like he did to Brock and punk

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  54. Bray Wyatt will never be a main eventer until he drops the first name.

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  55. Getting coached by The American Dream.

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  56. This bryan/reigns match is just dyinng

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  57. Watching the Oscars (the things we do for looooove) - how's this show going?

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  58. Pretty meh. Cena vs. Rusev is my favorite match up to this point.

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  59. Bahahaha Roman is STILL not gonna have a good singles match under his belt.

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  60. He's one of the most famous wrestlers of all time

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  61. "If anything, this just seems more about Triple H’s legacy, than Sting’s."


    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

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  62. I really thought they were gonna have Bryan win that one. Oh well. Updated WrestleMania card...


    Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (WWE title)
    HHH vs. Sting
    Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
    Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev (US title)
    Wade Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose (IC title)
    Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
    Goldust vs. Stardust (Dusty Rhodes as ref?)
    Divas invitational title match


    What to do with Cena and the tag team champs?

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  63. Cena/Rusev (banking on I Quit)
    Bryan/Sheamus because why the fuck not according to Vince

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  64. But will Sting need to wrestle with a staph infection?!? (Triple H already wrestles with a steph infection)

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  65. I'm going live on Google Hangout in a few minutes if you guys want to see what I think. You can tweet me at @SteveWRP if you have any questions.

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  66. Tune in to find out, Tony!!!

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  67. So is Lou Thesz. I don't want to see Bray wrestle him either.

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  68. OSCAR WINNER (kinda) COMMON

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  69. I'll just stick with NXT from now on. 1 hour a week on wrestling, plus the occasional hangout on this blog is enough for me

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  70. Oprah still going for that Oscar from her seat. Common's speech was good but common.

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  71. Gorilla and Ventura, Gorilla and Bobby, and JR and Bob Caudle are my top 3 announce teams.

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  72. Worked for me since April

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  73. Common and John Legend brought the hot fire, I love it Maggle

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  74. Eh. You knew this would happen. It was a kind of okay main, but Reigns/ Lesnar is still going to be a train wreck instead of the clash of the titans Vince thinks it will be.

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  75. It won't be a mat classic and nobody should expect it to be. They should just make it a street fight and let them go crazy. Have some fun with it. Do a scorpion deathdrop off the stage or something. A pedigree reversed into a backdrop into a mound of scorpions. Have a field day! LOL

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  76. "Look, as much as I want to join the bandwagon of declaring Reigns a disaster, I’ll give them credit for picking a new star and refusing to give up on the push after a slow start – because it’s pretty much the polar opposite of what they’ve done with everyone else for years now."



    I'm the biggest Bryan mark in my entire group of fans. THANK YOU. I hate these stop and start pushes, let's see what they do when they put it all out there. This was 100% the correct result; put the rocket under Reigns' ass and let it play out.

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  77. OK, but to say Taker's allure is gone isn't true, IMO. You heard the crowd when they thought he was coming out today.

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  78. D-Bry v. Reigns was great. Really well laid out and D-Bry did a tremendous job. Excellent main event.

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  79. Brock may get the biggest babyface reaction of any heel in Mania main event history.

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  80. I know, folks have been bitching for years on WWE not backing guys properly, they're TRYING here, at least let it play out.

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  81. Eww, who invited Lady Hermaphodite to the Oscars? *reaches for remote*

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  82. TAKE YOUR FINGER OFF THE DISQUS, DUNN

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  83. My Hangout discussing the show is live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V27-VCpiNj8

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  84. If there's something likeable about Roman Reigns beyond his hair I'm not seeing it.

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  85. What Bryan did tonight is what people talk about when they say Flair could get a broomstick over. He played rubber ball. I'm really looking forward to Mania now because they are going to hipster central (or at least hipster south below Seattle) to try to crown Roman. This is either going to legendary like Lesnar-Goldberg or Rock-Hogan in terms of audience awesome. But I agree with author. They had to stick with it.

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  86. Assuming you mean Gaga, Tony Bennett has certainly classed her up as of late. Still wouldn't touch her with a ten foot pole, but she looks..better.

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  87. lol ** for Reigns/Bryan? I get not liking the Reigns push but pretending he didn't just have a great match is absurd.

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  88. You really are stretching the meaning of the word great with the one pal

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  89. I got **1/2. Meh.

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  90. No, he's not. That was awesome.

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  91. That match wasn't great by any definition of great.

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  92. Seth has the case. Could be an interesting year. Let's see how this works and maybe we get Seth-Bryan at SS.

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  93. I'd go way higher on the main event. Great match flatlined by a bad crowd.

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  94. That match was easily ****. The only blemish was a kinda meh finish.

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  95. Agreed. Everyone has an opinion, but that's a farce. That match was awesome. Great spots, great booking, Reigns looked like a killer. I loved the story.


    Reigns brought it and D-Bry was incredible.

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  96. Maybe great as in "Great Scott, that crowd was D-E-D dead, Spawn-style."

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  97. I liked the finish even though I saw it coming from a mile away

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  98. BAAHAHAHAHAHAHA




    Oh wait, you're serious, let me laugh even harder!

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  99. If Bryan hits that knee and wins, everyone is creaming their pants right now. This is like back in August when people were making shit up to hate about Reigns.

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  100. Seemed pretty into it to me, what with the dueling chants and the Yes chants and such

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  101. Exactly. If that match plays out the exact same way but with Bryan winning, it's a four-star affair.

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  102. I thought he showed the hint of some great heel expressions. So they seem to be trying to make him the top face of the company.

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  103. I'd go about 3 1/2. Quite good but not blowaway

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  104. I understand that we were all hoping that Bryan would win the "Rumble", but I don't get the negativity for this show.

    I thought that Usos/Kiddsaro, Cena/Rusev, and Bryan/Reigns were all good, and I give the company big props for the booking in the last two matches - Rusev got a relatively clean win, and there was (surprisingly) no wonky, 50/50, non-committal, wishy-washy "sports entertainment" bullshit in the main. I even liked that the Trips/Sting segment wasn't just talk, some physicality for my money was much appreciated.

    I don't get jobbing the Super Friends so convincingly in the opener, and the "disqualified for kicking too much ass" finish they used for Ambrose is always a giant face-palm, but I think the good definitely outweighed the bad.

    Maybe it's because we were all expecting the absolute worst, but I found this to be a surprisingly enjoyable show.

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  105. Off topic - who plays Threes? What's your best score? I can't seem to break 4k

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  106. What do you think would've made it better, quality-wise?

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  107. Yeah, I thought it made up with story what it lacked in workrate.

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  108. Starting with a brawl or any sense of urgency. The match picked up towards the end, but was a painful at points.

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  109. The crowd was mild for a majority of the match. Even the early dueling chants were tepid, and petered out quickly. When Reigns hit the stairs and Bryan got in a succession of kicks, then the crowd woke up... somewhat.


    What I was most surprised though was Bryan's weak entrance reaction.

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  110. I wouldn't say great. But you could talk me into 3.5 stars for it. It's the best Reigns has looked.


    And did you even read the paragraph afterward where he said he didn't mind the Reigns push?

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  111. Yeah, I would be shocked if Cena/Rusev don't have a rematch at 'Mania

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  112. Man, this is just like a certain someone who crapped all over a good-to-great match because of a People's Elbow.

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  113. I think it was the classic RAW syndrome of the crowd being too comatose from the show up to that point to be woken up by anything.

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  114. What match was that?

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  115. ***1/2. Still easily Reigns' best match ever. Gave me hope.

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  116. After the Rumble when I was criticizing people for trashing the whole show/match just because Bryan didn't win, I was told repeatedly that it wasn't simply that Bryan lost, it's that he wasn't even competitive. That if Bryan had been booked like a real threat in the Rumble match, people wouldn't have booed Reigns at the end.
    OK, so tonight's show was not only Bryan being competitive, it was Bryan getting a 1-on-1 stage to look like a serious world title threat. And clearly he did that. He was booked strong, like he was just one move away from beating Reigns. And even in the build-up, he was treated like he was just as much a threat to Lesnar as Reigns.
    So should I assume that now people will accept Reigns, since Bryan is no longer looking weak?

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  117. I can't remember because I had to do a hard reset on my phone, but I had a game where I had two of the 2187s or whathaveyou.

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  118. Did you actually like this year's Rumble?

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  119. Pretty sure Cult went nuts over the Rumble 2013 match. The point is, everyone has their biases, and an angle that amounted to a tease (based on the finish to tonight's match) is going to leave a bad taste in people's mouths.

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  120. Judging by the pindrop reaction to Reigns, including booing the respectful handshake, they're ready to accept jack shit.

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  121. If you rate a match based on the wrestling, then we're looking at a *** match easy; if you look at a match as a mix of wrestling and storytelling, then then main event was easily ***1/2 to ****; if you're someone that factors in the crowd into your rating, then I can see how you would think that match was underwhelming because the crowd sucked tonight (admittedly because booking has done neither guy any favors in regards to getting behind one of them).

    I personally think too much stock is put into how the crowd reacts when people rate matches. It's a small part that can make a ****1/2 match a ***** match (see: Punk/Cena MITB). WWE crowds are getting worse and worse, and it kind of bugs me that they don't just shut the fuck up sometimes and enjoy the story being told in the ring. Not everything has to have a THIS IS AWESOME chant. Crowds are starting to kill the matches, and before long, they're going to be more of a problem then the shitty booking.

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  122. Can I reject both Reigns and Bryan after that match?

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  123. ...you actually liked that dogshit Rumble?

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  124. That match wasn't that good though. Reigns v. D-Bry was really good, whether you like Reigns or not. He looked great.

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  125. "Sorry fans" isn't probably something a company that creates their own storylines should really ever say.

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  126. I don't have high hopes - we all saw how "prepared" he was for the biggest match of his entire career back in 1997. And he certainly didn't seem to give a shit even while TNA champion.

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  127. You can hate the angle all you want, I do. But you can't deny they just went all out for 20 minutes in a great WWE main event style match. Rock/Punk sucked. The finish was the least of that match's problems.

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  128. It was just a go through-the-motions RAW main event match for me until the top-rope powerbomb. It wasn't actively bad, but the match was dull as the crowd up until then. Not even Roman's fault, he was fine, it just they didn't work an interesting match that made me give a shit, and I was really interested into how they would run this match, I wanted to give a shit all the way through.

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  129. I didn't hate the Rumble. I wish they would've made Reigns look a lot stronger (like he did in the 2014 Rumble), and they blew some opportunities to make it a lot better, but to me the Rumble itself is never really crappy.

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  130. I would agree - I actually was enjoying the Dust match tonight; even if it was a bit slower than the norm, they were trying to get a story over, but the crowd was getting restless five minutes in.

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  131. If anyone went above *** for Reigns/Bryan, please explain.

    Couple of messy big spots.
    Failure to connect to the crowd.
    Lots of dead time.
    Reigns looked lost in parts.
    DEAD Crowd.

    Bryan is not a miracle worker.

    Spot on with the rating, match had no heat.

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  132. What did you like about it?

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  133. Maybe it helps that I viewed it in a vacuum since I don't watch RAW.

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  134. Eddie Murphy sighting! CUT THOSE CHECKS! CUT THOSE CHECKS!

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  135. PS- Daniel Bryan is effectively now a goof.

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  136. How do you rate the match higher based on storyline? Neither competitor really looked passionate, rather like it was a paint by numbers affair. The best moment came when Reigns went all ground and pound for 10 seconds. Why couldn't more of the match be that?

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  137. Going with Reigns over Bryan is like if all of a sudden during the end of Breaking Bad they started to focus everything on Marie instead of Walt.

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  138. Sigh. I don't know what to say. My opinion is apparently factually wrong, leaving me with nothing to counter. But wait, let me try, though...

    That 2013 match was good, though. Reigns vs D-Bry was good, too. Reigns looked decent.

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  139. On the plus side, #CancelWWENetwork isn't trending this time. (Yet.)

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  140. Why would you assume this? The problem with the Rumble was that the #1 face in the company didn't win and people were upset about it. The match tonight was great. Reigns kept up and was great. I have no idea how that relates to the Rumble. They're two different things.

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  141. Agreed - Rock needed a respirator five minutes in.

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  142. I don't watch much RAW myself, but it just felt like the typical Main Event Style match for 10 minutes until they started busting out the big moves.

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  143. Nah, I would have given the same either way. I'm not a Daniel Bryan guy (going back about a decade when the ROH guys nearly tore me to pieces for giving him the nickname "White Bread" when I recapped the shows for InsidePulse), but I also recognize the need to push him to the moon when the iron is hot, and he's a fantastic worker. I just wasn't feeling this one, at all. It looks like the board is split tonight, so I'm thinking no matter what I gave it, I'm probably getting question marks.

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  144. I have to agree here. Reigns did fine.

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  145. Much like Bryan tonight, I thought Punk carried the match incredibly well. There are actually a lot parallels between the two matches.

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  146. This is a problem that WWE has cultivated: crowds know not to pop until finishers are kicked out of and the match has been going for 20 minutes. It's stupid layout after stupid layout. Noble and Mercury are really shitty agents (apparently they laid out the Rumble, too). This is why the end of the Owens/Zayn match at the last NXT show was so amazing. It go over a new finish while making the heel look like a monster and protected the babyface at the same time. To quote Henry David Thoreau: "simplicity, simplicity, simplicity, I say."

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  147. "The problem with the Rumble was that the #1 face in the company didn't win and people were upset about it. "


    If you think that was the only reason, you're as short-sighted as Vince and Creative.

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  148. Rock was gassed badly. Punk could only do so much. They stupidly booked a Dusty Finish. Given the buildup and Punk's reign, it wasn't the match you needed to have.

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  149. 2/3's of the Rumble was like Vince's fantasies come true - a bunch of slugs and hosses clogging up the ring and not doing much, and then Big Show and Kane came out and systematically dumped out all of the people the crowd actually cares about like total deadweight, culminating in a convulted, anticlimatic finish. Not only was the choice of winner bad, but the abysmal match construction only served to make it look that much worse because it ensure that the fans would have absolutely NOTHING to like about the match.

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  150. Disagree, somewhat - They picked Reigns at the "Rumble", so it made sense to continue with it instead of changing direction to Bryan.

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  151. I didn't see the match, but Bryan is a miracle worker. I've seen him pull a 4 star match out of Necro Butcher. Dragging him down to 2 stars is downright impressive.

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  152. This I agree with you on.

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  153. They sold their injuries. Reigns look flustered when his Superman punch didn't finish the job. They built towards the speak (two failed attempts and then he finally nailed it for the pin, which thank God because his Superman punch is such a shitty finishing move).

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  154. What made you think D-Bry was "White Bread?" He had tremendous amounts of in-ring charisma, especially after he came back from touring Europe in 2003.


    He was a master at working a crowd and could do face or heel.

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  155. See, I marked for that, because that was the kind of cool shit that got him crazy over to begin with.

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  156. I actually liked the story they tried to tell at the end with Kane and Big Show coming in and mauling everybody. Because seriously, if two of the biggest guys in the company decided to team up, why wouldn't they dominate the Rumble? That's realistic. I just wish it wasn't Kane and Big Show. The Authority's goons should be younger.
    I liked Rusev, Bray, Rock's run-in, the idea of Reigns winning ... honestly I'd have to go back and watch it again because I don't remember a ton, but was I sitting there for an hour saying it was crappy? No.

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  157. This was a great review, though, no hyperbole. Any plans on doing more PPVs in the future?

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  158. On a side note, great job with the write-up

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  159. Okay, I'll play. Noting that you're right about the crowd, both guys got strong near-falls, both guys spent significant time on offense leading to possible pinfalls/submissions, both guys were able to build on those previous near finishes to one guy's finisher getting countered by the other leading to the pin. Crowd was not into it, so minus about a star, minus 1/2 a star because Reigns did well but not spectacular, and that's how I got ***1/2. Will have to watch again.

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  160. Ahhh but Bryan/Necro was in the middle of the ROH/CZW war IIRC. Then that match heat.


    Plus given the context of what each brought to thematch, it was something unique.


    This, was not that.

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  161. See my comment above. I don't argue that at all. For me, I just felt like this one did that style really well.

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  162. I love you anyway. FacesOfFearForLife.

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  163. Yep. They solved the problem of Reigns not being over by making sure Daniel Bryan isn't over either.

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  164. THIS GUY GETS IT

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  165. That's my point. After the Rumble, when I said people were just booing Reigns because he wasn't Bryan, I was told that people were more booing WWE for not having Bryan be competitive. I didn't believe it, but that's what they claimed. So now that Bryan is competitive, I wonder, will the Reigns hate dissipate?

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  166. That story sucked though, since it's 2015 and no one wants to see Kane and Big Show on top anymore.


    Bray was cool at first, but he did all that for his unceremonious elimination.


    The Rock's run-in was a really sad attempt to get Reigns over. The crowd just shit on it.


    I was there and it just sucked. When I wasn't bored, I was angry.

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  167. I'm pretty sure that was intentional :/

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  168. 4 stars? Maybe you should sit out the next few plays buddy

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  169. So, they Ambrosed him basically?

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  170. Agree. The ground and pound was a great moment and felt like it was leading towards Reigns being more of a badass to prep him for Lesnar.

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  171. This should be the default live thread from now on. CFB reviews in real time while we discuss the show below.

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  172. You know I'm simplifying here. At the end of the day, I agree that the push could have been handled better. I still think that his reaction would have been stronger if Bryan hadn't been there. It doesn't change the booking sucking regarding the pacing of the match, etc. His question was about Reigns and the hate that was laid on him - I'm simply arguing that the hate would not have been as pronounced had Bryan not been in the match.

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  173. That's what he needed to be in the Rumble and needed more of tonight. In fact, if he was going over, they should've done a balls-out big man vs little man match like a Lesnar match, because the only way you're getting two people into a Roman/Brock match is if both guys are fucking unstoppable wrecking machines going on.

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  174. The crowds are getting worse because WWE is booking top spite them. You want Daniel Bryan? You'll get Roman Reigns and like it.

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  175. This is the cynic in me talking, but I would not say Reigns ever had a strong near-fall; he hit the spear and he won. Bryan had all the hope spots and near-falls

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  176. I agree with this, too. Especially for Wrestlemania.

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  177. No, he'll still be over.

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  178. I said it at the Rumble and I still believe it: the problem isn't Reigns; the problem is that they brought Bryan back for the Rumble. They should have held off on that for the night after Mania.

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  179. They never played to Reigns strengths. It was not a fast match. Reigns didnt looked gassed but, his moves between the big spots, didnt have that POP to them.


    The camera work was also atrocious during the match especially with getting "the shot" for roman. it wasnt about bryan putting the move on roman., it was more about him powering out and that did no favors for bryan, who said im a better wrestler and got completely out powered.... wrestling never came into play.

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  180. The crowd sucked but I don't remember any blown spots or dead time. And Reigns kept up his end of the bargain.

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  181. The match I'm referring to is when Necro was in the Age of the Fall. It was kind of a weird feud because Bryan was basically trying to wrestle AotF out of ROH and the matches were kinda heatless until he hit Tyler Black. I think the entire feud took place on shows in Dayton and Detroit over a period of 6 months. Anyway, it was when Necro was really starting to fall apart and Bryan got him to 4 stars. It was a miracle.

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  182. Yes. Bryan should have returned the RAW after Mania, claiming to be the true, uncrowned Champion.

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  183. Or longer. If they bring him back the night after, then most fans would assume he was healthy enough to be in the Rumble and would be mad he was held out. They needed to bring him back tomorrow and say he just got cleared in time for Mania.

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  184. If they had the Rumble finish between Roman/Bryan and ran with it like Batista/Cena 2005 Rumble, it would've gone over much better. Not so much the fucked finish, but two big babyfaces going nuts for five minutes trying to get that WM spot.

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  185. Like I said in the live thread, I liked the build up, liked the acting and nuanced behavior in the last two weeks, and I liked the match. But because of this finish leaving us exactly where we started, what the hell did WWE accomplish (other than letting the higher ups know that Lesnar-Reigns will be passable in the ring)?

    Six weeks ago, Reigns was very over. Five weeks ago, Bryan was massively over. One three week circle and cycle later, they're less over. I suppose that can change in the near future, but for now, this angle, this storyline was just a three week tease for smarks. And now, much of the hardcore fanbase is left dejected. I don't agree with the booking, and I think it was like shooting your two top faces in the foot.

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  186. i was done with roh by the time aotf came around, so i definitely missed that.


    anything with jimmy jacobs is an easy pass for me.

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  187. I can't remember any other Wrestlemania where I just haven't cared a wit about the results of anything. Reigns/Lesnar is the only match that has any sort of consequence, maybe Cena/Rusev if Rusev wins again (remember - Reigns beat Rusev clean as a sheet at a house show; don't think they haven't considered making Rusev/Reigns an on-air feud for the belt down the line), but everything else?

    We've gone back to Wrestlemania V where it's a basically a one-match show, and that ain't Savage and Hogan paying off the Megapowers break-up in the main event.

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  188. Yes, I will give you the camera work being below their usual standards. No argument. I think the finish was perfect with Reigns hitting the big power move after Daniel couldn't hold him in a submission and stopped trying to win by wrestling, so he went for the big strike, got hit with the big spear, and lost. Fine. I don't think it was a classic or anything, but I'm pretty fine with ***1/2 stars for this one. YMMV.

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  189. I don't know. I think that's mostly in fans' heads. I think the problem is that they've effectively killed the midcard. So fans have to put all of their eggs into one basket, and when that doesn't go according to booking plans, they scream "CONSPIRACY!"

    The real problem is that they feel they have to have ONE guy, when they should have five or six ready at any time. Reigns at top is fine. The problem is that they have no one underneath for Bryan to shift to that will excite the fans. If they had a hot heel they could immediately transition Bryan to (say the Barrett and the IC title if it meant anything), you really don't think people would pop huge for Bryan still and be all-in on that program?

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  190. But now neither are them are super over, so at least they're not gonna go Hollywood and be bigger than the company right now, so that's a win for Vince!

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