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The SmarK RAW Rant–05.20.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 05.20.13

Happy Victoria Day! Hope everyone spent the day contemplating what Queen Victoria meant to them on a personal level, much like I did. That and playing God of War III.

Live from Kansas City, MO

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL

The Ryback arrives in an ambulance to start, and we get EXCLUSIVE footage of John Cena rising above neck braces last night. So Ryback challenges Cena to an Ambulance Match for Payback, but first he makes sure to call everyone in the audience fat and weak, unlike himself. This was a HELL of a promo for Ryback, as he sounded very natural and easy for once.

Fandango & Wade Barrett v. The Miz & Chris Jericho

Barrett has yet ANOTHER entrance music and video. Perhaps letting him win a match would be a more effective way to get him over. Just a thought. Jericho throws chops on Barrett, but Fandango comes in with the attack from behind and blocks a blind charge with a boot to the face. The heels have some personality conflict as we take a break. Back with Miz working Barrett over, but he gets distracted by Fandango saying his name and dancing. This has Barrett further upset, and Jericho hits him with the Lionsault and Codebreaker. Miz finishes with the figure-four at 8:35. Barely even a match, as the camera was focused on Fandango dancing outside for the last half. * Fandango abandons Summer at ringside and sprints into the crowd, knocking some poor guy over in the process, and Jericho dances with the lady and then dumps her to the curb.

Vickie Guerrero is out to announce that Jack Swagger will face one of Great Khali, R-Truth or Randy Orton, depending on who wins an app poll. Gee, I wonder who wins that one?

Sheamus v. Titus O’Neil

Sheamus quickly dominates and gets the forearms on the apron, but gets distracted by Black Cena and Titus lays him out. Back in, Titus hits the chinlock and pounds away, and gets a weird pumphandle slam for two. Sheamus fights out of an armbar and makes the comeback, but Titus fights out of White Noise. Young trips Sheamus up and Titus gets two. Sheamus gets White Noise this time, however, and finishes with the Brogue Kick at 6:28. It was a match, it was fine. **

Paul Heyman is out to celebrate Brock’s victory, and introduce the new Paul Heyman Guy…Michael McGuillicutty, who is now Curtis Axel, complete with a rockin’ new mix of Exodus. Heyman explains that “Curt” comes from his dad, and “Axel” comes from his grandfather. Why not just “Joe Hennig”? This is going nowhere, so HHH interrupts. He immediately buries Axel and wants a match with him tonight. They didn’t even mention that he was tag champions a couple of times.

Big E Langston v. Alberto Del Rio

ADR immediately takes him down with the armbar, but Big E is in the ropes. Del Rio hangs on, so Langston pulls him out of the ring and tosses him down to break. Back in, Langston with the backbreaker, but he walks into a Del Rio boot in the corner and takes a tornado DDT. Backstabber and superkick gets two. Langston’s got really great facials while selling, which is why it’s so weird that he’s a heel. His “What did I just get hit with?” look would be perfect for a babyface. AJ tosses the bucket into the ring to provide distraction, and THE BIG ENDING finishes at 4:42. Well that’s pretty unexpected. They had some pretty good chemistry, actually. **1/4

Layla v. AJ Lee

Well, they’re dragging out the AJ title win even further, apparently. She gets a quick neckbreaker for two, but Layla puts her down with kicks. AJ comes out of the corner with her wacky octopus stretch thing for the submission at 1:45. ½*

Cody Rhodes v. Zack Ryder

Joined in progress with no entrance for either guy. Apparently if you download the WWE app, you can watch Ryback standing there watching the match on another monitor! RIGHT NOW! LIVE! Cody gets a hammerlock, but Zack comes back with a missile dropkick. Is calling him “The Woo Woo Kid” supposed to make him sound like anything but the world’s biggest jobber? Cody hits the disaster kick for the pin at 2:00. Well that’s longer than Zack usually gets. * Ryback comes out and beats him up some more. Why they didn’t just book that as the match, I don’t know. Poor Zack takes a ride in the ambulance that’s been sitting there since the beginning of the show.

The Shield v. Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan & Kane

Kofi gets a quick rollup on Ambrose to start and Bryan comes in for the kicks and a kneedrop for two. Over to Rollins, and Bryan dominates him with kicks as well before Kane adds a dropkick for two. Kofi with a hammerlock and a back elbow for two. He gets caught in the Shield corner, however, and Reigns pounds away on him. Over to Ambrose, who stretches him on the mat and adds the dropkick on the ropes for two. Rollins chokes away in the corner and takes him into the turnbuckle for two. He stops to get cocky, though, and Kofi takes him down and makes the hot tag to Bryan. Daniel is running WILD with kicks that get two, as Rollins bumps all over for him. He goes up and gets crotched, but gets a missile dropkick on Ambrose for two. No-Lock, but Ambrose slithers into the ropes, and the Shield all retreats as we take a break. Back with the faces now working Reigns over in the corner, and Kofi fires away, but Bryan comes in again and gets caught, as we’re getting EXTENDED ROCK N ROLL EXPRESS FORMULA! So Bryan takes a beating now, with a Rollins corner powerbomb that gets two. Reigns comes in with a clothesline, and Ambrose works Bryan over and cuts off a comeback. Ambrose talks some trash, but Bryan lays him out with the high kick and it’s hot tag Kane. Corner clothesline for Reigns and a sideslam gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and we get stereo dives from Kofi & Bryan, leaving Reigns v. Kane. DDT gets two for Kane. The Shield puts the babyfaces down outside, however, and they all storm the ring, allowing Rollins to hit Kane with the flying knee and Reigns to finish with the spear at 23:44. Excellent TV match. ****

Meanwhile, Kaitlyn and Natalya steal Cody’s phone to try to corner him as a suspect, but it’s apparently not him.

Jack Swagger v. Randy Orton

Not surprisingly, Orton wins with 72%. They fight over a wristlock and Orton dropkicks him down, then they head outside where Orton drops him on the railing. Back in, that gets two. Orton pounds away in the corner and a suplex gets two. Swagger comes back with knees in the corner, but Orton gets the Thesz Press, until Swagger takes out the knee. Swagger pounds on him until Orton backdrops him to the floor to escape. Swagger runs him into the railing and gets two off that. Orton mounts a brief comeback, but goes up and gets sent to the floor again as we take a break. Back with Swagger still working on the knee, but Orton comes back with a superplex for two. Swagger with a belly to belly for two. Swagger tries the anklelock, but Orton escapes and goes for the RKO, which Swagger turns into the anklelock for real. Orton keeps fighting and makes the ropes, and then finishes with the RKO at 17:05. Well the voters got their money’s worth with that one. *** I really liked this too because it was something DIFFERENT, and I kind of wish they had done a non-finish to build a new program off it, because the fans were buying into Swagger here.

HHH v. Curtis Axel

Yes, this is your main event, beginning at the 3 hour mark. HHH immediately beats the hell out of Axel, but gets stomped down in the corner. Axel with a dropkick for two and he drops an elbow for two. Chinlock, but HHH escapes and puts him down with a knee. Spinebuster follows and he puts Axel on the floor while selling some sort of concussion angle. He stops for a bottle of water at ringside and collapses, and that’s apparently the match. Too bad they already sent that ambulance away.

The Pulse

Oh no, HHH’s career might be in jeopardy! Again. They cannot be building to Brock v. HHH for a FOURTH time, can they?

Stupid ending aside, this was a really different and enjoyable show, featuring guys that aren’t usually featured like that and two awesome TV matches back to back.

Next week’s show is in Calgary, although I’m working and unable to attend, before anyone asks.

Comments

  1. blahblahblahblah5May 21, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    that's not really true. take away the commercials and RAW is about 2 hrs, 15 min. PPVs are 2 hrs, 45 min.

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  2. Curtis Axel's theme music should be Axel F

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  3. Which is why I continue to be confused as to why they brought him up as a heel.

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  4. I'm hoping this HHH concussion angle leads to him coming out every week with a past gimmick/angle. Imagine next week when HHH comes out to My Time with his old jean jacket, demanding for Kurt Angle to come out here so he could kick his ass, and then Vince pops out to gently lead him away from the ring while reassuring him that it's already taken care of.

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  5. The matches don't stop during the commercials though. In fact they've found a way to let you keep watching them!



    Have you heard about this new thing called the WWE App?

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  6. Can't remember if it was here or elsewhere, but someone suggested that Ryback wears that knit cap to hide an ear piece that feeds him lines. He did start wearing it soon after his first few bad promos, and I think he only takes it off in segments where he won't be on the mic. It's a compelling theory; otherwise, it's hard to believe Ryback could improve so much from his first teleprompter heel speech in just a few weeks.

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  7. So that Punk/Bryan match was only *** after all!

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  8. AmericanWolves02May 21, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    If only to hear My Time again, I support this.

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  9. RAW never stops!

    And PPVs have commercials too...

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  10. I have no idea what that is. Michael Cole hasn't told me about it yet.
    Gotta love how they never even mention Tout anymore though, that was a real good $5 million dollar investment right there.

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  11. Yeah they do, except it at least makes sense on RAW since it's on a channel that's entirely supported by ad revenue.
    PPV, not so much. Last time I checked, you never see commericals during a PPV airing of "Lincoln" or "Argo".

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  12. I’d have bet a thousand that the new Paul Heyman guy was Kofi, Daniel Bryan or Zach Ryder. That said, I like the idea of trying to bump up a wasted talent.

    And then they went and called him Curtis Axel. A step up from Mike McGilliguty does not a good name make. Why they decided to not give him the Hennig name, I cannot even begin to imagine.

    And his “win” is so reminiscent of Shelton Benjamin’s victory over HHH, what, nine years ago, that it’s almost scary. A victory in the record books over an icon that will lead to… nothing.

    Well, I guess it wasn’t a win, either. HHH got winded and the new “superstar” just let him hang out and get some water. Well sure, that's what a killer would do.

    Seriously, did HHH really just load up another “performance” for one of the stupidest things ever? Wow. This is our savior after Vince dies??

    Having said that, man, I with Shelton Benjamin had been the new Heyman guy.

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  13. If you actually watch NXT, you'd see that McGillicutty has made massive improvement over the past year.

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  14. Apparently you didn't get that memo WWE sent out 2 years ago.
    We're not allowed to call it "Sports Entertainment" anymore, we have to call it "WWE". Or we could call it "THIS BUSINESS" like Triple H does.

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  15. Why couldn't they have HHH interfere during the Paul Heyman announcement selling his injures but threatening to pummel Heyman, then have Axel attack and beat HHH up from behind? Surely that would of made him look a lot stronger? If that doesn't happen and we go with the match, when HHH was falling all over the place all Hennig did with Heyman was walk away.. that's when he should be rubbing salt in the wound and kicking the crap out of a defenseless Triple H to generate some legit heat whilst looking dominant.


    I don't know if it is my pure hatred for Triple H or if he is legitimately a selfish dick, perhaps both? But I detest every moment he's on screen.

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  16. "Well guys, I've gotta go. The giant man in the boat is waiting for me."

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  17. AmericanWolves02May 21, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    "Surely that would of made him look a lot stronger?"



    You assume it was their intent to make him look strong. This is Triple H we are talking about. His opponent coming out strong is not exactly a pattern.

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  18. I'm down if it leads to Lemmy banging out the Greenwich blueblood theme on a harpsichord at the next Mania.

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  19. Valid point! Yep then what went down makes total sense.

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  20. AmericanWolves02May 21, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Will it lead to the Ultimate Warrior returning? The sight of him would scare Triple H so much that he skips the weird phase where he was half blue blood/half degenerate and just jump to "I AM THE GAME!"

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  21. I like how a couple of minutes after Ryback calls the crowd fat weaklings who know nothing about nutrition, the crowd is sucking down free Sonic milkshakes thanks to the WWE's new promotion. The man has a point.

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  22. Hey, if Brando did it...

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  23. If not for The Shield, then Fandango would be the only amusing thing on the show.

    I want him to Honky Tonk with either the US or IC Title so bad, because not only does everyone actually get the gimmick, but he's a figure who can make the fans want him dead.

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  24. "Would have" or "would've". Not "would of".

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  25. ...while they hum his music.

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  26. Best Curtis Axel anagram:

    Curtail sex.

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  27. Why does Wade Barrett still have the Intercontinental title? I don't watch NXT or Main Event, but he's nothing more than a jobber on RAW and Smackdown. Having the IC title is doing nothing for Barrett, and Barrett is doing nothing for the IC title.
    Meanwhile, they have a handful of guys who are just below main-event/world title level (but are over with the crowd) that could give the IC belt WAY more credibility: Orton, Sheamus, Show, Henry, Jericho, Bryan, Kane, Fandango, Swagger ... Any of those guys could lift the IC title into something that is, you know, featured in an real PPV match someday.

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  28. Nice to see The Shield run through the company, much like how I'm running through the Fantasy Baseball League of Doom! right now and looking to become the BoD's two-sport fantasy champ. Running away with it like I'm the '27 Yankees playing the 2013 Astros or Marlins.


    *Kozlov voice* I DEMAND COMPETITION!

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  29. All Ryback's missing are the cue cards and giant ego.

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  30. And a buttery finger up his tuckus.

    And a polaroid of him with an apparently black penis in his mouth.

    And cotton balls in his mouth.

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  31. I like his NXT character, but I can't see them doing it. Too much of an oddball for them. It's okay if a face character is a dork, hell, it's probably a prerequisite, but you can't confuse or possibly scare the children.

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  32. AmericanWolves02May 21, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    If we are quoting Russians I would have went with "I must break you"

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  33. I was thinking Drago, but at this point, everyone in the league is already Apollo facefirst on the canvas, in the throes of death spasms.

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  34. "It was a match, it was fine."

    #VintageAlvarez

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  35. That's not a nice thing to call your gramma.

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  36. They should just give it to another member of the Shield and unify the damn thing with the US title. Such a waste.

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  37. Screams "name of your protagonist if you were making a really shitty 16-bit game"

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  38. Nobody ever seems to remember his promo work from 2010 - whether playing the Good Ole Boy face, or "Nexus'" cold-blooded killer, he was very good and totally comfortable on the mic. It was only when he came back that he started with the stilted, over-enunciated delivery.

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  39. Not enough people have respect for the English language. UPVOTE!!

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  40. Listen. I think the way to go here is to have more fan participation in the shows, similar to Rocky Horror showings. We could throw rice at weddings, Starbucks cups for Jericho, plastic toy shovels for HHH. That sort of thing.

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  41. Well, not throw the cups or shovels obviously.

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  42. If you go to a Raw show, you had it coming.

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  43. Yeah that's normal, have someone "debut" and beat a perennial main eventer straight away.

    I'm not saying that the angle is good or anything, but I'm not saying that Sullivan isn't a dolt, either.

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  44. Nope, Cena got pinned in the match two weeks ago.

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  45. Remember when John Cena said Zach Ryder was his best friend last year? Shouldn't he have overcome the odds and gone to help him out when he was getting destroyed by Ryback?
    I mean, seriously, they should just change the dude's name to Jamie Noble.

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  46. ^^ This.

    WM had commercials longer than some of the matches

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  47. Damn, I stopped paying attention and now the counter is up to 10,003,530

    Who got the lucky number?

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  48. Probably someone who requested nude pics of Scott.

    Let's just hope he keeps to his word.

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  49. I made that same joke months ago and refuse to believe anyone else could think of it. I challenge you to a duel of some kind!

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  50. YankeesHoganTripleHFanMay 21, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    That would actually be pretty funny. Only problem is they would play it serious.

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  51. Triple H - I have generally been a pretty big fan of his for most of his career. His 2000-2001 run was amazing, and I even forgave 2003 because he made Ric Flair relevant again, which meant more to me as a fan than anything WWE could have done. Evolution was awesome, and cut way too short. He has generally been a solid worker with great years and some not so great years. he always had a great look, cool music, and took "this business" very seriously, which not every worker does.


    His recent run on TV as a face, basically dating back to right after Money in the Bank 2011 has been God awful. Triple H is a terrible face, and even worse without HBK and DX getting him heat. He buried CM Punk, he sucked the life out of Brock, he treated Hennig Jr. like a jobber. The boss should not be on TV destroying everyone, he is rather disgusting in this current role.


    In contrast I would have been all about heel Triple H being the evil authority figure who can still go in the ring. When he came back in 2011 he should have had Nash as his body guard and played antagonist to CM Punk's protagonist. Someone else mentioned in an earlier thread that Triple H is a natural heel - I could not agree more. I still tune in to Raw just because you never know when a gem like that 6 man tag or the Cena - Punk #1 Contender match will occur, but God damn Triple H is making it hard. Rebooking Brock Lesnar's 2nd WWE run will become the new rebooking the Invasion.

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  52. Now let's not be hasty. Don't write off the HHH/Lesnar feud until it's finished.

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  53. It's like the insecurities of HHH will never go away. Austin and Rock are long gone man, it's OK now!

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  54. You forgot Miz and Truth. He got over on them before the Rock and Cena even teamed up.

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  55. Because dammit HHH needed 20!

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  56. ....and leer at his valet.

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  57. But the point remains. If Curt had lost his first match on Raw clean, it would have been a problem.

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  58. Well they do, but very few people have the courage to point out bad grammar on the internet. I also demand an upvote!

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  59. When Mr. Perfect returned in 2002 he was more or less treated as a joke -- HHH is now the SAME age as Perfect at that time and somehow is he still the same centerpiece jerkoff he was at 30 years old. Looking back, I really wish the company gave Mr. P and chance in 2002--it could have been fun (he looked great in that Rumble).

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  60. Knuckleberry PinnMay 21, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Someone correct me if this is wrong, but it appeared from the replays that Ryback actually BEGAN his promo with the concise declaration: "I'm here to challenge John Cena to an Ambulance Match for the strap at Payback."

    If this is the case, then major, major props to him for using an underutilized tool. Wrestling promos have trained me to become familiar with much delay and hype before getting to the crux of a point:

    "And that's why I want a match...This Sunday...at the Royal Rumble... and not just any match. I'm talking about one of the most brutal matches in THIS BUSINESS....a match where people bleed....a match which ends careers....I want a STREET FIGHT!" And not only do I want a Street Fight, but this Sunday...at the Royal Rumble...I want a street fight...for the WWE Championship!"

    One of the few examples I can remember of a wrestler varying from this is when (I believe) The Coach interviewed Taker in '02 regarding (I believe) Hogan stealing his bike. Taker took a deep breath like he was going to unleash the rant of rants, but instead, said nothing, and walked away.

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  61. I'm prepared for this Curtis Axel thing to flop and am just sad theyre going to waste Heyman for a few months on this

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  62. Of all the angles to rip off and reboot, they pick the Brooklyn Brawler/Red Rooster feud? O....k.

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  63. Nope, but they can get some circular bacon that looks like ham... or some Poutine... man how I want to try some Poutine...

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  64. Well, how else is WWE going to convey the good things John Cena does and how much heart he has? It's not like he has much airtime during RAW or Smackdown...

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  65. I wonder if maybe they are building towards that with him abandoning Barrett tonight... he is great at having Honky Tonk heat... and having the most fuckable diva on the roster with him will only make people hate him more.

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  66. That would actually be even better... they play it serious, and EVERYONE jeers them out of the arena. Maybe Vince even goes Mr. McMahon after a couple weeks of that.

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  67. Huh. Presenting Swagger as an athlete who can hang with top-tier talent. I wonder if that will help him.

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  68. Huh. Presenting Swagger as an athlete who can go toe-to-toe with top faces. I wonder if that's ever gotten someone over...

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  69. I'm usually a defender of HHH, but last night was the prototype for why so many smarts can't stand the guy. I don't know how much to blame on the writers, versus how much to blame on HHH, but EVERYTHING about the Hennig/HHH angle was done poorly.


    First, if you're going to use Heyman in this role, you can't immediately make Hennig look stupid. Heyman should only be used with Hennig if he's getting a big push. But here's HHH, right out of the box, "Hey Junior, the adults are talking." Yeah, that'll get Hennig over. Heyman had just cut a typically great promo as an introduction, and HHH immediately comes out and pisses all over it. Then Hennig sells a slap for so long that Heyman actually has to yell at him to get back on his feet, while HHH drones on about Lesnar.



    Then, as a bunch of others have said here, during the match, HHH stumbles around like Scott Hall and Hennig/Axel just does nothing? Get out there and kick the shit out of him! I tuned in for the sole purpose of seeing how they'd handle the new "Heyman Guy" and what do you know, the whole thing is booked around HHH. Hennig ends up being the #3 focal point IN HIS OWN ANGLE. Maybe even 4th, depending on whether they keep Lesnar involved.



    I'm not saying that "giving the rub" means HHH has to lay down for Hennig right out of the chute, but what purpose does booking him as a non-threat serve? Infuriating.

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  70. Victor Rodriguez JrMay 21, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    He still has night terrors over it man. NIGHT TERRORS! cut the guy some slack

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  71. I'm prepared for the Lesnar/HHH feud to last until 2030.

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  72. Why did he not get some more shots in while HHH was drinking water and sitting down? He should have given HHH a mafia kick like Cesaro did to Miz a couple months ago on RAW while Miz was commentating. It would have helped Axel's heat and wouldnt have detracted from whatever they are going for with HHH at all.

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  73. Hey, Scott, next week's show is in Calgary. Are you gonna...


    Oh.

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  74. "In Soviet WWE, established veteran is needlessly kept strong against upstart who needs the rub."


    Oh wait, that's regular WWE.

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  75. By the way, on today's podcast, Meltzer is baffled on the HHH/Axel segment. Alvarez was not surprised. "I don't think he can help himself."

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  76. Worst_in_the_WorldMay 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Well, I'm fully preparing myself for what I think could be the dumbest WWE decision on a huge pile of dumb decisions: they're about to (attempt to, at least) turn Daniel Bryan heel. He's already doing the whiny "you think I'm a weak link?" bit, and old man Lawler is subtly reaming him out on commentary about how Bryan hears voices in his head, and yeah, it's obvious. They're gonna do the Bryan-Kane breakup with Kane as the face.

    Fuck. This. Company.

    I mean, what more of a response to Bryan do they need before they just suck it up and recognize he is the most over person in teh company? His multiple catchphrases are over, he gets giant entrance pops, and he consistently gets crowds into a frenzy with his ring work. This isn't some smark internet fan dweeb— he's over as hell with the entire audience. And yet....let's turn him into a neurotic comedy heel.

    You know, you can say all you want how Cena is above playing politics, how he's the anti-Hogan in that respect. Well all I know is the last few years every single time a face has looked like he could provide legitimate competition for Cena as top face (Punk, Ryback, Bryan, hell even Ryder when he was at his hottest) they've either jobbed them out or turned them heel. Maybe that's not Cena politicking, maybe it's just Vince & HHH & Steph being totally tone deaf. But goddamn it, the hardest part of being a WWE fan right now is them refusing to acknowledge fan response at all.

    Anyway, I might be jumping the gun here. Maybe Bryan's frustration is actually part of his year long journey to the top, rather than him returning to his role as Whiny Bitch Heel #9. But based on their pattern with going against fans wishes at the expense of over-pushing Cena, I doubt it.

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  77. Are we suppose to have sympathy for Triple H getting a concussion from a sledgehammer he brought into the match in the first place?

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  78. Worst_in_the_WorldMay 21, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Because DUH, that would put heat on someone who isn't Triple H. The point of last night's episode was to:
    - Show that it didn't matter that Triple H lost at Extreme Rules
    - Reiterate that HHH had beaten Lesnar before, at mania, when it REALLY mattered
    - Prove that HHH was tougher than Lesnar because he was back on TV already cracking jokes meanwhile Lesnar was at home like a bitch
    - Have HHH do an injury angle that NOBODY CAUSED, because the only person who is tough enough to injure HHH is HHH himself!


    Anyway, I think they accomplished all of those goals nicely, and I now await the HHH vs HHH main event at Summerslam.

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  79. Yeah, I vaguely remember them even shooting skits where Perfect couldn't pull off the feats anymore, so he'd cheat to make it look like he did.


    And then he'd job every week.

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  80. So they're not allowed to show the negative effects of concussions?

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  81. I dont actually think they'll turn him heel

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  82. I love Barrett. Why they do nothing with him, I have no clue.

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  83. You dig the name? Really? It's the most jobberific name I've heard in a while

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  84. A real wrestling fan would SKIP work and go to Raw, Scott.

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  85. No love for AJ's 0.9 Ziggler sell of Layla's superkick?

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  86. Also, that new finisher is tremendous.

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  87. Christopher HirschMay 21, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    It pays homage to his legacy and its not fucking Michael McGillicutty.

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  88. Still cringing at this Curt Axel thing. As if the guy even has a chance to begin with (with that name, shit mic skills, general blandness), he gets his balls cut by HHH straight away and is spoken to and slapped like the jobber he is. Poor Heyman, how can you go from CM Punk.... to Brock Lesnar... to Michael McGuillicutty? Lol

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  89. Worst_in_the_WorldMay 21, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I mean, I hope you're right. And if this were an era in which Vince was shown to care about fan response, I'd totally think that his "I'm not the weak link" stuff was actually a jumping off point for him to go on a tear and dominate on his way to a feel good title win. But if you look at the last few years, WWE has handled fan reactions in the following ways:
    - He's getting over huge as a face? Well turn him heel (Punk, Bryan, Ryback) or job him out (Ryder).
    - He's getting completely no reaction as a heel and fans are bored to death with him? Turn him face and push him to the moon! (Del Rio, Miz)
    - He's a face getting either apathetic response or outright boos? Well, keep him face and push him even harder! Maybe even give him a bucket, since crowds love buckets! (Sheamus, Del Rio, Miz, arguably Cena)
    - He's a heel whose matches and/or promos are genuinely entertaining, and has proven to actually generate some crowd heat? Job him out every single fucking time he's ever on TV, specifically to a face that nobody gives a shit about. (Rhodes, Sandow, Cesaro)

    - He's the owner of the company and can't wrestle a watchable match anymore and his matches get crickets despite being the most promoted things on every show? Obviously let's have him beat the shit out of the biggest bad-ass/PPV draw on the roster to the point where that bad-ass is in tears begging for mercy!


    The one bright spot is that luckily The Shield haven't been placed into any of those buckets. YET. So until then, I'l at least continue to believe in The Shield!

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  90. Of course. But it was still interesting timing. Like a preemptive strike so Nowitzki wouldn't make them look bad in the media like with the Benoit murders.

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  91. Its not Michael McGillicutty... but it's still Curt Axel :-/

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  92. Perfect Jr. also showed some intensity, which is always nice to see (and seemingly rare nowadays).

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  93. No, but you do get commercials for The Marine 3 and other straight to Blu-Ray classics.

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  94. It's depressing to think that you're right. If they turn Bryan heel now I will actually cry.

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  95. Man, I really hope they do a HHH "Tell Me A Lie..." video.


    And Axel better keep the McGillicutter as a finisher. It's pretty sick.

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  96. Worst_in_the_WorldMay 21, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    This times 100. I never understand why WWE doesn't put the IC and US straps on main eventers who have nothing else better to do. Sheamus and Orton pretty much beat the midcard every week, so why not have them do it while defending a title? A feud like Orton-Show or Sheamus-Henry would at least have something at stake.


    This is actually one thing I always thought that WCW (especially pre-NWO) did well, was having main eventers feud over the secondary titles. Sting, Luger, Vader etc all won the US title after having already been World champs, and it was a good way of making the secondary feuds feel important. Total missed opportunity here.

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  97. They should've had him shave. Looks too much like Daniel Bryan. At least put him in a singlet ala Mr. Perfect and have him grow his hair out a bit. Have Swagger switch to traditional trunks so there's no conflict there.


    I do like the name though. Curtis = Curt. Axel = Axe as in Larry the Axe Hennig. Pretty neat homage to his father and grandfather. I'd like to see Axel work a long match on TV with an established veteran to see how good he is in the ring.


    I want to see Team Triple H vs. Heyman's Guys in War Games at Survivor Series. That would be mega cute. Imagine. . ..


    Triple H, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Kane -VS- Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Curtis Axel, then maybe throw in a returning Rob Van Dam or a young guy coming up like Husky Harris.


    Having Curtis Axel on TV adds a new dynamic. The shows are almost 1/2 NXT guys now which shows that the seasons weren't really a waste.

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  98. I've seen Hennig work some good matches. At the very least, he'll be a serviceable mechanic.

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  99. Yep, my thoughts as well.


    But let's not act like this isn't par the course. Jericho was getting pops on par with the Rock in 2001, and they turned him heel. RVD got held in the lower midcard for years before the company acknowledged his fanbase. And of course, HHH gets lukewarm reactions as a face, yet the company won't turn him heel.

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  100. Worst_in_the_WorldMay 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    And again, not to be all conspiracy theory about it, but what's the purpose of that decision other than to protect Cena's spot? I mean more than anyone else who's gotten hot during teh Cena era, Bryan is conceivably the guy who could be THE GUY. Yes, he doesn't have the superman look, but it's not like Bryan is Rey-sized. He pretty much comps to Bret physique-wise. But aside from that, Bryan brings everything they'd need in the "face of the company": he puts on main event matches that get the crowds frenzied; he's (as far as we know) a choir boy when it comes to drugs, alcohol, & behavior; he kills it on the mic and even has gotten WWE-approved catchphrases; moves merch; and hell, kids love him and Bryan (based on that video from awhile back) is a natural at the charity visits. And he's 31, which is that sweet spot of maturity vs prime ring age.


    He really could be the guy. But instead, why roll the dice and try to create a new top face when you could turn him heel and have him job to Cena because Cena needs guys to beat between now and Mania, dammit!

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  101. I don't think Nowinski could, because they're doing exactly what they're supposed to with Ziggler. I assume Chris has never said his point is to eliminate concussions, as that's impossible. His goal is for sports leagues to improve how they deal with and treat concussions.

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  102. Thing is I don't see the crowd stopping with the Yes chants. Bryan will have to do something completely heinous to be accepted as a heel and even then, the guy is just too damn likeable

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  103. Also I should mention, when I typed Mafia Kick I actually meant Legitimate Businessman's Association Kick. Sorry for any confusion

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  104. Curt Axel is no more a jobber name than Kurt Angle IMO. Or you can call him Curtis Axel and people can chant that. It's not such a bad name. Sounds like a WCW name actually.

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  105. I'll forever associate night terrors with cobras. Damned Simpsons.

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  106. Worst_in_the_WorldMay 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Totally agree on how much it makes no sense, but that hasn't stopped them before. Hell, he was getting a mega face reaction coming out of Mania 28 and they stuck with him as a heel anyway, until the Hell No thing just forced their hands.



    It's a really curious situation, perhaps the biggest contrast in how Vince sees somebody (in this case, dweeby annoying heel) vs how the fans see somebody (loveable exciting superface) in a long time. Thing is though, since the Attitude Era ended, everytime that contrast has happened it was Vince's perception that won out. We'll see.

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  107. Agreed. It sounds fucking terrible.

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  108. Didn't even notice Cena wasn't on the show. Except for that "Exclusive" footage...

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  109. My guess is, Heyman proclaims for the next six months that Axel decisively beat HHH and ended HHHis's career. If that is the case, Curtis Axel will be just fine. Keep in mind, if HHH has post-concussion syndrome or something in kayfabe he can't be COO. Could this be leading to Heyman taking over Raw? TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT!

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  110. Christopher HirschMay 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Gotta start somewhere. People want new stars then shit on them when they try giving someone pretty new a rub.

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  111. He looks like a sawed-off Matt Morgan.

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  112. Gosh, I wish someone would show me how to download the app from the app store.

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  113. It's a shame Triple H isn't the WWE or World Heavyweight champ right now, it's been 16 years since someone surrendered a title because they "Lost their smile"

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  114. I'd take a page from dying WCW and have certain titles essentially exclusive to the secondary shows, and have these wrestlers not face elite competition when they appear on Raw. Barrett can defend the IC title on Main Event and PPVs with challengers and feuds coming from that show while he wipes up the Curt Hawkins of the world on Raw to stay strong.

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  115. My guess is that whenever HHH returns from his injury, he will immediately beat the shit out of Axel. You know, like he did to Sheamus after he put HHH out for nearly a year.

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  116. I didn't think they gave the new guy much of a rub in this case.


    I like Hennig a lot in the ring, so I'm fine with the push and I like him getting with Heyman. I just didn't think last night did him any favors.

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  117. Until they make him change it when Angle inevitably returns.

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  118. I liked it. Swagger getting confused and putting the ankle lock on the wrong leg was the only thing that hurt it. That part was pretty awkward, especially Orton giving him multiple chances to switch legs before he finally got the hint.

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  119. As much as I hate HHH's guts, I'll give him credit for actually taking a fall/tapping out every now and then rather than pulling the HBK style stunts when it's his turn to job.

    Heck, in the HHH/Austin v. Benoit/Jericho tag match - the guy tore a muscle in his leg, was in serious pain and still told Jericho to put him in the Walls.

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  120. It worked for Rocky Maivia ...

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  121. Mankind debuted and beat the Undertaker in his first PPV match. The Giant also beat Hulk Hogan in his debut match, although it was by DQ. Lawler also pretty much invented that trope in Memphis. Weird guy in mask debuts, beats Lawler for piece of tin masquerading as belt, Lawler wins belt back. It was pretty common in wrestling until the early '00s when WWE rewrote the rules thanks to Brock and Rock both running out on the company. The only reason guys don't get megapushes like that today is because Vince is terrified they'll become bigger than THIS BUSINESS and leave him high and dry. It's precisely why the midcard is now a fucking hamster wheel.

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  122. What worked for Rocky Maivia? No one gave two shits about him till he became the Rock

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  123. While they sound similar, Kurt Angle is an infinitely better name than Curt Axel. It sounds like an actual name, for one thing (maybe because it is).

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  124. Build up new stars, fine. That doesn't mean take Michael McGillicutty, who was jobbing to Sin Cara last week, and stick him right in the main event with a shitty new name.

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  125. A lot of people only watch Raw, so he's kind of a fresh face. He should have gotten the cheap win against the "concussed" HHH last night so he can brag about that for months. It's the only way to get these new guys a proper rub, you have to take risks at some point.

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  126. Axel Curtis sounds so much better....

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  127. Lee Marshall and Mark Madden.

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  128. I actually think the whole "Cena don't play politics, ya'll" thing is bullshit. He's a human being and both him and the company itself have a lot invested in the John Cena character.

    But no, I'm sure he's skipping through life, whistling "oh come all ye faithful" on the way to.., The Gay Store, which is where he shops... or something.

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  129. I don't even remember him being on TV that long before they released him for being on the plane ride from hell.

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  130. He may not play politics, although i also would find that incredibly hard to believe, he sure as hell doesn't go out of his way to put talent over.

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  131. Exactly. Just let them do it and ignore it. They tried to make Punk the most dastardly person in the universe and a good portion was chanting "CM PUNK!" as he bathe himself in the ashes of a dead character. It's not like this is unprecedented, see Eddie and Tajiri.

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  132. Larry Zbyszko. He used to constantly put himself over the heels, even though he was retired.

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  133. "Curtis Axel" sounds like a Starfleet officer. A nickname to go with Joe Hennig would be better. But oh well.

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  134. Dolph Ziggler is still a terrible name. He is the exception that can overcome that handicap.


    I don't like the Curtis Axel name, but it's not nearly as bad as most of the other NXT Name Generator stuff.

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  135. Hell, Tajiri himself is a good example. I was going back and watching some shows from 2001 and 2002, and I was blown away at how popular Tajiri was. Then he did a random pointless heel turn. Huh?

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  136. "The Regular Dude" Joe Henning

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  137. I am absolutely loving the Shield. They better not fuck this up.

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  138. 2/3 of the current TNA announce team [Todd Keneley and Taz] are pretty awful now as well.

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  139. He's Joe fucking Hennig. Not Curtis Axel or McGillicutty which sounds like a watered down irish pub chain or Dude Brodawg or whatever the fuck they call these NXT guys. Axel doesn't even make sense because an axel isn't anywhere close to an axe. He's Joe Hennig. Fuck.

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  140. Not to mention he frequently buried the young talent by bragging about his golf games at times he was supposed to be putting the young guys over.

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  141. Watching clips of the show online...what exactly would the problem have been with ending the HHH/Axel match with HHH taking a countout loss?

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  142. In some territories, he has Wendy alongside him to get heat.

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  143. Can we do a Kickstarter for this?

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  144. AJ's with Ziggler.

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  145. They donated a millions dollars?


    Why hasn't this been talked about?

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  146. In order for Bryan to turn heel, wouldn't he have had to have been a face?


    Yeah the team is a face one, but I don't remember Bryan ever turning face on us.

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  147. Old finish technically.

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  148. Whoa, she used that before? Was it on NXT or something?

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  149. He frequently botches names amd moves and worst of all, the guy never stops talking. He doesn't realize he's supposed to be the sidekick, not the main announcer.
    You can't even tell Mike Tenay is there most of the time because of Taz's complaining and Todd's continued refusal to shut up.
    Really they need to fire Taz and Todd and either pair Jeremy Borash up with Mike or just let Mike call the show by himself. Either option is better than what they're doing now.

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