Well, it’s been a few reviews on now, and I feel confident enough to make this article the Drinking Edition. Yep, we’re doing a drinking game. So, here are the rules:
1) Every time a tag team match is made, down whatever you’ve got.
2) If a CM Punk chant starts up, down an alcohol-free beverage.
3) If Michael Cole voices his suspicions about a conspiracy, one shot.
4) A shot for every RAW flashback we do.
5) If Sheamus gets into a fight/match for no reason, that’s a shot.
6) And finally, if Paul Heyman shows up without Brock Lesnar, three shots.
Buckle up, kids. It’s drinking time.
This Is Ziggler. And This Is Ziggler On Cafffeine.
We’re dashing right into things with the man they call Ziggler, and he’s vocal tonight again. Sandow is his opponent. Tie-up is taken over by Sandow with knees to the chest, then he takes Ziggler down with a side Russian leg sweep. Ziggler goes off the ropes, scoots over Sandow and hits his beautiful standing dropkick. Sandow’s knocked to the outside, but Ziggler heads out to put him right back in the ring. As Ziggler heads up to the top, Sandow actually spin-kicks the ropes, like the Karate Kid turned out to be a bit of a loner, and Ziggler falls off and hits the steps. A ‘let’s go, Ziggler’ chant starts as Dolph crawls back into the ring, and Sandow puts the boots to the guy. The announcers mull over Damien’s general failure, because who the hell can’t win a Money In The Bank cash-in, and Ziggler is locked in a sleeper.
Dolph headbutts his way out, right into a back elbow. Sandow’s still in control, throwing Ziggler right out of the ring. Dolph gets rocked onto the barricade, then flung back into the ring for a cover: it’s two. Ziggler’s groggy off the ropes; snapmare from Sandow, then right back into the sleeper. Dolph manages to catch himself on the ropes, catch Damien with a back elbow and then slam Sandow’s head right into the mat. Crossbody to Sandow, then a splash into the corner, followed up by a neckbreaker for two. Fameasser misses, but Sandow hits the Edge-O-Matic, misses a neckbreaker and Dolph scores with the Fameasser; that gets the three.
A good match to start with. Both men are great at moving around in the ring, which is usually a good equation for a match. 2.5 Stars.
Fire erupts from the stage, meaning either Kane’s here or they just fired a now-vengeful pyro technician. And he introduces…a FLASHBACK. ONE SHOT. Kane, deliverer of alcohol, blames us all for Bryan’s predicament. Apparently this Monday we learned that nobody is bigger than the Authority; Triple H wrote that line with a smirk on his face. Kane says that some people are just better than others. You know, he’s actually right there. Kane has a letter from Triple H (‘Dear Pesky Plumbers. The Koopalings and I have taken over the Mushroom Kingdom…‘). But really, it’s just Triple H not apologising for his little S&M outing on Monday.
Fandango’s music hits, and is he the new face of rebellion? Apparently not. But he’ll be facing one of Los Matadores, and JBL once again becomes ridiculously excited at the fact a midget can wear a costume like a person. Fernando will be facing Fandango, for the simple reason that their names are similar? I guess.
Fernandgo? Fandando? One Of Those.
When we come back from the break, Fandango is in control of Fernando, hitting a fireman’s carry back body drop. Headlock to Fernando, and it just looks like Fandango’s bullying some drama kid who showed up to school in costume. Fernando hits a jawbreaker, but runs into a spinning kick for a two count. Fandango goes up to the second rope, but misses a knee drop. Fernando rallies, taking it to Fandango with a hurricanrana, a springboard back elbow, and then Summer Rae distracts Fernando long enough for Fandango to take him down. Jesus, Fernando, how many times have you seen that trick before? Oh, but here’s El Torito! And he’s driven crazy by Summer Rae, because she’s wearing bright red! And also…he’s horny!! El Torito sprints after her, because there’s comedy in attempted rape, no matter what your parents taught you. Fandango tries to save his girlfriend/beard from Death By Terrible Writing, but gets rolled up for the pin. Chivalry isn’t dead; it just gets jobbed out.
El Torito and Los Matadores manage to bring down anything they’re a part of, and that is not hyperbole. 1.5 Stars.
You know what, for sitting through that, finish your drink. You earned it.
The Wyatts appear on titantron, and Harper says that it’s not safe for Cena here. And he’s right; there’s a tiny man in a costume looking for fresh rape-meat. Wyatt shows up, managing to make up for the last five minutes just by talking.
Teddy Long’s Adult Videos Are All Just Like This
It’s a Fatal Four Way tag team match, and the Shield show up first. Apparently Ambrose and Rollins are teaming together for this: interesting development. When we come back from the break, Goldberfect are in the ring too, along with…3MB? Wow, I assumed they’d been kidnapped and sewn together ass-to-mouth, although I never did have any evidence to support my hypothesis. Joining them are the Real Americans, so the second prize here is which team can break up first. Axel and Ambrose start off, with Dean getting Axel in a headlock, gets shot off the ropes and takes him down. Axel tries a hip, but Ambrose counters with a clothesline. Bodyslam, then Axel tags out to Jinder Mahal, who gets taken out by Ambrose immediately, locking the legs and wrenching back the head. Tag to Rollins, with Seth keeping the head on Mahal, but Ryback tags himself in and blindsides him. Delayed vertical suplex is countered with knees to the head, then Rollins slides out, gets caught by Ryback and Ambrose dropkicks Rollins right into Ryback. Rybaxel as a whole are dumped on the outside, because only two teams here have relevance, and Dean and Seth dive out onto them.
Following Kofi warning us not to become a jobber to the stars at home or at school, we’re back with 3MB in control of the Shield. Yeah, you just read that correctly. Ambrose drives Mahal into a corner, and Axel tags himself in. He vaults over the top to drop an elbow on Ambrose, and Ryback comes in. Bodyslam, then a splash to Dean. Ryback tries to drive Ambrose into the corner, but Ambrose rolls him up before getting knocked back down. Suplex, then the Meathook Clothesline. Swagger tags himself in to pick up the scraps, but Ryback breaks up the pin. Swagger hits the Swagger Bomb, then Cesaro hits the stomp, but McIntyre and Rollins break up the pin.
Cesaro locks a sleeper in to Ambrose, who tries to fight his way out, but gets met with uppercuts, only for Ambrose to suddenly smash him down with a clothesline. Swagger tags in and gets rolled-up and DDT’d; Ambrose makes the tag to Rollins. Rollins and Mahal are the two legal men, and Rollins kicks McIntyre off the apron and hits a flying neckbreaker to Mahal, getting rid of Axel and low-bridging Ryback. He ducks a clothesline from Mahal, dives out onto Ryback, comes back in the ring and is taking it to Mahal when Heath Slater, that ginger bitch, catches his leg. Reigns spears him, because he doesn’t know what Slater is, but wants to kill it. Rollins hits the Blackout to Mahal, but McIntyre just manages to break up the pin, with Ambrose taking him out before all hell breaks loose. Kane is suddenly out there rolling on Reigns, which somehow earns the DQ.
Definitely a good’un, though I’d have preferred to have seen a bit of a showcase from each team. Still, Rollins and Ambrose did a damn exciting job out there. 3 Stars.
Kane continues to beat on Reigns as Ambrose and Rollins deal with the situation in the ring. Suddenly Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are assisting Kane, because Roman Reigns’ weakness is the elderly for some reason. Rollins and Ambrose are being laid out by the Real Americans and Rybaxel (3MB have already melted away lest the storyline should detect them). Michael calls conspiracy: ONE SHOT. Reigns tries to fight back, and actually manages to get some shots in, but the numbers game adds up and Roman’s left laying after a big boot from Kane. The Outlaws and Kane then head to the ring and level Rollins and Ambrose with a Fameasser and a chokeslam respectively. Reigns tries to crawl his way to the ring, but Road Dogg gets to him and calls him ‘pretty boy’, and with that accent it’s only a matter of time until he requests that Roman squeal like a pig. Reigns is tossed into the ring and gets chokeslammed as well, with the Shield left decimated. Quite a visual.
Miz is in the ring with Miz TV, and the crowd actually forget the title of the show. Miz is here to talk about the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, because whatever else is there to talk about? He introduces the odds-on-favourite to win the match, which according to Michael Cole’s commentary is literally everyone in the Battle Royal. But specifically it’s Big Show. Big Show says how he’s always been compared to Andre The Giant, but now Miz puts on his douche glasses and pulls out Show’s win-loss record at WrestleMania. Big Show’s retort is that he’s older than the Miz, which is hardly striking. Miz announces that there are other superstars who have been invited onto Miz TV: Titus O’Neill, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, Big E Langston, Cody Rhodes…the Mid-Card walks out. Then Sheamus shows up and says that as there is more than one superstar in the ring, they may as well fight; I’ll say this for Sheamus: his logic is very easy to follow. And I believe that’s ONE SHOT.
Miz tries to close it down, but then sics everyone onto Big Show. This last for five seconds then everyone except for Miz brawls. Guys get tossed left and right and this leaves Sheamus and Big Show. They square off against each other and Sheamus takes Show down with an axe-handle and a knee, going to Brogue Kick Big Show, but he ends up on the apron and both men struggle. Miz, probably being a heel this week, tries to come back in and eliminate both men, but Show knocks Sheamus to the floor. JBL and Michael keep reminding everyone that Miz went under the bottom rope so wasn’t eliminated, and I’d like to remind everyone that this isn’t an actual Battle Royal. Literally any of those competitors could come back and it’d be fine. Anyway, Miz slips out of a gorilla press over the top rope but gets tossed anyhow. Worth noting that Ziggler wasn’t out there for this.
Odds-On-Favourite Vs. Odds-On-Favourite
Langston and Del Rio are in the ring when we come back, so you totally could come back from being thrown over the top rope. Del Rio takes it to Langston in the corner, but Langston takes control, hitting a shoulder-thrust. Irish whip’s reversed and Del Rio catches Langston’s feet, stomping right on his chest. Rest hold’s broken out of by Langston, and he charges at Alberto in the corner, but Del Rio gets the boots up and then hangs Langston’s arm up on the top rope. Del Rio’s really getting in some offence. Big E explodes with clotheslines and a belly-to-belly when Alberto re-enters the ring, but an attempted-Big Ending is countered by Del Rio into the backstabber. They keep mentioning that Langston’s the champion, and I’m always surprised when they do. Cross-armbreaker is called for; Langston counters it but charges shoulder-first into the ring post and gets met with a superkick when he turns around and that’s it.
Del Rio looked really good here. Now he needs a direction and character. Speaking of characters, I always read Langston as a guy who can out-power almost anyone, but needs more experience to be able to beat competitors like Del Rio. Far more nuanced than ‘big strong guy beats bad man (unless bad man cheats)’. 2.5 Stars.
Oh Christ almighty, it’s Santino. He’s got a black eye, and I’d like to buy whoever did that a drink. He’s stressing about Emma as we finally find a love story worse than Twilight, and he’s talking to the woman placing some ‘Domestic Abuse’ line make-up on him about Emma but Emma’s right behind him! Could we be in for some whacky misunderstanding? Emma surprises him, but they bonk heads because she’s quirky, zany and clumsy and Santino’s an idiot.
We get some kind of promo for Jake the Snake Roberts and Mr T. I can look back on this footage and feel happy I wasn’t alive during the Eighties. Not because of the wrestling or WrestleMania 1, just the Eighties.
El Torito Was Restrained During This Match For Summer Rae’s Protection
Natalya and Summer Rae are going to face the Bella Twins, and I don’t know why Summer Rae’s teaming with Natalya but I don’t care enough about her to…care. AJ’s at ringside with Tamina, and they’re apparently what we British call ‘bezzie mates’ again (yes, we talk like that). In the ring, Natalya rolls Nikki over for a pin catches the kick and the ladies counter move after move before Nikki wins the exchange with a knee to the face. Summer Rae tags herself in, leading to a spat between her and Natalya, but she goes in anyway and Nikki slams her to the mat. Summer Rae…probably headbutts Nikki, then wraps her leg up around the ropes. Leg-lock is countered and Nikki tags Brie in.
Brie comes in strong with a dropkick to Summer Rae and a knee to the face; Brie heads up to the second rope, but Summer manages to channel Damien Sandow and get in a kick whilst she’s up there. She tags out to Natalya, but then shoulder-bumps her on her way. Natalya asks if she’s ‘avin’ a giggle, m8 and we’ve got a SHOVE OFF!! Brie breaks in with a missile dropkick, sending Summer Rae out of the ring; she hits what Wikipedia informs me is called the ‘Bella Buster’, and that’s the three.
Fair enough. Definitely could have done with some more Natalya in there, although I was impressed by Brie. Let’s face it, it’s easy to compare the women’s division unfavourably to the days of Trish and Lita, but it has definitely been worse than this. 2 stars.
Oh, Natalya is unhappy, giving Summer Rae a gentle kick to the buttocks as a sign of her frustration.
And there is a recap, but it’s of Main Event. The hell’s going on here? Well, Heyman’s there and Lesnar isn’t, so that’s THREE SHOTS. Man, the Undertaker’s hair and goatee does look pretty damn menacing. The voice certainly helps too. Oh, and the CRAZY, CRAZY EYES. We then get the promo for the match at WrestleMania, which just sells the story so perfectly. It’s essentially a very loose adaptation of Knightfall; Undertaker’s spent 21 WrestleManias putting away opponents as it gets harder and harder, and suddenly here’s the ultimate threat.
By the way, if you haven’t read Knightfall it is certainly worth a look.
Backstage we’ve got Goldberfect, the Real Americans and…3MB? So that makes three Nexus members, which is a piece of arithmetic I tend to do in most situations. Oh, and Kane’s here and not wearing a shirt. Rybaxel gets a tag title match, which makes perfect sense considering the ease with which the Usos have dispatched them in the past. DOWN YOUR DRINK. Zeb passes comment, the comment being that the Real Americans have actually beaten the Usos before, so they get a match too. DOWN YOUR DRINK. You get a match, you get a match, everybody gets a match. Except 3MB. They get put in the Memorial Battle Royal, because that’s how we’ll be honouring the legacy of Andre The Fucking Giant. The Outlaws show up and…bro-hug Kane? As you were.
It’s a recap of RAW, and normally I hate these things but tonight that means A SHOT!
Ah, and here’s WWE’s answer to the question ‘what’s blonde and has a fake accent’. It’s…Rusev’s lover/sister, and she says that Rusev’s reign is approaching. God, how long has this been going on for?
Daniel Bryan is hurt but not too badly hurt, and guess who else that is true of? Yep, here’s John Cena.
If Luke Harper Beat Cena, Would There Be A Point To The WrestleMania Match?
The Wyatts announce that they’re here, and make their way to the round. We get the promo for Cena/Wyatt, and I’m not sure if rap music was the way to go for this one. Anyway, Harper and Cena in the ring, and the bell signals the start of the match. Harper hustles Cena into the corner, punching him and wrenching at his face. Cena fights back, misses a charge to the corner and gets a neckbreaker. Uppercut to Cena, knocking him to the floor, and then another. Harper wrenches back on John’s head, and then gets the Gator Roll. Wow, if Cena’s offence has amounted to this against Luke Harper, then the Mania match will be a little one-sided. Back suplex by Cena, then a shoulder tackle, but then Harper catches him with an inverted atomic drop and a superkick (is the superkick now part of everyone’s repertoire?). Harper tries a bodyslam, and I think that was supposed to be a counter, but that just looked awful. Anyway, Cena appeared to be attempting the STF, but Harper kicks him away, only to eat a spin-out powerbomb. Erick Rowan takes a walk, and Cena still hits the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. AA’s attempted but Harper kicks out and hits the big boot for a near-fall.
Harper attempts another big boot in the corner, but Cena ducks and Harper sails over the top rope to the outside. He rolls back in, immediately gets tripped and locked in the STF. Harper appears to bite Cena, then slams him face-first into the mat for another near-fall. Powerbomb is attempted, but Cena counters with a hurricanrana! Cena goes for Harper, who counters again with a hurricanrana! Sit-out bodyslam nearly puts John away, then Harper signals that the end’s coming, stalking Cena. Clothesline nearly connects, but Cena counters, hitting Attitude Adjustment and getting the pin.
This was interesting. Harper again showcased his ability, but looking at the wider scheme of things I’m wondering if Cena shouldn’t have looked better in terms of dominance. We’re building up to a big confrontation at the Show of Shows, and I think it’d be better for Wyatt if Cena dispatched Rowan and Harper easily and then had a real contest against Bray. If you want him to have a tough time, then you put him in a handicap match against the two and have him barely win that. Still, not bad. 2.5 Stars.
Rowan and Bray rush the ring, but Cena is already gone, which is smart of him. He and Wyatt mock each other, and I’d quite like to see John jump Bray over the next several weeks; shed a little of the white knight imagery and show he’s serious.
This was a decent show, and our journey to April continues to gather intrigue. Some good matches and nice backstage segments. This show gets a seven, and I think I’m going to have a hangover. Goodnight!
Tags: 3MB, aj lee, alberto del rio, alexander rusev, Bella Twins, big e langston, big show, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, El Torito, Erick Rowan, Fandango, Fernando, jack swagger, john cena, kane, Los Matadores, Luke Harper, Natalya, New Age Outlaws, Nikki Bella, Real Americans, Roman Reigns, ryback, Rybaxel, seth rollins, sheamus, Summer Rae, Tamina Snuka, The Miz, The Shield, Zeb Coulter