Hey there folks and…other folks. In a break from the tradition of the past couple of weeks, I’m actually going to be submitting this around about the area of ‘on time’ (this is mainly due to the fact that my coursework is ready for collection tomorrow, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here writing a review when I could be sitting in a traffic jam dreading the future).
We start with a recap of…well, it starts at WrestleMania, which I don’t think is a record, but it’s up there. I still can’t see Kane as a genuine threat to any real championship contender, especially not after he dramatically cleared the ring on Monday and then got straight-up destroyed by an exhausted Roman Reigns.
We start off with probably-Evolution-2.0 in the ring. Stephanie’s not there, and I’m not sure whether that’s because Trips still doesn’t like the idea of Orton and his wife in the same ring. And let me just say: Rollins can fucking rock a black suit. Also, considering his former teammates now spend their time poisoning women or being crazy, maybe hanging around with his boss was a decent call. Triple H talks about eras, making us all pine for whatever we define as our own personal wrestling nostalgia (Lesnar as WWE Champ, incredible tag team matches and the return of Shawn Michaels). Apparently this is the ‘Reality Era’, although Triple H says it should be called ‘The Authority Era’, and that tells you everything you need to know about this guy. We’re again promised a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and can you imagine if that didn’t happen? None of them could be bothered to wrestle and all played poker instead? Hunter says Orton will get the belt and Rollins will get the briefcase: in other words, Triple H either expects Orton to lose the belt inside of a year or expects Rollins to screw them both over.
Orton takes the mic and threatens us with another awful championship reign: that heelish prick. And Rollins brings up ‘Plan B’ again, so now Evolution stands against creationism and the sanctity of life: suck it, Catholics. Orton gets all fierce at the implication that he might not win, and so Rollins diplomatically repeats his belief that Randy might not win. Mr Orton, always up for a fight with someone who could beat the shit out of him, shows aggression. Triple H plays camp counsellor and says that they should trust each other because he trusts them. In other words, Triple H has total faith in the guy who stabbed his best friends in the back less than a month ago and the guy who’s screwed over practically everyone ever and assaulted his wife. Maybe having Shawn Michaels as a best friend skews your perspective when it comes to trusting people. He addresses the Dean Ambrose issue and does his fucking Dick Van Dyke impression to introduce Wade Barrett.
I’ve Got Bad News For Barrett’s Shoulder Joint
Ambrose makes his entrance as well, and I’m unsure about both his music and the sleeveless hooded jacket. Bell rings, the men tie up and Ambrose throws hands and stomps in the corner. Barrett bulls his way back into it, misses a clothesline and gets Thesz-pressed by Ambrose and tossed through the ropes. Wade’s whacked off the apron and the barricade, and then is thrown back into the ring, managing to catch Dean with a big kick. Neckbreaker by Barrett, and we get our first OMINOUS VIEW of the MITB briefcase tonight. I mean…gold? Really? Maybe they’re hoping the feeling of fashion suicide will prompt a rapid cash-in.
Barrett his knees to the head of Ambrose, who’s tied up in the ropes, then a boot knocks him out of the ring. Someone yells ‘suck it up; you got him’ to Ambrose, and no he doesn’t, Random Fan; he is lying in pain on the outside. Oh, and now he’s getting thrown into the barricade. And a turnbuckle. All according to plan. Forearms lace Dean’s back on the turnbuckle, then a kick throws him off it. Headlock to Ambrose. Headbutts get Dean out; a back elbow puts him down and into a sleeper. A reaaaaally long sleeper. Ambrose slaps some life into himself, ducks a clothesline and hits forearms before slamming the back of Barrett’s head off the mat. He goes up high, but Barrett throws him back down. Pumphandle slam; Ambrose slides out and clotheslines Wade big-time. Dirty Deeds gets the pin, which Michael actually missed for a moment or so.
Pretty decent match, although the finish was a little abrupt. Nothing really to complain about: good bout to start. 2.5 stars.
Swagger’s music kicks in, and Ambrose wants himself a piece of some racists. Swagger, on the other hand, notices the foreigner by the barricade and uses said-barricade to dislocate the man’s shoulder. Thanks, Swagger. Don’t know how we’d injure people without you. Ambrose breaks up this further shelving of talent, diving out of the ring onto Swagger. He wallops Simple Jack with a small ladder and tosses him back into the ring, which Swagger then dumps him out of. Ambrose comes back as Jack’s distracted by how goddamned garish that briefcase is, and they brawl on the outside. Rollins then appears, hurling Dean into the steps and Curb Stomping him. Either he still hates Ambrose or has started disliking Barrett. I love how Roman apparently does not give two shits about any of this, but then he’s probably busy pouring sleeping pills into the coffee machine.
Seems like it’s Cameron vs. Paige, and I wasn’t particularly paying attention to the commentary from Monday night, but apparently people would be more inclined to listen to the speeches of Hitler than Cameron with a headset. Today we’ve got Naomi on commentary, so let’s see if Naomi’s the better talker as well as the better wrestler. And apparently Cameron’s decided that she’s decided that the next few weeks are going to involve both being a bitch and blinding pain, because she slapped Paige; you could see the decision to break Cameron’s spine in the Divas Champion’s eyes. Also, Naomi’s lipstick for her MITB avatar is sparkling green. The honest fuck?
The girls lock up and careful, Paige: Cameron could be deadly with those shite-looking clotheslines. Paige backs Cameron into a corner and straight up stomps the crap out of her. Meanwhile, Naomi basically admits that Cameron is either crazy or a bitch. Paige hops over Cameron, who hits a facebuster for two. Headscissors to Paige’s neck, and she fights her way out of that, hitting the Paige Turner to basically demonstrate that Cameron is the second-best Funkadactyl. Have fun making analogies for that one.
Not much of a match, really; I think Cameron got maybe three moves altogether. 2 Stars.
Naomi gets into the ring and she and Paige have a stare-down, until Cameron jumps Paige. And I’ve just realised, with Naomi, Cameron, Alicia and Tamina to enter under her ‘feuded with’ heading, Paige is the skinny British female Rusev. Naomi tries to fix things and Cameron shoves her into Paige. Paige, who as we’ve already established is very easy to distract and fool, gets in Naomi’s face as the ref tries to cop a crafty feel.
If The Usos Lose The Belts, Will They Stop Showing Up At Other People’s Matches?
Sheamus is here and will be facing Bray Wyatt. I found a hat which looks exactly like Bray’s white one in a discount store; I’d have bought it but I looked beyond ridiculous wearing it. What’s the betting that the Usos show up in a way that should be cool and heroic but instead makes them look desperate? Bray and Sheamus tie up, and Wyatt shoves the Irishman away. No white pants, Bray? Sheamus is shot off the ropes and shoulder tackles Bray, and then both men go to work with fists. Sheamus is reverse-whipped into the corner, but gets the boots up, then goes up high and hits the diving shoulder block. Bray fights off an attempt at the clubbing blows to the chest, and hides behind Rowan. Harper distracts Sheamus and Bray trips him up on the apron.
Back from the break, Bray hits a crossbody, and the Usos are now at ringside. At least they had the decency to do that kind of thing during the adverts. Bray kicks Sheamus and then chokes him on the ropes. He hoists Sheamus up on the turnbuckle, who tries to fight back with headbutts but gets whacked onto the floor. Bray heads out after Sheamus, working him over on the outside. Back in the ring, Sheamus gets beaten down in the corner, blocks a suplex for a moment and then takes it anyway. Headlock to Sheamus in the centre of the ring, but he starts rising to his feet, only to take an uppercut. Bray charges at Sheamus, who levels him with a big clothesline. Wyatt’s tossed out onto the apron, then takes the Ten Beats of the Whatsit. He rolls out of the rolling senton, but eats axe-handles, dodges a running knee and gets bodyslammed.
Sheamus tries the Texas Cloverleaf, but Wyatt fights out of it, hitting a back senton of his own. Sister Abigail is elbowed out of, and Sheamus hits a sloppy Irish Curse, following it up with a flying knee to the face. Texas Cloverleaf locked in, and the Wyatts break it up.
Good, hard-hitting match here, and it advertised well. Still, I’m starting to worry about the amount of interference Bray’s getting saved by these days. We’ll see, I guess. 2.5 Stars.
The Wyatts are tossed out of the ring and get dived on by the Usos. Bray tries to hit Sister Abigail, gets tossed away but dodges a Brogue Kick. And Sheamus has managed to start annoying me again without me even realising.
Not-Renee is backstage with Goldust, who tries to talk to him but gets…I honestly don’t have a verb for this, but Stardust shows up and has either drank coffee that Roman Reigns gave him or has breathed the air anywhere near Adam Rose. If you know what I mean.
The ‘Guys Who Ain’t Winning On Sunday’ Match
In the ring are Van Dam, Ziggler, Del Rio and Cesaro, so I guess it’s mix n’ match ladder match opponents? Heyman’s on commentary and refuses to answer Michael’s questions, and damn it, he’s right. RVD and ADR start off and Del Rio hits a shoulder tackle, then kicks to Van Dam in the corner. Rob throws Alberto into the opposite corner and hits a monkey flip. Big kick to Del Rio as we get our Obligatory Streak Reference. Ziggler hits an elbow drop, but gets pancaked by Alberto. Tag now to Cesaro, who stands on Dolph’s face for symbolism’s sake. Michael then accuses Heyman of not having one his clients win a Money In The Bank match, despite the fact that none of his clients ever entered one whilst in his employ (usually because they were doing way more high-profile stuff) and the fact that both Van Dam and Punk have won it previously. The fuck is telling Michael Cole what to say, because I refuse to believe a war journalist wrote that statement.
Enzuigiri to Dolph Ziggler, then a tag to Cesaro. Ziggler ducks Cesaro twice and hits a crossbody and a splash, but far more entertaining is Heyman calling Michael Cole out on his vast field of fertile bullshit. Ziggler dodges Cesaro, hitting a Fameasser. Zig-Zag’s attempted, but Cesaro throws Ziggler off him as Alberto gets the tag. Dropkick to Cesaro, but Dolph gets taken out by Del Rio, knocked out of the ring. Ziggler’s thrown into the barricade and back into the ring as Cesaro comes in. Sleeper hold to Cesaro and Heyman tells Michael ‘I don’t like you’. This actually feels like it’s about something else as Cesaro hits a sidewalk slam. Tag to Alberto, who drops knees to Ziggler and mocks RVD. Snapmare takeover and a dropkick to Dolph, followed by a sleeper.
Ziggler hits a sunset flip, but then takes a violent-looking tilt-a-whirl and a fist from the top rope. Cesaro comes in and floors Ziggler with a fist, then applies a sleeper (I took a break there to write a comment on the possible Lesnar vs. Cena discussion; I might have gone a bit overboard). Ziggler manages headscissors Cesaro into a sleeper, who fights out of it. Ziggler tosses Cesaro out of the ring and crawls to Van Dam; Cesaro is thrown back into the ring by Del Rio, who comes in off the tag, but so does RVD. Rob kicks everyone, hitting Rolling Thunder to Del Rio, who manages to hit an armbreaker, but misses the enzuigiri. Split-leg moonsault to Alberto; Cesaro breaks up the pin and uppercuts Ziggler. Van Dam kicks Cesaro out of the ring, frogsplashes onto Del Rio’s raised knees and taps to the cross armbar.
Good match: best one so far. Del Rio looked more like a main eventer here, and I’m glad he was able to get the win. Still not holding out much hope for him at the PPV… 3 Stars.
Del Rio gets in Cesaro’s and Heyman’s faces, and why would you do that, Alberto? He eats a Neutraliser, which I think was Cesaro’s way of asking the same question.
Renee Young is backstage with the Usos, who managed to resist being at ringside for any more matches tonight. She asks how they feel about defending their titles, and I think they’re both trying to be the Rock but have nowhere near the level of charisma to pull that off (honestly, though: who does?).
It’s Roman Reigns vs. Kane later, and Michael says that Kane has not forgotten Reigns spearing him on Monday night. Apparently he’s not taking it as a warning, though.
Rusev Is So Awesome, He Prevented Sin Cara’s Mood Lighting
Rusev and Lana are in the ring, and I swear, her engaging in roleplay must be just terrifying. Plus, Rusev seriously has some ‘come hither’ eyes when he looks at Putin. Lana says something about how you guys are all decadent, and whilst we’re on the subject of the USA, congratulations on still being in the World Cup. I’m serious: nothing is making me happier right now than Britain being out and you guys being in, because nothing is annoying every British football fan I know more. It’s just…it’s beautiful.
Sin Cara gets in four kicks before Rusev destroys him.
I still get pleasure out of watching this; I think there’s something wrong with me. 2 Stars.
And here comes Big E, and I think his ‘inspirational’ style of speaking is actually just as much of a parody as Lana’s. And I need him to just go: ‘Lana. Lana. Lana! LAAAAANAAA!!’ ‘????!’ ‘Danger zone…’ And according to him, you all work in steel mills or plants, which I did not know. He takes out Rusev, so it looks like he’s finally realised that he’s more muscular than Rusev is.
We recap Vickie getting fired. It must be weird to work in a world where employee rights and safeguarding don’t exist; if my boss told me I could keep my job if I successfully wrestled them into a big paddling pool full of mud or pudding, they would be on the receiving end of a sexual harassment claim so huge that I could afford to spend the rest of my life sitting around and writing novels (note to self: start winking at boss).
Is Kane Really Considered A Threat To Anyone?
Kane shows up to the ring, and I really want for him to drop unconscious and for us to be shown a recap of Roman Reigns dumping sleeping pills into the arena’s water coolers and laughing maniacally (I’ve really done a 180 on how funny spiking people’s drinks is, haven’t I?) Here comes Roman Reigns; imagine if roofie-ing people was his way of dealing with Rollins’ betrayal.
Kane hits a shoulder tackle, then an uppercut, and then eats a shoulder tackle himself. Headbutts to the Big Red Machine, and he fights back before taking a bodyslam. Roman attempts a backdrop, but Kane hits a DDT instead. Back from the break, Kane has Reigns in a sleeper, then throws him off the ropes and takes a headbutt, then a Samoan drop. Some early big moves here. Big boot from Kane puts Reigns down, then a clothesline to the corner and a sidewalk slam for two. Kane heads to the outside, dismantling the announce table. He tries to chokeslam Reigns, and gets driven right into the steps before hitting Reigns right in the mouth.
Back in the ring, Kane eats a flying clothesline, then another clothesline in the corner. Running dropkick to Kane’s mask, then a Superman Punch as Reigns looks to make Kane his Big Red Bitch. And then Orton shows up and hangs Roman up on the ropes, getting the DQ.
This seemed weirdly paced: a lot of big moves early. Probably a time constraint thing, but it always felt like the end was very close. 2 Stars.
Orton takes it to Reigns in the corner, and Kane should really be annoyed at Orton for making him lose via DQ. Unless this is a prearranged mugging in order to teach Roman the rights and wrongs of putting things in unattended drinks (are there any rights of that, actually?). Superman Punch to Orton, and then a chokeslam from Kane to Reigns. Kane heads out of the ring, and then gets the big ladder (as a Freudian ‘fuck you’ to Dean Ambrose). He actually looks like he’s going to lace Orton with it, but apparently is going to climb it and take the belts. Or he’s set the ladder up for Orton to climb. Don’t do it, Randy. It’s not the real match; you get nothing for doing this and it’s very dangerous. Randy…Randy…wait…Randy…
Orton takes off the belts, with the only thing achieved by that being that someone from the ring crew not now having to do it. Go on, Randy: put the belts over your shoulders again, like you don’t have a fucking torso. Kane sets up to chokeslam Reigns again, but Orton apparently wants him some. Or is…going for the punt? Probably a good idea to try to concuss the most dominant guy in this match now, really. Reigns disagrees, and spears both Orton and Kane. He then holds both belts up to close the show (he then hangs them back up, because the ring crew need to do their own damn jobs).
Tags: alberto del rio, Bad News Barrett, big e langston, Bray Wyatt, Cameron, Cesaro, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, goldust, jack swagger, jbl, kane, Lana, Luke Harper, Michael Cole, money in the bank, naomi, Paige, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Renee Young, Rob Van Dam, Roman Reigns, rusev, seth rollins, sheamus, sin cara, Smackdown, Stardust, Stephanie McMahon, the usos, triple h, Vickie Guerrero, WWE, wyatt family, Zeb Coulter