AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
First, condolences to PWBTS friend and support Kathy Fitzpatrick who lost her mother, Catherine Fitzpatrick this past week at age 90 after an extended illness.
Last night’s WWE Payback PPV was one of the best top to bottom (with perhaps one or two exceptions) efforts WWE has put on in some time.
- In a hot opener for the WWE United States Championship Match, saw Sheamus defeat. Cesaro with Paul HeymanPaul Heyman, in the role of quieting down the CM Punk chants in Chicago….reminded the crowd that Punk wasn’t here, and that he was over at the United Center “watching the Chicago Blackhawks lose” (which they did in overtime in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, blowing a 2-0 early lead).This was a helluva good stiff match, with both Cesaro and Sheamus going back and forth all match long. The finish saw Cesaro nail Sheamus with a burning hammer, then a 22 rotation Cesaro Swing on Sheamus. This was followed by Sheamus counter of a small package on Cesaro for the pinfall.
- Ryback and Curtis Axel defeat Cody Rhodes and GoldustBack and forth match that was designed to give you the thought that Cody Rhodes “had gotten over his slump”. Right about mid-match, the Blackhawks scored to make it 2-0, so the most noise in the match had nothing to do with the actual match.aChicago crowd is already chanting for the Blackhawks.Finish saw Cody Rhodes go for the Disaster kick, with Ryback catching him mid-air and nailing Shell Shocked on Rhodes for the pinfall. Post-match, Goldust checks on Cody Rhodes, who gets on the mike and says “Brother to brother, you need a better tag team partner than me”, drops the mike and walks away. Goldust follows a confused look on his face. If this is the eventual expected turn by Cody on Golddust, it’s a strange route to get there.
- Rusev (with Lana) defeats Big E in a squash, as WWE keeps Rusev strong with a modified squash over Kingston. The match saw a killer spot with Big E nailing Rusev with a tope suicida type spear plowing Rusev to the floor. over the ring apron. Big E rolls Rusev back in, hooks the leg and Rusev kicks out. Rusev catches Big E with a huge kick to the head! Lana yells, “Rusev…crush!” from the ringside area. Rusev stomps over the back of Big E, applies the Accolade (aka Camel Clutch) for the submission.
- Kofi Kingston vs. Bo Dallas – non-finishBefore the match, Bo Dallas cuts a promo:. “I am Bo Dallas. And even though your hockey team, the Blackhawks, are going to lose their match tonight, that does not make all of you losers. Because all you have to do is Bo-lieve!” He apparently was hurt, as that’s about all he did in this match.Kane kicked Kingston, chokeslammed Kingston, and tombstone piledrove him, leaving him laying. I’m guessing Kane has a short-term program with Kingston until Daniel Bryan is ready, although it was painted as “crossing the boss”, because Kingston had put up negative Tweets about how “The Authority” was treating Daniel Bryan. More Bo Dallas promo time at the end. Maybe it’s me, but I’m not getting this character so far in WWE. It worked well in NXT, but the crowds don’t seem to be responding in the Big Show. One funny crowd sign: “Bo-lieve in The Shield”. Shouldn’t it be “Bo-lieve in the Wyatts”?There was then footage of El Torito beating Hornswoggle in a Máscara contra cabellera (mask vs. hair) match aired only on the WWE Network, El Torito shaving the head of Hornswoggle was then shown in stills. Maybe it’s me, but for WWE to limit pre-show matches to those on WWE Network, and not provide them to those paying full cost for a PPV (or who are overseas and haven’t figured out how to gimmick the US-only restriction) isn’t right.
- Bad News Barrett successfully defended his WWE Intercontinental Championship against vs. Rob Van DamBad News Barrett cracked on RVD to begin: “It’s really time someone put Old Yeller down.” Owwch. Van Dam isn’t THAT old…Decent finish saw Barrett go for the Bull Hammer, hitting the steel ring post instead. followed by a false finish when Barrett gets caught with a DDT on his way back in the ring. RVD goes for a split leg moonsault, countereed by Barrett gets his knees up, then connecting with the Bull Hammer for the pinfall (but in nice attention to detail, selling the “injured” arm all the way)
- In the “Daniel Bryan makes his decision about the WWE World Heavyweight Championship” segment, we got a not unexpected swerve. But first, more fun with Stephanie McMahon. She started with more “best for business” talk, and claimed Bryan was being selfish to not give the crowd a fighting champion (funny, never was an issue for her husband…but that’s probably the point).Good back and forth on the mike with Danielson and Bella (who actually showed a little bit of an edge). At one point, a loud “CM Punk” chant started up, with McMahon responding “Look, these people want him to quit the same way CM Punk did”. Um…wasn’t the idea of Heyman coming out to quiet DOWN the crowd?In the end, Brie Bella tells Bryan he’s not giving up the belt to McMahon, “refuses to be a powerless victim” and tells Stephanie that she quits, followed by a slap in the face on Stephanie, who sold it like a baseball bat. Mind you, McMahon could still strip Bryan of the belt at any time, but this somehow causes her to walk to the back like her jaw was unhinged with no decision made. The crowd then goes batshit with “Yes’ chants to segue to the next segment.With all the talk about Bella being ready to have kids, I expected her to quit, but then come up with “I have something more important than WWE…I have Daniel Bryan, and I’m pregnant”. Maybe that’s coming…because Stephanie McMahon will inevitably want to get back at Bella.
- In the Last Man Standing Match, John Cena defeats Bray Wyatt (with The Wyatt Family). Matches like this prove that all the smark criticism of Cena needs to quiet down. When Cena has to pull out the stops in a PPV match, he does it and then some. Tonight was one of those nights.Heel or not, Wyatt is over like crazy, as the Wyatt’s entrance saw what had to be thousands of cell phones lit up as he walked out.Cena and Wyatt beat the crap out of each other. As much as is possible in the PG WWE world of 2014, these two had a violent match with chairs, tables, and other various plunder.An unbelivable spot saw Cena lifts up the ring steps, throw them over the top rope at Bray Wyatt.
The finish saw Cena get Wyatt up for an Attitude Adjustment, and puts him through a box. Cena then threw a heavy production crate over the hole, and stands on top of the crate as the referee counts 10.
- In the death slot, Paige successfully defends her WWE Divas Championship Match, submitting Alicia Fox after a scorpion crosslock.
- In the main event No Holds Barred Elimination Match, The Shield went over strong on Evolution, After a long match, the finish saw successive pins on Batista, after Rollins countered a Batista Bomb attempt, Reigns speared Batista and Rollins gets the pinfall.Orton took the next pinfall after Ambrose planted Orton head first down into the steel chair, and pinned him.Triple H then closed out the sweep on The Shield after Triple H sledgehammered the head of Ambrose (thought head shots were banned?). Rollins comes off the top rope on HHH, follwoed by a Reigns Spear and pinfall on Triple H. Who thinks Reigns is about to get pushed to the moon with a program with HHH?
Post-match, in the few seconds remaining in satellite time, JBL put the sweep of The Shield over strong.
Until next time….