Wrasslin’ Wednesday 10/29/14


Derek: We’re coming to you live (two or three days later) from Dallas/San Antonio! Did you know the Spurs won the NBA Finals last year? Apparently they did.

My one word review for Hell in a Cell: BOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

First, the good: There were some cool superplexes in the Cesaro-Ziggler match and the Usos-Dust Brothers match. Cena’s AA through the table was pretty cool. There were some fun theatrics in the main event. The Miz and Damien Mizdow gave the people what they wanted.

The bad: No titles changed hands. The Bellas’ match seemed to only exist to make people think a wardrobe malfunction was imminent. Rusev. There were absolutely no surprises. Well, except for this one …


… and I thought it was stupid. A surprise, for sure. But this is how you want to settle 2014’s most interesting feud? Interference from Bray Wyatt, so he can yet again challenge a popular wrestler because they’re false prophets or something? Really?

My hope was that Wyatt had just inserted himself into the feud, not replaced Rollins.


On Raw, Ambrose seemed to forget Rollins existed. Cena got a match with Rollins that night, too. Hey, remember when Cena and Ambrose were fighting over who got to kick Rollins’ ass for two solid weeks? Ambrose won, was really happy, and rubbed it in the face of a dejected Cena?

Well, Ambrose didn’t get his revenge, because the new object of his revenge apparently takes precedent over his previous quest for revenge, putting that quest for revenge on hold or out of the picture entirely until he gets revenge on Wyatt for preventing his revenge.

Cena, on the other hand, was asked on Raw by Emperor HHHetine to join him on the dark side. Cena refused, and they challenged him to some huge match against The Authority at Survivor Series. They were so angry with him, they gave him … a match with Rollins, which is what he wanted all along. What?

Will, am I off base here? Do you agree, or am I just applying too much critical analysis to professional wrestling?

Will: You’re right on base, my friend. The Rollins-Ambrose match was solid. Ambrose played up the wronged partner angle nicely, and I thoroughly enjoyed his hot-blooded chair shots. I found Bray Wyatt’s appearance perplexing, but I’m kind of in on it. I can see WWE’s logic, terrifying as that is: What’s better than one crazy guy…Two crazy guys! Brilliant! I could see this feud being fun, but the end of the main event at Hell in a Cell was not the place for it to manifest.

Most of the matches didn’t do anything for me. I couldn’t debase myself enough to enjoy Show-Rusev; it was just insulting. The Divas matches are a reminder to check my e-mail. The Usos-Dusts match was fun and featured roughly 20 man-hours of makeup application, but the tag team division ain’t what it used to be.

Miz-Sheamus was fun, insofar as a match can be fun when the best character is someone who isn’t in it. I enjoyed a lot of things in this bout. In no particular order: 1) Sheamus’s “Fella” t-shirt; 2) The crowd legitimately loving Mizdow; 3) Miz not being that good a wrestler; 4) The post-match pantomiming; 5) JBL saying the Village People are better than the Beatles.

Orton-Cena was okay, but that ground has been trodden by now. There were some decent spots, but the match felt choppy to me; there wasn’t a rhythm about it, just lots of dead time between moves. It didn’t help that the announcers were describing it as a defining, all-time great match. I realize the nature of the wrestling commentary business can be prone to exaggeration, but they were looking at blue and calling it red. More than anything, it comes down to the fact that neither of these guys is interesting to me. Affliction t-shirts and not giving up…yay?

I thought the Ziggler-Cesaro best of three falls match was the best of the night. Those two are great workers and had some delightful exchanges, with lots of neat holds and reversals and overall high-quality wrasslin’. Cesaro’s superplex was the most impressive move of the night. He carries Ziggler up there, slips, recovers, and then hoists him all the way up without Ziggler pushing off the ropes. Great stuff.

I was confused and surprised when Ziggler won in just two falls; perhaps a push is on the way for him. One quick aside: Is Ziggler just Billy Gunn reincarnate? The blond hair, the Famouser…am I missing something or is he just bringing that all back?

So, yes, Hell in a Cell kinda blew. I don’t feel like any feud was resolved in a meaningful way. I didn’t really watch Raw because McCoy/Weeden was going on, but I did see one moment when every wrestler came out and an impromptu Royal Rumble broke out. Did that make any sense?

Derek: I’m glad you asked! Let’s give a quick recap of Raw for those who missed it, or those who are not cultured enough to enjoy professional wrestling.

First, Randy Orton spent some time in the ring yelling at The Authority. He mentioned his time in anger management (that actually happened!) and threatened to attack Seth Rollins. He proceeded to attack Seth Rollins. Surprisingly solid acting job from Orton, too. It included this exchange:

HHH: Randy. Randy! Calm down.

Orton: [after unknown censored expletives] I’LL CALM DOWN WHEN HE’S DEAD!!!!

It was actually pretty awesome. Triple H then told Orton to take the night off. Orton responded by giving Rollins an RKO. As per the first law of Michael Coleology, the RKO was, in fact, out of nowhere.

Then we got a Tag Team Championship match between the Dust Bros and the team of Mark Henry and the Big Show. Henry turned on Show just before victory, giving him the World’s Strongest Slam (out of nowhere) and covering him with an unconscious Stardust. Then he gave Show three more World’s Strongest Slams. On his way back to the locker room, Renee Young stopped him and asked him why he did it. Why’d you do it, Sexual Chocolate?

“Why? Why?! I did it to him before he did it to me. He’s The World’s Largest Athlete. I’m The World’s Strongest Man. He always wanted to be me! He’s jealous of me! Always has been, always will be!”

So, uh, there you have it.

Roman Reigns then appeared to update us all on his recovery. He had his cold badass schtick cranked up to eleven. I think Vince McMahon was pointing a shotgun at him with a promise to pull the trigger if Reigns’ face resembled anything but a heartless scowl.

Diva stuff happened. Paige and A.J. and Alicia Fox don’t like each other.

Cena entered the ring. He pointed out that they were in San Antonio and said Cena things about the Spurs. The crowd liked that.

Stephanie and Triple H then head into the ring to try to get him to join The Authority.


Cena says no because he’s John Cena. Offended, Triple H sets up a Team Authority vs. Team Cena match for Survivor Series. As of this moment, the only member of Team Cena is Cena. Triple H invites him to find someone else in the locker room with the guts to join his team.

Kane challenges Ziggler to a match, because he sees him talking to Cena. This could be that push you were mentioning. Looks like Ziggler could be the top lieutenant of Team Cena.

Bo Dallas issues an open challenge, which is answered … by a returning Ryback! I love Ryback. Mostly because he reminds me of the two wrestlers from Ren & Stimpy.






Ryback wins.

Ambrose has a match with Cesaro which just ends up being an excuse for Bray Wyatt to appear on the Titantron to say a bunch of cryptic nonsense.

Ziggler pins Kane, and is promptly assaulted by Rollins. Cena comes to his rescue.

Cena and Rollins are the main event. Cena puts Rollins in the STF, but Kane saves him. Then Ziggler runs in. Then every wrestler came out, each presumably fighting for Team Cena or Team Authority.

So, I guess it kind of made sense, except it just seemed to be a huge “heels vs. faces” showdown. I didn’t study the entire crowd, but I don’t think any of those wrestlers were involved with Cena or The Authority in any significant way over the last year. Goldust and Stardust were out there, and I can’t think of a single reason why.

So, there we are! Does any of that excite you?

Will: I kind of got lost in there because it seems like a lot was going on, but sure, I’m in!

Despite my moaning about him, I’ve actually been enjoying Orton lately, primarily because I like to pretend that he isn’t playing a character at all. It’s all more exciting when you just think of him as that drunk bro who doesn’t want to be told to calm down. God help the man who puts his hand on Orton’s shoulder while saying so. Could Orton somehow wind up on Team Cena? That’d be weird and dumb so it feels probable.

I like the Authority vs. Faces angle, if only because it makes me think of the halcyon days of the McMahon Corporation and the Corporate Ministry and all the other baddies that served as foils for the likes of Stone Cold and the Rock. It could also be putting the wheels in motion for a throwback Survivor Series. Survivor Series was born as a team-heavy PPV defined by stables facing off, and it would be a nice nod to the past to fill the card with Authority vs. Cena and Friends matches.

Show-Henry…don’t care. I like those guys, and I get what they’re going for, but nope, don’t care. Divas stuff…don’t care, and can’t even pretend to. Ryback is delightful, if only because he’s like a slightly irregular Goldberg that you’d find on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx.

The one thing holding the “Authority vs. Cena” premise back for me is the same thing that’s held every Cena storyline back for years: people over age 10 don’t like cheering for Cena. Attaching Ziggler makes it interesting, and I’m curious to see who else has hustle, loyalty, and respect running through their veins.

Also, I can’t recommend David Shoemaker’s Grantland wrestling column enough. He is on the shortlist of people who made me re-realize that it’s okay to dig wrestling. Send your complaints to him, mom and dad.

Am I missing anything here? Which of these storylines are you excited about?

Derek: I can get behind Ambrose and Wyatt if it’s not just those two. If it’s Rollins-Ambrose featuring Bray Wyatt, like you said, that could be fun. “So, you guys liked the Ambrose-Rollins feud? Cool. But what if we threw in this unpredictable psychopath?”

If Wyatt is only there to create chaos for a while, that would make me eventually care about Wyatt feuding with one of them separately. Unless that’s the plan, I don’t see the appeal.

Team Cena vs. Team Authority has potential. Like I said last week, I think Triple H needs to involved in the match. I think we’ve had just about every conceivable mash-up of Cena, Orton, Kane, Rollins, and Ambrose. There have been so many Raw main of events of Cena and Ambrose or vs. Orton, Kane, and Rollins, or Cena teaming up with another tag team against them. It needs something else.

The addition of Ziggler is nice. He could be fun. I wonder if Sheamus would get involved too. I have an idea, though, and it needs its own paragraph.

How about special referee Bray Wyatt?

I know it won’t happen, and I’m not sure what chain of events would lead us to it. Maybe Ambrose wins a match where he gets to choose the stipulation, and he decides to throw Wyatt in there due to revenge and insanity? Seems like he’d view it as killing two birds with one stone.

Regardless, the thought of Wyatt wearing a referee shirt, sitting in the ring in his rocking chair and generally causing all sorts of chaos is appealing to me. I wish we had a Photoshop department.

Lastly, I’ll co-sign the David Shoemaker recommendation. I always enjoy his columns. They keep the shame of watching professional wrestling at bay.

horns and bull

Well, some of it.

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