A Crap Show in the Nation’s Capital: Wrasslin’ Wednesday 7/1/15Posted: July 1, 2015
Derek: We’re coming to you live (two days later) from Washington, D.C.! I thought we had a decent shot at an entertaining show since it was in D.C., but that wasn’t the case. When the week’s exposition can be summed up in a sentence or two, it’s generally not good news for the poor bastards who write about it. This will probably be a short one.
Derek: So, uh, let’s see. I guess the biggest news of the week was what didn’t happen, seeing as Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were nowhere to be found. Last week, the Authority made Lesnar look like just a man as they triple-teamed him into unconsciousness. I, for one, was excited to see how Lesnar’s camp would respond to this insult. But nah. He’s gotta do a show in Japan on Sunday and he needs five days to get over the jet lag. Gotta get mentally ready for that house show match against Kofi Kingston. Brock Lesnar’s character would absolutely make that a priority over getting revenge on Rollins, who took his belt at WrestleMania and got the better of him again last week.
Will: Lesnar’s not being there sucked, but I suppose it’d be asking a lot for a guy who was gone for months to show up two weeks in a row. This was a weird test case of the Reality Era; we saw him get storyline hurt (if not proper injured) last week, but we also knew he was booked in Japan. Suspension of disbelief has always been part of the game, but for some reason this sticks out to me as particularly quirky.
His absence aside, I’m in on what they’re doing with Brock. He’s as unstoppable a force as there is in wrestling today, and it’s near-impossible to come up with a scenario in which he’d lose one-on-one — even in kayfabe. Thus it makes sense for Rollins and Co. to team up on him, even if it was unsatisfying to see him get the Sgt. Pepper’s Authority Hearts Club Band back together. Whenever this pays off (perhaps I’m being too lenient in assuming it will), I think it will be fantastic.
Derek: Speaking of Rollins, he was responsible for one of the show’s two entertaining segments, when he handed out gifts to his cronies in his continuing effort to win them back before his match with Lesnar. A car was given out. Some Apple Watches were given out. And, best of all, Kane got a trip to Hawaii. That ‘s fun to envision. Maybe his girlfriend will break up with him right before he leaves and he’ll end up performing his puppet Dracula musical.
Will: Kane is great when he suddenly becomes a campy comedic foil. It’s really bizarre that it works between his introduction as a demon and his reinvention as a corporate lackey, yet it does. Kudos to him, and to the whole sequence; the ukeleles were a nice touch, and I enjoyed the idea of J&J getting a single car to share.
My enjoyment was tarnished a little bit by the brazen product placement of it all — Seth was legit reciting the Cadillac’s specs — but I suppose there’s little sense in complaining about it when I’ve already bought the proverbial ticket to watch wrestling.
Derek: Alicia Fox is a Bella now, for some reason. Paige pinned Fox, and apparently the only Diva storyline is the debate on whether Paige has friends. Dark times in the Divas division since AJ left. Meanwhile, there are tons of interesting women in NXT, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they considered moving to the Divas division as a demotion at this point.
Will: Okay good, I didn’t miss anything here? I was baffled by Alicia’s sudden Bella alignment. It seems that they’re pushing the idea that you’re either with the Bellas or you’re with Paige. If only they did it well. Paige ended up getting a solid victory, and the commentary team even gave her some props, but it just wasn’t very compelling. I worry about the ladies of wrasslin’.
Derek: The highlight of the show was, once again, the segment that involved John Cena and Kevin Owens. Owens pretended to accept Cena’s US Open Challenge, but backed out at the last minute in favor of Cesaro. Naturally, they had the match of the evening, which ended with interference from Owens. Cesaro had John Cena locked in a Sharpshooter, but Owens broke it up because he didn’t want anyone else taking Cena’s championship. So that story didn’t even advance, and it was the best one of the evening. It was one of those nights.
Will: I think I would be more likely to watch a one-hour show centered around Owens and Cena than a three-hour show centered around everyone else. They’re just so damn good. Cena seems to be growing more and more empowered by his Open Challenge gimmick; his conversation with the crowd starts the minute he walks onto the stage, and doesn’t stop until he’s out of view. Owens deserves credit for playing up to the level of his competition.
I was alright with the match itself. I liked the setup of Owens coming out only to go “…nah” to further establish his heel cred, and it was a great spot for Cesaro to get some shine. Cesaro and Cena’s match was predictably fantastic, if marred by Owens’ interference. The question now, and the one that will ultimately determine whether or not Cesaro’s inclusion matters, is what they (i.e. WWE) do with him. Will they keep him relevant enough to feud with Owens or Cena once those two finish their program? Will they try to squeeze him in and make this thing a triangle of terror?
Based on the events of Monday’s show, I’m not confident in anything.
Derek: Here’s a segment that WWE publicized throughout the evening:
And they totally did! How wonderful. Good for them.
Derek: Rusev and his new gal, Summer Rae, decided to interrupt. They said a bunch of stuff, or something. I wasn’t really paying attention. I was trying to figure out a potential WWE couple that would look like they’d have harsher combined alcohol breath than Rusev and Summer Rae. Maybe Luke Harper and Rosa Mendes? God, what a boring episode.
Anyway, it ended with Lana learning what the five fingers said to the face …
… which was followed by a good ol’ fashioned cat fight.
And thus ended The Ballad of Lana and Summer Rae.
Will: This legitimately hurt to watch. I don’t know if any of the talent involved could have done anything to save it, or if this whole segment was doomed from the start. I’m leaning toward the latter.
Derek: The main event was a tag match pitting Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose against Rollins and Kane. The bad guys won, then spent a few minutes beating up Ambrose and Rollins. After the Authority had their fun, Bray Wyatt decided to join in on the Reigns whippin’. And that brought a merciful end to the proceedings.
I feel like I should say more about the main event, but I just want to put this one behind me. I had to watch it in three separate sittings. This show could have been 45 minutes long.
Will: The match itself didn’t do much for me, though I was encouraged by the development of the Wyatt-Reigns storyline. Wyatt’s promo early in the show alluded to some daddy issues in his past, which I don’t recall hearing about before. Bray spoke of being overlooked and of having another favored over him as a boy. Meanwhile, Reigns has been WWE’s favored son for a while — er, sort of; everyone hated him for a minute there — so there’s a clearer basis for which at least provides reason for Bray to loathe Roman so.
But my god, if the best thing you can pull from a three-hour show is that one feud was sort of legitimized and there was one good match? Yikes.