Sheamus is a real dickhead: Wrasslin’ Wednesday 8/12/15

Wrasslin Wednesday Header

Derek: We’re coming to you live (two days later) from Seattle! And while not all of the wrestling was top-shelf, did I ever enjoy those “SEA! HAWKS!” chants. I’m starting to hate football slightly less. At this rate, I might even start looking forward to it. Daniel Bryan got in on it! Seth Rollins mentioned Tom Brady! Miz admitted being a Browns fan despite slamming Cleveland relentlessly ever since he started his Hollywood gimmick!

Oh, who am I kidding. I can’t quit you, NFL. You never give me off weeks that make me struggle to think of things to write about.

So what say I refer back to my LEGITIMATE JOURNALISM TRAINING and give this bad boy the ol’ inverted pyramid treatment. Let’s kick things off with John Cena!

Assorted rumors have suggested John Cena might actually miss SummerSlam. We bemoaned his inclusion in the main event and, for the briefest of moments, it seemed like The God of Wrestling (Cena’s father?) would not allow it.

Well, not to worry, sports fans. Still your beating hearts. It looks like Cena and Rollins will indeed wrassle at SummerSlam. Had Cena not accepted the challenge (or if he has some kind of setback) the rumor is Rollins will face off against Randy Orton and Sheamus in a triple threat match.

Which is better? Cena v. Rollins or Rollins v. Orton v. Sheamus?

Will: I was wondering why Monday’s show opened with a match for a chance at Rollins’ title and more importantly, a chance to get involved in the main event feud. Cena’s face looked pretty jacked up when last we saw it, and it’s not as easy as it used to be to send a guy who just suffered a head injury out onto the biggest stage of the season.

In terms of putting on a better match, I think Cena-Rollins is the superior contest. I don’t quite trust WWE in multi-man matches, and both Rollins and Cena have been in the main event picture long enough to be considered a sure thing. They play off of each other nicely, and both elicit major crowd reactions. It would be great.

That said, I want to see the triple threat. We’ve long disliked Sheamus around these parts, but he won me over, if only temporarily, because he was such an incredible dickhead on Raw. We’ll get to what happened later, but here’s the gist of why I think this match would work: Orton and Rollins still have enough bad blood to make their end of the feud work. The word “excommunicated” was used to describe his being shunned from the Authority in favor of Rollins. One does not let an excommunication go easily. Sheamus and Orton have legitimate beef too, now more than ever. Sheamus and Rollins don’t have much between them, which could lend itself to a nice alliance against Orton.

God help me, let Sheamus main event SummerSlam.

Derek: When Rollins opened the show, Orton, Cesaro, and our old friend Kevin Owens came out and each demanded a title shot since Neville got one last week. Not sure I follow the logic, but OK. When Rollins (rightfully) said he didn’t have to give a title shot to any of them, Triple H emerged and ordered the three challengers to compete in a triple threat match, with the winner facing Rollins for the title in the main event. Trips even talked Rollins into being alright with it, as he said “If Cena can do it, so can I” and walked away from a proudly nodding Triple H.

nodding

And the triple threat match was pretty enjoyable. All three are great workers, and they didn’t disappoint. I continue to be surprised by Kevin Owens’ agility.

owens flip

And Cesaro! I neglected to mention that I was impressed by his mic skills last week when he wanted to throw down with Owens. He also had his own Cesaro Section out in full force. Sadly, he took the pin in this one (from Orton) but he’s moving up. He may even get his long-rumored push soon.

Quick aside: there was a bit of commentary at the beginning I enjoyed quite a bit.

JBL: I’m going with the underdog, Cesaro!

Saxton: I’m going with the 12-time World Heavyweight Champion, the Viper, Randy Orton, tonight!

Cole: (shrugs) And I’m picking Kevin Owens!

cole

There was audible laughter in the Norton household. Never change, Cole.

Will: WWE commentary really is an amazing thing. Are they in on the joke? I know they are sometimes, but are they all the time? Or are they so sick of hearing Vince’s voice in their ears that they just don’t care? I’m fascinated.

Anywho, yes, the triple threat to open the show was a treat. No, it didn’t really make any sense, and yes, it was a contrived excuse to throw those three into a match — I think the ends justified the means. Owens has lost a little juice since he and Cena ended their program, but he’s still a great performer. His athleticism is always a nice surprise, and he just plays his character so damn thoroughly. He’s always on. Much ennui  in Monsieur Owens. It’s great.

The Cesaro Section has been a real, actual thing, and it looks to me like Cesaro is drawing power from it. At first I think he was moved and taken aback, but now he’s harnessed it and put it into his character. He gets to strut with a little more Swiss swag and better engage the crowd. He’s always had the chops. Now his overness is informing his character, not the other way around.

Derek: Stephen Amell made his long-rumored appearance on Monday night, entering the ring after getting slapped by Stardust. I used to watch Arrow until it started to consistently bore me, but the show has maintained its popularity over the last couple of years.

Amell asked for and received a shot at Stardust at SummerSlam, though it won’t be a singles match. He’ll be teaming up with Neville to face Stardust and King Barrett, whose characters seem like they would be really good friends.

It’s easy to forget Barrett held the Intercontinental Championship entering WrestleMania. Sure, he won King of the Ring, but it came at the expense of his beloved Bad News Barrett gimmick. Then he had a feud with R-Truth that most didn’t even realize was happening. On Monday, he was completely squashed by Neville. This was the same Neville he defeated to become King of the Ring. In kayfabe terms, perhaps Neville has passed Barrett already. I hope not, because Bad News Barrett was my favorite wrestler for quite a while. I miss his gavel and affinity for spreading misery. Come back, Bad News. Come back.

Will: I must first say that I was thoroughly impressed with Mr. Stephen Amell’s performance. I was not familiar with Arrow, I had no idea who he was, and I thought the whole thing seemed contrived and stupid. But man, he won me over. He hopped over those ropes and had a solid takedown-punch combo on Stardust. He did well in the backstage sequence with Triple H (I suppose that shouldn’t be impressive; he is an actor) and actually made me care about this dumb, fun match. Now I’m just curious to see what his ring gear will be like.

I’m afraid our old friend Bad News is gone, at least for a while. We’ll leave the light on for him.

Derek: The Intercontinental Champion returned! I guess you could say he came … Ry-back. Heh. Yes, Ryback interrupted Daniel Bryan and Big Show on Miz TV to update us on his appetite. By all accounts, it is unchanged.

ryback bryan

WWE, Inc.

Will: This week really struck me as one where WWE struggled to fill time. There was a lengthy montage recapping the Brock Lesnar-Undertaker conflict since neither made an appearance. We got another segment about Charlotte’s rise from NXT (which I supported more; she’s getting an earnest push). Miz TV has quietly become an essential segment over the past month or so. Miz never wrestles, but he can eat 10 minutes by himself and keep the crowd interested. He’s a lowkey super valuable talent.

I gotta say, it was good to see Ryback. He’s a giant goddamn cartoon, but he really does mean well. Daniel Bryan in Seattle was also cool to see — though it was a bit sad given his uncertain status.

Should I bother wondering if Big Show is a face or a heel? Does it matter? Has it ever?

Derek: In the main event, Orton, like Neville last week, came awfully close to sealing the deal. We all know Rollins won’t lose the belt before SummerSlam, but it was suspenseful nonetheless. Some would say Orton had it in the bag after this RKO …

rko5

… but Sheamus interfered shortly thereafter, and the match ended in a DQ. Curse you, Sheamus! You ruin everything.

Unless he cashes in! Sheamus’ status as Mr. Money in the Bank is barely recognized, but he nearly-just about-almost cashed it in while Rollins was out cold in the middle of the ring. Unfortunately, by the rules of Money in the Bank cash-ins, the exchange has to take forrrrreeevvvveerrrrr when it’s inconvenient for the champion to lose his title. I’ve always wanted to hear the conversation that goes on during a cash-in.

Sheamus: I’d like to cash in.

Referee: Are you sure?

Sheamus: Yes.

Referee: Are you really sure?

Sheamus: Yes.

Referee: You realize the champion is unconscious, correct?

Sheamus: Yes.

Referee: Are you okay with that?

Sheamus: Why wouldn’t … yes, it’s fine, take the damn briefcase!

Referee: Are you absolutely sure?

Sheamus: What’s the point of cashing in if I can’t–(Sheamus is cut off by a vicious RKO.)

Michael Cole: THE BELL DIDN’T RING! THE CASH-IN DIDN’T COUNT!

sheamus cash in

I realize they’re trying to build suspense when  Mr. MITB pulls out his briefcase, but I don’t understand why the referees ever show any level of hesitation. The MITB contract says anytime, anywhere. Why the referee doesn’t just take the briefcase and start the match is beyond me.

Will: It was really, really dumb, even for wrestling. It didn’t make sense, in kayfabe or in anything else. It looked like the two were playing tug of war. Every few seconds one of them would pull away, only for the other to re-engage. It felt extra silly juxtaposed against the beautiful work between Rollins and Orton.

Yet, my biggest takeaway of the week is that Sheamus, that colossal Irish prick, made me kinda like him. His facial hair is the worst and he’s pastier than the Crest. I don’t care much for his moves or his music. On paper, I see absolutely no redeeming value.

But damnit if he doesn’t know how to be a dick. I gotta respect that.



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