The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up #2

IGR Weekly Wrestling Wrap Up

What a week it’s been in the wrestling world. More matches for WWE’s and TNA’s upcoming pay-per-views have been announced, Ring of Honor held their Border Wars internet Pay-Per-View, and of course, there were nine and a half hours of broadcast time which these three companies presented. Are you ready? Well, you’d better be. Graphic incoming!


iGR Weekly Wrestling Wrap Up2


Now, for those of you that missed last week’s column, this isn’t going to be about news outside of the ring. It’s not going to be about what happened on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, backstage, or on some random dirt sheet. This covers the product with which each company presents us, the fans, on a weekly basis. So, let’s get going!

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Brock Lesnar vs Triple H: I do have to apologize, as I did make a slight omission from last week’s article. Basically, we now know that Lesnar and HHH are having a cage match at Extreme Rules. The most recent physicality that occurred was with Triple H planting Brock’s manager Paul Heyman to the mat using the Pedigree. Obviously, there’s only so much you can do to further a rivalry between two competitors that only wrestle on Pay-Per-View, so this week, we basically got a recap video and a few small mentions of the cage match.
My Thoughts: I get that this is supposed to bring back memories of Lesnar’s seven-match run in UFC, which included becoming the UFC Heavyweight Champion and being the face for one of their video games. But a wrestling cage match is not a UFC match, and these two have only put on passable performances in their past two encounters. Complete the picture with limited screen time, and what you have is a match that neither adds nor detracts from the interest in the upcoming pay-per-view.

WWE Championship: This week, we originally had an announced match between The Shield and the pairing of WWE Champion John Cena and his challenger, Ryback. Apparently, Cena strained his Achilles tendon at a house show the week prior, so not only were they in a handicap match, Cena was going in hurt. Ryback obviously wasn’t happy with that, and told Cena he wasn’t going to take his chances. Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero tried to calm Ryback by replacing Cena with Team Hell No, but Ryback just backed out of the match. Cena agreed to be the third man against The Shield. Ryback, meanwhile, left the building. Cena and Team Hell No looked to be ready to give The Shield their first loss, but Cena eventually wound up being the weak link in the match, as his ankle gave out when he went for the Attitude Adjustment. Dean Ambrose picked up the win, with Ryback looking on. Of course, that wasn’t all John Cena did for the night, since, with it being World Wish Day, he also granted wishes for three Make-A-Wish kids who wanted to be WWE Superstars, complete with nick names. Meanwhile, on SmackDown, Ryback explained his actions further, really playing up Cena’s injury, before taking on Daniel Bryan one-on-one, over-powering the guy, and winning with a Shell Shock.
My Thoughts: This is definitely a good way to build the rivalry here. Ryback isn’t so much a coward as he is choosing intelligence over blind bravery, Cena tries to prove that he can handle anything and falls short, and although it’s still likely that Cena’s going to retain, there’s just the slightest glimmer of doubt. Add to Ryback owning a former fellow Nexus member (for all of a week), and this really has a solid build. Whereas HHH and Lesnar is just sort of there, this one just gets more and more compelling. While it sucks for Cena that he’s hurt, it really adds another dimension. Also, the Make-A-Wish thing is one out of many reasons why Cena is never going back to being a bad guy like he was early in his WWE career. Fans should give up that nugget.

World Heavyweight Championship: So we finally got a stipulation for the title match at Extreme Rules, albeit it was a little weird how we got it. Basically, as all three men have secondary guys behind them, those three went one-on-one to determine the stipulation. Ricardo Rodriguez, Big E Langston, and Zeb Colter mixed it up in a match that could have been comedy, but actually wound up looking more like a match with an underdog face, a dominant big man, and a yellow-bellied heel. Of course, all three of the regular wrestlers got involved, and eventually with all the distractions, Ricardo got the victory over Zeb Colter. Later on in the evening, Alberto Del Rio announced that the match was going to be a ladder match. The evening for RAW had all three main men look good in matches that still managed to make their opponents look credible. Ricardo’s victory carried over to SmackDown, with Ricardo taking on Zeb in a singles match that quickly turned in to a tag team match (thank you Teddy Long) that added in Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger. Dolph Ziggler, who had been on commentary, interrupted the match with Big E in tow, and Teddy Long made it a three-way tag that eventually saw Del Rio tap out Dolph Ziggler.
My Thoughts: The build for this has been great, and involving more than just the champions and the challengers makes it feel like it’s got more flavor, instead of making it feel over-booked. Unlike last week, the three got some interaction without giving away who’s going to win, since a ladder match is won in a way that we are not going to see on TV, unless some moron on Creative thinks to make a pole match before Extreme Rules. The only down side to this? United States champion Kofi Kingston was the guy on RAW to lose to Dolph Ziggler, once again devaluing Champion versus Champion matches. Speaking of which …

United States Championship: So, while Kofi Kingston lost in grand fashion on RAW, still looking strong, WWE seems to have remembered that he probably should still matter just a little bit, as they made his re-match with Antonio Cesaro on Main Event be the focus for the show. Cesaro actually gave an interview that kind of explained the yodeling – he was trying to re-gain his cultural identity after submerging himself in American culture for so long. As far as the match goes, Kofi managed to look even better against Cesaro, and they had him do some things that made even a varied aerial performer like Kingston look relatively innovative. After Kofi retained, Cesaro took him out backstage, saying he would take back the title.
My Thoughts: Winning a secondary title in the WWE is basically Creative throwing a superstar a bone while not necessarily promising that they will have any consistency in how the WWE presents them. If this turns in to something worth watching (maybe even a match booked for Extreme Rules in advance), it would be great, but I’m not going to hold out my hopes.

The Shield versus Team Hell No: Well, they finally managed to solidify exactly what in the world The Shield is doing. They cut promos, as per usual, but were involved in much more. The Shield’s brand of justice rolled on. with a victory over John Cena on RAW, the destruction of Daniel Bryan backstage, and then standing tall over Kane, holding the Tag Team titles aloft above the fallen masked man, closing out SmackDown that way.
My Thoughts: This is where many people, myself included, were hoping that this would go. The Shield winning the Tag Team titles and defending them Freebirds style would be quite the thing to see. Adding in Kane looking for revenge for his brother, Daniel Bryan backing up a man that he thinks of as being as close to a friend as he might be able to have, and putting the titles in the center of it is a great way to make me want to see more.

Mark Henry versus Sheamus: After learning from the previous week’s Main Event that Henry can be goaded in to doing practically anything if you accuse him of being a coward, Sheamus used it to embarrass Henry multiple times. First, on RAW, Henry came out to prove how strong he is with a tug of war. After victories over both members of Tons of Funk, Sheamus goaded Henry in to one last go-round. When it became clear that Sheamus was going to lose, he let go of the rope, dropping Henry on his rear. After Henry stood, Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick. A similar thing happened on SmackDown, with Sheamus and Henry arm wrestling. Henry won with his right arm, Sheamus challenged him to go with the left arm, and then Sheamus got in a cheap shot and a Brogue Kick.
My Thoughts: Just remind me, who’s the villain again? Because as cool as it is to see a guy’s hubris be his undoing, the tactics that Sheamus is using to have that happen are really more along the lines of a weasel heel. Now, I do realize that Sheamus was a villain for a while back there (that stupid Dragon crown when he won King of the Ring comes to mind), but why use the same tactics now? The point is that he can out-do his opponents without cheating. It’s a fun rivalry, but I’m starting to feel bad for Henry, and I doubt that’s the intention.

Randy Orton versus Big Show: So Randy Orton took on both members of Rhodes Scholars, won against them handily, and gave an interview where he’s never felt more extreme. After his win against Damien Sandow on SmackDown, Big Show came out and said that Orton must be proud of himself. However, Show said that it was ironic that he defeated two tag team competitors, given that he isn’t much of a team player. He brought up what happened at WrestleMania against The Shield, and with Orton distracted, Sandow came back and hit the Termi-Noose (which Orton didn’t counter, unlike a sneak Cross Rhodes that Cody tried on RAW). Show laughed at it, then said that though he’s laughing now, neither of them would be laughing at Extreme Rules.
My Thoughts: So, Rhodes Scholars go from being heavily featured last week to just losing to Randy Orton, proving once again that WWE really needs to bring back some actual jobbers outside of 3MB (more on them later). It’s good that they’ve kept this rivalry going, and also good to see that they’ve managed to split what looked to be an over-powered tag team feud (four former world champions in the same ring) in to two separate bits.

It’s FAHN-DAHN-GO: So they keep building up the character, but apparently, RAW was a night of filler, as they had him pair with Summer Rae to take on Khali and Natalya. But instead of a match, they had a dance-off. Khali was a little clumsy with his speech, but for a big man, he was surprisingly light on his feet. Fandango did his usual routine with Summer, tossing in a few twists here and there. The crowd chose Khali to win, leading to Fandango attacking Khali after the match, hitting a 270 Russian Leg Sweep and the leg drop. His match against Zack Ryder saw him finish the match the same way.
My Thoughts: With Chris Jericho on tour with Fozzy, the writers seem to have no idea what to do with Fandango except to feature him on both main shows. While it’s good to see they’re developing the character a little bit, it would be nice to use the fan reaction to get another person over as well.

The Divas: We saw a match between one of the Funkadactyls and the Bellas that ended in a DQ because of Twin Magic, and a beat-down that resulted. Kaitlyn, the WWE Diva’s champion, had some tense words with AJ Lee, and also apparently has a secret admirer.
My Thoughts: The writers seem to remember the Divas exist a couple of weeks after WrestleMania, but it is nice to see them getting story lines. I just hope to God that the secret admirer isn’t either Hornswoggle or Khali, because that would be all kinds of wrong.

3MB: See, these guys are jobbers, but they have character! It’s proof that the idea still works, folks. The fact that they challenged The Shield because they are the dominant three-man group – according to only 3MB – was logical and yet totally suicidal. Getting further owned by Team Hell no after that put icing on the cake. However, Heath Slater did have a competent match-up with former Nexus ally Justin Gabriel on Main Event, and even though he lost, there was the possibility for a win there.
My Thoughts: Well, it makes for something that can be filler or actually be a good part of the show, at the very least.

Other stuff: Zack Ryder is apparently getting a huge character re-boot, or at least a big enough one that the announcers gave it some build. Saturday Morning Slam was all about the Usos and the Prime Time Players, albeit Mick Foley was his usual goofy self. Wade Barrett apparently doesn’t exist if they’re not in England. Speaking of disappeared characters, where the hell is The Miz?

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Sting, Savior of TNA: So Sting came back last week among a lot of controversy, and this week, he got placed in a match against Matt Morgan for the number one contender’s spot. Also, he apparently is joining Kurt Angle and a mystery partner in a match against Bully Ray, D-Von, and Mister Anderson next week. He won the match against Morgan, by the way, albeit it was because Morgan passed out from the Scorpion Death Lock.
My Thoughts: Why is this happening? I mean, it’s clear that hes’ basically TNA’s go-to hero, but they could have used this whole night to make Morgan look like the man, or at least potentially at that point. This actually would have turned me off from the upcoming pay-per-view, if I had been planning on ordering it.

Kurt Angle, Indestructible: The Wrestling Machine came back only after a week off, and challenged an Aces & 8’s team member. D’Lo Brown promised to beat him, putting his membership in the club on the line. Angle proceeded to defeat D’Lo in an I Quit match, and Aces & Eights had a total hissy fit about it. Still, Angle has, as previously stated, volunteered to help take the fight to Aces & Eights. He even called out AJ Styles, who remained mute as Angle told Styles that he needed to decide exactly what side he’s on.
My Thoughts: And yet another guy who’s been an active wrestler for quite a long time being the one to save the company. Trying to bring AJ in to the mix to fight the Dead Man’s Hand is a good call, but it’s a while yet before they should build AJ as the ultimate hero for the company.

Tag Team Titles: We had Austin Aries and Bobby Roode out in the ring, talking about how Bad Influence was trying to unbalance them last week, and even cost them the tag team titles. Roode and Aries talked about how they had more accolades than Daniels and Kazarian. That brought out Bad Influence, who said that they were the best tag team in the company, not Aries and Roode. Daniels made the observation that Roode and Aries couldn’t out-maneuver, out-cheat, our out Bad Influence Bad Influence, even though it seemed like all that Roode and Aries were trying to do. Roode countered, saying they would do anything to win. That brought out Chavo and Hernandez, with Chavo saying that the number one contender’s match next week between Aries & Roode and Bad Influence had a guest referee – James Storm!
My Thoughts: Well, it’s nice that not everything is about Aces and Eights. Adding James Storm back in to the mix should definitely make for an odd bit, since he’s had a less than amicable past with all four competitors.

The Knockouts: Taryn Terrell continued her rise in the Knockouts Division, teaming with Mickie James (who lost a shot at the title last week) against Tara and Gail Kim. It was all about pride for Tara and Gail, who felt slighted because Taryn was declared Knockout of the month. Taryn managed to eke out a victory, but that led to a fracas, with Tara and Mickie fighting up the ramp and Taryn taking an Eat Defeat, then left lying.
My Thoughts: The booking for the ladies seems to be a little all over the place, with the focus changing from week to week. While I do appreciate that the women are getting more focus on the show than tossing them out and having them look pretty, it still doesn’t seem like much.

The Return of Chris Sabin: He came in, winning a number one contender’s match for the X Division Championship, and they gave him some interview videos about his long journey back from injury, including the fact that he’s only had seven matches in the past two years. He was allowed to look impressive in victory, and the fans seemed happy to see him.
My Thoughts: Given what Sabin said in an interview – that his ultimate goal is the TNA Heavyweight title – one imagines that he’s going to win the X Division title. From there, he‘ll hold on to it until Destination X, and cash it in for a World title shot. That’s probably the reason they didn’t just have him make a grand return and immediately go after Aces and Eights.

Robbie E hates Rob Terry: Robbie E keeps trying to take down Rob Terry and failing. Jessie Godderz had the brilliant plan to bring in resident TNA sleazeball Joey Ryan to help, and turned their match against Terry in to a three-on-one match. The match still had the same result, with Terry winning, but this time, Joey Ryan was the one to take the hard-hitting offense and Terry’s power bomb variation. Godderz and Robbie E went up the ramp, running from Terry.
My Thoughts: Honestly, this really just needs to end. At this rate, what we’ll get is the United Coalition of Jackasses, and we’ve already got one 3MB, thank you very much.

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ROH World Championship: As a major surprise, Adam Cole and champion Jay Briscoe actually had an amicable contract signing, which Nigel McGuinness moderated. However, Steve Corino came out with Matt Hardy and Rhino in tow, insisting that the Border Wars main event should be his two guys against Cole and Briscoe. Instead, we got that match as the main event on TV. A little miscommunication between the non-SCUM members led to Briscoe eating multiple finishers, and Cole picking up the win on Rhino. At Border Wars, Steve Corino got involved, tossing a SCUM shirt at Cole, and in the ensuing chaos, Briscoe managed a Jay-Driller to retain the belt.
My Thoughts: The whole thing seems like SCUM could have been left out of it for now, and it may have wound up being the better for it. Adam Cole potentially joining SCUM as a Kevin Steen replacement could work, but its doubtful.

Other SCUM Stuff: The TV show opened with Steve Corino coming out, Rhett Titus, Cliff Compton, and Jimmy Jacobs in tow. He said that his guys could take on anybody, which brought out BJ Whitmer and the C&C Wrestling Factory. Although Whitmer, Alexander, and Coleman all did well in the match, Corino gave Titus a chain to give his team the victory. A beat-down resulted in Lethal and Elgin coming out for the save, which resulted in Rhett Titus being forced to take on Lethal one-on-one, and then eating the Lethal Combination and the Lethal Injection. Lethal promised to handle them at Border Wars, and get rid of Corino once and for all. Whitmer promised to take care of Rhett Titus at Border Wars. At Border Wars, Whitmer did win the I Quit match with Titus after Corino nearly sacrificed himself to chair shots, making Titus say the magic words so that Steve wouldn’t take more of a beating. However, Elgin and Lethal didn’t manage to get the victory against Jimmy Jacobs and Cliff Compton, first by taking Jay Lethal out of the match, and then out-smarting Lethal’s replacement, Kevin Steen. So now, we have Steve Corino on color commentary next to Kevin Kelly.

Television Championship: We only got a brief promo on TV about this, with Mark Briscoe talking about how his face is made for TV, and Taven’s manager Truth Martini laughing at the thought. The match itself had Taven’s valets kissing to distract Briscoe, letting Taven win.
My Thoughts: Taven isn’t that exciting on his own, and Truth Martini is annoying as hell. They should have just given Briscoe the belt and played up the “Championship Brothers” bit.

Stuff from Border Wars: There were two changes to the intended matches due to injury. Mondo was pulled from the Bennett/Strong match because of injury, and Strong won because Cheeseburger distracted Bennett. Meanwhile, Paul London had to replace NOAH star Marufuji against Davey Richards, and ring rust made it so that London had trouble truly working the fast-paced ROH style, though ROH made the right call in letting Richards win. C&C Wrestling Factory won against ACH and Tadarius Thomas in the opener. And in a show stealer, Eddie Edwards finally won against Taiji Ishimori, winning the right to challenge Ishimori for the GHC Junior Heavyweight title (that’s a belt in NOAH).

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WWE Extreme Rules
WWE Championship: John Cena {C} vs Ryback
World Heavyweight Championship – Ladder Match: Dolph Ziggler {C} vs Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger
Cage Match: Triple H vs Brock Lesnar
Big Show vs Randy Orton

TNA Slammiversary
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bully Ray {C} vs Sting
TNA Tag Team Championship: Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez {C} vs Bad Influence OR Austin Aries and Bobby Roode

Ring of Honor
Michael Elgin vs Karl Anderson on TV

 

 

Nicholas Villarreal

Game Review/News Editor at iGame Responsibly
Nicholas Villarreal is a seasoned writer on the staff of iGame Responsibly, covering breaking news, as well as game reviews.

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