The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up #3

IGR Weekly Wrestling Wrap Up

Greetings, wrestling fans. I hope you’ve had a good week, because there are quite a few wrestlers who, on screen, probably could be doing better. Not sure what I mean, because you happened to miss one of the shows in favor of something else? Well, no need to worry about that, because iGR has you covered!

iGR Weekly Wrestling Wrap Up1

For those of you that don’t know (wrestling trope ahoy!), this is not a column that focuses on wrestling news. Instead, it is merely a presentation and analysis of the stories (and, in some cases, matches) that the wrestling companies in question see fit to broadcast. Although all attempts will be made to include every possible story shown, some things may slip through the cracks, but I will try to rectify that the following week. With that said, let’s get this show on the road!

WWENewsBannerWWE Championship: On RAW, John Cena came out to open the show, and using a reference to Saturday Morning SLAM (or online – either way, it references Bryan’s more outlandish “Dazzler” character), he answered questions about last Monday. Oh, and some oblique references to things about which nobody wants to think. Vickie Guerrero interrupted his, “The Champ is here!” line, determined to get a stipulation for the WWE Championship match on Extreme Rules, and thus invited out Ryback. After Cena said he didn’t care about the stipulation, as long as it wasn’t a “Vickie Guerrero’s Granny Panties On A Pole” match (makes sense, as I’ve only ever seen a Briefcase match where actual briefs underwear was involved in fantasy booking), since he just wanted a piece of Ryback. Ryback said Cena had done something stupid, and said since Cena could barely stand, what with the hurt Achilles tendon (Ryback pointed out the irony), the match was going to be a Last Man Standing match. Later on, a challenge from Daniel Bryan to Ryback resulted in a match between Kane and Ryback. Ryback got the win. The Shield came down, Daniel Bryan came out to make the save, John Cena joined in, and although it looked like things were going to hell, Ryback came back in with a chair, letting Bryan take out Rollins and Ambrose, but smashing Cena with the chair before Reigns ate the Attitude Adjustment. Ryback was left standing tall after the match. On SmackDown, Chris Jericho gave Ryback a dressing down for Ryback’s behavior, which led to a match between the two. Jericho and Ryback exchanged offense, but it eventually ended via disqualification when Ryback rammed Jericho crotch-first in to the exterior of a ring post, ending the show with a very angry Ryback.
My Thoughts: So, Ryback has been basically painted as a bully, a coward, and a whiner throughout this whole thing. Multiple people are pointing out that Ryback is trying to take the easy way to the title with the match stipulation he chose. And at points, John Cena isn’t even acting like the Achilles tendon is bothering him. For all the good that this could do, the way that Ryback is being treated seems to be limiting him, and the lack of fan reaction shows. The really sad part is that it’s clear that they could have done so much better than what we’re getting. This match isn’t selling me on Extreme Rules at all.

World Heavyweight Championship: RAW saw yet another one-on-one match between Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio. However, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter came out mid-match, and although the match itself was competitive, interference from Big E. Langston and AJ Lee led to Del Rio winning. Swagger, angered at having Del Rio be used as a lawn dart against him, came in and destroyed everybody but Zeb Colter with a ladder. On SmackDown, they stepped it up a notch, with a match between Big E. Langston and Jack Swagger never getting off the ground because Alberto Del Rio came down to be on commentary, only to introduce a ladder early. It looked to be a little even, but eventually, Del Rio took the advantage, and with the carnage around him, ascended the ladder and stood high.
My Thoughts: Where the Cena/Ryback feud falls kind of flat, this one has gone full-on entertaining, and they’re really selling the Pay-Per-View. It’s a good thing that Extreme Rules is a week from now, because while this is a great build, there’s only so much you can do. More to the point having the champion Dolph Ziggler continually being on the losing end of matches and altercations really makes me wish that they would just get rid of the Money in the Bank briefcase. When Edge cashed in, it catapulted him to top-tier status. Everybody after that, however, seems to have already been popular, or simply been a transitional champion. It would be nice to see Ziggler wind up winning in spite of having two dominant challengers, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

The Shield: As per usual, these guys were everywhere this week. While it seems that they are a little more focused as of late, repeatedly targeting Kane and Daniel Bryan (which they did at the end of RAW), Kofi Kingston has been added in to the mix. Kofi teamed with The Usos on Raw to take on the Hounds of Justice, but the well-oiled machine that is Sierra Hotel India Echo Lima Delta managed to steal a victory. On SmackDown, Daniel Bryan looked like he was going to get the victory over Dean Ambrose with the No Lock, only for Ambrose’s allies to help him escape. This brought out Kofi Kingston, who got a measure of victory against the members of the Shield, with Kane and Daniel Bryan assisting.
My Thoughts: At some point, Creative really needs to figure out where they’re going with The Shield. If it turns out that this leads to a “all the titles on the line” match with Kofi and Team Hell No putting their belts on the line at Extreme Rules, that would be the most logical way to have things happen. Somehow, though, I really doubt that’s what we’re going to get. Whatever the case, plenty of people on the roster have a reason to go against The Shield, and that works well enough.

Randy Orton vs The Big Show: On Raw, Randy Orton got a measure of revenge against Damien Sandow, dismantling him in short fashion to get the victory. However, Big Show came out of nowhere and clocked him at the top of the ramp, leaving Show standing tall. Orton managed to regain some image on Main Event, taking on Antonio Cesaro in a winning effort. On SmackDown, Big Show managed to get a win over “Sweet T” Tensai with a lucky KO Punch, and then scored a huge spear on Brodus Clay. However, before Show could survey the carnage, Randy Orton showed up and hit him with an RKO.
My Thoughts: While this back-and-forth does provide for some entertaining moments, the fact that they still haven’t finalized the stipulations for their match at Extreme Rules is a little confusing. Honestly, if not for the fact that we already have a Last Man Standing match, a Texas Death Match would be just the ticket. The only other thing that comes to mind would be Falls Count Anywhere, or maybe just straight-up No Disqualifications.

Sheamus vs Mark Henry: On Raw, Mark Henry called out Sheamus, and the two jawed at one another, but when Henry said he wanted to settle things then and there, it turned out Sheamus already had a match against Wade Barrett. Sheamus handled him relatively easily, but after the match, Henry brutalized the man, whipping him with a huge leather belt. (I’ve seen the after pictures, Henry was stiff with the kicks, too.) On SmackDown, with Sheamus obviously in no condition to appear (in story), we had Henry pulling two trucks as a feat of strength, including the possibility that he wasn’t going to pull it off, right up until he did. It was him proving that he could easily toss around Sheamus.
My Thoughts: The writers seem unsure as to how they want us to view both men. Sheamus came across on Monday as a man who escaped a beating temporarily on a technicality, only for Henry to just beat down on him anyway, which obviously means that Sheamus is the hero in this. But then Henry pulls off a feat of strength that is straight-up incredible no matter who’s doing it, and it seems like they want us to cheer for him. This is actually a planned mixed reaction, and it may just work. However, there were plenty of people other than the Intercontinental champion that they could have fed to Sheamus, so that bit was bad form on their part.

HHH vs Brock Lesnar: So Brock Lesnar joined Paul Heyman in going to WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. They stormed in, destroyed what was supposedly HHH’s corporate office (well, it had “Paul Levesque” on the door plaque, it had to be real, right?), and Heyman narrated the whole thing with snide comments. He came on satellite feed to continue to talk about Extreme Rules, making a sideways comment about his history with ECW, but saying he was being reasonable. HHH came out, dressed like just a normal guy, and told Heyman that Lesnar destroyed HHH’s corporate offices, but that his other office, with a hell of a view, is in the ring. If Heyman wants to find him, HHH said that he’s pretty easy to find. He said that if Lesnar has something to say, he can say it to his face. HHH then posed for the fans.
My Thoughts: Well, at least they’re building this match with more than recap videos. However, the Lesnar segment was oversold by repeated reports with photos, and the video itself was slow and plodding. Sure, there were some interesting bits, but at some point, they really should just let the scheduled match be what it is. HHH versus Lesnar in a cage is enough, really, especially since it’s a side attraction compared to the two top-tier title matches.

Chris Jericho, Judge: So, on Raw, Jericho actually caused Fandango (joined by his original dance partner instead of Summer Rae) to take a count-out loss against R-Truth because he had a panel of judges, with Tons of Funk joining him, and they consistently gave Fandango low ratings while rating R-Truth at insanely high levels. Fandango actually remarked how Jericho had no right to judge him, given that he lost on Dancing With The Stars. Jericho’s actions on SmackDown have already been discussed, but the lack of Fandango on the blue show was a bit confusing.
My Thoughts: This seems a little backward, with Fandango only being on one show while Jericho was on both. However, it is a decent continuation of the whole thing, and since Fandango is kind of a middle ground between comedy heel and a villain with an outlandish gimmick that allows him to be self-obsessed, having a few comedy bits included makes sense.

The Divas: They continued the whole, “Kaitlyn has a secret admirer and Natalya and Khali are offering counsel and advice,” bit. This time, Khali tried disguises, including a Rey Mysterio mask and a Cody Rhodes mustache. In the ring, we saw some continued animosity with the Bellas, and there was a focus on the rivalry between AJ and Kaitlyn.
My Thoughts: If we actually end up with a Diva’s match at Extreme Rules, that would be kind of interesting. I’d love to see it be promoted as the only match on the show without special stipulations, just as a special attraction.

Other Stuff: So apparently the WWE realized that they were wasting a talent like Antonio Cesaro with a yodeling gimmick, and have basically just done a reboot, making him the character he was before winning the United States championship. The tag team division is getting basically ignored again, but at least we’re seeing tag teams on the show as tag teams (for the most part). And Zack Ryder still has a job!

What happened on SLAM: 3MB member Jinder Mahal went out alone against Santino Marella, who (because this was filmed in the UK) came out on a Morris bike (we have something like that in Denver, too – rent them to reduce street traffic). Santino took the win, but once again, SLAM, as a secondary show, allowed somebody that’s normally a jobber to look competitive. In other news, Mick Foley managed to get Sheamus to start singing “Danny Boy” (on pitch but off tone) until Orton showed up, looking on in bemusement. Of course, the PTP took the loss, but somehow they managed to look like a cohesive unit. Oh, and Alicia Fox was on the announce desk, probably because of that whole “Totally Divas on E!” show coming up.
My Thoughts: While this show really has no bearing on anything else that happens on the WWE, the fact that we get to see performers that are normally treated like a joke manage to show a competitive edge is really a reason to tune in.

TNANewsBannerAces & 8’s vs TNA: Well, with Sting definitely being established as the challenger for Bully Ray, it was only logical that he got some allies. He had Kurt Angle on his side for a triple threat match, but they had no idea who the third person was going to be. They tried to get AJ Styles to commit to joining them, but once again, he gave no reaction except to walk away. Sting of course brought up that he knew exactly how Styles felt, but the history lesson did nothing. Eventually, it meant that Sting and Angle were effectively in a handicap match against Bully Ray, Devon, and Mister Anderson. However, Aces & 8’s still lost the match when Abyss finally made his return and laid waste to the Dead Man’s Hand, getting the victory for his team. Of course, even Sting didn’t expect this, and Abyss standing tall at the end was something that everybody should have seen coming, but didn’t.
My Thoughts: So Abyss is the salvation of TNA for a while. It could have been worse, I suppose, but it’s nice to see the good guys standing tall for the past few weeks. Whether this means that Sting gets the title at Slammiversary (hopefully not), or we just have Abyss as the next guy in line, I don’t know, but either way, it should be interesting. The only down side here is that Joseph Park is probably gone for the time being.

X-Division Championship: While there wasn’t much build for this, there was still something of a nod to the upcoming title bout. They replayed Chris Sabin getting one of the challenger’s spots, after which Kenny King came out with a microphone in hand. He sang his praises, but then called Sabin out to the ring so that he could talk to him face-to-face. After Sabin talked about how hard he worked to come back, and the fact that next week, Chris Sabin would be the champion, King took control of the segment again. He actually said that Sabin was an inspiration, and him winning the belt would mean a lot to everybody. He event let people get a preview, as he let Sabin hold the title. But King then said that there was no chance that Sabin was winning the belt while he was around, because he was better than Sabin even on his best day, and he was definitely better with Sabin coming back from injury. That resulted in a brawl, and King bailing.
My Thoughts: Well, that was definitely a way to get people to tune in next week. This still begs the question of who is going to be the third man in the match, since the X-Division title is contended under triple threat rules these days. Still, having a feud exist with a three-way match being the lynchpin is quite good. It’s nice to see something that has absolutely nothing to do with a story that seems to have taken up a good chunk of the show.

Consequences, Meet D’Lo Brown: So, due to his loss against Kurt Angle last week, there was the imminent threat that D’Lo was going to be kicked out of the gang. Eventually, the group came to the conclusion that another club member could stick up for him – in a match against Magnus. D.O.C. took the flak for that, and Magnus managed to take the win in a fairly short match. Although that basically meant that D’Lo should be out of the club, and taken out in a very damaging way, Mister Anderson managed to simply argue for a demotion down to the lowest level in Aces and Eights. As a way to prove that the Dead Man’s Hand doesn’t tolerate loss too well, they beat down Magnus brutally.
My Thoughts: See, this is one of the things about the wrestling business that bothers me. People are supposedly fired, and show up the next week. Groups kick people out, only to bring them right back in. Although it does show some cracks in the armor, since it appears that they can’t afford to lose members, even those that they said they were going to eliminate, it still is an annoyance. It would have been far more interesting to see D’Lo go on an anti-hero quest, seeking vengeance for becoming an outcast.

Tag Team Championships: This week, Bad Influence tried to get on James Storm’s good side, trying to bribe him with beer. That didn’t go over too well. Meanwhile, Aries and Roode tried to get Storm to side with them. However, Storm actually said that Aries beating Roode for a title was not some sort of fluke, then walked off. The match for the title shot was probably the match of the night, and really stole the show. However, James Storm decided to be an impartial referee in the way that everybody would be bound to hate. Instead of calling the match fairly, he made sure that nobody won, then walked off. Of course, this led to both Bad Influence and Aries & Roode to gang up on Storm before getting in each others’ faces.
My Thoughts: With Slammiversary still a ways off, it’s best to keep this whole thing prolonged, since there really needs to be a tag team title match there. The fact that the tag team champions have managed to keep themselves out of this hatred is actually quite clever, since it’s a great strategy. Playing the villains against one another is the best way for the good guys to come out on top, especially if the villains outnumber the good guys two to one.

The Knockouts: So Mickie James teamed with Velvet Sky (who she just faced for the title) against Gail Kim and Tara. After Mickie and Velvet got the win, Gail took out the loss on Tara, who has apparently been a hindrance on her for the past couple of weeks. That was basically the extent of the ladies’ involvement. However, Tara did have Jessie Godderz out with her, meaning that he didn’t have time to join in the travesty of Robbie E’s futile vendetta against Rob Terry.
My Thoughts: Well, it’s good to know that they were building towards something, but if this means that Tara is suddenly a hero again, who the heck is left to take on Velvet Sky in a hero/villain scenario besides Gail? On the other hand, if Tara is still a villain, but just happens to be on the outs with Gail, that works a lot better.

ROHNewsBannerNote: This week’s episode was filmed before Border Wars, but was available on the Ring of Honor web site after the publishing time of the previous Wrap-Up. As such, there weren’t many story lines, so this was more match-focused.

Karl Anderson vs Michael Elgin: A special attraction match here, as Anderson is nominally attached to New Japan Pro Wrestling. Elgin and Anderson put on a huge barn burner of a match, and it never had a dull moment. However, Anderson’s Japanese experience apparently helped him out, as he got the upper hand over Elgin and got the victory.
My Thoughts: Why they gave Anderson the victory is beyond me. He’s not even a regular roster member, and is in fact attached to a foreign wrestling company. It’s a bad call to have him take the victory over a man that was booked like a hoss at Border Wars. More to the point, they acted like this match could go a full hour, but it wound up going maybe fifteen minutes. That’s kind of a let-down.

Women of Honor: A rare women’s match on ROH television, which saw MsChif take on a newcomer, Daviene. With Daviene being a rookie in every sense of the word, only eighteen years old and debuting in ROH in this match, there really wasn’t much to show except for MsChif owning the woman, and Veda Scott running down to result in a no contest being declared due to an attack on MsChif.
My Thoughts: So, no matter where you go, if it isn’t WSU, SHIMMER, Shine, or a joshi promotion, the women kind of get relegated to being inconsequential. That’s kind of disappointing.

Tag Team Championship: So, in the obvious “we don’t want to put these tag teams against one another, so we’re having them go in one-on-one matches instead” bit, Kyle O’Reilly of reDRagon took on Davey Richards of the American Wolves. The two had a highly competitive outing, displaying that they were just as good as singles competitors as they are as tag team wrestlers. While it did seem that either man could win it, the crowd was hot for this one, and Davey managed to pop the crowd just before the finish because Richards blatantly broke the Code of Honor.
My Thoughts: This is definitely the way to build interest for the title match without giving the match itself away. Now to see what ROH is going to do with everything, and if American Wolves are going to be the next champions, or if reDRagon is really going to hold on to the belts.


WWE Extreme Rules
WWE Championship – Last Man Standing: 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
Mark Henry vs Sheamus
Randy Orton vs Big Show

TNA Slammiversary XI
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bully Ray {C} vs Sting



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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