The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up #22

The WWE is rolling in to Battleground, and it looks like the war will be fun to watch, TNA seems to be in a holding pattern until they can figure out what to do with Bound For Glory outside of the World Heavyweight Championship match, and Ring of Honor is broadcasting their World Championship tournament matches even though Death Before Dishonor is already come and gone. Want the details? You’re in the right spot!

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The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up is solely a discussion of nationally-broadcast wrestling programs in the United States. If it happens elsewhere and is not mentioned on a show, it won’t be mentioned in this column. That being said, this column also recognizes the fictional nature of pro wrestling, and so approaches it as a story telling medium. Matches will not be fully recapped or rated, but instead will be noted if they served a purpose outside of the match itself. Now, on with the article.

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Thoughts From Last Week

  • The part where the show has become about more than just Daniel Bryan fighting the system. At some point, part of me fears that we’re going to see Joht Laurinitis come back, because yet again HHH has lost control. Hopefully, that won’t happen, but it could, and that worries me.
  • This might just be me, but the WWE seems to be looking for ways to more effectively use their screen time, considering that, save for a few omissions, they have been using their entire roster througout the show. The fact that they’re bringing in local or regional stars to compete be a part of the Ryback story means that they seem to think that they can get some mid-card stories really rolling.
  • The most up-and-down booking of this entire bit has got to be Dolph Ziggler’s wild ride. He loses on the pay-per-view, wins in a non-title match on RAW, and then loses repeatedly the rest of the week. At some point, the phrase “missing the boat” is seeming to turn in to “missing the flotilla”. Hopefully they actually give him something worthwhile.
  • As much as I like that the WWE is putting some focus on the Divas, the manner in which they’re doing it is frustrating. AJ Lee says what everybody is thinking in regard to Total Divas, and then the division goes to become … exactly the same as before, just with more Divas involved.

The Wrestling

RAW
Non-Title: World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Kofi Kingston via submission with the cross arm breaker
The Wyatt Family (w/ Bray Wyatt) def. The Prime Time Players via pin fall with a spinning lariat
Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam ended in a no contest with a double count-out
Fandango (w/ Summer Rae) def. Santino Marella via pin fall after the top rope leg drop (NOTE: Summer Rae stopped Santino from delivering the Cobra)
10-Diva Tag Match: The Bellas, The Funkadactyls, & Natalya (w/ Eva Marie) def. Divas Champion AJ Lee, Alicia Fox, Aksana, Layla, & Tamina Snuka via pin fall with a roll-up
11-on-3 Handicap Match: 11-Man Team def. The Shield (Remaining: Daniel Bryan, The Usos, Dolph Ziggler)
Order of Elimination
Rob Van Dam (by Dean Ambrose, STO DDT)
Kofi Kingston (by Dean Ambrose, STO DDT)
Titus O’Neil (by Roman Reigns, Spear)
Justin Gabriel (by Roman Reigns, Spear)
Zack Ryder (by Roman Reigns, Spear)
Roman Reigns (by The Usos, Thrust Kick/Superfly Splash combo)
Darren Young (by Seth Rollins, Top Rope Knee)
Dean Ambrose (by Dolph Ziggler, Zig Zag)
R-Truth (by Seth Rollins, Curb Stomp)
Seth Rollins (by Daniel Bryan, Busaiku Knee)
Main Event
The Usos def. Big E Langston & Fandango via pin fall with a thrust kick/superfly splash combo
The Big Show def. Mr. Money in The Bank Damien Sandow
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman) def. Justin Gabriel via pin fall after a neck breaker face slam
SmackDown
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. R-Truth via pin fall with a boot to the head
The Real Americans (w/ Zeb Colter) def. The Prime Time Players via submission with the Patriot Lock on Darren Young
Bray Wyatt (w/ the Wyatt Family) def. Zack Ryder via pin fall with the Sister Abigail’s Kiss
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP: Dolph Ziggler def. Dean Ambrose via disqualification, Ambrose retains the title
The Shield def. Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam, & Kofi Kingston via pin fall after a curb stomp from Seth Rollins allowed Dean Ambrose to pin Kingston
AJ Lee (w/ Tamina Snuka) def. Cameron via pin fall with the Shining Wizard
Santino Marella (w/ The Great Khali & Hornswoggle) def. Heath Slater (w/ Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre) via pin fall with the Cobra
The Miz def. Randy Orton via DQ after Orton physically interacted with the referee
NO DISQUALIFICATION: Randy Orton def. The Miz via pin fall with an RKO

The Stories

RAW
= They had a quick memorial for wrestling legend Angelo Savoldi before the show opened.
= Stephanie McMahon and Triple H opened the show, with the ten WWE Superstars that helped Daniel Bryan on RAW. Stephanie and Triple H got in to the ring to address the situation. Stephanie said, “Thank you.” Triple H agreed that they finally stepped up. Triple H said they were not fighting for Daniel Bryan. Rob Van Dam corrected him, saying all of them were fighting for Daniel Bryan. Triple H confronted Dolph Ziggler, Stephanie confronted Zack Ryder and R-Truth. The two then said that The Shield is why they don’t have a title shot. He then said that all of them would have an opportunity to work out their frustrations on The Shield in an elimination handicap match. And the eleventh man on the team was going to be Daniel Bryan. Stephanie said that that was not all – the fans had the chance to choose who would face Randy Orton that night out of R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, or Rob Van Dam. They then gave the “best for business” line, and that ended it.
= The Shield cut a promo later on back stage, talking about how the bosses threw them to the wolves, but they are the hounds that hunt down tho wolves and tear them apart. They said that every time they have their backs against the wall, they revolutionize the business. More to the point, they win, and that’s what they would do in the 11-on-3 match. Reigns finished by saying, “Believe it.”
= Daniel Bryan came to the ring before the main event. He talked about the fact that he was stripped of his title due to a supposed conspiracy. He noted that it was odd that Scott Armstrong’s situation was questionable. He said that he didn’t care about all of that, because at Battleground, he will take back his WWE Championship, because there will be no more hiding behind anything. He said that once all of the plans fell apart, Randy Orton would only hear one word – “YES!” The Shield came out to to try to ambush Bryan before their match, but Goldust and Cody Rhodes came out of the crowd and assaulted the trio in an ambush.
= CM Punk came out in a Chicago Blackhaws jersey, playing to the home town crowd. He told the fans that this was the first time in eight days that he’s smiled. He said that he wanted to bring the Stanley Cup to the arena for the home town crowd, but couldn’t. And just like that let down, he feels like he’s letting everybody down. He said that his loss to Paul Heyman made him question whether he should be performing in front of the crowd, or that his home town should be ashamed of him. He said that the fans changed his mind, because similar to the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, he was going to come back, tie his boot straps, and get back to work. Paul Heyman came out singing a bad variation of “New York, New York”, introducing himself to the crowd. He was on a mechanized cart. Punk promised to give Heyman a gigantic beating. Heyman noted that Punk already gave him a beating that has him confined to the mechanized chair, but Heyman beat Punk. He ran down Chicago, and by proxy, CM Punk. He re-played Night of Champions. CM Punk then said that the question to ask was whether Heyman’s associates were going to get to him before he got to Heyman. Heyman noted that he beat Punk with both hands tied behind his back. Heyman tried to leave, but his cart broke. Punk went to attack Heyman, but Curtis Axel and Ryback ambushed Punk. Punk began to fight back, but eventually, the numbers game caught up to him. Ryback began to dismantle Punk, and smashed him through the production table at the side of the ramp. Heyman got to his feet and jumped off the ramp. Ryback got on the mic and said, “This is what happens to bullies.”
= The Miz was about to give an interview with Renee Young about what happened between him and Randy Orton the previous week in Cleveland. Triple H came in and said that he can’t let Miz get his hands on Randy Orton, but he can have Miz TV. Even more than that, his guest can be The Big Show. Later, he came out and gave a speech about how Randy Orton humiliated him. He vowed that things between him and Orton were not over, and pay back would be awesome. He moved on, stating that Dusty Rhodes also needed medical attention because of the actions of The Big Show. They re-showed how Show gave Dusty a KO Punch, then caught him. Miz asked how Show could do that to Dusty Rhodes. He then noted that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were trying to break Show. He started verbally running down Stephanie McMahon, who came to the ring. She called what Miz was saying slander, and he told her to shove that up her ass. She then ran down Miz, and the fact that he peaked too early, but who is available to do things that are too small for John Cena. She then called him a failure, and instructed Big Show to knock him out, which he did immediately.
= Following their match, Randy Orton gave Rob Van Dam a brutal beat-down, exposing the ring barrier’s supports, throwing him in to multiple ring steps, tossing him over the announce table, delivering a rope hang DDT from the top rope, and only stopping when the medic and an official backed him off. During the commercial break, Alberto Del Rio came out and attacked RVD even more.
= Randy Orton came up to The Bellas, and tried to intimidate Brie because she’s dating Daniel Bryan. He said that he was what a real man – and the real face of the WWE – looks like, before walking off.
= Following a quick promotion of the new Triple H DVD, AJ Lee came in to see Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie gave AJ the DVD so that she could see what a real wedding looks like. She said that she hated the tag team match was ridiculous. She said that the Total Divas should go on hiatus on all WWE programming, and that her own partners could turn on her at any moment. Stephanie got in her face, which AJ noted, but Stephanie basically told her to go out and do her job. AJ said she had a match, and left.
= After the match between the Wyatt Family and the Prime Time Players, Bray Wyatt came in and gave Darren Young the Sister Abigail swinging inverse STO.
= The WWE has been airing promo videos about a new tag team – Los Matadores – for a while now, and finally announced that they’re officially debuting next week.
Main Event
= Triple H gave an interview about how Stephanie McMahon has been using Big Show to settle personal vendettas against WWE superstars. The conversation turned to The Miz, and HHH ran him down, noting that Miz running his mouth was where the similarities between Miz and Triple H end.
= Following the match, Big Show ripped the Money in the Bank briefcase off the ring post and put it on Damien Sandow’s chest.
SmackDown
= Triple H opened the show, welcoming everybody to SmackDown. He said that he was aware of all of the accusations that have been bandied about in the past month. He said they were all ridiculous, and it was in fact the product of people blaming management for their failures. He then said it was on him and Stephanie to do what was best for business. He then replayed the video of RAW’s main event. He then said that the match was best for business. The Miz came out and questioned Triple H. Triple H said that Miz was an object lesson in WWE superstars failing to capitalize on the opportunities he is given. Triple H replayed what happened between Miz and Randy Orton a couple of weeks ago. He then said that what happened was on Miz, not management. He then said he gave Miz the chance to speak his mind, but Miz squandered that, too. Miz came back and said that Miz TV was a setup on RAW. Triple H came back and said that Stephanie was justified. Miz said that Stephanie was still what he called her on Monday. Triple H said that tempers ran hot, and so he was going to give Miz another opportunity – another shot at Randy Orton. He might even fly Miz’s parents in to watch again. He then walked off, leaving Miz looking satisfied. After the match ended in disqualification because Orton shoved the referee repeatedly while a doctor was checking on The Miz, Triple H came out and blamed Orton for getting himself intentionally disqualified. He re-started the match, and made it no disqualification.
= Following his match, Alberto Del Rio put R-Truth in the cross arm breaker. Rob Van Dam came to make the save, eventually bringing a chair in to the situation. He used it to surf over Del Rio’s body, and then celebrated. Vickie Guerrero was backstage with Triple H, and they both agreed that ADR and RVD needed something more than a regular match, considering the circumstances. Eventually, Triple H said that they would have a hardcore rules match that was specially designed for the upcoming pay-per-view.
= Paul Heyman was backstage with Curtis Axel with a small bit of celebration. Almost immediately after that, he came out to gloat about once again getting the better of CM Punk. He noted that the fans were the reason for what happened to Punk. Punk knew it was a trap, but the fans encouraged Punk when it looked like the plan had gone a little haywire, leading to Punk getting demolished. He said that the fans were why this would keep happening, because if not for them, CM Punk would realize that when he goes up against Paul Heyman, he always loses. He thanked Curtis Axel, Ryback, and the fans for helping the trap on RAW come to fruition. He announced that Punk had accepted a match against Ryback at Battleground, but said that as always, CM Punk would lose against Paul Heyman – the best in the world. He walked off to the fans’ jeers.
= Before the United States Championship match between Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose, Rob Van Dam and Kofi Kingston came out to balance out the presence of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. After Rollins and Reigns blatantly attacked Ziggler, a brawl ensued. Triple H came out and made a six-man tag.
= Big Show talked backstage with Renee Young about how his current situation makes his life horrible. Triple H came in and said that if he had trouble doing the job, he could help Show find something else, but it would be hard. More to the point, he needs this job. Show looked like he was going to knock out HHH, but Hunter came back and told him he would do nothing, and he would like it.
= Following a recap of what had happened recently in regard to the Rhodes Family, Triple H had a pre-taped interview where he said that he was inviting the Rhodes family to have an open forum on RAW. He promised that he had a lucrative business proposition for them. Cody Rhodes and Goldust had responded on Tout, saying they’d be there with their father, and that the new business deal had better be an improvement from the previous one.
= During the match between Heath Slater and Santino Marella, Santino looked primed to deliver the Cobra. Before that happened, Jinder Mahal got on the ring apron with a flute. He began to charm the Cobra, but Khali got on the other side with a wind instrument of his own. The two had a duel over what the Cobra would do, but eventually, Khali accidentally broke his instrument, allowing Mahal the advantage. He almost got Santino to attack himself, but Hornswoggle made the save, pulling Mahal off the apron and breaking Mahal’s flute.
= Backstage, The Prime Time Players got two members of the production crew to join them in their “Millions of Dollars” dance. After a whack version for which Titus penalized them, they got it, and the four did it for a few seconds. The Players applauded the production crew, and then went about their business. Before the actual match, Zeb Colter and The Real Americans were about to say their catch phrase, but Zeb stopped and said that only real Americans should say the phrase, because otherwise, it was a mockery.
= Before his match with Bray Wyatt, Zack Ryder barely escaped a beat-down from the other two members of the Wyatt Family.

What Worked

RAW
= Well, if you’re going to follow through on something, you might as well do it right. Remember when Triple H basically threatened to fire Vickie Guerrero if she failed to get The Shield under control? So many months later, and not only does Triple H have them only attacking who he wants them to attack, he put them in a trap from which they could not escape. Even if they didn’t acknowledge this past, it was a cool little, “Aha!” moment for me. #UnintentionalPayoffs.
= Wow. That match between Kofi and Alberto was all kinds of incredible. The WWE is missing the boat on Kofi in keeping him as a guy that they trot out whenever they need a solid hand in the ring. The fact that they let him do a full-on quality match with the World Heavyweight Champion was a nice change of pace, truth be told. #ThatWasAwesome
= Paul Heyman and CM Punk continue to put on the best rivalry the company has. The fact that, a year later, Heyman is screwing Punk over with Ryback as his buddy instead of the other way around is incredible. You have to love how full-circle this comes. But if we really go full-circle, then The Shield will be involved in how CM Punk loses, and that’s really a step too far. Still, for now, this is great. #BestInTheWorld
= The WWE continues to remember that they have Zack Ryder and Justin Gabriel under contract. Now if only they could do the same for Yoshi Tatsu … #WWWYKI
Main Event
= This is the show to watch for mostly straight-up wrestling. It consistently delivers, even with people that you would normally choose to forget on the major broadcasts. Trust me, if you don’t have Hulu Plus, this is the place to go for some under-used talent, both in the ring and behind the announce table (well, on the weeks where The Miz is injured).
SmackDown
I know this would normally be reserved for lower on this list, but I’m feeling magnanimous, so this starts it off. JINDER MAHAL FINALLY PLAYED AN INSTRUMENT! 3MB might actually gain traction as a band now! Just watch, Drew McIntyre will play the bagpipes, Heath Slater will sing lead while handling a beat machine with a guitar strap on it, and Jinder will alternate between the flute and the sitar! Setting that aside, I used to love when the WWE did well-planned comedy bits like this between eight and fifteen years ago. This match was completely and utterly ridiculous, and I loved the people involved for their willing participation. #3MBAlbum
= The rivalry between The Miz and Randy Orton sort of feels like the mini-feud they had between Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett a while back (speaking of which, he’s been off-screen for over a month; what happened to that guy?). This is in no way, shape, or form going to evolve in to a title shot for The Miz. But it is a nice change from Orton constantly antagonizing Daniel Bryan, since we’ve already seen plenty of that. Moreover, this is the most I’ve cared about Miz since back when he was teaming with John Morrison. #AWESOME
= The way that they tried to give everybody on the show a little extra screen time was a nice change. Even Zack Ryder got the chance to have some self-respect, no-selling an attack from the Wyatt Family before the match so that he could at least look competent.

Needs Work

RAW
= The slow, plodding match between the Wyatt Family and the Prime Time Players was what most expected, but that doesn’t mean that it was good. The fans chanting that they want the big man to come in and clear house emphasized just how much they wanted the match to end. I felt the same way.
= The chances of seeing Big Show ever be more than this emasculated lackey again seem less and less as time goes by.
Main Event
= I may start leaving this out in the future, because there’s rarely something wrong with the show.
SmackDown
= The only issue I have with how they handled this Miz/Orton thing is that they had Miz miss his corner clothesline, which he’s done before, but somehow have that take him down instead of momentarily fazing him. That really took me out of the moment.
= Are they ever going to let Dolph Ziggler actually have a title belt? He consistently seems to not win a title, even though he’s consistently in the hunt for one. I get the feeling that he’ll probably win something before WrestleMania XXX, but that’s still a ways off.
= Good lord, could Bray Wyatt suck the life out of a show any more than he currently does? People were cheering for Zack Ryder again, and it was more than a handful that were doing it to be snarky. If this turns in to an actual rivalry between Zack Ryder and yet another sadistic nutjob, one can only hope he ends up getting the better of this one, but I doubt it.

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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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