Random Thoughts

I haven’t posted anything for a while, because in a few ways I haven’t really found WWE TV all that exciting recently. But, having watched Payback and this week’s Raw, there were a few sticking points that came to mind. None of them were really big enough to dedicate entire articles to, so I’ve put them all together here.

 

The Cyclical World Of Rusev

 Rusev and Lana
So I’ve been keeping an eye on the Rusev-Lana split for a while now, and to be honest I find it quite amusing. I’ve said for a long time that the Rusev character just doesn’t interest me because we’ve seen it so many times before, and what do they do? Rehash another storyline from 1998. Again it’s been done several times, but 1998 immediately springs to mind because I’ve been watching old Raws  on the WWE Network, and the exact same thing was done with Marc Mero and Sable. Rusev was mistreating Lana, and sending her to the back to get heat, just like Mero did in 98. It was scarily similar until Raw this week, where Lana appeared to align herself with Dolph Ziggler. But don’t be surprised if it ends up being a ruse, and Lana double crosses Ziggler to reunite with Rusev in a month or two.
Ryback is as popular as ever… for some reason
 Ryback
Ryback has confused me for a while now. In the time since he turned face again, he has never done anything particularly impressive, he has never been hugely heroic. But he keeps getting big pops. They tried to humanise him a while back, which to me didn’t work brilliantly and seemed quite awkward. But the fans love him. Even at shows where he doesn’t get the biggest reaction, there are always “Feed Me More” chants when he goes for the meat hook clothesline. It’s obviously a good thing for everyone involved, I’m just a bit mystified as to where his popularity has come from. Nobody really cared about him as a heel, so the turn shouldn’t have been and wasn’t a big deal. He was treated like a big deal heading into Survivor Series last year, with both Cena and The Authority clamouring for him to join their teams, but again since then he’s been an afterthought. It’s all very strange.
Ambrose v Rollins
 Ambrose Rollins
YES. These two have a habit on putting on great matches, and with good reason – they are two of the best performers in the WWE, they have good chemistry, and their backstory is extensive and personal. I love that they’re going back to these two for the WWE Championship match at Elimination Chamber. It should be a great match with a lot of time, with or without a stipulation.
NXT stars vs Cena
 Owens Cena
I believe it was my last article here that spoke about the cyclical world of wrestling, talking about how Cena debuted in an open challenge, and about how it was an easy avenue for NXT stars to make an impact. Have to say, I called it. Since I wrote that article, we have seen Sami Zayn produce a show stealing performance in Canada, and this week Kevin Owens debuted, attacking Cena and setting up a match for Elimination Chamber. The U.S. Title Open Challenge is quickly becoming my favourite segment of Raw, because I can’t wait to see who turns up next. Who’s next to appear? Finn Bàlor, Tyler Breeze, possibly Baron Corbin. The latter is far and away the most unlikely, but you never know.
The Tag division is becoming the best thing on TV
 Cesaro-Kidd
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say this, but after watching Payback the tag team division is once again right up there with the best thing on TV. There was a while (when you had The Shield, The Rhodes Brothers returning, The Usos and Rowan & Harper) where the tag division was the highlight week in week out, and it’s getting there again. The New Day have become interesting in something that may have been unlikely a few weeks ago, Cesaro & Kidd deliver every time, Sandow and Axel are providing entertainment, The Lucha Dragons are really impressive flying about the ring. And, well, Los Matadores, The Prime Time Players and The Ascension are there. There’s suddenly a depth to the division again, which is always a sign of potential strength.
The future Shield reunion is money
 Shield-Reunion
Arguably the most memorable moment from Payback was the brief Shield reunion. The fact that WWE put those three guys in a position to do it, as well as the crowd’s reaction to it, only serves to confirm reports that came about in the immediate aftermath of the breakup of The Shield. WWE wants to get the three of them together again at some point. They know that it’s money. They know it’s a natural story. And most importantly, they know that the crowd will love it. Maybe it happens soon, maybe it doesn’t. But it is clearly a case of when, not if, and it will be a moment to remember when it does happen.
Bryan injured again
 daniel_bryan_relinquishes_intercontinental_belt
It’s one of the sad stories of 2015. Daniel Bryan is once again injured, and this time we don’t know if he will ever return. He has barely been back for 6 months, and his surrender of the Intercontinental Championship came a year after he was officially stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Fans clamoured for him to win the Royal Rumble in January, and turned on Roman Reigns when Bryan was eliminated early on. Bryan then went on to win the IC belt at Wrestlemania, but it wasn’t long before he was down and out again. I love Bryan’s work, but unfortunately I have to say he kind of proves the doubters right. There were reports that people behind the scenes thought he was too injury prone, and couldn’t hold up to being the top dog. With the way things have turned out, you have to say WWE made the right decision not to put him right back at the top on his return, much as I hate to say it.
King Barrett
King Barrett
Wade Barrett AKA Bad News Barrett now has another moniker to add to his collection: King Barrett. He’s a good fit for King Of The Ring – he’s a cocky heel who can really play up being king, plus there’s the link to the actual British Monarchy. More to the point though, it’s a sign that there is still a lot of belief in Barrett. Twice before you would have said he was the favourite to win a Money In The Bank briefcase, but he got injured at the worst possible times. I have said for a while that this guy can be a world champion – as have many others – and now, even having lost the Intercontinental Championship, he definitely seems to be on a path back to the top.
Money In The Bank
money-in-the-bank
Looking ahead a bit, the next non-Network exclusive PPV is Money In The Bank. I have written a lot in previous years about how Money In The Bank is my favourite time of year, and as always I will have an article up rating each competitor’s chances in the match. I read an opinion somewhere that MITB had replaced Survivor Series as the 4th biggest PPV on the calendar, and I think that’s fair. It’s usually one of the best events of the year, and there is now far more excitement over the briefcase than Survivor Series. There will be huge expectations of the winner, as we all know how Seth Rollins turned out. Who’s my pick? Not a clue. I have a few possibilities in mind, but they are all dependent on other things that could change between now and then. If I had to guess at this stage, my very early pick would be Roman Reigns.
I’ll leave it there. One last thing though: The Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network on June 1st will be a must see/listen – because the guest is Paul Heyman. I’ve listened to Heyman on a few other podcasts before (including Austin), and the man is the best example of genius I can think of. Even if you don’t subscribe, go out of your way to find this show, it will be worth it 100%.

Thoughts Of A Pleb: Wrestlemania 31

So it’s been a while. Sorry bout that. But hopefully you can look forward to a real plethora of articles coming at you in the month of November! I have so much planned, fingers crossed I can actually get through it. My return to typing here is for something that I will make an annual feature – it is time to predict the card for Wrestlemania 31. Last year I did this column and got nowhere near the actual card, but this time round I’ve given myself about two extra months to analyse the rumours, and current storylines, and make a better call for what we will see on the night of March 29th. Just like last year, this will be a mix of likely matches, possible matches, and things that will never happen but I really want to see. So, let’s get right into it, starting things off with our WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match!

Continue reading Thoughts Of A Pleb: Wrestlemania 31

Thoughts of a Pleb: The John Cena Effect

John Cena. The most divisive WWE superstar of the last decade, possibly even longer than that, but undoubtedly the top guy in the company over that time. This article won’t be looking at whether he’s good or bad or anything like that. No, this article is about how John Cena is used in relation to others.

I’m not gonna lie, this was inspired by his match with Cesaro last night on Raw. I’ve only actually seen the last 5 minutes of it (video below), but if it really was as good as everything I’m reading says it was, and if the rest of it lived up to those last 5 minutes, then it was one hell of a match. I saw things from both guys that I’ve never seen them do before, which is always a sign that the wrestlers are pulling out all the stops to make it as good as possible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jymC3UkMuGU Continue reading Thoughts of a Pleb: The John Cena Effect

MITB 2013 predictions

Hello folks, it’s mid July which can only mean one thing……..that’s right Money In The Bank!

This time it’s me Matt that will be your author as Andrew is away on some musical escapades at T in the park. Lucky sod.

Anyway let’s get cracking as we’ve got a big card to get through.

We’ll start with the first match on the kick off. Continue reading MITB 2013 predictions

Extreme Rules 2013 Predictions

It’s time for the first PPV since Wrestlemania, Extreme Rules! In recent years Extreme Rules has actually been quite a good show, often giving us good versions of the underwhelming Mania predecessors. This is also one of the few occasions in recent years – with the exception of Wrestlemanias or Summerslams – that we appear to have a full card announced before the show starts. There is 8 matches, plus one on the pre-show. But this show is a little different here in this blog, as this is the first time predictions will actually count towards something. This is the first event that counts towards our brand new prediction league, that will feature me and the newest addition to the blog, Matt Mahoney! A full list of the rules we will be using and the updated standings are available on the also new page!

The pre-show this time round is the randomly thrown together Cody Rhodes vs The Miz, to which Matt predicts Cody will win because of his mustache, but I think Miz will win because he’s supposed to be the face, and theoretically a win for him would get the crowd going heading into the show. So now, on to the main card! Continue reading Extreme Rules 2013 Predictions

Hell In A Cell Predictions

First off, an apology. I had planned on posting an article about draft picks long before now, but unfortunately I was delayed and it got to the point where, half an hour before the show starts, I thought it might be a good idea to move on to the preview. Also a quick request to share this with any wrestling fans you know out there, by sharing us using the links at the bottom of the post, and to get involved since there’s nothing better than a bit of discussion!

So we’ve finally arrived at the show that mostly feels like The Title vs The Streak, and without further ado let’s move on to the matches! Continue reading Hell In A Cell Predictions