Sunday, 26 April 2015

WWE Superstars TV Report 4-24-15: Tag team champs in action; Bad News Barrett v Jack Swagger

Bad News Barrett beat Jack Swagger with the Bull Hammer in 4:22

Rich Brennan returned to commentary this week as he wasn’t on the European tour – last week had seen the return of Michael Cole alongside who accompanied Bryon Saxton completely inexplicably injury-free.

Read the full article here

Sunday, 19 April 2015

WWE Superstars TV Report 4-17-15: AxelMania runs wild in London; Zack Ryder v Heath Slater

Superstars from London was very fun. Michael Cole sat in with Byron Saxton and made the show feel so much better than normal – calling moves makes such a difference.

Zack Ryder beat Heath Slater with the Rough Ryder in 4:40

Slater came out and didn’t play up to the old 3MB Union Jacks gimmick that he used to do when in the UK but has had his hair chopped brutally short and is looking fairly lean/skinny. Given his look and relative roster status, they ought to put Slater with Adam Rose. Ryder, meanwhile, looks heavy in his plight to be considered relevant and legitimate in this company. Oh and Heath Slater has a t-shirt – ho knew? I’m not sure what it said on it but I know that it wasn’t on sale at any of the live events in the UK last week or indeed at the huge merchandise store at WrestleMania this year.

Read the full article here

Sunday, 12 April 2015

WWE Superstars TV Report 4-10-15: AxelMania runs into R-Truth; Swagger v Rose

Jack Swagger beat Adam Rose with The Patriot Lock in 4:30

This week on Superstars, Tom Philips is on colour commentary duties while Byron Saxton takes Michael Cole’s place on Raw. Swagger comes out to a guard of honour from the Rose Buds only they boo him with big grins on their faces. Even though the arena is still only half full, they crowd are really into the ‘we the people’ chant.

Read the full article here

Saturday, 28 March 2015

WWE Superstars TV Report 3-27-15: The New Day vs The Ascension; Emma still dancing, still losing.

Superstars was a fairly meagre offering as a go-home show for WrestleMania this week. If anyone is in the Bay Area, I’ll be at the show Sunday and Raw on Monday. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Summer Rae (w/ Cameron) beat Emma with a schoolgirl in 4:48

We start off with some early comedy between Summer and Emma, as Rae mimics and mocks the dance – quite right too, it isn’t over. Emma gets annoyed and slaps Rae, uses a drop toe hold and smacks her head into the mat. Off a distraction by Cameron outside, Rae drop kicks and covers Emma and then applies a rear chin lock.

Read the full article here

Thursday, 26 March 2015

WWE WrestleMania 31 Predictions

Brock Lesnar (c) v Roman Reigns WWE World Heavyweight Championship

I’m more excited for this now that Lesnar has resigned. It removes the inevitability of it: the feeling of if Lesnar wasn’t losing it on Sunday, he’d have to be dropping it the following night on Raw. I still expect them to make Reigns sell for 25 minutes before coming back - but I think Lesnar wins. We can only expect him to get a giant reaction from the crowd now that he’s staying with the company.

What happens after? Rollins could cash, though I doubt it – too obvious. Reigns is reportedly feuding with Rollins going forward, so maybe he costs him his title. Rock could be involved but would he really be in favour of hijacking his relative’s moment? I think Lesnar wins, Rock comes out to stop a post-match beat down and next year’s main event is set up.

Make no mistake, though, Paul Heyman is key here. And I’ll also note that having the title off TV for all these months hasn’t really been a popular move…

Pick: Brock Lesnar

The Undertaker v Bray Wyatt

Not interested in this and that’s sad. The Undertaker match last year broke the streak but also broke his run of having the outstanding match at the last 7 or so WrestleManias. I know he got his bell rung early on in the match, but the match was such a disappointment and I wonder whether we can expect much more out of this match.

Wyatt has been booked strong to get him ready for this but has barely worked on TV of late. I hope they’ve rehearsed it to death and I really want it to be good - but other than it being the Undertaker match at WrestleMania that we thought we wouldn’t get after the streak was broken, what purpose is it really serving?

Pick: The Undertaker

Sting v Triple H

Although Sting probably should win and Triple H has quite a poor win ratio at WresltMania, I still think Triple H is going over here. Three reasons: 1) The killing of WCW still seems to actually matter in 2015. 2) It won’t matter if Sting wins a match at SummerSlam. 3) There need to be some heel wins on this show and the way it’s looking, we’re not going to get too many.

They will have run this over again and again and Triple H is such a safe pair of hands - a ring general - that they’ll have a good match I’m sure. Sting hasn’t been great in the ring for some time, however, and he’s really far too old to be doing this anymore. It kind of has a ceiling to how good it can be, going in.

Expect sledge hammers, baseball bats and Steph to play into this,

Pick: Triple H

Rusev (c) v John Cena for the WWE United States Championship

I don’t know why you need to beat Rusev at all, other than to take the title off him. Cena will be a huge babyface here (as will Lana) but this is kind of why they’ve done this – it gives Cena a good reaction, for once, in a feud that fans can really get behind him. An international crowd, however, may block that, but I don’t think Rusev is the kind of heel that fans want to cheer ironically in that hijacking fashion of someone like Lesnar, say.

Maybe they’re hoping to rebuild Cena to some extent here by taking him out of the main event, giving him an All-American feel (a la Hogan in the mask c.2004?), but they can still use him to headline house shows that will be packed with kids clambering to see their hero. It actually makes a lot of sense.

After Mania, they’re rumoured to continue the feud which I’m fine with – what’s next for Rusev is important, though. Lesnar? Wyatt?

Pick: John Cena

Wade Barratt (c) v Daniel Bryan v Luke Harper v Dolph Ziggler v R-Truth v Stardust v Dean Ambrose in a ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

This could be the match everyone remembers, because you’ve got some great talent in here along with some insane talent in here. Ziggler and Ambrose are really quite nuts when they want to be. Ambrose showed that more prior to signing with WWE but Ziggler is just stupid at times – though, entertaining as hell.

I think that all the talk of Goldust and Cody not wrestling at the show might be a swerve and Goldust may cost Cody here.

R-Truth will do some comedy scared-of-heights spots. Harper will annihilate people. Bryan should win and would get such a huge reaction if he does. But, I’ll just temper that with the fact that a lot of babyfaces would seem to be winning here and plans always change.

Pick: Daniel Bryan

Randy Orton v Seth Rollins

Seth doesn’t need to win this and Orton is trying to get his revenge. If Seth is featuring later, he looks more chicken-shit if he loses here and then weasels his way to the title after the main event. If not, you could have Seth win but then keep Orton strong by having it a win because of interference from J&J or Kane/Big Show.

This could be a really good match, but possibly won’t get the time to be much more than good.

Pick: Randy Orton

Andre the Giant Battle Royal

This is anyone’s. Sheamus might be returning the night after Mania but that information might be changed or out there to put us off the scent.

If they put Finn Balor in, I’d love to see him win.

Miz and Mizdow will probably use this as a platform to showcase the climax of their on-off-on again relationship. People would love to see Mizdow win but where they go with him after he and Miz split is beyond me – does he just change his name back and go back to being a nobody? They need to keep the momentum but I hope they give him a mic if that’s where they go – because he’s nothing special in the ring yet can really talk.

For me, Sheamus returns, destroys a ring full of nobodies and gets the win.

Pick: Sheamus

Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (c) v The Usos v The New Day v Los Matadores WWE Tag Team Championships

Too many title changes seem likely on the show, so I see that they’ll probably make this fast, entertaining and full of comedy as a warm up for the stadium as it fills up and people take their seats, but the champs retain. Los Matadores are great in that role, ditto The Usos. I wonder if they’ll look to the New Year’s New Japan show match for inspiration. Kidd and Cesaro can retain because none of the other teams are over enough to need the title. Kidd and Cesaro have something and they need to give them some more time to work at it.

Pick: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

I actually think that this will be a really good show. There’s so much negativity out there about the build up to this year’s ppv (and rightly so), but when you start to look at how much time the bigger matches should get and who is involved, you see that there’s every chance that we’ll see some good wrestling on show. And hey, it’s WrestleMania, everyone should raise their game. Well, I hope so… I’m going to be there.