Thursday, 24 July 2014

WWE Battleground

WWE Battleground

Live on Pay Per View on Sunday 20th July at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, WWE presented its second Battleground PPV. With no real special interest and drawing point, would the show be able to build, create and maintain profiles of potential rising stars for the future? More importantly, would it create a strong bridge to the glistening horizon of Summerslam? Here are the results from the card below.

WWE Tag Team Championship
Two out of Three Falls
The Uso’s Vs Luke Harper and Erick Rowan

The action begins as Jey Uso takes on Erick Rowan with Rowan taking the lead. Harper entered a short while later to take a first fall within ten minutes of the action packed thriller.

The Uso’s took the second fall by Jimmy roughly four to five minutes after in another tense run through.

The rushed yet pleasing match lead to a top rope fall of Luke Harper in the quest for the final fall. Jimmy was then tagged in as we had a flying Uso.

The swiftness of the match continued as Rowan dropped a splash which missed. Uso Jey took a two fall on Rowan. The Wyatt’s dropped a double superplex lading to a Rowan 2 fall on Jimmy. After the confusion of which Uso is in the ring with viewers WWE used it on Smackdown previously (as mentioned here first) to cause debate. “Sure it’s Jimmy?” one of the announce team remarked. Tag to Luke Harper was made.  Twirl forearm miss. Superkick. Harper counters to a pin. Stopped by Uso partner. Jimmy Uso kick to face. Tag. Double chin kick. Erick Rowan soon outside. Tag in corner. Jimmy and Jey double climb to the top for a double splash to boos after being cheered throughout. The splash on Luke Harper for second of three falls allowed The Uso’s to retain the gold.

Seth Rollins Vs Dean Ambrose

The inevitable battle is set for tonight. The three month brotherhood is over. Seth begins an interview with potentially cutie pie if he grows more hair, Tom Phillips. Let’s give him a chance. The pair was soon interrupted by Dean Ambrose on an assault of Rollins. Triple H arrives and sends Ambrose out of arena. “You’re not going to screw this up.” Hunter says. The match is clearly cancelled due to Ambrose’s actions. The announce team confirm this.

Divas Championship
Paige Vs AJ (c)

The recap of both Paige and AJ’s victories over three months to create this empty feud is shown. Paige admitted “I’m not ready” from her fluke victory three months ago on the post Wrestlemania Raw title win. Advancing three months on, flunkie Paige has not had any memorability and highly incapable as one of the worst Diva’s champs in WWE’s history. She is also acknoweldefd as the youngest.

“CM Punk!” chants filled the arena as AJ enteredFans sided with Punk’s wife as default support for Punk rather than AJ herself. A knee from Paige starting was weak. AJ spins into a roll up. Counter. Break. Back spin kick by AJ. Paige gives a cheap kick for two fall. Paige then walks over to AJ looking misguided. Paige was then heard talking to AJ in ground hold. AJ rolls Paige through which was again badly sold by Paige. Paige is then pleading with AJ “AJ come on…” in frustration. The pair were then both down in a second after a blink and miss it moment as all diva matches, especially Paige matches over the last three months would have it. Paige screams and lunges at AJ taking both outside as AJ is slammed into the barricade. Both are up the top turnbuckle now. Paige bungles another high risk move dropping AJ with a corner powerbomb as AJ was still on the top rope and could have broken AJ’s neck on the dismount. This has not been the first time Paige has almost injured stars. She injured Tamina on PPV after Wretlemania. She then almost hurt two others in follow up PPV matches on the turnbuckle with severe botches.

AJ gets the knees up in the other corner on a comeback. Spin round by Paige reversed into a Black Widow by AJ. Paige wails like a banshee whilst standing still. Flips AJ over following with a neckbreaker over for a two fall on AJ as Paige becomes frustrated in her flaws to regain the title. She tries a PTO as AJ counters and kicks out. The swift Shining Wizard by AJ nails Paige to the mat as AJ covers to retain the Divas title in a three fall victory. Paige proved to remain a flunkie champion of no in-ring value and a severe liability after bungled botches in recent months. AJ was decent but not spectacular.

Randy Orton finds Kane in the boiler room shadows to discuss the details of the main event.

The kick-off panel are introduced. Joining Renee Young, the new Josh Mathews as fans call it, were Booker T, Alex Riley and Christian.

Rusev w/ Lana Vs Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter

After Lana speaks she slaps Zeb to start the match. Rusev is sent over the top rope by Jack Swagger. Now the match officially begins. Phantom turn and American hero Swagger leads. Rusev running charge. Slam. Patriot Lock. Outside Swagger jabs Rusev’s leg and locks in the submission again. The final moment in the meek match was when Jack Swagger was counted out as Rusev quickly gets back in after knocking Jack head on into the ring post to receive the victory.  

Lana wasn’t finished and set Rusev onto Swagger for further embarrassment. Here it comes.  The Rusev Crush!

Backstage comes the idiotic Cody Rhodes as Stardust. It was a pointless segment and WWE should can it. It isn’t working at all. Goldust retained some quality, though nothing hilarious to speak of. Simply put, this was laughable.

Seth Rollins Vs Dean Ambrose

Time for take two of this match. Seth Rollins arrives. He came to accept victory via forfeit. Your winner by forfeit over Dean Ambrose is Seth Rollins.

Dean Ambrose came back from nowhere and attacked Rollins ringside. He hurled Rollins over the Spanish Announce table. Ambrose charged a running jump over the table to Rollins. Triple H marches down the aisle as the golden Money in the Bank ticket briefcase lay sitting in the middle. Ambrose was being carried out by his arms and legs after the scuffle by security. His legs were open but in jeans, so no real joy for those fan lovers. Referees, security and Triple H had all gone made. The pair fought back with one another until Ambrose was finally dragged out by all arms and legs for good. Fans were unimpressed by were respectful the mini brawl would lead to another hot contet later on in WWE land.

Chris Jericho Vs Bray Wyatt

Returning ‘surprise’ from two weeks ago on Raw (of which everyone knew about by then) comes Chris Jericho. His first match back in the saddle was against Bray Wyatt. Choosing to boost his deflated ego, ignorant Jericho attempted to use the ever popular Bray Wyatt to regain his flagging profile after he continually returns for cash to leave shortly after to do his rock band thing. Occassionaly he partakes in ‘writing.’ Yeah, right…

Jerry Lawler starts speaking of Wyatt derogatorily as “He’s nuts.”

Y2J takes early control.

Soon after Michael Cole adds “Bray Wyatt  loves to talk doesn’t he?” as JBL followed with a response.
“Everyone loves to listen” JBL said.

It became a standard match with nothing interest as Jericho leads into an outside attack.
Harper Rowan out. Leg touch of Y2J.

Wyatt knocks Jericho off the apron Jericho. Y2J puts Bray into the corner post. The turnbuckle axe handle was used by Jericho. He was soon caught from behind with slams by Wyatt. Two fall followed. Enziguri by Jericho on Wyatt came after with no real effect.

Wyatt countered as both went down. The ‘Spider’ crab gave Bray his adrenaline rush of resurgence. Wyatt charged for Jericho who moved as Bray hit his head on the bottom turnbuckle.

Jericho attempts the Walls of Jericho as Bray countered it superbly. Chris Jericho then made quick work of Bray Wyatt dropping the Codebreaker on him and covering for the lacklustre three fall victory.

“Jericho may be someone Bray Wyatt has never faced.” Jerry Lawler posed.

Michael Cole added – “Resilience, guts and determination.”


Well, he got the paycheck.

Seth Rollins was careful seen leaving with two security guards at his side. He told them he was okay now. As they left Seth noticed his car was missing. Perplexed for way too long to make the segment boring, Dean Ambrose takes a while before emerging from the boot of the car to assault him again. Okay, now this is getting boring and tedious now. Less is more. WWE should have let Rollins leave instead.  

Intercontinental Championship
Battle Royal
Big E, Alberto Del Rio, Antonio Cesaro, R-Truth, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Zack Ryder, Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow, Heath Slater, Diego, Sin Cara, Xavier Woods, The Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, Bo Dallas, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Sheamus

The now vacant Intercontinental title was up for grabs at Battleground in, wait for it, a Battle Royal. Nothing to do with the names, of course. Bad News Barrett arrives for a handover of the title. Barrett was stripped due to shoulder injury. He was due to lose it anyway. The run was highly uneventful.

Barrett spoke before the battle. “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news… Initially it will be great. The reality is, delaying the inevitable” in regards to becoming the new IC champ. Great way to value the title and elevate the carrier. At least WWE set a rematch and honourable turn for Barrett. Shame though, as Barrett can’t talk for toffee.

So the battle finally starts as Khali is set upon by all. Khali magically pushed everyone away making all of them weak challengers instantly.

Xavier Woods was first out by Khali. Ryder went too. Sheamus uses the Brogue Kick on Khali all drop Khali. Ziggler holds on. Sin Cara out by Bo Dallas. Ziggler again holds on as The Miz is on the ground outside. Truth and Axel are both out early. Axel was a firm favourite on the Wrestling Wonders poll to win. WWE should have left him towards the end, at least.

Sandow was next to be dumped over the top rope to huge boo’s. Diego is next out. Ryback and Sheamus stare each other down. Both were boo’ed or met silence. Fans are telling WWE clearly. This isn’t going to wash. They view neither in the same way as a star that do WWE. This in itself is a major problem WWE need to fix. They hope someone they are remotely interested in or can get behind as a growing star will gain the crucial platform elevating title.

Ryback was soon out. Miz tries to hurl Sheamus out after coming back in. Miz began hiding outside again. Ziggler came third time lucky, holding on from elimination. Dallas ran a knee to the back of Titus tipping him over. Kofi attempted a powerbomb on Cesaro dangling underneath Cesarso’s legs, careful not to touch the bottom floor. What a wonderous place to be. Cesaro pulls them both back in to avoid elimination. Ziggler top rope drops Del Rio. Rio deserved better treatment than that. Repetitive Ziggler holds on for fourth time. Big E tries to beat over Cesaro. Cesaro dumps Big E who almost messes up and takes Antonio with him. Kofi lands on Big E shoulders on the outside and tried to pull Cesaro off. Though WWE are fascinated with the ‘stupid spot’ with Kofi’s elimination avoidance, this with Kofi and Cesaro, worked very well. Less is more.

Cesaro suplexes Kofi back in to stay in the game. Kofi was then seated on the top rope and almost tips Cesaro over with tense leg scissors. Finally Cesaro suplexes Kofi out with great action by both quickly afterwards. Heath Slater then took the upset of the night by dumping Cesaro off with such ease afterwards. Slater was then out next before he could even celebrate. It was an okay spot and by Slater, but not to someone of Cesaro’s magnitude.

Ziggler then dropkicks Dallas out. Sheamus and Ziggler square off. Both point to the Intercontinental  title as The Miz was unmentioned on the ground next to it, in front of the announce team.

Ziggles was almost flipped over again for the fifth time. Hmm… Ziggler almost drops Sheamus but one foot touched. Ziggler was then caught atop Sheamus. Amid the quick confusion, Sheamus dropkicks Ziggles out. Sheamus’ plans to unify the IC and United States titles is complete. The Miz then charges in and hurls Sheamus over the top rope to steal the win by fluke chance to become the new Intercontinental Champion.

The Miz has a movie out soon.  JBL instantly mentions them. The announcers then instantly plugged the WWE Network. That’s the value off the IC title. Forgettable.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Fatal 4 Way
Randy Orton Vs Kane Vs Roman Reigns Vs John Cena

Randy Orton takes John Cena outside as Kane and Reigns take it to each other inside. Orton returns for Reigns. Orton has comfortably slipped back into wearing his retro blue name tights tonight. Never failing to make a pair of tights look good. Cena comically runs in and stops whilst trotting along the spot to lift Orton up from behind. It did not look good. Kane and Orton start working together. “You can’t wrestle” plagues John Cena. Once again the action is all about Cena as the chants rain with indecision high in favour of “Cena Sucks!” They chant for Reigns in defiance. The five knuckle shuffle is dropped on Randy Orton. Kane sent over the top rope. The pair stare down interrupted by The Authority’s pawns. Cena/Reigns has been saved for another day.

Kane covers for a chance to win as Randy Orton is notably upset with Kane’s actions.

The crowd in attendance cheers “YES!” for the break up. Kane slaps Orton and goes for him with a suplex from the top turnbuckle. All four do a corner move as Cena and Reigns double flip Kane, who drops Orton down. It was well conducted, though failed to boost the audience fully lacking impact. Not enough was done to gauge the audience interest beforehand. Cena and Reigns were both dropped with the double middle rope DDT from Randy Orton with excellent precision. Kane stopped Orton getting a three fall. Reigns returns to fight Orton. Reigns was then flip rolled by Orton into a beautiful half crab submission. It was the freshest part of the match. Orton is really starting to change the outlook and his appearance fantastically. Small changes have the biggest impact.

Cena locks on the STF with no visible pressure as Reigns has a leg lock applied. They tried to make it look believable but the problem here is Cena. His application of the hold is laboured and lazy. No one can take it seriously and it is also affecting the man every time he uses it, not to mention his opponent.

Kane received the Attitude Adjustment next. Cena and Orton fight in-ring with Cena re-applying the the boredom STF lock. Cena rolls Orton back from ropes in another empty lock after trying to reach the rope break.  Orton  was doing his best to carry Cena to combinability. Fans failed to care.  “Boring!” rang from the crowd. Reigns stops Orton grabbing the ropes from outside and hurls him out and over the announce table as Cena stands in the ring and stares in upset, with hands on hips. The pair trade fists. The cheer/boo factor on punches is as predictable as ever on Reigns/Cena respectively. Cena fails to lock in the submission and gets a Samoan Drop instead. Reigns pounds the mat. Roman misses the Superman punch as Cena gears the five knuckle shuffle. Reigns quickly gets up and hits the punch as Cena runs the ropes. Only when they are beefy favour can they avoid it. Reigns hits the spear as Kane breaks the close count. Everyone gets punched to the outside as Reigns stands tall. Spear into the table outside knocks Orton and Reigns. Reigns goes inside to be stopped by the grip of Kane. Roman counters and uses the Spear for a quick cover. Two fall break up by Cena who covers. Reigns stops the count. Reigns tossed outside by Cena. Cena gives the Attitude Adjustment to Kane, saved by Roman Reigns. Reigns covers again quickly as Cena halts momentum.

Cena tries the AA once more to Reigns, stopped by Kane. Chokeslam delivered to Cena then Reigns. Two fall cover on Reigns. Kane tries to adopt the Tombstone Piledriver. Spear by Roman Reigns stops it. Orton saves the game with a strong RKO on Reigns. John Cena then quickly AA’s Randy Orton and covers Kane to raise the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after Randy Orton did the sealing finisher to close the PPV.

Tonight Triple H failed to implement Plan B. The diversion of Plan B in the form of Seth Rollins is enough to through certain fans off the scent. Though with the impending return of Brock Lesnar, it seems ‘Plan C’ is only just around the corner. For fans, this one is set to be a scorcher. They cannot wait to see Cena be pummelled by ‘The Beast.’ One question remains. Is WWE brave enough to drop the title from Cena? All the major foundations were laid for Summerslam. Is it enough or will fans be severely let down with expectations as they had hoped Battleground would give back to them?

PPV Rating – 3/10

Men/ Women of their matches – Jimmy Uso, AJ, Rusev, Bray Wyatt, Antonio Cesaro, Randy Orton

Man/Woman of the PPV – Randy Orton

The fallout between the two former ‘brothers’ was bungled. Neither were fantastic and helped one another in making the show work, which is commendable, however it went on far too long and ended in a foolhardy fashion. Less is more. It should have stopped at two returns of Ambrose to further enhance both in the contest for future cards. Missing a match, personally was fine, but fans were really expecting this and felt cheated. Not even another match was filled which made the PPV short and long in mediocre tedium.

Rusev For the first time tonight we saw something in Rusev. While it was minimal, it was a tad better of Swagger and an improvement, nonetheless.

As ‘frenemies’ AJ and Paige’s feud was something of a weak building block. However, with a short stack of divas WWE don’t have many options left. Splitting up Cameron and Naomi will naturally send them on paths to contention. WWE needs to get new divas, as well as call ups and one’s who can wrestle, fast. Relying on Triple H’s ego to select someone who is ‘favourable’ with the public on NXT does not mean they will be good on mainstream television. WWE need to look at already trained females and natural or progressive ability. Triple H attempted to use Paige as a mechanism for an ego boost with fans. It backfired un-categorically. If serious, WWE should look at Kana and Tsukasa Fujimoto for starters. They can get them on the Japanese circuit as they seem to be expanding their tour over there. I also hear Hailey Hatred is free and looking for mainstream US success. All are capable and could adapt to the WWE way if outlined beforehand a rough expectancy of WWE’s wrestling culture.

Randy Orton was vital to upholding the Fatal 4 Way. Chosen as The Authority’s lead figure places Orton at the centre of raising main stream talent. Tasked with creating Roman Reigns with the added support of Kane, WWE have an expert who never fails to have bad matches. The only problem is Cena is so often relied upon that no-one else can grow. Roman Reigns is WWE’s next protégé to fight Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania for the title win. Better get a move on. Reigns, as much as we like and respect him, is nowhere near ready. All matches have been in dual competition and Reigns has no actual core being. For a strong WWE push with no backstory or reasoning, Reigns is in deep trouble at falling soon.

Chris Jericho has returned to WWE. Again. Here for yet another short spell, Jericho, who has only returned for the paycheck and fan cheers, will soon leave again for another Rock Band tour. Using Bray Wyatt to receive another chance at popularism, Jericho proved to be slow and outdated. Taking a headliner in the making, Jericho defeated any chance of Wyatt gaining real stardom with fans as a concept. The ignorance of people in it for the money, such as Jericho, Cena and Steve Austin actually ruin any chance a new age star has to evolve. It is all about their own ego, not the industry. This shames the business, the grafters and the premise of the sport. Sometimes you must think for yourself about you’re your actions and their consequences. As a match this was wasteful and truly missed a spark.

The tag team match up with the Uso’s and the Wyatt members Erick Rowan and Luke Harper was a pleasant delight. The music with Harper and Rowan has changed to a more empty rock theme and is just as bad as the previous one. If WWE want to get a ‘dark’ theme for them I suggest really thinking about it. Without good music, there is no way WWE will reward them and neither will fans fully take to them. All four men were exceptional tonight given the lack of time and a specialised match which needed to boost their battling but probably would’ve been better as single, Hardcore or Anywhere Falls.

Rob Van Dam was a very late cancellation with barely any explanation on television. Van Dam suffered an injury and this clearly affected the Battle Royal. It could and did survive without Van Dam but his presence gone from it was enough to cause fans discomfort. Knowing it was stacked with ‘WWE favourites’ rather than potential candidates who can elevate a new chapter in WWE, it still sucked. The construction of the battle was far better than previous Battle Royals, but WWE didn’t do anything to help support its stars who need re-elevating. It was a perfect chance for Alberto Del Rio, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow and Antonio Cesaro to regain a place on the card as strong challengers for the future of the IC title, when sitting out from headline matches.

It was rather humourous after the Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose injury spots on the post Battleground Raw how WWE trolled the fans making them believe Dolph Ziggler had a chance of winning for the dirt sheet marks.

WWE took another backward step with its praise of fluke champions that will never materialise for the company and in turn devalue the title and its opponents. For an envisaged future on the horizon, it looks bleak. Why WWE disrespect its hard workers who really can grow the company and competition is beyond reckless. They need to create a place for all of the talent available that will grow and then figure out what to do with the lumps like Ryback, The Great Khali, Big Show and Mark Henry later. There isn’t long left to go before fans revolt again. With CM Punk truly gone, Daniel Bryan out and John Cena battling short stays with stars who are a part of the past are not enough for a current landscape. Though it kept the suspense in the main event, WWE chose not to plan their pre-Summerslam PPV enough

With Summerslam approaching, and a couple of matches laid out, WWE have nothing else on. Will it be a throw away card like Battleground? Or will it pick up the ball and run with it?

As one of the Big 4 PPV’s, WWE need to use it to make the platform recognise new stars in their respective brackets.

© Max Waltham 24th July 2014

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Santino Marella officially retires

WWE funnyman retires after third neck injury

WWE superstar Santino Marella announced his official retirement on July 6th at a house show in Ontario after suffering a third neck injury.

Marella, real name Anthony Carelli, 35, was well known for being WWE’s comedy superstar involving a glove puppet as a Cobra snake.

The Canadian superstar first joined WWE in April 2007 and swiftly won the Intercontinental title as his Italian comedy star.

Carelli has since opened a training centre in Toronto in July 2013 specialising in wrestling and mixed martial arts. He is said to be likely to be in demand from WWE for potential new call ups as well as a potential trainer to WWE. Marella is keen to remain for WWE in a non-physical role. He has also been a regular with online videos and anti-bullying campaigns on behalf of the company.

He has also teased a future General Manager role, which would clearly require Marella to be serious instead of comedic to interest the audience.

© Max Waltham 12th July 2014

Monday, 7 July 2014

Who should win the Intercontinental title?

Who would benefit from the IC title 
victory at WWE Battleground?

After Monday’s revelation the vacant Intercontinental Championship will be defended in a 20 Man over the top rope Battle Royal, at the coming Pay Per View Battleground, who would benefit most from the prestigious title gain? Below, Max Waltham looks at who may be capable enough and whose career is in swift need of a reboot.

The IC title is one that can raise a star back onto the WWE platform and give them back their drive and fan faith to the business in light of company favourites clogging up the heavyweight titles. Many are deserving of the title capture and can have multiple options if the winner is someone who can bind all the competitors together for months than one win momentum.

The candidates for the win would be, in no particular order, Rob Van Dam, Antonio Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston, Damien Sandow and Dean Ambrose.

WWE are likely to favour Alberto Del Rio, Van Dam or Cesaro. Whilst we have championed Del Rio for regaining his stride from WWE with a needed lift to be granted none of them should win. Why not? It makes further sense to give the title to someone that will bind competitors together over months of television and gather much needed fan adoration. This can also rebuild their star which for all of the above is dipping. By working together all of those mentioned can become better for themselves and drive entertainment to WWE fans.

The initial thought of Curtis Axel gaining the gold is good, however, we go against this. Fickle or wise? It is simple. Curtis Axel needs to win the title as a challenger to the champion. Therefore someone like Rob Van Dam as a victor will re-invigorate the audience, the performer and the competitor. Opening a new feud between Van Dam and Axel would be a newer way forward of interest. Floating around the scene would be Del Rio and Cesaro, also involved with matches as challengers with Axel to widen the IC scene and boost their repertoires. This will re-create Axel, give him the much needed split from Ryback and be a strong singles player once more. Four way matches or six mans can even commence. It is doubtful Kofi will gain the title after causing an eye injury to Cesaro on Raw last week, but can provide participation for the scenery. With Ambrose also hovering around, the WWE has a mid-level scene fans could respect, as well as its players, which will eventually lead some back to the path of the heavyweight gold as a valid contender in the future. Van Dam as a victor would, again, re-boost the star and the WWE landscape. Since previous doubt, Van Dam has taken constructive criticism and turned into a reborn star who can elevate much needed scenarios for the company.

If WWE get it right, they will have a chance to regain their superstars who have peaked and prove to fans the mid-level title is meaningful. The WWE itself will prove it can cater to fan needs, especially in a time of programming crisis.

© Max Waltham 07th July 2014

Thursday, 3 July 2014

WWE Diva arrested for theft

Clumsy dancing diva fired for 
swiping tablet case holder  

WWE dancing diva Emma was arrested for theft hours prior to Monday’s Raw show in Hartford, Connecticut. Emma, real name Tenille Dashwood, 25, was accused of swiping an iPad mini case costing up to $250 or less, which placed her under suspicion of sixth-degree larceny.

After being rushed into a community court on early Tuesday, she has been charged with community service and will see her charge dismissed once served. Emma was allegedly using a self-checkout machine at Wal-mart, purchasing roughly $30 of items but merely forgot to beep the fruit case.  The case cost $21.14.

She could have faced three months imprisonment and a $500 fine for her blunderous arm movements.

Emma was a recent call up to the main WWE roster to dance with weird arm movements with resident goofball Santino Marella and his Cobra puppet. She quickly proved slightly popular with fans over her addition to the divas division.

WWE took action and firmly released Emma to avoid a publicity storm. WWE then issued statement after re-hiring her following the court proceedings.

“Upon further evaluation, WWE has reinstated Tenille Dashwood (WWE Diva Emma) but will take appropriate punitive action for her violation of the law.” –

Many fans find it confusing in contrast with how WWE allowed Jack Swagger to maintain his job last year after being busted with illegal substances and was soon thrust into the main event for the heavyweight title at WWE’s biggest PPV, Wrestlemania.

© Max Waltham 03rd July 2014

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

WWE Money in the Bank 2014

WWE Money in the Bank 2014

Live from the TD Garden in Boston on Pay Per View on Sunday 29th June, would WWE deliver a new hope for fans? Would it crown a new champion and/or a rising star fans can rally behind? Or will it conform to old habits and provide awe intriguing experience for hard-up fans parting with their cash for such entertainment? Let’s find out…

WWE Tag Team Championship
Erick Rowan and Luke Harper Vs The Uso’s (c)

After their uneventful organ entrance music, the Wyatt Family members began a fierce entry to the match up. A power clothesline from Harper took off an Uso from the ring apron making Jey Uso unavailable to tag. Eventually both teams tagged their respective others. Jimmy Uso lands the Samoan Drop on both well. Following with a high risk corkscrew aerial manoeuvre led to an Uso two fall only.

Jimmy followed with a great superkick to the face of Harper. Jey ran in with a jumping kick. Harper was then rolled up by Jimmy. Harper retaliated with a close powerbomb scoring a two fall. Harper flew outside with another impressive move for his size. Jimmy then followed out to Rowan. Harper flies at Jimmy. Cena’s daddy was then spotted at ringside.

A two fall after the double powerbomb attack came, broken up by Uso number two. JBL adds “He’s about to be WWE tag team champion” as Rowan climbs the top. He was then dropped down onto the ropes. Tag made in Uso corner. Both go for Rowan on turnbuckle. Double superplex by The Uso’s. Tag made again as Uso jumps and other Uso follows with another splash to cover for the three fall to retain the WWE Tag titles in a powerfully charged opener.

WWE Divas Championship
Paige (c) Vs Naomi w/ Cameron

Fluke champion Paige came to defend the title in yet another random thrown together chance opportunity. The action went to the outside instantly headlocking already. After the diversion to avoid her weak aptitude Paige was back in the ring with Naomi as both did double dropkicks simultaneously. Paige was then flung off the apron to the outside by the hair. 

Naomi followed with a mesmeric high fly body over the ropes. Cross body by Naomi in-ring continued very well. Paige then spins over to a pin attempt. Break up continued by empty roll up counters. Naomi slips Paige into submission. Loud screams unconvincingly from Paige were tiresome. Even Cameron wasn’t thrilled. Paige forces the break for reverse horribly clumsy with footing release into a pin by Naomi. Going to the top was stopped by Paige. Suplex attempt by Paige was botched as she dropped Naomi and herself to the outside. 

After already injuring Tamina two months ago on PPV, Paige’s inaccuracy with inadequacy is a huge concern for WWE. Paige kicks Naomi to the face on the ground of the in-ring mat. She then lifts Naomi’s leg up as a guitar string, which could have been good. Loud screams with no pressure made it look entirely awful and careless. Fly through clothesline by Naomi with stong offence took Paige down. Naomi Moonsault missed by cheap leg up by Paige. The defending diva tries to lock in the submission converted into a roll up by Naomi’s athleticism. Naomi gets the work done into hold as Paige then gets a cheap DDT drop in hold. Flunkie Paige retains the title after a tepid finisher to maintain a purely uneventful freebie title run, further disgracing the diva’s division today.

Can you remember any of her matches?

Adam Rose Vs Damien Sandow

Travelling looney tune Adam Rose arrived to have a match with Damien Sandow. Sandow came dressed looking like Captain Blackbeard. WWE claimed he was a “Paul Revere” lookalike. Sandow was flipped outside. “Taunted by a burger” JBL added. It was a hot dog actually. That’s the Rosebuds for you. Lunacy at every turn. Damien Sandow held strong offence in the mockery battle. Sandow was then caught by Rose who was butt juggling from the top rope in hold from a running into hold Sandow. Sandow quickly dominated Rose again. Rose made a typical comedy comeback from nothing. Sandow was heavily cheered. A tense Full Nelson back slam should have ended the battle but gained a two fall. Boos were loud at an Adam Rose kickout. Damien Sandow misses a cracking Moonsault launch as goofy Adam Rose drops a knee slam into the ground for a non-eventful three fall. A quiet arena was watching as Rose looks lost while the Rosebuds walk back down the ramp to celebrate an empty toilet break.  

Money in the Bank, Contract
8 Man, Ladder
Rob Van Dam Vs Seth Rollins Vs Dean Ambrose Vs Kofi Kingston Vs Dolph Ziggler Vs Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter Vs Bad News Barrett

“Im afraid I’ve got some Baaaad Newwwwws!” Prior to the match on Smackdown, Bad News Barrett broke his shoulder with an injury, out for months. This will certainly excuse him to have another return run. As previously stated, Barrett is fodder at best. It was an uneventful title run as it stood, anyway. The title has now been vacated on the post MITB Raw and will be on the line in a Battleground 20 Man over the top rope Battle Royal.

Ambrose goes for Rollins as the pair start outside by the announcers. Kofi runs up and over Swagger’s ladder to hit RVD. The Kofi drop on the ladder to Swagger was followed next. Ambrose trips over outside Kofi Kingston. Ambrose now climbs as Seth Rollins rushes in. Pair pull one another off the ladder as Ambrose smacks him into the steel. Double arm suplex into stacked corner ladder by Ambrose was strong by both. Jack Swagger comes in. Dolph Ziggler, RVD and Kofi are back in. Ambrose empties as Swagger is out. Ziggler and Kofi now climb up the ladder. Rollins smacks the ladder through the stacked one, through the ‘A’ opening of ladder at Kofi. Be careful not to go under it, your career will go with it. Ask Jack Swagger.

RVD stops Rollins. Rollins on the bottom rope ladder laying horizontal gets a great RVD rolling thunder splash. Ambrose came in to be sent over as “you still got it to” was yelled to RVD by the crowd. Five Star Frog Splash on Swagger followed. RVD climbs. Kofi is up as the pair have a punch off as RVD falls. Swagger back in. Ladder smashed into Swagger as Kofi gives a great back leg kick to RVD. Jack hits into the back of Kingston with a ladder and tries to superplex RVD from top rope, failing with a headbutt knocking him down. RVD atop the ladder from corner taunts his thumbs as Rollins climbs behind to fight. RVD tries to hit Rollins down as Swagger miraculously climbs back up and Rollins powerbomb drops RVD with Jack Swagger in a three man move. Ambrose returns to Rollins for the almighty superplex as Ambrose bounced extraordinarily and looked like he bumped his head badly. It was convincing and exceptional from both.  Ambrose could have suffered a legit injury.

Swagger flips Ziggler into the ladder held by Ambrose. Kofi returns to be hurled. Drops ladder onto Kingston. Swagger belly drop. A scramble by Rollins and Ambrose in quick pacing. Ambrose beats Rollins off. Ambrose is then caught by Swagger with a bad slam countered into a DDT by Amrbose. Ambrose nudges Rollins, who returned to the ladder climb behind with one arm to save match keeping up the pain of his hand. Hurt from the hard collision from Sawgger, Ambrose soon faked injury. The officials ruled he be sent to the back for medical attention and he left.

Seth Rollins continues climbing. RVD arrives. Kofi sets ladder between ropes and ladder rung in middle to join behind RVD. RVD falls. Kofi tips Rollins as Rollins now falls onto the ladder and bounces as the ladder falls beneath him. Luckily he was unhurt. Kofi almost unhooks the case as Dolph Ziggler stops him.  

Ziggler climbs as Swagger catches him into the ankle lock. Ziggs kicks Swagger off and is hand stretches away from the golden briefcase. Ziggles gets a hand on it. It was the closest he could be affored as everyone getting their turn. Rollins returns with a chair and whacks Ziggler’s leg. Ambrose makes a stunning recovery just as the crowd cheered “We want Ambrose” in predictable fashion. This wasn’t down to fans, this was already in the mix beforehand.

Ambrose climbs. Kane’s pyro goes off as Ambrose is atop the ladder. Kane pulls off Ambrose and chokeslams his chances of winning. Demonic Kane gives the Tombstone piledriver for good measure. Seth Rollins climbs with one arm as Kane steadies the ladder. Rollins unhooks the case and becomes the Money in the Bank victor for 2014.

Ego maniac Triple H came out to clap and congratulate Rollins along with Stephanie. Once again Triple H makes it about himself. How to ruin a new age prospect? Have an ego maniac latching onto fan favourites for appeal to call up and fail miserably. Rollins is his last hope at attaining credibility and Triple H could become the failure of Rollins if he gets too involved.

Tag Team
Ryback and Curtis Axel Vs Cody Rhodes and Goldust

In a leotard and beanie hat once more made Axel, who is growing once again look slightly stupid as a performer despite his efforts to work well.  Further to lunacy, Cody Rhodes came out as ‘Stardust’ where he dresses exactly like Goldust. Rhodes looks like a complete embarrassment.

Ryback in. Rhodes showing off. No moves made, just moving around flamboyantly. Goldust tagged in. Axel from outside helps. Tagged in with aggressive action. Tag to Ryback. Tag back after boring run around. Axel takes near fall. Good ground work. Tag back. Quiet crowds heard from the top seats stirring a “Goldberg” chant. Ryback patters his chest like a cheap King Kong.

‘Stardust’ getting a few quick, cheap moves on tag in, as predicted. Axel sent over the top rope by Goldust pulling outside. Counters a slam from Ryback into a Cross Rhodes to get a two fall, broke by Axel. Cody moves out the way as Axel hits into Ryback and Cody Rhodes gets a roll up to secure a limp three fall win.

Axel attacks after the match. The lights magically turn a putrid yellow as Goldust comes in and Rhodes does another goof off moment.

What a complete waste of time as an act. Already running on empty it’s a safe bet Stephanie probably wishes she kept ‘em future endeavoured since last year.   

Summer Rae and Layla’s war of words is now shown. Rae said he liked “long legs” as Layla claimed Fandango wanted to be “abreast” of a woman. Fandango needs to go gay. Ditch ‘em both. More hassle than it’s worth, hunny. Next up? A different match.

Rusev w/ Lana Vs Big E.

“Shut Up!” Lana tells the American fans. After the patriotism is over, Big E. arrives. Big E. takes the early lead knocking Rusev with shoulder barge to the outside. Run into knee from Rusev upon re-entry. Rusev suplex. Belly to Belly return by Bigster. Roll into pin after Rusev caught by run into sweep slam. The pin was not clean.

Rusev was easily seen waiting to kick out before the count. Big E. charged out the ring at Rusev as both fell into the mat. Big E. landed his head into the ground again. These are serious problems WWE must address. Rusev smacks a huge kick followed with upper kick to floor Big E. Rusev screams as Lana yells “crush!” as Big E. is forced into submission. It wasn’t the most flattering pose for Big E’s eye movements in hold. Big E. had no alternative but to tap out to Rusev.

Special Referee
Summer Rae Vs Layla
Special Referee – Fandango

Layla threw kitty litter over Rae on Main Event. Summer Rae dressed as a chicken come gobbledy gooker in a costume as one of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds for a Raw attack. Fandango was later kissed by Summer Rae. They broke up on Twitter and had an argument. Okay, everything clear?

Layla smacked a big kick with a smile and took the win in an easy match. This was the only interesting action after a few minutes in a pointless battle. Layla shared a sexy kiss for her beau Fandango. Layla followed with a twirl back kick in the face to Summer Rae, which was good, visibly upset in the ring. “Oh poor Summer” Michael Cole said.

Why Rae was fighting for Fandango months after they split was plain ridiculous. Hey, Fandango IS that irresistible, by WWE standards.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
8 Man, Ladder
Sheamus Vs Bray Wyatt Vs John Cena Vs Randy Orton Vs Alberto Del Rio Vs Kane Vs Antonio Cesaro w/ Paul Heyman Vs Roman Reigns

Once again Triple H and Stephanie arrive and make it all about HHH’s ego. When will he ever step aside and let a star grow? Both sat ringside.

Huge boo’s rang for John Cena in hometown Boston. Will WWE ever learn from it?

Will WWE split the titles? Will they hold it up for SummerSlam?

Kane and Orton start taking early control. Cesaro and Del Rio ladder run into Kane outside and batter ram Orton. Wyatt sneaks in and charges them both down. Cena animatedly yells as lifting Wyatt, who reverses Cena onto the ladder. Sheamus and Reigns have a try to climb. Sheamus and Reins both with ladders sandwich Kane. Cole informs which ever title is grabbed both fall together to dispel the title split two winners rumour.

Kane drops down Cesaro, reigns and Sheamus. Kane helps Orton up to titles. Reigns knocks them over. Reigns climbing as The Authority worriedly look on. Wyatt breaks it up. Cena returns for the Attitude Adjustment. Antonio Cesaro charges in with an uppercut and charges to the titles with one hand on them. Sheamus runs up there with him as Bray crawls around below in the crab. Gaining a new momentum, Bray knocks the ladder away as Cesaro and Sheamus punch one another dangling on the titles without a ladder. Cesaro was the dangling delight, soon knocked down.

We also see a nasty collision of Orton being hit by stray ladder on the head, form earlier on, who continued on in the match. Reigns threw the ladder into his head rather carelessly in the heavy rush. Sheamus stacks the ladder between the ring and announcer table, soon smacked into the ladder, which falls. Resting, Sheamus climbs atop but Orton tips him down. Orton drops a smooth DDT from the ladder to cheers.

Everyone in on all sides of the ladder. A Brogue Kick to Cena a little later when all is settling from Sheamus, stopped by Kane, who hits into the steps outside. Cesaro on the outside with a long ladder places between top corner and ladder rung as Sheamus climbs. Both trade blows again. Reigns tries to stop Sheamus as Rio shoves a ladder through to stop only for Cena to stop Rio’s attempt. Reigns returns to tip the ladders now on one leg slanted like a triangular pyramid. Hmm, I wonder. Cesaro and Sheamus fight for the title. Lovely boy Cena tips the ladder, with all his faked might like lifting an Atlas stone, back upright from the tilt. All are back in. Cena slammed off by Wyatt. Sheamus had strong hands on the titles as Kane and Orton stop him. He may have almost botched it and won by accident.

Roman Reigns spears Kane to be knocked under the ladder. Could he be joining the Swagger path? Orton knocked by Superman punch when trying an RKO. Sheamus and Del Rio were stopped by Roman. Wyatt stopped. Spear to Antonio outside. Cena creeps back in as the pair stare down. Both trade blows to test Reigns’ likeability. Reigns sets the ladder as The Authority yell for Kane. Orton stops Reigns. Backbreaker from the ladder to Reigns as Orton re-climbs. Wyatt plants Sister Abigail on Randy instead. Wyatt climbs stopped by Del Rio. A rapid enzighuri and smashing superkick put Rio in the lead. Rio got his hands on the gold as Sheamus tips the ladder and Brogue Kick’s Rio.

Now its Sheamus’ turn. Cesaro gets back in and pulls Sheamus’ leg off and uppercuts perfectly, with a strong Neutraliser to follow. Orton drops the RKO on Antonio now. “Randy Orton is going to win it here tonight” Cole speaks. Roman Reigns joins instantly. Orton;s butt cleavage was wonderfully seen as Reigns grabbed his pants beautifully. Wasn’t long enough to see though. Reigns headbutts Orton off as Kane then Chokeslams Reigns. Kane holds the ladder as Orton scales. Cena Attitude Adjusts Kane. Does the same to Orton slamming on top of Kane. Cena rapidly climbs. John Cena easily unhooks the titles without any struggle to become a fifteen time WWE World Heavyweight Champion and closes the PPV on a sour note for fans.

PPV Rating – 7/10

Men/Women of their matches – Jimmy Uso, Naomi, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Curtis Axel, Big E., Layla, Antonio Cesaro

Man/Woman of the PPV – John Cena

After a necessary title vacancy from unfortunate Daniel Bryan, WWE, as we added, could have put the title on Cena to make money until the SummerSlam clash. Hopefully WWE will drop Cena to Brock Lesnar. A two month reign for marketing can be accepted if WWE focus elsewhere for years after. Most knew the outcome but were hopeful a Cesaro clash might arrive. If Lesnar doesn’t win at SummerSlam then it should have put the title on Cesaro or Del Rio to re-establish them as the key WWE players that they are.

Layla and Summer Rae was a colossal waste of time. Neither showed any skills or real future for WWE.

Curtis Axel need to keep the bandana off and the leotard to copy Ryback was not very fulfilling. Axel is the stronger of the two and WWE need to re-elevate Axel, who is slightly on the rise again and a future WWE long-haul. He needs a tender approach donated from up above.

WWE could not let Rollins win clean even if he is a dirty scoundrel. When Van Dam tries and is pushed, he delivers. Both were exceptional in their re-found chemistry together. Dean Ambrose also shone as the star player. Knowing he wouldn’t win, he excelled himself, not just because of the bounce drop.  The rest were jobbers and made the match very empty as a result. Kofi, without all the jumping tomfoolery, proved to be very capable in the match.

The Damien Sandow mocking continues. The funniness of this, however, is that Sandow trumps all he battles with and makes them look the fool, despite a loss. Sandow proved how over he is in skill, ability, and even likeable and respected when trying not to be. Adam Rose needs a rework.

Naomi held the entire match together and was almost injured by a calamitous move by an inexperienced novice. Paige was called up too early by Triple H to latch onto fan popularity. He has none, and the divas have lost Tamina due to haphazard inexperience.  Paige will have lost the title by the time you read this on the following Monday night Raw, to a returning AJ, reclaiming the divas title to a rapturous celebration.  All in all, when you cannot back it up and get flunkie wins from jobbers, your career is not going anywhere. Lack of respect and ignorance doesn’t help, either.  If people think how to repent, they might just figure out how to return their careers. Though many fail to realise and are vividly ungracious and ignorant instead, especially the British Wrestling scene at this time. It is something that shames and fails to move the UK business influence on worldwide for its failures to connect on a respective level. The notion it ‘works together’ is poppycock that shames them all. It affects the in-ring actions of all. You can’t do that forever without a downturn.

Rusev was the traditional level of empty block, but the angle works in the sense that he has a place on the card. However it is limited and he needs to use this as a training period, to get some in-ring understanding and better his skills. Or else he won’t be a bigger star WWE had hoped for. So far he is carried by the ravishing Lana and others, in this case Big E who kept it fair despite a few stumbles.

Tag The Uso’s put in a strong fight but are seen as not having done much as a team since Triple H once again got bored of tag wrestling since his best friends weren’t involved any longer. Harper and Rowan have proved very capable and surprisingly fresh for the scene. It was too early for them to get the gold though and may see a future series instead.

For WWE SummerSlam is fast approaching. Figuring out how to make it a red hot affair and keep interest in the WWE is crucial. It needs to create newer opportunities and show fans there is a real opportunity for change, backed up with such forthright decisions. These may restore WWE fans to maintain faith in the disastrous WWE Network.

WWE should ditch the Network asap and not get in too deep. Pulling out early will not make WWE look as weak as it thinks. McMahon dislikes being seen as any level of failure and the longer they hold onto the Network, it will destroy all WWE hopes to achieve. It really isn’t needed either and the content isn’t special. It’s only PPV’s and a couple of extras with pre-shows. Forget Netflix or YouTube and be original. Something McMahon always used to have WWE fans respect for. Throwing away fortunes on loose concepts benefits no-one.

With multiple streaming issues online and with gaming consoles, fans have already began cancelling.

As for the show, MITB once again delivered for WWE in the right places, but required more credible card placing. Fans hope Battleground is not simply a replay.

© Max Waltham 01st July 2014