WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Review

On Sunday night WWE held their Elimination Chamber PPV in Las Vegas. Let’s break it down and take an in-depth look at how the night went.

(Note: At the time of writing this I haven’t see this week’s episode of Raw. No spoilers for me in the comment section, please).

1) Alexa Bliss def. Sasha Banks, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Bayley & Mickie James in the Elimination Chamber match to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. This was the first time that women competed in the Elimination Chamber as we’ve been reminded an average of 50 times per show leading up to the PPV. Just like the first Women’s Money in the Bank, Women’s Royal Rumble and Women’s Hell in a Cell Matches, it was average at best.

There were more awkward spots in the match than there were cool spots. People might argue “it’s the first time they’ve been in a match like this” to which I say that excuse doesn’t cut it. The first kind of any match should always stand out. All people involved should be practising and putting on a hell of a match for everyone.

My main issue was there was no sense of danger. Yes, there were a few high spots but that’s as far as it went. Mickie wins MVP. She was on fire. This was the first time I’ve seen her look really good in the ring since she’s been back in WWE. Sasha turning on Bayley was predictable, but hopefully this leads to a Sasha heel run because that’s where she’ll excel the best. Alexa winning the match was good and her promo afterwards was good as well.

alexa
Now Alexa’s no longer scared about losing her title, she can now go back to pointing at the WrestleMania sign.

2) The Bar def. Titus World Wide to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship. Average match here just to cool off the crowd. Wasn’t much to this at all.

3) Asuka def. Nia Jax. During this match my friends and I were discussing Asuka and Nia’s first match from NXT that Nia seems to keep forgetting. This match played out almost identical to their first match with some extra bits added in… And it was really good. It was hard hitting and physical. We knew Nia wasn’t going to win but it was a good fight none-the-less. Nia’s post-match destruction of Asuka and the ringside barrier was sweet.

4) Matt Hardy def. Bray Wyatt. Another match the crowd wasn’t interested in considering the alleged popularity of Matt Hardy. There were beach balls, Mexican waves, and a loud “Rusev Day” chant. This was just another average match. I’d like for the feud to end, but I got a feeling this isn’t over.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

ronda
It’s hard to disagree, Victoria does deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Ronda Rousey signed her WWE contract. This started off very bad but got better towards the end. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle was out alongside Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and her husband, WWE COO Triple H. Hats off to all three for working together to make sure Ronda got cheered, because she struggled to get over with the crowd.

Ronda came out to a lukewarm reception. Her nervousness was obvious from the look on her face to her poor microphone skills. It was like she treated the segment as if she just finished a UFC match. She spoke too quick, rambled on a bit and didn’t make much sense. There were cheers for her as she started to get choked up and teary.

Things turned around for Ronda when Angle mentioned Triple H and Stephanie were talking trash her, outlining they’re looking forward to getting their revenge on Ronda at WrestleMania 31. This made Ronda mad who ended up putting Triple H through a table. Stephanie slapped Ronda and it was at this point the crowd finally rallied behind Ronda. No doubt will lead to Angle & Ronda vs Triple H and Stephanie at WrestleMania.

Despite the cringe-fest that this was, it’s not Ronda’s fault. Blame WWE management for thinking they could take former UFC star, who hasn’t done anything major for a few years, and throw her into the spotlight. They shouldn’t assume Ronda will adapt straight away to the wrestling world without any prior wrestling experience. Being an MMA fighter doesn’t automatically qualify someone as a professional wrestler. As my housemate and I were discussing, Ronda will want to prove she belongs in the WWE and will work her ass off to prove it. Good luck to her.

braun
Yes, that is a two metre giant standing on a 10 foot cage, not King Kong.

5) Roman Reigns def. Braun Strowman, John Cena, The Miz, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and Elias in the Elimination Chamber match to challenge Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania for the WWE Universal Championship. Wow… That was a big sentence! The only thing bigger was the volume of tears shed from the internet wrestling community crying about Roman’s win.

This was match solid from start to finish. Everyone played their parts well in this match. Remember how I said there was no evident danger the Women’s Elimination Chamber match? There definitely was danger in the Men’s match – and its name was Braun Strowman. Everyone brought something to the match to help carry it – from Balor & Seth’s athleticism to Cena’s sluggishness.

The match itself will help everyone involved leading up to WrestleMania. As mentioned above, Balor and Seth showed they can carry big matches. I’ll be interested to see what they do at WrestleMania. Elias is proving he’s getting better in the ring and his microphone work is great. The Miz didn’t lose anything from being in the match nor did he gain anything. He’s the Miz and he’s… Awesome. Cena losing will also advance his current storyline of “I need to be in WrestleMania”. How is he going to get onto the grandest stage of them all? I’m not sure, but I really hope it doesn’t involve the Undertaker.

Braun pinning five of the competitors, taking everyone’s finishers at various moments throughout the match, then taking multiple Superman punches and spears from Reigns at the end of the match justified his loss. He still came off strong despite not winning the match Roman barely won. I don’t mind Roman winning (put your pitchforks and torches down) because he and Brock will have a decent match at WrestleMania. Will Roman defeat Brock? I hope he does so we can actually have the show’s main champion appear weekly instead of quarterly.

In all, Elimination Chamber was a decent show though no matches on the card could be labelled as a “Match of the Year” candidate. The Men’s Elimination Chamber was my favourite for the night, followed by Asuka vs. Nia. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the show.

See you all in a few weeks for my next WWE PPV review – Fastlane!

Weekly Rassling Rundown 19 – 21 Feb

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Rassling Rundown. I’ve decided to stick to last week’s formula permanently as it’s much quicker for me to write and easier for everyone to digest. That being said, let’s dive into this week’s WWE Raw, SmackDown, and NXT shows!

Raw Logo
Welcome everyone, to Monday Night RAW!
  • When I found out all seven competitors in the Elimination Chamber match would be going against one another in a gauntlet match, I was worried we’d see six very quick matches. Instead, we were treated to a solid two-hour wrestling block! Solid from start to finish.
  • The gauntlet match would’ve been just a bit better if something were on the line for the winner of the gauntlet like, oh I don’t know, winning the chance to come out last at Elimination Chamber?
  • Judging by Seth Rollins’ new “Monday Night Rollins” t-shirt, I’m guessing he’ll be staying put on Raw after this year’s roster shake up.
  • Judging the “Burn It Down” chant, I’m guessing the people of Phoenix are big fans of arson. Maybe Rollins should change his nickname from “The Architect” to “The Arsonist”.
  • Good to see WWE finally named Rollins’ knee finisher, although a bit too late now he’s using the Curb Stomp again. Instead of calling it “Revolution Knee”, WWE should’ve named it “V-Maker” or “Rain-Trigger” just to annoyed NJPW fans.
  • If there’s one thing I’ve learn from watching NJPW it’s that if you wrestle with your t-shirt on, you’re not taking the match seriously. I’m looking at you, John Cena.
  • Cena’s gotten more sluggish in his matches. The belly-to-back suplexes he delivered were worse than Bayley’s.
  • Michael Cole makes mention of Triple H being “the only man” to wrestle for over an hour on Raw. This would mean he’d have to be wrestling against someone else, which means there would be two people who have that honour. I wonder who *cough Chris Benoit cough* that might be?
  • Rollins picking up the win against Cena was both shocking and awesome. Props to Rollins for going over an hour and wrestling three different people.
  • In a backstage interview, Cena says Rollins only has to focus on his wrestling career, but Cena has lots of other things he has to deal with. Yes, Cena implied he lost because he’s a very busy person. Maybe Cena should just quit wrestling and go work on his failing movie career.
  • Good to see Elias is improving in the ring, especially with the push he’s received lately.
  • If I were The Miz, I’d just get myself disqualified so I wouldn’t have to face Braun Strowman. This is something Miz realises after beating Balor.
  • Michael Cole laughs about the time Strowman hurled him into a group of security guards. He wasn’t laughing when Brock Lesnar destroyed him a few years ago.
  • Coles mentioned repeatedly throughout the gauntlet match that the winner of Elimination Chamber will be going on to main event WrestleMania. I’m guessing Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles will be opening the PPV.
  • JEFF JARRETT IS GETTING INDUCTED INTO THE WWE HALL OF FAME?! Seriously, when they played the video package both my housemate and I almost died in shock.
  • Asuka shouldn’t be allowed to speak on the microphone for that long. Her English isn’t that good. Triple H knew this in NXT so her time on the microphone was very minimum.
  • Nia Jax still thinks she’s going to beat Asuka.
  • The Bar face off against Titus Worldwide (again) and get up losing to them in an upset (again).
  • “Titus and Apollo gel well together,” said Corey Graves. The commentator spoke too soon, as Titus and Apollo would proceed to botch a basic double Irish whip into the ropes. “Well, starting to gel at the very least.”
  • Please let this Bray Wyatt/Matt Hardy feud end at Elimination Chamber.
  • The Women’s 6-Man Tag was a mess of a match. If this is how the six women work together, their match at Elimination Chamber is going to be a disaster.

 

Smackdown Logo
Welcome to SmackDown – The Land of Opportunity!
  • WWE Champion AJ Styles gives Renee Young a tour of the ring and the surrounding area as if he were trying to sell her a house. He has a promising career in real estate once his wrestling career is over.
  • AJ jokes about Kevin Owens looking great after having his boil (Sami Zayn) removed from his back. In truth, Owens does look good. He appears to be losing weight and is getting in better shape.
  • Thanks Shane McMahon for reminding us we’re in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • The crowd is finally over Shane. Time for Shane to disappear for another five years again so he can come back to a “Holy Sh*t” chant like he did last time.
  • This stupid, pointless, SmackDown Top 10 List is still being talked about! The only list that should ever receive this must airtime is Chris Jericho’s.
  • Jinder Mahal comes out saying he has big dirt on WWE US Champion Bobby Roode. The big dirt? Jinder reveals “Bobby’s Top 10 list” where Roode allegedly ranked himself as number one as well as removing Randy Orton from the list. Yes, this is an actual promo.
  • WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS DUMB LIST?!
  • No RKO Outta Nowhere after Jinder’s dragged out segment.
  • Shane books Roode vs Orton for the US Title at Fastlane, because Orton accepted Roode’s challenge last week but Jinder prevented the match from happening. Daniel Bryan disagrees. For once, Shane’s judgement makes a bit of sense.
  • SmackDown’s 6-Women Tag Team match was much better than Raw’s 6-Women Tag Team match.
  • WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair will be defending her title against Ruby at Fastlane. I saw this coming and I’m totally cool with it. We should get a really good match out of the two.
  • Sami Zayn is totally setting Kevin Owens for a screw job. I can’t wait for it.
  • New Day gets yet another shot at the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Joy…
  • Seriously, will the Bludgeon Brothers destroying tag teams ever get old? No, it never will.
  • “You can’t beat me!” said Baron Corbin to AJ Styles. AJ promptly beats Corbin in a moment that my housemate described as “a scene from the Power Rangers”.
  • The lack of Shinsuke Nakamura (again) disturbs me.
  • The lack of Rusev Day (AGAIN) disturbs me more.

 

NXT Logo
Meanwhile, at NXT…
  • I keep forgetting No Way Jose is still in NXT.
  • Stop teasing Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Bate and give us the damn match already!
  • Good to see the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is back.
  • Johnny Gargano and Andrade “Cien” Almas put on yet another good match. The ending was surprising as I thought Johnny would’ve won via DQ.
  • It sucks to see Johnny leave NXT. No doubt he’ll be 205 Live bound, which will make me want to watch the show.
  • By costing Johnny his career in NXT, Tommaso Ciampa will never be cheered by an NXT crowd again.

That’s all for this edition of WRR! Let me know when you thought of this week’s shows. Feedback is welcomed too! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!

Weekly Rassling Rundown 12 – 14 Feb

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Rassling Rundown. As mentioned in my NJPW Melbourne review, I’m going to be making this week’s rundown a quick one. Let’s not waste any time and dive right into it!

Raw Logo
Welcome everyone, to Monday Night RAW!
  • For some reason, Michael Cole tells us John Cena is really annoyed about his loss last week. Not sure why he’s the one annoyed. It should be Braun since Elias stole the win.
  • Cena’s newest t-shirt coincidently matches the WrestleMania sign. Cena going to Mania confirmed.
  • Cena tells us WrestleMania is a very important event, especially for new superstars so they can make a lasting impact. Of course, Cena still wants to bury all the new talent and headline WrestleMania yet again.
  • Kurt Angle agrees with Cena to add a “loser enters the Elimination Chamber first” situation in his impromptu match against The Miz. Cena, naturally, makes up for his loss last week with a win.
  • Cena’s happy to not be entering first but there’s still a chance he could enter second, which means he’ll STILL be starting off the match regardless.
  • Angle’s still getting worse on a live mic. At least he remembered the name of the Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber.
  • I swear I heard The Young Bucks shout “F*ck The Revival” when Dash & Dawson beat The Club.
  • Kurt Angle’s announcement that Ronda Rousey’s Raw contract signing will take place at Elimination Chamber gets boos from the crowd. Looks like Rhonda’s going to be taking the spotlight away from another women’s first match.
  • Also, it’s never explained as to why Ronda is going to Raw considering Asuka was Raw’s most recent signing. I’m guessing working on Tuesdays doesn’t appeal to Ronda.
  • When telling people Jason Jordan is going to be out for a while with a severe neck injury, (legit, not fake), the crowd cheers and starts a yes chant. Angle turns on the crowd (legit, not fake) for cheering about the news of a wrestler being injured. Good on Angle. I don’t care if a wrestler is liked or disliked – an injury can be career threating and even life threating.
  • Get well soon, Jason Jordan.
  • Seth Rollins comes out and gets himself into the qualifying match for the final spot in the Elimination Chamber. How? Angle said he doesn’t call the shots, it was the WWE fans who do. Angle forgot less than an hour earlier, HE made the call with the Cena/Miz match stipulation.
  • I’m guessing Angle’s being nice to Seth for him playing with his son lately.
  • Bayley & Sasha finally get to have a good match. Nia comes out after to destroy them. She still thinks she can beat Asuka. Everyone laughs.
  • Roman Reigns thinks Cesaro’s teeth were broken due to him running into the Shield. They were broken by the ring post, proving both Reigns wrong and that it’s the ring post is the hardest part of the ring, not the ring apron.
  • The crowd was that into the Roman Reigns/Sheamus match they were chanting “Rusev Day”.
  • Mandy Rose wants to be referred to as Lex Luger, sorry I mean the “Total Package”.
  • Braun Strowman interrupting Elias by playing a gigantic upright bass was amazing. By play, I mean breaking the strings with a single stroke. Braun then annihilating Elias by smashing the bass over his back then topped this. Seriously, if this doesn’t top the Raw 30 Year Best Of list in 5 years, I’ll quit watching Raw all together.
  • Braun also has a good singing voice.
  • Ivory is getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Good on her!
  • The Fatal 5-Way match was great. The desperation from all five wrestlers was clear and the match wasn’t dull at all. Fast paced with lots of action. Interesting finish with both Seth Rollins and Finn Balor getting the double pin.
  • The suspense leading up to next week to find out what’s going to happen is going to be killing you, right? Wrong. On Facebook right after Raw, Kurt Angle tells Rollins and Balor they’re both are going into the Elimination Chamber match.
  • Looks like we’ll be getting a new chamber. Or will three people start off instead of two? I’d say tune into Raw next week to find out, but I’m sure WWE will just inform us via Twitter. Or Snapchat. Or Instagram.

 

Smackdown Logo
Welcome to SmackDown – The Land of Opportunity!
  • Baron Corbin, someone who has been unimpressive over the past several months, and Dolph Ziggler, the former WWE United States Champion who vacated the title and left SmackDown 2 months ago, somehow have a match where the winner will join Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles in a Fatal 4-Way. Why do they get this opportunity? Because Shane McMahon’s a moron.
  • Owens and Zayn beat the crap out of both Corbin and Ziggler, cancelling their match. This makes me worried as immediately I assume Shane will just now kick the two out of match and replace them with Corbin and Ziggler.
  • For some reason Charlotte brings Becky Lynch and Naomi out during her match against Sara Logan, despite Charlotte being totally fine last week when the Riott Squad were at ringside. I guess this is Becky and Naomi’s reward for making that God-awful SmackDown 10 Top list last week.
  • The Charlotte/Sara Logan match was good. Two down, one to go.
  • “You don’t headbutt a Samoan, and you don’t chop a Flair.” Corey Graves, 2018.
  • My fears of Owens and Zayn being dropped from the title picture are put at ease when Shane arranges singles matches between Corbin and Owens and Zayn and Ziggler. If Corbin and Ziggler, they get added to the title match. If Owens or Zayn interfere in either match, they get removed.
  • For some reason, Shane tells Daniel Bryan that Corbin and Ziggler are worthy for a title shot. Why? Because Shane McMahon’s a moron.
  • The commentators mention the SmackDown Top 10 list. Please note Corbin and Ziggler, two people who Shane said are “worthy of a main title shot”, aren’t on this list that’s meant to help determine who gets title shots.
  • Bobby Roode calls out Randy Orton and invites him to take part in an open challenge for the WWE U.S Championship. Jinder Mahal also invites himself. Jinder proceeds to give Orton crap about being ranked ninth on a list that Orton and every WWE fan doesn’t care about.
  • RKO outta nowhere that everyone saw coming!
  • There’s a New Day segment involving pancakes and eating pancakes. The crowd doesn’t care. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin come out to interrupt. The crowd still doesn’t care. They only care when Gable says pancakes suck.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers finally use their big Super Mario hammers to smash a TV.
  • Baron defeats Owens in a surprisingly good match. Ziggler defeats Zayn in a really good match. We now have a Fatal 5-Way at the Fastlane PPV in 4 weeks for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
  • The lack of both AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura disturbs me.
  • The lack of Rusev Day disturbs me more.

 

NXT Logo
Meanwhile, at NXT…
  • Pete Dunne has a great match against Roderick Strong.
  • Looks like Aleister Black is going to clash with Killian Dain for a future shot at the NXT Championship.
  • TM61’s ring attire now incorporates AFL-like jerseys.
  • Thank you Kairi Sane for ending the Ember Moon/Shayna Baszler match. Baszler still looks uninterested and can’t sell any moves Ember throws at her.
  • If Baszler is still bad despite being in pro-wrestling for a few years, I can’t help but think what Ronda Rousey going to be like in the ring with no prior experience…

That’s all for this very quick edition of WRR! Let me know when you thought of this week’s shows. Feedback is welcomed too! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!

Weekly Rassling Rundown 5 – 11 Feb (Part 2)

Smackdown Logo
Welcome to SmackDown – The Land of Opportunity!

SmackDown starts off with SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon coming out to remind us we’re in Kansas City this week. He summons SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan so he can repeat the same script he’s been reading for the past two months. Shane still doesn’t understand why Daniel’s still giving Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn another opportunity for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, despite it being perfectly clear to 99.99% of the world.

And this is why Stephanie McMahon and Triple H will be running WWE when Vince steps down.

Seriously what doesn’t Shane understand? KO & SZ were screwed out of their match at Royal Rumble by a bad referee decision, so Daniel arranges a match between the two for a shot at the title. As we saw from last week’s episode, the friendship between Kevin and Sami went very rocky very quick and now the two want to beat the crap outta each other.

Something you’d think Shane would like, right?

Yes. This is exactly what Daniel tells Shane. Shane, however, thinks this is a dumb idea. I’m going to assume leaping off of things with an average height of 50 feet for the past 20 years would mess with your brain.

Again, this is why Steph and Trips will be running WWE.

Shane tries to summon crocodile tears and tells Daniel he thinks he’s trying to live through Owens and Zayn. For those who don’t know, Daniel Bryan was a very good wrestler (solid B+ at best) who had to retire right at his prime due to injuries.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion and executive director of SmackDown construction, AJ Styles, comes out and tells both men to stop crying and get on with it. I agree.

AJShin
NJPW: Building hype for future WrestleMania matches since 2016.

After a commercial AJ Styles bumps into Shinsuke Nakamura. The Rockstar Artist of Strong Style tells AJ he’s gonna beat him at WrestleMania. Everyone around the world continues frothing at the mouth in anticipation.

Throughout the whole night WWE fans could ask The New Day questions via Twitter. Remember back in the 90’s when doing this over the phone would cost you $5.99 for the first minute, then $12.99 for every additional minute? Anyway, New Day continue to do what they’ve been doing for the past 5 years, thus proving WWE are capable of watering down things more than Capcom.

Match 1: Charlotte Flair def. Liv Morgan via submission. Ok match only because Queen Charlotte is wrestling goddess (sorry Alexa) capable of making everyone look good. Ruby Riott’s Riotttt Squad get involved but are ejected by the referee. I noticed the crowd are now shouting along with the referee when he tells them to get to the back. In two weeks WWE will inform their referees to quietly ask wrestlers to leave so the crowd involvement stops.

ONE FALL!

Charlotte informs us she’s going to be taking out another member of the Riott Squad. 1 down, 2 to go.

Renee Young interviews Kevin Owens and asks about his friendship with Sami Zayn being on the line. Owens says he’s going to beat Sami.

Match 2: The Bludgeon Brothers annihilate Jobber Tag Team. I really wish Harper and Rowan were doing this stuff during their run with the Wyatt Family. It would’ve been amazing. In a moment mirroring last week, the SmackDown WWE Tag Team Champions, The Usos, head to the ring as Harper & Rowan are heading to the back.

Usos
Jimmy and/or Jey Uso should invest in some grills like Jimmy and/or Jey Uso.

The Usos are out to tell us what the meaning of “lockdown” means. It has to do with them getting into the heads of their opponents. I assumed it was related to those cheesy, bad prison cell door graphics they were using on last week’s episode.

Those have been applied to Jimmy’s teeth now, or was it Jey?

The Usos continue to talk about how they used to be all painted up and were babyfaces years ago but now they’re correctional officers of their imaginary penitentiary. Either way, good promo. I love seeing these guys on the microphone when they’re not trying to be act like cool thugs.

Ok. Now let’s time for one most stupid, pointless segments in SmackDown history.

The SmackDown Top 10 Superstars List…

Top10
The first list to make Jericho’s list.

So last week Daniel Bryan makes an announcement that the SmackDown roster would be voting on their favourite superstars to help recognise talent deserving of future opportunities. In theory, this is good. Maybe WWE management can use this to reward people deserving of the spotlight.

Yeah sounds great! So what did the list look like?

It started off ok with some SmackDown favourites like Tye Dillinger and Becky Lynch in the bottom half of the list…

Oh surely there must be better people at the top of the list, right?

Yes, and no. Your Top 5 are:

5) Bobby Roode… He’s the US champion…

4) Naomi… I guess people like a good rave?

3) Shinsuke Nakamura… He IS awesome, but isn’t he already in the main event at WrestleMania?

2) Charlotte Flair… She’s the SmackDown Women’s Champion…

Well, surely, number one would go to someone deserving of headlining the next SmackDown show. Someone who’ll be in future WrestleMania main events but right now anre’t getting much of a chance to shine.

Tell us who number one is…

1) AJ Styles… The current WWE World Heavyweight Champion…

What is the point of this list?! How’s this meant to be helping anyone?! You announce last week the point of the list was for WWE management to get an idea of who should be given more opportunities based on their talent and likability. Basing the vote on talent will always feature your champions at the top of the list every week.

Naomi isn’t a champion though. She’s just A-May-May-May…

NO! She isn’t A-MAY-MAY-MAY-ZING! She’s one of the worst female wrestlers on the main roster. She’d be number one worst female wrestler had it not been for Liv Morgan. This list should’ve been something good. It should’ve been used to start pushing underutilised talent. Instead, they screwed up their very first list. Let’s see if things change next week because right now, I really hope they quietly drop this stupid concept.

There’s only one thing that can make us happy again…

Rusev
The greatest day of the year, every day!

Aiden English cuts a Rusev Day promo while the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev, is working out like the beast that he is. Rusev’s gonna machka Roode.

Match 3: Bobby Roode def. Rusev via pinfall to retain the US Title. Really solid match from both men. The crowd was behind both Rusev Day and Glorious Day. Corey Graves busts out some funny lines about what is going to happen when Rusev wins, the best being Bobby Roode is going to change his name to “Roode-sev”. Byron Saxton demanded to know where Corey’s imaginary sources were coming from.

After the match, Randy Orton comes out and hits a bunch of RKOs outta nowhere. Why? Because he’s Randy Orton.

Backstage Chad “Should’ve Been Kurt Angle’s Son” Gable & Shelton Benjamin (say it like the Usos) talk about bringing back prestige to the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Division, which is the same gimmick The Revival are using on Raw. As they’re on different shows there’s no copyright infringement so the gimmick is acceptable.

Match 4: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin def. The Ascension via pinfall. Nothing fancy or special here. American Alpha 2.0 pick up a win.

Renee Young interviews Sami Zayn and asks about his upcoming match. This was a good promo from Zayn who talked about stepping out from Kevin’s shadow. He mentions how Kevin’s won tons of titles since coming to the WWE. Now, it’s Sami’s turn… After AJ and Shinsuke have their 7 star match at WrestleMania of course.

Come to think of it, it would still be awesome if Sami and Shinsuke headlined WrestleMania. Their match at NXT Takeover: Dallas was fantastic. More of that please!

KOSZ
Best friends doing what they do best: killing each other for our entertainment.

Match 5: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn ends in a no contest. Match of the night was going to go to Roode & Rusev, but these two put on an awesome match like they always do. The end comes when Sami gets in AJ Styles’s face, who is at ringside doing commentary, and spins his chair around. AJ reacts to this by attacking both Zayn and Owens causing the ref to throw the match out.

This leads to Daniel Bryan coming out to make a very logic decision: since both men technically won the match, they’re both going to face AJ Styles at the next SmackDown PPV, Fastlane, for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

SmackDown ends with Byron Saxton’s head exploding due to his brain being incapable to process logic.

NXT Logo
Meanwhile, at NXT…

NXT is meant to start off with Kyle O’Reiley and Bobby Fish of the Undisputed Era defending their NXT Tag Team Titles against Sanity, but both factions end up brawling. This leads to NXT security coming out. They’re getting a bit better this time as only two of them got the crap beat out of them (of course by Killian Dain).

NXT GM and the next King of England William Regal comes out and sets up a 6-Man Tornado Tag Team Match for the main event. I’m totally cool with this.

Match 1: Heavy Machinery def. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss via pinfall. Ok match with Heavy Machinery looking better in the ring. Otis is starting to come off as a drunk dwarf.

Now if only Tucker & Otis would stop pretending to be fat…

The crowd hates Tino Sabbatelli – a LOT. They chant “Tino Sucks” 3 or 4 times. I’m guessing it’s due to Tino’s stupidly perfect body. Tino and Riddick suddenly don’t like each other. We know this because they slap each other into the ring when they tag out. Moss walks out on Tino after the match and the crowd approves.

Johnny
Johnny Gargano, People’s Champion 2018.

Johnny Gargano AKA Johnny Wrestling talks about his awesome match against NXT Champion Andres “Cien” Almas. He cuts the typical “winning your respect means more to me than winning the title” promo, then calls out his former friend turned enemy, Tommaso Ciampa.

Instead, NXT Champion Andres “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega appear. Vega tells Johnny to stop complaining about the loss (he wasn’t) and to stop blaming Ciampa for his loss (again, he wasn’t). The crowd chants for Johnny’s wife, Candice La Rae. This reminds Johnny of how Candice beat the crap out of Vega at NXT Takeover: Philly. Candice appears Cien and Vega retreat.

Vega says she’s sick of Johnny and wants him gone from NXT.

Funny, I was just thinking the same about Shayna Baszler.

Johnny asks for one more shot at the NXT Championship. Vega agrees on behalf of Cien, only if Johnny promises to quit NXT if he loses. Johnny agrees to this, and Candice is very concerned about what her husband has agreed to.

Don’t worry Candice. Johnny will just go to 205 Live. It’s now in much better hands.

Good segment in general though a little bit clichéd. I really like Johnny’s passion and Candice’s reaction to her husband. Vega and Cien continue to work well together.

Too bad this was followed up by a boring Shayna Baszler interview. She says there’ll be no more NXT Women’s Title shoots for her because NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon is too scared of her. Well if it means not seeing you on TV, good.

Belair
Hair more dangerous than Sindel’s.

Match 2: Bianca Belair def. Jessix Hill via pinfall. Bianca destroys her opponent so fast she doesn’t get to use her hair whip. That makes me sad.

We get a nice little package of Kairi Sane. Let’s hope we see her around in NXT more moving forward. More Kairi. Less Shayna.

Match 3: Sanity def. Undisputed Era via pinfall. Great match from start to finish. These six guys work so well together. There was plenty of brawling and cool spots, including Killian Dain hurling Bobby Fish from the stage into the other four wrestlers near the ring.

After a series of nice, smooth pinfall breaks and sweet near falls, Dain picks up the win for his team. I’m really looking forward to seeing Undisputed Era defend their NXT Tag Team Titles against Sanity. It should lead to another solid match that’ll be entertaining as hell.

That’s all for the first WRR! Let me know when you thought of this week’s shows. Feedback is welcome too! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!

Weekly Rassling Rundown 5 – 11 Feb (Part 1)

Welcome to the first edition of Weekly Rassling Rundown (WRR)! Every week I’ll be looking back at the three main shows of WWE: Raw, SmackDown, and NXT. WRR will be posted in two parts, the first focusing on Raw (because it’s 3 hours long) and the second focusing on SmackDown and NXT (because together they’re almost 3 hours long).

Raw Logo
Welcome everyone, to Monday Night RAW!

We start the night off with a Bray Wyatt promo. Bray reminds us the Elimination Chamber was where he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship last year, which then reminded me of when Randy Orton proceeded to beat him for the title at WrestleMania a month later.

Which then reminded me of that horrendous House of Horrors match between Bray and Orton. The fridge should’ve won!

Bray tells us his opponent, Roman Reigns, is a failure and longs to be put out of his misery. Roman counters by informing the audience what the real meaning of the word “failure” means, suggesting the definition found in the Oxford Dictionary has been incorrect this whole time.

Match 1: Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt via pinfall to qualify for the 4th spot in the Elimination Chamber. Good match between the two as always. The crowd boos Roman at the start (as they always do) but warms up and cheers him at the end (as they always do). Throughout the match Matt “Not-Broken” Hardy watches on while showing off his overly bleached teeth. Post-match Matt appears and hits Bray with a Twist of Faith.

Seriously, what’s so good about this Woken/Broken/Demon Barber of Fleet Street gimmick?

I’m not sure. So far, I’m not a fan of it. Maybe it’ll grow on me but right now, it’s just Matt Hardy either snarling, laughing stupidly, and mispronouncing words. I’ve never seen the gimmick in TNA but people have told me it was much better over there. Time will tell.

Matt
Trolololo!

You forgot an important part of Raw – Michael Cole telling us the announce table has finally been put back after Braun Strowman flipped it.

Oh yes that’s right! The portable stage where the announce table sits upon that was flipped over by Braun Strowman has finally been fixed. Yes, it took the WWE crew an entire week to put back the stage THAT WAS FLIPPED AT THE START OF THE SHOW LAST WEEK! Seriously?! Is it THAT difficult to have like five people push it back over and set it back up on the same night it was flipped? Did they have to wait until they went to a new arena to put the announce table back together again?

Backstage Jason Jordan-Angle is having a chat with Seth “Freakin’” Rollins. Seth basically tells Jason to stop being a pussy and work as a team tonight against The Bar. This is the last chance Seth will get at the Raw Tag Team Titles, something which is repeated at least 50 times by the commentators.

Match 2: Finn Balor & Karl Anderson def. The Revival via pinfall. The match was supposed to be Balor vs Dash and/or Dawson, but the Revival challenged the Demon King to a tag team match. Ok match between the two teams. This should slowly help build up Balor Club as well as The Revival in the long run by giving them some more exposure.

SashaBayley
Hey Bayley and Sasha, can you both stop being BBFs now and go back to putting on Takeover: Brooklyn-like matches again?

Sasha Banks is in the locker-room watching her loss against Asuka from last week. Bayley comes in and the two have a chat about Asuka. Sasha’s plan is to win the Raw Women’s Title at Elimination Chamber, then go on to beat Asuka at WrestleMania.

A bit hard to do if Asuka decides to face the SmackDown Women’s Champion instead.

Bayley says she wants to do the same thing. Sasha says Bayley isn’t good enough, but Bayley responds by saying she’s good enough to beat Sasha.

Match 3: Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali def. Tony Nese & Drew Gulak via pinfall. Basic Cruiserweight match in a division which is finally getting back on track. Or should I say, being what it always should’ve been.

BlissAngle
Little Miss Blissed Off.

Raw GM Kurt Angle comes out to announce that at Elimination Chamber the participants in the first ever women’s…

The first ever women’s…

The first ever women’s… Elimination Chamber match! Yes, Angle forgot the name of the match. Here’s a clue Kurt – IT’S THE SAME NAME AS THE PAY-PER-VIEW! Each week it seems like Angle is getting worse at live promos. It was the same with Mick Foley towards the end of his run as Raw GM. Maybe it’s a sign…

I’ll give it to Kurt though, he is NAILING those pre-taped backstage segments.

Especially the one later in the show. Anyway, Angle finally goes on to tell us Alexa Bliss will defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Bayley, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Mickie James, and Sasha Banks. At this point I ask: Why the HELL isn’t Nia Jax in the match?! This would be PERFECT for someone like her.

Never fear, Kurt Angle is here!

Angle informs us Nia will face Asuka in a singles match at Elimination Chamber and if Nia wins, she’ll go on to WrestleMania with Asuka to face the Women’s Champion?!

What?! How’s that even possible?!

Why would Angle do this?! What was the damn point of the Women’s Royal Rumble to begin with if you’re just going to hand out WrestleMania opportunities like that?!

The point of the Women’s Royal Rumble was for Rhonda Rousey to overshadow the entire women’s division by pointing at the WrestleMania sign – DUH!

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss storms down to the ring. Alexa complains about having to defend her title in the Elimination Chamber, while Brock gets to sit at home and do nothing. Angle replies by telling Alexa she lasted defended the title at TLC in October 2017.

Holy crap, it’s been THAT long?!

Alexa puts the blame entirely on Angle for not booking her in any title defence matches because, you know, that’s his job. To be fair Alexa, Brock is a part-timer and only defends his title whenever he wants, like once every four months or so.

Somebody call WWE President Jack Tunney! We gotta couple of titles that haven’t been defended in 30 days over here!

Alexa starts pulling the “sexist” card on Angle and the crowd starts turning on her. Angle asks the crowd if they want to see Alexa in the Elimination Chamber and they both cheer and boo. Their response confuses Angle who repeats the question and again, this time the crowd appears uninterested. Angle’s theme music quickly hits to wrap up this segment going down quicker than the Titanic.

Alexa would’ve been 100% right had it not been for the fact that Brock is a part-time wrestler. If he never defended his title as a full-time wrestler, she would’ve had every right to complete. And speaking of part-time wrestlers…

Cena
Boo this man!

John Cena is backstage talking about how he looks forward to burying more future talent at the Elimination Chamber so he can part-time headline WrestleMania with another part-time wrestler. Joy.

Match 4: Asuka def. Bayley via submission. Another ok match between the two. Oh, and remember how Bayley forgot about wrestling Asuka? Michael Cole reminds us of how Bayley lost twice to the Empress of Tomorrow. Thanks Cole!

The Bar tell us they’re going to enjoy beating the crap out of Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins.

Match 5: The Miz def. Apollo Crews to qualify for the 5th spot in the Elimination Chamber. The match between the two was good. I’d like to see these two go at it on a PPV with Miz’s Intercontinental Title on the line. I like The Miz (because he’s awesome) but I think he shouldn’t be in the Elimination Chamber.

Wait, wasn’t The Miz complaining a few months ago about how the IC Title is NEVER defended on PPVs?

I guess it’s different when you’re fighting for a shot for the WWE Universal Title.

We go backstage where Seth runs into Jason Jordan and his daddy, Kurt Angle. Apparently, Jason’s got some injuries (AGAIN?!) and can’t complete. Luckily, Roman Reigns was in the right place at the right time. The Shield walk off, and Jason just stares and smiles really, REALLY creepily.

He must get that from his papi.

Match 6: The Bar def. The Shield via DQ to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles. Match of the night. Great work from all four guys. The finish comes when Jason Jordan, who was meant to be injured, comes out and tries to stop Cesaro and Sheamus. Cesaro throws a punch, so Jason blocks it and punches both men.

The referee calls for the bell. The Bar retain by DQ. Seth can never have another Raw Tag Team Title shot again. He’s banned. Him, his children and his children’s children… For three months.

JJ1
You dun goofed, Jason Jordan-Angle!

Braun Strowman is backstage. He says Cena and Elias are gonna get his hands tonight. Enough said.

Angry CrossFit Jesus, I mean Seth Rollins, is mad at Jason Jordan. So mad that he calls him a “son of a bitch” on a PG13 rated show. Angle agrees with Seth and yells at his son to go home because he’s been a very bad boy. Angle was so good at being an angry dad, for a second I thought I was the one being told off.

JJ2
Aww… I kinda feel sorry for the bastard.

Match 7: Nia Jax destroys Female Jobber. After the match, Nia tells Asuka she’s the only woman who the Empress of Tomorrow can’t beat?

Didn’t Nia Jax face Asuka in NXT?

Yeah, she has… at least twice! The first time Asuka nearly kicked Nia’s head off! Are Asuka’s kicks that powerful she’s causing serious brain damage?

Maybe they should refer to her as the Empress of Amnesia.

Match 8: Mickie James def. Sonya Deville via pinfall. Ok match with Sonya showcasing some good offence. It would’ve been nice to see her pick up the win, but the real story came after the match. Sonya and her Absolution friends, Mandy Rose and Paige, beat down Mickie James. Out comes Alexa Bliss to save Mickie. The commentators tell everyone repeatedly they’re very confused.

Why did Alexa save Mickie? It makes no sense. They’re facing each other at Elimination Chamber soon.

I know, right? Why would Alexa want to save Mickie? I mean, it’s not like Alexa’s the type of person to use other people to her advantage, right? WRONG! Alexa’s done this before with Nia! Now she’s doing it to Mickie, who she’s used before as well last year when they were on SmackDown! Mickie won’t remember this because what happens on SmackDown, stays on SmackDown.

Braun
BRAUN SMASH!!!

Match 9: Elias def. John Cena & Braun Strowman to enter last in the Elimination Chamber. Good match from the three men. Braun beats down Elias and Cena. Elias and Cena team up and beat the crap out of Braun, including Elias smashing his guitar across Braun’s back, and Cena hitting an AA on the steel steps to the Monster Among Men.

After which we had the pleasure of listening to Michael Cole act like Cena has never hit an AA on anyone the size of Braun Strowman before.

Elias and Cena battled one another in the ring for a bit, then Braun comes in and Elias bails. Braun hits a big powerslam on Cena, Elias shoves Braun out of the ring and then Elias PINS CENA! I honestly thought Cena was going to some how get another pointless win so he can enter last at Elimination Chamber so we can forget how sluggish he’s been lately.

After the match, Braun repeatedly powerslams John Cena and Elias to end 3 hours of Raw.

For SmackDown & NXT, please head over to Part 2 of this week’s WRR!