Monday, June 30, 2014

Money In the Bank 2014 review

Money in the Bank 2014 review 
                                                               By Ben Smith

Last night’s annual Money In the Bank Pay Per View from the WWE brought a range of emotions, some of it positive, but most of it was negative. I myself walked away from the PPV with a feeling of indifference because, outside of 1 or 2 matches, the show was painfully predictable, and I had almost no emotional investment in the main event because not only was it a bland match (will get more into that later) but it was one of the more predictable PPV Main events I have seen in a long time. However, there was some good in this show and at least the crowd was into the good matches unlike some crowds where they just sit on their hands for even the best of matches. Anyways time to move onto the matches on the night and my overall thoughts of the show.

Luke Harper and Eric Rowan vs The Usos

I was a little surprised that this match opened the show, if you watch the previous four Money In the Bank shows you will see that a Money in the Bank match always opens the show, and I assumed that tradition would follow again this year. Anyways this ended up being the perfect match to open the show and was a ton of fun , I was expecting this to be your average tag match but it ended up really surprising me. I knew Harper was going to shine in the match but Rowan performed really well here too. However Luke Harper was for sure the star of this match along with the Usos who albeit, aren’t anywhere near the level of Harper in the ring but they held their own in this, I still have some issues with the way they hit they’re offense and the way they sell their opponents moves, but besides that, they’re getting better but still not on that level where I feel the need to watch they’re matches. Now the ending was where my big issue with this was. I think Harper and Rowan should have won this but I think they are for sure going to get a run with the belts down the line, though the crowd was really behind them and the time seemed right here. Anyways this was an awesome opener and though I disagree with the result, it was still a very good match.

Winner-The Usos
Rating-***3/4

Paige vs Naomi

People have told me I have some sort of bias against Paige but I can honestly say she had WAY too much hype when she debuted and literally the only match I have ever thought wasn't a pile of trash was the match vs Emma at NXT Arrival, and I still thought that match was being massively overrated by fans. The good thing is that she’s really young and has plenty of time to improve, though if she doesn't then I’m just going to be unhappy for a long time. Anyways this match was horrible in my opinion. My biggest qualm of the match had to be when Paige was locking in a submission on Naomi, and she just started screaming random stuff that literally had no point. She was the one locking the submission and started acting like someone was locking in one on her, it was completely pointless. Also I cannot stand her selling at all, I mentioned the Usos having spotty selling earlier, but this is much worse, she oversells everything with loud screams and it’s just cringe worthy at times. This was just not a good match at all.

Winner- Paige
Rating-1/2*

Damien Sandow vs Adam Rose

My stream was all messed up during this, had to restart my PS3 and everything, didn’t really seem worth going back and watching though.

Winner-Adam Rose
Rating-N/A

Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston vs RVD vs Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose vs Jack Swagger
I loved this match! I thought it may have been the best Money in the Bank match ever outside of the original one at WM 25, I had an absolute blast watching it. I have heard some complaints of the beginning of the match being slow and dull and I simply don’t get that at all. In my opinion the beginning wasn't extremely flashy but it was still solid wrestling and a good way to start a match that towards the end broke down and was extremely chaotic. Ok but anyways I haven’t been so seriously invested in a match like that since WrestleMania and that was just awesome towards the end. When Kofi was about to win I seriously told myself if Kofi wins I’m never watching wrestling again. I thought there was a glimmer of a possibility that Ziggler may win, though I thought they at least gave him his spot to shine. The best part of the match was easily when Ambrose came out and was about to win, that dude has completely won me over because a year ago I couldn’t stand him and thought he was just an awful worker, but he has changed. The ending with Kane was pretty bad but Rollins is a great guy to give the briefcase to, loved this match and it had some nasty spots and had me on the edge of my seat at times.

Winner-Seth Rollins
Rating-****1/4

Goldust and Stardust vs Rybaxel

I honestly don’t think I am going to have that much to write about for this match because to be honest, it wasn’t good at all but it wasn’t bad either. The amount of indifference I have towards this match and both of these teams in general at this point is unreal. I simply have no desire to see this match again and I’m disgusted with how they’re booking the Rhodes because they had one of the best babyface runs ever last fall and it’s pretty disappointing to see where they are now.  Anyways this was nothing more than a match that should have been saved for RAW but was simply filler on a PPV.

Winner-Goldust and Stardust
Rating-**1/2

Big E vs Rusev

I thought this match was the #3 match of the night, which really shows just how bad this show was outside of 2 matches. I did think that they’re match at Payback earlier this month was a little bit better, although this was still a lot of fun but I thought it was a little long, although for all I know it was the same length or shorter than the one at Payback. From what I saw the previous match felt more like a really fun sprint and this just felt like a regular match, not to mention it didn't have Rusev diving through the ropes (I think) and that was for sure the highlight of the PB match. Anyways I’m excited to see what Rusev can bring in the ring in the future, he’s rumored to be feuding with Big Show but I really would love to see him square up with someone like Henry or Sheamus

Winner-Rusev
Rating- **3/4

Summer Rae vs Layla

I made dinner during this match, heard it was terrible though, so I didn't bother going back and watching it.

Winner-Layla
Rating- N/A

John Cena vs Roman Reigns vs Kane vs Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton vs Cesaro vs Sheamus vs Alberto Del Rio

I had pretty low expectations for this match, and somehow it ended out being much worse than I thought it was going to be. This was honestly just a huge mess, it didn’t feel like a ladder match at all at some points and some of the spots they pulled off were not good in my opinion even though others said the spots were good they made very little sense. The spot where one ladder went under another two ladders was horrible and made zero sense. Also the reason this match was so bad is because it was 8 power guys and that’s not how you execute an exciting ladder match, and the result was a slow, dull mess that made all 8 guys look like a joke. Boring chants were said during the main event of a huge ladder match for the title. All in all this was the worst Money in the Bank match ever in my opinion, somehow beating the dubious 2012 one where Cena beat Big Show, Jericho, and Kane for the title. Cena won the match in the end to nobody’s surprise. I don’t mind the fact that Cena is champion what I mind is that this was one of the most predictable matches in a long time, and that made me not care about the match the slightest.

Winner-John Cena

Rating-* 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Wrestlemania Predictions and thoughts

WrestleMania Predictions and thoughts
By Ben Smith
We are a little over 24 hours from the showcase of the immortals, WrestleMania! This show looks like it could be one for the ages, as long as the WWE plays its cards right, but we will get into that later. This year’s show emanates from the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana. The WWE released the Stage and set last night and I for one am pretty impressed. It doesn't look as good as some years such as last year’s but it certainly is far from being coined as a rushed or cheap looking set, the WWE obviously put a lot of time and money into it which is good. This show should be one for the ages and here are my predictions and thoughts for Sundays show.

Tag team Championship- Los Matadores vs the Real Americans vs The Usos(C) vs Rybaxel (WWE Network exclusive)
In my opinion this is easily the worst booked match on the card; Los Matadores do not belong on this card or even the pre-show in the first place, same goes for Rybaxel, these clowns need to be in the battle royal or something and not on the pre-show. What this should have been was a TLC match between The Usos, The Real Americans, and the Rhodes Brothers. That match I think would have been very similar to the original TLC matches between the Dudley’s, The Hardy’s, and Edge and Christian. The Usos are similar to the Hardy’s in that they’re more cruiserweight-esque workers and I think they would work absolutely great in a TLC match. Swagger and Cesaro are more similar to the Dudley Boys in that they are bigger than the other two teams (not as big as Bubba and Devon though). Both of these guys are excellent in ring workers and would for sure hold their own in a TLC match. The Rhodes brothers are similar to Edge and Christian in the ring (not really on the mic) by being average looking size guys who can work a great match and can pull off some cool spots(Cody can but Goldust can still go for sure). This match would be AMAZING; the WWE really dropped the ball on the tag titles match.

Winner: The Usos
Rating: **3/4
The Vickie Guerrero 14 diva invitational match (divas championship)
Ok, it took some time to find it, but here are the 14 divas competing in this match. The participants are: AJ Lee (C), Aksana, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Cameron, Emma, Eva Marie, Layla, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae and Tamina Snuka. Not much to say here besides that par some miracle this will be downright terrible. There is some good workers in this match like AJ, Naomi, Emma, Natalya,  and Layla but I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to have a good match involving Eva Marie, she has zero idea what she is doing. The rest of the divas are meh workers or just bad like Cameron and Rosa. But I assume it will be kept short and I think the reason that all of the divas are on the show is because none were on the show last year and they want to ensure that as many as possible get that WrestleMania payday. But anyways, at least WWE is giving me a bathroom break during the show. I do think we will have a new divas champion in Naomi because I think she was scheduled to win the title at The Elimination chamber but got injured, thankfully she is one of the better divas when it comes to in ring work.

Winner: Naomi
Rating; DUD
Andre the Giant 30 man battle royal
I honestly think that this is going to be a really good match that gets a good amount of time. Why? Just look at who is in it, you have some great workers such as Christian, Sheamus, Rey, Henry, Cody, and Goldust. However, it also has its fair share of jobbers such as 3MB and Brodus Clay. However they will most likely not do much in the match and get eliminated very early while the guys who can actually go can have an excellent match. There hasn't been many matches like this at WrestleMania, there was the one with the NFL players at WM 2, which this matches namesake won. Then there have been numerous dark match battle royals in 2005, 2008, and 2011. But this will be the biggest of them all, I really have no clue who is going to win, which is exciting. At the moment, I am going to put my money on Sheamus winning as he just seems like a logical choice. Also looking forward to some surprise entrants.

Winner: Sheamus
Rating- ***3/4
The Shield vs the Authority (Kane, Billy Gunn, and Road Dogg)
Well all I can say for this match is that it is a huge waste of the shield. I get that they’re now faces and need a heel team to go against, but why 3 guys who all are stars from the 90s? They aren't even building this up as the past vs the present; it’s just Kane messing with the shield. What happened to when the Shield were on the verge of breaking up? It feels like they were heading to the triple threat and then when the main event turned into a triple threat they scrapped it and shoehorned them into a program with the outlaws and Kane. I think Kane and the Authority can still put on a decent match, and we all know the shield can too, so I expect this match to be good but not great, certainly the best match since the outlaws returned and the best non-team hell no match for Kane in a long time.

Winner: The Shield
Rating: ***1/2

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
This is the first time in John Cena’s career where he will not be in a title match or the main event of the show, which is pretty strange because this is WrestleMania 30 and he has been probably the biggest mania star of the last 10 years outside of The Undertaker. This should be a fantastic match, seeing what Bryan got out of Bray at the Royal Rumble, I think that Cena can do just as well. Wyatt has been great in the ring lately and I hope that pattern can continue here,  he has had the match of the night at both shows in 2014 and I think he can have one of the best on the biggest stage of them all. Beating Cena on Sunday will make Wyatt a star, and I think he will win the title in 2015 for sure, he is the front runner for the new generation along with the Shield, and I think he will have an extremely  impactful WrestleMania debut.

Winner: Bray Wyatt
Rating: ****
Daniel Bryan vs Triple H (winner advances to the WWEWHC match)
This is the first of two Daniel Bryan matches on this show and it has been the best built feud for sure. I know some have said that this feud hasn’t been that good but I honestly could not disagree more with those critics as it has been the reason I have watched RAW every week beginning with the great segment between the two in Chicago, which I feel has gotten overlooked by some people. The Yes movement segment where all of the Bryan fans were in the ring was just amazing, and I thought it was for the most part executed perfectly(only sending two security guards was a little stupid) and Triple H and Stephanie going completely irate and set the match and the stipulation. This will be the #2 match of the night in terms of in ring work but it may be the most electric for sure.

Winner: Daniel Bryan
Rating: ****1/4
The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar
So the build to this match has been pretty lackluster up until the go home show where things got Physical for the first time since they first set up the match the night after the Elimination chamber show. For a week or so I was afraid they would turn this into a casket match which would just be dreadful. Now that that nightmare was avoided, I can resume for being absolutely PUMPED for this match. I think it has the potential to be the #2 streak match of all time, which at this moment is the WM 26 match with Shawn Michaels.  The only match I doubt it tops is the WM 25 match with Shawn Michaels, I don’t think any streak match will ever top that, this will be close though. Will it be as good as their Hell in a cell match in 2002? I think it has the potential to as both Lesnar and The Undertaker are BETTER in the ring than they were in 2002, at least at WrestleMania. I’m calling it folks, this match will be the best match of the night tomorrow and will be the best match of the year bar none, and we are in store for a match of the ages.

Winner: The Undertaker
Rating: ****3/4
Randy Orton(C) vs Batista vs Daniel Bryan (WWE WHC match)
This match is incredibly hard to predict because 1) We don’t know whether Daniel Bryan or Triple H will be in this match or 2) if it becomes a fatal 4 way involving both Triple H and Daniel Bryan. I decided to go the safe route and say Daniel Bryan wins vs Triple H and it does not become a 4 way match. This is second only to the battle royal in terms of unpredictability. I hate to say it but I do not feel that Daniel Bryan will win this match. I have just lost all faith in WWE to make the correct decision after how they had Batista win the Royal Rumble. Do I hope I am wrong? Of course but the hard truth is that Guardians of the Galaxy will be one of the biggest movies of the summer and I think it is too much for Vince to resist the urge of having Batista walk the red carpet with the titles, and I think that he wins in this match. The match quality will not be that great but if Bryan wins then the match will be great just for the fact that it will be a great moment. I hope I am wrong with my prediction, I just feel that if I was betting Money, I would go with Batista.

Winner-Batista
Rating: ***
How I would book WrestleMania

WWEWHC Match
Brock Lesnar(C) vs Daniel Bryan (Rumble winner)
Winner- Daniel Bryan

John Cena vs The Undertaker
Winner- The Undertaker

The Shield vs The Wyatt Family
Winner- The Shield

Randy Orton vs Batista vs Triple H (Ric Flair guest referee)
Winner-Batista

Tag Team Championship TLC match
The Rhodes brothers’ vs The Usos(C) vs The Real Americans
Winner- The Usos

Divas Championship
AJ Lee vs Naomi
Winner-Naomi

Intercontinental Championship  
Sheamus vs Mark Henry vs Dolph Ziggler vs Big E
Winner-Dolph Ziggler

Monday, January 27, 2014

Royal Rumble 2014 thoughts

Royal Rumble 2014 thoughts

By Ben Smith

Last night, I, like thousands of people all over the world, watched what many consider their favorite event of the year, the Royal Rumble. I decided to rewatch the event the next day to see if any of my opinions changed on the show, as this wouldn’t be the first time that happened. A royal rumble event is remembered, WWE battleground will most likely be forgotten in the next 5-10 years as nothing of significance happened there. The Royal Rumble is a different story, its remembered for something, whether its Cena’s return in 08 or rocky nearly killing Foley in 1999, something stays. What will stay for 2014? I think that the only thing that could possibly stay is the fans and their utter defiance of what the WWE wants.

Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt was my clear cut match of the night, I wasn’t expecting too much but this was actually really good and got better upon the rewatch. The match was fantastic in a way it was completely different from every other match last night. What do I mean by that? Well, it was the only match that really didn’t get hijacked by the fans. Yes Brock vs Show didn’t as well but can we really count that as a match? It seemed more like a segment, but hopefully this doesn’t waste a Brock appearance and we still get three matches from him this year. Now, moving on, the fan interaction made this match more exciting. If the fans were shitting all over this like they were with the WWE-WHC match and the last 10 minutes or so of the rumble, then it might not have been as special. Just to make everyone clear, I am not comparing this to Cena vs Orton or the Rumble as this was clearly the best match of the night and I checked the official time and it was about 22:30, that’s main event time right there, great decision by whoever booked that match. And honestly, I’m not mad Bray went over, even as a Bryan fan.

Okay, moving on to the WWE-WHC match as I think that I’ve already stated my position that I won’t really count Big Show vs Lesnar a match, but it was a fun squash match.  Now, here do I begin on this. Well first of all I’m not going to argue that it was a bad choice for the WWE to make this rematch, they didn’t need to be in the rumble and it made sense to have the rematch. However, the fact that they pushed this match that we’ve seen almost a dozen times as “The biggest rematch of all time”. That is no hyperbole, but an actual quote from the show. WWE should know by now that their fans don’t have a genuine interest in seeing Orton vs Cena and haven’t really since 2007 or 2008. They’ve had a few good matches such as No way out 2008 and Summerslam 2007 but the fair share of their matches have been an attempt to push their two biggest stars down the fans throat. This match started off with jeers immediately, mainly chants for Daniel Bryan. I thought this match was garbage but that the fans shitting on it was not only appropriate but funny. Chants like we want divas make the competitors and the WWE know that what their putting on the table just isn’t cutting it. I’m hopeful for the Cena vs Wyatt match at mania after seeing what Bray showed last night against Bryan but it still goes to show that the fans are sick of the same old matches.

Okay, the Rumble match, I actually enjoyed this match, now I can agree with the majority of fans that the ending and outcome of this match was just terrible, Batista did not deserve to win, plain and simple. But the match itself before Mysterio came in at #30 was actually quite entertaining. I liked having Punk and Rollins start, I thought that Kane competing in his 15th rumble in a row was cool (although he should have ended his appearance there), and I thought that Rusev was awesome and will be a good addition to the roster. Once you include the awesome signs by Zeb Colter, the amazing Cesaro swing, and Kingston pulling his usual spot. But then the WWE let it all come crashing down.When the fans started chanting YES I couldn’t help but get nervous even though I knew Mysterio was coming in. And when the clock struck 0 and DB did not come out, everybody in the match was screwed, and I’m sure they all knew it too.

The match fell apart at this point as it became extremely predictable. I feel bad for Rey, although I’m sure he knows who the boos were directed too. I’m a huge Rey Mysterio fan, one of my favorites of all time, and I know he feels that DB should have won the rumble. When it came down to the final 4, luckily I still had a favorite in CM Punk in the rumble, but when he got eliminated in the worst and most cookie cutter way possible, I became desperate. Looking at the last three guys, I started rooting for Sheamus, when he got out, I was all in on Reigns, and so were the fans. However, it was stupid predictable that Batista was going to win, and he did, and there were a ton of unhappy fans leaving Pittsburgh last night. I will say that Reigns breaking Kane’s record was awesome, I like this guy a lot.

Final rumble ratings

Bray vs Bryan: ****1/4
Show vs Brock: N/A
Orton vs Cena: *
Rumble: ***3/4

Decent show with disappointing results