I had so much fun in the WNW WWE NoC Live Blog! Adam, Alex and Brooks joined me in hanging out with all the WNW readers who made Sunday night so much better than it would have been otherwise. They made NoC so much better than it would have been if I'd been watching on my own. Anyone who hasn't hung out in the Live Blog with us, please come and check it out, but not only for any of the Big Four, but for the 'lesser' PPVs, because we have such a wild time together, and while it's about the PPV that's going on at that moment, it's also about wrestling in general, and other things that are going on in this world. It's a lot of fun, and you never know what's going to be said. Speaking of that, Sean M, could you please get in touch, I have a few things I need to talk to you about from the Live Blog. I'm on Facebook.
During RAW last night, when they were pushing the WWE App, Stacy smirked at me and asked if I needed him to get it for me? I laughed and handed him my phone to show him that I had just downloaded it before RAW started. I figured it's free, and I'm going to be traveling without my netbook in a couple weeks, so maybe I should check it out. I, personally, haven't had a chance to look at it, but Stacy was playing with it during RAW, and he wasn't able to watch any of the videos because the App isn't able to do that yet. It said that I'd be able to watch videos in a couple weeks on my Android. It might just be that it's only on the Android that there's an issue, but I'm shocked that it's out with such a major problem. Anyone with an iPhone download the App? Just wondering if it's working any better for you.
Now for something completely different! Is it me, or is Orton on a collision course with... I don't know what with right now. We've spent so many years watching Scott Hall deal with his personal demons, and while I don't think (but don't know) Orton has the same types of addiction issues, he sure has some serious issues. I had thought that he's calmed down and left his childish ways behind him when he got married and had his daughter. That did seem to calm him for a while, and kept him from harassing the Divas has he had been, but now he seems to be back to his old, loose cannon self. When he popped his second, or is it fifth, Wellness test, I had hoped he'd calm down a bit, and that the WWE wouldn't push him that hard, but here he is flipping off the camera at NoC, after he beat Ziggler, and just before going off to film a new movie. Seems like all of VKM's blustering and threats meant absolutely nothing to Orton, and Orton thinks he can do and say whatever he wants without any repercussions. All he did was post a tiny Tweet about it and that's it? If it had been any of the mid-card boys who pulled that crap, they'd have been neck deep in VKM's rage. I think Orton needs to deal with some real repercussions, or he's just going to continue along this self and career destructive road. When is enough going to be enough for VKM?
Now, to something much more fun! I can't get accused of being a complete and utter downer, so now for something I find very interesting. This was brought up by Chuck in the Live Blog, and while the question was answered, I wanted to go into it a bit further. When Kane and Bryan won the Tag Team Championship, Chuck asked how many different people Kane had been TTC with. Well, in the WWE, Kane has had six Championship partners, and is tied with Edge (Christian, Hogan, Orton, Benoit, Rey, Jericho) for the top spot. Big Show has been Champ with seven different partners, but that's between the WWE (Taker, Kane, Jericho, Miz) and the WCW (Luger, Sting, Hall). This is Kane's 10th TTC reign -
Kane and Mankind – July 13, 1998 – 13 days
Kane and Mankind – August 10, 1998 – 20 days
Kane and X-Pac – March 30, 1999 – 56 days
Kane and X-Pac – August 9, 1999 – 13 days
Brothers of Destruction – April, 17, 2001 – 12 days
Brothers of Destruction – August 19, 2001 – 29 days
Hurri-Kane – September 23, 2002 – 21 days
Kane and RVD – Marsh 31, 2003 – 76 days
Kane and Big Show – November 1, 2005 – 153
As Tag Team Champs Kane and Big Show hold the spot for the 33rd longest Tag Title reign with 153 days – Demolition is in the #1 spot with 698 days over three title reigns. In the overall WWE TTC standings, Kane is the 18th longest reigning Tag Champ at 393, but that was before NoC, so he's working his way up pretty quickly and should pass by Ted DiBiase and Chief Jay Strongbow in the next couple weeks – Mr. Fuji is in the #1 spot with 932 days over five reigns. I know there's a lot of numbers here, but it all comes down to Kane being the man, as I've been saying all along!
Music & Pyro
It didn't take the production crew long to change the opening video to start with Cena in his new pink and black ring gear!
In Ring Segment > B
I'm going to try not to be to cranky about this, but almost every post-PPV RAW starts with a long segment with the top Superstars from the main event 'discussing' what went down the night before – very loudly. It was a nice break that it started with Heyman and not Cena or ADR, but it was still the same thing. I will say that they did a great job showing the ending of the WWE Championship Match from different angles and saying that the other video was posted online by a fan – as if the WWE doesn't have numerous cameras around the ring at every match – to draw in that much more fan interaction.
Actually, everyone in this segment was solid, and completely in character. It worked, then was made even better when AJ came skipping out. I know she debuted the suit with shorts at NoC, but I have to comment it here. We've been complaining that the role as GM and the pants suits have been taking away most of what made AJ so over with the fans, and these outfits are big step in the right direction. They still need to take more clothes off her (or return to the Gator Aid soaked look from NoC), but the essence of what is AJ feels to be returning a bit.
King Updates > A
I'm going to lump all the King updates, videos and Touts together here. I have to say I loved Cole's shirt, and the way all three on announce spoke of King. I cheered when I read that King had been released from the hospital and had made it home. There's only so much recovering you can do in the hospital, then it's time to head back home and work the rest of it out there. Through King's heart attack and recovery Cole has really stepped up, and been beautifully humble about it. As much as we all bust on Cole and his character, he really is a pro at what he does, but only gets abuse for it. I can't wait until King returns, not because Cole, JBL and JR were bad, but because it would signify that he really is doing good. My heart and thoughts are still with King as he recuperates.
Rey & Sin Cara vs Primo & Epico > C+
This was just the first in a long line of mid-card wrestlers not getting their entrances on TV. I didn't think that this episode was so stacked that there wasn't time for any or all of the entrances that weren't shown, but obviously someone thought they didn't need to be show. So much for the mid-card wrestlers getting more recognition the way they've been talking about!
Looking at my write up from last night, this match didn't look as long as the time said. That's because we missed half of the match due to commercials. So on top of lack of entrances, we only got half the match. While much of what we saw was really solid – all four of these Superstars are awe-inspiring in the ring – this match wasn't the best. I will admit there were a couple of great high spots – which brought this up from being a less than average match – but these four are not spot monkeys and shouldn't be treated as such! So frustrating. Though I find it interesting that JR was trending and JBL wasn't, but JBL had worked announce at NoC, so it does make sense.
Winners – Rey & Sin Cara (6:40)
In Ring Segment > B
I split this off from the less than stellar match as I thought this attack needed its own grade. While I haven't been at all quiet about my dislike for the Prime Time Players, they actually impressed me a bit here. I have to agree with JBL, to get anywhere in the WWE you need to step up, as these two did here. Looking at the storyline, if they hadn't done anything, then they'd have looked like total losers. While putting Bryan and Kane in the TTC Match was needed, the Prime Time Players were screwed, the question is who they will really be going after? I'd think it would be R-Truth and Kofi, or Bryan and Kane, yet they didn't. That doesn't make any sense to me at all.
Announce Segment > A
I think it's great that the WWE has partnered up with Susan G. Komen For The Cure. This is a wonderful thing for the WWE and Komen, but I'm going to be a bit of a wet blanket. I have nothing against the WWE pairing with Komen, what I don't like is that the heels who used to come to the ring wearing pink are no longer doing so – Ziggler and Sandow. I don't see what the big deal is for heels to continue wearing pink now. This is nothing against WWE pairing with Komen, but it is against whoever decided that heels can't wear their normal ring colors because of it.
Beth vs Eve > D-
These are two of the best Divas on the roster, but there was so much fighting going on at announce that it was virtually impossible to pay attention to the match, even write the play-by-play, because of JBL's yelling. He was attacking Eve, then attacking Layla, then just going off. I know the Divas Matches have been less than stellar lately, but this was absurd. Even JR and Cole were quiet through JBL's tirade.
As much crap as we like to heap upon Eve, she really is a very well versed wrestler with quite the background. JBL brought it up, so I want to mention it here. She's done a lot Jiu-Jitsu work with the Gracies, and is engaged to Rener Gracie. Knowing all this shows me that while the WWE has been exploring Eve's acting skills, but they sure haven't been exploring her athletic skills.
Winner – Eve (1:39)
Funkasaurus vs Slater > D+
Okay, it's bad enough that Slater didn't get his entrance televised – as per usual with him, even though he has so much to offer – but Cesaro is the US Champ, and he didn't get his entrance televised. What is going on with the mid-carders! This is absolute bull, and while I feel I should be shocked, I'm more incensed than anything. The WWE is all up in arms about not having enough main event talent, but they're giving the mid-card boys total crap and no opportunities at every turn. Even this match was barely better than crap, at least it was only two minutes long. It's so sad to see how the WWE is treating the talent, especially after that big meeting they had about the mid-card guys getting treated better. We all know that actions speak louder than words, and VKM's actions are saying a lot these days.
Winner – Funkasaurus (2:02)
Miz TV > B
Leave it to Miz to insult all his WWE Talk Show predecessors in one breath. Even better was what he said to Booker! The first part did drag on a bit, as was punctuated by the 'boring' chants from the fans, but I didn't think it was that bad. I actually thought Miz handled himself quite well, and I thought Goldberg handled himself quite well too. Wait, that wasn't Goldberg? Oh, yeah, that Ryback guy. I actually went back and re-watched this segment from when Ryback made his way to the ring. He did a good job throwing the sofa out of the ring, then the small items, but then he really seemed to struggle getting that loveseat up. After watching it a second time it was obvious that he wasn't struggling with the weight of it, but the awkwardness of it. Once he got that loveseat up Ryback had no issue with it. I think I want Ryback to help me the next time I have to move. The throwing things isn't great, but his strength is dang impressive! I also found it interesting that the mic was bounced from the ring so early in Ryback's rampage, but whichever fan ended up with the mic didn't say anything into it until the commercial break. I think the WWE was very lucky for that, but I found it strange that Ryback threw the mic when there was so many other, more impressive items to throw.
All in all I think this segment went over quite well, except my worry that Miz is going to be stuck feuding with Ryback. The last thing anyone needs is someone of Miz's caliber, heck anyone for that matter – to go into a feud with Ryback and get injured. I just worry that Ryback's ring work isn't refined enough yet. Watching him brings me back to the 2011 Royal Rumble. Husky Harris hit the ring and was so excited that his ring work was incredibly sloppy and VERY dangerous. It was just after that when Harris' head was punted off by Orton and we haven't seen him since. I get that same vibe from Ryback. While I don't think Ryder is as dangerous as Harris was that night, I still don't trust him in the ring. VKM is still the only one on his happy little Ryback island.
Backstage Segment > B
Punk and Heyman together are just great. This segment was a bit short to show them off at their best, but it worked. Honestly, I thought Josh was going to be splatted across the floor when he approached them. Guess that was Kane's job.
Santino vs Ziggler > B
This was a cute little match, but not where I want to be seeing Ziggler. Nothing against Santino, he worked wonderfully with Ziggler, and I'm a huge Santino fan (one of the few), but he's not the type of wrestler Ziggler should be facing. It seems like Ziggler keeps taking one step forward and two steps back. His match with Orton at NoC was the best undercard match of the night. Heck, it was a lot better than the WHC Match, but since he was facing Orton, Ziggler absolutely couldn't get the win, even though he's sure proven himself to be worthy a lot more than Orton has lately, and he needs to be built up before he cashes in his MITB contract, Orton went over. The match at NoC, but this was a joke. Yes, Ziggler worked both of them beautifully, but this was such a letdown after what he'd shown the night before.
Winner – Ziggler (4:09)
Barrett vs Gabriel > C
When they first came out to the ring, I wasn't overly thrilled at the prospects of the match, and the fans in Connecticut were even less excited. That crowd was so lackluster that it made a really solid much less than what it was. Honestly, I thought both of them handled themselves well in the ring and put on a pretty decent match. I even didn't hate Barrett's new single fist finisher, even though it's rather boring and already used by Big Show. Okay, that was a bit sucky and he needs to find something better to end his matches. I know they want to push the bare knuckle thing, but it would have worked better if Big Show hadn't been using the WMD since he turned heel. Hopefully Barrett will pick up more reaction from the fans than he had here, because this was just pathetic and really brought down the match's grade.
Winner – Barrett (4:08)
Backstage Segment > B-
I really don't think the WWE does enough with Little Jimmy. There's a goldmine sitting right there, invisibly. Kofi has proven that he works well with the invisible friend as well, yet they only break him out now and then. I thought Sandow was perfectly pretentious, but Ryback was my favorite of the group. Between the way he intimidated Jared, then grabbed an extra sandwich like a little kid before stomping off.
Backstage Segment > B
While it's childish, and could very easily become VERY annoying, I'm loving Bryan and Kane running around claiming their the Tag Team Champions. It ties in very well to what their characters are doing and how they're interacting.
Tag Team Championship Match > A-
I have to say that Kofi and R-Truth did a great job of not completely disappearing with all that was going on between Bryan and Kane. I don't want to say that Kofi and R-Truth pale in comparison right now, but Bryan and Kane are on fire and keep stealing RAW out from under everyone, even Punk, Heyman and Cena. Then you add in some really great ring work and you have recipe for success. These guys went for almost thirteen minutes, and while a chunk of it was stolen from us by commercials, I was still left wanting more. I'm not sure which was funnier, that Bryan and Kane stopped in the middle of their celebration to hug it out, or JBL's reaction to them hugging in the ring. The fans chanting for them to 'hug it out' as they stood there was something I never thought I'd see in a WWE, but these two are making it work! We like to complain about the same old and boring stroylines, well this sure isn't the same old storyline!
Winners – Bryan & Kane (12:51)
Tensai vs Orton > C-
Was this Orton's punishment for flipping off the camera at NoC, or was it our punishment for making Orton into a Superstar that VKM feels the WWE can't do without. Either way we were all screwed here, right down to the man who continuously gets the 'Albert' chants.
Winner – Orton (6:01)
Backstage Segment > A-
This felt like middle school when people had to talk through their friends because it was too hard to do it themselves. I thought they did a great job of making it seem more mature than that, and it was very well executed.
In Ring Segment > A-
I'm not sure what was better, Sandow's list of words and sentences to go with them, or JBL berating Cole for not regularly using the word temerity. Okay, there's no comparison, Sandow is so much funnier. And yes, I do think Sandow is that good, and I can't wait to see how far he can go, I see much gold in this man's future.
Sandow vs Ryder >
I have to say how thrilled I am that Ryder actually got his entrance! Maybe I'm being a bit over zealous, but after the others who didn't get any televised entrance, I think I have every right to be a big flip. And I think Ryder and Sandow worked the ring quite well together. It wasn't the best match of the night, but coming off the last match, this was more entertaining. Actually, I think these two would be a wonderful feud. They're such opposites that the dichotomy could bring about some heated battles and some smashing promos! And, as per usual, I love Sandow's cartwheel.
Winner – Sandow (8:46)
Punk & ADR vs Cena & Sheamus > B+
First off, Heyman running down the ramp and leaping to high five Punk, well that just made my night. At that point I didn't care that I was somewhat brain fried from JBL's yelling, nor was I at all upset that my fingers were cramping up after three hours of typing, I was just giddy at the absurdity of it all. They could have ended RAW right there and I would have been a happy camper, but there was so much more! Punk standing in the center of the ring, glaring around at all he observed, holding that belt over his head as if it didn't weigh 27lbs! I know Punk is in fantastic physical health, but he didn't waiver a bit holding the belt high, and he made such an arrogant statement in doing it. Okay, he proved he can do that with such a heavy belt, time to retire it and bring in a belt that isn't so ludicrous and out of date.
All that, and yet not a word yet about the match. After all that went down at NoC, the way Punk and Cena battled, there was no way that they could be any match the night after and have it just not reach the standard they had set. Of course all four of these guys went out there and gave their all. They all worked the ring like they always do, and that's a very high level, for most of them (you know how I feel about ADR's ring work), and they added in a great amount of animosity, but in the end, it was the end that made the match. Punk took the ending of this match up a notch because of who he is. He's been so abrasive since he turned heel this time, and he poured all of that at Brad Maddox for not seeing Punk's foot on the rope. I cannot get over how long Punk left his foot on that bottom rope, and even better that he didn't back off Maddox all the way up the ramp and out. All of this is setting up perfectly for all of these variables to be thrown aside as we go into HIAC!
Winners – Cena & Sheamus (10:24)
Next week I'm going on vacation. I'll be heading out on Tuesday and won't be returning until the following Wednesday. Because of this next week's RIB is going to be quite abbreviated. I'll still be here and will get it out, but it won't be my normal in depth and detailed Blog, but I'll do what I can. I'll be missing one Impact, one RAW and one RIB. Please be kind to whoever fills in for me, or you'll have to deal with me when I come back.