Normally, I don't broach subjects that are close to my own heart in these pre-blogs, but I want to talk about something that a lot of people don't really think much about: marriage in professional wrestling. Sure, we see weddings used as jokes all of the time in WWE, but when in come to the reality of the situation, this business just doesn't seem to allow for marital happiness unless both partners are in it. Most of the time, when we hear of a split, it is because one partner can't take the fact that the other is on the road so much. And while I can sympathize with them, most of them knew what they were getting into. Sadly, for every Roddy Piper we see, we have dozens of John Cena's, Randy Orton's, and Ric Flairs. And with the scrutiny on these Superstars higher than ever in the age of TMZ and other tabloids, one has to wonder why anyone would even want to be married in this business.
Break it Down!
Daniel Bryan vs. Eric Rowan: 7.75
Boy, they aren't setting up for some disasters with the ladders, chairs, and tables all around the ring tonight, huh? Rowan was doing well in this match before the interference, but of course this couldn't have ended clean! But Bryan hitting the Knee on Bray was a perfect way to give him a leg up entering the match Sunday. He needed something like that in order to look viable against the Wyatts.
The Real Americans vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust: 8
Cesaro hit the Titles hanging above the ring! Could we have just seen a sign of where he is aiming? I love Zeb, but the shtick is getting quite old. He doesn't really change much between each promo. He needs a shot in the arm, or a foreigner to go against, as he may soon begin the fall into obscurity. And say what you will about Swagger normally, but he works well in a tag team. Maybe he is finally hitting where he should in his career. Heck, Zeb seemed shocked that they won!
Unification Video: 10
That was simply a beautiful video package that chronicled not only the history of the Titles and the men contesting the unification's feuds, but the points leading up to the match on Sunday. This may be on a B level PPV, but this match alone is seemingly going to be worth buying the PPV.
Bad News Barrett: 0
The last thing WWE needed was a guy with a gimmick that sounds like the worst internet trolls rolled into one horribly executed talking point. Please, for the love of all that is unholy, let Barrett get back in the ring and shut up.
Mark Henry vs. Damien Sandow: 5
Well, that was a waste of time. Sandow and Henry barely did anything before Sandow got himself counted out. And while that is Heel Tactics 101, it feels like a cheap and pathetic way to keep a stagnant show in mediocrity and to keep Big E. Langston from bombing on announce again because creative won't let him just be himself. And congrats to Michael Cole for showing why he should not be on announce again, as he said that Sunday will be Big E.'s first PPV Title defense.
WWE Shop Segment: 5.5
Booker, while typically great on the mic, was way to vanilla here. He was just trying to sell the merch and wasn't really letting a lot of his personality through.
AJ Lee and Tamina vs. The Bella Twins: 6.75
I love that Nattie is putting the pink streaks back in her hair! It gave her her something unique in her looks compared to the rest of the Divas. Nikki needs to wear an actual top in the ring. I worry every week if she is going to pop out of her top. I mean, it seems that the only reason she is wearing the cutoff top is to show off her new baby feeders. As for the match itself, this was just a short, quick, and typical Diva's match that, other than Nattie's bit of commentary, was completely forgettable.
Cena Promo: 7.25
While I have to say Cena's promo Monday night was easily the best he has had in years, if not his entire career, this one was just a bit lacking in comparison. He hit his bullet points he seems to always hit when he is going into a big match: Never give up, my opponent can't keep me down, the Champ is here, ect. And while the dig at Orton always running off when things don't go his way was a nice dig at him, as we all know his history of derailing guys, it still felt like same old Cena.
The Shield (Rollins and Reigns) vs. The Usos: 9
That has to be one of the worst shirts I have seen in a while! Whoever decided the Uso's faces were a good idea for a shirt needs to be slapped. And can we please make it a requirement that anytime Reigns and Rollins are in the ring together that Ambrose has to be on commentary? He is just flat out awesome to listen to! This match was everything we have come to expect from these four men. Hard hitting action, many close calls on pin attempts, jaw dropping moves such as that evil looking Samoan Drop, and a finish that made both teams look like they should be the top tier of the Tag Division. How the Usos aren't involved in the Fatal 4-Way on Sunday just baffles me.
CM Punk Promo: 8.25
Punk was spot on here. Questioning not if he could win on Sunday, but how many of them he would take down was a great move, as was him taping up his fists as he talked. It show great symbolism that he knows he's not in for a wrestling match, but a fight.
Ryback vs. Big Show: 6.25
Boy, Rey is a so small compared to Big Show! Of course, anyone who expected something big from this match was delusional. And the post-match beatdown of Axel was just as pathetic as the match itself. I just hope the pairing of Show and Rey is a brief one.
Bray Wyatt Promo: 7.75
Maybe it was just me, but something felt off about this one. It was Bray's usual stuff, and the message itself was good, but I think the transition and timing of the whole thing felt a smidge wrong.
SCF: No Grade
I can't really grade this, as it really didn't do much for the show. Honestly, the last thing I want to see is yet another feud between Miz and Kofi, but it is at least something for them to do.
Randy's Sorry: 6
So it was an unspeakable accident, yet you are describing it? Are you that stupid, or just uneducated in what the word unspeakable means? I know I am nitpicking there, but when a promo starts like that, it leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. So we are going to recap the footage that we have seen multiple times throughout the night with this segment? And hitting Steph in the shoulder knocked her out? She must be made of glass! Otherwise, this was just what I would have expected from Triple H and Orton, with the grovelling and posturing from Orton and the ambiguity of Triple H on where the Authority stands. Definitely not the strongest way to end the show, but considering the material in it, it was the only they could end it.
Overall Match Grade: 7
Overall Segment Grade: 6.5
Overall Show Grade: 6.5
Well, I should have completely expected a lackluster go home to the PPV, considering how WWE has been running things of late, but I had hoped they would have surprised us. Hopefully we will get a few swerves at TLC to make us interested in things again, as WWE is skirting with making fans lose complete interest by WrestleMania.