This time of year is always rough for the WWE. They have a lot to show, but there can be a real worry about ratings. Luckily the WWE has pulled their heads out and have worked hard to bring the ratings back up. The Slammy Award episode of Raw rarely has much great ring work, but this year they surprised me with the main event.
I thought the Slammy Award parts of the show were the worst parts of the night. They have tried to make them too much like an awards show, with scripting so flat that even the best on mic look lame. I want the fun Superstars who I love, not a mere shadow of who they are on TV. I think it's time the WWE stops trying to act like it's a real award show and bring back the fun and entertainment the Slammy Awards once were.
In Ring Segment > A+
Steph is just amazing on mic! She was really rough, and somewhat annoying when she first started on TV, but she's grown in so many ways – not just her chest and her muscles. She's taken working off the baby weight to a whole new level, and looks amazing each time she enters that ring. The new red tint to her hair adds a tiny bit more sass to her as a heel, though this would have been a great night for her to wear black leather, as she was in full on heel mode. She was last week as well, but she didn't go into the ring to beat up Reigns last week – which she so obviously did with those eight slaps.
Reigns has really gotten into his groove on mic. He's relaxed into his character, carries himself with an air of confidence he didn't have six months ago. He's oozing into his Austin-esque role in this storyline, as Steph is taking being her father to a whole new level. The way she screeched at him to leave the ring as Reigns worked the fans for pop was fabby! He finally has that swagger he needs to work the mic with the best, who really is Steph right now. Steph did things on mic that Trip and VKM could never do, because she can fling hormones around like no man can without looking like a puss.
Then she did exactly what a heel boss should do, and did it beautifully, setting up some solid matches for an episode not known for its ring work.
Slammy – Break Out Superstar of The Year > B
Ziggler looked really snazzy in a very modern take on a navy tux with an almost clashing purple bow tie. Few men could pull off that look, and he'd have looked silly with his hair down, but with it slicked back, he looked HOT!
The nominees were – KO, Neville, Charlotte, Breeze, Braun
I will admit I'm shocked that Neville won. I thought it would be KO or Charlotte. Both of them had huge breakout years, Neville's been struggling along in the WWE since coming up from NXT. He's fantastic at what he's done, but he's not over like he should and could be. KO and Charlotte have both won gold and proved they deserved to wear gold.
It was great that KO came out and got in his face. Makes me wonder if the voting was rigged, because Neville really didn't break out of anything this year. Or, Neville clearly won and they needed to get KO out there to start a feud with Ziggler. That's a feud I can get behind though only five refs to break them up? It really should have taken more than that!
I think they did a solid job of scrapping a segment that went in a direction that the WWE didn't expect it to go. I have to admit that I'm shocked that Neville won, but I guess with the way they worked around the unexpected shows that they do follow the voting of the fans, not what they had planned to happen in the first place.
Winner – Neville
Kane vs Bray > C
This was much screwiness from the start. I know they need a place/storyline/feud for Kane, as he is one of the workhorses of the roster, but I'm not sure this is the best spot for him. Well, I don't know what the plan for him is long term, but I hope it involves his brother. The Brothers of Destruction came together rather quickly after Kane debuted (less than a year), so Taker ending with Kane only feels right to me. I guess I know why they started this match this way, but sending one guy out against four, even though only Bray was scheduled to work the ring, was a bad thing for Kane.
Well, I guess Team ECW isn't done with They Wyatt Family just yet. The problem I had with this was it felt too Teddy Long, and they didn't explain why Rhyno wasn't there.
8 Man Tag Match > C+
I was really bummed when I realized that Starbucks' new ceramic travel mug is yellow with black dots. I'd have gotten one just for my love of Dusty, but they got it backward. Beyond that, I have little to say about this match. I just re-watched the match, and while there were a lot of big guys in that ring, there was nothing extremely interesting or exciting about it. I'll be talking more about my feelings about the scheduled matches, and why I think certain things are not working in the WWE as this RIB goes along. I have a lot to say, but it's better to split it up a bit. I will say that I'm quite happy They Wyatt Family is back together again, factions are a good thing when handled well, and with the huge talent on the roster, factions can only help get the best over when there's little time for that to happen singly.
Winners – They Wyatt Family
Slammy – LOL Moment of The Year > B
It was great to see Santino announcing the Laugh Out Loudest Moment of The Year. I miss seeing Santino on a regular basis though it seems like he's doing quite well for himself in Canada. A Canadian playing an Italian, and who used to play a Russian – and does so better than anyone ever!
New Day battles Edge & Christian backstage
Bushwackers at Hall of Fame
Miz's Niagra commercial
New Day gets Steph and Trip dancing
R-Truth didn't realize he wasn't in MITB
I love Santino and R-Truth, they are two of the best for easy comedy. They both just flow in the role. I know New Day does most of the comedy right now, but I'd love to see R-Truth jump in with little-confused bits now and then, like this one he won the Slammy for. I will say that in the Open Discussions, this R-Truth segment is mentioned quite often because so many people thought it was well executed, so there was no shock that it won.
Winner – R-Truth
Saint Mick! > B+
Noelle and Mickey with Foley were great. Noelle is beautiful, and Mickey looks just like his Dad. I'm biased, everyone knows I'm a HUGE Foley fan. Further, Foley's cheap pop, even though he wasn't there, was kick butt!
Slammy – OMG Moment of The Year > A-
I love Paul Heyman! Then again, we all know the man is a wrestling genius, and his involvement helps any show he's involved with. He's so great no matter what version of Heyman he's playing
Rollins cashing in
Brock destroyed everything in sight
Jey & Kalisto
They Wyatt Family & Taker
Reigns & Trip & Sheamus
Kalisto got a Mazel Tov from Heyman, and I think that's very cool but not surprising as Heyman really appreciates where Kalisto came from and what he does. That move from Kalisto at TLC was one of the best we've seen since E&C, Hardyz, and Dudleyz. Further, Kalisto didn't look like he was dead after he did it, the way Jeff Hardy almost always looked after an epic move.
Winner – Kalisto
Ziggler vs Owens > A-
Ziggler and Owens in the ring together, of course, it was a blast! I know a lot of the IWC is down on Ziggler right now, and I don't get it. He went from being called the most underrated on the roster to being trashed for his over-selling. Ziggler sells almost exactly the same way HBK used to sell, someone Ziggler's been compared to for much of his career – and for good reason. When the only reason you have issue with someone is because of how they over-sell, but the way they sell is really just more old school than most on the roster, I think it's a weak reason.
Ziggler is never going to get to the top of the game in the WWE. There are too many great young wrestlers on roster for him to climb over, and some who are not as young (KO), but who are new and making waves in the WWE, it's time for him to continue as the workhorse that he is, and prove himself in his longevity. Personally, I'm always excited to see Ziggler in the ring, when he's facing someone he works well with. KO is one of those people, and I'd love to see a long and storied feud between the two if them, as long as it's not the two of them facing off every week. I want to see them both working the ring with other people as they feud, and then facing off in bigger matches at the next couple PPVs. I think it will make their feud more interesting and exciting.
I'm creeping up on a segment that I wrote during Raw last night, so bear with me and you will understand where I'm coming from with these feuds and storylines.
Winner – Owens
Slammy – Superstar of The Year > A
I love that all Superstars were eligible this year, as some years it has felt fixed from the nominees. This year it could be anyone, even though we all know that it was down to just a couple. Everyone in the open chat agreed that it would be Reigns, Rollins, Cena, KO, or Taker because they had the strongest year. While Cena has won a number of times, it's his series of US Title matches that really pushed him into the running again this year. The issue I did have is that they focused on a few Superstars who were at the top of their list to win this, rather than just leaving it with showing everyone on the roster.
Rollins looked like he was hurting! I know he's already started rehab, but he was struggling on those crutches. I know his knee was more injured than most, simply by landing on it wrong, but dang he looked really sore here. I think that's why it took him so long to come out, just getting through gorilla had to be difficult. Then again, he might be eschewing pain killers and working through the pain, or possibly didn't want to be seen on WWE TV while on pain meds, and as someone who deals with severe chronic pain, I completely understand that. If that's what it is, I give Rollins that much more, because working through post-op pain like that, even this far out, can be excruciating.
“Thank you Seth!” chants were perfect. He deserves that love and so much more.
He almost went face, for a moment, thinking he might thank the fans, but then went full on heel Rollins. He's so great at what he does, and it tore my heart out when he was injured in such a freak way, and so badly injured. It had to rip his heart out that much more. “One wrong landing and it disappears, just like that,” as Rollins said, is exactly how this industry works. He really understands how the industry works and got very serious about 2016. He talked about redesigning Rollins, how he will return to get his title he never lost. He will take back what is his, and I don't doubt him for a moment. It's obvious that this moment meant so much to him. I am willing to bet that this was a lovely holiday gift for Rollins, and one he truly deserves.
Winner - Rollins
ADR vs Swagger > C-
One of the biggest issues I have with the WWE right now is that if one wrestler is feuding with another, all we see is them fighting one on one, them fighting in tag matches with others in feuds, or them avoiding each other in matches, but attacking each other whenever they can. I'm going to flash back to 1997-98 because that's what I think is one of the best times in the WWE, and I'm watching the Raws and PPVs straight through, so I have a solid handle on the storylines, feuds, and matches. Back then faces and heels had matches outside of their feuds, and not every match was something that was cut off my the people they were feuding with or led to other feuds. They put on solid matches between heels and faces just to have solid matches between heels and faces. The storylines grew and evolved through the weeks and at PPVs, but were not hinging upon something huge happening between the feuding parties each week. Sometimes people fought in matches with unexpected people, all for the entertainment of the fans. That's something the WWE really has forgotten how to do.
I'm more than over watching Swagger facing ADR because that's who he's feuding with right now. Neither of them are very interesting or exciting to me. But if Swagger was to face Barrett, without ADR getting involved, that could be a lot more entertaining for the fans. Even though neither are faves of mine, the match would be something new and fresh, not something we've been seeing every week!
Now, don't be shocked, because ADR has been impressive since his return. He's cut, really appears to care about what he's doing, where he's working, and he's adding to his artillery of moves. Now if the WWE would make things a big more unexpected and gritty, and I'd be itching to watch Raw each week.
Winner – ADR
Slammy – Hero In All of Us Award > B
Henry looked adorable in his tux. I have a friend who used to work for a company that designed and made suits for men of unusual size. They were mostly NFL players and wrestlers. I've not gotten anything out of her about who she dressed, but seeing these huge Superstars in formal wear like this, I think to the fun Chele had to have with that job. She's now designing for LL Bean, and loves it, but I am so envious of her previous job.
I'm not shocked that Cena won this, but was shocked that there was heat that Cena wasn't there! Henry said the perfect things about doing what they do, not for awards, but because it's the right thing to do. He was the perfect person to accept for Cena in this spot. Henry about stole my heart.
Winner – Cena
Slammy – Surprise Return of The Year > D-
Sadly it wasn't Saint Mick who came out to announce this Slammy. It took a minute, and until he started talking, I thought it was Miz. But Bo's voice is so whiney and nasally that it could only be him.
I have real issue with this Slammy as Y2J, Kane, and Sting were not really surprising. Further, Sting only won because the fans wanted Sting to win a Slammy. This was really lame!
Winner - Sting
New Day vs Usos > B+
I was not a New Day fan early on, but they have meshed together so well. I loved that Kofi wasn't going to let them spoil Star Wars because he's not seen it due to being a dad. Yes, being a parent changes a lot. I haven't been to the movies in over a year but really didn't want this movie spoiled for me, so it was date night and Sam was with my in-laws. Sam is more of a Trekkie than into Star Wars, but I'm trying. I was four when Star Wars came out, so I remember the hype and it's something huge for me. I love that New Day stayed heel and teased spoiling, but didn't actually do it.
Okay, I got the issues I have with feuds and storylines off my chest, so now I'm onto the Tag Division. There's finally enough tag teams in the WWE that they can work things around and have different teams fighting each week, and I'm so thrilled about this. Further, I love that the Usos are healthy and back in the loop. It really felt as though something was missing when they weren't on TV on a regular basis. So there are enough teams around to work interesting and different matches each week, but we only really see three teams. What about Los Matadores? And then O'Neil and Young? I know Cesaro and Kidd are injured, but they can put Slater with someone, or Sandow with someone, and get another team in the mix. The LOD wannabes don't cut it, but all the other names mentioned are quite good and should be on TV. It's time to flood the Tag Division with even more talent and show us some epic tag matches because New Day vs Usos will get old quickly without more diversity.
Winners – Usos
Slammy – Diva of The Year > C-&B+
R-Truth with Diva of The Year? This should have been so funny, but he wasn't as funny and brainless as I expected from him. He said what he was scripted to say, but it wasn't the R-Truth we know and love. It really sucked.
Last year AJ said that someone like Paige needed to win this Slammy. I'm not sure they remembered that when they mocked Steve Harvey by having R-Truth announce Paige as the winner. But then, of course, it was Nikki. Honestly, while not thrilled, Nikki has grown a lot this past year. I'm not talking about carrying the strap long enough to be the longest reigning Divas Champion, but her actual ring work and how she carried herself. She's no longer the curvier Bella, she's a sexy woman who can finally hold her own in the ring. Further, Nikki stole this segment with how she made Paige stay with her, and what she said about female wrestlers, Divas, women, and little girls going for their dreams. She dropped all semblance of being heel and gave a Cena-esque speech that was well executed and well received. And, lastly, that jumpsuit was smoking hot!
Winner – Nikki
Rusev vs Neville > B-
So Neville wins Breakout Superstar of The Year, and get slapped down by Rusev? Gee, that makes a lot of sense! Okay, it's like Maria winning Diva of The Year and was fired two months later. WWE logic!
Okay, really looking at the booking. They could be setting up a face faction with Neville, Swagger, and others. It's a smart possibility at this point if they're going into factions with these guys. Further, if Barrett can keep from breaking for two weeks, a feud between him and Neville could be interesting. Talking things out here at the house, if Barrett was a face, he could really play up the glass jaw thing and make it into a running gag, but as a heel it would never work.
I just hope they have plans for Neville that involves backing of more than Miz, because if they don't, putting him in the ring with Rusev was just daft! What's further daft is that Neville was able to hold his own when Rusev was supposed to be unbeatable less than a year ago!
Winner – Rusev
Slammy – This Is Awesome Moment of The Year > D+
Miz, of course, is the one talking about how he will do better than the Oscars, and talking up his movies, but not nominated for his own award! Yawn. So not impressed that they're pulling all the personality out of the Slammy Awards to present it like a real award show, right down to the TERRIBLE scripting! I'm so over this shit.
Brock destroys J&J's car
Orton counters on Rollins
The Divas Revolution
The Shield reunites briefly
The Rock at WM with Ronda Rousey
Miz gets serious heat accepting for them. If Rocky was there, he'd be pushing Santa's Little Helper, it's bigger than Star Wars. Then Miz really did a horrible job with Rocky's catchphrase! This was tragic.
Winner – Rocky & Ronda at WM
Becky Lynch vs Brie Bella > B
This is exactly what I was saying earlier. There's no specific feud between these two, but they're in a match that helped Becky's storyline, but was also a decent little match between them. I liked it for that reason. I can't say I was thrilled with the control Brie got early on, as Becky is so much more talented than Brie, even though Brie has grown more than I thought she possibly could.
As a quirky chick who catches dirty looks and solid rumors from the soccer moms because of what I wear – creative, unusual, low cut, too tight, too much eye makeup and red lipstick, pink hair, semi-punk, 60s, 70s, 80s, and whatever I feel like on any given day – I appreciate Becky's plaid top in a huge way. While I don't have her waist, I'm inspired to make a longer version of her plaid top, possibly with tails. Yes, this is my way of saying I understand why the guys are so in love with Becky. She's a beautiful young lady with personality, but I hope they allow her to show a lot more of who she is coming soon.
Winner – Lynch
Slammy – Match of The Year > D-&B+
Flair looked trashed! I don't know if it's his fake teeth and they weren't seated right, but he was slurring more than he normally does. Further, it seemed as though his teeth were sliding around inside his mouth. Add in his too-red nose, his flushed cheeks, and his bleary eyes, and Flair looked like heck out there! I'm shocked they gave him an open mic, and right after we were all so excited that Flair wasn't ringside with Charlotte. Ugh! I've never been shy in my feelings about Flair, but he's really looking pathetic.
Cena vs Brock vs Rollins
Sting vs Triple H
Cena vs KO
Reigns vs Ziggler vs KO vs ADR
Brock vs Taker – HIAC
I know the nominees are who the WWE thinks should be nominated, but that Cena only had one of his US Title matches nominated was a travesty. I couldn't pick which of those were the best of the series! Further, I'm still so shocked that I'm talking about Cena in this way. He really proved to the fans that he can wrestle, even after more than a year at the top in the WWE!
Heyman handled that really well, reminding us who Brock really is, and what he's capable of when he returns. I know Heyman is Brock's mouthpiece, and it's a good thing he is, just seeing Heyman reminds us of Brock these days, and almost excites me about Brock returning, but then I realize that means Brock would be back on WWE TV, and that's something I never enjoy. I think I just get excited because it means more Heyman on mic, something I almost always thoroughly enjoy.
Winner – Brock Lesnar HIAC
Backstage Segment > B
I know why League of Nations attacked the Usos, and that's why there needs to be more factions in the WWE right now. As of this point, there are two factions of four, and one of three, and all of them are heel factions. That should show the face that they need to band together. I know that face factions crumble a lot, because someone always turns heel, gets bored, or is the odd man out, but it would help combat the three factions short term.
Steel Cage Match – Sheamus vs Ambrose > A-
Sheamus egging on the chants of, “This is boring!” when the fans are loving the match but want to show hate to Sheamus was hysterical. He's finally learning to work the fans when they're not giving him love. He finally appears to be embracing who he is as a heel, and that's something he's needed to do to really get over for a very long time.
White noise from the top looked beautiful! That being said, he had a goose egg over his left eye, and his right arm was covered with what appeared to be a fading green bruise that covered most of his elbow and up. Ambrose off the top of the cage was beautiful. Actually, so much of this match – post white noise – was beautiful. Sometimes I think that cage matches are too old hat, that there's little that can be done to make them new and fresh, but these six men did so much to change my mind about cage matches in this one match. I'm believing Sheamus as a heel and the leader of a faction that much more. I believe Reigns even that much more. And I don't think I could believe in Ambrose more than I do and have for a very long time.
Winner – Ambrose
Thinking about things, I hope Ambrose doesn't end up with the Foley treatment. He's the workhorse who will do anything, but never really gets much time at the top because someone doesn't think they're exactly right at any given time for any given reason. I hope that's not the truth, but it has me worried.
So, what do you think of my thoughts on feuds, storylines, and how the same people face off in the same matches every week? Give me your thoughts on the subject, and how you'd change things.
I couldn't come up with a title other than Rollins' quote, but I'm watching SD and King had to do one of his horrible puns, so I thought I'd use that as a change of pace. So don't blame me, blame King!
Queen of WNW