I really don't like Korporate Kane working the ring in dress pants. It's not the Kane I know and love, and there's few people who can make the look work in the ring. I understand that they want to differentiate the Big Red Monster, the Devil's Favorite Demon, masked Kane from the suited corporate sellout. Talking about it with Stacy, and he thought that Kane should come out in a red suit, carrying on the Big Red Monster feel of it all. While it would be great to see Kane in something other than his political suit that he wears to rallies and other Tea Party events, because he is the drabbest of the group, in the cheapest suits, I'm not sure they could do it in a way that works. First off, if he was in nicer suits, he'd look better than Trip, no way he should look better than the boss. He's also older, so he wouldn't look good dressing the way Orton does. While the all black look of Rollins would be more imposing, especially if Kane added in touches of red, but while that hipster look works for Rollins, I don't think it would work for Kane being side by side with Rollins. Kane is the muscle, and should look imposing, but he doesn't need to be a fashionista to do so. Do I think he needs more than the boring suits he's been wearing, yes, and I think a black suit with a red shirt and black tie would be great – basically Brother Love's look, but black rather than white – but I also think it's a fine line to walk as the oldest member of the group, and not the boss. Honestly, I should be glad that he's dressed the way he is, and not running around in a dress the way the Stooges (Patterson & Brisco) ended up doing at one point while hanging with Vince McMahon.
In Ring Segment > B+
I enjoyed Heyman and Cena here. They were both strong on mic, and within their characters. They work well together, and set up for what was to come later in the night. This is more of what I'd like to see from Cena. He's stronger, more edgy, yet still sticking to his ideals. This just proves that it is possible to be John Cena and not have to be corny to be a hero. He can be edgy and fun, and not always perfectly nice to be the beloved good guy.
Video > B
There's one thing I have to say about Cena, and it's about Cena as a person, not just the character we see on TV. If anyone was to learn a few words of Punjabi so he could converse with Khali, it would be Cena. It didn't shock me in the least, and exactly what I'd expect from Cena. I also have to say that this is a great role for Khali. He's on TV, and not working the ring. The best of both worlds.
Jericho vs Kane > B
This match seemed to come out of nowhere. Honestly, I'm not understanding the booking of Jericho these days. He's being thrown into matches with a variety of people for no obvious reason. Now, this was a solid match between Jericho and Kane, for their age. I can't say this was a great match, but it was solid for two guys who are in their 40s, and have been wrestling for over twenty years each. They did a solid job of it, but, the same as last week, Kane just didn't look as strong as he normally does. I chalked it up to him having an off night last week, and while this wasn't as bad as last week, he still didn't look like he was feeling wonderfully. Maybe it's that I'm used to seeing him work under a mask, and I've been watching a lot of wrestling from the 90s, and my brain isn't working well bouncing back and forth. I don't know why Jericho's obvious changes, and his slowing and aging in the ring isn't hitting me, and it might be the mask thing, but he's looking as I expect week in and week out. It's just been Kane these past two episodes that have me worried.
Winner – Jericho (13:18)
Backstage Segment > B
I really enjoy Reigns on mic in these little segments. They're the right length for him, and he works well with Renee. This is a safe way for Reigns to continue working the mic, growing and learning. He absolutely works better when he's on screen with someone else.
Bo vs Swagger > B
This match was actually better than we've seen from Bo, and it was a solid match for Swagger. I didn't think it was possible, but Bo didn't suck up the ring big time, and Swagger didn't injure anyone! Okay, I'm joking about the last part, Swagger hasn't hurt anyone in a while, and hasn't been caught doing anything stupid in a while either. Swagger is stronger than this, Bo isn't as strong as this, but in the end, it worked out quite well for both of them. It wasn't an A+ match, but it was a solid B, and that's more than I could Bolieve Bo could give at this point.
Winner – Swagger (6:02)
Announce Segment > B
Normally I ignore most announce segments in the RIB, but I have to comment on this one. I've really enjoyed the Monday Night War episodes, and have watched each of them more than once, especially when I have to show Stacy specific segments I know he'd love, or have heard about for years, but haven't actually seen. I was wondering what the next episode would be about, and I'm thrilled that it's about Bret Hart, and I almost can't wait for tonight to see it!
Paige & Nikki vs AJ & Brie > B
This match wasn't great, but it was glorious compared to what Cameron gave us later in the show. Paige didn't look as graceful as she usually does in the ring, but she was as hard hitting. Brie took some solid blows in that ring, and took them like a trooper. I love Paige's knees to Brie's chest as Brie leans out through the ropes. It's a favorite move of Paige's. Add in Paige pulling her opponent's head up off the mat to head butt it is great too, and it's the way she sells these moves with her whole body and her face that makes them so much more than the sum of the parts of those moves. Paige is growing week to week, and turning into a force to be reckoned with as a WWE Diva. Also, I love the way AJ mocked Paige from outside the ring, skipping around with her, after the match was over. More proof that AJ is the top Diva right now.
As I said, Brie took a beating out there and looked solid doing it. If it had been Rosa out there, it would have been another major failure, but Brie made it work wonderfully. If the Bella feud had been more ring work and less of Nikki whining and Brie making that face, I don't think any of us would be complaining half as much as we have been about their recent work together.
Winners – Paige & Nikki (2:59)
DEP! > A-
I really enjoyed Bray's talk about Goliath, and that each person has their own Golaith. While he was still kind of hard to hear and understand at certain moments, what he said was quite poignant. This was one of his best of the past couple months for being far reaching and hitting closer to home to all watching.
Backstage Segment > B
Again, a great segment for Khali. The man has such great comedic timing, and most of it from not knowing the language, but it works, and Khali sells it well. The way he worked with Heyman, then the way he tried to phone and said, "Hello, don't have ception now!" had me completely hooked, and laughing aloud.
Big Show vs Bray Wyatt > B+
These two have been working the house show circuit, and I think a great pairing in the ring. Big Show needs something to do, because the booking of himself and Henry on TV has been so shotty the past month or so. They could have been great against Harper and Rowan, then they suddenly put Henry with Rusev, what's up with that? Honestly, I was excited to see Henry and Big Show working with Harper and Rowan, and this feud with Bray does lend into that, so it makes some sense. I guess it's WWE creative trying to make sense of screwing up in such a huge way. I know Henry and Big Show are serious names that have proven themselves, and they can pretty much get anyone over, but why are they suddenly spread so thin helping five people? There's only two of them – even though they weigh at least six cruiser-weights.
Winner via DQ – Big Show (4:43)
WWE Rewind > B
Normally I don't write about these either, but this past weekend I watched when Vader 'broke' Yokozuna's ankle and they had to take him out via forklift to the ambulance. It was watching how Yokozuna sold the ankle that brought me back to Jey selling his knee a few weeks ago. It was so similar. I had wondered where Jey learned to sell like that, and I absolutely have my answer, from watching his uncle Randy Anoa'i. It was nice to see such a similarity in a great wrestling family.
Usos & Sheamus vs Cesaro & Dusts > B+
As per usual from all these guys, the work in this match was better than solid. I love the Usos, and the Rhodes brothers are killing it as the Dusts! Cody is getting into his character more and more each week, and you never know what he might do next. Hello, meowing at his brother for no reason? He's not as absurd as Goldust was back in the day, but he is creative, and embracing it with all he does. I'm continually blown away by Stardust.
I know why Cesaro didn't do the big swing, and he got the heat for it at the moment, but he really didn't show the personality or anything of himself that he showed us last week when he was working outside the ring to taunt Sheamus. I'm a huge Cesaro fan, have been since ROH, but he's running so hot and cold lately. I don't know what he's getting for feedback backstage, but he needs to put it all out there for the fans, and they will respond.
Winners – Usos & Sheamus (13:09)
Backstage Segment > B-
So, Orton wants time of for lousy creative, and he had to say something to show the bad creative from last week when he attacked Jericho, and set up for his match at NoC that makes less than no sense. If Orton wasn't so Orton, I'd almost feel bad for him. But he is Orton, and I hold very little for any man who looks such a gift horse in the mouth and only shows bad behavior for everything he's been handed on a silver platter.
In Ring Segment > A-
This is the Cena I've been wanting to see for a very long time. He really didn't overstep his bounds as the hero, and even Sam who was terrorized by her biological mother's boyfriend said that Heyman had it coming, that Cena was standing up to a bully. I love that Cena Sr. plays a Heyman-esque heel manager on the indie scene, so that made this segment that much more fun for me. I loved that Cena didn't back down from Heyman, and really snapped when Heyman brought up his mother. Cena has always been big on defending his family on WWE TV, so it was the perfect thing for Heyman to say.
I said to Stacy, before this segment started, that Cena would put his hands on Heyman, and that's when Brock would show up. It's just what made sense. I also wasn't surprised that Cena took that German and seemed to be done. What did surprise me was that Cena came back swinging the way he did. He really pounded the heck out of Brock's face, and seemed to enjoy doing it.
The only glaring glitch in this segment was at the end. It took a dozen guys to peel Cena off Brock, but when Brock was out of his line of sight, Cena got back into the ring to pose for his fans. What happened to being pissed off and wanting to pound Brock's face in? He was right behind the curtain, but because Cena couldn't see him any longer, it didn't matter? To me that was lazy creative.
Announce Segment > B
Steph is in Shape magazine, good for her. I can't wait to read the article.
Cameron vs Naomi > F-!
What an epic fail! Whoever in this world who thinks that Cameron is worth more than bouncing around with pompoms, really needs to look at what they think of the wrestling industry. I think we should have known from the start, when she told Stone Cold Steve Austin that her favorite match of all time was between Fox and Melina. The look on his face, and his reaction was a lot nicer than mine was sitting on the sofa watching it all unfold. I've tried to block out that Cameron and that girl were the same person, but it came glaringly obvious in this match.
There's been an obvious divide between the work rates of Cameron and Naomi. Naomi is one of the best wrestlers on the roster, and in this match Cameron proved that she's on par with Rosa, and that's just horrific. I'd say that even Eva Marie is better in the ring than Cameron and Rosa, and she's the newest on the roster.
I was mortified for Naomi being stuck in the ring with Cameron in this match, but then Cameron took it to a whole new level of epic fail. That split leg drop that she brought huge attention to herself by using, being that it was Melina's move, and she so loves Melina's wrestling work, but then when she did after just sealed the deal for this being the worst match of the year. I honestly thought Rosa would have won that award in her match (not sure if it was last week, or the week before), when she looked so lost in the ring, and couldn't seem to figure out where she was supposed to be, or what she was supposed to be doing. But then Cameron yelled at the ref to count, and yelled again, the whole while Naomi was face down on the mat! The confusion of the ref, asking her what he was supposed to count was fantastic! He handled the whole thing well, and I will say that Cameron stayed in character when she flipped Naomi and yelled at him again to count, but the mess had been made, and there was no way around it.
Cameron needs to go back to NXT and actually learn how to wrestle. I know she's a hot head, and wouldn't hesitate to take my head off for telling her this, but I wouldn't hesitate to tell her to her face that she does not belong on WWE TV as a Diva!
Winner – Naomi (4:23)
Miz & Mizdow vs Ziggler & R-Ziggler > B-
What the what? I guess I should be happy that Sandow and R-Truth are getting ring time and TV bonuses, but ugh! Okay, the designer in me was thrilled to see how they were all dressed for the ring, and they all made it work, even though the whole thing is daft. Honestly, the announcers made this match into even more of a mockery than it was, with their saying they couldn't tell the difference between Ziggler and R-Truth during the match. I know they were doing what they were told, and they sold it well, but I'm just not feeling this whole thing.
On the other hand, the ring work was solid! These four really worked the ring, and sold their moves and the bumps they took. I enjoy watching most of these guys work the ring, and they really stepped beyond the storyline, while still telling us the story in this match. I quite enjoyed watching their ring work, in spite of the storyline. Sadly I had to mark them down for the storyline, and wish I didn't have to listen to the announcer during this one.
Winners – Ziggler & R-Truth (5:07)
Backstage Segment > B-
I thought Rollins was solid here, though the rolling his knuckles on the floor to be Reigns came off really weak to me. But honestly, what really killed this for me was Tom. He was duller than Byron Saxton. Byron is usually duller than watching paint dry, but that would be exciting compared to Tom here. He's not even a hot mess, he's just a mess! He'd be worse than Adamle and Maddox together, if he gave us enough to to work with! He is what killed that segment for me, even though Rollins was decently strong.
Reigns vs Rollins > B+
I really loved the back and forth work between these two. When two guys who have worked together as a team in the recent past are in the ring and they're able to hit all their moves, I have to call shenanigans. They didn't do that in this match. The two of them countered each others moves, and avoided others. Reigns countered on Rollins a lot, and Rollins both avoided Reigns first through the ropes kick, and jumped over the spear. That's the way things should be between former partners, and they did a solid job of it.
These two work the ring together really well, and while I'm looking forward to their NoC match, I'm also a bit worried. First off, will they be able to take it up a notch and really give us a show stealing match, it's possible, but they've been giving us so much each week on Raw, so how much can they dial it up? Then there's the old thing that when the face wins clean on the go home Raw, he doesn't win at the PPV. Okay, I said it, I want Reigns to win at NoC. Rollins has the case, and will be cashing it in at some point, and I'll be shocked if he doesn't become WWE WHC when he does. Reigns, on the other hand, has a longer road of abuse to get there.
Winner – Reigns (11:30)
In Ring Segment > B+ & D
I love where they are taking this storyline, and it makes a lot of sense for Henry to be facing Rusev, but it would have been better if they hadn't paired him with Big Show in the same episode that they started this feud. Honestly, Henry was strong here, and it's nice to see him really being strong, especially after all his flops in the past. I've gotten over bashing Henry, and it seems as though he's gotten over bashing everyone in sight on Twitter, so hopefully he's turning over a new leaf, and things will go well for him in this feud, because he's really coming across well here.
I wrote earlier about how great the writing was between Heyman and Cena, but the great writing didn't extend to this segment. Lana came out and talked about how Henry was talking about education. Henry didn't say anything about education, and then Lana talked about how she was going to use the tron as a visual aid, but then only used it to show us Aleksandr Kurlovich and Vladimir Putin. How is that so different from her norm? She said the words, but they had so little to do with actually reacting to what Henry, and what she was really doing. I feel bad for Lana in this segment as it was so disjointed, and most of it was on what she was scripted to say, and not how she delivered it. Honestly, Lana is perfection in this role, perfection to look at, and is the only reason almost everyone can even stomach Rusev's segments. It's a phrase we all know, but haven't heard for years (other than on the WWE Network, for only $9.99), "This is for all the women who want to be me, and all men who come to see me!" It might have been Mrs. Lesnar's signature line, but it's reality for Lana (mouth closed), and she doesn't even need to do the grind.
I was so sick on Sunday that I thought it was NoC, and there was no way that I was going to stay vertical for that show. I was bummed that I was going to miss the WNW Live Blog, but then Richard and Jesse told me that I was a week off. I was thrilled that I wasn't missing anything, and that we still had the go-home Raw coming up. Well, I have to say that much of the show was better than last week, but it wasn't even a B+ show all the way around. The only thing going for it was that there was a lot more wrestling, and a lot less talking. Other than that epic fail of a match, everything was just average, and that's not great for a go-home Raw.
Queen of WNW