Over an hour of McMahon with Steve Austin on the WWE Network in one of the best shows the WWE has put on in years, and so much came of it, but it appears as though one line is becoming so much more. When I was watching the podcast on the WWE Network McMahon said a lot of things, but only one of them made its way back onto Raw, and it was quite pervasive, but by the wrong people.
It felt to me as though a couple of the Slammy Awards might have been rigged. I'm not pointing fingers, just saying that some of the results seemed not quite what I'd have thought they should be. I'll address each Slammy as I get to it.
I had been very excited to see Nattie and Charlotte work the ring together, Joshua Tucker asked to write that segment, so it's all his. I do have to say that I'm thrilled Charlotte was on Raw, especially in the ring with Nattie. While they didn't go all out the way they did on NXT, it was nice to see two Divas really work the ring and show how great they can be. That's what the Divas Division should look like each week.
Slammy Segment > B+
I loves me some Seth Green, and have since 1994 when I saw him playing an angsty teen on The Byrds of Paradise. I know he did a lot of work before that, but it was that show that he really jumped out at me. Then Buffy, Robot Chicken, and everything else he's done, I adore the man. Okay, I have a thing for gingers. My first boyfriend in middle school was a ginger, and Stacy is a ginger. I've been a redhead for much of my life, even though it wasn't natural. Needless to say, I adore Green, and needed to get it out now so I didn't gush through the entire RIB.
As much as I loves me some Green, and it was great seeing King in a tux looking so healthy, it was Mizdow who stole this segment. Miz might have been pontificating in his normal and over-the-top way, but all eyes were on Mizdow. That man is gold, and he barely says boo, and barely works the ring against another wrestler. I'm excited for Miz and Mizdow to break up and feud, but I'm more interested in seeing where Sandow will go from there, and how high he will get. The man is more than worth his weight in gold.
Ziggler vs Rollins > B+
The opening segment wasn't that long, yet they still had to cut three minutes out of this fantastic match. Okay, it would have been fantastic if they'd been allowed to go all out and work the ring with all they have without J&J Security getting involved. These two could have the best feud over the WWE WHC. I can see it happening. I can taste it. I know it might seem early for Rollins, but he has the MITB case, and then there's Ziggler who more than deserves to be a top guy. Okay, I still think Ziggler is missing that one bit of commitment with his hair. To me he just doesn't seem fully committed to who Dolph Ziggler is when he cannot keep up with his roots. Hogan might be a total tool, but his hair always looked right, his beard trimmed to perfection. Big Show's head is always shaved. And then there's Rollins whose hair is so fried it's starting to break off toward the front of his blond side, yet he's always on top of his roots. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen roots on Rollins, and that's when I was really hunting for them. I love Ziggler, and I know he's dedicated, but that one thing continues to nag at me. As I've said before, I have roots, but I'm not on TV. Also, I'm thinking of letting the gray grow in.
Beyond all my kvetching over Ziggler's hair, I'm excited for the future of the WWE with these two wrestlers. I've seen a lot in Ziggler for a long time, most fans have, and it finally seems as though he's coming into his own. His work has always been solid, but he's stepped that line recently into stellar. Also, he seems much more zen. Even when he's showing off, and his character has to be a berzerker, he still seems more at peace with himself and the world around him. Hopefully everything going on with Ziggler sticks, and he gets to the top.
Winner – Rollins (7:29)
Slammy > A-
There's no way Sting wouldn't win this Slammy. This was one Slammy that I had no question about. Of course it sucked that Sting wasn't there, and the fans in attendance were not thrilled that he didn't accept the Slammy, even via Rocky-Vision, I mean satellite, but to me it makes completely sense. It's too early for Sting to talk in any way, shape, or form on WWE TV. Having him accept this would weaken his next appearances, and his overall character going forward in the WWE.
On the other hand, having Rollins come up the ramp, go on the rant that he did, and walk off with Sting's Slammy was a wonderful way of handling the situation, and sets up for something going further. If they are going with Trip vs Sting at WrestleMania, having Rollins accept the Slammy because The Authority is gone makes absolute sense. But, and bear with me, how better to get a younger wrestler over than have him work WrestleMania with someone as epic as Sting? Just a thought, all my own, nothing I've heard, and not attempting to start a rumor of any sort.
Kofi vs Stardust > C+
Not the best match of the night, but not the worse either. The antics between A New Day was better than the actual ring work. I love how that faction is working together and seem to be slowly getting over with the fans. They are three that the fans want to see succeed, and hopefully, if McMahon doesn't completely pull the plug on them. I think they compliment each other well, and could help each other get to the next level, especially if they turn heel after being uber babyfaces.
Winner – Kofi (2:57)
Slammy Segment > A-
Sadly it's impossible to mock Laurinaitis, to the level he should be mocked, through my writing. I cannot put on that forced and raspy voice in my writing, though I'm thinking it. Of course Warrior won Surprise Return of the Year, because Sting wasn't nominated. And I'm glad Sting wasn't nominated, because Warrior really deserve this Slammy. I think his wife and daughters will treasure it for what it is, the fans loving Warrior, and the WWE honoring the man who was brought back into the family. It was a beautiful thing to see Warrior back, and while I had never been a huge fan of his, and lost a lot of respect for him because of many things he said online and as a college commencement speech, I came around and fell in love with him. It was beautiful to see the man who had his daughters escort him to the stage at the Hall of Fame, rather than a Diva. His choice to have Linda induct him felt strange at first, but after hearing her speak, it felt perfect. He so enjoyed being inducted, being at WrestleMania, and then being at Raw. I wrote his words as he spoke them, and I felt chills. Little did any of us know what was to come merely twenty-four hours later, though looking back, he didn't look well. He deserves this Slammy to round out his amazing year with the WWE, and how much he touched us all. The segment would have been an A+ for Warrior, but Laurinaitis needed to get in there and muck it up.
Backstage Segment > B+
I almost always enjoy Heyman on mic, but I get annoyed when it's just Heyman going on a rant, and not working off someone. Even the best need someone to work off from at some points. Rock is almost always better when bantering. Cena better when bickering. Austin better when quarreling. McMahon better when pettifogging. Even Bray better when quibbling. Monologues only go so far in the WWE, and while Heyman's soliloquies are always great, this was that much better.
While I think a Triple Threat Match with Rollins added would be so much more than Brock vs Cena, yet again, I also had the thought of Rollins as a Paul Heyman Guy, and I got giddy. I know it's not something that needs to happen, as Rollins can talk for himself quite eloquently, but it is a fun thought.
Nattie vs Charlotte > F
Okay what was the point in that? You do a video package for the girl, promote her match on NXT Takeover: R Evolution, and you have her lose to Natalya who's gone nowhere on the main roster in a long time. It's things like this piss me off about the divas division. How is any fan supposed to take her seriously now as the first thing they saw of her on the main roster was a loss. WWE screwed up big time here. It failed to promote the show and the developmental talent got the worst thing that could have happened to her in front of the live crowd. I only can hope that eventually Charlotte can recover from this.
Slammy > A-&C-
Santino was great out there presenting the OMG Shocking Moment of the Year, and I cannot think of any moment more shocking than Brock Lesnar ending Taker's Streak. It left the fans in attendance, at home watching, and even fans who haven't watched the WWE in year, in utter shock. It was something most of us never thought we'd see, and it happened before our eyes. It was absolutely the shocking moment of the year. It was also a great way to remind us of what a shocking year it's been in the WWE.
While Santino was great, wonderfully Santino, it seemed as though Heyman was cut off only part way into what he seemed to want to say. It felt too short, and very cut off by Bray, his lantern and the fireflies. So while the Slammy was perfectly deserved, the way the segment was handled wasn't.
In Ring Segment > A-
I loved the way Bray spoke about the rocking chair, and how much it meant to him. I found it interesting how he said the first time he saw her she was sitting in the rocker under a cypress tree. That makes me think that maybe Sister Abigail might not be his sister? I love how bits and pieces keep coming out over time. There's so much we don't know about Bray and Sister Abigail, and they're doing a lovely job of building Bray in layers, revealing bits and pieces over time. They did the same with Taker, and look where he ended up!
Ambrose really cut a figure when those ambulance doors opened and he was standing there back-lit with the smoke roiling around him. He looked great, and absolutely the Lunatic Fringe, but the look on his face when he was lounging on the table was straight up Eddie. We've all spent a lot of time comparing Ambrose to Austin, Razor, and so many others, but some of his Lunatic Fringe is out and out Eddie. It's been long enough that seeing that look on Ambrose's face brought a huge smile to my face. Makes me want to go back and watch some of Eddie' later work in the WWE.
I also have to mention that, for the second week in a row, there was accidental hardware to someone's head. Last week it was the stairs to Rowan's head, this week it was a flying chair to Bray's head! Seems like they're having honest accidents right now, I just hope there doesn't end up with honest injuries from them.
Slammy > A-
Seth Green honestly appeared to be in awe of it all. I'd have loved to see him present to AJ. I want to see how tall he is compared to her.
The way AJ hugged King was hysterical, and she sold it so well, but it was Titus I was confused by. Why was he hanging out backstage with the Diva nominees? It seemed so daft.
Now, I'm a huge AJ fan, but something in the flow and influx of how she speaks throws me sometimes. I really thought she'd drop a bit of that for her speech, but I guess she was staying in character, even though her words were a mix of kayfabe and not. I know AJ was specifically going against the Total Divas in who she wants to see win Diva of the Year next year, but Nattie is a great wrestler. I'd love to see some of these Divas come up from NXT and really work the ring with AJ, Paige and Nattie. The Bellas have gotten better in the ring, but they're still too worried about their reality and storyines to give hardcore wrestling fans what we want. I'm one who wants the Divas to be like the heyday of Lita and Trish!
Backstage Segment > B-
I said at the start that the one person who McMahon truly believes has more than stepped up is Cena, yet Cena is the one talking about stepping up! I do like how he talked about Rollins taking offense to the comment, and how Big Show thought he stepped up, but he was being a tool, but coming from Cena just has me rolling my eyes. I know Cena is a draw, sells serious merch, but I want something new and fresh from him. I know he has more than he's been giving, and I want to see it! I don't want him to turn heel, but I do want him to be interesting.
Rowan vs Harper > B+
Rowan seems like a totally different man from the one who started with Bray and Harper. I honestly didn't see a lot in him then, but now I think he could have a huge future. Rowan is blossoming by himself, something that I've seen happen so rarely that I wasn't sure it was really possible. Rowan is actually stealing the spotlight from Harper, and I never expected to see that happen! I'm more than impressed by these two, and kind of wish they were working against each other at TLC, even though their opponent will help them both move forward.
Winner – Rowan via DQ (2:03)
I'm thrilled to see Naomi in a storyline with her husband! It's great to see him talking, even though he's not as natural as he is on Total Divas. He will get there, as he really hasn't been given much of a chance to talk regularly on WWE TV.
Slammy > B
This is one of the Slammys that felt rigged. Yes, it was well handled by Miz and Mizdow, but I'm not sure that's where the voting went. This felt like more storyline than what the fans asked for. All that being said, Miz plays the arrogant git with blinders so beautifully, and Sandow is playing Mizdow even better than I thought possible. The man is a genius!
In Ring Segment > B-
I just thought of something! Last night I said Lana was wearing a lovely deeper and more purple lipstick than normal, but our new TV was delivered at 6:45PM, and we're only now realizing just how off the colors are on our new screen! So I could have been terribly wrong about Lana's new look last night, in that, she possibly doesn't have a new look!
I'm more than over their anti-America schtick, but if it helps Swagger get over as a good guy, I'm interested in seeing where it goes. I know Rusev has great ring skills, and isn't a one trick pony. Hopefully he and Lana will be able to move forward after this, without completely fizzling. I also hope, now that Angle won't be in the WWE any time soon, that Swagger is the one who takes out Rusev.
Usos & Ryback vs Miz & Mizdow & Kane > B+
As per usual, I was running late by this point, but because of voting for the Slammy Awards, I had my phone on the WWE App next to my netbook as I typed. On it I saw Mizdow's handstand outside the ring when Ryback had Miz up for the delayed vertical. Even if they hadn't come back to show it after returning from commercial, I still would be talking about it here, because again, Mizdow stole the show! That was his third segment on Raw this week, and the third time Mizdow made it all about himself without saying a word, or even really working the ring with another wrestler. Who else has ever done that?
Exactly what I'm saying!
They all looked solid in this match, and worked it hard. I'm loving seeing Ryback being a team player, and not just as a pseudo heel with Axel! The twins are solid all the way around, and it seemed as though Kane was almost non-existant in this match, which is funny because Mizdow wasn't in this match at all! Specifically, I loved the Uso (sorry that I don't remember which) just shrugged when Mizdow came in and worked against no one to be Miz's stunt double. Again, Mizdow was a huge part of what made this match great, though all three faces left an impression as well.
Ryback hasn't done a lot of comedy, but working with Green the way he did after this match was adorable. Green is a tiny little thing, and trying to raise Ryback's hand was silly, and fun.
Winners – Usos & Ryback (10:06)
Video > A
I really want to go back and watch early Slammy Award shows. I remember one, from back before we all knew Steph and Trip were married, even though we all knew, where Trip ended up mooning everyone, so Steph slapped is ass. Trip ended up leaving the stage with his bum still hanging out. Anyone who can tell me what year that was gets a cookie.
Slammy > A
I adore Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat, and it has nothing to do with my service dog being named Dragon. I had nothing to do with Dragon's name, though he does look like Falcor. I've always enjoyed Steamboat, but recently watching Beyond The Ring: Ricky Steamboat on the WWE Network, I completely fell in love. Seeing Steamboat work the ring with Piper and Snuka against Jericho at WrestleMania showed that that he's not one who hung on too long, and still had all it took to go in the ring. He was shockingly impressive.
I knew Steamboat had been working with the WWE backstage for a long time, but it was Jesse who told me that he and Ziggler had become quite close. That does explain the wonderfully sweet moment Steamboat and Ziggler shared when Ziggler came out to accept the Slammy for Match of the Year. Some could complain that Ziggler was only one of ten men in this match, but he was absolutely the standout, and is obviously going into a SERIOUS push.
The fans were not at all thrilled that this match won Match of the Year, but Ziggler saved the segment. This was absolutely the best I've ever heard Ziggler on mic. He was sweet, endearing, honest, and really stole my heart. Back to Ziggler feeling really zen right now, and really in the Zone right now. Fingers crossed that things will go as I hope for him, because he's more than paid his dues. Not sure which was worse, Spirit Squad or being Kerwin White's caddy!
AJ vs Summer Rae > C+
Summer Rae covering AJ the first time was graceful and looked great, but quickly went downhill with her spinkick that was late. AJ made the kick work. Summer Rae's submission hold looked solid, better than most Divas with submission holds – other than AJ and Nattie. That being said, the way AJ locked on her finisher looked a little over choreographed and contrived for my taste.
It's time to get over the "CM Punk!" chants! Punk is off doing his own thing, and AJ should be appreciated for what she's doing herself. AJ is more than her husband, and no matter what bit of fluff she's in the ring with, she deserves more respect than that. Also, are AJ's abs more cut than they were? She's looking really buff. Not too much, but more than she was.
Winner – AJ (2:19)
Slammy > B
RVD looked really good in his tux. He cleans up quite well. It's a bummer than Jericho wasn't able to be there to accept his Slammy, but he will be on Raw next week, so I'm sure he'll say something about it then. I'm in shock that Jericho went off the top of the cage at 43 (he's 44 now). I know how much my body hurts on a normal day, and I'm a bit younger and don't abuse my body like he has.
Not sure what Fandango being out there was all about, but his character is sucking! His previous dancing character was so much better than this. At least he had music people wanted to sing along with. Now he's just coming off as nasty, sleezy, and nothing I'd be willing to touch with a ten foot pole. He gives me the heeby-geebies!
Backstage Segment > B
I thought Noelle was better last week. She just seemed wonky this week. I also noticed a couple of the names Santa Foley was sending gifts to. I head both Frank and Al and had to laugh. Leave it to Foley to slip things like that in there
Backstage Segment > C
Wasn't a great segment for Big Show. He's sometimes good on mic, sometimes he seems really off. Last couple of weeks had been decent, but this was almost straight up bad. Actually, it was average, and average is not a good thing for a veteran like him.
Slammy > B+
I'm shocked we got through Superstar of the Year without a Shucky Ducky Quack Quack!
This is one Slammy I'm questioning. I really thought that Brock or Ambrose would win this, though I thought Bryan might end up with it, but not Reigns. Don't get me wrong I loves me some Reigns. He came out with that slow and sexy roll he has, and was sultry and yummy on mic. He really sold it all well, especially when he said, "This isn't satellite baby, this is the real deal here." He was obviously thrilled to be there, has plans and goals for when he returns, and does expect to be a top Superstar, and soon. I'm excited and cannot wait to see what he amounts to after being the greenest of The Shield, and improving so much and so fast. He's part of one of the biggest wrestling families, and he's very poised and ready to try to be the biggest of them all, and that's saying something HUGE. Speaking of that, I'd have loved to have seen Reigns work the ring against Rock in his prime. Imagine.
Now, for my reasoning about who I thought should have won, and why I didn't think Reigns or Bryan should have won this Slammy. First off, while Reigns has a huge future ahead of himself, he's not really broken out on his own from The Shield the way Rollins and Ambrose have, and when he was starting to he ended up in emergency surgery. It wasn't his fault, it was just something that happened, and the timing wasn't the best, but it could have been worse, look at Bryan! But Reigns hasn't had the year to win the Slammy for Superstar of the Year. He will, but this wasn't it.
The same could be said for Bryan. He's had one hell of a couple years, but he's been out too much of 2014 to be Superstar of the Year. Bryan was on a roll like few in many years, but his health got in the way and truly worst possible moment. So while Bryan was HUGE, this wasn't the year for him to win Superstar of the Year.
But then there's Ambrose who has had a fantastic year! He's worked hard and not just grew into a beloved Superstar, he's created a beloved Superstar through his words, actions, and all of those facial expressions. Ambrose is incredibly expressive, and through that and his work has created a character who's exploded. We never know what Ambrose is going to do next, and possibly could win Superstar of the Year next year if he continues in this vein. He's going to be huge, and for a long time.
And then there's Brock. While we don't see much of him, when we do see him, he's dominated whoever he's faced. This is probably the only year he has a possibility of winning this Slammy, and for the work he's done, he would be an obvious choice.
Yet they brought in Reigns to win it, so he won it. I cannot say for certain that that's what happened, but that's how it feels to me.
Cena vs Big Show > C&B+
This match really sucked it up, which is sad coming off a fairly solid Raw. I wasn't at all impressed with the ring work between these two. I know Cena has his five moves of doom, and Big Show isn't as young as he used to be, but I still expect more from the two of them than they gave. It wasn't really horrid, more just lackluster for me.
I knew neither of them could go over clean in this match, so it made sense that Rollins attack. This set up for the better part of this segment, when all the other wrestlers got involved, and gave us a polished up and nowhere near as gritty as it should be, nWo ending to the show. The heels standing tall over the face that have been beaten down. Change up some colors, and you have nWo, right down to The Giant (Big Show)! On the other hand, it's always a good sign for the good guys when the heels go over just before a PPV. Well, normally that's the case. The nWo really put a wrench in the traditional booking of a go home show.
Winner – Cena via DQ (5:40)
For a Slammy Awards episode of Raw, I thought this was a really solid go-home to TLC. I actually think I'm excited for some of the shows on the card. Fingers crossed that the WWE is able to give us another solid PPV. I'm not expecting Sting to appear, but I expect some stellar ring work and storyline progression for the last PPV of 2014.
Queen of WNW
KB & Joshua