Periodically the WWE goes to split-screen before a match and one of the wrestlers in the match talks about the match, or something pertinent to them or their feud. Doing that with each competitor in the King of The Ring Tournament was a great way for them to push themselves, their feuds, and really give us a chance to get to know a bit about Neville.
Jesse Sherwood is joining me this week to help me out, and because he claimed a couple segments for himself. While we don't always agree, he hit the Sandow segment on the head. Sandow was so honest and endearing in his worked shoot. I've loved him from word go, and cannot wait to see where he goes from here.
Video > B+
Normally I skip these in the RIB, but this was a really strong opening video. I have always loved the King of The Ring Tournament, and it's about time they brought it back. While it doesn't always work to elevate the winner, sometimes it takes someone who isn't quite right and make him into one of the biggest Superstars – ever.
In Ring Segment > B
I'm starting to get the Triple H 20 minute feel from Rollins. While he doesn't go out there and rant for twenty minutes to start the show, it seems as though he's starting every show on mic. I know that's part of being WWE WHC is, but it's time they break things up a bit. There's certain parts of Raw that get monotonous and boring, and this is one of them.
That being said, I have to give Orton and Reigns huge props. Both of them are growing on the stick by leaps and bounds. Both are so much more relaxed, Orton so much less robotic, and I'm almost sure Reigns ad-libbed one of his lines!
And then there's Kane! Each week they tease that he's going to completely turn on Rollins, and each week he only skirts the issue. I'm enjoying it, but hope they don't wait too long before they pull the trigger on this, because they've waited too long a lot lately.
King of The Ring Tournament – Dolph Ziggler vs Bad News Barrett > B
I really thought that Ziggler was going to get a chance in this KOTR, and had hoped he'd end up facing Ambrose, as that would be a wonderful match. This match wasn't bad, and I think as of today Barrett is four months working the ring without injury, something I really didn't expect to happen.
This match was better than I thought with Barrett in it, and Ziggler, as always, was stellar. They put on a pretty solid match, and while I really wanted to see Ziggler win this, it does make sense that Sheamus cost him the match to continue their feud. I just hope Barrett loses his next match. Jesse is sure Barrett will win the KOTR, but I'm going to hold out hope that it doesn't happen, somehow.
Winner – Barrett (8:25)
Big E vs Tyson Kidd > B&D-
I have to give credit where it is due: VKM waiting to turn New Day for as long as he did was a master stroke of brilliance. They have such a natural heat on them that it is unreal! And Xavier Woods was doing a fantastic job on trolling the crowd into hating them more. But while they are doing great on attracting heat on themselves, their matches on Raw of late have been horrid! And last night's was one of the worst of them. It was basically a glorified squash with a little cheating. That is an absolutely atrocious way to treat your former tag champs.
Winner – Big E (1:22)
Ryback vs Bo Dallas > B
I stuck behind Ryback for a very long time, and only got really down on him right at the end, just before he left for surgery. I know Ryback has a lot in him, and he's really proving that, and having fun doing it. Ryback will continue to be remembered for his couple moves, but he does know how to go in the ring. I think it's great that he's going into a feud with Wyatt, and almost as great that I called that Wyatt would be going after Ryback before Richard announced it on WNW.
I'm also quite impressed with the changes within Bo. He's really working it, getting tougher, and selling things so much better than before. I have to wonder if they're going to connect the brothers in some way. Bo's new look really has me wondering if he will be another of his brother's minions.
Winner – Ryback (2:06)
DEP! > C
The lights go out. The spotlight in the ring, and Wyatt is behind Ryback. Ryback turns into Sister Abigail, then Wyatt crab walks to Ryback in the center of the ring. Wyatt poses on his knees, arms out, head back, next to Ryback.
US Title Open Challenge – John Cena (c) vs Slater > C-
I'm all for Cena defending every week. It's one of the few things I've been looking forward to on a weekly basis now, because Cena is finally making a mid-card title seem like it is the biggest thing in the company. But I have to say, I am getting tired of Cena's same old formulaic promo before every single one. It's basically, cheap pop for the hometown, a few cheap "Real American" pops, talk about giving the boys in the back a chance, and catchphrase. And while I want to have faith match 4 in this series between him and Rusev will be good, Cena is 4-0 in I Quit matches. Unless WWE is finally going to make Cena have a twinge of self doubt and go a bit dark, we are looking at another Cena win. I LOVE Heath Slater! And while he is still using 3MB's theme (Dear Freya, I miss Drew!), there is absolutely no denying the charisma he oozes in everything he does. I just wish WWE would give him a legit chance. And we were robbed of that chance by Rusev! I have to say that WWE is pulling a brilliant move with the slow face turn for Lana. It gives Rusev a new way to get heat, with his sending her to the back all of the time. But dear Freya, give the man a different promo! I'm tired of hearing how America has quit every week!
Backstage Segment > C-
I'm a huge Kane fan, but this segment was too long and too boring. Kane is better than this, and honestly, all this time did very little to push anything – between them, or with the WWE WHC.
King of The Ring Tournament Match – R-Truth vs Stardust > B
A couple things really stuck out at me in this match. First off, I really thought Stardust would win this. R-Truth has been around to help elevate others, not much more than that. I have no problem with him winning, or getting rid of all spiders within the WWE, I'd just like to see how they manage that.
During this match Stardust hit a cartwheel, the way Sandow did when he was being very Lanny Poffo, and JBL commented on it being a Lanny tribute. I spent a chunk of the Sunday before Extreme Rules hanging out with Lanny, and had the most lovely time. I have an article coming out on WWENews about my best wrestling day ever! I love any tributes to Lanny, who I think was underrated.
Winner – R-Truth (3:59)
Fandango vs Rose > B-
Wait, Rose won a match? With the help of Rosa? How does that happen? Honestly, I feel bad for Rose, he's been wallowing in lack-of-push purgatory since he debuted! I guess we should be glad that Fandango and Rose are doing something more than jobbing.
Winner- Rose (1:52)
Backstage Segment > B
Well, I guess they're really pushing the Bellas as faces. Nothing like a sly swerve out of nowhere! But in reality, it does make sense to have Brie step up and talk for Bryan, even though she didn't say anything we didn't already know. I don't get why she can talk about Bryan and come off so much better than when she's scripted doing anything else. I think that's very sweet.
And then there's Naomi who is selling every bit of being heel, right down to verbally trashing Bryan. Nice move.
Brie vs Naomi > B
While not as hard hitting as Naomi and Nikki were at Extreme Rules, but they were still hard hitting and worked that ring in a solid way. It's nice to see the Divas stepping up and doing more than a little slap and scream in the ring.
Winner – Naomi (3:39)
King of The Ring Tournament Match – Ambrose vs Sheamus > B+
Other than Ambrose getting screwed out of winning by Ziggler attacking Sheamus, I was blown away by this match. I actually said aloud to Stacy, "These two men need to feud, and soon!" I was really impressed with how hard hitting these two were, but how things seemed really off early on. Normally off is good, but here when things went wrong, they just started working harder. Sheamus seemed pissed and started working much stiffer, which made Ambrose starting working stiffer. That stiffer work made this match that much more fun to watch, at least before the commercial. After the commercial they worked cleaner, but still really worked their asses off. They kicked ass, and I want to see more of it!
Winner – Sheamus via DQ (12:39)
In Ring Segment > A-
Sandow Segment: A- This is what WWE needs to do more often to get us to care about their workers! Sandow went back to his roots, and even seemed to shoot some in this! He was humble and honest in this segment, and even pulled the curtain back a bit, which we all surely appreciate. But what set this segment over the top is everyone's favorite whipping boy, Curtis Axel! His hypocritical, snarky attitude here was perfect, especially considering Axel is in the same position Sandow was at this point last year. And you could tell Sandow was having an absolute blast with it! I'm so glad we got to see an Elbow of Disdain, as it has been forever! And Sandow's new music, while a bit generic, fits him to a T. Hopefully, he can keep this momentum up, and WWE won't fail him like so many others.
DEP! > B-
This really wasn't Wyatt's best segment. He'd been doing so well, then there was that stumble last week, but this week was even worse. I don't know if he's not as invested in this feud, or what, but something is not connecting here.
King of The Ring Tournament Match – Neville vs Harper > A-
No matter what Neville does, who he works with, he's a joy to watch. Further, I loved his little split-screen bit. Talking up Harley Race, King Booker, and Owen, The King of Harts, it was lovely to see. While I want Neville pushed, though not pushed too hard so he doesn't turn the fans against him. That being said, I really want to see Neville win this KOTR. Think about how it helped certain Superstars, and I think that would be a great push, but nothing like winning the Royal Rumble Match. This could work, and I hope Jesse is wrong that it's going to be Barrett.
Winner – Neville! (10:25)
Orton & Reigns vs Reigns & Kane > B+
I was rather shocked to see Rollins starting the match, and working it quite hard. Much back and forth, and it was a solid match between them. Is it just me, or was Orton's t-bone suplex something new? Either way, it's not the norm from him, and it was nice to see him changing things up for once.
But, honestly, the best parts of this match were the ending where Kane was accidentally attacked by Rollins – twice – and watching the fans go absolutely insane over the RKO! Watching Kane getting more and more mad is always a blast, but the way Orton worked that ring and those fans was so joyous! He looked happier than I remember seeing him.
Winners – Reigns & Orton (18:47)
In Ring Segment > B+
Everyone involved sold this wonderfully! Kane was so pissed. Rollins looked like he was going to barf. Reigns with that smirk below those sparkling blue eyes. Orton with his half smile. It was really great to watch. I have to admit that I was at first shocked that Reigns got more votes than Orton, then I remembered how
Thanks for bearing with me, as I feel like I've been a bit short this week. I've been dealing with (more) health issues, and spent the better part of the day in bed, when I wasn't at my doc's office. Hopefully things will be figured out, and I will get back to my weird and bitchy self!
Queen of WNW
KB & Jesse