Published on June 19th, 2013 | by Malcolm Spinedi0
Sports Entertainment Weekly: Issue 18
The WWE can be a tricky thing to follow. They have a show just about everyday and some of them are over three hours. If only there was some jerk out there who brought up the important things of the week into a column and made catching up easy. Well fear not, for I am that jerk! Join me as I talk about some of the bigger moments in the WWE this week and why they are worth noticing. To quote one of my personal favorites:
WWE Payback Happenings!
Alright, we had a PPV Sunday night by the name of WWE Payback. I’d do a review of it, but sadly I didn’t have the funds to watch it. However, just to go over the real big results from the PPV:
Curtis Axel Became the New IC Champion!
- Considering this match took place on Father’s Day… I may have teared up just a little at this result and the post-fight celebration.
AJ Lee Became the New Divas Champion!
- Long time coming, and from what I understand, these two told a great story. I’m curious to see where this one goes, as AJ seems primed to be the top heel in the Diva’s Division. Curious what happens to Kaitlyn here, since her losing sort of confirms everything AJ said.
Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler Do a Double Turn! Oh, and ADR won the World Title again too!
- This was shocking. We got a double turn, meaning both the face and the heel turned at the same time. During the course of the match between ADR (the face) and Ziggler (the heel), ADR went nuts and attacked Ziggler’s concussed head with kicks over and over. The crowd slowly but surely started to turn on ADR, who they felt was going too far. Ziggler meanwhile, showed some great heart and kepted fighting, which caused the crowd to get behind Ziggler. ADR would eventually win the belt, but by then the crowd had turned on him. With his heel promo on RAW, this double turn is official.
This was great, as no one saw the turn coming. Plus, I really have to wonder how the WWE will handle a face Ziggler. Again, time will tell as this feud is just heating up.
The rest of this show is pretty academic, though I will concede the matches themselves got rave reviews. Great show for wrestling purists (from the sound of it.)
Mark Henry Cuts The Promo of his Career
Before you read the story, please watch the video below:
In one of my favorite moments in recent memory in the WWE, Mark Henry proved his awesomeness. In Mark’s storied career, this one maybe my favorite. Well, aside from Sexual Chocolate in it’s entirety.
On WWE RAW, after Cena cut one of his mega facey “We Did It!” victory promos, Henry comes to the ring. Now the word going into this, was that Henry was going to retire on RAW. So he comes out, and he cuts, hands down, the most realistic fake retirement promo ever. I’m not joking, Mark did everything right to make you think his retirement announcement was legit. He was smiling, cracking jokes with the crowd, thanking his family, left his wrestling shoes on the top of the ramp, and he was crying. Even Cena was adding to it, letting him hold the WWE Title as he gave his speech.
Yup, it sure was a beautiful moment…. and then Henry picked up Cena and hit the World Strongest Slam. I personally didn’t buy into it, the comment about “Well, Cena’s career was a little better than mine…” and the fact that the WWE Champion was in the ring right after he finished his current feud were dead give aways. However, his performance was masterful and felt like an honest to god retirement speech.
Henry deserves a lot of credit because he fooled a lot of people. See, Mark Henry is one of the most deceptively awesome talkers in the business. Granted, he’s never going to cut a CM Punk style promo; however everything he says, you believe. When he threatens to kill someone, it’s believable because Henry is a huge scary man with a scary voice. Also, Henry is great at cutting right to the heart of the matter; as he can convey in two sentences what others do in a 5-10 minute promo.
So it looks like Henry will be getting a shot against Cena and the WWE title at WWE Money in the Bank. My prediction? Henry could be right after all, as I could see Cena challenging him to a Retirement match.
The Shield… LOSES!!!!
One of the big shockers this week came in two parts. First, that something important happened on Smackdown. Two, the Shield lost their first six-man in spectacular fashion to Team Hell No and Randy Orton.
First, to all the Shield fans out there, don’t worry. These guys were undefeated for a year, and that’s a hell of an accomplishment. Yes, the WWE should have (in my opinion) had this loss on PPV to make a big moment out of it. However, the fact that the WWE wants you to forget about the first time they lost as soon as possible is very promising. Also you should never forget that they all have belts still, and even Vince appeared on screen to talk about how awesome he thought they were. Shield is still a huge deal in the WWE.
Shield will continue to be pushed in the WWE, the only question is to what. I have a feeling that they will play a role in the new McMahon Power Struggle storyline, but it’s anyones guess as to what their role will be. Till then, it’s safe to assume they’ll continue to go through opponents till whenever the WWE gives them something else to do.
D-Bry’s Quest For Respect
One of the matches on RAW tonight featured Daniel Bryan facing Randy Orton in a No DQ match. Orton wins (because let’s keep building him up for no reason) after the referee stops the match after Bryan’s ribs gave out. While the ending was a little dumb, I understand and even appreciate what they tried to do here. First, while they wanted Bryan to lose, they didn’t want him to decisively lose either. They didn’t want him to lose clean, so they did a referee stoppage ending to protect him. What’s more, if the WWE decides to to do a Bryan/Orton match at a PPV, I’ll want to see it because I didn’t see it for free on TV!
It may not seem like it, but this and the fact that Daniel Bryan announced he wants the WWE Title means that Daniel Bryan’s time is coming. How soon till it comes? Well, Money in the Bank is only weeks away.
UPDATE: Actually, it’s starting to look like that injury was legit. New reports say that Bryan suffered a stinger during the match with Orton, and the match had to be stopped suddenly. The same reports say that Bryan was supposed to win and considering the spoilers for Smackdown, I think that’s correct! Fans of Bryan rejoice! His time is at hand!
Sabertooth F-5′s Wolverine!
Another interesting note of WWE Payback is CM Punk began his face turn. Which is great because Cena’s face act is very much a routine now. We need some new top faces, and guys like Punk and Bryan will do perfectly. After his victory over Jericho, Punk and Heyman had an interesting talk where Punk clarified that Heyman is just his friend and nothing more. He’s not his client because he doesn’t need Paul; unlike Axel and Lesnar (Ouch!). Fast forward to RAW, Punk then tells Heyman he doesn’t need him at ringside anymore, which should make cheering for him a little easier.
Heyman seems to take it well, and thanks Punk for his time with him before his match with ADR. After the match, is a different freaking story. Brock Lesnar’s music hits… and I have to say it must be great to be Brock Lesnar. All you do is wait around at home for Vince to call, you show up, hit someone with an F5, and collect $100,000. It’s a testament actually to Lesnar that he built himself up (Both in WWE and UFC) that his celebrity is worth that much that the WWE would be okay with his contract. If you’re one of those guys who don’t think so, consider the fact that guys like RVD or Jericho coming back is thanks to Brock helping the WWE be okay with these types of contracts.
So Brock comes out, teases talking, and F5′s Punk. INTRIGUE! First off, I don’t see this match happening till Summerslam. The Money in the Bank matches require at least 10 wrestlers, wrestlers that you could buy getting one of the major titles. So don’t be surprised if some of these big feuds you see building doesn’t come until Summerslam. CM Punk will probably be in the MitB match itself, probably have Brock cost him the match, and thus set up for the encounter. Paul Heyman meanwhile, will run damage control so we can all buy this match not taking place till the next WWE PPV.
I’m looking forward to the Paul Heyman’s guys exploding. The match itself will be brutal and I cannot wait for the promo duels between Punk and Heyman. Should be good!
Christian FINALLY returned last night… in the most anti-climatic way possible. I kind of feel bad for Christian. He’s actually been cleared to return for months, but they hold him off TV because they want to bring him back big. If you’re Christian, you must feel awesome. The WWE seems to finally realize what they have in you, and they want to do right by you. Then after months and months of stalling, they go back to you and say “Yeah, you’re just going to squash Barrett after he loses the IC title, and then you’ll job at Money in the Bank.”
What the hell was this!? Why would you have wait this long just to do what I expected you to do with him 6 months ago! Look, I know it’s just Christian. It’s not like he has a chance of being the face of the company, but at a time when your roster is thin and pretty boring, why would you want to wait so long to bring him back? And after 6 months, how is your writing staff so lacking that the best they could come up with is “Let’s make him one of the guys who lose in the MitB match”?
So Christian’s back. I suppose I could be eating Humble Pie if Christian does win, just like it would be great if Lebron James quit basketball, but I don’t see that happening. Poor Christian.
RVD Will Return!
This week in the WWE was a week of returns. Punk, Christian, and Lesnar all made their return to the WWE this week. However, the most shocking return (or rather a promise of a return) of Mr. P-P-V, Mr. Monday Night, The Whole F’N Show… Rob Van Damn.
For this topic I will warn you, I’m bias. Out of all high flyers in the history of prowrestling, RVD has aways been my favorite. I love everything about him, from his attitude to his high-flying moves. The Five Star Frog Splash is to this day my favorite top rope finisher, and his other moves (Van Daminator and Van Terminator) are still some of my favorite moves too. So yeah, RVD’s return has me excited.
Now the bad news is he’s a part-timer too. However, he’s nowhere near as bad a Brock. He will be working all TV shows, and the occasional house show. Of course, he’s able to be in all PPVs (that he’s booked in). So how do you use RVD? Easily. Imagine a feud with Punk? Maybe they use RVD to introduce PAC (now called Adrian Neville) as a tag team? Maybe he wants to re-tag with Kane, which pisses off Bryan leading to a Bryan/RVD feud? There are many possibilities! So for now we should be excited. Fan Law states we should wait till the WWE messes up before we lose get upset, after all.
The McMahon Family Power Struggle
The biggest development in the WWE right now is a power struggle between Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, and Triple H. This was best illustrated in the above video, with Vickie trying to impress her bosses and each one having a different impression of her work and on how to do it. Hunter wanted Vickie to discipline the Shield, while Vince thought they deserved a reward for their aggression (for instance). I have a feeling this is just the calm before the storm.
The story seems to be that we now have too many cooks in kitchen, and eventually this family will explode. We’ll get skits of them trying to run RAW but butting heads for months. The end result being is this is how they explain Vince not being the boss anymore on TV. More than likely, I see Hunter taking charge, though Steph could happen too.
Speaking of Stephanie, she took an active role in the Diva’s division, to which I say “Great!” The Divas have gotten next to no love for…years? AJ and Kaitlyn are great, but you can’t make a division on the backs of two divas. Maybe a Steph-AJ feud will be just what the WWE needs to bring some much needed attention to the Diva’s division.
If this is truly how Vince is written out of power, it needs to happen at Wrestlemania. Vince not having authority (if this is final) is an end of an era, and it deserves to be a moment at Mania. The question is how will they end it? It’s not like you can have a triple threat with these three. Perhaps we’ll have a situation similar to the Battle of the Billionaires where they each pick a rep and they wrestle? That seems to be the most logical choice. Either way, we’re headed to a new era in the WWE. Maybe Wrestlemania won’t suck th- HA! I almost was able to say it!