They start off with a nice Warrior Tribute. It’s tough to see. I loved him as a child. I thought he was walking funny last week while we were at Raw but in no way was I expecting that. It still hurts a little bit. Another bummer from today was the passing of Otto Petersen who was a ventriloquist comedian. I’ll post some of his stuff later. I always got a laughed at his material when he was on Opie & Anthony.
Alberto Del Rio takes on RVD is a tournament to take on Big E Langston for the IC Title. Does someone really want a shot at that title? Nothing much happening before the break. We missed Rolling Thunder but not. Del Rio counters the split legged moonsault. Del Rio only gets a two from a Backstabber. RVD nails a heel kick when Del Rio came off the top rope. Del Rio catches RVD going to the top. An enziguri only gets Del Rio a two count. Thank goodness the scissor pin didn’t work. IT’s worse than a regular roll up. Five Star Frog Splash. I’m expecting him to job to Cesaro after his win later tonight. Enough with the brackets already!
After a nice little video package, Stephanie, HHH, Randy Orton & Batista are talking. I just can’t take JBL seriously. It’s okay for the boss to assault the wrestler but it’s not okay for the wrestler to assault the boss. I remember watching the Ultimate Warrior beating Honky Man. Man, would I bitch about how short that match is now after a nice long build up. Then, I was happy as a clam. Funny what time will do to you.
HHH is coming out of his talk about the World Title situation. Stephanie knows who can stop the Shield. Nobody can stop Evolution if we stay on the same page. Batista & Randy Orton sell HHH down the river. It smells of set up to me. (Next Day Note: I was wrong. Stupid Shield. Granted Evolution did resolve their difference so same end result that I was expecting.) Rybaxel is taking on Goldust & Cody Rhodes. Goldust starts against Curtis Axel. Goldust gets the upper hand and tags in Cody Rhodes. Goldust comes back in to work over Axel. Curtis creates an opening and tags in Ryback. They tag in and out to work over Goldust. Cody gets in and goes to work on Ryback. I love when Mitchell Cool has to say “He just barely got him.” Is that worse than going “Wow, he really blew that spot?” Cody nailed Axel with the Disaster Kick. He went to do it to Ryback who caught him with the Meathook Clothesline for the win.
They did a good job of informing us who don’t watch NXT what Paige is all about. I was thinking it was Sara Del Ray who came out. I could do without the Goth White Face. She is taking on Alicia Fox. I can’t believe she’s only 21. I didn’t think she was old but wow. I was asking if anyone extra young could make it in the WWE these days. Alicia Fox is whooping on Paige for the beginning of the match. A thrust kick to the stomach stops Fox. Paige does a triple clothesline. Paige locks in a modified Scorpion Cross Lock, at least according to Cool. She seems to be getting a lot from Ms Chif’s character.
The Usos are taking on Batista & Randy Orton for some revenge. They get off to a quick start with the double over the rope splash. The new chest tattoo has thrown me and the announce team for a loop on which Uso is which. I don’t remember Cool saying anything on Smackdown either. I know one is larger than the other but I still have a hard time telling them apart. Batista & Orton are beating one of them down. It looks like Batista is wearing soccer shin pads. Orton goes on the attack against the other one. The Shield takes out Orton for the DQ. They surround Batista. Superman punch sends Batista outside where Orton drags him away. I’m not sure why the Shield would do that. Let Batista & Orton stay off of Hunter’s agenda as long as possible. I was so pumped up watching Wrestlemania VI.
HHH greets Batista & Randy Orton then walks away. I think that was well done. It’s officially even more awesome that Paul Heyman gets to gloat about Brock Lesnar breaking the Streak than the Streak continuing. I was a little skeptical of Lesnar being the one but the reason I didn’t want it to happen, mostly he had the credentials already, are also a perfect argument for why he should have won too. Heyman then introduces Cesaro. He is taking on Mark Henry. Cesaro is just going straight at Henry which is having moderate success. Flying Uppercut knocks down Henry finally. Neutralizer for the win. Do they give him the IC Title? They haven’t done much with Big E recently.
HHH is talking to Brad Maddox. He is to relay a message to the Shield about their match in the main event. I’m disappointed that Maddox is reduced to this little air time. I think he’s a good character. Lana introduces Alexander Rusev. I asked last week on the Facebook & Twitter why Rusev wasn’t over like some of the other NXT call ups. The one response I got said it’s because he’s not as quick as the others. I can see that angle. I think the whole from another country gimmick isn’t working like it once used to. (Next Day Note: Alberto Del Rio hasn’t exactly gotten over being Mr. Mexico. The Great Khali & Jinder Mahal haven’t gotten heat at different times for being from India. Sheamus isn’t over because he’s from Ireland. Sure, the fighting thing factors into his popularity which has “stemmed” from being Irish but I think people like brawlers in general.) People aren’t viewing him as Commie scum from Bulgaria. Rusev taps out Xavier Woods with a camel clutch.
I loved that blue cage. It took me a while to get used to the cage that I feel hasn’t changed much since I started watching again in 1997. Jack Swagger is taking on Sheamus in the IC Title Tournament. Swagger gets dumped to the outside. Sheamus is ready to club Swagger when Zeb Colter distracts him. Swagger would make sense as an opponent for Big E. I’m not sure Sheamus loses to Swagger. He could lose to Bad News Barrett. Swagger misses a charge in the corner. Sheamus takes advantage. Sheamus with a new running knee in the corner. (Next Day Note: I mentioned that move because I don’t think I’ve seen that from Sheamus before.) Sheamus gets in the clubbing now. Sheamus sling shots himself into a Patriot Lock. Sheamus powers out of it. Swagger attacks Sheamus’s knee. Brogue Kick out of nowhere for the win. As soon as I saw the brackets, I knew my boy was losing so this result confirmed it.
Damien Sandow is mad because Big Show made his entrance during his speech. It helps make his point. Well played WWE. Big Show ends up KOing him when he gets in his face later. (Next Day Note: Good promo but it goes for naught when Show goes over. It was funny but I’m not sure I want Sandow to be a comedy act.) The Wyatts are next.
Birmingham, we’re here. Bray Wyatt is different. He has never lied to the crowd. John Cena is lying to us all. He is beast. Wyatt calls out Cena. The Wyatts can’t take on the Shield now too, right? This is too long of a segment. John Cena answers the call. He makes his usual jokes about their outfits. He’s getting a mixed reaction to the Roll Tide comment. Oh Jiminy Cricket. It’s Photoshop class. John Cena ends up challenging him to a steel cage match because those always keep people out. (Eyes rolling.)
Fandango gets an inset promo where Layla El gets to fawn him. It’s one way to repackage him. He won on Smackdown so I assume the momentum will continue. Layla tags in to save Fandango from the Cobra. Emma locks in “the Dilemma”. Santino takes out Fandango but it distracts Emma. Layla takes advantage, yanks Emma off the middle rope and pins her. Stephanie gets to berate Kane. He’s quibbled with people lower than him. Stephanie talks up his mean streak. Kane stares at the mask and then uncovers it. Kane is going to send Daniel Bryan to the depths of hell. I’m frightened! (Next Day Note: It does give Bryan something to do while Batista & Orton deal with The Shield and Lesnar enjoys his time off.)
Bad News Barrett is going to beat my boy Dolph Ziggler. Barrett got in the offense early. Ziggler made a brief come back. Ziggler got tossed against a ring post. Commercial. Barrett rams his own shoulder into the ring post. Ziggler cross body blocks him then punches a lot. Waste Land but Ziggler kicks out. Barrett goes for a pump handle slam but Ziggler reverses out and nails a Fame Asser. These people have a low threshold for awesome. Barrett takes too long on the top rope. Facebuster off the top ropes on a second attempt. Ziggler only gets a two count. Even Mitchell Cool isn’t buying what the crowd is selling. Ziggler kicks out of the Winds of Change. Ziggler reverses out of some stuff but ends up catching the Bull Hammer Elbow for the Barrett win. (Next Day Note: It was almost like an ROH match with Ziggler kicking out of 2 old finishers except it’s been made obvious that the Elbow is his finisher. Waste Land was pretty lame as a finisher so I’m good with it.)
The Shield are facing Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Fandango, 3MB, Titus O’Neil, Rybaxel, Alexander Rusev and Wade Barrett. If the team with more men doesn’t use it to their advantage, the Shield can win. Seth Rollins gets to take the beating for the Shield. Reigns takes out Ryback but the rest of the team assaults him. Rollins dives over the rope onto everyone. I know Bryan can’t help but shouldn’t some other people help? Someone else doesn’t like the Authority, right? Evolution comes down and lays waste to the Shield after they’re beaten. You know, this may not have been the WWE’s plan when Batista came back. But I love it a hell of a lot more than any conceivable Batista baby face run. – Kevin