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WWE RAW Review (8/21/17): You Both Suck

Photo: WWE

Summerslam has come and gone, and outside of two good tag matches and a bat shit crazy main event, it felt like just another pay per view. Usually a show with three great matches would be considered a success, but Summerslam had THIRTEEN matches. 3/13 isn’t a great percentage for your biggest show of the summer. Alas, we’re now moving forward to the fall with the follow up Raw from Brooklyn. Let’s get to the review!

Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – Facebook.com/AverageNobodies. We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.

Braun Strowman, MONSTER

It was going to be pretty hard for WWE to screw up a no DQ/no count out match featuring Lesnar, Reigns, Joe & Strowman, but the way Braun was booked in that match exceeded my expectations. He’s looked fantastic for pretty much this entire year, but Sunday night was magical. He destroyed everyone in his path, especially Brock Lesnar, and for the first time in Lesnar’s career he was stretchered out of a match. That’s badass. Braun didn’t end up winning the belt Sunday, but he made sure to remind Lesnar just how much of a monster he is last night. Lesnar/Strowman for the Universal title is confirmed for No Mercy, and I can’t wait to see these two go at it again.

Even though Lesnar is only around part time, it’s been refreshing watching him these last two pay per views. He put on a great match with Samoa Joe at GBOF, and was equally as great at Summerslam. He sold his ass off for Strowman and made him look like a legitimate monster, which is always great to see. It’s also going to  be interesting watching Lesnar play the underdog. He never was able to German Strowman at Summerslam, so if he’s finally able to at No Mercy, it’ll be a huge spot.

WHY, PART ONE

Big Cass and Enzo have been feuding since the late 70s, and even though Big Cass has taken out Enzo every time they’ve been in the ring together while also proving himself right that Enzo’s mouth gets him into fights he can’t win on his own, we got ANOTHER Enzo/Cass match last night. Cass beat Big Show at Summerslam, which for all intents and purposes should’ve been the end of the feud, but for some reason they booked a Brooklyn street fight instead last night. The match ended up being a throwaway due to Cass’s injury, which could go either way. We’ll know later on today if it was legitimate, but he did a great job of selling it if it wasn’t real. While you never want to see anyone get hurt, if this is the only way to end this feud and have both guys move on to literally anything else, I’m all for it.

WHY, PART TWO

Emma and Nia Jax fought again, and Nia murdered her again. In other news, the sky is blue, the grass is green and the POTUS likes to stare directly into the sun.

WHY, PART THREE

Elias is consistently one of my favorite parts of Raw, but WWE is testing my patience by pitting him against R-Truth. I understand they both have musically involved characters, but Elias is too good to be slumming it up with R-Truth. Elias wins easily, and I hope he moves onto something more meaningful very soon.

Cruiserweights

Gran Metalik, Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali took on Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari because there’s only time for one short, mashed together Cruiserweight match on WWE’s three hour wrestling show. If you’ve seen this match once, you’ve seen it a million times. Metalik, Swann, Alexander & Ali are all studs, but when they’re only given 5 minutes combined to show their stuff you’re going to get a crowd reaction like we saw last night, which was everyone more invested in the wave than the Cruiserweights. At this point talking about the Cruiserweights is like beating your head against a steel door, and until WWE changes up the way they’re present & wrestle, the crowd will continue not to care.

The Makings Of A Real Tag Team Division

The 1-2 punch of the Hardy’s vs. Rollins/Ambrose & Jason Jordan vs. Finn Balor was the best actual wrestling on the show, and I can get into Rollins/Ambrose as a take on all challengers type of team. They tore the house down at Summerslam with Sheamus & Cesaro (which shouldn’t have surprised anyone) and had another solid match last night with the Hardy’s. As good as the Hardy’s still are, knowing that the Broken characters are a possibility gets more and more distracting. I know there’s a ton of legal stuff to get sorted out, but all I want is for Broken Matt & Brother Nero to start tearing it up with Rollins, Ambrose, Sheamus & Cesaro. Nobody needed a change of scenery more than Ambrose, and putting him back with Rollins seems to have rejuvenated him the past few nights. If we can add a few more teams to the tag team division, we might be in for a great stretch of tag team wrestling.

Boss vs. Goddess

This wasn’t an ideal night for the Women’s division. Nia Jax squashed Emma, and the only other segment featuring the women was a short verbal confrontation between Sasha Banks & Alexa Bliss. We’ll get Bliss vs. Banks next week for the Women’s title, which is always a good to great match.

A Fresh Matchup

Earlier in the night Jason Jordan approached his dad backstage and asked for more competition, so Kurt Angle put him in a match with Finn Balor. Reading that sentence out loud is very weird. Anyways, Jordan vs. Balor was really good, and unfortunately this match was performed in front of a crowd that was going on hour 11 of wrestling over the past three days. I understand being disinterested in the Cruiserweights because WWE hasn’t given us a reason to care about 98% of the division, but you shouldn’t need a reason to get hype about Jason Jordan vs. Finn Balor. Jordan’s character isn’t polished yet, but he’s still an ace in the ring, and Balor is at his very best when he’s fighting a bigger, stronger guy. Balor winning is obviously the right call as he should always be in the upper mid card, and this could turn into a good story for Jordan as well, as he bit off more then he could chew and might need to readjust his game plan before going after some of the bigger fish on Raw.

Main Event – You Both Suck

Earlier in the night, Kurt Angle announced the newest Raw superstar, John Cena. You may have heard of him? Cena came out and did his usual song & dance, which summoned the protector of yards Roman Reigns. Thankfully the conversation was kept to a minimum between the two, because no two wrestlers sound more robotic and unrealistic than John Cena and Roman Reigns. Cena has the ability to at least elicit some passion if he’s really into a feud, but Reigns has the same monotone delivery whether he’s fighting in the main event of WrestleMania or he’s ordering chicken wings from a local restaurant.

The star of the first segment is The Miz, who once again ethered both Cena & Reigns with his ‘moments’ promo. Miz excels at blurring reality and wrestling storylines, and he always, always, always makes a good point. How many moments do Reigns & Cena get? It doesn’t matter how often they get cheered or booed, or how often they win or lose; at the end of the day, they’re still Roman Reigns & John Cena, so they’re going to be in the most important spots when it matters. Miz is having such a great year, and it’s a shame that even though he’s the IC champ, he’s far and away the third most important person when Reigns or Cena are around. The 1B star of this segment is obviously Bo Dallas’s jacket.

After Samoa Joe came out to confront Reigns and Cena, GM Kurt Angle made the main event a tag match between Cena/Reigns & Miz/Joe. If you guessed that the match would end with Cena AA’ing Miz and Raw going off the air with ‘tension’ between Cena & Reigns, then congratulations, you’ve been paying attention. Cena/Reigns is the money feud and I understand that, but I wish they didn’t have to do all this at the expense of their only mid card champion who consistently kicks ass on the microphone and in the ring. If you were wondering how the Brooklyn crowd felt about all of this, they end the night on a ‘You Both Suck’ chant. I feel you, Brooklyn.

Join us next week when John Cena & Roman Reigns continue to begrudgingly be friends.

-Ryan

Your Average #WWESummerslam Preview & Predictions

Photo: WWE

Last week I previewed WWE Summerslam 10 days before the pay per view. Now that we’re through the final Raw & Smackdown, it’s time for our official preview & predictions post. Between the pre-show and main card Summerslam is slated for 6 hours, so if you were looking to watch a whole lot of wrestling this weekend, you’re in luck. Let’s get to the preview!

Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – Facebook.com/AverageNobodies. We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

Photo: WWE

I’m not as well versed on Smackdown feuds as I am with Raw, but WWE aren’t exactly the Coen Brothers when it comes to telling stories so I’m pretty sure I can figure things out. 2017 has been a frustrating year for Rusev. He missed WrestleMania due to a shoulder injury, got separated from Lana and when he finally debuted on Smackdown, he got thrown into a USA themed feud with John Cena that he obviously lost.

You’d think that’d be enough awfulness for one year, but now he’s slotted against Randy Orton, the man with less momentum than a nailed down piece of wood. Orton started the year off strong with a Royal Rumble win and a World title win at WrestleMania, but everything post Mania has been awful. He was in the House of Horrors match & has lost to Jinder Mahal three pay per views in a row. Even though he inexplicably got a clean non title win over Mahal on Tuesday, he’s still tanking.

Prediction 

Ryan – In a perfect world, this would be a spot to give Rusev a win at a major pay per view over someone with name value, but we do not live in a perfect world. RKO out of somewhere will win it for Orton.

Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt

If you’ve been following the story of Bray Wyatt, you know all his storylines have three acts. Act 1. Start a feud by teleporting in and costing someone a match. Act 2. build up that feud with teleportation/spooky dark room promos. Act 3. Lose the match at a pay per view. We’re all the way though act 1 and almost through act 2, so the only thing left for Wyatt to do is lose to Balor at Summerslam. I really hope I’m wrong, but Balor hasn’t done much since returning from injury, and he wasn’t even on the GBOF card. Wyatt beat Rollins at that show, which was nice, but his track record causes me to believe he’s going to lose to Balor at the more important PPV.

Balor and Wyatt fought on Monday with Wyatt picking up a clean win. After the match Wyatt dumped a bucket of ‘blood’ on Balor, which caused Balor to announce that he’s summoning The Demon for Summerslam. I guess a bucket of blood is The Demon’s version of a bat signal? As hyped as I am to see a Demon entrance at a major pay per view, I wish they hadn’t wasted this match on Raw. Also, Wyatt already winning clean almost guarantees a win for Balor here.

Prediction

Ryan – The Demon

Big Cass vs. Big Show (Enzo Amore will be suspended in a shark cage above the ring)

This has been the never ending feud, but I will give credit where credit is due: I loved the segment from Monday featuring these three plus Gallows/Anderson. At this point Enzo shouldn’t be garnering any sympathy, and he once again talked too much and hung his 7 foot friend out to dry. Cass cut a great promo about how after Summerslam, he’s going to be the best big man in the business. Enzo interrupted, brought out the Big Show, and the Big Show got his hand destroyed by Cass, Gallows & Anderson for once again trying to help out Enzo. I hope the Cass, Gallows & Anderson pairing is more than a one off since Gallows & Anderson aren’t doing anything else, and I’m once again going to suggest putting actual sharks into the shark cage with Enzo.

Prediction 

Ryan – Big Cass

John Cena vs. Baron Corbin

My original stance on this match was that Corbin needed the win much more than Cena. Corbin had the MITB briefcase, and assuming Nakamura beats Jinder for the title, giving Corbin a win over Cena would make him that much more dangerous as he chases Nak.

It didn’t even need to be a clean win. He could kick Cena in the dick, set him on fire, whatever. WWE baby faces will never be as popular as they want them to be unless they have a legitimate heel to oppose them. If Corbin beats Cena at Summerslam, he’ll be on his way to being a true threat to whoever is holding the title.

WELP, so much for rooting for fun outcomes in pro wrestling. After John Cena beat Mahal via DQ on Tuesday, Corbin decided to cash in on Mahal. Cena distracted him, Mahal rolled up Corbin for the win and Corbin lost his briefcase. I can’t comprehend who thought this was a good idea 5 days before Summerslam, but whoever it was should be exiled. This decision takes a lot of suspense out of the title match now that there’s no MITB briefcase holder, and while Corbin might be more aggressive now that Cena cost him his briefcase, I’d rather have Corbin lurking in the shadows than fighting angry.

Prediction

Ryan – John Cena, because we can’t have nice things

Cruiserweight Championship Match: Neville vs. Akira Tozawa (C)

Neville has consistently been the best part of the Cruiserweight division for the entirety of 2017, so obviously he lost the title to Tozawa six days before Summerslam. I have no idea why they had a title match on Raw, and I’m even more flabbergasted that Neville would lose clean. Is anyone even interested in the rematch when we’ve already seen a clean outcome? The only silver lining is that Neville & Tozawa work really well together, so the match should be top notch. I just wish they didn’t already face other, with a title change, 4 days ago.

Prediction

Ryan – Tozawa has to retain, right? I honestly have no idea what to expect, but I’m going with Tozawa

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: New Day (C) vs. The Uso’s

New Day & The Uso’s have been having a very under the radar feud on Smackdown, and this is one of the matches I’m most excited for. As solid as Xavier Woods was at Battleground, the best wrestling version of New Day is always Big E & Kofi, so I’m glad to see they’ll be defending the straps. The Uso’s picked up a decisive win two weeks ago over Sami Zayn & Tye Dillinger, and New Day also showed some much needed aggression in their post match attack. You get the sense that these two teams really dislike each other, which is an element that’s missing from a lot of modern day feuds. If they’re given as much time as they were at Battleground, this could turn into a classic.

Prediction

Ryan – This is a toss up for me, but if I HAD to choose, I’m going Uso’s.

Raw Tag Team Championship Match – Cesaro & Sheamus (C) vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose

Photo: WWE

This is my pick for match of the night. It’s also a story of two similarly formed teams, as Cesaro & Sheamus were also enemies who joined forces when they realized they were stronger as a unit. Rollins & Ambrose reluctantly rejoined forces after Cesaro & Sheamus continually beat them down, and we already know how effective they can be when they’re on the same page. I’ve enjoyed Cesaro & Sheamus’s tag title run, and even though there hasn’t been a lot of competition, adding Rollins & Ambrose into the mix is a big plus.

Prediction

Ryan – I don’t think reuniting Rollins & Ambrose and having them immediately win the tag titles is the right move, so I’d expect some growing pains. Cesaro & Sheamus retain.

Raw Women’s Championship Match: Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Sasha Banks

Photo: WWE

While you never want to see anyone get injured, Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss had all the making of another major letdown match. Bayley & Bliss have never clicked in the ring, and thrusting Bayley into another title match was not the right move. Sasha Banks vs. Alexa is a much better match up, and these two have already proved they have better chemistry with their match at GBOF. The thing to remember here is that Nia Jax is still guaranteed a title match as long as Bliss remains champion, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her get involved in this match.

Prediction

Ryan – Alexa retains, potentially with some help from Nia Jax

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Naomi (C) vs. Natalya

It’s refreshing to see the Smackdown Women’s title defended in a one on one match at a major pay per view. I understand the mindset of wanting to get as much people on the card as possible, but the title feels more important when there’s a standout challenger. It’s also nice to see Natalya given a title match at a major pay per view, and as the senior member of the Women’s division I think she and Naomi are going to put on a hell of a match. Summerslam is slated for 4 hours (plus a 2 hour pre show) so there’s no reason to not give each match the time it needs to tell a story. The result of this match may not matter as Carmella should be lurking in the background with her MITB briefcase.

Prediction

Ryan – Naomi retains after a hard fought match, and Carmella capitalizes and cashes in.

WWE United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (C) vs. Kevin Owens (Shane McMahon as special guest referee)

Whenever you put AJ Styles and Kevin Owens together they have a chance to do something special, so my only request for this match is to let them do what they do best, which is wrestle and tell a story. I know that’s a lot to ask when Shane McMahon is the special guest referee, but this is a different Shane O Mac than the one we saw ref matches in the late 90’s & early 2000’s.

The general consensus is that this will lead to KO vs. Shane somewhere down the line (since we’ve already seen Shane vs. AJ) but again, all I want is for these two to wrestle their asses off. Leave the shenanigans for another day. This match doesn’t need AJ getting his foot stuck in the announce table or a confusing ending based on shoulder placement. You have two of the best wrestlers in the world in a title match at your second biggest pay per view. Let them work their magic.

Unfortunately we’ve gotten the exact opposite over the last two Smackdown’s. AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens for the US title at a major pay per view should not be centered around which guy is going to accidentally hit 47 year old special guest referee Shane McMahon, but that’s what WWE has chosen to focus on. It’s almost a certainty we’ll get some type of ref knockdown, but hopefully it doesn’t overshadow the match.

Prediction

Ryan – I’m very into workhorse mid card champion AJ Styles, so I’m going with AJ.

WWE Championship Match: Jinder Mahal (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

This is the match I’m most nervous about. While it’s great to see a fresh face as champion, Jinder Mahal’s title reign hasn’t been great. While a lot of that has to do with him only fighting Randy Orton, you also have to remember who Jinder Mahal was before this run. He was the third best member in 3MB during his former run and his most noteworthy moment during his last run on Raw was hitting Finn Balor too hard in the head. Just because he’s champion doesn’t mean he’s magically going to turn into AJ Styles in the ring.

Nakamura has also had some growing pains since debuting on the main roster. He’s had sub par matches with Ziggler, KO & Corbin, all of whom are capable of much more, especially against Nak. If Nakamura can’t have good to great matches with those three, is he capable of doing it with Jinder Mahal? Are we in for another bad match with Singh Brother interference? I always skew positive when it comes to pro wrestling, but this match doesn’t have a lot going for it.

Nakamura should win this match. Even if you have the Singh Brothers interfere, Nakamura is clearly the star of this match, and he should be able to overcome the odds and Kinshasa Jinder to win the belt. Corbin losing his MITB briefcase takes away all of the post match drama, but regardless, Nak should leave as the World Champion

Prediction

Ryan – Shinsuke Nakamura

Fatal 4 Way Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe

The biggest compliment I can give this match is that no result would surprise me. If Lesnar wins and retains the title somehow, it would make sense because he’s Brock Lesnar. If Samoa Joe or Strowman win, you’re giving them their first major title win at your second biggest pay per view. If Rollins & Ambrose win the tag titles earlier in the night and help Reigns win the Universal title in the main event I’ll probably lose consciousness.

The biggest stipulation is the announcement that if Lesnar loses, he’ll leave WWE. It’s no secret that he wants back in the UFC, and it’s tough to train for that and appear for WWE at the same time. As awesome as Brock is, he’s always better in small doses, and he doesn’t need the title. He can show up and murder everyone every 6 months or so until he’s 60. If his heart is set on returning to the UFC, let him do it and then welcome him back with open arms if he wants to return.

Prediction

Ryan – My heart is set on Samoa Joe winning here, so that’s who I’m going with. Lesnar leaves temporarily, Strowman & Reigns become de facto number one contenders and Joe gets a title he over deserves.

The match card currently sits at 12, but there’s always room for more. Look for a Miz/Jason Jordan or Miz, Miz-Tourage vs. JJ & The Hardy’s to be added, as well as whatever Goldust has planned.

-Ryan

5 Stars From Last Night’s #RAW

Raw was live last night from San Jose, California, and it was another really solid show. The best match of the night was the opener, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper got to steal the show one more time with WWE’s 10 bell salute and excellent video tribute. John Cena was absent, Brock Lesnar was not and the Submission Sorority continues to roll. Let’s get to the 5 stars from last night’s Raw!

1. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

Piper got the spotlight one more time, and rightfully so. A 10 bell salute followed by a wonderful video tribute was a bittersweet way to start the show, but luckily for us Seth Rollins and Neville brought their grown man boots and tore the house down soon after this.

2. Seth Rollins & Neville

Whenever there is an exemplary match on Raw, I like to link the two guys together, because it’s impossible to separate the two competitors. This was the show opening match after a solid Seth Rollins promo with his hysterical new t-shirt, and it was part of Seth Rollins’ WWE Championship Open. After a brief El Torito tease (WWE was on its comedy game last night), Neville answered the challenge, and it’s probably the best he’s looked since his debut. While being a heel limits Rollins’ move set, Neville should just always be going balls to the wall. The people want to see him do insane shit, and nobody on the WWE roster is better at doing insane shit than Neville. The best part about matches with guys that are this skilled is that they also tell a story. Neville needs to prove he belongs on the main roster, so he pulls out all the stops right away. Reverse hurricanrana’s, TOP ROPE hurricanrana’s, cork screw dives off the top to the floor; Neville wrestled with a sense of urgency and had the champ beaten. Rollins was basically trying to survive. He bit off a little more than he could chew with his open challenge, and just needed to survive. At the same time, he is, at least in his own mind, the architect of The Shield. He’s smart, and he sees things that most wrestlers don’t. So when Neville hits the Red Arrow, he shifts his body a few inches closer to the ropes. Neville is a little over eager with his cover because he just hit the RED ARROW, a move no one has kicked out of, and he’s about to become the champion. He pulls Rollins’ legs up too far and they hook up in the ropes, causing the ref stop his count. He loses his cool and argues for just a second too long, and when he goes for another Red Arrow, Rollins moves out of the way, hit’s the Pedigree, and retains the title. Great, great stuff.

3. New Day

The New Day skip to the ring is tied with Rusev speaking as my new favorite thing on WWE TV. They tagged up with The Ascension to take on the Spanish People last night for an 8 man tag, and it was very good. Pretty much everyone on the WWE roster is a good-very good pro wrestler, so when they’re given some time, they know how to put on a fun, exciting match. The tag team division is trying it’s hardest to become relevant, and while I don’t know if a revolving door of contenders is the right approach, it’s clear that New Day needs to stay in the picture. Xavier Woods is a master on the outside of the ring, and Big E and Kofi are a really enjoyable team. They’re a perfect blend of power and speed, and Mr. Woods serves as the perfect X factor. The match itself was good, as every team but The Ascension got to look strong at different points in the match, and the right team won. Give me New Day and PTP forever.

4. Charlotte

It’d be easy to dismiss Charlotte’s spot in the Divas division as a product of her last name, but by doing that you’d be missing the point. She’s simultaneously one of the most skilled and athletic people (men or women) on the roster, and she just keeps better in the ring. She’s starting to understand the pacing and emotion of the match, and a Charlotte hot tag is as enjoyable as it gets right now. Watch her get the tag from Becky and just WRECK the Bella’s. Add in the fact that she’s a legit gymnast who can somehow improve the figure four, and you have the total package. Every Diva looked great in this match, and Becky Lynch throwing T-bone suplexes is always going to be wonderful, but it’s clear this is slowly becoming Charlotte’s division. The best part about her is that you don’t even have to tweak her character if you want to turn her heel. Her character is “I’m better than you. I know it, you know it and the crowd knows it.”. That’s interchangeable.

5. Paul Heyman (& Brock Lesnar)

My favorite thing about the Heyman/Lesnar pairing is how jacked up Lesnar gets listening to Heyman hype him up. Watch Lesnar after Heyman finishes his promo. He’s ready to run through a god damn wall. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got backstage and just started savagely beating people. I don’t know where WWE is going to go with the Lesnar/Taker match, but I do know that Paul Heyman is still wonderful on the microphone. I listened to an interview earlier this year where he said that this current WWE run is he and Brock’s favorite run, and they’re just having so much fun out there. Heyman’s idea of fun is standing in the middle of the ring and hyping up his beast, and that’s exactly what he does here. The best part is that he’s not lying. Brock did destroy the Undertaker at WM 30. Taker did have to leave in an ambulance, and did have to stay in the hospital. Everything else on this show is fake, sure, but Brock Lesnar hurting people is not fake. That’s what Paul Heyman makes you believe, and that’s why he’s the best talker in the business. This match at Summerslam needs to end with Brock murdering ‘Taker, but I can also see a Kane return costing him the match. Either way, for now, I’m going to enjoy the build up. The biggest party of the summer is almost here.

– Ryan

 

 

5 Stars From Last Night’s #RAW

The post Battleground Raw was pretty wonderful last night, and Summerslam is stacking up to be a gigantic, beautiful card. The Undertaker was in 2 (!) segments, Brock Lesnar wanted revenge, the NXT women continue to look great and Cesaro main evented Raw again. Let’s get to the 5 stars from last night’s Raw!

1. The Undertaker

The Undertaker could have theoretically sat in the ring and clipped his toe nails and I’d have him for a star of Raw, because The Undertaker on Raw in 2015 is a happening. In lieu of clipping his toe nails, he opened the show and clearly explained why he cost Brock Lesnar the title at Battleground. He’s not some grumpy old man yelling at the clouds because his streak got broken. He understands streaks are created and mythicized because when they are broken, it’s something special. But for 469 days, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar have not let it go, and continue to tell everyone on national television that they conquered the Undertakers undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Taker might be an undead mortician, but he’s got feelings too. The way he expresses those feelings are utilizing magic and transporting to the ring and choke slamming and tomb stoning mother f’ers.  I wasn’t on board for Taker/Lesnar 2 until this promo and the subsequent brawl, but now I’m all in. I was afraid they’d make Lesnar look like a coward who was afraid of the Undertaker, and it just wouldn’t make sense after the year and a half that Brock just had. But when Brock came sprinting down that ramp and threatened to murder the Undertaker, my fears were alleviated. Brock/Taker forever. Speaking of the brawl…

2. Brock Lesnar (and Paul Heyman)

Paul Heyman came out and cut a wonderful promo on the Undertaker, and a fired up Paul Heyman might be the best character WWE has. You give him 5 minutes and a microphone and he has you eating out of the palm of his hand and begging for Summerslam to start right now. It’s not that hard to get people invested in Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker, but this promo was still gold. After The Undertaker politely asked Heyman to stop bringing up that Lesnar conquered his undefeated streak, you kind of knew Taker was going to show up when Heyman KEPT BRINGING UP THAT LESNAR CONQUERED HIS UNDEFEATED STREAK. Gong, darkness, light, Undertaker in the ring, and Heyman looked terrified. I loved him yelling ‘I’m a human being!’, as if that was going to stop someone who calls himself The Undertaker from ripping his head off. THAT brought out The Beast, and if you’ve ever questioned how scary Brock Lesnar is, watch how fast he got from the curtain to the ring. Someone that big should not be able to run that fast, and then the brawl was on. What made this extra special was that brawl’s like this don’t happen that often on WWE TV, and adding almost the entire locker room was a nice touch. I can’t wait to see where this goes from here, and I’m excited if its booked as two animals just trying to out survive each other.

3. Charlotte & Sasha Banks

I’m lumping these two together because they are the future of the Divas division. If you want to see what women’s wrestling can be in the WWE, look no further than Charlotte vs. Brie Bella and Sasha Banks/Naomi vs. Paige/Becky Lynch. Becky, Paige & Naomi looked great last night as well, but it was clear that Sasha Banks was the star of that match. Same goes for Charlotte and Brie. You see them in the ring, and you think ‘That one. That one is going to be special.’ Charlotte has the pedigree and Ric god damn Flair’s DNA, but she’s so great it doesn’t matter. Sasha can bring up how she doesn’t have a famous daddy yet look how far she’s come, and it simultaneously works for her but doesn’t sound like a detriment to Charlotte. Yes Charlotte is a Flair, but she’s also pretty damn great in the ring, and she’s earned her way to the top. Charlotte, Sasha and Nikki circling the top of the Diva’s division with the rest of the women developing strong secondary storylines is so awesome. Whens the last time there were two Diva’s matches on Raw? When’s the last time they were both great? This obviously has to go beyond the actual wrestling, but the future of the Diva’s division looks very bright.

4. Rusev

One of my favorite parts of the show was Rusev’s backstage interaction with Lana. I don’t want to sound like a huge asshole, but Lana kind of deserves everything she’s getting. Dating Dolph Ziggler and expecting him not to get hurt which leaves you to fight your Bulgarian ex boyfriend and his new version of you is like going for a swim and expecting not to get wet. Not the best comparison, but you catch my drift. Nobody gets hurt like Dolph Ziggler. So Lana attaching herself to him was pretty dumb. Secondly, she did screw Rusev over multiple times. Whether it was for his safety or not, you can’t throw in the towel on a guy who is fighting for Vladimir Putin’s honor. That’s how people die, Lana. So to see Rusev and his Summer Lana was not only satisfying, it was kind of hysterical. Rusev kissing Summer Lana while staring directly in Lana’s eyes was some HEEL shit. Following that up by telling Lana she doesn’t look so good was downright mean, but I loved it. Rusev has been one of the best characters on WWE TV for about 9 months now. Get this man a title shot!

5. Cesaro

“How ’bout that, huh?”. That is my new favorite phrase, and Cesaro main evented (and won) on Raw, so for now, all is well with the world. Orton got the hot tag and the pin, but Cesaro was my favorite part of the match, including the end with the giant swing/catapult into an RKO. Tell me you wouldn’t want to see Orton and Cesaro tag up and start catapult RKO’ing everybody in the world. Another really solid Raw with a bunch of good matches, and they set up the main event for Summerslam. Call WWE butter, because they’re on a roll.

– Ryan

WWE Is Bringing Summerslam Back To Where It Began (Sort Of) At The Barclays Center In Brooklyn

SummerslamWWE’s biggest Superstars and Divas will be pile-driving their way back to the Big Apple this summer.

After six years on the West Coast, WWE is bringing its powerhouse pay-per-view event, SummerSlam, to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the first time, the Daily News has learned.

The main event, to be held Sunday, Aug. 23, will conclude a week-long “celebration” of wrestling and entertainment.

“SummerSlam in New York matches one of the most iconic sports and entertainment celebrations with one of the world’s greatest cities,” John Saboor, WWE executive vice president for special events, told the Daily News.

The official announcement will be made later Thursday.

After six years in Los Angles, WWE Summerslam is coming back to the east coast where it all began. Much like every early WWE pay per view, including WrestleMania, the inaugural Summerslam was held in Madison Square Garden. While the WWE had strayed away from bringing Summerslam back east in recent years, it looks like it’s finally happening, as this years Summerslam will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. As much as the spectacle of a big time pay per view is amplified under the bright lights of Los Angeles, those fans can’t really compare to east coast fans. Whether you like them or not, east coast fans like the ones in Philadelphia, New York and even Boston now are rabid. They’re vocal, they’re unpredictable and most of the time they add to the drama of the event. As a Rhode Island native and frequent attendee of WWE events on the east coast, I’m pumped Summerslam is coming back home. Now all WWE has to do is put on a good WrestleMania and keep the momentum going until August. Easier said than done I suppose.

-Ryan

 

 

At WWE Night of Champions, Brock Lesnar Will Defend His Title Against…John Cena :(

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Well this is creative. You have a guy beat the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania then maul John Cena at Summerslam to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in subsequent matches, basically building him up like no other villain before, and then you make his next match against John Cena again. Talk about a let down. If the reports of Lesnar disappearing for a few months after NOC are true, then making his first title defense be against John Cena is a huge mistake. Why not use this perfect scenario to build a future superstar? Whoever Lesnar fights next he should beat, but at this point any wrestler on the roster who gives Lesnar a competitive title match would receive an enormous boost. Lesnar beating Cena again proves nothing. Cena wasn’t hurt at Summerslam. He got beaten by an alpha male. It’s easy to bash on the WWE, but how can you not after they put on such a great pay per view and then resort back to the same old storytelling just two days later. My only hope is that HHH announced this on Main Event, so maybe in the coming weeks Cena will defer his shot to someone else, or maybe he accepts and wins the title and I set myself on fire.

– Ryan

Brock Lesnar Basically Murdered John Cena Last Night at Summerslam to Become the New WWE World Heavyweight Champion

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This shirt ended up being incredibly accurate

If you missed Summerslam last night, you missed one hell of a pay per view, a pay per view headlined by a WWE title match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar. If I had to describe this match in one word it would be uneasy. It was not easy to watch Cena literally get the living shit beat out of him, no matter how much satisfaction it gave some fans. Cena’s full move set in this match were a bunch of punches, one attitude adjustment and one STF. That’s it. He got a two count on Lesnar after the AA, and the STF lasted all of 20 seconds until Lesnar turned him over, pummeled Cena in the head and body, picked him up, F-5’d him and won the title. It was a complete demolition. The question now is who’s next? Whenever a monster heel comes on the scene, Cena Superman’s up and beats him. But now? Not even John Cena can stop Brock Lesnar. The easy guess is Roman Reigns, who defeated Randy Orton last night, but my money is on Cesaro. He’s a former Paul Heyman guy, and if you want to develop a strong baby face, bring in someone with supernatural power who can knock Brock around a little bit. I’m not saying they should give Cesaro the belt, but what’s the damage in making him look really good against Lesnar? Keep building up Reigns in the process, so when he does come after Lesnar, he’s a monster in his own right. No matter which direction they go, the landscape of the WWE has changed for the better after last night.

– Ryan

WWE SummerSlam is Tonight! Our Predictions

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The 2014 version of WWE SummerSlam is headlined by champion John Cena defending against The Conqueror Brock Lesnar. While this feud is being used to sell SummerSlam, there are a lot more matches on the card, including two Divas bouts. If you’re into betting on wrestling (you’re insane if you are) here are our picks for tonight’s event.

Cesaro defeats Rob Van Dam in the Kickoff match. WHY IS CESARO IN THE KICKOFF MATCH!?

Dolph Ziggler defeats The Miz to win the Intercontinental Championship. Ziggler’s ascension continues

Stephanie McMahon defeats Brie Bella

AJ Lee defeats Paige and my heart gently weeps

Bray Wyatt defeats Chris Jericho CLEAN FINALLY (hopefully)

Seth Rollins defeats Dean Ambrose with the help of some evil lumberjacks

Randy Orton defeats Roman Reigns with a hopefully cool counter RKO. Reigns is turning into the tan Sheamus and a win here will only make things worse.

Rusev defeats Swagger in a flag match. Zeb Colter tells us he’s been faking it all along and is actually a beautifully in shape 25 year old man and stops Rusev from desecrating the American flag post match. Also, Lana’s legs.

Brock Lesnar defeats John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Maybe. Or Cena wins. And nothing matters any more.

 

Don’t forget to follow us @averagenobodies. We’ll be live tweeting the whole show.

– The Average Nobodies

 

 

 

 

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