BIG NEWS! Before we start, I just want to let everybody know that The Tuesday Communique ends just before May does. Starting on May 29, due to a new work schedule I will be unable to fulfill my duties for Tuesdays, therefore it will be the full-time return of The Wednesday Wire!
WWE Monday Night RAW from Roanoke, VA || TV Review
John Cena is here to begin the show. He spends 7 minutes saying absolutely nothing, making jokes about jerking off and fucking Betty White. Vickie thankfully cuts him off and tells him that he and Ryback need a stipulation for their match, since it's Extreme Rules. She calls out Ryback, allowing Cena to make fun of him by imitating his voice. That's probably not wise, John (anybody get the reference?). Vickie gave Cena the opportunity to choose the stip, but he turned it down, so Ryback chooses Last Man Standing, since Cena's got a hurt ankle. Fair enough. Decent promo from Ryback, actually. Overall a fine segment to open the show. I like Ryback being a person, too, especially since he does have the potential to back it up in a speaking role.
Randy Orton v. Damien Sandow
Sandow starts with his own rendition of Orton's theme song, and it is indeed quite humorous. Orton attacks at the bell and goes for the DDT, but Sandow bails. He meets a clothesline and takes a backdrop onto the barricade. Orton continues beating him up on the outside and tries the Hangman's DDT from the apron to the floor, but Sandow pushes him into the barricade. Inside, Orton comes right back with the 3.0 backbreaker and mounts him for 8 punches in the corner. Sandow comes back for half a second with a knee to the gut but takes a vertical suplex and the Garvin Stomp for having the gaul to defend himself. That gets two and Orton hits a headbutt and the commercial cuts the match off mid-dropkick. Back from break, Sandow has Orton in a chinlock and gets the Russian legsweep. Elbow of DISDAIN~! barely gets a 1 count and it's back to the chinlock. Orton comes out of the corner from an Irish whip with his babyface comeback and hits the powerslam, but Sandow hits a quick elbow. Too bad for him that Orton's ready and catches him with a dropkick coming off the second rope. That leads to Orton finally getting the Hangman's DDT and an ugly RKO (Sandow's fault) gets the win. Barely 2 minutes after the commercial... why even bother keeping the match going? Okayish TV match. Nothing really happened. Big Show takes out Orton off camera while the announcers were on screen. That's not a bad tactic to make it seem like anything can happen, actually. Instead of having the camera linger on Orton and telegraph the attack, they made it look like the segment was over. I can dig that. Hopefully once Orton's done with Show he moves on to a feud with Ziggler over the title. They could do over the summer of 2013 what Orton and Christian did in the summer of 2011. Orton def. Sandow, RKO - 9 min, *1/2
Chris Jericho is back and he brings out Tons of Funk to help him judge everything Fandango does (I guess). They give his entrance a 2, 1 and 2. Fandango tells Jericho that he can't judge him since he failed at Dancing with the Stars.
Fandango v. R-Truth
Fandango attacks to start, but immediately takes every move Truth has, so after the Scissors Kick he just runs away. Okay then. Truth dances and gets all 10s from the judges, upsetting Fandango more. Cool! I wonder if they'll have a match with a gimmick at Extreme Rules. Truth def. Fandango, countout - 1 min, NR
Daniel Bryan gets an interview with Josh Mathews and wants a rematch with Ryback from SmackDown. Ryback happened to be hanging around and overheard, and he turned down the challenge. Kane was also lingering, so he challenged Ryback, and that will indeed happen tonight.
Non-title: Dolph Zigger v. Alberto Del Rio
These guys have had a couple of great matches on TV, so let's see if they can start the second hour off right after a very "there" first hour. Del Rio gets a hip toss and a kick to the back gets 2, but Ziggler kicks at the non-injured knee and gets a dropkick to quickly gain control. Stinger Splash gets 2 but ADR pounds him down in the corner and gets an enzugiri to the arm. Back-and-forth continues with Ziggler blocking a suplex and hitting a vertical of his own. Del Rio comes right back and ties him in the ropes, which leads to the backstabber. That draws out Jack Swagger to no reaction, and he stares down Big E. Commercial time as Colter joins the commentary team. Back in with Del Rio getting two off a sunset flip. He dodges a dropkick but turns back to get nailed with Ziggler's second attempt. Ziggler hits a bunch of elbow drops for 2. ADR catches Ziggler on a charge and flapjacks him, but misses the enzugiri in the corner. He ended up landing right on Ziggler's head, though. That could lead to a concussion. Neckbreaker gets two for Ziggler and he gingerly climbs up top. He gets followed and taken down with the reverse superplex these two love to do. Such a cool spot. It continues to be back-and-forth, as Ziggler kicks the knee and hits another neckbreaker. This time he misses the Stinger Splash, though, and Del Rio gets the babyface comeback and hits the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Low superkick only gets 2, though. Ziggler can't block the cross armbreaker, but AJ distracts the ref and Big E pulls Del Rio out. That draws the DQ. Way to do nothing, AJ. Big E throws ADR into Swagger and all hell breaks loose. Swagger kills Ricardo, Ziggler and Del Rio with a ladder. The shot to Ziggler was especially brutal. Match was okay. Del Rio def. Ziggler, DQ - 15 min, **3/4
Kaitlyn and The Funkadactyls chitter chatter backstage. Natalya and Khali show up and Kaitlyn drones on about being a Simpsons fan. This is short, yet it still makes me want to rip my own face off. Don't let Kaitlyn talk. Please. The Bellas sneak onto the screen and congratulate each other for pulling off the obvious ruse when the others walk away.
The Shield v. The Usos & Kofi Kingston
Quite a team on the face side. When's the last time The Usos were on RAW? They double team Ambrose and then keep the advantage with Jey grounding Rollins. He pushes Jey into his corner, though, and Reigns clotheslines the crap out of him. Ambrose and Rollins get their dropkicks in succession to hold control. The Shield tag in and out and keep him down, and Rollins takes Jimmy out on the apron with a kick. Samoan drop lets Jey make the hot tag to Kofi, who flies in and takes out Ambrose. He's a WILDCAT~! Boom Drop looks to lead to Trouble in Paradise but Ambrose moves. Kofi almost gets the win with the springboard cross body, but Reigns breaks it up before he can get the pin. One of the Usos takes him out, but ends up eating a huge clothesline for his trouble. Rollins pushes Kofi off the top and Ambrose hits a spike bulldog to get the win. The heat segment on Uso was pretty meh, but everything after Kofi came in was crazy and quite good. Must be setting up Ambrose to take the US Title and give The Shield triple gold. Hey, it might even make the US Title matter again! Maybe. Shield def. Usos/Kofi, spike bulldog - 6 min, **
Antonio Cesaro v. Zack Ryder
And now the rebuilding of Cesaro, it seems. Only in WWE can winning a title make you into less of a star. Cesaro gets a double stomp on Ryder and the gutwrench suplex. Ryder comes back with a facebuster and blocks a charge by getting his knees up. He comes off the second rope with a missile dropkick but immediately falls prey to the pop-up European uppercut and the Neutralizer. Cesaro asks for more competition and says that there's nobody on any of the WWE shows that hold a candle to him. Seriously, where was this when he was champion? Cesaro def. Ryder, Neutralizer - 2 min, NR
Paul Heyman joins us via satellite and shows us video of Brock's invasion that they hyped all night. Triple H's office is pretty boring if that's really it. My thought on the back wall being fake is confirmed when Brock puts a hole in it. He trashes the office while Heyman acts like a douche. Not awful, but I don't care. Heyman wants Brock to really destroy Triple H at the PPV. I expect the match to be good, but I don't really have any interest in anything that happens leading up to it. Triple H comes out to the ring and says he's going to kick Brock's ass. Triple H: "Paul, Paul, Paul--" Heyman, exasperated: "Whaaaat?" Heh. This was long.
AJ & The Bellas v. Kaitlyn & The Funkadactyls
AJ beats up Cameron for a couple minutes and looks good doing it. She misses a charge and Cameron does something to come back. Tag to Kaitlyn and AJ tries to tag out but the Bellas bail on her. Kaitlyn hits a spear to beat AJ. Kaitlyn/Funkadactyls def. AJ/Bellas, spear - 3 min, NR
Mark Henry challenges Sheamus to a match at Extreme Rules. He promises that everybody will remember their match "for the rest of existence". Somehow I doubt that. Sheamus, as Henry predicted, interrupts because he's an asshole. He proudly shows himself cheating at tug-of-war AND arm wrestling, because he's an asshole. They square off and get ready to fight, but Wade Barrett interrupts, because the Intercontinental Champion gets to be an afterthought.
Non-title: Wade Barrett v. Sheamus
Joined in progress with Sheamus beginning a babyface comeback. He gets the forearm smashes in the ropes and knocks Barrett off thre apron. Sheamus teases tossing Barrett into Henry, making him flinch so hard he fell out of his chair at the commentary booth. Sheamus adds the Brogue Kick for good measure. Seriously, that was completely unprovoked. The distraction (Sheamus distracting himself) allows Barrett to come back and get the Winds of Change slam. Wasteland is countered into the Irish Curse backbreaker for 2. White Noise is countered and Barrett ducks the Brogue Kick and gets a mule kick. Low superkick gets 2. Sheamus ducks the Bullhammer elbow and hits White Noise. Brogue Kick beats the IC Champ, because who cares about champions? Henry whips the shit out of him with a belt immediately after the three count. Strap match it is! Match was a match. Sheamus def. Barrett, Brogue Kick - 5 min(shown), **
Next week, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER it's Jericho versus Fandango, in a DANCE-OFF! Definite need for the bait-and-switch epic promo for that.
Kane v. Ryback
Lockup is a stalemate, so Kane gets a double leg! What? Ryback backs Kane into the corner but runs into a powerslam. He comes back and awkwardly clotheslines Kane over the top. He whips him into the barricade and it's commercial time barely a minute into the match. Big splash gets 2 for Ryback when we come back. Thesz press from Ryback as the crowd shits all over the match. He runs into a big boot from Kane but powers out of the chokeslam, so Kane gets a DDT instead. Kane gets a pair of corner clotheslines but runs into a spinebuster. A lot of "runs into" in this one. Vertical suplex gets 2 for Kane. He goes up top but gets crotched and Shellshocked ends it. That was rather anticlimactic. The Shield run in after the match and Bryan comes out to protect Kane. Ryback leaves the ring, so Cena comes out to try to even the odds. He does for a moment, but then Ryback takes him out with a chair while Cena and Bryan fight off The Shield. Ryback def. Kane, Shellshocked - 6 min, *
Overall RAW Thoughts
Another dragger. Nothing was out-and-out bad other than the backstage segment with Kaitlyn, and that was short. Every week it's just the same show over and over again.
The Undertaker Wrestling More: What Opponents Do You Want?
So it turns out that since his hip surgery and all that time off, Undertaker is feeling better than he has in years and is open to returning for more than just one match a year. He's shown his legitimate willingness already, as he worked a match on RAW as well as one on SmackDown, and even took the damn triple powerbomb from The Shield through a table. He got to beat the ostensible 'leader' of The Shield in a one-on-one match; does this foreshadow the possibility that he could be a member of the team that eventually unseats The Shield from their undefeated streak as a team? Will Undertaker come back to do a singles match at SummerSlam? If so, who does he face? I know it's a complete pipe dream, but I'd love to see him wrestle Daniel Bryan. Shield take the belts from Bryan and Kane. They lose in a rematch and don't win back their titles. Bryan goes batshit and snaps. He beats Kane on RAW thanks to Shield interference, and they get the powerbomb on Kane through a table, taking him out for a while. Bryan talks some shit on Kane and 'Taker, but doesn't claim allegiance to The Shield. Undertaker comes back for some revenge. In the end it turns out Bryan was just sick of feeling like a second banana and had nothing to do with The Shield, and earns respect from Undertaker for standing up for himself and fighting like a man (or something). Bryan, Kane and 'Taker defeat The Shield in an elimination match at Survivor Series with Bryan and 'Taker surviving and Bryan getting the final fall. Kane turns on Bryan the next night on RAW for the proper heel turn. I don't know what all that was, but I like it.
On Randy Orton: I think the guy is in the doghouse, but not necessarily because Vince wants him there, rather because he's afraid to do anything with him. He's got two big strikes against him, and with so many other guys on the roster they're content with leaving Orton as the top star that hangs out in the middle of the pack, right along with the other guys who have no direction but still get crowd reactions and sell t-shirts. I believe he'll eventually end up with another World Title reign if he continues to lay low on the whole drug thing and tests clean for a while, but at this point in his career I solidly believe that the WWE Title is a thing of the past. He's a very good wrestler and performer and the crowd loves him, but he fucked himself over. Truthfully, though, look at the roster. Pretty much everybody is stuck in the same position he's in. Nobody really has any direction at all. It only sticks out for Orton because he's been so far away from the title picture.
- Chael Sonnen wants to buy WWE. Well that's quite interesting. I mean, it's not actually interesting, but it's something to spend a few sentences mentioning.
- Yahoo thinks TNA should sign John Cena and/or CM Punk, as well as Heyman to book, in order to compete with WwE. Isn't Yahoo teaming with WWE to do a RAW preshow or somesuch? It's a troll article!
- WWE will no longer be branding their house shows as RAW and SmackDown events. Now everything is going to be simply "WWE Live!". The intention, it seems, is to fool people into thinking their favourite stars will show up. Then: BOOM! Curt Hawkins.
- TNA is going to change up their TV taping style just a bit. Instead of going live at 8PM every Thursday, they'll run the show on tape delay and start at 7PM. That way they can get the live-to-tape show over with in under 2 hours and tape the following week's show with what could likely be a less tired crowd. I'm all for the idea.
- Bray Wyatt may possibly one day eventually some time soon maybe now maybe later get called up to the main roster. I wonder if they'll keep the gimmick.
- Hey, did you hear that TNA might actually be considering Hulk Hogan versus Bully Ray for the main event of Bound for Glory? No words will do justice the ridiculous nature of that previous sentence.
From TJ Hawke:"If you haven't seen any of ROH's early stuff, then this is an ABSOLUTE must see match. This is such a different match than you see in ROH since Gabe Sapolsky left. 2002-2003 ROH has a real distinct tone, and this match somehow captures it perfectly (even though hardcore style matches weren't common). Excellent match."
I've been feeling a bit dry on things to write about recently, so I have a request. Is there anything I haven't written about that any of you are curious about my thoughts on the matter? Any ideas about topics you'd like me to discuss or get a little deeper into? Questions?