The Wrestling News Experience: 04.28.14
Posted by Stephen Randle on 04.28.2014
A preview for tonight's Raw, plus news and thoughts on the McMahons' reaction to scripts getting leaked online, the possibilities of War Games in the future and more!
Monday April 28th, 2014
From 411Mania's Canadian offices in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, this is The Wrestling News Experience, with Stephen Randle!
Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Experience. I am Stephen Randle, and I don't have anything interesting to say. Oh, I suppose I did some things over the past week, mostly work-related, because it was a fairly busy week in that regard, but that's really not a very interesting topic to discuss, I mean, nobody really cares about my job, right? So that's out. Oh, my car's doing this weird thing where the engine is vibrating oddly and the Check Engine light is on. Now, nine times out of ten, the Check Engine light being on is nothing, often it just means that your gas cap isn't sealing properly. In fact, that happened to us several months ago, which is how I know that. But this time I suspect it's something more serious, and probably has something to do with that big bump we drove over on an old country road over the Easter weekend. Strange that it would take a week for anything to happen, but there you have it. Hopefully it's just something jarred loose and not anything serious, because I don't need to tell you how much engines cost to repair. Or maybe I do, I don't know, it's really my fault for assuming that you own a car, or know anything about cars at all. I know that I don't, that's why I take it to the dealership. I can't even change the oil. Well, maybe I could, but it's worth it to me to pay someone else to do it for me, because I'm sure they'll do it correctly. Plus, I work with enough greasy things at my job, I don't need to deal with it in my personal life. But there I go, talking about work again. I tell you, we sold so much fish over the past week. I don't know why they decided to make eating meat on a Friday a sin at some point, but man, some people take that stuff seriously, especially during Lent, which if you don't know, is the forty days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, where you traditionally give something up, symbolizing the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. Ash Wednesday is, of course, proceeded by Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Tuesday, and also signifies the start of Mardi Gras (literally translated "Fat Tuesday"). So if you ever wondered why Mardi Gras happens in late February, it's not just because it's close to Spring Break, it's all biblical. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh right, what else happened last week. Well, the Blue Jays tanked last week, but that's not really a surprise, they were a bad team last year and they didn't make any real changes in the offseason. They're doing better than last year, though, and nobody's running away with the AL East, so at least they're still in the thick of pretending to be competitive. All I want is to be able to watch games without feeling embarrassed for the team, and they're doing that more often this year. Last year was just so painful, but I think that was just because they actually gave us expectations headed into the season. This year, there are no expectations, so anything positive is at least acceptable. And yes, the Leafs are out of the playoffs again, and yes, I'm shocked that the coach wasn't fired roughly six seconds after the last game ended, but let's face it, they were a half-decent team with a good top line, a terrible defense, and an incredible goalie, and when the goalie got hurt, shockingly, they lost almost all of their games. And before you tell me that I can cheer for Montreal as the only Canadian team left, if you were Canadian, you would understand why that's clearly impossible. Our most famous children's book is a story about how much Canadiens fans and Maple Leafs fans hate each other, for crying out loud. So, yeah, sports is pretty much a wash right now. What else could I talk about? Oliver's doing fine, if anyone was wondering. Not talking or rolling over or doing anything like that yet, but we're pretty close to getting him to sleep though the night, which would be a great thing, since staying up until 4 am every night gets old after a while. I think that's anything of even the remotest import that I could mention about my last week, and yes, I recognize that most of it wasn't even the slightest bit interesting, informative, or creative. I bet a lot of you even scrolled past it, looking for something easier to read. I don't blame you, it's a pretty big wall of text and the odds of there being anything worth looking at seemed minimal. Sure was long, though. That's what's important, right?
Last week, Daniel Bryan returned from his honeymoon, right into an attack from the man he will face at Extreme Rules, Kane. After a prolonged beating, Bryan was seriously injured, but he plans to be at Raw in order to face his attacker. With just one week until Extreme Rules, will Bryan even be physically able to defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship by then?
And after Evolution continued to mess with The Shield, the Hounds of Justice spent Smackdown getting a little back, systematically eliminating many of the eleven men that had been serving as bodyguards for Triple H, Orton, and Batista, and basically leaving the way clear for their collision at Extreme Rules. But as mentioned before, there's still a week until the Special, and who knows what plans the group headed by the guy who practically owns the company could have in mind to make things interesting?
Plus, after the WWE Universe voted to put him in a 3-on-1 handicap match against The Wyatt Family last week, could John Cena's faith in his fanbase be shaken, just a little? I mean, he still nearly won the match because he's John Cena and god forbid he not overcome the odds somehow, but hey, he did end the match with his head being cradled in Bray Wyatt's hands. Could a similar fate await Cena in his Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules?
And the finals of the tournament to determine who will face Big E Langston for the Intercontinental title at Extreme Rules will finish up tonight, with Bad News Barrett set to take on Rob Van Dam. But a more interesting story has developed over the tournament, after Jack Swagger cost Cesaro his match against RVD, and his shot at the title. Tag team breakups are rarely mutual, and this one seems like it will continue to be contentious, especially with Zeb Colter and Paul Heyman, whose other client, Brock Lesnar, ended the Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak, agitating from the sidelines.
All this, plus Paige continues to test herself against main roster competition in preparation for defending her Divas title against Tamina Snuka, the Usos defend the Tag Titles against Rybaxel, Ric Flair will be in attendance, and Hugh Jackman makes his return, presumably to ask how him giving the rub to Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler worked out, tonight on Raw!
- Apparently Stephanie McMahon is less than happy about the Raw script that got leaked all over the Internet a couple weeks back, well after the show was over. I mean, leaks are bad, but seriously? I'd be less worried about the fact that a script leaked than the fact that your wrestling show is scripted right down to the exact words that everyone says in their promos. Ironically, I suppose, every match on the show gets one line in the script, which should probably tell you everything you need to know about what WWE really thinks is important. Also, it's nice of you to give every page of the script the header "You are watching the longest running yadda yadda yadda", in case the commentary team ever forgets to say it. And frankly, since it's one of the stupidest phrases ever created, I really can't blame them if they do.
- Another day, another tease that WWE might ever consider doing War Games, given that Vince is still alive and they built the Elimination Chamber and Hell in a Cell both in attempts to create their own unique cage match so they wouldn't have to admit that WCW had a good idea or two in their lifetime (although certainly not more than two). The newest report is that WWE would only do War Games in an arena capable of containing the two-ring setup, which would ignore the fact that they could do that at any arena as long as they were willing to take out a few seats. As I recall, WCW got upset with Dusty for that reason, and his answer was to charge people more for tickets, and the rest is history. Anyway, if you still want to hold out hope, the first arena that could conceivably support two rings without removing seats is the one where WWE Battleground is set to be held, which takes place in...September? I don't know, they keep moving the lesser Specials all over the schedule, I can't keep track. Hell, what's the Special after Extreme Rules, anyway?
- Mick Foley has picked up some heat internally, and fan support externally, for refusing to sign a new WWE Legends deal after he was displeased with his payouts for the most recent WWE video games. And he had like four characters in at least one of those game, so he should have gotten a bigger one than most people. I expect absolutely nothing to come of this, as Foley has more than enough money to take a walk, and he's even had less friendly partings from WWE multiple times in the past and they still welcome him back with open arms, because he's the most loveable figure in WWE history.
- A couple of independent ECW nostalgia shows, Hardcore Roadtrip and Extreme Rising, have apparently gone belly-up in the past week, reportedly due to indie promoters generally being scumbags. I think the hilarious part (and there are several, but I like this one best) is that the biggest sign that the shows are gone is that they've deleted their Facebook page. What an age we live in.
- New NXT tag team Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger have taken to YouTube to ask fans to name their team, which will take some doing, since they've shown absolutely no personality or unique characteristics. Hell, one of the guys they beat in their last match was more noticeable than them.
- And our long national nightmare is over, as CM Punk has finally used Twitter again. I know, it was a rough go there, not knowing his personal opinions on things like the Chicago Blackhawks (hint, he likes them), but he's back! Well, he retweeted a fan picture, anyway. But I'm sure he's only a short step away from full-on shooting on WWE in 160 characters or less.
- Oh, hey, it turns out, Steve Austin is pro-gay and has no problem with homosexuality. Good for him. Hopefully one day, people being all right with the private sex lives of other people won't actually be news.
HOT: The Shield
Not since the days of Steve Austin and his 3:16 beeper going through all his potential Royal Rumble opponents have we seen such a clever plan to even overwhelming odds. I mean, by anyone not named John Cena, who doesn't bother with underhanded tricks and just beats the odds through hustle, loyalty, and respect. That's why The Shield is so much better.
NOT: NXT Divas Championship
I hate hate hate hate HATE stripping healthy people of titles just because you're too lazy to think up a better way to get the belt off of them. Hell, Charlotte is probably getting the belt in the end anyway, would it have been so bad for Paige to lose the title via interference from Sasha Banks, or perhaps a vengeful former Divas Champion set on costing her everything? Plus, Paige already initially won the newly created title in a tournament, and now the second title holder will win it the same way! That just makes no sense at all.
HOT: Bad News Barrett
Cutting unscripted promos at the Hall of Fame seem to be the way to Vince's heart, and with Cesaro out, Barrett has to be the favourite to win the tournament and likely beat Big E Langston for the title. Hey, remember earlier where I mocked WWE for their insane scripting of promos? Why do they do that, again?
NOT: Big E
Unfortunately, while eight guys have been fighting for the right to face Big E, he's done little besides stare at a monitor backstage. This is probably why the odds are in favour of Big E losing the Intercontinental title at Extreme Rules, since it seems whatever push he was getting might be on the way out.
I wasn't really into "Crazy Ryback" when it was just insane Twitter rants, but his work on commentary during Raw has endeared the Big Guy to me, and I especially would like to hear more about his father, who is allegedly the greatest bartender on the entire East Coast.
NOT: The Rhodes Brotherhood
So now that WrestleMania is past, now they're running a break-up angle? Hey, I know they've tried to get this off the ground for a while, but given that you gave the Rhodeses nothing to do since they lost the tag titles at the Rumble, you'll forgive me if I had stopped anticipating the dissolution of the team and a potential hot brother vs brother feud.
HOT: 3.5MB vs Los Matadores
This feud continues, and you know what? It's not for any high stakes or anything but the comedic value of watching jobbers and little people hit each other with accidental shots to the nuts, but sometimes, that's what pro wrestling is all about. Plus, it's funny as hell.
I wonder if Sheamus is sad that he didn't get the rumoured heel turn yet. With his connections, they'd probably have slotted him into Evolution somehow, instead of being used to put over Barrett in the IC Title tourney, a title that Sheamus should be far above at this point.
HOT: Bray Wyatt
Do you want to know how to tell if someone is a great heel? My wife hates Bray Wyatt so much for going after John Cena that she will no longer watch his promo segments. Don't worry, I'm teaching the boy about how it's okay to respect Cena, but you never cheer for him. Don't look at me like that. It's not bad parenting, it's passing on family traditions!
NOT: The Miz
Boy, I hope he's enjoying filming The Marine 4, because clips of that movie are the only Raw screen time he's probably going to get in the future.
WWE Inactive List as of 04.21.14
- AJ Lee, out indefinitely as of April 14th (R&R)
- Christian, out indefinitely as of March 25th (concussion)
- Darren Young, out 4-6 months as of April 13th (ACL)
- Evan Bourne, out indefinitely as of March 19th, 2012 (foot)
- Rey Mysterio, out indefinitely as of April 15th (unknown)
- Daniel Bryan, off weekend house shows, will be on Raw tonight (personal)
- Rey Mysterio, condition changed to out indefinitely as of April 15th (hand)
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan
- 22 day reign, defeated Randy Orton and Batista in a Triple Threat match on April 6th (WrestleMania XXX)
- Next title defense: vs Kane, WWE Extreme Rules
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E
- 161 day reign, defeated Curtis Axel on November 18th (Raw)
- Next title defense: vs Winner of IC Tournament, WWE Extreme Rules
WWE United States Champion: Dean Ambrose
- 337 day reign, defeated Kofi Kingston on May 19th (Extreme Rules PPV)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos
- 56 day reign, defeated The New Age Outlaws on March 3rd (Raw)
- Next title defense: vs Rybaxel, April 28th Raw
WWE Divas' Champion: Paige
- 21 day reign, defeated AJ Lee on April 7th (Raw)
- Next title defense: vs Tamina Snuka, WWE Extreme Rules
WWE NXT Champion: Adrian Neville
- 60 day reign, defeated Bo Dallas in a Ladder Match on February 27th (NXT ArRIVAL PPV)
WWE NXT Tag Team Champions: The Ascension
- 201 day reign, defeated Corey Graves and Adrian Neville on October 2nd NXT
**NEW** WWE NXT Women's Champion: VACANT
- former champion Paige vacated the championship on April 24th NXT
- Next title match: Tournament Finals, NXT Takeover
On the latest After Dark, I continue to worry about a main event of Kane vs Daniel Bryan, even though they will likely draw the best buyrate in Extreme Rules history. Confused? I'll explain why that's true. Plus, I take issue with Total Divas bleeding into Raw storylines, and give my impressions of the future of Evolution post-Extreme Rules, and whether Bray Wyatt must beat John Cena!
411 will have live coverage of Raw tonight starting at 8 pm EDT.
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Here it is, your Moment of Buddy.
Spring Is Here. Tiny
Animals Play In The Sun.
I Will Kill Them All.
Yes, he does haikus now. He's very cultured for a cat.