The Wrestling News Experience: 06.30.14
Posted by Stephen Randle on 06.30.2014
Results and commentary out of WWE Money in the Bank, a preview for tonight's Raw, news and thoughts on the buyrate for Extreme Rules and more!
Monday June 30th, 2014
From 411Mania's Canadian offices in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, this is The Wrestling News Experience, with Stephen Randle!
Happy Canada Day Eve!
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Experience. I am Stephen Randle, and after finishing up watching Enlisted and starting The Finder over the last week, I am well prepared to watch whatever Geoff Stults is starring in next, while simultaneously grumbling that both of those shows should have run far longer than one season. Meanwhile, I hear that despite creating zero actual new music superstars in years, American Idol got renewed for another couple of seasons because people are inexplicably still watching it. What on earth is wrong with humanity?
Slimmer had the live commentary, and I have my own! Just think, if you missed the show live, or haven't seen it yet, you can watch it on WWE Network, and follow along with my thoughts, so you can have any idea what the hell I'm making jokes about! It's like a lazier, text-based version of MST3K!
On the Josh Mathews Memorial Pre-Show, we have a panel hosted by Renee (yay!), Christian (double yay!), Booker (eh...I got no problem with Booker), and the guy who somehow managed to keep his job instead of Josh, Alex Riley! And he's doing a terrible Boston accent (also known as an Affleck)! Because we're in Boston! Hilarity! This man didn't get fired despite contributing nothing to anything! Priorities are screwed up! Let's get to the show!
Oh, god, Money in the Bank now has a Rumble-style "All About The Numbers" video. I hope that people keep failing to cash in so they can't use the stat about how many winners have gone on to become Champion, like they had to do when the Rumble stat dropped down to somewhere around 50%.
Um..."undefeated in MITB matches" isn't much of a stat when the only people who are, are both only 1-0.
Here comes Daniel Bryan, and for thirty blessed seconds, they forget to turn on the mics in the commentary booth. And then they remember. Darn it.
Sign of the night so far: "If Bray Loses, We Wyatt".
And now Cole is reading Tweets off the Titantron for Bryan to respond to. Top notch journalism, ladies and gentlemen!
Decidedly negative response to Bryan suggesting Cena might win. Also, water still wet. Just mentioning it because we're theoretically in his hometown.
Bo! Bo is here to help Daniel Bryan recover with his magical powers of inspiration!
You know, if they wanted to immediately catapult Bo to superheeldom, he should have attacked Bryan for making fun of him. But I'd bet Bryan's not cleared for that.
And now, to the part of the show where there's actual wrestling!
The Usos (c) vs Luke Harper and Erick Rowan - WWE Tag Team Championship
You know, I never thought about this seriously before, but how messed up is it that the Usos are actually completely identical twins, so much so that they even have the same giant Samoan shoulder tattoo, but they paint their faces differently and thus can't utilize the ol' switcheroo that is a staple of tag teams, both face and heel, who look even vaguely similar throughout history? Hell, I think Demolition even pulled it off a few times, and they looked nothing alike.
So, we've switched from the weird, but appropriate, "Whole World In His Hands" instrumental to...some sort of generic guitar riff. Was that song not in the public domain or something, so they changed it rather than pay for it? Man, if that's true, Bray's going to owe a whole lot of royalties.
You know what? No matter how many times they try, "Uso Crazy" is not going to get over.
The Usos defeated Rowan and Harper to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (Jey pinned Rowan, Consecutive Superfly Splashes)
Damn, I was sure we were seeing a title change there. Not sure who's next in line for the Usos. Unless it's...sigh...Rybaxel.
Paige (c) vs Naomi - WWE Divas' Championship
But...what will be our pre-main event bathroom break match?
Oh, wait, I forgot Rusev has a match tonight. Carry on.
Wait, it seems like somebody accidentally let them wrestle an NXT-style women's match on a WWE show. Did Sara Del Ray manage to have Kevin Dunn subdued backstage somehow?
Oh my god...I don't know what that move is actually called, but it was brutal. Well, let's take a guess and call it...
Paige defeated Naomi to retain the WWE Divas' Championship (pinfall, lifting capture DDT)
And here's the By The Numbers video again. Interesting fact, Christian being in the most MITB ladder matches is at least 76% of the reason why his role in WWE is now "guy sitting at the panel desk because he's too physically broken down to keep wrestling".
Wait, that video's missing an important stat. Hey, WWE, who is the Superstar who has won the most MITB matches in history?
Adam Rose vs Paul Revere
Why isn't anyone worried about the fact that Damien Sandow has clearly gone insane? I mean, they don't even call him by his real name anymore, just whatever character he happens to think he is this week. Where's his concussion test?
The Patrik Klepek Memorial Hot Dog Suit returns!
JBL on commentary: "I am ignoring you, Michael." Would that we could, John.
Hey, you know what might help the floundering Rose act get over? Maybe if the goddamned commentary team could spend more than six seconds paying attention to his match instead of going off on tangents that have nothing to do with anything!
Lost in the inanity is Sandow pulling off an impressive springboard moonsault (which missed, of course), because he's actually talented and should be doing way more than this.
Adam Rose defeated Paul Revere (pinfall, Party Foul)
Wait, Jon Stewart is in attendance? Put him on commentary already!
Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose vs RVD vs Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston vs Jack Swagger - Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Hey, Swagger has a new shirt that shows you exactly where to put your hand over your heart. In case you can't remember, I guess. There's probably some sort of hilarious political commentary that could be made about that, but Jon Stewart's already there, so I'll let him take that one.
And Kofi waits two whole minutes until he does something insane, leaping off a falling ladder, onto the top rope, then onto two guys at ringside. Well, that's as good as winning as far as he's concerned. Fortunately, since he's not winning.
Ambrose seems to have decided to base his new look from the Luke Harper collection, although thankfully, without the sweat stains.
Rollins wrests the "craziest spot that could have gone horribly wrong" award away from Kingston by taking a backdrop off the big ladder flat onto another ladder propped up on the ropes, which then collapsed and dumped him headfirst onto the mat.
Dean Ambrose: creepiest, strangest, evilest, most improbably over babyface ever.
And Kane screws Ambrose over, because of course he does. If Ambrose ends up stuck in a feud with him, I'm going to start believing that WWE is intentionally burying their hottest acts by putting them in feuds with Kane in some sort of Brewster's Millions scheme.
Seth Rollins wins the MITB Briefcase
Why does Rollins' music have a weird awkward pause in it every forty seconds?
Rybaxel vs Goldust and Stardust
Axel breaks out a full singlet tonight, presumably in service of unity with his partner, but he failed to get it airbrushed, so team chemistry might take a hit.
Man, JBL has been getting grumpier on commentary. Did he accidentally say something intelligent and get yelled at by Vince at some point?
And then they lift MNM's old "Snapshot" finisher on Axel. Somehow we got a completely new tag team without anyone actually debuting or turning on anyone!
Well, according to the backstage promo, the Layla-Summer Rae match will determine once and for all if Fandango is a leg man, or a breast man. We're still PG, right?
Rusev vs Big E
I feel like they forgot that they already did this match at Payback. Or they accidentally fired whichever jobber they wanted to face Rusev next and needed to kill time to rewrite their plans.
Rusev defeated Big E (submission, Accolade)
I'm shocked that they haven't renamed his finisher into something more Russian at this point.
Summer Rae vs Layla (Special Referee: Fandango)
Let's see, one of these women has new personalized entrance music, and the other one came out to Fandango's music. Gee, I wonder who's going to end up with him in the end.
Wait, I blinked and missed the match. Was this necessary? Couldn't we have just saved this to fill a segment on Raw?
Layla defeated Summer Rae (pinfall, fast count)
I suppose I shouldn't complain, WWE usually isn't nice enough to give us two bathroom break matches in a row. And by "nice", I mean "we put 95% of our relevant talent into two matches and had to fill out the card somehow".
John Cena vs Cesaro vs Randy Orton vs Kane vs Bray Wyatt vs Alberto Del Rio vs Sheamus vs Roman Reigns - Ladder Match - WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Unsurprisingly, the Boston crowd would very much like Bray Wyatt to win. Wait, that shouldn't be right, it's Cena's hometown, isn't it?
Apparently Cesaro forgot his jacket and only had a spare bathrobe lying around to wear to the ring.
Lawler once again shows that he has his finger directly on the pulse of modern society, attempting to get "Make it Reign" over as a Reigns catchphrase. I don't think that one's a good idea, guys.
It was nice of Bray to move all the ladders out from underneath Cesaro and Sheamus while they were hanging from the belts. Then again, since Sheamus lost six months to an injury last time he was in MITB, he probably wouldn't have done the spot without some sort of guarantee of a clear landing pad.
Hey, remember when the gigantic ladder wasn't mandatory for ladder matches? Like, you could retrieve the hanging item with a normal, every-day stepladder? Personally, I blame Jeff Hardy.
Are John Cena and Bray Wyatt even in this match? For that matter, I feel like 90% of the match has been Sheamus, Orton, Kane, and Reigns.
Wow, Del Rio can't even get anything resembling heat for his one segment of offense, even when he cuts off fan favourite Bray Wyatt. Seriously, he was alone in the ring, soaking in the absolute apathy of everyone watching and pretending they were boos.
Oh goodie. It's like Christmas in July or something.
John Cena won the ladder match to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion
He was barely in the match, there were plenty of other guys who could have used the push, but screw it, we've got to get people to renew their Network subscriptions for SummerSlam, so there he is, to the generally negative reactions of his supposed hometown fans, once again, your Champion. And he must be your Champion, because he sure as shit ain't mine.
More importantly, I don't think this match was a very good spotlight for any of the people involved. As I said while it was going on, half of the participants were virtual non-factors, for some reason Sheamus got a significant portion of the match for himself despite his odds of winning being slightly above Del Rio's, and even though Reigns was involved, I don't think he managed to shine all that much, and almost got lost in the shuffle, which is odd given that the booking leading up to the show made him look like the uncrowned champion. I'm not saying he should have won, he almost certainly should not have if the plan is to have the champion face Lesnar at SummerSlam, but in terms of a memorable performance, he was far outstripped by his former Shield partners.
I said going in that this was a two-match PPV at best. Well, one of those matches delivered. Oh, and the Divas' and Tag title matches were pretty good. Generally, though, this was mostly filler with a standout ladder match, then a mediocre one to finish things off, complete with a return to the good old status quo. I mean, I think we know where they want to go with this, in which case Cena probably makes sense, but that doesn't mean we have to particularly like it, or that this will make Raw more watchable in the future.
Last night, John Cena became a fifteen-time Champion, as we all pretty much knew he would but had allowed ourselves to hope otherwise. Screw it, can we skip past the obligatory Cena-Kane or Cena-Orton match at Battleground and go right to Cena-Brock? At least then it'd only be one month of struggling through Raws to get to what we want to see instead of two. Although...wasn't Battleground the PPV location where they said they could conceivably actually hold a War Games match without losing seats? No, don't do this to yourself, dammit.
And we have a new Money in the Bank briefcase holder to go along with our new Champion, as Seth Rollins used the help of The Authority (through their little helper Kane) to claim the contract for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match any time in the next year. And since the current Champion is not exactly beloved of The Authority (or most people), one might suspect that this will be happening sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Paige successfully defended the Divas' title yet again, this time against Naomi, and is now certainly anything but a fluke champion. Will her feud with Naomi continue, or will another challenger step up?
Plus, will the injury to Bad News Barrett create another title vacancy, this time for the Intercontinental Championship, or will they just forget about the belt until he returns? And will The Usos continue to evade justice for past misdeeds at the hands of the Wyatt Family, or can Harper and Rowan finally bring down the Samoan menace? All this and probably more, because it's a long show, tonight on Raw!
- The PPV buys for Extreme Rules are in, and they are as bad as expected, with domestic totals coming in at somewhere over 30,000. That's thirty thousand, if you were wondering if I forgot a zero. With overseas numbers, the total comes in somewhere around 100k, far below what WWE PPVs were drawing before the Network came around. What does this mean? Well, it means that WWE has basically completely cannibalized the domestic PPV market in service of getting the Network running (and also lost the support of at least two major PPV providers in the bargain), as many suspected would happen. It also means they had better make damned sure that everyone re-ups their Network subscription after the first six months, because this is going to make for some more awkward quarterly conference calls.
- In news that will likely shock nobody, the Undertaker is currently telling people that it doesn't look good for his participation in WrestleMania 31, which will likely do nothing to quell rumours about him wrestling Sting at the show. Well, The Streak is over and his last match was pretty terrible, mostly because he's too old and injured to be wrestling any more, I can't imagine why he'd keep coming back outside of a Hall of Fame induction.
- WWE is expected to officially announce the signing of Japanese star KENTA sometime next month, possibly during their Far East tour. Were they waiting until they toured Canada to announce the Kevin Steen signing? Also, anyone else remember the last big foreign star that they made a big public deal over signing? Misti...something or other? How did he turn out again?
- Apparently WWE will be producing a new music album for R-Truth, which probably explains why he escaped the chopping block a couple weeks ago. Maybe this time, they'll have somebody explain the lyrics before they accidentally send him out there with entrance music about getting drunk and having lots of sex. Again.
HOT: Brock Lesnar
Somehow, as all the dust settles, this guy is going to end up as the biggest babyface in the company, simply because people are going to be absolutely rabid for him to demolish Cena at SummerSlam and win the WWE Title away from him. We don't even know for sure that this is the plan, but boy, do we hope that it is! I mean, sure, he'll never be on Raw or house shows, but on the other hand, he isn't John Cena. What a dilemma.
NOT: Money in the Bank
Maybe our expectations are too high after a few years of this being the most important PPV of the summer in all but name, but this year's edition was as middle of the road as it gets, and had the cherry on top of giving us another "Cena wins" finish after we just started to heal from the last one against Bray Wyatt.
HOT: Dean Ambrose
Seriously, how is this guy a beloved babyface? Every facet of his very being screams "dirtbag heel". I mean, sure, he's awesome at cutting promos and has a unique ring-style and is being portrayed as a loose cannon vigilante asskicker...wait, I think I just answered my own question.
NOT: Jack Swagger
Damn you, Swagger, first Ziggler, now Barrett on Smackdown. I get that you're jealous of much more talented people getting pushed ahead of you, but this is not the smartest way to solve the problem. But then, like I said, you do now wear a shirt with directions on where exactly to place you hand for your salute, so maybe brains don't exactly enter into it.
HOT: Paige vs Naomi
I don't know what's going on, but apparently someone decided to let the women wrestle, and I say we enjoy it for all it's worth. Just please, don't let the title get overshadowed by the eventual Funkadactyl break-up. Or whatever the hell they're doing with Fandango.
NOT: Damien Sandow
I really, really, really don't see this ending well for Sandow, which is a huge shame, because he's managed to come back from being essentially left for dead before, back when he was the long-forgotten Idol Stevens, and I don't think he's got another life left.
The most impressive part of this new character is how completely Cody has changed everything about him. He walks differently, he talks differently, and he's almost completely modified his in-ring style to something completely different. Plus, according to a video I saw on YouTube, he's living the gimmick at home and freaking out his wife with it. That takes dedication.
Is there seriously just a button backstage at WWE that randomly puts Kane into any segment they feel merits his presence? Was he really necessary in either ladder match? Is he Demon Kane, who can't be controlled, or Corporate Kane, who's a tool of the Authority? More importantly, why do they keep giving us more Kane? Why not use someone like Rusev, who could seriously use the rub and direction that would come with the role? Plus, when he inevitably ends up facing Cena, at least it will have some sort of relation to current storylines rather than "Cena vs Rusev, because why not?"
HOT: Stephanie McMahon
I still don't want her on TV any more than necessary (although with both GM's gone, I'm probably not getting that particular wish), but you have to give Steph credit for inheriting the willingness to be absolutely humiliated on national television in service of an angle from her dad. They could have completely embarrassed Vickie on the way out like they have so many before, and even if they hadn't, there was no reason for Steph to take a dive in the pool, but good on her for doing so.
NOT: Bull Dempsey
There seems to be some weird groundswell movement around this guy, but I'm not sure I see anything in him. I mean, there are plenty of worse concepts than "old school guy who wants to fight", but I can think of half a dozen guys with similar gimmicks that all come off better than Dempsey. Also his music is trash, but it's NXT. They only tend to get theme songs right on the second try.
Inactive List as of 06.16.14
- AJ Lee, out indefinitely as of April 14th (R&R)
- Christian, out indefinitely as of March 25th (concussion)
- Daniel Bryan, out 2-3 months as of May 12th (neck surgery)
- Darren Young, out 4-6 months as of April 13th (ACL)
- Rey Mysterio, out indefinitely as of April 15th (hand)
- Tamina Snuka, out 6 months as of June 6th (knee surgery)
- Cal Bishop, out indefinitely as of June 25th (torn rotator cuff)
- Corey Graves, out indefinitely as of May 30th (concussion)
- Dana Brooke, out indefinitely as of June 18th (leg)
- Kendall Skye, out 6-8 weeks as of June 18th (broken wrist)
- Marcus Louis, out indefinitely as of June 25th (leg)
- Tyler Breeze, day-to-day as of June 20th (broken finger)
- Veronica Lane, out indefinitely as of June 18th (leg)
- Bad News Barrett, WWE, out indefinitely as of June 24th (shoulder)
- Becky Lynch, NXT, made NXT debut on June 26th NXT
- Bull Dempsey, NXT, made NXT debut on June 26th NXT
- Corey Graves, NXT, may be forced to retire from in-ring competition (concussion)
- Daniel Bryan, WWE, status downgraded to "out indefinitely" as of June 29th
- Fernando, WWE, out 3-4 weeks as of June 22nd (knee)
- Josh Mathews, WWE, released from his contract
- Vickie Guerrero, WWE, released from her contract
**NEW** WWE World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena
- 1 day reign, defeated Cesaro, Kane, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and Roman Reigns in a Ladder Match to claim the vacant title on June 29th (WWE Money in the Bank)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Bad News Barrett
- 57 day reign, defeated Big E on May 4th (WWE Extreme Rules)
WWE United States Champion: Sheamus
- 56 day reign, won a battle royal that included former champion Dean Ambrose on May 5th (Raw)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos
- 119 day reign, defeated The New Age Outlaws on March 3rd (Raw)
WWE Divas' Champion: Paige
- 84 day reign, defeated AJ Lee on April 7th (Raw)
WWE NXT Champion: Adrian Neville
- 123 day reign, defeated Bo Dallas in a Ladder Match on February 27th (NXT ArRIVAL PPV)
- Next title defense: vs Tyler Breeze
WWE NXT Tag Team Champions: The Ascension
- 264 day reign, defeated Corey Graves and Adrian Neville on October 2nd NXT
WWE NXT Women's Champion: Charlotte
- 32 day reign, defeated Natalya on May 29th to win the tournament for the title vacated by former champion Paige
On the latest After Dark, I did an extensive MITB preview, which allowed for some interesting side trips into discussion of whether or not Roman Reigns can stand alone as a singles wrestler, the Bad News about Wade Barrett, and how the release of Josh Mathews at least made the pre-show better while lowering the already terrible quality of the announce team overall.
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Here it is, your Moment of Buddy.
Hey, Look. It's Money In A Bank Of Some Sort.
I Give Up, After So Many Years Of This Gimmick,
There Are No More Money-Related Jokes Left.