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This blog predates Jack Swagger's gimmick shift by a year. I named it after Hulk Hogan's entrance theme.

Archive for the ‘Prime Time Players’ Category

Live Reactions – Elimination Chamber 2015 – First ever Tag Team Elimination Chamber Match

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We kick off the main card of tonight’s show with the first ever Tag Team Elimination Chamber match.  The WWE Tag Team Championships are on the line in this one.  The Prime Time Players enter first.  Los Matadores come in next and El Torito is hoisted up and stands on top of their pod.  Apparently, he will be allowed to stay in the chamber as well.  Cesaro & Tyson Kidd come out next.  And New Day are the final entries to be locked in a pod.  This leaves The Ascension and Lucha Dragons as the only two teams left, thus those two teams start the match, assuming that we don’t see Luke Harper & Erick Rowan pull an Edge and steal somebody else’s spot.  Here comes The Ascension.  Only one team left to enter.  And here come the Lucha Dragons.  No surprise entries in this one it seems as the Chamber is locked.

Ascension aggressive early, but Lucha Dragons counter into simultaneous Moonsaults.  Konnor chucks both Lucha Dragons out to the steel grating.  They take turns kicking Konnor in the head.  Kalisto hits a Flying Crossbody, following by a Flying Senton from Sin Cara.  Dragons work over Konnor and Viktor in the corner.  Ascension both turn the tables and beat down the Lucha Dragons in the corner.  Kalisto goes to the top of New Day’s pod while Ascension work over Sin Cara.  New Day pull Kalisto’s legs through the chains and prevent him from helping his partner.  Both Ascension climb to the top rope and try to pull Kaliso off the pod, but Kalisto kicks them both in the head and knocks them down.  Sin Cara goes up to the top of Cesaro & Kidd’s pod.  Sin Cara hits Viktor with a Senton from the top of the pod.  Kalisto is still sitting there on top of New Day’s pod.  Now he stands up and Lucha chants, but New Day trip him again and crotch him on top of their pod’s chains.

Countdown ensues and the next team is released and it’s Cesaro and Kidd.  Cesaro and Kidd work over The Ascension and get a near fall on Konnor with a 3D into a European Upper Cut instead of a Cutter.  Kidd goes up after Kalisto and tries to free him from the top of New Day’s pod.  Kalisto knocks him down and Cesaro leap frogs Kidd and lands on the top rope and then hops up and hits Kalisto with a Flying European Upper Cut.  Cesaro then Superplexes Kalisto from the top of the pod and Kidd hits a Springboard Elbow Drop off the top rope and makes the cover, but Sin Cara breaks it up in time to save his partner from elimination.  Cesaro and Kidd chuck the Lucha Dragons out of the ring.  Now, they go back to beating on Ascension while Lucha Dragons get a breather outside the ring.  Viktor flattens Kidd and covers him, but Cesaro makes the save.  Kidd trips up Viktor and puts him in the Sharpshooter.  Konnor quickly breaks it up.  Cesaro throws Viktor out of the ring.  Sin Cara back in with a whirlybird special and drives Cesaro into the mat.  Kalisto goes for a Hurricanranna on Cesaro outside the ring, but Cesaro catches him.  Kalisto ends up on the chains and climbs up on the PTPs pod.  Lots of near falls and powerslams in the ring while Kalisto stays on top of the pod while we get a new countdown.

Los Matadores come in and El Torito dives off the top of the pod an dhits a Hurricanranna on Cesaro.  Bodies everywhere as Kalisto climbs all the way up the ceiling of the pod and hangs swinging from the top of the pod and lets himself fall down into The Ascension and Cesaro.  Los Matadores go for some covers, but don’t get a three count on anybody.  Now Torito is copying Kalisto.  Torito drops off on Ascension, but is caught and then chuck him into Primo out of the ring and then hit Epico with the Fall of Man and get a three count for the first elimination.  Lucha Dragons dive in and take down both members of The Ascension.  Ascension back on the attack and hit Kalisto with the Fall of Man and cover him for their second elimination of the match.  Ascension work over Kidd and Cesaro as we get a new countdown and the Prime Time Players come in next.  Of course, New Day is last.

PTPs battle Ascension and Titus clobbers Viktor outside the ring and throws him into the chain wall several times.  Darren Young hits his Double Gutbuster finish on Viktor and covers him and The Ascension is gone.  PTPs now work over Cesaro and Kidd.  Kidd counters into a Spinning Fisherman Suplex, only to get steamrolled by Titus.  Cesaro then Clotheslines Titus and puts Darren up on the top turnbuckle and hits a terrific Suplex to Young sitting on the top turnbuckle.  Cesaro with a Gutwrench Superplex on Young while Titus Powerbombs Cesaro.  Can’t have one of these matches without the cliche Tower of Doom spot.  Titus hits Kidd with a huge Spinebuster.  Young covers Kidd for a near fall.  New Day is now clammoring to get into the match with all 4 men down in the ring.

Countdown ensues and here they come, using their numbers advantage and clobbering everyone.  Cesaro blocks a Triple Suplex and both Cesaro & Kidd and the PTPs Suplex all 3 members of New Day and the numbers are reversed as it’s 4 on 3 now.  Cesaro and Kidd lock Woods back in the New Day’s pod.  Cesaro and Kidd dominate in the ring and execute the Giant Swing into a Dropkick on Kingston.  Darren Young rolls up Cesaro from behind in a Schoolboy and gets the surprise three count and Cesaro and Kidd are eliminated.

It’s down to New Day against the Prime Time Players and now Big E has let Xavier back out of the pod and it’s a 3-on-2 beatdown.  Big E and Xavier whip Titus into a Double Knee Blast to the face from Kofi in the corner.  They choke Titus on the chains and kick the crap out of him outside the ring 3-on-1.  Titus is now out of commission for the moment while they triple team Young.  They set up for a move off the top rope, but Young counters and knocks everybody down and hurls Big E through the ropes in the corner where he crashes into the ring post and bangs his head off the pod.  Everybody catches a breather.

Titus back up and knocks out Xavier with a Big Boot.  Young drops Kofi onto the top rope and Titus slams Big E against the chains a few times.  Kofi throws Young over the turnbuckle in the corner and sends him crashing to the steal.  Titus catches Kofi and slings him into the chains a few times.  Titus flattens Big E with a Clothesline in the ring.  Darren catches Kofi off the ropes on his shoulders and does the Double Gutbuster finish into the cover, but Kingston kicks out for a near fall.  Titus whips Big E into the ropes, but Big E catches him with an Elbow to the face.  Big E with a Belly-to-Belly on Young on the steel.  Big E charges Titus and is caught in a Powerslam for a cover and a near fall.  Titus catches Xavier going for a Flying Crossbody and slams him down onto his knee.  Kofi charges out of the corner and hits Titus with Trouble in Paradise, knocking him over with Woods landing on top of him.  Big E and Kofi pile on in a three man cover and get the three count.

New Day celebrates as they retain the championships.  Outstanding action in this one.  It was hard to keep up at times.  I’m not sure exactly what they thought they would accomplish by sending Kalisto up to dangle from the ceiling, but the move was very bland and they made him hang up there for a long time and he looked like he almost feel three or four different times.  The match was anything but boring, even though it ate up the first 40 minutes or so of the Pay Per View.  There was all kinds of moves that I’ve never seen before in decades of watching professional wrestling.

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Five Things to Look Forward to in June 2013

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1) Money in the Bank Ladder Match announcements.  Really, the sooner that Payback has been and gone the better and we can get to the Money in the Bank Pay Per View on July 14 in Philadelphia.  Shortly after Payback, we should start finding out what the ladder matches are going to look like.  As for Payback, I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that Ryback is just another monster heel that they built up just to feed him to John Cena.  It’s just another instance of Cena getting his ass kicked by the same guy in a month’s worth of attacks and then overcoming some injury or stipulation or both to win anyway on the Pay Per View, only this time he’s going to beat Ryback twice in the same night.  As for CM Punk and Chris Jericho, it should be one of the best matches of the year, but unless Punk turns face or they pull a switcharoo and Punk doesn’t show up and gets replaced by Brock Lesnar or Curtis Axel, I don’t see anything surprising coming from it.  They’ll put on a great show, but nothing with be gained or lost by either man.  95% chance that Punk shows up, teases being a face and cheats to beat Jericho, changing nothing and doing nothing we haven’t already seen Punk do to death all last year.  He was entertaining at times, even while beating the heel champion’s dead horse all the way up until he wasn’t the champion any more.  I’m expecting more of that, so if you are one of the sheep that thought what Punk was doing in the last half of 2012 was somehow cutting edge – well, then Payback should be all kinds of good news for you.

2) The Usos getting a push again in the tag team division.  I don’t expect them to unseat The Shield, but it’s nice to see them adding new bits and pieces to the gimmick and picking up wins because like the Prime Time Players, neither one of them is likely to ever have a shot as a singles wrestler in anything other than a job squad capacity.  I greatly enjoyed the Team Hell No storylines and still am as Daniel Bryan goes nuts on everybody trying to prove that he’s not the weak link, but I’m excited to potential see more traditional tag teams and tag team specialists getting more air time and doing something other than jobbing to pairs of singles wrestlers.

3) Dolph Ziggler coming back on TV.  I imagine if WWE knew he still wouldn’t be cleared to compete this far into the future, they would have stripped him of the title and put it on Del Rio or Swagger at Extreme Rules and allowed Ziggler to win it again when he came back.  A few days before Extreme Rules, he was still being advertised to appear in the Main Event of Monday Night Raw the night after Extreme Rules in a tag match with Ryback against Cena and Del Rio.  As we know, that didn’t happen and Ziggler has still not wrestled since Swagger screwed the pooch by kicking the champion in the head wrong and causing a concussion.  However, he will surely be back in time to defend the title against Del Rio at Payback and once he retains the belt, we can get a fresh program for him against somebody like Daniel Bryan or the Ziggler-Orton rivalry that was rumored to be happening leading into Wrestlemania 29, but never happened.  With the Daniel Bryan and AJ stuff to still draw on and still be entertaining, I’m thinking that’s the direction they end up going as soon as Ziggler finishes with Del Rio and Bryan gives up on trying to beat the Shield as a tag team.

4) This is actually something NOT to look forward to, but something that is going to happen anyway and that’s Fandango winning the Intercontinental Championship.  Brace yourselves now because the most mis-interpreted fan reaction we’ve seen in a while is going to culminate with Fandango winning the title in a Triple Threat Match against The Miz and Wade Barrett at Payback.  If you were one of the people that ragged on John Cena for only using five basic moves and you’re one of the idiots at the arenas “Fandangoing”, go ahead and pull out your hypocrite stamp and slam it into your forehead because other than his spin kick (which Kofi Kingston and Cody Rhodes both employ more exciting variations of), everything that Johnny Curtis has shown us thus far as Fandango has been incredibly basic.  And it doesn’t even take much talent since he has the ring apron to steady himself with before delivering it.  On top of that, Jericho is lucky he didn’t end up on the shelf next to Dolph Ziggler after all the times Fandango landed on the back of his head with his leg drop.

5) More Curtis Axel.  I’ve been down on the spawn of Mr. Perfect a bit because he just seems to fall flat charisma wise when you see him come up against Triple H and John Cena.  It doesn’t feel to me like he’s able to make the crowd care about him, which is probably why they put him with Paul Heyman to see if he could get over that way in the first place.  And others have agreed with me over in the I Love the WWE Facebook group (http://facebook.com/groups/ILoveDoubleDoubleE) that he just feels like he’s falling flat.  And getting wins over Cena by countout doesn’t seem to be helping and I don’t see how anybody could have thought that it would.  However, the kid can wrestle and I’ve compared him a few times stylistically to the late great “Ravashing” Rick Rude.  He just needs to find some of the Hennig family charisma that made his dad great and he really could be exciting to watch for years to come.

Real American Top 10 – Rising Stars of the WWE

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10) Heath Slater – Personally, I don’t think much of Slater’s talent, but he’s been a fixture on Monday Night Raw for several weeks now and he’s been in the ring with some of the biggest stars in the history of the WWE.  He’s picked up the rub from several WWE Legends and continued to run with it.  With the 1,000th Raw in the rear view mirror, that likely spells the end of his weekly appearances on Raw, but he could parlay that experience into a bigger on screen role than what he’s had in the past and maybe even a few wins here and there.

9) Tyson Kidd – Formerly a mainstay on WWE Pay Per Views as part of the Hart Dynasty during their reign as WWE Tag Team Champions a couple of years ago, Kidd’s spotlight has since faded, but his involvement in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match and victory over Tensai last month shows that he could be getting the opportunity to reclaim some of the limelight in the near future.

8) Brodus Clay – In 7 months, we’ve only once seen Brodus step in the ring with somebody that was allowed to be a significant threat to his size and dominance when he got dispatched rather easily by Big Show.  However, he continues to pile up wins against former World Champions like The Miz and Jack Swagger, but it appears questionable whether or not he’s going to be used for more than that.

7) Darren Young & Titus O’Neill – The Prime Time Players have staying power in my opinion and the tag team division is desperately in need of some consistency.  Through their manager / promoter A.W., they’ve already shown themselves to be underhanded and wily and should be carrying the WWE Tag Titles sometime soon.

6) Damien Sandow – The guy simply has a way with words.  He tends to greatly overstate his significance, like at Raw 1,000 when he called himself a “martyr”, but when has overstating your own significance ever been a bad thing for a heel character?  He got the rub from DX on the most historic episode of Monday Night Raw to date and not much signifies that somebody is on the rise more than that.

5) Antonio Cessaro – He stands out from the rest of the WWE locker room due to his unique look and the European Style similar to those of popular and underrated wrestlers like Fit Finlay and William Regal.  He handily defeated the United States Champion Santino Marella on Smackdown this week and his own title run could be in the near future.

4) Ryback – He’s finally getting put in the ring with enhancement talent like Jinder Mahal, Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins rather than the 2-on-1 Handicap matches against the slew of unknown jobbers that had many die-hard fans exasperated.  He frequently draws Goldberg chants from the crowd due to the perceived similarity in their two gimmicks, but we could be experiencing a meteoric rise similar to the one Goldberg received in 1998.

3) Sin Cara – He still hasn’t quite gotten the necessary repertoire with the rest of the talent to pull off his style of matches without a few botches here and there, but eventually he’ll smooth all of that out.  I was concerned that WWE would give up on him after his suspension last summer due to violation of the wellness policy and then sustaining an injury at Survivor Series last year only a few months after the end of that suspension, an injury that kept him out of action until June.  With Rey Mysterio likely on his final run with the company, expect him to pass the masked luchadore torch to Sin Cara sometime in the not so distant future.

2) Wade Barrett – The Barrett Barrage has been halted temporarily due to the injury he suffered back in February, but don’t expect the winner of NXT Season One to miss a step when he makes his return.  Instead, expect him to win his first World Championship sometime in 2013.

1) Dolph Ziggler – Easily tops the list by virtue of his holding the Money in the Bank briefcase.  There is also the intense level of respect that the internet wrestling community has gained for him (from my experience anyway) over the past year and a half since his rivalry with Edge and since he started calling himself the Show Off late last year.  He was wrestling 1-2 matches on multiple Pay Per Views late last year and the last guy I can recall doing that was Chris Benoit during his tremendous reign as World Heavyweight Champion in 2004.  In my opinion, he’s frequently the best performer on the roster and his over the top antics are always entertaining.