Real American Wrestleblog

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

Posts Tagged ‘WWE Championship

King Bad News and the Wasted Crown

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So, you thought Bad News Barrett winning King of the Ring this year was going to give him that one last big push and one last opportunity to make his character stick in the Main Event picture?  Well, I’m afraid I’ve got some rather BAD NEWS.

Because since winning King of the Ring, Wade Barrett has only made one main card Pay Per View appearance and he was the first one eliminated from the Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber match.  Not only that, but he was pinned by R-Truth, who is currently serving as the WWE’s comic relief.  That’s like getting pinned by Santino Marella three years ago or Damien Mizdow six months ago.  In addition to that one Pay Per View main card appearance, Barrett has been the loser in the preshow match at both Payback and Money in the Bank.  And the night after Money in the Bank, after R-Truth beat him, R-Truth shows up wearing a toilet paper crown and carrying a plunger.  Oh, how the might have fallen.

It’s hard to believe now, but back when the Nexus first arrived, Wade Barrett was every bit as over as Kevin Owens is today.  He was the face of a hot new faction that was laying the most devastating beat downs that this generation of wrestling fans have ever seen.  But he got passed over for an opportunity to get pushed to the Wrestlemania 27 Main Event and instead that opportunity was given to The Miz of all people.  Since then, WWE has dropped the ball on capitalizing on Barrett’s popularity with the die hard fans over and over again.  He has carried the Intercontinental Championship into Wrestlemania three separate times in the past five years and not once has he came out with a victory.  Yet, through it all his popularity has remained and reportedly the key decision makers in WWE remain impressed by him.  Hence, he won King of the Ring this year and everything looked like it was trending up for King Bad News.

Despite the corny cliched king gimmick, the character is still over.  People are eating it up.  Yet, Barrett can’t seem to find his way onto the main cards or in any kind of meaningful program.  His last Intercontinental Championship reign was cheated like a joke, with everybody else playing keep away with his belt.  Now, he’s still stuck working with R-Truth and getting made a mockery of.  And it is very entertaining.  But the longer it keeps up and the longer he’s left working preshows and throwaway matches on Raw and Smackdown, the more likely it’s going to be that people stop caring.  Just last summer, insider reports were that it was a three-way race to determine the next guy to get to carry the World Heavyweight Championship between Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns and Bad News Barrett.  If he takes that kind of fall again from this year to next, he might just be done for.  And rumor is that nagging injuries may force him to retire soon anyway.  So, from WWE’s perspective, I can see why they wouldn’t want to put too much of an investment in a guy that might be retired less than a year from now.  And obviously, it means more for somebody to beat the King of the Ring than it means for the King of the Ring to beat some mid-carder.  Same with the holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase.  Because at the end of the day, if they lose, they’ve still got the crown or they’ve still got the briefcase for a guaranteed shot at the big title.  But it’s one thing for the King of the Ring to put somebody over in a match that matters and another thing entirely to lose some throwaway match on the preshow.

Something needs to change or this guy is going to ride his career out on the lowest of notes and if that happens then what was the point of putting the crown on him in the first place?

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Live Reactions – Elimination Chamber 2015 – Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship

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Last up is the WWE Championship match that we could have been having last fall had Rollins won the title when he tried to cash in at Night of Champions instead of keeping the title on Brock Lesnar for that many months with only a couple of title defenses.

Before that though, they are announcing a rematch between John Cena and Kevin Owens in two weeks at Money in the Bank.  They’re also announcing Neville, Dolph Ziggler, Roman Reigns, Randy Ortn, Kofi Kingston and Sheamus as the participants in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

Ambrose outwrestles Rollins in a series of chain wrestling holds to begin the match.  Rollins takes a long walk outside the ring to regroup.  Surprisingly, Ambrose doesn’t do the typical dive out to the floor and wipe everybody out spot.  Rollins back in the ring and he turns the tables and gets in a few good shots before Ambrose goes back on the attack.  After a bit, Ambrose ends up in the Tree of Woe while Noble distracts the referee.  Rollins climbs up over Ambrose and hits a Double Footstomp to the face, breaking Ambrose free from the Tree of Woe.  Rollins dangles Ambrose part way out of the ring and beats him up on the apron from the floor.  Rollins with a Snapmere and kick to the back and a cover, but Ambrose quickly kicks out.  This has been a much more slow and deliberate match than I expected from these two to this point.  Rollins with a wear down hold.  Ambrose battles back, but ends up eating the turnbuckle.  Rollins get a near fall.  Rollins with a unique Elbow Smash, tries a couple of pin attempts off it, but nothing doing.  J & J distract the referee some more, Rollins continues to methodically and slowly beat up Ambrose.  Very slow and deliberate still in this match.  It’s not bad by any means, but it’s not really either of these guy’s style.  Things pick up now as both men fly off the ropes at each other with a Double Crossbody Block attempt and both men are down as the match slows back down to a crawl.  Trading near falls, more chain wrestling.  Ambrose ducks a kick and goes for an Atomic Drop, but instead slams Rollins face first into the mat with it.  Another new innovate move thrown in tonight.  Everybody is trying new things and putting on a very good show tonight.  Now we get the spot where Ambrose knocks Rollins out of the ring and there is a HUGE Suicide Dive that knocks both men over the announce table and into the announce team’s laps.  They had to land and then dive over the announce table, so the move wasn’t really all that good, but it’s not really possible to do that move and go over the announce table that far away.  Not sure why they tried it.

Back in the ring, Rollins stacks Ambrose up, but the referee catches him with his feet in the ropes.  Ambrose rams Rollins into Mercury who was up on the ring apron and rolls him up for a near fall.  Superkick on Ambrose for a near fall.  The fight goes out to the floor and Rollins hits his Turnbuckle Powerbomb spot into the barricade instead of the corner.  Back in the ring, Rollins covers him, but Ambrose kicks out.  Rollins off the top with a Flying Knee Smash to the side of the head and covers him for another near fall.  Rollins with a big Reverse DDT for another near fall.  Rollins beats on Ambrose in the corner and badmouths him and then charges in with a Flying Forearm Strike in the corner.  Rollins slaps Ambrose around a bit and continues to taunt him.  Another Forearm Smash in the corner, but Ambrose no sells it and follows Rollins back across the ring and smashes him in the corner.  Tornado DDT on Rollins and covers him for a near fall.  More back and forth, Rollins goes for a Flying Knee Strike from the top rope, but Ambrose dodges into a Pendulum Clothesline off the ropes and Rollins does a full rotation to land on his face.  Ambrose covers for a near fall.  Ambrose off the top with his Flying Elbow Drop / Crossbody on a standing opponent for another near fall.  JBL promises to eat his hat if Ambrose leaves with the title.  Ambrose setting up for Dirty Deeds, but J & J cause a distraction, allowing Rollins to Thrust Kick Ambrose in the gut.  Rollins dives out to the floor, tackling Ambrose into the table.  Quickly back into the ring for another Pendulum Clothesline spot and Ambrose knocks everybody down and goes up to the top turnbuckle, but instead of diving onto Rollins in the ring, he dives out to the floor and wipes out Kane and J & J all in one go.  Rollins out after him and Ambrose hits another Pendulum Clothesline off the ring apron.  Back in the ring, Ambrose up top, dives at Rollins, but Rollins pulls the referee in the way and Ambrose takes out the referee.  Rollins goes for the Pedigree, but Ambrose counters.  Rollins up top for the Phoenix Splash, but Ambrose rolls out of the way.  Dirty Deeds and the cover, but the referee is out.  Second official comes out and makes the three count.

HOLY CRAP!  Ambrose is the Champion!  NEW CHAMPION!  But now the original referee is back up and says he’s disqualifying Rollins.  Ambrose wins by DQ.  Dusty Finish.  Dammit.  Now they try a beat down on Ambrose, but Reigns comes out to make the save.  Reigns and Ambrose clean house and Ambrose hoists up the title.  Ambrose grabs a mic and declares that since he won the match, he’s taking the belt.  Ambrose and Reigns leave through the crowd with the title and Ambrose says the new champ is buying the beers.  However, it won’t be official.  Very entertaining nonetheless.  They got me with the damn Dusty Finish.  But still, a very entertaining end to a very good Pay Per View.  This might end up being the best WWE Pay Per View of the year.  WWE certainly didn’t drop the ball tonight.

Live Reactions – Elimination Chamber 2015 – Neville vs. Bo Dallas

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And Neville and Bo Dallas are given the task of following that outstanding John Cena vs. Kevin Owens match.  We still have another Elimination Chamber and Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose yet to come and already Elimination Chamber is looking like potentially the best WWE Show of the year.

Neville dominates the early going despite the storyline knee injury and takes Bo down with a Moonsault out to the floor.  Neville with a Reverse Chinlock on Dallas and Dallas ties up in the ropes and whines about Neville not accepting his help.  Neville kicks him and Dallas suckers him in and dumps him out to the floor.  Dallas ties Neville’s arm up in the ring skirt and Elbows him in the head a few times and then puts him up on the apron and smothers him with the ring skirt.  Bo with a Front Facelock on Neville, Neville fights back up and Bo grabs him by the hair and flings him over backward and covers him for a near fall.  Bo goes back to the Front Facelock.  Bo roughs up Neville with some Short-arm Elbow Smashes to the side of the head.  Neville ducks one and runs Bo off into the corner.  Bo gets rammed head first into the middle turnbuckle and rolls out to the floor where he lays spread eagle and regroups.  Bo back in before he can get counted out.  Neville with a flurry of kciks and bounces with a Running Kick to the side of the head.  Neville with a Standing Shooting Star Press and covers him for a near fall.  Bo shoves Neville down and then rams his head into his gut.  Bo with a Side Headlock, goes for the Bo Dog, but Neville counters, knocks Bo flat and goes up to the top rope.  Red Arrow for the win.

Good match for a cool-down match after Cena vs. Owens.  Neville continues to go over another mid-carder in his initial push, as expected.  In the back, Triple H comes up to Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns and tells them that he heard about Reigns saying he would be in Ambrose’s corner tonight, but HHH says if he shows up out there during the match, Ambrose will be disqualified.

Live Reactions – Elimination Chamber 2015 Preshow

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Within the last hour before the Kickoff show went live, it was announced on wwe.com that Rusev had not been cleared to compete and thus will not be a part of the Elimination Chamber for the Intercontinental Championship tonight, meaning that we have a surprise opening in that chamber match.

On the preshow, Booker T announces that his sources are telling him Rusev will be replaced in the Elimination Chamber by a former World Heavyweight Champion.  That points to potentially The Miz, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, Big Show, Kane or Randy Orton.  Unless somebody like a Chris Jericho were to make a surprise appearance tonight.

Backstage, Kane is talking in the Authority’s office with all 3 members of New Day and New Day asks to be rewarded for helping The Authority out against Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.  Kane reveals that he has decided that all three members of New Day will be allowed to compete in the Elimination Chamber tonight.  Xavier asks if this means they will get a bigger pod so that all three of them can fit.  Kane looks confused and says if that is going to cause a problem, he can arrange for New Day to start the match and make them go through every other team.  Big E and Kofi then immediately cover Xavier’s mouth before he can make things worse and says it won’t be a problem, they’ll fit.  So, the bottom line is that we know all 3 members of New Day will be in the match and they will not be one of the two teams starting the match.

Another announcement was made on the preshow, this time having to do with the Divas Championship match.  A ruling has been made during the Divas Championship Triple Threat match, nobody will be allowed at ringside.  That means that Brie Bella and Tamina won’t be in Nikki Bella and Naomi’s respective corners.  That means we will likely have a better match than just a couple of minutes full of interference and then a quick pin and a new champion.  However, even with them banned from ringside, I wouldn’t rule out some kind of interference taking place.

At ringside, the announce team talks about the Tough Enough auditions and then we have an impromptu, unannanounced preshow match as Zack Ryder makes his way to the ring.  I don’t think Ryder has had a singles match on a Pay Per View / PPV Preshow in over a year.  Tonight, he’s taking on Stardust, who lost to R-Truth on the Payback preshow two weeks ago.

Stardust controls the early going, mostly working the torso and Ryder’s left arm.  Ryder counters a Vertical Suplex into a Neckbreaker and the tables are turned.  Very nice Missile Dropkick from Ryder off the ring apron to the floor.  The announce team plays up Stardust’s run-in with Stephen Amell on Raw last week.  Ryder hits the Broski Boot and goes for the Rough Ryder, but Stardust blocks it.  Stardust ends up winning with the Cross Rhodes.  JBL says it’s now called the Queen’s Crossbow, playing up a potential Stardust / Amell program.

Tom Phillips interviews Lana.  She sells the beef between her and Rusev and gets gooey over Ziggler.  In case you missed Smackdown, Rusev is no longer waving a Russian flag.  Instead, he’s waving a Bulgarian flag.  That’s a step that seems like Rusev and Lana won’t be reuniting to swerve Ziggler, but you never know.

The Miz returns, announced by Summer Rae.  Miz is wearing an even crappier version of his black man-dress from his last run.  Not only is he a boring performer and a below average wrestler, but he continues to have the worst fashion sense of anybody on the planet.  He’s interviewing Daniel Bryan on a Miz-TV segment.  Miz does the typical heel thing and asks Bryan a question and then interrupts and answers it himself.  Bryan says his career is not over and he WILL be back.  Bryan promotes his upcoming book.  Miz says that due to doctor’s orders, Byran can’t touch him and he can’t touch Bryan.  However, Bryan says that he finds Miz-TV boring and has an alternative solution to continuing it and points to the back and Macho Mandow and Axelmania make their way to the ring and clobber Miz.  Axel drops the leg on Miz and Miz rolls out to the floor and retreats.  The Faux Mega Powers pose down with Daniel Bryan to end the segment.

Dean Ambrose is being interviewed.  Ambrose says that no matter what the Authority has planned, he’s going down swinging.  Roman Reigns shows up and says that Ambrose only has to worry about Seth Rollins tonight because he will be in the corner.

JBL closes down the preshow, standing inside the Elimination Chamber and reviews the rules of the Chamber match.  The chamber is set up, so it looks like one of the two Elimination Chamber matches is coming up first on the main card.

Brock Lesnar WWE return dates announced

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Living in rural Missouri, my best chances to attend WWE events are either in Kansas City or St. Louis and as a result I receive e-mail promotions from WWE about upcoming events in those two cities and today I received some very big promotional news about Battleground in St. Louis on July 19.

WWE and the Scottrade Center are announcing that Brock Lesnar will return to action at the Battleground Pay Per View July 19.  After the way he left, the speculation is obviously that he would face Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship.  He is also reportedly being advertised for Raw on June 22 in Indianapolis, presumably then to set up for his match at Battleground.

Here is the full e-mail notification that I received word for word.

“Lesnar Returns for WWE Battleground PPV

For the first time in over 2 years “The Beast” Brock Lesnar will be live in St. Louis at the WWE Battleground PPV! See what unfolds when Brock makes his return to action at the Scottrade Center on Sunday July 19th.

In addition you will see United States Champion John Cena, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, St. Louis’ own Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, The Divas and many more as the WWE Battleground PPV come to St. Louis for the first time ever!

Tickets are on sale now at the Ford Box Office at Scottrade Center and through Ticketmaster. Scottrade Center Insiders can also take advantage of a special WWE 4-pack offer and receive 4 tickets for the price of 3 on select seats through ticketmaster.com .”

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not – 05/26/15 Edition

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This is a pretty self-explanatory post and will possibly become a regular feature here at the Real American Wrestleblog.  Let’s dive right in and see how it goes.

Who’s Hot

#1 – Kevin Owens – Owens won the NXT Championship just two months after his arrival at NXT R-Evolution.  Despite his two championship matches with Sami Zayn (at NXT Rival and NXT Unstoppable) being aborted by referee interference, Owens has not lost any steam.  In the first match with Zayn, the result was what amounted to a TKO, which wasn’t ideal, but it was palatable because it set up for what we thought would be an epic rematch.  However, the second match was unable to finish due to multiple referees, the NXT commissioner and finally the debuting Samoa Joe getting in between Owens and Zayn and not allowing Owens to finish Zayn off.  Despite all of that, Kevin Owens is as over with the crowd as ever, just like every WWE signing to come out of ROH has been.  And now, this Sunday, Owens gets to make his WWE main roster PPV debut with a one-on-one match against John Cena.  When was the last time somebody making their PPV debut was given a match with John Cena?  My best guess would be maybe Carlito’s lackey Jesus back during their United States Championship rivalry back in 2004.  It says a lot about WWE’s opinion of Owens, especially since he’s not the most in-shape of athletes, to put him in the ring with the face of the company on his first major WWE event.

#2 – Dean Ambrose – In what week would this list be complete without Dean Ambrose?  But he has to be here this week, especially since he’s getting a one-on-one opportunity for the WWE Championship this Sunday at the Elimination Chamber.  Ambrose’s antics usually make him the highlight of the night every single week on both Raw and Smackdown.  It’s not just the Lunatic Fringe crazy antics, but it’s the over the top theatrics and top notch ring psychology that have made him an unwavering fan favorite since The Shield turned face approximately 15 months ago.  Win or lose, no matter what the outcome of any given match, Ambrose seems to come out of it better than he went in.

#3 – John Cena – Cena’s United States Championship Open Challenge, since it began, has provided the best match of the night on every episode of Monday Night Raw where the match wasn’t interrupted by interference.  Cena has really stepped up his game in the ring, adding that new Springboard Stunner maneuver to his arsenal.  Plus, defending the title every week against an unknown challenger adds a lot of drama and entertainment value to the show, even if we know that no matter who it is that answers the challenge, Cena is still leaving with the belt.  At this moment in time, Cena might just be the best entertainer that he’s ever been.

Who’s Not

#1 – Stardust – Other than using the bag of spiders to steal a win over R-Truth on Raw a few weeks ago, when was the last time that Stardust won a match?  He lost to Truth on the Payback preshow.  He lost to Neville last night.  He lost to his big brother back at Fastlane.  He lost in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match at Wrestlemania.  And he lost back in either the second or third United States Championship open challenge that Cena offered.  Any other wins that he’s picked up in 2015 have not been very memorable.  As much as I enjoyed the Goldust / Stardust tag team for a while, it’s gotta be about time for Cody to take off the facepaint and get back to what worked for him before.

#2 – The Bella Twins – Nikki and Brie got steam-rolled by Naomi and Tamina at Payback.  When Nikki came out to rescue Paige on Raw last week, she tripped on the apron leaving the ring and fell flat on her face trying to chase Naomi and Tamina up the rampway.  And heel or face, the Bellas just aren’t getting much of a reaction from the crowd, it seems to me.  It’s well past time to give some different divas a chance.  I predict we see a new Divas Champion this Sunday at Elimination Chamber.

#3 – Adam Rose – Instead of wrestling every week, Rose appears relegated to making out with Rosa Mendes backstage.  And when it happens, Kane is usually walking by or forced to otherwise bear witness to this unsavory sight.  It definitely feels like another run-in with the Big Red Machine is looming in Rose’s future and it won’t have a happy ending.  Next time time, since the Rosebuds have been dismissed,there won’t be The Bunny or any other of the other residents of the Exotic Express to shield Rose from Kane’s destruction.

Payback Preshow Live Reactions – WWE Championship Fatal 4-Way

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The match starts off with the announcers reminding us every 30 seconds that Seth Rollins does not have to be pinned to lose the championship.  However, they also tell us repeatedly that Seth Rollins has to pin somebody to keep the title.  Reigns takes everybody down with a dive over the top rope early.  As we go on with Rollins on the short end of a 2-on-1 beatdown from Reigns and Ambrose, Kane decides to start helping Rollins out.  Kane and J & J triple team Orton out on the floor with Rollins taking advantage of Kane’s help to work over Ambrose in the ring.  Reigns is overselling Kane throwing him into the barricade out on the floor.  Rollins gets several near falls on Ambrose while Orton and Reigns rest on the floor.  Ambrose battles back and hits Dirty Deeds, but Kane Chokeslams him.  Orton and Reigns get back in the action and now Orton and Rollins carry the action in the ring while Ambrose and Reigns rest.  Orton hits a Superplex for a near fall.  Nobody ever wins with a Superplex, yet everybody acts surprised when somebody kicks out of one.  Everybody fights it out on the floor now and they set up the table to put somebody through the table.  Now the three former members of the Shield temporarily unite and Triple Team Orton and Triple Powerbomb him through the table..  Rollins then hugs Reigns and Ambrose, but they laugh and smile and then take turns pummeling Rollins.  They then set up the spanish announce table for somebody to go through it and Kane saves Rollins from being put through it.  Ambrose fights off Kane and rams him into the ring post.  Reigns puts Rollins on the table.  Ambrose and Reigns then Power Bomb Kane onto Rollins on the table, but the table doesn’t break.  The crowd chants for one more time and Ambrose and Reigns give them what they want and do the spot over and this time the table crumples in a heap.  Ambrose and Reigns say there is nothing left to do but fight it out among themselves and so they get back in the ring and start fighting it out, trading punches.  Reigns gets a near fall on a Powerslam and goes for the Superman Punch, but Ambrose counters into a Schoolboy for a near fall.  Reigns hits the Superman Punch and makes the cover, but Ambrose kicks out at the last second.  Awesome that the match continues, but it seems like the first Superman Punch never puts anybody away.  Ambrose blocks the Spear.  Reigns counters out of Dirty Deeds.  Ambrose goes for the Pendulum Clothesline off the ropes, but Reigns ducks and goes off the ropes and hits the Spear, but Rollins makes the save on the cover.  Reigns beats up J & J some more and throws Rollins back in the ring where Ambrose is back up.  Superman Punch on Rollins.  Pendulum Clothesline on Reigns.  Dirty Deeds on Rollins.  Cover, but Kane pulls Ambrose out by the boot.  Kane knocks Ambrose and Reigns down with the stairs.  Kane Chokeslams Reigns on the stairs.  Orton hits Kane from behind, knocking him into the post.  Orton goes for the Rope Hang DDT on Rollins, but J & J break it up.  RKOs to both members of J & J.  Rollins comes off the top rope, but Orton catches him with a Powerslam.  Orton hits Rollins with the Rope Hang DDT and goes on the hunt, calling for the RKO.  Rollins back up and Orton goes for the RKO, but Rollins counters and shoves Orton at Kane and Orton hits Kane with the RKO.  Rollins hits Orton with the Pedigree and covers him for the three count.

Rollins retains the championship and while I thought there was a chance he would lose it and get it back before SummerSlam, tonight didn’t really feel like the night and it wasn’t as Rollins does in fact retain the title going into the Elimination Chamber in 2 weeks.  However, he will likely have to defend the title in the Elimination Chamber and then 2 weeks after that, it’s Money in the Bank.  He’s not going to have any easier of a road storyline wise than he’s had already, but it should be interesting.  At least with the Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank matches, we know that we won’t be getting all the false finishes like we did tonight.  Best performance of the night was from Imagine Dragons, who weren’t even in the building, but their song :Friction” and the promo packages that WWE built with it were very cool.