FATP: A Review of WWE in 2013 (July – December)
***THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BEFORE MONDAY’S EPISODE OF RAW***
Welcome to the 1st FATP of 2014! Hopefully you all had a great Christmas and if you need some reading material while you’re nursing a New Years Eve hangover, then sit down with a strong cup of coffee, put your feet up and enjoy!
For those of you who didn’t manage to catch Part 1, I’ll run through the format.
Basically, I’ll try to include a recap of the major talking points that happened each month between July and December. I won’t include everything because, to be quite honest, I’ve had to watch a lot of wrestling in the last 6 months.
If I’ve included it here, then it made an impression on me. If it didn’t, then it won’t be here. Simple as that. I’ll also give a pass or fail mark to the month overall. As with every column, the decision about whether it’s been a pass or a fail is mine. Your opinion might be different, but that doesn’t make mine right or wrong. I’ll try to be as fair as I can here, but I have to be honest as well.
Before I review the last 6 months, here’s what I was hoping for at the beginning of July. In Part 1, I mentioned that I wanted to see the WWE:
- Continue to make their fresher stars look credible
- Build some credible tag-teams
- Use the McMahons less on TV
- Gradually phase out Jerry Lawler
At the end of this article, I’ll mention those four bullet-points again and see if any of them actually happened. OK, so with that build-up out of the road, let’s get cracking and see what I thought of the 2nd half of WWE’s 2013. Buckle up, it’s gonna be quite a ride!
July: Money in the Bank, RVD Returns and the Heyman Screwjob
Here’s how things stood as July kicked off – John Cena was preparing for his WWE Championship match with the magnificent Mark Henry, my good friend Latino Sheeeeeeeeeet (Alberto del Rio) was set to defend his newly-won World Heavyweight Championship against my official #mancrush Dolph Ziggler and Triple Haitch-Ah had positioned himself, once again, as the star of the show.
John Cena was bleating on about how terrible 2012 had been for him, and Mark Henry was set on shutting Cena up.
The main bone of contention seemed to be whether or not Cena could lift Henry up and deliver the AA. You can probably tell how I felt about that. Considering Cena’s AA’d Big Show, Khali and other superheavyweights before, then yeah. It was safe to say that Cena could, and would, be able to AA Mark Henry. What a ridiculous thing to build a feud around. Fucksake…
Elsewhere, Alberto del Rio winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Payback compounded my misery. Not just because he’d won it from one of the most talented and capable wrestlers in the WWE, Dolph Ziggler, but because WWE’s 2 big World Championships were held by the 2 wrestlers I probably hate most in the company.
After his failed push as a babyface, Del Rio went back to doing what he does best – being a bland prick and beating up Ricardo Rodriguez. Oh joy…cos that worked so well for him last time. Having said that, at least the build towards his rematch with Ziggler was centred around Dolph getting revenge. Storytelling at its simplest.
We were also building towards the 2 MiTB matches. One billed as the “All-Star” match, which would feature the return of the highest flyer in WWE history, Rob…Van…Dam!!!
I wasn’t a huge fan of the way that WWE billed the WWE Championship MiTB match though. Calling it an all-star match automatically means that the fans will think the World Heavyweight Championship match is full of no-marks who mean fuck all.
Even if that’s how management think privately, they shouldn’t come out and bill it as such. If they don’t care about who’s in the match, why should the fans paying their hard-earned cash to see it live or on PPV?
I mentioned in June’s paragraph that AJ Lee had won the Divas Championship at Payback from Kaitlyn.
After management had obviously been watching what TNA were doing with their Knockouts division, WWE started to actually focus on their own women’s division. Albeit we still got treated to the same kind of Mean Girls BS that we’ve seen time and again, it was good to see WWE realising that some of their Divas can put on great matches.
It’s just a shame that only one of their Divas actually has a character of some description – and that’s AJ Lee. The build to their rematch centred around AJ basically bullying Kaitlyn. Way to Be a Star WWE!
What else was happening? Oh yeah. Chris Jericho was the latest man to be charged with trying to get a somewhat decent match out of the walking clusterfuck that is Ryback. Always WWE’s go-to guy for working with less experienced talent, Jericho did his best to make us care about the feud heading in to the PPV.
Although Dean Ambrose was the US Champion, there was little to no focus on that belt because of Ambrose’s involvement in the aforementioned World Heavyweight Championship MiTB match.
But never fear my friends! Curtis Axel was there to remind us that he was the Intercontinental Champion. Pity he’s got the charisma and raw charm of a sex offender isn’t it? Bland and boring. Even Paul Heyman couldn’t polish that turd (but more on that as we go through the rest of 2013).
The beginning of July also finally witnessed the debut of one of the most hotly-anticipated groups for years. We’d seen vignettes hyping the appearance of the Wyatts for a good 6-8 weeks before they finally debuted on Raw, attacking Kane. Their attack was so vicious that the Big Red Monster was pulled from the WWE Championship MiTB match.
With Kane out of the way, the Wyatts (well, mainly Rowan and Harper) basically took care of a few jobbers like R-Truth, Justin Gabriel and 3MB. In fairness, it was a good idea using guys who are basically enhancement talent to establish the Wyatts.
All of that pretty much brings us to the MiTB PPV, which saw a couple of new stars shine and another few more established ones shoved down our throats.
The PPV kicked off with the World Heavyweight Championship MiTB match between Antonio Cesaro, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Jack Swagger and Wade Barrett.
If you were booking this match on form, there should’ve been just one winner – Dean Ambrose. He was the US Champion and had been heavily featured as part of the Shield for most of 2013 up until that point. But Ambrose didn’t win, even with his fellow members of The Shield trying to help him in the match.
Instead of the overwhelming favourite, Dean Ambrose, winning, 2 of WWE’s more long-term superstars had the spotlight shining on them during this match – Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.
Tag-team partners and “best friends” before this match, the crowd instantly took a liking to one-half of the Rhodes Scholars – Cody Rhodes. Cody wrestled like a man possessed and the crowd popped for everything he did. He was taking risks and wrestling his ass off, and the crowd responded to him.
Just as it looked as though Cody was going to win, his “best friend” Damien Sandow knocked him off the ladder and retrieved the briefcase himself, and proclaimed that he was our uncrowned World Champion. Would he have success with the briefcase? Stay tuned and read the October section to find out!
The next treat (if you could call it that) for the crowd in Philly was an Intercontinental Championship rematch between Curtis Axel and The Miz. An inconvenient Curt won the match after about 10 mins. Much like the rest of Axel’s run with the Intercontinental belt, it was largely uneventful. It just goes to show you that just because one of your parents was a great wrestler, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be too.
Elsewhere, AJ successfully defended her Divas Championship against Kaitlyn. It got more time than most Divas matches, but it still wasn’t that great.
In the middle of the card, it was Mission: Impossible for Chris Jericho as he tried to make Ryback – the Goldberg parody himself – look good. As amazing as Jericho is, even he couldn’t manage that. Jericho, as he normally does when he’s back, shone and put the less experienced guy over before taking off for one of his frequent hiatuses. I just hope to God that he comes back soon. Save us Y2J!
Alberto del Rio retained his World Championship by disqualification when Dolph Ziggler’s leech, AJ, interfered in the match and blasted Del Rio with her belt. Thankfully, in the weeks that followed, Ziggler distanced himself from AJ and Carlton Ryblack. Unfortunately, Ziggler was distanced from the main-event by WWE management. The crazy fools!!!
And the biggest question of the PPV was finally answered – could John Cena “overcome the odds” once again and defeat the gigantic, magnificent bastard himself, Mark Henry.
In a word? Yes. In 2 more words? By submission. Yup. That’s right. Despite Henry battering Cena for the entire match, Superman himself Hulked up, and managed to get Henry to tap out in a sloppy-looking STF. And no, that’s not a sexually-transmitted disease.
Our main-event was the “All-Star” (as WWE called it) Money in the Bank match, which featured the return of RVD, who we saw for the first time in 4 years.
To give them credit, WWE actually did a great job hyping RVD’s return, playing countless highlight videos of some of Van Dam’s finest moments before, and during, the PPV. Needless to say, Van Dam got a thunderous ovation from the Philly crowd.
Despite Daniel Bryan and CM Punk being firm favourites, neither man won, although Punk came close.
Just as he was climbing the ladder to get the briefcase, from out of nowhere (© Michael Cole), Paul Heyman hit Punk off the ladder to turn his back on him (and side with Burrrrrock Llllllllessssnaarrrrrr in the process), which allowed Randy Orton to become Mr Money in the Bank.
The PPV was pretty decent. Not great or the complete show by any stretch of the imagination, but very decent.
With Money in the Bank out of the way, WWE decided to build towards SummerSlam with 2 key matches – CM Punk vs Burrrrrock Llllllllessssnaarrrrrr and John Cena vs Daniel Bryan.
Tensions between Punk and Heyman drew to a close at MiTB with Heyman costing Punk the MiTB match. Over the coming weeks, their frustrations reached boiling point and after a series of brawls between Punk and Lesnar, their match was made official for SummerSlam.
Unsurprisingly, it was the “build” toward the Cena/Bryan match that pissed me off.
If we’re to believe the WWE, then John Cena “chose” Daniel Bryan as his opponent for SummerSlam. Hang on a second…THIS JUST IN…HE DIDN’T.
John Cena, in no way, shape or form, chose Bryan as his opponent. The fans chose Bryan because of the tremendous matches he’s been putting on for the last few years. They chose Bryan because he’s entertaining and, arguably, the best wrestler in the company.
But if you go by the story that WWE presented, John Cena “hand-picked” Bryan for the spot. What a joke! I’ll discuss more of the build later.
Kane’s feud with the Wyatts continued. They persistently attacked him after matches until Kane decided to issue Wyatt with a challenge to his first match in the WWE – a Ring of Fire match. PG Inferno Matches FTW!
Over on SmackDown, my good friend Latino Sheeeeeet continued to do all he could to kill the last remaining shreds of credibility that the World Heavyweight Championship had left.
In a triple-threat match to determine Del Rio’s next opponent, Christian beat Randy Orton and RVD in a fantastic outing which did nothing if not highlight the skills that all 3 men have. Just terrific stuff.
That pretty much sums up July in the WWE. We saw a lot of good stuff, great individual matches and the return of Rob Van Dam. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan continued to dominate, and the returns of the aforementioned Mr Van Dam, as well as Christian, beefed up the roster to give it a bit more depth.
Verdict: WWE managed to keep up the momentum they’d built in June, and July was another very good month for the company. It’s a pass.
August: A Month of Snake-Bites and Game Changers
Remember a while ago (it might have been during the first part of this review) when I said that during the summer, it felt like we’d got in a WWE version of a DeLorean and gone back in time to 1999/2000? Welp, that feeling of déjà vu grew stronger as we headed in to August.
Instead of the feud around the WWE Championship being centred on John Cena and Daniel Bryan, it was centred around Vince McMahon and Triple H.
Basically, they were burying Daniel Bryan on TV. We got all the usual insults – “troll”, “dwarf”, “midget”, “Hornswoggle” – you know…the usual things people say to someone of a smaller stature. Bullshit basically. I really don’t know why I expect anything different from the WWE. Maybe my moral standards are too high…
Hell, on the first episode of Raw in August, Bryan had to go through a corporate makeover for fuck’s sake!
Sure, he’s not the tallest guy. Sure, he’s not the most muscular guy. But you know what Bryan is? The most over guy on the roster. And the best wrestler on the roster. I mean come on…the way it was played out on TV, you’d have thought Bryan was a tramp. He’s got a unique look, that’s all. It’s not like he’s killed anybody is it? Oh wait…that was someone else wasn’t it?
Before I go into a rant about this, I’m gonna stop and just say one thing – it’s about time that the WWE went back to what brought them to the dance – WRESTLING. Not straight-to-DVD movies, not lame-ass reality TV shows – WRESTLING. The company is called World WRESTLING Entertainment. Not “let’s do other projects” World Entertainment.
Right, let’s get back on point. The build for the Cena/Bryan match intensified on the last episode of Raw before SummerSlam. Both guys went at it verbally, and in terms of “who won” the promo, it won’t surprise you to know that I thought Bryan won. You could see his passion, drive, enthusiasm and overall, his love for wrestling.
John Cena on the other hand, disrespected every independent wrestler out there who (for one reason or another) has never made it to the WWE. In essence, his promo essentially said, if you’re not in the WWE, you’re shit.
Well let’s put it this way Johnny Boy. If I was a wrestler and I had the choice to either wrestle in a company where you were the poster boy or wrestle where I was happy, I’d stay where I was.
Here’s the problem with Cena. He latches himself on to anyone who the fans like, and sucks the heat away from them. It’s a fantastic skill, there’s no question about that, but Cena must have gone to the HHH School of Heat-Sucking. In fact, he was probably class valedictorian. Arsehole…
Oh, in case you’d forgotten, Randy Orton was still meandering around Raw and SmackDown with the Lunchbox of Destiny (a.k.a the MiTB briefcase for the WWE Championship).
Hmm…That rat you’re smelling? It used to have a ponytail before it had a corporate haircut. And that rat made himself “Special Guest Referee” for the match at SummerSlam. Of course, I’m talking about Mr Stephanie McMahon, or as he’s more commonly known, Triple Haitch-Ah. Shenanigans anyone?
Away from the overwhelming stench of shit surrounding the WWE Championship match, mostly resonating from Vince, Triple Haitch-Ah and Jahhhhhhhhn Ceeeeeenahhh, there was some majestic TV in August, starting with the build towards “The Best vs The Beast”.
That’s right folks. The Best in the World, CM Punk, was heading towards his biggest challenge yet, overcoming The Beast, Brock Lesnar, and the magnificent Paul Heyman.
We all know Lesnar’s not a promo guy. He’s an ass-kicker. He’s there to fuck people up, get paid and leave – until it’s time to work another big PPV. Heyman and Punk are there to do the talking and to make you want to see the fight. And boy did they do that.
There were so many great promos between them heading up to this match that I’d be doing them an injustice by trying to cover everything they said. In fact, I’d be insulting them if I even tried to!
I just loved everything about this feud, and match. D’you know why? Because it felt like a big deal. It felt like a match used to, back in the days when WWE actually cared about making their PPVs feel like actual events.
It wasn’t just all talk between Punk and Heyman though. We got treated to a few brawls with Punk and Lesnar, which were just awesomeness personified. You genuinely feared for Punk because of the size difference between him and Lesnar, and it made you get into his comebacks even more as a result.
Make no mistake about it though. Despite his obvious size advantage over Punk, Lesnar didn’t make the Best in the World his bitch. Far from it. Punk gave as good as he got, and it made you believe that, somehow, Punk had a chance of winning the match. Just great, great stuff from start to finish.
It should come as no surprise to you that the Punk/Heyman/Lesnar dynamic just totally reeked of awesomeness though, considering the 2 creative forces behind it – Punk and Heyman. 2 geniuses of our generation.
The statement I’ve just made reminded me of a line from a promo that Punk cut when he was a heel last year.
It went something along the lines of: “In 10-15 years’ time, you people will come to realise that I was a genius, but you’re just too stupid to realise it now”. Mr Punk. Sir…I have bowed at your altar for the last decade, and I’m not going to stop now. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who have jumped on and off your bandwagon whenever it’s suited them…
What else happened before SummerSlam? Oh yeah. I watched SmackDown for the first time since Edge retired, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw.
Christian kept getting one up on Alberto del Rio as their World Heavyweight Championship match drew closer. The former 2-time champ consistently found a way to stick it to Juan Bland Latino, to give you the impression that he could win. Wrestling TV at its finest. I’ve always thought Christian, Captain Charisma, was underrated, and it was good to see him at least trying to draw heat towards Del Rio. As good as Christian is, he’s not that good! :-)
Elsewhere on SmackDown, I was amazed. Legitimately amazed. Something was happening that we hadn’t seen in fuck knows how many years. A mid-card feud got some TV time. And by that I mean more than a throwaway segment on the WWE App (more on THAT to come later by the way)!
Yup, Cody Rhodes was embracing his new-found babyface fire and his feud with Damien Sandow got a substantial amount of TV time, both on Raw and SmackDown.
After being screwed out of the MiTB briefcase for the World Heavyweight Championship by our intellectual saviour, Damien Sandow, Cody decided it would be a good idea to fuck around and annoy Sandow, by interfering in his matches and trying to steal said Lunchbox of Destiny.
In fact, Cody had thrown Damien’s briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico at the end of July, so Damien “Sandow-ised” the briefcase. NO…he didn’t have relations with it – he got it embossed in leather. And it looked like the shit. That was some high quality craftsmanship my friends!
Again, you went into the match not really knowing who would win. Cody needed to win to give his babyface turn some oomph, and Sandow needed to win cos he’d just been given the MiTB briefcase. It was unpredictable – WHICH IS WHAT WRESTLING IS SUPPOSED TO BE. Or there’s at least supposed to be some shades of grey…
Moving on then…You know how WWE made such a big deal of RVD’s return at the previous PPV, Money in the Bank? Guess what he was doing at SummerSlam? Trying to get the crowd going by wrestling Dean Ambrose for the US Championship on the pre-show. And guess when that was booked? Yup. 6 days before the PPV. What a way to fall huh?
Elsewhere, WWE decided to give the Divas a bit of TV time following on from the debut of Total Divas, or as I like to call it, Showcase of the Talentless – starring Various Jobbers. We’d see a 6-Diva Tag Match between The Bellas and their ginger sister (Eva Marie), and Natalya and the Funkadactyls. MATCH OF THE YEAR…MATCH OF THE YEAR…
After Dolph Ziggler lost the World Heavyweight Championship and WWE gave up on him, his limpet of an ex-girlfriend, AJ Lee, set her sights on making his life a misery. She told him she’d given him an STI. But not that kind of STI. This STI stood for Shit Tag-Team Interaction, pitting Dolph & Kaitlyn vs AJ & Big E. Piss-break anyone? Poor Dolph…
The Wyatts continual pursuit of Kane gathered pace, and not content with telling him to “Follow The Buzzards”, a challenge was issued to Wyatt, which he went on to accept with almost maniacal glee – a Ring of Fire match.
Now what does that mean? That there’s a ring of fire inside the squared circle? No you moron. It doesn’t. It’s a PG Inferno Match. Or as Michael Cole put it: “Don’t worry everyone. No-one will get hurt!”
Well, gee. Thanks Muggle (I’m going to call him Muggle from now on, like JBL does). I didn’t think we’d see someone set on fire, considering we barely get to see if someone has a nosebleed in the WWE nowadays! What an absolute fuckstick Muggle Cole really is!!!
Cool, so that leads us up to SummerSlam, which was, without question, WWE’s best PPV of the year. It’s not like there was much competition for that particular crown, but still…
At the PPV, nobody got burned as Kane fell victim to the Wyatts. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper found a pretty ingenious (if not obvious) way to interfere in the match on Bray’s behalf. The 3-on-1 assault proved too much for the Big Red Machine and Bray got the win before leading Kane away with him. Would they convert him? Time will tell my impatient amigos!
In a match that both men needed to win, Cody Rhodes got some semblance of revenge over his former best friend Damien Sandow in what was a pretty decent encounter. It led to bigger things for both men over the coming months. Well…maybe…
Sadly, Christian’s “One More Match” ended in defeat as WWE’s stubborn push of Juan Bland Latino continued. Despite the crowd giving no fucks about ADR, WWE continued to push him. OK. So he can do a cool suplex and he hides the hand-slap of his leg well when he kicks someone, but that’s it. FUCK OFF DEL RIO!!!
In the first of two piss-break matches on the show, Natalya and the Funkadactyls came out on top in the Battle of the Total Divas. And nobody gave a fuck either way. Except the Bellas… I’ll leave you to come up with your own punchline!
Here’s where things get interesting at SummerSlam – CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar. Without a shadow of a doubt, it was the best match of the year. In WWE or TNA. Just a sensational match.
I’ve said it before, but this is how you book a Brock Lesnar match. As a fight. NOT a wrestling match. This Brock Lesnar is different from the Brock Lesnar of 10 years ago. He’s a fighter. An ass-kicker. He’s not interested in wrestling a catch-as-catch-can style. He’s interested in hurting people, and nothing else.
This match stood out because both men looked strong. Punk was as much of a threat as Lesnar was. We got treated to a very physical match, where both men were given the chance to shine. There were counters, submission moves, chair shots and the obligatory punch in the mouth for Heyman. Poor Paul!
Lesnar came out on top with an F5 on a chair after Heyman distracted Punk. It was just a classic, classic wrestling match. A-MAZ-ING!!!
Next up, our second piss-break match – the Shit Tag-Team Interaction. If anyone cares, Dolph & Kaitlyn won. Like I said before, poor Dolph. At least after this, he got the fuck away from Kaitlyn, AJ and Carlton Ryblack.
Our main-event of the evening was the WWE Championship Match between the defending champeen, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan.
And in case you’d forgotten, the Heat-Sucker himself, Triple Haitch-Ah, was the special guest referee, which spelled one thing, and one thing only my friends – and that’s Shenanigans. The only question was when said Shenanigans would take place – before, during or after the match.
After Daniel Bryan outwrestled John Cena for the best part of 25 minutes, and with no sign of the aforementioned Shenanigans, Bryan hit Cena with a running knee square across the face, and pinned Cena to become the new WWE Champion. It was a great moment. I marked out. The Staples Centre marked out. Fans of WRESTLING across the world rejoiced as Daniel Bryan held the WWE Championship aloft.
But there were 2 problems my friends – 1) There was still about 15 minutes of the PPV left and 2) Triple Haitch-Ah was loitering around in the ring, somewhat uncomfortably.
This is basic mathematics: Problem 1 + Problem 2 = … you’ve guessed it…SHENANIGANS!!!
In the most obvious heel turn in recent memory, Randy Orton sauntered down to the ring with the Lunchbox of Destiny to cash in his title shot on the new champion. MiTB 101 if you will. Bryan screamed YES at him for a bit, before Shenanigans did indeed ensue.
The Heat-Sucker himself, the most paranoid wrestler in the history of “this business” (as he likes to say), Triple Haitch-Ah, turned Daniel Bryan around and delivered a Pedigree to the new champ. Orton got in the ring, cashed in his briefcase and won the belt, despite having to do nothing to win the belt.
You’ve guessed it my friends… Once again, the PPV was all about the game…and how he booked it.
Let’s see…during the follow-up on Raw, Triple Haitch-Ah declared that he’d been convinced that Bryan couldn’t be the face of the WWE, so he did what was “best for business”, before anointing Randy Orton as “the chosen one”. Hmm…wonder if Orton would’ve got that push if he hadn’t have got divorced this year. I suppose it worked for Cena last year, so why not Orton this year?
***Calling all male wrestlers – if you get a divorce next year, you’ll likely win the MiTB briefcase for the WWE Championship, be pushed in PPV main-events or win the championship itself. If you’re lucky, you’ll get all three***
Also on Raw, John Cena came out to tell us he was fucking off to get surgery on his injured elbow. Suspiciously, it’s an injury which isn’t all that uncommon in athletes who abuse steroids. I’m not accusing anyone, I’m just sayin’. You make up your own minds. I know what my opinion is…
Elsewhere, guys with an attraction to women with pointy faces had a massive erection when AJ Lee cut a promo on the cast of Total Divas, calling them “interchangeable” amongst other things. They went too far and called it “a pipebomb”. It wasn’t “a pipebomb”. It was a scripted promo designed to draw heat for AJ, and sympathy for the cast of Total Divas.
Here’s the thing. I don’t get what the fuss is with AJ. Sure, she’s the best Diva on the main roster, but she’s not got much competition has she? The Bellas…Aksana…and other Divas nobody cares about.
Woo-hoo! She’s number 1! But she’s the best of a bad bunch. There are better Divas than AJ in NXT, and better wrestlers than her out at your local promotion. Go and check them out. AJ’s nothing special.
Talking of pipebombs, that’s a beautiful segue that leads me to talking about the Best in the World, CM Punk.
Punk may have come up short in his match against Brock Lesnar, but he didn’t lose any credibility. Instead, he continued his feud with Paul Heyman, and decided to centre his attention on the newest Paul Heyman Guy, Curtis Axel. He was the Intercontinental Champion in case you’d forgotten.
Going up against Punk showed just how far Axel has got to go if he wants to be a top star, in terms of charisma, in-ring work and promos. Axel felt like a gooseberry as Punk and Heyman delivered more awesomeness to us.
What else happened before August drew to a close? The only thing of note that I can think of is that Rob van Dam beat ADR in a non-title match to stake his claim for a future shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. His win came thanks to some interference from Ricardo Rodriguez, who’d split from ADR a couple of weeks before.
I think that about does it for August. It was a hell of a long month in the WWE.
A lot happened, and for the most part, it was enjoyable. There were a few things I’d do differently, but WWE programming isn’t written with my opinions in mind. WWE programming is written for one man, and one man only – Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
Verdict: Like I said, even though there was an over-abundance of Triple Haitch-Ah and some obvious turns in August, most of it was good to watch. It gets a pass.
September: A Month of Screwjobs, RVD Gets High (On The Card), The Corporate Takeover and The Long Rhodes Outta Here
So, here’s a quick reminder of where we were as September kicked off.
- John Cena was gone – yippee!!!
- Randy Orton was anointed as Triple Haitch-Ah’s “chosen one”, as Haitch-Ah took over
- RVD had positioned himself in the running for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship
- Daniel Bryan had been screwed out of the WWE Championship
Early on in September, Cody Rhodes decided to call out Triple Haitch-Ah and Randy Orton on their bullshit. In fact, Cody basically called Randy a pussy, insinuating that he was scared of facing Daniel Bryan. Haitch-Ah didn’t like the way Cody talked to “his boy” and decided it was “best for business” for Cody to face Randy in a non-title match, with the caveat that if Cody lost, he’d be fired.
Hmm…For confronting a bully (which is what WWE preaches to us through their Beastar, whoops…Be A Star campaign) Cody’s put in a position where he can lose his job for standing up for someone. Doesn’t seem right does it?
Anyway, the match happened and it was tremendous. A really good TV match. Unfortunately, Cody Rhodes lost, giving Haitch-Ah another moment in the spotlight, and he fired Dusty’s kid. The big-hootered bastard that he is!!!
Worry not folks, someone decided to stand up for Cody. It was one of the lynchpins of the Attitude Era – Cody’s brother, Goldust.
Goldust tried to win Cody’s job back and, like his brother, was put in a non-title match with Orton. Despite a stellar showing, Goldie came up just short and didn’t quite get the job done. No more Rhodes huh? We’ll find out shortly…
In case you couldn’t tell, most of the heat surrounding this whole Haitch-Ah/Orton alignment was going to Haitch-Ah, instead of Randy. And Randy suffered because of it. That was the main problem with The Authority. There was too much confusion. Sometimes they’d act like heels, but then when a heel confronted them, they’d react in the way that a babyface would. Just confusing stuff really!
Anyway, we’ll talk more about that as this column goes on.
The Authority decided to put Daniel Bryan in a series of dangerous situations, including cage matches and a gauntlet match against The Shield, which was absolutely outstanding.
Haitch-Ah might not have wanted Bryan as the face of the WWE, but as far as the fans were concerned, Daniel Bryan was their guy. They popped for everything he said and did, and the Daniel Bryan chants refused to die. Eventually, he was given a rematch with Orton for the title at Night of Champions.
Let’s see. What else happened…Oh yeah! The AJ Lee fans were in a frenzy after her pipebomb that wasn’t a pipebomb.
Obviously, the WWE felt like the Total Divas should be babyfaces, since they were the “stars” of a reality TV show, so without even turning them (or giving us an actual reason to turn them), AJ was feuding with them.
In the middle of a triple-threat match between Natalya, a Funkadactyl and a Bella (that sounds like the start of a joke doesn’t it?!), AJ interfered, figuring that she wouldn’t have a new contender for her belt.
Remember the confusion I mentioned about The Authority earlier? Well that was there for all to see as Stephanie put the heel (who she should be siding with) in a perilous situation by booking a fatal-4-way for Night of Champions.
Rob Van Dam and his new buddy, Ricardo Rodriguez, had managed to get themselves under ADR’s skin enough for Van Dam to get a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Would WWE do the unthinkable and put the belt on a man who’d wrestled on a TNA PPV a matter of months earlier? You’ll find out shortly.
CM Punk was still feuding with Paul Heyman and, despite Curtis Axel’s best efforts, it was still glorious.
Punk was so eager to get his hands on Heyman that Brad Maddox (by now Raw GM) booked him in a No Disqualification 2-on-1 Handicap Elimination Match against Axel and Heyman. If Heyman refused to take part, he’d be fired. Lord, we all know how Vinnie hates Jews, so he must’ve been pissing himself laughing at this whole situation.
The Shield were without contenders of any sort, so a Tag-Team Turmoil match was made for the pre-show at Night of Champions between The Uso’s, The Prime-Time Players, The Real Americans, 3MB and Tons of Funk. What a tag-team division!!!
Talking of The Shield, Dean Ambrose actually got to defend his title on PPV in September, against Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler beat Ambrose by DQ in a non-title match before the PPV to earn the shot.
After hosting SummerSlam, and continually being interrupted by Fahn…Dahn…Ghoooo while doing it, Miz ended up being granted a match against the dancer who doesn’t really dance at the PPV. You interested? Nope. Neither was I.
Right, let’s talk Night of Champions then.
The PPV kicked off with a promo by Haitch-Ah. As if hearing him ramble on for 20 minutes on Raw wasn’t bad enough, fans that’d paid their hard-earned cash to buy a PPV had to put up with it as well!
He talked about some nonsense until Paul Heyman came out, trying to weasel out of his handicap match with Punk. Haitch-Ah buried Heyman with some abuse before announcing an Intercontinental Championship defence for Curtis Axel…right there!
Haitch-Ah said it’d be against the first person he saw backstage. Off he trotted with a smug look on his face, and guess who was “the first” person he saw? You’re spot on! It was Kofi Kingston, WWE’s perennial mid-carder. Bless him. Kofi deserves better. In an uneventful match, Axel retained, giving him some semblance of momentum for his match later.
The No-Fucks-O-Meter didn’t register again as the next title match got underway, which was the Fatal-4-Way for the Divas Championship. AJ retained, if anyone cares.
Next up, we’d find out whether WWE would put their World Title on a man who’d recently been on a TNA PPV, Rob Van Dam. Surprisingly, Van Dam won the match, but not the title. He won by DQ. That sneaky bastard ADR! Damn that bland fuck. He killed the World Championship!
Good news! The No-Fucks-O-Meter was wheeled out once again by event staff as Miz took on Fahn…Dahn…Gho. Miz beat the dancer who doesn’t really dance by humping his calf into submission. Somebody show that man how to put on the figure-four!!!
Now we’re getting towards the business end of proceedings.
The handicap elimination match pitting Axel and Heyman against Punk. Punk took care of Axel fairly quickly, leaving Heyman all alone with his former protégé. Punk basically toyed with Heyman. He tied Heyman’s hands behind his back and battered him with a Kendo stick for a bit until a shock reveal…RYBACK came out and attacked Punk, laying him out before putting Heyman on top to get the win!
Dean Ambrose retained his US Championship against Ziggler in a match that was OK, but they had a better one shortly after. It was good, but both men have been better. It just didn’t click on that night.
The Shield’s Rollins and Reigns took care of the Prime-Time Players (who won the title shot on the pre-show) in fairly quick time to make it yet another successful night for the Hounds of Justice.
And finally, our main-event. The second PPV in a row where Daniel Bryan was wrestling for the WWE Championship. And for the second PPV in a row, Bryan defeated the defending champion to win the WWE Championship. The count was weird, but nevertheless, after all the shit he’d been through since SummerSlam, he got to enjoy his moment as the WWE Champion.
But what’s that…smells familiar…remember the smell I mentioned earlier folks? It’s back again!!!
That’s right. For the second time in four weeks, Haitch-Ah screwed Bryan out of the title by implying that he knew that the referee, Scott Armstrong, had learnt his trade from Earl Hebner, and had colluded with Bryan to cheat Orton out of the title. So Bryan was stripped of the title, and WWE’s use of the English language started to perplex everyone.
Instead of just saying that the title had been vacated, WWE chose to use the term “held in abeyance”. Why do that? Seriously…Why? Just say that the title’s vacant. Everyone knows what that means. We don’t want to have to look up a dictionary/thesaurus to understand what in the name of fuck they’re talking about!!! Jesus Christ man…
Also on Raw, Dusty Rhodes was invited to Raw by Stephanie McMahon, who told Dusty to choose between his sons to see who’d “get their job” back. This promo was classic Dusty. He was on fire and it was just classic pro-wrestling. It reminded me of why I love pro-wrestling, despite the fact that I moan like fuck about it!
It ended badly for “The Dream” though, because Stephanie called out Big Show (who The Authority were treating like a bitch) to knock Dusty out. Although he refused at first, faced with the choice of KO’ing “The Dream” or leaving him to be assaulted by The Shield, Show did it, before crying. Yup. Crying Giant = Ratings Winner!
The Rhodes boys were all over Raw though, attacking The Shield until they were offered the chance to get their jobs back – by defeating The Shield in a non-title match at BattleGround. Of course, the Rhodes accepted, but not before Dusty told Haitch-Ah that he’d “be his huckleberry all night long” if he could be in his boys’ corner. Ah Dusty. That’s why you’re one of the best of all-time.
CM Punk, fresh from being driven through a table by Ryback at Night of Champions, was rightfully pissed off with the walking, talking Goldberg parody. Because it gave Punk the chance to continue his feud with Heyman, I was OK with Punk/Ryback at the next PPV.
Punk was finished with Axel, which left Axel free to feud with everyone’s favourite mentally-scarred rapper, R-Truth. Now THAT’S what’s up.
Hey, I’ve not talked Divas for a bit, so I’d better before the AJ fans get crazy. Haha…I floor myself sometimes!
In yet another throwaway Divas match, this time, 10 of them went at it in tag-team action, which resulted in Brie Bella pinning AJ, so a match between them was made for the PPV. Yay! 2 pointy faced Divas wrestling. So many triangles, so little time!!! Must… not… make… Pythagoras… joke…
And that’s about it for September. A whole lot happened, some of it good, some of it bad. But…how did I grade it? Let’s find out.
Verdict: Because of how well the Rhodes/McMahons/Shield story played out, and the inclusion of Dusty on Raw, September HAS to get a pass. But only just…
October: All Rhodes Lead to Success, Screwy PPV Finishes Continue and Superman Returns
Right, there were 2 PPVs in October. Why? I’ve got no fucking idea. Best to ask Vince and WWE management. For that reason, I’m only going to concentrate on the things that led to matches on those PPVs, Hell in a Cell and first off, BattleGround.
We knew what most of the matches were leading in to the PPV. With Kane sidelined after being “taken away” by the Wyatts, Bray needed something to do, so he focused his attention on WWE’s career mid-carder, Kofi Kingston.
After failing to wrestle the US Championship away from The Shield’s Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler was relegated to pre-show duty, facing his MiTB successor, Damien Sandow.
Let’s talk about BattleGround then.
On the aforementioned pre-show, Dolph Ziggler defeated Damien Sandow in what was essentially a pointless, throwaway bout, like most pre-show efforts are. I truly don’t see the point of them. I’d like to know what %age of PPV buys come from people who decide to order it because of the pre-show.
To show how much ADR has devalued the World Heavyweight Championship, the match for it was the curtain-jerker of the night. It was a “BattleGround Hardcore Rules match”, which I assume means that it’s just a hardcore match. Unsurprisingly, Latino Sheeeeeeet retained the belt via submission. What the fuck WWE, seriously.
Next up, a match between a joke team and a tremendous team – Santino & Khali vs The Real Americans.
I honestly have no idea why Khali has a job. You don’t have to employ someone in the vain hope that he/she will make people from their country watch WWE. If that was the case, there’d be 1,000’s of WWE superstars. Thankfully, the comedy team (Santino/Khali) lost. If they’d have won, I’d have died a little inside.
Hands up who wanted to see Curtis Axel vs R-Truth for the Intercontinental Championship. Anyone? Nope. Just what I thought. The only good thing to come from Curtis Axel’s run with the belt was that we got good use out of the No-Fucks-O-Meter. Axel won. I fell asleep. That’s about it.
Talking of falling asleep, we had to witness another Divas Championship match between AJ and Brie Bella. Urgh… Although Brie’s got better, the standard is still incredibly poor. Surprise surprise. AJ won. It meant nothing.
Smack bang in the middle of the card was the match of the night, and a contender for the match of the year. The Rhodes Brothers vs The Shield. If the Rhodes won, they’d get their jobs back and Dusty would keep his. If they lost, they’d “never” work for WWE again. With that stip, you knew who was gonna win.
It was just an absolutely fantastic match. There was some terrific wrestling, great psychology and the crowd pop for the finish was fucking insane. The crowd gave a shit because they were emotionally invested in the feud, and the 6 guys out there – The Rhodes’ and The Shield.
If you’re a lapsed wrestling fan, or you didn’t see the match, I’d urge you to seek it out, sit back and enjoy. Phenomenal stuff from everyone involved. That’s what wrestling is all about.
Talking of people giving a shit, the No-Fucks-O-Meter was back and in full effect next as Bray Wyatt took on Kofi Kingston.
I like Bray Wyatt and I love his gimmick. His promos are terrific and he understands what his character’s supposed to be. However, Bray Wyatt beating Kofi does nothing for either man. Why should it matter that Bray’s beat Kofi? What’s Kofi done lately? Nothing. That’s what. That’s what happens when you stop-start guys pushes.
In a surprising result, CM Punk beat Ryback. I’d have thought that, to give Ryback’s alliance with Heyman a kickstart, they’d have had the Goldberg parody himself go over. But they didn’t. Punk won. And the match sucked. As good as Paul Heyman and Punk are, even they couldn’t polish that turd. They couldn’t even roll him in glitter.
For the third PPV in a row, we got a screwy finish to a main-event when Bryan took on Orton for the WWE Championship, which remember guys, had been “held in abeyance”. It was VACATED you fucks, just say that instead! Argh!!!
You’ll remember that Big Show was The Authority’s bitch right? Well, he pulled the referee out of the ring with Orton in the Yes Lock, about to tap. He knocked Bryan out, as well as the replacement ref, before doing the same to Orton. That’s right. ANOTHER screwy finish on PPV. Are you glad you still pay for them? Haha!
So after BattleGround, we still didn’t have a WWE Champion. And how did they rectify that? By announcing a THIRD Orton/Bryan match on PPV, this time inside Hell in a Cell. But, to ensure that a new champ would be crowned, the WWE “Universe” (it’s not a universe, they’re fans Vince, you moron!) could choose a Special Guest Referee by using the WWE App.
We got 8,437 tutorial videos, narrated by Muggle Cole, showing us how to download and use the app. Fuck off. It’s an app. If you can’t figure it out yourself, then don’t have a fucking smartphone. The options were Booker T, Bob Backlund and Shawn Michaels. In an upset result, Michaels won. Shock huh?
Tension was teased between all 4 men involved – Michaels, Bryan, Haitch-Ah and Orton – throughout the month, with Michaels indicating that he’d do the right thing. But considering WWE’s penchant of late – in August, September and early in October – for doing screwy PPV finishes, and Michaels’ history with screwjobs, could we be confident of that? You’ll find out shortly.
Speaking of shocks, there was an announcement after BattleGround.
When John Cena fucked off to get his injured elbow sorted, he said he’d be off for 4-6 months. However, and surprising to almost NO-ONE, Vickie Guerrero announced that Cena would be returning after 6-8 weeks out to challenge ADR for the World Heavyweight Championship.
I don’t care what anyone says. There’s no way that any athlete can recover from an injury like that almost 4 months ahead of schedule, unless they’re on the juice. Sorry, but that’s the way I see it. That same injury has kept other athletes out for longer than the projected recovery time of 6 months, yet Superman can return after 6 weeks? Get the fuck outta here man. Honestly.
With the announcement of Cena’s return, it was obvious that ADR was losing the title, so why should anyone care about the PPV match? They could’ve just presented Cena with the belt on Raw or something.
After successfully “winning their jobs back”, the Rhodes brothers once again challenged The Shield, but this time, the Tag-Team Championships were on the line. It was another terrific match between these 4 guys, and Goldust wrestled like a man possessed. He was in great shape and looked better than he had in years. And he was over like a sumbitch…
Thanks to interference from the Big Show in the No Disqualification match, the Rhodes Brothers ended The Shield’s reign with the tag belts in a match that actually main-evented Raw. Brilliant stuff yet again, showing how good wrestling can be.
Their first defence of the Tag-Team Championships would come at Hell in a Cell, in triple-threat action against The Shield and the ever-improving Uso’s.
The seemingly never-ending feud between AJ and the cast of Total Divas, particularly Brie Bella, continued. Thanks to pinning AJ in a non-title match, as well as a tag match, Brie earned another shot at the Divas Championship at Hell in a Cell.
In one of the most racist gimmicks we’ve seen in some time, Los Matadores debuted and almost immediately began feuding with The Real Americans. It was probably designed to get Los Matadores over, but all it did was get the crowd to chant “WE…THE PEOPLE” along with Zeb Colter. I think the kids call that an “epic fail” on WWE’s part.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman continued to feud, but thanks to the apparently heat-resistant Ryback, interest in it was waning.
As a result of winning a “Beat the Clock” challenge on Raw, Punk chose the stipulation for his match with Ryback at Hell in a Cell. He chose to have a 2-on-1 handicap match against Heyman and Ryback…inside the cell!
Courtesy of a win over Curtis Axel in a tag-team match, Big E Langston was supposed to get a shot at Axel’s Intercontinental Championship, but the match never happened due to injury. Langston faced Dean Ambrose for the US Championship instead.
Our No-Fucks-O-Meter got another outing as Fahn…Dahn…Ghoooo and Summer Rae feuded with Khali and Natalya. I think there was an argument over Delhi Belly…or dancing. I forget which.
All of that brings us nicely to Hell in a Cell.
Kicking off the show (see what I did there!) were Kofi Kingston and Damien Sandow. 2 guys who’d had very little, or no, interaction with each other, yet they’d been thrown together in a match. Great. So no backstory, and no reason to care, but this is meant to persuade people to buy a PPV? Interesting logic. Old habits die hard huh WWE?
Down to actual business then, and for the second PPV in a row, a match involving the Rhodes Brothers and The Shield was the best one on the card.
Just really entertaining wrestling with 3 good teams. All 3 teams busted their ass to get the crowd on their feet early, and it worked. Awesome stuff and proof that, when they try, WWE can get fans invested in their tag-team division. Something to think on for 2014 methinks!
The less said about the Delhi Belly match between Fahn…Dahn…Gho, Summer Rae, Khali and Natalya, the better. Not PPV quality. Not even dark match quality. Awful.
John Cena’s best bud, Big E Langston (well, that’s until Langston gets over more than Cena, then Cena will use that trusty shovel to bury the lad) beat Dean Ambrose by count-out in a sloppy match. Big E busted Dean open the hard way when they clashed heads. It gave Ambrose a cracking shiner, that’s for sure! I suppose you can’t blame them, considering the match was put together at short notice.
Next, the Cell match between Punk, Heyman and Ryback. Essentially, Heyman used some sort of scissor lift to get to the top of the structure and avoid Punk. Sadly, the guy operating it didn’t know what he was doing, and it almost took Heyman as long to get to the top of the cell, as the match took to complete.
Punk tried to carry Ryback to a good match, but it didn’t work. Punk took care of Ryback and won the match, before climbing the cell and battering Heyman repeatedly with a Kendo stick. Some justice there for Mr Punk, and sadly the end of what had been, for the most part, a great feud between Punk and Heyman.
In the least surprising outcome of the night, ADR’s reign of terror with the World Heavyweight Championship ended when Superman himself, Jahhhhnn Ceeeeenaaaa, beat him in what was, essentially, a way to get a belt on Cena without inserting him into The Authority storyline. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy this whatsoever.
Our world-famous No-Fucks-O-Meter got wheeled out when AJ took on Brie Bella again. Same match, same outcome. AJ wins and the Total Divas still suck. Literally.
Main-event time and, again, Daniel Bryan took on Randy Orton inside the Cell for the WWE Championship, with Shawn Michaels as referee.
For those of you who feared that our trusty old friend, shenanigans, would make its presence felt, you were exactly right. Shenanigans did indeed ensue, but not before the re-appearance of the fantastic “ASSHOLE” chant, which was directed squarely towards the 2-foot long nose of Haitch-Ah. I love WWE crowds sometimes.
After a ref bump, Haitch-Ah entered the ring and tried to interfere, so Daniel Bryan took him out with the running knee, only to turn around into a Sweet Chin Music from HBK, which resulted in Orton becoming the new WWE Champion. 4 PPVs, 4 screwy finishes. Now THERE’S a stat for ya!
What happened after the PPV? Not a lot really.
Kane, who returned at Hell in a Cell, pledged his allegiance to The Authority by removing his mask and giving it to Stephanie McMahon. And no, that’s not a euphemism! Kane is now essentially the HR Manager for The Authority. Suits and ties are the in thing in wrestling!
Bryan got some form of revenge by slapping HBK in the Yes Lock on Raw, however later on in the show, he was brutally attacked by the Wyatt Family backstage. The Wyatts also went on to assault CM Punk in the ring. Were we about to see something very special?
Not to worry though folks. The most important thing, at least in Vince McMahon’s eyes, involved Jahhhhhn Ceeeenaaaaa.
Cena came out to spout one of his standard, usual, bullshit promos. Fortunately, we were saved by our intellectual saviour Damien Sandow, who appeared with briefcase in hand, to address “tha champ”. Sandow teased cashing in before going to walk away, only to then sucker Cena in and attack him with the briefcase. Sandow targeted the injury at ringside before cashing in his briefcase.
Despite cashing in, and having arguably the best match he’s had on the main roster, Sandow failed to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. Instead, Cena won the match clean and WWE chose to use Sandow’s moment to further enhance Cena’s legacy. And to that, I say bullshit.
Sandow’s now the only man to lose the match when cashing in the Lunchbox of Destiny (a.k.a. the MiTB briefcase). That hasn’t happened to anybody else.
And before the John Cena fans contact me and say that Cena didn’t become WWE Champion when he cashed in, you’re right. However, Cena still won the match, albeit by DQ. Sandow didn’t. He became the latest victim of Cena’s trusty shovel and it sickens me.
That’ll wrap up the busy month that was October. As good as some of the stuff we saw was, most of the other decisions were questionable (at best), which made this an easy month for me to grade.
Verdict: The tag-team matches with the Rhodes and Shield aside, most of WWE in October was brutal. Screwy finishes, Superman’s return and too much Haitch-Ah. It’s a fail for this month.
November: The Start of Roman’s Reign, Can We Survive This Series, Diva Overdose and OUR Dream Team
Our champions as November kicked off were Randy Orton, Jahhhhhn Ceeeenaaaaa, The Rhodes Brothers, Dean Ambrose, Curtis Axel and AJ Lee.
The confusion that I’ve mentioned throughout this column when it comes to The Authority continued in November. Despite the fact that “their guy”, Randy Or-in (apparently, neither Stephanie or Haitch-Ah can say the word OrTON) was the WWE Champ, The Authority still weren’t happy about it.
Big Show, who had become the Authority’s bitch over the last few months, had been “fired” in October and made his “triumphant” return to the company, claiming that he wouldn’t sue them for wrongful dismissal if they gave him his job back, as well as a shot at the WWE Championship.
In case you’re wondering, the reason why Big Show got a title shot is because WWE officials and management are under the mistaken belief that bigger guys draw money.
That’s partly true. Some bigger guys are definitely handy when it comes to using crayons, but that’s about all the drawing they can do. Especially considering the full-time big men that we have in WWE today – Big Show, Kane and Khali.
Back to the point about this feud. Basically, all of the heat here was between Big Show and Haitch-Ah, instead of being between Show and Orton. And the feud suffered because of it. Nobody cared whether Big Show beat Orton. In fact, I seriously doubt whether anyone wanted to see the match in the first place.
If they’d had any sense, WWE would’ve booked Show vs Haitch-Ah, because that’s where the heat was. Not between Show and Haitch-Ah’s patsy, Randy Orton.
Did You Know: Big Show totally hijacked Daniel Bryan’s “YES!” chant during his feud with The Authority
I won’t focus on the situation surrounding the World Heavyweight Championship, and not just because it was between 2 of the wrestlers that I can’t stand – my good friends Messrs Cena and Del Rio – but because it was essentially a whole lot of nothing. Standard “former champ gets rematch at the following PPV” fodder.
What I’ll continue to focus on is The Authority. Confusion once again folks. After 2 TV tapings in the UK in mid-November, there was a whole clusterfuck of a situation. I’ll try to explain it as best I can.
The 2 GM’s in WWE are Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero. When Steph and Haitch-Ah were absent from the UK tapings, they basically did some stuff that The Authority didn’t like. Instead of siding with their staff, Steph and Haitch-Ah decided to put both GM’s in matches – Maddox against Orton and Vickie against AJ Lee.
How are the fans supposed to react to that? Are we supposed to cheer for Maddox and Guerrero because they’re in peril, or cheer for The Authority because they’re fucking with them? Too much confusion man. Seriously. If someone can explain it to me, I’d appreciate it.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan continued to have their issues with the Wyatts. The best wrestlers in the company kept pulling double-duty on a weekly basis, performing on both Raw and SmackDown. What made it even better was the fact that they’d been paired up against one of the most exciting acts to debut on Raw all year – Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family.
Bray’s hypnotic promos, combined with Punk’s ability to sell snow to the Eskimos and Bryan’s sheer intensity in the ring made this a feud well worth watching.
A tag-team match pitting Punk and Bryan against the Wyatts (Rowan and Harper) was made for Survivor Series. Considering who was involved in the 2 title matches, this tag-match was the main-event in the eyes of a lot of people.
As is the norm in the WWE in November, the mid-card titles generally don’t get defended as we head towards Survivor Series. For the most part, that was the case again this year, except for 1 mid-card title.
Big E Langston, in the midst of a renewed push (thanks to the fact his friend Jahhhhhn Ceeeenaaaaa had returned from injury – backstage politics FTW!), had been feuding with Curtis Axel over the Intercontinental Championship.
After their initial match was postponed due to injury, Big E defeated Axel on Raw to become the new champ and end Axel’s reign of blandness. I hope Axel enjoyed his title run because almost nobody else did.
“But George, what of the other mid-carders” I hear you ask. Fear not my loyal readers. I’m just going to deal with that right now!
WWE’s thriving tag-team division had been shining for the better part of 3 months up to this point, and Survivor Series was no different.
The Shield teamed with The Real Americans to take on the team of Cody Rhodes & Goldust, The Uso’s and everyone’s favourite masked luchador, Rey Mysterio! Having missed the better part of 2013 through injury, it was great to see Rey back in action.
Who wants a 14-Diva tag-team match? Nope, didn’t think so. But regardless of our feelings folks, WWE booked one. The cast of Total Divas took on the WWE Divas. Match of the Night contender right? Whaddaya mean no?!?! :-)
All of that brings us to the PPV.
In their traditional spot, and wrestling each other for what must be the 13,238th time, Miz took on Kofi Kingston. Nobody cared, I doubt if anyone watched, Miz won and wrestling fans across the world died a little inside.
Ironically, the first match of the night at Survivor Series was the best match on the entire show as The Shield and The Real Americans went up against Cody Rhodes, Goldust, The Uso’s & Rey Mysterio.
After 10 minutes, the babyface team had a 5-on-2 advantage. Ambrose, Swagger and Cesaro had all been eliminated, leaving Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to fight against the odds.
The following 15 minutes was basically the Roman Reigns show. The big man dominated, and won 4 of the next 5 pinfalls with his sickening Spear. If there’s a finisher in the WWE that looks better than that, I’d like to see it. You know a finisher’s good when it gets an “OH!” from the crowd.
Thanks to Reigns’ sheer dominance in the last 15 minutes of the match, he was the sole survivor of his team and if we’re to believe what we read on the internet, Roman’s reign looks set to continue in 2014.
Curtis Axel’s rematch for the Intercontinental Championship was next. Needless to say he lost, and Alfonso Langston retained the belt. That’s about it really.
Hey, who wants to see a 14-Diva match? Not me! But that’s what was next, as the Total Divas took on the WWE Divas. In the least surprising decision of the night, Total Divas won. Yay for reality TV shows!
Ryback chose to wander out next, and started cutting a promo on the Kick-Off Show panel. Some nonsense or other about being disrespected, he’d have kicked their ass or something, before a certain gigantic, magnificent bastard made his return to the WWE… Mark Henry!
That’s right. Somebody’s gon’ get they ass kicked…somebody’s gon’ get they wig split…And on that night, that particular somebody was Ryback. Sexual Chocolate made short work of the Goldberg parody himself, and won in convincing fashion to make it a bad night for the Heyman Guys.
Obviously, Jahhhhhn Ceeeenaaaaa retained the World Heavyweight Championship against ADR. What else did we expect? That guy never loses clean!
The real main-event of the evening saw our Dream Team, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, take on Erick Rowan and Luke Harper of the Wyatt Family.
Bearing in mind how limited Rowan and Harper are because of their size, the match was really decent. The 2 big fellas did tremendously well and although they lost the match to Punk and Bryan, they did themselves no harm whatsoever. They’re 2 big, raw-boned, powerful men who can have a massive impact on the tag-team division in 2014.
Closing the show were Randy Orton and Big Show in a match that no-one cared about for the WWE Championship. The crowd didn’t care and neither did I. Before the match, Triple Haitch-Ah proclaimed that there would be no interference, no shenanigans and no dodgy business. It would be a clean match with a decisive outcome.
He was almost right. With Big Show in control, Haitch-Ah’s music blasted out, and the massive hootered one came out to the arena. He stood by the stage and didn’t interfere, but the distraction was enough to allow Orton to get the win and retain the championship.
The night didn’t finish there though – Jahhhhhn Ceeeenaaaaa appeared and held his World Heavyweight Championship high in the air. Here comes that word again…confusion (and speculation) ensued as once again, WWE had used the finish/last minutes of a PPV to try to get people to watch Raw.
In terms of what happened after the PPV, we discovered that Cena and Orton would have a TLC match at December’s PPV to unify the WWE and World Championships.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were involved in a 2-on-3 handicap match against all 3 members of the Wyatts (Bray, Rowan and Harper). They won the match by DQ before the Wyatts “kidnapped” Bryan and The Shield attacked Punk.
If you bought Survivor Series, then there was really no need to because there were a few rematches on Raw the next night, including The Shield against the Rhodes Brothers and Rey Mysterio, and the 14-Diva tag-team match.
The results were the same – The Shield and the Total Divas both won. Remind me why we pay money for a PPV again? Oh, that’s right. It’s to see something that we don’t see on TV every week. Sigh…
Verdict: As good as the individual (and collective) work of the likes of The Shield, The Wyatts, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk – among others – was, the confusion surrounding The Authority was enough on its own for me to give November a fail.
December: Handicap Matches FTW and The Biggest Match in History…Gets A 3 Week Build
You’ll be happy to know that the review of this month will be shorter than the rest because December was essentially a pointless month. Only 2 episodes of Raw meant anything, and the other 3 were gimmick/holiday themed.
Let’s deal with the Slammy’s first and get that out of the way.
In a show where the WWE “honours” the best of the year, it’s safe to say the results either a) make no sense or b) are designed to appease disgruntled fans who believe “their guy/girl” has been wronged.
You want proof? The Bellas winning Diva of the Year. As much as I don’t like her, clearly the most impressive Diva of the Year was AJ Lee. She’s had a lengthy run with the Divas Championship and hey, she’s not had an on-screen boyfriend for at least 6 months, so that’s reason enough for her to win, right?
More proof? Daniel Bryan winning Superstar of the Year. While there’s no doubt that he’s been the best superstar of 2013 and he could’ve had the Match of the Year category sewn up all on his own, the cynic in me thinks he was “given” that award because they’re not going to give him even a 3-4 week run with the WWE Championship.
I might be wrong. Hell, I’d love to be wrong, but that’s just what I think. Regardless of what the fans want, I think WWE have made up their mind about him.
The 3rd example I’ll give you is the fact that Cena/Rock 2 – This Time…It’s Terminal won Match of the Year. What an utter joke. It wasn’t even the best match at ‘Mania, never mind of the year. It wasn’t even the best match in April. It’s all political guys.
I guess what I’m saying is don’t take the Slammys too seriously.
What you should take seriously is the WWE fans and their organic, natural reaction towards Daniel Bryan.
In the final segment of the Slammys episode of Raw, Haitch-Ah was cutting one of his usual self-indulgent promos. He must’ve said “this business” about 18 times, along with massaging his own ego.
The key feature of Haitch-Ah’s promo was the fans. They were amazing, and shat all over Haitch-Ah’s promo by loudly chanting “DANIEL BRYAN”. Not “YES”. Not “NO”. But “DANIEL BRYAN”. It even cracked Bryan up as he was standing in the ring.
It just goes to show you that, no matter how hard the WWE try, they can’t bury this guy. The fans love him and they want him as the WWE Champion. In WWE, they tell us that they do what’s best for us right? Well, judging by the fan response to Bryan for most of the last 2 years, what’s best for the fans is to have him as the champion.
Right, on to business then, and dealing with the most important issues in December.
Someone in WWE management clearly has a fetish for handicap matches. We’d already seen a hell of a lot of them in 2013 before we got to December, and we were treated to another couple.
First off, let’s talk about CM Punk. He had been attacked by The Shield after a handicap tag-match with Bryan against the Wyatts, and felt that Haitch-Ah was behind it. Of course, Haitch-Ah denied it. Punk then did what he always does when he’s on the mic against Haitch-Ah. Outshines him and calls him a pussy. Fair point and it’s accurate. Haitch-Ah is a pussy.
Punk’s tirade resulted in Kane, WWE HR Manager, booking him in a handicap match against The Shield. Punk and the 3 members of The Shield work well together, so as far as the fans are concerned, and from a match quality standpoint, it was all good.
If you cast your minds back to the last section about November, you’ll remember (hey, that rhymes! I’m a poet and I don’t know it…) that Daniel Bryan had been attacked and “kidnapped” by the eerie Wyatt Family.
Bray Wyatt spent some of December trying to convince Daniel Bryan to join them to take down “the machine”. Bryan resisted Bray’s advances, which annoyed the head honcho of the Wyatt Family. He’d even gone out and bought D-Bry his own outfit – a checkered shirt and dungarees. Only 1 of those last 2 sentences was true. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one.
Anyway, on the same night as Kane booked Punk in his handicap match, Bryan beat Erick Rowan in singles competition. Obviously Kane didn’t like that, so he booked Bryan in a handicap match of his own against The Wyatts.
Again, a huge sign of their confidence in Bryan to put him in a match against, essentially, 3 main roster rookies. Bryan might not have been in the title picture, but this combination was good enough to keep the fans excited.
When it comes to the mid-card, December was fairly standard fare really.
Due to his involvement in The Shield’s 3-on-1 handicap match against CM Punk – and for the 3rd PPV out of 4 – Dean Ambrose’s United States Championship wasn’t featured.
At least Big E Langston’s Intercontinental Championship was deemed valuable enough to have a #1 Contender’s Match. Damien Sandow defeated Dolph Ziggler to become Langston’s challenger, but the match didn’t really mean anything because, to be honest, neither Sandow nor Ziggler mean anything at this point. It saddens me to say that, but it’s true.
You want Divas action? Well here it is my friends! After a few victories over AJ in non-title and tag-team matches, Natalya was granted a title shot at the Divas Championship at TLC. Again, no issue with that. They’re both good workers, so it’s all good.
The only disappointing thing about the belts came when the announcement about the match for the WWE Tag-Team Championships was made.
WWE announced a fatal-4-way match between the Rhodes Brothers, Curtis Axel & Ryback, The Real Americans and Big Show & Rey Mysterio 2 days before the PPV. 2 days. How are the fans supposed to emotionally invest in a match with 2 days build? Answers on a postcard please!
And now it’s time to address the elephant in the room. And no, I don’t mean Brodus Clay. I mean “the biggest match in WWE history”, which was given a 3-week build.
There were a few things that I didn’t understand about this.
- Why would you waste a match of that magnitude, which unifies the WWE and World Championships again, on a B-PPV like TLC?
- If you’re determined to have that match on a B-PPV, why make it a gimmick match? Surely if you’re unifying “the 2 biggest titles in wrestling”, you want the man who wins the match to have either pinned his opponent, or made him submit?
- I’d have thought that if you were going to unify the championships, you would have some kind of round-robin tournament, whereby you’d have the 2 champions, and their contenders, wrestle each other on the same night, and whoever won both matches by pinfall would become the new champ?
I guess the main issue I had with the unification was this – what does Jahhhhhn Ceeeenaaaaa, or Randy Orton for that matter, have to gain by unifying the WWE and World Championships?
If it were me, I’d unify the titles in a situation where somebody new, perhaps the future of the business, got the rub of becoming the unified champion – just like WWE did when Jericho became the first Undisputed Champion back in 2001.
Yes, Rock and Austin were involved in the tournament, but Jericho and Angle were in there as well. 2 guys who probably weren’t top guys yet, but they were well on their way to being top guys.
Why couldn’t WWE have done that this time around? Would it have hurt either Cena or Orton to not be the unified champion?
Of course not. Their legacies are set in stone and they’ll go down as 2 of the most decorated champions in WWE history. The sheer star power of Cena and Orton needed to be used, but I don’t think those 2 should’ve been the guys to determine the new unified champ. Doesn’t make sense to me.
Anyway, Vince doesn’t have to answer to me. Or you. He has to answer to one man – and that’s the one who stares back at him in a mirror – himself. He’ll do whatever he wants to keep himself happy, and we need to accept that.
All of that rambling leads us to TLC, the final PPV of 2013.
Just 1 year after main-eventing the same PPV, Dolph Ziggler was relegated to pre-show action, losing to Fahn…Dahn…Ghoooo in less than 5 minutes.
Poor Dolph. One of the best wrestlers WWE have, being buried thanks to backstage politics. Guess he doesn’t have the right friends in the right places huh? Maybe he should work out with Haitch-Ah…maybe then he’d be higher up the card again.
For the first time in what felt like years, CM Punk opened the PPV in the curtain-jerker spot. But that wasn’t a bad thing. Punk’s handicap match with The Shield was put there to liven the crowd up and make them hot for the rest of the show. And they didn’t disappoint.
It was a brilliant way to get the PPV underway and there was great psychology to it, with Reigns suffering an eye injury during the match, which caused him to spear Ambrose instead of Punk, allowing Punk to get an unlikely win. As usual, terrific stuff from Punk and The Shield.
The next 2 matches won’t take up a lot of time. In a fairly competitive match, by Divas standards anyway, AJ Lee retained her championship with a, let’s say, creative win over Natalya. Big E Langston also successfully defended his title against Damien Sandow in a match that literally meant nothing. Damien Sandow doesn’t mean anything, so did it really matter that Big E beat him? Nope. Not at all.
You won’t be surprised to know that, for the 4th/5th time in a row, the tag-team match was the match of the night at the PPV.
The Rhodes Brothers are fantastic to watch and although I don’t understand why Big Show and Mysterio are teaming up, they had a fantastic little match once Ryback/Axel and The Real Americans were eliminated. The crowd loves the Rhodes, Big Show and Mysterio, so it made for a hot finish.
Guess what? We got a couple of unannounced matches on the PPV, starting with R-Truth against Brodus Clay. Apparently they were feuding over Brodus’ entrance music and The Funkadactyls. Really? Urgh…Truth won. The babyfaces danced. And Brodus is turning heel. Winning!
The other “bonus” match saw Miz wrestle Kofi. AGAIN. Honestly, what’s with WWE and their creative team? Do they think we want to see these guys wrestle EVERY SINGLE MONTH?
Newsflash…we don’t! Kofi slapped Miz on the pre-show, which almost knocked Miz out of his smoking jacket. They wrestled. We heard the loudest “BORING” chant in YEARS from the fans, and Kofi won. Big whoop.
Our penultimate match of the night saw Daniel Bryan take on the Wyatts. Although we’ve seen a lot of the Wyatt Family in the ring, we’ve seen less of Bray. He’s been more of a promo/vignette guy since his debut. Hopefully we see more of him in 2014.
Bryan worked his ass off here, bumping all over the place like a madman for the Wyatts. Just as he was in the midst of his babyface comeback, Bray tagged in and just destroyed Bryan, getting the win for his team. Bray also did his creepy, backwards walking spider-type thing. That shit is WAY creepy.
I’ve got high hopes for all 4 of these guys in 2014. A talented bunch who, in the right situation, can be MASSIVE stars.
Main-event time, where Jahhhhhn Ceeeenaaaaa took on Randy Orton for the right to be called the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. It was standard PG TLC fare really. Not good, but not bad either. Just OK.
It must be easier for fans who are 10-15 years younger than me (in their teens) to watch TLC matches these days. I grew up in the Attitude Era, so I saw TLC matches where guys took crazy bumps and risks, so I know what a TLC match can be. Some of the things I saw back then distort my opinion of TLC matches now. It feels too sanitised and too planned out to me.
Cena and Orton worked well together. To be honest, it’s probably one of the better matches they’ve had. In an outcome that would’ve surprised most people, Randy Orton came out on top as the NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The finish came when Orton handcuffed Cena to the turnbuckle and climbed the ladder. Cena freed himself, but Orton knocked him off the ladder and into a table before retrieving the belts.
For the first time in months, we actually saw a PPV that had a relatively clean finish. Praise Jeebus!
The only other real storyline progression that happened after TLC was Jahhhhhn Ceeeenaaaaa acting as Daniel Bryan’s advocate. Apparently, Cena is now Bryan’s mouthpiece. Who knew?
Cena stuck up for his little buddy by telling Orton to have a match with Bryan after TLC. Orton refused, but never fear…Confusion’s here!
The Authority – remember, heels – told Orton – also a heel, and their guy – to have a match with Bryan. There’s meant to be shades of grey in wrestling, but that only works when there’s clear black and white. If everything’s grey, it’s too confusing. Sort it out WWE!
Bryan and Orton had their best singles match yet, which – surprise, surprise – had a screwy finish. But…this time, it made sense. They couldn’t have Bryan lose clean, and Orton couldn’t lose clean either because he’d just become the 1st-ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion. With Bryan in control, Orton dished out a blatant low-blow, meaning Bryan won by DQ. Sensible booking really.
On the final Raw before Xmas, WWE announced that a former WWE and World Champion would be making his return to the company on January 20th, 6 days before the Royal Rumble – the Animal, Batista!
I don’t know what to make of that yet, but he’s definitely a big name and someone fresh. There’s a whole plethora of possibilities and with WrestleMania just around the corner, WWE need star power and Batista brings that. It’ll be interesting to see how things go.
And that wraps up 2013 in the WWE.
Verdict: I keep on saying this, but the confusion in the WWE is so overwhelming. We saw some great individual stuff, but the focus continuously on Cena, Orton and Haitch-Ah, instead of on building up their new stars on the road to WrestleMania means that December gets another fail overall. Must do better WWE!
The Grades I’ve given to WWE for their work in 2013
- January – Pass
- February – Pass
- March – Fail
- April – Fail
- May – Fail
- June – Pass
- July – Pass
- August – Pass
- September – Pass
- October – Fail
- November – Fail
- December – Fail
My Overall Thoughts on WWE in 2013
You can tell by the grades that I’ve given WWE in 2013 that I’ve thought it’s been a distinctly average year for them, with passes and fails split at 50%.
Not to repeat myself, but again, despite some special individual talents, most of WWE this year has been just awful, highlighted in the last 6 months by the increased presence of Haitch-Ah and Stephanie on TV.
I don’t know who told them that every WWE fan over the age of 18 wanted to take a trip back in the DeLorean and go back to 1999/2000 so that we could once again live through those 2 being in charge. Their very presence on the show means that the focus is entirely on them when it should be on the guys/girls busting their ass in the ring every night.
That’s why Randy Orton’s heel turn has been a failure. There’s no heat on Orton whatsoever because all the heat is on Haitch-Ah. The fans want to see him get his comeuppance, not Orton. And that’s what’s wrong with the whole situation.
2014 is a big year for the WWE. We’re going to see the 30th edition of WrestleMania and they really need to pull their finger out and give us a great show. Otherwise, ratings and PPV buys will continue to dwindle.
They’re also planning to launch the WWE Network and renegotiate their existing TV rights deals. Judging by what we’ve seen over the last 6 months, WWE might need to pay the networks to get the deals they’re after.
The WWE did do some great work rebuilding the tag-team division over the last 6 months.
The Rhodes Brothers are at the top of their game and supplemented by great teams like The Uso’s and The Real Americans, the tag division is in great shape. However, that doesn’t mean that the WWE should rest on their laurels. They need to follow up what they’ve done so far and introduce more teams in 2014 to keep that competitive edge. I don’t want the tag division to become an afterthought once the Rhodes Brothers inevitably lose the tag belts.
There’s also only 1 “big” championship left in the WWE – the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
It’s going to be interesting to see what WWE do with all of their bigger stars now, considering the fact that, for the most part, there can only be 2 guys going for the belt. What will guys like Punk, Bryan, ADR etc do now that there’s only one belt?
Hopefully it’ll introduce better competition, more well-rounded storylines and an increased importance on the Intercontinental Championship. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
When I wrote the first part of this article, I said that, in the 2nd half of 2013, I hoped the WWE would:
- Continue to make their fresher stars look credible
- Build some credible tag-teams
- Use the McMahons less on TV
- Gradually phase out Jerry Lawler
I genuinely don’t know if the WWE have done a good or bad job making their fresher stars look credible.
We had so much hope when Ziggler won the World Championship earlier this year, and again when Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship twice in the summer, but WWE never followed up on them.
Ziggler’s been buried into mid-card obscurity and Bryan’s gone back down the card a bit too. Those 2 guys in particular have never really had any closure to their main-event pushes. It’s typical WWE mentality though. If it happened more than 3 weeks ago, Vince doesn’t remember it and he doesn’t expect us to either.
In terms of building some credible tag-teams, they’ve done well to be honest.
The Shield are an exceptional team and with the introduction of the Wyatt Family, as well as the resurgence of The Uso’s, WWE’s tag division is as strong as it’s been in years. The Rhodes Brothers normally put on the best match of the night, regardless of who they’re up against, and The Real Americans are a great team too.
Like I said earlier, WWE have to keep this up in 2014. There’s no point in undoing all the good work they’ve done this year by taking the focus off the division again next year.
Use the McMahons less on TV?
I dunno what the hell I was thinking. Instead of being used less, the whole damn show is about the McMahons. It’s easy to see who’s booking the shows now isn’t it? It’s Haitch-Ah. He wants to keep himself in the spotlight and make WWE all about the game. It should surprise no-one that the shows have been terrible when the focus has been on him and his manly wife, who’s gradually morphing into Chyna with every passing week!
As for phasing out Jerry Lawler, I’m sad to say that hasn’t happened either.
Just listen to him commentating. He’s not funny, he’s not insightful and most of the time, he’s not even paying attention to what’s going on in the ring. It’s incredibly frustrating when the commentators are disrespectful towards the wrestlers by bickering with each other instead of describing the action.
A Look Forward into 2014
I really hope that the WWE do a lot better in 2014.
Sometimes, I get the feeling that they take the fans for granted. Of course there are fans out there who are happy with what they see, and that’s fine. But I think that there’s a growing number of fans out there who are disappointed with the WWE and only really watch through a force of habit.
If the launch of the WWE Network, and the Network itself, is to be a success, then the WWE simply can’t get away with writing such poor TV. They need to remember that they’re a wrestling company first and foremost. That’s their bread and butter. Everything else – movies, reality TV shows etc – should be treated as a way to supplement their income.
In terms of what I want to see? I’ll give you four “hopes” if that’s the right word:
- For more WWE storylines to have a beginning, a middle and an end: You know why the storyline between the Rhodes and McMahons was so great in late 2013? Because there was a structure to the story. There was a reason for the fans to care. It was a complete story. The characters were established, and most importantly, BOTH sides were given mic time. All of those things are key to telling great pro-wrestling stories. More of this in 2014 please!
- WrestleMania 30 should be where the reliance on “old” names ends: This is key for me. For too long now, WWE have relied on bringing back their old names when things are tough. Using old names is fine, but they HAVE to put the newer guys older. There’s going to come a point when these old guys can’t come back, so use them while you can to make new stars.
- Call up more new talent from NXT: Simply put, WWE have a ton of credible workers down in NXT. It’s getting to the point now where we’ve seen virtually every main roster guy wrestle each other. We need fresh feuds and fresh characters, and they have a ton of them at their disposal down in NXT for every division – Divas, Tag-Team and mid-card. I won’t name names, but there are some talents on the main roster who have been there for too long and it’s time for them to step aside and let the fresh talent shine.
- Unify the IC/US titles and bring back the Cruiserweight belt: It’s simple really. If there’s only going to be one main title – the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, then they should unify the two mid-card belts as well. It’d mean more for someone to be the sole mid-card champ, taking on all comers, rather than having 2 diluted mid-card belts. When they’re unified, it leaves a space for the smaller wrestlers to have a belt of their own. They have enough talent on the main roster – Gabriel, Kidd, Mysterio, Sin Cara etc – and down in NXT – Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn, Kalisto, Tyler Breeze etc – to make it work and for it to mean something.
Well guys, that’ll wrap things up for the first FATP of the new year! This kind of turned into a monster of a column as I was in the middle of writing it! Haha… To those of you who’ve stuck with me throughout this novel, thanks! Give yourselves a pat on the back. You deserve a medal.
It’s been tough going at times. I’ve tried to be constructive throughout this. I know I come across as a negative, moany bastard sometimes, but I genuinely love the wrestling business and I hope that shines through. I know what WWE can do, and the potential they’ve got, so it really frustrates me when they churn out bullshit and expect us to lap it up like its caviar, know what I mean?
What did you think of the last 6 months of 2013 in WWE? How would you describe their year overall? I’ve spent a lot of time, care and effort writing this article. It came in at over 15,000 words, so please get involved by either leaving a comment below or finding me on Twitter @george_sltd! As usual, your feedback/opinions/comments are what I what, so feel free to get in touch. I promise I’ll try to reply as quickly as I can.
I don’t know when I’ll write again. Probably not for a couple of weeks, cos I’ve written a 2 monster columns over Xmas/New Year and I need a break. Thanks for your support, and for reading. I really appreciate it.