Last week, The Daily Beast put up an article about the use of social dating and hook-up apps by Olympic athletes in Rio. Real Woodward and Bernstein kind of stuff…
Historically, Olympic athletes, surrounded by other like-minded people, similarly aged, and mostly attractive, have been known to act a bit promiscuous during their Olympic trips. The couple of weeks these people spend in the Olympic village is something they worked their whole life for, and once their events are finished, it’s no surprise that a bunch of 20-somethings like to party it up. And as consenting adults, they have earned the right to celebrate their achievements.
We don’t touch on sports as much as I might like around here, but that’s cause things are already lacking any sort of laser focus. But this story gives us a fun crossover that involves The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun, and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers…
WWE Survivor Series 2013 is officially in the books. Survivor Series has been a marquee event in WWE programming since the company began it’s journey into the realm of Pay-per-view entertainment. With so many years of historic moment from the show, fans were counting on WWE to deliver in what was considered an “underbooked” event. World Wrestling Entertainment did just that tonight.
The show featured three title fights as well as a tag match between the emerging Wyatt family and the always popular CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. However the show stayed true to its roots incorporating two traditional survivor series format matches.
The Usos/Mysterio/Rhodes brothers vs. The Real Americans/Shield
This match was a good match as we you would probably assume it would be. Over the last month or so, everything the Rhodes touch has turned gold (pun intended). That’s not to say they haven’t received help from others. The Shield have done something I have not seen anyone do in a long time, stay relevant and interesting since their debut. Not to mention despite the repeated attempts of cheap heat from manager Zeb Colter, The Real Americans are hot. People love to watch these guys go, myself included, so essentially WWE threw all their best into one big match, and it delivered.
The match seen Ambrose DQ’ed and ejected early leaving a four on five scenario and eventually the entire team was eliminated until only Shield powerhouse Roman Reigns was left standing. Reigns hit spear after spear essentially destroying the entire team by himself. At the end of the match Mysterio left Reigns set up for the patented 619, only to have Reigns come off the ropes and damn near break Rey in half with a spear from hell. Rumors have been circulating that Roman is potentially in line for a huge singles push and tonight may have been the first step.
Match Rating: A
Big E (c) Vs. Curtis Axel
This match was certainly an attempt to ride the moment from last weeks RAW, where Big E Langston defeated Axel to win the title. The match took place early on the card and was a decent contest. Both of these guys are young and still crafting their own style and in a few years I think they both could be big names. However now it’s hard to really get into their matches. Even during Axel’s feud with Punk he still is battling to really get over.
The match was entertaining at least, you really didn’t know what to expect. Axel hit a perfect plex on Big E and it seemed the match was done until the straps came down and Langstong delivered a big ending and got the three count.
Match Rating: C+
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan Vs. The Wyatt family
I would venture to say of all the matches on the card fans were into this one maybe the most. The Wyatts are another young team trying to get over, Punk and Bryan are always entertaining and Bray Wyatt is flat-out awesome. The match had a lot of the typical Punk/Bryan high-octane stuff. Both were singled out at different points by the Wyatts and battled out of it. Probably the highlight of the match was Punk going up top to deliver a big elbow drop to Rowen in the ring and instead flew outside the ring taking out an unsuspecting Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper.
The match ended with Bryan taking one member out with a flying knee while Punk hit the GTS. Although the match was good, it was definitely predictable, especially the ending. I don’t think anyone is gonna buy the guy who out right beat John Cena several months ago, or the longest reigning WWE champion of the modern era, to be beaten by two young up and coming guys. My real issue here is the story. No one is explaining anything behind the angle and it’d be nice to have had some build up on why the match was even happening. It’s possible this is all just to get the Wyatts over but some story telling would be nice.
Match Rating B-
John Cena (c) Vs. Alberto Del Rio
I know it’s rough but we had to see a rematch. The Del Rio/Cena feud had to go at least two PPV’s to sell the angle. The fact is there is no one to challenge Cena for the strap, and by winning the title Cena has exposed the ugly truth that the WHC belt has become a joke. We now see that big names haven’t been holding the title prior to Cena because the routine guys we’d see challenge for it would never hang with Cena in a match. Guys like Sheamus, Del Rio, Barrett, the list goes on, they aren’t in Cenas class. So how can you have any feuds over this title. Well many said him winning the belt was the best thing that’s happened to the belt in a long time, and later on I’ll explain why.
The match was pretty good given the circumstances. Both Cena and Del Rio threw their finishers at one another and we saw repeated kick outs and submission breaks. Eventually Cena was able to deliver a AA and pin Del Rio to retain the title.
Match Rating: B+
Over the night we seen Randy Orton parading through the backstage area bantering and politicking for any kind of help he could get in his match with Big Show tonight. He had several confrontations with the Authority and was continuously reassured he would receive no help. Prior to his match John Cena was shown with a doctor assuring the Authority that his arm was fine and we were not privy to whatever it is they were discussing before the camera started rolling. Orton walked in and Cena exited.
Randy Orton (c) Vs. Big Show
This match was impossible to hype. Big show has been watered down by WWE practically since the day he signed his first WWE contract. So needless to say no one really seen Show taking this match. The real story was the rift that had developed with Orton and the Authority as of late. The match itself was not great. Fans were letting out boring chants throughout the majority of the contest and half the match was Orton running away.
After the referee was taken out in a collision the two battled outside the ring without ever really breaking a rule, which was odd. The two went into the crowd briefly before Big Show delivered the KO punch (worst finisher ever). Randy was tossed into the ring and as Show was reentering Triple H’s music hit and distracted him long enough for Orton to RKO Show for a three count. The match itself was a D rating, and as Triple H walked down to the ring I could feel the Ghost of PPV’s past lurking in as you could almost feel the fans getting ready to erupt in disapproval. However the most unlikely of heroes would save the day.
Match Rating: D
John Cenas music hit as Orton celebrated in the ring. Cena walked right through The Authority along with Kane, even stopping between Hunter and Stephanie to hold the WHC belt above his head. He got in the ring and held the title up at Orton and the two went into a stare down flaunting their titles back and forth as The Authority just clapped and watched.
As I stated before, WWE has no choice now but to Acknowledge that there is no contenders for the WHC, and potentially that the roster has become too small for two major titles. I’m not entirely sure what is about to happen, but it’s one of two things that will please fans enormously. A, John Cena is getting ready for a heel turn and teased it tonight, or B we’re about to witness a title unification that is WAY overdue. One way or another, this poses a very interesting story line for RAW, as well as the rumor of the return of Vince McMahon.
The show also seen the cast of Total Divas beat AJ Lees team in a Survivor series format match. Ryback called out a challenger from the back and was beat by a returning Mark Henry. And Miz defeated Kofi Kingston in the Pre Show.
Well this years WWE Hell in a Cell PPV just wrapped up, and although it was better than the last two shows, WWE has officially dropped the ball. AGAIN. The show had some decent matches, the wrestling itself was good, yet creative screwed the pooch on the writing aspect once again. The finishes to the matches were OK at best, but we really didn’t resolve much, something fans have clamored for since Night of Champions.
Cody & Goldust opened the show in a three-way bout with The Shield and The Usos. Would you be surprised if we told you this was the best match of the night? Well, it was close. The fact is that the hounds of justice and the Rhodes family have been tearing down the roof in every arena they’ve been in for a month straight. The Usos were a nice complement to keep the match from being overplayed. There was a lot of brawling back and forth with plenty of high-flying. Ultimately the Rhodes won the match in another well staged finish. I think the tag team division deserves a good pat on the back for how well they have carried shows lately. The crowd was chanting “This is awesome” through the whole match as usual.
CM Punk vs Heyman & Ryback was a good match all around, but what’s best about it is I think the Heyman/Punk feud is finally over. Thank you, thank you, thank you! See how easy that was WWE? You START a story line and then you END a story line. Ryback and Punk put together a pretty good match, using kendo sticks, tables and most importantly, the cell.
Heyman’s entrance to the ring was hilarious, he was driven to the ring in a hydraulic boom. What was funny was the boom was malfunctioning and the driver could barely get it down to the ring. After about five minutes of screwing around with the controls, Heyman delivered a typical “I made wrestling” speech and was lifted to the top of the cell for the duration of the match. After Punk put Ryback through a table and a GTS, he picked up the win. After the match he climbed to the top of the cell with another kendo stick tucked in his drawers. Heyman pretty much got the crap kicked out of him, probably took about twenty kendo shots up there, before finally taking a GTS on top of the cage. Full disclosure, I had every muscle in my body clenched watching that GTS. How Heyman didn’t go through the top of that cage is beyond me. None the less, I think we can finally see Punk move on to something else. Something Punk fans have pleaded for since Night of Champions.
John Cena returned in a match against Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship, which was probably the most intriguing match of the night. So many intangibles in play here, it kept you guessing what would happen. The WHC has been irrelevant for so long that putting the belt on Cena was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to the title. The match was actually pretty good. I mean if you get anything other than the five moves of doom in a Cena match, than it’s doing ok. Cena hit the AA on Del Rio and won that match after he fought out of a Del Rio cross arm breaker. Pretty normal Cena match, but still entertaining. Fact is, I don’t believe anyone could care less about Del Rio, he’s boring, his gimmick is second-rate, and his matches don’t really do much besides pass time on event cards. It’ll be interesting to see where they go from here with the title, as the sole reason Cena was brought in was lack of competition for the belt. So if I had to predict the future, I’d say get ready for another three months of Del Rio vs Cena.
I was really interested in how Cena would be received in his first appearance since he left for tricep surgery back in August. Basically it was normal John Cena, seventy-five percent boos, twenty-five percent cheering. I have not been a fan of Cena for many years, I think the guy’s awesome but his character is terrible. And on a night where even I’m pulling for Cena, he’s still getting booed relentlessly. That tells me that it’s only gonna be worse tomorrow when he’s not out trying to revive a dead championship against a heel opponent no one would care about if he quit WWE tomorrow…
The main event featured Randy Orton vs Daniel Bryan, and here’s where they put the cherry on top of the crap sundae. This match was in the cell with the fan voted special guest referee, Shawn Michaels. If you didn’t predict where this match was going, you probably are new to WWE. The match itself wasn’t terrible, but not super entertaining either. The simple fact that we’ve seen this same song and dance about three times now really steals the thunder from it all. You can only watch the same two guys headline against each other so many times before you’re banging your head on a wall. I digress though. So Triple H obviously got involved entering the ring to check on Shawn after a collision with Orton. As he came to his feet he witnessed Bryan deliver a flying knee to HHH and super kicked Bryan out cold. Orton made the cover and took the win.
Now we all expected this correct? I’m fine with HBK helping out the Authority, but I am not ok with them ending the show on that note. Are we really going to drag this out for an explanation? I read report after report on how WWE felt they had alienated their ppv audience over the last couple months, and this is what you give us? I think I speak for the majority of the WWE universe when I say, we tuned in tonight expecting a finish to this WAY over cooked feud. Instead we’ll probably see Bryan vs Orton all the way to Royal Rumble, and watch Raw tomorrow and once again receive the show we should have gotten tonight, for free! I’ll tell you something else too, it was known Vince was going to be involved and never showed up, was that your big plan WWE? Use the internet to convince us into thinking something cool might happen then don’t do it to trick us? Oh you got us good, real good. Here’s a trick on you now, expect continued decreases in ratings and ppv buys to become nearly non-existent.
It should be noted that AJ Lee defended her title against Brie Bella, again. Los Matadores defeated the increasingly popular Real Americans. Big E defeated Deam Ambrose via count out so Ambrose retained his title. I would also like to state Dolph Ziggler was used on the host panel of the show, this was a joke. You have one of the best guys in the business sitting upstairs watching a show instead of using him for whatever reason, terrible. Kane also made a big return to take out the Wyatt family, it was awesome to see him back.
I give the overall grade a C- This is acceptable for a SmackDown, NOT a sixty dollar ppv!
We learned Monday night that John Cena would be returning to WWE at “Hell in a Cell” in three weeks. He will be returning for a World Heavyweight Championship match against Alberto Del Rio. If you’re not surprised about this, well you should be. This return is weeks ahead of schedule.
Cena was last seen on the August 19th episode of RAW. He said he would be taking time off to repair a partially torn tricep muscle. How he could be healed and rehabbed already is beyond me but so be it. First of all, whether you like John Cena or not, this is good for the World Heavyweight Championship. The belt has been lost
in obscurity, and having Cena win it would be definite way to elevate it back to what it once was. Bringing Cena in, if he truly is ready to go, is possibly WWE’s only option for Del Rio at this point. With RVD taking some time off, and no other performer really ready to step up and lead, Cena is your only ‘go to’.
What is most interesting right now is what we will see when Cena does return. You may recall the cryptic tweet sent out by Cena the night he left WWE. The picture was on Cenas instagram and was a road sign that stated “change ahead”. Both John and the WWE are very aware of the lack of interest the WWE universe has left in the Cena product. Even when he was announced at Raw, the crowd reacted very harshly to the announcement, raining down the usual Cena boos. He is way overdue for some form of gimmick change, and the fact he was only announced and not a part of RAW indicated they may be waiting to unveil the new John Cena. I wouldn’t get too excited though, more likely we might see new ring gear and HOPEFULLY new theme music. As far as a heel turn goes, highly unlikely.
WWE is starving for baby face characters to lead, hence why they can’t find a suitable opponent for Del Rio. So bringing Cena back and going heel with him would make zero sense. Although, WWE is in the business of doing things that don’t make sense (Battleground), but for once doing something that is illogical would actually be awesome. So don’t expect it.
Cena returning and immediately receiving a title shot certainly has the wrestling world up in arms right now. One point to consider is that he is entitled to a WWE championship rematch, but that clearly isn’t going to happen. So instead he will get the second tier title opportunity. What upsets me about this is that guys like Dolph Ziggler are just going to be overlooked in lieu of Cena. How WWE can’t see why he is so disliked when they do things like this is just baffling.
Well for those of you who didn’t get the opportunity to see last nights Pay-per-view, WWE Battleground, you saved fifty dollars you’d be pleading to have back now. One match on the whole card saved the show from being a complete disappointment.
The show opened up with the World Heavyweight Championship match between Rob Van Dam and Alberto Del Rio. This wasn’t much of a surprise as the WHC belt has become about as prestigious as the European championship. The match was labeled a “hardcore rules match”, which was kinda cool to see WWE return to the term since we have a gazillion other matches with different names, but are all just a hardcore match at the end of the day.
[pullquote_left]One match on the whole card saved the show from being a complete disappointment.[/pullquote_left]What hurt this match the most was the fact we’re all aware RVD is here on a part-time basis and he was never going to get the belt. However there is no babyface available to challenge Del Rio at this point and RVD was the only option. Good luck selling a WHC match once Van Dam is gone.
In a sequence of very slow, drug out, and boring moves, Del Rio put the arm bar on RVD with his arm stuck in a chair, forcing Van Dam to tap out. Personally I hoped we were finally going to get a break from Del Rio. He is insanely boring to watch, and I gotta believe the general audience really couldn’t care less about him. None the less, your winner and still champ, Alberto Del Rio.
The next couple matches were nothing special. The Real Americans defeated Santino Marrella and The Great Khali. How Kahli is even getting TV time is beyond me, but a PPV match? The guy can barely walk, let alone wrestle, not interesting whatsoever.
Curtis Axel beat R-Truth… obviously, R-Truth has been painfully irrelevant since he arrived in WWE, and I don’t think anyone believed he had a shot in the world of winning that match.
By far the best match of the night was The Shield vs The Rhodes family. Dusty was down in the corner of his sons opposite Dean Ambrose of the Shield. Cody is so much better in the ring than half the locker room. I totally forgot how much I liked him since he left. In a quick, well orchestrated, sequence of events Cody hit Cross Rhodes on Seth Rollins for the win. The place fricking erupted. I literally got goosebumps during the match. WWE would be smart to use these two further, they’re gonna need damage control after two consecutive poor PPV’s.
The CM Punk/Ryback match was good, but didn’t really have much flare to it. It was also spoiled with a poor ending, sort of feels like the writers were thinking too far into these finishes, or not thinking about them at all. You can’t take anything from Punk or Ryback though, both put on an awesome match. Being Heyman walked out unscathed, you would assume the feud is probably not over, which sort of sucks because I think everyone is waiting for Punk to step in on the Triple H-McMahon power situation.
The final Match was for the vacated WWE Championship. Daniel Bryan competed against Randy Orton for the umpteenth time and was basically the same match we’ve seen repeatedly over the past month and we’ll probably see again next month. Once again, this match fell victim to poor writing and ended ambiguously, to say the least. Big Show came out and knocked out Daniel Bryan, a couple of refs, Randy Orton… he knocked everyone out. I’m so confused and lost at his point. I have no clue what the hell is going on. There was no winner of the match, the title is still vacant, apparently Big Show hates everyone now, and Triple H is nowhere to be seen. So we all spent money to see a glorified episode of RAW, and tonight RAW (that’s the free show…) will probably be better and tie up more loose ends then the PPV…awesome
Like I said earlier, if you didn’t see the show, it’s like you won money. Aside from the Rhodes/Shield match, the best part of the night was when the power went out and the “please stand by” screen came on for over 5 minutes. It took all of 30 seconds before the Twittersphere moved from irritated to irrationally hostile, definitely my favorite point of the evening. Probably should have left the lights off at this point.
My overall rating I give this PPV is 3 out of 10. All three stars were won by The Rhodes family and The Shield.
Loudest pop of the night– Cross Rhodes from Cody Rhodes