All posts tagged the miz

WWE Payback 2016 Preview

payback

Payback airs tonight on the WWE Network, and is being billed as the first major event of the “New Era.”

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. AJ Styles

The main event perhaps best epitomizes what the “New Era” may entail – establishment versus independents.  Reigns has been finding his way as the official face of the company for about a month, while embracing the jeers of the WWE Universe with a slightly smug swagger.  An outside observer might view Reigns as a champion grown in a sterile environment – the bloodline, professional football player, has only ever wrestled in a WWE/developmental ring.  Combine this with the swoonworthy looks and the marketing department of a publicly traded company, and you have a relatively young guy (not yet 31) who can parade around on talk shows in a suit and ponytail, carrying the belt with the giant company logo.

Compare and contrast to beloved Internet darling and independent “journeyman” AJ Styles.  This list of indy titles, awards, and 5-star matches he’s accumulated in a 14-year career has made him one of the most respected wrestlers alive.  However, he’s a 38-year old who has gotten called “rookie” on an uncomfortably regular basis.  And, there will be ~18,000 people in attendance whose emotions would range from “not that upset” to “over-the-moon ecstatic” if he finds a way to win the strap tonight.

That dichotomy is only half the bout.  Lurking ringside will undoubtedly be the Gallows and Machine Gun, fresh off demolishing the Usos in a fashion not often seen since the APA vs. Public Enemy.  I think it’s widely expected that some form of “Club” will result from this match – Gallows, Anderson, and AJ Styles?  Or, Gallows, Anderson, and Finn Balor?  Or, Gallows, Anderson… and Roman Reigns?    The “New Era” will almost certainly commence with the dawning of a new super stable.

Prediction: Roman Reigns retains, and Gallows and Gun align with the Roman Empire. Continue reading →

Royal Rumble 2015 Preview

Image Credit: WWE.com

Image Credit: WWE.com

Seasonal creep.  In late August 2014, I strolled into a store to see they were unpacking their Christmas decorations.  Earlier than that (and perhaps more importantly), I was buying cases of fall beer during mid summer just to ensure I had some for when the leaves started to turn.  In a few months.  It seems like the world can’t wait to get to what’s next, meaning we all must adjust our timetables and expectations accordingly.

Take solace in this, my fellow marks – in the WWE Universe, the Road to Wrestlemania begins with the Royal Rumble.  Not Survivor Series, not January 1.  This has been the order of things since 1993, when Yokozuna last eliminated soon to be HOFer Randy Savage to guarantee his main event spot at Wrestlemania IX.  This will be the case tonight, this will be the case next year, this will be the case until the sun burns out.

And so, for the first time in 2015, someone’s going to end a show by staring at a large WM31 sign hanging in the rafters.

The 2015 30-Man Royal Rumble

Thirty men will enter, one man (or two) will head to Wrestlemania.  As per usual, less than a quarter of the field has a realistic shot of winning.  Of that field, a mere few remain the odds-on favorites.  Those favorites include Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton, rumored to be making his long-awaited return.  The gentleman less likely to win, but still worth watching, include Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Dean Ambrose, and Bray Wyatt.

Louis Tully detailed various scenarios based on potential winners of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, so be sure to check that out.

Note that, unlike in past years, nearly half of the Rumble field remains unannounced.  One could take the glass-half-empty approach, and use this as confirmation that the Rumble will be “predictably” won by one of the aforementioned men.  This ignores the viewpoint that watching the heavy favorites is only half the fun of the Royal Rumble.  There’ll be a few comedy spots to shake up things, Kofi Kingston will perform his annual aerobatic save, there may be an NXT call-up or two (dare I hope?), and possibly a boatload of surprise entrants.  You can Google the rumored names, but I would fully expect to see the two runners-up of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship throw their hats over the wall.

Speaking of which… Continue reading →

The Day After: TLC (and Stairs) 2014

TLC14_Photo_246-2692720484

Image Credit: WWE.com

This year’s Tables Ladders & Chairs (& Stairs) was a very divisive show bookended by two outstanding matches, the show opening Ladder Match and the show closing TLC Match.  While I agree with many saying Thursday’s NXT Takeover special was better, this wasn’t a show that made me feel ripped off or overly disappointed.  Sorry, I’m not an internet outrage kind of guy.  There were 3-4 matches I enjoyed and hey, it’s entertainment.  There are worse ways to spend 3 hours.

What many are talking about, for the second time in 3 months, is a controversial gimmicky ending in the main event.  Much like the vision from the lantern at Hell in a Cell, many aren’t happy with the sparking television signaling the downfall for young Dean Ambrose against Bray Wyatt.  Silly?  Perhaps.  Guess what, wrestling is silly which is part of what I love about it.  One of the biggest stars in the industry is an undead zombie whose brother was burned alive by a fire that who the hell even remembers started but then wasn’t burnt anymore and now wears slacks to the ring.

Some will call Ambrose’s character “stupid” for not knowing to unplug the monitor that blew up in his face.  I counter that the character of Dean Ambrose is insane.  Insane to the point where he is a danger to himself.  With the ladder sizes getting bigger each time as he delivered elbow after elbow onto Bray Wyatt through a table, the damage to his opponent and himself became greater and greater.  Ambrose was consumed with destroying Wyatt and not considering the ramifications of his actions.  Is someone blind with rage going to stop and think, “Hey, better unplug this TV?”  More likely the thought is, “I’m gonna put his head through this powered on TV and electrocute him!”

Look at this major positive: the past three pay-per-views have ended with someone other than Cena in the spotlight. We as fans want the WWE to not be so predictable, so perhaps when they try to step out of that pro wrestling box and do something different, we not be so fast to crucify them.

TLC Match: Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose with Sister Abigail after Ambrose was temporarily blinded by an electrical explosion in a monitor he was going to use as a weapon.

Now that I’ve made my case for the finish, let’s discuss the actual match.  I loved it, brutal Attitude era style brawl which saw Wyatt go through 3 tables.  Ambrose started the proceedings by launching a ladder at Wyatt in the entrance way.  The spot of the match was Ambrose’s third dive onto Wyatt through at table, after which lying next to Wyatt, Ambrose kissed him on the forehead only to be met with a Wyatt headbutt.  Great moment.  If anything this match was hurt by following an evening of ladder and table spots, so much that the crowd wasn’t as shocked at that point in the night.

Would I have liked a clean finish?  Sure.  But this also means we get more Dean Ambrose versus Bray Wyatt.  Sign me up, may they feud for years.

Continue reading →

The Day After Raw: 12/8/14 Slammy Editon

Image Credit: WWE.com

Image Credit: WWE.com

With a lot of minor happenings on last night’s Slammys/go-home Raw and no one storyline dominating the show last night to talk about we’re going old school with today’s Day After and giving it to you in the style of Dukes’ old 10 Thoughts on Raw column.

1. Because the Big Show killed it at WWE Fairfax, I’ll give them a pass and won’t openly complain too long about another Show-Cena match.  It was a risky gamble though, I wonder how many fans tuned out and missed another fun brawl between the remnants of Team Authority & Team Cena to promote Sunday’s show.

2. Seth Green was a better choice for this Slammy-hosting gig than Dennis Miller a few years back.  At least, Green looks like he wants to be there and, as some pointed out on Twitter his size makes the Superstars look impressive.

3. Sting won the Slammy for Amazing Moment, problem is you can’t give Sting an award at a wrestling arena; he’s probably hanging in the rafters.

4. Really enjoyed the Paul Heyman-Seth Rollins segment with Heyman talking Rollins into taking out Cena for good for his client.  Once again, Paul Heyman sells a match better than the two participants involved in said match.

5. Charlotte on RAW!  Whooo!  Not sure why you have her lose to hype Takeover: R Evolution, though.  If you want to see an even better Charlotte-Natalya match check out their match from the first NXT Takeover match.

6. Tyson Kidd continues to make the most of the little bits he is given and that cat hoodie.  Dude is slaying right now, get on the bandwagon.

7. The tease of Bray Wyatt interrupting Paul Heyman may or may not of made my pants spontaneously combust.  What I would give for a promo segment between those two.  I really enjoyed Bray’s promo tonight.  It was one of the only Wyatt promos I can remember that was straightforward about his intentions: finishing the job at TLC.  We also learned that the rocking chair Ambrose destroyed was Sister Abigail’s. Back story!

Continue reading →

WWE Main Event Preview 12/2/14

It’s the first WWE Main Event of December, and what a show WWE has lined up! Coming to you LIVE from OKC, one half of the tag team champions, The Miz takes on Jimmy Uso in singles competition.

After winning a tag team turmoil match last night on Raw, the Usos became the number one contenders for the tag team championship, held by the Miz and stunt double Damien Mizdow. Things got personal later, when Miz approached Naomi (Jimmy Uso’s wife) about putting her in touch with some of his Hollywood people, off the strength of her latest music video.

Jimmy Uso did not take too kindly to Miz’s gesture and socked Miz in the face, as he was doing commentary for a Mizdow singles match. That confrontation sets up tonight’s bout.

Official Notes:
Tag Team Champion the Miz vs. Jimmy Uso
Chesapeake Energy Arena; Oklahoma City, OK
LIVE on WWE Network, 8pm (7 Central)

 
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