Tag Archives: The Usos

Money In The Bank 2017: The Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast

Join Rob and Dan for the Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast as they discuss the Smackdown Live exclusive PPV Money In The Bank 2017. Controversy throughout the PPV and the sudden British summer has the guys on edge this week!

Review – Money In The Bank (2017)

Money In The Bank did not disappoint, it was a solid show from start to finish with some excellent wrestling at times and a few surprising moments. Controversy in the first ever Women’s MITB ladder match, a shocking debut and hopefully a few teases of things to come.

It’s vary rare for me to walk away from a WWE main roster PPV with a good overall opinion of it, but I was very happy with what happened. I see potential in all story lines and even though my favourite wrestlers didn’t win. I am content.

Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Winner: Carmella

054_mitb_06182017jg_0611-caa06542d3384264da149ee1e3b35a8cStraight in with the controversy! Oh the internet seems to be massively divided on this on. Some people despise the ending other people love it. I personally loved it.

In case you are unaware the finish of the match saw James Ellsworth tip Becky Lynch from the top of the ladder, proceed to climb the ladder, retrieve the briefcase and then drop it into Carmella’s waiting open arms. It was a complete mockery off a finish, showing complete disrespect to all of the women involved. This was their moment to show the world they could do it just as well as the men and it was ruined.

It was the PERFECT heel move. Absolutely brilliant! I mean, what a disgusting thing to do. To ruin the inaugural Women’s MITB ladder match by having a man decide the finish. The heat Carmella should receive from this is unreal. This is where a lot of people seem to be getting confused again. You didn’t like what the heel did? You aren’t meant to. It’s meant to rile you up!

The only problem I had with it was the confusing referee discussion after the bell rang. It made it seem like Shane McMahon or Daniel Bryan were going to come out and restart the match but never did. It clearly confused the crowd to who just stood there waiting for something to happen.

As for the match itself, I thought it was unfortunately a little sloppy. Certainly not the high standards we know the women can reach on their day. I certainly thought the ‘this is awesome’ chant early on was incredibly generous of the St Louis crowd. Not that anyone is going to remember the match itself its all about the finish.

I’m not entirely sure why the WWE made the creative choice of having all 5 women come out to the ring, then show a 3/4 minute video hyping up the match. Surely it would have made more sense to open the show with that promo package? As for the video itself, even more marketing bullshit promoting the women’s revolution. Stop patting yourselves on the back every chance WWE, it makes everything seem so much more forced and false.

Predictions: Money In The Bank (2017)

Money in the Bank is actually one of my favourite PPVs of the year. Unofficially its the real fourth member of the ‘big four’ (sorry Survivor Series), so I guess we could make it the big five? At least in my opinion anyway.

It’s actually one of my favourite match types as well. Ladder matches are always fun but then you’ve got such an interesting stipulation to play with as well. Will the winner cash in on the night? Will they bide their time and wait for the perfect time to strike? Or will they announce their chosen time to challenge fairly for the title. Potentially you’ve got a years worth of story lines being created in one match. I love it.

This year Money In The Bank is a Smackdown exclusive, which I really dig. You don’t need both shows having a briefcase each. Make it more exclusive, make in more unique and make it more important.

Having said that this year is the first year that the WWE are doing a women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match. So you can go ahead and scrap that more unique and exclusive nonsense I just spouted. Okay, so first of all I really like that they’re doing a women’s match. It will be really cool to see what they can all do and I love the idea that we’ll get to see them play out all of the possible ‘cash in’ story line options for the first time. It would be fantastic if they’d figured out a new, never seen before twist for this, but even if they do something we’ve seen before it will be with new people and a new spin.

However, I said the same thing when Raw and Smackdown had a Money In The Bank ladder match each or when WWE have three Hell In A Cell matches in one night. Less is more. The main problem is far too often they end up spreading themselves too thin, having to share out moments and spot ideas. After all you can’t have the same table spots two matches in a row, the crowd wont keep on popping for them. So potentially instead of having one brilliant match you get a few good ones, or worse average ones. Hopefully we get two excellent matches though.

I do wonder in what order they will lay out the match card though. Will they have the Money In The Bank matches before the Women’s and WWE Championship bouts allowing for cash in opportunities. Will they have one on the night at all? Would they have two?! That would be crazy and I bet few people would see it coming. I think its more likely that the winner of the women’s will cash in than the men’s though as I see Jinder holding the title for a while. Whoops, prediction spoilers…

Money In The Bank Ladder Match

20170602_mitb_womenladder-3c948664588094cfa324b23beefeafd1The first ever women’s Money In The Bank Ladder match. Will it be great or will it be a flop? I mean, hopefully it won’t be a flop…why would anyone hope for that? Weirdos.

I joke but in all seriousness this match, just like the Hell In A Cell match, the tables match and the Iron Man match has to deliver. Not just to shut up that section in the audience who just love to see things fail but to continue to show Vince McMahon that yes, the women in his company can be just as good as the men. I have complete faith that they have all the ability in the world to knock it out of the park, they just have to do it right on the night.

But who is going to win? Well, I think it’s between three ladies. Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Carmella.

Carmella?! I hear you cry. If there was ever a dark horse in this match it would be Carmella and I can just imagine James Ellsowrth following Carmella down to the ring each week carrying her briefcase for her. That image alone would be fantastic! I think I can rule out Natalya and Tamina without any second thought but Carmella (who I know a lot of people will say is the weakest of the group) could be a brilliant heel with that Money in the Bank contract up her sleeve.

Which leaves Charlotte, who is an obvious contender simply for being Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Now with Charlotte you have to think about who she would feud with, if Naomi is still champion I think it will be unlikely for Charlotte to win. That is of course unless WWE a thinking very long-term.

With Becky however, she has fallen from number one babyface on Smackdown AND Women’s Champion, to neither the champion or number one babyface. With Charlotte arguably taking over the role of face and Naomi obviously champion. Becky kind of needs the briefcase to stay relevant in the topper half of the division. Plus, you can go a few ways with her as Ms Money In The Bank, either as a face or perhaps with a heel turn. Which again, Charlotte probably wouldn’t do as she’s only just turned face.

My pick here is Carmella, thanks obviously to a massive assist from James Ellsworth.

Winner: Carmella

Review: WWE Backlash 2017

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Your opinion of how good/bad this PPV was might heavily rely on your opinion of the above.

 

Backlash was always going to have a hard time out doing NXT Takeover Chicago, even though it had the potential too. Saturday night we got the outstanding Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne match and unfortunately nothing came close to it here on the Smackdown exclusive PPV. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad show. It just wasn’t particularly amazing, everyone more or less just seemed to be going through the motions.

Now I know a lot of people are going to have a negative opinion on this PPV for the main event and that’s fine. But is Jinder winning really that bad? I can’t decide.

 

I’m going to skip past Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan, Naomi, Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. The Welcoming Committee and Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn. The first two I just do not care about and Corin vs. Zayn was an okay match but unremarkable. I will say this though, either Sami Zayn is the best actor in the WWE or he worked the majority of the match with a bad back. Props to him either way!

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler

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An underwhelming debut for Nakamura.

A little underwhelmed by Shinsuke’s main roster debut if I’m honest. Weeks off nothing and then this match with Dolph Ziggler. It had the potential to be really good, but honestly it felt like both guys were going through the motions.

 

Is it just be or has Nakamura peaked already in the WWE? His best match by far is still his debut at NXT Takeover Dallas against Sami Zayn, but has anything else even come close? From my perspective it feels like he’s been heavily watered down.

A disappointing start to the show I will admit, I was hoping for so much more. Nakamura has the ability to set the world on fire, we’ve seen it before inside and outside of this company but something isn’t clicking right now.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Usos (c) vs. Breezango (The Fashion Police)

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Master of disguise Tyler Breeze and Fandango were over with the crowd and deserved their spotlight.

Best match of the show, if you can call it a match. It was more of a 10 minute comedy show. I loved every second of it.

 

Tyler Breeze as we all know by now is a master of disguise, came to the ring disguised as the janitor and used his mop for multi comedy moments. Although surely referee, that was a disqualification? Later in the match he came back out from under the ring disguised as an old lady. The commentators were fully on board with the gag, JBL playing fully along ‘not knowing’ who these people were. At one point he even criticised the referee for allow a 4 on 2 handicap match to happen.

The crowd loved every minute of it, I loved every minute of it. It was great. The Fashion Police have been doing great work as of late now that they’ve had a little bit of a spot light. They’re over with the fans and I would love to see them win the titles!

United States Championship
Kevin Owens (c) vs. AJ Styles

151_back_05212017ej_2375-b4655206da7f8a8e084f55c5553205d5A good match between two very talented wrestlers. Kevin Owens won via count out after AJ Styles’ leg got stuck in the announce table leaving this feud wide opener for a rematch. I’m happy with that, I want both of these men to be in the WWE Title picture but if they keep putting on good matches then I’m fine.

I feel like they left a lot for a rematch if I’m honest though, which is good. As I mentioned earlier I feel like the majority of wrestlers didn’t get out of second gear. Hopefully next time we see these two go at it they go all out and truly steal the show as we know they can. For now though, solid and enjoyable match with much more potential to come in this feud. Thumbs up!

WWE Championship
Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal

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He only bloody well did it!

Well I’ll be damned, they actually did it. They actually bloody did it! Jinder Mahal is the new WWE Champion. Interesting side note, Mahal is the 50th different WWE Champion ever, quite the name forever etched in the history books.

I honestly can not decide if I love this or hate this.

This entire angle has come out of nowhere since Wrestlemania. When he was on Raw he couldn’t buy a victory and now suddenly he is WWE Champion. It makes Smackdown seem a bit rubbish doesn’t it?

I think that’s my main problem with this whole thing, how sudden it is. I get that the shock value will have people talking but whatever happened to a solid build, an Intercontinental title run and a hot angle to push you up the card.

At the end of the day I’m not totally against this but…it’s a bit weird isn’t it! Still, anything is better than yet another boring Randy Orton title run. Although I’m sure he’ll win it back sooner rather than later.

WWE now need to go all in on Jinder, this is not the time for half-baked plans. He’s your WWE Champion, treat him like one and maybe you’ll get a good return for your investment. It’s going to be an uphill battle though because the fan reaction to this from what I’ve seen hasn’t been good. The question is, is it good heel heat or change the channel heat?

Predictions: WWE Backlash 2017

Simply put there is no way that Backlash 2017 can follow NXT Takeover Chicago. That Tyler Bate versus Pete Dunne match will be a match of the year contender for sure. Maybe the show is doomed from the start though, after all the main event is Randy Orton against JINDER MAHAL for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP. Let that settle in for a moment, you might need to take a seat.

Bizarre times we live in for sure. However, there should be at least two good matches. Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles in all sorts of a dream match and I’m expecting big things from Nakamura’s main roster debut against Dolph Ziggler.

The rest of the show though, oh dear. It’s not exactly gripping stuff is it? Actually I tell a lie, this show has The Fashion Police on it. So automatically its going to be a five-star show.

Enough ramble, let’s do some predictions!

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan

I mean, does anyone actually care? Either man could win or lose and it will make absolutely zero different in the long or short-term. Prove me wrong WWE!

Winner: Luke Harper

Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn

20170509_1920x1080_bl_zayncorbin-a90bc9dcd9038c1fc9a708a744bdf274I imagine that Big Banter Baron Corbin will pick up the victory over Sami Zayn. I’d prefer Zayn to win, but considering his gimmick is ‘wrestler who tries real hard but always loses’ there doesn’t seem to be all that much hope. Potentially a good match though in fairness!

Winner: Baron Corbin

Naomi, Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. The Welcoming Committee

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I’ve always been a big fan of the Women’s Champion being lost in the shuffle of a multi-women tag team match on PPVs. Not.

What would be the point of The Welcoming committee existing if they don’t pick up the victory here? Then again, what a terrible world it would be if a team consisting of the Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch can’t defeat Natalya, Carmella and Tamina Snuka.

Expect a screwy finish for certain here is all I can think of and either Becky or Naomi to take the fall.

Winners: The Welcoming Committee

Survivor Series [Predictions]

You’ve got to give WWE some credit, they’ve really tried to make Survivor Series a big deal again, which is nice. For years now its been bland, boring and forced. Sure, it still could be all of those things but at least some effort is being made. Whether or not you agree about the importance of ‘brand supremacy’ or if the wrestlers themselves would care enough to put their own personal feuds aside for the past few weeks in preparation considering there are literally ZERO STAKES, is another matter though.

WWE have done made the show 4 hours, a sign of its extra importance. I know, I know. Most wrestling fans are begging for shorter shows and less programming but WWE do what they want. Deal with it. Let’s look at the positive though, maybe having the extra hour will allow all three of the traditional 5 on 5 (10 on 10 for the tag match) room to breathe. Rather than being rushed, awkward, cluster fucks. Instead we could get longer, dragged out, boring cluster fucks (tag match) so there’s that!

With no World or Universal (or even US) Title defences, it really does make the show seem more important when all of your best guys are involved. However both the cruiserweight and intercontinental title matches have had next to no build, so that’s not very helpful.

Finally, can we all stop with this ‘fantasy war fare just got real’ nonsense for Goldberg verses Lesnar. It already happened…and it sucked. Hopefully this one will be an improvement, though it wouldn’t be hard.

Intercontinental Title: The Miz (c) vs. Sami Zayn

Well, this is an odd one. A few weeks ago Dolph Ziggler challenged anyone from Raw to a match for his Intercontinental Title. I’m not sure why either Daniel Bryan or Shane McMahon would allow Ziggler to risk losing the IC Title for Smackdown if I’m honest. Terrible business decision. Anyway, Sami Zayn is the one who steps forward.

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The Miz is in the form of his life right now and it would be a shame to cut his 6th title run short so soon. Stranger things have happened though!

Then just this week on Smackdown, The Miz wins the title back meaning it’s now him verses Sami Zayn. With even less build than the previous match and even less logic. Why has Ziggler been taken off of the card? Is he injured? Will he get involved? Would The Miz really lose the title so quickly after winning it? Personally I hate short title reigns.

However, it’s now face verses heel. Which means even more of the crowd will be behind Zayn (if they weren’t already going to be as Survivor series is in Canada) and Ziggler will avoid having the fans turn on him. The Miz meanwhile can be his usual heel self and generate even more heat. These are all great reasons to change the match up.

What it does mean is that with all this switching and swapping, the fact that Ziggler is now in no man’s land and that The Miz literally just won the title. I can’t predict who is going to win very easily.

There is logic in thinking that both the IC and Cruiserweight Titles will swap brands. Yet that leaves Smackdown without a midcard title, so I don’t think that will happen. In the end, it’s got to be a screwy finish involving Maryse and The Miz stealing the victory. Only question is, what will Dolph do? Break up a post match beat down perhaps?

Winner: The Miz

Cruiserweight Title: The Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Kalisto

With the cruiserweight division struggling so obviously, you’d think the best thing for them to do would be to really focus on a great rivalry. Pushing storytelling to the forefront and then backing it up by letting them go out and put on the best match possible.

20161108_match_survivorseries_kendrickkalisto-447966199a59ca705651d17b3f7757f5Instead, we get a match with little build between Kendrick, who only just became champion, and Kalisto, a walking botch. Wait, I hear you shout “Kalisto is on Smackdown I thought the cruiserweights were Raw exclusive!”. Well, if Kalisto wins, the entire division moves to Smackdown, which coincides with the launch of a new exclusive cruiserweight show 205 Live.

There are a number of reasons I don’t like this. Firstly, Kalisto is not the answer to the cruiserweight problem. Secondly, having a live show after Smackdown will fall flat when all of the fans leave. Thirdly, you’re giving them their own show when you can’t book them right on regular TV?! Fourthly, that’s ANOTHER HOUR OF PROGRAMMING A WEEK. For Gods sake WWE you can barely write a decent episode of Raw how can possibly think you can cope with more on your plate! What we need these days is quality not quantity.

Honestly, I don’t care who wins. I’ve already lost all faith in WWE to book these guys right. I knew my original fears would be proven correct. It should have been left as a yearly tournament on the WWE Network.

I’m going with The Brian Kendrick as my pick, just to be different really as everyone thinks Kalisto is going to win.

Winner: Brain Kendrick

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar

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Was this match literally only put together to sell copies of WWE 2K17?

If you’d have asked me a year ago if I wanted to see this match I would have said no. If you asked me today if I was looking forward to this match my answer is…no. We’ve seen it before an it was rubbish, why on earth would I be excited about a rematch so many years later?

 

Both Lesnar and Goldberg wrestle in a similar style, i.e they beat you up. Lesnar modern style is even harder for Goldberg to work with because his move set has become so limited. Basically F5’s and suplexs. Which, while I still enjoy his style of wrestling because it’s so different from anything else, is starting to get a little tired.

However, it’s still going to be a spectacle and it comes with the massive twist of I don’t know who is going to win. It’s Goldbergs big return, that means he wins? Yet it’s his ‘last match’ so he loses right? Plus he’s beaten Lesnar before, so another win doesn’t make sense, 50/50 booking and all that? That and it wouldn’t make sense for Lesnar to lose to Goldberg, that job should be given to an up and coming full timer. However WWE would do something stupid like waste Lesnar’s potential to pass the torch. After all, they’ve been doing that already for the past year!

Honestly all I want for this match is it not to suck and not to go on as the main event. If anything else happens, whoever wins or loses. I don’t care. Just don’t go on last.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Survivor Series Elimination Matches

 

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Just look at the amount of teams and try and explain to me how this isn’t going to be a complete and utter disaster.

I’ve decided to group all three of these matches together into one prediction because overall I think Smackdown are going to win 2-1 on the night. I can also predicted that despite earlier when I said that hopefully the show being 4 hours long would mean the matches would be better, I also don’t think they will be. Especially the Tag Team Match! Talk about too many cooks…

 

So Smackdown win 2-1, but how will it all go down? Smackdown will win the previously mentioned disastrous Tag Team match, with American Alpha picking up the victory. Seriously how is a 20 man match going to work out?

20161101_match_survivorseries_sd_women_3-75e0b2a2a0f8674d604deeb8c11dab95Then Raw will equalise by winning the Women’s match. With either Sasha Banks being the sole survivor or both her and Charlotte remaining. Personally I like the idea of Sasha keeping Charlotte’s winning streak going for her and Charlotte bragging that she’s unbeaten.

My hopes aren’t that high for this match either. Don’t get me wrong there are some incredible talents in the match. It’s just that I’ve seen far too many multi-women tag team matches over the years to get excited about another one.

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The inclusion of Shane McMahon on team Smackdown is an odd choice. Meanwhile, what’s The Undertaker going to do at the show?

Finally Smackdown will win the (hopefully) main event, in which I think Dean Ambrose (assuming the James Ellsworth heel turn doesn’t happen on this show) will win the match. However, expect Roman Reigns to look incredibly strong, AJ Styles and Kevin Owens to not look strong enough, Jericho to be the most over person on any team and Strowman to have a cop out elimination to keep him undefeated.

 

 

Winner: Smackdown 2-1 (Tag Team and Men’s matches)

No Mercy [Review]

No Mercy was Smackdown’s second brand exclusive PPV. Their first Backlash was a pretty decent show. Beating all expectations and sending a lot of people home happy. It’s actually the wrestling event that got me interested in the product once more.

Did No Mercy live up to Backlash? Yes and no really, mostly no. Don’t get me wrong in thinking it was a bad show though. It was enjoyable, with the WWE and Intercontinental title matches were the highlights. I’m starting to worry though that with these specials coming every other week that the fans will get burnt out rather quickly though. No Mercy, much like Clash of Champions before it just felt like a glorified version of Smackdown or Raw.

WWE Title: AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena

036_nm_10092016jg_0195-53721321210b22112696b0ad7567da0dThe PPV kicks off with the World Title match! Normally I’d sh*t all over this, but it’s Presidential debate night so I completely understand the logic. Get those fans tuning in and hope they stay tuned it. It also means, that John Cena (who came out first) is the curtain opener for the first time in…well, a long time!

Mauro Ranallo makes the great point of kicking off the show with the main event and unlike previous world title match openers, it actually feels like it too. After the three competitors come out we get a fantastic promo video package to set the table. WWE have done a great job in making AJ Styles shine. He actually feels like a huge deal in the WWE. When he first joined, I thought they’d keep him hidden in the midcard but no less than a year into his run and he’s the world champ! Love it, even though he’s the heel he’s got a lot of crowd support too. Chants of “Let’s go Cena/AJ Styles” ring out at the start, poor Dean Ambrose…

It’s an incredibly quick paced start. All three men go looking for their finishers, but can’t hit them. It quickly brawls to the outside with Styles eventually getting the better of the opening exchanges with a phenomenal forearm to the outside to John Cena.

075_nm_10092016jg_0525-7c2f41ab7054bd3ffe9821bd0847aabaIt’s a really good match, a fantastic opener. It’s got to be said though that due to Dean’s ‘offence’ he really does look like the weak link here. He’s punches are meh, his wacky line through the ropes clotheslines always looks stupid. His jump onto the second rope of one corner clothesline into the other corner looks daft…AJ Styles and John Cena (that’s right I said it) are in a league above.

Towards the end of the match there’s a huge false finish in which both Cena and Ambrose have Styles in submissions at the same time, AJ tapes out. Despite the fact that the ref initially calls for the bell, he then rules the match must continue as it’s not a clear finish. Why ring the bell in the first place then dummy?

AJ eventually brings in a chair and takes out Cena to pin him for the THIRD time this year. It’s not clean, but that’s incredible! Styles retains, much to my delight.

Nikki Bella vs. Carmella

For some reason just before this women’s match, we got a promo for Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt. Then after both entrances we get another promo video, this time for the actual match. I’m assuming that was a mistake? If it wasn’t, it didn’t make any sense!

095_nm_10092016dg_2480-ba12dbe768dd141cb6f7f00d4cb50ae5The opening few minutes of this match are all Carmella, she flat out dominates. The crowd don’t seem to into anything about this unfortunately. I hate to say it but this really does have shades of old ‘divas’ matches, rather than the new women’s style.

I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe the reason why the crowd weren’t 100% behind this match was because they just saw the main event of the evening moments before?

It’s not a bad match, but it ends very abruptly when Nikki hits her new finisher somewhat out of nowhere to pick up the victory. It’s a shame WWE didn’t have Carmella win, it would have been a chance to make her look really good.  Continue reading