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Dean Ambrose Should Take on the Austin/Punk WWE Role

February 19, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

One of the most profound things I have ever read about professional wrestling – especially since it came out of the mouth of Ric Flair is that WCW did themselves a great disservice in letting “Stunning” Steve Austin go to Stamford and become the icon in the business he is today.

While it isn’t shocking that Flair and others knew back then that Austin had a snap to his work and a charisma that was right for the business, the fact that Flair, a man who has had few peers in his career would single out Austin when he could have talked about Sting, Barry Windham, or his best friend Arn Anderson tells you how special a wrestler and performer Austin was back then and would become in time.

Austin was and still is rarity – a tough SOB with a shtick that made him one of the best “independent” wrestlers of his generation. The beer drinking, foil-mouth spewing, hard-working fixture in the WWE was an easy sell to the fans once the company figured out how to market him. And we all know everyone can identify with wanting to get over on the boss and kick his ass from time to time.

The WWE in a way lost part of its charm and its message when Austin finally had to hang up his boots. No one has come in and “taken” his place in the hierarchy of status as a lone wolf or “anti-hero” as he has been called over the years.

When CM Punk dropped his infamous pipe bomb on the WWE Universe and exposed the company for its misgivings, I really thought he would stand alone and become an Austin or a Bruiser Brody or Stan Hansen – wrestlers who did not need managers, were free and independent thinkers and could take over a territory with their ability and mic skills.

In a way, Punk sold out with his commitment to Paul Heyman, but in return it become one of the greatest marriages of all time in the business. The give and take between the two was reminiscent of Flair and Steamboat, Piper and Valentine and the Funks and Harley Race. There were a few wrinkles – but yes it was that damn good.

The WWE cannot recapture that kind of drama and while it looks to others to bridge that gap, it must write an entirely new set of standards. I asked last night who would be able to take Punk’s place in the company as the rabid wrestler and mic man that he is.

While I see The Miz as a rightful candidate and a performer who has few peers, he is not the right man for the job. Honestly, if the WWE is going to find someone who carries the next generation of stars to the battlefields, it should be Dean Ambrose.

The WWE did one of the greatest things it could think of when it joined the mindful mastery of Punk with the brooding tempers of The Shield.

Now, that is gone and while it would appear the eventual divorce of the unholy trinity is on hold, it eventually needs to happen. Ambrose needs to step into a new role as the Punk-Brody-Hansen-Anderson wrestler we know he can become. We, meaning the fans – not the writers who cover the business. Ambrose is the natural fit and the wrestler we can get behind and hate or love or both at the same time.

In an environment of a business that is stale, Ambrose is the elixir we need. A concoction of unpredictability that goes a long way toward creating drama and newness to the WWE. That is really all we want. And while Austin, Punk and the other independents of our past generation have come and gone, there is still plenty of shelf life in Ambrose to go a long way – which might be something he needs since there might not be another one like him for some time.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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Can Dolph Ziggler-Dean Ambrose Steal the WWE Show in Buffalo?

September 26, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

As a wrestling fan, like many of you I miss the moment of suspended disbelief, The moment where wrestling stops being wrestling and the moment where you step back and really think about what you just saw.

I also miss those moments when you watch the match and realize you aren’t watching a match as much as you are watching “art” or “ballet” in the ring. Can the WWE find that kind of magic again? There is potential to again find that pot of gold.

CM Punk and John Cena had that kind of magic. Daniel Bryan and Punk achieved it as well. Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair could do the same thing and it has been said for years that Tito Santana never had a bad match while he was in the WWE. One of the reasons suspension of disbelief does not work is because the of the lost concept of Kayfabe in the wrestling community.

In years past, according to wikipedia, “one tool that promoters and wrestlers had in preserving kayfabe was in their ability to attract a loyal paying audience in spite of limited or nearly nonexistent exposure. Professional wrestling has long been shunned by mainstream media due to lingering doubts over its legitimacy, and its presentation on television was largely limited to self-produced programming, not unlike infomercials of the present day. Scrutiny existed only in limited circumstances, where in certain U.S. states, promoters had to deal with activist athletic commissioners.”

Once Kayfabe was replaced with the application of online reading, spoilers and writers like myself, nothing was re-invented to take its place. And once Vince McMahon admitted that everything in wrestling was predetermined, well, it lost its illusion.

At Battleground in Buffalo, we may very well get to see that type of match – one that we talk about for months and maybe years. Not like a Triple H-Undertaker match, but a “wrestling” match. The WWE needs Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler to steal the show on that Sunday night and remind many of us what wrestling is all about.

When we talk about Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat or Ricky Morton and Ric Flair, it was written in “To Be The Man” that Flair could re-enact a spot from the 1970s with Steamboat in 1989 that they both would go back to, recreate magic and fans who saw it both times said it was pure gold. It was also said that Morton sold for Flair like few others, and it was “ballet” in the ring. Ziggler has that ability to be Rick Steamboat. Ambrose has to re-enact the Flair “role” and the two wrestlers – who appear to be lost in the mid card- could tear the house down in Buffalo.

And yes, the WWE and wrestling in general needs more matches like these. Wrestlers like Punk, Daniel Bryan, Austin Aries and Ambrose do things that wrestlers like Randy Orton, Cena, Triple H and Ryback do not do – they sell the hell out of a match. Curtis Axel, if he ever gets it all together, could fall right into this same category. The WWE may have missed on the idea of making Ziggler the “next Shawn Michaels” or “the next Chris Jericho” but it won’t miss on this match.

Both men are looking to steal the show and prove they belong in the upper echelon of wrestlers in the company. There may not be a world title in Ziggler’s future again and there may never be a singles career for Ambrose (there will be) that is not completely void of The Shield. But for one night as fans, can’t we see something magical that takes us back to the days when we were kids and recaptures those instant moments?

Battleground has that ability, even if it is for just one match.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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WWE Main Events waiting to happen: Inside The Wheelhouse

June 13, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week marks my 4 year anniversary with Camel Clutch Blog and for those of you who have been at the site for know by now what my annual blog tends to be. The last three years I have looked back at my very first blog where I deemed John Morrison was “a main event waiting to happen.” Well, John Morrison isn’t in wrestling at the moment and I couldn’t have been more far off then stealing that line from the legendary Jim Ross on an episode of SmackDown.

I’m going to instead take my anniversary blog with the CCB and turn into “Main Events waiting to happen” in all of professional wrestling.

Who are the future top stars in wrestling? Who has the potential of main eventing a WrestleMania at some point in their career?

Well, let’s kick it into gear with my list of up and coming stars:

Dean Ambrose – No shock here that this guy is at the top of my “main events waiting to happen” list. Prior to joining the WWE we had heard that Ambrose (then Jon Moxley) had the “it factor” that not many wrestlers have. He had the “independent wrestling buzz” that we haven’t seen since the days of CM Punk, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) and Samoa Joe.

Ambrose has the ability to talk extremely well on the mic and be just as good inside the squared circle. While he’s with one of the best acts in wrestling right now, “The Shield,” the “cream will eventually rise to the top” and we will see him reach his full potential in the near-to-soon future. Dean Ambrose has the ability to be one of the best heels to come into professional wrestling for quite sometime.

Antonio Cesaro – The former “Claudio Castagnoli” on the independent scene has an extreme amount of potential and “it factor” that I cannot believe the WWE has tapped into yet. Like Ambrose, I can foresee Cesaro being a huge heel in the WWE for years to come. He’s a rising star that has the look, in-ring ability and underrated promos to be a top star in this company.

To be honest I’m quite surprised the WWE hasn’t given him the ball to run with. I could really see Cesaro as a heel battling it out with John Cena over the WWE Championship and him defeating Cena wouldn’t be something “shocking” based off of his look. It’s been great to see him rise in the WWE and I think it’s only a matter of time before he’s holding some sort of World Championship.

Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns – It’s very rare that there are multiple stars within a faction or stable but “The Shield” has the ability to “break the mold” when it comes to those theories. I still believe Dean Ambrose will surpass his two other Shield members eventually and be the big star first but Rollins & Reigns won’t be that far behind. We may look back at “The Shield” days as one of the most impactful groups/factions/stables in the history of professional wrestling based on what each star did post-group.

Rollins is a great in-ring worker who lacked promo ability with ROH in my opinion. Well he’s still a great in-ring worker and he has vastly improved in his promos with the WWE. The former “Tyler Black” is a guy who may take some time to grow but will be a major player in my opinion. I would not be shocked to see an Ambrose/Rollins feud somewhere in the near future, should that happen it will be a great thing for wrestling fans.

When it comes to Roman Reigns it has taken a while for him to grow on me but he is starting to reflect a wrestler who has a lot of “it” potential as well. I didn’t know as much about Roman Reigns as I did Dean Ambrose or Seth Rollins but I have been pleasantly surprised with what I have seen from him. The WWE has been missing that “Batista-like” wrestler (sorry Ryback) that can be a “monster” or “Animal” (pun intended) since Batista left and I think Roman Reigns could fill that role as well.

I would not be surprised if all three members of “The Shield” have some sort of World Championship reigns at some point’s in their career.

Brodus Clay – This is my wildcard pick for “main events waiting to happen.” I can foresee Clay being a force in the WWE frankly because The Big Show and Mark Henry can’t be those typical “monsters” in the company forever. Both stars are getting older and Brodus Clay has the legit ability to fulfill their roles.

Clay is very much underrated with his in-ring ability, we already know he can cut a good promo and he has a ton of charisma. Whether the WWE decided to keep him as this loveable “monster” face that he is right now or turn him heel I still think he could get the job done as a top star in the company. The WWE loves marketable stars and Brodus Clay can be a guy who can sell a lot of merchandise for years to come.

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday June 13th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show atwww.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JeffPeck979ESPN

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I Believe In The Shield: Inside The Wheelhouse

May 23, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s too early to tell but this past Sunday’s WWE Extreme Rules PPV could have a historical impact down the road. Sure, last week I blasted the setups and build for the PPV but when it comes to the execution, creative could actually be onto something.

“The Shield” is already established as one of the hottest groups and wrestlers in professional wrestling as we speak. They are fresh faces to a percentage of the WWE audience and were at one time, Independent wrestling heroes to a percentage of the WWE audience as well. I’ve loved what the WWE has done with them since they debuted and believe that creative has done the right thing by how this tandem has progressed thus far.

What I’ve enjoyed about “The Shield’s” build is that it hasn’t been anything like an nWo or most recently, Nexus type of impact either. “The Shield” has certainly made their mark but they are progressively building into dominant wrestlers with main event potential and I’m not just talking about one “breakout” wrestler like every stable tends to have, all three stars could be main eventers/world champions in the future.

I was fortunate enough to attend WrestleMania 29 this year at MetLife Stadium and “The Shield” had one of the more positive reactions from the 80,000+. Some may credit that to them being in the opening match but I’ll credit that to people really caring about what this group will do next. Sure they are labeled as “heels” but are “heroes” to many because the bright future each of the three wrestlers possesses is growing brighter by the day.

This takes me back to the whole point of this blog, WWE Extreme Rules 2013.

Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins all became WWE Champions that night in St. Louis, Missouri. While they’ve been on television since November, Extreme Rules was their “coming out” party.

Wrestlers who become champions have earned that title by the company, but wrestlers that can make a championship, separate themselves from the majority. I believe that “The Shield” will be able to make the Championship’s they are currently representing.

The group reached the “next level” at Extreme Rules and went from a group being taken seriously, to a group that could be headlining one of the bigger PPVs of the year, SummerSlam, in just a couple of months. I think it’s a safe bet to assume that “The Shield” will have a very big role in the WWE for the rest of 2013.

I don’t think that role will equal into World Championships quite yet but it will equal a change in the WWE as we now see it. “The Shield” represents the future of professional wrestling and that’s probably why so many people have climbed aboard their popularity. Say what you will about wrestling fans but they know a good talent(s) or stable when they know it and that’s exactly what “The Shield” represents.

It’ll go unnoticed for now but give it time when it comes to the historical impact of WWE Extreme Rules 2013 thanks to “The Shield.” I believed in them before, I believe in them now and I believe they are going to become the future.

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday May 23rd edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JeffPeck979ESPN

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The Undertaker Set To Wrestle At WWE WrestleMania 30

May 08, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

One of the biggest questions leading into WWE WrestleMania 29 was whether The Undertaker would defend the streak. The Dead Man’s status will not be a question going into New Orleans as a report suggests that The Undertaker is ready to go and is already deliberating on an opponent for WrestleMania XXX.

This is great news, especially with all of the questions regarding the status of The Undertaker just weeks before WrestleMania 29. A new report on Wrestlezone.com indicates that the streak will be on the line and Undertaker is already talking possible opponents with Vince McMahon.

Taker would like to work with either John Cena or Brock Lesnar,” a writing team member told WrestleZone exclusively. “Taker also has some ideas regarding The Shield. The whole scenario on Smackdown played out great, and Taker sees big money in those three.

I never had a doubt that Taker would miss something as big as the 30th event but you always have to wonder when it comes to his health. Taker has taken some beatings the last few years and is noticeably slowing down in the ring. The story also reports that he will be undergoing surgeries on his right shoulder and left hip, although neither should prevent him from lacing up the boots.

Now that we know he is set to go, the big question now is who will get the chance at ending his streak. The story reports that Taker would like Brock Lesnar or John Cena to oppose him in New Orleans. Both are great choices and provide for high drama.

John Cena to me is the top choice here. I think the WWE badly missed the boat going into WrestleMania 29 on a Punk’s WWE title streak vs. Undertaker WM streak. That boat is docked and could sail again if the WWE can make the commitment to keep the WWE championship on Undertaker. The match would be huge and an appropriate main-event for something as monumental as a 30th anniversary event.

Brock Lesnar would probably be the ideal backup plan here if Cena is penciled in elsewhere. The realism here is what will make this one big. Most fans remember the confrontation between Brock and Taker at a UFC event and for those that don’t, there is plenty of time to tell that story. That real factor is something you won’t get between Undertaker and Cena. If The Rock really isn’t coming back and Brock is free, the match makes a lot of sense.

Speaking of The Rock, what about The Rock vs. Undertaker? It’s a curveball but why not? It doesn’t have the same luster as any of the other matches but it certainly has its appeal. The only problem here is that I don’t think there is anyone who would buy The Rock being the man to end the streak.

Finally what about one of The Shield members? Dean Ambrose is the immediate Shield member that comes to mind. They had an excellent match on SmackDown so you know it would be good. As far as an investment goes, you can’t get a better one here than using this match to elevate one of the younger stars of the future. I don’t know if anyone would truly buy Ambrose ending the streak but you have plenty of time to get him there if that’s the direction they want to go.

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WWE SmackDown Results May 3 and Recap

May 06, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown opens up with Ryback heading to the ring. Looks like we’re going straight into a match.

Before that starts, though, Ryback has a few things to say. Last Monday night, he knew John Cena was hurt when he was supposed to tag with him to take on The Shield. He’s not Cena’s keeper. Cena chose to put himself in the match and put himself at further risk. He was the one who lost to The Shield. Afterwards, Cena was hobbling like a weak, pathetic animal. In the laws of the jungle, the bigger, stronger and faster animals always eat the weak. Ryback rules.

MATCH 1: Ryback vs. WWE Tag Team Co-Champion Daniel Bryan
Bryan hits a kick to the left leg, ducks a clothesline and hits another kick. He ducks a corner attack, hitting more kicks to the legs. Ryback finally boots him in the stomach and clubs him with a forearm. Bryan blocks a back body drop by hitting more kicks, but gets rammed into the corner with shoulder thrusts. Ryback hits a knife-edge, then clubs Bryan down. Back up, Ryback hits a bodyslam. Bryan pops up with more kicks to the left leg, but it’s cut short by some forearm shots. Ryback throws Bryan outside, and Bryan lands on his feet, baiting Ryback to the floor. Bryan gets back in, hits a dropkick through the ropes and follows up with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Ryback hits some kneelifts on Bryan in the corner and goes for a running powerslam. Bryan escapes and goes back to the kicks until Ryback catches a kick and just shoves him down. Ryback goes for a powerslam and turns Bryan vertical, but Bryan knees him in the head to counter. Back on his feet, Bryan hits more kicks to the leg before running into a gorilla press. Ryback holds him for a moment, then throws him to the floor. Commercials.

Back from the break, Ryback drops Bryan with a kneelift, then beals him out of the corner. Bryan rolls to the apron and Ryback charges in. Bryan counters with a shoulder and goes for a sunset flip, but Ryback blocks him and slams him into the mat by his head several times. Ryback sets Bryan in the corner, where Bryan blocks a charge and goes for a middle rope dive. Ryback catches him and turns the move into a swinging powerslam for 2. Bryan comes back with kicks to the leg, dropping Ryback to a knee. Ryback goes for a Thesz Press, but Bryan somehow counters into a half-Boston crab. That was a damn good spot right there. Ryback eventually kicks Bryan off, so Bryan goes back to the kicks, ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own, followed by a running corner dropkick and more kicks. Bryan ties the left leg in the ropes and hits another dropkick before following up with a third. Up top, Bryan hits a sit-out missile dropkick for 2. Bryan begins hitting the No! Kicks, but Ryback blocks the Buzzsaw and goes for a powerbomb. Bryan uses momentum to pull Ryback over the top rope, sending them both to the floor. Bryan gets on the apron, but gets caught. Ryback rams him back-first into the ring post and rolls him back in the ring. Ryback picks him up in a deadlift and hits a powerbomb. Bryan kicks off a second attempt, but it’s all for naught as Ryback hits the powerbomb once more. He calls for the Meat Hook, which connects. Shell Shocked hits, and it’s over.

WINNER: Ryback. Awesome way to start the show this week. If Smackdown could start every week with matches that good, I’d be very happy.

Renee Young is in the back with Ricardo Rodriguez. She asks about his match with Zeb Colter tonight. He’s very excited, and then rambles in Spanish before kissing her. Alberto Del Rio walks in and tells him to get a hold of himself and come get ready.

MATCH 2: Zack Ryder vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
Crowd’s not so much into Fandango’s entrance theme this week, it seems. Fandango hits a couple of kneelifts. Ryder blocks a hip toss, hits his own, and then hits a drop toehold for 2. Fandango comes back with stomps and kicks to the head before tying Ryder into the ropes, where he hits some forearms shots to the back of the head. He follows up with an apron kick, getting 2. Ryder comes back with a facebuster, blocks a corner charge, then hits a missile dropkick from the middle rope. Ryder hits a running forearm and the Broski Boot for 2. Fandango counters the Rough Ryder into a stun gun and follows up with a side-Russian legsweep. He connects with the guillotine legdrop and gets the 3.

WINNER: Fandango.

Kaitlyn is in the back, holding a dozen roses. Natalya and The Great Khali stop to ask her what that’s about. Kaitlyn reads a text from her secret admirer to them, but doesn’t know who it is, as it’s from a blocked number. Natalya says Khali has the best advice when she’s confused, and tells him to give her some. All I can understand is, “If you need advice, come to me.”

Later tonight, Kane faces Dean Ambrose one-on-one.

Renee Young is now standing by with Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. She reminds Zeb he can redeem his loss on Monday night by beating Ricardo one-on-one tonight. Zeb immediately loses my attention with the phrase “lamestream media”. He then rambles on about being brave, supposedly being violently ill on Monday night. He still went to work, though, because that’s what real Americans do. Okay, I can’t do this. I cannot stand listening to Zeb or his promos. This is the worst kind of cheap heat there is in pro wrestling.

MATCH 3: Ricardo Rodriguez (w/Alberto Del Rio) vs. Zeb Colter (w/Jack Swagger)
I’m glad Ricardo gets more ring time. He’s actually a very good in-ring performer overall. He may be doing a comedy gimmick, but the man can work and is professionally trained to do so. Anyway, Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee and Big E. Langston) is doing color commentary for this match. Zeb pushes Ricardo before slapping him. Ricardo grabs him by the beard, then kicks him in the knee. Ricardo stomps his hand, then “rides the pony”. Zeb gets up and rakes the eyes before punching Ricardo several times. Ricardo comes back with a hard right and a pair of thrust kicks, sending Zeb to the corner. He goes to charge in, and Jack Swagger hits the ring with a clothesline.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Ricardo Rodriguez. ADR hits the ring and clotheslines Swagger to the floor. Teddy Long comes out and says that, if that’s how these four want to play it, he’s turning this into a tag team match right now. I laugh when Ziggler refers to this as “Classic Teddy”.

MATCH 4: Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger
Swagger and Ricardo apparently start the match during the commercials, and Swagger is in control with a hard corner whip. Ricardo dodges a charge, causing Swagger to go shoulder-first into the ring post. ADR tags in, hits a pair of clotheslines and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Swagger rolls to the apron, where ADR pulls him through the ropes, hits a few forearms to the back and goes for the Backstabber, but Swagger elbows him off. ADR comes back with a double-knee armbreaker and applies the jujigatame. Big E. Langston and Dolph Ziggler hit the ring and attack both men, causing a double DQ.

WINNER: No contest. Langston throws Swagger to the floor, then drops the straps. Before he can continue the attack. Teddy Long comes out and says he knew this would happen, and makes this into a triple threat tag team match. That’s right. Teddy Long just pulled some kind of Inception bullsh*t and made a tag team match within a tag team match. Sigh.

MATCH 5-Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger vs. Big E. Langston and World Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee)
ADR starts off by attacking Ziggler with kicks and punches. Snapmare out of the corner, followed by a spinal tap by ADR for 2. Ricardo tags in and hits a running knee to the face for 2. Low dropkick by Ricardo, and ADR tags back in, hitting a quick kick to the head for 2. Ziggler kicks him in the knee and hits a beautiful dropkick. Langston in, who hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Langston rams ADR into the corner and hits a running shoulder thrust. Ziggler back in, and he hits some body blows, followed by an avalanche for 2. Ziggler applies a mounted rear chinlock now, and ADR fights out with strikes. Ziggler blocks a back body drop, but still gets pancaked. Ziggler comes back with a kick to the knee and hits a neckbreaker. Langston tags in and walks into a mule kick by ADR. He shakes it off and drops ADR with a forearm shot before hitting some body blows. Standing back body drop by Langston before he rams ADR into the corner and hits a running shoulder thrust. Ziggler tags back in and misses a corner charge. ADR hits a thrust kick to the face, and then follows up with a Backstabber on an incoming Swagger. Langston comes back in and gets low-bridged to the floor, and Ziggler goes out next, courtesy of a clothesline. Zeb is in the ring, and ADR looks at him, calling for the jujigatame. Ziggler comes back in and hits a nice jumping DDT for 2. Ricardo tags in and goes after Langston, but Langston drops him with a standing avalanche. Swagger takes Langston out with an elevated belly-to-belly suplex, but is quickly hit with a step-up enziguri by ADR. Ziggler comes in with a schoolboy on ADR but only gets 2. ADR applies the rolling jujigatame and Ziggler taps out.

WINNERS: Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez.

We see some darkened area in the back, and what sounds like someone getting assaulted. The camera pans up to show The Shield. Dean Ambrose says it breaks your heart when “the champ” becomes “the chump”. They broke Cena, they broke The Undertaker, and they’ll break Kane next. Justice is what they dispense every day, and that’s what they’ll do to Kane tonight. They put ‘Taker down, but it could have been worse. Don’t believe them? By the end of the night, you will believe. Believe in The Shield. The camera pans back down, and we see that it was Daniel Bryan who was assaulted.

After the commercials, we see the referees and trainers checking on Bryan.

MATCH 6: Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow
Orton starts with a side headlock before shouldering Sandow off the ropes. Lock-up, and Sandow goes to the headlock this time. Orton counters into his own, then hits another shoulderblock. Sandow suckers him into the corner, then stomps him down to the mat before choking Orton with his knee. Back up, Sandow hits the Venis kneelift, follows up with a snapmare and hits a jumping kneedrop for 2. Sandow applies a rear chinlock, then sends Orton to the corner. Orton reverses and hits the Four Moves of Boredom. Sandow blocks the fourth, though (the DDT), hotshots Orton, then sends him to the floor with a running knee strike. Commercials.

Back from the break, Orton counters a side headlock with a back suplex. Sandow comes back with a dropkick to the knee and hits a DDT for 2. Sandow picks Orton up for some kneelifts and follows up with a side-Russian legsweep before hitting the Cobito Aquiet, then hits a second one for 2. Sandow goes back to the rear chinlock, but Orton headbutts his way out. Sandow comes back with a boot before running into a dropkick. Back body drop connects, and Sandow rolls to the apron. Orton hits the suspended DDT from here and now calls for the RKO. The RKO connects and Orton gets the 3.

WINNER: Randy Orton. As Orton is celebrating, The Big Show comes out. He tells Orton he is amazing, but the problem is he’s not a team player. It’s all about Randy Orton. If Orton hadn’t had such a big ego at Wrestlemania and made the tag, they might have beaten The Shield, and Orton wouldn’t have gotten knocked out. All of a sudden, Sandow attacks Orton from behind and lays him out with the Terminus. Show laughs and says that is so funny. But, understand him: at Extreme Rules, there will be nothing funny about what Show does to him.

We see Kane leaving the trainer’s office when he’s stopped by Matt Striker, wanting to know Daniel Bryan’s condition. Kane says he’ll make The Shield pay for what they did to Bryan and his brother. He knows what he’s getting into and what’s going to happen to him. Sooner or later, they’ll get him down and make sure he’s stay down. But, he’s going to take down as many as he can. We’re going on a little journey to a place called Hell.

MATCH 7-Arm Wrestling Contest: Mark Henry vs. Sheamus
Henry stalls and tells the ref to make sure Sheamus’ hands and arms are dry. Is that a required spot in every arm wrestling contest in pro wrestling history? Henry takes his t-shirt off for whatever reason, and now the contest starts. Chris Jericho once said Scott Norton taught him a trick to winning any arm wrestling contest, no matter how strong or big you are. I’d love to know what it is. Anyway, Henry starts to win, but Sheamus begins taking control. He’s close to winning, but Henry takes control once more and beats him.

WINNER: Mark Henry. Wow. I’m surprised this didn’t end with Henry knocking the table over and attacking Sheamus. Like always. Sheamus congratulates Henry and says he has the stronger right arm, but he doesn’t believe Henry has the strongest left. He challenges Henry to a rematch, and Henry shrugs it off. Sheamus continues to egg him on, calling him scared. Of course, Henry gets back in the ring at this point. Henry agrees to the rematch, and Sheamus toys with him for a minute or two. Before it can start, Sheamus just punches Henry, then drops him with a Brogue Kick.

MATCH 8: Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. WWE Tag Team Co-Champion
Reigns is carrying Daniel Bryan’s WWE Tag Team title with him. Based on the fact that Ambrose is the only one who has gotten singles matches thus far, I think it’s obvious to everyone that even those within WWE know he’s going to be the breakout star of the group. Kane clears the ring before the match even starts by swinging his title belt. He boots Ambrose, then goes outside and throws Rollins into the barricade and throws Reigns over the announce desk. Rollins then gets clotheslined into the crowd. The match starts, and Kane throws Ambrose into the corner for some body blows and an uppercut. He boots Ambrose in the head, then throws him to the floor. Outside, Kane hotshots Ambrose onto the barricade before rolling him to the apron for a right hand to the jaw and a boot to the side of the face. Reigns is still out behind the desk. Back in the ring, Kane ties Ambrose up in the corner and hits a straight right, followed by a short-arm clothesline. Ambrose blocks a charge and mounts the middle rope, but gets an uppercut that sends him to the floor. Commercials.

Back from the break, Ambrose has taken control and is working over Kane’s left leg. During the break, Ambrose snapped Kane’s leg over his shoulder, hence the focus of his attack. Reigns and Rollins are both back up now. Ambrose hits a rolling leg snap on Kane. Kane tries to fight back, but Ambrose continues to assault Kane, who is now in the corner. Ambrose with some mounted corner punches, followed by a forearm shot to the face. Ambrose rolls outside and wraps Kane’s leg around the ring post twice, then applies a modified figure-4 before getting back in the ring, courtesy of the top rope. Kane has enough time to recover, and he launches Ambrose from the top. Kane hits a couple rights and a pair of corner clotheslines, followed by a sidewalk slam for 2. Kane goes up top for the flying clothesline, which connects. Kane is smiling as Rollins & Reigns are barking orders at Ambrose. Kane goes for the chokeslam, but Ambrose escapes and goes for a DDT. Kane escapes and goes for the chokeslam once more, which hits. Kane doesn’t capitalize with a pin, however, and Ambrose begins to stir. Kane calls for the tombstone and hoists Ambrose up, but lets him go when he see Rollins on the apron. Kane boots Rollins to the floor, and Ambrose clotheslines him over the top. Kane lands on his feet, drags Ambrose outside and slams him face-first into the announce desk. He then attacks Reigns and throws him into the steps. Ambrose rolls back in the ring, and Kane follows. Ambrose dropkicks him in the bad knee, then hits a headlock driver, getting the 3.

WINNER: Dean Ambrose. Major victory here, all things considering. At this rate, Ambrose is going to be HUGE in WWE somewhere down the road. Kane gets back up and challenges The Shield to get back in the ring. He fights them off for a moment until they surround the ring. The numbers are too much, and they completely dominate him. He eventually begins to fight back and grabs Rollins & Ambrose in a double goozle, but Reigns comes out of nowhere with a spear. Kane is then dropped with a triple powerbomb. Ambrose rolls to the floor and grabs the tag belts and hands one to Rollins. The trio stand over Kane with the belts held over their heads.

End of show.

The opening match was good. The main event was good. Even the “Teddy Long Tag Team Extravaganza, Playa” was good. Episodes like this make my job so much easier. Oh, and in case I haven’t said it before, The Shield is the best idea WWE has had in ages, and thus far, it has been executed to perfection.

-Dustin

Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

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What Does WWE Do With The Shield?

April 30, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE creative have been on the money with The Shield. They have been booked better than any newcomers in recent memory yet at the end of the day I am starting to wonder what the end game here is for Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns.

Like many of you I went out of my way last week to watch WWE Friday Night SmackDown after hearing about the main-event taped featuring The Undertaker vs. Dean Ambrose. The match was great and even with Ambrose losing, the trio still left SmackDown strong. This is the one act that the WWE has protected and yet I can’t figure out what the payoff is going to be with the group.

What do you do with The Shield? As a trio I have to think they are very limited. That isn’t a knock on their wrestling because thus far they have been fantastic in the ring. But what do you do with a three-man unit like this? This isn’t a Von Erichs vs. Freebirds situation where you have two strong trios. I just can’t see in the big picture where The Shield wind up over the next few months.

In just a matter of several months the group has already feuded with the two top dogs in the WWE. Feuds with John Cena and The Undertaker have been fun, but what is left? How can you go from Cena and Undertaker to anyone else at this point? How do you capitalize on this ray of gold that WWE Creative has protected since their debut?

I took a look at the big picture a few weeks back and tried to predict the WrestleMania 30 card. A lot of things will change from now until then so anything not announced is purely guess work. Once I got into the nitty gritty of the card I couldn’t find a spot for The Shield. Sure you can book them against just any three guys and have a solid match. But there wasn’t a logical progression or program that I could envision for these guys 12 months from now.

I threw this question out on Twitter after SmackDown on Friday night. I expected to get the usual arguments you get whenever you pontificate on Twitter but I didn’t get any. Every tweet in response agreed with the question, “What do you do with The Shield?” Nobody had an answer and I think that could be a real problem moving forward.

One person suggested they add a veteran leader and make it a four-man group. I don’t think so. The Shield has been booked so strong that I think a leader at this point wouldn’t make sense. It is obvious from day one that Ambrose is the natural leader of the group. I think a fourth, unless it is a new guy on the roster, would also cheapen the gimmick.

The obvious answer is a three-way split with a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania. That just seems like a cop out to me. I think these guys have a lot of legs and a long shelf life. Sure I can see that scenario evolving at WrestleMania 31 but not 30. What is the point of this strong build as a unit anyway if they are just going to split? Ambrose lost to The Undertaker why? Because it was a singles match. To me I see this as the WWE establishing that these guys are unbeatable as a unit yet beatable apart.

A WWE tag team championship seems inevitable but at this point that is almost like a step backwards when you are having matches with Cena and Undertaker. I’d love to see a longer feud with Team Hell No but who do you have after that? The tag team division is weak unless a new “super team” pops up.

I could easily see CM Punk turning babyface at some point and feuding with The Shield. Punk could grab two partners, Cena and Undertaker making the most sense, and have a couple of trios matches with the group. Unfortunately I think we have seen the last of The Undertaker for awhile so that is probably off the table. Even at that point you wouldn’t book this on WrestleMania.

So this brings me back to the question I asked at the start of the blog. What do you do with The Shield? Quite frankly I have no idea.

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WWE SmackDown Results April 26 and Recap: The Undertaker Returns

April 28, 2013 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week on WWE Friday Night SmackDown, we get a rare televised Undertaker match, as he goes one-on-one with Dean Ambrose in Ambrose’s singles debut. And hey, we’re immediately starting the show with a match.

MATCH 1-No Disqualification Match: Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez)
ADR fires off some rights, knees Swagger in the gut, and clotheslines him to the floor. He follows up with a suicide dive, landing on his feet in the process. ADR grabs Swagger’s bad arm and rams it into the steps, then goes under the ring for a kendo stick. As he gets in the ring, Swagger cuts him off, grabs the stick and begins attacking ADR’s bad knee with it. More strikes to the upper body with the stick by Swagger until ADR blocks one to the chest and gets back to his feet as they fight over the stick. ADR mule kicks Swagger in the gut, sending him to the corner. He charges in, but Swagger backdrops him to the floor. Outside, Swagger talks some trash and goes under the ring for a ladder. ADR gets back up and kicks Swagger in the face before he can get it, and now they’re trading punches up the ramp. Suplex on the ramp by ADR, and now he goes back for the ladder. He angles it on the apron as Cole calls it a “10-foot ladder” despite the fact that it’s clearly about the same height as ADR, if not a bit shorter. Swagger charges in, and ADR pancakes him into the ladder. Commercials.

Back from the break, Swagger is in control in the ring, with ADR locked in a front chancery. During the break, Swagger nailed ADR repeatedly with the kendo stick. Back to the match, ADR fights out of the chancery, but runs right into an elevated belly-to-belly for 2. Swagger goes outside and grabs the timekeeper’s chair. JBL calling the weapons in these matches “toys” pisses me off. Swagger gets on the apron, and ADR nails him with a step-up enziguri. Swagger rolls back into the ring and kicks ADR in the bad knee and hits a clothesline for 2. He goes back outside for the chair and wedges it in between the middle and top rope in the corner. ADR pops up with a double-knee armbreaker, and now both men are down. ADR is up first, and he hits a pair of clotheslines, ducks one and follows up with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Swagger rolls to the apron, so ADR pulls him through the middle and top rope, grabs the kendo stick and begins striking Swagger in the back with it. He hits nine strikes and follows up with a suspended Backstabber for 2. ADR calls for the rolling jujigatame and goes for it, but Swagger shoves him into the corner. ADR puts the breaks on and hits a thrust kick to the face for 2. ADR needs to not slap his thigh so obviously when he does that move. Anyway, he walks over to Swagger, and Swagger grabs him in the Patriot Lock. ADR counters into the jujigatame, and Swagger gets back to his feet, pinning ADR while still in the hold, only getting 2. He immediately sends ADR shoulder-first into the chair in the corner, getting 2 once more. Swagger rolls to the floor and grabs another ladder, putting it in the ring through the ropes. ADR see-saws it into Swagger’s face, and Swagger’s lip is busted open. ADR rolls outside, where Zeb has grabbed the stick. He distracts ADR, which allows Swagger to run the ladder into ADR’s face. Back in the ring, Swagger goes for the pin, getting 2. Swagger goes for the Swagger Bomb, but ADR gets his knees up and immediately goes for the jujigatame. Swagger starts to block it, but ADR manages to lock it in. Zeb hands the stick to Swagger, and he breaks the hold by nailing ADR in the head repeatedly. He gets up, hits ADR a few more times, then throws a ladder on top of him. Swagger hits the falling Doctor Bomb and manages to get the 3.

WINNER: Jack Swagger. Decent match, but honestly, I liked last week’s match better.

Later tonight, Sheamus faces The Big Show, and Randy Orton takes on Mark Henry.

MATCH 2: Aksana vs. Layla
It’s funny how, even pandering to the hometown crowd with her Union Jack-themed outfit, the fans don’t give a cat’s ass about her. Layla starts by kicking Aksana in the gut, then shoving her ass into Aksana’s face. Aksana counters a corner whip, blocks a headscissors and sends Layla to the floor with a kick through the ropes after dropping her over the top. Aksana throws Layla into the ring and, as she’s attempting to be sexy on the apron (not buying it), Layla kicks her. Back in the ring, Layla rolls her up in a schoolgirl for 1. Jackknife gets 2 for Layla. Hair whip by Layla, but as she goes for it again, Aksana counters into a stun gun and follows up with a running knee to the face for 2. Aksana stomps on Layla’s hand, then applies a wristlock. She sends Layla into the corner, and Layla collapses to the mat. Aksana continues to work on the arm before hitting a snapmare and a kick to the back. Layla comes back with some kicks, and Aksana blocks the Bombshell and sends Layla to the mat for an elbow, getting 2. Layla counters an Irish whip into a roll-through pin, then continues rolling into a crucifix for the 3.

WINNER: Layla. According to Josh Mathews, Layla calls her new move Infinity. Yay.

We get a promo from The Shield. Ambrose says they stood face-to-face with the tag champs and The Undertaker, and what happened? Justice prevailed, and The Shield were victorious. They were unbreakable. It’s an injustice Team Hell No! are still champs, but not for long. The Undertaker escaped with his soul intact, but not for long. ‘Taker is still walking and breathing, and that isn’t right. Tonight, Ambrose is going to beat ‘Taker, if it’s the last thing he does. Justice, not ‘Taker, will be immortal. At the hands of The Shield, ‘Taker will not rest in peace, but he will believe in The Shield.

MATCH 3: Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs. Justin Gabriel
Rae hasn’t been formally introduced, but that’s who she works as in NXT, so that’s what I’m calling her until further notice. The whole crowd is chanting “ChaChaLaLa”, despite the fact that the music has stopped. Fandango boots Gabriel to the head, but Gabriel escapes a suplex, sweeps Fandango and rolls him up for 2. Fandango slides to the floor, then shoulders Gabriel on the way back into the ring before getting hit with an armdrag into an armbar. Fandango shoves Gabriel to the corner and breaks the hold with some punches before hitting a knee to the side of the head. Gabriel is tied up through the ropes, and Fandango nails some forearms to the back of the head, then jumps outside and nails Gabriel with Dolph Ziggler’s old apron kick for 2. Gabriel comes back with a jumping roundhouse and a standard one. In the corner, he floats over Fandango off a forearm shot and goes for a springboard cross-body, but gets nailed with a kick to the gut. Fandango hits a side-Russian legsweep and then goes up top and hits the guillotine legdrop for 3.

WINNER: Fandango.

MATCH 4: Sheamus vs. The Big Show
Show immediately throws Sheamus to the mat out of a lockup. Another lockup, and Sheamus manages to throw Show into the corner. Sheamus fires off some rights and kicks, but is immediately stopped by a headbutt from Show. Show ties Sheamus in the ropes and hits a series of open-hand chops. Sheamus comes back with rights until Show just shoves him over the top rope and to the floor. Show follows and continues attacking Sheamus on the outside before rolling him back in. Sheamus cuts Show off at the apron, then ties him up for some forearms to the chest. Show shakes them off and headbutts Sheamus. Sheamus blocks a corner charge, but gets hit with a sidewalk slam. Running elbow connects, and Show gets 2. Show chokes Sheamus over the middle rope, then hits another headbutt. Final Cut connects, and Show gets another 2. Sheamus starts to fight back with right hands and goes for a bodyslam, but Show falls on top of Sheamus for 2. He then walks across Sheamus’ stomach before hitting another headbutt. Sheamus collapses against the ropes, and Show boots him. Sheamus’ upper half winds up underneath the bottom rope, so Show goes outside and hits an open-hand chop to the chest. Commercials.

Back from the break, Show is still in control, and he throws Sheamus shoulder-first into the ring post, sending Sheamus crashing to the floor. Outside, Show throws Sheamus into the ring steps, breaking them apart in the process. Show rolls back into the ring to start the count over and Sheamus makes it in at 9. Show throws Sheamus shoulder-first into the top turnbuckle, then drops his weight across Sheamus’ arm. Sheamus swings wildly and Show clubs him down with a forearm before applying a top wristlock. Sheamus fights out, knocking Show to his knees. Sheamus follows up with a snap DDT, then begins nailing Show with right hands. Show comes back with body blows. Both men are back up, and Sheamus hits a pair of clotheslines, a running shoulder thrust in the corner, a running kneelift, and the Battering Ram from the top rope. Sheamus goes for White Noise, but Show blocks it and goes for the chokeslam. Sheamus escapes and hits White Noise. Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick, but Show sees it coming and rolls to the floor. Sheamus hits a running double axe handle to the back from the apron, but Show comes back with rights and crawls back in the ring. Sheamus hotshots Show’s left arm from the floor and goes back up top. Mark Henry appears out of nowhere and knocks the ring steps over, distracting Show. This allows Show to hit Sheamus with the WMD while he’s still on the top rope. Sheamus falls to the mat, and Show gets the 3.

WINNER: The Big Show.

MATCH 5: William Regal vs. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett (non-title)
I realize that Regal is only out here because we’re in England, but I don’t care. Regal is one of my all-time favorite workers, and the fact that he’s taking on Barrett, one of my current favorites, makes me very happy. Before the match, Barrett says that he realizes we’re in England, and the country is infamous for grave robberies. He never would have believed the story until today, when he found out there was a body missing from a crypt, and that body is standing in the ring. But don’t worry Regal-you’re about to get sent back from whence you came at the hands of the great Barrett Barrage. Bell sounds, and Barrett hits some knees. Regal comes back with a clothesline and hits some kneelifts in the corner. Barrett lands a mule kick out of the corner and Barrett goes for the Bull Hammer. Regal ducks and hits a carousel suplex. He goes for the knee trembler, but Barrett moves and blasts Regal with the Hammer for 3.

WINNER: Wade Barrett. I was really hoping for more here, so I’m pretty disappointed. Still, I got to see Regal, which is always a good thing.

MATCH 6: Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry
Henry backs Orton into the corner, hits a clothesline and goes for the WSS. Orton escapes and hits some rights, knocking Henry to the floor. Orton follows and forearms Henry in the back of the head. Henry fights back with punches and headbutts and goes to lawn dart Orton into the post. Orton escapes and shoves Henry face-first into it. Back in the ring, Orton attacks Henry as he’s rolling in, then goes for the Garvin Stomp. Henry pops back up and hits a running clothesline before choking Orton over the middle rope. Henry hits some shoulder thrusts in the corner, but Orton manages to fight back with rights. Henry stays on his feet after receiving a clothesline, but gets knocked down on the second attempt. Orton hits a DDT and gets 2. Henry rolls to the apron, and Orton goes for the suspended DDT, which connects. Orton calls for the RKO, but Henry rolls to the floor. Orton follows, and ends up getting rammed back-first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Henry goes after Orton, but Sheamus runs down and hits a Brogue Kick to cause the DQ.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Mark Henry. Orton hits an RKO on Henry shortly thereafter.

MATCH 7: The Undertaker vs. Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins)
Rollins and Reigns distract ‘Taker, and Ambrose capitalizes with rights. ‘Taker mostly shakes it off and counters with his own punches, sending Ambrose to the floor where he gets rammed into the barricade. ‘Taker rolls Ambrose onto the apron, hitting a legdrop. Back in the ring, ‘Taker misses a running boot in the corner and falls to the apron. Ambrose baseball slides him to the floor, then follows out for some mounted punches before ramming ‘Taker into the barricade and throwing him back in the ring. Ambrose continues the attack, grinding his forearm against ‘Taker’s face in the corner before tying him up in the ropes and hitting a running seated dropkick for 2. Ambrose applies a cravat and eventually turns it into a neckbreaker for 2. Ambrose hits some rights, then mocks ‘Taker’s throat cut. ‘Taker goozles him and gets to his feet, but Ambrose fights out, and now the two trade punches. Ambrose hits a running kneelift, but then runs into a chokeslam. ‘Taker knocks Rollins off the apron, and as Reigns distracts the ref, Ambrose hits a low blow on ‘Taker and a modified DDT gets 2. As Ambrose goes to capitalize, ‘Taker traps him in Hell’s Gate and gets the tapout victory.

WINNER: The Undertaker. After the match, The Shield swarm ‘Taker and eventually triple powerbomb him through the table.

End of show.

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/xdustineflx ,and if you like Married…With Children, you can follow my Al Bundy parody account at http://www.twitter.com/bundyisms. Also follow my personal blog at http://nerdslikeme.blogspot.com (feedback is welcome). Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out my mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

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-Dustin

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WWE SmackDown Results April 19 and Recap

April 22, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week’s WWE SmackDown! opens with Fandango and Anonymous Broad heading down to the ring. Lilian Garcia enters the ring, and Fandango begins fondling her. He tells her she’s looking excellent tonight, then asks if she’s ever been dipped before. Have you ever made moves on anyone before? Lilian, have you ever Fandangoed before? It feels good. Real good. Fandango then spins her and goes to kiss her, but instead dips her before telling her that was terrible. Fandango then drops Lilian in the middle of the ring. He tells her she’s beautiful, but there’s nothing beautiful about the way she dances. You’re just like each and every one of these people who butcher his name and mock his dance. Can you at least pronounce his name correctly? Pay attention: It’s FAN…

Santino Marella comes out on the stage and calls him “Fandingo”. Fandango is a very rude person, the way he talks to the WWE Universe and the way he just treated Lilian. Hi, Lilian. It pains Santino to admit it, though: Fandango has some good moves. That dance looks like so much fun. In fact, he really hopes if the WWE Universe doesn’t mind if Santino does his version. But first, he’d like to introduce his dance partner…it’s the Cobra. Together, they are going to do a 2-step all over Fandango’s face. Santino begins dancing to Fandango’s entrance theme, getting in Fandango’s face in the process. Fandango eventually charges at Santino, but Santino low-bridges him to the outside.

MATCH 1: Fandango (w/Anonymous Broad) vs. Santino Marella
Fandango immediately attacks Santino and throws him to the corner. Santino counters a corner whip and mocks Fandango, so Fandango kicks him. Boot to the head by Fandango, and now some mounted punches. Santino fails at a kip-up, so Fandango stomps him some more. The “You can’t wrestle!” chants have already started. Forearm shots in the corner by Fandango, and then he slams Santino face-first into the mat. Santino once again fails at a kip-up, and Fandango goes for more mounted punches before applying a cravat. Fandango snaps him back to the mat, then rubs himself. Santino succeeds at the kip-up this time, hits some rights, does the splits and hits a hip toss and a saluting headbutt. He goes for the Cobra, but Fandango blocks it and hits a variation of the Flatliner to get the 3.

WINNER: Fandango.

We see Booker T and Teddy Long in Book’s office. Book tells Teddy things are different now. Teddy didn’t consult him when making a match Monday night between Swagger and Ziggler. The Big Show walks in and thanks Teddy for giving him a tag team partner against Sheamus and Orton. Unlike some who put him in a handicap match, Teddy had the foresight to make sure he’s in a situation where he won’t get injured. Book then stares at Teddy as Teddy leaves.

MATCH 2-Champion vs. Champion: WWE United States Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett (non-title)
Lock-up to start, and Wade backs Kofi into the corner. Kofi ducks a right and hits some kicks. Wade counters an arm wringers with a right hand, then begins hitting some elbows to the back of the head. Kofi flips out of an arm wringer and snaps off a hurricanrana for 2. Wade shoulders Kofi off the ropes, and a crisscross ends with a dropkick by Kofi for 2. Kofi applies a top wristlock, and Wade fights out before hitting some straight left jabs. Kofi ducks one and hits a side-Russian legsweep before hitting a kick to the chest. Kofi hits a springboard splash from the middle rope for 2. Wade begins to fight back, but runs into a Pendulum by Kofi. Kofi goes up top, but Wade boots him in the face, sending him to the floor. Wade follows outside, where he continues striking Kofi before slamming him into the announce desk. Back in the ring, Wade rolls Kofi over for the pin, getting 2. Wade sets Kofi horizontally across the top rope, hitting a running kneelift to the gut. Wade goes for the pin again, getting another 2 before applying a rear chinlock. Kofi fights out of the hold with lefts and rights until Wade hits a kneelift and sends Kofi to the corner. Kofi blocks the charge and mounts the middle rope, but Wade whips him back to the mat for 2. Wade drops an elbow off the ropes before going back to the chinlock. Kofi fights out once more, ducks a clothesline, ducks another and gets caught with the Winds of Change. He tries to counter the move into a crucifix, but Wade drops backward into a modified Samoan drop for 2. Kofi holds on and counters the pin into a crucifix and gets the 3.

WINNER: Kofi Kingsotn. Not the best outing for these two, but still a solid match. These two are pretty much always guaranteed to deliver when they face each other.

Renee Young stops Mark Henry in the back to ask why he’s been attacking Sheamus. He says it’s because he can, and that’s just what he does. Sheamus then runs in and tackles Henry through a table and tells him that’s what he does, fella. These two feuded once before, and it was surprisingly entertaining, so I’m okay with WWE renewing this feud.

MATCH 3: Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
ADR starts with a side headlock, and Swagger immediately goes to the injured left leg. ADR attacks Swagger’s injured shoulder, causing a clean break. ADR goes into a waistlock, and Swagger counters. ADR counters into an armbar, but Swagger fights him off. Swagger hits a kneelift and a hip throw. ADR shoves him off, and Swagger hits a shoulderblock. They go for a crisscross, but ADR lands badly on his injured leg. Swagger capitalizes and kicks him in the knee before dragging him to the ring post from the outside. ADR fights him off, kicking him into the barricade. ADR heads outside and nails Swagger with a kick to the chest before slamming the bad arm into the steps. Back in the ring, ADR goes for the pin and gets 2. ADR kicks Swagger between the shoulders for another 2. Swagger blocks a suplex and hits his own. Back up, ADR counters a corner whip. Swagger back drops him coming in. ADR lands on the apron, but his leg gets caught on the top rope. Swagger hotshots the leg, then knocks ADR to the floor. Commercials.

Back from the break, Swagger has a step-over toehold applied on ADR. ADR kicks him off, then hits a big kick to the bad arm. He jumps off the middle rope, and Swagger shoulders him in the bad leg on the way down for 2. Swagger drags ADR to the middle where he applies a legbar. ADR punches his way out of the hold. Back up, he ducks a clothesline and counters into a crucifix for 2. Swagger gets back up and hits a shoulderblock. Foot choke by Swagger now, but ADR begins to fight back. Swagger backs ADR into the corner and hits a series of kneelifts before working over the bad leg through the ropes. Swagger hits a short-arm clothesline, getting 2. Swagger begins ripping the bandage off of ADR’s knee and strikes it before going for the step-over toe hold again. ADR punches Swagger off and goes for the step-up enziguri, but Swagger ducks and hits an elevated belly-to-belly suplex for 2. ADR rolls to the apron, and he applies a jujigatame on the bad arm over the top rope. Back in, they trade strikes until Swagger kicks the bad knee. ADR ducks a running boot and hits a pair of clotheslines and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. However, ADR does it over his bad knee, putting himself down in the process. Swagger rolls to the apron, and ADR pulls him through the middle rope, hitting some forearm shots to the back and a Backstabber for 2. ADR calls for the rolling jujigatame, but Swagger counters and picks him up. ADR counters into a sunset flip for 2, then locks Swagger into the jujigatame. Swagger counters into the Patriot Lock. ADR manages to get a rope break, so Swagger breaks it and hits a Swagger Bomb to the back for 2. ADR tries to counter the Swagger Bomb the second time, but Swagger grabs the feet. He goes for the Patriot Lock again, but ADR kicks him in the bad arm and hits a double-knee armbreaker. ADR picks Swagger and goes for the rolling jujigatame, but Swagger shoves him off to the floor on the outside. ADR makes in before the count and hits a thrust kick to the face, getting 2 as Swagger grabs the ropes. Swagger trips ADR and gets the Patriot Lock on, but ADR rolls through and applies the jujigatame. Swagger gets back to his feet and tries to pin ADR, but ADR rolls through and rolls him into a pin for 3.

WINNER: Alberto Del Rio. Match was so-so, but had a nice finish.

We get a video for the Ryback/Cena feud. I don’t know if they’re planning on turning Ryback full heel right now, but it might not be a bad idea.

The announcers are talking about The Shield when the group interrupts. They talk about beating down John Cena this past Monday night, as well as Ryback watching on as Cena got beat down without helping out. Ryback knows how justice feels. He doesn’t want any more of their justice, and the look on Ryback’s face on Monday night was the same as the face on the Undertaker two weeks ago. They saw fear in ‘Taker’s eyes. He was terrified, and has never been so relieved to see Kane and Daniel Bryan. ‘Taker may be undefeated at Wrestlemania, but The Shield are undefeated, period. ‘Taker has run the company for 20 years, but all legends eventually get pushed aside, and ‘Taker’s time is up. Believe in The Shield.

MATCH 4-6-Person Tag Team Match: The Great Khali, Hornswoggle and Natalya vs. Epico, Primo and Rosa Mendes
I am still standing by my policy that matches involving Hornswoggle as a legal competitor will not be recapped. I apologize to his fans out there, but I’m sure both parents understand. Rosa looks good at least. This match apparently came about after an altercation in the parking lot between the two teams. Khali pins Epico after a Punjabi Plunge.

WINNERS: The Great Khali Hornswoggle and Natalya.

“From the Vault” segment featuring Berserker vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka from 1991. Did anyone else find it strange when Snuka inexplicably started wearing boots to wrestle in when he spent so many years doing it barefoot? And speaking of footwear, I remember when Berserker joined WCW and started wrestling as John Nord. Despite no longer doing the Viking-type gimmick, Nord continued to wear the big furry boots for his matches, which was really weird.

MATCH 5: Mark Henry and The Big Show vs. Randy Orton and Sheamus
Sheamus and Henry start the match and begin yelling at each other. Henry decides to immediately tag in Show instead of fight. Show comes in, and the two immediately trade punches with Show getting the best of it. He drops Sheamus over the top rope onto the apron, then hits several open-hand chops to the chest, knocking Sheamus to the floor. Back in the ring, Sheamus cuts Show off on the apron with a hotshot, then nails Show with several forearms to the chest. Show shoves Sheamus into the corner, and Sheamus boots him in the knee before going up top. Show sees the Battering Ram coming, and Sheamus lands on his feet. He turns around into a kick from Show. Show goes for an elbow drop, but misses. Orton tags in and fires off some rights until Show throws him to the corner. Orton fights out, but gets hit with a sidewalk slam off the ropes. Headbutt by Show, and now Henry tags in. He chokes Orton over the middle rope. Orton fights back with rights before getting caught in a bearhug. Orton fights his way out, but Henry picks him up and rams him into the corner by Show. Show tags in and hits a body blow on Orton, knocking him down. Show hits another one in the middle of the ring. Orton begins to fight back, but runs into a goozle. However, he counters the chokeslam into a DDT. Sheamus tags in, ducks a clothesline and hits a pair of flying forearms. He rams Show into the corner, hits a running kneelift and follows up with a Battering Ram. White Noise connects, and now Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick. He sees Henry run towards Show on the apron, so Sheamus knocks him down before getting hit with a spear by Show. Commercials.

Back from the break, Show knees Sheamus in the head. Sheamus tries to fight back from his knees, but winds up running into a clothesline. Show hits the Final Cut for 2. Bodyslam by Show, and now he tags in Henry. Henry applies a trapezius claw. Sheamus fights out before running into a big boot by Henry, which gets 2 as Orton breaks up the pin. Show tags in and hits a running body blow on Sheamus as Henry holds him up. Sheamus falls into the corner, where Show hits another body blow. He stumbles across the ring to another corner, and Show hits an open-hand chop. Sheamus starts hitting some rights until Show hits a kneelift and applies a trapezius claw of his own. Show picks Sheamus up and hits a forearm across the back before going back to the claw. Show throws Sheamus to the corner and hits a running hip bump. He goes to the ropes, and Sheamus comes out of the corner with a chopblock. Orton and Henry tag in. Orton ducks a clothesline, hits some kicks and punches, ducks a clothesline and finally knocks Henry down with one of his own. Orton hits a DDT on Henry from Henry’s knees, getting 2. Henry rolls to the apron, and Orton goes for the suspended DDT. Show comes in and hits Orton across the back. Henry tags Show in, and as Show is climbing in over the top rope, Orton catches him with the suspended DDT. Orton calls for the RKO, but Henry comes in and clotheslines him. Sheamus tackles Henry through the ropes, sending them both to the floor. Show gets up and hits the chokeslam on Orton, getting 3.

WINNERS: The Big Show and Mark Henry.

End of show.

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