WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Review

Welcome everybody to the only wrestling blog that believes an angel gets it’s wings when a Hardly Boy gets a stitch.  I’m joined a thinner, hairier man, Russ.  We were not Kentertained by the vast majority of the night, but a few matches weren’t so bad.

Of course, we also did our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discuss some of these topics and others, plus do our weekly segments.  It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

The 9

  1.  Cruiserweight Champion Neville retained against Akira Tozawa

Russ:  I didn’t watch it, I heard it was adequate, which for the names involved that is a shame.  They should be having stellar matches.  

Rating: N/A I wasn’t starting this horrible PPV starting exactly at 8, there was no way in hell I was going to catch this match.  

Kent: Eh, Neville is starting to lose his edge have they haven’t given him much of anything interesting to do to keep his character fresh.  Remember how good it was early in the year when he was the king of the Cruiserweights?  Now, it’s trending down and that’s on WWE for not giving him fresh opponents to keep working with who he can connect with.  Rich Swann and Gallagher should both have had more interesting programs with him.  Akira isn’t the right guy to get Neville back to the pinnacle.  Akira is money, but Neville needs to get more mic time, and more importantly, an angle.  Aries and Neville should have exchanged victories. Anyway, nothing really stood out here, nothing bad either.  Not rewatchable in any capacity though.
Rating: 4.0 seems fair.  If you missed it, you’re fine.

  1.  Bray Wyatt defeated the former #1 pick in the draft, Russell’s favorite pretty princess, Seth “the dual edged sword” Rollins in a match that nobody cared about

Russ:  The match was ok, but the matched a lack of purpose which brought this way down for me.  How could two top wrestlers have so little to fight for!  They could have easily given us a story that was compelling enough to tie to the match.  Instead we get crap on a stick and Bray wandering a desert.  They hit all their moves and there was some decent chemistry, but I was bored by the end and I think the lack of a story really hurt this one for me.  Since nothing was on the line it makes sense that Bray won, that’s how WWE rolls.  

Rating: 4.2

Kent:  What a terrible match to kick off this terrible PPV.  Maybe it was apropos.  I don’t know.  Yeah, I told you that Bray would win because he wins meaningless PPV matches.  I don’t remember anything about this match aside from one tidbit.  I believe it was Michael Cole who stated that Seth Rollins has had more PPV matches since 2015 than any other superstar.  I always am in disbelief over these factoids and then I do my research and get shot down.  Still, how is that possible?  Dean is never injured and always has a match.  Seth was out for awhile with injuries.  This cannot be correct, can it?  I’m calling bullshit.  I feel like The Miz and Dean should be higher than Seth as The Miz is never hurt, but he does make those great Marine films.  I need proof, which will require me to do boring research.
Rating: 3.0 because it was a solid match, but with zero entertainment factor.  I’m being generous due to Bray.  Anybody giving it higher than a 3.0 either is a smark or wants Seth to lay him down by the fire and make sweet love to him.  Yup, there’s the gauntlet, and it’s been laid.

  1.  Big Cass defeated Enzo Amore….to nobody’s surprise

Russ:  I enjoyed the promo a little bit, but the match was meh.  I guess if it was good for anything it displayed the magnificents of Enzo’s ragdolling skills.  It was obvious that Cass was going to win and they never even pretended that Enzo had a chance.  They even tried to say that Enzo showed heart because he kept getting back up,  but is getting up only 2 times really never giving up?  They messed this angle up so badly it was hard to care about the whole thing.  I hope they can make Cass work because this wasn’t promising.  

Rating: 2.5

Kent:  The promo was almost as long as the match.  More importantly, aside from the terrible start on the kickoff show, my predictions are rocking.  I totally said generic rock music for Cass.  Oh, the match?  I don’t even remember the finishing move.  Gonna look it up.  Oh, the running big boot.  Really?  That’s what we’re going to stick with for a 7 footer?  Come the fuck on.  Big guys always have knee and leg issues.  That shouldn’t be a finisher.  The set up for the move is going to get terribly predictable really fucking fast.
Rating: 1.7 Really, nobody is going to rewatch or remember this match for it’s quality.

  1.  Sheasaro defeated The Bloody Hardly Boys in a 30 minute Iron Man match for the RAW tag team championships 4-3

Russ:  Alright, finally a match that delivered.  This was executed well.  They kept you interested the entire match. I liked that they got a quick pin in to keep people interested in seeing how the Hardly Boys would make a comeback.  The first 10 minutes were interesting because the Hardly’s seemed like they were going to get schooled.  Then the second 10 minutes was good because of the mounted comeback, finally the last 10 minutes were great action and excitement.  The belt being on the line made this feel even more important of a match.  I enjoyed this match.  

Rating: 6    

Kent:  I knew I should have said this was my dark horse pick for match of the night.  I just hate Iron Man matches so much.  This one delivered so kudos.  Oh, it was a final score of 4 to 3.  Damn, I feel like only one person on the podcast predicted that outcome.  BALLIN!  Yes, yes, I’m great.  Kudos aside, let’s anal-yze this match because I have some nits to pick.  First of all, Sheasaro can never get one over in singles matches, they seem to have to do dastardly things to win the real tag matches, and then they get the first fall in 20 seconds.  The fuck?  Then they got a second one.  This is inconsistent from the story that they have been telling us since Mania.  Yeah, this feud has been going on for far too long.  Matt was really busted open, nice to see a Hardly bleed.  Sheamus immediately had the rope mark on his back or side.  This was a good execution of an iron man match, so kudos to all involved.
Rating: 6.2 Because it still bored me at times, but it was good by and large.

  1.  Sasha Banks defeated the RAW Women’s champion, and my personal goddess, Alexa Bliss via count out so Alexa retains

Russ:  I barely remember this match and I just watched it yesterday!  It wasn’t a bad match, but I just couldn’t get invested in it enough.  It was quicker than I thought it should have been, but the chemistry between the ladies was good.  Sasha won, but Alexa retained, thank goodness!  I guess it will be Alexa vs. Sasha at SummerSlam with some stipulation.  

Rating: 4.3

Kent:  I will say that these girls matched up really well, which surprised me.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Sasha ain’t winning no title on a PPV, cause that ain’t how she do.  These are facts.  I really felt that Alexa was going to get intentionally counted out after the 4 second rope break.  Less than a minute later it happened.  That made no sense for me.  Get the count out after that so Alexa could bitch about how the ref didn’t break the hold fast enough.  That would add to the story.  Instead, they added a couple of moves then did the count out and it was dumb.  They had a decent match up to that point.  My way makes the future promos work a lot better towards a storyline that is palpable.  
Rating: 4.8 because I would consider rewatching it and then determine that looking up fake nudes of Alexa and Sasha are better ways to spend my time.

  1.  The Miz retained the IC Championship against….YAWWWWWN…….Dean Ambrose

Russ:   This match was boring!  I don’t even know what to say.  I’ve seen these guys fight too many time and this was just the same as any other fight they had.  I missed the first 5 minutes because of WWE Network failures, but after seeing what I saw I didn’t care to go back to watch it.  What was the point of showing Maryse and The Miz fighting and then not have any payoff for this at all during the match?  Whatever, I hope this is done and both guys stay away from each others business for several years.  Oh yea and I will steal Kent’s issue with Dean getting “injured” in a match but then 5 seconds later he’s running around like a coke head!  His sell is terrible!   (Kent:  You’re doing God’s work.)

Rating: 2.9 (I’m giving this the reverse Deuce, because it was just awful and both guys are way better than this.)

Kent:  I have no praise to offer I thought Enzo and Cass set the bar at the bottom.  Nope.  I have so many gripes, but I will focus on 3 main ones. 1. They didn’t add anything new to their match formula that we have been seen since January.  Yeah, it’s been going on that long.  2.  The obvious story would have been to have Bo and Curtis interfere to keep Dean off his game and made Dean truly sympathetic and generate heat.  What did WWE do instead?  They had Dean consistently assault Bo and Curtis with them only once getting a shot in on him.  Terrible booking for a face.  3. The worst thing of all, and I’m sure Russ is going to steal this from me, and I’ll allow it, is Dean is the anti Bret Hart.  If Bret got “injured” during a match, he sold it and used moves that made sense.  With a hurt leg, what are the 2 big things that you shouldn’t successfully do in a match?  Climb the ropes or run the ropes.  Even if you climb the ropes, you should fall short of your target and when you land, be in incredible pain.  If you run the ropes, you should stumble and fall to sell it.  I’ve long been a big advocate for Dean, defending him against the heinous and evil Steve every Monday after a PPV that he is in.  I can’t do that this week.  Whatever insults Steve offers, I will have to choke it down and accept it.  Also, why is Maryse no longer bitchy towards Miz?
Rating: 1.5 This match can eat a big fat D.  At least Enzo and Cass kept it short and painful.

  1.  Braun Strowman defeated Roman Reigns in an Amberlance Match

Russ:  Wow, just wow.  So much the WWE did right with this.  Yes I’m counting what happened after the match as part of the whole spectacle.  The match itself was good it wasn’t earth shattering, but it had its moments.  Loved the part where Braun was unphased by the chair shots.  Roman took bumps like a champ and he took a lot during this match.  I liked when he was thrown off the stage into the ambulance and then a few moments later thrown back onto the stage!  Braun going into the TV’s in the back then crawling out was a good moment.  However, I like how they ended it.  Braun not only showed he is ungodly strong, but he is also clever.  Goading Roman into the spear right in front of the ambulance was a good touch.  If that were all I’d give this a 5.3 and call it a decent match, but boy did WWE really go all out for this.  I’m not going to sit here and describe the whole thing I implore you to watch it!  I’ll just say this; I didn’t think that Roman could up the ante in this feud any more than Braun did when he tipped the Ambulance over, boy was I wrong.  This was well done, with the minor exception of the match of the night in Curt Hawkins vs. Heath Slater.  I really feel cheated for missing parts of that match!  This Kentertained me greatly!  I felt there was a missed opportunity at the end of this when Braun walked away from the wreck and didn’t scream “Roman, I’m not finished with you yet!” That would have been a perfect ending.     

Rating: 6.9, I’d watch the ending again for sure!  

Kent:  Lots to talk about here.  Hopefully Russ hasn’t completely talked about every single one of my points making my comments redundant.  The match was OK.  No Ambulance match has ever been good, and that’s to be expected.  Sorta like a mixed tag team match is never good.  Both guys did an admirable job.  I enjoyed the match at times.  Something really bothered me though about the match and I don’t know why I hadn’t really honed in on this before.  I like Roman Reigns.  I don’t care how uncool that makes me in the eyes of the loser IWC community.  I LOVE how good Roman is at taking a beating, especially against a bigger guy, but even against Finn, Roman sells very well, and he isn’t afraid to jump bigger to make the move look as big as possible.  Unfortunately, Roman’s offense against big guys sucks.  How is it that Big Show and Braun can have a great technical match, but Roman can’t?  Well the reason is because 70% of Roman’s offense revolves around punches, superman punches, and set ups for spears and drive by’s.  I get it, shitty booking and direction from higher ups don’t help Roman.  Look at how shitty they booked Austin once he got popular.  He no longer had great technical matches that he was capable of.  It was punches, kicks, stomps, Thesz Press, and Stunner.  Look at how Cena was booked for year with his 5 moves of doom, but we have seen what he is capable of when going against an AJ or HBK or Punk pr Daniel.  They need Roman to add to his offensive repertoire soon because he is such a boring cliche on offense, and he’s better than that. Anyway, Braun won cleanly.  Also, during the match, somebody on commentary said that this match was the most impressive thing that Roman has done in his young career.  Yup, and this is why I was so vehemently opposed to Taker jobbing to Roman at Mania.  It’s a fucking insult to Taker.

Now, the decision comes as to whether the aftermath counts towards this match rating or the next match.  I am counting it towards this match.  If you disagree, just know that your opinion is wrong.  First off, why didn’t the driver drive away after Braun tapped the back?  Are we supposed to overlook this lack of logic?  Anyway, Roman comes out and puts Braun in and the Roman tosses the driver out and then drives around and then rams the back end of the ambulance into a trailer.I was fine with that.  Here’s where I got annoyed.  The commentators acting like Roman was a complete dick to do this.  It was so heinous.  Are we supposed to forget that Braun threw Roman off a ledge on a stretcher or that he flipped the fucking ambulance?  This seems fair to me. Sorry IWC, I am defending Roman again.  I love Braun, but it’s not like Roman was a dick for what he did.  Then comes Kurt’s great reaction and then Jaime Noble stole the show for a bit.  Then to see how bloody Braun was, it was great.  The last issue I have is that Braun didn’t scream “Roman, I’m not finished with you!”
Rating: 6.7 as I could easily rewatch this whole segment again with no complaints.

  1.  Heath Slater defeated Curt Hawkins……somehow

Russ:  This was match of the night!  We saw about 5 seconds of it and the crowd did not even care!  They were too focused on what was going on in the back.  I’m not sure why this occurred the way it did. I’ll give WWE benefit of the doubt because I’m sure it was hard to coordinate this stunt in live time.  And I’ll never forget how Heath won with…

Rating: 7, It was short and put together about as good as the rest of this ppv.  

Kent:  I am sure this was planned, but how it was done, I don’t know.  Did WWE just send them out to buy time to set up everything else in the garage?  Did they mismanage time?  They clearly had no intentions of showing much of the match.  We don’t even know how the match finished.  Still, the 2 minutes of the match that I saw was better than the Miz vs Dean match.  Yeah, they actually wrestled and applied moves.    Also, Heath won and then watched the Titantron with the fans, so that’s cool.
Rating: 2.1 because it was short and sweet and fairly action packed for what it was.

  1.  Brock Lesnar no sold Samoa Joe’s offense and retained his Red Belt

Russ:  Ok, I never thought Joe had a chance to beat Brock let’s get that out of the way.  So this was all about how they presented Joe in the match.  The lead up to the match was well done and gave a glimmer of hope that this could be done well.  They didn’t succeed, but they didn’t exactly fail.  I thought the beginning of the match was well done, but it went downhill from there.  Brock did sell a little, but selling only works if it has an effect.  How did he get up the strength to get into the F-5 like that? That really no-sells the Coquina Clutch and it kind of sucks for Joe.  This could have been better if it had more time, but it was alright for what it was until the very end.

Rating: 4.7

Kent:  I don’t want to talk about this.  Joe was perfection.  This match should have gone another 5 minutes.  More importantly, I am sick of Brock’s matches.  Brock knows moves, but he only does suplexes and F-5’s.  Brock went down to the Coquina Clutch with ease on RAW 2 weeks ago.  Now, not an issue to escape and suddenly have bursts of energy.  Not only that, but as we all know, matches where a person suddenly hits a finisher without hurting their opponent and then gets a win, I fucking hate that formula.  John Cena probably saw that and was screaming at his TV: “That was bullshit!  Brock needs to hit some set up moves or hit his finisher multiple times.  This looks fake!”  Those are Cena’s exact words….that I created in my mind. Brock needed the hit 3 F-5’s in a row to make Samoa Joe seem more bad ass.  Well, good bye Joe’s push and dignity.  Can’t wait to see him put over Roman over the fall.  BOOOOOO!  On the plus side, I don’t have to be positive on Wednesday’s podcast.  On the down side, I hate how I feel about this match ending.
Rating: 4.1 Not enough time, bullshit ending, too many Germans, not enough other moves.  Joe put on a great match, but Brock undid all of Joe’s greatness.  Brock is starting to be the worst part of his matches.  He needs to go or let the man wrestle 15-20 minute matches if he wants to be a top guy.  This shit is not fun to watch.

Bonus Double Deuce

  1. Rate the PPV overall

Russ:  I am going to give this PPV a 4.3 it had several moments that were enjoyable, but a lot and I mean a lot of moments that were bad or just plain boring.  

Kent:  Well the average came out to be 3.78 out of all of my ratings.  In the interest of fairness, rounding things up, I will say a 3.8.  A good PPV should get a high 4 to mid 5 rating.  A great PPV is anything about a 5.7 because there are always going to be lousy matches that affect the average.  This was mediocre to poor.

  1.  What are your thoughts on what transpired between Dana and Emma on the pre-show, and don’t tell you didn’t watch it, go and watch it.  It will take you 2 minutes.  It’s at the 21:56 mark of the kickoff show.  

Russ:  I thought it was interesting, the question is will we see it pay off on RAW? Or will it be like everything else with Emma the answer won’t be revealed for another 8 months.  I guess we shall see on Monday.  (Kent: We both know the answer to this before it happens.)

Kent:  I don’t know.  I didn’t watch it.  FIne, I’ll go watch it now.  I really think stuff like this is what a lot of the lower tier talents need to help establish their character.  I liked how Emma was kinda bossy about it, but it was nice for them to acknowledge their history together.  Dana shutting Pete down was funny.  Otunga asked a good question.  Overall, that was better than at least 2 of the matches on the card.  Sad but true.  

  1.  Name the worst match of the night

Russ:  Miz and Dean,  I don’t give out the reverse deuce to just any old match and this one was disappointing on several levels.  

Kent:  Miz vs Dean just beat out Enzo vs Cass and Heath vs Curt.  I wish to point out that a 2 minute match between Heath Slater and Curt Hawkins was only the 3rd worst match of the night.  Thank about that.

  1.  Name the best match of the night

Russ:  Sheasaro Vs. Hardlys.  Braun and Roman was great, but the tag match was a better match overall.  

Kent:  Sheasaro vs the Hardly Boys.  Yes, Braun vs Roman got a higher rating, but a large part of that had to do with the after match stuff which made up close to 3 of the points.  The match itself was mediocre.  The tag team match killed it in quality.I would go so far as to say the women had the second best bell to bell match.

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Preview

Welcome everybody to the only wrestling blog that has no interest in what we are writing about.  Seriously, that’s how I am starting this.

Of course, we also did our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discuss some of these topics and others, plus do our weekly segments.  It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.


The 9

  1.  Enzo Amore vs Big Cass

Keri:  I just don’t get why they broke up this team. They never held the titles and they were over with the fans. Their gimmick was good yet Creative let it get stale. This feud is just sad in more ways that one. Neither guy by themselves has star potential and honestly they are kinda reliant on the other in order to be successful. They should have kept them together and turned them heel. With that said, my expectations for this match are very low and I feel this should be the pre show match. Winner: Cass is going to win and we should not be surprised. (Kent: This reminds me of when they broke up the New Age Outlaws back in the day.  This team is so reminiscent of them because they really need each other to be at their fullest potential.  Oh you didn’t know?)

Kent:  In theory, this match should be about 3-5 minutes.  It may be just that after Enzo cuts his long winded promo.  I’m actually more curious about what Cass gets for new entrance music.  Yeah Keri, bet you didn’t think about that.  I’m going with some terrible generic rock BS.  Anyway, not interested in this match.
Prediction: Big Cass wins after Enzo mounts some offense at the very end.

  1.   (Kickoff Show Now) Cruiserweight Championship Match – Neville vs Akira Tozawa

Keri: So, per my own advice from this week’s blog, I’m buying stock in Titus Worldwide and honestly I want a return on my investment.So, prediction: Tozawa.

Kent:  I wish they had held off on this match until Summerslam.  Neville has been bland lately, not getting anything to work with.  205 should have focused on who becomes the new #1 contender and had like a 4 way elimination match on this PPV and put Neville on commentary.  That would save this match for a big event.  Tozawa is fine, but wasn’t really connecting with me.  Then along came Titus.  I am extremely pro Titus, and I think that we’re getting one title change, so it’s this one.
Prediction: Akira Tozawa wins the belt

  1.  Intercontinental Championship Match – The Miz vs Dean Ambrose

Keri:  Speaking of things that are stale. Here is another feud that is getting very very stale. This needs to be the last installment of Miz vs. Ambrose for a very long time. Prediction: Miz retains and moves on.

Kent:  Did anybody notice that they subtly dropped the Maryse and Miz tift that they had been teasing?  No?  Oh, that’s because it was terrible.  Hopefully that’s done with.  Hopefully this feud is done with.  Hopefully Heath gets the belt at Summerslam.  Seriously, read our blogs from last fall and we were calling for it back then.
Prediction: Miz wins thanks to Miztourage and Dean looks like a goof and maybe gets a month or two off

  1.  RAW Tag Team Title 30 Minute Iron Man Match – Sheasaro vs The Hardly Boys

Keri:  Wow another stale feud. Seriously WWE enough with these stale feuds. This match will be adequate but I’m not really invested in it. Prediction: Sheasaro retain and then they go hard.

Kent:  I hate saying that I don’t care, but I don’t care.  These 2 teams have been up each other’s ass since Mania.  I’m so done with this.  Worst yet, supposedly the sports books have the Hardy Boys winning.  I’d rather just see The Bar vs The Revival and say the hell with the Hardy Boys so they can move on to Gallows and Anderson and try to revive their careers.
Prediction: Sheasaro shouldn’t win according to every singles match.  I suspect some DQ’s thrown in for some fun.  On the podcast I said it would be 4-3 in favor of The Bar.

  1.  Seth Rollins vs Bray Wyatt

Keri:  Ok, not a stale feud but something that has been so poorly built up that I really don’t care about it. This storyline, if you can call it that, should interest no one. Bray and Finn. That could have been interesting. Oh well. I guess you just got to go with what you have sometimes. Sigh. Prediction: Seth wins because Bray is back in the role of being jobber to the stars

Kent:  Yawwwwwwwn.  Bray Wyatt wandered through the desert on a horse with no name.  Yup, that reference was better than this whole feud.  These guys are so talented.  I said that Seth would win on the podcast, but I have rethought this one.  This match offers no reward.  No guy gets over.  Isn’t this the epitome of the type of PPV match that Bray has been winning for years?
Prediction: Bray wins and people will have fallen asleep.

  1.  RAW Women’s Championship Match – Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks

Keri:  I’ve been against this match since Sasha was announced as number one contender. It makes no sense that she is back in the title picture. There are plenty of other women that deserves this opportunity. With that said, prediction: Alexa retains and hopefully moves on

Kent:  God damnit WWE.  How dare you make Alexa Bliss boring as fuck!  The past 2-3 months has seen more boring segments with her than great ones.  Shame on you RAW for being such shit!  You have ruined Bayley, Emma, Sasha, and if you keep it up, I fear for Alexa.  Shame!
Prediction: Alexa because Sasha doesn’t win belts on PPV.

  1.  Amberlance Match – Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns

Keri:  Braun should win this but he won’t. No one is going to let him continue his assault on Reigns. No not Cena 2.0 (sorry Kent and Russ I kept up that act as long as I could). Cena 2.0 cannot lose. He has to be made strong so he can face Brock at Mania and win the title back. Prediction: Reigns wins because of course he does.  (Kent: I’m disappointed on so many levels, especially the A Double level.)

Kent:  The internet has some conflicting reports which tells me that WWE isn’t 100% sure what they plan on doing.  Samoa Joe getting over so huge as well as Braun is fucking with their plans.  I like the idea of Brock vs Braun at Summerslam.  I hate the idea of Roman vs Brock main eventing Mania.  Fuck Roman and his push.  It’s fucking terrible.  Faces almost always win ambulance matches unless there is outside interference.  Who would interfere on behalf of Braun or to fuck over Roman?  I’ve got nobody, so that tells me who is winning.
Prediction: Roman Reigns because when it Reigns, it Bores and this PPV is looking awful.

  1.  Red Belt Match – Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe

Keri: The only match on the card I’m looking forward to and I won’t be able see it because the other matches are going to make me fall asleep. The build for this match has been the best thing going in the WWE right now. The only problem is I know it’s going to end very badly for Joe. Prediction: Brock retains and I start watching the indies full time.

Kent:  Hey, a match that I want to see.  Holy balls!  I mean, Great Balls….nope, I’m not doing it.  I want Samoa Joe to win.  I need Samoa Joe to win.  I know that he’s not going to.  I haven’t been so invested in a wrestler who is in the most obvious losing circumstance in a very long time.  I hate it.  Joe deserves this win.  Joe deserves the Brock rub.  I hope that WWE has a clusterfuck finish to keep Joe strong because Joe going over Brock for the belt is the money match.  Putting Roman over does no good.  Joe vs Roman at Mania in a Samoan Bad Ass match is money.  I am begging.  I will go so far as to say that if they put the belt on Joe this Sunday, come Wednesdays podcast, I will not complain once.  I swear this.
Prediction: Brock buries Joe in 12 minutes.

  1.  Will Finn Balor and Elias Sampson show up on the show or kick off show?

Keri:  You would think but it seems that the company doesn’t know what to do with either guy at the moment. And that makes me sad. So with that said, there will be a backstage segment maybe two but nothing more substantial than that.

Kent:  Alright, it appears that the Cruiserweight mat is now on the Kickoff Show, per wwe.com, so doubts are deep here.  Does anybody remember when Finn Balor was like the #5 choice in WWE’s brand split?  No?  OK, just checking.  Wait, Seth was #1 and he fucking sucks now, and has since that fateful night.  So that leaves a possibility that one of WWE’s top 5 biggest names may or may not get another kickoff show segment this year.  I don’t get it.  Do they want to push Finn or not?  I am happy that he’s not getting the rocket strapped to him, but there has to be a happy medium.  Him feuding with a new guy in Elias does nobody any good.  I don’t think that there will be a match, but maybe a confrontation after Elias sings a song.

Bonus Deuce

  1. Aside from Seth vs Bray, which match are you least looking forward to?

Keri:  Is it ok if I say all of them except for Joe vs. Brock and Roman vs. Braun? Because that’s my feelings about this PPV. All of the matches are just awful except those two.

Kent:  I don’t have enough time to go down the list.  I will say that the Hardlys vs Sheasaro because it’s a guaranteed 30 minute match between 2 teams that need a break from each other.  The Revival better come out and go hard damnit!

  1.  Aside from Brock vs Joe, which match are you most looking forward to?

 Keri:  Braun vs. Roman. Honestly, I may just watch those two the next day and hopefully I will be happy with the results.

Kent:  Gosh, no Goldust, Truth, Titus and Apollo, hmmm.  I am going with Big Cass vs Enzo because I am curious about his new song.  Yeah, we have hit the desperation button.

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

The Best of the Royal Rumble – 9 Deuce Style

Today, I’d like to take a look back at the best of what the Royal Rumble has to offer us.  I have broken it down 9 Deuce style. I am joined by my after PPV podcast partner, Steve, for this particular venture.  Keri and Russ basically flipped me off.  So here you go, this is what we consider the best of the Rumble.  Both of us have seen every single year, so you know that you are getting legit perspectives.   

The 9

  1.  Best save from elimination, meaning the coolest way(s) people have saved themselves from being eliminated.  I don’t know if this should be the Shawn Michaels award or the Kofi Kingston award.

Steve:  John Morrison in 2011, when  he got knocked into the guardrail and hung on.

Kent:  Morrison is my pick as well, but props to Kofi for walking on his hands in 2012 I think it was.

  1.  Best quick elimination from the match.  Old school fans may recall one of the Bushwackers getting eliminated in record time, and then Santino set the standard.  We aren’t caring about who was quickest, but rather which one was the best. The Elimination should occur before the next participant comes out.

Steve:  I’m going to go with the Bushwackers, something about how he was just completely unfazed about being tossed out right away and kept doing his walk right to the back.

Kent:  Jerry Lawler back in 97 when he wa son commentary, enters the ring, goes out in seconds and returns to the announce desk like he never even entered.  There are a ton of good ones to choose.  Warlord, Titus, Santino, Bushwackers, JBL, etc.

  1.  Favorite elimination from the Rumble.  This one is self explanatory.

Steve:  Maven eliminating the Undertaker is my favorite, just because it was so unexpected.  Also Macho Man getting himself eliminated is a good one.

Kent:  Sid eliminating Hogan in 1992 was awesome, Muhammad Hassan’s elimination in 2005 was great, but I will go with Benoit eliminating Big Show in 2004 because it was a neat way at the time and I just wasn’t sure if WWE ever truly had faith in Benoit.

  1.  Best rookie hazing during the match.  There are obvious times when the veterans have some fun with the young guys with various chops and other old school moves.  Give me your favorite example.

Kent:  Well Steve alluded to Maven eliminating Taker, and after that, he got his ass handed to him.  Still, Daniel Puder in 2005 was absolutely brutal with Eddie, Benoit, and Hardcore Holly.

  1.  Best Hoss showdown in the rumble.  In the Rumble, it’s inevitable for 2 big boys to square off and all of the focus on them.  What one was the best or your favorite?

Kent:  Giant Gonzales vs Taker in 1993 for all of the wrong reasons.  It’s still hilariously bad.  

  1.  Best Eliminator, or the Kane award, goes to your favorite wrestler who has his fair share of eliminations.  Something about the way that he does it, just pleases you.

Kent:  I really enjoyed Punk in 2010 holding his ground for a long time and owning that ring.

  1.  Best Survivor is for those guys that always seem to last long and entertain you doing so.  Maybe they have won the whole thing, maybe they have come up short.  This isn’t for just one year, it’s a sign of overall appreciation through the years, or maybe you just love what Ric Flair did in in 1992.  Woooooooo!

Kent:  Jericho is probably my pick with a nod to Rey, Cody, and Backlund in 93.

  1.  Worst Rumble of all time.  Yeah, this one is self explanatory.  Do you focus on the in ring work, the lack of stars, the terrible eliminations, the bad storyline leading in, the outcome of the match, or maybe everything was just too obvious from the get go.  Don’t let your hatred of Bluetista sway your pick.  Seriously…..don’t. .

Kent:  1993, look at the participants. They get rid of Flair, Perfect, and Dibiase so early and have nothing left.  Absolute trash.   

  1.  Best Rumble of all time.  Take everything I just said above in #8 and pretend it’s opposite day.  You probably still aren’t picking 2014, but you can.  Tell us why you chose this one.

Steve:  1992 should be everyone’s best.  It was for the title, Flair came in at 3 and won it, Heenan and Monsoon were great the entire night on commentary.  The after Rumble interview with Mean Gene telling someone off camera to put the cigarette out.

Kent:  I’ll go 2008, despite that being Cena’s year.  That Rumble had everything that you want in a rumble.  It had great stars, some returns and legends, and Cena coming back was actually incredible at the time, and still is today.  1992 finished second for me.

Bonus Deuce

  1.  Best surprise entrant in the Rumble.  Please, don’t get this confused with a returning wrestler, say somebody from injury.  No, this should be a big surprise that the average fan wouldn’t have known about.  Let’s call this the AJ Styles award to ruin anybody’s thunder if they try to pick him and make their pick seem obvious and stupid.  A female entrant would fall under this category if you wanted to be historic.

Steve:  Does Diesel in 2011 count? I believe it got Matt Striker fired so he has that going for him.

Kent:  Jericho in 2013 and to hold his own for so long was incredible to me.  I loved it.  Also, AJ Styles has to be mentioned.

  1.  Best returning entrant in the Rumble.  This should be a superstar that has been with the company and probably has just been injured.  They didn’t defect from ECW or WCW, they were already with the WWF/WWE.  Think of it as the HHH while listening to Creed’s “My Sacrifice”.

Steve:  John Cena in 2008.  Although it’s cool to hate him, and say everything he does is terrible, he came back from shoulder surgery way sooner than anyone should…which makes me think he has mutant healing powers, or took HGH.  It also had the crowd cheering him when his music hit, which for John Cena to have 100% of the crowd cheering is amazing.

Kent:  Cena for all of the reasons that Steve suggested.  I don’t care if he was on something like HGH, he was possibly missing Wrestlemania, and yet he returns for the Rumble.  Unreal!  Way better than HHH’s return, which was crammed down our gullet like a Women’s Revolution.


Finally, I would like to give you some interesting facts that I dug up on Wikipedia that I feel may interest you in the Rumble.  These are numbers and statistics that don’t get much love from commentary on WWE.

Longest Cumulative Time Spent in the Royal Rumble

HHH @ 3:59:37
Chris Jericho @ 3:55:59
HBK @ 3:42:30
Kane @ 3:38:46
Rey Mysterio @ 3:20:01
Cody Rhodes @ 3:08:30

Honestly, I’m surprised by Cody.  He’s only been in 7 or 8 of them while Shawn has been in 12, and HHH with 9.  Rey has been in at #1, 2, 4, and 8 in the past, and he always did well, except 2014.

Most Royal Rumble Appearances

Kane with 19
HBK with 12
Goldust and Big Show with 11
Taker and Rikishi with 10
Viscera, Mark Henry, Miz, HHH, Jericho,  and R Truth with 9

Basically, Kane should have this record for many years to come.  If he participates this Sunday, that will be 20 out of 30 Rumbles, or two thirds of all Rumbles.  Shawn’s #’s would be higher if he wasn’t out for 4 and a half years, obviously.  Taker and Mark Henry should be higher but injuries to big men is a hell of a thing.  Big Show has been involved in lots of singles matches or he would be higher.  Miz has a shot at Kane’s record in my opinion.

Most Cumulative Eliminations in the Rumble

Kane with 44
HBK with 39
Stone Cold with 36
Taker with 35
HHH with 33
Big Show with 31
Hulk Hogan with 27
Roman with 23
Cena with 22

I absolutely loathe this Roman Reigns bullshit.  He should have to prove himself before being handed all of these things.  Kane had to be Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel before given his push.  Roman, well he’s Dwayne’s cousin with really moist hair.  I’m surprised that HHH doesn’t have more, and Big Show’s numbers are a travesty.  Big Show actually has a higher elimination average per Rumble than Kane.  Of course Roman is almost averaging 8 a year.  Yeah, would you look at that.Austina averaged 6, Hogan with 6.75, but Roman has 7.67 average.  Stupid WWE!!!


With that being said, don’t expect any records broke this year, but lots of fun….hopefully.  Enjoy!

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog or on Twitter @official9deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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The Royal Rumble Retrospective – Part 6 of 6 (2013-2016)

Welcome to the 9 Deuce exclusive, The Royal Rumble Retrospective.  This has long been the most beloved match of the year for a huge portion of wrestling fans.  Every year, I tend to watch a few of these and have a great time.  This year, I wanted to go back and revisit each and every Rumble from the beginning and find out what each Rumble brought to the table and try to determine my personal favorite.  I’m not going to say the best, as your criteria is probably very different, and incorrect, from mine. This has been an arduous task, but I hope you enjoy this project which will have taken about 35-40 hours when all is said and done.  I will provide links to all of these in each edition for easier navigating. A new part will be added daily until completion. I have also linked each Rumble to it’s Wikipedia page so you can see all the info that I didn’t provide.

Part 1 (1988-1992)
Part 2 (1993-1997)
Part 3 (1998-2002)
Part 4 (2003-2007)
Part 5 (2008-2012)
Part 6 (2013-2016)

2013 – You know how you can sometimes pinpoint a specific moment in time when something important in wrestling happened?  Like Flair in 92, Benoit in 2004, Austin 3:16, the screwjob, “Bret screwed Bret”, Hogan turning heel, Punk’s pipebomb, etc are fine examples.  Well this is the night that set the WWE back significantly.  I know more people were upset at the 2014 Rumble, but I will touch on that in the 2014 section.  This is the year that WWE screwed CM Punk, YET AGAIN, and forced him to job to a part timer like the Rock, so that Punk couldn’t main event a Wrestlemania, so we could have one of the most obnoxious Mania main events ever, Cena vs Rock “Once in a Lifetime”….twice.  This is the sort of thing that really makes me hate being a wrestling fan.  Aside from that travesty, Big Show faced Alberto in a Last Man Standing match which ended stupidly.  Cody and Damien jobbed to Team Hell No and that was it.  Oh yeah, Be A Star!  No bullying damnit!  Presented to you by a show that half of it’s roster is made up of bullies.  Yeah, I’m annoyed.   

Man, I forgot about AJ with Dolph and Big E.  AJ was so awesome.  Dolph has the MitB briefcase, so he gets his greatest moment in less than 3 months.  At #2, Jericho returns!  This is one of those years where early guys last long.  Along with Dolph and Y2J, we get guys like Cody, Kofi, Santino, Drew, Titus, Goldust, and Heath.  Look at all of that potential that WWE had no idea how to utilize, and in Kofi, Dolph, and Titus’ situations, still don’t.  Man, Goldust debuted in 1991 in WWF at the Rumble.  Think about that.  Otunga, why did you steal Wade’s entrance?  Why are you still employed?  Lawler commenting on AJ: “Her nickname is Napkin because she’s been on so many men’s laps.”  Cody, with mustache, gets some good heat for eliminating his brother in a vicious way.  Wade and Otunga have the same entrance. Why was this allowed?  And along comes SuperCena who just took on 5 guys with no problem and starts eliminating guys.  

The second 10 guys definitely were an improvement with guys like: Sheamus, Tensai, Brodus, Rey, Wade, Cena, and Sandow.  Bo was in good shape here actually.    Orton comes out and decimates dudes.  Wow, Ryback was over huge here.  I think he turned heel the night after Mania.  WWE logic at it’s finest.  The highlights of the final 10 guys include: Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Khali, Kane, Zack Ryder, Orton, Miz, and Ryback.  Jericho got a chance to show off before finally being eliminated.  This was his and Ziggler’s year, with props to Cody, Sheamus,  and Bo as well.  Let the burial begin so SuperCena can win.  This was fun, well paced.  Good saves, lots of surprises, always full of talent, memorable stuff.  Lack of hoss showdowns and the inevitable ending really ruin an otherwise very good Rumble.  I will give this a 5.9 as I hated how predictable this was, with the wrong man winning.

  1.  Best Save – Kofi lands on Tensai after eliminating Kofi, and he ends up on the Spanish announce desk.  He takes JBL’s chair and pogostick’s his way back.to the ring, while Bo Dallas makes his debut.  Amazing!  
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Godfather in like 3 seconds, haha.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Cody eliminating Goldust viciously, Kofi’s elimination after his amazing save,  Daniel eliminating Kne, then getting knocked off the apron and hangs on Kane, and Kane dumps him.  It was funny.  
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Bo by Wade
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown
  6.  Best Eliminator – Sheamus and Ryback with 5 each
  7.  Best Survivor – Dolph @ 49:47, Jericho @ 47:53, Sheamus @ 37:23, Cody, Kofi, Wade, Cena, and Bo all over 20 minutes.
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Jericho, Goldust, The Godfather
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

2014 – A lot of things came from this particular Rumble, and if nothing else, it s incredibly memorable, not always for the right reasons.  The crowd wanted Daniel Bryan in the main event, they wanted him to win the Rumble.  They never got it, and this set in motion awhile issue of whiny millennials getting their way.  I loathe this particular year.  Batista was brought back to win the Rumble and main event Mania against Randy, and have the whole Evolution tie in.  Things went very differently.  Cena buried the hell out of Bray at Mania.  Oh, this would also be the last night in CM Punk’s pro wrestling career because he was also sick of this shit.  This would also be the last big event until the one holy and sacred thing in all of wrestling got ruined in New Orleans.  To say that I loathe everything about the WWE in 2014 is a huge understatement.  A year that they needed the presence of Punk, perhaps more than ever after Daniel’s injury.  So begins the year that the Shield would get shoved down our throats so much that we have yet to get the taste out of our mouths.  We, the real fans, we lost most of all.  The undercard featured Daniel vs Bray in a great match, Brock making Big Show his bitch, and Cena vs Orton for the millionth time.  The fucks that I didn’t give.  This would also be Batista and Rey Mysterio’s last Rumble.  Did I forget to mention that this is the year that they bastardized the record and gave Roman 12 eliminations and broke Kane’s great record?  When the crowd starts shitting all over this match, they may be justified.  Onto the Rumble.

Hey, CM Punk is #1 yet again.  Punk looks so tired and worn out at this point in his career.  He also had a terrible MIRSA growth on his back that WWE doctors refused to help him out with.  Yes, Punk has been guilty of being whiny at times, but in this case, he was 100% in the right.  #2 is Seth Rollins, which makes for a great start.  I miss Seth’s ring attire back then.  So much better than his current garb.  Cody and Sandow tussled briefly, and Kane come out and was eliminated by Punk, who he was feuding with.  Rusev makes his debut and really wowed the hell out of us.  Swagger is with Zeb and doing the We The People. Kofi is out and everybody is expecting something crazy from him at this point.  He delivered, big time between the barricade stunt and the hanging by his toes, good stuff. Nash came out and that was fun.  Unfortunately, Roman Reigns came out after that and this Rumble goes downhill so bad.  The record gets broken by him and it is garbage.  The second 10 guys included big names like: Dean, Dolph, Nash, Roman, Sheamus, Khali, and Miz.  That’s pretty loaded 3 years later, but at the time, it was middling.  The final 10 guys were decent, with names such as: Cesaro, Luke, Ryback, Del Rio, Batista, Big E, and Rey.  The crowd is so pissed when Rey comes out, they don’t stop booing the rest of the match.  When Rey is eliminated, fan favorite Rey Mysterio, the crowd cheers.  I believe they have edited the crowd quite a bit on the replay.  Dean had the right idea in trying to eliminate the scourge of the Earth known as Roman.  The Final Four is Punk, Roman, Batista, and Sheamus.  Kane comes out and just pulls Punk over  the top rope, eliminates him and puts him through a table.  Roman just broke the record.  I’ve seen enough.  Batista is blown up.  ROman is clueless.  I give this Rumble a 3.5, making it tied for the worst Rumble of all time.  It had some intrigue, but it was all a set up to hand Roman the record.  This Rumble was so dumb and bad when you consider everything.  They had so many talented guys and did what they did with it.  AT least the crowd was chanting Roman’s name to spite big Dave.

  1.  Best Save – Kofi went from the barricade, ran it and jumped back to the apron.  Unreal stuff.  Also, he pulls a Marty Janetty and hangs on my his toes, and takes off one of Swagger’s boots.  
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – JBL’s was classy
  3.  Favorite Elimination Big Dave eliminating Roman at the end because it ended this shit.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Dean got it from Sheamus and Khali a bit
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Swagger vs Rusev was way better than you’d expect
  6.  Best Eliminator – Batista….he eliminated Roman…duh
  7.  Best Survivor – CM Punk @ 49:11, Seth @ 48:37, Dean @ 33:41, Roman @ 33:51, Sheamus @ 28:22, Cody over 21 minutes
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – JBL
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Batista

2015 – It’s 2015, the Shield have been main eventing since Mania, with no slowing down.  Daniel has been hurt.  Del RIo has left, Punk has left, Rey has left, and the fans are just getting a small taste of the future.  The undercard features The Ascension vs The New Age Outlaws, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd defeated the New Day, The Usos beat Miz and Sandow, The Bellas beat Natalya and Paige, and Brock beat Seth and Cena in a really great match.   This year starts off with The Miz at #1 and Truth at #2.  Why?  Why wouldn’t you have Sandow in at #2?  What a terrible way to start it.# was Bubba Ray, and he got a huge pop and well deserved.  It made sense to have Truth so that Bubba could work with a black dude.  I am convinced that was the only reason.  Luke was in @ 4, and he was fresh off a great ladder match against Dolph the previous month.  Bray is out next, and business has picked up.  Bray was in great shape here, and would soon go on to get buried by Taker.  At this point, the Wyatt family had disbanded.  At #6 is Curtis Axel, but then Eric Rowan came out and beat up Curtis and stole his spot.  The Wyatts all start fighting and this crowd is dog shit.  They should be going crazy.  Bray just got rid of both guys.  This is Bray’s Rumble as far as I’m concerned.  Ugh, the Eater of Worms vs the Eater of Worlds.  Terrible.  Bray should have won this one.  So the first 10 round out with Sin Cara, Zack Ryder, and Daniel Bryan.  Daniel Bryan in the past 2 years were his own worst enemy.  He should have fully healed himself, but he failed to, rushed back, hurt again, bye bye in ring career.  There’s a sign that says “Mr Small Package”.

This is a boring year so far, aside from the Wyatt stuff and DDP’s return.  Haha, Bray just eliminated Daniel Bryan, and the crowd is PISSED!  Would the WWE have ever treated Hogan, Austin, Rock, HHH, or HBK with such little respect?  Nope.  I do love the Rhodes brother fighting for like the 4th year in a row.  The crowd is still chanting for Bryan and booing.  Seriously, you couldn’t have had him last til the end?  Maybe give him a late entry.  I admit it, I miss Adam Rose.  Oh yay, Roman Reigns.  Highlights from the second third of the competitors include: Stardust, DDP, Rusev, Kofi, Goldust, Roman, and Big E.Sandow was so over at this point.  Like top 5 most over guys, and he’s gone in 18 seconds.  Wow, the WWE hate their fans.  Here comes the boo’s again.  Lex Luger is the only Royal RUmble winner to never win a WWE World Championship.  Wow.  The crowd wants CM Punk.  Good luck with that.  You get Ryback.  I believe that they were trying to break Santino’s record, but Titus botched his flip.  Haha.  Really, let’s tout how great Reigns is for lasting 15 minutes.  Bray and Rusev have been in soooooo much longer.  Fuck you WWE.  They just had Kane and Big Show eliminate all of the best competitors, minus Dean.  Dean will be next I am sure.  The final 10 guys had some names like Show, Kane, Dolph, Dean, Ryback, Cesaro, and Sandow.  So Show and Kane have taken out all of these huge front runners, but can’t put away a guy who’s been in for 27 minutes.  Oh, the fans are just chanting bullshit.  Were they right to do so?  Hell yeah they were.  You wonder why fans hijack shows, or you wonder why they chant for Punk..  Well this is why.  The fans are fed up.  Curtis Axel was never eliminated, fact.

  1.  Best Save – Kofi knocked off into the Rosebuds, who carry him back.  Good stuff.
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Titus due to the botch.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – I don’t have one.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – The Wyatts showdown, Bray vs Boogeyman, Big Show vs Kane
  6.  Best Eliminator – Bray, Rusev, and Roman with 6 each
  7.  Best Survivor – Bray @ 47:29, Rusev @ 35:40, Roman @ 27:29
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Bubba Ray Dudley, The Boogeyman, DDP
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

2016 – This night’s Rumble was for the championship, just like 1992, minus the talent and quality.  The matches on the undercard were: Dean vs KO, Usos vs New Day, Kalisto vs Alberto, and Becky vs Charlotte.  The Dean match was really good.  On to the Rumble.  Roman is #1 and Rusev is #2.  Makes sense to me.  Oh cool, Roman eliminated Rusev.  Then the big surprise, AJ Styles makes his debut!  The crowd is crazed!  Poor Tyler Breeze had no chance of getting over following up AJ.  Jericho is out at 6, so that’s another big name.  Kane is out at #7, and he holds so many records in Rumbles. Goldust, Ryback and Kofi round out the first 10.  That’s a hell of a lineup for early on.  This is a year where you have guys who last long.  Ryback doing the running knee lifts in the corner to guys was a way to mock Punk I feel.  I think Ryback is kind of a prick, but who knows.  R Truth at #12, immediately grabs a ladder, climbs it, and thinks that it is a ladder match.  That was fantastic.  Luke Harper at #13, I love it!  Now the League of Nations, remember them, are out there beating Roman.  It’s Sheamus, Rusev, and Alberto.  This was a way to give Roman plenty of rest, and it was stupid.  Make that fucker earn his spot.  Man, Rusev running across the desks and crashing through Roman was pretty awesome actually.    Rusev hugging Vince,….man.  The League leave and Rusev has a souvenir monitor.  Too funny.  Stardust @ #14 and Big Show @ #15.  The ring now has Luke, Kane, Big Show, and Baun.  That’s a lot of hoss.

Braun was #17 followed by KO, Dean, and Sami Zayn is a good run. Rowan is #21, so there’s 3 of the 4 Wyatt Family members, minus Bray.  Mark Henry came out, and got got by the Wyatt’s. Well, here comes the pain, as Brock lesnar comes out to fight the WYatt boys.  Man, it’s really good that Swagger and Mark Henry won that tag match earlier to earn spots in the Rumble.  They lasted a combined minute and 2 seconds.  Good booking WWE!  I loved when Bray came out, all the family got up and attacked Brock.  That would have been a solid Mania match.  Awww, see ya Brock, haha.  So we get Bray, Dolph, Sheamus, and HHH at the end.  Roman returns after missing the majority of the match.  I will not be giving him credit for the full 59:48.  That’s a bullshit number.  The crowd was stoked for HHH.  Bray vs HHH needs to happen by next year.  It’s  amoney match up that the crowd wants.  This was Dean, Bray, and Jericho’s night, but mainly AJ’s.  Sheamus is out, Roman is out.  It’s down to Dean vs HHH.  That was pretty sweet for the final 2.  It could have gone either way, but that gave HHH his 14th title win.  He’s one away from Cena.  

  1.  Best Save – Kofi caught by Big E, rides him around the ring, has a drink, and so on.
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Kane eliminating poor R Truth.  
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Roman getting his dumbass tossed
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Braun vs Big Show
  6.  Best Eliminator – Braun with 5
  7.  Best Survivor – Jericho @ 51:20, Dean @ 29:57, AJ Styles @ 28:58, Luke Harper @ 24:16
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – HHH
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog or on Twitter @official9deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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WWE Fastlane 2015

I know a few of you give a damn about WWE, I don’t even know if I am one of them anymore. I’m not lying when I say that I fast forward RAW more than I watch it. If it wasn’t for NXT, I may not even have the network, but ppvs and NXT are still worth $10. Anyway, if you can’t stand reasonable criticism of the product, just stop reading. I’m not just some guy who sometimes watches wrestling. I’ve been a loyal viewer since 1989, seen every ppv, so if I have gripes, they tend to be legit. Let’s do a quick rundown.

Seth, Kane, Big Show defeated Dolph, Ryback, and Eric Rowan

Kane actually got the win. I love Kane, and he needs a win every once in awhile, but I disagree with this approach. I disagree with a lot. Mainly, I disagree with the treatment of Dolph Ziggler more than anybody else on the roster. He became the man, YET AGAIN at Survivor Series. Remember when he cashed in Money in the Bank after Wrestlemania? He was the man then. So after Survivor Series, Dolph and Luke Harper put on match of the night in the opening match. He then just becomes pathetic in 2015. Utterly infuriating to watch from any possible perspective really. You need new stars WWE, Dolph is performing, the crowd loves him. Still, there is a really tiny part of me that smiled when Kane got the pin.

Goldust defeated Stardust

This match had really good psychology, but this crowd in Memphis was absolute dog shit. I feel the wrestlers weren’t able to feed off the crowd and it just didn’t work entirely for most fans. It wasn’t terrible, it just should have been much better. I think everybody expected more and wanted more out of this match. Damn shame. At Mania, they need to have a better match.

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd defeated the Usos for the tag titles

I was surprised, and pleasantly pleased. This shows me that the WWE is losing confidence in the Ascension, while Cesaro and Kidd are just really meshing. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but I find the Usos incredibly overrated with a very limited moveset. Samoan drop, fly out the ring, super kicks, and top rope splash. Yeah, Roman Reigns thinks you guys are doing it right. This match was slightly better than average.

HHH called out Sting

HHH had his collar popped, ran his mouth. The sledgehammer came out, but so did the bat. Long story short, Sting non verbally challenged him to a match at Mania. I am dying to see what kind of shape Sting is in. I’m hoping he’s in great shape, and I think he will be. Especially if it’s his last match. Notice that we have yet to see Sting without the coat.

Nikki Bella defeated Paige

This match bored me. WWE does such a poor job promoting their female wrestlers.  Both girls tried, and it wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t remotely invested in the storyline. The tiny bit of character development is inadequate. NXT does women’s wrestling well. Oh and Nikki won by holding onto the tights so we probably have a rematch coming, unless AJ returns, which at this point, does it even matter? This is coming from a big AJ fan.

Wade Barrett defeated Deam Ambrose via DQ

Sooooo, this match was slightly above average for a little bit, but that ending ruined it. I love both guys big time. They deserved a better ending. Dean has not been allowed to have clean match ending in the vast majority of his ppv matches it seems. Really, they are doing him even worse than Dolph if you can believe that. Dolph’s time is now, but Dean should be in a similar position as Seth, but instead, his matches end in non stop bullshit. It frustrates me as a fan who wants to see these young guys get some good matches and get made as top stars. But nope. Wade is on the verge of drifting off to mediocrity because as soon as you get a title, your push seemingly stops unless it is the world title. Champions should be treated as such, not losing every non title match that they are in. It makes them look weak as hell. But the fans have been saying this for years and years and years. Yeah, this pissed me off. Oh and Dean stole the belt, so I smell rematch. A ladder or cage match with 15 minutes could be top 3 at Mania easily. Dean is slowly becoming the go to guy in gimmick matches, but who cares?

Rusev defeated Cena via submission

I will admit, I didn’t pay attention to this match, so I have to rewatch it. I know the ending, I know Cena put a guy over really well, so hell must have frozen over, so I am rewatching tonight. I can’t fairly have an opinion on this without seeing it. Of course, we probably get the rematch at Mania.

Roman Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan for main event match against Brock at Mania

This match was very good. Easily stole the show. Both guys worked their asses off I feel. I’m not going to just credit Daniel Bryan and be a snob, Roman hung for the whole match. Daniel has that Bret, HBK, Seth, Punk, Benoit, and Eddie quality, where they can make any opponent look good pretty much. Yes, I admit, I’m so over hearing Yes chants, but overall, I am still happy for DB, and hope he gets a few title reigns. Yes, the money match would have been Brock vs Daniel. If you don’t agree, then you don’t understand proper storytelling.

All in all, I have very little interest in this Mania. This is no surprise. Ever since last year’s terrible Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, the WWE has made so many mistakes. It’s awful, and the fixes are not terribly difficult. But it all comes back to ending the Streak. It all comes back to DB not winning the Rumble. It comes back to Punk not only leaving, but the point about all the main roster guys having to take a backseat to part timers at the biggest event of the year, which is also the biggest pay day of the year. Arguably, our top 3 matches at Mania are Brock/Roman, HHH/Sting, & Taker/Bray. 4 out of those 6 are part timers. If I was a young guy who’s had a great year and solid matches like Ziggler, Dean, Luke, Seth, or even a Sheamus or Barrett, I’d be pissed. At the end of the day, it all truly comes back to the WWE not listening to what it’s fans really want. Fans want Roman as a young up and coming bad ass, but recognize that he is still a year or 2 away, and that’s cool. I like Roman, I want to see his evolution. Fans are legitimately getting sick of Cena overcoming every damn obstacle and not putting over the young talent. Fans want Daniel Bryan and Dolph right now as the main event. Fans wanted Bray to beat Cena. Does anybody really want to see Sting vs HHH? Honestly, think about that. I’ll tell you a few changes I would have made.

I would have had HHH putting Bray in matches where he took out enemies of the Authority, subtle hints that they were amicable. HHH could still have had the confrontation with Sting last night, but Bray comes out and they beat down Sting, but he overcomes it and out comes Luke. Then the gong hits. At Mania, we get Taker & Sting vs Bray & Luke Harper. This would be a much better story to tell. Luke is the closest thing in the ring to Taker, and Bray is the closest as far as aura aside from awesome Kane. Sting gets his wish to work with Taker without either of them having to job. Bray and Luke would still look like a million bucks because Sting and Taker know how to sell.

I would have had Daniel and Dolph be the last 2 competitors at the Royal Rumble, and have them tie, or simply get taken out by Brock, some convoluted ending. Have Daniel vs Dolph at this PPV.  I would have altered the stipulations. The winner main events against Brock. The loser takes on the IC champ at Mania. Now both belts have a certain prestige. I probably would have Daniel win, but Dolph works about the same. Wade vs DB or Dolph are great matchups for Mania.

Big Show and Kane, Showcaine as I like to call them, should have been tag champs since December. Make them utterly unstoppable.I would have booked the Ascension a hell of a lot better, and had them take out Showcaine. Give the Ascension a long title run. They could take out legendary teams even, but book them smarter.

I actually like Seth vs Randy, but I think they need to somehow need to make it more personal and viscious. Bring back the punt for instance to combat the curbstomp. I even like Cena vs Rusev a lot, but I would slot Dean vs Rusev as a chaotic match, anything goes feel. Book Cena vs Roman, that match would feel important, and you can elevate Roman that way. That’s 7 matches.

So you need a women’s match, but how about you put some talented ones in a 4 way dance, elimination style. I want Emma, Alicia, Summer Rae, and Paige. As much as I love AJ, I would leave her out. Make whoever the female HOF inductee this year is, the ref. Rumor is it’s Medusa, so that would be perfect!

You need the Goldust vs Stardust match, but it needs to be told well. The match needs to be spot on. Stipulation obviously, to force Goldust to retire if that’s what he plans on doing.

Have the Andre Memorial Battle Royale, and dare I say, have Ryback and Curtis Axel as the last 2. Curtis wins. He’s too talented to not be taken seriously. It’d be similar to 2 years ago when Santino was teetering on the main event scene.

The pre-show should have a #1 contenders matchup for the tag division. You have Prime Time Players, Usos, Cesaro & Kidd in a triangle tornado match. C&K or PTP win it. The crowd would be hot for this matchup.

Alas, that’s how I’d have booked things, but you can’t always get what you want. As the card shapes up, I can’t help but feel terribly underwhelmed. In my scenario, the young talents get put over, with the exception of Bray and Luke, BUT I feel being in that match would serve them incredibly well. And, no HHH match, and I like HHH. Only 2 matches featuring part timers. Oh well.

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