NXT Takeover Houston 2017 Review

I am back to give you the expert opinion on everything that went down at NXT’s Takeover Houston 2017.  If you are looking for the typical internet wrestling fan’s perspective, pull your pants down and go fuck yourself.  Just because somebody is the flavor of the week doesn’t necessarily mean that I am going to latch on to them.  I don’t have a neckbeard, and I don’t apologize, mainly because I can’t grow hair.

Lars Sullivan defeated Kassius Ohno

Did this match go exactly as you imagined it would?  Good, you’ve been paying attention then because this is what anybody who knows wrestling would predict.  It was fun and I did suggest that it would be.  Kassius knows how to perform, and Lars is still learning, but it’s fun to watch him develop.  I was also right in suggesting that this would be the worst match of the night.  It happens, but I had fun.

Rating 3.2

Aleister Black defeated Velveteen Dream

This may have been the most fun and entertaining match of the night.  I had so much fun.  I loved all of the psychology that they deployed in this match that was built from the feud itself.  It was logical.  It’s what pro wrestling should be.  I loved that Aleister went for wrestling early rather than his usual strikes.  The theme of this match was in the sequences rather than being spot monkeys, which we will get to later in the night.  This is the type of match that I yearn for as a fan and I absolutely want to see this feud continue.  Aleister on the mic after the match was  a nice touch.  I’m going to say that this match will be better than any match on Survivor Series.

Rating 7.4

NXT Women’s Fatal 4 Way Championship match

Ember Moon defeated Nikki Cross,  Peyton Royce, and Kairi Sain

This match let me down.  I have many reasons.  First, let’s talk about the positives.  Ember Moon is a star and looked the part.  She is the most deserving of the 4 women in my opinion based on what we have seen.  Peyton looked great so I enjoyed that.  When Nikki got her brief blip of offense, she looked like the girl that I love.  I liked Regal and Asuka giving her the belt.  Now for the negatives.  Peyton did that great submission but could clearly see Ember coming, yet never relinquished the hold.  That made zero sense.  Nikki barely got any offense in and was there to bump.  The stupidity of people just staring and waiting for somebody to do a suicide dive onto them.  You gotta pretend like you’re fighting or busy, otherwise it just looks fucking terrible, like it did.  But most of all, and I cannot stress this enough, Kairi Sane is not very good.  She is the female Finn Balor.  She has a gimmick that attracts the masses and has a bit of charisma and is attractive.  Seriously, that describes Finn as well.  Neither are great in ring but are hyped as great.  Why does the IWC instantly give everybody from Japan a pass?  Being in Japanese wrestling isn’t a guarantee that you are good in the ring.  Her gimmick is tasteless in my opinion, and fucking stupid, gag worthy.  Her only redeemable quality is her looks, at least from what I’ve seen so far.  Her repeated strikes look fucking terrible and her finisher is a top rope elbow.  Why are the announcers acting like it is breathtaking?  Seriously, why is that move considered spectacular?  Anybody?  Exactly.  Fucking IWC has to ruin shit.  I talked with Eric earlier Saturday about her and he gave me an apt explanation of why she does nothing for me.  He’s not wrong in reasons I would dislike her.  He did fail to mention how bad she is in ring though and that’s the biggest sin.  Hopefully she does porn down the road because that will most likely be the only time I give a fuck.

Rating: 3.5 Mainly for Ember being awesome, but the finish was also dumb as hell, just 2 women standing there waiting.  How fucking silly.

NXT Men’s Championship Match

Andrade Cien Almas defeated Drew McIntyre and won the belt

Well, in the preview I said that Andrade was here to get Drew over even more.  Boy was I wrong in that regard.  On the plus side, for over a year, I have been singing the praises of Andrade, and anybody who has read my NXT stuff knows that I have long admired his work and hoped that he would get moved up.  Well, this is even better!  Both guys are main roster ready and I fully expect Drew on the main roster for the Royal Rumble.  I would love to see him and Baron have a match.  This match was way better than I thought it would be and I had hopes of this being match of the night.  I really thought that this was well done, and that fucking spike DDT finish was scary looking and awesome.  I know that the IWC losers of the world will try to hype up how good War Games was.  No, this is a Match of the Year candidate right here.  The psychology, the moves, the drama, it all worked and both guys worked their asses off.  I will be rewatching this match again this week.

Rating: 8.0

War Games

Undisputed ERA defeated Sanity and Roddy & Authors of Pain

Well, if you like a match that is nothing but going spot to spot to spot and hitting the most cliche shit, well here you go.  How many different variations do we need of the Tower of Doom in one night?  The women had already done it.  Let’s discuss the positives.  Killian Dame hitting the Van Terminator, I will not call it bullshit coast to coast, was really great.  Unfortunately, the cameraman painfully showed the O’Reilly I think it was, just looking and talking to the ref as the move got set up.  Terrible camerawork WWE!  Alexander Wolfe is a guy that I am very high on. He can do some great shit and I would love to see him and Luke someday.  The super German suplex through 2 tables cut his head badly enough to take him out of the match for 5 or so minutes.  I felt bad for him.  The AoP continue to really impress me.  I think that they are going to be huge stars for years.  I thought Eric Young and Killian did some good stuff, I was impressed with Killian’s conditioning, and Eric does all of the little things right.  Roddy doesn’t piss me off and I can growing to tolerate him, not like, but I don’t hate his matches as much.  He tries.  I came into this thinking that I like Bobby Fish, but he did nothing here in this match.  I did see something in Kyle O’Reilly tonight that really impressed me.  He has mannerisms and the way that he moves and acts, he’s a total package.  He’s the best of the group.  Speaking of the group, I don’t get the Adam Cole hype.  The pecking order goes HBK > Dolph > Stevie Richards >>>>>>>>>> Adam Cole.  He reminds me a lot of early to mid 90’s HBK, the HBK that was not very good, just had great conditioning and charisma.  This guy is all flash and no substance.  Jeff Hardy probably thinks that you are amazing.  The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega probably think that this guy is brilliant.  Yeah, he’s not.  He’s not exciting in the least bit.  I don’t even know what his moveset is, but it seems generic as fuck.  This is why the IWC can all fuck themselves because they just cheer on what seems cool and new.  This match was fun, and it kept my attention.  I really didn’t care for the rules where both members of the team came into the match rather than rotating one guy at a time, which was  the normal way as far as I can recall.  This could have been better with some tweaks, but I did like it.  Still, I won’t re-watch this anytime soon.

Rating: 5.7 The big guys made this match entertaining if we’re being honest.

This wasn’t the best NXT special, but it had 2 really good matches, plus a War Games.  I’m positive that this was better than what Survivor Series will provide us as fans.

Please check us out at 9 Deuce Wrestling on Facebook , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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

NXT Takeover Houston 2017 Preview

Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan

This match is a simple example of putting a monster that WWE is trying to build up in the ring with a great veteran ring hand to make this guy look even better than he is and carry him to a longer, PPV style match.  Kassius deserves better in some regards, but I still feel that his physique is holding him back.  That’s not me insulting his physique, I’m fine with it and KO and Joe are examples of dudes who can go despite a physique that doesn’t look like a typical superstar.  I think Lars actually has potential.  He moves in the ring fairly well, has a good look, and his moveset is decent enough, especially this early in his career.A problem with NXT is that they don’t have a good variety, it’s vanilla midget heaven.  Who’s going to be the one who takes out Lars?  Killian Dain or Alexander Wolfe?    That’s a problem.  This should be the worst match of the night, but it could be fun.

Prediction: Lars easily wins

 

Aleister Black vs The Velveteen Dream

My goodness, has Patrick taken this gimmick and absolutely owned it.  Here’s the type of guy that is meant for a long career.  He’s got a great look, a great gimmick, pulls it off, and is pretty good in the ring.  He needs some more seasoning, but he should be a star.  This has been the best angle on NXT since Summerslam weekend.  It’s not even close.  I love that it is bringing out a new side of Aleister, which was necessary.  I see no reason for Aleister to lose, but I would be fine with either outcome.  I honestly hope this feud carries on to January’s Takeover.  I’d be perfectly happy if Velveteen loses and that makes him even more unrelenting in messing with Aleister.  I am expecting this to be a very good and fun match.

Prediction: Aleistar wins but I am very uncertain

 

NXT Women’s Fatal 4 Way for the vacant championship
Kairi Sane vs Ember Moon vs Peyton Royce vs Nikki Cross

OK, I am an unapologetic fan of Nikki.  I think that girl is truly awesome and I love watching her.  She’s like Dean Ambrose, only with a moveset and dedication to the crazy.  I have long felt that Ember would take the belt off of Asuka but WWE did the bitch move and never passed the torch.  Ember is main roster ready if we’re being honest and if she was the 5th member of Team Smackdown, that would be amazing.  Peyton Royce is fantastic, and is now appearing to have moved ahead of Billie Kay, which saddens me.  I love Billie and I want her to succeed, but Peyton is the star of the duo at the moment.  Peyton would be an excellent choice as she has the unfair advantage of having Billie.  I truly believe that this is the best person to put it on, to a point where they consider breaking them up and have them feud maybe at Mania the Takeover after.  Then there is Kairi.  I don’t get it.  The Pirate Princess gimmick is fucking stupid.  She does nothing in ring that wows me.  She’s different and that’s enough to titillate the neckbeards that gather at Full Sail.  Sorry, Kairi is nothing special at the moment.  But Kent, she’s from Japan, so that means that she is really great right?  This shit needs to stop.  Just because you are successful in Japan or on the indies doesn’t mean that your style translates to WWE.  Believe me, I will get to that soon enough.  For right now, I give the following odds.  Kairi 65%, Ember 20%, Peyton 10%, and Nikki at 5%.  Peyton or Ember is the best choices as champion though.

Prediction: Kairi Sane and I will boo my TV

 

NXT Championship match – Drew McIntyre vs Andrade Cien Almas

I don’t know if this will main event or not.  It shouldn’t because War Games is going to drain the crowd.  That would suck for Drew and Andrade to have to follow it.  I am so happy for Andrade because I have been singing this man’s praises for over a year now.  I think the guy is great in ring, and now he has his valet chick, Vega, who is attractive, decent on the mic, and can hit moves. Unfortunately for Andrade, he is here to get Drew over.  I accept that.  Drew is a fucking stud and is so main roster ready.  I’d prefer Andrade winning and moving Drew up, but that’s not in the cards yet.  I expect this to actually be the best match of the night because both of these guys are amazing.  I can’t say the same for some of the guys in the War Games.

Prediction: Drew McIntyre

 

War Games – Sanity vs Undisputed ERA vs Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong

Here comes the pain and a lot of you hardcore fans will not like what I have to say.  I say this, go shave your neckbeard and shut the fuck up.  This Undisputed ERA group is trash.  I really am not buying them at all.  Bobby Fish I could possibly get behind.  Adam Cole is like a poor man’s Stevie Richards who was a poor man’s HBK.  Adam Cole is incredibly overhyped.  He is a vanilla midget.  I wish Kevin Nash would come out and squash them all.  Same goes for Roderick Strong.  Yeah, he can have decent matches, but boy is he beyond dull.  He needs a personality transplant.  So that leaves the AoP and Sanity.  I love Sanity, I think they are great.  I am high on Alexander Wolfe and WWE is high on Killian.  I have long enjoyed Eric Young’s work.  Authors of Pain are awesome.  I wish they had paired up with somebody like Lars Sullivan or Johnny Gargano.  Still, AoP is awesome and I love that Paul Ellering is involved due to his history with War Games.  I just wish Dusty was alive to see this.  Despite the vanilla midgets, this match shall deliver.  I hope that they make this brutal and violent.  Nothing that is going to shorten careers, but some blood and some vicious double and triple team moves could be super fun.  People fondly remember War Games, as do I.  Don’t let nostalgia fool you.  There’s some really bad War Games matches.  This hopefully won’t be one.  I would have much preferred this when they had Ciampa and Gargano along with another team like Sanity or American Alpha.  You could have had a better match with the better talent.  You know I’m right.  If you disagree with me, I’m sorry that you have shit for taste in wrestling and you value boring “technical” wrestling over entertainment.  Oh, and there is zero doubt in my mind who the winner is because they gotta try to make it seem like these vanilla fucks are somehow important and talented.  Ugh.

Prediction: Undisputed Vanilla wins

 

Bold prediction, Survivor Series will have 2 matches better than the worst match at Takeover.  I expect some interesting entrances, or at least hope for them.

Please check us out at 9 Deuce Wrestling on Facebook , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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

Summerslam and NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 2017 Review – 9 Deuce

First I am tackling NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III by myself.  After that, Russ helps me review the PPV that never seemed to want to end, Summerslam!  This is a long one folks, but we put a lot of effort into this, so I hope that you enjoy it.

Of course, there is also my podcast with Steve, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discussed this long weekend.  It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at 9 Deuce Wrestling on Facebook , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

Brooklyn 9 Minus Deuce

  1.  Andrade Cien Almas def Johnny Gargano

Kent:  This was an adequate opener from my perspective.  Unfortunately, the story simply wasn’t there so it felt more thrown together than anything.  I’d rather have tossed on Roddy and somebody else in a match where the winner gets a  title shot this week on NXT.  Or even give us another UK Championship match.ALso, can we never start an NXT event with an awful concert ever again?  Thanks!  Even when Andrade is winning, it doesn’t feel like he’s winning, if that makes any sense.  Something is missing with him.  Midcard, at best, for life.

  1.  Sanity def Authors of Pain to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions

Kent:  This was a surprisingly good match.  I have been waiting for Wolfe to show us his potential, and quite frankly, I didn’t know if we would ever get to see it.  Well we did and he put on a show for the fans.  Eric Young is still a very talented in ring hand.  The AoP is legit and this was simply a well done, fun tag team match.  Nikki Cross continues to convince me that she will be a star.  Her spot where she got sandwiched was a really well done one, and props for the spot getting booked, and the execution of it.  Everybody involved should be proud of that match.

  1. Aleister Black def. Hideo Itami

Kent:  This was my favorite match of the night.  I do like the strong style stuff when you have 2 guys who are up to task and know their strengths and limits.  I get that it probably wasn’t match of the night for most people, but this was my most enjoyable.  I like Aleister, but he is missing some mic time and he probably needs to add some more moves other than kicks and meditating if he wants to be more than a midcard guy.  I would work hard to mold this guy in NXT so that when he comes up in a year or year and a half, you have a truly finished product.  Hideo needs to get called up.  He‘s not going to really improve much beyond what he has shown.  Whatever you see, that’s what you have.  It’s up to booking to put him in a spot to allow him to sink or swim.  I really think he should have been the one that beat Shinsuke first……but Jinder.

  1.  Asuka def Ember Moon

Kent:  This was a very well done match, but when Ember hits her finisher, I think it is getting Dolph’d, which is the wrestling version of getting nerfed a bit.  I think she needs to get moved up because she’s caught in a precarious spot.  She can’t move up because she is the clear cut #2 or 3 girl on the roster, but can’t get put over Asuka apparently, so move her up and see what she can do.  Smackdown could use both her and Asuka for sure.  I very much liked this match, and I don’t know if I would have it higher than my fourth favorite match.  It’s not fair, but the last 4 matches all had their strengths and weaknesses and if you break it down, they were all win a point of each other on a rating scale in my opinion.  If you don’t see it that way, I would suggest that your favoritism is showing.  All of these matches were probably in the 6-7 range, which is to say that they delivered, but none got to the must see level either.  Still, this match was fun as hell.

  1.  Drew McIntyre def Bobby Roode

Kent:  I think this was probably the best match on the card, just not my favorite.  I do love how Bobby finds ways to roll out of the ring after eating a finisher.  That’s a solid gimmick.  They dropped the ball on his entrance in that it was the same as the last NXT I do believe, and yet I enjoyed it.  I was simply hoping for something different, especially if this was his farewell NXT match.  Drew is ready to lead NXT right now, he’s the next gatekeeper, even if it’s not for very long.  He’s main roster ready, but there’s more of an urgency for Bobby to get called up, plus Drew can showcase all that he has learned in his time away, especially in how he can carry a title properly.  Both guys looked great out there and I would love a rematch down the line.

  1. Match of the night?

Kent:  Drew vs Bobby as far as quality goes, but you could put any of the last 4 matches here and I wouldn’t vehemently disagree with you.  I would say Ember not winning with her finisher is the biggest nitpick.  The Aleister and Hideo match was equally as flawed.  The tag team match was damn good, but for different reasons.  

7, Final Thoughts?

Kent:  This show delivered a stellar night of matches.  We don’t need all the special video packages and appearances, we just need wrestling.  Glad to see the Adam Cole, Fish, and Reilly thing come to fruition.  I think we are looking at a feud between them and Sanity, and I am very excited to see that play out.  I suspect Asuka’s next opponent will be the winner of the Mae Old Classic.  Drew could feud with any number of guys including Kassius, Aleister, Hideo, Roddy, or Cole I suppose.  NXT is looking good right now.  Keep up the great momentum!

Let’s tackle Summerslam now!

  1.  The Miztourage def The Hardly Boys and Jason Jordan

Russ:  I missed this one due to a lack of caring about tuning in on time. 6 hours is too much.  So I know what you are going to say, it’s on the  network just watch it.  Well, the match had no crowd reaction and it didn’t appeal to me. So I didn’t waste my time.  I feel bad for The Miz. He went from the most relevant ic champ on smack down to a chump on Raw.

Kent:  I saw the last minute or 2 due to pizza related issues.  The pizza was better than this match.  I feel bad for these guys due to how the crowd was still trying to get in.  These guys all deserved better, and it is insulting to the IC title

Rating: N/A due to pizza

  1.  Neville def Akira Tozawa to become the new 205 Champion

Russ:  OK, I’m glad they had a match on Raw because this was what I feared.  The match was OK,  but damn the crowd  couldn’t have cared less.  Not sure why they decided to have Neville reclaim the title, it made. Mondays great match irrelevant.  Shame, but WWE knows what they are doing…

Rating 4.8

Kent:  A rematch that wasn’t as good as the RAW match.  This was good, but I wouldn’t want to rewatch it.  The title change was so anticlimactic.  I would have rather had Neville cheat Monday and then have Akira win Sunday.  Instead, we got this, and I feel entitled to be upset with their logic.

Rating: 5.0 as I liked the match quality ,but wouldn’t watch ever again..

  1.  The Usos def New Day to become the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions

Russ:  Fun match, definitely one of the better matches of the night (don’t hold your  breath there is a lot of garbage coming up.) The right team went over.  Now can we start moving New Day to some singles competition?  It’s high time Big E got some titles of his own.  They don’t have to break up,  but let’s let him these guys shine on there own.   Rating:  6.5

Kent:  One of the best matches of the night, no doubt.  This match deserved to be on the main card over a variety of others.  This is tag team wrestling done properly.  The finish made a ton of sense, the double teams and saves all worked incredibly well.  The Uso’s winning indicate that Breezedango is going to get a turn sooner than later, but maybe the Hype Bros tell their story first.  New Day, please feud with the Ascension and help them get over.  PLEASE!

Rating: 6.3 as I have rewatched it and would again.

  1.  John Cena buried Baron Corbin

Russ:  Alright there is so much h wrong with this match I don’t know where to begin.  Well Kent will mention most of it.  I’m just going to say that WWE has buried Corbin.  He looks like an idiot for cashing in his contract and then he doesn’t even get revenge.  Hell I would have accepted the match never getting underway and  Corbin just going to town unfairly on Cena.  Instead Cena wins and Corbin now is a joke.  I don’t know how they can salvage this travesty.  Maybe Corbin will wake up on Smack down and the past week will just have been a dream and he will still have his money in the bank contract. Hey, that’s a better scenario than WWE will come up with.

 Rating 2.9 reverse deuce is the worst grade you can receive.  

Kent:  I don’t know why, but both of my hands are telling WWE that they think they are #1.  What a great story and what a great match, and man, that was a great ending.  It’s a good thing that the young hungry guy got the win in the match as he will need it to attempt to get over with the fans.  WWE, you can seriously get butt raped for the next 5 decades, and I don’t feel that it will make up for this.  Go fuck yourselves.

Rating: 1.0 I don’t have to be rational when they fuck my favorite wrestler this hard.  And if you try to say, well at least he was in a match with John Cena, so that’s a push, I would be very likely to punch you in the face, and I hit harder than you do, so don’t say it.

  1.  Natalya def Naomi to become the new Smackdown Women’s Champion

Russ:  This match was mediocre at best.  Natalya looked good but it was an off night for Naomi.  I’m shocked that Natalya won to be honest, mainly because I was shocked they even gave her a chance in the first place.  I feel sorry for Naomi.  Her title reign was subpar because they didn’t bother giving her any feuds or story.  I hope they don’t make the same mistake with Natalya.

Rating: 4.2

Kent:  Naomi needs to stop with her awful jumping kicks.  In the words of the great corpse of Enzo Amore, if I had a dime for every time that Naomi connects with one of those kicks, I’d have ZERO dimes!  Meanwhile, This was one of Natalya’s 3 best matches that I have ever seen from her.  You see, and Steve pointed this out in Monday’s podcast, Natty looked like such a great wrestler early on as she was surrounded by lingerie models with very little, if any, experience.  As the women have been properly trained, the holes in Natalya’s game has grew in size, much like our collective asshole after WWE sodomized us with the Baron BS.  Yup, I am vulgar.  Natty pulled out a great showing, and my hats off to her.

Rating: 5.7 as I would rewatch it without issue.

  1.  Big Cass def Big Show

Russ:   I don’t know if this was bad or awful.  I don’t like shark cage matches and this one was utterly pointless.  Enzo’s escape was funny in the same way a clown is funny.  You know, you feel bad for them and give a pity laugh, but then you remember they ultimately chose this life and stop caring.  His escape lead to nothing which is the story of Enzo’s life. He got booted immediately and then  Big Cass won.  I was hoping for a heel turn, since that didn’t happen, I hope these two move on from each other because I’m done with them.  

Rating : 2.7

Kent:  I know that I have done some bad. , but really, what did I do to deserve this shit show of a match?  Seriously, Enzo took off his pants and lubricated himself mid match.  Seriously, this was allowed.  Big Cass booting him in the face was fantastic, but it’s like The Brooklyn Brawler defeating the Red Rooster.  Yeah, it’s cool to put down the Rooster, but at the end of the day, it’s still just the Brooklyn Brawler.  Yeah, Brooklyn!  I seriously think I would prefer a proctologist appointment over seeing this ever again.

Rating: 1.5 mainly for the big boot.

  1.  Randy Orton buried Rusev

Russ:  This was garbage.  I am glad I stuck to my guns about how terrible Orton has been since Mania, because this helped further my cause.  What a waste of talent.  At least now Russev has a friend in the burial department in Corbin.  Now he won’t get lonely.  

Rating: 2.9: another reverse deuce, this ppv is shaping up well.  

Kent:  So Steve and I both jokingly guessed that as soon as the bell actually rang that Randy would hit an RKO and end the match.  WE WERE JOKING, WWE!  God damnit, this was fucking insulting.  Rusev deserves better. Rest assured, the rematches will be very good.  Still, if you put this and the Cass stuff on the Kickoff Show, then The New Day and Usos could have gotten their proper shine.

Rating: 2.9 because at least they ensured that it was short.

  1.  Sasha Banks def Alexa Bliss to become the new RAW Women’s Champion

Russ:  Holy crap, this is turning out to be the worst PPV of the year.  The match itself was decent,  but taking the belt off of Alexa made no sense.  There was no build up between the two so it didn’t feel significant at all.  This just made Alexa’s title reign feel useless, just like this PPV.  The last few matches better be amazing, that would be the only way to save this PPV.  Even then I’m not so sure.  

Rating: 3.5 the title change brought this way down.  

Kent:  Yeah, fuck the wrestlers that Kent likes, right WWE? What a stupid fucking ending to what was an otherwise good match.  It wasn’t great, but it was pretty   I am not OK with Bliss losing to the forehead, but if she has to, it should be done better.  Sasha’s shoulder is hurt and she had to relinquish the Bank Statement.  That doesn’t mean that after the announcers tell us why she let go that she should re-apply it immediately and get the win.  Logical fallacies are a bitch.  Sigh.

Rating. 4.5 because that ending was really poorly done.  Damn shame as  this could have been in the low 6 range.  I feel that this was on the booking and not either of the girls.  Hats off to both women.

  1.  Finn Balor def Bray Wyatt

Russ:  Entrance: fantastic by both guys.  I always love watching the demon enter and this didn’t disappoint.  Rating: 6.3

Match: Meh, both guys can do better.  I hope this feud goes further than this because I can see this turning into a contender for feud of the year (it’s got an uphill battle because Roman and Braun are far ahead of them.) They have chemistry, but they need the story to give us some stakes between them. If this is where these two end then shame on WWE.  Rating: 4.5

Overall : 5.4

Kent:  Now here’s a Tale of 2 Kitties.  You have the entrances and then you have the match.  Be honest, if you could only see the entrances or the match, which would you choose?  You would choose the entrances, which were enjoyable.  The match, well it was bland.  When the entrance completely outshine the match, it can’t be that great.  Hell, even the HHH vs Sting match falls in this category, you know, the one where Sting had his first and only Wrestlemania match and jobbed to HHH?  Yeah.

Rating: 3.7 mainly for the entrances

  1.  ⅔ of the Shield def Sheasaro to become the new RAW Tag Team Champions

Russ:  This was a good match! I’m not just saying that because my boy won the tag titles (remember I didn’t want Sheasaro to lose.) All 4 guys really put on a good show. Loved the near falls and submissions. This was just a well paced match.  Now, lets keep Rollins and Dean relevant and have them help the tag division heel teams get some time to shine.  Rating 6.9 yes I’d watch this again.  

Kent:  The fisting duo won.  This was another solid match.  Am I the only one who has noticed over the past 2-3 months, just how good the tag team matches have been on both shows?  Cesaro locking on the Crippler Crossface made me smile.  The beach ball incident was great.  I admired all the saves and near falls.  The outcome was inevitable, so it was a match of appreciating everything aside from the ending, and all 4 guys delivered big time.  This was the best that Seth has looked in quite awhile, same for Dean aside from that cesaro match.  This was almost as good as the Uso’s vs New Day.

Rating: 6.2 Absolutely rewatchable.  The predictable outcome did hurt it slightly in all fairness.

  1.  AJ Styles def Kevin Owens to retain the US Championship

Russ:  I think this was good, I’m not sure because at this point I just wanted the PPV to be done.  I was hoping that they would swerve us here and have Shane go heel, but what do I know WWE has their finger on the pulse! Overall, I enjoyed this match and I will say that this was the best match between these two. However, I’m still shocked by how these two high caliber guys can’t put together a match of the year candidate.  Rating: 5.5

Kent:  Speaking of predictable endings, did anybody out there think that this would end in a different way?  I just need a show of hands.  Has everybody lost their hands?  Exactly.  This match was fine, but would be have been better without Shane being too big of a focus.  This has to go down as most disappointing feud of the year considering the caliber of the wrestlers involved, in my opinion.  Glad to see that it should be over with.

Rating: 5.0 I don’t want to see it again, but good effort.  

  1.  Jinder Mahal def Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the blue belt

Russ:  The match was very mediocre.  So now I’m starting to blame Jinder. He’s been in several matches with great competitors and none of the matches would be what I consider to be up to the caliber of a Main Event.  If Jinder can’t put together a good match with the likes of AJ and Shin, then who the hell can he have a good match with?  Also, if he can’t have good matches then at least give us a compelling story. Again, this isn’t happening.  Get him in a feud with a good story or get the belt off of him.  The worst part, they had a chance to make this a compelling story and instead they had Shin lose cleanly! Really? A cheap loss here would have been a great way to jump start a feud between these two. Now, I don’t know where they can go from here.  

Rating: 3.8

Kent:  I am seriously asking, is this the worst world title run since JBL?  No, we aren’t counting Brock or Goldberg or those stupid short ones that are just for storyline.  This is like 3 months now with a full time wrestler, and it’s just not working.  The matches aren’t improving.  He’s had lackluster matches with Randy, Tye, AJ, and now Shinsuke. I fully supported his initial win and push.  The joke is over.  Jinder isn’t improving his in ring work by an acceptable margin and is not putting on upper card level matches.  His ring work is that of a midcarder at best.  His gimmick is there as well.  Also, really, you had Shinsuke job cleanly?  REALLY?  Good job WWE.  Don’t be mad when he leaves at the end of his contract.

Rating: 2.7 this was a very big dud.  I didn’t derive much pleasure from this one unfortunately.  SHin never had  a chance to get into a groove to make the match memorable.

  1.  Brock Lesnar def Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, and Roman Reigns to retain the red belt

Russ:  Finally, a match that delivered a PPV quality main event. It only took 4 of the best big men in the business.  Braun is so over with the crowd it isn’t funny.  Seriously WWE now is the time to put the belt on him.  I remember about a year ago when we predicted that Braun would be gone by now. Wow, were we wrong and I’m glad we were wrong because he is one of the best things about wrestling.  Brock winning was predictable, but I’m glad WWE made us think there was a chance he wouldn’t win, by using all of the MMA crap circling around the internets. I really enjoyed this one. It may have helped that I watched it fresh on Monday instead of bunched in with all the other crap I watched on Sunday.  

Rating: 7.5

Kent:  This match lived up to the hype and expectations, as long as you had reasonable expectations.  That means, you expected Brock to win the match.  I will offer a critique in that Joe was never allowed to be dominant in the match while everybody else got a run as dominant guy.  I do wonder if the flung chair may have hit Joe a bit too hard so they improvised a bit.  It’s a possibility.  Braun looks like the next big thing and is the most over guy on RAW and possibly the WWE in totality.  I did feel bad for Brock’s knees.  Watch the end of the match and notice how bad his knees look.  Roman, I feel bad for him in a way.  He was relegated to Spears and Superman Punches, and rest assured, the spear in Game of Thrones was way more effective.  Suck it dragon fans!!!  This match was a great way to end it and the NYC crowd came alive for this, so kudos to them as they must have been exhausted.

Rating: 7.2 as it was really fun and kept me excited the whole way through with some nice spots and close falls.  It also told a logical story.

Bonus Deuce Deuce

  1. Worst match of the night was?

Russ:  the first hour of the PPV.  What a garbage heap of matches.  

Kent:  Cena vs Corbin for me, but Cass and Show were right there.

  1.  Best match of the night was?

Russ:  Fatal four way.  The tag matches were good, but the last match was about the only redeeming thing on this PPV.  

Kent:  The Main event hands down with acknowledgement of the 2 tag team championship matches as well as the women’s effots.

  1.  Who got buried the deepest?

Russ:  No contest, Baron. Sure Russev, Miz, and Enzo looked terrible, but Baron lost everything this week and looked stupid doing it.  

Kent:  Baron…obviously, but maybe Miz and maybe Enzo.

  1.  Dumbest decision of the night?

Russ:  The fact that this was scheduled to be a 6 hour PPV and yet we still had several matches that weren’t worth a damn.  I don’t want to sit in front of my TV for 6 hours, it’s just too much time.  Add in the fact that many of the matches were not even suitable for a place on Raw or Smackdown’s card and it starts feeling like a chore to watch.  I want to watch wrestling because it’s fun. This PPV was not fun.  By the time I got to the matches that started getting good, I just didn’t care and that hurt the overall feel of this Summerslam.  

Kent:  Not to have the SD tag title match on the main card.  I simply would have laid out the matches differently.  Shinsuke losing cleanly is up there, as is the ending to randy and Rusev.  Then of course, lolCenaWins.

Final Thoughts

Russ: I saw the first hour of the PPV and was seriously defeated, I was done.  Everything was utter garbage.  This just killed the rest of the PPV for me.  Also, fuck 6 hours of wrestling. If it feels like work, and I have to sit there as long as I would for work it stops being fun.  Overall this is one of the worst PPV’s I’ve seen in a month or so. (get it?) overall rating: 3.4 none of the good could save the complete trash that we witnessed for the majority of the PPV.  

Kent:  It was a mixed bag.  3 matches that we had seen 5-6 days prior hurt a bit.  Lots of title changes that felt like changes for the sake of changes.  It was a normal PPV in that you have bad, mediocre, and a couple of good matches.  That’s really what a PPV should be.  It shouldn’t be 6 fucking hours with 13 matches where Randy vs Rusev only get 6 minutes.  Just don’t have that match.  I’d rather have a match advertised for the week after Summerslam to get it time, rather than to blow it off at a PPV in that capacity.  This was a hard PPV to watch.  WWE’s choice in music was fucking awful as well.

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

NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III Preview – The 9 Minus Deuce

Hey, I got Cece and Teddy back to help out with the NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III preview.  These 2 actually see this stuff live, so I feel like we are in good hands here.

Of course, there is also my 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.

Brooklyn 9 Minus Deuce

 

  1.  Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas

Cece: I think this will be an interesting fight. The crowd obviously loves Johnny Wrestling, but honestly, I think Zelina will get involved. I believe this will trigger something in Almas to go full on rage and show his heel side even more.

Prediction: Almas wins to draw heat from the crowd.

Teddy:  this fight doesnt really interest me because it was poorly introduced, but I do believe Andrade is gonna take this building into a bigger fued

Prediction: Almas wins building towards a fued

Kent:  Andrade just likes to lose apparently, so he’s due for a call up.  Johnny needs momentum for when Ciampa gets the call up.

Prediction: Johnny Wrestling

 

  1.  Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami

Cece: This feud is interesting. Poor Aleister having to pick up the pieces from the Kassius/Itami feud. But, as far as I’ve seen, Aleister has not lost many times. I do believe Itami needs to be knocked off his power trip.

Prediction: Aleister Black defeats Hideo Itami.

Teddy:  Aleister black hasnt really had too competition in NXT, and Itami is looking like an Asian Dolph Ziggler (when he turned heel on kalisto). Its a weird booking but it was nice to see Aleister knock out Itami.

Prediction: Aleister wins and Itami attacks him after the match ends

Kent:  Aleister seems to be a star in the making, but Hideo needs momentum just as much.  If Hideo can lose and get some after match retribution, I can get behind that logic and continue their feud.

Prediction: Aleister Black

 

  1. Authors of Pain vs Sanity

Cece: I have been waiting and waiting to see Sanity come up, but I think they’ll let it brew a little longer and put them over a lot as the best heel tag team in NXT. I mean, yes, they are already in my eyes. But I think they want them to come out and be very over first. So, I see this being a very brutal/heated match.

Prediction: My Sanity comes out on top. (No pun intended)

Teddy:  AoP are too big for NXT now, and Sanity is the carrying NXT.

Prediction: Sanity wins, and AoP gets called up to smackdown.

Kent:  Authors of Pain are the new Asuka for NXT, and with Asuka potentially losing, these guys are going to keep their hands on the belt for awhile longer.

Prediction: I’m down with AOP, yeah you know me.

 

  1.  Asuka vs Ember Moon

Cece: This is the one match I’ve been waiting for. I have a lot of anticipation about this one. Of course, Asuka deserves her long reign as NXT Women’s Champion as she is a great wrestler and worked her ass off to get where she is. So, I do see this being a bittersweet match. I truly believe Ember Moon will take the title from Asuka, bc I see Asuka moving up. I think it will be a very physical match-up, with both women do their best. I feel like they will have a sentimental moment if this is indeed Asuka’s time.

Prediction: Ember Moon taking title.

Teddy:  I feel like Ember moon deserves the push because she is an amazing wrestler, but Asuka is still too over to take the title from her. Asuka is gonna retail till after she breaks the record for longest title reign and then will drop it to Ember and move up.

Prediction: Ember isn’t ready for Asuka 2.0

Kent:  I think Asuka is showing up on Smackdown Tuesday.  Brooklyn is the place to pull the trigger on it, so let’s do it!  Ember is the best after Asuka, but not by much as Nikki, Peyton, and Billie are all very talented, but Asuka needs to leave for them to all blossom.

 

  1.  Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre

Cece: Oh lord… After the last few tapings of NXT, I have to saw I became a Drew McIntyre fan overnight. I was never really into him until he made his speech about ‘Our NXT’ and that was awesome. Plus, I can’t stand the pompous asshole that is Bobby Roode. I am not sure how this fight will go down honestly. I think maybe Drew looks like he may win, but the Bobby does something cheap to DQ or in a perfect world, Drew loses civilly and moves up, leaving Roode to his next challenger, Rodrick Strong.

Prediction: Roode loses but retains by DQ.

Teddy:  this was kinda interesting to see, Drew doesnt want to be moved up and is trying to get people to see NXT is not developmental (it is though). Meanwhile, it’s clear Rodrick isn’t done with Roode and I believe Roddy is the one who is gonna dethrone Roode.

Prediction: Roode wins because Rodrick gets involved

Kent:  I think it’s also time for Drew to be given the ball to run with it.  Bobby needs to get called up.  He is being wasted in NXT.  The guy is better than 80-90% of the main roster.  Drew is also very good.

Prediction: Drew wins after Roddy screws over Bobby

 

  1. Most Likely Title to change?

Cece: Asuka. Hands down.

Teddy:  Tag titles.

Kent:  Women’s, but I think the men’s is also changing.  Yeah, I’m calling for 2 changes.

 

7, Match you are most looking forward to?

Cece: Asuka vs Ember.

Teddy:  Ember and Asuka

Kent:  Aleister vs Hideo truly intrigues me, but I can see the women stealing the show tonight.

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

 

Speaking of picture, here’s some that Cece and Teddy took while at a recent NXT taping.  Please enjoy.

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.

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

The Royal Rumble Retrospective – Part 5 of 6 (2008-2012)

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)

2008 – Here we are at MSG in NYC.  They even got Michael Buffer to announce the rules.  This night had some solid matches like Flair vs MVP, Edge vs Rey, JBL vs Y2J, and RKO vs Jeff Hardy.  This one is definitely memorable as it set the standard for various things.  There is a guy by the entrance that is really pumped and may or may not have developmental issues.  Well, they start right off with Taker at #1 and HBK #2, the final 2 from the previous year.  Man, that’s crazy.   Aside from Taker and HBK, you got Khali, John Morrison and Batista in the first 10.  That’s more star power than 93, 94, and 95.  The second third was absolutely stacked with CM Punk, Cody, Umaga, Snitsky, Miz, Shelton, Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and Kane.  WOW!  The NYC crowd is doing things right.  They aren’t trying to takeover the show, just amplify it.  HHH and Foley brawling was great.  Lots of great matchups here.  The final 10 include: Carlito, Mick Foley, Mr Kennedy, Viscera, Mark Henry, Finlay, HHH, and finally Cena.  Cena wasn’t supposed to be back for like 3 more months after injury.  The crowd went apeshit.  HHH’s face was the best.  The final 3 showdown with batista, HHH, and Cena was great, with each guy mocking the others. As much as I have hated Cena’s run, by and large, he obviously needed a Rumble win, and he came back in such a way, I am struggling to be too pissed off.  This gets an 8.5, one of the all time best rumbles due to pacing and star power, hoss match up, returning superstars, legends, everything you could ask for.

  1.  Best Save – Mr Kennedy somehow just hanging in there after Cody’s headscissors Finlay coming out hit Mark Henry and Big Daddy V with a shillelagh.  
  2.  Best Quick Elimination Santino at #3 gets got by Taker and HBK
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Taker eliminates Snitsky, HBK eliminates Taker, Mr Kennedy eliminates HBK, Taker puts Snitsky through a table.  That whole sequence.  Also, Hornswoggle on Miz was ridiculous. Kane punting Morrison was also good.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Punk by Taker with a bad ass clothesline after Punk knee’d HBK in the face
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Snuka vs Piper everybody in the ring just stopped and gave them the ring.  Cena vs HHH was also huge, plus we had Khali, Taker, Kane, Viscera, Mark Henry, Snitsky, Umaga, and Batista.  This is Hoss paradise.
  6.  Best Eliminator -HHH with 6
  7.  Best Survivor -Batista @ 37:40, HBK @ 32:39, Taker @ 32:33, Morrison @ 29:33, Hornswoggle, Cody, & Umaga all over 20
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Rowdy Roddy Piper
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – John Cena

2009 – The main storyline here is that Randy Orton is pissed at Steph and then punted Vince in the head.  Good shit.  This one stayed loaded throughout.  No huge ring clearings.  Tons of talent, with a great mix of old, current, and new stars.  It did get a tad congested at times.  All in all, it was still very good and kept you captivated throughout, in my opinion.  The old guys put on a show.while Punk, Knox, and Johnny Abs got a chance to shine along with Cody and Ted.  Lack of big spots hurt, to a degree.  Still, this is one of the better ones.  7.7 seems fair.

  1.  Best Save – Rey landing on Miz and stepping on Morrison, hanging upside down on corner post
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – HHH eliminates THE Brian Kendrick, Kane eliminates Dolph even faster, and then the Santino elimination
  3.  Favorite Elimination – HHH eliminates Miz and Morrison
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Mike Knox
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Khali vs Kozlov, HHH vs Kozlov, Big Show vs Taker
  6.  Best Eliminator – Big Show & HHH with 6 apiece
  7.  Best Survivor – HHH @ 49:58, Rey @ 49:24, Randy @ 48:27, Ted @ 45:11, Jericho @ 37:17, Cody @ 37:01, Mike Knox @ 32:42, Taker @ 32:29…wow
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – RVD, Hacksaw Jim Duggan
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

2010 – The undercard had it’s ups and downs.  We had Sheamus vs Randy, which is one of those feuds that happened far too often.  We had the conclusion of the awful Piggie James feud between Mickie and Laycool.  The real gem here is Taker vs Rey Mysterio.  Now it’s Rumble time, and we start off with Dolph vs Evan Bourne.  Well, nobody gives a damn here.  Considering where these guys were in their career at the time, is this the worst first 2 of all time?  I think it has to be considered.   Thankfully Punk comes out to help this riff raff.  Serena has a great rack, that needs to be said.  This is when Punk was the leader of the Straight Edge Society, a great gimmick.  “Great Khali, I can make you greater.” – CM Punk.  Punk owns the first 7, but then HHH’s music and I would say that maybe the Rumble finally begins.  Punk vs HHH is quite interesting knowing what we know now.  The first 10 was not very good aside from HHH and Punk.  Dolph, Zack Ryder, Drew MacIntyre, and Ted Dibiase were the other “name” guys.  So far, so unimpressive.  I gotta say, this is a time when Kofi, Carlito, Morrison, Miz, MVP, Drew, Shelton, Cody, Dibiase and a few others were stuck in midcard purgatory and should be main eventers now.  WWE dropped the ball big time in failing to elevate those guys.Morrison should have been a world champ as should Cody, Drew, and Carlito in my opinion.  Not 15 runs of Cena. DX clears out the ring and then Cena comes out at #19.  

So the second set of 10 included: Morrison, Kane, Cody, MVP, Carlito, Miz, HBK, Cena, and Shelton.That;s a significant improvement.  I gotta say, the most impressive performance aside from HBK and Punk was Kofi.  Really innovative stuff.  Final four are Cena, HBK, Edge, and Batista.  Great picks here.  Batista is getting some heat for eliminating HBK who wanted that one last match with Taker, and Shawn is selling it, and is pissed.  Batista goes out next and Cena is out about 30 seconds later.  Edge truly deserved one Rumble win during his career.  It was a tad anti-climatic in all fairness. The last 10 guys included: Mark Henry, Big Show, Kofi, Swagger, R Truth, Batista, Jericho, and Edge.  It was a solid roster, no doubt about it.  The thing this one missed was more of a flow, longer survivors.  I loved the Shawn story, but other than that, there wasn’t much going on.  This was light on hoss matchups and survivors.  This is fun, but I gotta be real.  This gets a 6.7 as it was more pretty but without the substance.

  1.  Best Save – Edge and HBK going over simultaneously
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Matt Hardy’s dumbass getting eliminated in 20 seconds
  3.  Favorite Elimination – HBK kicking HHH out.  R Truth gets Big Show and Mark Henry out simultaneously.  WTF?
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown Big Show vs Mark Henry
  6.  Best Eliminator – Shawn with 6
  7.  Best Survivor – Cena @ 22:11
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Edge

2011 – Ugh, the 40 man Rumble.  The most obnoxious Rumble obviously takes place in the most obnoxious place on Earth, Boston.  I want out already.  On the plus side, they are using Paralyzer as the theme song and I love that song.  The undercard features Edge vs Dolph, Miz vs Randy, and Eve Torres beating 3 legitimate women’s wrestlers.  So bad.  Oh no, the anonymous RAW GM thing.  No, just no.  This Rumble is almost 80 minutes long.  They put CM Punk in at #1 and he is now the leader of the new Nexus.  Out comes Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel,Michael McGillicutty (Curtis Axel) and Heath Slater.  That in turn causes Otunga, Mason Ryan (Batista Jr.) and Husky Harris (Bray Wyatt) to all come out.  What a clusterfuck.  Everybody aside from Punk was ordered to the back or else be DQ’d.  #2 would turn out to be Daniel Bryan.  Wow, that’s how you start a Rumble!  No facial hair, it’s weird, and Punk’s hair is short and lighter.  I don’t dig the hair game her for either guy.  Michael Cole is killing it on commentary making fun of internet fans.  What I am seeing is a bunch of guys who should be the main event scene in Dolph, Punk, Daniel, Wade, Zack, Dibiase, Cody, and John Morrison, and well that’s just not the case 6 years later, sadly.  Zack Ryder has Nasty Boys trunks on, and was a #1 contender around this time. So the highlights from the first 10 guys were Punk, Daniel, Punk, Regal, Morrison, and tubby Bray.  The story around the teens is that Punk, Husky, Axel, and Otunga are working together and clearing the ring of everybody.    Khali eliminated Husky, but then Mason Ryan came out and got rid of Khali.  Superman at the height of his burial powers has to be due out soon I fear.  The second 10 guys were incredibly not noteworthy aside from Mark Henry and Khali.  I’m sick of Lawler whining about how this isn’t what the Rumble is about.  

Booker at 21 and the crowd is marking out big time.  Great sign that says “Wrestlemania, we coming for you N”.  If you don’t get why that is great, look it up.  Here comes Cena at 22.  Get the shovels out.  3 guys out in a minute, way to go Cena.  I hate Cena in this timeframe.  F*$& you Cena for eliminating Punk.  tyson Kidd having to take a beating  from Hornswoggle is ridiculous but funny too.  Suddenly Lawler isn’t complaining about how this isn’t what the Rumble is about.  Great.  Kofi and Cena had a nice moment, ya know, before Kofi gets buried.  Man, prior to this, Rey had been #1, 2, 4 & 8 in Rumbles.  Impressive. OK, the 3rd round of 10 was really good.  It involved the likes of: Booker, Cena, Rey, Wade, Sheamus, Swagger, Kofi, and Hornswoggle.  Just guessing that this may be better than the last 10 guys, but time will tell.  Man, as soon as Alex Riley enters, Cena clocked him.  I am starting to wonder if rumors are true that Cena held him back.  We know that Cena held Wade back.  Did you know that Alberto is the only person to win at #38?  Sorry, I had to.  Randy got rid of Kofi and Shaemus, and now looks at Cena.  If HHH was in there, that would be his 4 most opponents I feel.  Gotta look at the Mania sign like morons.  Kane at #40 is great.  In the ring, we have Kane, Wade, Cena, RKO, Rey, and Alberto.  Good choices.  Kane and Rey are out.  Riley comes out, distracts Cena, and miz eliminates him.  New favorite elimination.  Randy dumps out Wade, Alberto dumps Randy.  But wait, there’s still one more guy!  Santino never got eliminated!  The crowd was buying it.  COBRA followed by the trombone playing, and then Del Rio dumped him.  I honestly haven’t wanted a guy to win so badly in years and years.  We have long needed a surprise winner, and that would have really made Mania feel special.  Instead, Del Rio would win, then lose to Dolph the next night in one of the biggest moments in WWE history in my mind.  I loved it.  This match, took too long.  Pacing was a huge issue.  Half of these guys were not at all special.  The ending was great at the very least.  Also, they brought back 2 legends in Booker and Diesel, which is clutch.  Morrison had the great save.  Lack of hoss matchups hurt.  If it was just 30 guys, they could have actually had a better match in my opinion.  I will remember the night for Diesel, Santino, Morrison, and Miz eliminating Cena.  Still, I am giving this a 5.7 as it was a grueling match to watch.

  1.  Best Save – John Morrison with the Spiderman save.  That is still unbelievable.  
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Zack Ryder because Vince hates young stars
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Sheamus Brogue kicking Hornswoggle out, Miz dumping Cena out
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Alex Riley thanks to Cena’s shovel
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Big Show and Diesel on the entrance ramp
  6.  Best Eliminator – CM Punk with 7
  7.  Best Survivor – CM Punk @ 35:17
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Booker T & Diesel blew the roof off the place
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Great Khali

2012 – Aside from Punk and Bryan being champ, this is a brutal year.  Neither man got to main event Wrestlemania.  Instead, Cena vs Rock Once…..Twice in a Lifetime main evented 2 years in a row.  So bad.  If you want to know why I, along with numerous hardcore fans are cynical, this era really sticks out.  The guys who deserved the main spots got shoved away for the part timers.  End rant……for now.  The Miz is #1 and Alex Riley is #2.  This was a neat idea I suppose.  Eh, I lied.  This sucked.  I want some Fruity Pebbles.  Doo doodoo doooooo.  Can we please stop looking at the Wrestlemania sign?  I can’t be the only person sick of that balderdash.  Primo and Epico were tag team champions at the time.  That should tell you everything.  Foley came in at #7 and the crowd was pumped.  Nothing has happened so far, so of course they’re pumped.  My doppelganger is in the front row.  Ricardo came out at 8, and this was actually a great entrance.  The crowd is very much behind him.  Holy hell, Ricardo is killing it.  Santino comes out at 9 and let the comedy begin.  Foley and Santino have a showdown of socko vs cobra.  Tremendous.  Foley has now eliminated the tag champs and Gabriel.  

Out of the first 10 guys, I’d say that Miz, Foley, Santino, and Cody mattered.  Seriously, that’s such a bad list in 2012. The second 10 guys are highlighted by retired Hacksaw, Lawler, Booker T, and Dolph ZIggler.  I forgot how bad this year was.  Michael Cole at #20, and his song is Burn It To The Ground by Nickelback.  Yeah.  Kharma tosses out Hunico.  I think Kharma may have been one of my 10 favorite females.  Orton is over huge, and it’s his hometown, so there’s that.  We get Jericho and Big Show to finish it off and toss in Sheamus, Swagger, and Wade for the last 10, and therefore the best 10.  This was not a good year.  Sheamus wins.  I would say that this is like 4.4 territory based on the over reliance on old guys, and the fact that Miz and Cody were not exciting guys as survivors.  Sheamus was a boring choice for winner.  Jericho would have been a better choice as he feuded with Punk anyway. Geez, more sign gazing between Jericho and sheamus really irritated me.

  1.  Best Save – Kofi walking on his hands, spectacular!!!!
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – I would say Ricardo as it was short, but Lawler’s was shorter.  
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Big Show simultaneously taking out Miz and Cody
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown
  6.  Best Eliminator – Cody with 5….slow year
  7.  Best Survivor – The Miz @ 45:39, Cody @ 41:55
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Mick Foley, Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Michael Cole, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kharma, Road Dogg
  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.

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