WWE 2017 Summerslam Preview – The 9 Deuce Deuce

Here we are, the second biggest PPV of the year for WWE.  Back at Barclays, yet again, so expect a solid crowd, so the opposite of Canada.  There are 13 matches in total.  Why?  Who knows, it’s way too much.  Expect to be watching well past 11PM folks.  We did the best that we could in predictions.  After looking at the odds, I can see that my picks will be terrible.

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

Kickoff Show

  1.  The Hardly Boys & Jason Jordan vs The Miztourage

Keri: Since this PPV is going to be, well awful. I’m going to have a little fun with my predictions. As some of you, or maybe all of you, know Southpaw Regional Wrestling returned this week to WWE.com and that was better than anything we are going to see on Summerslam. So, I’m going to change names to their Southpaw counterparts and all my predictions will be with Southpaw characters. And with that said, on with the predictions. This match seems very thrown together. Oh wait it was and that probably explains why it is on the pre-show. I don’t care about Pork Chop Jones and the Hardy’s or Adam Dung and his entourage. So…

Prediction: Tex2Badd comes out and beats up everyone.

Teddy: I’m not sure if I care about this match. Like why the fuck are the Hardy’s teaming up with Jason Jordan? Thought they were feuding with The Club? Why WWE? Well at least it’s preshow and I have the option to not see this dumpster fire.

Prediction: I will watch the defenders instead of this match

Kent:  Nope, don’t care.  I like some of these performers, actually all of them in their own way, but together, this is just stupid as hell when somebody like Elias, Sami, and Chad can’t get on the card.  The smarter move would have been to have a brand versus brand clusterfuck for kickoff shows.  Hear me out.  Get rid of the Cass match entirely, same with this one.Those matches don’t exist.  Move the 205 and SD Tag Team matches to the main card, they both deserve it.  The idea is to have 3 matches, and whichever brand wins the most gets to main event Summerslam.  Match 1 would be the battle of tag teams that aren’t being used so Hardlys, Gallows & Anderson, and Ginger Rhynos vs Breezedango, The Ascension, and Hype Bros.  In match 2 you could have the leftover women, so it would be Emma, Nia, Mickie, Dana, and Alicia vs Carmella, Lana, Tamina, Becky, and Charlotte.  The third match would be The Miz, Elias, Jason Jordan, Big Show, Apollo Crews, and Cass vs Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger, Mike Kenellis, Chad Gable, Luke Harper, and Eric Rowan.  Tell me that kick off show wouldn’t be fun as hell to watch for a clusterfuck.

Prediction: The Hardlys and Jason Jordan since Miz can eat a pin here.

  1.  Cruiserweight Championship Match: Akira Tozawa vs Neville

Keri:  After Monday’s match, I don’t care. What I do want to see instead is Big Bartholemew vs. The Sea Creature at Lethal Leap Year.

Prediction: The Sea Creature wins.

Teddy: bout time they took the title off Neville, hopefully they don’t give the title back to Neville. Maybe Tozawa can save the increasingly boring crusierweight divison

Prediction: Titus Worldwide will get more hype than the Hype Bros.

Kent:  I just saw this match, and while it was good, I am not interested in seeing it again this soon  to be perfectly honest.  I was looking forward to this prior to Monday.

Prediction: Akira retains because he just won it and the Titus Brand deserves wins

  1.  Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: New Day vs The Usos

Keri: I like this feud. It’s entertaining and this should be a good match. Probably will end up being match of the pre-show.

Prediction: Voo and Doo win.

Teddy: This is one of the only matches I’m invested in. New day is always good in my eyes, and Usos are getting more and more over. I still don’t see a new day heel flip or them getting the shield treatment, so only other options are to have them get squashed to push over the Usos, or bury the Usos because NEW DAY ROCKS!

Kent:  Gosh, the Uso’s are better as champs.  New Day don’t need the belts because it only changes a few words of their whole schtick.  The Uso’s don’t need the belts either, but they can feud with The Hype Bros and eventually Breezedango down the line.  New Day can feud with The Usos and The Ascension.  Yikes.  Both brands need more tag teams for guys who aren’t being used.  Still, this match should be really good so I am looking forward to it.

Prediction: The Usos after Kofi turns heel.  I will keep predicting that New Day breaks up until they actually do.

 

Main Card

  1.  Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Naomi vs Natalya

Keri: Don’t care about this match. But maybe this will give us some insight as to who Debbie Desperado’s opponent will be going forward on Southpaw Regional Wrestling.

Prediction: Debbie Desperado wins. Carmella cashes in.

Teddy: I love naomi, but her gimmick is getting stale. I hate Natalya because her gimmick is Charlotte’s gimmick without Rick Flair or Charlotte’s athleticism. Also can she lose the who Sailor Moon hair? It looks terrible on her.

Prediction: Carmella pulls a corbin and flops her cash in. No chin cashes his in and becomes smackdown’s Women’s champion.

Kent:  These 2 could be wrestling in the nude and I’m still not sure that I would care.  The build has been more about Carmella than Natty.  That’s stupid.  That’s really piss poor on WWE’s end.  Not at all interested.

Prediction: Naomi retains with a Carmella tease that never fully happens.  Thanks WWE.

  1.  Big Show vs Big Cass with Enzo in a shark cage

Keri:  Please let this be the final chapter. Please. I want this to end so badly. I think this feud has officially jumped the shark, literally.

Prediction: I don’t care enough to assign a Southpaw Reference to this one. But I am routing for an actual shark in this case.

Teddy: Big show isnt too old for the need to retire him. Hopefully Show continues to show (pun intended) Cass’s glass jaw. Also wtf was the club helping Cass again???

Prediction: Big Show will win and forget Enzo in the shark cage

Kent:  Why wrestling gods?  What did we ever do to you to deserve this awfulness?  I don’t care.  Enzo will cost Show the match and I don’t care.  Please happen during Game of Thrones.

Prediction: Cass wins and the crowd will not care at all.

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

Keri:  No Southpaw reference here cuz I actually care about the match. I would like to see these two feud for awhile. So I say

Prediction: Alexa retains. I will always pick Alexa.

Teddy: Bliss is adorable irl but her gimmick is that of a whiney child. Was looking forward to Bayley bodying Alexa finally, but I’m okay with Sasha doing it.

Prediction: Little Miss Bliss, falls off her throne and cries about it.

Kent:  This is one of the few matches that I think can actually be match of the night.  They may have a bit of real life bad blood, and their styles mix incredibly well.  Sasha thrives in Brooklyn and Bliss is legit. The question is how much time will they be afforded, and can they keep the botches to a minimum?  I say yes.

Prediction: Alexa wins thanks to Nia’s interference.

  1.  Rusev vs Randy Orton

Keri:  There has been a decent build up for this feud. Kinda sorta. Am I looking forward to the match? No.

Prediction: Big Bartholomew wins and gets his farm back.

Teddy: RKO outta nowhere. Rusev being back he needs some sort of win. I love Orton but I feel like he can hold his own and still put rusev over.

Prediction:  Rusev Crush.

Kent:  Both guys need a win big time.  The thing is that I think some matches need to be shortened, so I think this should be one where Randy catches Rusev.  Afterward, he can say that he got caught off guard and get a few wins to put him over Randy.  Definitely excited for this one.

Prediction: Randy via RKO outta nowhere around the 6-7 minute mark.

  1.  Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt

Keri:  I’m going to break with tradition here because quite frankly WWE has broken me.  Am I excited to see this match? Nope saw it Monday. Am I excited to see the Demon? Kinda sorta much more into monsters these days.

Prediction: Wyatt wins and doesn’t job for a change. Oh look I’m all out of Southpaw references.

Teddy: The Demon build up was super predictable. Hopefully they don’t bury Finn because Finn is the future.

Prediction: Sister Abagail gets Coup De Graced back to the pit Randy Orton burned her in.

Kent:  I swear that I just saw this match and Bray won cleanly.  Oh?  That did, in fact happen.  Ohhhh, now we’re going to bring in the demon because Bray dumped some acidic red goo on Finn.  Well that changes everything, right WWE?  I just am not interested in what should have been one of the easiest feuds to build up.  This was sooooo easy to build up.  Morons!  Not very interested, although if Finn does an original Demon outfit, he will have my attention momentarily.

Prediction: Finn wins because getting acid dumped on you means that you get the win back.

  1.  John Cena vs Baron Corbin

Keri:  Corbin will beat up Lance Catamaran.

Prediction: Lance Catamaran will still win.

Teddy: Corbin is pissed, but Cena is back in his “I’m gonna be a dick phase”

Prediction: Can Corbin bury Cena finally?

Kent:  Nope.  PASS

Prediction: Kent drinks heavily

Bonus Deuce Deuce

  1. RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Sheasaro vs Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins

Keri:  The match has potential and will be fun to watch. But honestly, I want to see Ambrose and Seth get into it beforehand. Ambrose leaves and Rhyno comes out and we get Sheasaro vs. the Butchers.

Prediction: the Butchers win.

Teddy: I’m hoping that Dean/Seth is back for good. However Sheasaro is still my bae. I think it’s too soon for Dean/Seth to win the titles, but I think it’s a future for them.

Prediction: Baesaro gets another win, Dean/Seth charge their spirit bomb a little longer

Kent:  This match could be match of the night, but I don’t think it will.  I have it as the 4th best on the card, but it is my darkhorse.  Everybody in this match can work their ass off.  I like every guy in this match.  Unfortunately, I think the storyline will ruin what should be a great match by determining which spots they must hit.  Dean or Seth are going to need the hot tag and then get screwed over and whatnot.  

Prediction: Sheasaro defy the odds due to Dean not being able to hot tag Seth.  After the match, Dean turns on Seth.  Yup, both tag team titles will have heel turns according to me. Don’t listen to me.

  1.  United States Championship Match: AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens

Keri:  I’m looking forward to this match. It’s one of the few on the card that I am. These guys have the potential to put on a match of the night type match.

Prediction: Malibu Al retains and sells KO a car.

Teddy: KO vs Aj is always good to watch, shane being the ref is just icing on the cake. I feel like I cant solidly predict this match because one of two things. 1. Shane will help AJ leading to Shane v Owens or 2. Shane helps Owens turning him Heel since Steph isn’t around to do that job.

Prediction: mind will be blown either way

Kent:  Here is the most obvious choice for match of the night if given the time.  I think that it’s a trap.  It will be very good, but Shane’s involvement will taint it just enough to where it only hits the 7.5 range instead of 8.5.  Trust me, this will happen and you will feel like you got cheated out of a great match.  I am absolutely looking forward to this match.

Prediction: AJ retains and KO vs Shane becomes a feud.

 

  1.  Blue Belt Championship Match: Jinder Mahal vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Keri:  I’m looking forward to this match. It should be decent to watch.

Prediction: Nakamura wins

Teddy: Nakamura is Hella over and Jinder is getting stale.

Prediction: Nakamura adds some bumps to the Singh brothers. Hopefully Jinder retains and they take their time with Shinsuke.

Kent:  I am interested in Shinsuke’s entrance and Jinder’s.  I anticipate fuckery by the Sing Bros.  I expect Jinder to walk out of the match incredibly sore.  The hard part about this is predicting a winner.  Let’s face it, prior to the event that I will not speak of, we all thought that there was a decent chance at Baron cashing in his briefcase.  With that gone, I say Jinder wins and has a longer run than his gimmick and workrate deserve, if we are comparing him to his 6 closest peers in the upper card.  Should Jinder hold the belt over Cena, Randy, AJ, KO, Baron, Shinsuke, Luke, or Sami?  No.

Prediction: Jinder remains unhindered and walks away as world champ, but via count out.

 

  1.  Red Belt Championship Match: Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe vs Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns

Keri:  The only match on the card I care about and the one that will leave me the most disappointed in the end. This match will probably nothing more than a glorified brawl but I will probably be awesome.

Prediction: I would love to see Braun win but Brock will probably retain. Sigh.

Teddy: This match is too hype and will probably dissappoint everyone with a reigns win.

Prediction: Reigns wins but Braun isnt done with him.

Kent:  I really think that this is going to be match of the night.  It has to be the odds on favorite because you can rotate guys in and out of the ring, hit huge spots, really have fun with it.  The crowd will be bonkers for this.  There is a caveat though.  If they stretch out the PPV too long, the crowd may be dead by this point, like at Wrestlemania.  With a lesser crowd, the guys may not be able to feed off the energy and emotions.  It’s entirely possible.  All 4 of these guys know how to be great.  I think that they will be given the time to be great.  The question is, will you, as a fan, be worn out by the time you see this and hurt how you feel about it?

Prediction: Brock seems like a lock to retain.  With that being said, I’m going with Samoa Joe.  Please do the right thing and give Joe the opportunity while he is young enough to have the great matches that he is capable of.  

 

Final Thoughts

Keri:  This PPV is going to be a roller coaster for all of us involved. Wait wasn’t that the thing for Mania?  It’s going to have its high points and low points and it’s ultimately going to make some of us feel nauseous in the end. I predict I will not make it past the first two hours of this PPV so in the end at least I will get a good night’s sleep out of it.  Thanks WWE, I guess?

Teddy: this PPV has the potential to be Good or completely suck ass. Hoping for the first one always but WWE likes to remind me that they dont give a fuck about what fans really want.

Kent:  This is going to be a 6+ hours show.  I’m very bitter and the penultimte episode of Game of Thrones airs the same night for season 7.  Admit it, GoT for that one hour is going to be better than all 6 hours of Summerslam.  And that is where we are at as fans sadly.  Hey WWE, try to make it up to us as fans.  We are sick of the same old boring BS>  Give us something memorable.  At least NXT delivered.

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

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – August 14 & 15, 2017 – The Burial of Baron Edition

Kent is pissed off over the events of Tuesday while Keri and RUss are left to pick up the pieces.  Keri is over Finn finally.  Russ, yes Russ, is the most positive person this week, which is the lead up to Summerslam.

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.  F*** this, I am not wait to #6 to get this one started.  What the fuck were they thinking?  Seriously, just what in the fuck happened to Baron Corbin?

Russ:  This week started out so strong.  RAW was enjoyable, Smackdown was average.  Yeah I know the bar is low for WWE and strong weeks (enjoyable and average should be the bare minimum.  Then WWE did something I was completely shocked by.  Corbin cashed in.  I thought for sure this was going to be one of those he’s going to cash in but Cena is going to interfere before the bell rang.  Hell they even took forever to ring the bell.  However, this was not a drill the bell rang!  I knew right there that he was going to lose and he did!  I don’t know the plan, but based on how WWE operates I feel safe in saying that this was terrible.  What a complete waste of a money in the bank.  Cena was still out there! You have a match with him in 5 days of course he is going to do something to mess with you.  WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU CASH IN THEN?  It makes Corbin look stupid.  I feel this was done only to make his match with Cena have more drama.  The only way to remedy this is to have Corbin win on Sunday (He wins he should be #1 contender or at least in the fight for it.).  If he doesn’t then congratulations WWE you will have ruined the career of a future Super Star.  

Keri:  Well I picked the wrong week to come back to this blog. I was shocked and then thoroughly disappointed with how this cash in was done. I’m not going to go on a angry tirade like Kent. He said what needs to be said on that front. With that said, this was bad planning on Creatives part. What did they hope to accomplish by having him cash in now, on free TV, and then lose due to the Cena factor. This leads me to one question. Can Cena retire already? He is a part timer who steals opportunities from full timers who bust their asses week in and week out. Yes, John Cena despite what you say in your promos and in interviews, you are a part timer, regardless of how much you love this company and the business. When was the last time you were on the roster for a full calendar year (minus time for any sort of injury), did live events, and actually earned your opportunities? You are the equivalent of Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. Go marry Nikki and be gone, will you?  While I’m at it Nikki and her sister should stay gone as well. The women’s division on both brands are fine without both of them coming in and stealing opportunities from women who deserve them.

Kent:  F*** you WWE!  Whoever made this decision, may you get what is coming to you, whatever that may be.  You can all just eat a bouquet of D’ you f***ing pricks.  I will be watching Game of Thrones Sunday, maybe watch some porn.  Hell, I’d rather watch soccer or women’s bowling than to watch Summerslam live.  You scumbags disgust me.  That is the nicer edited version of what’s really going on in my mind.

  1.  How did Neville vs Akira Tozawa end up taking the back seat to Big Show vs Cass?

Russ:  The match was great!  I for one applaud WWE for giving them time.  I also thought it was smart that WWE did this on RAW instead of at the PPV.  Yea, I know what everyone is saying, but SummerSlam is the bigger stage.  You are right it certainly is.  Too bad we all know this match is going to be relegated to the Kickoff Show, where very few people would have seen it.  At least on RAW lots of eyes saw it and boy it delivered.  This was a bigger moment than what they would have gotten at SummerSlam.  As to how this took a backseat to Show and Cass? Well we know how much Vince loves Big Men.

Keri:  I have a really easy answer for this one. WWE doesn’t care about its cruiserweight division. They have made this blatantly obvious since the CWC ended.

Kent:  Is Neville 7 feet tall? What?  Is Tozawa 7 feet tall? What? Can Titus fit inside a shark cage? What?  I just want to drag my sack across the face of the decision makers right now.  Tozawa and Neville both deserved a bigger platform to display that match.

  1.  Is Emma getting buried or is this part of a bigger, more productive storyline for her?

Russ:  We will know this answer in about 3 months.  You know the next time we see Emma and another revamping of her character.  

Keri:  Who knows. I liked to think that this give Emma a chance thing has a chance. But at the end of the day her name is not Bayley or Sasha so no title shot for her.

Kent:  Buried, anally.  Nope, it doesn’t have to make sense because we’re talking about wrestling, which is make believe , so anything goes.

  1.  Is Jason Jordan destined to be a heel after this current storyline?

Russ:  You know what would have made this storyline better.  If they used Chad Gable instead.  Jordan is a decent wrestler, but fails at every other level.  They made a mistake trying to be funny and now they are stuck with a dumb story and a wrestler who can’t pull it off.  I wouldn’t be surprised in like 4 months this story is completely dropped and never mentioned again.   Kind of like when Vince blew up in a Limo.  The only time it is mentioned is in mocking, just like this will be.   

Keri:  I didn’t care about this storyline when the whole big reveal happened and I don’t care about it now. It’s a stupid storyline that broke up what was one of the best tag teams to come out of NXT within the past year. Therefore, I’m not wasting anymore time on this one.

Kent:  You know what?  I don’t care.  I could wipe a monkey’s a** with whatever they decide to do with Jason Jordan.  He was in a great tag team with Chad Gable, and they snatched them in the middle of the night and anally raped them, violently, until they agreed with the current direction of their characters.  Just like Spielberg did to Indiana Jones.

  1.  Why didn’t anybody come out to help Big Show but the locker room poured out for the final segment?  Also, did the final segment make Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns look incredibly unimportant?

Russ:  Little known fact WWE isn’t consistent.  I did find it funny that The Big Show was unfairly getting ganged up on and was about to suffer possibly career ending damage at the hands of Cass and G & A and nobody bothered to come out, but Braun and Brock looked at each other funny and the entire locker room came out to make sure no one got hurt.  Good logic WWE.  As for Samoa Joe and Reigns looking incredibly unimportant I have a hypothesis on this.  These 4 guys are so on fire right now that WWE actually went out of its way to try and play this match down.  Let’s face it because of Joe, Braun, and Roman this match was already up their for expectations.  WWE knows it could never live up to the hype so they decided to make each guy look unimportant.  Don’t believe me let’s take a look over the past several weeks:  1.  Triple threat match that was fantastic minus Brock.  Making Brock look like he was unimportant.  Then The last man standing match.  Again, fantastic and Joe came out and purposefully took out Roman ignoring Braun.  Making Braun look like he was unimportant.  This week with no time remaining.  A locker clearing brawl between Braun and Brock while Joe and Roman disappeared into the night making them insignificant.  Everyone had their shot at being downplayed, now WWE won’t have to worry about this match being underwhelming.  

Keri:  I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Because reasons and yes. I would like to think that Braun looks very strong heading into this weekend but we know the Universal title is the groundhog of the championship belts. This means that Brock will retain and we will get 6 more months of no Universal title on WWE TV. Seriously Brock, join Cena and be gone already.

Kent:  Dumb dee dumb dee dumb.  I thought the Hardy Boys were feuding with Gallows and Anderson.No?  My bad, sorry for paying attention.  Big Show has no friends, and you can’t teach that.  Just wait until Enzo turns heel Sunday.  As for the end, it feels like Joe is having a deja vu to Wrestlemania weekend.  I could have sworn they took Joe seriously like a month ago.  I must be wrong.  I thought Roman was the franchise, but I didn’t even see anybody holding him back, but you know, he can take a 20 minute beating last week and then fully run and spear Braun.  Sorry for having a memory WWE.  You SUCK!!!!

  1.  Seth and Dean touched fists, tips, and butts. The Miz is in wrestling purgatory of sorts, but better off than Elias.  Sheasaro get no respect. Heath and Rhyno can’t get screen time.  On the plus side, 6 days prior to Summerslam they gave us Bray vs Finn, in which Bray won cleanly.  What the hell?

Russ:  Well I’m going to tackle the Bray and Finn match.  I hated this.  It was simply a way for WWE to give Bray a win and they can Blow their load on this feud at SummerSlam.  Instead of drawing having the demon come out over several months culminating in a demon feud at Hell in the Cell.  WWE has decided that should have a throw away match on a RAW showing Bray > Finn.  Then Bray goes too far and pours “acidic” red goo all over Finn.  Now Finn is going to bring out the Demon at Slam.  Yay, way to make it special WWE.  Yeah the match was used to set up that Demon Finn > Bray.  I’m sure the match will be adequate, but knowing the Demon is coming out means Bray is losing and I don’t care anymore.  

Keri:  Again, it’s nice to see that nothing has changed while I was gone and old storylines are still so exciting. So, let me see if I got this straight, Seth and Dean are a bickering old married couple just like Sheasaro were when they got paired up a year ago. Nice recycled storyline there. Miz has the IC title but no match at Summerslam despite the fact that his belt is the only one that is showcased week after week on RAW. Again, nice work Creative. As for Bray and Finn, I guess I’m excited that Bray woke the Demon. But seriously didn’t we see this coming when this whole thing started back around Mania. Also, I hate to say it Finn but Braun is starting to become my favorite guy. Sorry, but you bore me and I had to move on. Nothing personal I swear. (Kent: Gooood goooooood.  Let the hate flow.  Good job WWE, you have broken Keri.)

Kent:  Well apparently WWE thought that the Billy and Chuck gimmick worked so good that they are having Dean and Seth reenact it.  They need matching tights.  Maybe the can come out Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance as Dean piggybacks Seth down to the ring.  It would be historic and so open minded and progressive.  They could say that they started the homoerotic tag team revolution, and then Breezedango could dispute with them, only to have The Ascension truly lay claim with moon pie references.  And just when you thought, “My God, I am so happy to watch this new homoerotic division” suddenly Billy and Chuck would show up and say that they started the revolution.  Then you have Demolition come out in their BDSM gear and say that they were the real pioneers.  Homoerotic Wrestlemania tag team battle royale, I cannot wait.  I’ll be cheering on the Prime Time Players, only replacing Darren Young with Apollo Crews because I don’t wish to insult Darren Young.  That dude’s pretty fucking cool…unlike WWE.

  1.  Naomi is boring and having a lousy championship run.  Describe a way to get her back over to the point that you care about her again.

Russ:  Get her in a feud with someone like Becky or hell a heel Charlotte.  She has not had a single feud her entire run.  Unless you count Lana, which shame on you if you do.  She needs a story where she is the hero and someone keeps doing wrong.  If she just moves from one competitor to the next it’s boring.  Also, her feuds have been with the dregs of the division.  Give her someone she has to step up for.  I’m all for Becky vs Naomi and it is easy to keep them both fan favorites.  Naomi is the champ.  Becky wants the belt.  That’s it.  Wow, you mean stories don’t have to be super elaborate and make little sense to be good?  Oh WWE, you are silly sometimes.  

Keri:  Find her some charisma. Seriously, she has zero charisma. I could care less about her or the fact that she has the title. Her and Natty have to be the most uncharismatic women in the division and they have the title match at Summerslam. All I can say is come on Carmella cash in. I seriously cannot wait for her (and Ellsworth) to win the title and bring something back to that title that hasn’t been seen since Alexa held the title.

Kent:  Nudity?  Maybe build up Tamina with the help of Lana so Naomi has this huge uphill climb to show the heart of a champi……no, fucdgeit.  Nudity, basically her ass, on live TV.

  1.  Has Rusev vs Randy been the best booked feud leading into Summerslam?  If not, tell me which one was.

Russ:  I’m going to say, and I know Kent will hate me for this,  Cena vs Corbin.  I had no interest in this match other than to watch Corbin lose in what was hopefully a competitive fun match.  Instead, they completely fuck Corbin out of his Money in the Bank in a very deliberate bullshit way.  Making his fans very angry at the wasted opportunity.  Now I want to see if they complete the burial of Corbin or he comes out on top.  Either way they did their job.  It is the only match that I went from zero to holy fuck gotta watch it on the entire card.  (Kent: Well Russ, you have betrayed me and all of the fans reading this.  Getting out the Shame lady again.)

Keri:  Its really a tie between this one and KO and AJ. Both have a legitimate storyline which is rare in today’s WWE. Which leads me to my second question. Why is it that the US title is being booked better than the WWE title? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I’m so confused and may need an adult.

Kent:  Yup.  Rusev cut one whole promo asking for competition after an amazing match with Chad.  Randy accepted.  Rusev attacked him the following week with a simple kick to end the show.  This week Rusev kills Chad, and RKO out of nowhere.  Yeah, this is simple wrestling storylines at it’s finest.  This is the best that we have, especially since another SD feud got a little sidetracked at the end of SD.  Assholes!!!!!

  1.  Is it smart for WWE to end Fashion Peaks to get Breezedango back into matches, or is this a surprising, shocking, unusual mistake by that great F’N brain center known as Smackdown creative?

Russ:  They ended Fashion Peaks, they never said it was the end of Breezedango and the Fashion Police.  They were deliberate in saying Fashion Peaks.  Maybe next week we will get “That Fashion Show”  Where Dango lives with his parents and is a bit of a geek and his best friend Tyler lives in his basement, because his parents abandoned him.  They both love to smoke pot and we see them in a pot circle with their other friends The Ascension and Aiden English and hilarity will ensue.  I still don’t think WWE is going to have them wrestle yet and the Fashion Files will continue on.  

Keri:  Another short and sweet answer for this one. This is stupid plain and simple. Fashion Files, X files, Vice, etc has been gold week over week. It was the only thing I checked in on during my two week hiatus. That and to see what the Ascension was eating this week. The only good thing about the ending of Fashion Peaks is that maybe Konnor’s waistline will now start to shrink.

Kent:  WWE and smart don’t really belong in the same sentence.  So no, this is a terrible idea.  Neither are great in the ring.  They could do this weekly and get over more than anything they will do in the ring.  No offense to Breezedango, but this is their pinnacle.  Man, the WWE is really making me foolish for saying that giving them the tag belts 2+ months ago would be the only way to keep them credible as wrestlers.  What was I thinking?  Good thing that New Day is around and not getting broken up.

Bonus Deuce

  1. Rate RAW

Russ:  I really enjoyed this week.  I thought the way they compartmentalized each match into it’s own segment was smart.  Even though it was predictable I enjoyed the Dean and Seth fist bump show.  The cruiserweight match was great.  I liked what they did with the Fatal Four way.  Of course their was dumb shit, but that is par for the course with WWE.  

Rating: 6.8  

Keri:  Overall, decent show, I guess. I missed the first 30 minutes because I had to watch GOT and that was far better than the first 30 minutes of this show. Braun looked strong and thats all I care about right now (Sorry again Finn). He isn’t winning Sunday, is he? Sigh. Rating: 4

Kent:  F*** RAW

  1.  Rate Smackdown

Russ:  I’ll be honest, I barely remember what happened.  With the exception of the whole ending debacle.  I liked the Fashion Peaks Finale and the KO, AJ, Shane saga has been entertaining.  The rest of it was blah.  Rating: 4

Keri:  The word to describe this week’s show was pointless. Pointless cash in, pointless segments, and the pointless end to the Fashion Peaks. I was needless to say underwhelmed. Rating: 3 (Yes, RAW beat Smackdown this week)

Kent:  F*** Smackdown

 

Final Thoughts

Russ:  SummerSlam is shaping up to be a decent PPV.  On Paper that is.  We all know there won’t be enough time for each match to deliver.  This will end up where each match, except for maybe one or two, suffers.  Because of this and fatigue from watching 6 hours The PPV will be largely boring in several spots.  Still I am excited to see most of these matches and I definitely will.  Right after I watch “Game of Thrones.”   

Keri:  As I said at the start of the blog, boy did I pick the wrong week to come back to the blog.  RAW this week was decent but did little to nothing to get me excited about this weekend. Smackdown well I wish I watched something else instead honestly. As for Summerslam, I will probably watch part and then go to bed at a decent hour as usual then read the recaps the next morning.

Kent:  F*** Summerslam

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

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – August 7 & 8, 2017 – The Unfortunately We’re Back In Canada Edition

In this week’s Wrestling 9 Deuce, Russ and I tackle the week that was in Canada buddy.  RAW was surprisingly solid thanks to 4 really decent matches.  Smackdown was better on the talky side of things, not so much in ring.  We also found out that Bayley is out for Summerslam, as is Scott Dawson of the Revival.  Charlotte had her ass exposed in her match, and much, much more.  Also, those fans at RAW were absolutely awful.

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.  Sheamus fought Seth and Cesaro fought Dean.  Which match did you prefer?

Russ:  Both matches were good, but Cesaro and Dean got a lot more time and that actually helped them.  Seth vs. Sheamus felt more like evening the score out between the two instead of a full fledged match.  It was fine for what it was, but they definitely had a better match last week.  Cesaro and Dean on the other hand was given time and told a decent story.  It was interesting that the crowd didn’t really get into this until after the first commercial break.  Then the crowd was going crazy with chants and cheers.  Dean and Cesaro have good chemistry together, I’d like to see more of them.  

Kent:  Just last week I sang the praises of Sheamus, and he had a good TV match.  Then Dean and Cesaro tore the house down in one of the best TV matches all year.  What a great display for both guys.  If Dean would get the time and not be so goofy, he could give us more of this.  Cesaro, well still climbing the ranks of all time greats to never wear the main championship.  Yes, he’s really high up in that discussion.

  1.  Are you a fan of how the set up for the Bray vs Finn match has gone so far?

Russ:  It kind of feels like they have done this before.  Where an opponent thinks he is more Bray than Bray is.  However, I won’t say I hate it because Finn doesn’t seem to be giving into the Demon stuff.  Which is good because we don’t want the Demon to come out during the first match that wouldn’t be any fun.  

Kent:  I do like it.  The less that these guys do physically to each other, the better.  Finn showcasing his speed is going to be the story of the match I hope.  This match could be a show stealer at Summerslam.  It won’t be, but it COULD be.

  1.  In honor or our missing colleague, Keri, let’s talk about the women.  Let’s talk about the fans being dicks to Bayley and the two matches.  Thoughts?

Russ:  Well, I’d say the fans were being dicks to Bayley, but really Bayley has been poorly booked and characterised by the WWE lately and the fans are starting to sour on her.  Yeah, Canadian fans think they are above it all, but they sometimes make a good point.  This time they made a good point.  If they are going to fuck up the Bayley character this badly then we should be booing her.  We complain about her all the time on the podcast.  I just think the Canadians are listening to us.  As for the matches.  They were ok.  The two most obvious choices won so it wasn’t a shocker.  I thought Emma looked good out there, too bad she never had a chance.  Nia looked good in her match, but man her competition was hot garbage.  I am pretty sure next week Sasha is going to win.  So we may just end up with a decent match after all at SummerSlam.  

Kent:  Canadien fans like to think that they are special.  They are not.  There is no reason to boo Bayley, so screw you buddy.  “I’m not your buddy, Guy.”  Yeah, well I’m not your guy, Friend.  “I’m not your friend, Buddy.”  Huh, talking to Canadiens is confusing.  Seriously, did they have to put the 3 best talents available in the one match and then….well Nia was in a match.  Emma looked like a million bucks, as was expected by yours truly.  Alicia was great in her role.  So naturally Sasha won.  Fuck that.  I want to give Nia props for doing a really good job with her shoulder to the ring post spot.  She’s been working on it for a long time and it is showing.  Also, when Nia goes face, she’s going to be a star.  I am noticing that she is starting to get a sense for the moment, when to pose and show off a bit.  Dana on the other hand….not so much.  I wish Emma would have taken Dana’s spot.  Mickie is criminally underutilized on RAW.

Here is Alexa on Sportscenter.

http://www.wwe.com/videos/alexa-bliss-discusses-her-raw-women-s-title-defense-at-summerslam-on-espn-s-sportscenter

I believe this week also had Alexa’s birthday, so I found this gallery of 30 of Alexa’s best pics per WWE.

http://www.wwe.com/gallery/30-stunning-photos-of-alexa-bliss#fid-40123415

Finally, to stay on the women, here is Sasha as a zombie. I’d still hit it.

http://www.wwe.com/inside/mattel/gallery/sasha-banks-wwe-zombie-photos#fid-40122788

  1.  Who should Titus choose as his next client in Titus Worldwide?

Russ:  I’d like to see Heath join the ranks of Titus.  He’s got kids!  So does Titus, so he knows how important family is.  Titus and Heath could do some great things together on the mic and Heath is that star that just needs a spark to move really improve his status.  I think joining Titus Worldwide could be that spark and Titus Worldwide needs the star power of Slater.  

Kent:  I say run with this as long as they can and then when Bayley returns, have her lose a bit, and then have Titus boost her up.  She’s not great on the mic, but Titus is.  He also wears purple, so Bayley would fit in.  I think this would help everybody involved.  Then if they ever need to do the Bayley boyfriend storyline, Apollo would be available while Titus could be ridiculous.  I haven’t read Russ’ answer, but my answer is better than his.

  1.  WWE gave away Roman vs Braun in a Last Man Standing match for free.  Was this a good decision.  Also, if you have any thoughts on the match, regale us with now.

Russ:  I’m not sure why WWE is all of the sudden giving PPV level matches for free on TV, but I’m not complaining.  This was a really good showcase between the two men and the ending almost made sense.  I mean Kent is right why did Joe not take out Braun as well?  The lead up to this fatal-four at SummerSlam has given me high expectations for that match.  Which I know can’t possibly live up to what I want now, but man they are doing a great job with this!  

Kent:  I feel all Last man Standing matches should strictly be PPV matches that end feuds.  No exceptions.  This was  apretty good match.  I hate how much Braun had to sell the spear and how little Roman sold at the end.  The big issue I have with this was that after Joe took out Roman, why didn’t he take out Braun as well?  It makes Braun seem like a lesser threat than Roman, and it was kinda insulting.  I hate ending this on a sour note, so good effort by Roman and Braun!

I also have lots of good Braun related stuff this week.  First of all Braun met up with the man who plays The Mountain in Game of Thrones.

https://www.thescore.com/news/1349597-braun-strowman-hangs-with-the-mountain

Braun recently did an interview where he put over Roman.

https://www.cbssports.com/wwe/news/braun-strowman-puts-over-roman-reigns-in-major-way-during-wide-ranging-interview/

Then of course, there is Braun doing a table reading for Juno, which Eric originally reported to me.  What a week!

Braun Strowman Does Table Read For ‘Juno’, Charlotte Comments On Media Tour In China, Outsiders vs Steiners (Video)

Finally, if you want actual video of the chair toss, which you know you do, here you go.

Braun Strowman tosses a desk chair at the head of Roman Reigns and thus creates the perfect GIF

  1.  Which feud has you more excited at the moment: Rusev vs Randy or Baron vs Cena?

Russ:   Well, this one is easy for me:  Baron vs. Cena.  The main reason is that Randy has never been a wrestler that I enjoy.  Yes, he does have good matches and sometimes I like what he does.  However, for the most part I just think he is boring.  Since winning the title at Mania he has been almost unbearable.  Not to mention Randy has been on a major losing streak and needs a win.  Rusev is a master at getting buried. We all know how this will end.    

Kent:  Well, we all know that I have been hoping for months now, that Cena would face Baron.  Of course I am excited.  With that being said, Cena isn’t putting Baron over yet.  He NEEDS that win so that when Baron cashed in MitB, then Cena can say that he beat him.  Cena NEEDS all wins all the time.  My pick is Rusev vs Randy.  Randy got his first win in what seems like months this week.  Rusev is in desperate need of a big win, and Randy as seemingly embraced taking on guys who need a rub this year.  With Bray, he seemed to embrace it.  With Jinder, he tried, but the writing ruined it.  With Rusev, I think they can have at least a 6.5 if not 7.0 match.

  1.  What will help the women’s division more: Charlotte’s opponents pulling her pants down or the return of James Ellsworth?

Russ:  This is a tough one!  James Ellsworth coming back is a big thing, especially for Carmella, but Charlotte’s face when she realized her shorts were down…Priceless.  The “Thank you, Lana” chants were fantastic.  I think it completely eclipsed poor James making his triumphant return.  I think that should be Lana’s new gimmick.  Everytime she gets in trouble in a fight she pants her opponents.  I’d watch every match!  

Kent:  We all know what I’m going to say.  James MF’N Ellsworth is the obvious choice.  Go do a search for Charlotte nude and go play a rousing game of 5 against 1 if you need to.  Ellsworth is the Women’s savior because he’s the best on the mic and gets over Carmella’s opponents.  Of course he’s the answer.  Russ, you’re a pervert.

  1.  We know that Shane is going to get involved in the Summerslam match.  In the end, who will he help win?

Russ:  Well, it seems the obvious choice would be to help AJ win.  This will get KO out of the championship picture and into an interesting feud with Shane.  The feud could easily make it to Survivor Series and hell they might even push it to The Royal Rumble.  Although, I kind of hope that they might pull a fast one on us and he instead helps KO win and then Shane and KO form a faction that will rule Smackdown, while Daniel Bryan tries desperately to fix the wrongs of the duo.  

Kent:  I have been wondering if Shane may be due for a heel turn.  I like that Daniel and Shane by and large just make matches, but that’s not WWE’s style.  They like having an evil ruler sooner than later.  With Kurt running shit on RAW like a mayor, and Daniel never going heel EVER again, Shane makes sense to help KO here.  So I’ll say that he helps AJ because I like providing explanations for how wrong I am.

  1.  We now know that Double AA, the OG of the A Double level, was behind the Tully thing.  We also know that Fandango was abducted by aliens.  We always knew that Konnor likes pie….way too much.  What revelation is most interesting to you and is this ever leading to The Ascension getting a feud or taken seriously at all?  Also, what the hell happened to the Hype Bros storyline?

Russ:  Well Konnor liking pies isn’t exactly a revelation. It’s more of a fact.  I thought AA being the mastermind behind the Tully incident was fantastic!  I can’t believe it didn’t dawn on me until after seeing Arn that it made perfect sense.  The aliens were also a nice touch to clean up the case of the missing Dango.  Now can we please get them into a proper feud?   

Kent:  Really, how did I not figure out that it was Arn Anderson?  It made me feel so utterly stupid.  Fandango being abducted was a fine revelation, especially if they go places with it.  Still, I gotta say, I did not know of Konnor’s love of pie until this week.  That was always The Rock’s go to delicacy.  So what I am basically saying is that Konnor is the next Rock.  Trust me.  As for the Hype Bros, I feel bad for them because the timing never seems to be right, and the one time it was, Zack got hurt.  After Summerslam, please do an angle with them challenging for the belts.

Here’s the full video.

http://www.wwe.com/videos/did-tyler-breeze-find-fandango-in-the-return-of-fashion-peaks-smackdown-live-aug-8-2017

Bonus Deuce Deuce

  1. Rate RAW

Russ:  I’m going to say that overall this wasn’t a bad night.  We got a few decent matches and the last man standing match was a solid piece of business. Rating:  6.3

Kent:  I enjoyed myself.  For an overall show with 4 solid matches, this is better than some PPVs this year in all honesty.   I’ll give it a 6.8.  I am subtracting points due to that annoying ass crowd though.  Go fuck yourselves for booing Bayley.

  1.   Rate Smackdown

Russ:  James Ellsworth returned, Charlotte mooned the crowd, WWE used logic about something that happened a few months earlier and Fashion Peaks answered a lot of burning questions..  These are the makings of a decent show.  Rating:  5.5

Kent:  Smackdown may have not had solid matches, but they had a woman’s ass, a lot of stuff with Fashion Peaks, a continuation on some of their best storylines without blowing their load, and the return of the women’s division MVP, James Ellsworth.  Not as good as RAW in all honesty though, so 5.3.

Final Thoughts

Russ: Who knew that two guys with the same name (spelled differently) in the same week could have me cheering for them both!  Thats right Bronn and Braun both had fantastic outings this week in their perspective worlds.  Bronn for injuring one of the Dragons and saving Jamie from becoming a crispy treat.  Braun for throwing an office chair perfectly at Roman.  Kudos Gentlemen  I salute you both.  (Jesus, that was beautiful Russ.)

Kent:  Well, yeah, I was going to talk about Game of Thrones.  I will say this, Jaime was SMART for trying to go after Daenerys when he did.  We go over this, plus much more at The Game of Thrones 9 Deuce.  Cross promoting is fun!  I have a few more things of wrestling interest though.  Yeah, lots of links this week.

Here’s the 50 best bikini pics from WWE this summer.

It’s also the 20th anniversary of DX.  I’m surprised not many shout outs to Rick Rude’s involvement.  There’s a great tribute by New Day at the bottom of the first one.

http://www.wwe.com/section/overtheropes/article/dx-20-anniversary-reactions

http://www.wwe.com/gallery/wwe-superstars-d-generation-x-20th-anniversary-tribute-photos#fid-40123205

Here’s a cool live performance in NYC of Shinsuke’s theme song.

Finally, I am going to end this on a more serious note.  There’s a guy who won the 3rd season of Tough Enough, along with John Morrison, named Matt Capotelli.  Some of you long time fans may remember him.  He had to retire super young due to a brain tumor.  Well he had been good for 10 years, but it came back, only worse.  So there’s an interview with wwe.com that they did with Matt.  It’s well worth a read.

Matt Capotelli Interview

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

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – July 31 & August 1, 2017 – The Shinsuke Dropped Cena on His Head Edition

This week, we had some pretty solid matches, well at least in theory, they sounded good.  RAW gave us a triple threat with Roman, Braun, and Joe while Smackdown gave us AJ vs KO, Cena vs Shinsuke, and a surprisingly good Rusev vs Gable match.  Bayley is hurt, Brock is preparing to get back to the UFC, Paige and Del Rio are still together, Enzo is apparently off of RAW, and it’s been a somewhat interesting week in totality.  Unfortunately, we are without lovely female correspondent for this week and next because apparently education is more important than wrestling.  Yeah, we don’t get it either.

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.  How in the blue hell did the Battle of the Big’s main event RAW over so many other worthy matches?  Also, did WWE miss an opportunity to make Enzo into a Rey Mysterio or 123 Kid?

Russ:  I think it has everything to do with ratings.  I think the ratings peek around 10.  That is the reason we got the triple threat match then.  I’ll be honest I’m glad that happened.  I started getting tired after that match and fell in and out of sleep for the rest of the night.  I don’t even remember who won.  Ok, after looking it up it was Big Cass by DQ and it sounds as boring as I remember it being while I was fading in and out of consciousness.  As for the Enzo being a 123 Kid or Rey.  They can still make that happen, but the window is closing and will stay closed after SummerSlam.  

Kent:  Well, rather than Russ revealing that he is parroting what has already been reported and passing it along as his own thoughts…..no, it’s cool.  Yes, ratings have been revealed to be the answer.  That’s the reason.  So I will tackle the second part of the question.  Enzo needs a rub, and it needs to go for at least a month.  Teaming up with Cena in some tag matches against Cass and somebody like Elias could be fun.  Enzo vs Elias could be a solid midcard feud.  Enzo needs help though.  As has been reported, Enzo has been thrown out of the locker room by Roman, and as JBL has said, the only guy who has been thrown out and got back in good with the boys and became a success was The Miz.  Everybody else flamed out.  But doesn’t Enzo possess a lot of similar skills to Miz?  I know Enzo sells merchandise, but he should have been the one who turned heel.  He is a natural heel with his gift of gab.  But the window is closing as Russ alluded to.

  1.  Did the Jason Jordan & Miztourage segment work for you on any level?

Russ:  It worked to prove that Jason Jordan was not the right choice for this push.  They should have given it to Chad.  Jason is not good on the mic.  I know he is young and has had very little opportunity to practice, but he is way too stiff and looks uncomfortable out there.  I haven’t had a chance to see him wrestle much so I could be eating crow by the end of SummerSlam, but I think they missed a golden opportunity to push a legitimate star who was willing and Gable.  

Kent:  If you pizza when you should french fry, you’re gonna have a bad time.  That is what the ski instructor told the South Park boys in a season 5  or 6 episode called Asspen.  Jason Jordan is pizza.  Chad Gable is french fry.  Jason needs to learn to cut a promo ASAP or else he’s dead in the water.  Remember, there’s a reason why he floundered in NXT for years before finally finding success with Gable.  Miz can only do so much to save certain bad ideas, like a promo with Finn or this trash.  Still, Bo Dallas looks amazing.  I truly hope that they push him and Curtis.

  1.  It appears that RAW is doing the unexpected and providing us with 2 tag team feuds simultaneously.  Which one is better and which one are you more interested in?

Russ:  I’m not sure if better is the appropriate word I’d use because I think both feuds are going to be good.  However, I’m more interested in the revival vs. Hardly. I know you are shocked I didn’t pick my boy Seth, but I’m not interested in watching him while he is in a holding pattern, because they don’t know what to do with him.  The match will be great, but i don’t care about everything leading up to it.  The Revival vs Hardly’s though will be a showcase for the WWE universe on what The Revival is all about and I’m interested in how they are going to be handled and how good they can handle a feud and match quality.  

Kent:  Can somebody explain to me why RAW, a brand who needs faces to get their plethora of heels over, is combining Seth and Dean, possibly long term.  Man, I just don’t get it.  Sheasaro on the other hand will hopefully benefit.  Still, I am loving the Revival and Gallows and Anderson are finally getting more time to shine.  Meanwhile Seth is beyond cringeworthy in his promo segments as of late, and Dean isn’t much better because of the shit that creative is providing them.  The 3 way is better, for now.

  1.  Did they waste a Brock appearance considering the three way match later on in the night, and he was nowhere to be seen?

Russ:  Well if you came and wanted to see Brock then yes, this was a complete waste.  They had lots of potential to have him do a run in on the triple threat match and lay them all out to waste.  That would have been exciting. Alas, we got a really good match and that was it.  Not that I’m complaining.  I honestly stopped giving a fuck about Brock around a year ago.  

Kent:  Yeah, this felt like a waste of Brock, and yet, I don’t care anymore.  I’m fine if Brock retired today.  He is of no help to the roster.  If the final goal is to have him put over Roman, than everything will be for nothing.  Brock’s last match needs to be against Joe or Braun or Bray.  Anything else, and all fucks will be lost, none to give out.

  1.  Is Alexa Bliss currently the most complete performer in WWE right now?

Russ:  Alexa is definitely a complete package.  Good on the mic, knows how to work a crowd, and she can wrestle.  There aren’t that many wrestlers that can pull all that off.  I would say that she is the best by far out of the women, but I wouldn’t say she is the most complete when you include the men.  AJ, KO, Cena, and Samoa Joe all have the same talents with the crowds, but their wrestling skills are far superior to Alexa’s. She does have one thing that those 4 don’t though.  Youth!  She just needs more time in the ring and she could one day be the most complete package.  (Kent: Uhmmmm, I think you are forgetting something else that she has that the other 4 don’t.  Multicolored hair!!!!)

Kent:  So I asked this question because Eric and I was talking recently about favorite wrestlers, and he said Alexa, and I thought about it.  No, she’s not the most complete, but she is on the short list at the moment.  People that I would have above her include: Samoa Joe, Sheamus, The Miz, Kevin Owens, and that may be it.  Yes, I know.  But what about AJ?  He sucks on the mic as a face (Russ: How is Alexa on the mic as a face?) (Kent: Never seen it that I can recall. I would guess snarky.).  Carmella is almost there, but her in ring skills aren’t up to Alexa’s.  Sasha is having AJ problems.  Jericho would be higher, but I don’t think that he is back.  Cena’s promos have been shit.  Roman, Braun, Brock, Seth, Jinder, Randy, and a host of others aren’t that great on the mic.  The one that I feel is right on Alexa’s level is Baron.  Alexa is slightly better on the mic, while Baron is slightly better in ring.  Samoa Joe is my pick with KO at #2.  I know that Sheamus is a surprising choice, but consider the fact that he is very good in ring, can be placed in a main event at any time, looks great, and can cut a decent promo.  Sheamus is criminally underrated.

  1.  Despite having 8 females on the roster, including Maria, does the women’s division on Smackdown seem stale to you?

Russ:   Yes.  I don’t know why this is.  They have a great champion in Naomi.  I don’t understand why they can’t get her into a meaningful feud?  They always have her just take on the flavor of the month.  The Queen of shouting is there and as much as I don’t like her sometimes, I know she can wrestle.  Yet they don’t seem to be doing anything with her.   Becky has done nothing since losing the title all those long months ago.  I think Smackdown has forgotten how to properly book women.  

Kent:  Yeah, and I blame Charlotte.  Not the person, but the booking.  They made her Goldberg of sorts and it’s tough to build around that.Charlotte is a better heel.  Becky is a really good heel but is stuck in face purgatory.  Carmella is too good as a bitchy heel to turn face yet.  Naomi is great in her role but needs to be featured more as champ.  Tamina is a star just waiting for a chance that I am fearing won’t come.  I have really started to believe in her in ring ability, which is weird for me.  Lana should be a valet.  Maria is a good valet.  Both should pose nude some more.  Natty could be a face at anytime.  Lana should be a sympathetic, crafty and sneaky face that pulls off some cheap upsets to get the crowd to pop and then get beat down by someone like a Tamina.  They totally blew it.  This feels beyond stale.  Honestly, trade all of RAW’s faces for Smackdown’s faces, really mix it up a bit.  That way Sasha can still turn on Bayley.  Nia vs Bliss and Charlotte can happen.  Carmella vs Bayley intrigues me.Emma vs Naomi would be solid.  Yeah, let’s do that.

  1.  In a night of good matches, did Rusev and Gable steal the show?  Also, give me your thoughts on Randy vs Rusev.

Russ:  Rusev and Gable definitely stole the show.  That was an incredibly fun and exciting match.  It was so good that I actually stopped playing video games to watch it.  The only other match I did that for was AJ vs. KO and that had a crap ending so that gets counted out.  As for Randy vs. Rusev.  I don’t remember them ever feuding so at least it is fresh.  However, I won’t be sold until I know which Randy Rusev is getting.  If we get the same Randy that has phoned it in since Wrestlemania then this will be crap.  

Kent:  I felt that they had the match of the night, and it wasn’t really close.  I would re-watch that match.  It was a great showcase for both guys, and Chad looked great, even in a loss.  I want Chad vs Sami soon.  The mid-card on Smackdown could be disgustingly great with Tye, Aiden, Sami, Rusev, Chad, and Mike.  How does RAW get it SO wrong?  Randy vs Rusev……take my money.  I am sold.  I want Randy vs Mike eventually before his character flames out.

  1.  Were you hoping to get a Shane vs Kevin Owens match, or are you happier with a potential match of the year with AJ and KO that so far hasn’t lived up to the expectations?

Russ:  I have a one more match in me.  Maybe having Shane is just what this feud needs to get what on paper sounds like should be easy money.  Instead we have only gotten one fantastic match out of AJ and KO and that needed Jericho.  This may also lead us to a Shane vs KO match down the line say at Hell in the Cell.  I’m just saying it is a Smackdown PPV this year.  

Kent:  I don’t want anymore AJ vs KO matches.  They haven’t clicked and I am good with them moving on.  It happens.  Not all greats are destined to have great matches with one another.  Remember that Seth and Joe were having bad matches, and both guys are great.  KO vs Shane would be the better match oddly enough because Shane is good at taking a beating, selling it, providing exciting offense, but never goes out of his capabilities and allows his opponent to run the match.  That’s why you rarely see bad Shane matches.

  1.  Shinsuke Nakamura faced John Cena for the first time ever, and dammit, it was historic, but did it live up to your expectations?

 

Russ:  It was a good match.  I was genuinely surprised that Shinsuke got the clean win here.  I honestly didn’t think they would give this one away for free let alone Cena eating a clean pin.  Yet it did happen.  It was a good match, but Shinsuke is a little sloppy out there.  A couple of times I thought he made some mistakes out there,  especially when he threw Cena on his neck.  Still for a free tv match it was very solid.  

Kent:  I like it because it wasn’t overly long.  I thought it was a good opportunity to have Baron interfere to set up Baron vs Cena.  The match was fine.  My big issue is that Shinsuke gets sloppy and he gets let off the hook too easily.  Listen millennials, just because nobody holds you accountable, this shit needs to stop.  Hold Shin accountable.  He damn near broke Cena’s neck and that is unacceptable as an in ring performer.  I am cheering on Jinder now.  Shin needs to be punished.  He hurt Samoa Joe and Austin Aries in NXT, and now this.  Strong style is fine, but within reason.

Bonus Deuce Deuce

  1. Rate RAW

Russ:  I honestly can’t remember too much of what happened.  I enjoyed the triple threat match, though I didn’t care for the winner in this case.  The Revival, Hardly’s and G & A are ramping up to be lots of fun coming to a head soon.  The Main event was a blur, not because it was fun and over too fast, but because it was boring and I was falling asleep.  Rating: 4 

Kent:  Uhmmm, the triple threat match was fun.  The tag team stuff with Revival on commentary worked really well.  Bayley is hurt from her match with a  shoulder injury and we don’t know the extent of that yet. Meanwhile, Cass is not good at all and shouldn’t be main eventing.  Jason Jordan is showing very little potential.  Dean and Seth’s story is fucking terrible.  So essentially, another week in paradise.  3.75

  1.  Rate Smackdown

Russ:  I really enjoyed Smackdown this week.  There were three very good matches.  We got progression on the AJ and KO feud.  The Fashion Files was a great tribute to Twin Peaks and showed us why Konnor is getting so fat (he eats logs of wood with syrup, Comeon Man! That is just unhealthy.)   Overall Rating: 7.3

Kent:  A really solid evening all things considering.  I hated the ref storyline during the KO match, but it set up Summerslam.  I fast forwarded the women’s match because this revolution will not be televised in this household.  I liked everything else, and the Fashion Files was interesting to say the very least.  I would go with a 5.4 for this week.  

 

Final Thoughts

Russ:  I don’t understand WWE.  How can they screw up this Dean and Seth storyline?  We always bitch when WWE doesn’t use logic in stories.  Now, they finally use logic saying Dean doesn’t trust Seth for past reasons that make sense, but the story is just terrible.  Maybe we as fans are putting too much stock into logic.  I mean the best storyline of the year has been Braun flipping over an ambulance and that makes no Goddamn logical sense!  

Kent:  Man, Game of Thrones was great this week.  So much better than wrestling.  I miss last week when I didn’t have to watch wrestling.  It was so nice.  But back to Game of Thrones, can Dany just die so that the show can be far more fun.  Cersei is fantastic, and Euron is the best wrestling heel in the business, despite not wrestling.  I really need a new hobby.  When was the last time that we had a really good, match of the year caliber match?

I found not one, but TWO fun galleries this week via wwe.com. The first one is bikini pics of Emma, Lana, Naomi, and Maryse.  The second one is of wrestlers fighting dinosaurs.  They are both exquisite.

Emma, Lana, Naomi, & Maryse Bikini Pics

Wrestlers fighting dinosaurs Pics

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

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – July 24 & 25, 2017 – Break the Walls Down Edition

This week, we saw the return of Jericho, and we drank it in.  Keri also saw RAW live in DC.  Russ and I basically took the week off.  Oh, and KO won the US title on Sunday and then lost it back to AJ on Tuesday, so there’s THAT.  But first, some lovely pictures taken by our even lovelier Keri.  She got to see her boy Finn lose to my boy, so who wants to walk with the drifter?

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.  RAW this week set up its main event for the universal title. Discuss this and the opening segment.

Russ:  I for one think this will be a great SummerSlam main event.  Braun is the most over superstar right now, Samoa Joe belongs in the main event picture, Roman is a hard worker and great in the ring and Brock is, for some reason, considered a big draw.  Get all four in the ring at the same time and we are in for some good fun.  They should put the belt on Braun at SummerSlam.  It’s the perfect time to do it.  Think about it, Roman doesn’t have to win it because it isn’t one-on-one, and Brock doesn’t have to eat the pin.  We all win, so don’t expect it to happen.  

Keri:  The opening segment of RAW this week was the highlight of my live RAW viewing experience. Yes, readers I was there live. And let me say, that was an amazing pop that Braun received and Reigns was pretty much booed out of the Verizon Cente, despite the fact that in replays it sounded like he was being cheered. I assure you those were added in after the fact DC does not like Reigns. Now back to the segment, The announcement itself was good but predictable. I think we all saw this coming. However, the post segment brawl that ensued afterwards was worth the price I paid for my ticket. I was seriously concerned about that security guard that Braun turned into a land dart and threw half way across the river to Virginia. It was awesome and I’m glad Braun was standing tall at the end.

Kent:  There’s a weird part of me that wants to see a Brock and Braun vs Joe and Roman match of 2 Samoan bad asses vs 2 super strong white boys who throw people around.   As far as this segment, it’s pretty much what you would and should expect at this point.  That doesn’t mean it was bad, it was rather entertaining.  I’m glad that we can get this match.  I almost always enjoy when the locker rooms clear out.  This match should steal the show at Summerslam.  On a related note, UFC champ, Jon Jones called out Brock Lesnar after winning back his title at Saturday’s UFC event.  Rumors have been circulating about Brock returning to UFC for a match at MSG in NYC in November (I believe).  Well come to find out, whoever started those rumors are morons.  Brock has to get himself back in the USADA drug testing pool for another 6 months in order to serve out his suspension from his last fight against Mark Hunt.  Basically, Brock screwed himself because he was sick of getting tested to prove that he was clean, and now he wants another huge payday, and it’s going to be put on hold.

  1.  We have a new number one contender for the RAW women’s title, Bayley. Discuss this choice.

Russ:  Didn’t we just see this horrible match like two ppv’s ago? Bayley isn’t ready for the WWE, either that, or creative just doesn’t know how to use her. I think it’s a bit of both,  but the last time these two tangled it wasn’t good for  Bayley or Alexis.  

Keri:  Old feuds are so exciting. Said no one ever. Come on Creative we’ve seen Alexa vs. Bayley and it honestly was a flop. Sasha vs Alexa could have been a really good feud. It’s been eatables already that there is no love lost between these two ladies. Why not capitalize on it? Because reasons I guess. Oh well.

Kent:  What?  Emma isn’t getting an opportunity?  What a shocker.  Boooooring.  Bayley has been ruined.  I would trade Bayley and Sasha for Charlotte and Becky.  Charlotte was a bigger deal on RAW, and Becky seems to be constantly lost in the shuffle.

  1.  There was a three on two match this week involving the Miztourage and Dean and Seth. Where do you think this is heading?

Russ:  Maybe a triple threat match at SummerSlam.  It seems like in order to get all the big names in they will have to be in multi-men matches.  These three could deliver a classic triple-threat if they are given enough time.

Keri:  I’ve got three words for you. Triple threat match. And then I have two more, at Summerslam. That is alll.

Kent:  Rumors are stating that Dean and Seth will be facing Sheasaro at Summerfest, while Jason Jordan will take on the Miz.  If that is the case, fuck man.  While it will be nice to get Dean away from Miz, they don’t deserve a tag title match, but if it leads to a Dean heel turn, I’ll choke this feud down.  Jason Jordan…….I think he has bust written all over him.  Gable was the star.  Gable should have been Kurt’s son.  Feud Jordan with Cass in a match of epicly awful proportions.

  1.  Tag team discussion time. The Revival had a match against G&A with a Hardys run in. Shesaro was not featured in the ring this week and was seen only via backstage segment. Was this the appropriate way to feature the division? Discuss.

Russ:  It would have been better to have Sheasaro actually do something, but it was nice to see the revival out there getting back to basics.  How long until they get the Nxt break up treatment?

Keri:  So, I think we are getting the Revival vs Sheasaro at Summerslam. I think over the next few weeks we are going to see the Revival beat up on the other tag teams first. Thus making them a threat to the titles and the Bar.

Kent:  No.  Sheasaro needs to have some entertaining backstage promos to keep them relevant while teams compete for #1 contendership, like a one night tag team tourney with G&A, Revival, Hardly’s, and Ginger Rhynos.  Maybe toss in Seth and Dean, Bo and Curtis, Enzo and Show, and maybe a cruiserweight team or Bray and Finn.  Get creative….Creative.

  1.  It looks like Creative is finally pulling the trigger on Bray vs Finn after the events on RAW this week. Do you think this match is actually going to happen? Do you think this will bring back the Demon? What does this mean for Elias Samson?

Russ:  Elias will fall back into obscurity, which is a shame.  I think Bray vs Finn, could be a great story driven feud.  I Don’t think their first match should bring out the demon.  Save that for a match down the line.  

Keri:  I think this time it may actually happen. Let’s face it Seth vs Bray and sloppy and kind of fell flat. I also think for this feud to be effective we need to bring back the demon. He’s had a year break. He needs to come back. It would work into the storyline so well. As for Elias, I’m not sure how he factors into this feud but he should have something going into Summerslam. I was very impressed with what I saw Monday night from him.

Kent:  Apparently they want to only call him Elias now, because once you make the main roster, you only have a first or a last name, not both!  Elias vs Miz would be a great start.  Add in Jason Jordan and you have 2 guys that can carry it on the mic, and 3 very different in ring styles.  Sold.  Regarding Finn vs Bray, yes, it is an excuse to bring back the Demon, which should have been done MONTHS ago.    Finn didn’t deserve his huge push, but he deserved better than what he’s been served since his return.  Can’t wait to see Bray job to another star.

  1.  Sooooo, Jericho is back and AJ Styles is the NEW US champion.  Which development is most important for the company at the moment?

Russ:  I don’t think Jericho is back for the long run yet, so I’m going to have to say AJ getting the title back.  Still what the hell was the point of having KO win it just to give it back to AJ the next night? The only thing I can think of is that Battleground was a botch.  Still this triple threat match was way  better than the crap we got at battleground, so I guess that is an overall win for the fans.  

Keri:  I’ll be honest I marked out when Jericho’s music hit. It was great to see him back and putting people on the list. With that said, flip flopping the belt back to AJ was kind of pointless. Provided Jericho is back for awhile, they could have spent the next couple of weeks building this up with all three saying they had a legit claim to the belt. Thus making the belt seem important and giving us the pay off at Summerslam. By doing it this way, neither Jericho’s return or the title change Tuesday night provided any benefit.

Kent:  Jericho is more important because he’s another top guy that could help keep this show a little more fresh than RAW.  Still, where’s Dolph?  I need him to start feuding with Gable.  This US Title nonsense, it’s nonsense.  If you are going to flip flop the belt this much, then you follow it up with a best 4 out of 7 to reign supreme and end it.  That’s how you tell a logical story.

  1.  Who do you want to win next week between Shinsuke and Cena?

Russ:  I don’t think either of them are going to win. They aren’t going to give this dream match away for free.  There will definitely be interference. The question is who will interfere?  Baron could, given his unfinished business with Shinsuke.  However, don’t count the Bulgarian Brute out yet.  Sure he is as buried as you can get, but he keeps digging himself out just long enough to get air and then promptly buried again.  

Keri:  I’d like to see Shinsuke win next week but it will probably be Cena facing Jinder at Summerslam. The promo between Jinder and Cena prior to the announcement of this match pretty much foreshadowed the outcome of how next week’s match is going to play out. This is also means that Cena will probably get the belt at Summerslam. Some much for the land of opportunity. Besides, like Braun, I don’t think Baron is finished with Shinsuke yet. (Kent: Nice finishing line.)

Kent:  We all know how this is going to play out.  Now allow me to tell you what I would do.  I’d have Baron interfere and beat down Shinsuke, which also DQ’s Cena, so he attacks Baron.  The following week, have Shin vs Baron to blow off their feud for now, with Shin winning and Baron blindsiding him after and Cena making the save.  Then of course the obligatory tag team match of Baron and Jinder vs Cena and Shin.  Cena vs Baron is made official.  At Summerslam, Cena goes over Baron, as is tradition, with Baron beating Cena down and sending him to the hospital after.  Shin beats Jinder and the crowd goes apeshit.  The Singhs interfere and then out comes Baron, and cashes in MitB.  Baron gets his belt.  Ohhhh, Shinsuke vs Baron isn’t over yet, as they have a match at the next PPV.  At the end, when Baron retains, have Cena come out so we get a proper feud between them.  That’s how you build up interest and stop pushing Jinder.  Maybe put Jinder and Rusev back as a team with Lana as their manager.

  1.  Now that Natalya is the #1 contender, do you feel like this has a chance to be a good feud with Naomi?

Russ:  No.  What? You want more? OK, this going to be terrible.  At least we can assume Naomi will hold the belt a little longer.  You never know, because Carmella does have that briefcase.  

Keri:  I feel so indifferent about this feud. I mean it’s nice to see something different but can these women actually carry a feud and put on a good match at Summerslam. I think Naomi can cover the match portion but is there enough of a storyline for me to care. I just don’t think so. Oh well, at least we have a potential Carmella cash in to look forward to at Summerslam. Oh, and free James Ellsworth.

Kent:  FREE ELLSWORTH!!!!!

Remember Natty vs Nikki and how good the build up was, and how bad that match was?  Yeah, that.  Keri’s used the term indifferent, and that’s pretty spot on.  I think Natty will bring it in the build up, but I expect to be underwhelmed by match time.  The sooner that Carmella is running this division and “Talking Smack” about how nobody can beat her and allow for Asuka’s call up, the better.  If only there was a 25-30 minute show on Tuesdays around 11PM where Carmella could run her mouth and help build her brand.  Somebody should create that show.

  1.  Is the Sami Zayn and Mike Kanellis feud working for you or should both move on?  If you say move on, then who should they feud with?

Russ:  No, I just don’t have any feelings good or bad towards Mike. WWE needs to do something with him that is better than this power of love crap.  So, honestly give him a mini-feud with AJ.  If AJ can’t make me care about him then it’s all over for me.  As  for Zayn he should feud with the Modern Maharaja.  It gives Zayn some credibility and someone new for Jinder to get better as champion with.  (Kent: It’s the MDM, the Modern DAY Maharaja….you disgust me.)

Keri:  It really wasn’t working me from the start so I say move on. Have Mike work with Tye and start building the lower card. As for Sami, his character is stale. Let’s turn him heel and have him join the group fighting over the US title. (Kent: Sami in a feud potentially involving KO wouldn’t count as stale?)

Kent:  I really want to see Randy battle the power of Love, because if anybody can really hate love, it’s Randy.  It’d be amazing, and give both guys something very different to work with.  Sami needs wins.  Sami over Jinder, Rusev, Baron, KO, whoever.  Sami vs AJ would actually appeal big time to me.Sami deserves the belt and some day, if I wish really hard, maybe it happens.

Bonus Deuce

  1. Rate RAW

Russ:  I didn’t watch it… And I couldn’t feel better! Rating: 8

Keri:  Overall it was a better show than I was expecting. And trust me my bar was set pretty low. Yes, you had the normal storylines and matches but that opening segment/brawl really made the episode for me. Rating: 4

Kent:  It’s Sunday, I finally watched it…sorta.  The funny thing is that I gave it a 4.0 prior to watching based on what little I heard about it.  After watching it, I give it a 4.2 for the Elias and Finn (2 points), tag team (1 point), Opening segment (1 point), and Alexa Bliss and Emma sightings (0.2 points).

  1.  Rate Smackdown

Russ:  i saw a few things but I still didn’t get to watch everything.  What I saw was good so in honor of watching very little wrestling and enjoying the week…  Rating: 8.

Keri:  This week’s show was kinda meh for me. The only redeeming quality for me was the return of Jericho (welcome back..mannnnn). Other than that and the AJ title change,this was an uneventful and predictable Smackdown.

Kent:  I actually quite enjoyed this week.  2 points for the opening.  1 for the Uso’s beatdown.  1.5 for the main event.  1 for Shin vs Baron.  0.3 for Aiden and Tye getting on the show.  5.8 for the night….wait, Charlotte had a match.  It’s a 5.5 for her awfulness.

 

Final Thoughts

Russ:  I’m rested and ready to watch some wrestling.  Everyone needs a break and this was really needed. Now I can make it to SummerSlam and I might just get through it before totally smarking out.  It depends on how bad WWE creative makes the shows.  

Keri:  It was an ok week but I think I really need a break. I way to smarky to be objective and positive about anything wrestling related anymore.

Kent:  It was nice having the week off.  Unfortunately, we are really late with this, so we were less productive than ever before. Hooray!  On the plus side, I found these Twitter pics on WWE’s website and I wanted to treat you for being oh so patient.  The Sheasaro one makes me giggle.

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

2017 Battleground Review – The Return of The Great Khali Edition

Battleground happened this past Sunday and it was the most mediocre, middle of the ground PPV pf the year.  Nothing great happened, but the lows weren’t terribly low either.  It was weird.  Anyway, Russ and Cece are here to help me wade through the sea of mediocrity.

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.  Aiden English def Tye Dillinger

Russ:  This was fun match.  I’m glad Aiden got the win, because even though Tye really needs wins Aiden needs them more.  These two have done well against each other maybe it’s time to get them some story on Smackdown.
Rating: 4.6

Cece: I really dug Aiden’s tights, to start. This match was decent but it didn’t really pull me in. They both need more story work.
Rating: 4.0

Kent:  This is one of the absolute best kickoff show matches that they have had in years.  Yes, I was impressed.  Yes, I was happy to see Aiden win a match.  Yes, I am fearful that I was right that Tye DIllinger wasn’t ready for the call up to the main roster, which I covered a lot months ago.
Rating: 4.9

  1.  The New Day def The Uso’s to become the NEW Tag Team Champions

Russ:  Wow, this match was way better than I thought it would be.  I was surprised that Big E sat on the sideline, but I think the mix of Kofi, Xavier, Jimmy and Jay made for some great chemistry.  A lot of near falls several that were believable and a great pace made for an exciting match.  I think not knowing for sure which team would win made this more exciting.  Unfortunately, the wrong team won.  I like New Day, Big E is one of my guys, but The Uso’s have been on a tear since winning those belts and they deserved a decent run.  Oh well, let’s prepare for another record breaking run for New Day (It could happen, these belts haven’t been held very long by one team.)
Rating: 6.3  

Cece: This was easily the best match of the night. The energy was just right and they kept me watching the entire time. As much as I love New Day, it’s interesting that they would be getting the titles again as there are other tag teams who need a push. But DON’T YOU DARE BE SOUR!
Rating: 8.0

Kent:  Match of the night in a night where it didn’t seem like any other match wanted to challenge this for the honors.  I liked the match.  I watched it a second time.  It wasn’t great, but fun and well done.  I don’t care for New Day winning, but that doesn’t change my rating in my eyes.  I won’t watch a third time, under any circumstances.
Rating: 6.5

  1.  Shinsuke Nakamura def Baron Corbin via DQ

Russ:  A hard hitting match and well choreographed.  This wasn’t either guys best match, but it was a decent match.  It was obvious Baron was going to lose, but I wasn’t expecting it to be a DQ loss. Knowing he wasn’t going to win Corbin decided to deliberately cheat in front of the ref in the most painful way possible.  That’s just good character building.
Rating: 4.8

Cece: This was a pretty decent match up until the end. I love Shinsuke and his striking style. I also think Baron was a good match for him as he is a powerhouse when he wants to be. I think the low blow to end the match was what ruined it for me.
Rating: 6.1

Kent:  I wanted to love this match.  I really did.  Then came the bearhug and I did mentally lose interest.  Sorry, but it happened a second time when I tried rewatching it.  I didn’t make it through the match.  Because I tried rewatching, I have to obey my rule of higher than 5.0.
Rating: 5.1

  1.  Natalya def Charlotte, Becky, Lana, and Tamina to become the #1 Women’s contender

Russ:  I’m not going to lie, I paid scant attention to this match assuming Charlotte had the win.  So imagine my surprise when they said Natalya was the winner.  I think she was one of the ones I thought had no chance of winning.  I guess I’m not watching wrestling this week.  (oh no, I was really looking forward to watching wrestling too.)
Rating: Bathroom Break / Food Break / Read reviews of Game of Thrones  

Cece: I thought this match could have went a bit better. I’m tired of the whole Lana/Tamina thing. They need to use Tamina better, not just as a ‘bodyguard’ or something. That’s bullshit. She can be much better if they’d let her. I am upset Charlotte didn’t win, but I didn’t predict her to win anyway. Natty was a surprise for me.
Rating: 5.2

Kent:  Around this time, Game of Thrones came on and it was such a good episode.  To have to force myself to come back to this match did negatively affect my view.  I’m simply being honest.  With that being said, it was a surprising match.  It was well done.  The cameraman got some great shots of Lana’s backside.  Natalya winning, well I am quite surprised.  I’m happy for her, but stop talking about your fucking cat!  None of this matters until the greatest female is holding the belt, and that’s Carmella.
Rating: 4.8

  1.  Kevin Owens def AJ Styles to become the NEW US Champion

Russ:  This is a tough match to give a score to.  On the one hand this was a decent match.  Several good moves and counters and some decent chain wrestling.  A few near falls that were exciting.  On the other hand this was completely underwhelming for these two.  By far neither’s best match.  I think the ending had a lot to do with it.  The ref bump was odd and seemed to give neither guy an advantage, it took forever to get the ref back into it when he was clearly ok and watching the two men.  Finally, the ending was very anti-climatic.  How come AJ who wasn’t injured and had a slow count didn’t even struggle to get out of the pin?  It was odd and I hope they explain it on Tuesday, even though I can’t watch it (Damn!)
Rating:  4.9  

Cece: Meh. This match had the potential to be awesome. And, as much as these two fought, it still could have been better. I think they robbed AJ of having more time in the spotlight, so that sort of ruined things for me there. But, it was overall a decent match.
Rating: 6.5

Kent:  This match wasn’t terribly exciting.  Add to it, that awful ending and this is hard.  The work was good.  I simply have ZERO interest in rewatching what should have easily been a 7 or higher match.  Hel, this had 8 potential.  That ending was soooo bad, and that AJ didn’t seem too fazed by it after the fact hurt it even more.
Rating: 4.99

  1.  John Cena jobbed out Rusev for the 137th time in a flag match

Russ:   I really hoped that the WWE would troll us on this match and give Rusev a victory here.  Unfortunately, and I should have known this,  #LolCenaBeatsRusev137thTime.  I have no idea why Cena likes to “crush” Rusev, but you can tell he enjoys it!  As for the match it wasn’t bad.  Look it’s a Flag on a pole match. If you are looking for anything more than stupid fun then you are looking too deep into this type of match.  Watching Cena and Rusev slow climb 4 steps was hilarious and watching Cena stop Rusev from planting his flag with his bare hands was laugh out loud!  What I’m saying is I had a few good laughs and there were a few moments of entertaining wrestling.  I’m ok with that.
Rating: 4.7

Cece: I thought this match was boring and pointless at first. Tired of the foreigner is bad trope. BUT, it did pick up when the two got closer to the flag posts. I did think the last 5-10 mins of the match were exciting. The winner was super predictable though.
Rating: 4.2

Kent:  This match has it’s moments, and there was some good moves in it.  Without the flag gimmick, this probably is in the 6 or higher territory.  The stipulation dictated that the match had so many stupid moments.  Like, just throw your opponent’s pedestal, or break the flag pole so they are unable to plant it.  Cena like overpowering Rusev from planting the pole.  So many dumb, dumb things.  But some of that was funny too.  Mixed bag.  I would rewatch this for the humor.
Rating: 5.1

  1.  The Fashion Files happened

Russ:  This was good.  It left me with more questions than answers.  Like does Konnor just want to act, because he put more effort into this skit than he has his wrestling career and physique since being called up from NXT.  Also, the mystery got deeper as we still don’t know who trashed the office, but now Deputy Dango was being dragged off someplace!  This will be the one thing from wrestling this week that I will really miss.
Rating: 7  

Cece: This was another hilarious skit. I loved it. The Ascension bluffing made things too funny. EDDIE MONEY! Also, it definitely left me wanting more. I was actually upset nothing was revealed last night! Who did it?!?!
Rating: 9.0 because it’s intriguing, damnit!

Kent:  I am working with people who are easily amused apparently.  No, this wasn’t THAT funny.  I laughed twice, once at Konnor’s silhouette and once for Eddie Money.  Seriously, where are your standards people?  Just saying, this is why the comedy film genre is at a new low, because we have allowed our standards to be so low that people think that Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy are funny.  Please, you are not going to rewatch this multiple times.
Rating: 4.0 because it’s the same old stuff but with less jokes, but more Konnor.  Hmm, 4.5.

  1.  Sami Zayn def Mike Kanellis

Russ:  I’m still not sold on Mike and Maria Kanellis.  This match did not help either.  The crowd was just not into this match and you could tell they didn’t know what to think of Mike.  Zayn tried, but the crowd was dead by the end.  There were some glimmers of hope here.  I thought it was fun when Maria blew Mike a kiss and he used that hand to immediately punch Zayn with.  Mike can take a hit too, because that Heluva Kick was pretty nasty.
Rating: 3.8

Cece: This feud continues to be pointless and stupid. The whole ‘true love’ gimmick is the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen. I really cannot get behind it whatsoever. So, therefore, I paid almost 0 attention to this match. Sami deserves better. That’s all I’ll say. Again.
Rating: 3.0

Kent:  Mike needs a different opponent as Sami isn’t vicious enough to continue this one and keep it fun.  The matches are ok, but too short, and both guys are way better than they showed on Sunday.  I am getting some dread that Mike and Maria are going to not get a chance to shine.  I hope that is not the case.  Randy Orton needs somebody to be pissed off at, and everybody hates seeing PDA, so make it happen, please.  This match needed about 3 more minutes to maybe get us excited.
Rating: 4.0

  1.  Jinder Mahal def Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison match to retain his championship

Russ:  This match concept is stupid.  The doors are really useless.  Just let your opponent go out the first immediately, and you climb up the top  and jump to the other structure (like Randy did) and climb out.  Ding Ding Ding, you win.  Getting over that, there were a few good moments and spots in this one.  The Singh through the announce table sounded totally devastating.  Jinder has improved in the ring, but he is still boring to watch.  The whole ending of the match seemed forced.  Khali just doesn’t have the movement to pull what they tried to pull off.  However, it’s over.  Now give Jinder a real opponent that can make him look good, because Orton was not helping the cause.
Rating: 4.3    

Cece: Meh. I was super unhappy with how this match turned out. It had so much potential but it definitely was just another match. The one I will give props to, is Samir Singh. He took that table like a champ, man. Also, Khali coming out was kind of stupid. I understand people like legends when they show up, but he could have done it in a cooler way. The shaking of the prison to make Randy fall over the way he did was so unbelievable. Idk I wasn’t impressed.
Rating: 3.6

Kent:  Nobody in the history of ever said that they wanted a third Punjabi Prison match.  Do you know why?  Because everybody fucking hated the first 2!  Seriously, it looks cool as shit, and then you get to the rules and you realize how much of a clusterfuck it is.  The door concept is beyond asinine.  The minute rule is just an excuse to waste 4 minutes.  Then the cages are so close that you can just stretch over from one to the other.  Seriously, what were they thinking?  I felt bad for both guys.  I will admit, I did not foresee the Great Khali returning.  Do you know why?  Because nobody liked the Great Khali, his knees betrayed him, he had no mic skills, no in ring skills, he simply has a large jaw and is Indian.  The fuck?  What a shit storm of fuckery.  Still, that Singh brother took that bump like  a fucking champ, and the kendo sticks actually added to the match.  Notice how the kendo sticks did the damage in the match, not this shitty structure.  Just give us a hardcore match and it would have been way better.
Rating: 4.1 mainly for the bumps and kendo sticks

 

Bonus Deuce Deuce

  1. Best Match of the Night

Russ:  New Day vs. Uso’s.  There wasn’t a close second, but none of the matches were out right bad either.  

Cece: New Day VS Uso’s for sure. Such energy.

Kent:  Tag team title match

  1.  Worst Match of the Night

Russ:  I’m going to have to go with the Women’s match.  I barely paid attention to it and I didn’t really care.  

Cece: Probably Sami and Mike.

Kent:  Mike and Sami, but not by much.

 

  1.  What booking decision surprised you the most, either positively or negatively?

Russ:  Definitely Natalya winning.  I was 100% confident that she had about as much of a chance of winning as I did.  So I guess that is positive because at least it is something different and I don’t have to tolerate Charlotte going for the belt yet.  

Cece: Most surprising was Natty winning and AJ losing.

Kent:  I’m torn because 4 happened.  The Breezedango thing made no progress.  Khali made his triumphant return.  Natalya won an important match.  AJ jobbed like a little bitch.  I guess I gotta say that the AJ thing is still resonating with me days later.

 

  1.  Rate Battleground overall from 1.0-9.2

Russ:  Battleground was overall an ok ppv up and down the card.  It wasn’t spectacular and no matches were memorable, but none of the matches outright stunk up the place either.   

Rating: 4.8

Cece: 6.5

Kent:  4.82375….or 4.8 if you want a well rounded number.  I simply took the averages of everything.

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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!

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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.

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The Royal Rumble Retrospective – Part 4 of 6 (2003-2007)

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)

 

2003 – Big Show vs Brock, HHH vs Scott Steiner, and then Kurt vs Benoit all before the Royal Rumble match.  Talk about having a mountain to overcome.  So they start off with HBK and Y2J, and you say why not.  Stacy Kiebler was absolutely F’N stunning here.  My God.  Best looking diva ever in my opinion along with prime Sunny, prime Trish, Dawn Marie, and a few others.  Man….Cena’s rap was vulgar and tremendous.  Jericho’s face looks awful thanks to the stray kendo stick from Dreamer I believe.   I forgot about Jamal, who ended up being Umaga, one of the all time best unfulfilled potentials.  Test and Cena fight a lot in this one.  The last 3 guys are Batista, Brock, and Taker.  Wow.  That’s insane.  Taker first eliminates Cena.  Then Maven goes for the dropkick from behind in a hilarious spot, a continuation from the previous year. The final four are Kane, Taker, Brock, and Batista.  Holy crap!  This is just hoss heaven.  I think I was cheering on Batista when this aired live.  If this happened this year, I’d be cheering on Batista or Kane.  The ending was good, really good.  This is actually a great overall PPV plus a great Rumble.  This was interesting all the way through and had stars the whole time, plus a great final 4.  I’d give this an 8.3.

  1.  Best Save – Edge was so close twice, once thanks to Rey.  Matt Hardy also saved by Shannon Moore propping him up by his legs.
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Bull Buchanan
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Christian doing Jericho’s entrance which caused HBK to be distracted, and was quickly eliminated.  Jericho with a huge knot on his face, eliminating Edge and Christian.before #12.  Jeff Hardy goes to the top rope and gets shoved off by RVD was awesome.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Rikishi vs Rosey
  6.  Best Eliminator – Chris Jericho with 6
  7.  Best Survivor – Chris Jericho @ 38:54
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Taker

 

2004 – This Royal Rumble is rated TV-MA. Shiiiiiiiit.  Well after that HHH vs HBK bloodbath, I can see why.  Anyway, for all you stupid idiots that were in the YES movement in 2014, pretending like it was the most important thing, 10 years prior, there was a man that was every bit as good, and probably better than Daniel.  The crowd loved this man.  The crowd didn’t act like a bunch of whiny millennials and whine and protest.  No, they just hoped with every ounce of hope that a man who had busted his ass for years, a man who may be a little shorter and not the prettiest face in the room, but perhaps the most talented guy, would finally get his chance.  That man was ‘The Crippler’ Chris Benoit.  Yes, it was obvious that he was winning it, and it was totally worth it.  Now, I can look back with less bias and actually judge the whole match.  Benoit was #1 and a young Randy Orton was #2, oddly enough, the man that would take the belt off of Benoit that summer, in a terrible mistake.  Thankfully, this is an every 90 seconds Rumble.  I like how Benoit is saving himself and is only doing 2 consecutive Geman suplexes as opposed to his usual 3.  Early on, the star power is lacking aside from Randy and Benoit.  Steiner, Bradshaw, Matt Hardy, Rhyno, Matt Morgan, Mark Henry, Tajiri, and The Hurricane don’t move the needle much.  But They were all good talents that weren’t total jobbers so it held a middling level of interest.  The second third is far more entertaining, featuring Kane, Booker T, Shelton Benjamin, Albert, Rikishi, Ernest the Cat Miller, and Kurt Angle.  Wow, so much better.  Of course Benoit just unleashed the triple German’s on Kurt.  Test was due out at 21, which got me pumped momentarily, but then I got more pumped at his replacement, Mick Foley, which was a huge story at the time, for Foley and Randy.  Holy crap, Randy just cranked Mick with 2 of the most vicious chair shots that you’ll ever see. Nunzio gets the Mandible Claw then refuses to get in the ring.  Awesome.  The final 10 include Foley, Christian, Big Show, Jericho, Goldberg, RVD, Billy Gunn, and John Cena.  This is a loaded third.  This is when Cena was just turning face and he got over, and then he finds Nunzio.  Brock attacked Goldberg and F5’d him.  That may happen this year.  Final 6 are Benoit, Cena, Y2J, Kurt, and RVD.  That’s loaded!  Cena, then RVD, Jericho, Kurt, and finally Big Show.  I think Cena tweaked his knee and/or ankle upon elimination.  That Angle elimination was great.  I love how much damage Big Show took.  It told a great story, and showed that he had been weakened for the proper ending.  He had the Walls of Jericho, Angle Lock, and Crossface, plus other stuff.  That final elimination was iconic as well, well until they stopped showing it.  Man, this Rumble was friggin great.  I gotta give this an 8.5 based on the storytelling.  Would be a 9, but the first 10 participants lacked one more star or if we had a bonafide hoss showdown.  They set up so many great angles for Mania though and that’s the whole point.  Kudos!  

  1.  Best Save – Jericho had a few close ones
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Randy and Benoit eliminate Ernest and Lamont who were dancing to “Somebody Better Call My Momma”.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Foley eliminates himself and Randy was huge for their rivalry.  The winner is Big Show’s flipping elimination on Angle.  It was amazing.  One of the all time greatest and most overlooked.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Scott Steiner on Orton, it’s ridiculous, after Hurricane’s elimination.  Matt Morgan also got some hazing by Rikishi.  
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Randy vs Foley
  6.  Best Eliminator – Benoit with 6
  7.  Best Survivor – Benoit @ 1:01:35
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Mick Foley
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Billy Gunn

 

2005 – This is when WWE was in the midst of making Orton and Batista into stars while Edge was becoming a superstar.  The older established guys like HHH, HBK, Jericho, Taker, Eddie, Benoit, and such were doing what they could.  Cena was in full SuperCena mode, and was pissing off the everyday common fan.  This is one of my personal favorite Rumbles.  Aside from the Rumble, we get Edge vs HBK, Taker vs Heidenreich, Big Show vs JBL vs Kurt, and HHH vs Orton.  Yeah, a lot of star power is used up in matches instead of pawning it off on tag team and women’s matches, like they should.  Eddie pickpocketing Flair’s number backstage was great.  Also Snitsky and Heidenreich backstage….B movie grade stuff there.  Wow, the shit that JBL got away with saying to Teddy Long….wow.  Eddie drew #1 and this is his last Rumble, sadly.  Fortunately, he gets to start against his good friend, Chris Benoit.  This is the year of hazing, and Daniel Puder was a douchebag to Kurt, and he paid for it.  This was absolutely intentional in who would come out.  As bad as Maven’s hazing was, this was way worse.  The first 10 was pretty damn stacked with Benoit, Eddie, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Shelton, and Booker T.  Good start to a memorable evening.  At one point, we have 4 RAW guys (Edge, Y2J, Benoit, & Shelton) and 4 Smackdown guys (Booker T, Eddie, Rey, and Luther Reigns) and they have a rumble, which leads to Muhammad Hassan, and one of those unforgettable moments where everybody teams up on him.  He gets the 619 and then unanimously dumped.

 “Orlando is the new Virgil” sign held by Rappaport.  Love it.  Rumble-roonie by Booker T, and immediately eliminated by Rey and Eddie, haha.  Edge gets ride of Eddie and immediately mocks him while Simon Dean is outside “warming up”.  The second set of 10 guys was incredibly underwhelming for the most part, but it did include Jericho at 11, HBK at 19, and Kurt at 20.  The rest of them…..yikes. The Kurt getting eliminated by Shawn and then coming back in and eliminating Shawn and busting him open was memorable.  Jericho doing the French Tickler dance after eliminating Rene was smart.  Cena was very over, as the fans weren’t sick of him yet. Jesus, Snitsky eliminating Paul London resulted in a concussion I believe.  It was brutal.  Haha, Coach has attacked Benoit and Kane from behind, both with hilarious results.  Cena just randomly elbowed Coach while resting in the corner.  The final third is the hoss third with Viscera, Snitsky, Kane, Batista, Cena, Christian, and Ric Flair.  That’s a solid lineup.  Christian’s song was probably my favorite at the time, and I still listen to it.  It’s called “Just Close Your Eyes” by Waterproof Blond.  The remake of his song with the dude singer sucked.  The final 8 are Flair, Batista, Cena, Edge, Christian, Rey, Benoit, and Coach.  Yes, Coach.  Batista is way too tired too early in his match.  The final four are Cena, Rey, Bats, and Edge.  Clearly Batista’s second foot first, but it was a well done spot, especially with 2 power guys.  It was smart.  The crowd was crazed.  Vince is so pissed as he comes out, he runs and slides in the ring, tears both quads at the same time.  He is in so much pain, and he just sits there feeling like a fool.  Batista is clearly looking concerned.  What an ending, and poor Vince.  In the end, we get a restart and Batista wins it.  If it wasn’t for the poor middle third, this would be an easy favorite.  Alas, despite it probably being my favorite, there are flaws, lack of hoss matchups also hurt.  This scores incredibly high on eliminations and memorable moments and star power.  I give this an 8.2 on those merits alone.  It’s so good.

  1.  Best Save – Rey had a decent save before Edge speared him
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Muhammad Hassan was incredibly memorable.  Then of course there was the Kurt getting eliminated by HBK in like a minute which led to one of the all time great Mania matches, so that holds up well.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Kurt getting Shawn back and busting him open, or Batista and Cena tossing each other after Vince comes out.  Jericho eliminating Rene and then mocking, also classy.  Shit, Edge spearing Rey off the apron wins it.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Daniel Puder in chop city courtesy of Eddie, Benoit, & Hardcore Holly. Kenzo Suzuki had a bad time as well with Eddie and Benoit.  
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Kane vs Snitsky
  6.  Best Eliminator – Edge and Batista with 5 each
  7.  Best Survivor – Benoit @ 47:26, Edge @ 40:19, Rey @ 38:25, Y2J and Eddie both over 28 minutes
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Does Angle count?
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

 

2006 – This is the Royal Rumble after Eddie’s death.  Lots of Eddie armbands.  Basically, Rey and HHH last the whole damn way.  They wasted the momentum, and while I felt others were more deserving than Rey, but Rey was the greatest Cruiserweight that I have ever seen so kudos to him.  HHH also wanted some glory, I know, I know, that’s hard to believe.  It wasn’t a great Rumble, but 3 great jobs by HHH, Rey, and Carlito.  I’d give this one a 6.2.

  1.  Best Save – Rey as HHH tosses him, Rey gets under the rope and latches on to the bottom rope ala Rick Martel
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Simon Dean, Sylvan, Coach, Booker T
  3.  Favorite Elimination – HHH eliminating Big Show and Kane simultaneously, HHH knocking Chavo off top rope, HBK Sweet Chin Music on Shelton
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Joey Mercury and Johnny Abs (Morrison)
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Lashley vs Big Show, Kane vs Lashley, Kane vs Big Show
  6.  Best Eliminator – Rey with 6
  7.  Best Survivor – Rey @ 1:02:12 and HHH @ 1:00:15 obviously
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Tatanka, Goldust
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

 

2007 – This is one of the all time great ones.  The matches were fine, but the real treat was the Rumble match.  Finlay turned back the clock and stayed in for a long time.  We got Rated RKO kicking lots of ass.   This was CM Punk’s first Rumble and Benoit and Flair’s last, for 2 completely different reasons, obviously.  The pacing was smart, plenty of good spots.  Not huge on the saves until the end.  But the end, that’s where this one really shines.  It is without a doubt, the greatest final 2 showdown of all time with Taker and HBK.  Those 2 stole the show and set the bar for how to end a Rumble.  Taker eliminating Khali was a thing of beauty as Khali prematurely jumped.  That left Taker to will Khali over with pure strength, and Khali was not much help.  It just showed how incredible Taker was.  I give this one an 8.3 and I don’t know which one is better between this one and 2002.

  1.  Best Save – Shelton with feet inches away from floor
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – The Miz
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Rated RKO eliminates the Hardy Boys, Taker powering Khali after Khali F’d up his elimination
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – CM Punk
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Khali vs Taker
  6.  Best Eliminator – The Great Khali with 7
  7.  Best Survivor – Finlay @ 32:33
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

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