Hell In A Cell 2017 Review

Welcome to 9 Deuce’s preview of the 2017 Hell In A cell event.  Let’s face it, the card looks good on paper, but when that happens, it rarely lives up to it’s potential.  Joining me in my circle of negativity are Keri, Cece, and Teddy.  We should get at least a match of the year candidate out of this event….we hope.

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The 9

  1.  Kick off Show Match:  American Beta defeated The less than Hype Bros.  

Russ:  For a Kickoff Show match this was really good.  Shelton was surprisingly spry and doesn’t look like he has missed a step.  The Hype Bros. also put on one of their best televised matches I’ve seen.  I am surprised that The Hype Bros didn’t break up, but I guess we will get to see that on Smackdown. Or they may just drop the whole story, you know typical WWE shit.   Rating: 4.5  

Kent:  I didn’t watch it because I was watching Prom Night from 1980, and I have too much to do, so I am passing on what sounds like a decent match.

Rating: N/A

 

  1.  The Uso’s defeated The New Day and became your new Smackdown Tag Team Champions in a Hell in the Cell Match.  

Russ:  First of all the fact that  this match didn’t close out the night is a real shame.  Both teams deserved it, so let’s make this the curtain jerker.  As for the match itself.  We thought this might be the match of the night and as of this writing it certainly held up to that standard.  This was a fantastic match for both teams.  It was brutal, it was high flying, and it had some great innovation.  The right team won and this is where this feud should end.  Big E was fantastic tonight and I honestly have no idea why he hasn’t been given a singles opportunity.  He is a star and tonight he really showed why.  

Rating: 7.4

Kent:  This match lived up to my lofty expectations, which was to say it would be a match of the year candidate.  Some may say that they overly relied on weapons but it is a Hell in a Cell match and you have a more hardcore match environment.  They had a ton of creativity in this one.  Big E doing the Urinagi right into Xavier catching Jimmy in a back cracker was compelling stuff.  You had the corner spot of caging the Uso up.  The handcuffs made an appearance, just as I had suggested should have been used in the build up.  Everything that happened made a lot of sense to me, and you know that it’s a great match when it gets to a point where I have made up my mind that I will not be upset over who wins.  Kudos to everybody involved.  I a down year for match of the year candidates, this may end up in the top 5, unless you have a hard on for the Okada and Omega stuff, which I don’t think is good for the industry.

Rating: 7.8

 

  1.  Randy RKO’d Russev out of nowhere and into obscurity.  

Russ:  I really didn’t have much interest in this match other than I wanted to see how Aiden would be used and how good Russev would look in the ring.  Well Aiden wasn’t used which I have no idea why he wasn’t!  Big waste of an opportunity if you ask me.  As for Russev, it was a pretty good showing for him.  It wasn’t flashy, but I thought it was a good showing.  Unfortunately the match was kind of blah.  I think some of that has to do with being right after a fantastic match for the Tag Team Championship.  Randy didn’t seem very inspired out there.  Why does Russev take all of the losses for all of the older guys?  He lost this month and he lost at SummerSlam to Cena.  He has become a joke!  He should be one of your top heels, instead I’m not sure if we should be taking him seriously anymore.  Rating: 3.6  (and I might be being generous.)

Kent: Russev?  Who’s writing this stuff?  Anyway, I said during the last match that I felt bad for whoever had to follow up that match, and unfortunately, for these guys, they were chosen.  This match was never going to be fast paced.  So it was going to pale in comparison.  This was a perfectly acceptable, and pretty expected match in reality.  Right at the end, Rusev had that one counter to get the Accolade on, and I really thought that was well done.  These guys could have used some kind of gimmick, like a strap match where you touch the four corners.

Rating: 3.7 It existed but nothing I ever need to see again.  Missed opportunity to not use Aiden.

 

  1.  Triple Threat match Where Baron defeated Tye Dillinger and AJ to become the new WWE United States Champion.  

Russ: I am so glad that they decided to put Tye in this match!  We talked about how it seemed odd that he would be left out of the match after the entire month or so leading up to the match he had something to do with the feud.  As for the match itself, it was pretty darn good!  All three guys put on a good show.  Lots of great near falls and the match just felt smooth and looked good.  Tye was a good fit in the match and was a great showing for him.  AJ was AJ and he was of course phenomenal.  Congratulations to Corbin on his first WWE Championship.  Corbin ragdolled the hell out AJ and Tye which made him look like a beast.  Sure Adding Tye to the match made it seem inevitable that Corbin would win, but I’m not against a Corbin win.  Kent might end up with a raging clue all week.  Rating:  6.4

Kent: Adding Tye made a lot of sense.  Almost too much sense.  Honestly, there was at least one moment where I was absolutely hoping that Tye won it.  You all know that Baron is my boy and I have loved AJ for over a decade now, but Tye would have benefitted most by a win.  I like Tye a lot and he could really use a big push to cement himself.  Still, this match was well paced, told the story it needed to.  Baron was talking trash to fans, which I love.  It’s nice to see him with the belt that he should have had before winning MitB.  Now he needs to stay hungry and prove to the world that he deserves this and more.

Rating:  7.1 I thought the pacing kept this must pay attention throughout most of it.

 

  1.  Charlotte wins via DQ against Nattie, but Nattie is still your WWE Smackdown Woman’s Champion.

Russ:  I did everything I could to pay attention to this match.  The build up and everything else leading to the match was just awful, so this was a tough to keep an eye on.  Overall, the match wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  It wasn’t that good either, but I was surprised at how well these two jelled in the ring.  I liked how this ended.  Nattie knew she didn’t stand a chance in hell against Charlotte so getting the chair and intentionally getting DQed was a pretty smart move on her part.  Unfortunately, this also means that this feud will continue.  Sigh…

Rating: 4.2

Kent: Didn’t watch it, don’t plan on it.  Sorry, but I won’t do it.  I played ESO and waited for Twan to give me the all clear.

Rating: N/A

 

  1.  Jinder Mahal is still your WWE Champion after he beat, sort of cleanly, Shinsuke.

Russ:  Oh boy talk about having difficulty paying attention.  This was a really boring match.  I knew it was going to be.  I think everyone in the world knew it was going to be.  I love Shinsuke, but this feud has done nothing for him.  I’d rather he be in a match where nothing is on the line and fighting a great opponent, rather than waste him on these boring matches.  It looks like Jinder is going to be champion for awhile longer, which sucks!  The belt has become a joke.  It was the third from last match!  The Belt should be the most prominent thing in a PPV and it has become a worthless prop.   Rating: 3.1  

Kent: I’m at a point with Jinder where I am going to start treating him like Charlotte.  I’m done with his boring ass matches.  I am sick of this experiment.  This isn’t heat.  This is hate.  I am bored to tears by this guy.  Randy, AJ, Shinsuke are the names that he has faced and every fucking match sucked.  The old saying is that if you can’t have a good match with AJ, HBK, or Benoit, then you are incapable of having a good match.  Well there you go.  So until further notice, I will not be watching Jinder matches.

Rating: 2.1

 

  1.  Bobby Roode def Dolph ZIggler

Russ:  Alright, I’ll be honest I was hoping that Dolph would come out to a crazy awesome entrance and I was a little disappointed when he came out to absolutely nothing.  However, as more time passed I started to think how awesome this entrance truly was.  What a heel move that was.  As for the match:  it was ok.  Bobby is not very flashy, but he is damn good in the ring.  The match didn’t really showcase this, but I thought both guys did pretty good in the ring.  They needed a little more time to flesh out the match.  Still I like how Dolph attacked after the match.  Usually means we will see these two at it again and that’s ok with me.  Rating: 4.6

Kent:  I enjoyed Dolph’s entrance, but I just wish they would go the other extreme.  Dolph knows that and that is why this is working.  He refuses to give us what we want, and I can’t fault him.  He’s being a true heel.  This match was not as good as my lofty expectations, but I was also riding a 2 match doldrum.  I was also drinking heavily at this point.  Good job WWE promoting alcoholism.  I enjoyed the match, but not enough to see it again.  I want to see more of these 2, so that is a plus.

Rating: 4.9 I didn’t dislike it, just no point in rewatching it

 

  1.  Kevin Owens def Shane McMahon in a Falls Count Anywhere Hell in a Cell

Russ:  Now this was a match that exceeded my expectations and I had high expectations for this one.  Go ahead and read Kent’s review of the match because I’m really just going to mimic him for the most part.  The story told in this match was fantastic.  I thought the stuff done in the ring was sufficiently brutal and made a fun match.  Then when they moved things outside the ring I like how they started to build for a big spot and instead gave us a nerve wrecking fight on top of the cell.  The crowd was silent not because they were bored but because they were breathless watching that.  Exceptional stuff and then we get the big spot and the interesting swerve with Sami.  There go my hopes that he becomes a top face that faces KO at Mania for the WWE belt, though that was never going to be a reality this year anyway.  I can’t wait to see why Sami pulled KO to safety.  I actually want to watch Smackdown!  Rating: 7.1  (still think the Tag Team was slightly better overall.)  

Kent:  This match absolutely delivered in a different way than a normal match would   This was all about the story.  The moves, at points looked good and brutal.  Shane always gives his all and this is the character that KO excels at.  Prior to the climb, it was a middle of the road Hell in a Cell at best.  I loved KO’s indecisiveness of whether to do the big jump, but he couldn’t pull the trigger, and it just amp’d up the excitement.  Then the battle on top of the cell was absolutely riveting and scary stuff.  We all sat there and winced and worried if they would break the cell or if they would do a big fall.  They did a 10 foot movie, but that wasn’t good enough for Shane.  He went for the big move and Sami pulled KO off at the exact precise moment and it was a thing of beauty.  This was showcasing the art of storytelling in wrestling, and they did an excellent job.  This was the opposite of the Japanese stuff.

Rating: 7.5

 

  1.  Was this the best WWE PPV of 2017?

Russ:  Yes.  that isn’t saying much because this year has not produced many good PPV’s.  Still this was above average even in a good year.  We had two great HiaC matches.  The United States Championship match was very good.  Dolph/Bobby and Russev/Randy were adequate.  Only two matches that truly made me hate this PPV.  Being one right after the other didn’t help.  Still I enjoyed watching this one and I’ll take that the way this year has been going.  Overall Rating: 5.8 I’d watch certain matches over again, but their are definitely some one and dones too.  

Kent:  Yes, I think it has to be.  It sounds like they had a solid kickoff show match, which is all you can really ask for.  Yes, this had 2 matches that I loathed, but that is pretty much every PPV, but both of the matches took too long in my opinion.  The Rusev/Randy and Dolph/Bobby matches felt about right as what you’d expect.  The US championship match was exciting the whole way through as was both HIAC matches.  I would say I spent over half of this PPV actually enjoying myself.  I know, that’s odd to hear me say, right?  Also, in honor of Keri, the Fashion Files returned!

 

Bonus Deuce

  1.  Worst match of the night?

Russ:  Jinder vs Shinsuke, which is terrible to say because Shinsuke doesn’t deserve this.  

Kent:  Jinder vs Shinsuke because Shinsuke shouldn’t be in bad matches.  I expect trash from Charlotte and I didn’t see it so I can’t confirm nor deny my guesses on that.

 

  1.  Best match of the night?

Russ:  Tag Team Championship match Uso’s vs New Day

Kent:  The Uso’s vs New Day was easily the best match of the night despite some other very solid matches.

Please check us out at the actual 9 Deuce website, on Facebook at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at kent@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

For the month of October, if you see this logo, click on it to go see the updated list of my 100 Horror Movies In October Marathon.

 

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

Hell In A Cell 2017 Preview

Welcome to 9 Deuce’s preview of the 2017 Hell In A cell event.  Let’s face it, the card looks good on paper, but when that happens, it rarely lives up to it’s potential.  Joining me in my circle of negativity are Keri, Cece, and Teddy.  We should get at least a match of the year candidate out of this event….we hope.

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

The 9

  1.  American Beta vs Hype Bros

Keri: You know who would be great in this match instead of the Hype Bros. Breezedango.

Pick: American Beta

Teddy: is their name really American beta? If so I feel bad for them…

Prediction: Shelton Benjamin will Carry this match and hype bros will be butt hurt about it.

Cece:  Of course Hype Bros will lose. Duh.

Prediction: Benjamin/Gable

Kent:  I would say that this has to be the easiest match of the night to pick.  Hype Bros are in a breaking up storyline and American Beta is still in the midst of establishing itself.  

Prediction: American Beta after Zack screws up

  1.  Charlotte vs Natty for SD Women’s Championship

Keri:  What is it with the Smackdown writers and not properly building up a women’s match? I don’t care about this match at all. Fashion Files. Now there is something I care about.

Pick: Charlotte

Teddy: Charlotte needs a decent push and Natty just isn’t cutting it as a top heel champion. Rousey doesn’t have a contract yet so it seems like a great place for a carmella cash in.

Prediction: either Carmella cashes in or cause for Natty to win via DQ

Cece:  We all know Charlotte deserves the win, however, I think since she just came back, Natty will hold on to the title for a bit longer.

Prediction: Natty Ice

Kent:  YAAAWWWWWN.  Don’t know, don’t care.

Prediction: Ronda Arousme will distract Charlotte and cost her the match and while Natalya is watching, Carmella won’t cash in if Ronda is there because WWE can’t have her steal the spotlight from female Naitch.  If Ronda isn’t there, expect a cash in by Carmella.

  1.  Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jinder Mahal for SD Blue Belt

Keri:  I hate Mahal as champ. He has been the worst champ we have had in a long time. It’s not entirely his fault but still he’s pretty awful.

Pick: Nakamura wins because we really need to get the belt off Mahal

Teddy: Mahal also is failing as a champ. He hasn’t had a clean win as champion ever. People are getting sick of the Singh bro’s interference and Shinsuke is still Hella over

Prediction: Shinsuke should win but WWE sucks Mahal’s dick…Singh bro’s get involved…….again

Cece:  Meh. I mean, I love Nakamura and I think he has a good chance at getting the belt. Jinder has had it for way too long. However, I see the WWE teasing us and having Jinder retain by a shitty DQ move.

Prediction: Nakamura wins by DQ, Jinder retains.

Kent:  YAWWNNNNNN. Don’t care.  Shinsuke hasn’t really been booked in this feud, not poorly or properly, but just not booked.  Jinder has had the upper hand almost exclusively.  So is this finally the night that WWE says enough is enough?  Probably not, but I will be optimistic.

Prediction: Shinsuke because this nightmare has to end at some point, right?

  1.  Randy Orton vs Rusev

Keri:  I like what they have been doing lately with Rusev since he returned from his post Summerslam hiatus. It’s like they are given him the opportunity to be himself and it works. Also, I expect Aiden to play a role in this match. I just don’t know what role he will play.

Pick: Rusev wins

Teddy: I’m loving Rusev lately and since his boo is doing her own thing he could really use some momentum. I am an avid Orton fan but please god give Rusev the win.

Prediction: Rusev wins via distraction from mediocre singer Aiden English

Cece:  I don’t really care about this feud, however, I do like the entertainment from Aiden English. I think Rusev needs a push, though.

Prediction: Randy wins again, but it goes further for a longer build.

Kent:  For a lower end feud, this has been fun.  I like seeing Aiden and Rusev get some shine.  Randy is ready to turn heel ASAP.  I think he needs to put these guys over first and then set his sights on the new champ, Shinsuke and eventually AJ.

Prediction: Rusev crush!!!!!

  1.  Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler

Keri:  This match has the potential to be dare I say it glorious. Both guys match up well. Also, I predicted this match weeks ago so right now I’m giddy about being right about something.

Pick: Ziggler wins. I know I changed my prediction from what I said on the podcast.

Teddy: Roode’s first WWE PPV. He is gonna win. They like to job Ziggler to the new guys and I am expecting no different.

Prediction: Roode will hit the Glorious DDT and make Ziggler look stupid

Cece:  This match will be GLORIOUS! Honestly, we have needed something for Dolph to do for a hot minute now. He’s been teasing us with his getups and entrances. I’ve loved it. I’m anxious to see them square up.

Prediction: Bobby with the win, to piss of Dolph and to get hype from WWE Universe.

Kent:  Traditional booking says that Bobby needs to win his first PPV match on WWE.  What rub is to be had when Dolph hasn’t been relevant since last November?  Dolph can cheat to win and continue this feud that has a lot of potential.  I know I am gonna be proven wrong, but I have to book smartly, unlike WWE.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler with the greatest entrance ever….I hope

  1.  Aj Styles vs Baron Corbin for the US Championship

Keri:  Honestly, I could careless about this match. And I hate saying that about something involving AJ. This would have been a little more intriguing if they added Tye to this match but maybe that’s something for the future.

Pick: Corbin. Only because I picked Shinsuke in the other match and damn it I want the build for my Styles-Nakamura dream match before there is another brand shakeup.

Teddy: this match is boring since it’s not a triple threat match (when is Tye’s time damnit!) Corbin looks to take the title.

Prediction: Corbin finally cuts the Right Corner

Cece:  The most stupidly booked match of the night. I am so over Baron. They need to re-do his character. He needs more personality and a better story.

Prediction: AJ will win because… well, he’s AJ.

Kent:  Baron shouldn’t win this right now.  Crybaby Baron is great.  Prolong this a bit and have Tye involved.  I think this is the night that they give Baron a belt, but I would hold off one more month and allow Baron to get back to where he was in July.  It’s like, something bad happened in August, but I can’t recall anything.

Prediction: Baron wins because it’s the wrong time to do it.

  1.  HIAC: Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens

Keri:  I’ve enjoyed KO the past few weeks. He has been killing on the mic as of late. The match should be good because we usually don’t see Shane in something mediocre. I expect some really good spots and I expect Shane to jump off something.

Pick: Shane because pissed off KO is best KO

Teddy: Who’s ready to see Shane fall off of shit? I know I am! Shane should take this and finally set KO off the deep end. Bring back Fight Owens Fight and stop this whole coward shit they’ve been running.

Prediction: the WWE universe wins because this match is Hype AF. Also shane lol

Cece:  I like this feud. It took a lot of build up and I think it has kept a lot of us on our toes.

Prediction: Match will be long and hard fought, Shane will jump off something high, and I call Shane for the win because it’s not a title shot and who doesn’t love Shane O’Mac?

Kent:  I expect a good match, some backstage chicanery, and a big spot at some point.  I fully expect Sami to get involved at some point.  Sami should remain a face. Sami should win the Royal Rumble and KO should be the champ for Mania, but I am willing to bet Russ’ left nut that AJ wins the rumble and takes on Shinsuke at Mania because that would be huge as well.  So with that in mind…..

Prediction: Shane wins, KO beats him down after the match and Sami interferes and appears to help KO, and then we get a supergroup with them and the Ascension all in red and black.

  1.  HIAC: New Day vs The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Keri:  This will be match of the night. I calling it now. Why? Because everything leading up to this match has made me believe that it will be.

Pick: The New Day retain

Teddy: I think Shane and KO will steal MoTN but this will be a close second. I love new day and it’s clear they wont turn heel soon.

Prediction: IT’S A NEW DAY YES IT IS!

Cece:  I want this to be a damn all out war between both sides. These guys have been going at this for so long now and have built up such a strong chemistry.

Prediction: I say New Day retains.

Kent:  This should be the best match on the card, and these guys are going to go all out to make this memorable.  I hope that they get the final match of the night.  I don’t want any interference, no nonsense, just a great match.  I am curious which New Day member is left out.  I am guessing Xavier will be unless Kofi isn’t 100% healed.

Prediction: The Uso’s win after Xavier turns heel because he was left out of the match.

  1.  Will they have the HIAC matches spaced out on the card or next to each other?

Keri:  Probably back to back. You don’t want to keep lowering and raising a structure like that. It takes too much time.

Teddy: definitely back to back, unless the structure is damaged then they may space it out to repair it before the next match takes place

Cece:  They should be spaced out, but, they may keep them one after another.

Kent:  I think that they will be the final 2 matches of the night.

 

Bonus Deuce

  1. What will be match of the night?

Keri:  Tag team match

Teddy: Shane vs KO is closely followed by TND vs Usos

Cece:  Honestly, I’m hoping for Roode/Zigler to be great and Shane/Kev.

Kent:  I can see downsides to every match having something silly, except for one.  Sometimes the obvious answer is also the right one.  Tag Team title match is my answer, but I wouldn’t be shocked is the KO or Dolph match steals the show.

  1.  What will be the worst match of the night, better known as the Charlotte Flair Award?

 Keri:  Toss up between the Women’s match and Jinder-Shinsuke.

Teddy: Worst match will be Mahal v Nakamura. Because theyre gonna copy and past the last how many matches Jinder has been in.

Cece:  Hey now. I love me some Charlotte. However, I do think either the women’s match or the beginning tag team match.

Kent:  Women, no doubt.  It shouldn’t be as long as Jinder’s, but Shinsuke is fun to watch at the very least.  If the answer ends up not being one of these 2 matches, I will be a saaaaad panda.

Please check us out at the actual 9 Deuce website, on Facebook at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at kent@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

For the month of October, if you see this logo, click on it to go see the updated list of my 100 Horror Movies In October Marathon.

 

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

WWE Smackdown July 26, 2016 – The Beginning of a Blue Era…..Again

WWE Smackdown July 26, 2016

I refuse to call it Smackdown Live, just saying.  I have a handful of questions about the start of the new era on Smackdown.

What are your thoughts on the new intro song and video? Here it is, and it’s a pain in the ass to find on WWE’s website, but it’s there.

Kent: The video is fine. The song isn’t as good as past ones. I feel incredibly let down to be perfectly honest. Spend some money like you did for RAW and get a song that people know. GAWD!

Thoughts on the battle royal?

battle-royal

Kent: I liked it. I would have had Rowan get all the elimination that Kane got. Rowan is not a throwaway guy, he does need some protection, but he has improved significantly and could be a solid mid-card performer or he can stick with Bray, but it didn’t seem like they wanted to go that route. Rowan can speak well, so I say give him a shot, just not as a face. When Luke returns, then shit gets better. Kalisto shouldn’t have lasted as long as he did, Alberto should have had that spot. Zack made sense. Basically, my final four would have been Zack, Apollo, Rowan, and Alberto. That makes more sense to me. Then eliminate Rowan, Zack, and Alberto. Alberto vs. Apollo would be a fun feud. Anyway, I hoped Apollo would get the win. He needs to get better on the mic and stop smiling so damn much.

What are your thoughts on the clusterfuck after match scene of the Natalya vs. Becky Match?

becky-natty

Kent: Well, that ovation that Carmella and Eva got was deafening. Well I thought I had gone deaf momentarily because I didn’t hear a damn thing.  Yeah, this was not the way to introduce these girls. I would have run vignettes all throughout the first hour introducing the 3 new girls, and then done a 6 girl tag match. Eva, Alexa, and Natalya vs. Carmella, Naomi, and Becky would have done way more good than this travesty. Absolute low point of the show due to piss poor booking. Off to a terrible start.

Shelton Benjamin is on his way back to WWE. Rhyno is back, and we know Curt Hawkins and “Don’t Hinder” Jinder Mahal are all coming back. Rumors are still swirling around about MVP, Tommy Dreamer, Carlito, John Morrison, and Melina. Out of the free agents available, who would you want back?

heath

Kent: I assume John Morrison is not available, so I am not gonna bother. I would try to get Jay Lethal. WWE missed the boat on getting Moose who is in TNA and seems like a really solid addition. MVP or Carlito could be useful I suppose. Melina would be useless without Big Dave Batista around. HA! Here’s my suggestion. I would wait until Survivor Series, the land of screw jobs. I’d put Heath Slater in one final match where he can win a contract. But stack the deck, maybe a 3 or 4 on 1. Heath can get over with the crowd, let him show resilience. When all looks bleak, the lights go out, and all of Heath’s opponents are laid out. When the lights come back on, Heath is left standing, and he gets the pin. Shane reluctantly agrees to give him a contract. Heath says something about ”something in the language of the contract and he says, “Oh, it’s just me.” The lights go out and they come back on and Shane is surrounded by Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, and Damien Sandow. They start to beat down Shane, but earlier in the week, rumors swirled that WWE was welcoming Hogan back. “When it comes crashing down and it hurts inside” plays and the crowd fucking pops. Hogan comes down with a chair. The guys scatter, and then Hogan wails on Shane. He grabs the mic and basically says he is here to mentor a group that never got a fair shot by WWE and kinda cut a grey area promo mixing a lot of truth in to make it sound really personal, and this was a message to Vince. Hogan is the mentor, Heath is the centerpiece, Barrett is the enforcer, and Cody and Damien reunite as a team. Tell me that you wouldn’t watch that.

Moving forward, how do you book Orton and Cena with both on the same roster?

rko

Kent: I have read the Cena isn’t scheduled to do many more house shows, which is smart. I think you use them to get over your big names, but it’s tough because you can’t have them pull a Jericho where he loses all the time because then the wins are useless. I would consider giving each 2-3 month breaks every few months with them alternating, to keep them fresh. You need to get Bray, Dean, AJ, Baron, and Dolph over. I would love to see Randy against all of them in feuds. They can’t have Randy beat the IC champ in 2 moves though. That shit needs to stop immediately. Hype for Summerslam or not, Miz should be hard to put down. Cena vs. Baron could be good for Baron, even in a losing effort, as long as it’s not a burial, which it probably would be. Damn. Cena vs Dean seems inevitable down the road, and Dean needs that win.

What are your thoughts on the 6 pack Challenge and the Summerslam main event?

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Kent: I liked the match more than Roman’s 4 way and Roman’s one on one, but not better than Finn’s 4 way. I was really impressed that the veterans really stepped aside and gave Baron and Apollo a lot of time to show off their skills. That was incredibly important. Dare I say, Baron looked like he belonged as shocked as I am to say that. I loved what I saw between him and Cena, and I see that as a solid feud. AJ and Cena did great with their limited time. Dolph and Bray were given ample time, and I thought Bray would win, until Dolph cut his promo. I admit, I had my doubts, but I was optimistic suddenly. Dolph should have Baron as his bodyguard and continue emulating HBK along with Diesel. I still kept waiting for Bray to pull off something, or AJ to introduce new members of the Club, like Dolph and Baron, or the Ascension or Usos. But Dolph did it and now I am unsure who I am cheering on at Summerslam. If Dolph turns heel, I am hard pressed to not cheer him on. Dean will get numerous opportunities down the road, but this is Dolph’s prime. I say run with this man. He is so underutilized.

Overall, do you like the direction of Smackdown? Do you have a preference of brands after the first week?

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Kent: I like everything going down on Smackdown except the women’s division and how they are booking Orton. I know they need him to be a threat for Brock, so I am just going to accept that for now. Next week, they need to really shape up the mid card in my opinion. With only 2 hours, they achieved everything RAW did, and got me pumped for American Alpha, as if I wasn’t already, and Shelton’s return.  Between RAW and Smackdown, if I’m looking at the full picture, and I think a year down the road, I think Smackdown will be the better show to watch. It feels more exciting, less retreads in the main event scene who have actually gotten pushes, once you get passed Cena and Orton who aren’t going to hog the main event scene as much as Rollins and Roman will.  If they figure out how to book the women better, this young crop of ladies will fucking shine. Eva is money if done right and is Becky. Why the hell did Eva go to Smackdown when she is everything red? Logic man. My interest in Smackdown is about a 9, my interest in RAW is at a 7.  I am cautiously optimistic. Just keep the McMahon’s off screen as much as possible.

Bonus question: Have you seen TNA’s Final Deletion? Any thoughts on it?

Kent: Yes, and it was fantastic. Somehow, the Hardy’s made the compelling thing in wrestling in a very, very long time. Matt is killing it. I have to give props when they are earned. They have brought me back to watching TNA. On another thought, I think WWE dodged a bullet when James Storm left NXT. The dude is really out of shape and has lost a step. It’s sad to watch.

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