2018 Fast Lane Review

Fast Lane came and went, like a drunk guy watching a Paige video.  Russ and Kent do their best to review this night of mediocrity.  Over on our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained we discussed this and other topics that may or may not be relevant.   Please enjoy.

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The 9

  1.  Breezedango & Tye Dillinger def American Beta & Mojo

Russ:  Amazingly, I actually caught this match.  It’s rare that I turn on a PPV before it is actually time for the PPV.  I like to fast forward between matches. This match is the other reason I don’t turn on a PPV early.  This was bad. I love most the guys in this match, but damn it was boring. The crowd did not care about this match and neither did I.  Poor Tye Dillinger he deserves so much more. Rating: 2.5

Kent:  Normally I don’t get overly critical of a kickoff match, because….well it’s a kickoff match.  But then I saw this fucking travesty. This was the match version of a Charlotte promo. It was ugly.  It was a trainwreck. Breezedango looked like they didn’t belong and that breaks my heart. Go watch the dropkicks again.  Fuck man. Fandango has on the Konnor diet it appears. Like, what the fuck is happening? Breezedango, get your shit together and look the part if you ever hope to be taken seriously again.  Fuck, I hate to see these guy look like shit. Everybody else was adequate to good. I hated this match though.

Rating: 1.5

  1.  Shinsuke Nakamura def Rusev

Russ:  This match was a lot of fun.  Both guys are way over and this crowd was no exception.  I honestly think the crowd really made this match better than it really was.  The fact that Rusev has nothing to do for Mania is a damn criminal act. The pacing of the match was well done and brutal.  The kicks especially looked devastating. It was obvious that Shinsuke was going to win this match. So I’m glad that they at least let Rusev shine a bit.  Rating: 4.9

Kent:  This was a great match technically.  Yes, the crowd was in it, but even with a shit crowd, this match was a very, very good match.This was a good showcase for both guys.  The fact that Russ gave this a 4.9 tells me that he would not rewatch this. Are you shitting me? This was a really good match with lots of good strikes and reversals.  This was comparable to last year’s Randy vs Luke match that we all raved about despite knowing Randy was going to win that. I don’t think Russ watched this match, to be honest, so don’t believe his lies.  I may just have to call him John G. That is a reference to Memento.

Rating: 6.7

  1.  Randy Orton def Bobby Roode to become the NEW US Champion

Russ:  The match itself was ok.  I’m very shocked that Jinder didn’t interfere in the match itself, but I guess with what came later in the night in the form of a bludgeoning, it wouldn’t make sense to have the same ending in two matches.  I’m ok with Randy winning the belt here as long as the end game here is to have Roode regain it at Mania. It gives Randy the honor of being a grand slam champion, while not having to worry about keeping it for a long time.  I just hope that is the end game anyway if not… Well, then they have no faith in Roode. Rating: 4

Kent:  This was fine, but it felt like a Goddamn eternity.  I was bored throughout and I wanted to like this more.  I think it was technically sound, but both guys working as faces when both are dick-ish, it didn’t work for me.  Sorry. When Jinder is the highlight of your match, something has gone awry.

Rating: 3.75

  1.  Natalya & Carmella def Becky & Naomi

Russ:  I paid attention to this match for all of 10 seconds.  10 seconds I can’t get back. I am happy that they finally let Carmella get a win here, but it was over Becky.  Becky is the Luke Harper of the women. Lots of talent completely overlooked. Rating: 2

Kent:  I liked this match.  Unlike the Rusev match, I can’t make fun of Russ for not liking this.  I am a huge fan of Carmella and I love Becky and Naomi as well, so I quite enjoyed this match, believe it or not.  Carmella is really improving in the ring and she should get a good run this year, I hope. It’s her time, and I would like her and Becky to have a great feud.

Rating: 5.0 Yeah, I liked it.  Deal with it.

  1.  The Usos vs New Day ended in No Contest

Russ:  This is tough to rate.  On the one hand the match itself was really good, which is to be expected from these two teams.  On the other it ended in a no contest, which is frustrating. Still this was the best possible outcome.  We have seen these two teams go at it so much this past year that this one ending the way it did doesn’t tarnish anything.  Seriously, would either team winning make much of a difference? At least with this ending we have a clear idea what will happen at Mania.  The Bludgeoning, Verbal Trademark, was well done. They decimated both teams and I’m glad they finally used those hammers! Rating: 5.8 (a solid full point is added because of “The Bludgeoning”.)

Kent:  The match was great for what it was.  Which was to be expected. The angle afterward was also great.  So I would just rate the entirety of the segment and I thought it was expected, and still well done.  I’m no longer finding the Bludgeon Brothers as cheesy as I once did, despite the outfits. Their entrance is really solid.  We all know I have long advocated for Luke Harper as my favorite wrestler. Baron is 2nd, and then Rusev and Braun round out my top 4.  Then there is AJ, Sami, Bray, and a few others. This was good, I look forward to their match at Mania. I think it may steal the show.

Rating: 6.0 It did exactly what it was supposed to do.

  1.  Charlotte def Ruby Riott to retain her belt

Russ:   So, you know how I said that I like to watch PPV’s after they have already started so I can fast forward commercials and crappy matches.  Yea, really regretting watching this from the start. Ok, so the match itself wasn’t terrible. If I’m being honest I thought Ruby looked good out there.   She had some decent moves, very little in the way of botches and the way she carried herself as a heel was well done. Charlotte, on the other hand, was so… meh.   I just can’t get over how bland Girl Natch has become. I don’t know what happened to her since she moved to Smackdown, but she has been boring and uninspiring to watch.  She needs to step up her game. She will definitely have to do that soon now that Asuka has chosen her as her next victim. I’m ready for Flair to get buried. Rating: 3  

Kent:  This week on The Walking Dead, they killed the other Dr Carson.  I didn’t see that one coming. So now Carl’s sacrifice is even more important because he provided the community the only doctor that is around.  He will be responsible for delivering young Herschel. Eugene got his swagger back as a leader of an outpost to make ammunition. Father Gabriel has lost most of his vision but is being guided by God, and it’s really well done.  Meanwhile, Daryl and Tara remain the biggest bitches in the room. Oh, Dwight had to rejoin the Saviors to save the Alexandrians as they finally made it to Hilltop just so we could see Enid absolutely lose her shit upon hearing of Carl’s fate.  It got a little dusty in here, no not Dusty Rhodes. Fuck this match by the way. Not going to watch it.

Rating: TWD gets a 6.7 mainly for Eugene and Gabriel.  The match will go unrated.

  1.  AJ Styles def John Cena, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and kind of def Sami Zayn and KO

Russ:  I enjoyed the match.  A lot of stories played out here and several of them were done well.  Unfortunately, the match was just such a clusterfuck that it was tough to follow at some points. Loved the beginning with Cena AAing 4 guys and then one on one with AJ.  I also loved the beat down Cena got after that. Each guy got there time to shine a bit and I liked how they progressed Sami / KO / Shane. Shanes blatant interference was needed to move that story forward (only after spinning its wheels for 2 months.)   AJ winning seemed inevitable, but the tease of Cena winning at least put a little doubt in my mind. I’d watch this again. Rating: 6.2

Kent:  This match was fine, but I felt underwhelmed.  The most compelling aspect of the match is what would happen with Cena.  Kudos to WWE for somehow making John Cena one of, if not, the most compelling figure in WWE at this moment.  I also loved the KO, Sami, and Shane stuff. It was inevitable. I just wish Daniel had been there. This is even a match that I would rewatch, but foregone conclusion matches struggle too often to offer intrigue.  I’m happy that we are getting AJ vs Shinsuke, so I am not shitting on this outcome. This match simply didn’t need to happen.

Rating: 5.5 I don’t think I can go any higher.  This may seem too low, but the match wasn’t that exhilarating.  Hell, I never even mentioned Baron and Dolph sadly.

  1.  How SHOCKED were you to see Asuka challenge Charlotte?

Russ:  I was completely shocked!  If by shocked you mean saw it coming a mile away.  

Kent:  I felt like The Shockmaster did during his debut.  That’s how shocked I was.

  1.  What match should we expect KO, Sami, and Shane to be in at Mania?

Russ:  Well the theme of Mania seems to be triple threat matches so I would surmise that would be the case here.  However, with it being Shane KO and Zayn I just don’t see an ordinary Triple threat match sufficing. There has to be other stipulations we will learn about in the coming weeks.  Im hoping for a last man standing type match, but that seems impossible.

Kent:  I don’t want a triple threat.  I think Shane should have a surprise tag team to represent him against SamiKO, and that would be the Authors of Pain.  That would be a great fucking match. They could book that in many intriguing ways. That’s what is most important.

 

Bonus Deuce

  1. Best match of the night?

Russ:  Gotta go with the Main Event.  

Kent:  Rusev vs Shinsuke easily

  1.  The Walking Dead match of the night?

Russ:  Carmella and Natty vs. Becky and Naomi.  

Kent:  The Kickoff match had to be worst than the Women’s match….right?  I won’t watch it to be certain, I will just make my assumptions.

 

Final Thoughts

Russ:  This PPV was built terribly and the results were at best mediocre.  This felt like such a waste of time and PPV. They need to stop putting PPV’s so close to Mania or do what Kent suggests and make the months between Rumble and Mania 205 or NXT PPV’s.  Rating: 4.1

Kent:  Can we just get to Mania already.  Fuck this mediocrity. Rating: 4.2

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All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are the property of WWE and wwe.com with the exception the Walking Dead picture which is property of AMC.

2018 Fast Lane Preview

Fast Lane is happening tonight, so that means I coerced Keri into writing a preview with me.  The main event seems awfully familiar to us.  Over on our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained we discussed this and other topics that may or may not be relevant.   Please enjoy.

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The 9

  1.  Becky & Naomi vs Natalya & Carnella

Keri:  Random match is random. This seems to me to be just a match to get these ladies on the card.  Prediction: Becky and Naomi win

Kent:  I know a lot of people feel bad for Becky, and I do, I truly do, but I feel worse for Carmella.  They have done nothing at all with her for close to 6 months, and she is the one that didn’t get her briefcase removed via Golden  (Do doodoo doooooooo) Shovel. Carmella was the best they had on Smackdown once Alexa left and they have just raped her. Carmella should be using the #MeToo after her booking.  

Prediction:  Becky and Naomi…..I guess….does anybody really care?

  1.  Shinsuke Nakamura vs Rusev

Keri:  I’m intrigued by this matchup. This should be a good match. But again it seems to me to be another match set up just to get both guys on the card. Prediction: Nakamura wins so he looks strong going into Mania.

Kent:  It feels weird saying this, but WWE have themselves set up to make a great Wrestlemania.  Hear me out. We all know that they won’t because we witnessed what happened to Luke Harper last year.  More on him in #5. So right now, if WWE wanted to, they could have Braun and possibly Elias added to the Roman vs Brock match to protect Brock and give Braun the match that he deserves.  Rumor has it that he may not have a match at Mania. I love the fucking internet. The WWE could give us Bayley vs Sasha and have it out shine the other 3-4 women’s matches planned, but a WIDE margin.  They could book the one match that could happen that would get everybody moist, Taker vs Cena. Then there’s this opportunity. Who is the most over act in WWE currently? Why it is Rusev. This is a fact.  If WWE wanted to cause a fucking crazed audience, have Aiden cost Shinsuke the match at Fast Lane and Rusev claim that he deserves Shinsuke’s main event spot at Mania. Rusev is booked in some match where he has to win and he’s in, and he overcomes the odds, Cena style, except the fans will cheer, and you have a Daniel Bryan 4 years ago situation.  And if you put Rusev in the ring with AJ and Shinsuke, who do you have win? Yeah. That’s a fucking main event!!!!!

Prediction: Shinsuke squashes Rusev and all of the fans.  Horrible fucking idea to have one of your most over stars who is set to main event Mania take on the most over guy at the moment on Smackdown.  Quick side question, who would the fans cheer in a Rusev vs Braun special attraction match? I really don’t know the answer.

  1.  Charlotte vs Ruby Riot (The Walking Dead)

Keri:  So this weekend on As the Bullet Club Turns, the boys are in Las Vegas for the ROH 16th Anniversary show. Cody faced Matt Taven, won the match, and got his precious Ring of Honor back. He celebrated that win with Brandi and Bury the Bear (watch Being the Elite to understand Bury because I’m not explaining it). Well, the celebration took a turn when Cody went in for a hug from Bury and got pushed to the ground. Why would Bury do that you ask? Well the Bury took his bear head off to reveal that inside the bear suit was none other than….Kenny Omega. Then Cody got a V Trigger for his troubles and Omega got a kiss from Brandi for his. And the drama continues. Prediction: Charlotte retains. Yawn.

Kent:  Last week on TWD, we had the best episode of the season, by far.  IMDB rating concur, and it’s not even close. This week we should get some of Daryl being the leader guiding the group to the Hilltop.  Gabriel is supposed to have a pretty big episode as is Eugene. I expect this to be very well done, except for the Daryl stuff. Daryl’s last name ought to be Flair.  I hope we see more Janis, but I doubt it. Seriously, who in the blue hell is looking forward to this match? A show of hands will suffice. Okay, so apparently either Ric is the only one with hands or nobody gives a fuck.

Prediction: Asuka challenges female Ric.

  1.  Bobby Roode vs Randy Orton

Keri:  Another interesting matchup. This should be a good match and I fully expect it to be Jindered at some point.

Prediction: Roode retains and a triple threat is set for Mania

Kent:  So Jinder is getting involved?  He’ll be on commentary or get in the match somehow or be involved in the end?  Great, got that out of the way. I think this match could be very good, but a screwy finish will limit it’s potential.

Prediction: Bobby Roode because no reason to change that yet.

  1.  The Usos vs New Day

Keri:  Yea? It’s this match for 100,000th time. This is a match of the night contender though. And I fully expect the winner to be challenged by the brothers of bludgeoning. Prediction: Usos retain.

Kent:  What a fresh matchup this is.  I would have never considered putting these 2 teams in a match against each other.  How refreshing!!! Soo, this will be the match of the night most likely and hopefully, the Bludgeon Brothers beat the hell out of everybody because it’s their time to shine.  I look forward to Mania. If Vince has an ounce of compassion for the Usos, he will let them have a match at Mania.

Prediction: Double DQ via Bludgeon Brothers giving us this match again at Mania but with The Bludgeon Brothers.  Also, Luke Harper’s new film, Mohawk, just released. It’s available on iTunes. I hope to find it elsewhere so I can own it on a platform I use.  Looks amazing.

  1.  AJ Styles vs John Cena, vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler

Keri:  While this match will probably be good. I don’t care. All I have to say is if this match does anything and I repeat anything to mess up Styles vs Nakamura for me I will be really upset. Prediction: AJ retains. Fingers crossed.

Kent:  Fans, hold onto your socks really tight because I’m about to knock your socks off otherwise.  Let’s go back to 2017’s Money in the Bank match for the men. The participants: AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dolph ZIggler, Baron Corbin, and Joh…..I kid, it was Shinsuke.  Phew….for a moment, I was worried that WWE was creatively bankrupt. Now that we know this, we can naturally surmise the winner based on the previous match.

Prediction: And NEWWWWW champion……Baron Corbin…..right?  I’ll wake up anytime now, I swear.

  1.  Pick a Kickoff Show match

Keri:  Something with American Beta.

Kent: Breezedango or The Ascension vs American Beta…..we will go with Breeze because Ascension doesn’t fight on PPV.

  1.  What match will be surprisingly good?

Keri:  Rusev vs Nakamura

Kent:  Well we both expect the Tag and World championship matches to be good, so that doesn’t qualify.  That leaves 4 other matches. For me, I am going to suggest that the women’s tag match is way better than I anticipated.  Fuck it, all 4 women are very good….well 3 of them and Natalya. I have issues with people who are obsessed with cats.

  1.  What match will disappoint?

Keri:  Charlotte vs Ruby Riott

Kent:  The tag team match will leave us feeling Meh.  

Bonus Deuce

  1. Who will be your MVP (one single performer)?

Keri:  It’s Rusev Day!!

Kent:  Dolph Ziggler is my answer.  He and AJ were having a great match on SD prior to the fuckery.

  1.  Who will win the Charlotte Flair award for the evening?

 Keri: It’s namesake.

Kent:  If somebody is capable of being more dull, bland, and uninspiring than Charlotte, I will say it’s either Ruby Riot, John Cena, or Randy Orton.  It’s hard for the older guys to give 2 fucks about this PPV, so I don’t expect their best effort. Still, going with Ruby Riot. I was hard on her in NXT and she has not disproved my criticisms so far.

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2017 Clash of Champions Review

Russ and Kent have seen the Clash of Champions, and now they insist upon talking about it.

The 9

  1.  Mojo Rawley def Zack Ryder

Russ:  I enjoyed this match.  It wasn’t great, but at least I could say I was entertained.  The story is about 5 months too late, but I want to see where they take Mojo from here.  Hopefully to some kind of midcard push. Rating: 4.2  

Kent:  I admit that Mojo showed me some stuff in this match.  This was better than I anticipated, but Mojo went over.  I’m not sure if I see him getting any kind of push, but it was a fine showcase.

Rating: 3.7 I anticipated in the 2 range.

  1.  Dolph Ziggler def Baron Corbin & Bobby Roode to become the NEW US Champ

Russ:  I always love seeing Bobby come out to Glorious and tonight was no exception.  I know Dolph comes out to no music now, but this time it felt like a real wrench in the machine.  The crowd and everything just stopped and for what felt like 10 minutes it was silent.  The match itself was fast paced and well done.  Several believable nearfalls made this exciting toward the end. I am concerned with Bobby and his role in the WWE.  He looked good in this match, but I felt like he was way too overshadowed by the other two.  He really needs a breakout match.  Rating: 6  

Kent:  Well, I don’t recommend that you read our preview because it makes Keri and to a lesser extent, me, look like a damn fool.  Mainly Keri….yeah.  Under the bus you go.    This was a solid match.  I think including Dolph was the right call.  Bobby never felt like he got going in this one which is a problem.  I am worried that Smackdown isn’t right for him.  Hell, I’m not even mad that Baron jobbed and lost his belt to Dolph because it works and adds to the story.

Rating: 5.4 seems fair.  I liked it enough

  1.  The Uso’s def New Day, Rusev Day, & American Omega to retain their tag belts

Russ:  Top to bottom this was the best match of the night.  The highlight of the night was the 12 days of Rusev.  The crowd ate it up!  I hate to say this, but it won’t be long before Rusev Day goes face.  I mean I’m glad for Rusev.  It will be nice to have him be something else other than a foreign heel.  As for the match.  This was chaotic and fun.  Each team came off this match either looking better or at least maintaining form.  Rating:  6.8 (full point for the 12 days of Rusev.)  

Kent:  Thank you WWE for finally giving us the full 12 Days of Rusev song.  That was the high point of my night, no doubt about it.  The Uso’s mic work was solid too, but my god, Rusev Day is way more over than I thought they would get.  I was way off the mark.  What I loved about this match is that The Uso’s and New Day didn’t get a ton of offense in, it was more dispersed toward Rusev Day and American Omega, but not overwhelmingly so.  It wasn’t one of those Cena/Roman matches where he gets his ass kicked all match and then boom, finisher and end of match.  Chad, Shelton, Rusev, and Aiden all looked great in their own way.  I thoroughly enjoyed this match, and I liked having 4 guys in at once.  Way more Kentertaining!

Rating: 6.4 I had a lot of fun with this.  I doubt it’s a terribly memorable match though to put things in proper perspective.  

  1.  Charlotte def Natty to retain her belt….BOOOOOOOO

Russ: I was in and out of this match.  So take my rating with a grain of salt.  The match was ok.  That is the best I can come up with.  The lumberjacks (excuse me Lumberjills) part of this was just so useless.  Even more so the whole match felt slow paced. I had a hard time paying attention to this match and at times left the room all together not caring at all about how the match would go.  Rating: 3    (Kent: I have to rant.  Fuck saying Lumberjills.  It’s just lumberjack.  When a female uses a car jack, does it suddenly become a car jill?  No!  Why is that?  Because it’s f’n stupid to create new gender specific terms.  If you were looking for something PC, go fuck F yourself.)

Kent:  I know what you’re thinking.  “Oh boy, here comes Kent to shit all over a Charlotte match once again.”  Well, you would be correct.  I just got done making fun of the John Cena booking and what do we over here (in my best Enzo voice)?  Was Charlotte in control for more than 2 minutes of this match?  No?  Was this all just an excuse to get all of the women on and show off SuperCharlotte?  Yup!  This was such a shitty match.  This would be bad on an episode of Smackdown, but on PPV.  Fuck this.  The only time I felt a slight twinge in my man region was when Carmella briefly considered cashing in MitB.  Like this match was Natty do a few blah moves, toss Charlotte outside, Charlotte gets beat up and thrown back in, rinse and repeat 8 more times.  Who booked this shit?  Both women are very capable of having a much better match.  This is on booking and not the women.

Rating: 1.5 because of Carmella’s fine ass.

  1.  Bludgeon Brothers def Breezedango

Russ:  About the only thing I have to say about this match was that I’m glad the Bludgeon Bros. won!  I was hoping this match would be more than a squash match considering how over Breezedango is.  However, WWE seems to think of them as humorous jobbers. All the points earned in this match are given to the fact that Harper has a win on a PPV.  No matter how bad the match was at least Harper has a win!   Rating: 3.3

Kent:  How does a match that spends more time on entrances than it does on match fair compared to the last putrid pile of garbage?  Well, better, that’s for sure.  There was nothing great or ground breaking, and I’m still pissed how they F’d over the Fashion Files this week.  With that being said, this match was too short to be offensive.  I loved it!

Rating: 3.3 The match knew who it was and what it wanted to do and they went in and did it precise and I thank them.  I can’t go higher because of match length.

  1.  SamiKO def ShinsuRKO

Russ:   If we look at the match by itself in a void this was just an adequate match.  All the performers are what I would consider top tier guys.  I have certain expectation from these guys.  They barely delivered.  Again that was just looking at the match.  If you include everything that was involved, then this match was very entertaining.  The goal here was to finish telling the story of if SamiKO being fired or not.  They did that, but they also added new wrinkles to the story.  This was a well told story in the ring that made me want to see what will happen next.  Mission accomplished in that regard.  I just never felt like SamiKO could lose their jobs and no amount of nearfalls accomplished that feat for me.  Still I won’t complain. I can’t wait to see what happens on Smackdown.  Rating: 6.2   

Kent:  Another very solid match, historic according to WWE.  Well it only took a few minutes for Shane’s wireless transmitter to break on him, so he was clueless a good chunk of the match, so he was more useless than normal.  Daniel did a great job.  I thought Orton shined bright tonight in his role.  I was wrong about the outcome and i’m not remotely upset.  My idea added a bit more longevity to this story, in my opinion, but this was fine.  This was enjoyable and the story kept it flowing properly.  Byron Saxton was not good on commentary.  I applaud the effort, but he is getting his ass handed to him by Corey.

Rating:  6.4 Because this is somewhat memorable and the action was good.  I loved that Sami cleared out the tablet at the last moment before KO crashed.  

  1.  AJ Styles def Jinder Mahal to retain the blue belt

Russ:  I enjoyed this match.  Both guys put in effort and the result was good.  Unfortunately, good isn’t good enough to redeem Jinder.  He held the belt for approximately 6 months and in that time his feuds have been horrendous.  I can forgive that because that’s the fault of creative.  While the feuds have been bad the wrestling was actually worse.  This is Jinder’s fault.  The stories may be bad, but you can still put on a decent match.  When the stories are bad and the matches are bad, then we are all in for a bad time.  As a result, this tarnished Jinder’s reign in my eyes (and I’m pretty sure the majority of other fans eyes too I suspect.)  Back to the match.  This was the best I’ve seen Jinder…ever!  I hope his time at the top has taught him a few things and maybe he can build himself up to be a better opponent.  As for AJ.  Well I hope he can now become a main focus on Smackdown.  The belt has been a non priority for WWE this year and that sucks!  With AJ holding it and no longer having to worry about a rematch with Jinder we can look to bigger and better things.  Rating: 5.2

Kent:  Even when Jinder is interesting, he’s still boring as fuck.  Worst champ of the past 10 years and nobody is going to change my mind.  They both tried, and they told a good story.  Jinder just lacks the charisma to make me care.  Also, the refs.  When the Singh Bros pull out Jinder, you DQ them or at the very least send them to the back.  They are booking refs awfully lately.  

Rating: 2.5 Mainly because they really tried, but I could not stay focused to give 2 fucks about it.  Compared to the women, this was a match of the year candidate though, so there is that.

  1.  Performer of the night?

Russ:  I’m going to go with AJ Styles here.  AJ always delivers big matches against all opponents.  Tonight was no exception.  It is an even bigger feat when you consider he is the only person to squeeze a good match out of Jinder.  Anyone who can accomplish that is definitely the performer of the night in my eyes.  However, a damn close second was Aiden English! Come on! 12 Days of Rusev!  I want that shirt!  

Kent:  Tough one.  I assume Russ will take Aiden, even if I say Aiden, he would not both trying to pick someone else, so fuck it, I’m going with Chad Gable.  Just imagine him shaving his head and he’d look like Kurt.  God, they royally fucked that up.  Chad better have a nice title run over the next year.  This dude is money.  Shelton still has it.  Rusev was working the crowd better than ever.  I will critique Aiden here mainly because I assume Russ chose him.  Early in the match, one of the Uso’s went to do a dive on Aiden and I wanna say Big E.  Aiden didn’t continue swatting or punching Big E.  He just stopped and watched for what seemed like 3-4 seconds as the Uso bounced off the rope and dove.  I applaud being safe, but that was really bad.  Something he needs to work on if he’s going to be a tag guy for awhile.

  1.  Best match of the night?

Russ:  Well, I already said that the Tag Championship was the best match from top to bottom for me.  So I will stick with that.  

Kent:  In my mind, there are 2 matches that I had rated the same.  The questions is simple   Do you value a bunch of guys all showcasing their moves and having a high paced match with no real down time, or do you prefer coherent storytelling with some good moves and a big spot?  I will always take story over spot monkeys.  The tag match at times did devolve into spot monkey syndrome, albeit very good.  If people prefer the tag match, you care more about in ring and moves.  If you prefer the SamiKO match, you prefer a well told story.  If you preferred the Charlotte match, you are mildly retarded.  I don’t even know how you’re reading this.

Bonus Deuce Deuce

  1. Worst match of the night?

Russ:  Well based on score it is the Women’s Championship.  Based on personal feelings it was the Women’s Championship.  Seems like to me we have a consensus here.  The match was poor!  

Kent:  I feel like I could really break this match down to tell all of the points in which this match was absolute shit, but if you saw it, you know it was shit.  If you didn’t see it, you’re reading this and thinking “Hot damn!  I am so glad that I didn’t see that.”  

  1.  Who does AJ Styles feud with next?

Russ:  I think AJ is going to feud with SamiKO.  I think it’s time that the WWE champion is in the best story going.  I’m ready.  

Kent:  This is a tough one.  I think it’s going to be Baron.  They could get SamiKO involved, but it would have to mainly be Sami.  Still, that’s a good story, no sense in combining your best belt with this story yet, in my opinion.  That also takes Randy out.  Shinsuke seems likely to be AJ’s Mania opponent, so no to him.  That realistically leaves Baron or Bobby.  Bobby is not doing so well, so maybe this feud with Dolph could help.  Losing to AJ wouldn’t help at this time.  He needs some wins before AJ makes sense.  Baron is the only other guy with enough credibility to step up because Jinder should be finished.  Baron is good enough to face AJ at Rumble and Fast Lane and then slide down the card for Mania season.  Him and AJ have great chemistry and it doesn’t affect the SamiKO vs Shane story.  That’s what is key.  Baron is a loner, so he should stay far away from that.

Final Thoughts

Russ: This PPV was just a shade above adequate.  The wrestling wasn’t memorable, but nothing stank out loud.  In fact two of the matches were lots of fun.  The build up to this PPV was terrible and the WWE Championship was an afterthought.  I hope with AJ steering the ship and past the Jinder Hindered waters we can now make it a priority again WWE.  

Kent:  This was a mediocre PPV.  The lows were really low, the top male and female championship matches were the 2 worst in my opinion, especially when you consider time allotted and story heading in.  The Hype Bros and Bludgeon Bros stuff wasn’t bad, but nothing memorable, just filler.  The US match was good, but could have used 5 more minutes.  That’s something right there that pisses me off.  They spent so much time on random bullshit and ended early.  Why could this match have been given 5 more minutes?  It’s the one match that could have benefited most from it, especially Bobby. The night will be remembered for Sami winning, Dolph Winning, and Rusev Day getting over.  Not bad, but like way too many PPV’s this year, this was one that you could see all that you wanted to see in under an hour.  That’s not good.  Also, Renee’s outfit was not good.  I love Renee, but damn!

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2017 Clash of Champions Preview

Keri and Kent take a look at the last WWE PPV of the year.  The build up was average.  Some stories have been done significantly better than others.  Still, there’s enough intrigue to keep out attention, well Kent’s attention.  Keri is not very interested, but she took the time to make predictions, damnit!

The 9

  1.  The Battle of the Bros – Zack Ryder vs Mojo Rawley

Keri: Let’s look at this match from a couple of angles, shall we? On one side we have Mojo, who started the year strong with his Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale wine and lost said momentum when Ryder returned. Then on the other side you have Ryder. A guy who once held the IC title for one day before dropping it to the Miz and up to that point had been consistently buried. Both guys have a reason to be angry and frustrated with their situation. In this case, the angrier one is the one who will win this match. More anger equals more motivation in this case.  (Kent: I love this logic!  The angrier person wins.  That should be a new theory.)

Pick: Mojo

Kent:  Mojo has to win this one, right?  Is this the most predictable match of the night?  No no no, you don’t know that.  Mojo could get DQ’d due to hyper aggression.  I like that idea.  Screw it.

Prediction: Zack wins due to DQ

  1.  Breezedango vs The Bludgeon Brothers

Keri:  Hmmmm. I smell a squash match. Prediction: Bludgeon Brothers win

Kent:  Now here is the most predictable match on the card.  No reason for Brezedango to get a win because nobody takes them seriously in the ring.  No reason for the Bludgeon Bros to lose yet.  I would like to see a post match beat down and the Ascension try to make the save only for them to get beat up too.

Prediction: Rowan….Harper…..Bludgeon Brothers!

  1.  Women’s Championship Lumberjack Match – Charlotte vs Natty

Keri: I miss Becky. Prediction: Nepotism continues with a title retention.

Kent:  I don’t care.

Prediction: I will be happy when the match is over.

  1.  US Championship Triple Threat Match – Baron vs Bobby vs Dolph

Keri:  Poor Dolph. He is in this match for a few good spots and to eat the pin. The big question I have is what kind of dynamic are we going to get with Roode and Baron. This pair is still intriguing.

Prediction: Baron retains because it’s too soon and the wrong time of year for any other outcome.

Kent:  Baron is still early in his run.  Dolph is a non-factor.  His interviews lately have been gold in real life.  Bobby could win this.  Bobby could use a belt more than Baron.  Baron is back on track after Cena’s Shovel of Doom.  Baron could keep the belt til Mania and I would be happy.  Bobby could get the belt and Baron could move on, and i’d be fine.  I really want Bobby vs Tye for the US Championship.  Also, just for my laughs, if Baron and Sasha teamed up in the Mixed Tag fuckeroo, they could be called the Foreheads, and they would be my favorite.

Prediction: Bobby pins Dolph so Baron doesn’t job.

  1.  4 Way Tag Title Match – Usos vs New Day vs Rusev Day vs American Omega

Keri:  This should be match of the night. All teams really have an equal shot of winning. With that said…

Prediction: American Beta wins.

Kent:  I can see any of these teams winning.  The booking has been pretty solid.  I would say Rusev Day is my least favored because they have picked up some solid wins lately.  New Day isn’t set for another run, I don’t think.  That brings it down to Uso’s or American Omega.  The Uso’s are established and they don’t need the belts.  I say American Omega gets a shot to prove themselves.  They’re really good.

Prediction: American Omega and therefore Chad gets a belt before Jordan.

  1.  Blue Belt Match – AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal

Keri: Yeah there is no reason to put the belt back on Jinder when we are about to start the push to Rumble season. Also, his first run as champ was pretty bad. With that said, I see the Singh Bros playing a role in this and I see them maybe screwing Jinder.

Prediction: AJ retains

Kent:  I don’t know.  It seems like Jinder is going to get the belt back, but that has long been the assumption.  I think they wait to do it in India if they’re gonna do it.  No sense in doing it now.  I eagerly await being wrong.

Prediction: AJ Styles retains

  1.  SamiKO vs ShinsuRKO with 2 refs and if SamiKO loses then they’re fired

Keri:  This match has a lot of variables associated with it. First, why is Shinsuke in this match? Second, how are they going to set up the heel face dynamic to close out the match? You know we are getting a turn or two. It’s just a question of who turns. Lastly, how screwy of an ending are we getting on this one?

Prediction: SamiKO win after a Bryan assist.

Kent:  This is the one right here, and I hope it is the main event.  It’s the best thing going today in pro wrestling in totality.  I think SamiKO loses due to Shane reversing decisions or some shit and this will lead to some great protests.

Prediction: ShinsuRKO

By the way, WWE claiming that this is the “first time ever” having 2 refs for a match.  This picture promoting a match for the 2017 Royal Rumble, yes less than a year ago, says otherwise.

  1.  What match are you most looking forward to?

Keri:  Tag team

Kent:  Tag Team Title Match

  1.  What match interests you the most?

Keri:  SamiKO

Kent:  SamiKO has the best story.

 

Bonus Deuce

  1. If you could book one more match using talent that is not in a match, who would it be?

Keri:  How about a yes they still work here match? We can put Sin Cara, Tye, Mike Kanellis, and the Colons in a match.

Kent:  Huh…..who is left?  Uhmmmm, Tye Dillenger vs ……wow, aside from Mike Kanellis and the 3rd New Day member, everybody is working in theory, aside from the Colons.  I wanna see Sarah Logan vs Tamina after the Women’s title match, so that’s my pick.

  1.  What match will go on last?

 Keri:  SamiKO

Kent:  SamiKO goes on last as long as AJ is retaining.  If AJ’s match is last, place all money on Jinder winning the belt.

Here’s a WWE Champion trivia test from the website.  I got 1 wrong.

http://www.wwe.com/gallery/wwe-championship-trivia-photos#fid-40191341

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

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.

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.  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.

 

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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?

superkick

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?

dolph-dean

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.

All pictures and video are property of WWE, they are not mine.