A Somewhat Negative Wrestling Notepad

Finally watched the Crockett Cup. Not a bad way to spend a few hours. Two most notable things for me were the tag team battle royal where one half of a team getting tossed didn’t eliminate the whole team (it should always be that way because it’s less clunky and more suspenseful) and the main event between Aldis and Scurll. A fine match with a good story that they managed to build up better in one series of short videos than WWE often does in weeks of television. I was even ok with the finger breaking stuff that I usually can’t stand because it kind of played into the finish with Aldis having to overcome it to keep his hold on to finally win.

I’ve learned a couple of things from the Raw after Summerslam.

  1. When they want to, WWE can still figure out how to beat a new guy without hurting him. Cedric Alexander vs. Drew McIntyre was a very good match that either guy could have believably won by the end.
  2. Bobby Roode and No Way Jose both still work here.

King of the Ring is coming back. I should care because I like tournaments, but when was the last time WWE did anything of value with somebody who won one?

GOD FUCKING DAMMIT! SHANE MCMAHON IS BACK! WHYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! WHY DID I HAVE TO BE RIGHT?! You just know he’s going to fuck Kevin Owens out of the King of the Ring after that passionate speech about how much winning would mean to him and this fucking feud will have to fucking continue! Fucking fuck!

Oh christ. It just keeps getting better. Kevin Owens, fighting babyface and superstar wrestler, gets fined $100,000 for beating up Summerslam official Elias and freaks out because it’s taking away his children’s future and the down payment on a house. I don’t know who looks worse when WWE does shit like this. Owens for not being careful with his money because the perception people have is that athletes and international television stars are supposed to be well off financially, or WWE the billion dollar corporation for not paying its workers fair wages. Either way it’s bush league shit and it’s quite tempting to turn this show off right now and never return. Maybe I wouldn’t be so mad if it didn’t involve Shane McMahon, but I’m not even sure about that because Owens just finished telling us that he signed with the company 5 years ago. Like dude. You’ve been here for 5 years and 100 grand is going to screw up your whole life? You either need a better financial advisor, a better agent or both. I’m seething right now. It’s not healthy.

At least Owens went backstage and decided fuck it, broke some stuff in Shane’s office and told him to tack on another 5 thousand. That’s something, I guess.

And then he lost to Samoa Joe thanks to Elias playing heel referee. Wouldn’t want the fans to blow out their throats cheering too loudly for someone.

Two nights in a row they fairly successfully pulled off the bigger star beats new guy thing. Buddy Murphy put in a really good showing against Roman Reigns. I didn’t like this one as much as Drew and Cedric on Raw, but I’ve got no complaints. I just hope that this leads to something for Murphy once the who is trying to kill Roman story runs its course.

Sort of on that subject, I liked the Murphy match and he had another good one with Ziggler on Raw, but when is Roman going to show some vulnerability to make it appear like maybe the attacks and having to look over his shoulder are getting to him? He has back and forth matches with guys all the time, so if Dolph almost pinning him a few times is supposed to count, it’s not working for me. This is one of the few times when WWE’s love of distraction finishes would actually make sense, and here they are not doing any.

I’m usually in the camp that thinks Samoa Joe loses too much, but this is one case where I wouldn’t have minded if he had. Cesaro probably could have used the win more, but they never seem to have any sort of plans for the guy so ultimately I think they did make the right choice. Super fun match regardless and a good way to try to get me to have faith in King of the Ring.

Has anybody else wondered how there always seems to be camera crews filming whenever and wherever something happens with the 24/7 title?

Kevin Owens is back to whining about his $100,000 fine again and begging Shane to reconsider. He’d better have some sort of plan for when Shane inevitably turns him down or he’s going to look like the biggest geek that ever geeked. No, don’t even try coming at me with Mike Kanellis. I’ll give you that poor Mike may have technically been buried further underground more quickly, but he’s a heel that loses all the time, not a multi-time champion, main event wrestling, straight shooting heroic babyface.

Rowan suddenly has his first name back.

Wow. Buddy Murphy just beat Daniel Bryan. Did not expect that. And here I was thinking that they needed to be careful with him because losing good matches and getting roughed up backstage makes for a character with a very short shelf life. Not sure what you do from here (Have him beat Rowan next?), but I’ll take this for now.

Yup, geek. Not only does Owens apologize, but then he gets caught in the very obvious Shane is all of a sudden a referee so he can’t be touched or Kevin gets fired setup and then gets fast counted out of the King of the Ring. This damn feud is right back where it started and one of my favourite wrestlers in the entire company looks like a humongous idiot. Can I have All Elite Wrestling now?

Did not see Ricochet beating Drew in KOTR. I kind of figured the Raw side would come down to Drew and Alexander. Very fun match though.

But why does Ricochet need to be cutting promos? I’ll answer my own question. He doesn’t. He’s one of the most athletically spectacular guys to come along in years. He should be doing his talking that way for the most part especially because whether it’s the WWE style of dialogue or something else, he’s just not very good at all. I’d almost go as far as to say that his microphone self is the opposite of his in-ring self.

What a stupid ass finish to the Braun and A.J. match. Since when can a referee call what he hears rather than what he sees? If they wanted to go with Styles fakes being hit by the chair and the ref sees the evidence and DQ’s Strowman that’s fine, but actually having him yell that he heard the chair shot and then having the announcers play it up? Ridiculous. Raw wasn’t even all that bad this week, but the last impression I’m left with is that WWE is so dumb and that I’m dumb for watching it.

Nothing at all against Ali, but he’s done nothing for months while Buddy Murphy is involved in a major story with two former world champions and just pinned one of them last week. Why is he losing in King of the Ring?

Corey Graves just informed me that in his opinion, “Randy Orton’s venom has permiated the psyche of Kofi Kingston.” No, I don’t know why everyone hates the commentary either. Complete mystery.

Would love to see Benjamin and Gable get more time to have a match than the few minutes they got on Smackdown. I liked what they did, but I know they have a lot more in them.

Donovan Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee from the August 28th NXT was pretty great. It’s not every day you see guys that size doing frigging Fosbury flops and top rope Spanish flies. Maybe we need a 305 Live.

Pretty sure the one I just watched vs. Alexander as part of King of the Ring is the best Corbin match I’ve seen since his NXT days when they all went like 15 seconds.

Really, how hard is this? If the finish of Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet is in dispute to the point where the ref has to make a big show of putting on a headset and talking to other officials backstage without getting a resolution, why wouldn’t you restart the match? They restart matches far less important than this one all the time. What is this we’ll make a ruling soon shit? Either the match gets done over or it’s a draw and both guys are out.

And what a ruling they made. Rather than restarting the match or doing it over again next week, we’re getting a triple threat match in an 8 man, 1-on-1 single elimination tournament. Like they literally chose the most unfair option they could have. Stupid crap like this up and down every show honestly does make me wonder if the goal is to create the least enjoyable product possible. If so, it’s working. I enjoy a lot of the talent in WWE, but it’s very hard for me to actually enjoy WWE as a whole anymore. I’m mostly watching out of habit, because it’s what the fan friends I still have left watch and because you almost have to watch it if you want to keep up with what the biggest player in the industry is doing. They don’t do everything wrong, but so much is just so bad and so useless and so hard to watch.

WWE has wasted all sorts of people’s ability over the years, but for me Shelton Benjamin is among the most criminal.

Was fun seeing Stone Cold on raw, but it’s also a little sad. He hasn’t been a regular on TV since 2003 and yet he’s still the most over guy in the company. That’s obviously part nostalgia and part him always having been awesome, but it also shows that WWE has forgotten how to make stars. Rock and Austin are extremely special talents, but who, in the years since they left, has even come close to becoming as beloved as either of them? Maybe Cena, but even that’s different. Popular as he was, half the fans fucking hated him for years. And now even he’s pretty much gone. The next closest thing is Roman Reigns, but the only reason he isn’t being booed out of buildings anymore is because he legitimately could have died of a horrible disease. And even Reigns isn’t in the same league as Cena among people who do like him. You could argue Daniel Bryan, but I’d counter that he’s mostly been popular in spite of WWE, not because of it. Literally there’s nobody that WWE has gone out of its way to nurture and protect who could carry the company today. It sucks.

If they have to do this stupid triple threat for the spot in the KOTR final, should it not at least be an elimination match instead of one fall finishes it?

Add Ricochet to the long list of dumb babyfaces. Joe has Corbin outside the ring trying to choke the life out of him so he won’t be a factor in the match for a while, and here comes this dumbass diving onto both of them and breaking it up even though the match can’t end by submission outside the ring. What an idiot.

And of course Corbin wins in the end by tossing Ricochet and stealing his pin. At least he didn’t *get* pinned, I suppose.

I’ll be fair. Other than the fact that it took place to begin with and that one stupid spot, I liked the match.

Speaking of imbeciles, Michael Cole just explained that Truth would have to defend the 24/7 title at Clash of Champions this Sunday because every title is on the line. Does anyone ever go back and listen to the announcing on these damn shows? Even after all these years and loads of evidence to the contrary, a foolish, hopeful part of me still can’t believe that they actually want it to be this bad.

I don’t even know what to make of this silly Kevin Owen’s Shane McMahon business anymore. Elias is hurt and is out of the King of the Ring, so Shane takes his place against Chad Gable. He tells Owens that he’s been thinking about this fine and that he’ll give Kevin a job in exchange for maybe taking it off the books. If he referees the match “correctly,” it’s as good as gone. So Kevin does, but the first thing he does is fast count Shane so Gable wins in seconds. Then Shane makes it 2 out of 3 falls, and suddenly Owens has a change of heart and is acting as blatantly heel as he can. He’s taking forever to count Gable’s pins and quick counting for Shane even though he’s not happy about it. But then he stops Shane from using a chair, Gable catches Shane in an ankle lock, Shane taps out and Owens calls for the bell and Shane loses. So now is Owens a proud face again or is he trying to protect Shane from having his leg torn off? And if he is a face again, why not ignore that tap for a few seconds as revenge? But before we have time to think about any of this, Owens starts pleading his case saying that he did everything he could as if that makes any sense and then Shane attacks him and fires him as the show goes off the air. The hell is any of that, and how and why am I supposed to give a fuck about it?

Feeling a little bummed watching the last 1 hour NXT. I’m happy for everybody who gets to wrestle for a bigger audience and likely make more money, but I stand by what I said before. Even if the new show is great, it doesn’t need to be longer.

Not sure who thought the best way to get everyone and especially the hometown fans excited about Cedric Alexander would be to trot him out on the preshow and have A.J. Styles beat the crap out of him for the better part of 5 minutes (he even pulled him up from a pin as if he were some jobber from the 80s) before pinning him clean and then beating him up more afterwards, but I’m certain that person is a moron.

I knew they’d go the predictable route and have Braun and Seth lose the tag belts thanks to bumbling babyface miscommunication, but the part of me that still has faith for some reason was hoping that they would win, then Braun would beat Seth for the Universal belt and they could then feud over that while still successfully getting along as tag champs. You know, because at the end of the day they’re babyfaces and babyfaces can sometimes disagree but are ultimately good people who are able to see past themselves and do what’s right to protect something important. Yes, I too am a moron.

I’m not saying Charlotte should have won (she absolutely shouldn’t have if we’re supposed to take Bayley seriously), but this here 4 minute match in front of her hometown crowd rubbed me the wrong way after the Alexander thing from earlier. I liked Bayley pulling out the win and running away even though Bayley as a heel is still weird to me, but this was something that felt better suited for free TV rather than a PPV. I realize the Network changes things somewhat, but I still believe that if you’re going to ask people to pay for something that it should be different from and generally better than what’s available for free.

I’ve been meaning to ask. Did I miss something or did Nikki and Alexa suddenly become babyfaces a month ago without any sort of explanation? I reserve the right not to be annoyed by that if Alexa turns on her the second they lose the belts because at least it would kind of pay off the story they had started telling.

Oh wow! A 2 night draft on Raw and Smackdown in October! I can’t wait! It’s going to be so awesome when they forget all about any semblance of brand exclusivity after like 3 weeks like they always do! Things are changing! Big changes! For real this time!

Wait wait wait. So in the last few weeks we’ve had a referee disqualifying somebody based on sounds he thought he heard, and now a referee that got hit by a chair and has been out cold for what seems like an hour and a half disqualifying Becky? He’s unconscious! How is he ruling on anything? Why are the announcers explaining this to us? Who is making these decisions if not the dead referee?

Thank god Kofi won. They spent so much time having Orton pound into our heads that Kofi is stupid and not ready to be champion that I was worried they’d prove it. Match damn near put me to sleep, though. How did we go from all of the fights on TV and the involvement of family to your standard, boring Orton match?

Cool to see Luke Harper again. I’ve missed him. Hopefully his coming out to help Rowan means we’re getting the Bludgeon Brothers back.

Dude. How is Braun hitting a top rope splash not the finish? Feels like such a waste of a fairly impressive thing I don’t think we’ve seen before.

Seth wins. This is good because it keeps him looking like a strong champion, but even though Braun looked like the monster he’s supposed to be, how many times can we beat him in big matches before it doesn’t matter when he wins?

And here’s the Fiend to lay out Seth. I guess that means he’s getting the next title match? Seems a little early to me.

If you need a watch or don’t watch on Clash of Champions, I’ll give it a don’t watch. It wasn’t awful, but it felt like your average fairly boring Raw with a half hour overrun. Seth and Braun was easily my favourite match of the night and you might like Becky and Sasha aside from the silliness with the referee, but you don’t need to go out of your way to see this one unless you have time for which you can find no better use.

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