Monday Night Lessons: What I learned from needing attention, The Wisconsin IWC and Raw in general (8-5-2013)

So. Here we are. Another Raw in the record books and we’re that much closer to Summerslam.

That being said, I’m not even going to pretend that I enjoyed this week’s show. I didn’t. From the virtually silent wisconsin crowd, to the abundance of countouts and DQ’s, yesterday’s show was a baffling viewing experience.

Let’s go over the good (and bad) together.

1. An inferno match??!??

The Wyatt Family

The best news coming out of last night’s Raw is that Kane and Bray Wyatt might be competing in a ring of fire match at Summerslam.

While matches like The Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank are familiar territory, WWE deciding on an inferno match with Kane and The Wyatt Family is the best match type that any of us could imagine.

Kane, when he isn’t cuddly, is a brutal monster. Like when he threw Rob Van Dam through a wall and set Jim Ross on fire. Unpredictable, crazy Kane is super entertaining.

Bray Wyatt is Jim Jones and every psychologically intimidating cult leader you’ve ever read about wrapped into one big package. Add in Kiran and Rowan s’s his silent but brutal partners (numbers!) and you’ve got a match with the potential to put the Wyatt’s on the map. Targeting Kane is one thing, but making me think that you have a chance of beating him when all the evidence says you shouldn’t is what makes The Wyatt Family so special.

Get excited, everyone. This match is going to be HUGE.

2. The Best vs Paul freakin Heyman next week!

This right here is one of the few things that I enjoyed last night. Punk vs Brock was sold for me when Heyman threw the ladder at Punk at MITB, but there’s always that little something extra when you get to hear Brock and Heyman speak. This promo solidifies that this Summerslam match will be as brutal as anything we’ve ever witnessed.

I can’t WAIT!

And I’ll be praying for Paul Heyman in his match next week against Punk. He’ll need all the positive energy he can get to get through that match. Our will Brock be the equalizer that we expect him to be?

3. Everything is wrong with the Diva’s division. Again.

Layla

I don’t know what it is that I don’t like about Layla teaming up with AJ, but it’s rubbing me the wrong way.

Perhaps it’s because I thought that AJ’s problem with Kaitlyn was taking her title and playing mind games with her until Kaitlyn cracked. That hasn’t happened yet, and I’m puzzled as to why that aspect of the story is off the table.

Another problem is Layla’s reason for betraying Kaitlyn. Layla simply wants attention. Okay, terrific.

Almost every single divas storyline revolves around someone wanting attention. Layla, who is beautiful and quirky, should get attention. But this story just doesn’t feel right. I like my own AJ/Layla/Kaitlyn story much better. Because my story builds to something interesting.

Layla also has zero momentum right now. How is this possible? Someone ad talented as she is should not be greeted by the sounds of crickets chirping.

These girls have the chance to make me eat my words with matches, promos and a little more betrayal. Let’s hope that happens.

I’d like to see more stuff like this only with Layla involved somehow:

4. Another awful Divas segment.

This promo is everything I hate about WWE’s attempts at writing for women. Hate, hate, hate it!

E, a network that has nothing to do with wrestling, is making stars out of these girls, but the WWE brass can’t seem to climb out of their enduring hole of sexism long enough to match a minute and thirty second diva segment worth more than a bucket of chicken at KFC.

You can only blame the talent for so long until you take a cold hard look at the situation and realize that sometimes these girls are sat up to fail. It’s an infuriating realization.

4. Daniel Bryan eating meat doesn’t make him more corporate

I understand what WWE is trying to do with Daniel by making him the guy who does what he wants and he’s the best (and hopefully will win) because of that. I get it. But I’ve been sold on Bryan vs Cena since Cena said ”I choose Daniel Bryan”

How about we spend less time on this and more time doing something other than finding sneaky ways to humiliate Wade Barrett?

5. Cody Rhodes has a present for Damien Sandow

Damien & Cody

This absolutely and totally bombed in front of the live crowd in Wisconsin last night, but I don’t care. Nothing in the world can make me hate Cody vs Damien at this point.

That being said, I’m tired of seeing my perfectly coiffed MITB pick as a disheveled mess. I can only hope that our savior has something up his sleeve next week.

6. Alberto Del Rio kicks the bucket.

Del Rio

I have big problems with WWE’s decision to break up Alberto and Ricardo. The main problem is that this little beatdown was completely unnecessary. Why did Alberto suddenly decide to beat Ricardo so viciously? It’s just bizarre.

If this leads to Ricardo interference that will eventually lead into Alberto vs Ricardo, I won’t be so upset. But I doubt that’s where this will end.

Raw overall: I hate to be the overly negative smark, but I didn’t like this show. Raw is starting to feel more and more like a burden at a three hour viewing time, and all that extra time is focused on super lengthy Cena promos and Stephanie McMahon crying backstage. You know, the stuff I don’t want to see.

Thank goodness that next week is the Summerslam go home show, because I’ve got to have a good Summerslam experience this year. WWE has some strong matches on tap for this PPV, so there’s no reason to be squandering interesting stories this late in the game.
And those are your Monday lessons.

Stay tuned for my NXT Review, and other interesting observations from the world of wrestling.

Until next time.

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Monday Night Lessons: What I learned from The Wyatt Family debut on Raw, Kaitlyn spears, and bad dreams. (7-8-2013)

It’s that time of the week! We came, we saw and (hopefully) enjoyed some WWE style wrestling action.

Last night’s show gave us the highly anticipated debut of the Wyatt Family, a job evaluation of Vickie Guerrero, and much more. With one week and counting to Money in the Bank, will this week’s Raw snap us out of the banality of the widely panned show from last week?

Let’s find out together.

1. OBEY OBEY OBEY OBEY OBEY OBEY OBEY

When it comes to wrestling shows, I’m kind of a hermit. I don’t read spoilers and stay off the internet until it’s time to watch the show. Therefore, I knew very little about The Wyatt Family besides and what little I saw of them on NXT. I didn’t go too deep into my imagination and start picturing what I wanted for a Wyatt debut. I just let it happen without thinking.

Throughout the night until almost the end of the show, we were treated to some up close and personal time with the Wyatt Family. In a series of short vignettes sprinkled through the show, A “wwe.com reporter” was lead around the Wyatt Family property and into the heart of the Wyatt Family domain. And those little peeks were effective and scary.

And then Bray Wyatt blew out his lantern.

And the lights went out in the arena.

And I adjflakjdsfiajfoijaeoifjnaowenfafjnaowijnfoawjiefaof all over myself.

I had GOOSEBUMPS going up and down my arms from the time the Wyatt’s walked to the ring to the end of their attack on Kane.

The Wyatt Family debuting on Raw surpassed everything I ever thought a group like theirs should get. I’m so happy I got to witness it live.

If you can somehow find a video of the full Wyatt Family madness from last night, including the attack on Kane, I would highly recommend giving it a watch. This Fan Nation video might not be enough to convey how magnificent they were to watch last night.

Did anybody else have trouble sleeping last night, or was it just me?

Also, those chants? I blocked them out. The Wyatt’s had me focused on the moment and any other ridiculousness was blown off.

2.  Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee are not allowed to break up.

I got real comfortable with seeing the team of AJ, Dolph and Big E, and the little stab of pain in my heart at the thought of them breaking up is real.

In this day and age of having stables break up in two seconds, the thought of AJ and Dolph not being together anymore makes me sad. In little than a few months time, the two of them have gotten me associated with seeing them together and looking forward to their appearances. The thought of not having that anymore, nor seeing Big E with them, makes me feel like I’m preparing to lose something very important.

If you break them up, WWE, make it good. DO NOT go the “#AJALL” route.

3. Two Bellas, both as useless as the other.

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I’ve yet to see a Diva, let alone two, who add nothing whatsoever to the part of the show they’re on. I’m not fond of wishing that people didn’t have their jobs, but the twins performances are embarrassing when compared to other girls on the show.

You have AJ and Kaitlyn carrying the division on their backs, and the best the Bellas can contribute to commentary from last night during a TAG TEAM MATCH was like listening to annoying high schoolers talking at a bus stop.

And again, nothing the twins did last night made me clamor to see them on Total Divas. I’m sure the girls are nice people in real life, but they bring nothing to the table when they wrestle or talk.

Selling a story and making it interesting should be left to Kaitlyn and AJ since they’re doing it so well. And speaking of them.

4. Kaitlyn vs AJ is back where it belongs and I’m loving it.

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I don’t know what we as wrestling fans have done to deserve Kaitlyn and AJ, but we really don’t. Why? Because of last night and that TAG TEAM MATCH with them plus Layla and Alicia Fox. Not only did Kaitlyn lose her shit and violently try to fight at the mere sight of AJ, but she speared AJ so hard I almost cringed. If physicality is what we want, it looks like AJ and Kaitlyn are delivering. I mean, look at Kaitlyn’s face in that picture. Does that not scream trouble?

We’re making slow progress in the “respect the divas” category, but progress is just that.

That being said, I will not be happy until we see some kind of major stipulation added to their match at MITB. Like a ladder. Please?

5. Vickie Guerrero climbs a ladder and STILL loses her job.

So. Vickie Guerrero, in a segment I’m still embarrassed to write about, got fired by HHH, Stephanie and Vince last night. It was one of the longest segments of the night, and while that time could’ve been spent on more important things, we ultimately ended up with the news that Brad Maddox is now the GM of Raw.

Normally I love the McMahon’s on Raw, but what’s been presented in the last few weeks has been below their normal performance standards. And the “job evaluation” segment last night was too long, and pretty terrible. Had Maddox not been named GM, and the Wyatt Family not cleansed my wrestling palate, this segment would’ve left a bad taste in my mouth.

Maddox is pretty good at playing the smarmy kiss ass, so that makes me interested to see what he’ll be doing in this role. I think he can pull off the role of a GM constantly trying to wiggle his way out of trouble, and I think it could be fun to watch. We shall see.

Also, this. Because it nearly made me cry when I saw @Arda_Ocal tweet it last night.

Boo Vickie all you want to, but I have a hard time not loving her whether she’s good or bad. She’s one of WWE’s strongest characters, and I get a kick out her performances.

And one last little picture.

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I don’t know if there’s anywhere to go with Vickie/Ryback, but I’d kinda love to see it.

Ryback showing a more tender side of himself only adds a new little dimension to his character. Plus, he was sort of right.

Either way, I kind of want Vickie to be with Ryback now. Because it’s something different and I think it could work. One can only hope that hug leads to something bigger.

And for the go-home show of Raw before MITB, those are your Monday lessons.

Stay tuned for PPV predictions and other nonsense through the week.

Until next time.

Monday Night Lessons: What I learned from AJ Lee, Daniel Bryan and dead crowds. (7-1-2013)

It’s time to take my most memorable moments from Raw and analyze them to death.

As we inch ever so much closer to Money in the Bank, It’s time for WWE to step it up and deliver the goods. The goods being an entertaining show. And was this show entertaining?

In my opinion, NO.

Let’s get learning.

1) The Wyatt family beat almost everything on the show.

Honestly, what can I even say? They’re COMING.

I didn’t expect it this soon, and I feel like a girl who has to rush dress before a hot date. I cannot believe the Wyatt Family will be here next week. My hope is that they make a big impact. And going by their promos, how can they not?

2) We have a problem. I refuse to boo Daniel Bryan.

DB

Here’s the thing. I’m already convinced that Daniel Bryan is God’s gift to wrestling. Really. He possesses talent that makes him a valuable asset to the WWE roster. Bryan always gives me a reason to tune in, and I’m disappointed if he isn’t on the show, which is a rare feeling on my part these days. He’s so good, he’s making me enjoy Randy Orton. That’s talent.

That being said, this shit with him and Kane last night almost made my head explode. And while I’m thinking about things, something is making me sad. Daniel Bryan is a fantastic wrestler, and clearly popular. WHY does it appear that he’s turning bad? This man could potentially lead the company should John Cena pop a kneecap, and I’m being made to disregard all that talent just so I can boo him? Sorry, WWE. It’s not gonna happen. Daniel Bryan is too good to follow your line of thought.

FACT: I will never boo Daniel Bryan. Ever.

3)  CM Punk, using only exasperated facial expressions, wins Raw again.

PUNKAXEL

CM Punk doesn’t trust fellow Paul Heyman guy, Curtis Axel. So, to earn Punk’s trust, Axel spent a large part of their tag team match ignoring Punk. And when Punk was finally tagged in and did work on The Primetime Players, Axel tagged himself back in and stole the pin. And you know what? I loved it.

This thing tween Heyman and Punk is already interesting. But you add in Curtis Axel, a guy clearly in it for himself, and you get a more interesting dynamic. Heyman trying to sweet talk Punk into believing the BS he’s spewing is some of the best work on TV, and Punk himself deserves some props for being one of the only interesting characters on Raw last night.

Curtis Axel being made part of the magic last night was the icing on the cake. I hate to sound like a Punk fangirl, but him and Heyman clearly have a better idea of what they’re doing than half the writing team. Give me more of this and less of almost everything else on last night’s show, please.

4) What once excited me is now meh: AJ vs Kaitlyn.

AJLEE

I can’t believe I’m typing this.

The work done by AJ and Kaitlyn to make me excited for Payback and their future rematches has retreated into a dark hole in less than a few weeks. Last week saw AJ and Kaitlyn dressing as each other, and the week before that saw Kaitlyn and AJ moving mountains to make an interesting story. And I was right there in it and loving it.

With last night’s reveal of a “fat” Kaitlyn photoshop, it looks like WWE is right back to it’s “OMG SHE’S FAT LOL” ways. And it makes me so sad.

Seriously, you have a story of best friends turned bitter enemies with two talented ladies, and THIS is the best that the WWE creative team can come up with to continue the aggression? Yikes.

It’s incredibly frustrating to see Kaitlyn and AJ given 3 minutes of TV time to try to sell THIS. Not so much because it’s insulting or the fat shaming, but because it isn’t entertaining. It doesn’t shock me. It’s just there. And after that equally awful Bella segment, I completely forgot about AJ and her cute pink chucks.

AJ coming out and skipping around the ring and making faces at Kaitlyn would’ve been more effective. Or even AJ spearing Kaitlyn. ANYTHING but this.

That being said, these two are wrestling again at Money in the Bank. Am I excited for the match by default? Yes. Do I think these two will perform well despite the awful buildup they’ve been given up to this point? Yes. But there isn’t much to be excited about if you look at last night.

I hate to be the person that repeats the same thing about TNA’s women’s wrestling, but seriously. They are doing some excellent business with their women, and it outshines WWE’s women by miles. Try it sometime.

6) Dead crowds can really drag down a show.

I’m not sure what’s better. A “bizarro world” crowd that actually responds to the show, or the awful crowd from last night who seemed like they were sleeping the whole show. Oh, wait. Now I know. Bizarro World.

7) Once upon a time, I didn’t give a shit. Also known as this Total Divas hype segment.

If you’ve been reading this blog on a regular basis, it’ll be common knowledge to you that I’m a huge fan of women’s wrestling. I love it when I see two ladies put on a wrestling clinic and beat out the men or do something groundbreaking that hasn’t been done before.

And then we get this shit and I almost die of embarrassment.

This rambling, inane promo to promote Total Divas is everything I hate about the current divas division. The Bellas throwing shade for almost no conceivable reason because OH WOMEN. Natalya being called fat because, well, I can’t work out a reason why. Naomi and Cameron as background noise. JoJo Offerman and Eva Marie as background noise when half the audience doesn’t know who they are. It’s atrocious.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I’m not far off from 30, female, and enjoy reality television. My favorite shows are The Ultimate Fighter, Top Shot, MasterChef, and almost all of the Real Housewife shows. I’m right in line with the demographic that could potentially like and regularly tune into Total Divas.

What part of any of this promo was supposed to make me interested in watching a show based around the actual lives of these ladies? Because I’m looking for something more interesting than this.

I guarantee you I could sell Total Divas better than that promo last night using one picture. Ready?

NATKIDD2

Show. Sold. THIS is interesting. Not that manufactured backstage bitch fest we saw last night.

8) SHUT UP, CROWD. Mark Henry is speaking.

Mark Henry disregarding those lame what chants made my night. But yeah, Mark Henry promos should be played on repeat. Give us the goods, Mark.

If Henry doesn’t win the championship, I will be so disappointed. This guy works his ass off, and is a more interesting character than Cena. Please win the title, Mark. Please?!

And on that note, those are your Monday Lessons.

This wasn’t the worst Raw I’ve ever seen, but there certainly wasn’t much going on beyond what I’ve written about. Trust me.

Until next time.

Questions from Tumblr

Questions, questions, questions. So many wrestling fans have questions they want answered or opinions they want to share. I’m no different. This blog exists because of the need I have to express my wrestling likes and dislikes.

To help others make their voice heard, I’ve decided to start the questions from series. It’s a simple concept to follow. You find me on social media  and ask me a question. Or express an opinion to me. I’ll bring it here and discuss it. Simple, right?

This particular question comes from one of my Tumblr followers and I think it’s a good set to start with.

Here we go!

8BitGlamour asked me: Do you think AJ will give the Diva’s title a makeover?

pback2013_aj_exclu_02

This might seem like I’m rambling, but I believe this all goes together.

I don’t think the problems with the Divas division are limited to how ugly/pretty the belt is. Personally, I can live with the Divas title. Most fans can’t seem to get past how terrible it looks. I don’t hate it, but I don’t hate it enough to want to suggest something else to replace it.

And as much as I want to believe that AJ being Divas champ means sweeping changes for the division are now in store, WWE changing anything isn’t going to happen unless they’re sure they have another bankable star.

Divisional changes only happen when the person suggesting the change is making a significant contribution to the company. Besides the past few weeks of television, it’s common knowledge that the Divas have gotten very little by the way of TV time or significant stories. The recent appearances of the Divas on TV seem to only be happening because AJ is champion and because someone who makes decisions is confident enough in her and Kaitlyn’s performances that they’re allowed to go crazy.

Could she use this momentum to her advantage? Absolutely. And I hope that she’s fighting for change.  Because WWE has far too many talented women, like Layla, who could be a benefit and shouldn’t be as held back as they are.

I will say that AJ’s knowledge of the business, overall enthusiasm, and overwhelming popularity can only work in her favor. If she persists in asking for change and keeps being as awesome as she is, big things might happen sooner than we think.

As for changing the actual title itself, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Like I said before, whoever brings in the big bucks has the most say and the changing of the title is a low priority.

She also asked: If you were the current title holder, how would you redesign the Diva’s championship?

nxt-divas-belt

If I were champion or possessed the power to change the look of the belt, I’d ditch the Divas title completely and suggest the NXT Women’s Championship as the permanent replacement.

One of the things that bugs me about women’s wrestling belts is that the titles are either too big for the competitor wearing it, or the colors on the belt are ugly and that ends up making the title look silly. A women’s title should be slim and sleek, in my opinion. And a pink title. Who came up with the idea that a women’s belt has to have pink splashed all over it? Pink belts don’t exactly scream serious wrestler.

A big belt also doesn’t make a title look more like a title. A sleek design with cool plating does. I’m generally not a fan of big gold belts. Just because a belt is gold doesn’t make it look more prestigious. The only gold women’s title I ever liked was the original WWE Women’s Championship.

In closing, dark straps with silver plates are what appeal to me. Therefore, the NXT title wins. It’s a good looking belt that I wish was on the big show.

And that’s it!

I extend a humble thank you to 8BitGlamour for submitting these great questions. Give her a follow on Tumblr if you’re there.

Have something you’d like to ask me? The only way to get in on the fun is by following me on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook and asking me something. Or leave a question in the comments for me to consider. I’d like to keep this questions series going, so ask away!

Until next time.

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Monday night lessons for Raw (6.24.2013)

Well, Last week’s Raw is now in the dust. I’m kind of sad about that since we so rarely get Raw’s of that caliber these days. But this week is a new week! A week full of new surprises like… ..video game cover reveals.

Joy.

Let’s go over what lessons I learned from Raw last night.

1. Did someone say MITB?

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There’s nothing bad about this at all. Except for the fact that Sheamus doesn’t need to be in this match, this is magnificent.

I’m calling Daniel Bryan as the winner before all you guys do.

2. AJ, now with Kaitlyn hair (and arms)!

Just in case you’ve forgotten, AJ is our NEW Divas champion. And for that reason, Divas segments revolve around her and her hijinks. As it should. She’s the most interesting character (next to Kaitlyn) on the show and deserves the spotlight. I’m a big AJ fan and I’ve enjoyed watching her character grow over the last year. I’ve been pulling for the Divas since the beginning and I’m loving AJ as champ.

With that said, I can admit that I have a problem with the Diva segment from last night. The first being that Stephanie killed all their juice last week when she shut down everyone and stomped on their credibility.

The second being that the whole dressing up as your opponent thing has been beaten to death, and it’s rare that we see a new angle to it. So why do it?

In any event, there was effort on AJ, Big E, and Kaitlyn’s part to make it work. I just couldn’t get into this like I have all their other stuff. Which is kind of disappointing considering how well they’ve done with what they’ve been given up to this point.

However, there were some positives. Kaitlyn is really letting AJ go deep with the insults. I can’t help but admire how Kaitlyn is taking so much crap, but in the end, I know she’ll be putting a serious beating on AJ. Abs that’s a good thing.

I also liked Shakespearean Big E. He made me laugh with that voice.

On a final note, I’d still rather have 10 of these diva segments than 0 Diva segments at all. Keep up the momentum, ladies. (And Big E)

3. Mark Henry, please win the WWE championship.

While Cena’s contributions to feuds are CHAMP IS HERE and very little else, Mark Henry used his time to make a statement. He will win the WWE championship. And I believe him.

I’m hoping there’s no Super Cena shenanigan’s during the build up to this match, because I’d love to just see these two wrestle without Cena’s dopey smiling or THE CHAMP IS HERE nonsense. Just a straight up dog fight. But I don’t have much hope because I know Cena holds firmly to his shtick, no matter how embarassing it gets. Ugh.

4. Everything John Cena says sounds exactly the same.

Some people may be able to tune out John Cena’s blithering, but at this point, he’s beginning to offend me with his lack of relevance. Almost everything that comes out of his mouth sounds exactly the same as the week before.

Mark Henry made a statement last week when he fooled, slammed and humiliated Cena and called all of us puppets. Cena had nothing to say other than the same thing he always says.  When work is put in to make something interesting, and our WWE champion adds nothing to the conversation, what exactly is there to get behind?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

5. The Wyatt Family. Masks and all.

Just let this play and witness just how scary Bray Wyatt and his family are in a one minute promo. Seriously.

6. There’s trouble on the horizon with CM Punk and Paul Heyman.

There comes a time where is best to shut up and let greatness speak for itself.

The planting of the seeds has begun, and I’m so intrigued. This is so good I almost feel unworthy of it. It also shows that you don’t necessarily need every interaction to be someone beating someone else up for 4 weeks straight.

I’ve always been partial to stories with layers, and I can’t wait for next week to see where this is going.

7. Daniel Bryan is too good.

How is it that this guy is putting on PPV quality matches on a weekly basis and he’s not champion? He’s so good that it’s impossible not to write 6 books about how good he really is.

I keep expecting him to not be as good as he is all the time, but he just seems to get better and better each week. How is this possible?

He’s so good that he makes watching Orton a tolerable experience for me.

If you didn’t see him and Orton wrestle on Raw, find the full match and watch it immediately. It’s one of the best things about the show and I can’t not recommend it.

And those are your Monday lessons.

Until next time.