There were two last shows before two big special shows during the coming week. So there were a lot of promos, a little teasing and a few matches, too. A lot can happen at Payback and NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable but I’m still trying to predict the outcomes. And I try to explain it as usual with my own logic.
NXT 13 May 2015 | It’s a promo fest to hype TakeOver: Unstoppable
Once again we got to see a little replay from Sami Zayn’s WWE debut against John Cena in Montreal, Canada. And his shoulder injury was a main talking point. It confused me last week that Michael Cole had pointed out that this injury will keep Sami Zayn out of action for probably six months. But now it turned out that this is just a storyline injury for the WWE shows. So people don’t expect him to be a regular item just now. Instead he will indeed have his championship match at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable against Kevin Owens where this injury will play a huge part as well. I’ll write a few more words about that match in the specific section during my break down of the latest edition of NXT in the little enumeration that follows next.
- Match: solomon crowe vs BARON CORBIN (2:07min)
I’m not really sure where to start here. Shall I talk about that jobber status of Solomon Crowe in this match? Shall I talk about that Crowe doesn’t do anything for me? Shall I talk about that Baron Corbin bores me more and more from one show to the next? Shall I talk about the almost dead NXT crowd for the little stare-down of Baron Corbin vs Rhyno? I could talk about all that in length, about my disappointment in all these three guys; about my plain ignorance of how they could be better used for me to enjoy their appearance. But I don’t want to sound too depressed. So it’s only this: I simply don’t dig this hacker gimmick of Solomon Crowe at all. Because there isn’t anything special. He just has got a few backstage promos where he holds an iPad and that’s his whole gimmick. I was more hyped for him during these hacker teasers before he was seen on the screen in person. He should have more segments like these to get this gimmick working. As for Baron Corbin, the first two or three 20-second-matches were nice and I still like his finisher. But apart from that there’s nothing to him unfortunately. When he takes the mic he isn’t very confident and even these few words he’s telling his opponents don’t come over as strong. There is much work needed for him to even consider him for the WWE roster. And Rhyno? Well, a spear and big, crazy eyes. That’s all. To be honest, I don’t expect much from the match between Baron Corbin and Rhyno at Unstoppable. Maybe I’ll be surprised which would be great. Unfortunately I don’t think so.
- Promos: Finn Bálor talks about the Triple Threat match for the #1 contenders match. After that we got to see an improved promo vignette for the Fatal-4-Way match at Payback. And then we were back with Tyler Breeze talking about the Triple Threat match.
- Match: SASHA BANKS vs kc cassady a.k.a. black trunks (2:22min)
That was a typical short match by Sasha Banks. Her opponent was a woman from developmental who didn’t even have a ring name so far. So the crowd went for “Black Trunks” chants like they did with “Blue Pants”. So it was a nice little match between the nobody who got quite a few nice moves and the NXT women’s champion who underestimated the unknown opponent at first but got the win regardless after stepping up her efforts just a little bit.
- Promos: Now it was for Bayley and Charlotte backstage to build up their tag-team match against Emma and Dana Brooke. Mostly it’s about a shirt and hairbands. And that’s a little disappointing. And then there is Dana Brooke. I just don’t dig her at all. But maybe she can hugely impress me with her enormous improved wrestling skills. I doubt she will. I guess Emma will do the most work within this tag team. Another vignette from Uhaa Nation that we’ve already seen is showed after this, slightly altered with a snipped from Solomon Crowe welcoming Uhaa Nation backstage.
- Match: carmella vs ALEXA BLISS (3:40min)
The matches are still quite short but they are improving in length regardless. Around half time during this match Blake & Murphy came out to play fanboys at ringside. They distracted Carmella long enough for Alexa Bliss to get the win in the end with the Sparkle Splash. But the real fun part of this segment happened after the match. Alexa Bliss went off backstage, throwing kisses at Blake & Murphy before both guys made it inside the ring to join Carmella. Blake told her that she’d end up smelling like garbage if she’s continue hanging out with Enzo & Big Cass. But Carmella just doesn’t want to give in. Instead she came up with a really good presented response in the style of her boys. And Blake & Murphy basically were served. Carmella definitely grows on me with stuff like that.
- Promo: Now it was on Hideo Itami to have his say about the Triple Threat. I’m still confused about this one because like I’ve written last week, there had been reports of Hideo Itami being pulled from NXT live shows because of an injury, so the Triple Threat match could have been in danger. But he’s still advertised and this promo was shown. He’d like to face Kevin Owens for the title because Kevin Owens wouldn’t respect the title, so Hideo Itami doesn’t respect Kevin Owens. Storyline wise it wouldn’t make sense to add an injury when it’s already a battle between two close friends and Tyler Breeze. So we will see.
- Promo: Dana Brooke and Emma accept the challenge, so we will have this women’s tag team match at Unstoppable.
- Match: ADAM ROSE & TYLER BREEZE vs hideo itami & finn bálor (9:05min)
Adam Rose came out without the Rosebuds since he’s now supposed to be a heel character. And evil guys apparently don’t have fun with others. But he did have fun with admiring himself in the cell phone of Tyler Breeze. So there was a little tension between these guys. But during the match they well worked together. That couldn’t be said from Hideo Itami and Finn Bálor since the two of them repeatedly tagged themselves in and that cost them the match in the end for the cheap pin for Tyler Breeze. Adam Rose wanted to celebrate with him after the match. But Tyler Breeze just had a few beauty shots to throw around. So not only got Hideo Itami and Finn Bálor a taste of what could hit them at Unstoppable, also Adam Rose was taken out, so Tyler Breeze stood tall. Would be nice for him to actually win at Unstoppable. Because, come on, just imagine a match between Kevin Owens and Tyler Breeze. That could be hilarious.
- Promo: Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens inside the ring.
Most of the time Sami Zayn was speaking here, still demanding an explanation from Kevin Owens of why he did to him what he did. And since Kevin Owens didn’t say a word, Sami Zayn went for a few wild guesses, one of them included Kevin Owens’s son who would more likely pull on a Sami Zayn shirt than a KO shirt. Without saying anything Kevin Owens went back towards the ramp but then finally spoke out, mentioning Sami Zayn’s injury, that he hurt him once and that he’ll hurt him again. But this time Sami Zayn wouldn’t come back. Now both routes are possible. First Sami Zayn wins his title back to have another title run before he’ll finally head towards the WWE main roster. For that reason this WWE storyline of a six-months injury could have been placed. Or Kevin Owens indeed kills Sami Zayn all over again, this time for good, so Sami Zayn can head to the WWE roster with a miraculous recovery from his injury. Doesn’t really matter which route NXT will go here. It definitely will be a fight. And I’m looking forward to it.
William Regal promotes the main event at TakeOver: Unstoppable
William Regal wasn’t seen during the show this time. And I think his talk about the main event at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable were shot together with his promo for the Triple Threat match from last week. But it’s interesting what he had to say. So first here are his words:
“Some people in the NXT universe would think that this has been a five months ongoing thing. But this hasn’t. This has been a twelve year ongoing battle, really, between the two of them all over the world. They’d been friends; they’d been foes – these two gentlemen will not be happy until they absolute complete and utter finishing off of the former friend. And I don’t think I need to explain too much about it. I don’t get into any kind of graphic detail. This is going to be a fight. The aggression, the spitefulness, the bitterness that is gonna spill over into the ring… I’m going all excited but I’m also happy because I know it’s gonna be the best possible main event that I can put on NXT TakeOver. So I think everybody’s in for a treat, but a treat that they may find incredibly disturbing. (…) [Kevin Owens] is a very, very intelligent, cunning and conniving man. He knew what he wanted when he came to NXT. He was willing to forsake his longest friend, his oldest friend, someone that he’d shared a world of experiences with. He knew what he wanted and he wanted the NXT championship. And he got what he wanted. And now his only desire in life – he can kid everybody else, he can kid himself that he’s fighting for his family. The only thing from what I can see that matters to Kevin Owens is that NXT championship. That’s his heart and if you take that away from him, that could be the end of Kevin Owens. It really could. So, no, Kevin Owens is gonna fight and fight and fight and do everything he can to keep that NXT championship.”
That’s interesting, isn’t it? How different he sounds here compared to the “worst father on Earth” promo after Kevin Owens attacked Sami Zayn who had just won the NXT championship. William Regal just can’t get out of his skin. He simply admires every great villain out there. And Kevin Owens is no different.
SmackDown 14 May 2015 | Dean Ambrose isn’t one for apologies
Because most of it was real fun, I’ve decided to go for the play-like conversation report for the first part of SmackDown. So after the previous RAW ended the way it did, id est with a Dirty Deeds by Dean Ambrose on Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose opened this edition of SmackDown with a promo inside the ring. This is what happened:
Ambrose: I work best alone. Fight alone. Drink alone. And it felt good on Monday to be standing all alone in this ring because alone is exactly what I’m gonna be this Sunday at Payback. When that bell rings, it’s every man for himself. We got Seth Rollins, that little chicken-weasel-troll with his lollipop-guild-goon squad. We have Randy Orton who last we saw ate a spear from Roman Reigns and ended up right around here. And Roman Reigns. So, yeah… yeah, I hit Dirty Deeds on my best friend, my only friend in the world. I didn’t plan on it, alright? It was in the heat of the moment. Things got outta hand. And we all know what happens when things get outta hand with me, alright? So I got one thing that I wanna say to Roman before Sunday.
[Reigns comes out]
Ambrose: You know, you’re not gonna get an apology.
Reigns: I wouldn’t expected one. You did exactly what I thought you’d do. And you pulled the trigger and you hit me with Dirty Deeds. One time. And that’s all you get. Because at Payback, it is my turn to get payback. You know that. You know what he did to me. Regardless, we’re brothers. Tonight we’re gonna be brothers. No crutches. But this Sunday I’m bringing the big guns. And I hope you do the same.
[Reigns offers Ambrose hand for a handshake. Ambrose steps back and thinks about it. Kane’s music hit and he comes out onto the ramp]
Kane: Gentlemen, I hate to break up your little moment here. But as Director of Operations, I’m here to let you know that you should be a little less concerned with winning the Slammy Award for Bromance of the Year and more concerned about your Fatal-Four-Way match. This Sunday at Payback is every man for himself. You should be concerned that you even make it to Payback.
Ambrose: Ey, Kane, shouldn’t you be concerned? Because on RAW on Monday Triple H said that if Seth Rollins doesn’t walk out of Payback WWE World Heavyweight champion, Kane’s out of a job. So, hey, technically, technically… oh, no… this could be the last time we ever see Corporate Kane.
Kane: Rest your shades, gentlemen. I am not concerned. Because next Monday I will still be employed. Roman, I’ll deal with you later. Dean, I came out here to tell you that you also have a match. Because that’s what’s best for business. Tonight you go one on one with Sheamus. And that match begins right…
Ambrose: Now! Right now, right? That’s what you say. We get it by now. Right now is the only time you ever know how to make a match. Alright, so, if Sheamus is done French braiding his beard back there, get him out here and let’s get this fight started!
Seriously, I’m still laughing about this line, “you know what he did to me”. So, what did Rollins do to you, Reigns? Take your precious belt that Vince McMahon wanted to shove up your backside since last June? Awww. So Rollins never curbstomped Dean Ambrose’ head into cinderblocks, I guess. Taking a belt and almost ending a wrestling career aren’t just two very different insults, no, taking a belt is much more offending than trying to take your life. I get it, Reigns. Especially since Dean Ambrose never really got revenge for always taking the loss in matches against Rollins. Sorry for having a memory, WWE, but this is ridiculous. You seriously want to make me like Reigns? With this? Try again.
So, apart from Reigns trying to make himself strong this time, I enjoyed this little segment, of course. I also liked this big grin into Sheamus’ face when he walked his way towards the ring – like some cocky response to what Dean Ambrose previously said about his beard. Before the match started they did a commercial break. And when we came back the match started right… now.
Dean Ambrose gets another cheap win
For a match that was supposed to just be a preparation match for the next Pay-Per-View, that was one with a decent amount of time. It lasted for 13:13 minutes which I’m not quite familiar with any more when it comes to matches with Dean Ambrose. But we already had a hard-hitting and long match between Sheamus and Dean Ambrose in the recent past. And this was no different when it comes to a good amount of punching and a bit of vile outside the ring action. Thankfully Dolph Ziggler stayed backstage this time and we got a finish without interference. But I have to say a few words about the commentary. Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler were awful this time. Not that they are good at any other occasions. But this time it was the lowest of the low. Jerry Lawler only calling the matches with exclamations like “oh, my gosh… oh, boy… here we go… oooh… he missed… look out… oh…” cont. And Byron Saxton did his commentary like he was at a different place sometimes. To me he just seems not to be very confident being surrounded by a huge crowd like this.
The finish of the match was a bit strange for my liking. Dean Ambrose climbs on top of the turnbuckle, Sheamus hits him, climbs on the ropes as well, gets Dean Ambrose up on his shoulder but Dean Ambrose is able to make it back inside the ring on his own. Dean Ambrose gets Sheamus’ leg, so Sheamus hits his head onto the turnbuckle, then he struggles back inside the ring and Dean Ambrose rolls him onto the canvas to get the cheap pin for the win. And Dean Ambrose makes it outside the ring as fast as he can for not having to fear any punishment from an angry Sheamus.
Cookies for everyone
As for the last segment of SmackDown, we just survived the match between Kane and Reigns, when Seth Rollins was seen backstage for an interview where he said that he surely wouldn’t be afraid of any of his opponents come Sunday. Then Dean Ambrose appeared with a tray full of cookies, offered some to Rollins, Mercury and Noble. But he didn’t wait for an answer. Instead he threw the tray into Mercury, punched Noble and then went straight for Rollins. But J&J Security recovered and now Dean Ambrose got a little beating by Rollins until… Reigns once again saved Dean Ambrose with shoving one table into the group of children. And then happened what you can see in the Gif on the right hand side: a stand-off between Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Reigns again offered his hand for a handshake but Dean Ambrose grabbed the title belt instead that Seth Rollins had left lying on the floor before heading off. Now Dean Ambrose put the belt on Reigns’ shoulder and told him that he would take it on Sunday.
Nice little teaser once again. Like all these teasers within the last two weeks that basically all more or less pointed towards Dean Ambrose indeed getting this belt at Payback. He also sat down with Michael Cole in mid-week to discuss this match.
And even the usual prediction game on the WWE website had Dean Ambrose as the favourite. Now I hope you people don’t get fooled all over again. For how many times did WWE do this by now? Too many times to believe it anymore. I’m still not sure if I’ll watch it live because, do I really want to stay up until 5 o’clock in the morning to see Dean Ambrose taking the pin for Seth Rollins to retain his belt? Because that’s what’s going to happen. Roman Reigns won’t take the pin from Seth Rollins again. Randy Orton definitely won’t take the pin from Seth Rollins after he lost against him already. And that only leaves us with Dean Ambrose.
And about the other guys getting the belt? Randy Orton was kind of left out completely from any hype or promotion for the match. So, he could well get the title out of nowhere – like he uses to hit his RKO these days. And, yeah, just put the belt around Reigns’ waist, so I don’t care about the belt like I didn’t care for it the longest time already. Unless you make Dean Ambrose feud with Reigns, so I’m forced to watch his matches. What a horrible idea. But the one who’d feud with him if Reigns gets the belt, would be Rollins, since he was the previous owner. So, I’m save for now, I guess. Unless Rollins retains and something happens during the match that leads to a feud between Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Ah, I can’t get this out of my mind.
Still the best scenario for me would be if Dean Ambrose wouldn’t have to get the pin fall and later on wins the Money In The Bank briefcase to cash in during Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins at SummerSlam. Sure, also a great scenario would be if Dean Ambrose indeed wins on Sunday because WWE teases him so much, so everyone have to think that he will never get the belt. Reverse psychology, you know?