This week’s Shoot starts out with two different areas of interest. The first would be a recent Wrestlezone news article that shows Dwayne Johnson stating that WrestleMania 29 could be his final match after his recent injury.
I wanted to showcase this in my opening thoughts as it is a follow up to last week’s opening thoughts, which had me stating that I hope Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H Number 3 does not mean a John Cena vs. Rock 3. Obviously, this news of Dwayne probably being done with wrestling shoots down that possibility. Now clearly I have not been a big fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returning to World Wrestling Entertainment and winning the WWE title as well as being featured in the Main Event of WrestleMania with John Cena the past two years in a row. However, I will say that I hope he has a speedy recovery from injury and I wish him good luck in whatever he does in his future, which will most likely feature more movie roles and no more wrestling.
In other news, the WWE Championship turned fifty this week. WWE.com has a great article featuring past photos and videos of old WWE title matchups as well as stories about how it feels to win the big one.
Here’s hoping that the WWE title can make it to the next milestone, which would be 75!
Monday Night Raw from London, England starts out with Paul Heyman standing in the ring to deliver a promo. He states through a Triple H e-mail, that Triple H is not there and will give his answer to him next week. P.S. No matter how many times I watched the replays of this segment on Main Event and Smackdown, the first name basis joke had me chuckling every time. Nevertheless, Triple H comes out to a tremendous pop, and after telling Heyman that he lied on purpose, accepts Lesnar’s challenge and hits Heyman with the Pedigree. I must say that I am surprised that Heyman fully took the Pedigree because most superstars will not.
We then witness the matchup of Antonio Cesaro and R-Truth. After yodeling once again before his match, Cesaro ends up losing to Truth. I was beyond shocked that Cesaro lost to Truth. I am not going to over exaggerate a simple Monday Night Raw loss, but I must say that I hope Creative has better plans for Cesaro following him losing the United States Championship, then losing to guys like R-Truth.
The backstage segment that featured Dolph Ziggler telling Big E. to stop creepin was hysterically funny. We then get Vickie Guerrero telling Dolph that if Jericho defeats Dolph tonight, the Triple Threat Match will become a Fatal Four Way for the World title at Extreme Rules.
Anytime Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler get in the ring together, they put on an amazing matchup. This was no different on this Monday Night Raw from London, England. It is also worth noting that there was a huge wave in the middle of this competitive match, the biggest I have seen during a professional wrestling event. The finish featured Fandango’s theme song causing Jericho to be distracted as well as break the Walls of Jericho he had on Ziggler. After this distraction, Ziggler hits the Zig Zag for the victory. I loved how the crowd Fandangod as soon as his music hit as you could tell that the London crowd was waiting to do that all night. Not making the World Title Match a Fatal Four Way was the right thing to do as the Jericho and Fandango feud is not quite finished yet.
The pace changed after the Dolph Ziggler and Jericho contest as Tensai and Cody Rhodes followed them. Tensai’s monkey flip was both surprising and well-executed, which are both rare when discussing Tensai’s in-ring skills. I figured that Cody would lose to Tensai, after Damien Sandow had defeated Clay earlier in the night, and he did just that.
The Daniel Bryan and Kane promo about The Undertaker and a game plan for The Shield was yet another moment of hilarity on this Raw. Just as it was getting good, The Shield attacked the Tag Team Champions, giving themselves an advantage for the 6-Man Tag Match later in the night.
I must say that I have not seen Raw do a Smackdown Rebound in quite some time, but it was necessary with the surprising absences of Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show.
Big E. Langston’s entrance came off as semi-LeBron James to me, but was different and unique nonetheless. Big E. then has a match against Zack Ryder, who clearly has been relegated to a squash jobber for up-and-coming stars. It was no secret that Ryder would get squashed in this match as well, which he did. Even so, Big E. looked impressive and I love the sheer force you feel when he does a move in the ring.
The 6-Man Tag Match featuring The Brothers of Destruction and Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield was next. I liked that it seemed like The Undertaker would have to go it alone after Team Hell No was attacked earlier, only for them to come out in order to give us the 6-Man Tag Match we were promised. This match was awesome! In fact, the commentary was even good and how often can people say that nowadays with the absence of Jim Ross. I loved the, “You still got it,” chant for The Undertaker as it is both true and respectful. I also liked Seth Rollins’ Rikishi-esque clothesline sell. Despite the crowd on Team Hell No and The Undertaker’s side, The Shield was always going to win this match and they deserved to. My last thoughts on this contest would be that this is the best tag team match I have seen in quite some time. Also, The Undertaker continues to make everyone around him that much better, even at this stage of career.
Fandango vs. William Regal ends up following the 6-Man Tag contest. I think it was great that WWE let Regal compete in his home of England, despite Regal not looking all that tremendous from a physical standpoint. Fandango gets the win with the still unnamed finisher. I have a feeling that after Cole said it, the move will soon be called, “The Perfect Ten.” After Fandango’s victory, Jericho attacks Fandango from behind and throws him off the stage. Jericho dancing with Fandango’s partner was a great way to continue this feud as it was personal and funny.
The last of the in-ring action featured AJ Lee winning a Divas # 1 Contender Battle Royal by playing possum. It appears that WWE is sticking to their plan of giving big pushes to the trio of Langston, Ziggler, and AJ.
The last segment of this Monday Night Raw showcased the Mick Foley/Ryback confrontation. Well Ryback’s a full-fledged heel now. I loved this uncaged version of Ryback as his promo did not feel forced and did not come off as odd or wooden. I loved the Super Cena comment, obviously in response to Cena constantly calling Ryback, “The Ryback,” as well as Ryback’s comments to Foley. This segment and Raw ends with John Cena coming to Mick’s aid and giving Ryback an Attitude Adjustment.
Overall, the first Monday Night Raw without CM Punk ended up being pretty great. This was obviously due to the appearance by The Undertaker. In the end, I hope fans enjoyed this Raw as they will not all be this good without Punk.
Mark Henry first faced and quickly squashed Jimmy Uso. His brother, Jey, gave Henry a better fight, but ended up getting World Strongest Slammed just like Jimmy. Santino was next and actually hit The Cobra for a two count, only to get slammed by Mark soon after. Lastly, The Great Khali came out to give us a King Kong vs. Godzilla style confrontation. At one point in this battle, Khali put his foot on the bottom rope to break up the pinfall, which I do not know if I have ever seen that from him. In the end, Henry does not run the Gauntlet successfully as he lets himself get counted out. This Gauntlet Match was entertaining, but in no way compares to Big Show’s performance in the Gauntlet weeks ago.
Zeb Colter’s promo was pretty good on Main Event and I liked his Thomas Paine reference with it being in London, England.
The last noteworthy thing on Main Event was the announcement of John Cena and Ryback vs. The Shield in what could be an intriguing tag match next week on Raw.
The No Disqualification Match between Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio starts this week’s Friday Night Smackdown. This match was even better than last week’s highly competitive matchup, which was pretty good in its own right. While I am not a fan of Swagger and Del Rio, I must say that they are starting to show that they work pretty well together. The match ends with Zeb Colter helping Swagger use a kendo stick on Alberto, leading to Swagger hitting Del Rio with the Gut Wrench Powerbomb after using a ladder to soften up the “Mexican Aristocrat.”
We are then shown the official announcement of the Divas new reality show on E Hollywood. While I know that I will not watch it, I’m sure that it will be an interesting new series and could give the Divas more exposure outside of World Wrestling Entertainment.
The Divas Match featuring Layla and Aksana was forgettable at best. However, much like William Regal, it was nice to see WWE use Layla in her home of London, England.
I really liked The Shield’s promo of them vowing to destroy The Undertaker as well as alluding to themselves feuding with Team Hell No over the Tag Team Championships soon.
Big Show and Sheamus showed why they were nominated for Match of the Year at last year’s Slammy Awards as this contest was pretty good. The highlight was the finish of the match, which featured Sheamus getting distracted by Henry, only to take a nasty KO punch from Big Show, which came off well on television.
The Wade Barrett vs. William Regal matchup was not long, but it served its purpose. The purpose was to showcase England’s past and present hometown heroes as well as to give Barrett a victory.
During Mark Henry’s match with Randy Orton, Sheamus comes out and Brogue Kicks Mark in retaliation for the earlier distraction. Orton then follows this up with an RKO, but looks displeased at the interference during his match. You can see that Creative is subliminally booking Orton to turn heel, but are waiting for the right moment to do so.
The Main Event featured The Undertaker facing Dean Ambrose. It was great to see The Undertaker return to action on the brand that he was the cornerstone of since 2002. After a near fall by Ambrose, Taker wins with the Hell’s Gate submission. During the post-match brawl, Roman Reigns speared The Undertaker through the barricade. P.S. I liked the brief, “You tapped out,” chant directed at Ambrose, which I am sure his IWC fans will not appreciate. Well I knew that the triple powerbomb through the announce table for The Undertaker was coming and we saw it on Smackdown. Now that The Undertaker has put over The Shield, just like he did for The Nexus in October of 2011, we most likely will not see him until WrestleMania season. Big ups to The Undertaker for not only competing at WrestleMania at not a hundred percent, but working several post-Mania shows as well, unlike he did in year’s previous.
Clean Finish(Final Thoughts)
After reading another article concerning the update of a possible physical Hall of Fame, I wanted to put in my two cents about it. I think that it would be great for World Wrestling Entertainment if they would build an actual Hall of Fame and it would be great for the fans that would undoubtedly go. As for a possible location, I would suggest it be somewhere near the other Hall of Fames in New York, like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. No matter where they decide to put it, I just hope a physical Hall of Fame gets built sometime down the road.
Match of the Week
I must give all my readers notice that in two weeks, I will be taking a break from Saturday Shoot for a number of months
Photos and Videos Courtesy of WWE.com and Youtube
News Articles/Reports Courtesy of Wrestlezone.com
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