Tag Archives: Damien Sandow

Damien Sandow Is Massively Over, Fired Anyways

Damien Sandow has a unique gift of getting over with any group of people he’s put in front of, regardless of the ridiculous persona he’s portraying at the time. From an uppity aristocrat in a bathrobe to a stunt double who mimics the every action of the inflated ego of a Hollywood-actor, Sandow could win over anybody under any circumstances.

Well, almost anybody.

There has always been one niche market that has failed to connect with Sandow’s persona: his employer. Today, WWE has decided to part ways with the incredibly over wrestler…

The letting go of Sandow coincided with the releases of Wade Barrett, Santino Marella, Hornswoggle, Cameron, Alex Riley, El Torito, and Zeb Colter. WWE issued statements with the expected comment of “WWE wishes them the best in all of their future endeavors.”

Surely Sandow can now be considered the hottest free agent on the market, right? Could Damien be now headed to the likes of New Japan, Lucha Underground, or TNA? Or will this release signal the end of the career of possibly the most underused talent in WWE history?

WWE Main Event Clips for January 21st, 2015

Due to contractual issues between WWE and U.K. programming, Main Event will not be airing on the WWE Network for the time being. This won’t rock too many people’s worlds but if you’re like me and you want to at least see what happened on the show then you’re out of luck.

Luckily, WWE is still putting highlight videos of the show on their Youtube channel. Here are the final moments of the three matches from yesterday’s episode. (It will still air in international markets, but if you’re a red-blooded American like me you are out of luck.)

Nattie seemed to like Summer Rae’s work in this match and Tweeted this bit of praise for her competitor…

Wyatt and Swagger seemed to bring a good amount of physicality in this one. It had a ‘house show’ feel to it and nobody seemed to buy that Jack had a chance at winning. Both guys seemed to hit their signature spots and put on a decent bout regardless.

It’s the same bits from Miz and Mizdow that we’ve been seeing for months but dang it, it’s still funny! Hopefully WWE begins the breakup of this duo this Sunday at the Rumble. We need a Wrestlemania match between these guys. They have definitely earned their spot on that card.


@MitchNickelson
Listen to my podcast, Curb Stomp Radio!

 

Main Event Review For October 28th, 2014

(Just a quick reminder that my Main Event Review is my regular gig over at TJRWrestling.com. This article you are reading is what is published over there and I’d encourage you to check that site out. There is a plethora of amazing writers that cover all aspects of professional wrestling.)

Welcome to the best wrestling show on Tuesday nights, WWE Main Event! This week’s show is broadcast out of Houston, Texas. Announced prior to the show is a MizTV segment featuring Mark Henry, which doesn’t end up happening.

I recap this show by writing about all of the highlights, sprinkling in my opinion whenever I see fit. I won’t do any in-depth play-by-play, but I’ll try to cover the good stuff. At the end, I’ll wrap things up with a snazzy Final Thoughts section. Lets get to the action.

MizTV Featuring The Usos

As The Miz and Damien Mizdow were making their way to the ring, JBL was telling Byron Saxton and Michael Cole that he’s joining them on commentary on Main Event because he’ll be going on vacation to Bermuda after this. He says it’ll cause him to miss Smackdown later this week, which is in actuality taped Tuesday night immediately after Main Event. I like how dedicated WWE is to the kayfabe of Smackdown being on Friday.

Miz is still angry over the tag match on Monday night when The Usos pinned Miz illegally. He asked Jimmy and Jey why they cheated and they simply denied knowing what he was talking about. As they responded to him, they mimicked the stunt double schtick with each other. Having an actual set of twins doing it is funny. Miz acknowledged that they were poking fun at him then grew frustrated as they joined in as stunt doubles for Miz. The segment culminated with Miz demanding a ref come out for an immediate rematch while all three guys in the ring copied all of his mannerisms. I’m sure that some are getting tired of the stunt double joke but I think they can drag out for another month or so by adding elements like this to it.

Referee Charles Robinson came out before the break. The match is up next.

The Usos vs. The Miz & Damien Mizdow

As the match starts out, JBL points out that everyone has a stunt double except for Charles Robinson and Byron Saxton. Burn on Michael Cole.

Miz did a good job of playing off the crowd dynamics when he went to tag Damien into the match. When he’d point to Mizdow like he was asking the crowd if they wanted him to tag him in the crowd would cheer loudly. Then he’d raise his arms in the air for himself (mimicked by Mizdow) and the crowd would boo passionately. He did this back and forth several times in a row to really show the contrasting reactions that they were getting.

While The Miz was hurting on the outside, Damien went over to him to copy the pain he was in. This led to a flying Uso dive to the outside that only connected onto Sandow. Miz followed it up with a kick to an Uso jaw.

Near the end of the match, Jimmy was hurt and looked like he might suffer a pinfall. As the ref had his back turned Jey tried to insert himself into the match for his brother. Charles Robinson caught and prevented him from doing so but then had to briefly turn his attention to Miz and Mizdow. Jey then tried to switch out illegally again, this time successfully. When Miz came over he rolled him up for the win.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

The Miz and Damien Mizdow argued with the ref as The Usos left the ring, celebrating their win.

John Cena was asked to join The Authority on Raw, which is recapped at this point. This setup the Team Cena vs. Team Authority match that will happen at Survivor Series.

Michael Cole tells JBL that it’s a shame that he’s going to on vacation because he’ll miss a big Divas Halloween Costume Battle Royal on this Friday’s Smackdown. JBL says he’ll be watching the match from Bermuda because he’s still trying to convince the audience that Smackdown isn’t taped.

Paige vs. Natalya (w/Tyson Kidd)

The footage of Paige beating on Alicia Fox viciously from Raw is shown before the match. Byron Saxton said that being friends with Paige is like being friends with a wild animal; you do so at your own risk. Tyson Kidd joins the announce table and JBL compares him to Stedman (Oprah’s husband or whatever)  and Todd Palin. They rib on him that Natty is the breadwinner in the family.

The announce team spent most of of their time talking to Tyson about his marriage, which is a shame because this is a way better than average match. Paige does what she can to appear super creepy by licking the side of Natalya’s face at one point.

The ending came by Paige teasing that she’d put Natty in the Sharpshooter. Natalya reversed it before she could lock it on and attempted to do the Sharpshooter as well. Paige kicked her out before she could lock it on, then rolled her up for the win. Wow, pretty much every Divas match does end in a rollup. They need a new ending for the ladies.

Winner by pinfall: Paige

Natalya looked disappointed with her loss. Tyson said that he’s embarrassed for his wife before he went into the ring to ‘comfort’ her after his loss. I really hope this leads to Natalya and Tyson becoming a heel power couple.

There was a really odd video of a pair of eyes on the Titan Tron. The voice that accompanied it said, “Sometimes I see things that just ain’t there…I’m going to piece myself back together with pieces of you.” The announcers couldn’t explain whatever that was. Bo Dallas and Sheamus are seen walking backstage. They have a match, which is next.

Sheamus vs. Bo Dallas

Bo talks before the match about Team Cena vs. Team Authority at Survivor Series. He said that if he could split himself into two people, he’d help both teams. But unfortunately human cloning hasn’t been perfected yet. Bo says that in the meantime he is offering his services to whoever Bolieves.

Bo was all about celebrations during this match. After a drop kick that connected with Sheamus, Bo exited the ring to do a lap with his hands in the air. Later, when he kipped up out of a head scissor attempt by Sheamus he immediately raised his arms in victory. Sheamus responded to the second celebration with a slap to the face. There were quite a lot of stiff slaps in this match.

Dallas went for the Running Bodog onto Sheamus, but couldn’t follow through with it. He gives another slap across the face of Sheamus who replies with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus covered his opponent for the win.

Winner by pinfall: Sheamus

Sheamus celebrated with his U.S. Title after the match. Michael Cole tells JBL to enjoy his vacation as the show comes to a close.

Mitch’s Final Thoughts

I can gladly say that this was an above average episode of Main Event. The MizTV segment that opened the show led directly to the tag match, which was about 20 minutes of the show. I like the rivalry and it will give The Usos something to do for a month other than challenging for the tag titles again. Hopefully Damien’s antics keep the attention of the fans as WWE holds off his turn against The Miz.

The Paige/Natalya match was way better than what is typically shown on Main Event. Natalya could easily bring new life to the Divas Championship scene. I don’t mind the marriage drama that she’s involved in and I’ll reiterate that I hope it leads to the heel couple of Tyson and Natty.

The main event was okay but it was the weakest part of the hour for me. Sheamus was stiff like usual and I felt bad for how many slaps he traded with Bo. Sheamus is always a crowd favorite and Bo still gets heat so it works.

Thanks for reading my review this week. Feel free to share your thoughts on the show in the Comments section below. Also, you can find me on Twitter @MitchNickelson and on the web at MitchNickelson.com. I don’t typically put my email address out there, but here it is if anyone would want to chat that way – leonardbeats@gmail.com. Take care.

Main Event Review For October 14th, 2014

Welcome once again to my review of WWE Main Event. Birmingham, Alabama is the host city for tonight’s show. I’m unaware of anything that might have been advertised ahead of time. Byron Saxton and Michael Cole are our usual announcers.

I apologize for getting this up about a day later than normal, but that’s just the way things worked out this week. I’m shooting for brevity which is probably a good thing because I can be long-winded when doing my recap. I’ll wrap up everything with a Final Thoughts section at the end. Let’s start this show.

MizTV featuring Sheamian Sandow, then Sheamus arrives

The Miz hosts his MizTV segment and it appears that we’re going to have Sheamus joining him. Only it’s not Sheamus, it’s Damien Sandow dressed up as Sheamus and it is absolutely hilarious. The guy has been comedy gold as of late and I dearly hope that the WWE can give meaningful ring time to a guy who turns so much dribble into entertainment.

Sandow is wearing some sort of white tights and a bright red wig. He even has some orange colored eyebrows pasted on. When the real Sheamus shows up, he finds that Sandow has become his personal method actor and it’s brilliant. There’s genuine laughter breaking out in the crowd.

The segment reveals that because of Miz’s victories on Sheamus as of late, he’ll get a title shot against him at Hell In A Cell. Sheamus mocks Miz for thinking he’s an A-list movie star and beats up Sandow in the end. He comments how Miz lets Sandow take his bullets and gives Sandow a Brogue kick to end the segment.

Tyson Kidd (w/Natalya) vs. R-Truth

Tyson Kidd had a mic and talked about ‘facts,’ and that it was a fact that he was more than simply Nattie’s husband. R-Truth had a mic as well.  His rapping was slightly more on point than normal and even received loud cheers for it.

Early in this match, Truth did some provocative hip gyrating that Natalya found amusing. Tyson yelled at her and told her to go stand away from the ring. Byron and Michael discussed the marital woes of Mr. and Mrs. Kidd throughout the match.

The ending came after Tyson was setting up for the Sharpshooter. Truth kicked him away, into the ropes near Natalya. He yelled at her to not get involved, but got taken out when he turned back around toward Truth.

Winner by pinfall: R-Truth

Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel

In a pre-taped segment, Cesaro told Dolph Ziggler that he promised him that he’ll be “in the swing of things.” Get it? I’ve been digging all of the mic time he’s been getting as of late, especially when he guest announces. He seems very comfortable when he has to speak.

There’s lots of reasons to like this matchup. Both guys are incredibly talented and can impress with their ring skills. But the real point of this match is to put over Cesaro and that’s what happens.  Here’s a lovely quip by Bryon Saxton, in regards to the Swiss Superman…

“The guy deadlifts over 600 lbs. That’s like, six of you, Michael.”

Gabriel is impressive and has some flashy moments, but eventually succumbs to the Neutralizer.

Winner by pinfall: Cesaro

It’s Raw Rebound time and we see a recap of everything concerning John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Randy Orton from the night prior. I feel like much of the reactions that I’ve read about the Cena/Orton match is a big yawn because the two have faced each other so much throughout their careers. Personally, I feel like Orton is on a streak of stellar bouts over the past few months and I look forward to pretty much any match he’s in…even if it’s against a guy he’s faced a million times like John Cena. I guess my point is that I’m currently a big Randy Orton mark. That guy sure can wrestle.

Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Big E

The crowd chanted “U.S.A.” loudly to Lana before the match, garnering a couple of Shut Up’s from her. She called Birmingham the unshaved armpit of America. It’s not that bad of a place. Rusev said Big Show would be the big, stinking, anus.

Rusev and Big E had a couple of fun Pay-Per-View matches earlier in the year. This match tonight was given plenty of time and it was paced well. Rusev looked vicious early on with a Fallaway Slam on the outside and a series of never-ending stomps in the middle of the ring. Big E was given chances to look strong as well. He had several well-timed suplexes that would turn the tides in his favor.

The hero of the Russian Federation would ultimately lock in the Accolade. He really leaned back on Big E and made it look painful.

Winner by submission: Rusev

Rusev faces Big Show at Hell In A Cell. He and Lana celebrated the victory with the Russian flag behind them as the show came to a close.

Mitch’s Final Thoughts:

I’d peg this hour of wrestling only to be an average episode of Main Event. Sandow was completely funny in the beginning of the show; one of his best impressions yet. Kudos to him being amazing. But apart from the humor, none of the matches meant a whole lot.

Rusev and Big E were at least given well over 10 minutes, so that’s at least one good takeaway. I won’t be too negative on the product, I’ll just say that between the spectrum of Smackdown and Superstars, Main Event seemed to have drifted slightly more into the Superstars realm tonight.

– – – – – – –

That was way shorter this time around than I normally do. I’ll try to write this review more of this length in the future. It’s way easier to write and more enjoyable for me to watch the show without so much play-by-play.

Here are some quick plugs. Follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Check out my two podcasts as well. I do a shorter one called Mitch and Al Radio and a longer, more thorough one called SBP Wrestling. I see podcasting being a big part of what I do from here on out and I’d love to have your support.

That about does it for me. Take care.

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Damien Sandow Praised By Mick Foley

After last year’s unsuccessful Money In The Bank briefcase cash-in by Damien Sandow (against then-World Champ John Cena), many wrestling fans groaned about what they expected to be the demise of Damien Sandow. Ever the optimist, Mick Foley had a different take on the situation. He immediately took to social media and made this call in October of 2013…

“THAT WAS AWESOME! Who else found themselves being swept up in the wave of excitement that IS @TheDamienSandow-mania! #RAW Way to go Damien! Come on all you #DebbieDowners out there – what happened to @TheDamienSandow was FAR from a burial! It was the dawning of the age of Sandow! One year from today, I will remind all of you that I declared October 28,2013 as the dawning of the age of @TheDamienSandow-mania! #RAW”

While I don’t disagree with Foley that the match against Cena was extremely exciting, it’s hard to say that his call proved right. After his time carrying the briefcase, Sandow faded into the meaninglessness of the midcard without anything substantial on the horizon.

Then, things got weird for Sandow when he started donning extremely baffling costumes on an almost weekly basis during the spring and summer of this year. Some were highly entertaining (Mr. McMahondow), yet some were real head-scratchers. Case in point…

While all of this seemed like some cruel joke that was being portrayed on the poor Sandow, he finally started feeling like a somewhat useful talent again when he found the perfect character to copy, The Miz. His mannerisms have hysterically patterned after the self-proclaimed Hollywood star. Sandow even offered logical reasoning on a recent MizTV segment for why he’s currently shadowing Miz. He expects his devotion to Miz to lead to an Intercontinental Championship match, should Miz finally upend Dolph Ziggler. Here’s his most recent example of method acting, from Tuesday night’s Main Event…

Whether this comedy bit needs to be associated with the historic Intercontinental Championship is a separate conversation, but I can’t help but feel happy for Sandow. He’s had a terrible year since holding a briefcase that made him the defacto number one contender. Now that he has regular television time in a continuing story I feel like I can see light at the end his tunnel. This logically will lead to a feud with The Miz, so he even has some short term booking before him. Things are finally looking up for the guy.

Going to back to Mick Foley’s take on Damien, he offered these comments recently on Facebook…

I see Foley as being just a little over-positive on his take of Damien’s career, but I do agree with him that Sandow can take whatever is given to him and turn it into something very special. I’m not sure that this is the greener pastures that Sandow deserves, but it is a far cry better than where he was six months ago. Will Sandowmania ever truly run wild? Offer up your thoughts in the comments on if you agree with Mick or not.


Thanks for reading this quick news update. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson and if you have the time, check out my most recent episode of Mitch and Al Radio. All you have to do is click play below…

Take care.

 

Main Event Review for September 17th, 2014

Welcome to the Mitch Nickelson review of WWE Main Event, the show that is the apple of the WWE Network’s Tuesday night’s eye. Tonight’s show comes to us from Biloxi, Mississippi. Byron Saxton and Michael Cole are our announcers.

I don’t know of anything announced for this show, but since it’s the week of a Pay-Per-View I figure that there will be plenty of Night Of Champions building. As usually, I watch and write a recap as I go along. I don’t get too in-depth, but I make sure to cover the major stuff, adding in my opinion along the way. At the end, I wrap things up with a spiffy Final Thoughts section. Let’s get to the show.

Dolph Ziggler & R-Ziggler vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow

This is a good way to kick off the show. When coming to the ring, The Miz touched a fan and Damien was there with hand sanitizer to cleanse him from the filth of the unwashed masses. I love the antics of those guys and it makes me happy to find Sandow to be a part of an entertaining, somewhat meaningful role these days.

R-Truth should be given credit as well. At one point, him and Ziggler did a tandem strut and hair toss that was well-choreographed. I wasn’t rooting for Truth to be given more opportunities before this, but I’m glad he’s also momentarily out of his own career rut. You could argue that everyone involved in this angle is experiencing a career revival of sorts. Every single one of them was stuck in storyline purgatory just six months ago.

Miz and Mizdow worked well as a team. R-Ziggler would play the face in peril for the bulk of this match as his opponents would let him get close to tagging Dolph, then stopping him with a Drop Toe Hold and dragging him away from his corner again.

They built to the hot tag well and Dolph came with an intensity when he finally got into the ring. He connected with the Famouser but Miz scored the kickout on 2. Miz went for a Figure Four, but Miz rolled him up for only a 2 as well. R-Ziggler got back in the ring and attempted a Jumping DDT just like Dolph does. He pulled it off well. The finish came when Miz connected with The Scull Crushing Finale on R-Ziggler. Good opener.

Winners by pinfall: The Miz and Damien Mizdow

Damien copying The Miz as he’s celebrating on the ropes is funny. As Miz waves his hand in front of The Moneymaker, Mizdow does the same…one step behind, of course.

A graphic pops up telling us that Seth Rollins will take on Big E tonight.

Renee Young Interviews Seth Rollins Backstage

Seth Rollins, who takes on Roman Reigns this Sunday at Night of Champions, is asked if his loss on Raw to Roman Reigns would be considered a setback. Seth talked about how he’s a man of opportunity. He’s going to use his match with Big E tonight to prove that brains triumphs over brawn every time. Boos could be heard from the crowd as he finished his interview.

Brie Bella vs. Cameron

Renee Young interviewed Nikki earlier in the day and asked her why she recently attacked her sister unprovoked. Her hat was really spikey, which might be the big takeaway from this. She ended the interview by saying that after her win at Night of Champions, everyone will be kissing her “voluptuous derriere.”

The girls scream a lot during the match. That’s not unordinary, but I noticed it more in this match. The crowd busted out a huge “Yes” chant in the middle of the match. Cameron did that split where she pinned her opponent. She screamed “Yeah, I know!” during the pin, possibly a reference to when she pinned a face-down opponent with the same move on Raw.

Brie Bella was able to connect with an X-Factor (shout out to Sean Waltman). She pinned Cameron successfully after that.

Winner by pinfall: Brie Bella

The first big recap segment of the night is played and it’s to promote Lesnar vs. Cena at Night Of Champions. The dominance of Lesnar at Summerslam is highlighted as well as Heyman’s subsequent attempts to turn Cena to the dark side over the past few weeks.

After the video package, Michael Cole explains that his weekly WWE.com interview will be with Brock Lesnar this week. There’s a reminder of Chris Jericho being Christian’s guest on the “Peep Show” at the Night Of Champions Kickoff Show.

Seth Rollins vs. Big E

The match opens with a big “You Sold Out” chant from the crowd. The crowd also seems to respond well to Big E. At one point, he caught Seth Rollins in the air and toyed with him as he repeatedly drove his knee into Seth’s side. The audience was on their feet in support of him. Big E took Seth out of the ring and dominated him. Brawn was winning over brain for a while. Big E pressed Seth high above his head and threw him through the second rope back into the ring. Seth started regaining momentum with a dive to the outside before a commercial break.

Back from break and Seth is still in control. He works the methodical holds like when he drives his boot into the side of Big E’s head against the ropes. The referee scolds him for the move but Seth tells him that he has a 5 count and he’s going to use it.

The crowd rallies for Big E as he tries to power back into the match. By the time he hits a Belly-To-Belly Suplex he really had a lot of excitement going. He was able to get a splash onto Seth but only got a 2 count when he pinned. Big E did that awesome spot where he Speared his opponent through the ropes to the outside. I don’t think I’ve seen that since his fights with Rusev.

Back in the ring and Big E pulled down his singlet straps to signal that he’s going to try for The Big Ending. Rollins was near the ropes and was able to pull himself out of the move. He kicked Big E in the head to stop him. Rollins ran Big E into the corner, shoulder first. This set him up to be a recipient of Seth’s Curb Stomp. Seth pinned Big E for the win.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins

Seth grabbed his briefcase to celebrate his victory. He pointed to his head to remind everyone that brains beats brawn. The show closes as Michael Cole and Byron Saxton hype up of Night Of Champions, this Sunday on the WWE Network.

Mitch’s Final Thoughts:

This was a solid hour of wrestling. Definitely an above-average show. The opening tag match was great. All four guys look like they’re having fun with the material they’re being given and I think they’re superb. I expect Dolph to retain this Sunday, but you never know. There’s a ton of great matchups that can be formed after the Night Of Champions fallout. Maybe all four guys will be pitted against each other next month?

The Brie Bella and Cameron match was the weakest bout, but Cameron remembered that the back has to be on the ground during pinfalls so there were no goof-ups tonight. Brie isn’t in the Diva’s Title match this Sunday but it’s safe to say that she’ll play a role.

Seth Rollins and Big E worked a great match together. The brains vs. brawn story was simple and well-told. Big E was given time to dominate and the crowd supported him well. Seth would use the ropes and manipulated 5 counts to gain the advantage. Sometimes matches can be way over-thought but this was a basic formula that was so easy to get behind.

The fluff was also kept to minimal tonight. It seems like WWE used this hour to promote Night Of Champions. Good for them, it made this show seem relevant.

That’s it for me this week. Did you like the show tonight? Did it help to promote Night Of Champions? Shoot me your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll discuss it. Also, follow me on twitter @MitchNickelson. You can find even more Mitch at MitchNickelson.com. Thanks for reading.

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Main Event Review For September 2nd, 2014

After what was almost universally embraced as one of the more underwhelming Raw’s of the year, it’s time for wrestling fans to move on. What better way to shake off a less than satisfactory night of wrestling than by giving WWE a do-over? Welcome to Main Event, your official do-over show.

This is episode 101, airing live on the WWE Network. This week’s show airs out of Lincoln, Nebraska. Michael Cole and Byron Saxton are our announcers. Advertised for this show is a MizTV segment featuring Dolph Ziggler.

I am Mitch Nickelson and I review this show. I’ll summarize all of the events, throwing in my opinion along the way. I wrap everything up with a nifty Final Thoughts section at the end.

Dolph Ziggler appears on MizTV

As the show opens, Damien Sandow is seated in the middle of the ring. As The Miz’s stunt double, Damien “Miz”dow fills in for him tonight. The Miz was absent because he was filming for the new Fast and Furious movie. I don’t think that was true, but they are heels and as John Canton always says, heels lie.

Damien congratulates The Miz for not being in Nebraska tonight. Inspired by The Miz’s movie Christmas Bounty, Damien begins to recite a monologue. He gets a few lines in and gets interrupted by the music of the Intercontinental Champion, Dolph Ziggler. As he makes his way to the ring, Michael Cole questions if The Miz really has a role in a Fast and Furious movie.

Damien has the footage of the tag match that The Miz and Ziggler were in on Raw last night. Miz pinned Ziggler in that match after his stunt double caused a distraction. Ziggler says that Damien is out here pretending to be The Miz. Damien says to Ziggler, “How dare you come onto my show and ask me this.” Dolph and Damien get into a series of ‘really’s‘ before Damien cuts him off. “STOP, Miz doesn’t… I don’t say that anymore!”

Damien calls himself the greatest performance artist WWE has ever seen. He tells the crowd that they wouldn’t know talent if it was standing right in front of them. He is years ahead of the time. Damien explains that he might really be a fan of The Miz, or maybe he’s waiting for The Miz to beat Dolph at Night of Champions for the Intercontinental Title. Then, a certain stunt double will get his rightful shot at the Intercontinental Championship. This feels like a somewhat meaningful direction for Sandow. This has to be too good to be true. The crowd boos Damien.

Dolph tells him that he has a good plan. But maybe at Night of Champions, Dolph will do what he does best. Maybe he’ll “outclass The Miz in every sense of this business, steal the show, and remain their (points to the crowd) Intercontinental Champion!” Damien passionately screams that that will not happen as the crowd cheers on Dolph.

Dolph asks Damien what he’ll do then. He suggests that he can go back to one of his previous personas. He could pretend to be Bret Hart again. He could go back to being Magneto, which had kind of the same outfit that he’s wearing now. “You went there, didn’t you?” asks Damien. Or maybe Damien could go back to the persona that suited him the most. He could go back to being the ballerina. Cheers from the crowd as Damien looks unamused.

Damien went to clothesline Dolph, but Ziggler ducked and nailed him with a dropkick. Damien rolled out of the ring. Ziggler’s music plays as he stands tall in the ring. Great MizTV segment and a good start to the show.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Mizdow

This match started during the break. I never do the second screen experience, so I miss out on stuff like that. Damien almost never gets a competitive match, then a treat like this comes along. While Dolph isn’t in the main event where many think he deserves to be, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t had a revitalization of his career recently. Seeing both these guys in a match that people get into makes me so happy.

The crowd cheered on Ziggler pretty strongly. Ziggler sold and bumped to make Damien look like he sort of belonged there. Midway through the match, Damien even got to kick out of The Famasser.  Damien responded with a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo, stealing from The Miz. He then dipped into The Miz’s moveset again, trying to follow it up with a Figure Four, but Dolph kicked out of it before he got it locked it. This led to Dolph Zig Zagging Damien and successfully pinning him.

Winner by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler

Dolph got a great reaction from the crowd  for his win. He celebrated in the corner, holding his belt up high. Dolph faces The Miz in three weeks at Night of Champions for his Intercontinental Championship.

A recap of all of the Brie and Nikki Bella drama was now shown. Jerry Springer will be moderating a discussion between them next week. Raw will be having its Season Premier next week. Since Raw is new every week it’s hard to think of it in terms of seasons, but that’s what Michael Cole called it.

Natalya & Rosa Mendes vs. Summer Rae & Layla

If anyone ends up remembering this match in the future, it’ll will simply be because of Rosa Mendes’ butt. While on the outside, Layla grabbed at the back of Layla’s pink tights and gave Nebraska quite a show. I missed the live stream of Main Event, so it was blacked out almost immediately when I watched it On Demand. That’s one way to get people interested in the Network, I guess.

There’s a clip of Total Divas before the match started, where some executive type in a suit is telling Nattie that she needs to watch over Rosa and take her under her wing. Nattie didn’t like this, saying “If I wanted to babysit people, I would hang out with Summer.” I don’t care about Total Divas, so I wasn’t really into this match.

The heel girls worked on Rosa for a while until she could get a hot tag to Natalya. The crowd actually chanted for Rosa while she was getting pummeled. The crowd popped good when Natalya finally got into the ring. She beat on Summer and almost set up the Sharpshooter, but got slapped hard before she could lock it in.

Near the end, Rosa tagged herself in. Natalya wasn’t happy about it. Layla connected with the Bombshell Kick on Rosa and covered her for the win.

Winner by pinfall: Summer Rae & Layla

Summer Rae and Layla celebrate their win. Michael Cole and Byron Saxton talk about how Natalya will be tutoring Rosa in the upcoming edition of Total Divas.

There’s a preview of Total Divas at this point. I’m happy for them that the show is successful, but I’m not going to start watching it.

The Highlight Reel segment that opened Monday’s Raw is recapped at this point. There was some nice super-hero sounding music when they showed clips of Cena valiantly triumphing in the six-man tag main event. John Cena returns to Smackdown this Thursday.

Gold & Stardust vs. Los Matadores (w/ El Torito)

These guys fought on last week’s Main Event and put on a great show. I’m happy to see them go at it again because it’s not too often these days that Diego and Fernando are given a match that’s more competitive than comedic.

There’s a replay of the ending of the match between Goldust and Jimmy Uso. Jey Uso, who has an injured leg, was smacked in that injured leg by Stardust. Stardust used a chair and Jey’s leg was wrapped around the corner post. I like that the Rhodes brothers are being legit heels.

As Los Matadores are heading to the ring, footage of their Main Event match was shown last week. El Torito took a nasty spill to the outside thanks to Stardust. Gold & Stardust are ticking off everybody.

During the match, The Usos are shown backstage watching the match. Jey Uso is using a crutch, selling the injured leg.

I think Cody Rhodes looks particularly vicious in this Stardust heel role. At one point he was stomping on a Matadore and it came across as pretty brutal. Him and Goldust took turns doing stomach and back-rakes on their opponent during one tag out.

The hot tag near the end brought a good reaction from the crowd. The Matadore in question really brought the intensity. However, Goldust was able to cause enough of a distraction to allow Stardust to use his finisher, which is apparently called Dark Matter.

Winner by pinfall: Gold & Stardust

The Rhodes brother celebrated their victory post match, then knocked Los Matadores out of the ring after the match to remind everyone that they’re the heels. They posed like a couple of creepers to end the match.

Mitch’s Final Thoughts:

I’d say that this was an above average Main Event. Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler are fantastic and did a great promo to kick off the show. I wish they wouldn’t start matches during breaks, though. I loved seeing Damien looking like he wanted to win a match and I really loved the logic that he’s trying to position himself in line for an Intercontinental Title shot. Good for him, I hope it happens. This at least sets him up to feud with The Miz, title or not.

The Divas tag match wasn’t anything special. I don’t know if Rosa’s wardrobe malfunction was on purpose, but I wouldn’t put it past WWE. It was a well enough match, but if you miss it then you’re not missing much.

Los Matadores have a Damien Sandow vibe going on right now; meaning that they’ve been given the opportunity to look kind of relevant at the moment. The bull-fighting tag team are proving that they can go in the ring. Right now, they’re in the roles of being a team for Gold & Stardust to beat up on until they face off against The Usos at Night of Champions, but hopefully the people that matter backstage see that they could be a vital baby face tag team if they layed off of the comedy and were more about the wrestling.

Gold & Stardust are great heels. They’re not trying to be cool heels either. They just come out and act like jerks. I love it.

That about does it for me. This was a solid hour of wrestling. It usually is…or I’m just easy to please. As always, keep up with all things Mitch by following me on Twitter @MitchNickelson or by visiting my site, MitchNickelson.com. Take care.

Main Event Review for July 8th, 2014

Main Event

Welcome back to Mitch Nickelson’s review of your favorite subscription-exclusive Tuesday night professional wrestling show. I, of course, am Mitch Nickelson. I am always thankful that you would not only watch this show but you would also read my lovely blend of recap and opinion.

This week looks to be another solid hour, as Main Event usually is. Chris Jericho is advertised to be on the show. He’ll be conducting his always-entertaining interview segment, The Highlight Reel. His guest is supposed to be WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart. That’s some star power right there.

Also advertised is a U.S. Championship match between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. While it does feel like we’ve had that match more than a few times recently, tonight is guaranteed to be different. Joey Styles announced via Twitter earlier in the day that tonight’s bout will be a Last Man Standing match. It might just get brutal between these two.This is a free preview week for the WWE Network. Maybe the show tonight will be just slightly more special.

Live from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, this is Main Event. Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton are our announcers.

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United States Championship Match
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Last Man Standing Match

Sheamus comes out first and grabs a microphone. He says that he won’t need the luck of the Irish to beat Del Rio. When he gets to Battleground, he plans on being the first man since Edge to carry both the Intercontinental and US titles. Del Rio cuts him off from the big screen. Del Rio says that if anyone is going to be unifying the titles, it’ll be him. Sheamus tells him that anything goes tonight, including kendo sticks, chairs, and tables. They both banter and Del Rio finally decides to come out to start this match.

When Del Rio gets announced, he gets a hearty boo. Sheamus gets applauded. The belt is held up as the two start pummeling each other. Sheamus throws Del Rio into a barricade. The ref starts counting and only gets to two. It’d be funny if that was all it took.

Sheamus ripped off the announce table cover and threw it at Del Rio. He did his Rolling Senton to him on the outside. Del Rio finds a kendo stick and wails on Sheamus as they go to a break.

Back from the break and Sheamus looks hurt in the ring. During the break, Del Rio hit his opponent with a diving kendo strike from the top rope. He does it again. He continues to use the stick, driving it into Sheamus’ ribs. He goes for another strike off the top rope, but Sheamus deflects it.

The two trade shots and Sheamus starts to gain the advantage. He hits Del Rio with the Irish Curse Backbreaker. He gets counted up to seven on that. Sheamus grabs the kendo stick and Del Rio begs him not to use it. Sheamus does, however. Several strikes and Del Rio is grounded again. The crowd chants “We want tables” while Del Rio gets another seven count.

Del Rio connects with a big DDT and now Sheamus gets a count. Del Rio kicks him and also goes for a running kick, but finds himself receiving the Ten Beats of the Bowery. It was more like twenty, though. Poor Alberto. He gets counted on the outside and it goes to nine this time. We get another commercial break?

This commercial break is interesting because they’re advertising a Wrestlemania Rewind about CM Punk. I’m sure it was recorded and planned for air before he exited the company, but it’s sure to add to any speculation that might be out there.

Back from the second break in the first 20 minutes and the crowd is still chanting for tables. Sheamus rolls to the outside and grabs himself a chair. Before he can use it, Del Rio cuts him off with a kendo stick. Del Rio sees Sheamus dazed and still holding the chair up. He then does his kick, Van Daminator-style, to a kneeling Sheamus. Does that count as a chair shot to the head? I didn’t think WWE did those anymore.

Del Rio props up the chair into a corner. There’s a little exchange that ends with Del Rio’s knee into Sheamus’ stomach. Del Rio goes for a chair shot but Sheamus stop it with his bare hands. He slams Del Rio, then goes for the Brogue Kick. Del Rio avoids that and hits the Backstabber instead.

Del Rio went for another kick, no chair this time, but got hit with the White Noise instead. They both get counted but Sheamus gets back on his feet at eight. Sheamus finally grabs a table from under the ring and the crowd loves that. He sets it up near the corner.

Del Rio battled back and kicks Sheamus in the head in the corner. Count again that ends at eight. Del Rio attacks and rams his shoulder into the chair on the corner. He applies the cross arm breaker. Sheamus lifts him up by his arm that is still in a submission hold and drops Del Rio through the table he set up earlier. The ref goes for the count and almost counts them both out, but they both get up. Sheamus used his Brogue kick and Del Rio fails to get up after ten. Sheamus is the last man standing.

Winner and Still US Champion: Sheamus

Chris Jericho’s return segment with The Miz and Bray Wyatt is replayed. Tom Phillips said that he has breaking news as they announce that Chris Jericho will face off against Bray Wyatt at Battleground.

Renee Young Interviews Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho says that the WWE is more than just about flashing jackets and surprise returns, it’s about survival. He used the “along came a spider” line about Bray Wyatt and said that he crushes spiders. He talks about Bret Hart being on his Highlight Reel later in the show and says that WWE Main Event will never, ever, be the same again.

There’s a recap of last night’s main event on Raw, with Seth Rollins taking on WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Lots of interference and an almost cash-in. Good stuff. A graphic is shown for the Fatal 4-Way main event at Battleground.

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Nikki Bella vs. Natalya, Naomi, Eva Marie, Cameron, Summer Rae, and Rosa Mendes

This is  a six on one handicap match. Poor Nikki. She looks sad in the ring with ring with her spikey baseball hat. Why is is spikey? She could use it as a weapon, I guess. She probably won’t. It sounded like Natalya got a decent pop, which makes sense because this is in Canada. Cameron wasn’t at ringside, which Tom and Byron point out.

There’s a pretty mean smack that Nikki did on Summer Rae that was worth pointing out. The more talented wrestlers, like Naomi and Natalya, didn’t even tag in. They are apparently friends with Nikki and were conflicted about being in the match. I don’t watch Total Divas, so I don’t get all of these dynamics with the ladies. Eva Marie actually got the pinfall.

Winners: Eva Marie and Friends

Cameron came out and attacked Naomi after the match was over. It was a quick strike and then she ran to the back. Will they fight at Battleground? I assume AJ Lee and Paige are already fighting, so will we have another Pay-Per-View with more than one women’s match like we did at Money In The Bank?

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Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel With Bret Hart

A loud “Y2J” chants welcomes Jericho. The crowd is excited for this. Jericho says that he’s happy to bring the Highlight Reel to Main Event and the WWE Network for the first time…right here in Ottawa. That was a good cheap pop that the crowd ate up. Jericho called Bret Hart one of his idols and a friend, then announced him.

Bret Hart gets a warm reception as he walks to the ring. Bret says that it’s a great day to be back in the capital. He says it’s a great time with the launch of WWE network. He talks about Jericho being in the legendary Dungeon and jokes that Chris tapped out to Bret’s sister. He gives Chris props about his championships. Jericho jokes with him that the crowd tonight wouldn’t be chanting “Y2J” if they saw Bret’s sister. She was a tough chick.

Jericho talks about great matches and asks Bret who some of his greatest rivals were. Bret names Mr. Perfect, his brother Owen, Stone Cold, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels as his greatest rivals. To the excitement of everyone, HBK’s music hits and the crowd gets pumped. I get even more excited when we actually get…Damien Sandow!

“You Screwed Bret Chants” sort of took off, which is hilarious. Jericho says that he is so excited that Shawn (Damien, of course) is with them tonight. He tells Shawn that he let himself go. He says that he’s a big, ugly fish with a beard. Shawn then retorted by apologizing that Chris didn’t pay the light bill on his jacket. His jacket wasn’t lit up.

Shawn (Sandow) told Bret that it was because of him that Bret wanted to be a wrestler. He told him that he was his son’s favorite wrestler. He says that after tonight, the world would be talking about the Ottawa screwjob. Sandow gets into Bret’s face and then meets a punch that levels him. Bret then puts the Sharpshooter onto Damien. He celebrates with Jericho to close out the show.

Mitch’s Final Thoughts:

This was one of the better Main Events that I’ve reviewed. The show just felt simpler to process. There’s only an hour to digest, so simple is good. I don’t like it when it feels like there’s way too much crammed into the broadcast.

The opening match was great, but much of that was thanks to the crowd. If they did that same match in front of a dead crowd it wouldn’t have worked. Sheamus and Del Rio benefited for sure. Sheamus is looking strong going into the Intercontinental battle royal at battleground. I’m glad he’s getting to defend his U.S. Championship regularly. I don’t see him winning the IC title at Battleground, but he’ll hit some dudes real stiff in the match and that’s always fun.

The women’s match was okay considering Naomi and Natalya didn’t actually wrestle in the match. The Bella/McMahon story continues as does the Cameron/Natalya story. Both are acceptable to me, so I’m okay with it all.

The Highlight Reel was main event. I was anticipating a Wyatt run-in of some sorts, but that never happened. As much as it saddens me to see Damien do these comedy bits, I think he’s highly entertaining in them all. Tonight was funny. I really hope it leads to something more meaningful for him. I can dream, right?

That’s another show in the books. Let me know what you thought of everything tonight. Is anybody watching that’s taking advantage of the free preview week of the WWE Network? Comment below with your thoughts and opinions and also remember follow me on twitter @MitchNickelson .

Thoughts On Raw for July 7th, 2014

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Less than two weeks remains until WWE’s next big show, Battleground. Things are taking shape with plans already set for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the Intercontinental Championship. Lots of exciting returns happened last week, including the always fantastic Chris Jericho. Will Bray and his family continue to be a thorn in his side this week? I’m Mitch Nickelson and I’m hear to recap and opine about the night’s events. Lets get to the show!

(Note: Al N. Jaxson had full intentions of reviewing with Mitch Nickelson this week, but suffered an unfortunate power outage while he was writing his review. If he goes for it again and finishes his review, this post will be update.)

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Rollins Opening Promo; Kane Interrupts

Mitch: Raw took a bit of a gamble and let Roman Reigns do a solo promo to start the show. He’s lacking in the vocal arena and it shows a little. He mentioned that the Authority was not there and built up his upcoming title match at Battleground. Kane came out and stared at him from atop the entrance ramp. Roman bad mouthed him and used the B-word on him. There goes the PG rating. Or not, people really don’t hold WWE accountable for those slips and it’s annoying for those of us who’d like to watch with our young children. Also, it feels like letting Roman use a curse word is a substitute for actually developing his personality. If he has heat with Kane, tell the story with plot development.

But the two brawled around the ring and had to be separated by officials from backstage. Finlay was shoving on Roman and got a spear for his efforts.

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Harper & Rowan vs. The Usos

Mitch: I was excited to see these two teams fight, because they have great chemistry together and I’m loving this extended rivalry. I’m not excited about the Uso’s entrance, though. That tribal chant into a hip hop doodad still annoys me.

The crowd was really hot for this match. There were several great near-fall attempts and a couple of “This is awesome” chants, which was well deserved. Luke Harper did a massive clothesline on the not-legal Uso for the win. They complained to the ref about that after the fact because he’s apparently racist for thinking that all Samoans look alike. It doesn’t help them that they dress identically. They should wear name tags.

Winners: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan

Kane, Orton, and (sort of) Rollins Have Each Others Backs

Mitch: Randy Orton and Kane are backstage and they affirm that they have each other’s backs. Seth Rollins shows up, MITB briefcase in hand, and says that if either of those two win and Battleground then he’ll think twice about cashing in on them.

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Rusev (w/Lana) vs. RVD

Mitch: I’m glad that Lana’s schtick about Putin works with our Canadian neighbors, too. Zeb Colter challenged Rusev via a pre-taped promo that popped up during this match. He told Rusev to step out from behind his commie skirt and fight Jack Swagger at Battleground. I’m looking forward to that match.

The match was a little slow. RVD is more than the average jobber that Rusev faces, so he got more time. It dragged on a little at time. RVD failed at his Rolling Thunder attempt, which set up Rusev’s kick then Accolade finish. The announcers ask if Rusev will accept Zeb’s challenge. My guess is yes.

Winner: Rusev

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Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose

Mitch: Ambrose’s mannerisms are so good. As the match is starting, the smaller and still injured (shoulder) Ambrose taunts Orton like a crazy person. He’s making his gimmick work so well in part because he comes across as fearless.

I like JBL, but when Dean applied the Figure Four he said that it was out of respect to Bret Hart. He then said that Bret won a ton of matches with that submission. Bret Hart used the Sharpshooter, JBL, not the Figure Four. I’m kind of disappointed that no one called him on it either. It made the whole announce team look stupid.

There was a noticeable botch midway through the match. Dean jumped off of the top rope and just landed on his feet, staring at the back of Randy’s head. Randy turned around and the the fight went on. It looked like Dean was expecting Randy to turn around and kick him on landing and Randy just forgot or something.

The match was good, minus my two previous rants. Dean acted like a lunatic and started throwing chairs into the ring at one point. Orton did one of his DDT’s with Ambrose’s feet on the outside barricade. The crowd really appreciated it. Randy Orton hit his RKO for the win.

Winner: Randy Orton

Renee Young Interviews John Cena, Roman Interrupts

Mitch: The crowd immediately booed loudly for the WWE World Heavyweight champion. John talked about having a target on him and that he doesn’t have to be the one to lose at Battleground for his titles to change hands. Roman interrupts and talks way too softly. Not sure what he said. I don’t really want to rewind to find out, really. He’s lucky he does a pretty mean Superman Punch.

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Jerry Lawler Introduces Bret Hart, Bret SANDHart Interrupts

Mitch: The last time Jerry Lawler was in Montreal, he suffered a pretty big heart attack. The crowd gave him respect for being back in the ring, healthy. They gave a big ovation for Bret as he made his way to the ring.

Bret said that if he could wrestle one more match, he’d do it in Montreal. Damien Sandow comes out in Bret Hart garb and looks hilarious at it. He makes fun of the screw-job and calls it an elaborate conspiracy and says that Canada is a third world country. He says that Bret regrets never being in the ring with the great Damien Sandow. Bret Hart decks him out of the ring. Funny segment, but I’m still lamenting the disaster that his Damien Sandow’s career.

Renee Young Interviews The Miz

Mitch: I like The Miz’s heel antics. He’s just acting like heel Jericho, which is good. He reads a note from a fan and keeps calling himself a movie star. He doesn’t want anyone to mess up his movie star face. The fan’s name that wrote the letter is named Johnny Russo. Surely the writers were thinking of Vince Russo when they thought up that name. I wonder what the connection might be.

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Chris Jericho vs. The Miz

Mitch: If I had to name my favorite entrance music of any wrestler, ever, I’d probably have to say it’s Jericho’s. I like how The Miz acts so concerned about protecting his movie star face. It gives a dynamic to the match without trying too hard. Jericho popped Miz in the face to set up the Walls of Jericho.

After the match, a sea of cell phone lights lit up the arena. Bray Wyatt was in his rocking chair with a microphone. He told Jericho that he will hold his every word against him. He will never, eeeever, let him forget. Jericho retorted by agreeing that actions speak louder than words. He made his way from the ring toward Bray. Before he could get there, Harper and Rowan joined him and that stopped Jericho cold.

Winner: Chris Jericho

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AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Funkadactyls

Mitch: Paige insisted on introducing her partner, mockingly calling AJ “our” Diva’s champion. Cameron refused a tag from Naomi at one point, continuing their heat. Cameron applied lipstick at one point while Naomi tried to tag out. When she finally tagged out, she did so without using the tag rope. Kudos to Michael Cole for pointed that out. Paige and AJ won when Paige hit her Paige Turner finisher. Those two work well together as a tag team.

Post-match, Naomie and Cameron finally went through with the disintegration of the Funkadactyls. Naomi hits stiff. I felt bad for Cameron for how hard it looked like Naomi was hitting her.

Seth Rollins approaches John Cena Backstage

Mitch: Seth says that their match tonight is about who’s the best. He tells John that his days are numbered. Cena, in a “civilized” way, tells him he’s full of crap. John says that the briefcase is no guarantee that Seth will be champion. The only guarantee that Seth has is that he has a match tonight with a champion.

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John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (Non-Title)

Mitch: John Cena got a ton of boos as he came out. I know that I ton of people dislike Cena and the fact that he’s champ again, but who gets reactions like that? The guy is money, love him or hate him.

The match was lively. The crowd was chanting lots of fun things, like “Fruity Pebbles” and “You Sold Out.” As Cena applied the STF in the middle of the ring, Kane’s music hit. Cena watched as he was coming down the ramp, but Orton came through the crowd and struck him from behind. Disqualification in favor of Cena.

They both were making waste of Cena when Roman Reign’s music started. He came down to the ring and Superman punched Orton and Kane. Rollins took him out from behind with his briefcase. He also took out Cena with his briefcase, too. He realized that he had a chance to cash in and called to the back for a ref to come out.

Referee Charles Robinson ran out. Before Seth could get his title match started, Dean Ambrose came from the crowd to thwart him. They brawled backstage. Cena struck Orton with the AA and Roman hit Kane with a spear. Cena and Roman had a mildly uncomfortable standoff, but chose to raise each other’s hand victoriously instead.

Winner: John Cena

Final Thoughts:

Mitch: I read spoilers that this night of Raw was only so-so, but I really liked it. The Montreal crowd was very lively and that makes everything better. Here are my awards of the show…

Match of the Night: Usos vs. Harper Rowan. Great opener to the show. Sometimes these four seem a little bland because they fight so much, but this was one of those nights where it worked really well.

Promo of the Night: Bray Wyatt. This category almost always goes to Bray Wyatt or Dean Ambrose. I was really feeling Bray’s rocking chair verbal assault on Chris Jericho. This is a feud that I keep looking forward to.

Superstar of the Night: Seth Rollins. Not only was his main event match really good, he had a couple of standout backstage pieces. He placed distrust among his allies, Orton and Kane, and had a solid exchange with Cena before their match. He’s stepping into his bigger role and looking like he belongs there.

Keep following me on twitter @MitchNickelson and comment below if you want to keep up the conversation. I’ll see you back here and at TJRWrestling.com whenever my weekly Main Event review posts.

WWE Needs These Gimmick Matches

by: Al N. Jaxson and Mitch Nickelson

There are many classic gimmick matches, from the simple No DQ or No Holds Barred formats to the Pay-Per-View worthy spectacles of a Royal Rumble or a TLC match. Purists love submission matches and hardcore enthusiasts always rave for a good tables match. With each gimmick match the fans are treated to an environment that has a completely different look and feel compared to the norm.

Mitch and Al have put their heads together to come up with some gimmick matches that the WWE needs to bring back (and one idea that’s never been seen before!). We’ll suggest who should be booked in these matches and why we think it would be good for business. Let’s get to it!

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Casket Match

Mitch: There have been seven casket matches in WWE history and The Undertaker has been in every single one of them. The Casket Match was first done in WWE by the Dead Man against Kamala at Survivor Series 1992. I should go back and watch that, it’s probably hilarious. The most recent one was against Big Show in 2008. I think it’s time that the WWE took a chance with someone else in this unique format. The man that should follow Taker in this classic match is none other than Bray Wyatt.

Wyatt is a psychologically devious competitor who had a brief rivalry with Kane in 2013. Kane became a corporate lackey afterward. Kane has since returned to being the masked monster and is currently challenging the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan (pending injuries). When this rivalry ends, he needs to have a return feud with Bray.

Bray will need to find a way to out-evil the Big Red Machine and a challenge in a casket match would offer a chance  to be darker than he’s ever been before. He might even become the rightful successor to this match, using it off and on as his own as his career progresses.

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Ironman Match

Al: So what matches would I like to be seen right now in WWE? Well, the first one that comes to mind is an Iron Man Match. 60 minutes baby! To me, it’s the ultimate match for the ultimate wrestling fan. And as you can tell, Mitch and I definitely fit that category!

If you’re reading this and you’re also a Wrestling geek, then I’m sure you’ve watched the classic Iron Man match between “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and Bret “Hit Man” Hart at Wrestlemania 12. Two Icons in their prime going head to head for an hour. Those two guys were truly in a league of their own. So it’s got me thinking…

Who are two guys who could do an Iron Man today and do it right?

Easy. Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston.

They’re athletic, young, and talented. Kofi could definitely use a tuneup as far as his character is concerned but let’s face it, no one in the WWE is as athletic as Kofi and I have no doubts he could an hour …or longer if necessary. Same goes for the Yes Man. Daniel Bryan has certainly proved himself over the past year. And if you remember his days in Ring of Honor (again, if you’re a wrestling geek like me then I’m sure you do) then you know Daniel Bryan is the real deal. Give these guys a worthy storyline, a good buildup, and let these guys go for 60 and give the fans something we will love. Give us another Iron Man Classic!!!!

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First Man Standing Match

Mitch: Please hear me out on this. I do realize that this is a ridiculous idea. But the WWE throws out a ton of stupid comedy segments that bomb all of the time, so here’s another dumb idea for them to consider. Given the right people, this just might work.

We all know how a Last Man Standing match works. One just happened between John Cena and Bray Wyatt at last Sunday’s Payback event. Two opponents fight each other until one guy has been beaten up so bad that he can’t get to his feet after a ten count. It’s a hard-hitting, rivalry-ending match.

How would a First Man Standing Match be executed? Well, you have two wrestlers laying on their backs in the middle of the ring. The ref begins a ten count and the bell will ring after the count of ten. First one up wins.

Okay, that doesn’t sound too exciting. But this would not be a blow-off match, this would be more of an angle to keep a (mid- to lower-card) rivalry going. Have Damien Sandow come up with this match. He can challenge R-Truth or someone way beneath his level. When Truth agrees to this silly match, he’ll lay down with Sandow in the middle of the ring to get this match started. Half-way through the ten count, Sandow will get up and beat the snot out of Ron Killings. Truthy won’t see it coming. He’ll get laid out with the Elbow of Disdain, then Sandow will lay down beside his mentally inferior opponent. The ref will restart the ten count, the match will finally begin, and Sandow will easily rise to his feet for the win. This sets up another match in the future to finish the war, but the Intellectual Savior of the Masses will have clearly defeated his buffoon of an opponent. Check. Mate.

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Buried Alive Match

Al: Another great match that I’ve always enjoyed was the Buried Alive match. There’s certainly been some great Buried Alive matches in the past. But like The casket match Mitch was talking about, the buried alive match was mostly if not always involving one Superstar; the Undertaker. Well now that the Undertaker is all but faded into the sunset, who can take his place?

Well if anyone is gonna fill the Undertakers shoes it’s certainly got to be Bray Wyatt. He’s the creepiest character WWE has seen since Mankind and already has skills on the mic that are on par with a Paul Heyman or a CM Punk or an Arn Anderson. Could his in ring skills use some work? I’d say yes but he’s got plenty of time to learn. And a Buried Alive match would be perfect for this guy right now but with the current PG Rated WWE, it may be too much. Until the WWE brings back the buried alive match, we always have the WWE Network right folks?!