Welcome back to the WWE Week in Review. There was a lot that happened in WWE in the last week with the fallout of the Elimination Chamber PPV, the launch of the Network, big returns and lots more including a new feature in the Week in Review. We have plenty to cover so let’s just jump into it.
WWE Week in Review 2/23/14-3/2/14
Randy Orton retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber.
You can file this one under “duh”. I think everyone expected Orton to walk out of the Chamber still Champion since the two guys most likely to dethrone him seemed embroiled in other stories. John Cena, who’s a favorite in any match he wrestles, seems to have a date with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. The Wyatt Family entered the Chamber Sunday and caused Cena’s elimination. It’s the second time in as many months that the Wyatt’s cost Cena the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The other favorite, Daniel Bryan was the final one eliminated after Corporate Kane interfered keeping Bryan’s clash with The Authority Alive.
The match itself was an outstanding contest that had me hooked from the second the bell rang to the final pinfall. Anto.. oops, Cesaro, just Cesaro, is an absolute beast. That 30 rep Cesaro Swing he gave to Orton was amazing. I originally rated the match at ****1/2 but upon a second viewing that was a bit high. I settled on a **** rating for that match but it’s still a hell of an encounter than you should see if you haven’t already.
The WWE Network Launches
… Hold on… Just another second…Almost there…Oh damn, I give up. Yup. I was that kind of week for people like myself that signed up for WWE Network this week. The Network officially launched this past Monday at 9am EST. I got settled at work and tried to sign up at 9:30. I figured it would take all of two minutes like signing up for Netflix or MLB.tv both tremendous services I also use. Nope. Two freaking hours later I was still not signed up due to the massive amount of demand the Network had the server couldn’t handle all of the demand and to make it short and sweet, it was a mess. Around 12pm, I knew I was subscribed to WWE Network because PayPal had sent me an email confirming a charge for the subscription. Good to know. If I waited for WWE to confirm it, I’d still be waiting.
In the week that the Network has been active, there’s been headache after headache. The live stream worked but the VOD didn’t. The iPad app worked but the PS3 one didn’t. When the VOD worked it only worked until you decided to fast forward and then it didn’t work anymore. Those poor Xbox users still haven’t had their situation resolved.
Deep down, I think WWE realized that the $9.99 they are charging us a month for this was a steal so they decided to mess with us with all these bugs. When the Network has worked which it seemed to be working smoothly Friday and Saturday, it has been amazing. Reliving old PPVs has brought back many great memories and the new shows like Countdown and WrestleMania Rewind have been tremendous.
Batista turns heel on SmackDown.
Batista finally did what we all expected them to do and that’s go heel on SmackDown this past Friday. He did it in a promo and then obliterated Dolph Ziggler in a match. WWE turned Batista heel because of the overwhelming negative reaction he had received since his return and for the first time since his return, I found the man entertaining. Batista just seems like such a natural dick that he plays one so well. The fans want to boo the man so now we can without seeming like a bunch of jerks. It does leave the title match at WrestleMania wide open for change because there’s no way they can have a heel vs. heel match in the main event. That leaves one of two men to slot in to that match and that’s Daniel Bryan or…
CM Punk is rumored to return to WWE tomorrow night.
We all knew that if Punk was ever going to come back to WWE it would be this week on RAW when they host the show from his hometown of Chicago. I’ve been very vocal about my thoughts on Punk walking out but I also know the value of Punk the wrestler and how much better he makes WWE. I welcomed Steve Austin back after his walkout and I will welcome back Punk if these rumors are true.
If Punk does return, where does he go from there? It’s either vs. Triple H or the third man in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match. I would have him wrestle Triple H as that was the original plan but it seems that they have gone too far along with Bryan and The Authority to back out of it now. Then if you stick Punk in the title match, you keep the fans happy and then my dream scenario can happen. I wrote about it in my WWE Christmas Wish List column that I wanted Punk to win the title at WrestleMania and lose it the next night on RAW to Bryan. This could all be a waste of our time discussing this if Punk doesn’t return. This brings me to my next point.
I have no problem with the city itself. It’s the WWE fans attending RAW tomorrow that I may have a problem with. Someone set up a Twitter account to get the word out that they plan on taking RAW over and “hijacking” the show if they don’t get what they want. Here is what I had to say about the matter on my Facebook Thursday when I caught wind of the matter.
“I don't know when wrestling fans became so entitled. Maybe it's been since the Internet, I'm not sure. This thing going around that Chicago is going to hijack RAW on Monday is a joke. You have every right to boo and cheer who you want but to go completely out of your way to ruin a show is wrong and disrespectful to not only the wrestlers taking bumps to entertain you but to that dad who's taking his seven year old son to see John Cena who doesn't have a damn clue as to a what a crowd hijack even is.
Everyone realizes that CM Punk left on his own accord, right? Everyone realizes that Daniel Bryan is a featured performer in WWE, right? Fans complain they don't want Batista vs. Randy Orton but then act like idiots and start random chants when we get something fresh and new like Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns.
Misbehaving when you don't get something that you want isn't the way to go about things. It's called being a spoiled brat. Oh, and stop being the boy who cried wolf too. No matter how much you threaten to stop watching WWE, you're not going to stop watching WWE. You're just going to complain and annoy the people that still like watching wrestling.
Look, WWE isn't perfect but there's plenty to like about it. What I do not like is this attitude the fans have adopted to just destroy everything they don't like. This goes way beyond booing Cena. That I think was always done in good fun. This hijacking stuff is not in good fun.
Being in a wrestling crowd used to be fun. Now, if a hijack occurs at Extreme Rules, I'll be downright embarrassed. I know some of you are going to disagree with me and that's fine but it's how I feel and honestly I've had enough of this nonsense. I don't like Batista in the Main Event of WrestleMania either but I'm not about to spend three hours ruining a show because of it.
As I close this out, let me ask these crowd hijackers a question: What are you going to do if you ever get what you want?”
The Shield vs. The Wyatts was outstanding at Elimination Chamber. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” before the bell even rung. They weren’t wrong and we get to see it again. The rematch is this Monday on RAW. I’d love it to be a No DQ match this time around. I’m getting greedy now, huh?
Hulk Hogan makes his WWE Return. I marked out like a seven year old when “Real American” hit Monday night. The Hulkster is the host of WrestleMania XXX and more importantly, he is home and I am one happy Hulkamaniac.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker is on for WrestleMania. The Undertaker also made his WWE return on Monday and then stabbed Lesnar with a pen and Chokeslammed him through a table. So, yea, he’s still awesome.
NXT ArRIVAL aired lived on the WWE Network. The NXT special aired this past Thursday and it was the first live in-ring show to air on the Network. If this was done as a test run for WrestleMania, they need to go back to the classroom. I lost video a couple times during the Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn match and then the PS3 app completely crapped out before the main event. As for the show itself, it was a good two hours of wrestling. Cesaro/Zayn was just amazing. I had it rated at ****1/2. It’s worth going out of your way to see. The other two main matches, Neville vs. Dallas and Paige vs. Emma were also good. It was a nice showcase of the next generation on WWE.
John Cena is hurt. John Cena is always hurt. It never stops him because the guy is a Cyborg. He worked a knee injury on RAW but now it is being reported he has a legit torn groin but he says he’s going to work through it. Of course he is. He’s John Cena.
The Retro Wrestling Match of the Week.
Since the other column I write here is Retro Wrestling and the Network is now live, I figured I could incorporate the two into this column. Each week I’ll watch one match I haven’t seen in a long time and talk about it here. This week’s match is Steve Austin vs. Triple H at WWF No Way Out 2001.This match is a no doubt FIVE STAR classic that is in the conversation for WWF/E’s greatest match ever. This was a 2/3 Falls Match which was also the first Three Stages of Hell Match. The first fall was a regular match followed by a street fight followed by a cage match. The thing with most 2/3 falls matches is the some of the falls, especially the first one are short. Not this match. Had this match ended after the first fall, you’d have been perfectly satisfied with this match. Triple H won the match 2 falls to 1. It was as brutal and as physical as any match I’ve ever seen. These two hated each other so much and they translated it perfectly in the ring and in the crowd and on the floor. The carnage the two left around the ring in the wake of them destroying each other was a sight to see in itself. I’ve never seen two guys, let alone two top guys just brutalized and beat each other as much as these two did. It was getting to the point where you wanted it to stop because you didn’t think either man could take anymore but at the same time you didn’t want it to stop because you knew what you were watching was an once in a lifetime match. I hadn’t seen the match in about 13 years since No Way Out 2001 was the last PPV not to be released on DVD so I never had repeated viewings of the match like I did with other classics over the years. I’m so glad I checked out that match so I could have how awesome it was fresh in my head. Just an amazing display from Austin and HHH. If you call yourself a wrestling fan, this is a must see match.
Week in Review Awards
Wrestler of the Week- Cesaro
Match of the Week- Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (NXT ArRIVAL 2/27/14)
(That’s what she said.)
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