It’s been a bit of a struggle for story lines since SummerSlam but I am forever an optimist and I am expecting business to pick up by the time we get to the Raw the night after TLC. We are quickly approaching my favourite time of year where things really start to get exciting. After TLC we will be beginning our journey on the road to Wrestlemania. The pieces are all slowly starting to align and it feels like the powers at be have something planned to make up for the last two PPV’s. I’m not saying that I thought they were terrible but not enough of the matches were up to par.
This week’s show opens with an Intercontinental title match between Fandango and the current champion Big E Langston.
Big E Langston vs Fandango w Damien Sandow on commentary.
This was pretty much a squash match to give Big E the chance to flex his pecks and show us a little of what he is made of. Fandango manages to get a little offence in before Big E is able to deliver the Big Ending for the win. After the match there is a stand of between Big E and Sandow but nothing really happens.
Randy Orton makes his way to the ring and tells the WWE universe that at TLC he is going to prove to all of us that he is what he says he is, the greatest superstar of any generation. Randy tells us that he is out here to apologise to authority. Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring to the usual Yes chants. Bryan tells Orton that he should apologise to the WWE universe for impersonating a champion. Bryan tells Orton that whoever wins the unified title at TLC will have to fight him next. Bryan wants to wrestle Orton tonight but Orton declines the opportunity and walks away.
The Rhodes vs Ryback and Curtis Axel
Isn’t it funny how quickly two stars can fall from grace. A couple months ago Axel was the new Intercontinental Champion and a new Paul Heyman guy. Not a bad position to be in for any new up and coming star in the WWE. Ryback was challenging Cena in main events for the WWE title and looked likely to be the new star being pushed to be the new WWE champion. A few months later and things are so different we find them without Paul Heyman together in an unconvincing tag match steeling a win from the champions. Considering the matches that we have seen the Rhodes in over the last month or so, this did not live up to what we have come to expect. Axel and Ryback win with a cheeky roll up.
Bad News Barrett tells the WWE universe that they are all cowardly gullible sheep that will all follow one another until eventually we are all lead to the slaughter.
Alberto Del Rio vs Kofi Kingston
Del Rio is still upset about losing a match against Sin Cara on Monday Night Raw. He takes out his frustration on Kofi and attacks him before the bell and continues to assault him until two referees manage to get Del Rio to release the Cross Arm Bar. No match.
Next up was a Shield promo expressing their hate for CM Punk. What was interesting about the promo was the hint of a rift between Ambrose and Reigns. Although it is nice to tease a Shield breakup I think it may be a little too soon. I think The Shield are still relevant and there are lot more angles they could explore before breaking them up.
Dean Ambrose vs CM Punk
Punk gets the upper hand at the begging of the match but Ambrose soon finds himself on top. Ambrose uses his slow grinding style to perfection keeping Punk immobilised for the majority of the match. Great work from Ambrose.
The match swings back to Punks advantage after Ambrose misses a big elbow from the top rope. Punk applies the Vice but Ambrose manages to reach the ropes to break the hold. Ambrose gets Punk in an Arm Bar in the middle of the ring but Punk eventually makes it to the ropes to break the hold. After a couple of near falls Ambrose attempts his finisher but Punk counters and hits him with the GTS for the victory.
This match started a little slow but picked up the longer it went on. There is some really good wrestling at times with a nice balance of offence throughout. Although I am looking forward to the handicap match at TLC I have no idea what the finish will look like. Is it possible that Reigns will turn face to even the odds? I’m not sure how they are going to book it but if Punk wins that match I am sure it will be the turning point for The Shield.
Natalya vs Tamina Snuka w AJ Lee on commentary
AJ berates Natalya on commentary whilst Natalya battles against somebody who can actually botch more spots than she does. Nothing much to say about the match, Tamina misses a Big Splash from the top rope and Natalya turns her over for the Pin. Natalya came out looking a bit better in this match but that’s not saying much when you actually look at who her opponent was. I can’t understand how Natalya and Tamina can be so poor at their jobs considering they have both possibly been around the wrestling business their whole life. I digress.
Rey Mysterio and The Big Show vs The Real Americans
It was a decent match with a couple of big spots by Mysterio, nothing that you haven’t seen before. The finish was good The Big Show Choke Slams Cesaro and Mysterio jumps from the top of the Big Shows shoulders to land a big splash on Cesaro for the win.
Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton
This was a standard Bryan and Orton match up until the Wyatt’s appeared at ringside and caused Bryan to get distracted. Orton capitalises with an RKO and pins Bryan. After the match Bray Wyatt tells Bryan that at TLC Bryan will finally realise what he is and asks him the join the Wyatt’s.
Petty standard show this week apart from the Punk and Ambrose match there is very little to rave about. It was enjoyable enough to watch but nothing really to re-watch. I think nothing major will happen now until after TLC, I don’t think they have anything figured out until that point but after that I would expect one or two superstars to return to the roster to spice things up a bit.
– By Sebastian Bowen