+174 123 456 789 Monday - Sep 25, 2017

Sports

  • What we learned from No Mercy 2017: Vince McMahon’s big guy fetish faltered at the wrong time

    Years of memes wasted on a goofy decision.

    No Mercy was great! Mostly. The parts that were supposed to be great were not necessarily great, but the parts people weren’t enthused about were all on point, so it evened out. Well, not completely evened. Enzo Amore can fall down a well and bring the Cruiserweight Championship with him, but we’ll get to that in due time.

    Miz retains the Intercontinental Championship against Jason Jordan

    Miz had a little help retaining the Intercontinental strap against the up-and-coming Jason Jordan, but it should be pointed out that, in true Miz fashion, he isn’t actually responsible for the shenanigans that caused Jordan to lose in the end. Jordan attacked Bo Dallas outside of the ring, and later, Dallas tried to interfere in the match itself at a crucial moment. Jordan took care of Dallas instead of ignoring him, opening the door for Miz to attack Jordan from behind.

    What we learned: Yes, Miz got an assist, but in a way where he can blame Jordan for creating an opportunity for Miz to capitalize on. He’ll be stretching the truth instead of lying, and while it might not seem all that different, that’s an important distinction when it comes to heeling. Miz will truly believe he’s in the right, and he has just enough video evidence to back up his case.

    Meanwhile, someone teach Jason Jordan how to read a crowd, because they loved Miz and were not at all there for Jordan’s post-match promo saying Miz sucks. Maybe just skip that one next time the crowd is going wild for a Miz win, guys. Kudos to Corey Graves for trying to say the crowd’s “Who’s your daddy?” chants were about Miz’s unborn child, though, and not Jason Jordan’s soap opera story line with long-lost father, Kurt Angle.

    Finn Balor, man, defeated Bray Wyatt, god

    So I called out something in the preview, about how Bray was just expecting us to forget that he constantly says a god resides within him and boosts his powers so that he and Finn Balor could have a “man vs. man” match. Wouldn’t you know it, Bray attacked Balor from behind and was like “ha ha ha, you seem to have forgotten that I constantly say a god resides within me and boosts my powers and it allowed me to book this totally unfair match with you and this time you aren’t even wearing your body paint.” Finn won despite the sneak attack and unfair nature of the match, by the way, and without even stopping in the back for a few brush strokes first.

    What we learned: As with every Bray Wyatt plan ever, in the end, he lost because whatever god is inhabiting him is one of those JRPG gods who just thinks they’re omnipotent but actually forgot a whole bunch of key details that could (and eventually do) lead to their demise. “Incompetent” and “omnipotent” have most of the same letters, you know.

    Or, as Brandon Stroud so eloquently put it months ago in one of wrestling’s most evergreen tweets:

    Every single Bray Wyatt angle pic.twitter.com/hTdJ5I2VZl

    — Brandon Stroud (@MrBrandonStroud) May 30, 2017

    Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins retain the RAW Tag Team Championships against Sheamus and Cesaro

    It’s a shame the feud between these two is likely at its end, because good lord do they work well together. And all the credit in the world goes to Cesaro, who had his teeth either knocked out of him or further into him, for continuing to wrestle a completely baller match after said teeth went askew.

    Who is next up for Ambrose and Rollins? I don’t know, but at some point, we need The Revival healthy so they can come for these titles.

    What we learned: Ambrose and Rollins are able to hide any flaws the two might have in their game by tagging together, and it’s art. Sheamus and Cesaro need to stay buddies even if they end up stopping chasing the tag titles and go after singles championships, because their friendship is too beautiful to break up. FRIENDSHIP-BASED TAG TEAM WRESTLING FOREVER, THE FANS ARE THE REAL WINNERS WHEN FRIENDSHIP IS INVOLVED.

    Alexa Bliss pinned Bayley and defeated Emma, Sasha Banks, and Nia Jax to retain the RAW Women’s Championship

    You might be upset that Alexa Bliss didn’t lose her title to Sasha or Bayley or Nia or even Emma, but it’s okay. The match was great, with tons of interaction among the five women, and logical storytelling with alliances forming and breaking and everyone realizing Nia Jax needed to be unconscious if anyone besides her was going to be productive for more than 10 seconds at a time. Plus, Alexa is going to end up facing Asuka for the RAW Women’s Championship, and her getting wrecked by the Empress of Tomorrow makes a lot more sense than having Nia suffer that fate.

    What we learned: Well, I kind of already told you that above, but that’s fine because now I’ll share with you what I would have done with this match and subsequent followup.

    Emma has experience with Asuka from their shared NXT days, and all of it is terrifying and likely still gives Emma nightmares. Emma winning would have been wonderful as then Asuka would have showed up to lay claim to the belt, which should have led to a month of Emma hiding backstage wherever she could, and Asuka just stalking Emma around the arena for entire shows like she’s Nemesis from the Resident Evil video games.

    tl;dr

    I mean if you don’t want Asuka to burst through a wall to chase and attack Emma I’m not sure what we’re doing here

    — Marc Normandin (@Marc_Normandin) September 25, 2017

    Roman Reigns defeated John Cena and is officially the biggest dog in the yard

    This match was real good, and while it seems like the ending came out of nowhere, with Cena getting speared once in the ring and going down, it really did not. Reigns beat Cena’s ass for most of the match, and all Cena really got in on him was a few of his signature powered up spots: the second rope Attitude Adjustment and double AA didn’t take Reigns down, because Cena didn’t lay any groundwork. He was goofing and laughing and smiling throughout the match, but that was all Cena putting on a brave face and assuming he would win this thing in the end even as he struggled to put the same kind of hurting on Roman that Reigns was putting on Cena.

    When Reigns did kick out of everything Cena had to offer, John looked exasperated, the smiles vanished, and he stared at Reigns while making some pretty clear “I don’t understand how you’re doing this right now” faces. Reigns had hit Cena with everything except his major moves — aside from the first spear that put Cena through an announce table — but then rattled off a Superman Punch and a spear to get that 1-2-3 and Cena’s respect.

    What we learned: Was it the greatest match either has ever been in? Not even close. But it was far more fitting of a showdown than what we got when Cena had the torch passed to him by the Rock at either once in a lifetime match. Plus, it’s fun to see Cena get Cena’d, even if he didn’t really get Cena’d. And on a night where the announce team was letting us know his next pay-per-view would tie him for the most all-time, too.

    Enzo Amore won the Cruiserweight Championship from Neville and it was dumb

    I try not to harp on booking decisions too much, as playing wait-and-see often solves many issues you can dream up at the moment a supposed mistake was made. However, Enzo Amore winning the Cruiserweight Championship was a bad idea that happened in a bad match and just makes the entire cruiserweight division look bad.

    Enzo is not a good wrestler. He’s good at being thrown around and ragdolled, and it helps that people want to see him get thrown around, but he never should have beaten Neville, even with a distraction. There were other wrestlers they could have done this with, or they could have not done it at all and simply had Cedric Alexander feud with Neville, which is some take my money stuff. Instead, we get the thing we knew was going to happen happen, and no one is happy.

    Maybe his reign will be brief and we can move on, but considering all of the talent WWE fails to utilize within their cruiserweight division, handing the championship to the worst wrestler of the bunch is just weird. It should say a lot that I would have been fine with Lana defeating Naomi via shenanigans to heel it up as SmackDown Women’s Champ but have zero interest or justification at the ready for Enzo.

    Brock Lesnar retains the WWE Universal Championship against Braun Strowman

    What the hell, guys? Vince McMahon has long been OBSESSED with size, pushing huge dudes even if they didn’t have any other discernible talent outside of said hugeness. Braun Strowman is massive: he’s 6-foot-8, 385 pounds, and more agile than either of those numbers would lead you to believe. He’s charismatic, the crowd loves him, and Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar’s manager, has been putting him over as bigger and stronger than his client, and maybe even the second-coming of Lesnar that we never thought we’d see, for weeks.

    The result in their showdown, which came after a SummerSlam in which Strowman singlehandedly took Lesnar out of the proceedings for most of the match and then made him look like a nerd on television for weeks before this match? Lesnar winning after exactly one finisher, and actually out of nowhere, not in the way people will say Reigns beat Cena out of nowhere.

    Vince had a chance to propel a huge human being to the next level, one who could be the focal point of the company for years to come, who already has a major following and fans dying to cheer for him despite his being a heel for so much of his run on the main roster. And, inexplicably, McMahon decided to go with Lesnar, who shows up on television every now and again, is nearly 40 years old, and is as known for vanishing on WWE for months at a time as he is for being the company’s final boss.

    Imagine if Vince had halted Stone Cold’s push back in the day by having him tap out to Bret Hart instead of passing out at WrestleMania? That’s not to say Strowman is going to grow up to be Austin, but man, if anyone in the company now has a shot at being the guy, it’s him, and the reliably-obsessed-with-size-over-all Vince McMahon somehow wasn’t so reliable on that note this time.

    [overly dramatic lengthy sigh]

    What we learned: Brock vs. Roman II is definitely happening at WrestleMania 34, and no one is going to beat either of them until then, will they?


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