The WWE Weekly Recap: 10/5/15
Had it not been for the magic of the history making NXT Takeover main event, this week in WWE would have been just like the previous few, stuck in a rut of predictability and downright boredom. Its never fun to admit to the masses that one of the things you love most as a fan left you yawning and clutching to a boring game of Heartstone.
I see commentators from around the net claiming, “WWE has the strongest roster ever...” and “There's never been more main event talent...” and in most cases they're right. Many wrestlers have been trapped under the first floor ceiling of the John Hancock Tower for what feels like an eternity.
How many more weeks can we as fans sit and watch guys like Ambrose, Barrett, Rose and Owens rot in the mid card while the Cenas of the world only get stronger and stronger. While Cena hasn't technically been in the WWE Heavyweight Championship hunt, booking him against Rollins again and again in a victorious position is just the same.
As an aside, booking Rollins against Cena only to lose repeatedly not only diminishes his role as a wrestler and champion, it diminishes the prestige of the belt that he holds... the biggest prize in all of professional wrestling. While this is a subject for another article (and believe me it will be...), keeping the WWE United States Championship around Cena's waist and repeatedly beating the champion is certainly a head scratcher... especially after WWE has acknowledged that Cena is taking a vacation in a few weeks.
WWE returns to the World's Most Famous Arena and NXT reminds us why they are the best at what they do. This week, the theme in WWE appears again to be one of safety and complacency... a true shame considering the high hopes and high level of programming WWE produced for the week.
WWE Took Over Madison Square Garden... And It Was Kinda Boring
Actually, it was really boring. Coming fresh off the heels of a spectacular showing at Beast in the East, WWE's second foray into broadcast house shows left much to be desired. Despite a stacked card and an appearance by Chris Jericho, even I had to admit that I found my attention drifting back towards my phone or down to my Wii U Game Pad.
While on the Subject of Chris Jericho, his appearance at the show left me with more questions than it should have as a fan of the product. When was Chris Jericho anointed as Number One Contender? If it happened at a house show, aside from the official card, (Which received little fanfare aside from the WWE website.)? If Chris Jericho somehow did make it to the top of the list, I'm curious who he beat, or when Owens accepted a challenge from or issued a challenge to Jericho since his appearance at Night of Champions
A final word on Jericho, his appearance as a babyface in the match against Owens is somewhat confusing, as it appears as though he was destined for a heel turn at Night of Champions. Considering he was a full blown Heel at Beast in the East, Chris Jericho appeared to be channeling his inner John Kerry over his inner wrestler as of late. I hope that Jericho doesn't hang up the boots for another decade, but if he's going to be in our lives as a performer, I hope that his time isn't as shoehorned as it has been as of late.
As far as the rest of the show goes, save for the Intercontinental Title Matches and a WWE United States Championship Match, the special was no where near must watch television. John Cena and Seth Rollins put on a spectacular title match, one that should have been reserved for Night of Champions. While it may sound contradictory to give such high marks to a segment of a program I just recommended you skip, Cena and Rollins put on a one of the best cage matches I've ever seen.
For a significant time during the segment, I was on the edge of my seat, my legs and arms twitching as Rollins hit a false finish. Every two count seemed to bring out a bigger and bigger spot, and each time the refs hand seemed closer and closer to hitting the three count. Rollins and Cena created magic on the screen... that is until Kane showed up.
Imagine... Rollins is literally five feet from winning back United States gold. As Rollins remained clutched to the outside of the cage only a story off the floor, he simply waited until Kane lumbered down the aisle and got into place. Faced with the option of winning a title and facing Kane, Rollins made the obvious decision and scurried back up the side of the cage and back into the ring, only to face the wrath of the Attitude Adjustment.
Take my word for it, Watch the title matches and skip the rest, you'll thank me for saving you an hour and a half of your life and a good chunk of your phone battery.
Bayley and Sasha Banks Make Magic
Sasha Banks recently said in an interview that although she is on the main roster, she would rather be back in NXT. After watching her compete with Bayley, Its very obvious why she feels this way. Bank's accomplishments on the main roster have been... non existent. After Wednesday, I'm convinced that if I were to go back through a library of NXT Sasha Banks matches, I wouldn't find a bad one. I know for a fact this statement is true for Bayley, even when her character wasn't as lovable as it is today.
I have nothing but praise for these two women and the incredible amount of talent they displayed in the ring. This is must watch material for any wrestling fan, or any person who is even remotely interested in the sport. If there was a match that could be shown on ESPN to bring professional wrestling to the masses, this is it. Click on the video above and prepare to fall in love with wrestling again.
WWE Raw Shrugs
Certain segments of Raw felt fresh and new while others made Raw feel like a rerun. A member of the New Day wrestled for the United States Championship. Mind you the “US Open Challenge” is designed for superstars that are hungry and need a hand getting over. Last I checked, The New Day are the most over thing in the federation right now.
Roman Reigns and company took on the Wyatt Family and Big Show confronted Brock Lesnar again however the similarities stop there. Paige fell to Natayla and WWE Intercontinental Champion, Kevin Owens took on the Mexican powerhouse, Sin Cara in a match that lifted the prestige of the IC strap to levels inconceivable to most fans.
An odd highlight of the show was a segment involving Summer Rae and Rusev. As the clearly abused Summer Rae got down on one knee and proposed to her Bulgarian prize and asked for Rusev to remove his hand from her throat and accept her hand in marriage, Rusev seemed to have other priorities. Rusev stated he'd only accept a proposal once his manager obtained hm a championship, an odd choice considering his desire to continue on with a months long feud with the beltless, Dolph Ziggler.
Smackdown wasn't that great...
Smackdown wasn't that great... What more is there to say. Nothing happened, moving on.
Two Singles Competitors win the Dusty Rhodes Memorial Tag Team Classic
Returning to Takeover: Respect for a moment. The Dusty Rhodes Memorial Tag Team Classic wrapped up after a months long tournament to crown the best of the best in the decorated and up in coming NXT Tag Team Division. Rather than giving the crown to a legitimate tag team who could use the boost in visibility that a victory would bring, your winners are the “Tag Team” of Samoa Joe and NXT Champion, Finn Balor.
While this is appears to be a set up for Balor to turn heel against his new found BFF, the decision to have these two win the championship certainly feels a bit flat. Much has spread around the world of the web regarding the decision to have these two win the prize and I must concur, it did nothing for the team, nothing for the concept of the event and even less for the memory of Dusty Rhodes.
What did garner my attention was the loving and passionate trophy presentation conducted by the Rhodes family. If there is still passion and love in this cutthroat and often cynical business, then Cody and Dustin are their ambassadors. Lets hope that the further story lines involving the winners pan out and aren't thrown to the wayside as the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal has been.