Sunday, 26 January 2014

Royal Rumble 2014 Preview

The Road to Wrestlemania 30 begins at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh with the Royal Rumble. Only 5 matches have been announced so far but it should be a fun event. Let's look at the card.

The Kick Off match is The New Age Outlaws challenging Cody Rhodes and Goldust for the Tag Team Championship. Whilst it's nice to see the Outlaws back, they shouldn't win the match as I feel it would be a backward step. Therefore, I'm going for Cody and Goldust here.
Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes and Goldust

Big Show faces Brock Lesnar in a match that I'm torn over. We've seen this match before and I feel that Lesnar has to win this to look strong going into Elimination Chamber. So, Lesnar to win here.
Predicted Winner: Brock Lesnar

In a match that I'm looking forward to, Daniel Bryan will face Bray Wyatt. It was weird seeing Bryan with the Wyatt Family and I thought it would last a bit longer but it looks that WWE are going in a different direction and I would be very surprised if Bryan doesn't win here.
Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan

John Cena will get his rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton. I thought that Orton will win the match but with Brock Lesnar waiting in the wings, I wasn't so sure. I'm going to stick to my guns and say Orton will win here. However, I won't be surprised if this turns into a clusterfuck and we see a triple threat match at Elimination Chamber.
Predicted Winner: Randy Orton

The Royal Rumble match is, unless it's really obvious, is a tough one to predict. With the World Championships now unified, I can't see WWE going with someone new. Batista has been touted along with CM Punk, who thanks to Kane, is entering as number 1. I think that Punk will come close but probably get screwed. Batista is very tempting but I'm taking a risk and saying that Bryan will win here and hopefully reignite the feud between The Authority and Bryan.
Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan

I will try to see this live but if not, it will be during the week and weeks later like I have done over the last year. Hope you guys enjoy the show.

Lo-Down Awards 2013

It's now time for the 3rd Lo-Down Wrestling Awards. I've not watched as much wrestling as I would have liked. However, I enjoyed the majority of what has happened in WWE this year and TNA, not so much. Let's see who will be (metaphorically) taking home a Lo-Down Wrestling award.

Most Improved Wrestler of the Year
I know he hasn't wrestled for a couple of years but he has been a revelation since he made his return teaming up his brother Cody Rhodes. They feuded with the Shield culminating in them winning the Tag Team Championship. Goldust may be 44 years old but he is not wrestling like it and I hope that continues in 2014.

Best Newcomer
Big E Langston
Big E Langston has been a joy to watch over the last year. After being affiliated with Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee (and being her worst ever bodyguard), he turned face and ended the year as the Intercontinental Champion. I didn't think of him highly when he first started but he has really grown on me and he has the potential to be a huge star.

Worst Match of the Year
The Real Americans vs the Great Khali and Santino Marella, Battleground
This match was terrible and shouldn't be anywhere near this Pay-Per-View. Even though it featured the giant swing by Antonio Cesaro on Khali, that highlight could not save this match.

Douchebag of the Year
TNA Wrestling
It looked like it was going to be a great year for TNA with them leaving the Impact Zone and touring the country. Instead, they were losing money and released a lot of their talent; seemed to be reluctant to help people out who were ill like Zema Ion; and now rumoured to be up for sale. I hope that 2014 can go a hell of a lot better.

Pay-Per-View of the Year
This was such a great event with a lot of really entertaining matches. The fact that this event contains the a strong contender for match of the year, promo video of the year and the moment of the year should speak for itself.

Rivalry of the Year
AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn, May 2013-July 2013
Some of the male rivalries this year were good but I don't think they stood out as much as this did. They had a really good match at Payback followed by another good one at Money in the Bank. Also, it really developed AJ Lee's character, helping her on her way to becoming the highlight of the Divas Division and making her the LDW Female Wrestler of the Year.

Promo Video of the Year
The videos used to promote rivalries this year were decent as always but I really enjoyed the grindhouse style that they used for the beginning of Summerslam. It really made you excited for the event and I thought it was really well done.

Moment of the Year
Randy Orton Cashing In His Money in the Bank Briefcase, Summerslam
We all see false finishes in matches all the time. However, this is a time where we see a false finish to a Pay-Per-View. When Daniel Bryan wins the WWE Championship, we see him celebrating and confetti goign down. Then we see another false finish with Randy Orton coming out and teasing a Money in the Bank cash-in. When Triple H pegidrees Bryan and Orton does actually cash in, it showed a really cleverley done moment by WWE.

Ok, I Did Not See That Coming” Surprising Moment of the Year
Daniel Bryan Joining the Wyatt Family
A lot of people are speculating that this would happen but I didn't want it to because I didn't think it was the right thing to do. However, I thought that the way it was done was done brilliantly by WWE. Bryan has had some victories against the Wyatts but in every episode of RAW and Smackdown, he got beaten down badly by them. Bryan obviously realised that his efforts were futile and decided to join them instead. It also shows a fallible side to his character because he is not John Cena, with his never give up character. It might end up with Cena, via the Bellas, being the person to save Bryan. Whilst I'm torn over whether I want that to happen, I will still be interested to see how that feud develops.

Honorable Mention: The Double Turn
Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio, WWE Payback
This was one of the most brutal matches that I have ever seen in the PG era and it told a really good story. Ziggler, who was the heel at the beginning, had previously concussed and Del Rio understandably focused on the head. However, the way that he did it was well done as he showed absolutely no remorse or mercy in the process. During the match, it got to the point where people were booing Del Rio and cheering Ziggler due to the effort he had put in. The only other time a double turn has been successfully pulled off was at Wrestlemania XIII between Bret Hart and Steve Austin and it was good to see something like that happening again.

Male Wrestler of the Year
Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan was a front runner to win this last year and if it wasn't for CM Punk's 15 month title reign, he would have. This year, Bryan has gone from strength to strength. From Team Hell No and teaming with the Undertaker to winning the WWE Championship (twice) and feuding with the Authority to feuding with then joining the Wyatt Family; Bryan is one of the most over wrestlers in the company and I hope it continues in 2014.

Female Wrestler of the Year
AJ Lee
Like Daniel Bryan, AJ Lee came very close to winning the Female Wrestler of the Year last year. However, this year, there was no contest. Her rivalry with Kaitlyn was really good and she is close to becoming the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time. The best thing I like about her is the fact that she is the most complete character in the Divas division and she has given the chance to develop that over the last couple of years. I hope 2014 will be another tremendous year for her.

Match of the Year
Antonio Cesaro vs Sami Zayn (2 out of 3 falls)
WWE NXT, aired 21st August 2013

If you have not seen this, it was probably one of the best matches that I have ever seen and it, along with the articles by Brandon Stroud (who was at this match), made me start to become a big fan of NXT. There were so many big moves by both competitors, including Zayn jumping through the turnbuckles on the outside and hitting a tornado DDT, and the ending was absolutely amazing. Zayn tries to go for another tornado DDT and Cesaro stops it three-quarters of the way through the move. Cesaro manages to get Zayn up above his shoulders, push press him into an European uppercut then hits the neutraliser to get the victory. I was very close to giving this award to the Cena/Bryan match at Summerslam. However, every so often, I go on You Tube and watch the end of this match and that shows how much I enjoyed it. I strongly recommend you find this match on the internet because I guarantee that you will not regret it.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

WWE TLC 2013 Review

WWE TLC 2013 Review

The final WWE Pay-Per-View of the year, TLC, took place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on Sunday 15th December. History will be made as, for the first time in 12 years, there will be an undisputed World Champion. Will it be Randy Orton or John Cena. Let's take a look.

The Kick Off show had the match between Fandango and Dolph Ziggler. I feel sorry for Dolph. It looked like it was going to be an amazing year for him when he cashed his Money in the Bank after Wrestlemania. However, since his concussion and losing the World Heavyweight Championship, he seems to be in a holding pattern and that's a bit of a shame. This match went back and forth before Fandango goes for the top rope legdrop. Ziggler stops that and goes for a superplex. Summer Rae goes up on the apron to distract Ziggler and this gives Fandango the chance to push Ziggler off to the ring and hit the top rope legdrop to get the win. Whilst the match was a bit too short for my liking, it was still pretty good.
Winner: Fandango

After we get an introduction by Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, the first match of the event was the first 3-on-1 handicap match with CM Punk and The Shield. This was a great way to start the PPV as they all can get the crowd going. I liked the story in the beginning as Punk frustrates the Shield by slowing things down and being in no hurry to lock up with first Ambrose then Rollins. Eventually Reigns manages to get Punk into their corner and beat him down with their 2-man advantage. Punk gets a breather when the action goes to the outside and Reigns to spear Punk. However, Punk dodges it and Reigns goes flying over the announce table, almost killing himself and the commentators, resulting in an injured eye. Punk gets a near fall when he kicks Rollins in the back of the head. Punk later on applies the anaconda vice on Rollins but Ambrose breaks it up then goes on the offensive. Punk hits the GTS on Rollins then tries it on Ambrose, the legal man. Ambrose gets out of it then gets accidentally hit with a brutal spear by Reigns, who had been with the doctor getting his eye checked. Punk, getting inspiration from Edge's manual “How to be the Ultimate Opportunist” throws Reigns out of the ring then pins Ambrose to get the win. Punk then commences Operation GTFO. I really enjoyed this match and I was looking forward to this one the most out of the two 3-on-1 matches. I'm glad that I wasn't disappointed.
Winner: CM Punk

Next was Natalya challenging AJ Lee for the Divas Championship. This was another match that I was looking forward as both Divas are extremely capable wrestlers. This was a surprisingly technical match. It goes back and forth for most of the match before Natalya applies the sharpshooter. AJ eventually gets to reverse it then takes advantage of a distraction by Tamina to apply the black widow. Natalya then surprises everyone by powering out of it then hitting a discus clothesline. She once again goes for the sharpshooter. However, AJ manages pull Natalya's hair and reverses it into a small package to get the win. This was a really good match. Natalya is the most technical Diva in the division by miles. AJ is getting close to that level but she is also the best character that they have had in the Divas division in years. I want AJ to be Champion til Wrestlemania but I'm torn over who I want to dethrone her. I would love it to be Kaitlyn as she finally gets her revenge on her former best friend. However, with the success of Total Divas, I suspect it will be someone from there. Hopefully, it will be Natalya or Brie Bella.
Winner: AJ Lee

The Intercontinental Championship is on the line as Damien Sandow challenges Big E Langston. I like both these guys. Sandow has the opportunity to be the most interesting character on the roster and I'm continually impressed by Langston's skill set. Sandow gets to wear Langston for a little while before Langston gets him on his shoulders and slamming him down. Langston goes for the Big Ending a couple of times but Sandow gets out of them. Langston eventually prevails in hitting the move to get the victory retaining the Intercontinental Championship. This was a good match to watch and I can see Langston being a big star within a couple of years.
Winner: Big E Langston

The Tag Team Championship are defended by a fatal 4-way elimination match with Cody Rhodes and Goldust being challenged by The Real Americans, Rey Mysterio and Big Show and Ryback and Curtis Axel. I was quite looking forward and I was expecting Rhodes and Goldust to win this. The first team to be eliminated were Ryback and Axel after Goldust gets out of a powerbomb attempt by Ryback and rolls him up to get the pinfall. The Real Americans spend a really long time wearing down Goldust, including the now famous giant swing on Cesaro. Goldust gets to hit a sunset flip powerbomb to get some relief and he manages to tag in Big Show. Show hits the KO punch to first Swagger then Cesaro while he was in the air to get them eliminated. Later on, Rhodes almost wins the match after hitting a disaster kick on Mysterio. The match then goes back and forth and Rhodes hits the Cross Rhodes on Mysterio to get the win. I really enjoyed this match as it was a lot of fun and it looks like the tag team division is looking well.

Now we get Brodus Clay facing R-Truth. This told quite an interesting story. Brodus acts quite arrogant when he goes on the offensive, taking his time with covering Truth and seeming in no hurry to end the match. Tensai gets frustrated with Brodus' attitude and he and Brodus start arguing. Tensai decides to leave and Brodus then gets into an argument with Naomi and Cameron so they leave. Truth takes advantage of the situation to hit a scissor kick followed by a roll up to get the win. The match wasn't anything special but as I stated, it told an interesting story and it seems to set Brodus on the path of becoming a heel.
Winner: R-Truth

Now we get what seems to be the millionth match between Kofi Kingston and The Miz. The match is no-disqualification and I guess they didn't know about that as they acted as if it was a normal match. Kofi goes for the trouble in paradise on the outside but misses and hits the leg on the ring post giving Miz the advantage. Miz suddenly remembers the no-disqualification stipulation and exposes a turnbuckle but it backfires on him as Kofi pushes his head into it followed by the trouble in paradise to get the win. I like The Miz but he needs something new and hopefully stop having constant matches with Kofi.
Winner: Kofi Kingston

The penultimate match is the second 3-on-1 handicap match with Daniel Bryan facing The Wyatt Family. Wyatt doesn't really get involved to begin with as he just sits in his chair in the corner. Wyatt only get involved after Harper hits a sit-out powerbomb. The Wyatt Family continue to beat the crap out of Bryan for a long time, while Wyatt is shouting at Bryan urging him to join him. Bryan makes a comeback after Harper misses a big boot in the corner. Bryan sends Harper and Rowan to the outside then hits a suicide dive on Harper, sending him crashing over the announce table. Bryan tries for the LeBell Yes No Lock but Wyatt gets out of it and hits the Sister Abigail to get the win. Wyatt afterwards cradles an unconscious Bryan. I was worried about this match, not because of the quality of the wrestlers but the fact that it was the second 3-on-1 match in the same event. However, both matches managed to tell 2 different stories and they managed to make both of them extremely enjoyable to watch.
Winners: The Wyatt Family

We now get to see history in the making as John Cena and Randy Orton take part in a TLC match for the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship. They both start to use the weapons available quite early on to beat each other down. Cena gets briefly incapacitated when Orton put a chair between the turnbuckles then sent Cena through it. This gives Orton the chance to grab the belts but Cena stops it. Cena gets a great opportunity to win the match when he hits Orton a ladder, sending him through a table that was set up on the outside. However, Cena took too long, giving Orton the chance to recover, pull Cena off the ladder and hit the RKO (outta nowhere!) Later on, Orton goes for the punt but Cena dodges and hits the AA, sending Orton through the Spanish announcers table. The match goes back and forth before Orton, getting inspiration from the WWE Championship TLC match two years ago, handcuffs Cena to the bottom rope and throws the key to the crowd. Orton gets a ladder, going past several of them to get one bizarrely, and takes his time setting it up and climbing it. That turned out to be a dumb idea as Cena, remembering what Punk did in the same situation, unscrews the turnbuckle, climbs the ladder and punches Orton off the ladder. Cena tries to get the belts but he can't because the handcuff is still on the rope and it's restricting him. Orton grabs the rope and sends Cena off the ladder with his head bouncing off the bottom of a table. Orton then climbs the ladder, grabs the belts and becomes the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, making him the first person to be the undisputed Champion since Brock Lesnar in Summerslam 2002. Afterwards, the Authority come out and congratulate Orton.

I really enjoyed this match. I thought that Orton would win this match and I hoped it might eventually lead to a Bryan/Orton feud at Wrestlemania, although recent events does seem to have changed that. I know that a lot of people are unhappy with Cena and Orton being in this match. I don't really mind it as it makes sense that the two most successful World Champions in the company are in it. When they last unified the Championships in December 2001, they gave it to Chris Jericho, which was surprisingly for a lot of people. However, I think that it didn't really work as WWE started booking him like he was a jackass and when he lost it to Triple H at Wrestlemania XVIII, he didn't win another World Championship until September 2008. Anyway, I hope that 2014 has a few new guys becoming WWE World Heavyweight Champion and not just the usual suspects like Cena and Orton.
Winner: Randy Orton

I thought that TLC was a fun event to watch. Except for a couple of matches, they were all really good and even one of those matches told a very good story. I thought that WWE had a good year, wrestling wise, in 2013 and may it continue in 2014.