Monthly Archives: November 2012

TNA Bound For Glory 2012

Total Nonstop Action Proudly Presents…
TNA BOUND FOR GLORY 2012

Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the review blog that will absolutely agree to be a reference on your job application, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight, for you see, every October as the temperatures grow cold and the trees begin to die, a day approaches associated with the very worst sort of horror, tricks and even the occasional treat. But this is no Halloween, oh no, this is TNA’s Bound For Glory 2012, and not only is it much scarier on occasion, but there’s way less candy involved. But yes, tonight is TNA’s biggest show of the year, their Wrestlemania, their Super Bowl, their night of utter extravagance, and their time to prove that in the past year the positive changes they’ve made have really paid off big time. Remember, this is the first Bound For Glory under the new booking team, and this is the night all of their plots and devices have been leading to. So will we discover who is behind Aces and Eights? With 5 titles on the line, will we see a changing of the guard? And will TNA finally convert me back into a believer? There’s only one way to find out.

So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!

Segment 1 – OPENING VIDEO FEVER!

Cewsh: I should hit you with a full disclosure before we begin. If you’ve been a long time reader of Cewsh Reviews, you will know that my relationship with TNA over the years has been rocky to say the least. I have long held that when TNA is at its best and firing on all cylinders, it is the best wrestling promotion in the world, but good fucking god do they make you take an agonizing trip through the depths of incredulity to get there. And for every time that I’ve sworn off TNA, saying that I can’t deal with the roller coaster of having my hopes dashed time after time after time as they appear to get their act together and then fall apart when it comes to the payoff, I have always eventually come back on my hands and knees begging for more. TNA is basically the jerk boyfriend who tells me he’ll change and then sleeps with all my friends. And this has gone on for about 8 years now. So finally this year, Cewsh Reviews stopped covering TNA on a regular basis until they got their act together, and we gave them until Bound for Glory to fix things up and potentially get another chance. And wouldn’t you know it? Things have gotten pretty goddamn good. Aces and Eights has been fascinating, the champions are all young, exciting and fresh and a real focus has been put on building the talent of tomorrow and introducing new formats to make TNA seem lively again.

It’s hard to not be impressed by what the new booking team has accomplished in a single year, changing the very identity of TNA from a scatterbrained mess of hit or miss pieces into a solid and cohesive show that really seems to be working. So now comes the ultimate test. If they can pull it off and have a great show tonight, all will be forgiven and you will once again hear us trumpeting the good name of TNA all over these fair internets. All they have to do is keep things together for one night and I’m sold. But can the new TNA succeed where the old TNA perpetually failed?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s get to the opening video. I guess people are bound for something? Possibly glory? It’s a little unclear if this is a wrestling show or just an inspirational porno from the name. But since we have once again come around to TNA’s biggest show, it’s time once again for TNA to roll out their clip library to show us lots of examples of times before when TNA was super cool and awesome. It’s good to look back at this stuff and really see how far TNA has come over the years. Already I’m with it, and ready for TNA to rock my world. LET’S DO THIS.

Segment 2 – TNA X Division Championship – Zema Ion (c) vs. Rob Van Dam

Cewsh: This match really encapsulates the unofficial theme of the night, “Legends of the Past vs. The Stars of Today.” It makes for a really interesting dynamic for the entire show, and is so blatantly obvious, that you would imagine that they would bring this up as a selling point for the show extensively. They don’t off course, but hey, nobody’s perfect. This specific match doesn’t really have much of a backstory beyond Rob Van Dam getting a title shot, and Zema Ion being the amazing little dickhead that he is to everyone. This is really going to be the biggest test of Ion’s career as he goes up against a big star on the biggest show that he’s ever competed on, and for Van Dam…well I’m sure he could use the money to buy some Doritos for the drive home.

Ion Needs The Money So He Can Afford A Full Pair Of Pants.

Right away, Ion takes over this match, much to the surprise of the announcers, the crowd and even me. He constantly stays ahead of Van Dam in the opening minutes, busting out tremendously athletic moves all over the place and playing to the crowd at every opportunity to a resounding chorus of boos. Van Dam, to his credit, does a tremendous job of selling Ion as a real threat to him here, and his facial expressions convey total surprise that this hairsprayed douchebox is ahead of him at every turn. After a few minutes, Van Dam fights his way back into the match, and the two go back and forth for a good long while, trading tremendous moves and stealing the show in the greatest traditions of the X Division, as Van Dam puts Ion over as a tremendous star of tomorrow and Zema Ion gets to truly make a name for himself here on the biggest stage of his career, as I dance around the room doing flips and making out with Salma Hayek.

Z Is For Zealotry.

Wait, what’s that?

Ah, i’m being informed that that last bit did not happen, (especially not the Salma Hayek bit. Mrs. Cewsh is quite clear on this.) Apparently, Rob Van Dam’s comeback lasted all of 40 seconds before he had thoroughly squashed Ion and beaten him abruptly with the Frog Splash. Hmm.

Okay. Now this is only the first match, so I don’t want to get too mad here, but I want to make my thoughts on this clear. In the opening match of their biggest show of the year, they took a promising young talent who was really getting over with the crowds as a heel, (something that like 15 people have ever managed with the Impact audience,) and had a 41 year old man beat him decisively to take his title.

“When This Guy Was My Age, Hanson Was At The Top Of The Charts!” (That Is Totally True)

That makes me unhappy, but if there were really a clear purpose behind it, then I would let it go, because sometimes you need the title on an older, bigger star to do things with it that an up and comer just couldn’t. But the thing about this match that instantly caused a visceral reaction of rage from me was how senseless it really was.

Rob Van Dam doesn’t need to be the X-Division champion. In 2007 this might have been great, pitting Van Dam against Styles and Daniels and Hardy and the whole crew in a series of high flying dream matches, but those matches have already happened and now the X-Division consists of Zema Ion and NOBODY. Instead of building this wasteland of a division around someone who actually belongs within it, they’ve turned tail and retreated to the safe comforting arms of nostalgia.

I’m Increasingly Certain That TNA Lets Drug Sniffing Dogs Choose Their Champions.

And it is fucking ridiculous. To put the title now on a aging star that has lost a step, and to restrict the progress of a burgeoning star like Ion for no apparent reason at all isn’t just a mistake, it’s a goddamn catastrophe. Where does the title even go from here? Around Ion’s waist it could have had meaning in a clearly upcoming feud with the rapidly recovering Jesse Sorenson that has a ton of heat on it, and could result in a tremendous title reign victory for the sympathetic Sorenson. Around Van Dam’s waist, it appears to be going into a feud with Joey Ryan, WHO IS NOT AN X-DIVISION STYLE WRESTLER.

The more I type about this, the more stunned I really am that it occurred at all. After all the praise I JUST handed out about TNA building the next generation of stars, they lead off the night by doing exactly the  opposite. And just like that, my confidence in this show is sinking like a brick. But let’s not write the whole thing off just yet. Let’s just…deep breaths Cewsh. Deep breaths.

70 out of 100

Rob Van Dam Over Zema Ion Following The Five Star Frog Splash.

Segment 3 – Movie Pitch #1

Cewsh: Magic Mike knock off starring Magnus, AJ Styles, Zema Ion, and Kevin Nash, (he needs the paycheck.) Call it Mage Magnus. Add in a surly midget club owner. Guaranteed millions.

“I Think We’ve Got A Lot Of Law Breakers In Here Tonight.”

Oh, and Magnus cut a promo here about how he was going to beat up Joe because something, something their old team. Even he doesn’t seem able to pretend like this feud has any actual meaning to it, but he does get points for trying.

Segment 4 – TNA Television Championship – Samoa Joe (c) vs. Magnus

Cewsh: This is the second match on this card that revolves around the breakup of a tag team and a feud between those two people. Unfortunately, unlike the Beer Money feud, Samoa Joe and Magnus may as well be feuding over a Japanese shampoo commercial for all it actually matters. Their team lasted a few months, was hardly featured on the shows, and then was unceremoniously separated for no reason, and then followed up with a haphazard feud a few months later. I mean, its as if the entire storyline was written by a fat, depressed guy just fitfully copying and pasting from other feuds whenever he remembered that these two guys still worked here.
Which is a really a shame, because these guys had a strange kind of chemistry as a team that really made them better than the sum of their parts, (especially Joe at this point in his career,) and they continue to have that chemistry here, as they turn in a good match involving way more effort than they really had to put into it. Two lesser guys would have accepted their dreary role on this card and just lazied it up until quittin’ time, but Joe and Magnus have a perfectly entertaining match to keep the crowd hot for the main events, and they did it without any help or fanfare of any kind.
It’s just a shame that it all means nothing.
74 out of 100
Samoa Joe Over Magnus Following The Koquina Clutch.


Segment 5 – Movie Pitch #2

Cewsh: A remake of Wall Street, starring Bobby Roode in the Michael Douglas role and Eric Young in the Charlie Sheen role. Shoot the entire movie with the actors thinking it’s dead serious, and then change it into a slapstick family comedy in post production. Call it Greed and Goofs. Prepare for your Oscar.

Backstage, Bobby Roode is vehement about the fact that he is going to beat James Storm no matter what he or King Mo do to try to stop him. He’s so absolutely certain of this happening that it breaks your heart. He’s a heel in a blow off match. I’m hoping he didn’t bet his beer money on it.

Also, Jeremy Borash Giving People Side Eye Is Delightful.

Segment 6- Street Fight – James Storm vs. Bobby Roode w/ Special Enforcer King Mo

Cewsh: A year ago, Beer Money Inc was perhaps the greatest tag team in professional wrestling. A team of two men of utterly differing personalities, that nevertheless came together to form something truly special together. In the spirit of competition, they entered the Bound For Glory series together, and when Bobby Roode managed to win it in the biggest moment of his young career, his partner James Storm couldn’t have been more happy for him. Roode went to Bound For Glory against the great Kurt Angle to claim his destiny, and despite putting on the performance of his career, he fell short in the end and wasn’t able to take the title and the spot at the top of the card that he wanted so badly. Storm consoled him on the loss and when Angle came around trash talking, Storm stood up for his friend, and wound up getting his own title match out of it. And when James Storm shockingly pinned Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, it was perhaps the greatest moment in the man’s already storied career. And then, one broken bottle and betrayed friendship later, the whole world went sideways.

Fueled by jealousy and frustration, the old Beer Money Bobby Roode transformed into something totally new. Calling himself “The It Factor” and carrying the title he wrenched out of his friend’s hands, Roode ruled TNA for most of the year, viciously taunting and antagonizing Storm at every turn. When Storm finally got his title shot at Lockdown, it seemed like he would finally have his revenge, but instead cruel fortune caused him to kick Roode out of the cage and cost himself the title that he burned for all the more after having held it so briefly.

Ever since, this feud has been simmering close to the surface, and when Roode lost the title to Austin Aries at Destination X, he took out his frustrations on his most hated foe, costing Storm his own Bound For Glory Series win, and setting up for the match that would finally decide things between them. With MMA star King Mo in attendance to see that Roode would have to stay and see this through to the end, one way or another, only one of these men is going to walk out victorious.

This is, without a doubt, the defining feud of the new TNA. The ascension of Roode from tag team wrestler to the best heel in professional wrestling is the foundation that they built everything else they accomplished this year on top of, and the growth of James Storm into a beloved babyface hero has been a delight to see as well. They grew to the top together as their feud grew and grew, and now they’re finally meeting in a match a year in the making, governed over by an MMA star, with the whole world watching.

So why doesn’t this match seem like a bigger deal?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good match. Roode and Storm have great chemistry, and they turn this into the kind of bloody Memphis-style brawl that you rarely see in wrestling anymore. Roode makes for a vicious and relentless heel and Storm is really carving out an identity for himself as an underdog babyface that may not be as skilled as everyone else, but that just will not stay down. The combination makes for great drama, and these two go all out to make this match special. And these two beat the unholy fuck out of one another. Storm, for his part, gets as bloody as it is possible to get before you’re officially considered to be a blood monster.

Um, James? You’ve Got Something On Your Face There. Its…Um…Nevermind. You Got It.

And not to be outdone, Roode finds himself on the wrong end of some thumbtacks so many times, you might think that he was trying to get some free piercings out of the deal.

I Think This Joke Pretty Much Tells Itself.

It’s a really good match, and the crowd is really hot for all of this from start to finish. So when James Storm finally vanquishes his hated foe and gets his arm raised, it’s a great moment, and the crowd go nuts for it.

And then we throw to the back for a promo.

Ultimately, I think the biggest issue with this match, and perhaps this show as a whole, is that this is the main event that this show should have had. Storm vs. Roode in a fight for the title. The title was the impetus for the entire feud, and winning that title has been the driving force behind Storm’s incredible growth as a character. So to have this be the third match on the card, on a show main evented by a match that hardly has any reason to take place in the first place, is just really incredibly deflating. They spent a full year building to this point, and I can’t help feeling that it’s like putting Austin vs. Rock in the midcard of Wrestlemania 15 and letting Big Show and Mankind fight for the title. It’s a missed opportunity, and one that deflates not just the moment, but the momentum of both of these guys who have worked so hard this year. It’s a shame it had to come to this, but if nothing else, they absolutely did the best they could with what they were given.


84 out of 100

Cewsh’s Seal of Approval

James Storm Over Bobby Roode Following The Last Call.

Segment 7 – Movie Pitch #3

Cewsh: A group of clowns kidnap Joey Ryan and force him to act as the field goal posts for a marathon session of paper football. The paper cuts prove fatal, and the best friend gumshoe team of Shark Boy and Curry Man are brought in to solve the case of his tragic death. The title? Chums.

Shown Here Searching For Clues.

Meanwhile, Joey Ryan is backstage with Jeremy Borash and has some choice words for Al Snow and everyone else that chose not to hand him a contract on a platter. Which is everyone. So he’s basically feuding with everyone who draws breath on this Earth, and even a few people who were alive when he was rejected, but have died in the intervening time. He’s going to be a busy man.

Segment 8 – Joey Ryan vs. Al Snow

Cewsh: One of the concepts that were introduced by TNA management in the past year is called Gut Check, and the idea is to give fresh talent on the independent scene an opportunity to get a tryout on the main show and maybe even get signed to a contract. Numerous young men and women have come on Impact, and gotten their big shot against a TNA wrestler, and have been evaluated by the three judges of Bruce Pritchard, Al Snow and Tazz. Some have won contracts, some have failed, but all of them are grateful for what is clearly the biggest opportunity of their lives. All except for one.

When independent wrestler Joey Ryan had his Gut Check opportunity, he thought he had it in the bag. He was cocky, he was brash and he seemed to take it as a forgone conclusion that he’d be the next big TNA star, and that the judges would fawn over his skills. They didn’t. Joey was turned down by the three judges, and seemed completely unable to process it. He cut a number of scathing promos on the three judges, and seemed to settle on Al Snow as the one who was most worthy of his scorn. He began hiding in the crowds to jump Al Snow at live events, and embarrassed Snow week after week. Finally, fed up with this, Snow flattened Ryan, but since Ryan wasn’t a TNA wrestler, Ryan pressed charges, and made an agreement with TNA to get himself an apology from Snow, and a contract. Ah, but the wily veteran put one over on the little shithead, because when Ryan signed his contract, what he really signed was a match contract for Bound For Glory, where he would have to beat Al Snow to get his contract, and if he lost he’d be banned for good. Which leads us here, to the ass whooping we are about to receive.

The odd thing about this match, is that is really is an ass beating. Ryan really is never made to look as if he even has the most remote chance of beating the 40 something former JOB Squad member. Snow beats him blue all over the ring, until, much to the shock of all, Matt Morgan arrives on the scene and decimates Snow with a gigantic boot to the face.

SURPRISE FOOT INSPECTION.

This allows Ryan to get the win and his contract.

He Even Manages To Be Surprised In A Creepy Way.

As everyone, (Ryan included,) looks around surprised, Morgan makes it clear that he did this to piss off Hulk Hogan and that more like this will follow. He then says that he’ll do the same to everyone on the roster, but then for some reason shakes Joey Ryan’s hand and poses with him, despite Ryan being a member of said roster now.

I probably don’t need to tell you that this didn’t do wonders for any credibility they may want Ryan to have, (like say, if he was immediately going to get an X Division title shot at the next pay per view.) But moreover, this just wasn’t all that interesting. The story itself didn’t really have much heat on it, and Joey Ryan seems like such an odd choice to fill this particular role, and having Al Snow as an unstoppable badass is really stretching plausibility about as far as it can go.

FEAR THE ‘STACHE

But, on the other hand, I think this is the first segment that Matt Morgan has improved in his entire career. So things are looking up there.

68 out of 100

Joey Ryan Over Al Snow Following Shenanigans.

Segment 9 – Movie Pitch #4

Cewsh: Daniels and Kazarian. Gay Poultry Farmers. Cock Gobblers.

These Guys Know What I’m Talking About.

Daniels and Kazarian are backstage, and are cutting a promo about how they’re unhappy at the shabby treatment of them from management, that has resulted in a triple threat tag team match for their titles tonight. You may have noticed a trend here with all the non matches, in that they’re all 30 second interviews conducted on the same set, by people who don’t have anything to actually say. It’s riveting stuff, let me tell you.

Segment 10 – TNA World Tag Team Championships – The Wave of Future’s Past (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) (c) vs. Olympic Style (Kurt Angle and AJ Styles) vs. The Old Man and the C (Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero)

Cewsh: Here we have a tag team match between a team that identifies as an actual team and who have been crafting a great identity for themselves in recent months together, (Daniels and Kazarian,) a team of two of the greatest wrestlers in TNA history who are quickly growing to despise each other, (Angle and Styles,) and the only two Mexican guys on the roster, (Super Porky and and his twin brother Super Beefy). Now out of these three teams, which is the most likely to win here? The great team, the interesting team, or the thrown together nonsensical team with no future?

Don’t pretend like you don’t know the answer already.

The idea here is that Kazarian and Daniels are at a huge disadvantage, since neither of the other teams are ever going to willingly tag them in, since they are about the most hateable guys on the roster.

And Daniels Is Totally Ready To Fondle Himself While Doing Duckface If You Don’t Believe Me.

So they have to find ways to get into the match and control it to stop themselves from getting squeezed out altogether. When this involves Daniels and Kazarian in the ring with Styles or Angle, this match absolutely shines, because all four of those guys are great in their own ways, and work great together. Then, when it involves Chavo or Hernandez, this match grinds to an unceremonious stop. It’s not that they’re bad as such, (Hernandez remains entertaining in short flashes, especially,) it’s just that they can’t even begin  to keep up with the other four, and Chavo especially seems to be moving in slow motion every time he does everything. Watching him in the ring with AJ Styles, is like watching a buffalo race a harrier jet to such a baffling extent that you almost can’t help wondering why they bothered to bring Chavo into the company at all.

Despite some shortcomings, though, this match stays solid until it’s time to break out into clusterfuck madness, and there’s nobody better equipped for that than these guys. Hernandez is leaping over the top, and Angle is german suplexing everything alive, and Styles is just finding new and inventive ways to spend time in the atmosphere.

This Is How AJ Arrives At All Social Occasions.

Everything goes crazy all over the place, right up until Chavo Guerrero delivers the single worst frog splash in the history of professional wrestling and allows Hernandez to get the clean win over the champions and fulfill their TNA destiny.

Look, this was a fine match, and when the right people were involved it was a breezy dream to watch. But I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Chavo Guerrero dragged down this match every time he was involved in it, and now he’s one half of the tag team champions. For the second time tonight, an old, former WWE star with no momentum coming in has beaten a promising act that has been built for months for a title that they have no business holding. With two more title matches to go that feature young, recently made stars up against older, former WWE stars, I’m beginning to get an uneasy feeling about this show. Buut that’s just a baseless paranoia.

Right?

73 out of 100

Side Note: Chavo Guerrero is a gigantic douchebag. That isn’t related to this match, it just needs to be remembered.

The Old Man And The C Over Everyone Else Following A Border Toss/Frog Splash.

Segment 11 – TNA Knockout’s Championship – Brooke Tessmacher (c) vs. Tara

Cewsh: The story behind this match, is actually the story of Brooke Tessmacher’s career. After spending a number of years in the wrestling business seemingly doing everything but wrestle, Tessmacher arrived in TNA to be Eric Bischoff’s assistant for some reason nobody was ever quite clear on.

Shown: One Possible Reason.

But in the past year, something changed for Tessmacher. Out of nowhere, and seemingly under the tutelage Tara, she transformed into a more than capable wrestler in damn near record time. Not only did she start having good matches, but she even became the Knockout’s champion and took over as the top female babyface that TNA had been looking for ever since Gail Kim left way back when. Once she had made it, though, she knew that she still had things to prove. So on a likely Open Fight Night, she challenged her mentor Tara to a match, and despite her best efforts, the wily veteran won. The win earned Tara a title shot, and they had a friendly match, which Tessmachher won, to finally prove that she could do it, and establish herself as the preeminent Knockout. Tara didn’t take that well. Assault after assault followed, as Tara buried their friendship under a mountain of jealousy, and forced Tessmacher into this match tonight. No longer fighting for credibility, now Tessmacher is fighting for revenge. Texas style.
Now, that’s a solid backstory, and the best case scenario for this match is that Tara gives Tessmacher the biggest test of her career and brings out a great brawly side of her that establishes her some credibility on this show with a big win in awesome fashion. That’s the best case scenario. The WORST case scenario, is that both of them no sell the significance of this match, and Tara beats Tessmacher clean without giving her much of anything while the crowd looks on in absolute silence. GUESS WHICH ONE HAPPENS?
Yep, Tessmacher misses an elbow drop, Tara hits the Widow’s Peak and Tara wins the title in definitive fashion. And I can honestly say that on most shows I would let this go. It’s possible that furthering the storyline for Tara and Tessmacher could result in an even bigger win down the line, (Ed. Note: It won’t. Tara moved into a feud with Mickie James.) But on THIS show, where this exact same fucking thing has happened at every single opportunity, I have run completely out of patience for this ridiculous trend. I hate to sound like a broken record, I really do, but WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING YOU’RE RUINING EVERYTHING WHYYYYYYYY

After the match, Tara reveals that she did it all for her “beau”, Jessie from the tv show Big Brother that nobody in this country has watched since 2003.

His Fame Is Somewhere Between A Birthday Clown And An Internet Meme A Year After It Debuts.

At which point Tazz delivered the line which may be the defining moment of his commentary career. “Jessie? THE Jessie?!” And with that, the last lonely drops of his credibility washed away down the drain.

69 out of 100

Tara Over Miss Tessmacher Following The Widow’s Peak.

Segment 12 – No Disqualification Match – Aces and Eights vs. Bully Ray and Sting

Cewsh: This match was not good. The crowd did not care one bit, the Aces and Eights guys had no personality or emotion, under their disguises as they were, and the fans appeared totally unsure of how to react to the idea of a face Bully Ray, possibly because TNA gave them about a week to adjust to the idea of Bully being the promotions best hope for salvation.

The Face Paint Helps, Even If He Does Look Like A Husky Road Warrior.

So I’m going to skip past the match, which went on too long, featured a bunch of run ins and was pretty much poorly conceived and executed by everyone not named Bully. Aces and Eights win, and due to the stipulation can now come and go as they please. Good for them. Instead, I’m going to skip right to the end, where Hulk Hogan comes out and beats the shit out of the entire assembled group of bad guys, (obviously,) and then captures one them while they’re trying to sneak away. Sting, Bully and Hogan gather around, as they prepare to unmask the guy, giving us a glimpse of the first one of these mysterious guys that have remained incognito for so long. Hogan grabs the mask and rips it off to reveal…

…DEVON?! In a rare moment of genuine surprise in wrestling, Devon grins at the three of them and laughs in their faces, as they look on with expressions that range from heartbroken…

…to hilarious.

Devon walks off as the others stare at him in shock, and the segment ends with Tenay and Tazz breathlessly wondering what could have caused Devon to fall in with these guys.

Now, I actually have to give TNA a ton of credit on this one. Devon’s reveal was a huge surprise, not only because he’s about the last guy that anybody could have expected, but also because rumor had it that Devon had left TNA over a contract dispute for real. This is one of the VERY rare times that faking a real life story actually HELPED a wrestling storyline, and full props to everyone involved for pulling that off. With Devon in place as the guy who was letting Aces and Eights into the building for all of those weeks, the whole storyline suddenly becomes grounded in way more logic than it had had access to before. Well done, everyone.

Now turn it into a match that doesn’t make me want to punch myself in the balls to feel something other than boredom.

60 out of 100

Aces And Eights Over Team TNA Following Shenanigans.

Segment 13 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Austin Aries (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

Cewsh: Alright then, here we are. The main event of TNA’s biggest show of the year, pitting the champion, Austin Aries against the challenger, Jeff Hardy. The smark favorite against the mark favorite, and two men who arrived at this point by wildly different roads.

It’s been an odd year for Jeff Hardy, one primarily spent slowly working his way back towards main event credibility as they hit us over the head time and time again with how “inspiring” his redemption story is. He won some big matches, and got himself into the semi finals of the Bound For Glory series, and that’s about all anyone expected him to do, but much to the shock of just about everyone watching, he actually won the tournament and got the title shot at Bound For Glory, despite him not having any real momentum up to that point, and the champion being a huge babyface as well. And make no mistake, Austin Aries was a big time babyface all of sudden, after overcoming all of the odds and beating Bobby Roode for the TNA title in July in one of the greatest feel good moments in TNA history. So with two prominent babyfaces about to collide at the big show, people were curious as to what storyline they would go with. Would Hardy return to his heelish Immortal ways? Would another wrestler get involved to balance it? Would they just go head on with two good guys like Hogan/Warrior and pass the torch to Aries?

Nope. They had Aries come out and begin to run Hardy down viciously for his drug use and all the mistakes he had made in a nearly identical fashion to when Jeff Jarrett did the exact same thing when Hardy first returned, and seemingly expected people to respond in Hardy’s favor. They didn’t. But TNA ran with it anyway, bringing us here to this match. The bright burgeoning star who is among the best in the world against the older former WWE star with a more mainstream name looking to recapture old glory. But this time, THIS TIME, things are going to go right. Because this is Aries’ show, and Aries’ moment. It’s his time to shine.

Now a few things must be said here at the start. First of all, we probably haven’t given Jeff Hardy’s aburd facepaint nearly enough coverage on this site. Tonight he looks like a mime child molester.

“…”

And second of all, this crowd has been quiet for portions of this show, but they are into this match in a big way. They express this in a way that anyone who has seen a John Cena match will be familiar with, as every deep voice in the crowd chants for Aries, and every high pitched one cheers for Hardy. I don’t know if capturing some of that John Cena reaction in a bottle was what they were going for, but oh boy have they ever split the audience here.

Aries and Hardy do the big introduction that Jeremy Borash lives for every month, and Aries takes the time to make sure that Jeff knows what his dick looks like, because he’s considerate like that.

“BEHOLD.”

Then they get down to business. And for the next 20 minutes, they put on a really fun match, with Aries always being a step ahead of Hardy and outwrestling him at every turn, and Hardy doing what he does best, (which is selling, followed by big crazy moves.) Aries chips away at the former World Champion piece by piece as Hardy appears to fade, his offensive bursts becoming more and more scarce as the long match wears on. And then, when Aries has finally worn Jeff Hardy down to a defenseless state, he starts dropping every move in his arsenal on him in devastatingly quick fashion. Heat Seeking Missile, another Heat Seeking Missile, the dropkick to the corner and then BAM, brainbuster. The magical combination that Aries developed to beat even his biggest and most dangerous foes, and which has never been kicked out of. But somehow, Hardy gets his shoulder up. A frustrated and confused Aries then throws caution to the wind, positions Hardy up on the turnbuckles and…and…

And then Jeff Hardy hits a wacky stunner from the corner, hits the Swanton Bomb and wins the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

WHAT?!

Of all of the things that could have possibly happened on this show and in this promotion, the single worst one has taken place. Put the title on Sting, put the title on Hogan, hell put the title on a framed picture of Scott Hall, but holy tubthumping christ, how could you self destructive, fan terrorizing assholes possibly have the balls to put the only title in your promotion that is worth the metal it’s made out of on the person who embarrassed your company more than anyone else ever has? And how fucking dare you try to sell this entire bullshit mess to us as some kind of incredible redemption story to try to make us sympathetic to this man and then reward him at the end? How fucking dare you try to look us in the eye and tell us that a drug addict who has undergone no known rehabilitation of any kind and who has fucked over his fans on at least 4 separate occasions should be your beloved champion? Just because you tell us that he’s been redeemed and we love him now, doesn’t lift the enormous albatross of failure and bullshit off of Jeff Hardy’s shoulders, and if he lapses into addiction again we should hold you fuckers accountable for enabling his maddening cycle of disappointment.

And the WAY that he won! Aries beat him like a drum for 15 minutes, and hit him with every single move in his arsenal as one of the best wrestlers on the planet, and Hardy kicked out of Aries’s entire finishing sequence done in a row, only to win with two moves and no resistance from Aries at all. Hardy didn’t just beat Aries for the title in Aries’ first opportunity to prove he belongs as a TNA main eventer, but he flat out BURIED him. If ever you wanted a clear and firm statement from TNA as to their priorities, then congratulations, because they have painted you an incredible picture right here tonight, by having Hardy treat Aries’ offense like he’s the TNA John Cena.

Sigh. I could go on ranting forever, but the fact of the matter is that I can almost see what TNA was trying to do here. Hardy is, as far as the mainstream audience is concerned, the biggest and most relevant star on their roster who is an active wrestler. At their biggest show, TNA has a tendency to reboot things back to whoever their biggest star is at the time, and this time rumor has it that Hardy was thinking of leaving, so they may have been trying to give him a reason to stay. All of that makes sense from TNA’s perspective, and is UTTERLY BONKERS for everyone in the real world. If a drug addict is thinking of quitting his job, you don’t make him the manager and just expect him to stick around because you did something nice. And after 8 years, TNA still has not learned that if you reboot your champion back to default every year at the big show, it tells the fans that the stars you were building were nobodies who couldn’t hack it to begin with. TNA may as well have stamped “MIDCARDER” of Aries’ forehead and sent him out there, because his momentum has been cut off in a way he may never be able to replicate again at the very moment when they should have been trying their hardest to support it. (Sound familiar, Samoa Joe?)

The worst part is that Aries 100% stole this match at every turn, and may have wrestled the match of his life against a guy that seemed to just be trying to keep up, while the fans made it clear that they wanted Aries to be their champion no matter what TNA said. The crowd spoke a message loud and clear to TNA, and it’s the same one that they’ve been speaking to this company for years and years and years. But nobody is listening. Nobody ever was.


83 out of 100

Cewsh’s Seal of Approval

Jeff Hardy Over Austin Aries Following The Swanton Bomb.
——————————————————
Cewsh’s Conclusions:

Cewsh: You have got to be fucking kidding me.

After all of the build up, and all of the foundation they laid and after ALL of the confidence in their product that they rebuilt brick by brick, painstakingly, over the course of the past year, they just threw it all straight down the fucking toilet in one night. I don’t know if the people who made decisions all year up to this point were suddenly replaced by pod people who just picked the winners at random, or if they simply all showed up to work Jeff Hardy style, but this show is a bridge burning calamity that will take months to recover from, even in the best of circumstances. And once again, there I sat, staring excitedly at my television screen, waving a tiny little TNA flag in the air, watching as TNA systematically dismantled everything worthwhile and likable about their own product right in front of my eyes. I let them back in, and they did the exact same thing they always do, the exact same way.

The people I feel the worst for here, (besides the wrestlers who are handcuffed to the Titanic here,) are any new fans that start watching TNA. Because TNA is a very seductive product, with great wrestlers, and interesting storylines and it makes for a great alternative to WWE. But somewhere right now there are a bunch of recent TNA fans who are dealing with their first experience of having everything good stripped away from them for no reason.

You know what? I’m taking my things and moving to New Japan’s house. We may have communication issues, but at least they treat me right.

Cewsh’s Final Score: 72.63 out of 100

Note: The early word is that this show did 20,000 buys. Which means at least 19,999 people don’t know how to download wrestling off of the internet yet, and 1 person is Dixie Carter.

Well that’ll do it for us this time boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed reading about TNA’s Bound For Glory more than I liked watching it. Next week I’m going to have to pay up on a bet I made with our professor MichaelC that resulted in him getting to choose any wrestling show ever aired to force me to review. I have no idea what I’m in for and I am TERRIFIED. Will it be an IWA:MS show? An all Big Boss Man compilation tape? Some unholy combination of the two? We’ll both find out together, for better or for worse. So until then, remember to keep right on reading, and always be good to one another.

The 7 People You Meet As A Wrestling Fan

Afternoon, cats and kittens. Today, for our newest Sunday Supplement, we’ll be examining the 7 different kinds of people that every open wrestling fan will encounter at some point in their life. These people may turn out to be relatives, friends, acquaintances, or the doctor who does the surgery to remove the cucumber after you challenge Mike Tyson to a fight in a farmer’s market. Whoever they are, when they learn that you are a wrestling fan, (due to your super awesome Tatanka t-shirt no doubt,) it is more than likely that every single one of them will fall into one of these categories. And while up until now you just had to rely on your quick wit and charm to diffuse a potentially awkward situation, the social scientists here at Cewsh Reviews have devised a foolproof method for dealing with each of them.

Cewsh Reviews Research Social Sciences Department

So grab a pen and paper and prepare to take notes, because we’re about to show you how to spot these conversational troublemakers quickly and easily. And with any luck, this will help you salvage that awkward conversation with your secretary next year when she asks why you’re dressed as the Ultimate Warrior at the office Halloween party.

1. The Condescending Friend


Identifying Quote: “You really watch that stuff?”
Method of Attack: Play it off.

By far the most common of all of the people on this list, the condescending friend, upon learning of your wrestling fanboy tendencies, will react with confusion and mockery, like he just found out that your middle name really is “Dickholster”. Generally these people have never really given wrestling a thought one way or another, aside from a vague suspicion that it is stupid based on no evidence. They’ll be among the first to suggest that wrestling is fake and cartoony, but won’t really have their heart in it, and these people can usually be diffused with a simple, “Yeah, it’s a tv show that I like. They do some cool stuff on there.” or a “Pssh, it’s not half as stupid as *thing your friend likes*”.  If your friend is a guy who is into My Little Pony, for example, this is the easiest segue way you will ever have to make.

Note: It does seem like women have to deal with this particular group perhaps more than any other, probably due to social stigmas causing them to be mocked for liking things that are traditionally for boys. Should you ladies find yourself in a situation like this, a recommend a heavy dose of crotch punching followed by tacos.

2. The MMA Lover


Identifying Quote: “That Shit’s All Fake, Man.”
Method of Attack: Smile and Nod.

Mixed martial arts and professional wrestling in America actually have quite of bit of shared heritage, dating back to the start of the 20th century, and indeed, much of what has made Ultimate Fighting Championships the runaway juggernaut it is today is a focus on the promotion and presentation style that wrestling made famous. The two pursuits are tied together, and in a perfect world, we could few them as two sides of the same coin, each offering different entertainment options and being a fan of both would be as natural as can be. But this isn’t a perfect world, and because of that, this guy exists.

You will know MMA guy by sight before you ever speak to him. He’ll be wearing a loud t-shirt, walking like his dick is the size of a grain silo, and will smell like Axe Body Spray and anger. Most MMA fans wouldn’t give this guy the time of day, but if somehow the topic of professional wrestling comes up he is going to think he has to be the spokesman for all of them and you are going to hear the words “fake” and “gay” coming at your face faster than Anderson Silva’s fists and mockery. This is a tough conversation to get out of, because there really is no possible way to bring this individual around to your way of thinking. Your only hope is to smile, nod, and try to avoid a demonstration of what “a real submission is” being done to you before you can slip out of the room.

3. The Person Who Liked It When They Were A Kid

Identifying Quote: “Hey is *insert wrestler* still around?”
Method of Attack: Discuss wrestling, but don’t overstay your welcome.

This is perhaps my favorite of all the people on this list. This individual used to watch wrestling during one of the boom eras when it was really cool. This is usually either the Hogan days or the Austin days, but I’ve heard older people remark fondly on the territory days as well. They stopped watching, either because they outgrew it or it just stopped being the cool thing to do, but they’ve always maintained a vague fondness from their childhood. These people would love to hear about the crazy nonsense their favorites from back in the day are up to, and you can actually turn this into a fun conversation very easily.

The important thing to remember here, though, is that this person is not a wrestling fan, or a potential convert (which comes later). They’re just a person catching up on nostalgia, and like all nostalgia, the topic has an expiration date. So before you go charging in about your favorite Wahoo McDaniel matches, just remember to keep things light, and only spend 5-10 minutes tops on the subject and you’ll be just fine.

4. The Person Who Liked It When They Were A Kid Until They Learned It Was Fake

Identifying Quote: “It’s all bullshit anyway.”
Method of Attack: Change the subject. Like seriously now. Right now.

On the surface, there may not appear to be that big of a difference between number 3 and number 4. And right up until a traumatic event in their childhood, they’re basically the same. But for the nice, happy people that number 3 represents, they have fond memories of wrestling as being a cool thing they liked as a kid. Whereas the poor wretched here at number 4 have only the scarred over husk of life’s first great betrayal where their heart should be.

See, while this may seem unthinkable now, there was a time not too long ago, (think pre-Hulkamania,) when wrestling was not only taken more seriously by people, but was genuinely believed to be real by just about everyone. Wrestlers and promoters took extravagant pains to make people believe that what they were watching really was a real fight, and fans ate it up in droves. By around the late 70s/early 80s, the knowledge that wrestling was actually scripted and predetermined began to slowly come to light around the country. And while wrestling as a whole didn’t suffer, it created a huge number of kids who felt severely, SEVERELY betrayed that they had been lied to all that time. Much like some kids can’t handle it when they’re told Santa isn’t real, these kids had a strong belief stripped away from them, (usually by dickhead brother, or kids at school,). But unlike Santa, people seem to still be holding onto this resentment decades and decades later.

Should you find yourself in a wrestling conversation with one of these people in a room with no windows to throw yourself out of, your only hope is to commiserate as best as you can and just let the person stew on their shattered childhood and fallen dreams.

Seriously, these people are huge bummers.

5. The Convertible

Identifying Quote: “Yeah I see WWE on sometimes. Who is this John Cena guy? The Rock is a wrestler right? How do the matches work? Are they bleeding for real? What night is it on?”
Method of Attack: Reel them in.

Every once in awhile, you’ll come across someone for whom wrestling is a gigantic world of mystery and intrigue. They don’t seem to know anything about it, but everything you tell them seems to make them more and more interested. Now, these are rare people, and are almost never seen in the wild during eras when wrestling isn’t a big fad. But if you come across one of them, you have the great and mighty responsibility of spoon feeding the entirety of wrestling to them in ways they can understand it. Don’t jump right into the psychology of King’s Road, and DEFINITELY do not bring up anything related to Chris Benoit, IWA:MS or any of the less savory aspects of wrestling along those lines. You’re basically selling a show, where guys in their underwear play out soap operas, like it’s a used car, so the less they known about the faulty engine and the worn brake lines the better.

6. The Closet Fan

Identifying Quote: “Oh yeah, wrestling okay. I used to watch it when it was cool during the Monday Night Wars, and now I see it on sometimes. That CM Punk guy is cool.”
Method of Attack: Make sure this is not one of the other types, then engage.

The interesting thing about the closet fan is that, on the surface, they might appear to be any of these other people on this list. They may act grumpy about wrestling and say it’s solely for Gaylociraptors, or they might act superficially interested but foreign to the actual details of wrestling. If you’ve been a wrestling fan for any length of time, you’ve probably been this person at some point in your life, simply because there’s a staggering social stigma against admitting that you’re a professional wrestling fan. I would guess that more than half of the people you run into talking about wrestling on the internet fall into this category, and that includes a founding member of the Cewsh Reviews team. They don’t want to deal with the hassle of being judged for liking something that has a really weird place in our society somewhere between Nascar and Spongebob, so they’ll be carefully noncommittal unless they’re absolutely certain that you share the same interest that they do.

So how do you spot one of these mysterious chameleons? Look for anyone who seems a little TOO interested in a wrestling conversation going on around them, or who gives examples that are overly specific when pressed for details. If they can name a wrestler from the past ten years not named John Cena, they are almost certainly in this category. So be nice to them, and they’ll open up eventually, and you might be damn surprised how deep that fandom goes once you’ve jumped into the well.

7. The Activist

Identifying Quote: “I saw on the news that…”
Method of Attack: LARIAT.

Of all of the people you could possibly run across that has an opinion about wrestling, this is the worst case scenario. This is a person who has absolutely no love for wrestling in any way at all, and has instead gotten caught up in one of the industry’s rumored or factual issues. It may be a parent who refuses to let their kid watch wrestling because of something they saw on the news once, or a judgmental know-it-all who can apparently spot a steroid user based on pictures alone; but whatever the details of their particular crusade, the gist is that wrestling is awful and evil and you should feel bad for liking it.

Now you could try to handle the situation with a logical, well thought out series of statements that debunk some commonly held myths about wrestling while acknowledging some troubling trends in the industry, and then you will no doubt notice that they didn’t hear a word of it over their own smugness. There’s really no reasoning with the kind of person who would viciously attack something another person loves based only on a half remembered news piece and a collection of urban legends, and trying will only make you sad. Handle the situation in a way that would make Stan Hansen proud.

8. The Fucking Crazy Fan

Identifying Quote: “CM Punk needs to lose to Jack Swagger and then become the world’s first wrestling panda. It’s an untapped market.”
Method of Attack: Prayer.

Their opinions are bizarre, their arguments are haphazard, and they smell oddly like cheese. You are guaranteed to be seated next to this individual at every wrestling event you attend. Forever.

Well that’ll do it for us this time. We hope we helped at least one of you get through an awkward family occasion or first date with this helpful advice. It’s entirely possible that there are enough of these to support a whole ‘nother list, but for now just study up and be careful out there. And remember, if the person you’re talking to can correctly identify Kenta Kobashi by his picture, you are legally obligated to sleep with them. Don’t blame me, I didn’t make the rules.

WWE Hell in a Cell 2012

World Wrestling Entertainment Proudly Presents…

WWE HELL IN A CELL 2012

Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the blog that puts the “hell” in Helvetica, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight, as the skies grow dark, the world grows cold and the demonic realm rises to the surface for one night to give you WWE Hell in a Cell 2012. So what does hell have on the docket for us tonight? Well we’ll see a giant fight an Irishman, we’ll see three women fight because one of them was pretending to like the others, we’ll see a Punk get mauled by a monster and we might even see the Miz. I don’t know what version of hell this is, but it sounds about right. But the real story here is, of course, Ryback. The big man is on a rocketship to his first ever main event here, and he has been tearing people limb from limb all the way. Will Punk be able to escape the biggest threat to his title yet? Or will Ryback steamroll Punk, win the title and promptly eat it? There’s only one way to find out.

So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!

Segment 1 – OPENING VIDEO FEVER!

Cewsh: I’m not going to talk about the ACTUAL opening video here, because it was pretty by the numbers stuff, and that isn’t interesting for anyone but Kevin Dunn. No, I’m going to talk about the video package that aired immediately before the main event, because that’s the treasure here. See, the biggest potential problem with Ryback at this point is simply a matter of momentum and credibility. You can’t simply take a guy, however threatening, and tell people that he’s a big deal and a main eventer overnight. You just can’t. It takes the mainstream wrestling audience a few months to really latch onto the idea that something is a big deal and then get behind it, and during that time, any number of things can derail the progress you’ve been building to. That’s why building new stars is such hard work that many promoters hardly bother to do it at all.

Therefore it’s an ENORMOUS boon to a promotion when they have a production team who can accomplish with a 3 minute video, what may have taken weeks of dangerously uncertain booking to do. In this case, what these men and women accomplished was making Ryback not only look like he may very well be on Punk’s level, but made it look like a virtual certainty that Ryback would win this match. What that does is reinforce to the kids watching with their parents that this dude is a big deal and awesome, and reinforces to internet smarks that they should definitely be hating Ryback by now, because wrestling is an eternal war between these two sides that are both eating Cheetoes right now.

So kudos on the excellent video here, which totally makes up for the lackluster one to start the show. Now let’s see if everyone who doesn’t use Photoshop filters for a living held up their end.

Segment 2 – Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez

Cewsh: Okay now, tonight we’re opening things up with the mother of all, “throw these guys together until we find something else for them to do,” feuds. Randy is still slowly making his way back towards worthwhile storylines following his suspension earlier this year, and Del Rio is back down in the upper midcard doldrums  like he always is after his once a year push. It was a match made it filler, and those are always the sweetest.

For a match that actually means less than the lyrics of “Louie Louie” though, there was some really great stuff here. You won’t ever hear me say a word against Randy Orton’s abilities in the ring, but there are times in low key matches like this where he’ll mail it in a bit and just hit his regular spots and go home. But tonight he and Del Rio really go for it, and wind up having the second most surprisingly great match of the night, (more on that later.) Del Rio’s offense looks great for once, Orton does some great selling of the arm, and the crowd actually gets into the match big time as it heads towards the climax. Unfortunately, they pretty much kill the crowd when they fall prey to one of the most awkward botches in recent memory.

See, Del Rio staggers Orton and goes to the top rope ready to crush that snaky bastard with the great abs. He wins up big time, leaps off of the top turnbuckle and into the air majestically…only to land on his feet and look at Randy in confusion before donning a gigantic, “Oh shit” face. Randy, who I can only assume was meant to dropkick Del Rio out of the air, (which would have been hard since Del Rio jumped when Randy was so far out of position that he may as well have been at home playing Duck Hunt,) tries to dropkick Del Rio, but in Alberto’s panic he’s already running vaguely in the direction of Mexico. When Alberto sees that Randy is trying to do a move, he snaps out of it and stops, waiting for it, and Randy goes to dropkick him again, but by then Alberto is already running again, and a visibly furious Orton tells him to come on already before dropping him with the dropkick on the FOURTH TRY and moving on with the match. DROPKICK.

Del Rio Was Actually Going For A 630 Splash.

Understandably, this Vaudevillian act of suckitude kind of sucks the momentum out of the rest of the match, though they do a capable job of bringing the crowd back to life, and wind up ending things with one of the coolest RKOs I’ve ever seen.

All in all, a good match with a great finish that was only somewhat hampered by the fact that Alberto Del Rio will attempt to attack you while you’re in the middle of a heated duck shooting session. The bastard.

77 out of 100

Fae: The match was okay, but honestly, I can’t really think of anything except that botch, and the rather sordid recovery from it. OMG did Orton look pissed at Del Rio during all of that. I think at this point, we can all say this together: Del Rio is not a very good wrestler. He’s not horrible, but he’s no main card superstar. Although, some people may argue that I’m biased, and they are completely correct. My biases aside, Del Rio just doesn’t really stand out in any match he’s in and, unfortunately, both he and whoever he’s against both suffer for it.

Randy Orton Over Alberto Del Rio Following The RKO.

Segment 3 – Paul Heyman Attempts Flattery, Rolls A 2.

Cewsh: Backstage, Paul Heyman intrudes on the lovely Vickie Guerrero and attempts to butter her up like a Paula Dean burrito. He tries to convince Vickie to cancel the Hell in a Cell match between Punk and Ryback tonight, and seems sure that she will, but in an act that proves that even the most evil of heels will do the right thing if their job depends on it, Vickie refuses to change the match.

Heyman Takes Rejection Well.

She walks off, leaving Heyman trying desperately to think of a way out of the nasty situation ahead of him. And then he comes up with an idea. Try to guess what it is. I dare you.

Segment 4 – WWE Tag Team Championships – Team Hell No (c) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars

Cewsh: I can’t even believe that I’m about to type the following words, but this match came about as a result of a tag team tournament that Rhodes Scholars won, granting them this title shot. If I went back and time and told 2009 Cewsh about this, he’d would assume I was a robot sent to kill him because my story wouldn’t sound plausible.

“…And Then All The Heels In The Promotion Started Raising Money For Breast Cancer Awareness. Seriously!”

Now it has to be said that Team Hell No have been an interesting case as a tag team. We’re talking about a pair that have stolen every show they’ve been on with their out of the ring antics, while at the same time failing to put on any particularly good matches inside of it. So we have this weird situation where the actual matches they appear in on pay per view are almost anticlimactic after how enjoyable their backstage segments are. I’m at a loss to think of another high profile act that has ever really worked this way, and the fact that Daniel Bryan is one of these two makes it all the more puzzling. 5 years ago, the man couldn’t say four sentences without putting you to sleep, and he’s killing it in promos and having dreary matches? WHAT IS GOING ON?!

This was another match along those lines. Sandow and Rhodes are terrific together, and Rhodes especially damn near kills himself on every move Kane does to him, but ultimately the match is just a set up for another squabble between Bryan and Kane, and Team Rhodes Scholars get swept under the rug by the end as if they had never been there at all. WWE really seems to be running with the tag division lately, and Kane and Daniel Bryan have made for some fantastic television lately, but this didn’t help anyone at all, and the day when Team Hell No’s gimmick grows stale is not far off now. I’m just hoping they realize that.

69 out of 100

Fae: I love Team Hell No. They may not be the best wrestlers in the show (though each certainly is very good on his own. Bryan is arguably one of the best on the show right now), but they always deliver in entertainment. And they actually worked alright together at first. Uuuntil Daniel Bryan tried to take the glory and tagged himself in to make the pin. Silly Bryan. Needless to say, Kane was a little angry about that, and the ensuing, ahem, discussion saw the champions disqualified. Which means they technically lost, but got to keep screaming “I’m the tag team champions” at each other. Good for them. 😀

Team Rhodes Scholars Over Team Hell No Following A Disqualification.

Segment 5 – WWE Intercontinental Championship – Kofi Kingston (c) vs. The Miz

Cewsh: Here are two guys who, 6 months ago, had all but fallen off of the face of the wrestling world. Kofi had been relegated to being the write in tag team champion, presiding over a division with only him in it, and the Miz was in danger of becoming a write off embarrassment of a former champion along the lines of Jack Swagger. But fast forward to now, and my how things have changed. See, following his return after hiatus at Money in the Bank, the Miz has been the best that we’ve ever seen him by far. His matches have the storytelling and excitement they lacked before, and WWE has responded by putting him on virtually every show they run, and deservedly so. Meanwhile, Kofi Kingston completed his slow transition from spot monkey into tremendous performer that took me so by surprise that I still have no idea when the shift happened. And all of a sudden WWE had these two guys in the midcard who had rekindled their careers at the same time, so they stuck them together on an episode of WWE Main Event for the Intercontinental title, and the two responded with a match so fucking good it made me want to slap my mama, (but I didn’t, because that would be cruel.) Kofi won the title that night, making the IC title seem like something of actual significance for the first time since the Clinton Administration, and now it’s Miz’s chance to get the title back.

Now, there are times when you watch matches between people and just realize that they have chemistry. Everything they do looks smooth, they hardly seem to need to communicate at all, and their matches are uniformly terrific. Prior to this feud, I had never thought of Kofi and Miz like that, but I’m damn sure thinking it now. These two go out here and have a really good solid match that, while not as good as their triumphant Main Event match, (which you should track down and see immediately,) is still a great midcard title match with both guys going full out for a title that they actually want. Kofi was a great babyface who the fans genuinely seemed to like, and I can’t say enough about how far the Miz has come in a short time in every facet of his game. What results is pretty damn good, and if you think this is the last chance we’ll get to enjoy it, then you’re out of your fucking mind. This has the potential to be a money feud for another decade. And let’s not lose sight that I’m saying that about KOFI FUCKING KINGSTON AND THE MIZ.

79 out of 100

Fae: Y’know, I wasn’t sure about him at first, but I really like Kofi. And I sorta like the Miz. They’re both really coming into their own as wrestlers. Now, I don’t think either are ready to be main eventers, but they’re both solid mid card talent and that’s also an important place. (I’m also really happy that they’re owning up to Kofi being from Ghana, instead of trying to make him Carribean).

Kofi Kingston Over The Miz Following Trouble In Paradise.
Segment 6 – WWE United States Championship – Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. Justin Gabriel

Cewsh: This month’s winner of the “oh shit we need a challenger for Cesaro” contest is Justin Gabriel, who got this shot by beating Cesaro in a random Raw match. As backstories go, it’s not exactly the Mega Powers exploding, but at least it is A reason for them to fight.

Now let’s get down to the important thing here. Antonio Cesaro is a goddamn cyborg. There’s no other possible explanation for it. In my life as a wrestling watcher, I’ve seen a ton of guys who were ridiculously strong, and many of them weren’t mega muscle men. But Cesaro is deadlifting people like they’re cardboard cutouts, and doing it without so much as a grimace to be seen. I think we need to get the federal authorities involved here, because a rogue Sweedish cyborg roaming the countryside gutwrenching people sound like the plot of a Syfy channel movie.

Dear God, IT’S THINKING ON IT’S OWN.

Especially now that’s he’s moved on to decapitation.

That’s How They Treat Bad Haircuts In Switzerland.

This match is just another example. Gabriel tries his level best to take down the robot, but he’s no John Henry, so he fall prey to a dead lift, (WHILE SQUATTING,) Neutralizer to virtual silence from the crowd who clearly knows that they’re seeing the future fall of man right before their eyes, (and also because they were an awful crowd who sat on their hands all night. Unless they were somehow programmed not to feel human emotionsOH MY GOD THE CROWD ARE CYBORGS OH GOD RUN.)

72 out of 100

Fae: Admittedly, I’m not super invested in this match. Sure, Cesaro is built like some bronze statues I’ve seen at museums, and sure Gabriel is fun to watch but these guys don’t come onto the shows enough to feel emotionally driven for either of them. They’re fun to watch, but they’re also kind of a filler match.

That said, the match was pretty good. I do love watching Cesaro uppercut people out of the air, it’s a feat of strength that both mystifies me makes me cringe (which is the best kind of feat).

Antonio Cesaro Over Justin Gabriel Following The Neutralizer.

Segment 7 – Paul Heyman Attempts A New Trick. Somehow Rolls A -2.

Cewsh: Okay, now earlier I asked you guys to guess what idea it was that Paul Heyman came up with the convince Vickie Guerrero to cancel the WWE Championship match tonight. Ballots in, what did you guys come up with? Let’s see. Plant a tree in Israel in her honor? No. Hunting lessons with Brock Lesnar? No. Convincing her that Ryback is a space alien and therefore ineligible for title contention? Getting warmer. Let’s go to the tape and see what he actually does.

HE JUST TELLS HER SHE MADE THE OPPOSITE DECISION AND EXPECTS HER TO GO ALONG WITH IT.

Honestly, of all of the conniving and manipulative tricks you would imagine that Paul Heyman has developed over the years, the best he could do was to just tell Vickie she made a massive, insane decision and hope that she forgot all about it. She dismisses him in a huff, but honestly I might have gone along with it, just out of pity for the man.

Segment 8 – The Kings of Mystery (Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio) vs. The Primtime Players

Cewsh: It really must be said that this team of Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio has done absolute wonders for both of their careers at this stage.

“Dude, I Told You I Was Wearing Sparkly Blue Today. Now We Look Ridiculous.”

When Sin Cara has Mysterio there with him, he is visibly and obviously smoother and less mistake prone in the ring, and with Sin Cara there to do the heavy lifting, Mysterio is quicker, and more exciting than he’s been in years. The result is a team that not only feels like a real team, but which is also doing a tremendous job of protecting a treasured performer on his way down and elevating his protege. I can’t say enough for it. These guys are great together. Of course, not to be outdone are the Primetime Players, who have matured in the ring at lightning speed over the past few months. It’s gotten to the point where they seem so comfortable as a team, and with their role that I would be confident in putting them in matches with rookie teams to help them get better. Considering the fact that 6 months ago this whole tag division concept was just a ridiculous pipe dream and rumor, these two teams, (plus the two in the title match,) are clearly showing that tag wrestling is something that can have real value in WWE right now.

This match is no exception to that. There’s no real backstory behind it, and these four are just tasked with being entertaining for 10 minutes, which they do effortlessly. I don’t know where this division, or these teams, are headed from this point on, but for the first time since I wore braces, I’m excited about a tag division. Kudos to all involved.

75 out of 100

Fae: Now, anyone who’s even read a line of my reviews probably knows that I love me some Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Like, it may or may not be possible that I would leave my boyfriend just for a chance to touch Sin Cara (and/or Sheamus, but that’s a different story and a different match). So, I was pretty excited when I found out they would have a match despite losing the number 1 tag team contenders’ spot.

The Primetime Players are actually doing really well lately. Titus O’Neil has actually come a long way with talking. (Now, Darren Young is another story, but at least he’s a good wrestler). I mean, heck, being in the show for a ppv is a pretty good sign that they’re doing alright. The match was pretty good, not super spectacular. Until THIS:
But Hey, At Least The Move Looked Good.

He does get up a little bit later and dive on Titus, but then spends the rest of the match lying outside the ring. Poor thing. They do manage to pick up a win, though.
  

The Kings Over Mystery Over The Primetime Players Following The 619.

Segment 9 – WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Sheamus (c) vs. The Big Show

Cewsh: I FUCKING LOVED THIS MATCH.

See, while Sheamus has been very hit or miss with most people in terms of his character and promos since becoming champion this year, you would be hard pressed to find a rational person who didn’t think that he is becoming an absolute beast in the ring. But the examples of this that you could show to his nay sayers were always matches with guys like Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk. Not exactly hard people to have good matches with. But here we have a match against the Big Show, who is notorious for killing the momentum of anyone who doesn’t have the ability to put on a special performance  and Sheamus not only knocks it out of the park, but brings a great performance out of Show as well.

The match focuses primarily around the fact that Sheamus had no idea what he was getting himself into when he agreed to fight Show. The announcers repeat often that there’s no way to gameplan wrestling someone like the Big Show for the first time, and Sheamus tries repeatedly to do things to Show that have always worked on everyone else, only to be pounded into mush by the giant in front of him. This works great because, a) Show puts in a tremendous beating on the Irishman and b) Sheamus is one of those special wrestlers who knows what fighting spirit is and how it’s meant to be used. When Sheamus get’s beaten down he LOOKS beaten down, but he doesn’t stop fighting, even when it makes the situation worse. And then, in the best traditions of Kobashi, he gets an adrenaline rush and does incredible things. The reason this is a tried and true wrestling story is because, when a wrestler can do it well, the fans go fucking bananas for it. Which you can clearly see them doing in any Sheamus match this year that goes longer than 12 minutes. He sucks people into his performance, and here he does that exact thing.

Still Not The Heaviest Load Sheamus Carries In This Match.

But even besides all of that stuff, the brilliant thing about this match is that Sheamus never really has a chance. After years of wavering on whether Big Show was an unstoppable menace or just a tall, fat punching bag, this match made it utterly clear that Show wasn’t just dangerous, he was nigh unbeatable. So when Sheamus kicked out of the WMD punch, it was a shock that brought the crowd to their feet, and when Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick, people went nuts, thinking that maaaaaaaaybe he had a chance. But in the end Show outsmarts Sheamus and swats him out of the air. And the inevitability of the whole match when viewed as the finish makes Show look like such a badass that it actually makes SHEAMUS look better just for putting up such a fight.

I could seriously sit here and talk about what a shocking great match this was all night, but that would be a waste of your time that you could be spending watching this instead. What are you waiting for?


89 out of 100

Cewsh’s Seal of Approval

Fae: I have been so pumped for this match. Sheamus is one of my favorites, and I have to admit, I spent the majority of this match saying “My poor Sheamus” over and over again. In fact, as of 11/5, over a week after the match, he still has welts on his chest from Big Show. My poor Sheamus.

Because You Had A Bad Day/You’re Taking One Down
You Sing A Sad Song Just To Turn It Around

But, if you know me, you’ll also know that I like Show. He’s awesome and, in his own words, he’s a giant! What’s not to like about that? And seeing him lurking around in a hoodie is one of the most intimidating things ever.

Of All The Things They’ve Tried Over The Years, Who Would Have Guessed That It’s HIPSTER Big Show That Would Be The Scariest?

The point is I, like many other people, was very excited to see these two go head to head. And, omg, was it awesome (although, most matches are awesome to me, I’m a very positive person). From the very beginning, Big Show started out on the offensive, battering Sheamus and keeping him from launching an assault at his own whenever possible. While he did manage to rally enough to deliver a Brogue Kick (which seemed vaguely like a gnat dive-bombing a human being), Sheamus eventually was felled by not one, but two KO punches. (Act now, and you’ll get two headaches for the price of one! :D) It was a really good match. Although Sheamus lost, he looked amazing at it, refusing to give up even after Big Show handed him a beating. In fact, Sheamus’ chest started bleeding from A CHOP! I know he’s got skin like paper, but that’s still a little ridiculous. That was the big red mark he was still sporting on Raw on the 5th. Yeowch. Both men looked great, and this is an exciting new direction as we get to see Sheamus chase down the title, and Show crush the undeserving.
After all, he’s a giant.
The Big Show Over Sheamus Following The WMD.

Segment 10 – Oh. This.

Cewsh: If you get to this point in a WWE pay per view without anyone being chased by a leprechaun, or hit in the nuts with a pie, you can probably go ahead and assume that the reason that WWE comedy hour hasn’t happened is only because it’s still yet to come. And so we get this segment, where Eve is subjected to Zack Ryder dressing up as the worst looking witch since Bette Midler in the Witches of Eastwick in her honor.  And then, naturally, we get Santino Marrella singing an off key rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” while wrapped in barbed wire for just long enough to make my eyes sad. Then, as if summonded by the immortal gods on high to rescue this segment from the tyranny of “jokes”, Ron Simmons wanders up and delivers his first “DAMN” in far too long.

On the downside, this was an absurd waste of human existence in the beautiful multispheric timescape we call life. On the upside, watching it killed enough of my brain cells that now I think I’m a fire truck. VROOM VROOM WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Segment 11 – WWE Divas Championship – Eve Torres (c) vs. Layla El vs. Kaitlyn Bonin (Yes, That Is Her Actual Last Name)

Cewsh: This match is not good. Eve vs. Layla was good. Eve vs. Kaitlyn has been good. I imagine even Layla vs. Kaitlyn might have a slight chance of being good. But the combination of the three was an exercised in confused dreariness, that not only sucked momentum out of this show, but squandered the solid progress their feud had been making for each of them.

It’s never a happy thing when your worst expectations are proven true.

59 out of 100

Fae: I’ll admit it, I didn’t watch this match. I was raiding in WoW. Sorry.

Eve Torres Over Everyone Else Following Shenanigans.

Segment 12 – CM Punk Appeals To Vince McMahon’s Merciful Side, Has Apparently Not Watched A Wrestling Show Since 1997.

Cewsh: We go again to the backstage area, where we now see CM Punk asking Vince very nicely if he wouldn’t mind canceling the match. Vince, being Vince, asks Punk in about 30 different ways whether or not he’s scared of Ryback. With each answer, Punk gets more and more pouty, and since Mr. McMahon feeds on the pain and sadness of his employees, he refuses to change anything and sends Punk out to be mauled.

Actually, by this point in the show, I’m actually starting to feel bad for Punk. Maybe Ryback could take it easy on him since he’s having such a bad night. Ryback seems like a nice, understanding kind of guy, right?

Segment 13 – WWE Heavyweight Championship – Hell in a Cell Match – CM Punk (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Ryback

Cewsh: Here we go. The event we’ve been waiting for, and the culmination to the whirlwind push of the past month for Ryback. The undefeated monster taking on the 10th longest reigning WWE champion in history. Ryback has never wrestled on anything remotely close to a stage this big, and Punk has never faced anyone like Ryback, so when the dust settles, what will carry the day? Brains or brawn?

Punk comes down to the ring first, (which I’m sure is giving Vice an ulcer somewhere right now,) and the look on his face as he examines his surroundings is absolutely masterful, conveying his genuine terror and stubborn bravado in the face of destruction all at once. Then Ryback arrives, and the previously dead crowd wakes up and starts buzzing. Ryback climbs into the ring and has to wait, as Punk tests the Cell door to see if there’s any way of getting out of this at the last minute. There isn’t. As it slowly dawns on Punk that he is well and truly trapped in the Cell with Ryback, the bravado takes over, and Punk hops into the ring to try to beat Ryback fair and square. You can probably guess how that goes. Let’s ask Paul Heyman.

So, Everything’s Good Then?

From the start, Ryback is all over Punk; slamming him into the ground and tossing him around like a rag doll at will. Punk does his best to sneak some shots in wherever he can, but every move Ryback does just rocks Punk, and you can see the disbelief grow and grow in the champion as his bag of tricks drains out. Running out of options, Punk decides to get weapons involved, and starts whaling away on Ryback with a Kendo stick as hard as he can, evoking the memory of Punk damn near caving in Vince McMahon’s ribs with the thing just weeks earlier. But Ryback aint Vinny Mac, and with each new shot he climbs to his feet, growing redder and redder, until finally he explodes and just demolishes Punk in a stunningly violent fashion.

Eep!

Finally, with Punk seemingly completely out of it, Ryback hoists the champion up to end it and march his way in the record books. But before he can, the referee stands in his way and tells him to stop. A confused Ryback tells the referee to fuck off, and is even more confused when the ref drops down and uppercuts his ballsack into the Western Hemisphere.

Right In The Mean Bean Machine.

Completely stunned by this turn of events, Ryback is easy prey for a quick thinking Punk, who rolls him up and, thanks to a fast count from our ref, wins the match and retains the title.

The crowd looks on in total disbelief as Punk and the ref scurry over to the door and try to get it unlocked before Ryback comes to. They beg and plead with the officials struggling with the door to hurry, but their prayers are in vain.

Depending On A Wrestling Referee To Do Something Quickly Was Your First Mistake.

Ryback wakes up with doom in his eyes, and focuses his attention on this little shithead ref who has stolen the gold from him. To say that the ref gets what is coming to him is a ridiculous understatement, as Ryback hurtles him into the cage numerous times, before burying him with a Meat Hook Lariat and then hurtling him bodily from inside the ring into the cage surrounding it. Then Ryback sees a horrified Punk trying to scamper away through the now open door, and gives chase, only for Punk to climb the cage to get the hell away.

But as with other people who have climbed that cage, Punk finds nothing but pain up there. Ryback hoists him into the sky for a nasty Shell Shock onto the Cell, and then stands over him like the bad, bad man he is.

He’s A Bad Man, Giving Bad Men Bad Looks.

Now, I’m sure people will look at the score I give this match and take it as justification that Ryback’s first main event match was a failure. After all, most WWE main events of any success whatsoever score into the high 80s range, just due to the effort put into making it the one great match on the whole show. But thinking about it, I don’t see this match as a failure at all. They spent the past month building Ryback into this incredible wrecking machine, and when the time came for him to prove it, he absolutely did so. He was dominant here in a way that I’ve really only seen Goldberg and Lesnar be before, and he did his job remarkably well, without looking blown up or over his head, or even out of place in a match of such significance. Even if everything else had blown donkey nuts, that still would have made this match a resounding success for WWE. Because, whether Ryback won or lost, he became a main eventer here. And the score this match got was simply because the best part of the match wasn’t the match at all, but rather all that followed it, which was terrific and one of the most enjoyable sequences of wrestling in months.

So now that all the smoke has cleared, and the Ryback experiment has its first real test results, what can we draw from the data? Well, in the opinion of this scientist, I think we can consider my hypothesis confirmed. Ryback is every bit a viable main eventer. A new star has finally been born.


82 out of 100

Cewsh’s Seal of Approval

Fae: La-la-la, Ryback is thrashing punk pretty good. Punk got about, oh, ten actual shots in. (Or something like that) I think Ryback’s going to win this –

Referee Brad Maddox (after a bit of looking off camera and gesturing that looks oddly like he’s silently conversing with someone in Paul Hayman’s direction. Quite a coincidence, huh?) drops down as Ryback is about to deliver a Shell Shock to Punk, and slams his forearm into Ryback’s nuts.

Even I cringed at that.
The ref then helped Punk pin him, did a fast count, and got the hell out of that ring. Only one problem: they’re in a steel cage with a padlock on the door. Oops, must have forgotten about that. And, instead of letting the refs just open the door, they keep hitting and kicking it which jolts the lock out of the outside ref’s hands.
And here comes Ryback, and his is piiiiissed. He proceeds to throw both the champion and the ref around like rag dolls. Which they more or less deserve. Who I feel bad for, though, is that poor camera man in the cage with them. He has to run to avoid getting hit by a flying Punk. Poor guy. Maybe he should have picked a safer job than filming professional wrestling matches in metal cages.
Punk manages to get out of the cage and, to get away from Ryback, climbs up to the top of the cage. Ryback, of course, follows close behind. At this point, I’m sitting there like a thirteen year old girl watching a scary movie. Seeing how much the chain link dipped under Ryback’s weight, I was absolutely certain that the cage was going to break, dropping both men to the ring. Especially when Ryback SHELL SHOCKED PUNK ON TOP OF THE CAGE.
And that’s how the show ended. With Ryback standing over a battered Punk on top (thankfully) of the cage. I’m usually not a huge fan of tricky endings in a ppv, but I really liked this one. I think it was the best outcome for both men. Punk kept the title. And Ryback looked awesome and dominating. He didn’t lose any of his sheer bad-ass-ness by losing the match. He also proved that he could handle longer matches and look good while doing it. I’m really happy to see his progression.
  
CM Punk Over Ryback Following A Roll Up.
————————————————–
Cewsh’s Conclusion:

Cewsh: You know, for a show built around the idea of hell, it must be said that this show was surprisingly pleasant. We had a star making main event that felt fresh and interesting all the way through, a World title match that blew away anyone’s expectations for it, and an undercard that was largely compelling. It is generally the case that the efforts they make to push people throughout the dreary summer tend to start bearing fruit around this time of year, and this is all the example you need to prove that theory right. The idea of a WWE October PPV being a great show might be new and frightening to many of you, but god damn is it ever refreshing.

Cewsh’s Final Score: 74.85 out of 100

Fae’s Findings:

Fae: Overall, aside from two matches (the diva’s match which I admittedly didn’t watch and the Del Rio Orton match which was alright despite the awful, awful botch) this was one of my more favorite ppvs. Everyone looked pretty strong and they made some exciting choices. I look forward to seeing Sheamus chase down the Big Show, and seeing Ryback get his retribution against Punk. And, as always, Team Hell No (I originally typed “Team Hello”, lawl) was entertaining. There were thrills (Kofi dominating the Miz) and there were chills (Sin Cara almost giving himself a concussion.) And…there were things I couldn’t care less about (did anyone actually watch the pre-show?) And apparently, I’m a huge fan of parenthesis this month. (Woot. Parenthesis unite!)

You don’t like parenthesis? Well, they don’t like you either. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here playing with my punctuation until the next ppv when Cewsh lets me type again.

Alright, that’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed our expansive coverage of WWE Hell in a Cell, and appreciate the kind of travel stipend we need to cover shows for you that are held in other dimensions. YOU’RE WELCOME. Next up is our review of TNA’s Bound for Glory 2012. And until then, remember to keep reading and always be good to one another.