IHAO on ... WWE Payback 2014

No gifs, this time.  On a time crunch to get this out.

After the AMAZING Wrestlemania 30, the pretty good Extreme Rules 2014, and last Thursday's AMAZING NXT Takeover, I was in pretty high hopes.  I wasn't very interested in the card, not really, but I was grooving with what the WWE was feeling ... kinda.  Ok, I really wanted to, basically.  I really wanted to groove along.  To be cool with Cesaro and Barrett both still being heels, even though they had just played face and the crowd WANTS to cheer for them.  To be cool with Paige, who is awesome, being booked against someone who literally spent more time post-match than she did in match as her number one contender.  To be cool with seeing two feuds that should have been over by now continue.  To be cool with no tag title match, even though it seemed like the tag titles were going to get some focus again.  To be cool with a storyline that made Daniel Bryan look afraid ... and then unfortunately be injured so he could not wrestle.  I really wanted to groove along and be cool with all of that, to remain optimistic.  The guy who runs NXT is working on the main product as well (that guy is HHH).  Sure, there's an old guard that's still running things, too.  But surely they won't screw it all.  Right?

Preshow: El Torito beat Hornswaggle in a Mask v. Hair match

Hmph.  Ok, so I like WeeLC.  I found it entertaining,  I was interested in seeing more actual matches with these two, perhaps seeing the very talented El Torito do more matches at all.  Yeah, I'm done.  This was garbage.  Absolute garbage.  Sure, there were moves that were performed perfectly fine, but ultimately, it was just another rehash of what they did, and have done ever week since WeeLC, minus the weapons.  Yeah, Hornswaggle got his head shaved, woohoo.  This was a huge waste of time.  Even worse was the commentary.

I'm going to go ahead and say this now instead of during every match: the WWE commentary is hands down the worst commentary I've ever heard.  They say stupid internet quip things like "This has a BIG MATCH feeling" or even worse just sit there and make terrible jokes without pretending like anything in the ring matters.  You cannot get anyone over like that!  You cannot entertain anyone like that!  You are ruining the broadcast with your god awful talk about nothing.  You are burying the talent by not talking about them, or calling them stupid, or trying to force down our throats how AMAZING THIS MATCH IS when it isn't.  It isn't.  And you know that.  That's why you are pretending it is.  A good match doesn't need you prattling on about how amazing this match is before the DAMNED BELL RINGS.  A good match will succeed on its own.  I was tempted to mute the television multiple times during this PPV.  This is worse than Taz and Tenay in TNA.  Fire Lawler.  Fire JBL.  Fire Cole.  Get rid of them.  Bring up people who care, like Josh Matthews, Renee Young, Byron Saxton, William Regal, Alex Riley, or Scott Stanford.  UGH.

Verdict - It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't worth watching

Sheamus retained the United States Championship against Cesaro

These two had a great showing in the Elimination Chamber.  They have had a lot of great tv matches.  So give them a big ole match to just slam into each other?  All right.

This match wasn't amazing.  They worked hard, but there really wasn't too much to this feud, and with SO many matches in the past on television, it didn't really go any higher than we had seen in the past.  They worked their butts off, and put on a good show, but it was missing that little extra.  Fans want to cheer Cesaro so bad it makes it hard for him to get heat.  When he slapped Sheamus, kicking Sheamus into overdrive, people barely reacted.

The finish was interesting, though weak, with a roll-up.  There was not a definitive winner, not really.  Sheamus was crafty to win with the roll-up after he took a big ole Cesaro Swing, but it felt anti-climactic.

Verdict - Perfectly fine, but ultimately left me wanting something more

Rybaxel defeated the Brotherhood

Yeah, so this happened.  I like seeing a tag team storyline that isn't about the belts.  And that is what this was.  It wasn't a great match, nothing to write home about, but it was interesting, and the follow-up with a dejected Cody, who has been on a losing streak and messing up recently, very tearfully tells his brother that he needs a better partner, then leaves.  No entrance themes to break up the mood, no weird lighting effects, just some acting as a storyline continues to develop.  I like that.  Plus, Goldust's make up looked like a sad clown, which only helped.

Verdict - Match was fine, storyline is much more interesting, the fact a non-tag title tag match was on PPV was even better.

Rusev wasted Big E's time and won a match

Hey, you know what doesn't work any more in our more globally connected society?  Heels whose only gimmicks are that they aren't from America!  Rusev is a talented guy.  He is straddled with a terrible gimmick, and is currently squashing a bunch of black guys on TV.  Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth ... he's just kind of racist.  And out comes Big E.  They make a big deal about how he is bigger and stronger and blah blah blah, but ultimately, even though it was almost a real match, it still ended in the same squashy way.  We did see Big E do the leap through the ropes tackle thing.

By the way, why is that the move everyone does now?  I know that certain moves just kind of fill the gaps of wrestlers skill sets during different times, but it is so crazy to me that THAT move, basically just a shove through the middle ropes diving out, that's the one everyone is doing.  Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Luke Harper, Big E, I'm sure I could name more if I actually wanted to think about it.  It's like how everyone was doing powerbombs all the time in WCW, or how everyone did bulldogs in 2001-2002 WWF.  Anyway.

Verdict - Blah blah blah

Bo Dallas helps Kofi Kingston bo-lieve after Kane ruins their match

Bo Dallas is a guy who didn't QUITE work for me in NXT.  I thought there was something there, but it just wasn't QUITE working.  But once he came up, he cinched it all together, and now, I'm a bo-liever.  This match isn't a match.  It is a "let's make sure Kane still has heel heat, and let's keep making a star out of Dallas/"  And it worked.  Not a match, really weird in the long run, but I get it.  Would have preferred a match, but it is all good.

Verdict - I saw Bo's face, now I'm a Bo-liever!

Bad News Barrett retains the Intercontinental Championship against RVD

This match, thank god, did what I wanted.  It took a standard tv match, and slowly upped the ante.  RVD is a good opponent for Barrett, who is a scrapper and brawler, and despite his size, is not a "throw you around" kind of wrestler.  He and RVD worked hard and cranked it up, and put on a good match.  Barrett worked crazy hard, bumping around, selling injuries, making things look good, and I'm pretty sure being the ring general too.  RVD hit his spots, did nothing else, and Barrett was the real star here.  And ain't bad news.

Verdict - I got some GOOD NEWS for ya, this match was real good.  Best so far.

John Cena buried Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing Match

Before I get into talking about this match, let me begin by talking about the nature of the gimmick match.  The gimmick match is a way to take a feud where we have seen these two wrestle, and add some important stakes raiser.  It is about furthering storyline.  Or, it should be.  You see, John Cena has never had a good, pertinent, and necessary gimmick match in his life.  He has merely had gimmick matches to sell more tickets.  It doesn't make a lick of sense from any storyline, and sure they give a promo why he needs to be the LAST MAN STANDING in this feud ... but why the cage match?  To keep the Wyatt Family away?  Shouldn't that still be a problem, especially in a match which by definition has no rules beyond just standing up?

I point to the Rock/Mankind title feud, which used gimmick matches perfectly.  Rock turns heel on Mankind at the end of a tournament to win the WWF title.  The next PPV, Rock Bottom, Mankind beat the rock with a submission move in a regular rematch, but it was ruled that the Rock didn't actually tap out, so he shouldn't lose the title.  Ok, regular match didn't work, now we escalate.  They had another regular match, which Mankind won through interference.  Because of that, their next match was an "I Quit" match to have a definitive winner, but the Rock only won because a recording of Mankind saying the words were played as Mankind didn't say it.  So they have a knockdown drag out hardcore empty arena match, where no one can screw with the tapes, and Mankind wins this time, pinning the Rock (with the help of a forklift).  But that was screwy as well, so they had a Last Man Standing match (this is why I bring this feud up in particular) to finally say "ok, no rules, no ref, no interference, no having to say anything, you just have to be the last one standing".  But that ended with a draw, as both men couldn't stand.  So they ended up taking it another step, with a ladder match.  Now you don't even need a referee.  Just the first person to hold onto the daggum title belt, that's the winner.  Each gimmick match built and built, creating an amazing sequence and storytelling.

Let's compare to John Cena and Bray Wyatt.  At the 2014 Royal Rumble, Wyatt attacks Cena, making him lose his championship match.  He then attacked again Cena, but this put Cena in the Elimination Chamber ... which they then attacked him in the Elimination Chamber.  So they finally have their match at Mania, and it was great, and I still hold true to my interpretation that while Cena won the match, Wyatt won the war.  But nope, WWE didn't agree.  But they still had to feud, using the fans singing along with Wyatt as proof that Cena was losing.  So they have a ... cage match.  Because ... well, best guess is like I said above, because the Wyatt family kept interfering ... which they did anyway.  Well now its on, as Wyatt got the upper hand because of a little kid singing allowing him to exit the cage.  So they are now having a ... Last Man Standing ... because ... because.  Oh, right, so that Cena can literally bury Bray.

This match was a spot-fest filled with terrible TERRIBLE storytelling.  A Sister Abigal finisher in the middle of the ring makes Cena almost lost, only getting to his feet at the count of 8 in the early goings!  A Sister Abigal finisher on the OUTSIDE of the ring makes Cena almost lose, only getting to his feet at the count of ... 6 ... after he already took a lot more damage.  What?!  I've complained about Cena, and it just continues to shock me how much worse he gets.  Even worse, after he buries Bray to win the match in one of those stupid contrived spots they love to do with Cena in matches like this, he slowly gets that smile on his face, starts hocking his headbands and merchandise, puts that stupid smile on his face, and EVEN WORSE, the commentary applauds him with "John Cena always seems to pull out the win in those big matches."


Verdict - Utter garbage

At some point earlier, there was a sequence where Daniel Bryan did not give up his titles, Brie did not get fired, and Stephanie was evil.  She had the best line of the night, calling out CM Punk for quitting.  It was ... anti-climactic.  It didn't build anywhere, there was no spark of anything interesting happening.  Bryan just said "I'm not giving up my titles," and Brie saying "you can't fire me, I quit," then Stephanie gets slapped and she runs off.  I've seen her take a Pedigree and not act as hurt as she did from this slap.  Whatever.

Paige retains the Divas Championship versus Alicia Fox

Paige is working her ass off to bring up the quality of Divas matches.  They are not just piss breaks.  And with the past three PPVs, we have seen this.  Paige works hard to be respected, to do good, and to be great.  And she does all those things.

Alicia Fox's gimmick is she is ... being a heinous bitch.  Forgive my language, but there's no other word for it.  She throws tantrums, chokes people out, pours out people's soda, yells at people, destroys the announce tables, stuffs paper down people's throats ... she's just a bitch.  Whatever gets you heat.

The fans still aren't ready for this kind of match, and Fox wasn't ready to pace herself for a real match instead of the style of Divas match that has been drilled into her head by terrible agents that don't care for the past 8 years.  But Paige knew what she was doing.  She threw herself all over the place, had a believable comeback, got the fans into it at the end (mostly), and sold like a Ziggler for Fox.

Verdict - Better than it had any right to be, and a good sign of things getting EVEN BETTER

Speaking of, the fact that one of the most talented workers in the company, Dolph Ziggler, was NOWHERE to be seen this PPV, not even on the Pre-show panel, is utter insanity.  He deserves better than this.  He deserves better than having to sit at home to watch two REHASHED storylines deliver more matches that are utter garbage.  Did I say utter garbage?  Yeah, I did.  Might as well segue to ...

The Shield beat the Evolution in a "the rules don't matter a lick" elimination match

I hated this.  Terrible brawling everywhere, the camera was never on any of the action, it was a no rules match that for some reason pretended to have rules for awhile and then went back to no rules at the end.  I wanted to turn off the PPV.  Batista gets pinned first (really sad for you, bro, you came back to wrestling finally because we wanted you to, you were gonna promote your movie, and you got booed because of the company making bad decisions and turned into the weakest of the group because you were leaving), then Orton, then HHH.  Shield wins.  So the Shield wins the feud with Evolution, huzzah ... except they won't.  There just won't be matches anymore because we have to shift focus.  This whole storyline is padding padding padding, and this match was just padding padding padding.  I've watched the Shield have amazing 3-man tag matches.  I watched some great stuff from them.  I've seen HHH and Batista have great matches, and Orton ... well, I never liked him, and think he is the weakest link in the entire company as a main event person that isn't named Cena.  But this was dreadful.

Even worse, I bet a bunch of people loved it.  Because they loved the "brutality" and the moves and whatever other garbage.  If you can get over the fact that a No Holds Barred Elimination Tag Match where you pretend like you need to tag in and you don't just constantly cheat makes sense, then that's fine.  If you can get over the fact that during the three-man brawls, the camera was split so terribly that you quite literally never saw a single worthwhile thing, always cutting to an angle AFTER the move happened, and only had Cole, JBL, and Lawler of all damned people to tell you what you just DIDN'T watch, fine.  If you like MOVEZ over storytelling and ring psychology, fine.

For me, if I had bought this PPV before getting the WWE Network, and watched this match and the Cena match, I would have gotten a refund.

Verdict - Also Utter Garbage, but some how slightly MORE garbage than a John Cena match

And there we go.  The WWE much have known that I was doing torture-Jessel-a-thon starting tomorrow, because they started it a day early for me!  Awesome.  Speaking of ...

/\// tOrtUrE-jEssEl-A-thOn \\/\

June 3rd through June 9th

And so it begins!  I told you all I'd have the schedule ready for you, and man oh man did you folks deliver the goods.  With a little bit of donated cash, as well as a few donated films to borrow and review, and Netflix, I've created the single worst viewing experience I will ever have.  Stay tuned for the next week to be filled with cats, dogs, bad acting, terrible effects, and the worst voices I've ever heard.  Here we go!

  • June 3rd – Gigli (from Rachel Runion)
  • June 4th – Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (from Joel Gould)
  • June 5th – Lenny the Wonder Dog (from Jason Schmidt)
  • June 6th – The Cat in the Hat (from Josh Hendricks)
  • June 7th – The Cat from Outer Space (from Nicole Clockel)
  • June 8th – Popeye (from Drew Turner)

This has been a cool success in getting you readers to help out, and I hope I do not disappoint for your amusement.  See you tomorrow with Gigli!

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