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  1. The match is JIP and we only get 4 or so minutes of it and it’s more so a quick fun short Cesaro showcase sprint so you know it’s not a MOTYC or anything along that line. We get some odd scrambles early on and then we get some stiff European uppercuts from Cesaro and a lengthy big swing. Ziggler’s inoffensive in this as he’s mostly along for the ride by eating the big shots and just flying around to display Cesaro’s strength. Cesaro reversing a sleeper into a suplex was pretty neat as was the finish which seemed like a throwback to his CHIKARA matches catching Ziggler in a pop up Neutralizer. Nifty little 5 minute TV match.
  2. This is a really good stiff battle. There's a funny moment on commentary where they're extolling Dolph's technical skill in contrast to Sheamus' brute brawling style, meanwhile Dolph is unloading a flurry of punches at Sheamus. I really liked how they did the transitions, Sheamus lariating Dolph while he's sitting on the top turnbuckle looked cool and the finish got a cheer out of me. ***3/4
  3. This had tremendous heat, and was pretty much WWE fast-paced wrestling putting its best foot forward. It's a bit weird watching Dolph Ziggler in main events now, four years after most people were clamoring for it but are now sort of over him. Has he changed or have we? Anyway, I guess it's possible he could reverse his momentum. Stranger things have happened. I'm all about Roman Reigns-Drew McIntyre being set up with the post-match angle with Reigns adding a third current program to his workload. One of the best (and longest) TV main events in a while. ***3/4
  4. Coffey

    WWE TLC 2016

    WWE TLC PPV Sunday, December 04, 2016. American Airlines Center Dallas, Texas, USA WWE Title: AJ Styles© Vs. Dean Ambrose - TLC Match Women's Title: Becky Lynch© Vs. Alexa Bliss - Tables Match Intercontinental Title: The Miz© with Maryse Vs. Dolph Ziggler - Ladder Match Tag Titles: Heath Slater & Rhyno© Vs. Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton Nikki Bella Vs. Carmella - No DQ Match Kalisto Vs. Baron Corbin - Chairs Match
  5. There's no way this was as long as it seemed. I liked Ziggler's early roll-ups, I remember there being a Cesaro match where they spent more than twenty seconds doing that type of stuff and it was really cool. Finish was cool as well because Ziggler's moves are stupid and Ambrose just refuse to go with one of them, hit his move and went home. But man oh man was this not pretty. They were trying out new stuff, Ambrose randomly used moves he's never done before, guess he realised he has to world title matches now, and he was trying out new stuff with his character, while Ziggler tried to experiment with how he uses the moves he already has. None of it worked. Absolutely nothing they tried in this match worked. I'm so glad it's over. Ziggler's headbutt outisde of the ring was cool but mere seconds after he was elbowing the canvas and missing Ambrose by a foot. *1/2
  6. Ziggler is such a dork he started the match off with a worked shoot headbutt that didn't look good. I've noticed the sternum bump in the corner has been used a lot more recently. Corbin has a great punch and I won't have to hear about how this was some great important match in a DVD ten years from now so it's automatically better than the Triple H-Ziggler match. Still Ziggler is pretty bad, going for moves he never does to set up a seguence to his DDT that looked worse than usual, randomly selling to no effect and so on. Enjoyed the finish with Corbin punching Ziggler in the nuts and then going over him but I am ready for him to move on, they should feed Zayn to him next. **
  7. I think it's pretty undeniable at this point that Triple H is a pretty self-conscious worker. I don't even think that's an inherent negative honestly. I liked the Reigns match more than pretty much anyone else and I was starting to wonder if the micromanaging and his status of a demigod within the company would finally allow Triple H to turn into a good worker. They did not. This was boring, played to the cheapest instincts of the most shallows wrestling crowd. Uninteresting and very basic quasi-matwork that was all heatless headlocks that they transitioned away from only when the crowd started chanting their names out of boredom after failed CM Punk chants. Triple H's move-PAUSE-move-PAUSE formula was as apperent here as it ever was. A lot of stuff they did was rough around the edges and they relied on uninteresting cliche transitions to get through the match. The crowd will pop for 2.9999 counts though, so there's that. *3/4
  8. This was the worst Tanahashi/Bad Luck Fale match ever. Corbin's stuff looks good and I liked the finish but man the body of the match was just dull. Can Ziggler disappear into the ether already? Seek out a GIF of Corbin's awesome Deep Six instead of watching the whole match.
  9. WWE agents are doing a pretty bad job these days, they've verged into self conscious agenting equivalent to E-fed match writing where they're just planning the match out in a way that sounds best/most amusing to them without considering whether or not the workers are capable of pulling it off. This match is a great example of that, they toy with the idea of a big man /little man dynamic, a neck injury and Corbin costing himself the much due to his own cockiness but they try to accomplish too much and as a result accomplish nothing. **.
  10. "He marches to the beat of his own drummer" is up there with the most WWE commentary lines ever. Ziggler is in the stage of his career Marufuji is now where he looks like an old cat, his Dropkick and haircut are just sad to watch. His punches didn't look too bad, if he dropped alll of his DX tribute offence he might be almost as good of a worker as The Miz. Corbin's Forearms looked good but man I got surprisingly annoyed at how even this was worked. Finish was incredibly stupid as most WWE Dusty finishes are, Corbin goes over the barricade, then screams at the ref for no reason, then proves a point by brutalizing Dolph Ziggler but he does that by returning to the ringside area. Okay. Another match I didn't really need to see. I caught Corbin hitting his finisher on Ziggler on the floor a month ago and hoped this would be just kicking Dolph around but nah. A star and three quarters I'm sorry I don't know how to rate these matches anymore I quit watching NOAH three years ago.
  11. Team Cena (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, The Big Show, Ryback, Rowan) vs The Authority (Seth Rollins, Luke Harper, Rusev, Kane and Mark Henry) - WWE Survivor Series 2014 When Survivor Series Elimination Matches are done right they are hard to top. A booker can take advantage of more moving pieces in terms of the number of wrestlers in a match and the number of finishes afforded to him. It allows for more pairings and no dull moments with each tag there is a new combination. The arc follows a more traditional sports-oriented approach where there is a scoreboard and teams fall behind and have to work hard to catch back up. I think this match should go down as one of the best Survivor Series Tags of all time. The hardest thing for Survivor Series tags to overcome ususally is the stigma that they are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. While it turned out to be true that this Survivor Series tag was just as inconsequentlal as most, at the time, this match really felt huge and meaningful to everyone in the match, outside the ring, the announcer and the live audience. I would say in terms of big match feel this ranked only behind Cena/Lesnar at Summerslam and the Bryan matches at Wrestlemania. Everyone played their roles to a T. Triple H and Stephanie just absolutely and totally rocked it on the outside. I loved HHH firing up Mark Henry and really laying it on thick only for Henry to walk into the WMD. Damn! It was the perfect start to the match. Triple H goes from all revved up to total dejection. The heels fell flat on their faces. The babyfaces start hot and the crowd is whipped into a frenzy and they never really let go. One of my biggest hang-ups watching this live was the treatment of Ryback. I am a Ryback fan. When Ryback was at nadir of his career teaming with Curtis Axel against the Dust Brothers for the umpteenth time at the Money In The Bank, I got a "Feed Me More" chant started because damnit, I was not going to let him die. They redebut him and he feels like a big deal. He is presented as the piece that will tip the scales in either team's directions. Then he is the first person pinned on Team Cena!?!?!?! Do I think that if you switch Ryback and Big Show's roles that the story, the match and the aftermath would be 1000000x better? Yes. Did I overreact and basically underrate a match because of it? Yes. I just wanted to get that out there. I love that babyfaces got a long shine by modern WWE standards. This is what Rollins brings to the table that really not other heel does right now. He can pinball bump like a muthafucka and really create energy for a babyface. Whether it is being swatted by the Big Show or Ryback tossing him up, it takes the onus off the babyface to solely get the crowd involved. To be fair to their treatment of Ryback, he does get a huge run of offense before he is eliminated. Rollins gets tossed around. Harper takes a stalling suplex. Kane comes in gets his ass kicked. Hell, Rusev looks vulnerable before in all the chaos Rollins takes advantage with a timely Curb Stomp and eliminate him. I love the heels taking advantage of a melee like that. What is interesting is I remembered that Rusev was presented as the game-changer for the heels, but that was incorrect it was always Harper. Rusev was special because any nearfall or any time he looked vulnerable triggered a big reaction, but it was Harper that actually turned the tide for the heels. Show actually looked strong against Rusev, but it was a well-timed dropkick by Harper that gave the heels their first advantage. The Big Show face in peril segment was the lull in the match, but it was to set up Dolph's first entry into the match and he was supposed to be the star of the show. Ziggler gets a quick burst of offense before Harper plants him. The Ziggler face in peril set up the in-match swerve and the finish beautifully even if it was a bit boring. Rusev busting out the knees again was awesome! After a Ziggler hope spot nearfall, a melee ensues, but this time does not benefit the heels as Rusev belly flops onto an announce table while HHH was egging him on. Triple H's frustration at Rusev not being able to make it to his feet and J & J desperately, but futilely trying to carry Rusev to the ring was the great character work that enhanced the atmosphere of this match. The babyfaces are up at this, but they are not soaring quite as high as earlier in the match. Down 4-3, Rollins took the match into his own hands and executed Shield tactics that being create havoc and always press. The curb stomp to Cena to save Kane forced Cena to tag in Rowan. I did not even notice how awesome Harper/Rowan was. Harper is fucking amazing. It was just a gnarly powerhouse fight. Again, Rollins took advantage and flew in with a knee to the side of the head so that Harper could collect the victory. This all sets up the Big Show turn beautifully. Ziggler is out on the floor from his face in peril and Cena is staggered from the Curb Stomp. It is effectively 3-on-1 and BOOM! Awesome in-match heel turn, logically sound. Triple H handshake was great and Steph doing the Yes! Chant to Cena was awesome. Loved the St. Louis crowd chanting for Randy Orton twice. A member of the main roster is actually over now that is awesome! This is the part of the match I expected to hate, but I actually thought Ziggler was really, really good in this. I expected it to be dead-fish sell and then zero to sixty, rinse, lather, repeat. I thought he did a great job actually building to climaxes and not switching shit off and on. The segment with Kane was worked beautifully. Kane looks like it is a slam dunk, Ziggler staggers and hits his KO blow to eliminate. He has life and the crowd and HHH & Steph respond accordingly. The worst part of the match is actually this Harper segment. Harper mauls him and then loses to a roll-up. It is really hard to book this middle segment. Either scratch it or they could have had Ziggler beat Harper like he did Kane and then when Kane comes in he just destroys him no selling. The Harper beating made it look too incredulous when Ziggler got the roll-up. I thought they did a great job in the Rollins segment building to everything. Rollins was on top, but Ziggler kept hitting more and more moves. Ziggler really paced his offense well and he seemed to be getting stronger with every shot. The interference was well-paced. Ziggler gets a close nearfall and here come the stooges which sends Steph into HHH. Ziggler gets the Zig Zag and HHH says fuck it and Pedigrees him. I wish it was Orton that came out and RKO'd HHH, but Sting was pretty cool. Just do not give a single fuck about Sting/HHH. The finish pretty much sucks because they had built Ziggler into a believable babyface winner over Rollins and he just needed a bit of help like an RKO to Trips, but instead it became all about HHH/Sting, which is too bad. The aftermath and the finish take a lot of wind out of the sails of this one, but for the vast majority of this match is incredibly compelling and you really did not know what would happen next. Everything felt urgent and immediate. The babyfaces were on fire early and you thought they could run away with this. Rollins using Shield tactics to create opportunities for his partners was greta heel strategy. Harper being the heel stud badass was great. The Big Show turn even if Ryback would have been better was freaking awesome. Hell, even the majority of the Ziggler run was some of the best Ziggler ever as he actually modulated his selling and bursts of offense well. Very, very entertaining and like most WWE matches wish they followed up on this better! ****1/4
  12. WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett vs Dolph Ziggler - WWE RAW 6/23/14 Take a pair of semi-over midcarders and tack on a couple nearfalls and you get "This is Awesome". I remember watching this match and thinking this was one of the most egregious examples of the overexposure of the "This Is Awesome" chant. My beef with "This Is Awesome" chant is that it tends to be the MOVEZ~! that are over rather than the individual wrestlers. If Ziggler was so over. how come Ziggler was not being cheered? A lot of it has to do with how the match was presented and laid out. What did Barrett do that was particularly heelish? Really the only reason Barrett was the heel was because he is the bigger of the two and he would cut off Ziggler. It was a very neutral performance from Barrett and I have noticed over very neutral performances from midcard heels especially Cesaro. It is funny that all these old time great wrestling minds can't put their finger on why these wrestlers can't make it to the next level. I would start right there. Obviously, booking is critical, but if you are talking about things a wrestler can control, it is stronger heel performances. It seems the heels are too concerned with being considered "great" wrestlers, which in the modern context means MOVEZ~! I wanted to review this match because it made one list of top WWE matches of the year I read and I wanted to look at a Ziggler match from before his late year push. I remember ZIggler utilizing the babyface mid-90s Savage formula of taking heat, hitting one counter move and then going home. Of course, Savage would win his match with the big elbow, but most times Ziggler would lose. I think the match would have benefited from that formula. It would afford the opportunity for Barrett to look like a violent bully and for Ziggler to build sympathy for his big dropkick comeback. Instead, it was just I hit a move, you hit a move. There was no sense of struggle or real desire to win. Hell, you can't even claim they had good escalation: The Zig Zag was used as a throwaway transition, which built to a commercial and within one spot, Barrett was up and hitting the Cactus Elbow. Plus Barrett's natural size was totally undermined by the match. Ziggler was countering at will Barrett's offense and it was not like he was using great speed. The selling was generally not good and even when it happened like Ziggler not being able to capitalize the selling felt false (more like frustration) and did not feel warranted based on the limited punishment he took. The finish was pretty awesome with Ziggler going for the Stinger Splash and Barrett hits him with a KO elbow. I think Barrett and Ziggler have great potential, but have their limitations. Barrett really is not a good bumper or seller, which he does not have to be, but it will limit him. Ziggler has the worst punches in the business today and his deadfish/pop-up selling is annoying at best. However, I think even with those limitations, they can construct great matches against other people using Barrett's brute and Ziggler's bumping ability. Tag team wrestling could have taught both these guys a lot. Alas, it is a shame. The match was designed to impress the crowd. You work the audience. Don't let the audience work you. Disposable, mindless match that is fun to watch with your brother on Saturday morning, but not worthwhile on rewatch. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler vs Cesaro vs Tyson Kidd - WWE Smackdown! 11/14/14 First thing's first, the new Smackdown ring announcer is realest. I may just start watching Smackdown for her. Hot damn. This match is a great spotfest and besides the Money In The Bank Ladder match, I can't think of a better one this year. Spotfest is a loaded word after all wrestling matches are a collection of spots. It is your fireworks spectacle in lieu of a compelling story. I think there is very much a place for them on pro wrestling cards (no more than one a card). If you are going to have one, then commit to it. The reason I was so down on Barrett and Ziggler is they had a spotfest, but they were just hitting their stock moves on each other. These three came up with creative, fun, and eye-popping spots. Sometimes they got too smart for their own good like trying a more complicated Tower of Doom spot that looked like shit. However, fun stuff like Cesaro covering Ziggler while in the Sharpshooter or Kidd hitting a Blockbuster on Cesaro onto Ziggler's knees. I also have to say after watching all that 00s NOAH that Cesaro hitting a big boot to start a match and then an exploder is the most NOAH beginning to any WWE match ever. In fact, if NOAH ever had a junior heavyweight triple threat match, I would say it would look a lot like this only with more strike exchanges. I liked the opening part with quick pinfalls by each competitor really put over their desire to eliminate a wrestler and setup a one on one match for the title. They also managed not to fall into the triple threat trap of having one wrestler sell for long periods of time on the outside. They all just kept going at each other with vigor. I would say that is what would separate this match from a lot of other typical WWE matches is the urgency of the wrestlers. The finish stretch begins with a Kidd sharpshooter/Cesaro crossface combo on Ziggler. The storyline behind this was that Authority was setting Ziggler (then the only member of Team Cena) to lose his title because of the stacked odds. While Cesaro and Kidd never formally teamed up, these moments drove home that angle. In an idiotic moment, Kidd breaks the hold to attack Cesaro and gets the Giant Swing. Cesaro hotshotting Ziggler into a kick by Kid was sick. Kidd has some really good kicks in this match. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag, but Kidd being the gloryhound he is (remember the storyline with Nattie) he tosses Ziggler out so he can get the pinfall. I like the respect shown for the Zig Zag. Kidd had a really good string of offense on Ziggler and you really felt him press his advantage with nice kicks. He tries for the Sharpshooter, but it is reversed into a cradle and then ZIG ZAG! Ziggler survives with his championship reign intact. There was no great overarching story and the selling was nothing to write home about, but for a spotfest you could not ask for much more. There were a lot of fun spots that escalated to a satisfying conclusion. Plus Kidd got some time to shine, which is nice and showed some promise. Good shit. ****
  13. Will is joined by Johnny Sorrow, David Bixenspan, Phil Schneider and Kris Zellner to recap the events from this year's Survivor Series. What did they think of Sting's debut? What about Henry's early exit? The plight of Dean Ambrose? Tune in to find out! http://placetobenation.com/place-to-be-network-survivor-series-2014-reaction/
  14. Shake Them Ropes November 24, 2014 Episode 51 Rob McCarron and Jeff Hawkins are joined by Dylan Hales (@DylanWaco) on this live edition of Shake Them Ropes talking all the fallout and immediate reaction from WWE Survivor Series. We’ll get into the debut of an icon, who won Team Cena vs Team Authority, who was the star of the show, and much more on this special Shake Them Ropes. It’s 90 minutes with Dylan Hales for a fun show! If you enjoy the show, tell your friends and rate us on iTunes. We greatly appreciate the feedback! http://traffic.libsyn.com/shakethemropes/str11242014.mp3 Download Subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, RSS and more: ShakeThemRopes.com
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