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Found 102 results

  1. What a good match to have in your first day of the year. Samoa Joe is interesting because his pacing is very different than from most wrestlers in WWE, but he compensates by having the presence. Roman, as usual, also brings the fire and the selling, and the stipulation added to the match no only brought some suspense and nice spots, but it kept things fresh. After avoiding the Coquina Clutch, Reigns gets the win - his first one against Samoa Joe - after hitting the Spear. Great stuff.
  2. Another great match on this show in a completely different way. While Cena-Rusev was more of a psychological match, this was more of a high-impact match. The crowd was so divided that they came across apathetic until Bryan caught Reigns with the liver kick, which was an awesome transition and really cool match choice. This is hurt in some ways by the wrong guy winning, but they did work the right match to give Reigns an earned victory to an extent, although I think they could have done more in that direction. I think about something like the Bret-Diesel match at the 1995 Royal Rumble where they teased a Bret heel turn going into the match and Bret also did heel stuff in the match like use a chair. Considering they had no plans to do anything with Bryan, they had nothing to lose by going that route here. Still, this was excellent, but I do think this was the second best match of the night, if only barely. ****
  3. Honestly if it wasn't for the Seth Rollins stuff at the end this would be one of the 5 best matches in the history of the company. Shockingly violent and stiff with top notch action and a great build to Reign's comeback. I know sometimes Brock is perceived as an offense machine but his character work, mannerisms and selling can be as good as anyone's. If only this had a proper finish. Screwy finishes in things like Shawn/Foley or Fujinami/Maeda don't usually hurt the matches from being all time classics for me but here the match felt incomplete because of the run-in. Still this is fantastic. **** 1/2
  4. This was so, so much better than the Wrestlemania match and still had some big flaws. The moves actually MEANT something here, even though that they did resort to finishers right out the gate - 4 German Suplexes and 1 F-5, to be precise. Brock bumping for the Superman Punch was indeed good, and so was Heyman actually interfering in the match when Reigns seemed to have things done. The steel chair beatdown was also cool, and for the first time in this whole feud, Roman FINALLY looked like a contender. It's a shame they made that nearly meaningless. However, things like Roman being the first one trying to escape is some baffling booking. It's not really hard to book him as the guy who would keep things in the ring and would not escape until way later into the match. The cherry on the top was the finish, though. While this whole event felt like a house-show, which meant it was going to be inconsequential, this one match was the one that actually mattered, according to the build WWE made after Wrestlemania. And then... it didn't matter. It was a fuck finish that one would expect in a house show, indeed, but it did not have to be. Roman fails yet again even though his feet touched the floor first. He's done at the moment. Overall, an actually good house show match hurt by its own build. Maybe we were expecting a more "legit" treatment, and were therefore setting our expectations too high. Maybe they did build it as legit and failed to book it as such.
  5. This match for the WWE Heavyweight Championship made me a little bit sad. The story going in is that the Authority wants to screw Cena out of the title by pitting him against 3 other guys - the typical situation where he doesn't even have to take the fall in order to lose the belts. Orton and Kane work together early on, with the latter making sure the former's pinfall attempts go without interruption. However, the crowd doesn't really care, because while the heels get their heat on Cena, they are chanting for Roman Reigns. They are hot for the interactions between Cena and Roman, and they teased them duking it out twice in the match before it finally happened. And well, what can I say other than Reigns is clearly the MVP in this match? During a stretch later in the match where he takes on the other 3 competitors, the crowd is pleading for Roman to win this. But in the end, it's an AA from Cena to Orton (with Kane being the landing spot) that seals the deal. He outsmarted everyone and retained the titles. It's sad. Roman was clearly one of the most over people in the company at that point. And now...
  6. So the WWE decided that this week, they're gonna put together close to two hours of just real good solid wrestling and what a shock, it was awesome! Seth and Roman start the match, getting some good exchanges going with Roman really bringing the tightness and stiffness to the match. Roman's timing and character work really is something else. Something as simple as standing up to a charging Rollins says so much and really creates a very heated moment that ups the intensity of the match. Exciting and hot finishing stretch that protects both guys but does a lot to help out Seth Rollins. Seth takes on John Cena next. Seth jumps Cena to start forcing Cena to work the opening minutes in his neon green shirt. Cena comes with methodical heel-esque Cena. I like this iteration of Cena personally. The guy's been on top for over a decade and he shows it. He saves energy by really picking his spots against Rollins and even taunting Rollins, giving Rollins a good heel character to play off of. They show a lot of chemistry in the finishing stretch as they exchange big moves and let Rollins get a clean win on Cena. The crowd is all the way behind Rollins at this point. Elias rushes in to charge Rollins and goes after the bad leg allowing him to pick up the pretty quick win over Rollins. At around this point, the match starts to dip as we get some in picture simultaneous promos to the competitors who've just finished. I didn't mind it so much as it was a nice way to fill the time as the highlights of the match were pretty much done. Balor comes in and him and Elias have some decent exhanges. Elias is just a very good wrestler with his basics. Snug strikes and good energy. Here's hoping he goes a long way. Balor able to get to the win until Miz comes out and picks the bones and uses The Miztourage to get the win. Miz with some amazing facial reactions when he realizes Strowman is last and then we get the Braun Strowman Murder Hour. Always a good time. That standing dropkick is ridiculous. This was just very good television all the way through with two incredibly great matches to open and an all-time performance by Seth Rollins. ****1/2
  7. For the most part, this is an ok match with Roman and Miz and the Miztourage doing more or less what you would expect, which are all things I like. It's noteworthy, though, because heels cheating is basically always done in dramatic irony these days, with the ref and/or opponent blind but the audience in on it and protesting loudly. So, while I know that the finish here, where nobody realizes that the cheating happened until afterwards, is for sure not the first of its kind, it really feels fresh and elevates this match to something easily recommendable. ***1/2
  8. I loved the early battle of strength vs speed and how AJ adapted to Reigns' offence. I preferred the way the Payback match was paced and I wasn't really big on the crowd brawling in this one which is why I think the Payback match was better. The stuff with the pre-show panel table felt novel but I don't think it was worth the time they gave that segment. Sealing the Styles Clash for the last two months was probably the best thing they could have done and they did a great job building to it here too, I loved Reigns' Uppercut counter to it. Reigns' leg injury angle wasn't overly significant in the whole scheme of the match but it did provide a valid excuse for him to sell as much as he did before Gallows and Anderson got involved. I loved the way they mixed up the counters, for example in the last match Reigns Superman Punched Reigns in the middle of his Springboard Forearm and here he did it before Styles even leaped. AJ took some disgusting bumps and the match felt a different kind of brutal. The bit with Reigns swinging him into the apron and the barricade before Powerbombing him through a table that wasn't "cleared" beforehand was just insane and Reigns breaking the barricade with a Spear also felt fresh due to it being done from a different angle. ****1/4
  9. Superb match. Those two had a great singles match prior to Survivor Series '15, and this one managed to surpass that. Cesaro as a heel is much more intense and ruthless, and combined with Roman's usually great selling, makes for a very strong showing for both parts. Loved Reigns using stuff like Magistral Cradles because he couldn't rely as much on his power moves due to the arm work, or how that 1st Superman Punch looked not as effective. Roman is one of the most consistent workers WWE has seen in a while.
  10. BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN. Sheer spectacle. That's what this was and I loved it. I really did. Braun has been on a tear in 2017 and he just keeps making the absolute most of every single opportunity that he's been given. He went out there tonight and just showed why he is an absolute monster. The dominance of putting Brock through two tables and throwing an office chair in the faces of both Reigns and Joe. Add to that one of Lesnar's best sell jobs bumping like a nut for Braun and selling his ass off for Reigns. Sure, Joe was just a bit of an afterthought and that's a shame, but man when this match was on it was ON. I'm honestly unsure how to rate this right now. The first few moments with Braun killing everyone dead was five star material easily. Things do slow down once Lesnar comes back from his stretcher spot but even then you get great moments like Braun kicking out and shoving Reigns to his feet and Lesnar eating three Superman Punches.This is a shade under five for me, because the second half just doesn't maintain the momentum but what a showcase for these guys. ****3/4
  11. Great showing by Jordan, and a great story about the spoiled brat being taught a lesson by a more experienced wrestler. What I love one those IC matches is that Roman is just finding different stuff to do according to the match and it enhances so much the experience. Jordan has a bad knee going to the match, and it's amazing how a single leg crab managed to get people on their toes. Great selling by both, specially by JJ.
  12. TLC 2015 - Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns - WWE Title TLC Match For a match that I've yet to hear any real hype for, this match came out of nowhere and really blew me away. Right off the bat Reigns just tattoos Sheamus with a right to the face and it never lets up from there. I don't expect much in terms of layered psychology from a TLC match but at the least I appreciate when the work is rooted in some form of logic, and the logic here is that both guys were going to beat the tar out of each other. I don't think they attempted to climb the ladder until at least the mid-way point, and that wasn't because they were too busy setting up cute table spots on the outside. Tag team ladder/TLC matches almost always seem to come off better their singles counterparts, however due to neither guy being a high flier, they did away with the usual set-pieces and the match is so much better for it - highlighting Sheamus and Reigns' strengths, which both include having a bevy of stuff that looks effective. They brawl down the aisle and Sheamus gets flung across a table covered in chairs before going for the ride a second time, crashing through the tables set up near the entrance. There is something aberrant in seeing a guy of Sheamus' size being tossed around, and Reigns channeling his most arrogant side, dumping chairs on a prone Sheamus, just makes it all the better. For brevity the list of notable moments that follow are: - Sheamus suplexing Reigns through a table in the aisle - Roman deadlift powerbombing Sheamus onto a ladder - A Superman Punch variant off the steps - just with Reigns holding a goddamn chair - A Samoan Drop off the apron through a ladder - White Noise off the steps through a table!!! The finish with the League of Nations interfering was a major blight on the match, and seems only to have been included to allow the rematch the following night where Roman decks Vince, which we all know did wonders to get Roman over., but anybody who reveres the Brock/Roman match from Mania ought to give this a (re)watch because, booking aside, there's not many matches from this company that so thoroughly entertained me from bell to bell and incorporated this level of violence. This match has firmly entrenched itself as my no. 5 WWE MOTY behind the aforementioned Mania main event, the two Bayley/Sasha matches from NXT, and Roman and Bryan from Fastlane. EXCELLENT (4.25-4.75*)
  13. Holy shit this was amazing. It's a serious best WWE match ever contender for me. I really don't get why people get so upset over the overbooking, and honestly it was fine here. I don't remember the last time a WWE match so ambitious. The early portion was PERFECT in establishing Reigns' power and AJ made himself look good in the process too because when he did overcome it it meant that much more. I loved how it was paced, it had the greatest table spot in WWE history and a plethora of neat little touches. AJ avoiding Reigns' big suicide dive and then quickly leaping on him with the diving forearm was such a neat spot that made him look great. All of the big counters looked almost shockingly organic and natural for a 2016 WWE match and the rope break nearfall made my heart stop for a second. They both took some disgusting bumps here. Another thing I loved is how AJ used the Pele Kick as a way to upgrade his striking combo after it failed to take Reigns down earlier in the match instead of using it as a counter spot like he usually does, and to that point AJ quickly hitting Reigns with a Snapmare after Reigns survived his striking combo also made him look like a smart wrestler. I want to re-watch this and I don't remember when was the last time I felt that way about a WWE match. And Reigns hitting AJ with another Superman Punch after the big counter one also put AJ over as a serious threat and was just a badass thing to do and then AJ did that awesome delayed selling instead of popping up like you'd see in the Zayn-Owens match. These two have a five star match in them. ****3/4
  14. This was a weird match. The beginning was worth like they were building a proper match with a narrative and proper control segments, with Reigns just dominating Cena, working at a slower pace while Cena was too focused on playing to the crowd and got cut off over and over again. Eventually it just turned into a WWE workrate wankfest, as predictable as ever. If you’ve seen Cena matches like this before you could basically call half the spots, the Diving Legdrop into the Powerbomb, the Five Knuckle Shuffle cut-off followed by a proper one later in the match where Cena does a Fist Drop straight away instead of running the ropes and a billion finishers. To met these Cena matches are in the same vein as the Omega/Okada matches that have been getting a bunch of buzz-I don’t really think the *wrestling* in them is very good, but they do offer something in the flash, big spots and buzz they generate. I did like the executions of many of the spots like the Shoulder Tackle>Punch counter and Reigns was really good at convincing you he was gonna hit a Clothesline, punch or whatever and was not just setting up for an AA or whatever. And I loved the finish, Reigns just hitting a quick 1-2 combo was masterful. Still, for a workrate match like this to be anything more than an itsy bitsy fun watch while you grab a snack you’d want it to not just be spamming big moves and sequences in predictable fashion (is there anyone who didn’t see Reigns hitting a Spear once Cena cleared both tables? or the AA counter to the Spear? or the last ten matches where the same “Big Match” structure has been beaten to death so much), that’s sub-1998 All Japan guys sleepwalking through a Korauken 6 man tag effort. ***
  15. This Raw monster division has really been something else this year, and it looks like it might be getting even crazier going into Summerslam. I wish we got this without the commercial breaks, but still, I really enjoyed it. Both Roman and Joe are wonderful at looking like huge, incredibly dangerous monsters while selling for each other's monster-ness. Roman does it with an "I don't know how I'm gonna continue" look; Joe looks more angry than anything, but it works for both of them. In addition to their usual spots we get a Roman trying to put his shoe through Joe's face and Joe cutting off a Drive By with a great clothesline. But this isn't actually just a Reigns/Joe match, as BRAUN comes through to wreck shit and we don't just get a regular beatdown, but the start of a three way thing. It makes sense that Braun comes out on top, because the Samoans have been beating the shit out of each other, but both Joe and Reigns get shots in, and Joe even has him on his way down in the Coquina before Reigns goes for the Superman Punch and interrupts. I love it all. ****
  16. YES. Just yes? I'm sorry, that's all there is. Rough, stiff violence from both guys. They constantly upped the intensity and made believable transitions that got you to buy into Roman potentially winning. You had the classic ringpost transition which works particularly well after the Tag Title match early in the night. Roman Reigns sells his ass off (again) but really, did we expect anything else? Then you had monster among men Braun Strowman putting in a fairly decent sell job on his arm...before turning it around into one of the greatest heel comebacks possible. The violence on the stage area was stiff, going through the screen was a wonderful visual. Then, that glorious post-match angle. i don't care if it's a double turn or what it is. It's fucking awesome. Best ambulance match ever? Easy MOTYC and another amazing chapter in what's turning out to be a classic feud. ****1/2
  17. I would honestly call this match a carryjob from Reigns, and hot damn, best carryjob I've seen all year long. What a terrific performance by the Big Dog - Finn's offense looked super weak, I did like the idea of him going after Reigns' injury, but as I said, the offense looked weak - what made it work extremely well though is that Roman f'n Reigns sold his ass off for him. He sold Finn's weak offense like death. And of course Reigns' offense looked killer, as usual. What a fantastic professional wrestler he is. Great match & an amazing performance by Reigns. ****1/4
  18. Their Fastlane match disappointed me greatly, but holy shit that is all forgotten now after this instant classic. The look on Braun's face while Reigns was staring him down from the ringside was priceless. LOVED the beginning with Reigns going straight to punch Braun - now that is how you sell a personal feud, Owens & Jericho! That stunned Braun & Reigns got a great shine in. That shine ended quickly as Braun grabbed Reigns while he was going for that drive by apron dropkick. My goodness that was awesome. Braun was now on full control, he destroys Reigns & Reigns displayed that world class selling of his - oh man he is such a phenomenal seller & this might have been his finest selling performance yet. Reigns' big eventual comeback was fantastic - now that is how you do a high energy, hard hitting, badass comeback while still selling your injuries perfectly; hope Rollins took some notes. Braun got the control quickly again & dominated, Reigns got just enough hope spots in, only for him to fall down to the ultimate monster that is BRAUN. What a goddamn match. Gave me some Umaga vs. Cena vibes. Roman Reigns is the fucking man & Braun Strowman is the best monster WWE has had in a looooong time. ****3/4
  19. I usually don't review stuff when I watch it live at 5/6AM, and this probably deserves a rewatch, but I have some thoughts on it that I want to get out. My first impression was that it was a great match. The opening wasn't much but as soon as they found focus it became awesome, usually Undertaker's strikes are just a shallow gimmick that feel like a nod to his ego so he feels better about the MMA classes he takes, but here they actually looked good for a change AND had a build that made them feel important. It's not like every punch Undertaker threw was suddenly Sangre Chicana level but when it mattered (the apron counter and the sudden jab) they made for huge momentum shifts and looked great. Reigns is no stranger to ramping up the violence levels, and the no holds barred rules and Undertaker's sheer age made this really feel like a spectacle, you have a jacked man in his prime conditioned destroying a fifty year old man with chairshots, the visual is just so much stronger when it's two guys who looks identical doing the same. Even when you could see the spots coming (like when Undertaker got Reigns on the table) the execution was so good it hardly mattered or the set up was so phenomenal they made you want to see the spot you know was coming (Reign's consecutive punches to Undertaker and the way he got in his face before the Last Ride). And for matches that have a lot of nearfalls I think this one really got it, doing what RINGS and the high end juniors matches do in that it set up an ongoing narrative and then had the final spot be something extra that really made you think ok, THAT'S it and it should be and it was. And Reigns punching Undertaker out before running the ropes five times and spearing him was exactly that. I would have had it around ****. I've seen some people complaing about the post-match, but I don't really know what they were expecting. I think it perfectly fit into the match, Undertaker failing to kip-up was an amazing spot and his character ends his journey on a more humanizing note with embracing his wife and going out. Maybe some would have liked to see some mystical transformation into the ether with only Undertaker's hat remaining in the ring, but I don't think that would have complimented the match as well.
  20. Things seem to be going on the usual TV match route when those two guys lock up. Roman pushes Jinder to the corner, and when the ref tries to split them apart, Jinder uses this break for a cheap shot, and then gives Reigns a god damn potato. What a fucking loud punch, Jesus Christ. That was actually a blessing for the match. Roman working as an angry beast added a layer of aggressivity that kinda made things more personal. Undertaker mind games make Mahal get the upper hand again and holy shit he just beats the shit out of Roman with a basement dropkick. Roman finishes Jinder with two Superman Punches, looking extremely pissed with that many potatoes. An actually very enjoyable, sub 5 minute match that brings out some (unnecessary, maybe) stiffness at times. *** 1/2
  21. Reigns was my most awaited main roster opponent for Joe, and I thought that their first meeting truly delivered. Physical, Joe looked fantastic when he was working the heat on Reigns w/ his killer offense, and Reigns did some really great selling, and I loved every hope spots of his, and the big comeback towards the end was great, too. These 2 have a classic ****1/2+ PPV match in them. ****
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