Monday Night Awards!
14th March 2016
[A little disclaimer as this will be a shorter awards show this week, don’t get you panties in twist, there’ll be the normal amount of awards next week. Still over 2000 words to sink your teeth into, just less awards, I'm away for a few days so I'm proud I was able to conjour the time to get this up! Then when you’ve read this get your ass over to DOA 2016, first two days are already up and this year is already looking absolutely amazing, never mind when MY matchup enters the fray!]
Before I watch RAW, let us talk for a couple of paragraphs about the implications of the glorified house show that was WWE Roadblock. Due to the perceived nature of the event beforehand being one of fixing and repairing WrestleMania, I personally rebranded this event WWE Roadworks… turns out that wasn’t the nature of the show at all. If anything, I’d class Saturday’s event as an amazing house show, not the important event that WWE hyped it up to be this past week.
In terms of WrestleMania, we still hardly know anything about the card and there’s only three weeks left! How bad is that? Every week I keep thinking, maybe we’ll find out more next week… nope, okay, maybe we’ll find out more the week after? Nope, oh there’s a special event on the WWE Network that’s been advertised to have big implications on ‘Mania, surely that’ll clear things up? Nope, well when are they going to decide on telling us the card? We only have two definite matches in Shane O’Mac vs The Undertaker and the Divas Championship match, but Cole did say on Saturday that Triple H will be moving on to Reigns and Ambrose onto Lesnar. Are those two matches actually going to happen though? If they are, then what was the fucking point in keeping Bray Wyatt away from Lesnar at Roadblock?
Of course, you are mostly all reading this knowing what happens on tonight’s RAW, I just hope to God that something gets confirmed for ‘Mania. It’s a shame really, with this year’s big event potentially being WWE’s biggest ever gate it really does deserve a more coherent build. Well, time to find out!
Before I begin, we’ve got ourselves an honourable mention!
To the two girls who went absolutely mental at the close proximity of Roman Reigns, you can fuck right off. When it comes to celebrities I just don’t get that kind of emotion, I’ve seen other people go mental, but I’ve never really gotten it myself. I went a bit shy when I met Scottish football legend Gordon Strachan on a plane, but I’ve never had anything more than that, so I’ll never be able to relate to anything near those melting girls.
Maybe that’s just because I’ve been quite lucky that working a bit behind the scenes in the stand-up comedy world (in the UK, don’t get your hopes up that I’m besties with Kevin Hart) has meant that I’ve met my fair share of celebrities, so maybe I’m more used to meeting people off the telly? Whatever the reasons, I swear I’ve never cringed my face as hard as I did when those two girls where shrieking and quivering like Reigns was the second coming of Jesus ‘Goddamn’ Christ.
So, with the realisation that there is no Sign of the Night this week (seriously, I was about to give it to the person holding up the letters ‘M’ and ‘E’ as it was the only one that wasn’t random or an in joke, you’ve let me down Pittsburgh) let us get on with this week’s mini awards show!
Talkie Bit Moment of the Night
All hail… Dean Ambrose and Paul Heyman promo segments! Being serious for a second, WWE, why aren’t your two most over guys in the main event of WrestleMania? I don’t get it, that business tactic doesn’t make any sense to me…
Did you hear how invested the crowd was last night for this entire segment, from the moment Ambrose’s music hit, they were loud, they were cheering and they were genuinely excited! Now I ask you take a look at every other ‘Mania match and tell me if you can say the same. Last year’s booking for WrestleMania had it’s own problems, but at least the top matches didn’t feel like it was putting a dampener on things, this year there’s only one match so far that I actually give a shit about. Well two, but the Divas weren’t even on RAW last night, so I predict they may given a similar treatment of care at ‘Mania itself with a shorter match.
However, one match has all the fans invested, only one match actually has both wrestlers over with the fans and that match is should deliver at the grandest stage of them all. That’s the problem with the rest of the top matches, I really do worry that they won’t be able to deliver a match that will hold my interest and live up to the WrestleMania moniker. That really is a concern and you know what, I believe a big part of that worry is down to the build for those matches so far. It’s something that Ambrose has become pretty damn good at, hyping up his match for the upcoming PPV, making the audience give a shit about both him and his opponent. Reigns will say something like, “At WrestleMania, I’m in for the fight of my life,” but you don’t buy it because of how protected he’s been booking wise.
Dean Ambrose excels at that, it’s the one time his up and down booking actually aids him, because when he says he’s in for the fight of life you fucking believe it. You really do believe that his opponent actually could beat the shit out of him, could give him a damn good fight. Whether you like it or not, it’s a trait Cena has, a trait Paul Heyman has, the skill to make their opponent seem like a damn big deal. So you can bet your ass that Brock Lesnar came out of tonight seeming like an absolute beast, meaning that when Ambrose was able to fend off the beast he felt like just as big of a deal.
This is really the underdog story that the fans care about, Paul Heyman has done an amazing job so far at selling the craziness of Dean Ambrose to stand toe to toe with Brock Lesnar. If their match ends in anything other than Ambrose passing out or getting a surprise pin, then you’ll know whether or not WWE are willing to let the Lunatic get over long term. That’s my only fear, Creative wanting Reigns to be their top guy so much that they purposefully hinder Ambrose’s advancement to the top. The old ‘No one is better than Hulk Hogan’ style of booking, you’ve got your top guy and everyone else dances to his tune.
But fans in every state are booing the hell out of Reigns, it’s not just the smarky audiences, it’s every one of them. So let’s just sit here and leave WWE to get their Reigns ‘Mania moment out of their system and hope for something entertaining to happen at the RAW after. That’s the main problem with the main event, I’m not entertained by it and nothing about it interests me, I just do not care.
Match of the Night
As much as I didn’t like Triple H telling us we like Reigns when we clearly don’t, the man his had two damn good matches in three days, kudos to The Game!
Dolph play Game, Game play Dolph
Ziggler did an amazing job at selling his frustration tonight, be it influenced by reality or not, I really did believed his character had decided enough was enough. The emotion Ziggler showed in that promo made this match feel damn important, he finally had his chance to get his ‘Mania moment. That played a big part in the storytelling of the match, as with every opening Dolph would try and hit a big move to score a pin. With Triple H showing us what he’d learned from Shawn Michaels and kicking out just before the 3 count on almost every pin attempt, created a great sense of drama even if the tactic was overused in this match.
That kicking out just before the three was important, because it made Ziggler’s offense feel all the more effective. Dolph felt like bigger of a deal because Triple H was only just able to stay in the match, Ziggles offensive manoeuvres were so darn effective! It created drama and you could see the fans in attendance getting more invested with every false finish, they slowly got further and further behind Ziggler. Incorporating spots from Roadblock wasn’t a bad idea either, Dolph just getting back in the ring in time and sliding straight into a pedigree only to counter it was great. That was something Cesaro and Zayn’s 2 out of 3 falls match incorporated perfectly, the use of spots the crowd knows from previous matches but swerve them last minute with a counter.
Great match, both men came out looking strong and I’ve now said that two weeks in a row, WWE’s at least doing some things right. However, let’s get to the afters, I’ve got one big problem with Reigns’ return… well several, but I’ll narrow them down. So Reigns comes out after the match to get revenge on Triple H, why doesn’t he come out during the match? Does the man just not give two shits about Dolph Ziggler? Does Reigns only care for himself, you know, like a heel does? Not a very good guy thing to do, letting the guy lose his WrestleMania opportunity and then beat up Triple H.
It’s that mentally that the only goal is to get Reigns over, but they fail to register the implications his actions have on the other faces on the roster. The same happened in the Hogan era, however this time the crowd aren’t taking it because they couldn’t care less for WWE’s chosen superman. Hearing the women go crazy and the kids start to cheer is irking me though, there’s the fear that Reigns may be able to capture the female/young fanbase and his merchandise sales may keep him at the top. But listen to the adult male audience, they are having none of it, Cena 2.0 will not slide with a lot of the fans. That’s why Reigns gets comparisons with Luger, Lex was also someone they modelled off the previous top guy to try and replicate the formula.
You would have thought by now that WWE know they cannot just recreate a top star, Luger was American Hero 2.0 and the fans shat all over it. Reigns is being booked as the muscular man that never gives up and rises above all evil, a replica of Cena’s character. They are doing exactly what didn’t work with Luger and trying it out on Reigns, it’s like they didn’t learn anything. I feel sorry for Roman, he’s improved a hell of a lot over the past year or so, but his booking has been so bad that it’s just too late. Give him his ‘Mania moment, then it’s time to nip this Reigns experiment in the bud, the fans have spoken and unfortunately for the big man they’ve chosen Dean Ambrose instead. Reigns can either stay at the top or stay a face, he can’t do both.
Will we witness the biggest mass back-turning on a match in ‘Mania history? Or just loud BOOs mixed in with CM Punk chants? That’s the only thing that interests me about the main event, how badly will the crowd shit on that match? And will it be worse than last year, the answer’s yes, because because there’s not really anyone to cheer for in it! But at least we’re getting great matches in Ambrose vs Lesnar, Jericho vs Style and hopefully Owens vs Zayn… we’ll just have to wait and see.
That’s it for this week’s round of Monday Night Awards! Side note, I still love the New Day, just wish Booty-Os was an actual cereal! WWE just need to actually settle on a fucking card for Mania, that was my biggest criticism with last year’s build and it’s happened all over again. On the bright side, even if the storytelling has been a little shoddy, there’s been some dam solid wrestling this past week! Anway, I'm off on holiday and I don't know the internet situation, so I'll see you all next week for another round of awards![/SIZE]
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