Carry on Wayward Son – The Back from Australia WWE Recap


Go ahead and cue up the Kansas, you know you want to.  I’m also sorry that when you’re done reading this you’re going to want to binge watch Supernatural.  Not to worry, TNT has you covered for like 4 hours every morning.  It’s their new Charmed.

So I’ve been in Australia for two weeks.  I won’t recap that, as I wouldn’t want to rub it in any further than admitting it happened.

But there has apparently been a shitload that I’ve missed, so I’m going to go back through two Raw episodes, two Smackdown episodes, and a MITB PPV that was apparently pretty hit and miss but quite enjoyable when it came to the big three matches (and I’m currently watching at 4 AM because I’m working on an incredibly messed up sleep schedule now) and I’m going to provide a lengthy catch up of the past few weeks for those who may have missed me.  And yes, this will be completely free of Todd Chrisley gifs.

The Architect Returns

We’ll go back a little further, for those of you new here, and talk about something that we didn’t exist to cover previously:

Wrestlemania 31 – Seth Rollins cashes in MITB, becomes WWE WHC

Following the coolest cash in to date, Seth Rollins held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for months, for a brief stint simultaneously holding the US Title in a feud with John Cena….that was until just before Survivor Series of last year when a freak injury (read as 210 lb guy tried to powerbomb a damn near 400 lb guy and his knee realized what was happening):

The WWE universe was robbed of one of its primo performers right at the height of a build to a Wrestlemania headlining moment, though one has to wonder what would happen in a world where Seth stayed healthy.  Would Triple H have turned on him to leave Rumble with the belt?  Would they have given the belt to Roman at Survivor Series anyway?  It’s hard to say, but what we do know is that we were without Seth Rollins until the closing moments of Extreme Rules when Roman had just defeated AJ Styles in a fantastic match:

All of this is to say that Seth Rollins is back, and he has a legitimate gripe.  In his absence, he was stripped of the WWE Title and it was given to a new champion, Roman Reigns, following a title tournament that came to fruition at Survivor Series, with Roman defeating Dean Ambrose and then moments later losing the belt to a Sheamus cash in.  Is Roman’s correlation to the MITB briefcase starting to sound repetitive?  Yes, that’s right, when Seth cashed in at Mania, it was mid Roman title match against Brock Lesnar, and when Sheamus cashed in it was 5 minutes and 15 seconds after he won the title tournament at Survivor Series, so we probably should have seen the ending to MITB coming, but I won’t get that far ahead of myself.  Let’s get to the past few weeks, just wanted to go through this whole Rollins thing as my version of a WWE Video Package.

Money in the Bank


I’m not going to go right into the thick of this, I’m actually going to address the one part of this that made me the happiest.  The Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler match actually got a chance to happen on the MITB broadcast itself rather than being relegated to the preshow.  Look, there was a gap in my fanfare, so I’m sure some of you are kind of burnt out on Ziggler, but I thoroughly enjoy him.  He’s fun to watch in the ring and he’s even more fun to watch on Twitter.  I’m also a huge fan of Corbin, and a lot of that is probably because I watched him develop and it was an amazing transition from super green to quality heel character and good in ring performer while he was in NXT, and then to see him win the Andre Battle Royale was pretty great and rewarding for my time watching him in the developmental brand.

For the match, Corbin came out with a fury to him that of a Samoa Joe when someone says Finn Balor’s name.  I’d be pissed too, the last time he saw Ziggler he took a nut shot when he was told he was heading down for a greco-roman wrestling match.

This match wasn’t all it could have been, but Ziggler sold like he was supposed to, got his usual Hulk Hogan-esque power-up for the comeback but then took a big End of Days and the loss to Corbin.  I’m hoping this is the rubber match and they have something better in mind for both of these guys.  You got a lot of what both guys have to offer, it just wasn’t quite everything it could have been, but that’s got more to do with this being the 34th time we’ve seen this match than the performance itself.  Also, Ziggler’s pants were awesome (though no Butt Window, sorry Michele).  I’d have rather had Ziggy in the ladder match because he works really well with those guys, but this match was fine for what it was supposed to be, a slow down after a tag team fatal four way where absolutely nobody had their timing right…..

New Day R…etains


This match was not good to watch.  Nobody in this match was where they were supposed to be half the time.  It was about as well done as that god awful Team Extreme vs The Wyatt FamilyEnzo and Cass won, legitimately, about 2/3 of the way in when there was clearly a 3 count because Gallows (or Anderson, hell I don’t know which is which, that would be like knowing which guy from the Revival is which) failed to pull Enzo off his partner before the ref counted a third time.  The crowd was not happy, which is understandable, and began a “That was Three” chant.  The Network replay seems like they tried to turn down the crowd volume, but you can still hear it.  Kind of glad it was the opening match, and that you got great promos from both the Smacktalker Skywalker and The New Day (which featured Xavier Woods doing a pretty spot on Chewbacca impression).

As soon as JBL pointed out how close New Day was to breaking the title reign record, I knew what the ending of this match was going to be, even if they technically lost.

Women everywhere, but no one knows why

Let me preempt this by saying that I was with most of you in our excitement for the #DIVASRevolution.  Let me also say that I didn’t like that they were still using the word Divas, but it was and still would be the most accurate word to describe the way they are scripted and booked.  There is nothing that ever happens in this division that isn’t just women being catty, jealous, petty people, and their champion is a manipulative jackass who has maybe three clean wins to her 3/4 of a year championship reign.  Natalya has been the number one contender for what, six months?  And why, because her family name is the best storyline that they can come up with, to have a Hart feud with a Flair, because that worked in the 80s and 90s.  This isn’t WCW, where the women are basically just cheerleaders, sorry, where the Nitro GIRLS are basically just cheerleaders.  This is WWE, where these women were featured in like six of the top 25 matches of the year as voted on by the fans.  This is WWE where Sasha Banks and Bayley brought the house down at a sold out Brooklyn event at TakeOver.  This is a company where Triple H clearly doesn’t have any more control than he did 10 years ago, because you can see what he’s doing with his women’s talent, and you can see what the talent on the main roster is subjected to.

Charlotte gets another dirty finish with a distraction from Dana Brooke and again Natalya cannot get a win over Charlotte.  Please stop putting her in title matches, also don’t show her crying in the ring after a loss.  The belt wasn’t on the line, she just got beat.  Let her lose with dignity…..or have her cry and then turn on Becky Lynch?  Oh, I get it, they need a women’s feud when the brand’s split, so picture Natalya and Becky getting drafted to the same show, and it won’t be the one that has Sasha.

This is bullshit.  But I have a fix that doesn’t have to involve Sasha Banks or Bayley.  The women’s division needs a Money in the Bank briefcase.  I know, it sounds simple and they likely won’t let women have a ladder match at least for the foreseeable future, but hear me out.  The Money in the Bank briefcase does not require any scripting.  It is just a looming idea.  Did anyone give a shit that Sheamus had it?  No, but the idea that he could cash in was always there.  Give that to any of these women in the division.  Let Becky Lynch have it, as a fan favorite, and then there is always the looming excitement that she could cash in whenever Natalya inevitably loses to Charlotte in the future.  Additionally, just give them the men’s scripts with the names on the scripts changed.  It isn’t hard.  Charlotte is Roman.  She is a champion that no one likes.  How hard is it to hand Becky Lynch a promo like those that were written for AJ Styles?  Has Becky not wrestled all over the world?  Has Becky not held titles in other promotions?  Has Becky not been hailed as one of the best women’s wrestlers on the program?  See, this isn’t rocket science.  Go back and watch the promos that the Phenomenal One cut on Roman before Payback and picture the Charlotte-Becky tandem in those roles.  Done.  Jesus, this is so easy.  Quit trying to paint them in such a ridiculously stupid and outdated misogynistic light and the division will actually see a Revolution.

Bebop versus Rocksteady

Sorry, I had to find a way to do a TMNT2 tie in here somehow.  This match is your new Ziggler-Corbin, which was your new Roman-Wyatt, which was your new Sheamus-Orton.  It’s boring, who cares.  Crews with a roll-up for the win.  Won’t matter, you’ll get 19 more editions of this match.

Dream Match?


Looks like somebody got past that whole cease and desist order from PBR.

John Cena’s return promo that if the New Era was upon them they had to go through him was great.  That’s essentially what will have to happen, right?  John has been the top dog for so long now he’ll have to pass the torch before long, then he’ll just be The Undertaker or The Rock and show up for Wrestlemania until the end of time.

Cena is great.  He even found a way to cut a promo to make a contract signing enjoyable.  They’ve also given him the green light to be a little PG-13 (he’s still not freestyle rapping John Cena or anything, but he’s been pretty fired up since his return).

But was this really a dream match?  I know I was out of the loop for a while, but were the same people who made the “John Cena Sucks” lyrics for his entrance a thing really dreaming of a guy from NJPW/TNA facing off against Super Cena?  If you were, congrats, you booked a great match, I just don’t see it.  If nothing else, Cena managed to build this match to that sort of dream match level with the promos over the last month.  Cena is such a damn showman, just watch the opening of this match before the bell rings.  That’s electric.  I wish I’d been there with my DM counterparts.

Match was great, these are two incredible in ring talents and two guys who legitimately deserve to get to call themselves Superstars.  I do want to know who will round out Team Cena before Battleground, because you know this has to lead to a 6 man tag match.  If AJ didn’t just lose matches at PPV events with the frequency of Bray Wyatt you could almost start to call him Big Match Styles after both Extreme Rules and MITB, but alas he either doesn’t win or has help from The Club, such as this match, with The Club coming out to help AJ jump Cena while the ref was conveniently down.  Styles got a win over The Face That Runs The Place, but this isn’t over.  See again, 6-man tag match prediction.


The crazy thing going into this was that I could have seen any of these six guys getting the win.  I think Sami had the least likelihood of winning, just because I don’t think the company would be ready to put him at that level yet, but KO has proven he can carry the IC division, so giving him a shot would make sense.  Cesaro has come back even better than he left, with these ballin’ ass breakaway suits.  Jericho is the trusty veteran who beat the Phenomenal One at Mania.  ADR was apparently promised main event status if he came back, something he’s not happy about, so this would have been an appeasement move for him.  And then Ambrose, who was probably clearly the frontrunner on account of the basically prewritten Shield triple threat potential.

Jeremy and I were speaking the other day about MITB, and how they are considering making the MITB PPV the 5th big PPV of the year or having it replace Survivor Series in the Big 4.  I don’t think there should only be one MITB match per year.  I think that there is so much opportunity in these matches, and since they seem committed to putting a multi-man ladder match in every PPV card, why not use it as an opportunity to get more guys in the thick of things by keeping them in these matches.  I think we’ll have to cut a podcast to talk about it further, I’ve got some pretty interesting ideas for it.

This crowd was clearly behind Owens and Ambrose, and I can’t even really tell which one is getting more love.  JBL had to explain why Jericho kept shouting 69, because I thought he was just having a stroke and channelling Mojo Rawley.

I understand it is to build drama, but why do they climb so fucking slowly?  I don’t climb a ladder that slowly when I’m going up to clean gutters, and there isn’t a WWE title shot on my roof.  And does anyone else miss Jeff Hardy and Edge every time there is a ladder match?  I sure as shit do.

As you all already know, Dean Ambrose wins the MITB match, but it’s a pretty damn solid half hour or so of WWE programming, so I highly recommend it if you didn’t watch it.  If nothing else, watch Kevin Owens taking the Michinoku Driver on the upper edge of a ladder.  Looks like he should have died.


Rusev Crush

Why is any match with Titus O’Neal this high on the card?  I’m skipping this.  Rusev won’t lose that belt for quite a while.


This is the match up of tan bearded dudes with gross ass hair.  I don’t get the hair.  It’s so gross looking.  I won’t sit in the first few rows because I don’t want Roman to throw nasty hair water at me before his matches.  It’s just nasty.  Thank you AJ Styles for not doing this.

I sort of started on this one earlier when I recapped Roman’s sordid history with Money in the Bank cash-ins.  This match started with the two competitors trying to act like the arena had anywhere near the electricity that the AJ-Cena match had.  It most certainly didn’t.  And who is the bad guy in this match?  Seth’s clearly trying to get as much heat as he can, but it isn’t sticking.  It’s like Triple H going into Mania as the fan favorite.  It amazes me they don’t take advantage by giving the crowd what they want and just letting Roman go bad.  What if the suspension isn’t real?  What if Roman’s wellness violation is a work and they’re going to turn him heel by building him as the Mark McGuire of Pro-Wrestling?  That’s almost laughable, so I might be right here.

Roman hatred at the “brand new T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas” is wild.  I love when you go back and watch later and you can tell they’re trying to quiet the crowd noise.  They won’t turn him heel, but all of his in ring character is absolutely heel.  When he hits that leaping clothesline and asks the crowd “Who Sucks Now?”, that’s basically his version of Jericho telling the stupid idiots in the crowd to shut up.  It’s not as entertaining, but that’s what it is.

This was a pretty well fought match, both guys got their shots in.  What I really wanted, even though there was no chance, was for Rollins to go for a massive curb stomp and eat a spear like AJ did coming in with the forearm.  There’s no room for Roman to run, so a Rollins kickout on it would be acceptable and JBL could point out he just didn’t have the chance to get momentum going into it.  Seth Rollins with the win, and your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion:


So it wasn’t exactly what I predicted, but if you go back to our card predictions post, I did say the only way that Roman was going to lose the strap was if there was an instantaneous MITB cash in during the show.  Well, welcome to the Asylum, I’m more than happy to serve my sentence.  Congratulations Dean, it’s about time the company gave you the belt, even if it may or may not have been on account of a failed wellness policy test.

Everything else from the past two weeks

I just don’t get it


We all know what’s going on, Roman Reigns has been suspended for 30 days on account of a wellness policy violation.  Conspiracy theory that they had him drop the belt at MITB on account of it aside, I just don’t understand why he would need to juice, so I’ve developed my own theories as to what could have happened since that information is always sealed within the company.

  1. Roman Reigns has been fighting an injury for a while and was trying to work through it.  This is logical, there are supplements for recovery, not all of them within the list of approved substances, but much like Maria Sharapova being given a two year suspension for testing positive for something she’s taken for 15 years for a heart condition, the list is like 200 pages long.  It isn’t like you will ever really know every substance you can and can’t take, so when you can walk into a GNC and a product says it will help with recovery and you take it, apparently as an athlete you have to have the ingredient list checked by the company’s attorney first.
  2. Roman Reigns feels the need to be bigger to stay at the top.  Like that worked for Ryback.
  3. Roman has been on some sort of drug.  This is the one I’m considering the most likely.  I think within the company there has been a long running concern that their top guys might fall into the same pit that got Jeff Hardy.  It doesn’t necessary have to mean that he’s mainlining Heroin or anything, but what if he’s on something else to maintain their insane work schedule and he tested positive for it?  I doubt they suspend people for weed, I mean, not to stereotype anyone but there is no way that R-Truth isn’t high as shit all the time, and I’m pretty sure the E in Big-E is Ecstasy.  I’m sure most of these guys are on medicinal marijuana, probably helps with the pains they endure and isn’t as unsafe for them as painkillers and doesn’t have quite the ridiculous addiction problems.
  4. He’s just fucking stupid.  This is also quite likely.


This post took twice as long as it should have because I had so much fun reading Roman Reigns memes.

The match you never knew you always wanted

Smackdown from this week featured a match up of Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn.  Damn, can we make this happen for a belt at some point?  Or turn Rollins face and team them up?

The Boss is Back


Sasha is finally back in the mix, in what is likely a build to a match with Charlotte at Summerslam.  I know, I’ve been pulling for a Bayley call up and Sasha to take the belt prior to Summerslam, but I don’t get everything I want.  Plus, how awesome will a Sasha-Bayley Wrestlemania match be?

Big shout to Jeremy and Michele for carrying The Dark Match while I was gone

As busy as I know Jeremy has been lately, the fact he kept this thing rolling right along while I was gone is no small feat.  I’ll be back on Raw for at least a few weeks, then we will likely swap out Raw and Smackdown after the move to live on Tuesday’s so that it fits Jeremy’s schedule, and because it’s likely Cena goes to the Blue Brand and you know my man love for Cena creates a need for me to cover whatever brand he is on.

You guys killed it.  Check out the MITB podcast live from Vegas, and read back through Jeremy’s awesome recaps, especially the one from this week’s Smackdown, I very much enjoyed reading that one in particular.  We’ll try to get a Podcast together some time soon so we can discuss all the things I didn’t get a chance to talk about over the last few weeks, like my plan for MITB going forward, the brand split, Roman’s Roid Rage, and Champ Ambrose.

It’s good to be back, even if I would kind of like to move there permenantly.