SummerSlam Weekend Losers (Who Totally Won)

SummerSlamRecap2016

8 years ago, Tyler Black defeated Claudio Castagnoli, Delirious and Go Shiozaki in a Four Corner Survival Match at Ring of Honor’s Take No Prisoners in Philadelphia. The winner earned a title shot against ROH Champ Nigel McGuinness in the main event. The young upstart Black and the British vet Nigel put on a clinic. McGuiness retained but the crowd ended the show with emphatic chants of “Thank You Tyler”. Despite the loss, Black won.

That’s the funny thing about wrestling: you don’t need to score a pinfall or submit your opponent to gain a victory. We’ve seen that with Stone Cold vs Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13 and more recently with Cedric Alexander vs Kota Ibushi in Round 2 of the Cruiserweight Classic.

Here are 3 matches from SummerSlam weekend where the losers still won…

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Raw Roundup: Luck is for Losers

WWE, TNA, Wrestling

Last night’s Raw was a jolly good show.  CM Punk proved once again why he is the best in the world, while real-life girlfriend Beth Phoenix breathed new life into the women’s division.  The Miz flexed his awesome vocal muscles, while R-Truth and John Morrison gave us a pay-per-view match on free television.  There was trouble in paradise for the WWE’s plutonic power couple, Mr. Money in the Bank looked to rectify his plans that went afoul last month, and the newest members of the Future Endeavors Club were even name dropped.  Read all about it after the jump!  Continue reading

Michael Tarver Gets Weird

WWE, TNA, Wrestling

I probably should have titled this post “Michael Tarver stays weird,” since he was always kind of an oddball during his brief WWE run anyway.  This is the first and, in all likelihood, the last time you’ll see Michael Tarver’s picture on this blog.  The guy was a middle-of-the-pack NXT contestant who joined the WWE’s main roster at the dawn of the Nexus angle but was soon sidelined with injury.  There is nothing eye-popping about his skill set, nor did he do anything to make himself stand out during his cup of coffee in the big leagues, save for wear a stupid half-mask.  All right, I’ll be honest – he was flat-out terrifying in that half-mask.  Still, it’s not like he was setting the wrestling world ablaze.  A couple of months ago, Michael Tarver was released.  I don’t think anybody was surprised.

Yesterday, Tarver went on a tirade on his Twitter about how “bad” he is.  He’s so bad, in fact, that he “SCARED A BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY.”  According to Tarver, the injury that shelved him through the duration of the Nexus storyline wasn’t much of an accident at all.  Threatened by the steam Tarver was building, John Cena allegedly purposely fractured his arm with a chair…and then laughed in his face about it backstage.  You know what, here’s the link: Michael Tarver’s tirade.  I’d quote it some more, but there are so many spelling errors and indecipherable ramblings that I can’t wade through it.  Just see for yourself.  Dude’s crazy.

I don’t need to tell you how ridiculous Tarver’s claims are.  Instead of spouting off about this anymore, I’ll leave you with this video of him rapping at Roots Fest.

Raw Roundup: Look Into My Eyes, What Do You See?

second city savior saint the champ raw

Last night was the first Raw under the new Triple H regime. He kicked off the 10 o’clock hour giving his state of the WWE address. For a moment, it felt like ‘Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.’ Trips opened his first speech as the COO with a sincere thank you to Vince. From there he made history with the announcement that brand new champ, Rey Mysterio, would have his first time title defense the same night as his title victory against John Cena. The Game clamied that this was the first time that’s happened but I’m pretty sure something like that has happened before. What hasn’t happened before was such a blatant disregard of progress. Punk electrified audiences so far this summer because all generations of wrestling fans could enjoy and identify with him. A Rey-Cena main event felt like 4 steps back and a featured highlight of a kids’ birthday party.

The path to the future was further blazed with Jim Ross’ return, reuniting the Attitude-era commentary team of King and JR. Naturally, this lead to a rant from Cole evoking severe a serious case of deja vu and a less than stellar start to the HHH era. Hunter discussed the financial downfalls of firing Cole before relieving him of his commentating duties for the evening. Cole’s night wasn’t over though, he was scheduled for a match with a mystery opponent. A lackluster segment was saved by the appearance of R-Truth who is now more crazy than ever. Truth came to the ring with 2 imaginary friends. The King of Kings played hilariously to this by creating two imaginary friends of his own. A frustrated Truth began retreating to the back but HHH had a surprise for him: John Morrison. JoMo came out and got some revenge on R-Truth with a good ol’ fashion beat down followed by a Starship Pain. And with that, the Hunter Hearst McMahon Helmsley era has begun. The rest of Raw reactions from last night after the jump…

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Money in the Bank Reactions (Hail Punk edition!)

WWE, TNA, Wrestling

Welp, it finally happened.  The creative team didn’t blow it.  CM Punk is the new WWE Champion.  Defeating John Cena last night and escaping through the crowd, I have to imagine that CM Punk has ushered in a new era for the wrestling industry.  I don’t believe it’s possible to overstate the importance of last night’s events.  With Vince McMahon left seething in the ring, we could be heading full throttle into an anti-authority angle with the potential to reach heights that no storyline has sniffed since Austin dropped Vinnie Mac with the Stone Cold Stunner for the first time.

Punk’s match with Cena was a definite match of the year candidate.  False finishes with guys kicking out of their opponent’s trademark moves are always an exciting way to pad a match if the stage is big enough, and the main event had plenty of them last night.  Surviving two STFs and two Attitude Adjustments, perhaps we’ve seen the end of Super Cena and the birth of Super Punk.  Before I continue, I want to say that I can appreciate Cena as an in-ring performer.  I’ve mentioned here before that a lot of people either praise him as the absolute best or decry him as a cancer to the product, but the truth is that he’s a solid performer who’s just suffered the blessing and curse of being relied on at the top of the card for too long.  He can go when it matters.  Last night mattered, and he brought it.  Now, with that out of the way, time to sing the praises of the greatest human being on the planet, Mr. CM Punk.

Punk is always a joy to watch, but he was at the top of his game last night.  Asking the crowd who their “you can’t wrestle” chants were directed towards, applauding Cena’s attempts to best him on the mat, and emphatically telling the referee the he didn’t wish to tap out every time he was put in a submission all illustrated how much fun Punk was having in front of his hometown crowd, and it made for an unforgettable performance.  His interactions with fellow Second City Saints Colt Cabana and Ace Steel at ringside only added to the fun.  As the match rolled on, the Straight Edger’s humor gave way to his vicious streak and he landed some nasty knees to the face of Cena.  When the WWE shows an instant replay in slow motion and they don’t bring it back to full speed before the point of impact, you know somebody got rocked, and that was the case with the knee Punk planted into Cena’s jaw during their main event.

The match culminated with the threat of awfulness.  Vince McMahon and John Laurinitis made their way ringside and teased the recreation of the infamous Montreal Screwjob, which would have probably resulted in plenty of us quitting on the company once and for all.  Cena put a stop to the attempt though, crushing Johnny Ace in the face before he could have the bell rung.  Cena’s stance on the moral high ground proved to be his undoing, as Punk used to distraction to hit the Champ with a devastating Go To Sleep.  Three slaps of the mat later, CM Punk was the WWE Champion.  The crowd exploded.  Fanboys everywhere rejoiced.  The impossible had become reality.  The threat of a show-ruining turn of events still loomed as Vince McMahon called for Alberto Del Rio, Raw’s Money in the Bank winner, to come down to the ring and challenge Punk for the title.  Our fears were refuted in moments, though, when the Mexican born superstar slid into the ring only to have his dome rocked by a stiff kick from the new Champion.  Punk blew the Chairman a kiss, hopped the ringside barricade, and was engulfed by the Chicago crowd.  Exiting through the people, CM Punk was the WWE Champion at show’s close last night, and he was within an hour of becoming a free agent.

Hell.  Yes.  This was the most exciting main event that I’ve seen in years.  The last thing that compares, for me, was Rob Van Dam getting his crack at Cena at One Night Stand in the Hammerstein Ballroom, and that wasn’t this good.  The rest of Money in the Bank, which was easily the best pay-per-view of the year, and some more love for CM Punk, just beyond the jump.  Continue reading

What If: Special CM-Cena Edition

wwe ice cream bar pop sandwich cm punk raw

CM Punk. He’s all I can talk about. Over the weekend when I was visiting my mom, I told her all about Punk. When I was taking a walk with my 5 year old nephew, I was telling him why Sunday’s show might be the best in his and my lifetime. Tonight I was talking to the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen and within minutes, I was explaining to her why CM Punk is amazing. Yes, this current angle is that compelling. If you’ve read only one sentence on our site over the past 3 weeks, there is still a 90% chance it mentioned or referred to CM Punk. This Sunday is Money in the Bank and at the risk of overstating, this might be one of the top 5 most important nights in WWE history. Punk will be center stage. A lot of things can happen. Here are some possible scenarios with a healthy dose of fanboy booking…

Punk Loses and Leaves
I’ve avoided the dirtsheets left and right. If there is a secret new contract in place, I want no part of knowing about it. With that said, this option is the most lackluster but still on the table. Cena could find a way to win, like he always does, and Punk could on his way out. WWE would then be right back where they started: stale story, overexposed top face and suddenly without the hottest commodity in prowrestling. If he has no intentions of staying, there is no way WWE let’s him win. If Punk does leave, what happens? Anything is possible. ESPN and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel might be legitimately interested in interviewing him. He could be the biggest name in wrestling without belonging to any company. TNA and RoH would on a per appearance basis, so he could conceivably show up there to continue the Summer of Punk even if it’s only for a few weeks.

Punk Wins and Leaves
Punk has officially cemented himself as face with his actions Monday, throw in the fact that he’s in his hometown and the pop he’s going to get will be astonishing.  I said above that he can’t win then leave, but he can win then go on hiatus. At the end of his segment on Monday, Punk said he was tired. There’s a dose of truth to that. Unlike NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL players, WWE guys don’t get an off season. Punk might sign a contract, take a break for a few months then come back.

Punk Loses and Stays
He can’t leave. WWE just can’t let him. If he wins the title, John Cena gets fired and then Punk doesn’t walk away, the whole angle will seem pointless. So how does the losing and staying angle work? Ladies and gents, I direct your attention to the Montreal Screwjob. Vince could come out and screw Punk out of the title. Enraged, Punk could return to Raw the following night as a ‘free-agent’, continuing his assault of Vince, Cena and subsequently the entire WWE Creative Team. This might set up a rematch with better stipulations at Summerslam, a much more appropriate stage for such a massive storyline.

Punk Wins then Loses then Leaves
Mike mentioned to me and I believe on this blog the possibility of a MitB winner cashing in their briefcase that night in an effort to keep the title in the company. Seeing as how Rey Mysterio was absent from Monday’s MitB segment and a longtime Punk rival, he might be the prime candidate to do such a thing. He’s a face who could claim that he did it to keep tradition alive or something of that nature. It’d be bittersweet but it remains a real possibility.

Punk Wins and Stays
Punk is nearing his Austin 3:16 moment. He’s craved an unbelievable legacy for himself in 3 short weeks. There is no way the WWE can not keep him around. Monday night he began to take on a ‘voice of the people’ gimmick. Out of spite, he could sign a contract on TV right after Vince has fired Cena. Let Punk GTS Vince and we’ve officially turn a corner on a mostly mundane era in WWE history. Naturally this is the scenario I prefer the best.

Fan Boy Booking Bullet Points
If I had the ability to book this main event, it’d go just like this…

  • Punk wins
  • Vince comes to fire Cena
  • Cena begs or barters, aligning himself with heel Vince and turning heel in the process
  • Vince forges an unholy partnership with Cena
  • Vince tells security that Punk can’t leave with the belt because he’s not under contract
  • Punk says he did sign a contract, but not with Vince, he signed it with him…
  • Punk points up, the GM’s ringtone chimes and the lights flicker
  • Cole gets up and walking towards the podium. “I’ve received an email from the Anonymous Raw GM…and I quote…”

Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Because of your massive ego you’re about to let the greatest wrestler in the world walk out of your company. Realizing that Punk’s departure puts the WWE and my job in danger, I’ve exercised my rights as Raw GM to negotiate a new contract with CM Punk. He will receive his jet, a brand new belt and will be featured on all WWE merchandise from here on forth including WWE Superstar Ice Cream Bars. I’ve successfully run the Raw brand via email for a year now but I’ve realized this situation required a hands on approach. It required special care. It required something unprecedented. It required something extreme.

  • Punk turns towards the entrance way and smiles as Vince is fuming in the ring
  • The ECW theme hits and Paul Heyman emerges with Colt Cobana and Luke Gallows in tow. All 4 men embrace as MitB goes off the air…

Soooo….
I have no idea what’s going to happen, but my goodness it could be great.

Ryan Rants: Cena’s Role in RAW Last Night Proves Punk’s Point, Amongst Other Things

CM Punk on last night’s Monday Night Raw… hopefully, it’s not his last.

It’s one thing to make a comment on how the WWE Creative Team poorly handles and misuses their talent. It’s another thing to make a comment on how the WWE Creative Team poorly handles and misuses their talent while it’s actually happening.

Enter the events of last night as Philip Brooks, the man you know and must love as CM Punk, as he criticized Vince McMahon for having no idea what the WWE Universe wants or desires. His point was literally proven in the ring as the inclusion of John Cena in last night’s angle almost single-handedly brought the momentum of the Punk-McMahon angle to a screeching halt.

It’s ironic that this worked shoot is stirring up the wrestling world and the social media world in one fell swoop. The WWE has a been given a rare chance to display their product while the rest of the world keeps their eye on WWE TV… namely to see what Punk will do next. Instead of capitalizing on the golden opportunity, they put on a remarkably sub-par show that only Punk was able to save. Continue reading