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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 8/23/16: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 8/23/16)

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures 

– Headed out of WWE SummerSlam on the SmackDown Live side was the news that AJ Styles cleanly pinned 15-time World Champion John Cena in the ring and despite a close effort (in a dud match), Dolph Ziggler didn’t fulfill his opportunity against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose and fell short yet again. It was a smart idea to have the gloating Styles and upset Ziggler collide in the locker room based off SummerSlam alone. The only thing that confused us was a random locker room as Baron Corbin talked to Erick Rowan (with the sheep mask on) and Apollo Crews spoke with Rhyno. Like, what? Anyways, Styles had Ziggler snapping at him coming since he called the guy a loser to his face. Styles has comfortably settled into the “pest heel” role and it doesn’t hurt to have a solid character behind the guy who can go in the ring.

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WWE SummerSlam 2016 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Within the “New Era” has been an attempt by WWE to showcase new talent on the precipice of an ever-growing content generator known as the WWE Network, where fans can not only tune in to live Pay-Per-Views (seven of more which were announced to be added to the already-stacked yearly 12 to make an absurd 19) but go back and watch almost everything WWE has ever produced.

That said, sometimes more new content isn’t necessarily the best scenario.

If you count the two-hour pre-show, SummerSlam clocked in and six hours and three minutes with 13 matches.

On a stacked Supercard, only a third of it was deemed excellent. The rest of it couldn’t have been more filler if we tried.

SummerSlam was the personification of having too much of a good thing and not knowing how to properly utilize it.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 8/16/16: Styles Crash

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 8/16/16)

Styles Crash

– The opening backstage segment with Commissioner Shane McMahon, General Manager Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Heath Slater was a fine open to the show, as we saw Orton officially sign off on the contract that ensured that he and Brock Lesnar would battle at SummerSlam, only five days away. Slater continued to use his “Free Agent” gimmick more to the comedic side, as he presented Bryan/Shane a fruit basket (likely stolen from a funeral parlor, funny) since he recalled them close to signing him, before they said no because of how they were dissed. We were left with how Orton “had an idea.” Wonder what that could possibly be. At least there was a tie with Slater to Lesnar. It’s actually pretty smart to have the one guy who could bounce back and forth between shows interact with the two feuding guys on separate shows.

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WWE Battleground 2016 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

In many ways, Battleground personified the end of the modern era in WWE as we knew it.

With the last quarrels left to settle before the official WWE Brand Split took place, this marked the final time Raw and SmackDown superstars would appear in the same ring together.

The same rule was also in play for the main event, which put The Shield’s former members in an anticipated triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first and last time.

Washington D.C. was primed for a long night and came to life when they needed to, but with nothing truly groundbreaking outside of a Sami Zayn-Kevin Owens classic, a notable Women’s Division debut and Randy Orton’s return, this Battleground left us with a slight case of trenchfoot, ready for the new era to truly take over already.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/18/16: Holy Foley And The Yes Man

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/18/16)

Holy Foley And The Yes Man

– With Battleground six days away and the WWE Brand Extension Draft even closer (the next day), there was a feel for change in the air. What better way to bring that out than to start the show with a long-winded talking segment that involves the McMahon clan? Original stuff, guys. The one saving grace here was that it served a purpose for us to find out who Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon each selected for their respective General Managers. Are you keeping up with the authority figures? Hope you like it, because there’s a lot of that here. There were also some half-assedly explained Draft “rules” – Raw got the first pick and for every two SmackDown picks, Raw would get three. Why? We don’t know. Better news was that six picks would come off the NXT roster. Oh, make them good. After some pointless sibling bickering, Steph announced that Raw would feature a new cruiserweight division exclusive to them. She then introduced her GM, which was Mick Foley to a nice pop. Foley’s promo here leaned more towards the humbled and appreciative as he used his experience when he partook in the Monday Night Wars to compare it to nowadays. That’s a bit of a stretch, but okay. More or less, the segment was stolen when Shane announced his pick, none other than Daniel Bryan. Yes, that one. The place went bonkers as you’d imagine. Bryan’s promo revolved around the “underdogs” and there were some moments where he stuck it to Steph, as she had her own responses that underdogs always end up at the bottom despite their rise. So, some more pointless bickering to end it but we got our big news.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/11/16: Rollins The Reporter

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/11/16)

Rollins The Reporter

– We applauded the Battle Royale opener to decide who’d challenge WWE United States Champion The Miz at Battleground that featured the likes of Darren Young, Apollo Crews, The Usos, The Dudley Boyz, The Vaudevillains, The Ascension, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Alberto Del Rio, The Golden Truth and Jack Swagger. It switched things up and also gave us Young’s long-awaited “re-debut,” who now had Bob Backlund at ringside. Thankfully, Crews also got a televised entrance and even Corbin was pushed like a beast here to the end. Miz’s pre-taped promo was well-delivered and he stood on commentary, even if he messed up a few lines. The finish was okay, just wasn’t a fan of how Young was the winner mainly for how he stood in the background as Crews/Corbin went over the top rope together. Perhaps it wasn’t the planned finish? Crews looked like he tried to hold on, but fell with Corbin. Luckily, the crowd bought into it and they chanted for Young as he and Backlund celebrated in the ring. Young was later hyped for a SmackDown appearance on MizTV, so that could also be fun.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/4/16: Independence Dud

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/4/16)

Independence Dud

– WWE and holidays never mix if you seek quality television. It was the Fourth Of July and America celebrated it’s 240th birthday with greasy grilled goodness and such. WWE threw on a three-hour Raw with the agenda of half-assedly pushing Battleground with holiday filler. It worked in some ways and was missable in many others. Case in point – the opening segment was your general locker room food party. The Golden Truth performed on stage before The Vaudevillains forced them off and then Aiden English had food thrown at him. WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz/Maryse warned everybody not to let it end in a food fight and sure enough, that’s what happened. Kevin Owens also got pied by someone in the face off-camera, Heath Slater went through a table, Darren Young sat with other heels and we knew we were in for one of “those” nights.

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WWE Money In The Bank 2016 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

When the words “Money In The Bank” are uttered within earshot of a wrestling fan, few things will come to mind.

Edge’s opportunistic cash-ins, the chaos itself of the MITB ladder match, past winners and probably the easiest tie to the phrase – 2011 – when CM Punk shocked the world and “left” the company with the WWE Championship after a money match with John Cena.

MITB has become a tradition itself and what does one do with tradition? They carry it on with new generations.

What happens when “The New Era” (wink, wink) collides with this concept?

Thanks to a tightly packed uppercard with three WrestleMania-worthy matches and a crazy ending, it was easily high on the list for Pay-Per-View of the Year.

Calling it the “Greatest MITB in history” before the show even streamed live was a bold statement, but one that could be hard to argue.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 5/30/16: A Day To Remember

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 5/30/16)

A Day To Remember

– It seemed like Creative went into the first segment with no idea what to do, so they threw out Shane, Stephanie McMahon and WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day to kill time and address SmackDown’s move to Tuesdays on Jul. 19 when it’ll go live via a “brand extension.” The thing about this was that it merely glossed over what many fans already knew when the show started. We got hints of Shane’s desire to run things himself and Stephanie’s attempts to steal the spotlight. New Day was over with the crowd, but even their material didn’t gather life here. They’re the World Tag Team Champions, why would they get split up if they’re active Champions? Was it also a good idea to establish that Shane/Steph hadn’t “made decisions” that regarded the brands yet? No worries, because a silly dance contest would fill up the rest of the time, because a Shane twerk was definitely on our bucket list. Luckily, The Vaudevillains came out before Steph could bust her move and it was back to business. What a dud that was.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 5/26/16: Bankers Trust

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 5/26/16)

Bankers Trust

– With “Money In The Bank” season upon us, it was fresh to see that the opening video focused on that and the competitors thus far – Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Chis Jericho and Kevin Owens. They could’ve gone the “high road” and focused it on the feud between Seth Rollins and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, but they didn’t. Yay?

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