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Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Anthony Zevoteck

 

 

Most of us have learned the hard way that too much partying can be bad.

Those of us familiar with NXT from 2012 to 2014 will fondly remember a deadly superstar named Leo Kruger. Many wins and some excellent feuds led the South African to become one of NXT’s brightest stars and a keen fan favorite.

In May 2014, WWE fans were overcome by a storm of flamboyancy when a repackaged and renamed Adam Rose debuted. The partying prophet racked up mid-card wins aplenty and put together an impressive streak that led people to believe that he was on the brink of breaking through to the scene of midcard championship contenders.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 7/2/15: Revenge Is Best Served With A Kendo Stick

WWE SmackdownBy 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 7/2/15)

Revenge Is Best Served With A Kendo Stick 

– The opening video highlighted WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins “buying” his loyalty (love the dubbed in “friend” music) and that led to the main event where The “United” Authority and Bray Wyatt beat down Roman Reigns.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 5/21/15: Self-Reflection

WWE SmackdownBy 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 5/21/15)

Self-Reflection

– The opening video highlighted Dean Ambrose crashing Seth Rollins’ “Architect of a Dream” segment on Raw to get another shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber with some cold cinder block Justice, though Rollins got the last laugh, delivering a much-smoother Pedigree.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 5/18/15: Debut Owens Debut

WWE RawBy 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 5/18/15)

Debut Owens Debut

– Given Stephanie McMahon’s return and building off the momentum from Payback’s stellar main event that saw Seth Rollins retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it made sense for The Authority to open up the show with what we assumed would be a gloating promo, but the result was actually a nice change. Obviously, they put Rollins’ victory over and set the tone for the rest of the show in celebrating him, but the focus here was on the Elimination Chamber match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber. Sheamus coming out to compliment The Authority fit his character, as did giving him the unofficial “title” of ending Daniel Bryan’s career with his last television match. You’d think Sheamus would benefit as an Authority henchman, but having him do his own thing also works. Ryback also fit in this segment well by standing up to Sheamus and defending Bryan to the crowd. This also effectively set up the opening contest, which was an obvious giveaway of these two being in the IC Chamber match.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 5/14/15: Every Man For Themselves

WWE SmackdownBy 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 5/14/15)

Every Man For Themselves

– Actually liked the idea of the Bray Wyatt fog promo taking over the opening theme montage. Makes even a taped show like Smackdown still have that slight feeling of unpredictability. Sadly – his promo towards Ryback hyping their Payback match wasn’t all that, besides giving fair warning to the big guy that an attack was imminent.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 4/27/15: One Less Lonely Champ

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

 

 

 

(Aired 4/27/15)

One Less Lonely Champ 

– The opening video focused on the sudden return of the King of the Ring tournament. This was good for the show because it promised quality wrestling as a way to fill gaps of time, even leading to a special on the WWE Network the following night.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 4/20/15: RKO City

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

 

 

 

(Aired 4/23/15)

RKO City

– The dedication of time spent on Kane’s sudden reemergence as a threat has been a treat to watch unfold – as he seems to switch back and forth between Devil’s Favorite Demon and Corporate Suit. He has suddenly become relevant again. Unfortunately, we can see where this is going as far as Extreme Rules is.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 4/16/15: An All-Champions Affair

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

 

 

 

(Aired 4/16/15)

An All-Champions Affair

– Starting the show off with John Cena again? Are we watching a Raw repeat? Do we even want a repeat of Raw? His promo did its job as it explained the rules of the Russian chain match (much-needed) and addressed the energy of the crowd. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro came out for some cheap heat, cutting down the people and Cena, all for Daniel Bryan to come out and the place to go bonkers. Read the rest of this entry

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 4/13/15: The Devil’s Favorite Suit

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

 

 

 

(Aired 4/13/15)

The Devil’s Favorite Suit

– The UK crowd must’ve been a big part of WrestleMania, as they carried on familiar chants from then. The heat on John Cena was probably expected considering the belt he has anyway. His promo made the most of the situation and set up the ongoing open challenge, which provided good use of Bad News Barrett in his home country, who cut a face promo. The match that followed had quality action and the crowd made it a more interesting dynamic than what would’ve been just another match on Raw in America. Again though – we knew Barrett couldn’t win this because of the announced Extreme Rules match. The broadcast team also didn’t sell the possibility of implications on that match in the event of a new champion, plus the basis of the open challenge has seen Cena win these matches cleanly. Barrett put in a great performance – even getting to kick out of an AA, but ultimately came up short. Lana’s postmatch promo suckered Cena into Rusev’s attack, revealing the Russian Chain match stipulation at Extreme Rules. What makes it different from a regular chain match? No clue. They need to specify that.

– The #1 Contender’s Divas Battle Royale match with The Bella Twins on commentary featuring Natalya, Paige, Cameron, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, Emma, Alicia Fox and Naomi was about what you’d expect. The only noteworthy thing here was the heavy favorable reaction towards Paige, being the England girl. The final two sequence between Paige and Naomi was a good tease of Naomi getting the nod, but the right choice here was Paige, which set up the match at Extreme Rules. Her promo understandably pandered to the crowd and painted her as a tough fighter. The heel turn/attack by Naomi was surprising, yet good. Where it will leave her association with The Usos remains to be seen but for her character alone, this was a welcome change.

– The Bray Wyatt promo had no fog, but still felt like the same random ramblings about being the new face of fear. He’s back without direction once again. Get this man an opponent.

– The Lucha Dragons-The Ascension match was a higher profiled squash for the Dragons, who showed off more of their high-flying maneuvers. If anything, this also showed how out of place The Ascension feels like on the main roster now. Will they ever garner a bigger role?

– Roman Reigns came out to a mild reaction, bordering on negative. Still can’t help but feel like they waited too long to address the WrestleMania main event. Should’ve had this the week after that show. His comments were okay – he said some strong remarks towards Big Show, which prompted a response, which the crowd summed up pretty well, besides the offensive “Please Retire” chant, which wasn’t cool on a personal level. Reigns got in the last words and this probably furthered along what will be a Reigns-Show match at Extreme Rules. Show attacking Reigns on the stage was also good. For a feud nobody really wants to see, they’re trying their best with it.

– The original Orton-Cesaro match was an interesting encounter and was the first of two Extreme Rules stipulation choice matches, which that concept seemed a little backwards, but perhaps done by design to make Kane look bad as Director of Operations. The match didn’t even have time to develop because Kidd interfered, giving Orton the initial DQ win. Kane, giving orders, had the match restart as a two-on-one handicap match, which teased another Authority screwjob. Cole did a good sell of making it a big deal that Orton was in the ring with the current Tag Team Champions, but it still felt as if they were being fed to Orton for no reason. The action that followed was decent but ultimately predictable, despite the pretty RKO finish.

– The backstage interaction between Seth Rollins and Kane had Rollins try to get out of the match and wanted to get Jamie Noble to lay down for him. This allowed more bickering as Rollins berated Kane and wanted him as his opponent. They did a lot of careful yet great storytelling with Kane on this show, almost setting up what would happen later in the show perfectly.

– The Dean Ambrose-Adam Rose match was pure enhancement material for Ambrose, giving him a strong win as he returned from those two vicious Luke Harper powerbombs.

– The interaction between Show and Kane had Show remind him of The Authority and why they needed to do what was best for business. Kane saying it’d be him against Rollins to do what was best for business was an excellent face turn tease to screw Rollins over.

– The Stardust-Fandango match was a quick squash for Stardust to give him a pick-up win. Fandango’s post-match promo had him dump Mendes and go back to his old music, bringing the crowd to life for the sake of Fandangoing. He’ll probably keep that music for now, but what’s next for his character?

– The interaction between Bryan and Kane played on their past history and made Bryan remind Kane of what he used to do and wanted him to be a man. Kane’s explosion was cool, another example of Kane being the focus on the episode, showing how he was being approached from all sides of the issue.

– The Rollins-Kane match set up teases for Kane’s turn perfectly having him kick out at two of the first lay-down pin and there were some more teases, ultimately for him to voluntarily be pinned, making Rollins appear lucky again. Kane was clearly conflicted and he sold it well, getting the crowd back on his side, if only for a little while. Feel like this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Kane almost getting one over on The Authority.

– The Miz-Damien Mizdow match was short and sweet with more fan reaction, giving Mizdow the girl, the moves and the win. Where will this feud progress next? Probably Extreme Rules in some sort of fancy match, but what will happen to Mizdow after? The feud with Miz has made him popular, but will he go back to being Damien Sandow? Everything that makes him popular is impersonating Miz.

– The Prime Time Players promo was more lame making fun of teams, even having to resort to a gay joke. It’s good to see the old PTP humor, but they were better at it as heels.

– The Ryback-Luke Harper match was too short to make anything of with Harper losing by DQ, but Ambrose coming out looking for revenge only for Harper to escape was good.

– The Naomi interview was good stuff. She has better mic skills as a heel. She’s got spunk.

– The Dolph Ziggler promo had him issue an open challenge after ripping Kane, allowing for Neville to answer. This match was going to be great headed in. The 450 Splash off the barricade was impressive. The continued stop-and-start push of Neville is actually sort of working – putting in big performances against big names and coming up short, while owning Curtis Axel. The attacks on both guys by Sheamus afterwards was great. He continues to look like an utter brute one-man force. Ziggler fighting back almost made this a brawl, but this is probably a hint of a feud or Extreme Rules match ready to happen.

– The “Extreme Decision” segment was a good exchange between Rollins and Orton. Rollins looked overly confident laid back on the recliner and his stipulation of the banned RKO made sense, but was one-upped by the steel cage match. Good stuff as well afterwards, with Orton close to hitting the RKO on Rollins, but to no avail.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– United States Championship – Open Challenge – John Cena (Champion) def. Bad News Barrett via pinfall to retain

– Divas #1 Contender’s Battle Royale – Paige eliminates Naomi to win Title Shot

– The Lucha Dragons def. The Ascension via pinfall

– 2-on-1 Handicap Match – Randy Orton def. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) via pinfall 

– Dean Ambrose def. Adam Rose via pinfall

– Stardust def. Fandango (w/Rosa Mendes) via pinfall

– Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security) def. Kane via pinfall

– Damien Mizdow (w/Summer Rae) def. The Miz via pinfall 

– Ryback def. Luke Harper via DQ

– Dolph Ziggler def. Neville via pinfall

Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 3/19/15: Failed Snake Repellent

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

 

 

 

(Aired 3/19/15)

Failed Snake Repellent

– Opening the show with clips from Brock Lesnar’s sit-down style promo was a nice surprise, as the main event of WrestleMania should get “front page” focus of the show, especially so close to the big match. It can even be said Lesnar’s comments sunk in better the second time around, as we could look past the shock value and dive deeper into exactly what he said. He played this off perfectly and deserves a lot of credit here, as great as Paul Heyman has also been.

– The first segment with Roman Reigns, Mark Henry, Seth Rollins, Kane and J & J Security set up the tag match main event from a mile away. Nevertheless, it made sense for Reigns to come out following the opening video and his interaction with Mark Henry was decent, as Henry put him over for last week’s barricade spear and personally endorsed him. It’s a good sign to viewers to show that people like Henry and even Jerry Lawler are now convinced that Reigns could beat Lesnar, because it gives the impression that he is growing on people, which is what WWE wants. Though it’s a forced principle, it works with the right people. The bit with The Authority had Rollins mention a billion and one times that “every arena door was locked to keep out Randy Orton, who will not show up,” which meant of course, that he would show up.

– The “$9.99” commercial song sounds a bit close to Sum 41’s “Fat Lip.” Just saying.

– The Brie Bella-Paige match followed up what happened on Raw, with AJ Lee and Nikki Bella out on commentary going back and forth on a debate about the state of the Divas division. Couldn’t they all agree that it just plain sucks and end the debate? Paige picked up the pinfall victory maybe a little too quickly to be convincing, and we didn’t really get enough time for this to sink in, as most Divas matches these days, shocking considering they had more time on Raw.

– The bits with J & J Security lecturing arena security in keeping an eye out for Orton was expected and didn’t turn out to be anything more than that – unless you were finally hoping to hear Joey Mercury speak. (Spoiler alert: It wouldn’t happen here.)

– Stardust’s boxed promo was very… Stardust. Byron Saxton is a hilarious color commentator and seems to get better by the week, as he compared a Stardust promo to “Storytelling time.”

– Luke Harper’s boxed promo was surprisingly badass, though maybe that was just the effect of him dramatically pushing the ladder down. His promo wording also came from the Bray Wyatt School of promos. It’s also kind of ironic that Ambrose and Harper wear the exact same ring attire: gray tank top, jeans and black shoes. Come to think of it, they’re both presented in the same status on the mental spectrum as “out there.” Hell, you can include Stardust in on that too. And R-Truth has his crazy moments too. One-third of this ladder match are crazy individuals. Sounds about right.

– Dolph Ziggler’s boxed promo was his usual cocky promo taking a poke at other competitors and taking back the “turd” comment towards Daniel Bryan midway through the word, which was interesting. Did WWE see a mistake with the “turd” remark, or did they bank on that catching on more than it did and retraced their steps here?

– The Intercontinental Championship Contender’s Gauntlet match was both an excellent time-killer and great way to have all the competitors show off their in-ring skills. Even the touch of boxed promos from some of the competitors was good, simple hype. The Bryan-Harper and Bryan-Ziggler portions of the match were excellent. Barrett watching from backstage also made it feel important and his attacks on Bryan and Ziggler gave him much-needed heat. They have finally played it right, well – besides for R-Truth’s performance in this match. What the hell was that?

– The hype video from all the other Divas about the tag match for WrestleMania – or Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae, Cameron and Alicia Fox arguing back and forth about who they thought would win – was a decent shot to try to make people care, but the video package sort of came across as second-rate. Who are we giving a chance again?

– The 6-being Interspecies tag match between Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Natalya and Los Matadores/El Torito wasn’t anything too special as the campiness of the match stipulation itself was too much to ignore. It’s as if the word “INTERSPECIES” hung over the ring during the action. The two teams meshed okay together, but the only big thing out of this was that Natalya got the pinfall over El Torito and even then, is that something to brag about in the end?

– The Reigns/Henry-Rollins/Kane (w/J & J Security) main event tag match already started with the melodramatic scenario of Henry being laid out backstage and of course, all the odds were stacked against Reigns and sure enough, he comes out victorious. How magnificent and lamely predictable. Just when it looked like Orton wouldn’t show, that’s when it happened. Him getting the better hand of most of The Authority and some offense on Rollins before his escape was a decent way to make both guys look good, but it didn’t really turn out to be anything too eventful.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Paige def. Brie Bella via pinfall 

– Intercontinental Championship Contender’s Gauntlet Match – Dolph Ziggler def. Daniel Bryan, Luke Harper (eliminated by Bryan), Dean Ambrose (eliminated by Harper), R-Truth (eliminated by Ambrose), Stardust (eliminated by Ambrose)

– Six-Being Interspecies Tag Match – Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Natalya def. Los Matadores/El Torito via pinfall

– 2-on-1 Handicap Match – Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins/Kane via pinfall