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Top 20 Of 2016

Graphic by Salwinder Singh.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“It.” “Delete.” “Obsolete.” “The List.” “10.” “The Champ That Runs The Camp.” “Stupid Idiot.” “Glorious.” “Too Sweet.”

The list above describes a fiesta of phrases commonly found in pro wrestling jargon that made 2016 possibly its best year ever.

The one below describes select moments that help seal that argument and make us forget about things like The Titus Brand, The Cruiserweight Division, Raw’s Third Hour, WWE’s overloaded Pay-Per-View schedule, TNA’s X-Division and Matanza Cueto.

If you want to remember that bad stuff, check this out.

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WWE Tribute To The Troops 2016 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Genrally, WWE’s annual “Tribute To The Troops” is holiday filler with little storyline impact.

2016’s was somewhat different, as they took advantage of Raw’s Roadblock: End Of The Line Pay-Per-View four days away and shaped the main event around it, also in a way that allowed the “patriotic faithful” theme to stay relevant.

Did it need to be two hours though? Add to that Raw’s three hours, SmackDown Live’s two hours and 205 Live’s one hour just two days before, that was a lot to watch.

Either scenario, no going back now.

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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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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 SmackDown 7/7/16: Scarf Hold

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 7/7/16)

Scarf Hold 

– Just like last week, we had a cutesy promo mashup package to start things off, as Chris Jericho sought his lost scarf and mentioned that Sami Zayn would get “it” later in the main event. Zayn’s response promo questioned the result if he actually beat him. We also had an encounter between Seth Rollins and Jey Uso (actually didn’t know which Uso it was until he dropped his name) in the parking lot, as Rollins made a joke that the Uso family fell apart and insulted Jey’s father Rikishi for his posterior-esque career. Just like that, Jey challenged Rollins and it was on. Say what you want, but two matches were announced in one minute, so we had something to look forward. Will they keep these when SmackDown goes live?

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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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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown! 6/23/16: The Perfect Example

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 then bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 6/23/16)

The Perfect Example 

– With Roman Reigns out of the picture due to a 30-day suspension via a Wellness Policy violation, we wouldn’t have the benefit of seeing him interact with brand-new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose and scorned opportunist Seth Rollins, who again “got robbed” as it was revealed they’d all battle at (no pun intended) Battleground on Jul. 24. The opening video showed us how we reached the triple-threat, as it all played out on Raw. That review is very cool and you should read it.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown! 6/16/16: Pardon The Interruption

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 6/16/16) 

Pardon The Interruption 

– The opening “Highlight Reel” segment with Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro and Sami Zayn had obvious Money In The Bank hype implications with a keen mix of light-hearted spilled coffee comedy via Ambrose and over-the-top fashion sense from Jericho (who bragged about his new Jeri-Tron 6500 and $20,000 carpet made out of one-hundred percent serengeti yak hair) while also keeping the tensions high between Cesaro/Zayn and Owens/Del Rio. Jericho reminded us how much he hated Ambrose with thumbtacks and lite-brite jackets coming to mind. It was expected that Ambrose would spill the coffee onto the set and Jericho’s crazed reaction was priceless. The physicality to end it made sense, as we knew headed in there’d be a six-man tag with the MITB competitors. Decent segment to fill time (a common SmackDown! problem) but this was all things we already knew.

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