"I just read three people's columns: Aaron Rift, John Canton and you and trust me when I say this...I love and look forward to your columns (both on NODQ & 411) the most."
- Sartaj, wrestling fan
Lots to write about. Yesterday, MY Green Bay Packers won. Not only that, but nailed the exact score of 38-20 in my weekly pick em' games. Yay for me! As for wrestling, let's start with WWE Night of Champions before getting to Raw...
Night of Champions 2013
Prime Time Players win #1 Contenders match - Nothing to note here. I am happy to see Alex Riley and Santino Marella get some face time on the pre-show. Good talent there to use!
Triple H promo - Whatever. Paying customers have a right to their opinion on these kind of segments on pay-per-view. If you illegally streamed the show and are complaining, your opinion means nothing. The ONE saving grace from this was setting up an Intercontinental Championship match. Props to WWE for finally addressing this! All of the belts had to be defended. The flip side is that Axel wrestled twice in one night, which should be a big no-no. What a mess!
Curtis Axel defeats Kofi Kingston - Meh. Both guys do not do much for me in 2013. Sorry!
AJ Lee retains - Probably should have seen this coming in hindsight. Outside of Nattie, nobody really stood a chance.
Rob Van Dam wins by DQ over Alberto Del Rio - Well, ADR keeps his World Title. Yet, RVD stands tall. This feud MUST continue! No turn from Ricardo Rodrgiuez...yet. It seems WWE did not have a clue on how to end this match, without anyone losing. Tough call. Now, you can see why I went back and forth on a prediction so much here...
The Miz beats Fandango - Really? Really? Really? Thanks Miz, I love that catchphrase. Almost time to turn him back heel? Unless the fans start to rally behind him in the next month or so, his face run is not going anywhere.
Paul Heyman defeats CM Punk after Curtis Axel was eliminated - Couple of notes to make...
1. No Matt Morgan. Honestly, I am not sure what his free agent status is. He may not even be legally able to sign with WWE at this point. I just thought the situation was a great fit. For the sake of my readers, I will lay off on the Morgan mentions for the time being.
2. Can this end the experiment of Axel being a "Heyman Guy" going forward? I am not going to spout off on the usual 'I told you so' speech. However, it would be fair. The fact he was Mr. Perfect's son meant nothing to me. The fact he did good work in NXT/FCW meant nothing to me. The fact he was with Paul Heyman meant nothing to me. The fact he now had a new name meant nothing to me. Talent is talent. Let the guy hang out in the mid-card for the next six months without Paul E by his side. If he improves and catches on with fans, then move him up the card. If not, go back to the drawing board.
3. Somebody had to save Heyman from Punk, right? Remember my column from two weeks ago after Raw? Here is the my exact quote from 13 days ago:
Very entertaining promo from CM Punk! He chose his words wisely, and I was listening closely. Punk GUARANTEED he would defeat Curtis Axel at the pay-per-view (that explains why it is not for the IC Title). However, he never guaranteed he would defeat Paul Heyman as well. Punk just said he would pummel his former manager and show him a side people may not like...but never mentioned actually beating him in the match. Usually, top faces do not make promises they can't keep. Notice John Cena NEVER once said he would defeat Daniel Bryan at Summerslam. Also, The Rock was very careful with his guarantees during the Attitude Era. It is not a sure fire theory but does work more often that not. A good guy should not lie to his fans. Thus, while I fully expect Punk to get his hands on Heyman at Night of Champions (and beat Axel), I expect him to lose in the end.
There you go! When you listen to promos, these guys choose their words very wisely, especially the good guys. When The Rock used to GUARANTEE victory, he follow through. When he would simply promise a beat down or to 'Layeth the Smackdown,' that meant otherwise. Not necessarily a win. As we saw, Punk defeated Axel, as he guaranteed...all the while he DID get his hands on Heyman - just not for the 1-2-3 pin fall.
4. Now, Ryback came out to help Heyman. My immediate reaction was mixed. That is definitely a step up from Axel. I am not sold on yet another "Heyman Guy" being introduced. At the same time, Ryback could use something like this. For the past month or so, he had been just hanging around. Not forgotten about. Not off television. Just kind of waiting...and waiting...and waiting for something. It seems this scenario is that something.
5. I suppose it is only fitting that Punk and Ryback feuded in September/October 2012. A year later, both men have switched roles. Plus, Heyman is now against Punk. Funny how everything works out, huh?
Dean Ambrose retains - I still say Cody Rhodes basically replaced Dolph Ziggler in the main story line. Something had to have happened in the past month to change plans for those two men. Ziggler is STILL in a nice spot to get involved but not as much as Cody right now.
The Shield retain - Good decision. Instead of discussing this tag title match, I will simply restate that predictability does NOT mean a product is bad. It means logic is being used. Like other PPV events in 2013, nearly every outcome was easy to pick. Yet, none of that matters if the story is well told.
Daniel Bryan "won" the WWE Title over Randy Orton - Notice the quotation marks there. I mentioned this on Twitter, but this title change won't be upheld. I do not even think this will 'count' in the official record books. Since there was a bunch of nonsense with referees, Triple H can easily negate the result and hand the belt back to Randy Orton. He could also vacate the title just to spark some more controversy. Either way, Bryan is not REALLY the WWE Champion. That is the whole story - let him get sooooooo close to the belt, only to rip it away from him.
Remember when Chris Jericho "won" the WWE Title from HHH in April 2000? Yeah, that lasted all of 30 minutes before the decision was reversed and never talked about again. I suspect the exact same thing here. However, we will get to that more when going through a preview for Raw. All in all, you have to be very careful with these kind of finishes. When done in rare cases, it is okay. With two pay-per-views in October, WWE will need some bells and whistles to create interest. Will it work? We shall see...
1. Dusty Rhodes will be on Raw. That is sure to be interesting. After last week's great performance by Goldust, I want MORE of this family drama! So far, so good. Keep building up Cody Rhodes...
2. I am curious to see how (or if) Axel does without Heyman by his side. It is my assumption the two are done being paired up - just my assumption.
3. On that same note, how will Ryback do with Heyman by his side? The duo seems like a strange fit but could actually work. No doubt, CM Punk will be looking for revenge...still.
4. No big title changes (minus the main event) last night. That is probably the right move heading into ANOTHER PPV in three weeks! However, WWE will have to create a ton of buzz to get a good buy rate for Battleground. Then for Heck on a Deck three weeks after that. Wow, good luck.
5. Speaking of title changes, let's get to an email from Bruce:
Monday night Raw prediction: Triple H, Vince, or Stephanie state that the first ref was knocked out and replaced, so his decision is not official. Bryan has to relinquish the belt setting up a rematch.
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