Night of Champions 2015

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Night of Champions was an overall solid show, but could have been a lot more eventful if not for some peculiar booking.

Below are my feelings on each match and always remember, there are spoilers:

The Cosmic Wasteland vs. Neville/The Lucha Dragons – A solid pre-show match with a lot of high spots from the team of Neville and The Lucha Dragons that got the crowd excited. I am really enjoying the combo of Stardust and The Ascension. The Ascension were a great team during their NXT days and have been wasted on the main roster. Forming The Cosmic Wasteland with Stardust has been just the push they need and is a ridiculous gimmick that simply works and is a ton of fun. The Cosmic Wasteland won which was a smart move to keep this rivalry going which should be nothing but fun to watch develop.

Kevin Owens vs. Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship – The good thing about this match is Kevin Owens won the IC Title from Ryback. I loved Ryback as champion, but Owens has been in the middle of a big push and is extremely talented and will do a lot to elevate the importance of the belt as a great heel champ. What I did not like about this match was the basic nature of it. We did not see many of Owens amazing in-ring moves and the ending almost seemed to come of nowhere. The matched seemed oddly paced. I am hoping they have at least 1 re-match and the chance to put on a much better contest since I feel both men are solid performers.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev – First things first. I love Ziggler. He is one of my favorites and his entrance is my ringtone. He always puts on a great show and this match was no different. My issue is this rivalry has gone nowhere. They are both talented performers, but the booking team seems to have no clue what to do to really make this an interesting rivalry. Lana was a major part of it and I am sure her injury threw things off a bit, but the writers should be better skilled at working around obstacles since injuries are a typical part of professional wrestling. Ziggler won and I look forward to both men being put into different angles.

The Dudley Boyz vs. The New Day for the Tag Team Championship – The Dudley Boyz returning to the WWE after several years has been great for the WWE and the tag team division. They can still get a crowd going and put on terrific matches. The New Day are the hottest thing is wrestling right now. Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods are great wrestlers and amazing on the mic. They are talented athletically and funny as hell. This match should have been one of the top matches of the night. It was not. It seemed too short and oddly paced. The New Day held on to their titles which will lead to a re-match or two and hopefully, both teams will be given more time and the chance to put on more memorable contests which we know they are capable of.

Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship – In a future post I will discuss the Diva’s Revolution and the problems with it and why it may be turning around. In regards to this match, Charlotte winning the title was the smart move. Nikki put on a very traditional mat wrestling type of match which was interesting to see and came off well. My major issue is the WWE’s desire to make Charlotte look weak compared to the other women. She is very athletically gifted and an imposing person and has been involved in some of the best matches in the WWE (men included) while on the NXT roster this year. The booking team has her spend the majority of matches on the main roster selling everyone else. She should not steam roll everyone, but she should be made to look better and more imposing. She spent this match getting in way too little offense until the very end. Better booking and she could become one of the most popular wrestlers on the main roster.

The Wyatt Family vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Chris Jericho – Terrific match and great story telling. Jericho was a huge surprise teammate of Reigns and Ambrose and got a huge pop from the crowd (and my household) when he came out. The match was solid with the Wyatt Family getting the big win. The big moment was at the end since Jericho’s surprise tag of Roman cost them the match. Reigns and Ambrose confronted Jericho in the ring after the match and he just gave them a nasty look and did the old ‘shoulder bump’ to Dean when he left the ring. The potential for an Ambrose/Jericho rivalry is very exciting and I hope it happens sooner rather than later.

John Cena vs. Seth Rollins for the United States Championship – Very good match. These two are at the top of their game and they always have a great match. Rollins and Cena are having amazing years and have both become so innovative with their in-ring performances that you never know what they are going to do next. Cena won the US Title and I cannot wait until the Cena Open Challenge starts back up.

Sting vs. Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship – With Sting having only his second match in the WWE I did not know what to expect in terms of the outcome. The majority of the match was solid until Sting got injured towards the end of the match. You could tell something was legitimately wrong with him and it was not part of the storyline when the medical team rushed in. After they cleared him to finish the match it came to a very quick and abrupt end with Rollins getting the pin. Hopefully, this will not be his last match in the WWE and he sounded in good spirits during interviews the past couple of days.

Overall, a solid show with some bizarre booking decisions and an unfortunate injury.

Looking forward to Hell in a Cell in October and what is being hyped as the final match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker! Should be mind blowing!

NXT

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Before the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, I honestly had no clue what was going on with the WWE main roster. From the women to the men, to the Diva’s Championship belt to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt. Even during MITB, I still couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then, the next night on Raw, Brock Lesnar came out, and it all started to come into place.

There’s a lot to talk about, so this will be just like the NXT post- very long and very rant-y. I won’t be talking about the Divas here, but I will in another post – I’d love to start with the Kevin Owens and John Cena feud for now.

Owens VS Cena has been so great. I have loved every moment of it – I’ve loved seeing what Kevin Owens can do in the ring and at the mic and I’ve loved seeing John Cena push him more over than he already has been. I don’t hate John Cena, I never have and I never will. I’m not going to shout “Cena sucks” or be one of those major haters online. Of course though, I can understand both sides of the Cena haters and the Cena lovers – if both of them have actual reasons as to why they like him or don’t like him.

Kevin Owens really should win the United States Championship belt and go on to have a feud with Samoa Joe. It’s the best decision, in my opinion. When Sami Zayn comes back, I’m pretty sure they’re going to have him feud with Owens for the US belt. I think that was what they were going to do, honestly, was move up Zayn and Owens at the same time so they could feud after Owens and Cena were done. If anything, I think we’re going to get a Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens match at next year’s Wrestlemania- but hey, maybe I’m just really optimistic.

On another note, I have literally no clue what is happening with Sheamus and the MITB briefcase right now. I understand that the original purpose of the briefcase was to push midcard wrestlers up – Like Jack Swagger, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan. It’s so they can get their shot at the WWE Title if there really isn’t another way to get them into a WWE WHC storyline. I argue with my own point that Sheamus has already had the belt – and the worst part is that so many people talk about his title reign like a horror story. Very few people have been unsuccessful with cashing in the briefcase – Mr. Kennedy lost the briefcase to Edge in 2007, John Cena was unsuccessful in 2012, and Damien Sandow lost in 2013. Three people out of fourteen – the statistics don’t show that Sheamus will be unsuccessful. It’s a shame that I want him to be unsuccessful, I love Sheamus. He’s a great wrestler, a great performer, but him winning the briefcase is just a bad idea to me.

Sheamus being the winner of the briefcase makes no sense to me. Adrian Neville could have won, to show what winning that ladder match is all about. Randy Orton could have won and shown that he isn’t boring. Kofi Kingston could have won and gotten the chance to finally be champion. Dolph Ziggler would have gotten another great title run (He is such a great and hard worker, he deserves another run). Kane would have gotten revenge on Seth Rollins, and Roman could have gotten his revenge on Seth too. Roman, Dolph, and Neville were the safest and smartest choices – And yet they went with Sheamus. It just doesn’t make sense to me, and I hope we don’t have a moment of wrestling history repeating itself.

Now, about the Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt feud. I really am fond of this feud, but Roman really should just barrel over Bray at Battleground. This really shouldn’t go any farther than that. I definitely do think this is kind of like commentary on the fans. What with the ‘Anyone but you’ written on the walls, – representing what the fans were saying. The eyes and mouth cut out of every picture of Roman – representing the fans complaining about how his promos were, and some fans did complain about the color contacts. The word ‘liar’ written on the wall – ‘I CAN and I WILL.’

The feud is great, but like I said, it can’t last longer than Battleground. They have two obvious options for Roman right now – Him winning the Championship, or him with a reunited Shield.

I feel like it’s obvious that Seth is going to lose the championship at Battleground – Then again, I thought it was obvious that Roman and Dean were both going to win at MITB, so I might be jinxing it when I say that. But, if Brock does win, I think that Seth is going to be rejected from the Authority. When Seth is mouthing off at the Authority, he’ll end his speech with, “There’s always plan B” and Roman and Dean appear beside him. Obviously Roman would take pity on him- He’s certainly more forgiving than Dean is. I think the fact that they just won’t let go of Seth breaking up the Shield, showing it almost every time Seth does a promo, it’s kind of obvious that if anything they’re thinking about reuniting the trio.

It’s either that, or Seth retains, and Summerslam there’s a Triple Threat, with Roman, Seth and Brock. Maybe Brock doesn’t win again, and we get a Wrestlemania Championship Triple Threat, with Dean instead of Brock. I’m relatively sure that Roman would come out on top in the end either way. If anything, I really do want him to. They’ve put Roman in so many good spots just to take the win away from him.

Finally, the person I choose to talk about last, is Adrian Neville. He is in my top three for favorite wrestlers right now. He’s an absolutely amazing wrestler, an amazing performer, and great at the mic. Adrian is one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen, especially with being so new to the WWE. I know he isn’t new to wrestling itself, but I’m still amazed by him. I truly think he was the best person to win the Money in the Bank briefcase, if not Reigns. He was fantastic in the match anyways, I think later in his WWE career they might find that ladder matches are where he does his best work – like the Hardy’s or Edge and Christian. I hope they find Adrian a solid storyline and that he can really find his place in the WWE.

Thank you for reading, I cannot wait for the Live Tokyo Event on July 4th, and I hope you all enjoy the show and have a great weekend!

Wrestlemania 29

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The 29th installment of Wrestlemania was a solid show with many highlights and was one of the very few I had not seen. It was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and was billed as a co-location event between New York and New Jersey. It was the fifth Wrestlemania held outdoors which added a Super Bowl-type atmosphere to the proceedings. WWE has held to this new tradition of holding the biggest wrestling event of the year in big stadiums and it really adds to the atmosphere.

The highlights of the night are as follows:

Randy Orton/Big Show/Sheamus vs. The Shield – This was the first Wrestlemania for all three members of The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) and was a solid start to the show. The highlight of the match was when Rollins attempted a top rope maneuver and Randy Orton caught him with an RKO. The match ended with a spear from Reigns to Orton and the pinfall was secured by Ambrose. Great match and The Shield were very over with the crowd.

Mark Henry vs. Ryback – A little underwhelming since the match featured two big, slower guys and the crowd was not very interested in this match. It was not horrible, just kind of a throw away match. Henry secured the win after a failed Shell Shock attempt from Ryback.

Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler/Big E – A solid match that featured a very fun team in Daniel Bryan and Kane that I miss since they not only had solid matches, but their vignettes were hysterical with the two of them always being at odds. Ziggler and Big E (with AJ Lee in tow) were a very solid team as well. The match was fairly quick, but exciting with Team Hell No retaining their Tag Team Titles.

Fandango vs. Chris Jericho – This was Fandango’s debut match and the fact that it was against Jericho made it appear that Fandango was set for a big push. It was a fairly good match with Jericho having to carry the night since Fandango was more than a bit green. I could not help but feel that a debut match should not be held at the biggest event of the year. Not fair for a talent to have that kind of pressure put on them. Amazingly enough Fandango got the win, but surprisingly he was not really pushed that much after Wrestlemania. Seems a waste of such a notable victory.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger – This was was kind of an ironic match since both men are known to be very reckless in the ring and have both caused multiple real life injuries to their opponents. The match itself was fine with Alberto retaining his World Title, but I had one HUGE issue with the entire storyline, the racist aspect of it. During this time Swagger came out with Zeb Colter (formerly known as Dirty Dutch Mantel) with Zeb constantly attacking immigrants and mentioning how ‘those people’ should not be in our country. I have loved wrestling since I was a kid and even though I have seen my fair share of embarrassing moments on the screen most of it was fairly benign. This particular angle went too far in my opinion and with racism being a big issue in our country this was one area the WWE should have stayed out of. It got uncomfortable hearing the things that were spewing from Colter’s mouth and made the match less enjoyable.

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk -Once again, another great match from The Undertaker with CM Punk being that year’s victim of the streak. They both worked a solid, hard fought match with plenty of moments that made you think Punk could have been the one to end the streak. After a lot of back and forth The Undertaker hit Punk with a Tombstone Piledriver for the win.

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar – This match was brutal with both men beating the hell out of each other. Triple H has always been and always will be a solid in-ring performer and he and Lesnar really worked well together with H Securing the victory via his patented Pedigree.

John Cena vs. The Rock – The big rematch from the previous year’s Wrestlemania. Both men had legitimate animosity towards each other and were able to channel that heat into an excellent match with plenty of action and false finishes. John Cena won the WWE Title with the AA and both men embraced after the end of the match showing true respect for each other.

Overall, a good show that was fun to watch for the first time even though I already knew the outcomes of some of the matches.

Next week I will be watching Wrestlemania 30 again and even though I already reviewed it last year, I am looking forward to a second viewing and seeing if my opinion has changed on any of the matches knowing some of the real life stories behind them, especially The Undertaker/Brock Lesnar match which I was not thrilled with a year ago.

Remember, you can watch all of these shows yourself and so much more by subscribing to the WWE Network for only $9.99 a month!

NXT

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As of late, I have completely fallen in love with wrestling, to the point where I would change my professional career path from being an artist to becoming a commentator for the WWE.

There’s a lot for me to talk about, but right now I’d love to take a moment this week and talk about NXT.

NXT has truly become its own brand. It is something I can stop watching and be satisfied with the outcomes of literally every single match. The writing for NXT is, arguably, better than that of Raw and Smackdown – especially for the female wrestlers, but that’s for a whole other post.

There is no one on NXT I necessarily dislike. Not all characters have swept me off my feet, (Sorry Bull Dempsey!) but a lot of them have. Sami Zayn, Charlotte, Hideo Itami, and Sasha Banks are just a few people I always pay attention to and I always know they’ll do well – unlike some over at Raw and Smackdown. (Sorry Big Show.)

It’s very nice with a developmental brand like this, because even if you’re not amazing in the ring, it really shouldn’t matter at the beginning. NXT is a sort of safe space for wrestlers that are still green. If they mess up, we shouldn’t yell and get angry at them – they’re working to get better, this is why they’re here. It’s kind of an honor to see these kids become amazing and perfect their artform. What with Kevin Owens being pushed to the main roster so fast, we truly do have future WWE World Heavyweight Champions and Diva’s Champions in NXT.

It feels almost definite; Kevin Owens having the WWE World Heavyweight championship belt within the next ten years, considering he is officially on the main roster. I personally think that he will take the belt from whoever is holding the title at the time at a Wrestlemania, and the Raw afterwards Owens will be doing a promo, talking about how much he’s overcome. He gets to a point in his speech where he sort of reflects on his reign with the NXT Championship, mentioning Sami Zayn and how he practically killed him for the belt – and then we hear Sami’s music.

It’s fairly necessary to revive Zayn and Owens’ fued when the time comes. Unlike before with NXT, Sami will stand tall with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt in his hands. I feel like that would be perfect, especially if WWE gave their all on the feud.

I’d actually love to take a moment to talk about Sami Zayn, considering he’d absolutely have to be the one to take the WWE WHC belt from Owens – and he is my absolute favorite wrestler right now.

Sami Zayn is such a great wrestler, he’s constantly adding new moves to his list, from a Tornado DDT to various arm drags to his absolutely fantastic Diving Crossbody. His Koji Clutch truly looks impossible to get out of, it looks very complicated which is always great. I could never forget to mention his finisher though, Helluva Kick, which has been with him since his El Generico days in Ring of Honor – it’s got such power and force and a finality to it, it’s a great move to make a finisher. I think it’s great that he’s kept that move for so long too.

Sami Zayn is constantly adding new moves to his moveset, it’s absolutely fantastic. He’s nowhere near needing to, but he does a great job at staying interesting in the ring. They’re always so amazing, his moves, it’s hard to not just say the same thing about them.  Overall, Sami Zayn is absolutely amazing – as the person or as the character. He’s a passionate, charming, engaging, and talented young wrestler. For a lot, including myself, it’s hard not to get excited when his entrance music hits and he comes barreling out – I absolutely cannot wait for him to come back.

It is truly saddening to me that Sami Zayn is going to be out until 2016. I definitely do think that they were going to move Kevin Owens and Sami at the same time, so they could maybe feud together after this John Cena and Owens feud. Zayn vs Owens for the US title is something I cannot wait for when he gets back. We all hope he has a full recovery and comes back at full health.

The same goes for Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Hideo Itami. Banks and Charlotte are two of my absolute favorite female wrestlers, and Hideo is a very close second for favorite male wrestler from NXT.

Banks and Charlotte have a great chemistry in the ring, and their feud was absolutely amazing – and I just cannot wait for Hideo to come back. I certainly don’t want to bore you with going through all of Charlotte’s, Banks’, and Itami’s moves. I will say, that not only does Charlotte look powerful, she is powerful. Sasha Banks has a sort of elegant strength that’s absolutely wonderful, and I certainly hope they give Hideo his amazing GTS back to him one day.

So many of these kids in NXT come from the Independent wrestling scene, – probably picked up by ROH beforehand- so it does make sense for people like Sami Zayn (previously known as El Generico) or Adrian Neville (previously known as PAC) to already have almost-mastered their artform. It does still stun me a bit though. They’re so fresh, yet they’ve already experienced so much. What they do in the ring, experienced or green, they’re all so amazing. I am so beyond glad that so many of these great performers are getting these chances to blossom in NXT and the WWE. Kevin Owens and Adrian Neville are great examples of what could happen to almost everyone at NXT.

I am so proud of Neville too, but I’ll talk about him later.

I always love seeing NXT every week, I have never once been overly stressed about it, I have always trusted Triple H and the writers in NXT. I trust the path they’re going with storylines and what they’re going to do with the NXT Championship belt and the NXT Women’s Championship belt.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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Wrestlemania 28

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The 28th edition of Wrestlemania was a major step up from the previous year’s installment and is a must watch event.

The highlights:

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk – A very good match between two great performers at the top of their game. The story they told in the ring was powerful and engaging. Jericho had spent the past few weeks attacking Punk’s family’s issues (his Dad was an alcoholic and his sister had drug abuse issues) which really added to the drama of the match. The in ring result was a great match that saw Punk win with the Anaconda Vise.

Randy Orton vs. Kane – A solid match between the two which ended with Kane getting a surprising and much deserved win. Kane is one of the all time best big men in wrestling and he has a great in-ring chemistry with Orton.

A Hell in a Cell match featuring The Undertaker vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee – Simply wow…their match a year before was a classic and this one somehow out did it. The match was brutal, violent, yet technically proficient and ended with The Streak being extended to 20-0. Michaels was also used very effectively in the match. He interfered on a couple of occasions, but it made sense and did not disrupt the quality of the match. He added a significant amount of drama to the bout that worked very well. The ending with the three men embracing was emotional and heart felt.

John Cena vs. The Rock – Great match that ended with a Rock Bottom out of nowhere that secured the win for The Rock. Even though the previous Wrestlemania was frustrating at times, coming off as just a big lead up for 28, it was worth it and provided a great main event.

The skits – I complained about 27’s excessive skits and the 28th edition corrected it. There were a few skits that were brief and effective, especially a funny one involving Mick Foley and Santino.

Honestly, not too much to complain about. The first match of the night for the World Title saw Sheamus take the belt from Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds and was a bit of a disappoint since these two work well together, but it did advance a storyline so it was tolerable.

Definitely a must watch Wrestlemania that gets me excited to see number 29 and the big rematch between Cena and The Rock.

Wrestlemania 27

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The 27th edition of Wrestlemania had some issues, but also featured some very memorable matches.

Starting with the lowlights:

The Rock – I know, sounds blasphemous, but this was the first time for me where I wanted him to get out of the ring and let the matches begin. His opening promo was too long and he really seemed off his game. This was a Wrestlemania I had not seen and just wanted to get to the matches. You can tell the crowd did too.

The main event of The Miz defending the WWE title against Cena – Two very talented performers and great characters that had one of the most boring main events in Wrestlemania history. They both just seemed off. The match ended with a double count out and then The Rock came out to demand the match restart. He Rock Bottomed Cena to give The Miz the win and then took out The Miz afterwards. The only purpose of this whole match was to set up next year’s Wrestlemania main event between The Rock and John Cena which further made this bout pointless. Another thing that made the ending of The Miz getting knocked around was that he had suffered a concussion earlier in the match and seeing him taking blows to the head while looking truly out of it was a little disconcerting. The Miz is still a featured wrestler on WWE programming, but that concussion could have caused long term issues.

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole – The least said the better. By the way, I HATE heel Michael Cole. Enough said.

The skits – Soooooo many skits. Various ones featuring The Rock. Another one with Snoop Dog that was funny, but too long. People want to see actual matches during the biggest show of the year, not comedy routines. The fewer the better.

The positive:

The Edge vs. Alberto del Rio – This was Edge’s final match since he was forced a week later to retire due to a neck injury. He retained his World title in a solid match and got the rare opportunity to retire as champion.

Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio – These two worked amazingly well together. Rey is always incredible, but Cody held his own and was just as amazing. Cody got a big win and it was much deserved.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H – Yes, The Undertaker continued his win streak, but did a great job of making it look like the streak was truly in danger. They had a brutal, physical match that kept your interest throughout. The match of the night by far.

CM Punk vs. Randy Orton – Another great match with both men working very well together with Orton getting the win via an impressive RKO off a Punk springboard clothesline attempt.

Overall, a good show that was brought down a bit by The Rock and the main event, but not enough to say you should skip this one. Worth a watch for some great matches.

Looking forward to Wrestlemania 28 and the big main event between Cena and The Rock.

Wrestlemania 26

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Overall, Wrestlemania 26 was a solid show that had some nice moments, but does not go down in the top 10 best Wrestlemania’s category.

The highlights:

– The Money in the Bank ladder match is always a blast and I have yet to see one that was not fun to watch. This year’s featured Jack Swagger, Christian, Matt Hardy, and Evan Bourne, among others, with those 4 really standing out. Bourne performed an impressive shooting star press from a ladder on to Christian that got a huge response from the crowd. Jack Swagger eventually won and got a nice reaction from the audience.

– Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, and Cody Rhodes battled in a triple threat match that officially ended The Legacy trio and was well worked by all three performers. Orton won with an RKO to DiBiase that got the crowd on their feet cheering.

– Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk was another good match with a satisfying ending of Mysterio getting his revenge on Punk for weeks of torment and securing the pinfall.

– Edge vs. Chris Jericho was another good match with Jericho retaining his World Title. Any time these two went head to head you knew you were in for something good.

– The most memorable moment of the night was the main event which featured a re-match of last year’s show with The Undertaker battling Shawn Michaels with the stipulation that if Michaels lost he would retire. It was not quite the match they put on last year, but it was solid nonetheless with The Undertaker going 18-0 at Wrestlemania and Shawn saying an emotional goodbye to the crowd. It was a real honor to know he had his final match in my home state of Arizona.

Now for the lowlights:

– 10 Diva tag match. The less said the better.

– Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon. The storyline of McMahon trying to screw over Bret for a second time was unnecessary. Bret stumbled a bit when delivering his promo and seemed a little bit confused. This was not a solid match at all and seemed to be ‘over stuffed’ with the Hart family at ringside.

– Big Show and The Miz successfully defended their Tag Team Championship over R-Truth and Morrison. This is unfortunate since Morrison and Truth are excellent performers who were not allowed to shine so they could put over the current Tag Champs in a pointless match.

Overall, not a bad show, but a little uneven in the booking department.

Looking forward to Wrestlemania 27 since I do not remember seeing that show and I look forward to watching the one Wrestlemania that The Miz always brags about headlining in his current promos 🙂