Day 201: WWE Battleground

Another WWE PPV. It’s concerning that for a card with Cena-Owens III and BROCK LESNAR I really have very little interest going in. But I feel WWE is best enjoyed when you don’t care too much about it and can just sit back, relax and enjoy good matches. Which is largely what I did.

I missed the first couple matches with connection problems, which I guess at least saved me the indignity of watching another Sheamus-Orton match. I mean I probably would have liked it, but I lose absolutely no sleep having missed it. If there is a single person who gives a single fuck about their feud, bring them to me. I remember fantasy booking Raw in 2010 and it called for Orton and Sheamus to feud for like four months straight, basically to get them out of the way of everyone else. So clearly WWE are stealing my ideas once again. Anyway, we pick up with Reigns vs Wyatt.

Poor Roman Reigns will never catch a break. He spends 2015 working out of his skin, here he is churning out another great match, and all the crowd can chant is “DAN-IEL BRY-AN!” I really enjoyed Reigns vs Wyatt. I like that Roman knows how to work to his size (or more importantly, his perceived size) and gets a lot of offense in early. Just the pace that he works at, his forward motion, relentless attack style really suits him. Same goes for Wyatt, I skip over his feuds and TV stuff, but he turns it on in big matches and I like how he uses his bulk. Really liked how this built, with early ideas paid off later on (the powerbomb, the rope running), and a pretty well worked long headlock. Bray’s lariat counter to the Marufuji dropkick was a Holy Shit level spot and totally kicked this into high gear. I loved all of the twists and counters from that point on, particularly the spear attempt-kick-ROAR-lariat spot. I came away thoroughly impressed with this, and I’m really enjoying the Hoss Division in WWE right now.

Speaking of fun divisions in WWE…women! The Revolution! Saint Stephanie McMahon! And all that jazz. This was honestly everything I hoped it would be and more. Not a bathroom break but a featured match. Time to shine and an opportunity to showcase their stuff beyond hair pulling offense. And the crowd cared. This was a win on every level. Sasha Motherfucking Banks. She looked like a million bucks here. I loved it when King, who doesn’t know anything about these guys and just reacts to what’s in front of him, exclaimed “Boy this Sasha Banks sure has an attitude!” I loved it because after like her first five minutes in a WWE ring she made her whole character perfectly clear to anyone who had never seen her before. I also loved her beating on Charlotte and casually going over to kick Brie every once in a while just to keep her out of the way.

This was not just a match but a mission statement. They threw a LOT of stuff into this match, everyone got to show off their offense, and they even did a dive train. It reminded me of something like the first X Division Title match in TNA, that four-way where they had the most indyriffic, spottastic match of all time. It looks like overkill maybe, but the point was a clear demonstration of the new style being introduced, a line in the sand that *this* is what X Division matches will look like from now on, and same with Divas matches here. It was a physical statement that “You can say goodbye to hair pulling offense and three minute bathroom breaks – we’re going to work wrestling matches now.” And they sold it well enough because the crowd responded in kind by, firstly, paying attention, and also by getting into it and busting out a “This Is Awesome” chant. This was something designed to be looked back on down the line as the one that “started it all”, and it that sense they absolutely nailed it.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say something about Cena vs Owens III after the last two months, but to be honest I’m kind of ambivalent about it at this point. As much as I believe the uber spotty style is perfectly logical in the context of the feud, in terms of having their third match they really had nowhere to go in trying to top the last two. I liked the addition of Owens stealing Cena’s moves just to be a dick about it. I liked Cena kicking out of the same heelish lariats-pop up powerbomb sequence that cost him the first match. Above all else I loved the top rope FU kickout. It fits in nicely with my “Cena is Taker defending The Streak” theory, because that felt like the “Shawn kicks out of the Tombstone at WM25” equivalent moment for Cena. He’s struggling on a weekly basis, losing his powers, people are kicking left and right, and now someone has finally survived his super mega death move, the one he could always rely on to get a win if all else failed. So, now what? A month ago I’d have been mad about Owens losing here, but more and more Cena’s US Title run is the real hook for me and I think there’s more to be done with it, especially when the dam finally breaks and he loses the belt.

I literally almost posted this without talking about the main. Which should tell you something about my level of interest. It’s staggering how little I cared about a Brock match going in, and the angle and the way the match was worked was all ass backward, but him tossing Rollins around was more than fun. And his leap over the barricade was insane. I feel nothing about Taker except that it made my mother happy, so that’s alright with me.

This was the ultimate Xanax show. I watched it from behind this haze of indifference, so I didn’t really feel anything, just mildly enjoyed everything on the most surface of levels. Nothing was bad, nothing was great. Just fine.

Except the girls. VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

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