Survivor Series 2014 Review: Sting and Dolph Ziggler Steal the Show

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The most notable moment from Survivor Series 2014, of course, was Sting finally making an appearance inside a WWE ring, delivering a Scorpion Death Drop to Triple H. The other huge takeaway is that this was really Dolph Ziggler’s show. With John Cena being eliminated after a knockout punch from the heel-turning Big Show, Ziggler was left to face three members of Team Authority by himself.

Alas, it was Dolph Ziggler – not John Cena – who overcame the odds last night.

While Sting placed Ziggler on top of Seth Rollins to get the final pinfall, it doesn’t take away from the fact that WWE made Ziggler look like a main event star last night.

The events of last night also set up a few programs moving forward, with John Cena and Big Show likely to square off and a potential Triple H-Sting showdown in the works. While WrestleMania XXXI seems the likely candidate, I could see the company not wanting to wait that long to get Sting on a pay-per-view card.

If I were picking nits (which I am about to) my only gripe with Sting’s appearance was that WWE gave him new theme music, even though his “Crow” theme was used in WWE 2K15 promotion and in the game itself. But it didn’t really matter. Once the crow noises hit, coupled with rumors that Sting was going to appear, the building erupted.

Below are my thoughts on the rest of the show:

– The Fatal 4-Way opener was a really solid match that kept the crowd hot. I missed the mark on my prediction of Goldust & Stardust retaining the straps but I really liked how the match ended, with Damien Mizdow finally getting in and stealing the pinfall from Miz. It’s a subtle nudge of things to come, when the pair inevitably breaks up because Mizdow is taking all of Miz’s spotlight, but that’s probably a little way down the line. Miz holding both belts and Mizdow still mimicking his celebration was great and I’m looking forward to what these two come up with as their reign rolls on.

– The Divas elimination match was… a match. I have no clue what the booking of this accomplished. The babyfaces (Is Alicia a babyface?) won in a clean sweep, with Naomi getting the final pinfall on Paige. The whole contest felt like a giant cluster with very little direction. I was hoping they would have Natalya and Paige be the final survivors for their respective teams, do battle for a bit, and set up a program between the two of them. It wasn’t meant to be.

– Roman Reigns appeared via satellite in one of his better interviews since his injury. That’s not saying much but this one at least wasn’t cringeworthy. Of note, Reigns said he’ll be back “this time next month,” meaning we’ll probably see him at TLC. My guess would be a match with Seth Rollins but time will tell if WWE holds him off pay-per-view until the Royal Rumble.

– I’m sure there was an uproar over AJ Lee losing the Divas Championship in the fashion she did (I stayed off Twitter for most of the show) but I’m fine with it. It was a nice tip of the cap to how Daniel Bryan lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Sheamus at WrestleMania XXVIII and Brie’s motivation made sense since AJ had DDT’ed Brie on Monday’s Raw, along with her marriage to Bryan.

There are still some questions. Is Brie a heel now and happily in the company of her sister once again? Or was this a one-off revenge move on AJ? Or did WWE not really think this out and just need a quick way to get the title off AJ, who is rumored to be leaving the company for another break?

Unanswered questions aren’t bad. Really, that’s the point. But do people really care much about the answers?

– Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose by disqualification when Ambrose hit Wyatt with a chair. During the post-match, Ambrose elbow dropped Wyatt through a table, then piled a bunch of chairs on top of him and climbed a ladder to mug for the cameras. The whole ladder thing was a strange and punch-you-in-the-face obvious way to set up another showdown between the two at TLC, which the broadcast team announced was official later on during Survivor Series.

– We got a surprise Bunny & Adam Rose v. Slater Gator tag team match, which was fine time-filler. I was hoping we would get our Bunny reveal but that will likely come on Raw. As silly as the Bunny’s involvement is, it’s a pretty well flushed out storyline and I’m actually interested in the payoff. I’m also excited about Adam Rose playing a heel, which seems to be a more natural fit for him.

– The pre-show Cesaro v. Jack Swagger match was pretty good and did well to get the crowd going early. That’s one thing that shouldn’t be understated: The crowd was great and that plays a big part in how the big moments of the show come off.

– I won’t make the “another heel turn for Big Show” joke. It’s a little strange, though, that we’re going to get another Cena-Show program, especially with Cena being the number one contender and Brock Lesnar rumored to be wrestling at TLC. Perhaps that isn’t the case and we won’t see Lesnar until the Rumble. If you don’t remember Brock Lesnar, he’s the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Yep, they still have one of those.

– All in all, WWE did a good job of making this feel bigger than it did going in. A lot of people didn’t like the Raw-style 15-minute opening promo, but it made the main event feel like more of a big deal. The follow-up will be important, as WWE could please a lot of fans by naming a new GM on tonight’s Raw that brings some excitement to the table. I’m not sure if I can buy in to the rumors of Sting being the GM just yet. We’ll see on tonight’s Raw.

– As for my predictions, I was 3-for-5. I was wrong on AJ Lee and Goldust & Stardust retaining their titles and three of the other matches were unadvertised or, in the case of Fandango, an opponent wasn’t named.

Some Random Thoughts on the Royal Rumble

The hot topic following last night’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view is the crowd reaction based on Daniel Bryan not appearing in the Rumble match. It’s unfortunate since there were other notable occurrences at the show, like Roman Reigns clearly being pushed with his record-setting 12 Rumble eliminations, Bray Wyatt’s continued ascension to the top of the card and the return of Sheamus. Here are some more random musings about WWE’s second biggest show of the year:

• The opening Bryan v. Bray Wyatt match was incredible. So many little details that made it shine, the crowd was so hot for it and Bray going over clean says a lot about the direction they’re going with him. I thought him coming after John Cena later in the night cemented him as a rising star in 2014.

• Sure, Daniel Bryan told us Monday in a roundabout way that he wouldn’t be competing in the Rumble match. But having him lose in the opener sure sent a signal that he was going to enter the Rumble and have a solid run, if not win. On the other hand, I think keeping him completely out of the Rumble was the right call since he wasn’t going to win. WWE has painted themselves into a corner with Bryan’s booking and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

• The crowd went into business for themselves right from the start of the Cena v. Randy Orton match. While it’s entertaining to see a crowd express its displeasure over the match they’re getting, it certainly takes away from the action. In this case, the action was very serviceable. In fact, I enjoyed the match. But WWE fans are ready to move into a new era, without John Cena and Randy Orton clogging up the main event.

• That, coupled with the lack of Daniel Bryan, is why the crowd boo’ed so hard when Batista won the Rumble. Had Roman Reigns come out victorious, the crowd would have popped, simply because he’s one of the new guard. I think WWE is seriously overvaluing Batista in terms of his crossover potential and Batista reportedly flipping off the crowd after the show isn’t going to make anything better.

John Cena is the new World Heavyweight Champion

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In a result that will shock absolutely no one, John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio at last night’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

The match itself was fine, with Del Rio focusing most of his attention on Cena’s injured arm, but – as usual – Cena “overcame the odds” to capture the title upon his return. It is Cena’s third reign with the World Heavyweight Championship and 14th combined world title overall.

Randy Orton wins WWE Championship after Shawn Michaels superkicks Daniel Bryan

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Wrestling fans that long for the days of the Attitude Era got a little taste of it last night with a WWE Championship match finish straight from the late 1990s.

Randy Orton won the WWE Championship after Triple H got inside the cage, Daniel Bryan gave a running knee to the COO, and then Shawn Michaels superkicked the bearded one, allowing Randy Orton to score the pin and walk out of Miami with the WWE Championship.

I predicted yesterday that this was how it would go down, but the ending made things less obvious since we don’t really know why Shawn Michaels kicked Bryan. It seems like they’ll go with the “friend doing what his friend wanted instead of what’s right” angle but Michaels was clearly not happy about what he did last night.

Whatever the motive, hopefully this is the end of the Orton v. Bryan series. While they can both put on a great match, it’s time for them to each find a new opponent.

AJ Styles is the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion

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If you haven’t heard, AJ Styles pinned Bully Ray in the main event of last night’s Bound For Glory pay-per-view to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. ImpactWrestling.com has the full results of the show.

Some other notable happenings at BFG:

• Chris Sabin is the new X Division champion after defeating Manik, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe and Austin Aries in an Ultimate X match.

• Kurt Angle declined his induction into the TNA Hall of Fame because he felt he wasn’t worthy yet. This, even though he accepted the induction the night before, is why people continually scratch their heads at TNA booking. I know the point is just to not make Angle seem like some over the hill geezer, but logic and continuity would be helpful in those situations.

• The BroMans not only won the gauntlet match on the pre-show but also became the new TNA Tag Team champions later in the evening.

• Gail Kim won the TNA Knockouts Championship, meaning every title that was defended changed hands.

WWE SummerSlam 2013 review

SS13_Photo_292WWE delivered a really strong pay-per-view, perhaps the company’s best effort this year, in SummerSlam. The newsworthy item is Randy Orton cashing in, with the assistance of Triple H, and defeating Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship after the bearded one had just won the belt from John Cena. Dean Ambrose and Alberto Del Rio both retained their championships, and Brock Lesnar defeated CM Punk in a great, hard-hitting contest.

Some quick thoughts on the card:

• Randy Orton cash-in not withstanding, Daniel Bryan and John Cena put on an excellent main event WWE Championship match. We all know Cena can put on a great match when he’s in the ring with the right guy, but let’s not discredit Cena either. He was on top of his game last night.

Daniel Bryan was also at another level. Even though he is usually the smaller man in the ring, Bryan’s offense is so believable because of the aggression he portrays. That was the case again last night. The crowd was in a frenzy and thoroughly behind Bryan, which made the Orton/Triple H heel turn even more bittersweet.

• Speaking of believable offense, no one looks the part more than Brock Lesnar. His match with CM Punk was full of stiff action, chair shots and excellent storytelling. It was expected that Lesnar would go over and we’ll likely get some continuation to this program. I’d give this match the nod for Match of the Night, since it went about 30 minutes and the near-falls were tremendous.

• Alberto Del Rio and Christian put on a really good match and Del Rio winning makes sense since Christian almost came out of nowhere to challenge him. Del Rio’s post-match program about being the role model the Latino people need had me thinking Rey Mysterio would run-in, but maybe we’ll get that tonight on Raw. I’m curious to see who Del Rio will work a program with next, especially after that promo.

• The opening Ring of Fire match was fine. It would have been unfair to expect a five star wrestling exhibition out of Bray Wyatt and Kane, but the story behind it makes a lot of sense and the post-match attack on Kane fits right in. The Wyatt Family continues to look strong and, as with Del Rio, I’m interested to see where this takes them.

• Dean Ambrose and Rob Van Dam were having a very entertaining match, then The Shield, Mark Henry and Big Show showed up. It didn’t really hurt the match, but it felt like we were getting set up for a tag team match later in the show, which never happened. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something come from this on tonight’s Raw.

• As for my predictions, I was correct with seven of nine picks. I had Ambrose retaining the title, but not by disqualification. My other incorrect pick was Bryan to defeat a cashing-in Orton, which obviously was not the case.

Money in the Bank recap: A night of solid wrestling and smart booking

sandowDamien Sandow and Randy Orton left Philadelphia with Money in the Bank briefcases, all the champions retained, and Paul Heyman finally and decisively turned on CM Punk. WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view delivered all of that plus some very solid matches. Below is a match-by-match breakdown of the card:

Kickoff Show: The Shield defeated The Usos to retain the World Tag Team Championships
The kickoff show tag team match was an excellent starter. The crowd was into it and it featured some great false finishes, with the Shield eventually coming out on top. The Usos showed that they have the potential to be a top tag team and, as we saw later in the pay-per-view, they are likely going to continue their program with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.

Damien Sandow defeated Fandango, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro and Dean Ambrose to win the World Heavyweight Championship contract Money in the Bank ladder match
The way this match ended was perfectly done. The Shield interfered to try to assist Dean Ambrose, which brought out the Usos to fend off Reigns and Rollins. While that all turned into a big schmozz on the outside, Cody Rhodes pushed over the ladder, catapulting Ambrose onto the crowd of wrestlers. It seemed at that moment that Rhodes was about the grab the blue briefcase. Alas, we had all forgotten about Rhodes’ tag team partner and “best friend” Damien Sandow, who entered the ring, knocked Rhodes off the ladder and grabbed the contract.

Sandow is a good choice to win the match. He’s great on the mic and can wrestle. It also allows for a face Rhodes v. heel Sandow feud and a likely SummerSlam match – perhaps even with the briefcase on the line.

While I thought Dean Ambrose was the obvious and most logical choice to win, he probably doesn’t need the briefcase to enter the main event title picture.

Curtis Axel defeated The Miz to retain the Intercontinental Championship
For some reason, WWE decided to bring out new Raw General Manager Brad Maddox for a talking segment in which he mocked Vickie Guerrero with a video package and attempted to get the crowd on his side. Needless to say, the Philly faithful were not having it. The segment was so bad, it was the first time in a long time I’ve actually been happy to hear Miz’s theme song hit.

The match itself was okay, but the crowd had died thanks to the Maddox segment. Axel retaining is the right move, as Miz really provides no boost to the title and Axel is solidifying his position as champion.

AJ Lee defeated Kaitlyn via submission to retain the Divas Championship
This match wasn’t as good as their previous encounters, and the crowd basically sleeping through it didn’t help, but it told a solid enough story. The way AJ applies the spider submission hold is awesome and makes it seem like it’s a move that can actually come out of nowhere, as WWE announcers love to say.

Ryback defeated Chris Jericho
I know a lot of people hated this match and its ending, but I loved it. The monstrous Ryback winning via rollup is great and it helps evolve his heel persona. It’s a “cheap” victory, which is what heels – and all WWE heels – do. Plus, it allows for maybe one more Jericho-Ryback match at SummerSlam, if Jericho fits it in his schedule.

Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler by disqualification to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
The match itself was great. Ziggler is just an excellent worker and he and Del Rio have great chemistry. It’s a shame we got a DQ ending but it fits nicely into the story. Keeping the belt on Del Rio makes sense and AJ costing Ziggler the match moves along their impending breakup storyline. Obviously AJ looks like an idiot with her “I was trying to help” defense, but it’ll be revealed down the line that it was all a plan. We might get one more Del Rio-Ziggler match for the title, but it might be time for both of them to move on. Ziggler’s next feud will likely be with Big E. Langston.

John Cena defeated Mark Henry via submission to retain the WWE Championship
Cena and Henry brought their respective “A Games” to Philadelphia and put on a great match. I thought it moved a little quickly into Mark Henry becoming frustrated with not being able to put Cena away but that’s nitpicky. While I agree that keeping the belt on Cena at this stage is the right move, I hate that it ended with the big monster tapping out to the always poorly applied STF. Hook his chin, Cena!

This probably moves Henry right back out of the title picture. While Daniel Bryan didn’t win the MITB match as many expected, I think he’s Cena’s likely SummerSlam opponent.

Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Christian, Rob Van Dam and Sheamus to win the WWE Championship contract Money in the Bank briefcase
I know since this is the internet I’m supposed to be outraged that Randy Orton won the briefcase. Honestly, though, I’m fine with it and even predicted it. (Not bragging… Yes I am.) We’re likely going to get a heel Orton sooner than later and just because he has the briefcase and Cena has the title, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re getting a Cena-Orton feud. Even if we did, it’s been long enough since they feuded that it might feel fresh. Although I admit I don’t want another Orton-Cena feud.

As for Daniel Bryan, as I said on Twitter last night, so many people complain about everything being predictable but when the predictable Bryan win doesn’t happen, they’re upset. Bryan doesn’t need the briefcase to get a title match based on his buildup. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s announced tonight (or wins a #1 contender match to earn a shot) during Raw. Curtis Axel interfered to cost Bryan the briefcase and try to help CM Punk, which was more about the Punk-Heyman storyline than Bryan-Axel. I doubt we’ll see an Axel-Bryan feud come out of this.

Speaking of Bryan, the ultimate heel turn for Orton would be Daniel Bryan defeating John Cena to win the WWE Championship at SummerSlam and then Orton cashing in the briefcase. That would, of course, have the internet in an uproar, but it would also make sense from a storyline and set up a great Orton-Bryan feud.

Rob Van Dam looked better than I expected and pulled off all his signature spots. He got a huge pop from the crowd, as did Bryan and CM Punk.

Heyman turning on Punk and costing him the match finally gave us the full blown breakup we’ve been expecting between the two. We’ll likely get Brock Lesnar v. CM Punk at SummerSlam and tonight’s Raw should be interesting as the fallout between Heyman and Punk is dissected.

Final thoughts
All in all, this was a good pay-per-view. There was a lot of intrigue for tonight’s Raw (and beyond) created while also giving the fans solid payoffs for some of the angles that have been building.

(Image courtesy WWE)

Payback results and review: CM Punk returns; Axel, AJ and ADR win gold

punkpaybackWWE’s Payback pay-per-view delivered more than most fans – myself included – expected, including a bevy of title changes and the surprise announcement of the return of Rob Van Dam. While the John Cena v. Ryback Three Stages of Hell match was the least entertaining, the rest of the show was very strong, with the crowd into it throughout the night and some unexpected finishes.

The Cena – Ryback main event suffered from many factors. The match type itself already featured three of maybe the least exciting stipulations all bundled into one – Lumberjack match, tables match, and ambulance match. It also didn’t help that two guys WWE audiences certainly don’t believe have great in-ring talent had to follow the likes of CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan and The Shield. In hindsight, WWE would probably book the CM Punk v. Jericho match to close the show.

Below are the results and my thoughts on each match on the main card:

Curtis Axel defeated The Miz and Wade Barrett to win the Intercontinental Championship

It felt like Axel was a shoe-in to win as soon as he was announced as Fandango’s replacement but the match was pretty solid, the ending was smart, and the crowd popped huge for Axel winning the Intercontinental Title that his father helped make famous on Father’s Day. The way Axel won – pinning Barrett while Miz had the figure four applied – probably sets up a Miz – Axel feud for the title, which could be good.

AJ Lee defeated Kaitlyn via submission to win the Divas Championship

I couldn’t help but thinking during this match – and I had to restrain myself a bit because it might be a little hyperbolic – that we were watching this generation’s Trish Stratus and Lita. AJ and Kaitlyn have a long way to go before they’re in the same realm as two of the greatest women’s competitors of all time, but these two have obvious chemistry in the ring, a solid backstory, and can put together a hell of a match.

Dean Ambrose defeated Kane via countout to retain the United States Championship

A predictable outcome, which is fine, since Kane doesn’t need a singles title at this point in his career and Dean Ambrose is on the rise to the main event scene.

WWE announces Rob Van Dam will return at Money in the Bank

Rob Van Dam will return to WWE at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, which takes place in Philadelphia on July 14th. RVD will likely be a big crowd favorite in ECW’s old hometown, although WWE is wringing that cloth for all the nostalgia it can get at this point. While he was less than stellar during his TNA run, a motivated Van Dam could be really good for a short span in WWE. The company hasn’t said yet whether this is a one shot deal or a longer plan for RVD.

Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler to win the World Heavyweight Championship

Throughout the match Alberto Del Rio was playing the heel role. The crowd was solidly behind Ziggler and it felt like WWE was trying to do a double turn with Del Rio ended up heel and Ziggler babyface. Del Rio continually targeted the head of Ziggler and the announcers pointed out how that wasn’t very sportsmanlike, but you have to do what you have to do to become champion.

If the plan is to turn both men, it was smart booking to have Del Rio win the title, even though it’s so soon into Ziggler’s reign. It helps to build sympathy for Ziggler from the “non-smart mark” crowd and the good guy is usually better as the one chasing the title.

CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho

This match went down without any shenanigans, which was a bit surprising to me. Punk returned, with the same theme song, and defeated Jericho in an excellent match. A little bit of dissension was teased between Paul Heyman and CM Punk following the match and again backstage. It seems like WWE will eventually split these two up, with Punk turning babyface and hopefully feuding with Brock Lesnar.

Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton to retain the World Tag Team Championship

A predictable outcome – again, which is totally fine – and a solid match. Daniel Bryan continues to be one of the hottest wrestlers on the roster right now and will probably head into the main event title scene. The question is what’s next for Randy Orton?

John Cena defeated Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell match to retain the WWE Championship
Ryback won the Lumberjack stage by pinfall. Cena won the second stage by putting Ryback through a table. Cena won the third stage by AA’ing Ryback through the roof of the ambulance.

Jokes about how flimsy the ambulance was! Now that that’s out of the way, this match itself wasn’t bad, really, but like I mentioned above it suffered from several factors. Hopefully this is the end of the Cena – Ryback feud.

(Image courtesy WWE.com)

WrestleMania XXIX review: WWE plays it safe at MetLife Stadium

shakeWWE played it safe Sunday night, angering all the swerve-wanting, internet cynics, and going pretty much by numbers at WrestleMania. John Cena defeated The Rock, Dolph Ziggler didn’t cash in, and The Undertaker’s streak is intact.

I thought the pay-per-view was an entertaining show and WWE at least made the journey to predictable outcomes fun to watch. CM Punk v. The Undertaker was the match of the night, as many expected it would be, while I also found Rock-Cena to be a very good effort, and much better than their encounter at last year’s WrestleMania.

While I enjoyed it, I certainly can see why people were upset with the show and thought it was just sort of “meh.” There weren’t any incredibly notable moments and John Cena is the champion again, which is always a sore note with most adult fans.

• I went 7-for-9 with my predictions, which probably says more about the predictability of the match outcomes than my prognostication skills.
I thought Ryback losing to Mark Henry was a surprise, although Ryback still got his “WrestleMania moment” (I guess) by shellshocking Henry after the match.

I was also wrong on Team Hell No retaining the tag titles, but I can’t say that’s the wrong way to go. The duo is really over with the crowd right now and there isn’t much else for them to do, so why not keep the straps on them?

• The Undertaker continues to amaze. He can take an entire year off and still come back and put on a great show, wrestle an awesome match, and look like he hasn’t missed a beat. Kudos to CM Punk as well. It was the right move, in my opinion, continuing the streak and the way the match was built up it made all the sense in the world to have Undertaker get his revenge on Punk.

• The Triple H v. Brock Lesnar match had its moments but I thought it was another slow, plodding Triple H match that put the crowd to sleep, especially coming after the excellent Taker-Punk match. My problem with Triple H winning and “saving his career” is that we still probably won’t see him wrestle again for quite some time, and it leaves Brock Lesnar in a sort of purgatory. Since he’s returned, Lesnar has lost cleanly to John Cena and Triple H in two of his three matches. Where does he go from here?

• Was this a “great” WrestleMania? Of course not. Was it the “worst ever” as many an internet over-reactor was saying last night? Of course not. It was safely booked. It didn’t have six heel turns, a cash in, and all the titles changing hands but it was still an enjoyable wrestling show.

Tonight’s Raw will be very important in setting up the post-WrestleMania feuds. We’ll probably see some sort of Sheamus/Orton v. Big Show storyline and we may find out John Cena’s first challenger for the WWE Championship.

Quick thoughts on WWE Elimination Chamber 2013

Photo courtesy WWE.comThe entertaining Elimination Chamber pay-per-view ended with The Rock victorious, setting up “Twice in a Lifetime” as he will defend the WWE Championship against John Cena at WrestleMania. Jack Swagger won the Number One Contender Elimination Chamber match, while The Shield defeated WWE’s “All Star Team,” and Antonio Cesario and Alberto Del Rio retained their respective championships.

A few quick thoughts on last night’s event:

– Swagger winning the Elimination Chamber wasn’t a total shock considering how strongly he’s been put over since his return, but it was surprising that WWE actually pulled the trigger and went that route. The buildup to an Alberto Del Rio v. Jack Swagger WrestleMania match will likely be full of that trademark WWE racism.

– It was absolutely the right move to have The Shield beat John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus. I was afraid, though, that we would see The Shield go the route of Nexus and be crushed by the hand of SuperCena. The three faces aren’t hurt at all by the loss and really wouldn’t have gained a ton by a win, especially since John Cena is heading into the main event of WrestleMania to challenge for the WWE Championship.

Had The Shield lost, they would pretty much be a worthless group. But with the win, they stay relevant. The Shield’s cohesiveness was a storyline – even though the broadcast team didn’t really mention it – as the group consistently utilized tags to do triple team moves and kept their opponents in their own corner. It makes sense from a booking standpoint that Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns were able to win thanks to their smarts and familiarity with each other as teammates.

– The Rock – CM Punk match was decent, but nothing spectacular. I thought the inclusion of the stipulation that The Rock would lose the title if he were disqualified or counted out would lead to some shenanigans and a CM Punk win, therefore giving us a triple threat match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. It didn’t happen, though, and The Rock won after a few ref bumps.

– The Antonio Cesaro – Miz match, and its finish, basically was just to keep this thing afloat so they can wrestle again at WrestleMania. I wouldn’t be shocked if Cesaro drops the title to The Miz and then moves on to a main event feud with one of the world champions.

(Photo courtesy WWE.com)