Hustle Is Posting Right Now - The 12 Things I Learned From Last Night's WWE House Show
Feb 16, 2014 - 8:03:22 PM
You rock, Maricel.
"I was there, live and direct.."
Well, I certainly did get to check "See Daniel Bryan wrestle in person" from my Wrestling Bucket List last night, which is awesome. The show was very entertaining, with pretty much everyone on the card working hard and not just phoning it in because it was a house show. I learned 12 things at the event, but before I get to those, here are the show's results, for anyone who is interested in that kind of thing..
- Big E successfully defended the Intercontinental Title against Ryback
- The Bella Twins defeated Tamina Snuka & Summer Rae
- New Age Outlaws successfully defended the Tag Team Titles against Real Americans & The Usos
- Kofi Kingston defeated Fandango
- Daniel Bryan, Sheamus & Christian defeated The Shield
- Bray Wyatt defeated Dolph Ziggler
- Batista defeated Alberto Del Rio by disqualification
- Randy Orton successfully defended the WWE World Title against John Cena in a Steel Cage Match
Now that we've taken care of that, let's look at the 12 things I learned, in chronological order..
1. The Bella Twins are more attractive in person than they are on television. I don't want to get into this discussion too much, because I'll be discussing the women on the WWE roster and how attractive they are/aren't in a not-too-distant-future column, but yeah.. Nikki and Brie Bella are very good looking women in person. Still a little too much makeup for my liking, but both of them even toned that down for the event. Side note: other than the breasts, it's getting difficult to tell them apart again, unless you've memorized that Nikki wears more baseball-themed attire, because Nikki has put in a lot of work in the gym to lose the weight that she had gained in the last few years. Nikki is still a little bigger than her vegan sister, but that's to be expected, I suppose.
2. I'm already sure that Cesaro can be successful as a face. I'm sure a lot of it was due to the fact that this wasn't a televised event, but man, Cesaro really played to the crowd a lot last night. Doing the typical face "COME ON" fist pumps to the crowd while on offense, smiling and nodding his head when the crowd popped for the Giant Swing, smiling and winking at various fans in the front row before and during the match, etc. There may not have been anyone on the WWE roster having more fun than Cesaro was having. For those wondering, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter were still playing their normal heelish roles, which made for an even more interesting experience with Cesaro and his antics.
3. Rey Mysterio might actually be hurt again. The original card saw Mysterio teaming with Sheamus and Christian to take on The Shield, and Daniel Bryan taking on Bray Wyatt. Coming into this event, I was wondering what would happen with Mysterio, who was apparently injured at the Smackdown taping this week. With this being the first event since the taping, and with WWE not reporting the injury, leading people to question whether or not he was actually hurt, I figured we would get some sort of an answer here. When Sheamus and Christian were already in the ring, and Daniel Bryan's music hit, that made it look like Mysterio, at the very least, requires a little more time off. He may very well return to the ring at tonight's live event, or on Raw tomorrow. Who knows? It just looks a certain way right now, that's all.
4. Even after all this time, there's still a palpable buzz in the air when The Shield's music hits. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL have all mentioned it during their commentary, but it's true.. from the moment the lights go down and you hear "SIERRA..", you can feel a buzz in the air. People know something major is about to go down when Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are in the building. That's incredibly rare, and it's usually something only reserved for the biggest and the best names the business has ever seen, not a faction of three guys who are still, essentially, newcomers in the eyes of most. Reigns, by the way, has "future WrestleMania main eventer" written all over him. In fact, when he was in the ring with Daniel Bryan, you could almost hear the cash register noises in the air. If done right, those two will be headlining Mania against each other at some point.
5. Watching Daniel Bryan wrestle in person is every bit as fun as I hoped it would be. The crowd ate up everything he did with a spoon. He looked like he was having a blast with everything he did. His in-ring work was crisp and technically sound. I'm really glad I got to check this from my WBL.
6. Bray Wyatt is going to injure someone, or himself, one day. First and foremost, every time he charged and hit the turnbuckles during his match, he literally moved the ring. It would shift an inch or two in the direction he was running in. Do you realize how much force that requires? Second of all, he still wrestles as physical a style as he did back when he was Husky Harris, when I made the prediction that he was demoted to developmental due to his reckless style. He destroyed Ziggler on a handful of occasions, and it had nothing to do with Ziggler's selling ability making Wyatt look good. Dolph had no choice but to bump like a maniac for most of the match. Don't get me wrong.. Bray is getting better in the ring, and is actually beginning to put all of the right pieces together that could help to make him a huge star in the business.. but damn, man, slow down.
7. When Erick Rowan, in the sheep mask, looks at you, a tiny bit of pee comes out of your genitals. He and Luke Harper were doing their thing at ringside during the Ziggler VS Wyatt match, of course, and a large portion of the match featured him walking all around the ring, zombie-like, and just staring at people in the crowd, doing the things that dogs do when they don't know what's going on, and they tilt their heads to the side a bit. He would sometimes stare at the same person for 15-20 seconds at a time, and I'm not even 100% sure how there weren't children crying all throughout the front row area, especially considering a lot of them were special needs kids. All three members of the Wyatt Family are terrifying in their own way, but when Rowan rocks the sheep mask, he takes things to an entirely different level.
8. Batista is not only still rusty in the ring, but he still has a long way to go until his cardio is up to par. In no way should anyone be surprised, I suppose. Other than the Royal Rumble, where he barely did anything, this was Big Dave's first match in nearly four years, and he wasn't exactly known for his amazing conditioning to begin with. He was pretty much blown up by the time the match started. He was breathing heavily through his mouth from his entrance alone, and the match was built around a lot of stalling. Batista would hit one or two moves, then Del Rio would exit the ring and walk up the ramp like he was quitting, only to come back at the count of nine. Batista would hit one or two more moves, then Del Rio would exit the ring and hop the guardrail like he was leaving, only to come back at the count of nine. Throw in numerous rest holds from Del Rio, and it was clear that they were taking things easy. If this was any indication of what we're going to see from them at Elimination Chamber, it isn't going to do much to help the opinion of those who are still angry, feeling Batista doesn't deserve to be getting the Royal Rumble victory and the main event spot at WrestleMania. It won't help that at all.
9. If you didn't know any better, you'd think Batista and Alberto Del Rio legit don't like each other. The physicality in the match was really high, in what little true action there was. Both men were looking angry the entire time. Both men cursed at each other on several occasions, including usage of the word "fuck" multiple times. During Del Rio's rest holds and submission attempts, he appeared to crank back with a little extra oomph each time. To be fair, though, Del Rio has had a lot of that recently. Either he really does hate everyone, he's trying to turn his heel act up a bit, or he's just checking out completely. He's put a little more pizzazz into his work with Sin Cara, and appeared to be legitimately pissed off at JBL on Raw not that long ago, when fans were chanting JBL's name and he stood up at ringside to acknowledge the chants during a Del Rio match. It is what it is, I suppose.
10. John Cena deserves every little bit of push that he gets from the company, and as long as he is alive and relatively healthy, nobody.. not Randy Orton, not Daniel Bryan, not Batista, not CM Punk, and so forth.. will come close to claiming the top spot that he holds. When Daniel Bryan's music hit, the crowd went crazy. During Daniel Bryan's match, there were several "YES" and "Dan-iel Bry-an" chants. He was super over, to the shock of nobody. However, when John Cena's music hit, the roof nearly blew right off the US Airways Center. The crowd basically didn't stop chanting for Cena, positively or negatively, for the entire duration of his match, while the Bryan chants stopped for periods of time during the six-man tag. I think Bryan might be getting the biggest pure face pops in wrestling right now, but when you combine Cena's face pops with the impassioned cries of his detractors, you have the biggest overall reaction in all of wrestling by a good margin. Whether you love him or you hate him, that's why Cena will continue to be at the top of the WWE food chain for as long as he wants to be. The people that are truly sick of Cena, and not just booing him at live events because it's fun and "cool" to do so, don't seem to understand that loudly booing him isn't making WWE management say "well, they don't like him, so we should take him in a different direction". All management hears is a deafening roar for the guy in every arena around the world. I just don't see a scenario where anyone takes Cena's top spot while he's still around, until the anti-Cena fans begin to understand the concept of "sound = over, no sound = not over".
11. Maybe it was just a Phoenix thing, but the momentum that everyone expected CM Punk would get with chants and people hijacking shows for him appears to be on its death bed. Coming into the show, I was expecting a lot of Punk chants. There were Punk shirts all over the arena, being sold at merchandise stands and being worn by folks in attendance. If I had to guess, I'd say Punk shirts were competing with Daniel Bryan shirts for the second-most popular merchandise in the crowd, behind only John Cena shirts. However, there was one or two Punk chants all night long, and those were performed by maybe a few dozen people, and died out completely in less than ten seconds. By the time the show was over, he was a complete afterthought. Perhaps we all overestimated how things were going to go in his absence. I still have no doubt that the Chicago crowd on March 3rd is going to be must-see/hear, but outside of that, maybe the majority of the WWE Universe has begun to turn their backs on Punk, feeling that he basically turned his back on us. Time will tell, but it isn't looking good right now.
12. Even at a non-televised event, you simply aren't going to get more family entertainment for your hard-earned dollar than you'll get with WWE. Say what you will about WWE, but they really do go out of their way to provide people with a show that they will enjoy. We may not always agree with a lot of the booking decisions we see, but when it comes to the in-ring action, the showmanship, the larger-than-life characters, the crowd connection, the audio visual overload, etc.. there simply is no show like WWE anywhere on the planet, in or out of wrestling. Sometimes, it takes being there live for an event to truly appreciate that. If you get the chance to attend a show, even if it's a non-televised one, I really do suggest you do so. There's something for everyone of all ages to enjoy.
No real outro this time around, so.. umm.. bye.
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