Best of WWE 2014 Part 6
Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins HIAC 2014
Dean comes to the ring, fills it with weapons. Is that a bazooka? No, it's a kendo stick case. That CRAZY Dean decides he wants to climb the cell. Cuz he's crazy. He's stupid. He doesn't give a fuck about jail. I notice neither of the refs try to discourage him at all from this. Seth does not want to join him. Then he decides he wants to, but J & J Security won't let him. So he sends them up. Dean beats them with his Damon Cane and Seth sneaks up on him. Stooges 2.0 hold him while Seth beats him with the cane. Suplex on the roof! Both men fight on the side of the cage while climbing down. Oh shit, they both just fell through the announce tables! CZFW. They're dead. GOOD GOD THAT KILLED THEM. Both men are put on stretchers. Wait, has this match even started yet? Dean fights off of the stretcher and attacks Rollins. HE'S CRAZY! A LUNATIC! A FRINGE! It actually gets in the cell and the match officially starts. Dean pulls out a hammer, screw driver, and duct tape. And doesn't use any of them. He instead beats the shit out of Seth with a chair. At least he tried to use the screw driver later. Seth gets some offense with a back drop on chairs. A lot of bumps on chairs from these two this year. That shit must suck. Dean drops an elbow through a table kind of propped between the cell and ring. Mother fucking KANE OUTTA NOWHERE with a fire extinguisher. That mother fucker. Powerbomb through a propped table on the floor. Mother fucking Kane. WHY WON'T HE GO AWAY? He always shows up whenever a good match is happening. Curb stomp. 12HEGOTHIMNOHEDIDN'T! I believe that was the first time anyone has kicked out of that. Seth then beats the shit out of Dean with a chair. Curb stomp attempt is countered. Rebound lariatooo. Briefcase to the head. Seth kicks out. That Cross Fit mother fucker. That's probably one of his exercises. Dean brings out two cinder blocks. JEKT. A loop of someone saying something weird as shit sounding plays while the lights are out. A lantern is in the ring. Then a hologram. Then BRAY WYATT. That fatty is back! He attacks Dean. Seth pins him and GTFO as soon as possible.
This is definitely the best HIAC since the PG era began. It actually felt like an intense match that actually deserved to be inside of the HIAC. A gimmick match booked for the feud, not a feud booked for the gimmick match. Could have used blood. Certainly a lot more than any of the recent HIAC matches which were just regular matches that happened to be in the cell. This is actually a blood feud. But within the limitations, they did far more with the match type than anyone has in years. And because of the ending, it feels like there is still unfinished business so they can go back to Dean/Seth whenever.
Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins Raw 11/3/14
Randy wearing gray. God damn it. Looks like you've kept a pair of black tights for too long. Steph is trying to hide her head banging, but I can see it peeking through. Announcing is DOG SHIT for this holy shit. I don't understand how Vince lets his commentary be so shitty. They either argue insistently, don't pay attention to the match at all, or just get silent. Orton dominates until we come back from a break. I should have started a counter for "blowing off steam". Boy is this crowd dead. But they're always dead by the end of Raw. That's what 3 1/2 hours of ads will do to a live crowd. JBL sounds drunk again. Repeating the same lines over and over and tripping over them each time. "Is Randy just blowing off steam, John?" "He's the Viper." That's not an answer you cunt. WE GOT US A SUPERPLEXIN SERPENT, MAGGLE! Stunned he didn't say that, really. WE GOT US AN AIRBORNE ARCHITECT, MAGGLE! This crowd is silent. There could be something solid going on, but there is absolutely no energy in the arena. Even HHH and Stephanie look bored and tired. Rollins relies too much on his twisty enzuiguri. He does it 3-4 times per match. Seth wins with a roll up OUTTA NOWHERE! Orton can't accept the loss. Or can he? OUTTA NOWHERE! BANG! HHH saves Rollins from a punt. Finally the crowd reacts to stuff. Orton attacks HHH and is now fighting four dudes in slacks and dress shirts. It's like CZW meets The Office. RKO to Mercury on the floor. BANG! Curb stomp on the announce table. Oh my. Guys. I think he's hurt, guys. GUYS. There is blood and stuff. Steph gives the order to "finish this", which gives new context to Shao Kahn HHH. Seth gives Randy a curb stomp from the table onto the steps. Sadly, Kane tripping and falling was edited out of the Network version.
Sami Zayn vs Adrian Neville NXT Championship NXT 11/13/14
Sami believes this is the night he's finally going to win the big one. He certainly seems to be on the top of his game at the start, and fans are behind him. Neville looks frustrated. Shocked, maybe. Dare I say....shook? Sami holds the ropes open for Neville, who jumps over the top instead. Neville picks up the pace with his kick combo and is showing some personality for the first time in his life. Then he slows it down by keeping Sami grounded. These two are friends, but you couldn't tell by the match. Sami FIRES UP and hits the tope con hello. Neville apparently blocks a cross body with a headbutt or something. Couldn't tell. Sami catches a Neville handspring thing and turns it into a Bateaster Bomb. 12WEHAVEANEWCHAMPIONHEGOTHIMOHNOHEDIDN'T. Rolling Reich ending with a half and half suplex. Neville kicked out. Maybe Sami CAN'T win the big one. What does he have to do to win? Helluva kick is countered. With a boot. To the face. Corner exploder is also countered. Red Arrow misses. It appears to injure Neville's knee. Sami doesn't know what to do. We have an injury. The X is thrown up, so you know it is legit. SMALL PACKAGE OUTTA NOWHERE THAT LITTLE MOTHER FUCKER. Title retained. And that little cunt had the nerve to hug Sami after the match.
I like that Neville started showing some personality, because his in ring stuff doesn't connect with me at all. The over all meta-story of Sami never being able to win a big match is clearly building towards him doing something crazy in his last shot. Maybe a brainbustaaaaaaaaaah. Hopefully. Or a heel turn. That might be interesting. It's been a slow burn for sure for him. I think most people expected him to get the title right away, but he's a year and a half in and has never been able to win ANY big match that mattered. Not against Neville. Not against Bo. Not against Tyler. Not against Cesaro.
Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt Survivor Series 2014
Don't you understand, Dean? Don't you understand? I'm still not super clear on what this angle is about, but whatever. I love when they cut directly from out of control zooms to a hard cam shot. Looks ridiculous. Things quickly hit the floor for a few moments, with Dean being a weirdo and jumping off of things. And doing Muta elbows and stuff. But Bray is also a weirdo and runs into people. They should be partners. Don't you understand? They could have it all. Back to the floor. Bray is just having fun out there, guys. Being a fatty and jumping on people. Full nelson! Another move Cesaro should do and spin with it. Dean is trying to break fingers while Bray is trying to rip Dean's mouth off. I like when smaller guys run into fatties and bounce off. Stiff as shit double clothesline on the floor. Dean is on a roll in the ring. And he's mocking Bray. "That's what Bray always does!" No shit, Cole. Christ. You don't have to point that out. We got it. Everyone got it. 4 year old kids got it. Bray catches Dean about 3 times trying jumping off of shit or lariats and plants him with the uranagi drop. Mother fucking LARIATOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Got damn. Bray slams Dean on the steps. He should just do another lariato. In fact, that's all he should do. Lariats, running into people, and the senton. Dean won't stay down, so Bray grabs a mic. IT DIDN'T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS, DEAN! They're special, you see. Bray brings in two chairs. Dean grabs one of them. Bray offers himself up. Dean, unlike Jahn Sina, is not very conflicted despite what Cole would tell you. Dean gets disqualified for using the chair. Dirty Deeds on the chair. Then an elbow drop through a table. Things I enjoy: Fatties running into people at high speeds, smaller people running into fatties and bouncing off of them, and guys dropping elbows whenever. Bray gets BERRIED under more chairs and tables.
I liked the match until the ending. The ending was the clearest "We need to extend this to the next PPV" ending I think I've ever seen. But the match itself was mean, with both guys doing their idiosyncratic movements and being weirdos. I hope they get the main event at TLC, since they're the ones actually in a TLC match and it would be pretty nifty to have 3 PPVs in a row end with new guys and not Cena/Orton/Big Show.
Team Authority vs Team Cena Survivor Series 2014
What's amazing is that only two guys in this entire match haven't been ruined by Cena: Rusev and Rollins. It's taken Dolph almost 2 years to get back to where he was before the feud with Cena. Ryback just randomly got put back to where he was and back down by the next show. Big Show and Kane have had their angles killed twice a year by Cena since 2005. Poor Mark's whole dope retirement angle died in one night. Wyatt Family is dead. Seth and Rusev need to watch out. They're next. Big Show and Mark Henry begin the match. KO punch. Down goes Henry! He's eliminated!
Seth and Harper use some strategy on Show. Didn't work for very long, though. Cole's call of HHH ripping his tie off is so weird. Like it's SUPER DUPER important. Kane, what is that giant thing on your back? John Cena is the captain. It is official. The Wyatts get paired off but never actually get to fight each other. Ryback wrecks shit. THESZ PRESS THESZ PRESS AUSTIN AUSTIN AUSTIN RIGHT HAND RIGHT HAND. STUPID! I want a Rusev/Ryback match. Like 8 minutes long. HOSSES. Spinebuster. Meat hook. Rusev fights out of the Shellshock and THINGS ARE BREAKING DOWN IN THE IMPACT ZONE. Seth sneaks in and hits a curb stomp on Ryback. Superkick from Rusev puts him out.
What I'd like to see is Harper boot the fuck out of Big Show. Well, a dropkick is a boot, I guess. Thanks, Luke. Dolph tags in for the first time and gets squashed with a Bubber Slam. Rusev has the stomps of a man who has hit people with his ankles. Kane really looks like he could use a nap. Do Damons nap? If they don't, that one should. John Cena is the most annoying tag partner. Cole has said "juncture" 3 times in this match. By this time in most SS matches in the last 12 years, at least 5 people would be eliminated. Finishers for everyone. Rollins gets back dropped out of the ring on to his team. Then Ziggler gets powerbombed out on to everyone. He then tries to squash Ziggler through the announce table in the old Youmanga spot, but misses. Rusev is unable to reach the ring before 10 and is eliminated.
Cena hits the FU on Kane. Rollins hits the curb stomp on Cena. Cole loses his mind like an illegal guy hitting a move is just the craziest god damn thing. He's also listens to TOO much JR, as the whole match he's been screaming everything 3 times in a row. The Wyatts finally fight and knock the shit out of each other. Rowan is eliminated with a MOTHER FUCKING LARIATOOOOOOOOO.
We're down to 3 on 3. And then Big Show knocks out John Cena. Rollins pins him. Seth Rollins in the captain now! Big Show shakes hands with HHH. Big Show then leaves and is counted out.
Let me tell you how much better of a captain Seth is than Cena. For the whole match, Seth pops in and breaks up holds or pins whenever his guys are in trouble. He cheers them on, gives them strategies. Cena stood on the apron cheerleading and had no faith in any of his teammates when they were in the ring and just looked worried like they were going to lose to body slams. Dolph hits a combo on Kane and eliminates him. And then Harper kicks his face off. BIG BOOT. WE GOT US A FLYIN' HARPER! Then a superkick. Bateaster Bomb! 2 count. Roll up OUTTA NOWHERE! It's 1 on 1! "Can't you once just say no to negativity?" How can you even answer that? Fucking trick question, King. You old cunt. Ziggler almost beats Rollins with a DDT.
Cole subtly makes a terrible call, saying "after all the big name players" had been eliminated, intimating that Seth and Dolph aren't big name players. I'd like to assume he's just an idiot and didn't understand what he just said. "I GOT GOOSEBUMPS!" Cole is really bad. Mercury and Noble get involved. Zig Zag! 12THATFUCKINGASSHOLEHHHPULLEDTHEREFOUT! Steph gets knocked off the apron. Superkick party. Zig Zag! Dolph has this won! It's over! Where is the fucking ref?! There he is. HHH elbow dropped him. Pedigree. The lights go out.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT THAT'S A FUCKING STING! 6 TIME WCW CHAMPION! 2 TIME NWA CHAMPION! 2 TIME WCW US CHAMPION! PWI MOST POPULAR WRESTLER OF THE YEAR 3 YEARS IN A ROW! HOLY MOTHER FUCKING SHIT. God the announcers are so shitty. JBL marks out, lists of Sting's wiki of title wins, then remembers he's a heel and says this is none of Sting's business as he grumbles. After a long stare down with HHH, Sting hits him with the Scorpion Death Drop. He pulls Ziggler on top of Rollins and walks out. Ziggler wins! Team Cena wins! The Authority is gone!
An excellently booked match. Shockingly well booked. Everyone had their role and interpersonal stories with in it and everything meshed to create 40 minutes of pretty awesome stuff. Seth was excellent as captain. Dolph was excellent as the sole survivor. HHH and Steph were great on the floor. STAAAAANG. It's dope. Best SS match in a decade or more. Although coming out of this, NOTHING that seemed set up in this actually went forward. It seemed like it was going to be Rollins/Ziggler, Cena/Show, Harper/Rowan, Ryback/Rusev. Instead, it's Rollins/Cena, Ziggler/Harper, Show/Rowan, with Ryback sent back down the card and Rusev apparently going to do another feud with Swagger. And THOSE CARNY MOTHER FUCKERS didn't even have Sting at Raw the next night. Mother fuckers. Can't tell you how pissed I was to buy a ticket right after SS, thinking it would be ridiculous to not have Sting at Raw, then have them play Sting's music and video 60 seconds before air time, only to use it as cheap heat for HHH and Steph when Raw went live. CARNY MOTHER FUCKERS.
Charlotte vs Sasha Banks NXT Women's Championship NXT Takeover : R Evolution
Alex Riley is really shitty at his job. Really shitty. As shitty as JBL is at his job. He believes in eugenics and and made racist/xenophobic comments towards Kenta and Devitt earlier in the show. Sasha starts the match by trying to chop Charlotte. How insulting. Sasha lures the champ to the floor so she can throw her into the steps. Sasha has a mean streak and appears to have a game plan for her bigger, stronger opponent. She gets Charlotte tied up in the corner and drops a double knee to the gut. I wish it was the 90s so King could call that something stupid like the ovary buster. Sasha mocks the Fargo strut. This bothers Riley greatly because he love Ric Flair. He was talking to him earlier. Did you know Alex Riley was talking to Ric Flair earlier? He talked to Ric Flair. They are pretty much best friends. I hate to break it to Alex, but Ric Flair will talk to anyone who has a penny on them. Riley can't decide if he's going to be a face who is pissed at Sasha, or a heel announcer who is accepting of cheap tactics. Sasha steals some more of Charlotte's moves, showing more disrespect. Charlotte WOOOOS UP. She does a weird suplex into a neck breaker into a spinning neck breaker, which Riley screams was such a great counter. It wasn't. That was the intentional move. As soon as that fire came, Charlotte is sent to the floor and Sasha follows up with a suicide dive. Riley just now decides he's kind of impressed with Sasha. The Sasha who has been dominating the champ for this whole match and has been dominating everyone in the ring for nearly 3 months. Strike battle! Spear OUTTA NOWHERE! Sasha is scrappy as shit. Every time Charlotte gets a flurry or big move, she's able to turn the momentum with a cheap move or using the ring to her advantage. Charlotte goes for the moonsault. Sasha rolls out of the way. Charlotte lands on her feet and does a flipping senton instead. Riley is so amazed because he's never seen that from a female wrestler. Can you believe it? A WOMAN DID THAT! Luckily, the freshly retired Corey Graves corrects him on his needless sexism. Avalanche Natural Selection gets Charlotte the win. Title retained. HOT match. Women's match of the year.
Sami Zayn vs Adrian Neville NXT Championship NXT Takeover: R Evolution
Can Sami finally win the big one? The crowd is 100% on his side. This is Sami's self imposed last chance. If he doesn't win the big one this time, he's leaving. The crowd is MOLTEN for Sami. They've already turned on Neville. He soaks it up for the first few minutes of the match. The match starts with some fast paced mat work. Both try to one up each other. Sami hits the first dive of the night, with a split legged Asai moonsault. Neville seemingly thinks about getting counted out. He slows the pace down once he gets back in the ring. Sami fires back with a lariato OUTTA NOWHERE. Then another. Tope con hello! Top rope cross body. A victory roll is countered into a blue thunder bomb! 12HEGOTHIMNOHEDIDN'T. Riley starts shitting on Sami because he's a terrible face announcer. He can't even decide if he's a face announcer. It just goes from match to match and moment to moment. Neville hits a loud as fuck uppercut in the corner and dodges the Helluva kick. Rebound German suplex. Sami won't stay down. Neville also counters the run up DDT and hits a huge Liger bomb for the nearest of near falls. This elf can't believe it. FIGHTING SPIRITUUUUUU. Another huge lariato. Neville again dodges the Helluva kick. Red Arrow is countered into a Koji clutch. We're gonna have a new champion! No we aren't. Rope break. Roll up from Neville. On the kick out, his head collided with the ref's head. Sami checks on the ref. Superkick. Reverse frankensteiner! Sami cost himself the title. NO HE DIDN'T! MY GOD. BY GAWD. After a short strike battle, Sami hits some rolling German suplexes ending in a half and half suplex. Helluva kick misses AGAIN. But the torpedo DDT doesn't. Helluva kick! Oh no. The ref got elbowed. Neville pulled the ref in the way. THIS REF SUCKS chants. Neville brings the belt into the ring. Sami gets it. YOU DON'T WANT TO DO THIS, JOHN. THIS ISN'T YOU! Also, WATCHING YOUR FUCKING MOUTH SAMI. Sami won't use the title. He's conflicted. NOT LIKE THIS. Roll up from Neville. Sami kicks out! "Sami Zayn deserves to be fucked...uh to be out of the business tomorrow." Graves, fired on his first night. Helluva kick. NEW CHAMPION! THE BOYHOOD DREAM HAS COME TRUE!
WATCH YOUR FUCKING MOUTH SAMI! GOD DAMN PAL. This is a PG show. You can't keep screaming MOTHER FUCKER. After the match, the locker room erupts. The first one to congratulate Sami is his best friend, Kevin Owens. Their hug is is so strong it busts Kevin open. Alex you fucking cunt. Now he's a huge supporter of Sami and always believed he could do it. You fucking liar. The whole match you were saying Sami couldn't do it and didn't have it in him. You piece of shit. Sami offers Neville a hand shake. Neville kicks it away and hugs him, which is what Sami did in their first match over a year ago. CLOSURE. CLOSURE to a year and a half long story for Sami. Wins the big one, book-ended with Neville doing the same hand shake Sami did when Neville beat him to become number one contender for the first time. His best friend, having made his NXT debut that night, the first in the ring to hug him. Wait. Kevin. NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? WHY KEVIN WHY?!? Kevin Owens has just laid Sami out! MY GOD. SWERVE!
In isolation, there has been a lot of great stuff this year. Not just in WWE, either. But what really makes wrestling forever rad is when a story comes to a close with real closure in a way that lets the wrestler and and the fans celebrate it. More so than a great match, although the moments can be elevated with a great match. This year we got two.
The first was Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania. It was the culmination of two long angles in a single night. The Yes Movement, if you will, really started at WM28. Bryan was catching on, over as fuck with the international and smarky crowd at WM, only to lose the title in 18 seconds to a guy fans had rejected as one of the chosen ones. For the next year and a half, Bryan got more and more over, despite poor booking and a complete lack of faith in him from the office. The fans started their own angle with him and by the time Summerslam 2013 arrived, it was impossible for WWE to deny him or the fans any longer. Bryan beats John Cena clean in the middle of the ring only to immediately be screwed out of the title by HHH, starting the second angle, which is really the on screen continuation of what had been doing on backstage since WM28. From Summerslam to TLC, Bryan's momentum had been stalled or outright stopped by The Authority on screen and WWE backstage. The fans completely revolted and demanded Bryan get his shot. At Wrestlemania, Bryan defeats HHH completely clean in the middle of the ring and then winning the title in the main event at a land mark WM. What happened after doesn't even matter. What matters is that the fans got closure to two long angles, and Bryan was rewarded for his work and the fans got to join in with the celebration.
The second was the story of Sami Zayn. Coming into NXT, everyone knew he was the best and expected him to immediately be hot shotted to the top. Yet whenever it came to a big match, Sami was never able to pull out the win when it mattered most. He couldn't beat Cesaro. He couldn't beat Bo Dallas. He couldn't beat Adrian Neville. He couldn't beat Tyler Breeze. Couldn't beat Corey Graves. When it mattered most, Sami just couldn't close the deal. A year and a half later, he gets his final chance. At everything. With the story being that Sami doesn't have the killer edge, is too much of a nice guy, Sami has the chance to use the title belt to secure a victory. In a moment 1000% more dramatic and believable than with Cena at WM, Sami is conflicted and doesn't use the title. It nearly costs him the match, but he refocuses and finally wins the big one. On his own terms. As the nice guy. And this year and a half build finally comes to a head and the fans get to celebrate it with Sami. Making it better is that Kevin Steen had made his debut the same night and they got to celebrate that moment together inside a WWE ring.
The Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan stories are more than the 1 1/2 to 2 year builds they received. They both are the story of two guys who worked for over a decade to get to that moment. That moment when the wrestlers are rewarded for their hard work and the fans are rewarded for their faith in said wrestlers. Everyone gets to celebrate. That's what makes wrestling still fun in 2014. Moments like Eddie Guerrero winning the WWE Championship after 16 years of being as good as anyone in the world, not getting his due because of his size or ethnicity, conquering his demons along the way. It was a moment as big for the fans as it was for Eddie. Moments like Chris Benoit winning the World Heavyweight Championship at WM20 and ending the show hugging and crying with his best friend, Eddie Guerrero, both on top of the world after years of struggle. Moments like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels winning the title after years of being looked at as undersized tag team guys. Moments like Ric Flair returning to WCW to vanquish Vader in Charlotte. Wrestling is fake, but the emotion in moments like that is real and is probably the main reason why we can't stop watching this nonsense.
You have big moments like Hulk slamming and beating Andre, Warrior beating Hogan, Macho beating Flair at WM. But then you have emotional moments when hard work and faith from wrestlers and fans combine and are rewarded in a way that everyone can share. That's what is dope about wrestling.