Tag Archives: Mauro Renallo

Big Show Backlash, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

Titus O'Neil, WWEBy Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

The biggest non-Daniel Bryan story coming out of last week was the suspension of Titus O’Neil. He grabbed Vince McMahon’s arm just as cameras stopped rolling on Bryan’s retirement celebration, for what purpose no one is exactly sure. But Titus was hit with a 90-day suspension, which was later reduced to a 60-day suspension due to internet backlash. Reportedly, McMahon had to be talked down from firing Titus outright.

If you ever wonder where all this talk of people walking on eggshells in the WWE locker room comes from, look no further than this. You don’t even need to be in WWE to understand it. Make one wrong move and you’re fired. Or if not fired, you’ll be punished.

I’m not saying Titus was right to grab McMahon. But for a company that so desperately craves “legitimacy,” it’s amazing how downright childish its 70-year-old chairman of the board can be. There’s your genius, everybody…

The Big Show, Raw, February 15, 2016Pondering From WWE Raw:

The Big Show and and Braun Strowman main event the show. Why? Someone tell me why. Why would you have The Big Show main event Raw as a babyface in 2016? Was it to lead into the Steve Austin interview with Show? I guarantee you, that interview lost viewers because of this main event. This is part of why fans don’t like The Big Show. He’s been a main event fixture for years, and fans are tired of him. And yet he sticks around. This man is a damn giant, and yet he’s been booked like any other wrestler for over 15 years now. If only Austin could ask him about that.

Still, I watched this match to see how Braun Strowman looked against Show. He was’t bad. But he only wrestled for about 3 minutes. He hardly seems ready for The Undertaker, does he? What’s more, the match itself didn’t start until 11:05 Eastern Time. Fail

It looks like we’re getting The Wyatt Family against The Big Show, Ryback, and Kane at Fastlane. Fair enough, I suppose. Eh, whatever…

Kevin Owens, WWE Raw, February 15, 2016Kevin Owens def. Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust & Tyler Breeze to win back the Intercontinental Title. Awesome. Ambrose never really needed to win the title, and Owens never really needed to lose it. This almost gives me hope Ambrose has a chance of winning on Sunday. And damn, what a great post-match promo. C’mon, guys. Shake things up a little. Just give it to Dean…

So now Owens has Ziggler this Sunday. But who does he have at Wrestlemania? I’d love to see it be Sami Zayn. But it seems unlikely, as he’s got Shinsuke Nakamura at the NXT Takeover show that weekend. So who do you put Owens with?

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to appear on Smackdown. Something that really stuck out this week is how much Smackdown is being emphasized. WWE is even trotting out its biggest attraction, Brock Lesnar, for a show that’s long been void of any sort of significance. But last week’s broadcast saw Chris Jericho beat AJ Styles, and the Dudleys cut a hell of a heel promo. Plus, Mauro Ranallo has quickly become the best announcer on WWE TV. As far as I’m concerned, he and Lawler can start calling pay per views any time now. Smackdown‘s importance is gradually starting to rise. Now let’s just hope they stay consistent with that approach.

Paul Heyman, WWE Raw, February 15, 2016Paul Heyman calls out Roman Reigns. This one didn’t do much for me. At least by Paul Heyman promo standards. Heyman and Reigns were pretty nice to each other here. But niceness isn’t Heyman’s strong point, at least from a character standpoint.

Charlotte and Ric Flair interrupts Brie Bella’s in-ring interview. I want to like Brie Bella, really I do. But when that awful music hits and she gives us that monotone delivery I just cringe. And it’s just so damn obvious that she’s reciting lines. There’ve been rumors that, like her husband Daniel Bryan, she’s headed toward retirement. I suspect she’ll wait until after Wrestlemania.

As the weeks go by, Charlotte gets better and better at her heel role. She was great at antagonizing Brie tonight, and I suspect she’ll be even better at antagonizing Sasha Banks and/or Becky Lynch heading into Wrestlemania. And Ric, to his credit, isn’t overshadowing her. He actually adds a certain credibility to the Divas Title by standing by his daughter as she defends it. It was a risk putting Ric with his daughter, but thus far it’s a risk that has paid off.

Chris Jericho, WWE Raw, February 15, 2016AJ Styles def. The Miz. As solid a match as Styles and Miz had, the best part of this segment was hearing Chris Jericho on commentary. He put Miz over better than our announce team has in years. And obviously, he dove into the psychology of his program with AJ. Obviously we’ve got a rubber match between Jericho and Styles coming at Fastlane, and the smart bet is they’ll give us their best encounter yet. On a card that’s rather lackluster, they could easily steal the show.

Big E. def. Mark Henry. That didn’t look like the ending we were supposed to get. Henry collapsed like an accordion during what looked like it was meant to be a counter to the Big Ending. That’s why men that size aren’t usually picked up for moves like that. Here’s hoping he’s okay.

Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio, now a 2 out of 3 Falls Match, moved from the main show to the pre-show at FastlaneOuch. Del Rio is the one League of Nations member that has managed to stay relevant, and his match gets bumped to the pre-show. And ironically enough, now that it’s a 2 out of 3 Falls Match, I’m actually interested in seeing them wrestle again.

Image 1 from 411mania.com. Remaining images from WWE.com.

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Roman Reigns Wins the WWE Championship, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

Roman Reigns, Raw, December 14, 2015By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Not much point in wasting time, is there? Let’s jump right into the big news from Raw

Roman Reigns wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after the match is made by Vince McMahon himself. A title change via a match made that same night, as Vince McMahon looks on in horror and disbelief. That’s some classic Attitude Era booking right there. Still, you can’t say it didn’t work. And how ironic that it happened in Philadelphia, the same city that booed Reigns out of the building at the Royal Rumble. A city that, by the way, was behind him tonight.

Aside from being derivative of the Attitude Era, down to Corporation style run-ins against the babyface that Vince despises, I can’t bring myself to complain much about how this was done. How odd was it that this match tonight had more anticipation built for it than last night’s TLC main event?

WWE Raw, December 14, 2015, Stephanie McMahon, Roman ReignsFrom a creative standpoint, this seemed like an attempt to jumpstart Raw following the ratings downslide, and all the ill will built up from the fans. This obviously doesn’t fix all of WWE’s problems. But this was a good show. Most definitely a breath of fresh air.

On the downside (because we’ve got to cover the good and the bad), WWE has developed a pretty consistent pattern of not allowing anyone to show up Stephanie McMahon, particularly men. That trend continued in the opening segment as Reigns took a barrage of slaps from the “Billion Dollar Princess.” He didn’t even put his hands up to defend himself! I understand the ultra-image conscious WWE not wanting to show images of men being physical against women, but can’t Reigns reach out and grab Steph’s arm to stop her? Imagine someone doing that to Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, or The Rock. And to top that, he even got kicked in the balls by 70-year-old Vince McMahon later in the evening.

Sheamus: “You think I look stupid? All of you paid to see me tonight, so what does that make you?” Don’t tempt us, pal…

Sheamus, WWE Raw, December 14, 2015In a lot of ways, Sheamus got a raw deal this year, no pun intended. There was very little thrill or intrigue in his Money in the Bank win, and his brief run with the title was hardly worth it. It might have been better just to have him cash in and lose.

Still, I maintain that Sheamus is a talented wrestler, and can still do great things.

Dean Ambrose wins Intercontinental Championship at TLC, defeats Dolph Ziggler on Raw. Kevin Owens seeks revenge. I was surprised to see WWE give Ambrose the IC Title. He doesn’t exactly need it. But having him in the picture doesn’t hurt anything either. As one would expect, he and Ziggler turned in a good match.

Having Kevin Owens chase Ambrose for the title might bring out the best in Owens as a heel. He showed some nice bitterness out there tonight. I’m curious to see what Owens does in the weeks leading up to the Royal Rumble.

Jojo, Kevin Owens, WWE Raw, December 14, 2015Correct me if I’m wrong, but it would have been really nice to have Owens looking into the camera for that promo segment with Jojo. How much better was that promo with the ECW guys because Bubba and the others were looking into our eyes? I just don’t understand WWE’s hesitance toward that sort of thing.

The Wyatt Family def. Team ECW in an Extreme Rules Match. The right team won here. During the match I tweeted: “The Wyatts need to win this match. No more 50/50 booking.” Very happy the Wyatts got the victory, and actually came off looking like a dominant group. I’ve said it before, the Wyatts can be the dominant faction in WWE if they’re put in that position. Even if it’s just Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper getting the big wins, that’s not an out-of-reach proposition.

That being said, if they want this to continue, I wouldn’t mind seeing Bray Wyatt and Bubba Ray Dudley go at it one-on-one…

WWE TLC 2015, Ric Flair, CharlotteCharlotte retains over Paige at TLC, teams with Becky Lynch for a win on Raw. Ric Flair assists both times. So it appears we are indeed moving toward a Charlotte heel turn, and seemingly a program with Becky Lynch. This opens the door for development on the part of both ladies, so no complaints from me. I also like how they made a point to have Sasha Banks out there, to illustrate that she’s waiting in the wing.

I’m very curious to see who they put Charlotte with at Wrestlemania. It should be a one-on-one match, as opposed to a triple threat, or a fatal fourway. I’d love to see it be Sasha Banks. But Becky would be good in that spot as well.

Alberto Del Rio & Rusev def. Ryback and Jack Swagger. Didn’t even need to watch this one. Jack Swagger is a loser, and Ryback has become a loser. But that’s actually a good thing. Again, they didn’t 50/50 book it. These programs have winners and losers. That’s the way it should be.

WWE Raw, December 14, 2015The Miz “directs” Neville during his match with Tyler Breeze, which he wins. I don’t necessarily mind Miz being with Neville. It did wonders for Damian Sandow…until the story was over. Hell, this Miz/Neville program might even get Damian a little bit of TV time.

In Other News…

WWE hires veteran MMA announcer Mauro Ranallo for Smackdown. Will start when the show moves to USA Network on January 7. This is a really nice get for WWE. Ranallo brings a special credibility of sorts to the announce position. But here’s the thing: If WWE’s product remains as stale as it’s been lately, it won’t matter who the announcers are. Because no one will be watching.

Sting reveals he needs neck surgery following Night of Champions match. Ugh. This sucks. With so many guys on the injured reserve list, WWE could use Sting now more than ever. Furthering the sucktitude is the fact that Sting’s WWE run, which fans waited so many years for, has been such a disappointment. “The Icon” is hopeful for one more match. Count me among the wrestling fans who hope Sting finally gets a truly great WWE match. Or at the very least, a victory.

Images courtesy of WWE.com.

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