Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!
Mad Man still finding beads in strange places as we hit the east coast. Must’ve been the Bay Area Transplant soaked in neon. That was a good kind of turbulence, even though I can’t remember most of it. This turbulence is horrible and strong as I circle The Evil Empire’s Back Yard. Hold on tight. I’ll push us through the confusion. Passengers should keep their air sickness bags and oxygen masks close. They may need them to absorb some of the shock of Round 1 of The Superstar Shakeup. My apologies in advance for any disappointment as we circle Hartford.
Monday Night Raw opens with GM Kurt Angle promising a big night of movement and some unexpected twists. This is no surprise. Most sheep have been through several of these. Let the current Earthquake in The WWE Universe begin! Angle doesn’t reach five minutes into his promo when he is interrupted by a pointless mouthpiece, Sunil Singh? Yes, cue the bags. Unfortunately, sheep and smart marks have to put up with Jinder Mahal on Mondays. Although, one of us who swings chairs regularly was probably doing cartwheels.
The Indian Brooklyn Brawler came to the ring spouting demands and asking why he wasn’t brought to Raw in a limousine. Two Questions: 1. When did he turn into Saint Richard? 2. Is he forgetting that Vince McMahon is propping him up because WWE is in fact lazy? Angle tries to have a reasonable conversation with him. Mahal continues to come off as blown up as he actually is. Saying repeatedly that he is better than anyone on Monday nights. Never mind how obnoxious that statement is. His runt takes his mic, insisting that Angle give his email out publicly. Finally, Kurt cuts everyone off, telling Mahal that both he and The United States Gold were brought here to compete at a higher level. Quick aside: Expect Seth Rollins to wind up on SmackDown Live tonight because The Blue Brand is missing a championship.
In fact, Jinder was going to put The Gold up right now! These “impromptu” matches are always fun. Especially when a heel must shut up and compete. Who steps up to answer the call and put The New Lombardi in his place? How bout The Charismatic Enigma, Jeff Hardy! The match was relatively even except for them trying to in inflate Mahal’s credentials. No need gentlemen, the steroids and Vinnie’s stupidity have already done their work. Cynicism when watching contests like this always sits in the back of my mind. “Are they really gonna switch The Strap here?” YES SIR! Hardy is The NEW United States Champion! I’m hoping this isn’t just to give the cheap PPV in the desert a justifiable title change. I know better than to be optimistic though. At least Jeff can celebrate his decision making for two weeks.
Multiple recess segments: Let’s go ladies! First up, Ember Moon against Mickie James. The satellite surrounding this match felt a bit forced. What else is new for Stamford? Why can’t a heel get beat and just disappear for a while? Even though she kinda did last night. The combatants from The Raw Women’s Title match at Mania were supposed to be on commentary. New Champ Nia Jax held up her end. Big Fine’s foil did not. Alexa Bliss is cowering in the back. They cut to her and she did a split-screen promo whining about The South Pacific Queen being a bully and making her feel unsafe. GOOD! Honestly, they could’ve saved or scrapped it. Almost forgot, The Lunar Lone Star won the match clean with The Eclipse.
The second appearance from the feminine roster got screwy. I’m not surprised, Sasha Banks was involved. Let’s pick on her after she busts her ass for 15 mins. Sasha and Bayley were scheduled to have their first opposing in-ring encounter on The Main Roster last night. Why is The Female Dragon not allowed to progress in storyline like a logical character? Odd vibes from the start as someone botched a spot in the corner. Come on girls, pick it up. The match felt dead, outside of a brutal double-knee strike from inside out while The Human Elmo’s head was posted. Excuse me, some of this s*** has to hurt! Later, Sasha had Bayley ready to tap. However, The Bank$tatement came back incomplete as The Riott Squad had to make their RAW debut and assault the former friends. Why do you ladies matter again? “No female heel can get over on this side of the roster unless they beat up Sasha Banks. PS: What she did in NXT does NOT matter. Under NO circumstances can she be made a heel to stand on her own.” DAMMIT VINCE! Why did you send this internal memo? I wanted to slap you after Memphis in AUGUST. Now, I’m hoping The Legit Boss puts you in the hospital!
Serious mark out moment, my most worked apologies to Vince McMahon. Final Bad Ass Chick portion of last night’s RAW started with a backstage shot of GM Kurt Angle talking to The Next Rowdy One, interesting…He tells Ronda that he has a surprise addition to the roster that she may like. Enter Natalya? Yeah, they trained together before Rousey’s arrival. Nattie wanted to say hello before her first RAW match in quite some time, seed planted. As of writing this, two-thirds of Absolute Yawn are still present on Monday. Mandy Rose was tasked with meeting Ronda’s Trainer in a singles match with Sonya Deville ringside. A bit unexpectedly, The Queen of Hearts put the Pound-For-Pound Pinup in The Sharpshooter and beat her clean. Not so unexpectedly, the remaining tired ones jumped Nattie after the bell. Who’s gonna make the save. Like an idiot, I’m sitting here doing the algebra. “Charlotte just lost Gold on Smackdown. It’s gotta be her?” WRONG! Joan Jett blasts, and Ronda Rousey is PISSED! Hey Sonya, wanna be a work bad ass? Fine, meet a real bad ass! Half-a-dozen shots and one leg sweep that mimics a clothesline with the right camera angle and slow eyes, and Ms. Deville was laid out in less than a minute. Makes sense: Give Ronda an ally early who will eventually turn heel, so she can beat her up, and work her way into the real roster. Not disappointed at all. I am saddened the weekly installment of real wrestling is over.
The second men’s match of the night saw Heath Slater & Ryno take on The Authors of Pain. The First SmackDown Live Tag Champs were given a pre-recorded promo, why? They had no need for such a promo. After a brief flashback to relevance in terms of actual offense, the mismatched pair was destroyed by The Authors of Pain in approximately ten minutes. The next segment was bizarre for two reasons. Most obviously, WWE’s Yin-Yang Twins, Woken Matt & Bray Wyatt. The weirdoes were taking on The Revival for the right to challenge Shamus & Cesaro for Tag Team Gold in the desert. Predictably, Hardy and Wyatt won. I doubt very seriously that they were supposed to come across as normal here, but they did. Why? The Bar was on guest commentary. Go back and listen. If this is not proof announcers are scripted and pointless, I am Einstein. If The Europeans weren’t having a script shoved down their throats, they appeared verbally high and confused. Sadly, this was not their biggest embarrassment of last night. They had a match with Breezango. They did the opposite of win clean. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.
Time to break down multiple promos and the fallout from the bread of the promo sandwich. The meat meant nothing. First, our favorite fake actor said prior to the show that he was bringing WWE-altering talent to the next Miz TV. The Miztourage and their fearless leader come out to start the segment. After a dose of Miz arrogance, he brings out Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn?? They’re not fired? Thanks to technology and dastardly heel work from The Wicked Witch. The Obnoxious Canadians produce an email overriding Kurt Angle’s decision from last week. An aggravated GM comes out to break up the party. Informing The Miz that it was his last night on RAW. His consolation prize was to have Dallas and Axel leave him to take the pin in a ten-man tag. Now Daniel Bryan can beat the crap out of him!
Earlier in the night, Dolph Ziggler came out to no reaction. Great, same carpenter run, different day. Wait…who’s this? Just Titus Worldwide. Why are all these morons in the same ring at the same time? No Titus, the guys in your corporation will not form an Oreo moving forward. Unfamiliar music hits? Wait, Who? It can’t be! Drew Galloway! For the second time in two weeks, Vince McMahon brings a performer back to WWE that had Championship success in Orlando. Speaking of something that happened last week; Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe cut an identical promo to the one they did seven days ago. Perfect, I ran out of Nyquil, and I need to pass out. I promise to land the plane first. Hopefully, tomorrow’s flight to Providence will be less scattered.
MadMan: She’s Handing Out Blues Better Than A Namesake Will
Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.
Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.
I may not be in regular rotation, but when they give me a chair, I swing for my fences. As a decades-long consumer of the art, I don’t have many left. The only Home Runs WWE has placed within my scope, can be found in Women’s Division on both Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live.
The year I began watching wrestling, some very interesting circumstances took place surrounding cable television. WTBS; (Atlanta), WAS the home of The NWA’s Jim Crockett Promotions. At least until “Black Saturday,” which ultimately saw Vinnie Jr. Hijack the famous 6:05 time slot. This nearly cause riots among cable viewers opposed to McMahon’s product and presentation.
Though the million dollar ransom The Crocketts paid to get their flagship spot back on the dial gave the head of Titan Sports the backbone to finance WrestleMania, which helped to wreck most of the territories. Hell, it can be argued somewhat convincingly upon its 30th Anniversary, Vince himself ruined his biggest display’s pristine intentions for two consecutive years with Lesnar beating the streak instead of Bray Wyatt; and, Sting losing his ONLY Mania match because someone else had the right bride on their marriage license.
Despite the objections of both smarks and sheep in certain cases, we must respect the history of this pop culture institution. IF WrestleMania is Woodstock, it is only appropriate that Tito Santana opened the show with a victory!
In recent years, there has been only one person on The Main Roster who has matched the swag of Santana’s initial accomplishment without even trying, and she wrestled in the last Mania Match I cared about. Finally got tired of giving fans The Blues. She’s ready to deal some out in the form of steel chairs and God knows what else.
“Cut Her talent LOOSE!” We kept screaming. “A REAL run with Gold, PLEASE?” Like a kid aching just before Christmas. As with Solis, she was a true pro, until the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in the modern art form washed over us.
Fans and insiders alike FORGOT about Social Media! Don’t get me wrong, it’s still here. Can’t get away from it. Hell, I’m doing a roll-in on the internet right now! If you’ve been fans of us long enough, you’ll realize that last sentence was not a botch! Seriously, this thing felt like the territories back in the day. No one knew a damn thing! Even some of those paid to know were flipping a coin every five minutes. Thanks for the constant stress, you ancient prick!
Come on folks. If you know my current wrestling HEART at all, you KNEW the last Chair Shot on her return was coming from her Super Mark in Middle America! When older dudes at this circus describe what true fandom is like; they’ll often say: “That’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, BUT THAT’S REAL!”
For her boatloads of fans and the woman herself, Christmas is here! The Stamford’s latest Blues enthusiast is very real, And WWE’s Black Magic Woman IS BACK! Line ’em up. they’re all falling. Charlotte & Ronda too. To The Man and those in charge of her Twitter Account, thanks for keeping the possibility top of mind when things first got weird. We never gave up, but you will! MISSED YOU LADY BANKS!
Mad Man’s Spinal Tap & 20 Questions
Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox. Does this article go to 11? Are the retread concepts, just hollow nowadays?
Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox! Does this article go to 11?
When you have decades of experience watching the art form, your eyes and thought processes change. It’s the reason my colleagues can break down pending news and angles we haven’t seen yet. Mr. Meltzer made a cottage industry out of it. A ton of people on The Internet are trying to follow suit. Then, there are fans like me. As much as I love twitter, Professional Wrestling fans were never meant to receive “spoilers” every day.
This is NOT a “Back in my day…” thing. My eyes have changed too. However, I am focused more on WWE’s calendar when watching Stamford’s offering. If I think about wrestling. it’s very simple. My suspension of disbelief is gone for very few performers. In fact, I would say it’s gone for most fans. If we know it’s a work, why are scripts and outcomes still based on the assumption that we don’t? If I have seen a gimmick before, I am VERY hard to impress. Make me believe you can beat somebody; and stand out doing so, or I will chew you up and spit you the Hell out.
For those who say I should keep my mouth shut because I can’t perform and never have, I DON’T CARE! Saint Dave gets a pass, and y’all still watch the current product like his lap dogs and clones, despite “knowing’ the outcome? I don’t watch for the outcome anymore. Based on character development and pushes, I can see that coming. Call me a hypocrite and I will play 20 Questions with you. Can you get me to the finish line without looking like an idiot or a laughable copy of someone else?
Su Yung is 5’6’’ish. Marks and sheep world wide are transfixed and petrified? Make up aside, why? She is impersonating three legends with no unique move set and doing it very badly. Without her zombies, can she beat anybody? Mr. Calloway used druids. He was 6’10’’ and did not need them to kick your ass. Mick Foley put himself and you through HELL before using The Mandible Claw. You had no choice but to take it. The Great Muta was arguably the best Rising Sun performer of all time. He had a move set most American fans had never seen before. The Mist was believable in his hands because audience and opponent were spinning trying to keep up with him. Where is Su Yung’s Mysticism? As much as fans love her, there are no OMG moments in her matches, and her gimmick is predicated on them.
She is far from the only example. Twitter went crazy about a month ago because a top name on the indies put something in her opponent’s mouth during a match. Outside of a prison fight, when would this EVER HAPPEN? Why is this necessary? If this is a work, why would any girl allow someone to do this? Tell me why either woman gets hired again without the parrot response? Same question applies to Joseph. Dude ain’t pickin’ up anybody like that in real life. I dare him to pick my wheelchair up with his finish. He would be in traction.
Tony Schiavone is our crazy wrestling fan uncle. Our memories of him when we were kids and teenagers all ROCK! He is without question one of the best to ever call the action. God Bless Conrad Flair for bringing him back to the art form. Among other fun stuff, he now does commentary for MLW. With tongue firmly planted in cheek; I must say, I have a slight problem with him. I understand that it is his job. He continues to put MJF over because?? I get the gimmick. It’s just OLD! He is ripping off The Miz. One look at him, and you can see that. “I have more money than you.” So did DiBiase. And if you did, you wouldn’t need the $50.00 a night you made before Tony started calling your matches because you’d be paying him. Just wait until Mike retires before you go to New York.
Finally, we arrive at the biggest tent. Vinnie’s circus was on The West Coast in The House of Hot Rod & Billy Jack Haynes. Sheep under 25 are now asking a three-worded question. The only help you’ll get from me is to say that he may have been the father of Modern Independent Wrestling. Sometimes, it wasn’t his choice, and he is still fighting demons today.
Back to this week. Didn’t Spinal Tap all stand in the Center Ring around a month ago and do a babyface promo? “It’s our fault. We’ll do better for you. This is YOUR product.” First, I believe Stephanie as a babyface as much as I believe Saint Richard as a babyface. Shut up and go home as a shoot. Second, as big a moron as Vince is, he’s NOT leaving the person carrying the big top out of WrestleMania! Outside of the obvious, Becky’s leg is a work. SHE WAS LIMPING ON THE WRONG ONE ON MONDAY! Seth Rollins is hurt as a shoot. He WASN’T at Monday Night Raw. If Becky wasn’t cleared, she wouldn’t be on either show. So WHY is everybody going apes*** over this?
Sometimes, I can’t tell which group is Spinal Tap?
Is it the group on stage or the sheep who believe what they’re watching? I truly wish this art form was treated more like real competition.
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