The Delco Elbow Drop

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Arena reopens

This was a column I just did for The News of Delaware County and since I couldn't find it on our website anywhere, I figured I would post it here since it is very much pro wrestling related. At the end of the article I've also included a bunch of random memories from The Arena because I can.

The Philadelphia area has always been home to passionate sports fans. We support our professional, college and high school teams with similar intensity and fervor. And for as long as I can remember (even before I existed or started forming memories), Philly fans have also been incredibly supportive of and passionate about professional wrestling.

On the DVD “The Rise and Fall of ECW,” the creative force behind Extreme Championship Wrestling Paul Heyman noted that even before TV, companies like the NWA and WWWF would run competing shows on the same nights in Philadelphia because they knew wrestling’s fanbase in the city was so large and rabid. 

What’s always been special about the Philadelphia area when it comes to wrestling is its centralized location makes it easy for the best talent from up and down the east coast as well as from the Midwest to display their talents in front of an intense, knowledgeable crowd.

When I was in high school and college, my friends and I would attend a local company (Combat Zone Wrestling) month after month where we were treated to matches from local, homegrown talent as well as wrestlers from as far away as Canada and southern California. And back when we attended CZW each month, the shows were always held in what has become the Mecca of professional wrestling in the area – the Arena.

What was once a freight warehouse was given the name Viking Hall in the 1980s. During that time it was used as a practice area for a local chapter of Mummers as well as bingo games but Viking Hall began getting worldwide notoriety in the mid-90s thanks to ECW. Earning the nickname of “the most extreme bingo hall in the world,” Viking Hall eventually came to be known as the ECW Arena to wrestling fans.

Throughout numerous name changes and lease-holders, the venue has always been known as The Arena to hardcore wrestling fans. Hundreds of wrestling shows have been held there and scenes from the 2008 movie “The Wrestler” were even filmed at the venue during a CZW show.
However, in early 2012, the lease to the building was acquired by Arena Operating, LLC with plans to turn the well-known wrestling venue into a concert venue and what was billed as the final wrestling show in The Arena was held on Jan. 14, 2012. 

Fans not just from the area but all over the world were stunned to find out that a building with so much history in the sport would no longer be a viable venue. Despite the sport’s popularity in the city, there is really only one other venue (the National Guard Armory in the Northeast) where independent wrestling companies would run shows and local wrestling fans were forced to do without the sport they love or concede to travel further to see it.

For a long time, the situation seemed bleak for local fans. Word amongst fans was that Arena Operating, LLC had torn down most of the interior of the Arena and seemingly had no interest in finishing their renovations or allowing wrestling to be hosted again. 

But that changed last spring when Arena Operating was evicted from their lease after failing to complete their proposed renovations by the building’s owners. Now, for the first time in almost two years, the historic ECW Arena in South Philly will again host professional wrestling.

On Dec. 28, a promotion known as Extreme Rising, made up of former ECW legends and current rising stars, will be bringing wrestling back to the historic venue. I’m planning on attending the rebirth of the Arena as are hundreds, if not thousands, of other area wrestling fans. 

Like many fans, I have a lot of great memories of the Arena. Not just of the shows I’ve attended but of the people I’ve met and the great times I’ve had, thanks to professional wrestling and the Arena.
It has been too long since wrestling has been hosted within its walls, and though the interior of the Arena, located at Swanson and Ritner in South Philadelphia, may look different, the aura and mystique of that historic venue will never change. And now that the Arena is reopening, a whole new generation of fans can experience just how amazing live professional wrestling can be.

Arena memories:
-The first time I ever saw at show at the ECW Arena was CZW’s first Night of Infamy on November 9, 2002. I picked a pretty insane first indy show for me and my friends to go to, as CZW owner John Zandig was set to take on the Wifebeater in the main event I Quit match where Zandig’s career was on the line. But it wasn’t just an I Quit match – it was a no rope barb wire, 100 light tube, fan bring the weapons, no mat barb wire board death match. Yes, all those stips were completely necessary.

-It was also at Night of Infamy where CZW did an angle outside in front of the crowd before the doors opened where several wrestlers brawled on the street, with one being smashed onto the roof of a parked car, denting it pretty good. My friends and I just assumed it was a wrestler of staff member’s car. That turned out to be false when a guy came out of the neighboring Forman Mills asking the line, “What happened to my car?!”

-We were back the next month for Cage of Death IV. Overall it was a good show – Zandig beat Lobo in the Cage of Death match (which opened the night, more on that) and Messiah defeated Justice Pain in a great match to win the CZW World title. What I remember most from this night was how bell time for the show was 7 or 7:30 and not being let into the building until almost two hours later. I guess because they were setting up the cage but that still begged the question of why they did the COD match first? The world may never know.

-I’ve seen lots of brutal matches. I’ve been to deathmatch tournaments and hard-hitting, bloody contests doesn’t exactly make me squeamish. But I can tell you with no exaggeration that Necro Butcher vs Samoa Joe from IWA: MS “Something to Prove” in June, 2005, was one of, if not THE most hard-hitting, brutal matches that has ever taken place. Not just that I’ve seen – that’s ever happened. From bell to bell, Joe and Necro hit each other with everything they had and still kept coming at each other. Joe busted open Necro from headbutts ALONE. You can check the highlights from this match at this link - – but unless you don’t mind blood and terrible heavy metal, watch at your own risk.

-Mike Quackenbush won CZW’s Best of the Best 5 in 2005. After defeating Arik Cannon and Claudio Castagnoli to reach the finals, Quack then defeated B-Boy, Kevin Steen and Super Dragon in the finals to claim the tournament championship. But what I’ll always remember from that day was seeing Steen, Sexxxy Eddy, DJ Hyde, and unmasked El Generico and Super Dragon in Wendy’s prior to the show where Kevin Steen told me straight up that he was going to win Best of the Best. And that day I found out Kevin Steen is a liar.

-Me and my friends thought that the COD IV shenanigans of waiting hours and hours for the doors to open would be the worst decision CZW ever made when it came to a COD match. At Cage of Death VIII, they proved us wrong. So very, very wrong. Usually the COD itself is made of black metal supports with yellow wires in between. The cage at COD VIII was made out of wood. Yes, wood. My friends and I were sitting front row at COD VIII and during the entire construction process were not so much heckling the CZW staff building the unfortunate contraption, but being completely serious when shouting things like, “Oh my god, how do you guys think this will be a good idea??” CZW seemed determined to make the shows tag line “Coming Undone” happen for reals. Somehow it didn’t completely and immediately fall apart but there were several times, if memory serves, where it seemed a legit possibility.

-But my favorite, MY FAVORITE, all time memory at the Arena had nothing to do with wrestling. Even better than the time Franky the Mobster gave me the finger for daring to recognize him and point him out to my friends. We were waiting in line between a double header one Saturday afternoon (CZW and IWS or it could’ve been with IWA: MS) and a lady from the Forman Mills next door, got into her minivan and proceeded to back directly into one of the cars parked at the curb out front of the Arena. After the entire line finished chanting “You f*cked up” at her, some people at the front told her they knew the owner and it was totally cool if she left. And she did! I still to this day don’t know why she listened to some random guys in line for a wrestling show after getting into a car accident but I guess the lesson is never underestimate how dumb some people can be.

(Image from

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Raw, Dec 9 - The Authority and John Cena turning heel

Rather than do a recap of the entire episode of Raw this week, leading into Sunday’s Tables, Ladders and Chairs Pay-Per-View, I’m only going to take a look at the most surprising moment of the show. And no, it wasn’t when the Bellas were voted “Diva of the Year” over AJ Lee.

Don’t get me wrong, a majority of the notes I took during Raw had to do with how AJ Lee should win every Slammy but somehow didn’t even win one. I could go on and on about AJ Lee – about how she is the greatest Diva ever and, to turn a quote from Dark Knight, not the Divas champion we deserve but the Divas champion we need – but I’ll stop (for now) and get to the point.

It was announced there would be a “championship ascension ceremony” at the end of Raw. Gathered in the ring was a strange looking group of former world champions (nothing like having Jack Swagger and Great Khali in the same group as guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk) to watch as Randy Orton and John Cena face off for the final time before TLC.

During the entire segment, the Seattle crowd was ridiculously hot for Daniel Bryan – so much so that the chants completely derailed Triple H’s promo and caused John Cena to piggyback off the heat, cutting an off the cuff promo playing to the crowd’s affinity for Bryan and offering him a title shot, should he win this Sunday. However, with such a large group of guys in the ring, this segment seemed destined to end much in the same way last week’s contract signing did – only this time the implications of the brawl were much larger. If you didn’t see it on TV, check the video below.

What I and many fans are still trying to piece together is why John Cena was standing with the Authority as Raw went off the air. The answer could simply be “John Cena is a good guy and wanted to help Stephanie.” But many, including myself, see this story taking a much different turn and will deal with WWE’s unicorn – the elusive Cena heel turn.

John Cena, until now, hasn’t been part of the Authority storyline. He was around when it started – when HHH Pedigreed Daniel Bryan after winning the title at Summerslam to let Randy Orton cash in and become the new champion – but he hasn’t been involved since winning the World Heavyweight title and getting in the face of Randy Orton after Survivor Series.

Hold onto your JBL cowboy hats folks cause this is gonna get weird – John Cena has been working for/with the Authority since Summerslam. It sounds crazy (because it is) but here’s how I see this whole thing playing out.

John Cena and Randy Orton have something of a history together. They’ve competed against each other numerous times over the past few years, many times at PPVs and sometimes for championship titles. WWE has even been putting together graphics and video packages lately to remind you of how many times they’ve battled in the past few years. In my eyes, the Authority storylines to “screw over Daniel Bryan” have all been misdirection calculated by Cena to achieve his own goal – destroying Randy Orton.

John Cena's dad's face getting acquainted with Randy Orton's boot

Since Summerslam and Randy cashing in for the WWE Title, what has the Authority been talking about nonstop? What is “best for business” and who will be the “face of the WWE.” And whether you look at it from a kayfabe or non-kayfabe point of view, Cena is already those things. John Cena sells merch. John Cena sells PPVs. Sure people boo him but that just shows they care about him in some way. If people legitimately didn’t care about Cena, he would get the reaction that Curtis Axel gets – utter indifference.

Follow me here – Cena knew he would need time off for surgery after Summerslam but instead of being depressed about time away and dropping the title, he concocted a scheme with the Authority to not only mess with the fans, who he feels turned their back on him, but also destroy an old nemesis in Randy Orton. You see, the only people Cena hates more than Orton is the fans. For years, he’s been the ultimate good guy and role model and what do the fans do in return? Boo him relentlessly, chant “Cena sucks” and lament his winning ways as the worst thing to ever happen to wrestling.

Before Summerslam and even until now, Daniel Bryan has been incredibly over with the fans. Cena saw this and to stick it to them, put Bryan over at Summerslam knowing that it would all be swiftly taken away as he had encouraged the Authority to publicly back Randy Orton as their “face of the WWE.” After Bryan’s win, HHH lays him out with the Pedigree and crowns Orton as the new champion, effectively beginning the build-up of Orton’s confidence while simultaneously screwing over the fans.

Fast forward to Cena’s World Heavyweight title win at Survivor Series. In the meantime, Randy Orton has been getting more and more comfortable in his role as the Authority’s golden boy and Daniel Bryan is still being cheered for his underdog status. In Cena’s time away, Orton had become complacent being the champion, believing that he truly is the face of the WWE and that the Authority would always have his back. Failure only hurts that much more when there was once reason to believe, which is exactly what Cena has been doing to Randy Orton – letting him believe he is the top star in WWE even though it can and will all be taken away in the blink of an eye.

When Cena confronted Orton at the end of Survivor Series, he was solely focused on Orton. He didn’t look at the crowd, the other wrestlers, or anyone in the Authority. He was locked in on Orton from the moment he made his way to the ring because his plans are finally coming to fruition.

Daniel Bryan is still popular and because no one suspects Cena is behind this, he can still piggyback off Bryan’s popularity (much in the way he did at the end of Raw this week). Randy Orton is still the WWE Champion but is steadily losing support from the Authority. Last week on Raw, Cena gave a mysterious “thumbs down” before putting Orton through a table and this week, absent-mindedly stood with the Authority as they loomed over Orton. 
Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Kane and John Cena - the new Authority?

This Sunday, at TLC, we’ll see the Authority screw over Randy Orton to let John Cena become the first WWE Unified Champion, keeping Daniel Bryan held down and out of the WWE Title picture as well as destroying his old nemesis at the same time.

To most, a John Cena heel turn will continue to be WWE’s unicorn – something everyone talks about but will never see. But I truly believe that there hasn’t been a better time than now to turn Mr. Hustle, Loyalty and Respect into a bad guy. Orton is on his way out of the Authority’s good graces and the fans have chosen Daniel Bryan as their new favorite which means he will need an equally strong heel to challenge him.

No more Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan back in the WWE Title picture and John Cena getting legitimate boos? That all sounds “best for business” to me.

(Jericho image from, Orton punt gif from

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dean Ambrose, the Shield and raising the profile of the WWE United States Championship

As of December 5, Dean Ambrose of the Shield has held the WWE United States Championship for 200 days. This makes Ambrose the longest reigning current champion in WWE, followed closely by the incomparable AJ Lee, who has held the Divas Championship for 172 days.

Ambrose defeated Kofi Kingston at Extreme Rules back in May but has only defended the title 11 times since then, with most of those matches ending in disqualifications via Shield interference. In what may have been a first, he also defended the US Title on a taping of NXT against Adrian Neville, who coincidentally has an NXT Title shot against Bo Dallas on the 12/5 episode.

It’s unfortunate that most of his title defenses ended without a clean finish, but it only makes sense, considering the Shield is the most dominant heel stable in WWE, next to the Wyatt Family. The overarching sentiment online seems to be that he doesn’t defend the US Title enough, though it would almost be pointless for him to defend it more often. He doesn’t have any believable challengers right now and even if he did, the inevitable Shield run-in would only result in another defense via DQ.

In my opinion, however, I’m entirely OK with how infrequently he defends the US belt right now. Even though the US Title is generally seen as the lowest-tier title in WWE, Ambrose holds the belt in high regard. Before one title defense, he even said that unless he was facing the ghost of Andre the Giant, he wouldn’t be losing his US Title that night. His concern with continuing to hold onto the US Title is helping to raise its profile and legitimacy in the WWE.

On top of that, Ambrose being part of the Shield is also helping to raise the importance of the US title. The Shield is an interesting anomaly in the WWE.  Though the group is comprised of rookies who have only been on the main roster for a year, they made an immediate impact in the company, being involved in main event angles from their very first appearance. Being that they are essentially still rookies in terms of experience on the main roster, it makes perfect sense for Ambrose to hold the US title. And since the Shield is consistently involved in main event angles, Ambrose’s status as a member of the Shield is helping to raise the profile of his championship.

Remember how great it was when the Rhodes’ defeated Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns for the tag team championships? That match was easily one of the best on Raw in the past year and it was all because of how unbeatable the Shield had been, making their loss more memorable.

It would be the same type of circumstances when Ambrose eventually gets contenders for his title. Only, the biggest problem with finding contenders will be finding believable ones. Being that the US title is a lower-mid card belt and the Shield are generally involved in main event angles, it’s going to be difficult for WWE to develop a believable rivalry or feud for Ambrose where he legitimately seems in danger of losing his title.

Finding a challenger for the US Championship who seems a viable threat to Ambrose’s reign is going to be the WWE’s biggest challenge. My initial thought was of Dolph Ziggler, though a feud with Ambrose would likely be just filler and not lead to Ziggler winning the championship. Ziggler needs something to get his momentum going again, but I don’t think a US Title run would be what he needs. My next thought was of a previous, recent US champ, Antonio Cesaro. Being a former US champ, Cesaro could set his sights on regaining the belt. Although this feud would be even more unlikely, considering Cesaro’s place in the Real Americans and their spot in the tag division as one of the top heel teams.

Two of the most plausible contenders also seem like the two most unlikely challengers. I don’t see Ambrose truly getting competition for his title until the Shield is broken up or on its way out – which would be the perfect situation for either Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins to turn face and challenge him for the title. Rollins seems more likely to be in this position, as I can see WWE wanting to put Reigns in bigger angles, leaving indy darlings Rollins and Ambrose to feud over the US title.

But if competition doesn’t come from within the Shield itself, the best bet for WWE to pit Ambrose against a talented, natural face would be giving newcomer Xavier Woods a shot at the US Championship. A great worker with charisma for days who is naturally likeable, Woods would make the perfect foil for Ambrose. A feud between the two could stem from something as simple as the two running afoul of each other backstage and Ambrose begins to screw with Woods because he’s the new guy and doesn’t like his demeanor. A feud between the two could lead to some great matches with Woods eventually getting a shot at and maybe even winning the US title. Not only would they have exciting matches for what’s seen as the lowest tier title, but it would be helping elevate a newer star in Xavier Woods.

Even though Ambrose holding the US title and being part of the Shield is helping to make it more legitimate in the eyes of fans, he won’t have any serious challengers for his belt until the Shield is on its way out or are no longer a part of the Authority’s storyline. It’s going to take some time before Ambrose is in a spot again, storyline-wise, where he can start defending the US title legitimately, but once it happens, the US title won’t be seen as the afterthought it is now.

And if you needed to be convinced that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins could have a great US title feud, just watch the match below of Ambrose taking on Rollins for the FCW heavyweight title. Oh yeah, and Antonio Cesaro and William Regal are on commentary so, you’re welcome.

(Image from

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12/2 Raw Recap - Who will be the Unified Champion?

Oh boy, where to start. If you were watching Raw last night you might have an idea what the above picture is referencing. If not, read on and you’ll find out how Sin Cara was able to pick up a clean win over Alberto Del Rio (uh, what?) in Oklahoma City then moments later check in on Twitter at a restaurant in Mexico.

But let’s backtrack to the beginning of the night.

CM Punk opened the show, blasting the Authority for apparently siccing the Shield on him last week. It wasn’t long before Stephanie McMahon came out to defend herself and her husband, Triple H, from these clearly false claims that Punk was making. Soon, Kane joined Stephanie on the stage and proceeded to throw some corporate, HR speech around about how Punk is way off base blaming the Authority for the Shield’s attack but says if he still has a problem with the Shield, he can take it up with them in a 3-on-1 handicap match at TLC. Stephanie also said something along the lines that Punk should be “respected and admired,” which was weird. But it sort of makes sense, in a roundabout sort of way. What’s the quickest way to make something uncool? Have an authority figure tell you that you should like it – basically trying to diminish Punk’s credibility with the fans by saying that the Authority actually likes Punk.

Damien Sandow vs Dolph Ziggler
Intercontinental Title #1 contender’s match
Next, Damien Sandow defeated Dolph Ziggler to take the lead in their series of matches but also, more importantly, earns a shot at the Intercontinental Championship at TLC. After the match, Sandow stared down Big E, who was on commentary for the match. It would’ve been cool to see Ziggler and E face off, especially since they seem to be buddies again, but I’ll take Sandow getting whatever exposure he can.

The Divas did some stuff
The Bellas and Natalya team up to take on AJ, Tamina and Summer Rae. AJ spent most of the match skipping around the ring which must have tired her out because when she tagged into the match, she ended up getting pinned by Natty. Later in the show it was announced that Natty would have a Divas title shot at TLC. AJ and Natalya are two of the most solid Divas in the ring and if they are actually given time at TLC, their match might be pretty good.

On a side note, I love that Summer Rae is getting to wrestle more often, I just wish they wouldn’t just shove her into these ridiculous Divas tag matches that go nowhere. She’s easily one of the best Diva heels I’ve seen in a while (based on her work in NXT) and is very good in the ring as well. I don’t necessarily want to see her split from Fandango but I do believe she could do very well on her own.

Bad News Barrett. No. Just no.
Seriously, this is the best they could do? He’s been off TV for months and “Bad News Barrett” is all they can do with him? I don’t even get the bit. What, he’s delivering “bad news” to the crowd or something? No, sir, I don’t like it.

After that Brad Maddox was backstage getting pushed around by Randy Orton, who wanted Brad to go tell the Authority some stuff. I’m hoping this leads to Brad being fed up with the Authority and going after Orton, but that will likely never happen.

Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan
In what was the best match of the night, Daniel Bryan took on Erick Rowan of the Wyatt Family. I wasn’t sure how this would go, since Rowan is mostly untested in singles competition on the main roster. But he more than held his own with Bryan, being the aggressor and pushing the action the entire match. Despite his skill and tenacity, Bryan couldn’t seem to get sustained offense going against Rowan, even though he would eventually pick up the win with a roll up. The match was great because it showed that Rowan is more than capable of hanging with guys like Daniel Bryan but also that he's just as dangerous a member of the Family as Luke Harper. 

Although, I hate how this angle has been run in the past week. Last Monday, the Family “kidnaps” Bryan after his match, hoisting him on their shoulders and walking out. Later that night, Brie Bella couldn’t be bothered to act like her fiancé had just gotten kidnapped, opting to try and get an autograph from Michael Strahan instead. Later in the week, an article on mentioned that Bryan wasn’t actually kidnapped – the Wyatt’s threw him out of their car in a nearby parking lot. Only, on Smackdown, which airs on Friday, Bray Wyatt said something to the effect of “Bryan will be safe with us,” basically saying he was still kidnapped.  Was he kidnapped or not, WWE?! Get it straight! I’m guessing he wasn’t, since he showed up to his match on Raw, looking very not-kidnapped.

After the Bryan/Rowan match, Bray cut a great promo from the Titantron, saying that the crowd and WWE doesn’t love him like Bray does; that they all just see him as a circus act. But together, they can “bring the machine to its knees.” It was interesting wording that Bray used. On the surface, he could have just been speaking in generalities but remember this – Bryan and Kane were once tag partners and champions and Kane has been known as “the Big Red Machine.” Could Bray be talking about recruiting Bryan to take down the Authority? Only time will tell.

After the match, Kane confronted Bryan in the backstage area and told him that he will also have a handicap match at TLC. Only his match will be against all three members of the Wyatt Family.

Xavier Woods and R-Truth vs Tons of Funk
Brodus Clay’s slow heel turn continues as his jealousy over Xavier Woods doing something Brodus Clay told him he could do boils over. The reasoning behind this feud doesn’t make a lot of sense (Clay said Woods could use his theme and Funkadactyls for his singles debut, then accused Woods of "stealing" them) but as long as Xavier Woods is getting screen time on Raw, I’m OK with it. And if it turns Brodus into the monster heel he should be, well so much the better. The only thing I’m concerned about is what happens to Tensai if Tons of Funk break up? He had a hard enough time getting over before he became Sweet T and if Tons of Funk calls it quits, what will happen to WWE’s resident Japanese lord then? I guess there’s always NJPW and the Bullet Club…

Sin Cara vs Alberto Del Rio
ADR started the match trash talking Sin Cara about being an immigrant and some other stuff which made it sound like he was angling for a spot in the Real Americans. Decent match but the real surprise came when Sin Cara defeated ADR cleanly with a swanton bomb. It really seems like ADR is on his way out after this loss. For months and months, he was nearly unbeatable but now he’s jobbing to Sin Cara…who wasn’t even really Sin Cara?

Yes, that’s right folks, wrestling lied to you! The real Sin Cara (aka Mistico) hasn’t appeared on WWE TV in months since breaking a finger in a match that I believe was also against ADR. On Raw, it was actually Hunico under the Sin Cara mask , if you couldn’t tell from his larger frame and tattoos. Sin Cara himself provided more evidence that he wasn’t really at Raw when he checked into a restaurant in Mexico via Twitter only moments after the Sin Cara/ADR match ended in OKC. It would seem that Mistico’s time in WWE is drawing short.

The Shield vs The Rhodes Brothers and Big Show
The Shield is back to being put in makeshift trios matches, which is great (/sarcasm). In a match that was mostly just there (thanks to Big Show doing about a bazillion of Khali’s “quiet, I’m going to chop him now” corner spots), the highlight was Goldust hitting a leaping top rope rana on Seth Rollins. I hope Goldy stays around after his tag title run is done. I know I’ve said this before but he’s in the best shape of his career and it would only benefit WWE to have a veteran like him available on their roster.

Ryback and Curtis Axel vs Kofi Kingston and The Miz
I don’t even remember how this one ended. Was I even watching? I really don’t remember. The sooner “The Big Guy” is away from Axel the better, even though Ryback is basically the only thing keeping Axel somewhat relevant.

The Miz and Kofi also continue their feud, with Miz slapping Kofi after their loss. I don’t know what’s going on between these two, but someone needs to call Dr. Shelby stat.

Mark Henry vs Fandango
Good to see Fandango back on TV, even though the “Fandangoing” craze seems to be over. Mark Henry defeated Fandango but more importantly, seems to have eyes for Summer Rae now, showing off his slick dance moves to try and impress the leggy beauty. Could Sexual Chocolate make a comeback? If the WWE knows what’s best for business he will.

The Prime Time Players vs The Real Americans
The only thing I could think during this match is “Why is Darren Young trying to European uppercut Antonio Cesaro?” Well I was thinking that and “Oh my god, where can I get one of those Real American track jackets?”

Cesaro picked up the win, hitting a European uppercut on Young as Young came off the ropes. They also continued the “Don’t swing Titus – he’ll puke!” gimmick from Smackdown, cause I guess if something works once, it will work one hundred more times to the WWE.

John Cena and Randy Orton contract signing
They say in life only two things are certain – death and taxes. Well in professional wrestling the saying is a bit different. If you’re at a pro wrestling contract signing or wedding, some serious stuff is about to go down. Yes, I know that’s not an actual saying but the sentiment is there. Jerk.

Anyway, the signing, presided over by Steph and Trips, was held in a ring filled to the brim with tables, ladders and chairs because this segment totally won’t end in violent shenanigans. Oh wait – of course it will. Randy Orton continues to rant about how he’s the greatest champion ever and John Cena counters him by saying he can’t be that great since a guy in khakis and a ball cap has beaten him so many times – a completely valid point by Cena. Eventually shenanigans did occur and Orton was left lying in a mess of broken tables.

The most important thing to take away from this segment is that after TLC, there will be only one (highlander) champion in WWE and he will be called “The Unified Champion.” In  a surprisingly close WWE App poll, Unified Champion earned 38% of the votes with Undisputed WWE Champ and Undisputed World Champ each getting 31%.

The Authority promises that there will only be one champion after TLC, which makes me nervous about how the main event of the PPV will play out. The WWE would really benefit from only having one champion and if they do some sort of double switch or some other sort of shenanigans at TLC, I will…I don’t know, be very annoyed or something. Complain on the internet? Perhaps!

Closing notes:
-Whatever happened to Sandow wanting to end the “Cena Era?” That just kinda faded away, didn’t it? Nothing like winning Money in the Bank only to take a bunch of steps backwards.

-Kane called Daniel Bryan “little Daniel.” He knows Daniel’s stature is a trigger! I thought you guys were friends! Did all those sessions with Dr. Shelby mean nothing?!

-Korn is doing the theme for TLC. My only reaction was, “Korn is still a band?”

-The more Renee Young on WWE TV the better. I’m sure I’ve said this before but it’s one of the truest things I’ve ever said in my life.

-CM Punk loves West Side Story. (No I'm not making a gay joke with the gif. He sang part of Maria's song "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story.)

(Gif credits to r/SquaredCircle, Bryan/Rowan pic from and Huncio meme from WWE Memes on Facebook)
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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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