Momentum appears to have shifted in WWE, as the Superstars finally manned up last week to challenge the corrupt corporate power structure lead by Triple H and Stephanie. Hot off a 6-man tag victory on SmackDown Daniel Bryan and the Usos, along with 8 other disgruntled WWE wrestlers were given a handicap elimination tag match against The Shield, which they unsurprisingly won.
Perhaps what is surprising was that the match was made at all. After weeks of stacking the odds against the so called “B Plus” player, this week the COO gave Bryan the advantage. It seems his losses are not just being unfairly puppeteered, but his victories are as well. At no point has the fan favorite ever been allowed to chart his own success. After all it’s Hunter and Steph that select what’s “best for business”, and tonight they decided to throw the locker room a bone.
This is all just part of the patronizing power couple’s game of manipulation. At the start of the show they once again addressed their talent standing on the stage, and thanked them for “grabbing the brass ring” and “stepping up to the plate” last week. This condescending line was a brutal slice of reality, as we often hear how the younger stars are told to stand out and take the ball like their predecessors Austin and Rock did. However in real life as in storyline, those that do break the mold are often held back over the chosen ones, and ultimately it’s the corporation that has full control over making and breaking careers.
Triple H went on to suggest the wrestlers weren’t really fighting for Daniel Bryan last week, but to get their own names out there. Stephanie jokingly pondered whether Zack Ryder could be the next face of the WWE?
In the story this was clearly to help sew the seeds of dissension (they did the same previously when they said Daniel Bryan thinks he’s too good to join his peers on the stage) however the choice of words did nothing for Bryan’s credibility, which is already stressed as it is. Perhaps Hunter should have said fighting “with” Daniel Bryan instead of “for”. Yes Triple H’s character is a dick, but at times he ends up harming the talent he’s supposedly trying to get over by overdoing it.
This is some fans’ main criticism of the whole storyline. The locker room look like pussies, and when they do mount a comeback it’s only when they’re given an unfair advantage. Furthermore since Orton was dropped as “the face of the WWE” for not being vicious enough, and not given back the title, all of the heat is on Triple H. This suggests it’s Triple H who will be Bryan’s ultimate opponent, not the wrestler in his prime who has to pander to the mind games of his overlords. If anyone has been buried right now it’s Orton.
The Shield too were shown as nothing more than pawns when they were “thrown to the wolves” in the handicap match.
It’s not a massive problem, the show is still far more entertaining than it’s been in years, but the blurring of reality (fans real life dislike of Triple H’s perceived ego) is making the talent look weaker than they probably should be. Just because fans think Triple H is a backstage schemer than holds down talent, doesn’t mean he has to do the same on camera to get over on the marks. Because ultimately holding down talent on camera is the same thing!
This can mostly be reversed if the good guys come out on top through their own guts, skill and perseverance, but some people just don’t have faith that they will.
- Alberto Del Rio def. Kofi Kingston after the flyer missed a springboard move and landed on his shoulder. Del Rio then launched him in to the ring post and locked on the Cross Armbreaker.
- The Wyatt Family def. The Prime Time Players by isolating Darren Young. When Titus finally got the tag, Bray caused a distraction, allowing Luke Harper to finish him off with a big Clothesline. After the match Bray hit the Sister Abigail Kiss on Young.
- On Miz TV the Miz said he was humiliated in front of his mother (no mention of his father lol) and that this wasn’t over by a long shot. He then turned to his guest the Big Show and tried to rile him up to turn on his manipulators.
Before the message could sink in Stephanie hit he ring and verbally destroyed The Miz. She called him a “utility player” who they send out to do early morning radio shows and supermarket signings, but who can’t get it done in the ring (ouch! another example of being a real life dick). She then instructed Big Show to knock him out, and he did without much hesitation this time.
- Randy Orton snapped in his match against RVD, booting him off the top rope amidst the Frog Splash and then sending him in to the barricade. Orton then threw him all around the arena, bouncing off ring steps and the announce table along the way. The final blow came when Orton hit his modified DDT off the top rope!
Here’s a thought, if the locker room can help Daniel Bryan, why not RVD and The Miz last week?
- We learn that Triple H and Stephanie’s real life wedding was actually filmed, and it’s on Hunter’s new DVD! Steph hands a copy to AJ Lee telling her “this is what a real wedding looks like”, before pressuring her in to a 10 Diva tag match later on.
- Fandango def. Santino with the top rope Legdrop, after Santino was too busy waving his snake at Summer Rae.
- CM Punk came out for a hometown hero welcome, but told everybody he felt like he let them down at Night of Champions, and doesn’t know if he can “do this anymore”. He eventually came around and said in true Blackhawk’s fashion he’ll pick himself up and fire back for the victory.
Paul Heyman interrupted by riding down the ramp on a mobility scooter – a hilarious visual that suits his evil/mad professor gimmick perfectly. He called the “Second City” a city of second rate sports teams, and second rate parents, and that CM Punk is now the second best in the world after he beat him at the PPV.
Punk went to attack Heyman who feigned that his scooter wasn’t working, but Curtis Axel and Ryback got the ambush. For a moment it looked like Punk had the upperhand as they brawled around the stage area, but Ryback finished him off by Press Slamming him from a production box through a table.
Though some fans may be yearning for Punk to wrestle a more talented in-ring performer, if anyone can save Ryback’s fledgeling character it’s he and Heyman.
- Brie Bella pinned AJ in a 10 Diva tag match, which lasted only a few minutes and barely anyone tagged in. She got the win with a Face Buster.
- Dean Ambrose pondered whether they’ve been thrown to the wolves, or if they’re the hounds that hunt the wolves? Seth Rollins said when their backs are against the wall they change the whole industry.
- Daniel Bryan came out and picked apart Triple H’s decision to strip him of the title, saying it was based solely on an accusation which didn’t even make sense. He said “you don’t need to fast count a man who is already knocked out”.
Though he insinuated that maybe Triple H was really the one involved in a conspiracy, “what’s done is done” and at Battleground there will be no fast counts, no special guest refs, just a new WWE Champion!
With that out came The Shield, but they were jumped by Goldust and Cody Rhodes who had snuck in to the building wearing hoodies. They were escorted away be security ahead of the main event.
- RVD and Kofi Kingston who were injured earlier in the night were first eliminated by Dean Ambrose.
- Roman Reigns then eliminated Titus O’Neil, Justin Gabriel and Zack Ryder, with successive Spears.
- Daniel Bryan cleared house and set Reigns up for a Superkick from Jimmy Uso. Jey Uso then go the pin with a Splash.
- Seth Rollins eliminated Darren Young with a knee.
- Dolph Ziggler eliminated Dean Ambrose with the Zig Zag.
- Seth Rollins eliminated R-Truth with a foot stomp to the head.
- With Rollins all alone the remaining stars got revenge by ganging up on him Shield style. As Ambrose and Reigns returned the Usos performed dual over the top rope suicide dives, as Bryan hit Rollins with the Knee and Headbutt for the victory.