January 15, 2015

Current Watch List:

  • Daniel Bryan vs. Kane (WWE)
  • Bad News Barrett vs. Sin Cara for the Intercontinental championship (WWE)
  • Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. Kane, Big Show & Seth Rollins (WWE)
  • KUSHIDA & Yohei Komatsu vs. Cavernario & YOSHI-HASHI (CMLL./NJPW)
  • Stuka Jr. & Captain New Japan vs. Mephisto & Kazuchika Okada (CMLL/NJPW)
  • Jushin Liger, Mascara Dorada & Triton vs. La Sombra, Tetsuya Naito & Rysuke Taguchi (CMLL/NJPW)
  • Volador Jr., Atlantis & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero (CMLL/NJPW)

Matches Watched:

Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
United States & Canada

The Kane vs. Bryan match was not worked in a way that would suggest WWE sees Bryan as this big returning star.  Kane controlled the match and did so with even less interesting and effective offense than usual.  They played up that Kane was the one who shelved Bryan back in the spring, so this appeared to be a situation that  warranted Bryan getting a quick and swift win as a measure of revenge.  Instead we got a match with Kane in control for far too long and Bryan’s revenge cut short by an Authority run-in.  Steve Austin bloodied Rikishi and sought some Old Testament style payback by trying to run him over at No Mercy 2000 as payback.  Bryan sat in some chin locks and did his normal offense to revenge Kane’s attempt at ending his career.

No wonder nobody is all that over in this promotion . . .


Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Sin Cara
United States & Canada

A nothing match.  Barrett got the quick win to avenge Sin Cara’s non-title win from the prior week.  I appreciate the effort in setting up a Smackdown title match the way that they did, but in the end it was all a bit of a waste.


Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, Kane & Big Show
United States & Canada

The non-finish in the Kane/Bryan match led to this main event trios.  This was good and if these guys were more over (which isn’t their own faults) this would have been a hot main event.  The work certainly was a step below the average Shield trios from 2013 and early 2014, but not ridiculously far below.  The real difference is that the Shield was a hot act and its members were over back then.  Bryan was reaching rarefied air levels of overness as a face.  Now none of the heels are over, Bryan is still very over but at this very second is a step or two behind where he was, and we haven’t been given many good reasons to fully invest in Reigns & Ambrose.  As a result, this was a six-man tag that work wise could have fit in just fine with the top level Shield stuff, but was lacking in heat and importance.

Bryan looked good his first night back.  There were no obvious signs of ring rust.  He still hit his tope, a hurricanrana, and some of his other normal stuff.  There was no Miami Toyota top rope dropkick but there was a normal drop kick in that similar style.  Hopefully for his sake he pulls back on the high impact neck spots just a bit.  He’s far too good to feel the need to rely on those potentially dangerous moves.  Ambrose was great getting worked over here.  He continues to sell the knee injury suffered at the hands of Bray Wyatt in their Ambublance match from a couple of weeks back.  Reigns is a great hot tag guy, but we knew that already; its the singles work that is in question.  Big Show’s standing ankle lock on Ambrose was beautiful.  Rollins was fine but it is clear now that he is better suited as a face.

Good, fun main event.  WWE main event level trios matches rarely disappoint these days even when you shuffle around the sides.

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