Night of Champions 2013: The Official Geek Out Running Diary

Article written by:
Romeo Moran
Author: Romeo Moran
Ro is our resident wrestling geek. Don't mess with him; he'll elbow drop you out of nowhere.

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0:00: Hello, fellow wrestling fans – it’s another Monday in the middle of the month, and that means it’s time for an edition of the Official Geek Out PPV Running Diary! September is, since 2010, the month where we put every title on the line at Night of Champions (like we didn’t do that as recently as Extreme Rules this year) and, ironically, this might be the year that rule is broken as it seems like the Intercontinental Championship is not on the line despite the fact that the champion will be in action. We’ll see.

I couldn’t stay that much out of spoilers’ way this time around, thanks very much to social media, but I think I never really could – I know I said my SummerSlam diary was spoiler-free, but the truth is I had accidentally seen something that gave away what happened at the end. All it takes is a hint, no matter how big or small, for me to deduce things, so what I do nowadays is to ask people not to spoil spots no matter what. I’d still be cool with spoiling results, but I’d still try to avoid them as much as possible.

All right, that’s enough pre-show rambling. I’m hitting play now. Let’s begin!

0:44: As always, this is a great video package. Good job trying to put this non-major PPV over, and especially throwing Eddie in there. Have I mentioned that Adam the Video Guy needs a raise every month?

3:55: We begin the show with a Triple H segment. The next few minutes will tell if this is a good idea.

4:58: Hunter’s heeling it up. My buddy Stan is right – I haven’t wanted to see heel Triple H go down in a long while until the emergence of Corporate H. It’s been a long while since Hunter has become as truly detestable as he was in the early 2000s.

6:35: He promises no interference in tonight’s main event. I think I know what that means: no one else can come in except me.

7:02: In an odd twist to his character, he reverts back to his D-X self as he hypes the crowd for the show. Wait… where are we today? Has no one mentioned which arena we’re in?

7:12: The other Paul comes in to interrupt, for some reason. Guy’s got a five o’ clock shadow, looking like Paul Hobo instead of Paul Heyman. Jokes aside, though, I like the new “psychotic father figure” character he’s transitioned into. He’s really playing it up – looking weary, talking dejectedly, just straight up looking off. That’s deep, man.

10:05: And like the genius that he is, Heyman puts over Punk immensely as one of the company’s top athletes, selling how scared he is of him.

10:44: That said, though, should this segment really be on now, and in the ring?

11:48: Are we really impliedly making Curtis Axel look weak here? Does the Intercontinental Champion really need this?

12:29: Axel takes the mic now. Why are you questioning Hunter? He just put you over by saying he believed Axel can take Punk on. Axel then wonders out loud if Hunter is making this personal because Axel beat him once upon a time.

13:49: Ah, here we go. We’re in Detroit.

13:58: Hunter is making an impromptu Intercontinental title defense. There we go. There’s the rub. It took a long while, but we finally got there. Looks like all titles will be on the line after all.

15:15: Aaaaaand we get Kofi! Not a bad choice, and I was really expecting worse – I was expecting Miz to come out here and lock on the Figure Four out of nowhere again.

 

16:38: You do realize that this means we’re losing some precious minutes off all the matches tonight. Well, probably not all, but a lot of them, and you know how terrible the ‘E has been with time management lately.

17:39: Interesting start to the match here as Kofi actually tries to grapple with Axel here. Perhaps that’ll make Axeezy look more interesting on offense.

18:20: The biggest sign that Heyman’s head isn’t totally in it right now: khaki pants with a dark suit.

19:11: That kick to the hamstring sends Axel flipping over like the Rock after a Stunner!

19:40: Rolling sobat for two, and Kofi’s still working on that hamstring. What would you do with it, though? Are you going to finish him off with a Boston crab?

20:46: Axel tries to send Kofi to the steel steps, but Kofi manages to land on his feet, get up the top turnbuckle and hit a crossbody on Axel to get things fired up.

21:52: Axel hits a spear on Kofi who was tied at the tree of woe, and that had to be the most interesting move I’ve ever seen from him all match.

22:49: Fortunately, Axel follows that up with a Saito suplex. Commentators keep calling it a “throw” but I know Regal would call it by its proper name. Meanwhile, the crowd is pretty silent, but bless the kids – they’re chanting for Kofi.

23:43: Another interesting move from Axel as he lays out Kofi with a nice lariat. Incidentally, that has to be the best strike I’ve seen from him in the history of ever.

25:14: Kofi with a nice armtrap DDT, after an unusual exchange of counters!

26:06: Crossbody for two, and I’m telling you right now – this match isn’t as bad as the crowd’s silence suggests.

26:43: Setting up for Trouble in Paradise, and this might be over. I seriously think Heyman looks like he might shoot himself in the head backstage if Axel loses this one.

27:24: Dodges the Trouble and Axel meets Kofi in mid-air with a beautiful dropkick. This might be one of Axel’s best matches and it isn’t even over yet.

28:18: Axel does a bearhug from the Saito position that takes too long, and Kofi lands on his feet when he finally gets thrown. Kofi with a close pin for two.

28:57: Axel blocks an SOS and a Trouble, goes for his finisher, but Kofi escapes and hits SOS for two! Wow, they’re really investing in this match, and the crowd’s come a little more alive. That’s what happens when you put in time and effort in a match!

30:08: Axel gets Kofi up on his shoulders in an electric chair and sends him neck-first on the top rope, and that’s it. It’s over after one really good over-the-shoulder facebuster, which is starting to become a legit finisher if more people would bump for it like that. Curtis Axel retains in an opener that is more decent than the live audience gives it credit for. 3.25 stars, because the crowd’s relative silence knocks off a quarter star.

33:11: Ricardo Rodriguez not in a suit looks like Dora the Explorer at 18 years old.

34:00: Since when did “RVD” mean “World Heavyweight Champion” in Spanish? Do you mean to tell me my 7th grade Spanish classes were all a lie?

34:26: Oh, there’s my baby A.J. Oh, that top. Damn.

35:02: Aksana and Alicia Fox have turned on A.J., and Layla is out too. What does this mean? Is A.J. turning face? …Going tweener? Punk style?

36:15: …Why is Michelle McCool in the running for greatest Divas champion? Are they trying to appease Undertaker here?

38:34: If A.J. has to drop the title, I would much rather it be to these two women out first here – Natalya or Naomi. Brie… well, she’s got Daniel Bryan.

40:50: Everyone’s ganging up on A.J. and, well, if I were on the business end of her pipebomb, I would be too.

41:37: Brie’s taking control of this one, and you’d think Nattie would be throwing everyone around like rag dolls given her physique.

42:12: If you haven’t seen Naomi work yet, you’re missing out. The WWE was doing her wrong by having her be a part-time cheerleader, and now she gets to shine. Also, it’s pretty apropos that her finishing move is a flying ass bump.

43:45: Naomi is insanely athletic, and she just might be stealing the show in this match if she can’t steal the victory.

44:27: Here we go. Nattie’s throwing ladies around. This is what I wanted to see!

45:01: Nattie is going for a DOUBLE. SHARPSHOOTER. SHIT’S CRAZY.

45:19: A.J. with a beautiful knee to the back of Nattie’s head to break that insane double Sharpshooter, and locks Natalya in the Black Widow! Natalya taps!

46:08: It was a fun match, and the combination of these ladies – yes, even Brie Bella – made it something I wanted to see a lot more of. Of course A.J. retained her title, but I am damn sure these four could provide lots and lots of back-and-forth with all the chemistry between them. Six minutes just isn’t enough. 2.75 stars.

48:09: If you’ve never heard him in the booth, Alex Riley is a fine color commentator. He was also pretty decent in the ring, but if they’re really set on keeping him at the table, it wouldn’t be a bad move. I just wish he was used more as the midcard could definitely use a solid babyface like him.

50:55: Time for the first hour main event as we kick it to the World Heavyweight Championship bout between Mr. Monday Night and Mexico’s Greatest Export. You shaved off a good 3-4 minutes off the Divas title match, Vince, and I hope those minutes are ending up added to this match.

52:25: No one thought of del Rio mocking the RVD gesture by using A-D-R on it?

53:35: RVD is no longer in the shape he used to be in his prime, but I’ll be damned if those kicks of his aren’t as stiff as, say, Punk’s or Bryan’s. It’s not in how big you are, but it’s how hard you hit.

54:34: Del Rio just stood there as RVD took a couple of seconds to set up and hit his moonsault from the ring apron. Did he really think we wouldn’t notice?

55:38: That ring apron-to-barrier kick spot is always boss. If this is a new thing – and I haven’t kept up with RVD in his TNA years – it’s a great addition to his arsenal. A little too reliant on the set-up, but it’s a nice little spot that looks painful.

57:40: Oh, there we go – del Rio did the RVD taunt. See, I always come up with great ideas. Hire me, WWE!

58:38: Del Rio’s been dominating the last couple of minutes with stiff kicks and enzuigiris and suplexes. I’ve said it before and I need to say it again: this is the heel del Rio I needed to see since the beginning. You know back in the day when JBL, a first-time WWE champion, would just flat-out own his challengers if he wasn’t utilizing his Cabinet to do his dirty work? Del Rio’s finally getting that.

1:00:42: LATINO BACKSTABBER! I’ve got words to say about that in the next Geek Out Roundtable, watch out for it.

1:01:17: Is that a… wedding ring on RVD’s left hand? Pretty sure that’s a foreign object, isn’t it?

1:01:56: Big time flying rolling senton for two! The senton, in all its variations, is a very underrated move.

1:02:42: I’ve just praised del Rio’s improved offense yet again, but now I have to call out that ghetto stomp. That stuff has no place in the arsenal of a guy ADR’s size and capability.

1:03:34: SPLIT-LEGGED MOONSAULT (THAT CONNECTS) FOR TWO! John Morrison, take notes!

1:04:11: Armstabber! SUPERKICK!

1:05:02: Del Rio goes to the top rope, inexplicably blows kisses to RVD, and jumps only to catch a heel kick from RVD. Remember what I said about telegraphing counters to flying moves off the top rope? He jumped without doing anything, clearly off to catch the kick. Very amateur.

1:06:05: RVD goes for the Five-Star, but ADR blocks it and locks in the Cross Armbreaker! RVD gets to the bottom rope, but del Rio doesn’t let go at the five-count! RVD wins by DQ!

1:07:34: Del Rio beats RVD up after the match, goes for a steel chair to whack RVD with but Ricardo stops him from using the chair! RVD going for a measure of revenge! VAN TERMINATOR!

1:09:24: I was waiting for a match restart at the end of that one, but from the finish, post-match shenanigans, and the way RVD was posturing with the title belt after getting one over on ADR, I have a feeling this feud is continuing into Battleground, the next PPV. RVD would have a claim to a rematch, especially with the help of a somewhat-face Vickie Guerrero who has been at odds with del Rio for quite some time now.

I understand that the DQ finish was needed in order to subdue RVD and set up the beatdown and subsequent Van Daminator spot, but DQ finishes – even by heel champions – really just fall flat. I would’ve preferred some form of cheating instead, because that always riles the crowd up as opposed to an anticlimactic disqualification. I mean, remember back at Money in the Bank, where AJ whacking del Rio with the title belt in front of the referee completely killed a very good World Heavyweight title bout between del Rio and Dolph Ziggler? You’d think they would’ve learned to keep such sequences out of big matches like these. 3.5 stars.

1:11:24: Paul Heyman’s changed into a tracksuit, but still no word if he showered.

1:12:29: Nobody puts guys over like Paul Heyman. He just knows how to make everyone – his opponent, his charge only very few care about – look good.

1:13:00: Hold, Booker T beat Undertaker and Ric Flair in the polls to be the Greatest World Heavyweight Champion? Who the hell exactly are we polling here?

1:13:13: Cole, did you forget that Booker is officially a six-time champ?

1:13:46: Hulk Hogan’s part of the choices for their Greatest WWE Champion poll, and even though it’s only logical that he be considered, I bet there has to be someone backstage wincing at the thought of having to mention him right now.

1:14:23: Randy’s complaining to Hunter about the no-interference clause for the main event. The Orton of a few months ago wouldn’t have bitched like this. I know he’s a full-blown heel right now, but… really? Let the Viper be the Viper.

1:14:47: Fandango sighting, and while I love the guy, I’m not sure what this is for. Oh, he has a match? When did this get made? How come I have more questions than I’m getting answers?

1:16:20: Of course it’s against the Miz. I thought matches like these were what we had the kickoff for.

1:17:19: I would do anything for an Awesome Truth reunion. There can never be enough tag teams in this company, and Awesome Truth would be a good midcard/upper-midcard team to lend some star power to the division.

1:18:55: Miz going for the Figure Four early and it’s a no-go. You see, Miz, you actually gotta work on the leg.

1:20:02: Fandango with a nice knee to the Miz’s midsection and he’s in control of this one. If they actually write him in a storyline people can care about he could prove some haters wrong.

1:21:29: Fandango with a really nice jumping knee/kick to meet Miz in midair. That’s some great athleticism right there.

1:22:42: Miz coming back in the game with what he does best – striking and brawling. His grapples leave a lot to be desired but the punches, boots, and dropkicks he throws are good.

1:23:28: Crowd’s chanting “we want tables.” Okay.

1:23:43: Very nice suplex from Fandango, and it’s pretty clear who’s outwrestling who in this match. Both men are trying to work their ass off to put on a decent showing out there, bless their hearts, but an unannounced match and a storyline few care about make for a tough combination of factors to overcome. Let’s see if they can work harder.

1:24:35: Nice top-rope leg drop to a rope-hung Miz. A lot of people have been trying to steal the show tonight so far, Fandango among them, and that’s the kind of mindset you want from your workers.

1:24:50: Fandango going for another top-rope leg drop but Miz dodges it and pins for two; Fandango with a pin of his own for two, and Miz finally locks in the Figure Four and Fandango quickly taps, owing to some leg pain after missing that second leg drop. It’s a stretch, but Fandango tries to make it work.

1:26:11: Like the opening match, it was a solid effort from these two, with Fandango trying to make Miz look as competent as possible by carrying him and trying to wrestle a decent one almost entirely on his own. But as I said earlier, it’s going to take a lot to overcome the general apathy of the crowd that comes from an unannounced match. That’s not entirely their fault, as a better crowd would be at least a little more appreciative of some nice wrestling, and a wrestler himself is not completely in control of the way he’s booked.

However, that doesn’t mean one can’t improve, though. As much as Fandango tries to wrestle in an entertaining fashion, Miz on the other hand seems to flatly refuse how to work smarter, continuing to make people tap to a hold he barely prepares for all match. Didn’t Ric Flair teach him how to do that? 3 stars.

1:26:44: LOL @ Ted DiBiase showing up on the National Guard commercial despite not being with the company anymore.

1:27:22: I bet kids are signing up for the National Guard just to score free front-row seats to PPVs. Okay, I kid, I kid. But I’ll be damned if there isn’t at least one kid who has this idea.

1:30:16: But really, who believes that Curtis Axel can outwrestle CM Punk?                

1:31:26: I’m not sure where to put Axel’s theme song in my yearly awards yet.

1:33:32: Heyman’s face looks like mine every Obligations and Contracts class, where I’m always dreading getting called for recitation. “Cult of Personality” hitting is JBats snapping, “MRRAN!”

1:35:22: KENDO STICK FIGHT!

1:36:19: Punk’s finally got his hands on Heyman, and I bet he hasn’t been this happy since winning the WWE title in Chicago!

1:36:56: But Axel hits a low blow before Punk can cane Heyman, and I love how they’re still continuing to tease the beatdown that Paul E. has coming to him. So close, yet so far.

1:37:41: Now Axel is going to town, and Heyman declares his trust in Axel out loud.

1:38:19: MONGOLIAN CHOP!

1:38:28: I suppose they’ve figured out a formula here, with the booking of this match: it doesn’t matter what kind of crap you book on the show as long as you put CM Punk in a no-DQ match, because that’ll sell a show on its own. Anyway, give the crowd some tables, guys.

1:39:44: And just as I type that, Axel pulls a table out from under the ring.

1:40:48: Two suplex attempts by each man to the table that’s set up in the corner and Axel finally manages to hit a suplex away from the table. Okay, okay. Everyone’s trying their damndest to make Axel look good in the ring, but really, the way to do that is to have him keep throwing all sorts of suplexes on his opponents.

1:41:58: Axel misses a flying axe handle. His grandfather must be disappointed.

1:43:07: Corner running knee to clothesline to Macho Man elbow, but Axel rolls out of the ring before he could jump! Punk tries a dive to the outside but AXEL PIEFACES HIM WITH THE STEEL CHAIR!

1:44:42: Who’s the Best in the World now, Heyman asks? Anyone but Axel.

1:45:30: Axel tries for his finisher, but Punk gets out and tries to get the GTS, but Axel gets out of that too so Punk settles with a kendo stick shot to the gut!

1:45:38: GTS! ANACONDA VICE LOCKED IN! AXEL TAPS! AXEL TAPS! AXEL TAPS! IT’S HEYMAN’S TURN!

1:46:17: Oh my God someone should make a GIF of that Paul Heyman face. In fact, I bet somebody already made one by now, lemme go look for it. *hits pause*

FOUND IT!

1:46:45: Now Heyman leads Punk around a useless chase around the arena, only to end up back in the ring with him! Time for a caning!

1:47:28: Heyman’s hugging Punk now, as if that’ll stop the beating that’s coming. Nah, nope – there’s the caning, and Punk doesn’t seem to be letting up one bit. Funny, considering how Heyman isn’t a wrestler.

1:48:34: Punk’s got a pair of handcuffs, and – hey, is this still PG?

1:49:44: Catharsis, ladies and gentlemen. Catharsis. This is the point where I stop grading this match by the quality of the action in the ring.

1:50:30: RYBACK! RYBACK HAS INTERFERED! RYBACK IS THE NEW PAUL HEYMAN GUY! RYBACK PUTS PUNK THROUGH THE TABLE! THAT’S WHY THEY DIDN’T BREAK IT EARLIER! CHEKHOV FIRED HIS GUN!

1:51:15: Ryback pulls Heyman on top of Punk for the cover, and Punk suffers his second straight Heyman loss in a row!

1:52:51: I’m not sure if the Ryback interference went over well – this is a pretty meh crowd, only really coming alive when Punk was well into his groove on offense. I think Ryback is a good choice for a young new Paul Heyman Guy, as aligning with him is definitely a much better career path than working silly “backstage bully” skits, and he is the real muscle Heyman needs in the absence of Brock Lesnar. Let Axel be the blue chipper still working on his own level while Beezy takes the role of upper-midcarder client that is at least closer in star power to Punk than Axel is.

Meanwhile, it was a good match, but not as great as Punk/Brock at SummerSlam, for sure. You can tell Axel was doing his best to keep up with Punk, and that means he’s got the capacity to improve as long as he continues to work with workhorses; I already knew that from his NXT feud with Tyson Kidd, but this match reinforces it.

Nothing more needs to be said about the interaction between Punk and Heyman, but I only have some concerns as to how far the addition of Ryback to the mix can sustain the momentum of this feud. Ideally, it should end at a big PPV, but we’re still two months and possibly two more PPVs away from Survivor Series, and I don’t know how long we can take this as I know people have been wanting to see Punk get involved in the Corporate H angle. Only time will tell, I suppose. 4 stars.

1:54:55: The relative non-theme of Battleground is a waste. There are a lot of things you can do with that PPV name alone, and we go for a “hero’s journey” theme?

1:56:35: Sh-sh-sh-SHIELD TIME!

1:57:03: If there’s anything more I can say about the Shield, it’s that it looks like these three guys legitimately enjoy working together. They’re the kind of guys who seem to be actual best friends off-screen, and that’s what most likely contributes to their chemistry as a team.

1:58:32: I hope this match gets around 10 minutes – the Miz/Fandango match has taken precious time from this.

2:00:11: Ambrose does Dolphy Dolph’s hair wipe taunt and gets a dropkick for his efforts. Okay.

2:00:38: I will laugh – even if it is in bad taste to do so – if Dolph injures a hip doing his 10 elbow drops spot one of these days.

2:02:25: Ambrose with that Arn Anderson spinebuster and I think moves like that shouldn’t be thrown out so carelessly in the middle of a match.

2:03:12: Somebody tries to start a “boring” chant and gets nowhere. Detroit kind of sucks.

2:04:19: Ambrose with a hardcore back scratch on the top rope, that’s interesting. BUT BUTTERFLY SUPERPLEX! FOR TWO!

2:05:16: Ambrose goes on the top rope but Dolph jumps up to meet him and bring him down with a sitting facebuster from the top for only two!

2:07:32: Dolph tries to hit a Fameasser but clearly doesn’t get it, and Ambrose pushes him into the rope to come back with a pin and pulls Dolph’s tights too far back in the process! Some of the ladies in the crowd go wild! Talk about a Fameasser!

2:07:51: And speaking of that move, Dolph finally hits it but Ambrose gets a hand on the bottom rope!

2:08:12: Ambrose takes control and tries to go for the Headlock Driver but Dolph counters into a pin for two!

2:08:25: Nope, Ambrose hits the Headlock Driver anyway for the pin and the win!

2:08:48: Detroit is a terrible crowd tonight. Ambrose and Ziggler tried their best to wrestle the kind of match that’ll wake any crowd up, but Detroit just refused to come alive. As a result, whatever these two did in the ring fell pretty flat. I will note, though, that there was something off between their chemistry as well; on paper, it should’ve been a good match knowing what they each can do, but their styles didn’t gel as well as they should’ve. Either that, or I really think the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm made the match look flatter than it really was. If these two continue feuding, perhaps they can get a better crowd, and I’ll watch this match again to confirm if they really didn’t jive well. 3.25 stars.

2:09:34: Sting wins the poll for Greatest U.S. Champion ever. Let the fire of the rumors be fed.

2:10:12: Of course, we go straight to the only other non-WWE title match left on the card. This is some awkward sequencing – I don’t know if it’s a good idea for two straight Shield matches in a row. Either of the two matches could’ve gone on earlier in the show.

2:12:35: Seth Rollins is really fast, and for some reason, Titus O’Neil is over with this crowd.

2:13:28: Darren Young, if they let him, can really be a singles star someday. He is that good.

2:14:39: LOL @ the whistle. Meanwhile, PTP is looking real good here.

2:15:01: …did JBL really just call them “homeboys”? That’s a lynching waiting to happen, homie.

2:15:48: Reigns sends Young straight up rolling over the top rope and out of the ring.

2:17:11: Great belly-to-belly suplex by D. Young.  Black Cena is the future, I’m telling you.

2:17:55: God DAMN Titus just ran over Rollins there. Titus seems to have gotten better since I last saw him in a tag title match.

2:18:27: Rollins displaying some of that ROH psychology as he quickly gets up after taking a fallaway slam and hitting a jumping enzuigiri.

2:18:33: He went SKY HIGH on that Clash of the Titus! That could’ve earned them the win had Reigns not come in to break the pin!

2:19:01: SPEAR! SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR AND THAT’S IT! THE SHIELD RETAINS!

2:19:20: Jesus Christ is this crowd really terrible. I’m sorry, but I just have to highlight how terrible they are. They came alive at some points, some of the right points I’ll admit, but they couldn’t be assed to put in the effort to maintain some atmosphere. The finishing sequence was done in the midst of utter silence – I don’t care what you feel about the Shield; cheer them, boo them, just say something, don’t just stand there!

If a tag match couldn’t get a crowd going, you know that it’s no longer the fault of the wrestlers. Most of the guys who have come out tonight have been wrestling their asses off to put on a watchable show at the very least and the audience has largely met them with silence. I hope you guys are ready to get loud for the main event, but either way, you should be ashamed of yourselves, Detroit. 3.5 stars.

2:23:18: D-X wins the Greatest Tag Team Champions poll. Okay. I see how it is.

2:27:47: Here we go. It’s time. Are we going home brokenhearted? Or is tonight, as JBL said, the night?

2:28:17: Thank you, Detroit, for coming alive. You still suck, though. But if Daniel Bryan is the guy that can wake up a dead crowd… well, Vince already knows that. That’s why he’s in this storyline in the first place.

2:29:54: Aaaand they go back to sleep as soon as “Voices” hits. Even those are booing him are doing it half-heartedly.

2:32:46: It feels like it’s taken forever to get to this point. Let’s get it on!

2:33:14: I finally figured out why they didn’t immediately go to Orton/Bryan after the events the tag title match at Payback – they were saving it all for this. Okay. Makes sense.

2:34:58: Bryan going to work on that left arm from the get-go. Miz, take notes.

2:36:48: Hold on, is that a “Let’s go Bryan”/”Let’s go Orton” dueling chant? Am I really hearing that now?

2:38:32: These two are pulling out all the stops on each other.

2:39:37: Was… that a headbutt, or a really aggressive kiss on the lips?

2:40:22: Two dropkicks in the corner and now a bunch of kicks and the crowd is still feeling it! Frankensteiner from the top rope! Dive to the outside! Bryan’s on fire!

2:41:15: MISSILE DROPKICK AND ANOTHER FLYING GOAT! FLYING AROUND LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW!

2:41:40: GOING FOR A THIRD FLYING GOAT BUT ORTON STOPS HIM IN HIS TRACKS WITH A RIGHT HAND!

2:42:28: Scott Armstrong’s at 9 and Bryan rolls back in the ring just in time!

2:43:10: Orton tries to go for the RKO but Bryan pushes him away and into Scott Armstrong! Bryan with a dropkick to Orton that sends Armstrong behind him out of the ring! SECOND REF TIME!

2:43:48: Orton powerslam that he finally hits after weeks and weeks of opponents seeing it coming!

2:44:23: Orton going for an IEDDT but B-Dazzle fights out of hit and has Orton in the YES! Lock in the center of the ring! Orton trying to go for the bottom rope!

2:44:59: Orton reaches the bottom rope! I entertained the thought that it might’ve been over there for sure!

2:46:50: Orton had Bryan on the top rope, but Bryan eventually gets out and puts Orton on the top rope! Tree of woe, kicks, and the running dropkick!

2:47:53: That was a tough fall. I think Bryan’s head whiplashed against the mat a little there.

2:48:21: SUPERPLEX TO ORTON, AND BRYAN HANGS ON THE TOP TURNBUCKLE! DIVING HEADBUTT! TWO AND TWO/THIRDS! SO CLOSE!

2:49:36: Orton catches the big wind-up roundhouse and hits a T-bone on Bryan!

2:50:15: RKO into a backslide pin, Bryan connects with a big roundhouse, Bryan sets up in the corner – BUSAIKU KNEE! FOR A THREE! IT LOOKED LIKE A FAST COUNT, BUT SCOTT ARMSTRONG PULLED HALF A SECOND BACK! IT DOESN’T MATTER! BRYAN WINS! BRYAN WINS!

2:51:22: I’m not going to go into the wisdom of this decision right now because I am happy for the win. The match definitely wasn’t as great as the SummerSlam match with Cena – I think it had more to do with the fact that the entire match seemed rushed thanks to the WWE’s poor time management of the rest of the show. An opening segment that ran too long, a Miz/Fandango match that didn’t need to be on the main card; a lot of things that took away minutes that could’ve been used to pace the main event. I know these two are capable of something much better and much more dramatic, and I’m going to expect that at Battleground. 4.25 stars.

And that’s the show. I’m going to be honest with you – the card was full of solid wrestling, top-to-bottom. From the main event down to the unnecessary Miz/Fandango match, everyone seemed to have been trying to leave their all in the ring tonight, and that should be appreciated. I’ve also already addressed the time management issues and will not get into them again.

However, this issue I have to address one final time, despite whining about it at numerous points on the show. Atmosphere is everything, and the crowd didn’t give that back in kind. I’m not going to blame them entirely for it, because unannounced matches showing up from out of the blue on a PPV card would be tough to get into. But on the other hand, when you are presented with the kind of exciting action we saw anyway, you should be getting into it. It should be firing you up. That’s where the live crowd failed, and the atmosphere suffered as a result. Everything was made to look more lackluster than it really deserved to be. Fuck you, Detroit. This was a B+ show that you all made a B.

   

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