Search This Blog

Monday, 30 June 2014

Money in the Bank 2014

Money in the Bank 2014 Review

Outside of the big four, Money in the Bank is easily the most anticipated PPV of the year as it never fails to deliver excitement. Was this year's any different? Let's find out.

The Usos vs The Wyatt Family
The Tag Team Titles are on the line. Outside of the two ladder matches, this was the only other match I really had any interest in as I expected it to be a good match. It turned out to be a great match and the perfect way to open the show. Luke Harper looked like a beast out there and to see him perform two suicide dives was incredible. An exciting contest throughout and the finish was especially great as you didn't know which team was leaving with the win and the nearfalls were well done. A terrific tag match. ***3/4

Paige vs Naomi
The Divas Title is on the line. A lot of people predicted Cameron turning on Naomi during the match, but it never happened so I guess they're gonna go with the slow build towards it. The match was entertaining and I wish it had been longer as both women showed their chemistry. It's probably Paige's best main roster showing yet, but this one was all about the story. Still it wasn't a bad match and I'd like to see them lock up again at some point. **

Adam Rose vs Paul Revere
Damien Sandow is of course Paul Revere. Did this match really need to be on the show? Does Sandow really have to continue this silly gimmick of impersonating famous people? The match was short and relatively harmless but I really didn't see a need for it to be here. Even on Raw it would have been needless. Rose hits Sandow with his finisher for the win. 1/2*

Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose vs Kofi Kingston vs Jack Swagger vs Rob Van Dam vs Dolph Ziggler : Money in the Bank
It sucks that Barrett is injured and can't compete. He was my pick to win the thing. The fan favourite was clearly Ziggler. Everyone in this match performed brilliantly and all gave a memorable performance. Ziggler fought like the underdog that he is, RVD looked as good as he did a decade ago, and Kofi was flying around the place like you would expect him to. The story of Ambrose vs Rollins was the best part of the match and it was a ton of fun to see them beating the shit out of each other. That superplex off the top of the ladder looked awesome as well. By the end you had no idea of who was going to grab the briefcase between Rollins and Ambrose, but Kane's interference soon made the answer clear as he helped Rollins to victory. A fantastic ladder match and the Match of the Night for my money. ****1/2

The Dust Brothers vs Rybaxel
I still don't know how I feel about Cody's new turn as Stardust, but he seems to be having fun with it and trying to make it work so I'll roll with it. This was really just a standard tag match that you could see on TV and was only here to give the Dust Brothers a win to give them some momentum. Not a bad match but a forgettable one. **

Big E vs Rusev
I'm starting to like the Rusev character more and more. It's just so over the top that it just might work. If this had been given more time (at least it got more time than their last match) it could have been something special. This was just balls to the wall action all the way through and Big E looked like he had a chance of beating the Bulgarian Brute. The spear to the outside looked brutal and I'm surprised that Rusev didn't have a concussion from it. A good match and I'd like to see them fight again in the future. **3/4

Summer Rae vs Layla
Fandango is the special referee. Is Fandango really worth all this trouble? He doesn't look like much of a catch. I have really had no interest in this storyline at all and I'm glad that the match was kept very short as it was pretty awful. There was just no crowd reaction and the match had no flow to it at all. A very forgettable effort from the ladies. DUD

John Cena vs Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns vs Kane vs Cesaro vs Bray Wyatt vs Alberto Del Rio vs Sheamus : Ladder Match
The WWE World Heavyweight Title is on the line. Cena is now one Title win away from tying with Ric Flair. That is scary to think about. This one started off as a bit of a clusterfuck, but once the ladders were brought in it got itself on track. Orton took a bad bump at the beginning as the ladder bashed right off of his head and cut him open. Roman Reigns looked awesome as he took out just about everyone at one point. His staredown with Cena was awesome and it looks as if we'll see them fight in the future. Wrestlemania perhaps? The finish was exciting with everyone coming close to grabbing the belts, but John Cena would be the one to take them away. I know that Cena winning is beyond played out at this point, but Brock Lesnar vs Cena at Summerslam should be awesome. Overall a great ladder match. ****

8/10. The ladder matches alone would have made this a recommended show but you also had the terrific opener. Three awesome matches make for a great show. Yes there were some forgettable matches in there like the Dust Brothers match or the Summer Rae vs Layla bout, but they were all kept short and all the good things were given enough time to work. A great show overall.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Brock Lesnar Collection

The Brock Lesnar Collection

Do I really need to explain why this badass motherfucker deserves his own post? He's the beast incarnate, the next big thing and the one in 21-1. He looks like he could break your neck just from simply looking at you.

Here comes the pain.

Brock Lesnar vs Jeff Hardy
From Backlash 2002. Here we have Lesnar's first PPV match and his first official match in WWE. Now this is how you start someone on the path of a superstar. You don't put him against jobbers no one cares about like modern WWE, you make him destroy someone that the fans care about like Jeff Hardy. Jeff tried his best to slay the beast, but he just couldn't overcome Lesnar's strength. A very short match but it was a lot of fun while it lasted. Brock wins as Jeff cannot continue. **

Brock Lesnar vs Rob Van Dam
From King of the Ring 2002 and this is the final match of the tournament. This was Lesnar's first big step towards becoming a superstar. This win would set up his match with The Rock at Summerslam and he also got to defeat the IC Champ, RVD, in the process. A short match that was pretty dull and had a dead crowd, but it's still a nice win for the Next Big Thing. The finish was pretty fun though with Heyman almost costing Brock the victory and the Brock using his sheer brute strength to catch RVD and hit the F5. *

Brock Lesnar vs Hulk Hogan
From Smackdown August 8th 2002. Now this is where Brock Lesnar really started turning heads and began looking like a huge deal and a threat to Rock's Title. Once again Hogan faces off against an immovable object. I don't think anyone has beaten the Hulkster this badly before and that made Lesnar look like a complete monster. A short match but it was a lot of fun while it lasted as Hogan looked like the underdog for the first time in years and the crowd was behind him 100%. Needless to say, they were pretty shocked when Lesnar kicked out of the leg drop and beat up Hogan so badly that he couldn't continue the match. The Next Big Thing had arrived. ***

Brock Lesnar vs The Rock
From Summerslam 2002 and the Undisputed Title is on the line. Up until this year's Wrestlemania, I would have said that this is Lesnar's biggest win of his career. I think it has been relegated to the second biggest win. The crowd was totally behind Lesnar here and against the Rock as he was heading back to Hollywood. An exciting, fast paced contest and Lesnar looked like Rocky's equal the entire time. A sure sign that it was his time to become the man. A fantastic match as Lesnar once again comes out looking like an unbeatable monster. ****

Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker : Hell in a Cell
From No Mercy 2002 and the WWE Title is on the line. In only his first few months in the WWE, Brock had already beaten big names like Hogan, Rock and Flair, but he had yet to defeat perhaps the biggest legend of them all: the Deadman. A lot of people have this as their favourite Cell match and it's not hard to see why as it's one of the most violent Cell matches ever. Taker took one of the biggest blade jobs I've ever seen. His entire face was just covered in blood and I have no idea how he was able to see properly. To me, this is the point where Lesnar truly became a superstar as he managed to take out the biggest star in the WWE and put him through hell at the same time. A huge win for Lesnar and an awesome match worth watching again and again. ****1/4

The 2003 Royal Rumble Match
There weren't really any storylines going into this Rumble besides Jericho taking out Shawn Michaels in true Jericho fashion, with a low blow and a chair shot. Undertaker's return to action was highly anticipated as well. Lesnar fought Big Show earlier in the night to earn his spot in the match. The staredown between Taker and Lesnar was awesome and the crowd was dying to see both of them beat the shit out of each other. It was a fun Rumble overall and Lesnar got another big victory and was on his way to Wrestlemania. ***3/4

Brock Lesnar & Chris Benoit vs Team Angle
From No Way Out 2003. There's a hell of a lot of talented technical wrestlers in this match. It was obvious that they were going with Lesnar vs Angle at Mania, so they needed something for both guys to do leading to Mania. That'll be why this match was made. Benoit was fired up for this one and seeing him and Angle facing off once again was awesome. A great tag match that built to a an exciting finish with Benoit and Angle countering each others finishers and Lesnar taking out everyone like the beast that he is. A lot of fun to be had here. ***1/2

Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle
From Wrestlemania XIX and the WWE Title is on the line. These guys had a lot of pressure to follow up and close an already amazing show, but they managed it spectacularly. They had a technically sound contest that went back and forth, and they got the quiet crowd into it. The shooting star press botch is still a scary moment to watch, but it doesn't really overshadow the match that came before it. In the end both guys came out worse for wear with Lesnar's concussion and Angle needing neck surgery. Still it was a brilliant wrestling match and a career highlight for both guys. ****1/4

Brock Lesnar vs The Big Show : Stretcher Match
From Judgment Day 2003 and the WWE Title is on the line. Lesnar wanted revenge for Mysterio who had been taken out by Show at Backlash. Lesnar had a hell of a job ahead of him, trying to put Show on top of a stretcher. I always enjoy the matches between these two (not including Royal Rumble '14) as Lesnar is one of the only guys in the roster that can throw Show around the ring. I've got to give both guys props for working really hard here, and they made this a very entertaining match. Both guys took some big bumps and the finish was a lot of fun with Lesnar launching himself from a forklift onto Show. A surprisingly good match. ***

Brock Lesnar vs The Big Show
From Smackdown June 12th 2003 and the WWE Title is on the line. Let's face it, there's only one reason why everyone remembers this match and that is for the spectacular finish. Brock took Show up for a superplex from the top rope, brought him down, and the ring imploded. Freaking awesome. They tried replicating the moment in 2011 but the original is always the best. Up until that finish it was a very fun match with Lesnar suplexing Show with his inhuman strength, and Show looked like he had a chance of taking the Title. Good match here and a great moment. **1/2

Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle : 60 Minute Iron Man Match
From Smackdown September 18th 2003 and the WWE Title is on the line. Why was this on free TV? This could have easily main evented a PPV. This is the last match these guys would have in WWE (but not their last one ever as we'll soon see). This wasn't the best Iron Man match I've ever seen but it was a superbly technical contest between two guys who know each other so well. I didn't enjoy Lesnar's stalling at the beginning and it turned boring after a while, but thankfully they got back on track and gave us a great match that is one of the best in Smackdown's history. Angle had Brock locked into the ankle lock during the final few seconds but he could not get him to submit and Brock won with a score of 5-4 and took his Championship back. A war worth watching for sure. ****1/4

Brock Lesnar vs Chris Benoit 
From Smackdown December 4th 2003 and the WWE Title is on the line. You can find this one on Youtube. Benoit had already fought in a grueling match against John Cena earlier in the night to earn this opportunity. Lesnar was still pissed that Benoit made him tap out at Survivor Series. A great match as Benoit tried his hardest to take out Lesnar, but he just couldn't pull it off. He still put up a hell of a fight against the beast and came close to winning. Lesnar won with a gruesome looking submission hold called the Brock Lock as he stretched Benoit's body in an unnatural way. A terrfic TV main event overall. ***3/4

Brock Lesnar vs Eddie Guerrero
From No Way Out 2004. Definitely an all time classic here, and a genuinely heartwarming moment in wrestling history, especially now that Eddie is no longer with us. This is a guy who worked hard to get where he was and here he was finally rewarded with the biggest moment in his career. Probably one of the greatest matches of all time, and for good reason, as both guys looked incredibly motivated. Check this one out if you haven't seen it already. A career highlight for both superstars and Lesnar's best match until 2013. ****3/4

Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle
I'm not sure of the name of the show that this was on, but it took place in 2007 and the IWGP Title is on the line. This can be found on Youtube. An interesting contest as it's the first time they've fought each other since 2003 and the last match they'd have together. This was really just a condensed version all their other matches as it only lasted around ten minutes, but it was still a great match as these guys know each so well. There were some nice nearfalls and counters towards the end as well. Angle locks Brock into the ankle lock to win the Title. ***1/2

Brock Lesnar vs John Cena : Extreme Rules
From Extreme Rules 2012. It had been eight years since Lesnar had been in the WWE, so it was exciting to see him back again. Everyone was wondering what the match would be like since it was Lesnar's first in a long time, but I don't think anyone was prepared for what we got. The whole match felt real, as if it was a shoot fight. Every move looked painful (yes even the AA) and the first ten seconds gave us one of wrestling's most shocking moments when Brock legitimately busted Cena open. Cena winning is still dumb and I still don't know why they went with it. Still apart from a dumb booking decision this is a must see battle. ****3/4

Brock Lesnar vs Triple H
From Summerslam 2012. This was billed as the Perfect Storm and it was pretty much anything goes as HHH told the referee not to step in at any time. I was excited to see these two go one on one at the time as it was a kind of dream match, but it was a bit disappointing. It was still a very good match but I was expecting a brawl considering the storyline between the two. It seemed like they were keeping the best stuff for Wrestlemania, but that match was more disappointing than this one. Still I'll give it props for a fun start and an exciting finish, but it did drag in the middle quite a bit. Lesnar makes HHH tap to the arm lock. ***1/2

Brock Lesnar vs Triple H : Steel Cage
From Extreme Rules 2013. The rubber match of this (way too long) feud. Both of their matches at Summerslam and Wrestlemania were pretty underwhelming so the expectations weren't high for this one which worked to its advantage. This is definitely the best match of their feud and they finally had an excellent contest. This one started quickly with HHH attacking Lesnar before the match even began. I think this took place during the time of Bret Hart bad mouthing HHH, and so HHH locking in the sharpshooter was a fun 'fuck you' moment. Overall an awesome cage match and a fitting end to the long feud. ****

Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk : No DQ
From Summerslam 2013. I've already heaped so much praise onto this match, but I'm gonna add some more, because this is my hundredth time watching it and it's still one of the best matches I've ever seen. The intensity is off the charts, and both guys looked extremely motivated. Lesnar deserves more credit for his work in the ring, such as his trash talk because it can make a match that little bit better, and it was awesome here. It's just a shame that the Punk/Heyman storyline didn't end here and ended up going on for way too long with guys like Curtis Axel and Ryback. Anyway this is still quite easily the Match of the Year and the only other match coming close is the main event on the same night. Absolutely fantastic stuff here and Brock was finally used properly. *****

Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker
From Wrestlemania XXX. This is still a controversial match to talk about as some people are still angry about the decision and I think some people have stopped watching wrestling altogether because of it. I'll admit that I still think it was the best way to go as Lesnar looked like the most realistic challenger of the Streak due to his size and strength, and the victory definitely gave him his heat and his momentum back again for his next appearance in WWE. This is easily the biggest win of his career. Undertaker had always expressed an interest in ending the Streak and Lesnar was one of his main choices along with the likes of Kurt Angle and maybe even Daniel Bryan. The match itself didn't really live up to expectations (I personally thought it would steal the show, although technically it did) and I enjoyed more than most others seemed to, but that doesn't really matter as it's the ending and the result that everyone will remember for years and years to come. A moment in history that will live forever. ***1/2

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Kane Collection

The Kane Collection

I thought I'd try a different name for these posts as they're usually called 'Greatest Hits'. Plus since the word 'greatest' isn't in the title anymore, it means I can include the bad stuff that's still pretty memorable even if it's for the wrong reasons (sorry Kane but you have a LOT of those bad moments) Kane isn't known for having the best matches, but he is one of WWE's most loyal and hardest working athletes, and he has given us almost two decades of entertainment. He definitely deserves his own post.

Here are some of the more memorable matches and moments (maybe even the bad ones) of the big red monster's career. By the way this is gonna be for the Kane character only so there will be no appearances from Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel.

Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels : Hell in a Cell
From Badd Blood IYH. The first ever Cell match and the winner goes on to face the WWF Champion at Survivor Series, thus leading to the Montreal Screwjob. This was easily Taker's best match up to this point, and it wouldn't be topped for another twelve years, strangely enough with Shawn Michaels. Both guys were awesome in their roles with HBK as the cowardly heel and Taker as the monster. An all time classic match that never had a dull moment and gave us what is possibly the best gimmick match in the WWE. Amazing match and one that will stand the test of time. *****

But before the match ended, the lights went out and some eerie music began playing. Paul Bearer appeared with an enormous masked man walking beside him. "That's gotta be Kane!" exclaimed Vince McMahon. He tore the Cell door off with brute force and took out referee Earl Hebner (I guess he could see one month into the future). He stood face to face with the Phenom and delivered an impressive Tombstone Piledriver to cost Undertaker the match. The monster Kane was born.

Strangely enough the character of Kane was only meant to last until Wrestlemania to give Undertaker something to do, but he was just so interesting as a character (even if he never spoke a word) that he just had to stay and he's been with us ever since.

Kane vs Mankind 
From Survivor Series 1997. This is Kane's in-ring debut so I think it was a pretty big deal at the time (how should I know I was only three at the time). He got a good opponent in Mick Foley. Kane had red lighting for the entire bout and it reminded me way too much of Sin Cara. A short match but it was fun while it lasted, mainly thanks to Foley's great bumping. Kane looked very impressive with a win here, and had now started gaining momentum to take him to Wrestlemania. **1/2

Kane vs The Undertaker
From Wrestlemania XIV. Finally after six months of fantastic build up these two monsters are finally going toe to toe. This has got to be one of the most anticipated matches in WWE history and even through the match itself wasn't that great, it was still fun to watch these guys beating the crap out of each other. Kane looked like a massive threat to the Deadman. Kane also ended up being the first guy ever to kick out of two tombstone piledrivers and that wouldn't be repeated until Mania 26. A good match and the best of the Taker/Kane series. Taker may have won the battle, but the war was far from over. One of Kane's most memorable performances. ***

Kane vs The Undertaker : Inferno Match
From IYH Unforgiven 1998. The first ever Inferno match and one that became a staple of Kane's career, even if only two or three of them actually took place. I guess they didn't have that many afterwards due to the safety of the superstars being put in jeopardy each time. I think I enjoyed this match more than others did. The image of these two monsters fighting in a ring of fire was awesome. These guys went back and forth in the ring until Kane escaped and Taker performed his Mania dive over the rope to get to him. Taker then got his revenge on Paul Bearer by sticking a drum on his head. An entertaining spectacle in my opinion as Kane's arm goes on fire to give the Phenom the victory. **1/2

Kane vs Stone Cold Steve Austin : First Blood
From King of the Ring 1998 and the WWF Championship is on the line. Vince McMahon really put the odds against the Rattlesnake in this one since Kane had his entire body covered up so no one could see if he was bleeding or not. This started off fast and furious and the crowd was absolutely hot for Austin. The Hell in a Cell structure lowered at one point and I don't know if the mystery of who lowered it was ever solved. It almost took Austin's head off anyway. A fun match all the way through and one of Kane's biggest moments. Even if it only lasted 24 hours. Still it was a memorable contest. ***1/4

Kane vs The Undertaker vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
From IYH Breakdown 1998 and the WWF Title is on the line. Here we have another case of Vince trying to stack as many odds on Austin as was possible. Austin tried to take the advantage away quickly by attacking Taker with a steel chair during his entrance. It didn't work for long though as the Brothers of Destruction quickly regained control and turned this into a handicap match. The match was quite dull at times but it did have its moments of entertainment. Kane and Taker pin Austin at the same time to vacate the Title. **

Kane & Chyna vs Triple H & X-Pac
From IYH: St Valentine's Day Massacre. So after this Chyna joined HHH and X-Pac, then Chyna and HHH betray X-Pac who would go on to tag with Kane who I guess is kind of his enemy. Got all of that? Because I don't. I guess that's the Attitude Era for you. Anyway this was a fun tag team match that had some very good pacing to it. The crowd was really into is as well. Better than I thought it would be given that Chyna was involved. ***1/2

Kane vs X-Pac : Steel Cage
From Armageddon 1999. Man this feud with X-Pac seems to have gone on for what feels like ages. Kane beat X-Pac via DQ at Survivor Series, so I guess he wanted a definitive victory. Enter the steel cage. This was an ok cage match while it lasted with X-Pac trying everything he could to keep Kane down, but this was the Attitude Era, so of course there had to be a run-in. Not a bad match but it was quite unmemorable aside from Kane's awesome clothesline from the top of the cage. **1/4

Kane vs Chris Jericho : Last Man Standing
From Armageddon 2000. Yes this feud started over a cup of coffee spilled over Kane. I think that's the most memorable part of this feud. This one started off straight away with both guys fighting in the entrance-way. Even though Kane was on offense most of the time, this was still a very entertaining match to watch, mostly thanks to Jericho's great 'face-in-peril' routine that made him very sympathetic to the crowd. This wasn't a very brutal match but it was still a lot of fun and Kane's best match in a while. ***1/4

The 2001 Royal Rumble Match
Normally in these posts, I only put in a Royal Rumble match if the person in question has won the actual match, but this is a rare exception. This Rumble is famous for Kane's eleven eliminations (even if it has now been beaten by Roman Reigns) and it is definitely the most memorable part of an already great Rumble. This is definitely one of the best Rumble's ever as it never dragged and it was a ton of fun to watch the whole way through. Kane totally deserved to win the whole thing. Fantastic stuff. ****1/2

Kane vs Raven vs The Big Show
From Wrestlemania X-Seven and the Hardcore Title is on the line. Raven really looks like he doesn't belong here. This was probably much better than it had any right to be, but it was just mindless fun and that's exactly what it needed to be. Almost the entire match took place backstage and it was very entertaining to watch, especially the part with the golf carts that nearly knocked out the electricity to the entire venue. A good match and Kane wins himself the Hardcore Title with a massive leg drop off the stage. ***

Kane vs Triple H : Chain Match
From Judgement Day 2001 and the IC Title is on the line. This is the from the point in time where HHH and Steve Austin held almost all of the Titles in the WWF. This would be HHH's last PPV match before tearing his quad one day after this show. The chain gimmick worked well as it was used quite a lot during the match. A good match that started slowly and just got better as it went on, and the crowd was very into it as well. Kane pins HHH to win his first IC Title. ***

Kane vs Kurt Angle
From Wrestlemania X-8. I'm not sure what this feud was about. This would be Angle's last Mania with hair and Kane's last one (until Mania 28) with his mask on. This might be Kane's best Mania match, not including the MITB ladder matches he was involved in. Ironically it's probably Angle's worst Mania match. This was just a nice back and forth contest that was never really dull. I didn't really like the roll-up finish but I guess they wanted to keep Kane strong. Still it was a good match. ***

And now Kane is going to have some STRANGE stories to go through.

Kane vs Triple H
From No Mercy 2002 and this is a Winner Takes All Unification match for the World and IC Titles. Katie Vick. Katie freaking Vick. Need I say more? If you don't know anything about this storyline then type Katie Vick into Youtube and have some fun. It's possibly the worst wrestling storyline ever. After this match the IC Title wouldn't be seen again until May 2003. The match itself wasn't too bad but it was completely forgettable on a card filled with better matches. It needed interference and ref bumps to make it entertaining. A match and a storyline that didn't need to exist at all. **

Kane vs Rob Van Dam : No Holds Barred
From Summerslam 2003. Former tag partners going at it for no reason apart from Kane being angry. This is Kane's first PPV match without his mask on and he wouldn't wear it again until the 2012 Royal Rumble. This was pretty dull for a No Holds Barred and didn't seem to have any point apart from making Kane look like an indestructible monster. The botches from the original broadcast have been edited out as I think there were a couple of them. Still it was a pretty decent battle and Kane did look good in the end. **1/4

Kane vs Shane McMahon : Last Man Standing
From Unforgiven 2003. I think this was one of those matches that had expectations of awfulness, but somehow ended up being better than everyone expected. This wasn't Kane's best feud but I'll admit that I have a soft spot for it. even if Kane electrocuting Shane's testicles still makes me laugh. Shane doing the Van Terminator still looks awesome. The finish is awesome with Shane falling about twenty feet in the air trying to crush Kane for the win, but he missed and was counted out instead. A good match overall. ***1/4

Kane vs Shane McMahon : Ambulance Match
From Survivor Series 2003. The WWE's first ever Ambulance match. Yes this feud just had to continue. That wasn't sarcasm, I am actually glad that this feud continued. C'mon you have to admit that it was kind of fun. In a way. A fun match all the way through even if it looked like Kane landed right on his head at the beginning of the bout. The bumps taken against the ambulance looked pretty brutal. Kane hits a tombstone on the concrete floor to knock out Shane and win the match. All in all a fun match. ***1/4

Kane vs Chris Benoit
From Bad Blood 2004 and the World Title is on the line. This might just be Kane's best singles match of his entire career. It had some added intensity thanks to Kane's earlier attack in the night, and Benoit was still selling the pain. Benoit did a great job of making Kane look like the most powerful guy on the roster. The finish was awesome, as Benoit finally got the crossface locked in, and the crowd was just begging for the monster to submit. Fantastic match that made both guys look great. ****

Kane vs Matt Hardy : 'Til Death Do Us Part Match
From Summerslam 2004 and Lita's hand in marriage is on the line. As if Kane's storylines couldn't get any stranger he suddenly finds Lita attractive, rapes her, impregnates her, and now Lita doesn't even have a choice in who she can marry. Sadly someone was paid money to make this story up. The match was pretty entertaining when Matt was in control, but it was dull when Kane was on offense. It was short and decent but the story was just way too dumb. Kane hits a big chokeslam to win the match and marry Lita. **

Kane vs Shawn Michaels : No DQ
From Unforgiven 2004. HBK was making his return here as Kane attacked him the night after the Bad Blood PPV for a reason that I don't think was ever explained, but Shawn wanted some payback. HBK tried his hardest to turn this into a good match, but it did have it's slow moments thanks to Kane and a couple of chinlocks. This got even better towards the finish as the HBK bladed to add to the drama and the nearfalls kept things exciting. The crowd was dying to see HBK slay the monster. HBK wins with a superkick. Good match. ***1/4

Kane vs Gene Snitsky 
From New Year's Revolution 2005. Kane is making his return after Snitsky took him out at the Taboo Tuesday PPV. He still wants payback for Snitsky killing his unborn child even though it wasn't his fault! The match wasn't anything special but the Puerto Rican crowd was really into it for some reason. This is just the kind of match I guess you would expect from two big guys, especially with one of them being green like Snitsky. Kane hits the tombstone to get his revenge. *1/4

Kane vs Edge
From Vengeance 2005. These guys fought on Raw in a Gold Rush tournament to crown a no.1 contender for the World Title. It was in that match that Lita betrayed Kane and joined up with Edge, turning him into the Rated R Superstar. Kane wanted some revenge. The crowd was really into this one and loved calling Lita a crack whore. The match was a lot of fun with Kane just going crazy on Edge the entire time and he looked like he was having the time of his life out there. It was a bit overbooked at the end but it was still fun to watch. Good match. ***

Kane & The Big Show vs Batista & Rey Mysterio
From Armageddon 2005. I am a bit curious as to why they decided to put on a tag team match instead of a World Championship match. This was the Smackdown Tag Champs taking on the Raw Tag Champs. Not really sure why they're feuding though. This was a much shorter match than I was expecting and it felt a lot like a TV match. Nothing really special about this one and it felt quite average even if it was quite enjoyable at times. **

Kane vs Kane
From Vengeance 2006. The fake Kane is dressed as Kane from 1997 and is actually Luke Gallows/Festus. I think the plan was for the fake Kane to replace the real Kane as he wanted to retire. That explains why the fake Kane won the match. Well it's been eight years and the real Kane still hasn't retired. The match was pretty dull but it was quite surreal to see Kane fighting himself. Worth a watch for the strangeness. *

Kane vs MVP : Inferno Match
From Armageddon 2006. I think this is the final Inferno match in WWE history. These guys had a feud going on but I can't remember what it was about at all. Not a bad match but there was nothing really special about other than the visuals of the rising flames and a man being set on fire (which did look pretty cool I'll admit). MVP did seem quite green in there as well. A decent bout. **

Kane vs Chavo Guerrero 
From Backlash 2008 and the ECW Title is on the line. Kane won the ECW Title from Chavo at Wrestlemania in a total of eight seconds. I'm sure the ECW faithful were pleased with that result. This time they were given enough time for a proper match. Chavo really didn't seem like a believable threat against someone the size of Kane. A short match but it was entertaining while it lasted as Kane hits the chokeslam to retain his Title. **1/4

Kane vs CM Punk
From Backlash 2009. At Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania, the final two came down to Punk and Kane. Punk kicked Kane off a ladder to win, and somehow that sets up a feud. What is it with WWE and making the MITB winners look bad and lose matches? They've been doing it for years now, and it's become tiresome. Pretty solid match, even if it felt like filler, and Punk didn't look too bad against Kane even if he was on the losing side. **1/2

Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler vs Christian vs Cody Rhodes vs Matt Hardy vs Drew McIntyre vs Kane vs Big Show : Money in the Bank
From Money in the Bank 2010. Here we have the first MITB match not to take place at a Mania, and this was a great match to start the new tradition with. A hell of a lot of talented guys in this one. I loved that Show had to have his own reinforced ladder because the ordinary ones were too weak for him. His ladder looks awesome and should definitely be used more often. It's probably safer to use than the other ladders too. I also loved Kofi's boom drop off the ladder to Drew who was on the announcer's table. Kane was a good choice for the winner as he had the biggest storyline on Smackdown as he hunted for Undertaker's attacker, and he managed to keep the Title until December so that's pretty impressive. Kane's also the only guy to cash in on the same night he won the briefcase. Great ladder match overall. ****

Kane would cash in his briefcase against the weakened Rey Mysterio and would win his first World Championship since 1998.

Kane vs Rey Mysterio
From Summerslam 2010 and the World Title is on the line. The story here is that Kane thinks that Rey Mysterio was the one who left the Undertaker in a vegetative state. It was pretty obvious by this point that Kane was the one responsible and that Taker was gonna come out of the casket. A good match with an exciting finishing sequence as Rey tried all he could to take down the monster, but he failed in the end and Kane was victorious. ***

Kane vs The Undertaker : No Holds Barred
From Night of Champions 2010 and the World Title is on the line. The final of the many feuds between these two. This must have been something like their fiftieth match together and they still had two PPV matches to go through. This one didn't even start in the ring as Taker quickly attacked Kane on the ramp and preceded to beat the crap out of him. It became pretty boring after that. A dull match overall and they would only get worse as Taker wasn't up to his usual standard. At least Kane got a nice win out of it. **

Kane vs Randy Orton 
From Wrestlemania XXVIII. Kane now has his mask back on (he had it on in the previous two matches as well, but I really didn't want to watch the John Cena matches again). This was one of the most thrown together quickly feuds I can remember as it really came out of nowhere and for no real reason. The match did start slowly but it became better towards the finish. Kane winning was a surprising result and the second rope chokeslam was cool. A pretty good match. **3/4

Kane vs Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk 
From No Way Out 2012 and the WWE Title is on the line. I can't remember why Kane was added to the mix, but I don't think he hindered things as much as people thought he would. Plus there was no way that Punk and Bryan would replicate their classic. This should have been the main event on this night. An awesome triple threat match here, featuring nearfalls and Yes chants. A great performance from all three guys. ****

Team Hell No vs Kofi Kingston & R-Truth
From Night of Champions 2012 and the Tag Titles are on the line. I think this was Bryan and Kane's first match as Team Hell No, and it would begin their very long reign with the Championship.The hug it out segment was pretty great. Pretty fun match with Bryan and Kane arguing while the match was going on. They only won by accident with Bryan pushing Kane onto Kofi. Good stuff and the crowd loved it. ***

Team Hell No vs Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston
From Wrestlemania 29 and the Tag Titles are on the line. Finally Bryan gets a match at Mania that's over 18 seconds long. I did enjoy the throwback to Bryan's previous Mania match as Ziggler was almost caught out at the beginning thanks to AJ and was nearly pinned straight away. Everyone here looked motivated, even the big guys. A good match that was kept way too short. ***

Daniel Bryan vs Kane : Extreme Rules
From Extreme Rules 2014. The WWE World Title is on the line. I've enjoyed this feud a lot more than I thought I would and it has been great to see Kane as a proper monster again. This reminded me of the Hardcore matches from the Attitude Era as they went to the backstage area and used weapons like snow shovels, tire irons and even a forklift that Bryan used for a brilliant flying headbutt. A flaming table was even brought out! I never thought I'd see that in the WWE again. This match was a ton of fin and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Kane's best match in what feels like forever and a great end to the show. ****

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Money in the Bank 2013

Money in the Bank 2013

We're fast approaching the 2014 of this PPV event, so I thought I'd review the past four events starting with last year's. Is it still the great event everyone remembers? Let's find out.

Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow vs Dean Ambrose vs Fandango vs Wade Barrett vs Jack Swagger vs Antonio Cesaro
The World Title briefcase is on the line. Poor Sandow. Looking back now, he deserved more than to just lose to an injured Cena (especially with the silly gimmicks he's had to endure). Anyway this match was quite strange as everyone in it was a heel. The fans picked their own favourites like Ambrose and Rhodes. Rhodes was very impressive here and he had his face turn thanks to the finish with Sandow, and that turned out to be a great idea, as he's had a great run as a face. It was impossible to tell who was gonna win this one. I had my money on Ambrose. This reminded me a bit of TLC at Mania 17, where the interference made the match more entertaining. Exciting, fast-paced match showing off the talents of all involved. One of the better MITB matches as the mid-card guys steal the show. ****1/4

Brad Maddox comes out to give us a video tribute to Vickie Guerrero. It's only been a year but I don't remember this storyline at all. A pointless segment but at least it gives us a breather after the MITB match.

Curtis Axel vs The Miz
The IC Title is on the line. Good luck following that opener guys. Shouldn't Barrett have had the rematch here since he was the former Champ? Well I guess the MITB briefcase looked much better anyway. The most interesting person in the match, Paul Heyman, was ejected early. At least it wouldn't be the last time we'd see him this night. Pretty solid match that was entertaining throughout, even if the crowd never really got into it. Still Axel looked good with the win. A good TV match. **1/4

AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn
The Divas Title is on the line. This is the most interesting divas feud I've seen since the days of Trish Stratus and Lita. These ladies had a very good match at Payback a month before this so there was some anticipation heading into this contest. This one was enjoyable but it wasn't up to the level of their previous encounter. It wasn't bad at all and even had some nice arm psychology, but it just wasn't that great or memorable. *3/4

Ryback vs Chris Jericho
A strange pairing here and I cannot recall at all why these guys were fighting. I guess they just needed something to do. This is Jericho's last PPV appearance to date, and hopefully it won't be the last since it's not up to scratch with his usual awesome work. These guys really didn't have any chemistry together. Jericho seemed to be trying his best in there but he couldn't get anything that good out of Ryback. It got a little better towards the end with the big moves thrown around, but it couldn't really salvage the match. Ryback's pathetic-looking roll-up for the finish didn't help either. **

Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio
The World Heavyweight Title is on the line. Ziggler got a great reaction from the live crowd as he made his entrance. These guys had a modern classic at Payback with the double turn performed perfectly. Now everyone wanted to see Ziggler regaining his Title. This one was going very well up until the DQ finish, but at least that led to a Summerslam showdown. This match just got better and better as it went on and the nearfalls towards the end were great as both guys looked like they were very close to winning. A very good World Title match overall. ***1/2

John Cena vs Mark Henry
The WWE Championship is on the line. Is this Henry's first shot at the WWE Title? I think it might be. I freaking loved the build up to this with Henry faking an emotional retirement speech only to attack Cena. He definitely deserved an Oscar for that performance. The crowd was hot for this one. Henry looked like an absolute monster throughout the contest, although I wish he didn't tap out for the finish as I don't think it goes with his character. You really felt sympathetic for Cena as he kept trying everything he could to take down the monster and it made for a really dramatic match. A great bout and easily Henry's best match ever. ***1/2

CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan vs Rob Van Dam vs Christian vs Sheamus vs Randy Orton
The WWE Title briefcase is on the line. This was billed as an All Star MITB and it was definitely that, as everyone here has a definite star quality and had a good chance of winning. It also had the very highly anticipated return of RVD, and he showed absolutely no ring rust here. The clear cut favourites were both RVD and Bryan, so it was quite unexpected to see Orton pick up the win. We all know how that turned out. This match is relevant for starting the Heyman/Punk feud that had it's very high points, but also it's low points. Sheamus suffered a pretty bad leg injury that has kept him out of action for some time. Everyone in this match looked awesome, and just about all of them took some painful looking bumps. Awesome match, and almost as good as the very first one. I'd probably put this as the runner-up for best MITB match ever. A terrific end to the show. ****1/2

8.5/10. A great show here by the WWE, and I think it's kind of underrated thanks to the amazing Summerslam that came a month later. There wasn't really anything bad here and anything that was mediocre or average was kept quite short. There was a hell of a lot to like here with both World Title matches delivering and two fantastic ladder matches that need to be watched if you haven't seen them already. A highly recommended show.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

NXT Arrival

NXT Arrival Review

Yes I know it's been a while since this actually aired, but I've finally gotten around to it now. I was very impressed with the recent Takeover show so I want to go back and see how good this show was. Let's begin.

Sami Zayn vs Cesaro
Here is a rematch from the astounding 2/3 Falls match that took place in 2013, which I now have rated at ****1/2. Needless to say this one was highly anticipated and good god did it live up to those high expectations. I have to say that I preferred this to their first match and I might end up having this as my Match of the Year. Yes I did prefer this to Wyatts/Shield and I seem to be in the minority on that one, but I don't care because I absolutely loved this. The storytelling was amazing with Zayn trying his hardest to earn Cesaro's respect, and even though he lost in the end, he earned his respect and the respect of the fans. A superb back and forth contest where you had no idea who was going to come out of it as the victor. The hug at the end was the icing on the cake. Absolutely fantastic stuff and it is what wrestling is all about. *****

CJ Parker vs Mojo Rawley
I really feel bad for these guys having to try and follow what was a true modern classic. Parker's hippy gimmick is a bit strange. How do you spread peace by fighting people? A short match that didn't do much, but it gave Rawley a definitive win and it wasn't offensive to the show. In fact I think it was just here to cool down the crowd. *

The Ascension vs Too Cool
The NXT Tag Titles are on the line. Usually I'd be quite happy to see Too Cool making a small return, but I thought that this show was meant to be showcasing the next generation of stars, not the last generation. Another short contest but it was pretty fun while it lasted and I always enjoy Scotty 2 Hotty performing the worm. Ascension got a nice win over a (kind of) established team from the WWE. *3/4

Paige vs Emma
The NXT Women's Title is on the line. Hopefully we'll see these two square off on the main WWE roster at some point, even if Emma's gimmick isn't really getting over with the Smackdown/Raw audience. Another great women's match that just highlights how awful the main divas division really is, as this is sublime compared to a Bella match or an Aksana match. A good back and forth battle that showcased the skills of both women. Paige debuted her finishing submission move to win the match. ***1/2

Xavier Woods vs Tyler Breeze
Yet another cool down match I guess. Well not really as the match doesn't even take place thanks to quick interference from Alexander Rusev. He takes out both men to make a statement. NR

Adrian Neville vs Bo Dallas : Ladder Match
The NXT World Championship is on the line. Bo had held the Title for quite a long time at this point and I think that everyone was ready to see him finally drop the gold. This wasn't the most spectacular ladder match I've seen, but it got the job done well. I really like Adrian's tornado DDT using a wedged ladder. A good ladder match that kept the drama going throughout and we got a few good ladder spots too. A fitting end to the show. ***1/4

8.5/10. I prefer Takeover to this show, but this was still an excellent debut for an NXT Special. The Cesaro/Zayn match alone gives this show a recommendation, but add in a great women's match and a good main event, you get an awesome show. Definitely check this one out if you haven't already.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Payback 2014

Payback 2014 Review


El Torito vs Hornswoggle
Torito's mask is on the line and Hornswoggle's hair is on the line. Their WeeLC match was surprisingly awesome, so I think this one was quite highly anticipated. Hell, it could have been a part of the actual show. I wish the mini-commentators had returned. It didn't take long for JBL to make a Game of Thrones reference. Like the first match this was a ton of fun and the involvement of the bigger guys was well done. They even had a nearfall and drama towards the end. Just for sheer entertainment I'm giving this  ***


Sheamus vs Cesaro

The US Title is on the line and what a way to kick off the show! This is probably the match I've been looking forward to the most because I wanted to see these guys beating the shit out of each other. That's exactly what they did as we got a damn stiff contest here. Some of Cesaro's uppercuts looked really painful. Both guys came out looking great and even with the loss, Cesaro still looks like a powerful force of nature. A great back and forth contest to open the show with. ***3/4

The Rhodes Brothers vs Rybaxel
When the hell was this match made? The pre-show showed Rhodes Brothers embracing as a team which seemed to signal a split. The match was entertaining enough but I couldn't help shake the feeling that I could easily see this on Raw. Still it was enjoyable as it was even with no buildup or anything on the line. Rybaxel gets the win. **1/4

After the match Cody tells Goldust that he would be better off finding himself a better tag partner. Well there's the split right there.

Big E vs Rusev
I was kind of looking forward to this one since Rusev was finally getting an opponent that could match up to him in terms of power and speed. The 'feud' did only get one week of build though. The spear to the outside area was awesome. A very short match as Rusev gets a decisive victory. Short but sweet  and Rusev is finally starting to look interesting. *1/4

Kofi Kingston vs Bo Dallas was meant to take place but Kane came out to beat up Kofi for some reason. Seems like a waste of PPV time, but at least Bo got some mic time.

Rob Van Dam vs Bad News Barrett
IC Title is on the line. This was another match I was looking forward to as Barrett has been awesome since his in-ring return. A solid match here that had its slow moments at the beginning and the middle but it definitely picked up towards the finish and Barrett got a big victory over an established star to give himself some momentum. Good stuff and I'd like to see a rematch at some point. **3/4

It's decision time for Daniel Bryan. If he doesn't surrender the Title, Brie Bella will lose her job. Long story short, Brie quit so that Stephanie couldn't fire her and so that Bryan could keep the Championship. She also gave Stephanie an awesome slap to the face. A fun segment overall and it wasn't too long either.

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt : Last Man Standing
I think a lot of people have been disappointed with this feud and the matches from it, but I don't think anyone in their right mind (aside from Cena haters) would be disappointed with this match. Bray was brilliantly creepy as usual and the exorcist-like stance while he was gettting up from the count looked amazing. This was surprisingly fast paced as there were never really any slow or dull moments even when the count was happening. The interference of the Wyatt Family and the Usos was well done and a lot of fun to watch. I did like the finish of Cena burying Bray under stage equipment. I think Bray still looks good in the end and we got an awesome match out of it. ****1/4

Paige vs Alicia Fox
The Divas Title is on the line.  Alicia seems to improved quite a lot over the last few weeks and she finally has a character. The crowd was almost dead for this thanks to the Last Man Standing match. A short match that was really dull until a small burst of energy appeared from Paige in the finish. 3/4*

The Shield vs Evolution : No Holds Barred Elimination Match
It was gonna be hard for these teams to top their fantastic match at Extreme Rules, but this was even better and felt like an absolute war. What the fuck was Batista wearing though? That's way too much blue for my eyes to take. By the way, Bluetista = the greatest Twitter trend ever. This started off as a chaotic brawl that was all over the place and then it turned into a normal tag match. Reigns and HHH staring each other down was a cool moment. The kendo stick shots that Reigns took looked brutal and you could see the painful looking marks on his back. Rollins just about stole the show with all of his high flying. I'm surprised that the Shield lost no members during the match, but it makes them look amazing and I would say that this is their biggest win yet. A fantastic match. ****1/2

8/10. That's four great shows in a row for the WWE. Keep it up guys! There was a lot to like in this show like Cesaro/Sheamus in the opener, the Last Man Standing match, a solid IC Title match and a war in the main event. A couple of things do let it down like the Kane segment or the mediocre TV-like matches but at least they were all kept short for the bigger matches. A recommended watch.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

John Cena: Greatest Hits

John Cena: Greatest Hits

The Leader of the Cenation is a figure of controversy as around 75% of the fanbase hates him and the rest adore him. I personally enjoy his in-ring work and he can have a great match with just about anyone. His character is boring and SuperCena is an absolute pain in the ass, but we've had some classic matches thanks to the man and here they are.

John Cena vs Kurt Angle
From Smackdown June 27th 2002 and this is Cena's in-ring debut for the WWE. Kurt Angle came out to challenge anyone in the locker room to a match with him, and newcomer John Cena answered the challenge with his 'ruthless aggression'. Cena's ring attire looks ridiculous on him. Thank God he found his look a few months later. A short, fun, fast-paced match in which Cena looked fantastic. He took Angle to the limit in five minutes and looked like a future star. A superb debut. ***

John Cena vs Chris Jericho
From Vengeance 2002. Here we have Cena's PPV debut against a man he'd face many more times in the future on PPV. Jericho says in his book that he was originally meant to win, but he convinced Vince to change the outcome because he saw something in Cena. Boy can Jericho pick 'em or what? A short match but it was fun while it lasted and Cena looked good once again thanks to Y2J. **1/2

John Cena vs Brock Lesnar
From Backlash 2003 and the WWE Title is on the line. Cena's first shot at the big Title and definitely not his last. Always fun to see a heel Cena and he was finally in his thuganomics gimmick that made him. It seems weird to say this now, but I think Cena was pushed way too quickly at this point, as he wasn't ready for the top yet. Lesnar wasn't very good as a face either. Sounds strange to hear the guys in the crowd chant for Cena. Pretty good match here, but it wasn't anything special and even had some sloppy moments although that should be expected from guys who had only been in the company for around a year. **1/2

John Cena vs The Undertaker
From Vengeance 2003. Funny how ten years later this is considered a big dream match for Wrestlemania (Well it was until Taker's streak ended). Cena would eventually get a win over Taker on Smackdown, but it definitely would have meant more if he had done it on PPV. Well I think the kid has done well for himself, so it didn't affect him too much. Cena did look good against the Deadman, and looked to be a match for him. Very good contest that made both guys look good. ***1/4

John Cena vs Kurt Angle
From No Mercy 2003. This was just before Cena would turn face and his career would begin its rise to the top. This match was based on respect and some funny rap battles between the two. Cena got quite a face reaction here. Cena still seemed a little inexperienced here, but Angle still managed to pull a great match out of him, and made him look good in the process. It looked like Angle hurt his neck on that powerbomb in the corner. Angle kicked out of the FU, and barely anyone gets to do that now. Great match here and the best match Cena's career to this point. ***3/4

John Cena vs The Big Show
From Wrestlemania XX and the US Title is on the line. It's so odd to see Cena opening up a Wrestlemania. That'll never happen again. I think this was Show's third Title defense since he won it six months previously. The match wasn't that great with Show's boring offense but Cena's comebacks were fun to watch and it was a nice moment to see him win his first singles Championship. An entertaining bout. **

John Cena vs Rene Dupree vs Booker T vs Rob Van Dam
From the Great American Bash 2004 and the US Title is on the line. Elimination rules apply here. This one takes me back in time as I remember sitting up to watch this live when I was only 9 years old. It's a shame that RVD was eliminated first as I wanted the final two to be him vs Cena. Guess I'd need to wait until 2006. Rene Dupree was out next after an F-U. A fun fatal four way while it lasted as Cena retains with another F-U  **3/4

John Cena vs Kurt Angle
From No Way Out 2005. The winner faces the WWE Champion at Wrestlemania. It did seem obvious that Cena would come out with the win here, but they still went out there and put on a great back and forth contest that made Cena look like a star. They were given around twenty minutes and they used that time very well. Just as good, if not better than the No Mercy match a year and a half earlier. Cena gets his biggest win up until that point in his career. ***3/4

John Cena vs JBL
From Wrestlemania 21 and the WWE Title is on the line. As far as match quality goes, this is probably the worst one on the entire list, but it's quite possible the biggest win of Cena's entire career. JBL had control during most of the match and it was very dull, but it was fun when Cena finally got his comeback. Cena hits the F-U to win the WWE Championship for the first time. *1/4

John Cena vs JBL : I Quit
From Judgment Day 2005. The expectations weren't that high for this one since their Wrestlemania match was so boring, but without a doubt they definitely exceeded any and all expectations with this bloody brawl. Cena's blade job was sick (although overshadowed by Eddie Guerrero's the previous year, also caused by JBL) and one of the worst I've seen. One hell of a brawl and one of the better WWE I Quit matches I've seen. Cena had truly arrived at the big time and looked like a warrior at the end. One of the most brutal matches in WWE history. ****1/4

John Cena vs Chris Jericho vs Christian
From Vengeance 2005 and the WWE Title is on the line. Cena's first PPV as a Raw superstar. Also this might have been Christian's only shot at the WWE Title but I'm not too sure about that. Jericho had also reverted back to a heel by this point. A great triple threat match that was a lot of fun from start to finish, and it looked as if Christian was going to steal the Title a few times. Cena managed to get himself a nice win over a couple of established stars here. ***3/4

John Cena vs Chris Jericho
From Summerslam 2005 and the WWE Title is on the line. This would end up being Jericho's final PPV match until Armageddon 07. This was also the first PPV in which Cena was booed by about half the audience, something that would continue almost ten years later, so I guess you could call that quite a big moment for him. These guys had a nice back and forth match and Jericho made Cena look like a star. Great stuff. ***3/4

John Cena vs Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels
From Taboo Tuesday 2005 and the WWE Title is on the line. It was Cena vs Angle and the fans had to pick the third man with the other two choices being Big Show and Kane. Cena fought Angle a lot during 2005 and HBK would go on to become one of his greatest opponents. I think if this had been given an extra ten minutes it could have been an absolute classic, but what we got was awesome. Such a fun triple threat with non-stop action throughout and some great false finishes. With wrestlers like HBK and Angle, how can anything go wrong? Fantastic match. ****1/4

John Cena vs Triple H
From Wrestlemania 22. For almost the entirety of 2005, Cena was treated like a huge star, but in my opinion this is the match that made him 'the man'. I think this was the first time that the crowd truly turned on Cena. He'd been booed before, but nothing on this scale with the fans chanting 'fuck you Cena' (well just wait for a few months and it'll be beaten quite easily). Harsh. Still this was a great match that had a big match feel to it and was entertaining all the way through. Both guys came out looking good and Cena had indeed become a superstar. ****

John Cena vs Edge vs Triple H
From Backlash 2006 and the WWE Title is on the line. Quite the star-studded bout here. This was pretty unpredictable as it would have made sense for any of the three guys to come out as Champion. Cena and HHH's contest of hitting Edge's head off the announce table was a funny moment. HHH took a nasty blade job during the contest. A superb triple threat match that was a ton of fun and you never knew who would end up winning with a few false finishes. Brilliant match that made everyone look good. ****

John Cena vs Rob Van Dam
From One Night Stand 2006 and the WWE Title is on the line. Cena has faced some harsh crowds over the years, but nothing will ever compare to this ECW crowd. They threw toilet paper into the ring and had some flattering chants such as 'Cena swallows' and 'fuck you Cena'. The match itself was a lot of fun and the crowd made it even better. We even got to see Cena acting like a heel which was a bit of a treat. The roof was blown off the place when RVD pinned Cena to win the Championship. A great moment. ***3/4

John Cena vs Edge : TLC Match
From Unforgiven 2006, and if Cena loses, he can never wrestle on Raw again. Also the WWE Title is on the line. Edge was in his hometown, so naturally he was cheered like a hero and Cena was booed by about 96% of the audience. An awesome TLC match here, and possibly the best one on one TLC bout. The spots were great, including the finish with Edge given an F-U through two tables. It looked amazing. Fantastic match and one of the best for both guys. ****1/2

John Cena vs Umaga : Last Man Standing
From Royal Rumble 2007 and the WWE Title is on the line. At New Year's Revolution these two had a damn good match, but with a match that had no rules they put on a show stealing performance. This is easily Umaga's best match during his time in WWE, and it was a sign that Cena could wrestle and put on a great match. An awesome no holds barred style of match, and Cena managed to pick up the win and still made Umaga look strong in the process, since he had to be made to pass out with the ring ropes around his throat. Great stuff here and one of the best Last Man Standing matches I've seen. ****1/2

John Cena vs Shawn Michaels
From Wrestlemania 23 and the WWE Title is on the line. This was originally meant to be Cena vs HHH, but HHH had torn his quad again, so HBK was his replacement and I actually think that that was the better choice. Cena had yet another star-making performance with Mr Wrestlemania. The piledriver onto the steps looked brutal. The finish was really exciting with nearfalls from both guys, finishers and a close small package from HBK. An awesome match that is a little underrated in my eyes. ****1/2

John Cena vs Shawn Michaels vs Edge vs Randy Orton
From Backlash 2007 and the WWE Title is on the line. This was only six days after Cena and HBK had one of the best TV matches ever, and it helped to build up to this bout. This is easily one of the better fatal four ways in WWE history. One of the great things about it is that it was unpredictable, as all guys looked to have a chance of winning it. This was just non-stop action from beginning to end and it never became dull. I loved the finish with Shawn superkicking Cena onto an unconcious Orton that managed to give Cena the pinfall victory and retain the Title. Great stuff. ****

John Cena vs Bobby Lashley vs Mick Foley vs King Booker vs Randy Orton
From Vengeance 2007. I have no idea how this challenge match for the WWE Title was made. Cena never really had feud with any of these guys before this match and only feuded with Lashley and Orton afterwards. This probably should have been an elimination match, as I think it would have made more sense and made it more entertaining. This should have been given much more than fifteen minutes, as it was a ton of fun while it lasted. Just an entertaining, chaotic match here, where everyone got a chance to show their stuff. ***1/2

John Cena vs Bobby Lashley
From the Great American Bash 2007 and the WWE Title is on the line. Lashley was almost out the door as I guess he realised that he just wasn't very good and he would try his luck elsewhere. However, Cena managed to get his best (and only great) match out of him here. Cena made Lashley look his equal in the ring and made him look awesome. He even got to kick out of an F-U. This was shorter than most main event matches but it was just power vs power and it was a lot of fun to watch. Great match. ***3/4

John Cena vs Randy Orton 
From Summerslam 2007. This is the first time these two guys have went one on one at a PPV and the first time they have fought for the WWE Title and would fight for it multiple times in the future (felt like dozens and it probably was). They would also fight two years later at the 2009 Summerslam, just with a different result except that that match sucked. Great match and quite possibly their best with one another as Cena made Orton look like a star for the first time in a while. Cena hits the FU to retain. ****

The 2008 Royal Rumble Match
MSG is a great place for a Rumble, as the placement of the entrance area means that the camera can stay on the action in the ring, while a superstar is coming out. I loved the beginning of the match as it started with the last two entrants of the 2007 Rumble: Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. Once again they showed their amazing chemistry and put on an entertaining show while the first few entrants arrived. Seeing Taker and Batista stare each other down after a year long rivalry was pretty awesome. They continued the Jamie Noble vs Chuck Palumbo feud here (I don't remember it either). Seems pretty small-time for the Rumble. One of my favourite Rumble moments is the surprise entries of Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper. Sure they couldn't work properly but it was a ton of fun. Although what everyone remembers from this match is the very surprising entry and return of John Cena who was meant to be out for another few months. He seems to have a habit of doing that. The final two of HHH and Cena was fantastic, and you didn't know who was going to win. One of my personal favourite Rumble's and overall I would say that it's great. It was never really boring and reached a fever pitch towards the finish. ****

John Cena vs Triple H 
From Night of Champions 2008. Their first singles match together since Wrestlemania 22, so this one was highly anticipated. This time HHH was the champ and both guys were faces. This had a big match feel throughout and it definitely lived up to the expectation with a classic main event-style match with nearfalls and false finishes. A great match that made both guys look great in the end and put the score at 1-1. ****

John Cena vs Batista
From Summerslam 2008. This was a pretty huge match at the time, since these were two of the biggest names in the WWE, and yet they had never really had any fights, except for the ending of the 2005 Rumble. They showed with this match that they had great chemistry together, and would go on to have a good feud in 2010 as well. Batista did injure Cena here though and put him out of action for a few months. Still it was an excellent power against power contest. ****

John Cena vs Chris Jericho
From Survivor Series 2008 and the World Title is on the line. Cena is making his return after being injured by Batista, and what a way to do it as it takes place in his home of Boston. He got a good reaction from the audience. It started off slow but once Cena got his comeback it became a lot of fun. Jericho kept countering Cena's offense and Cena kept fighting through to finally win the World Title. A good match and a nice moment for Cena. ***1/4

John Cena vs Edge vs The Big Show
From Wrestlemania 25 and the World Title is on the line. These guys had the unfortunate position of having to follow up Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels, but they did a great job of keeping the crowd interested in the match. It probably should have been just Cena vs Edge, but we still got a great match out of it. Cena has a Wrestlemania moment as he manages to lift Show and Edge at the same time which looked incredible. Fun triple threat match that was never boring. ***1/2

John Cena vs Edge : Last Man Standing
From Backlash 2009 and the World Title is on the line. I liked that these guys used their history together for the storyline, with the fact that Edge could never keep Cena down. Edge absolutely hated Cena for that. This is the last PPV match these guys would have together. The story of the match was great with both guys knowing each others moveset, and having to resort to different tactics to win. Edge even broke out a sharpshooter. The AA into the audience was insane. The finish with Cena going into the stage spotlight was awesome, but unfortunately started the boring Cena/Big Show feud that no one wanted. Probably the best Last Man Standing match since Fully Loaded 2000 and a great culmination of an awesome feud. ****1/4

John Cena vs Randy Orton : I Quit
From Breaking Point 2009 and the WWE Title is on the line. This one was a little unpredictable, because it was hard to imagine either guy saying 'I quit'. This had a slower pace to it, but it managed to work that pace to its advantage. Orton hitting Cena with the kendo sticks was hard to watch, especially with the welts shown on Cena's ribs. Great match and a great visual to end the match as Orton quits to the STF as his own arm is being used to put him through pain. ***3/4

John Cena vs Randy Orton : 60 Minute Iron Man
From Bragging Rights 2009 and the WWE Title is on the line. Anything goes and Falls Count Anywhere. I think the thought of these two guys getting sixty minutes for one match would have given most smarks nightmares for weeks. It turns out that they can do well with that amount of time. This started off well enough with standard wrestling but it went into a bit of a lull in the middle when Orton had most of the offense, although there was a cool moment where he tried to kill Cena with fireworks. It got much better when the timer was almost up and you didn't know who was going to win. A perfectly good Iron Man match in my books. ***3/4

John Cena vs Triple H vs Shawn Michaels
From Survivor Series 2009. I originally thought that DX would team together to try and take out Cena and failing as SuperCena emerged, but thankfully they went a whole different route with it. HBK's sudden superkick to HHH was amazing and totally unexpected. The rest of the match was a ton of fun with many nearfalls and false finishes to keep things exciting. One of my favourite triple threat matches that's worth watching over and over again. ****

John Cena vs Batista
From Wrestlemania XXVI and the WWE Title is on the line. Quite the highly anticipated match as they had only fought once at Summerslam, so a rematch sounded like a lot of fun. This was similiar to their previous match as they hit most of their signature moves and power moves, and it was a lot of fun to watch. I think everyone knew that Cena was winning here but I don't know if anyone expected Batista to tap out to end the match. A great, fun power match. ***3/4

John Cena vs Batista : Last Man Standing
From Extreme Rules 2010 and the WWE Title is on the line. A lot of people hate the ending of this match as Cena wraps Batista's feet with tape, but it does make Batista look pretty powerful since Cena couldn't keep him down, plus SuperCena really didn't need to look any tougher. This one did start off quite slowly, but it picked up once the weapons were brought into play. The AA through the table looked awesome and I can't believe Batista managed to get up from it. A great match that was very exciting towards the end. ***3/4

Team WWE vs The Nexus
From Summerslam 2010. This marks Bryan's first WWE PPV appearance, as he was stupidly fired for strangling Justin Roberts on TV. This was also Bret Hart's first Summerslam match since facing the Undertaker in 1997. Bryan received a nice pop from the crowd and looked great during the match as he was only eliminated by nefarious means, and got a couple of eliminations himself. The crowd was hot for this one thanks to the great build-up leading up to it. A tremendous tag team match, even if it ruined the Nexus in the long run due to SuperCena making an appearance. But hey, at least Cena looked good. ****1/4

I don't think we need to hear anymore about Cena and the Nexus.

John Cena vs John Morrison vs The Miz : Steel Cage
From Extreme Rules 2011 and the WWE Title is on the line. R-Truth was originally in Morrison's place but he was taken out and became the awesome heel character that I truly miss. Cena and Morrison gave Miz a double suplex from the top of the cage and it looked as if Miz landed badly on his neck. Morrison really impressed here and I'm surprised that he was back to the mid-card after this. A great cage match that was entertaining from start to finish. Even Truth's interference was well done. Great stuff as Cena wins his WWE Title back. ***3/4

John Cena vs CM Punk
From Money in the Bank 2011 and the WWE Title is on the line. What can I say about this match that hasn't already been said? It's one of those matches where you need to have the volume turned way up to enjoy it even more, due to the awesome crowd. One of the best WWE Title matches of all time and one of the best matches of the entire decade. Sadly the impact of the storyline was lost once HHH decided to ruin it himself. Still this will be a match that can be enjoyed for years to come and if you haven't seen it, find it right now. *****

John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio
From Night of Champions 2011 and the WWE Title is on the line. Del Rio had only just won the Championship at Summerslam, so it looked unlikely that he would lose the Title here, but for some reason he did. What makes it worse is that he won it back two weeks later so this Title change didn't really make any sense. Still it was a fun back and forth match, and Cena wins yet another WWE Championship. ***1/2

John Cena vs The Rock
From Wrestlemania XXVIII. I think the Once in a Lifetime tagline can now be ripped from this. I don't think the fact that these guys have had more that one match detracts from this one at all. It still has a huge match feel to it and these guys managed to make the match entertaining for the entire half hour. It had a slow build that made the finishing sequence exciting and you could never tell who was going to come away with the huge victory. A Wrestlemania classic for sure. One of the biggest matches in wrestling history. ****1/2

John Cena vs Brock Lesnar : Extreme Rules
From Extreme Rules 2012. It had been eight years since Lesnar had been in the WWE, so it was exciting to see him back again. Everyone was wondering what the match would be like since it was Lesnar's first in a long time, but I don't think anyone was prepared for what we got. The whole match felt real, as if it was a shoot fight. Every move looked painful (yes even the AA) and the first ten seconds gave us one of wrestling's most shocking moments when Brock legitimately busted Cena open. Cena winning is still dumb and I still don't know why they went with it. Still apart from a dumb booking decision this is a must see battle. ****3/4

John Cena vs Chris Jericho vs Kane vs The Big Show vs The Miz
From Money in the Bank 2012. This is the least amount of guys in a MITB match so far. The Miz was a nice surprise contestant. The match didn't look very promising on paper, but it definitely surprised everyone, as it was a pretty great ladder match. There was no way that Cena was losing here though and that did hinder the match a bit, but it was still fun. Nice to see the return of Show's huge ladder. This one wasn't filled with big spots like other MITB matches, but that's what makes it nice and unique. It's nice to see a MITB match that's filled with a little more story than the others. Overall a great match. ***3/4

CM Punk vs John Cena
From Night of Champions 2012 and the WWE Title is on the line. In my opinion, this should have been one of the main events of Summerslam, but unfortunately Lesnar/HHH wasn't allowed to be upstaged. Cena was in his hometown and was still being booed. As expected, these guys gave us another awesome match, and I didn't even mind the cop out ending the match was that good. They've had better, but I don't think we'll ever get enough of seeing Punk and Cena go one on one. ****1/2

The 2013 Royal Rumble Match
I wasn't sure if this would be the main event or not, but this was probably the right placement for it. It started with a huge bang as Y2J made his unexpected return in an awesome moment. I have to commend Ziggler for lasting almost the whole match as well. Very few surprise entrants here, as Jericho, Goldust and The Godfather also returned , although Godfather only lasted about 2 seconds. I was disappointed that Cena won at the time but looking back he was the only likely winner. A fun Rumble. ***3/4

John Cena vs The Rock
From Wrestlemania XXIX and the WWE Title is on the line. The slammy award winner for Match of the Year. I wouldn't agree with that, but it's a phony award so it doesn't really matter. I've said in the past that I seem to have a guilty pleasure with this and the original, and that still holds true: I love this match. People complain about the slow start, but I think it builds well to the finisher fest towards the end. Ok it was quite boring at times to start with, but it did get much better as it went on. Cena hits a third AA to win the Title. Awesome match. ****

John Cena vs Ryback : 3 Stages of Hell
From Payback 2013 and the WWE Title is on the line. The first stage is a lumberjack match, the second is a tables match, and the final stage is an ambulance match. Their match at Extreme Rules was a great one, but I don't think anyone was really excited for a rematch, especially when it was first announced as just an ambulance match. Thankfully they changed it to a match that sounded a bit more interesting. Ryback looked impressive after the first fall as he pinned Cena clean in the middle of the ring. Cena wins the second fall with an AA through a table. Cena wins the third fall with an AA through the ambulance. Overall this was fun and a lot better than expected. A good way to end the show. ***1/2

John Cena vs Daniel Bryan
From Summerslam 2013 and the WWE Title is on the line. I feel so bad for not calling this the Match of the Year, but it definitely deserves like a runner up prize or a very honourable mention. What can I say about this match that hasn't already been said? This was Bryan's moment in the sun and he went over Cena completely cleanly and made himself a huge star in the process. It definitely helps that this was an amazing back and forth battle that felt like a war was being waged. Fantastic match and a fantastic moment as Bryan wins his first WWE Title, even if it was ruined by Orton. One of Cena's greatest matches as well. *****

John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio 
From Hell in a Cell 2013 and the World Title is on the line. Poor Del Rio wasn't given a chance in hell of winning this one. Cena was making his return after missing two months of action, when he was actually supposed to miss six months. That's SuperCena for you. At the time I was expecting more of a squash, but this was a good match and Del Rio looked pretty good coming out of it. Unsurprisingly, Cena hits the AA to win the World Title. ***1/4

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
From Wrestlemania XXX. The Wyatt Family's entrance was fantastic and will go down as one of the coolest entrances in WWE history. The match itself was great. Bray was brilliant in his role trying to corrupt Cena by making him burst out in anger. Bray's spider walk was creepy as hell and awesome beyond belief. I have to question Cena beating a fast-rising star but the Wyatt's are still doing ok so I don't think it affected them too much. Still at least it was a great match. ***1/2

Bonus TV Matches

John Cena vs CM Punk
From Raw February 25th 2013 and the winner faces The Rock at Wrestlemania for the WWE Title. Until Summerslam this was my Match of the Year for 2013, and I wanted to see if it still holds up. Well I can tell you that it most certainly does. These guys showed their amazing chemistry in front of an audience that was absolutely hot for it. MITB will always be their best match, but this comes scarily close to exceeding that match. Punk even broke out a freaking piledriver! I'll bet he got in trouble for that one. An absolutely stunning match with great nearfalls and fantastic action from start to finish. In my opinion this is the best match in Raw history. *****

John Cena vs Seth Rollins
From Smackdown December 27th 2013. The other two members of the Shield had already been in matches earlier in the night, and now Rollins had to take on his toughest opponent yet. I know that Cena is known for burying talent, but he made Rollins look like a million bucks and gave him his best singles match yet in an awesome back and forth encounter. I hope we'll see a rematch at some point. Check this one out. ****

John Cena vs Cesaro
From Raw February 17th 2014. When this match was announced at the start of the night, I was excited to see these two going at it. I got way more than I expected as this ended up being a fantastic match that was a star-making performance for Cesaro and it showed off his awesome strength. He may have lost in the end, but Cesaro has been slowly making his way to the top of the WWE ever since. An awesome match overall. ****1/4