Arnold Furious: June 18, 2017. We’re in St Louis, Missouri. Hosts are Tom Phillips, his airline erection, JBL and Byron Saxton.
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Carmella vs. Natalya Some solid advice from one of the fans; “Climb Faster”. Carmella has a distinct advantage as she’s got James Ellsworth at ringside. She is the only one with help. The match is billed as a ‘historic first ever’ women’s MITB match. Which would mean a lot more if the belt they’re looking for a shot at was so unestablished. It didn’t exist at the start of last year. Part of what makes the Money in the Bank concept so important is that it virtually guarantees you a world title. Which is tough to attain in the business. The structuring is always going to be tough because none of these women have been in anything like this before. The result is a lot of awkwardness, nasty looking bumps and overselling. Oh and glacially slow climbing. The do pander to the fans with traditional ladder spots, which somehow feel fresh because it’s women that are taking them. There are some gutsy bumps in there. Nobody phones the bumps in. Tamina and Carmella don’t take good bumps but they don’t phone them in. The match has definite car crash appeal. Charlotte and Becky are the stand-outs. Both in terms of the bumps they take and the spots they execute. The finish is so bad it’s untrue. James Ellsworth climbs the ladder and drops the briefcase down to Carmella. What? How must Carmella feel about that? It screams ‘we don’t trust you to climb up a ladder’. Worse still is this historic first ever women’s MITB match was won by a man. You couldn’t make this up. Do WWE not realise that goes against everything the Women’s Revolution was about? Final Rating: **1/4
Video Control takes us backstage where Lana is interviewed regarding her title shot. Which makes the last match a laughing stock (which is already was) as Lana has virtually no wrestling experience and already has a title shot.
Arnold Furious: January 29 2017. We’re in San Antonio, Texas at the enormous Alamodome for the first Rumble there since the hugely papered one in 1997. Hosts are the many, many announcers WWE have.
WWE RAW Women’s Championship Charlotte (c) vs. Bayley Lots of huggers in attendance. Charlotte remains unbeaten on PPV. She’s 15-0. As with Sasha they’ve been slow in getting Bayley into a big match and she’s suffered because of that. Also because her promos aren’t very good. The in-ring is good enough to compensate for that. There’s a feeling that, despite the ***** classic Bayley and Sasha had, Charlotte is the most rounded of the three. She’s certainly the best promo. She’s also adapted well to the main roster way of doing things. Which means talking on RAW, occasionally working short matches and being able to shrug off shit angles. Part of the problem all the women have had on the main roster is having to go bigger (Hell in a Cell etc) because they already worked each other in great wrestling matches on NXT and, because of the Network, everyone saw them. It’s a new and interesting problem for WWE; the success of their own feeder promotion burning out development stars before they hit the main roster!
To be fair to these two, they do tremendous work in getting the crowd invested in this match and this moment. This is especially evident in the Figure Four stuff but also when Bayley starts lifting Randy Savage spots to counter Charlotte’s Daddy issues. Charlotte’s selling has improved of late, to the point where I’m convinced she’s in trouble. That’s a big step for any performer and I’m thrilled she’s found that extra step. Charlotte nails Natural Selection on the apron to get the win. Why are people still shocked when Charlotte wins on PPV? That’s what she does! This was a touch botchy but they told a good story and Charlotte was excellent. Final Rating: ***1/2
Arnold Furious: The United States political system has immediately caused major issues with this show. Tonight also happens to be the second televised presidential debate so WWE figured, based on the last one colliding withRAW and killing the ratings, they might as well throw the main event out first to try and hook people on the show.
We’re in Sacramento, California. Hosts are Mauro Ranallo, JBL and David Otunga. I think the latter is excited but it’s really hard to tell because he has the emotional range of a lemon.
Arnold Furious: What a weekend this has been for professional wrestling. Like with WrestleMania weekend earlier in the year promotions decided to piggyback on WWE’s popularity and we saw PPV efforts from Ring of Honor, EVOLVE (twice) and New Japan’s Super J Cup. WWE themselves were busy and put on an NXT TakeOver event the same weekend. Normally a weekend is a busy time for wrestling but these big weekends are becoming commonplace. Next year ‘Mania weekend has a ridiculous number of live shows including two UK promotions running in Orlando. This is frankly insane but if you love wrestling these big weekends are wonderful experiences. I’m not short on time today so I’m going to include the Kickoff show in this review. It is the second biggest PPV of year!
We’re in Brooklyn, New York. Hosts for Kickoff are Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry Lawler and Lita. They chat about the matches and such and Booker tells us about the time he got a hole in one (it was a par 3).