This Month in Wrestling -- AUGUST 2013

First off, I want to start off with an apology. This month's write-up will NOT be as lengthy as last month's since I didn't have the means to outline this out over the course of last month thanks to my dilemma with my laptop going out of commission. So if it seems like I'm skimming over this month's events, then I apologize as I'm going to discuss the "major" topics from this past month. I'll definitely make it up to you guys in the coverage for the month of September.

(August 1, 2013)

Champion vs. Champion Match - Manik vs. Chris Sabin

I loved how TNA provided a homage to Sabin's humble beginnings as his first act as champion (out of respect) was to challenge the new reigning X-Division Champion, Manik (TJ Perkins). As I stated last month, Manik is very talented and to get this opportunity to showcase his talents against the newly crowned TNA Heavyweight Champion speaks volumes. Seeing Sabin back into the mix like this really took me back to the NWA-TNA days of TNA when "Super Sabin" (obvious Dragonball Z reference) first graced the X-Division.

(August 2, 2013)

I would be lying if I said that I regularly watch Smackdown!, so don't be surprised that I don't mention this brand much in these write-ups. I read the spoilers, but I rarely have the time to endure a full episode of the blue brand nowadays. 

Layla FINALLY turns heel on Kaitlyn 

As funny as it was to see AJ Lee and Layla skip off together into the sunset, I have to say that WWE waited a bit too late to pull this card. Layla should have turned heel during the "rematch" build-up in the Kaitlyn feud, not now when it's pretty much guaranteed that Kaitlyn has been quietly ushered out of the title picture. Oh well, at least Layla is relevant again with something to do - even if it is a slight rehash of LayCool...

(August 12, 2013)

Daniel Bryan and John Cena's verbal confrontation on MizTV

I loved how they played off Daniel Bryan's extensive independent wrestling history against John Cena's history as WWE's poster boy, but at the same time, all of these promos where people are trying to sell Cena short of being a credible wrestler are getting old and starting to sound the same. CM Punk said it, The Rock said it, and now Daniel Bryan's saying it. As far as I'm concerned, John Cena has proven his worth as a wrestler. Is he a great one? Not really, but people manage to mark out over guys like Batista, Goldberg, and Ryback with even smaller arsenals in their movesets. How about WWE Creative find something else for Cena's antagonists to belittle him with? There's more than enough ammunition floating around on that Total Divas show...

CM Punk surprises Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar

CM Punk had to gain the upper hand if WWE wanted to play off any glimmer of hope of the Best in the World defeating Heyman's Monster. If anything, this segment showed that he wasn't going to be a mere footnote in Brock Lesnar's warpath. 

Hardcore Justice Special (August 18, 2013)

Bound for Glory Ladder Match: Austin Aries vs. Kazarian vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy

Sue me, I grew up in the heights of the Attitude Era, so I love a good ladder match. I have to say I was surprised that they didn't allow Jeff Hardy to win this one, but I'm under the impression that Jeff Hardy is going to stick around no matter what so the think tank over TNA are just going to keep giving false promises of him reigning supreme again. If you ask me, I would migrate him over to X-Division. If Rob Van Dam can do it, then why not this guy? I was surprised they allowed Kazarian to pick up the win here as I could have sworn that he (along with Christopher Daniels) just won the ladder match at Hardcore Justice at One Night Only too.

No DQ Three Way Dance: Knockout’s Champion Mickie James vs. Gail Kim vs. ODB

Last month in the One Night Only Hardcore Justice special, ODB proved that she could work a stellar hardcore match with Jacqueline Moore, but this match topped that tenfold. There were a lot of crazy spots that loved in this match, especially the one where ODB removed one of her (multiple?) bras and used it as a weapon in this hardcore match. I have joked with friends for years about using that as an offensive move in e-federations, but who would have thought that I would live to see the day that someone would use it in an actual women's wrestling match. It was good to see that Mickie James and Gail Kim are learning to get around that "incompatibility" they have in wrestling as well as they weren't struggling to keep up with the others' offense.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match: Chris Sabin (c) vs. Bully Ray

I can't say I was mad off the end result. We knew it was coming regardless. Bully Ray had to regain the championship to continue this Aces & Eights storyline. Besides, I was laughing too hard at Mr. Anderson's "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!" chant (obvious Lord of the Rings reference) to Sabin during the finale to be mad. As for the match itself, I was actually surprised. Chris Sabin managed to put on a solid offense against the obviously bigger in size and stature, Bully Ray, despite their size differences. I still can't believe that I actually heard people reference Sabin as a "vanilla X-Division midget" who shouldn't have won the TNA Heavyweight Championship in the first place.

Summerslam 2013

CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar

Excuse me while I go mark out at Punk's Wolverine-inspired ring gear for this match. Holy shit. I know I joked about it for over the past month that CM Punk would need a gun if he hoped to have a chance at beating Brock Lesnar, but damn, CM Punk did come incredibly close to beating Heyman's monster without the use of a firearm. I watched the match only a few days ago with my oldest nephew (who hasn't been keeping up with WWE nowadays either) and we were both in amazement at the hell these two Superstars put themselves through from start to finish. My favorite spot was the F-5 counter into the DDT near the end as I totally thought Lesnar had it won during that moment, but Punk turned it around again. Despite the fact that CM Punk didn't manage to pull a win out of his ass, this was still an amazing match. I dare say that it's definitely a step up from both of Lesnar's previous bouts with Triple H and John Cena over the past year.

WWE Championship Match - John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan - Special Referee: Triple H

The match itself was nothing less short of amazing between these two Superstars as that neither one of these guys were going to skip a beat here after talking a big game on RAW. I didn't see the event live, but when I did get home that night afterwards, I remember seeing my News Feed on Facebook blowing up with people having bitch fits about the title change. In typical WWE fashion, Vince trolled you guys, so I don't see why people were so upset at the end result. You got what you wanted with Daniel Bryan defeating John Cena - CLEAN. No bullshit interference or questionable finish. It was clean, no dispute there - at all. The swerve with Triple H was a bit of a shock if I may add, but as I was watching the aftermath, Triple H stood in the ring a bit TOO long during the celebration and kept looking back at the stage so those watching live should have known that something was up. Last but not least, we all knew Randy Orton had Money in the Bank so why was everyone surprised that he cashed it in? I rather him cash it in now for Daniel Bryan to beat him for the belt at least by the end of the year and have a decent title run before John Cena comes back around Royal Rumble time and takes back his property Hulkamania-style. 

As for the swerve, I think it was executed well and could have potentially worked even better for the crowd reaction if John Cena went heel instead of Randy Orton. The IWC (internet wrestling community) have been complaining for months that Orton was past overdue for a heel-turn so in a way everyone got what they wanted here tonight. 

(Summerslam aftermath - August 19, 2013)

Daniel Bryan crashes Randy Orton's Championship Conoration

Whereas John Cena figuratively passed the torch down to Daniel Bryan at the top of the show to formally bless him with the honor as WWE's top babyface in his absence, this segment drove the point home that Daniel Bryan will play the part of this generation's Stone Cold Steve Austin fighting against this revamped version of the Attitude Era's Corporation stable. 

Unlike most people who have been bitching since Summerslam, I don't have a gripe with this stable. The only thing I want to know is why did Vince and Stephanie McMahon forgive Randy Orton after this...

And more recently this...

From the way Triple H looked like Bruce Banner when he's about to change into the Incredible Hulk there, you would think he would never forgive Orton. And I thought Orton was done trusting Triple H after the fall out in Evolution, but the weak excuse they are giving here is that Randy Orton is the lesser of two evils when you have only him and Daniel Bryan to work with. 

(August 21, 2013)

Best of Three Falls Match - Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro

This is the match that is referred to by many as a match of the year candidate for WWE. If you don't watch any other NXT-related match this year, then at least do yourself a favor and watch this one. Trust me, you will NOT be disappointed. 

Is this Match of the Year? I dunno, but it's a VERY strong candidate. Who would have guessed that we would have seen El Generico and Claudio Castanogli paired up in a match this early in their WWE careers? That being said, this is borderline an indy match from how it's designed and approached. There's that warm-up period, the "okay, let's get serious" middleground, and the "Let's give the fans their money's worth" end phase. 

While I have nothing but praise for these two guys, it pisses me off that WWE isn't doing anything with Cesaro on the main roster. The Real Americans are going nowhere, so why not have Cesaro splinter off and "attempt" to regain his lost momentum before WWE killed his buzz with that yodeling gimmick?

As for Sami, I just don't get why WWE is holding so many talented individuals down on NXT. Vince, you clearly have money in these guys. How about draft the ass clowns who aren't doing shit on the main roster down to NXT and swap them out with these some of these guys? 

Lastly, O-M-G at that finish. I doubt that would have been possible if these two haven't worked with each other enough prior to coming to WWE. That takes a LOT trust on both sides with the degree of some of the crazy spots they pulled off. Bravo gentlemen, well done.

Sami Zayn (El Generico) and Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli) are no strangers to competing to each other and they know each other's styles so well. I cannot express in words on this amazing spectacle that these two put on in this match. Of course, WWE are using this as a catalyst to inject Sami Zayn into a NXT Championship feud with Bo Dallas with the increased popularity, but I would rather see this feud (Cesaro vs. Zayn) being showcased on the red and blue brands. 

(August 22, 2013)

Brooke Tessmacher revealed as love interest to Bully Ray

With all of the releases to the Knockouts in the company, I was beginning to wonder if Brooke Tessmacher's contract was on the chopping block next, especially with her lengthy absence from the company for a while now. I like how they modified this angle to help cover up Brooke Hogan's departure with this. If you ask me, TNA can fire the rest of the Aces & Eights guys, save for Mr. Anderson. WWE doesn't want him back as long as Randy Orton is still on their roster, so he might as well stay in TNA. Anderson can go back to his "asshole" gimmick and play the Steve Austin-style babyface again while Aces & Eights can exist as merely Bully Ray, Tito Ortiz, and Brooke Tessmacher. If Bully Ray needs more back-up, he could always recruit Bad Influence to his ranks as replacements.

Gail Kim vs. ODB

If I'm perfectly honest, I don't care who wins this feud as when it comes to women's wrestling matches I usually have one favorite picked to win, but this feud has been full of great matches. Gail Kim and ODB have a natural in-ring chemistry with each other and they compliment each other's styles to boot. 

Aces & Eights vs. Main Event Mafia

For the last few months, we have endured AJ Styles mope around the Impact Zone as the emo-version of Peter Parker from Spider-Man 3. Tonight, that ended here. It was ended prematurely as Kurt Angle is in rehab from yet another drug bust, so TNA had to do something to keep the ball rolling with the Main Event Mafia and Aces & Eights storylines.

I was completely shocked that Devon was the one who was pinned in this match and lost his job, but I guess he was yet another victim (Taz reference) to the ongoing "trimming of the fat" on TNA's roster. I can't say that I'm going to miss him as he never amounted to anything to me throughout his singles career in TNA. Bully Ray managed to completely revamp himself from top to bottom to stand tall as the company's reigning champion and strongest heel seen in years. Devon is still the same dead weight Bully Ray kicked to the curb when he started his solo run.

RAW (August 26, 2013)

AJ Lee drops a "pipebomb" for the Total Divas' cast

Ah yes, I have to bring up this moment. For current WWE Divas fans, you are either split into two categories - either you hate or love the Total Divas reality TV show. From my posts on the show, you guys should know that I don't mind it, but I'm not saying it's the best thing on television either. It's just another guilty pleasure to watch on the TV, much like Keeping up with the Kardashians, Big Brother, MTV's The Real World, or any other token reality TV series that people are raving about nowadays. As for AJ's promo, I thought it was well-done, and properly timed.

The thing that pisses me off about this promo are the Diva marks who are acting like this is the first time that this has been done before and it's changing the division forever. Boy, you can tell who don't know their wrestling history, huh?

 Tell me... doesn't this sound familiar?

Yeah... that's what I thought. The same ol' song and dance. For those who don't get the reference from that image of AJ pushing down the ladder then allow me to educate you, Lita was shoving Superstars off ladders back in the Attitude Era so let's stop bringing up that moment as such a "blockbuster" moment in AJ's career, okay?

I don't want Diva fans to get me wrong. It's not that I don't like AJ as champion, it's just that I want her to impress me and blow me away in AND out of the ring. I was glad that she won it, but don't do like everyone else for the last 2-3 years and continue to bore me with it as you play the typical "Mean Girls" stereotype (bully random babyface Diva until she folds then claim you're the best ever in the company's history) that WWE has stuck with the Divas for ages now. People keep acting as if she's the "Great White Hope" and will change the division forever since she's so different than the rest. Wake up call, the closest thing to that dream is Paige in NXT, folks. Eve Torres and Maryse played the golddigger roles, while LayCool and Trish Stratus were infamous for bullying other Divas, so how about we admit that AJ is still part of the typical Diva mold? The only thing different about AJ is that she has the body of a 15 year old. I love AJ Lee as a wrestler, but the thing that annoys me the most about 90% of her current bandwagon of fans is that they are placing her on a pedestal so high that even AJ Lee herself will not be able to live up to those extreme expectations that they are placing onto her shoulders. She is not the female equivalent of CM Punk and will not usher in a new age for the WWE Divas. Like it or not, but AJ Lee wouldn't have a "pipebomb" period if there wasn't that Total Divas show to begin with.

Truth be told, Diva-Dirt reported that AJ's pipebomb was a complete work and used as part of Total Divas Season 2 as E! Network had extra cameras backstage for filming the Divas' reactions after this event. That being said, don't be surprised that AJ loses the Divas Championship to one of the Total Divas' stars at Night of Champions. If you ask me, I rather Natalya win it from AJ more than anyone else out of the Total Divas cast. Naomi is talented but she's not championship material yet while Brie Bella holding it wouldn't do anything as that would be just rotating out one heel for another. Besides, I can't see WWE giving her the belt without Nikki being medically cleared to compete again after recovering from that nasty knee injury.

To everyone that "fears" AJ losing at NOC, I will say this as a reminder. WWE's current standard pretty much ushers in that the championship gold is merely a footnote/reminder of who "the suits" think should be over. A true success story in wrestling is how over (read: popular) you are WITHOUT said title. Perfect current generation examples: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, etc. Never allow a title to dictate whether how "successful" a wrestler should be.

Now, if AJ wins at NOC, it's pretty much going to make the follow-up rather stale if you ask me. The Total Divas girls lose because they got too caught up in their own drama? So where does that leave AJ? Simple, we are back to square one like Kaitlyn before her without a challenger for said title. AJ boasts about beating the Total Divas girls while AJ feuds with one of the lackluster girls not on Total Divas? The only person I could see her feuding with that's not in that circle is Layla but I can't see them breaking up that "besties" clique up so soon. It's a damn shame that a Kaitlyn vs. Layla feud didn't spark up out of that either.

Gauntlet Match - Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield

Daniel Bryan definitely earned his work horse stripes tonight, putting on a wrestling clinic with long-time ROH rival, Tyler Black, now known as The Shield's Seth Rollins. As great as this match was, the end of RAW continued a trend that's getting pretty damn repetitive at this rate that ends with Daniel Bryan overwhelmed by the numbers game of the unholy union of the McMahons, Triple H, The Shield, and current WWE Champion Randy Orton making a public display of what it means to cross them to the rest of the WWE roster. Even of this posting (9/6/13) Daniel Bryan hasn't managed to make it through an entire WWE broadcast without finding himself out cold on the canvas by the show's end.

The thing that got to me the most about this match was that Triple H said that anyone that didn't have their eyes on the ring throughout the course of the match as The Shield made an example of Daniel Bryan was going to get fired. If you would look at the WWE roster throughout the course of this match, everyone save for a few token players - notably The Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Divas Champion AJ Lee, and a handful of other Superstars - were acting completely out of character. I was watching this segment and shouting at the TV, "Show some professionalism at least stay in character for crying out loud..." You could spot most of the other Divas talking to their boyfriends (namely Naomi chatting it up with Jimmy Uso), Hornswoggle, Alberto Del Rio, Rob Van Dam, Damien Sandow, and Ricardo Rodriguez chatting it up like they are all best friends but are in a "heated" rivalry. Then when Triple H's music hit, it was like ringing the bell for Festus and everyone put their game faces back on like they were in-character throughout this entire bit. 

I can't wait for the moment when The Big Show delivers the WMD to Triple H and wipes that smile clean off his face...

(August 29, 2013)

Gail Kim vs. ODB in a 2/3 Falls Match to determine the #1 Contender for the Knockouts Title

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what you call a women's wrestling match. Much like Gail Kim's ladder and last man standing matches against Taryn Terrell that have been talked about as two of the greatest women's wrestling matches (in mainstream wrestling anyway...) in recent memory, Gail Kim can easily add this match to her impressive resume of A+ grade matches this year. It's great to see that TNA is doing something with ODB rather her wasting away as a mere referee and occasional comedy relief, as the woman is vastly over with the bulk of TNA's live crowds. 

AJ Styles drops a "pipebomb"

I applauded this "worked shoot" from start to finish as I'm glad they gave AJ Styles the platform to speak his grievances with TNA as of late. While almost every wrestling column, website, and IWC mark raved about AJ Lee's pipebomb this week, it really pissed me off to see that so-called wrestling fans haven't given AJ Styles props for this promo as well. Much like AJ Lee, he said a lot of things that needed to be said, but of course, since it's not WWE-flavored people act negatively to it. 

The older I get, the more I'm starting to wonder about the other people who call themselves "fans" of this sport. Sure, TNA makes a lot of mistakes as WWE's competition on the mainstream market, but it's this double-standard that always pisses me off when I talk to people about the two companies. TNA does one thing wrong and they forsake watching the product, while WWE does the same thing, those same said "fans" are back watching that following week. For every mistake TNA does, "fans" are quick to point it out and talk down negatively about everything in this company, but the second WWE does something stupid, it's brushed underneath the rug like it's nothing. How about you "fans" show WWE how much you dislike their mistakes as how vocal you "fans" are about TNA's? From the way that I see it, there are more artificial "fans" of this sport than actual fans - meaning that they are merely "fans" as long as the product caters to their interest. 

Okay, okay. Rant over...

The total WTF? ending to tonight's broadcast

The battle royal for 20 extra points in the BFG series sounded cool, and I was fine with that as I don't want to see Jeff Hardy in the final 4 again after last year's "drama". Sting challenges Bully Ray next week on Impact? Hold up, what the fuck? I thought the stipulation at Slammiversary was that he could NOT challenge for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship EVER again after losing?

Edit: As of the 9/5/13 taping of Impact, they explained that this match was a non-title match-up that wasn't clarified at the end of this episode.

That's it for the month of August, wrestling fans. Again, I apologize that this isn't as lengthy a read as the write-up for the month of July. 


  1. hear AJ give a promo like that, while still referring to herself and her peers as "Divas", and coming out to the same bubblegum, Gem and the Holograms music as the other divas, and trying to somehow deny that her looks had NOTHING to do with her making it to the WWE....Luna Vachon must be rolling in her grave...

  2. I know right? But don't knock on Jem and the Holograms LOL, I'm a closet mark for The MisFits on that show. xD Sue me, I have two older sisters who controlled the TV for the bulk of my childhood :P


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