WWE

WWE Raw Recap: AJ Styles turns heel, takes out John Cena

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Good news everyone!

Every Tuesday I’ll be posting a recap of the longest running episodic show in television history (Hi Mike Cole!).

This means The Roommate can no longer take control of the television on Monday nights, it’s a win for everyone involved!

dance

Anyways I’m glad you’re along for the ride, so let’s get down to brass tacks, as Enzo Amore would say, and recap an interesting episode of Raw from Green Bay, Wisconsin:

The Club is locked and loaded

Last week, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows appeared to go their separate ways. Styles blamed Gallows and Anderson for costing him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules. The logic made sense because without Gallows and Anderson getting involved with Reigns and the Usos, Styles would have won the title.

When Styles told Gallows and Anderson to get out of his ring last week, it looked like we were going to be moving towards a feud with the three former Bullet Club members facing off against each other with a partner of Styles’ choosing.

And then, this happened:

This was such a wicked good heel turn. The crowd was so hot for Styles and a returning John Cena that the chants of “let’s go Cena, AJ Styles” went on for what felt like 10 minutes before Styles started his promo.

Just listen to the crowd when The Club (c’mon this can’t really be their name right?!) starts stomping on Cena, that’s the sign of a well-timed turn.

Sure Styles’ run as a face is over for now, but a squeaky clean babyface can only go so far in 2016. Let’s just hope that #SuperCena doesn’t end up running through The Club.

Also, it was refreshing to see Gallows and Anderson set their sights on The New Day. The tag division is filled with talent, but the division as a whole feels like the comedic relief of Raw every week because of Big E, Kofi and Xavier Woods.

TND

In order to help get The Club (ugh) over as dominant heels, Gallows and Anderson need to win the tag titles at Money in the Bank.

Rollins is back and we’re back in 2015

Before Seth Rollins tore his ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus last November, he was scheduled to defend the WWE title against Roman Reigns at Survivor Series. It was heavily rumored that Rollins would be dropping the title to Reigns.

Now that Rollins has returned, we’re finally going to see that match, but the roles are reversed. Rollins is chasing the title, while Roman is headed into MITB as “The Guy.”

On Monday Seth teased going into the ring to attack Roman before ultimately deciding not to. Rollins picked up the microphone, was about to say something and then walked out. It was an awkward segment and didn’t really do anything to advance the feud.

While this is the logical program for Rollins, the idea of the cowardly heel Rollins going after Reigns just doesn’t have the same punch as it would if The Authority (gulp) was helping him out. Rollins’ character believes he’s smarter than everyone on the roster, so it’s possible that we could see someone join forces with him.

There are only two more episodes of Raw before MITB and the title match already feels like the third most important match on the show behind the Money in the Bank ladder match and now Styles-Cena.

Traditionally the title match at the MITB PPV takes a backseat because the briefcase supersedes the title for one night, but this isn’t a throwaway title program.

Reigns-Rollins could be big business for the WWE during their summer stretch, but there is a ton of work to be done before the two square off on June 19th.

Six men, one main event

The six men who have qualified for the MITB ladder match faced off in a six-man tag to close Raw. Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn took on Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, and Alberto Del Rio. The match was solid, which was expected with these six in the ring together.

Ambrose picked up the win after a Dirty Deeds to Kevin Owens, but the real highlight of the match was the constant bickering between Owens and Jericho.

jerichoowens

Jericho told Owens that he’s “souring on him” in their backstage segment before the match, Owens did not take kindly to his, which was just hilarious. These two would make an awesome tag team, but it would hurt Owens’ push to the top of the card, so let’s just enjoy these wonderful moments while we still can.

Match results:

New Day defeated The Vaudevillains by DQ after Gallows and Anderson take out TND.

The Usos beat Breezango clean in the middle of the ring

Enzo and Big Cass pinned The Dudley Boyz clean in the middle of the ring

Dana Brooke defeated Natalya after a distraction by Charlotte

Baron Corbin was awarded a DQ win over Dolph Ziggler after Ziggler low blowed Corbin (this was awesome).

Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn and Cesaro beat Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho after Ambrose pinned Owens.

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 Time to “go home” with some random thoughts/observations

– Shane McMahon has the second best shoe game on the roster behind Enzo Amore: https://www.instagram.com/p/BF9bNoUrXko/?taken-by=wweaallday21&hl=en

– Ambrose encouraged Cesaro in the main event by saying “come on Claudio.” Cesaro’s real name is Claudio Castagnoli.

– Really wish Charlotte would have let out a WOO in Stephanie’s grill. Seriously, how many times is Stephanie going to berate someone right to their face without any sort of retribution?

– Kudos to the crowd in Green Bay for starting a “stupid idiot” chant at Jericho.

– Yooo, Titus TAGGED Rusev with this right hand:

– I LOVE how Rusev is applying The Accolade now, it looks brutal.

– Zack Ryder’s beard is top notch.

– If we don’t get Goldberg Streak mode in WWE 2K17, we should all riot.

– Loved the idea behind Ziggler’s promo as he essentially ripped off Jericho’s infamous 1004 holds promo from WCW, but the execution was terrible.

heel

 

Twitter: @ScottDargis

WWE: How Alexa Bliss Found Her Voice

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Before Alexa Bliss defends her Raw Women’s Championship this Sunday at the Tables, Ladders and Chairs Pay-Per-View (this Sunday live at 8 p.m. ET on WWE Network) I had the chance to talk with her about the process of developing the Alexa Bliss character, what it was like to have cameras around her house for “Total Divas” and of course, the world famous Larry-Steve

Me: “So what game did Larry-Steve pick for you to download on the [Nintendo] Switch?”

Alexa: “Mario! The Rabbit Kingdom. I was trying to find a game and all of a sudden Larry-Steve jumped on my lap and just started moving the Switch, so I was like I have to get this on video. He was doing it for a lot longer, but I only caught a couple seconds on video.”

@larry_steve_ helping me figure out which game to download next on my @nintendo #switch

A post shared by Alexa_Bliss (@alexa_bliss_wwe_) on

“Are you a big gamer, or did you see someone else with the Switch and said to yourself “I need one of those”?

“No, I love video games. So my fiancé and I went through this phase recently where we got all of the older gaming systems. We have this box that plays old Sega and Nintendo games. We have the original Playstation, recently just got a Game Boy. We have an Xbox a PS4 Pro and the Super Nintendo that just came out.”

“I got the Switch back in March and it’s a life-saver on my commute”

“Oh it’s the best. It seriously saves my life when it comes to traveling because I get so bored so easily, especially when a plane doesn’t have WiFi … ughhhh I die.”

“When you did an interview with ESPN a few months back you mentioned that you got Larry-Steve because of Total Divas, which made me wonder if getting a pig was something you’ve always wanted to do, or if this was a spur of the moment decision because of the show?”

“I’ve always wanted a pig. I grew up in Ohio, in Grove City, which is a farmy place. A lot of people there have farm animals and I’ve always wanted a pig because they’re super cute and I know they have a risk of getting up to 500 pounds, but whatever.

I actually pitched the storyline for Total Divas of me getting a pig and then my fiancé telling me that I can’t have it and then I’d have to give him back. You know, this whole drama thing.

So I get Larry-Steve and I have him for like two days and then I called Matt and said I’m not giving this pig back. I was like I can’t, he’s too cute and he’s deaf!

I was like he won’t hear the dogs barking at him. He was like what if he gets really big, I was like that’s 500 pounds of love. So I did the whole pouty thing and then he was like it’s your call, you make the decision. The whole I don’t want you to, so you probably shouldn’t, but I’m going to tell you that you can. And I totally took it as OK, I’m going to get him.

They get along so well. Matt loves him. He’s become the baby of the family. He knows it.

He’s like a child. He’s on a schedule. He wakes up every morning at 7. He sleeps in a Pack ‘n Play [crib]. He eats at 7:30. He naps at 2 and if you don’t put him in his crib to nap at 2, he will go lay by his bed. He wakes up, gets more food, will walk around the house, play for an hour to an hour and a half and then he’ll go back to bed.

“He sounds really easy to take care of”

“He’s so easy to take care of. As long as you can get his schedule down, because if not, he gets really grumpy.”

“Grumpy! How do you know that he’s grumpy?”

“Yeah because he’ll go “oink, oink, oink” all of the time and start pushing you. When he gets grumpy you know and then he’ll try to bite your toe, but that’s only if he’s grumpy.”

“Because [spoiler alert] Total Divas is a pseudo-reality, did you find yourself having to adjust to how you acted in front of the camera because you’re so used to playing a specific type of character in front of one?”

“I had a little bit of an adjustment period for sure because I’m so used to when the camera is on, I turn into Alexa Bliss, this mean, attitudy character. So I had to get out of that because our first filming was at TV. So I’m in a work environment and it was just a different camera, so as soon as the camera came on I was thinking ‘wait I can’t be that way, I have to be me.’

There were times where we’re at home making breakfast and there’s cameras there and I feel so weird because you have to open up to the cameras, but still act natural.

It was very different, but I had a lot of fun with it.”

*** Season 7 of Total Divas Premieres Wednesday, November 1 at 9 p.m. ET on E! ***

“You’ve talked about your transition from NXT to the main roster before and how you needed to turn up the persona that you found in NXT, but what helped you find the character’s voice? Was there a light bulb moment where you realized that this is it when you were with Blake and Murphy?

“I watched back our first few NXT matches together when I was managing them and realized that I was just silent. I wasn’t doing anything, I wasn’t saying anything. I was just looking at them in silence. And I was like hmmm, well that’s nothing.

I remember specifically trying more and more to be mean and I was trying to think of a character that’s relatable and I was like oh my gosh, a mean girl from high school. Everyone knows her. Everyone had one. Some people were her and no matter how mean she was, you still voted for her for homecoming queen.

I was like I want to be that girl because I knew that girl in high school. I knew a few of those girls in high school. I knew that everyone did. So that was my main motivation was to be that girl.

I get my inspiration from movies and a lot of the time I’ll actually people-watch when I’m at the airport. William Regal told us to people-watch because you can get your best motivation from them. I’ll notice little mannerisms that irritate me and I know they will irritate other people.

“How long did it take you to be comfortable in front of the camera as that character? Was it something you had to workshop a lot to get to that point?

“To get it started was a long process, but once it clicked, it was super easy. It’s just another part of me now and it’s been so much fun to play around with.”

“The saying is the best characters in this business are an extension of who the actual person is, but turned up to an 11, so is there any part of your actual personality in the character?”

“Oh god, none of it (laughs).”

“See that’s really interesting because you’re so comfortable playing the character, but it’s not you at all.”

“So I remember watching ‘My Date with Marilyn’ and watching the scene where she’s just super shy and super timid and then she asks somebody ‘do you want me to become her?’ And then she goes into Marilyn [Monroe]-mode and people start swarming her. She becomes this confident, sexy woman and I feel like it’s pretty much the same kind of thing. It’s something that you just switch into.

I’ve always wanted to do acting and wanted to explore that route and I feel like this has been the most fun part of doing what I get to do. Being able to transition into a completely different character.”

“So your match coming up with Mickie James this weekend; in another era this probably would have been a depends on a pole match …”

“(laughs)”

“But it’s just going to be a normal one-on-one match, even though in the build-up for it, you’ve been so aggressive in promos and backstage segments that it could have warranted a stipulation in storyline. Would you prefer a stipulation match, or are you OK with it being a regular match?”

“I’m OK with it being a normal one-on-one [match]. Of course stipulations are always cooler and more fun, but I feel like if we were to do a stipulation match it would have to be something that was driven towards the storyline that we’re doing right now.

I’m talking about her being old, so it should be like a walker match.”

Twitter: @ScottDargis

There’s a new playable character in WWE 2K18 and it’s … Colonel Sanders!?

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During the “Hell in a Cell” Pay-Per-View last night, it was announced that Colonel Sanders will be a playable character in the WWE 2K18 video game.

The announcement came during a segment in which the world was introduced to Colonel Angle Sanders who promptly took care of his rival, the Puppers Cluckers Chicken.

If you want to see an extended look of Colonel Sanders in WWE 2K18, you can watch him face off against Puppers Cluckers Chicken on UpUpDownDown this Thursday (October 12th).

WWE 2K18’s launch date is October 17th.