Girl on the Third Floor Comes to the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Next Week

Girl on the Third Floor will finally make its long awaited and anticipated New York City debut next week at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. Since its debut at SXSW, it has recieved a high critical praise from many outlets praising the acting, the plot, the practical special effets, and the cast.

The film stars Mixed Martial Artist and comic book writer CM Punk as he plays as Don Koch who is a lawyer as he wants to start a new life with his career and he and his pregnant wife (Trieste Kelly Dunn as Liz Koch)plans to get away from the city as he bought a new home in Chicago that is very old. Don wants to renovate the house from the ground up and does not want any help doing this. He eventually learns from his new neighbors that live near by that the house has a crazy and terrifying past and experiences the supernatural in the house.

CM Punk will make his feature film debut on this movie and I know for sure that many people and fans of him are looking forward to seeing the film on the premiere and I have to say that I cannot wait to see it as well. This film will also be the directional debut of Travis Stevens and it also has a strong cast as well featuring Sarah Brooks, Elissa Dowling, Bishop Stevens, Tonya Kay, and Marshall Bean.

Be sure to get your tickets now as the New York premiere will sell out very fast and CM Punk and Travis Stevens will also be there in person to talk about the film as well after the screening. Brooklyn Horror Film Festival takes place from October 17th until October 24th.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com.

Video Game Reviews: WWE 2K15

With the last gen versions of WWE 2K15 (Playstation 3/Xbox 360) getting a universal negative reception, can the current gen versions (PS4/Xbox One) deliver the hype? I am Julian Cannon and I am reviewing the Playstation 4 version of WWE 2K15.

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This game looks more close to real life than ever this time. From the camera angles to the lighting and the arenas along with the detailed look on the superstars and divas, this is the best looking WWE game to date. Most of the superstars and divas had their entire body scanned for the game. The ring was even scanned so it can look exactly like it is on TV. Everything may look a little smaller than the previous games but it will grow on you in time.

The roster is actually a huge let down. Compare the roster on last year’s WWE 2K14 to this game and you will notice that last year’s game had the better roster. It is good to see the addition of new NXT superstars such as Sami Zayn, Adrian Nevelle, Bo Dallas, Rusev and more, the rest of the roster is the weakest since Smackdown vs. Raw 2008. Many of the superstars are very outdated with their attires and music. Most notably, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have their shield attire and music. However there are a few legends in the roster such as Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kevin Nash, Ultimate Warrior and some good ones including The Wyatt Family, The Usos, Xavier Woods, Big E and more but some of the superstars in the game are exact copies of themselves (for example, current Batista and retro Batista should be just one character with a costume change instead of two separate characters).

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The gameplay has changed drastically for this year’s game. A new chain wrestling mini-game has been implemented to make matches play out more realistically. Pressing the grapple button at the beginning of the match will initiate a collar-and-elbow tie up. From there, each opponent will press one of three face buttons to place their opponent into a side headlock, a wrist lock or a waist lock with a rock-paper-scissors style outcome. (Headlock beats Wrist lock, Wrist lock beats Waist lock, Waist lock beats Headlock.) Whomever wins will place their opponent in the corresponding hold while both players rotate the right analog stick to find a “sweet spot”. If the attacker finds it first, they’ll perform a move, if the defender finds it first, they’ll gain the upper hand. Additionally, the attacking wrestler can strike or wrench the opponent’s limb, making it harder for them to find the sweet spot. This mini-game only happens 2-3 times during the match and can be turned off via the options menu. Strikes have returned to their normal speed with improved collision and selling animations from the opponent. Unlike in previous games, superstars will not stand up immediately after taking a bump or slam, the player must rotate the right analog stick in order to stand up.

The stamina system returns in this game but it has changed as well. It is a three-tier stamina meter which controls the pace of a match. Each move that is performed, especially striking and running, will drain the stamina meter. During the first tier, the wrestler will be full of energy and perform moves easily. During the second tier, the wrestler will begin to slow down. In the third tier, the wrestler will be completely exhausted, even being unable to perform their finishing moves should it drop too low. Although the stamina meter cannot be turned off, stamina will slowly regenerate as long as a meter is not depleted and can be adjusted to drain more slowly. The game’s submission system has been revamped. The “Breaking Point” submission system has been replaced with a two part circular gauge. The mechanic of the system remains mostly the same, but players only have to mash a single button rather than all four.

Wake-up taunt finishers are now known as “Charged Finishers” which combines the taunt & finisher into a single animation by pressing the finisher button when the opponent is grounded. Signature moves can now be stored as well. Catch and Catapult finishers have also returned. Both fighting styles and skill sets have been brought in to ensure that the characters behave more like their real-life counterparts. For example, high flyers like Rey Mysterio will not do power moves and will focus on diving and springboard moves while giants like Big Show cannot climb the turnbuckle and will focus on power moves. Superstars who cannot climb to the top rope can climb to the second rope and deliver moves such as Bret Hart’s elbow drop or Big Show’s slingshot body splash. The gameplay changes take some time to get used to so you will have to play around with it for a few times but if you do not like the new controls, you can revert to the controls from last year’s game.

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The 2K Showcase focuses on two rivalries. One of them focuses on the Triple H and Shawn Michaels feud which began in SummerSlam 2002 and ended in Bad Blood 2004 and the other is the CM Punk and John Cena feud that began in the summer of 2011 and ended in February 2013. I personally liked the HHH/HBK feud more than Punk/Cena but there should have been more feuds added to this mode such as Rock/Austin, Hulk Hogan/Randy Savage, Bret Hart/Kevin Nash and more that can fill up this mode but choosing only two out of many raises more questions than answers. The way you play these feuds is the same dragging style that was featured since WWE 13. Fight until a certain part of the body changes to red, do objectives, cutscene and repeat. I felt that this style of cut and paste should have not happened in this game. Two games to have this style is enough, three is overdoing it.

The MyCareer mode is the best mode in the entire game period. You take your created superstar and you build his career (cannot create divas on this version of the game). You start all the way at the bottom in the performance center, then to NXT. After you reach the ranks there, you will then head on to Raw and Smackdown and eventually to main event WrestleMania and become a WWE Hall of Famer. During this mode, whatever you do, outcomes in the experience such as wrestling as a Babyface or heel, forming alliances, and etc. there is a never ending cycle to this so it can get repetitive down the line. Also, There is a 1-5 star match rating system that will rate matches based on technique, pacing and momentum, with squash matches getting lower ratings and back-and-forth matches getting higher ratings.

There is new feature that allows you to import images from your computer to the game for created wrestlers but I couldn’t access this feature at the time I was reviewing this game due to the servers not being open yet. Also, returning from WWF No Mercy a very long time ago, every superstar and diva in this game is editable. You can change their entire look but you cannot change their hairstyles. The biggest blunder is that you can only create 25 superstars.

This is the point where it gets very disappointing. Players can no longer create divas, arenas, championships, finishers, use custom soundtracks (although an update to next gen consoles will fix this soon), and the only preset custom entrance for custom superstars is the one where the superstar is carrying the phone.

There are also many and I mean MANY matches removed on the current gen consoles

1 vs 1:

– Inferno
– Ladder
– I Quit
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– Special Referee (yet is in the showcase mode)
– Casket (yet is in the Showcase mode)
– 3 stages of hell (Yet is in the showcase mode)
– Backstage Brawl

2 vs 2:

– Tornado Tag
– Extreme Rules
– Hell in a Cell
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– Table
– TLC
– Elimination Tornado
– Elimination Table
– Mixed
– Backstage Brawl

Triple Threat:

– Falls Count Anywhere
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– No DQ
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– TLC
– Backstage Brawl

Fatal 4 Way/4-Man:

– Battle Royal
– Hell in a Cell
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– Table
– TLC
– Falls Count Anywhere
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– No DQ
– Backstage Brawl

6-Man:
– Elimination Chamber Tag
– Championship Scramble (Was removed in 2k14, but notable still)

Handicap Matches:
– All handicap matches

Final thoughts: if you want this game, the only good things are the MyCareer mode and the new gameplay features. You cannot hype a game this much for 6 months and then give us a half-assed game with missing features. 2K showcase is just a copy and paste of 30 years of WrestleMania from last year’s game and the Attitude era mode from WWE 13. I cannot find a reason why to spend $60 plus tax on a game that presents only half of what last year’s game had. If they kept all of those features in, this would have beat out last year’s game. I know this year’s game engine is built from ground up but that is no excuse to remove many features especially for the ones in the create suite community. The decision to take away the ability of creating divas is a slap in the face to every women who plays WWE games. Although you can create divas on the last gen version, that is not the point. My conclusion is that everyone should wait for next year’s game instead or keep 2K14 until next year. This game gets a final rating of 5.5/10

12 days of Christmas: WWE December to dismember review

Julian Cannon back for another post. Before i write the review, i would like to thank everyone for the feedback to my emails. I have received the most for the Jarrett/Hogan controversy that happened in July 2000. Some people thought that it was time for Booker T to shine while others claim it was not. I went back and fourth with the Emails and the conversations went pretty well.Now to my review of one of the most controversial pay per views in recent memory. WWE presents: ECW December to Dismember

When Vince brought back ECW, there were some who were hoping against hope that, with Heyman’s involvement, it would slightly resemble the ECW of old. Well, here we are, almost a year and a half later from the first One Night Stand, and it resembles some of the worst of WWE and is a pale imitation of what ECW used to be. In fact, they’re slowly phasing out the majority of the “extremists” that they brought back for the first “One Night Stand” two years ago.
Well, this ain’t your daddy’s ECW. Heck, this isn’t even entertaining wrestling. Before I get carried away, I’ll tell you that this PPV is an anorexic two hours and fifteen minutes. That’s right – TWO hours and FIFTEEN minutes. It also took place at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Georgia on December 3rd, 2006. Here’s the card:

One Night Only [the Hardyz vs. MNM] – How fitting that the latest ECW PPV get started with a match between MNM and the Hardyz! After the Hardys issued an open challenge to any tag team, MNM reunited and accepted their challenge. Now, I like the Hardys. I really, really do. I also like MNM – as a team though, not individual wrestlers. However, this match dragged and dragged and dragged. There were the usual Hardy spots and MNM did their best to keep up, but there wasn’t much that held my interest. Did I mention that this match really dragged?

Rob Van Dam Comments On the Extreme Elimination Chamber

Balls Mahoney vs. Matt Striker – After getting some caffine in my system to make sure this PPV doesn’t put me to sleep, I see Balls trying to take Matt and his pink vest to school and show him what ECW used to represent. Considering the amount of offense Balls gets in, I have to say that I’m surprised with the outcome.

Brian Pillman: Loose Cannon DVD Promo – Why this is here, I have no idea.

CM Punk Warming Up In the Hallway – Blink and you’ll miss Punk warming up, because we immediately head over to an unconscious Sabu, pulling off one of the tried and true WWE cliches and thereby eliminating Sabu from participating in the Elimination Chamber match. I have to agree with the audience when they immediately start chanting “Bullshit”.

Elijah Burke & Sylvester Terkay vs. F.B.I. -This match was not that bad but could have been booked better. Most people would not know who Sylvester is because he rarely did any matches during that time period.Elijah was starting to get his rise at this period but the match did not pay off.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Daivari – This isn’t a knock on Dreamer or anything, but this was a bad match that culminated with an out-of-nowhere pinning and then a spot where Dreamer, Tazz and Mercury do their damnedest to sell Khali’s monstrosity.

Paul Heyman Talks To Hardcore Holly – So, they decide to take Sabu out of the Elimination Chamber and replace him with Hardcore Holly? Mmmkay.

Mike Knox & Kelly Kelly vs. Kevin Thorn & Ariel – Kelly…Kelly? Ohhhhh wait…she’s the “exhibitionist” that (as far as I know) hasn’t “exhibited” a damn thing, right? Well, I’m familiar with Shelly Martinez and, even though she’s saddled with this pathetic “vampire” characters, she’s still pretty damn hot. In fact, if I were to start watching ECW, she’d be the only reason I’d watch. Anyways, her and her Vampy boyfriend take on the exhibitionist and some other dude. I could really care less about the shocking “turn” in this match and mainly focused on Shelly’s curves. I know she’s been wrestling for a while now, it’s a shame she couldn’t show off her skills in a REAL match.

Rebecca Interviews Bobby Lashley – Boy, Rebecca’s cute.

Extreme Elimination Chamber For the ECW Championship [Big Show vs. Rob Van Dam vs. CM Punk vs. Test vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Bobby Lashley] – So, lemme get this straight – after two successful years, this is why the elimination chamber was taken away from New Year’s Revolution? Oh, but wait – this is the extreme elimination chamber! This one has comes with a chair, a crowbar, a table and a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire! After the fellas take their pods, Holly and RVD get the wrasslin’ started in a fairly slow and boring manner (by RVD’s standards), until Punk is released right as RVD treats Holly to a nifty Rolling Thunder. Now, I realize it’s supposed to be every man for himself, but as far as I know, both Punk and RVD are faces, right? Yet, Punk spends the majority of his time kicking RVD’s ass instead of Holly’s (and eventually RVD is responsible for Punk’s ejection from the chamber – but not before Holly gets a very slow moving superplex of Punk off the top rope). Once Test came in and an eliminated RVD, I could care less who won and was glad this PPV was over.

In addition to all of those matches, we’re also treated to these extras from this year’s WrestleMania:

Post Chamber Interviews [RVD – Hardcore Holly – CM Punk – Test – Lashley – Big Show]

Rematch For the ECW Championship [ECW 12/5/06 – Bobby Lashley vs. Big Show]
Video: Unfortunately, there weren’t too many issues with the picture quality on December To Dismember. Even though the picture did have a slightly muted color and there were the usual slight compression issues due to all the pyro and graphic elements, it was still watchable and presented in the WWE’s standard full frame 1.33:1 ratio.

Audio: Even the crystal clear Dolby Digital 5.1 sound that enveloped my living room while I was watching, couldn’t help me from being terribly bored during this 2 hour PPV. However, viewers are also given the option of being bored in Spanish too.

Conclusion: When I originally started typing this review, I composed it the same way I do with every WWE product I review. Half way through, I realized that I really didn’t have much to say about the matches and everything was pretty negative. So then I thought about just listing the chapters (sans comments) and typing up a paragraph or two explaining why the review is different. Well, as you can see, I followed the template and posted some comments about each match.

Also to note out, Paul heyman did not book this pay per view, Vince McMahon booked 100% of this pay per view, in which in a few days, they both clashed at an airport, and Heyman was fired because of it. Heyman originally wanted CM Punk to eliminate the big show by submission, Big show had no problem with it, but Vince McMahon did. Also Heyman wanted Rob Van Dam to win the match but Vince was against it too. I think the ppv would have been better if Paul Heyman booked the entire ppv because you can tell from the fans at the arena that the show was going to flop. Overall, i will give it a 4/10

WWE: Retro feud: CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy

2009 was the year where raw was turning into Saturday night live because of the media guests hosts and Smackdown has become way better that raw. Jeff hardy was on the top of the mountain on smackdown along with edge, the undertaker and more.  at Wrestlemania 25, cm punk has become the only person to win the money in the bank ladder match for 2 years straight. on the wwe draft a few months later, he was drafted to Smackdown and had a short feud with Umaga and went on to Jeff Hardy.the feud started when after Jeff won the world heavyweight title from edge in a ladder match at extreme rules. cm punk took advantage of the situation and cashed in his money in the bank and defeated Jeff Hardy(i should also note that Jeff became the first wrestler in the WWE to kick out of the G.T.S during that match) to become the new world champion.His heel turn didn’t begin yet because punk was slowly doing it. so 3 weeks later at the bash ppv, they had their rematch but it was declared a no-contest due to cm punk selling the “eye injury” on that smackdown, cm punk started to bring up Jeff Hardy’s past drug issues.

cm punk would cut promos about him being straightedge(sound familiar, look up his ROH promos) and about him bringing up Jeff Hardy’s firing in 2003 for failing a drug test. the feud went on to cm punk and Jeff Hardy attacking each other on Smackdown for a number of weeks and Jeff hardy got the upper hand when he re-captured the world title at night of champions.a few weeks later on Smackdown, cm punk had a rematch clause, and Matt hardy was the special referee. Jeff won the match and cm punk brutally attacked him again. then teddy long gives him a rematch at SummerSlam in a tables,ladders and chairs match.Matt hardy who was a heel at the time turned face, and the next week at Smackdown, there was a 6 man tag match putting cm punk and the hart dynasty vs John Morrison and the reunited hardy boys in which the Hardy’s and Morrison won. then on Sunday at SummerSlam, cm punk did the unexpected and won the world title for a 3rd time(then the lights went out and went on with the undertaker choke slamming punk)   and on the following Smackdown,punk said exactly what he was going to do and banish Jeff away forever in a steel cage match. Jeff’s final image was when he went to the ramp and cm punk hit him over the head with the title. it was also reported from the dirt sheets that both punk and Jeff did not like each other at all in real life, whenever they are backstage, they would not talk to each other and punk always wanted to kick his ass. in a late 2010 video posted by both the Hardy’s (see video at the  link)  Jeff take some shots at punk. but look where punk is and look where Jeff is LOL. but anyways, this was a great feud and won the award for the best feud of the year by the wrestling observer newsletter.

WWE:No Way Out 2012 review

By Julian Cannon

World Title: Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero 

Sheamus entered first to a big pop with Ziggler coming out second. Sheamus used power moves to take him down early while Guerrero cheered on Ziggler. After each guy ran the ropes, Ziggler hit a perfect dropkick to the face of Sheamus. My opinion is that Ziggler has the best dropkick in the business. You can tell early that the crowd is cheering Ziggler, which isn’t a surprise since the NY/NJ area always has smart fans at the show. The early story was how Ziggler kept using his speed, but Sheamus was ready for him and he nailed Ziggler with a sharp elbow to the throat. Ziggler was able to gain control by driving Sheamus’ left arm into the turnbuckle. Ziggler hit a nice DDT for two. There was a nice “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant as Dolph dropped him with a knee to the gut for two. Ziggler did a headstand while having Sheamus in a headlock. Now that’s some showing off. Sheamus put Ziggler on his shoulders and Ziggler ended up countering a power move into a DDT. Ziggler hit him with another dropkick. He followed that up with a body scissors. Ziggler went for a rollup. He held the ropes for leverage, but the ref caught him at two. Sheamus countered him for a two count of his own, which Ziggler kicked out of and then he hit a nice neckbreaker for another nearfall. Sheamus hit Ziggler with his axehandle, but the running knee missed as Ziggler put him in a sleeper. They messed up a spot after Ziggler jumped off the top and that eventually led to Ziggler hitting the Fameasser for another excellent two count. The crowd popped big for that one because they were very supportive of Ziggler. With the crowd clearly chanting “Let’s Go Ziggler” the incompetent Jerry Lawler said “listen to the WWE universe let’s go Sheamus.” WTF? Brutal. Great spot with Ziggler hitting a top rope facebuster for two. The crowd popped big for that one while Booker let out a “you gotta be kidding me” line. Ziggler went for the Zig Zag, but Sheamus countered with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus hit his ten clubbing blows to the chest of Ziggler. Ziggler tried to come back with a sleeper, but Sheamus powered out and dropped him with the White Noise. Now the crowd was cheering Sheamus. Brogue Kick finished off Ziggler at the 15 minute mark to get the win. 

Winner: Sheamus 

Post match, Sheamus celebrated his victory with the fans. 

Analysis: ***1/2 I thought it was a very solid wrestling match that had an exciting finish with Sheamus winning over the crowd by the end of it. It wasn’t a case of the crowd only liking Ziggler. They liked both guys a lot, so it led to an interesting atmosphere. There were a few parts in the match where the action was a little too slow for my liking due to Ziggler grabbing headlocks a little too much, but that’s a minor gripe really. I think Ziggler proved again that he needs to be a permanent main eventer rather than somebody that only gets a title shot due to the injury of another performer. Hopefully Ziggler can free himself of Guerrero, who he doesn’t need by his side. 

Backstage, Vince McMahon was walking while John Laurinaitis walked up to him wearing a red jacket, blue tie and white shirt. He’s the new Mr. America, brother. He’s still selling the injuries from Over The Limit while McMahon shows no sign of injury despite getting KO’d by Big Show on Monday. Laurinaitis tried sucking up to him while bringing up that Vince had a concussion due to Big Show’s punch on Raw. McMahon didn’t say anything. He just walked into his office. Roving backstage reporter Josh Mathews talked to John Laurinaitis who said he didn’t have a problem dealing with pressure. He was rude to Mathews and blew him off by telling him he had a show to run. 

Tuxedo Match: Santino vs. Ricardo Rodriguez 

Both guys are dressed in tuxedos. To win the match you have to strip the tuxedo off the other guy. I have a feeling I won’t need to use in-depth play by play for this one. Santino hit an atomic drop followed by an inverted atomic drop. He took off Ricardo’s jacket, which led to him using the jacket leading to him using it like a matador dealing with a bull. Santino took off Ricardo’s shoes. There was a “boring” chant from the crowd. I don’t disagree with that. Santino took off Ricardo’s shirt and then he gave him a hip toss. Santino took out the Cobra, but Ricardo prevented that and threw the Cobra out. He ripped off the pants and shoes on Santino. The comedy continued as we saw that Santino had a Cobra sock on his right foot. He kicked Ricardo with the Cobra sock as Cole yelled about the Cobra striking. Santino ripped off Ricardo’s pants for the win after four minutes. 

Winner: Santino 

Post match, we found out that Ricardo wears white underwear that has Alberto Del Rio’s face on the back. The announcers laughed like it was the funniest thing they had ever seen. 

Anaysis: No rating for a comedy match. It was fun at times, but also embarrassing at other points. I think this would have been better as a Raw or Smackdown match rather than something that deserved to be on PPV. 

Backstage, CM Punk was interviewed by Matt Striker. The camera did a close-up of his brand new “I dig crazy chicks” t-shirt. Punk said he wasn’t thinking about AJ because he was so focused on his opponents. AJ showed up. She wanted to wish Punk luck. She kissed him on the cheek. Punk told her thanks, but luck is for losers. Striker tried to get a comment from AJ. She said nothing. 

Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Cody Rhodes 

The story where Christian turned face because he wants to be remembered the way Edge was is a little faulty because Edge got over as a heel way more than he did as a face. That’s WWE revisionist history, though. It’s the same thing they do with Big Show where they act like he’s never been a heel before. Anyway, they worked a fast pace early with Christian getting the advantage. Christian knocked him out of the ring and then hit a nice dropkick between the middle and bottom ropes. Rhodes was able to come back by dropping Christian face first on the ring apron. Christian got the advantage, but Cody came back by driving Christian’s head right into the ring post. Rhodes worked on the left arm of Christian for the majority of the match by putting it in submission holds and attacking it with strikes. Christian was on the top rope, so Rhodes shoved him down, which sent Christian crashing into the apron and then onto the mat below. That looked painful. Christian threw Rhodes into the steps and then he hit a DDT by off of the steel steps. That was a very creative move. They made their way back into the ring where Christian was able to hit a dropkick off the middle rope. Christian also hit a cross body block off the top, which Rhodes rolled through to earn a two count. Rhodes ended up tripping up him up when Christian was on the middle rope. Rhodes went to the middle rope where he took too much time. Christian hit a hurricanrana for a good two count. Rhodes fought out of the Killswitch to hit an Alabama Slam for another count of two. Christian came back with a reverse DDT. The high quality of their counter wrestling is very impressive. Rhodes countered a sunset flip for another nearfall. Christian came back with the Killswitch for just two. I guess since that’s not his finisher anymore that it’s okay to kick out of it. Christian went up top, Rhodes got knocked down again and Christian went up for a Frog Splash. Rhodes got his knees up. Rhodes went for the Disaster Kick, Christian moved and Christian hit him with the Spear for the win after 12 minutes. 

Winner: Christian 

Analysis: *** I wish the crowd was into it more early on, but the crowd became pretty loud by the end because they realized they were witnessing an exciting matchup. It was what I expected to be. They got about twelve minutes, they told a good story with Cody in control early and then Christian did an awesome job of making a comeback, which led to his win. Like I wrote in the preview of this event, I said that Cody would lose this match so he could move on to bigger things like winning the Money in the Bank match in July. He’s my pick for that. He’s graduated from the IC Title so to speak. It’s time for him to move up the ladder. Christian’s a very good IC Champ because he always has above average matches. That’s what you want to see out of your IC Champ. 

Fatal Four Way #1 Contenders Match: Primo & Epico w/Rosa & AW vs. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Darren Young & Titus O’Neil (The Primetime Players) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) 

The winners of this match get a tag team title shot. It’s nice to see WWE building up a tag team division again. The rules are two guys wrestle in the ring while the other six stand on the apron. The first pinfall or submission wins the match. It was a fast paced match from the get go. There were a lot of quick tags. The Usos hit a nice flapjack into a Samoan Drop on Gabriel. O’Neil tagged in for a pinfall attempt for two. O’Neil slammed down Gabriel and then suplexed his own partner DYoung onto Gabriel for two. Gabriel hit a heel kick, but he couldn’t get a hot tag to his partner Tyson Kidd, who is my favorite person in the match. Nice dropkick by Epico on Gabriel followed by three back suplexes in a row. The crowd is dead silent for the match, which is what happens when you barely have tag team matches on your television shows. Primo missed a dive on Gabriel, who finally got the hot tag to Kidd. Kidd hit a nice missile dropkick on Primo followed by a legdrop to the back of the neck. Kidd hit a Blockbuster off the top. Epico broke up the pin, so Gabriel took him out with a dive. Primo countered an elbow drop by getting his knees up. Then Primo hit the Backstabber for a two count after it was broken up. All hell broke loose at this point. The Usos hit a double superkick on O’Neil. Then the Usos hit dives onto the five guys outside the ring. Young tagged the back of Kidd, so he was the legal man along with Primo. Primo went to the top, Kidd followed him up there and Kidd hit a hurricanrana off the top that sent Primo onto the six guys out on the floor. Wow. What a move that was! There was a “holy sh**” chant for that one. Well deserved. Young and Primo went back into the ring although in Primo’s case it was because AW rolled him in. Young hit his Gut Check finisher. Epico went for the save, but AW kept him out of the ring. Young covered for the win after 9 minutes of action. 

Winners: Primetime Players Darren Yong & Titus O’Neil 

After the match, AW celebrated with Young & O’Neil. Epico was yelling at AW about it. Epico decked AW with a punch. Young & O’Neil easily tossed them out of the ring. Rosa was angry at ringside. I think Epico & Primo will work well as a babyface team especially with Rosa at their side. She’s easy on the eyes. 

Analysis: *1/2 I thought the last three minutes were really well done. The first part of the match was your standard tag team action, but the crowd didn’t care because they’ve barely seen any of these teams. Still, it’s a good sign that a tag match made the PPV. Hopefully more attention is given to the tag division going forward because there’s some potential for greatness here. As for AW’s betrayal of his team, I like it. They already have a manager. Putting him with the PTPers is smart especially if they win the tag titles soon, which I expect. I would guess that they win the tag titles as soon as this week especially since R-Truth is out with a foot injury. 

There was a commercial for Money in the Bank featuring Alberto Del Rio. The date of that event is July 15th. It’s one of my favorite PPVs of the year. 

They aired a recap of the Triple H/Brock Lesnar story. 

Hunter Hearst Suit McMahon Helmsley walked out to the ring to a nice ovation. He talked about how he spent half his life in the ring because that’s all he ever wanted to do. By the way, his left arm appears to be fine. He spoke about the lawsuits against him by Lesnar and Paul Heyman. He said he hates them because he’s not really a corporate kind of guy. “I’m a fighter. I’m an ass kicker. It’s what I do.” Hunter said he had a good idea. Hunter brought up how Lesnar said he was a fighter and ass kicker. Hunter said his arm was feeling better and that in a few more weeks he’ll be 100%. He proposed that they put all of the crap behind them. We get rid of the lawsuits. “Brock, this is not about them. This is about me and you and doing what we do. We’re fighters, Brock. And I want to fight you. Brock Lesnar, I want to fight you bad. Brock Lesnar – Triple H one on one…Summerslam.” The crowd was chanting “yes” while Hunter was saying that they should fight. “Brock Lesnar – let’s fight. Or you can be happy being a quitter. Whatever works for you, Brock. I’ll be waiting.” 

Analysis: It looks like the rumored Triple H/Lesnar match at Summerslam is a go. It’s fine with me. I wonder who will go over. It should be Lesnar, but with this company you just never know. 

Backstage, Daniel Bryan was warming up for his WWE Title match. AJ walked to him. She said there’s still a part of her that hasn’t gotten over Bryan. She was there to wish him luck. She kissed him on the cheek. 

Divas Title: Layla vs. Beth Phoenix 

Beth used power moves early. Layla came back with a dropkick to the knee. Layla took Beth’s headgear and mocked her. Then they ran around the ring where Layla dropped her with a clothesline followed by a dropkick. Layla missed a springboard attempt as Beth tripped her up and that sent Layla crashing to the floor. Beth threw her into the security wall. Layla countered some power offense with a rollup. Beth gave her a backbreaker. Layla countered a submission with some knees to the head. Beth went for the Glam Slam, but Layla pushed herself off the top rope and ended up getting a nearfall for two. Layla hit a cross body off the middle ropes for two. Beth was able to catch her after that with a powerslam for two. The crowd is totally silent at this point. They’re making no noise at all. It’s not like they’re a bad crowd. They just don’t care. Phoenix pressed Layla over her heard, which led to Layla countering into a very nice DDT for two. That was the best spot of the match so far. Beth drove her into the corner. She missed a charge. Layla hit her with her neckbreaker known as the Lay Out (Cole just called it a neckbreaker) and that was enough for the pin at the 7 minute mark. 

Winner: Layla 

Analysis: * They got seven minutes, so that was good to see. The problem is they get such little TV time these days that the crowd had no emotional investment in the match. You can keep putting Layla over Beth, but unless you devote time to getting the Layla character over it’s going to be difficult for her to gain much crowd support. 

Backstage, AJ caught up to Kane. She wished him good luck. She kissed him on the cheek. He didn’t let her leave. He leaned down and kissed her on the lips while the crowd chanted “yes” at that visual. That was a funny chant from the crowd. He left while she reacted to it with a surprised look on her face. No smile. She wished all three guys in the WWE Title match luck, so there’s no sign of who she is leaning towards for the win. 

Sin Cara vs. Hunico w/Camacho 

This is not a new match at all. I was at the Smackdown in Toronto last September when the two Sin Cara’s went face to face and obviously the second one was revealed to be Hunico. Since then, Sin Cara has beat him about 49 times. That may be overstating it, but we’ve seen it before. The mood lighting was present as it always is during Sin Cara matches. He went for a dive, but Hunico countered with his knees into the ribs. Hunico’s offense continued with a rear chin lock. He hit a tilt a whirl backbreaker to counter the high flying offense from Sin Cara. Another headlock from Hunico. You don’t see too many headlocks in Sin Cara matches, so they’re working more of the traditional American wrestling style. Hunico got another slam for a two count. Sin Cara tried to get the momentum with a rollup, but Hunico came back with a hard kick to the face. Then he gabbed another headlock. Powerbomb for Hunico. Cara took him down with a headscissors followed by a kick to the head and a hurricanrana off the top. He hit a couple of nice dropkicks. Sin Cara hit his finisher where he gives his opponent a headscissors and then drives him face first into the mat. The match went about 6 minutes. 

Winner: Sin Cara 

Analysis: *1/4 Like I wrote in the beginning, we’ve seen this match a few times. They worked a different style than we’re used to, though, so it wasn’t the typical match we’ve seen from them. The crowd wasn’t into the match that much. If they want to get the most out of Sin Cara they need to put him in a real feud with an opponent that gives him a test. These formulaic five minute matches aren’t going to help him long term. He needs to be doing more for the crowd to become emotionally invested in his matches. 

We got the long video package reminding us of everything involved in the WWE Title feud with the main focus being on AJ Lee’s actions involving all three men. 

Kane made his entrance first. Not a huge reaction to him either way, really. In Daniel Bryan’s case, the crowd exploded for him. Lots of “yes” chants for him. He’s even rocking a jacket that says “yes” on it. Cole called Punk the controversial WWE Champion. Is he even controversial anymore? Don’t think so. That’s a bit of an issue. Cole did a good job of putting over Punk beating a lot of big names during his reign of over 200 days at this point. 

WWE Title: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane 

Kane tried to overpower Bryan and Punk early, but they countered his power by kicking him repeatedly. Lots of “yes” chants for every kick delivered. This crowd is hot for this match right from the beginning. After a couple of dull matches before this you could tell they were ready to let loose here. Punk dumped Bryan out to the floor with a back drop and then Kane gave Punk a hard clothesline. Bryan knocked Kane out of the ring and he followed it up with his dive in between the middle and bottom rope. Punk hit a crossbody off the top rope onto both guys on the floor. Kane picked up Punk and drove him back first into the steel steps a couple of times. There are no disqualifications or countouts in triple threat matches although it’s rare that anybody ever uses weapons in these kinds of matches. Kane gave Punk a hard whip into the corner turnbuckle. Back in the ring, Kane hit a low dropkick on Punk followed up by a leg scissors on the ribs of Punk. Bryan was knocked out to the floor earlier, so the action slowed down at this point. Punk fought out of it. Bryan hit a running dropkick on Punk, but his attack on Kane failed because Kane dropped Bryan with a side slam. Bryan used a drop toe hold that sent Kane into the middle turnbuckle followed by a kick to the face that sent Kane to the floor. Bryan focused on Punk, who he dropped with a knee. 

They did a nice three way spot with Bryan perched on the top rope and Kane & Punk fighting to see which one of them would take him off the top rope. When Kane and Punk ended up fighting eachother, Bryan hit a double dropkick on each guy. Each guy sat up on their knees, so Bryan destroyed them with hard “Yes” kicks to the chest. He drilled Kane in the head with one of them. Punk ducked a kick and got a rollup for two. Punk hit his running knee into the corner on Bryan and then one on Kane. No bulldog by Punk on Kane, but he hit a neckbreaker on Kane for two. Punk hit a quick powerslam on Bryan. They did a nice spot where Bryan was on Kane’s shoulders and Punk dropped Bryan with a clothesline. Nice to hear Cole mention Legion of Doom there. That earned Punk a two count. Punk hit the top rope Flying Elbow on Bryan. He was slow to cover, so Bryan kicked out at two. Punk wanted the GTS, but Kane kicked Punk in the head to break that up. Punk fought back against Kane, hit a roundhouse kick to the head and missed his Flying Elbow attempt on Kane. Bryan went to the top and he hit a Flying Headbutt to the chest of Punk. Bryan knocked Kane off the apron with a hard forearm to the face. Bryan kicked Punk hard in the face and put him in the Yes Lock. They were right in the center of the ring. Punk was able to fight him off. Punk put Bryan on his shoulders and he hit a GTS. They were near the ropes, though, so Kane pulled Bryan out of the ring. Kane hit his clothesline off the top onto Punk. I wonder how many of those he’s hit in his 15 year run as the Kane character? Kane went for the Chokeslam, but Punk countered with a DDT for two. Punk hit a Flying Elbow on Kane for two. Kane fought out of a GTS to hit a boot to the face of Punk. Kane gave Punk a Chokeslam, but Punk kicked out at two as Booker let out a “what da hayell” in shock. That was the best nearfall of the match so far. Kane went for the Tombstone. All of a sudden AJ showed up. Punk shoved Kane into the ropes and that knocked AJ off the apron. Kane showed concern over AJ falling down, so Punk took advantage with a roundhouse kick and then a GTS to Kane. He covered for the victory after 19 minutes. 

Winner: CM Punk 

Analysis: **** There’s the match of the night. That’s not a shock considering Punk and Bryan always seem to have the match of the night. Kane worked very well with them too. That’s why Kane has been able to hang around for as long as he has because when he’s in there with the best workers his spots work very well. In my preview of the event, I had Bryan winning the match by pinning Kane. I’m not upset that Punk was able to retain because I’m a huge fan of his as well. I just thought this would have been a good time to take the belt off Punk without hurting his credibility too bad. The finish worked very well too. I thought it was smart to involve AJ in the finish because the story is obviously connecting very well with the fans and it’s a story that should continue going forward. I’m hoping we get another Punk vs. Bryan singles match on PPV, but perhaps they’ve moved on from that. At least Bryan can say he wasn’t pinned, so you never know if they’ll use that as a way to do rematches. 

Post match, Kane looked over the fallen AJ. They replayed the finish with her running out at the end of the match when Punk threw Kane into her. Kane picked her up and took her backstage. She smiled without him seeing it while the crowd cheered that. Meanwhile, Punk celebrated with his WWE Title. They showed the AJ replay again. The last time they did it they focused on how she was smiling back on CM Punk. 

There was a commercial for the July 23rd Raw being the start of three hour editions of Raw. They hyped that some stars from the past will be there on July 23 including DX (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) and no other advertised names at this point. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see Bret Hart, Steve Austin and Undertaker as well. That’s just an educated guess on my part. 

Ryback vs. Dan Delaney & Rob Grymes 

Delaney & Grymes talked about how after they beat Ryback they would main event WrestleMania 29 in Jersey. Then the classic “WrestleMania” song started as they sang along to it. That was annoyingly funny. Ryback entered to a good pop. Loud “Goldberg” chants from the beginning of the match. He dropped Grymes with a huge back body drop while Delaney received a hard clothesline. He knocked down both guys with hard slams. Ryback hit a splash off the middle rope. That’s an awkward move to have in his arsenal. Ryback picked up both guys and gave them the Muscle Buster (still needs a name) at the same time for the win after about two minutes. 

Winner: Ryback 

Analysis: He continues to impress, but when will he face some bigger name opponents? The “Goldberg” chants aren’t very encouraging. It’s been a few months and nobody is chanting “Ryback” so that’s likely disappointing to the creative team. It should be noted that he said “feed me three” before the finish so I guess he wants to beat three jobbers from now on. 

A video hyped up Summerslam in August. The announcers wondered if Brock Lesnar will answer Triple H’s Summerslam challenge. 

The steel cage lowered, which led to the video package highlighting Monday’s Raw when Vince McMahon gave John Laurinaitis a job evaluation without actually doing anything. 

John Laurinaitis made his way to ringside for the main event. He was using a crutch to assist him and the injury to his left leg sustained at Over The Limit. Big Show was next to enter. He’s so serious that he forgot his toque. Vince McMahon was next to enter. He got a really big pop, which isn’t a surprise since he hasn’t been on TV much of late and the NY/NJ crowd is always appreciative of him. He sat next to Laurinaitis with each man in black leather chairs. John Cena was the last to enter. He told the camera that somebody is getting fired. 

Steel Cage Match: John Cena vs. Big Show 

You can win via pinfall, submission or escape the cage over the top or through the door. I’d prefer it if you could only win by going over the top of the cage, but that’s just me. Show dominated early. He threw Cena into the cage a few times. Show missed a KO punch after Cena moved, so Show hit the cage with his fist. The dueling Cena chants started up. Cena hit a dropkick, but his run didn’t last long as Show gave him a headbutt to knock him down again. Show decked him with a clothesline. Show threw him off the cage. Basically the first five minutes is Show’s really slow offense on Cena. He hit a running back splash on Cena in the turnbuckle. Cena tried to crawl out, but Show prevented that from happing by stepping on Cena’s neck. That works. Cena came back with a bulldog off the middle rope for a count of two. Cena tried to climb out, Show stopped him and then Show ended up being crotched on the top rope. Cena tried to climb out, but Show prevented that by driving his back into the cage and then threw him back to the mat with a suplex that earned him a two count. 

Show moved Cena to the corner and gave him a Vader Bomb off the middle rope. Thanks to Vader for inspiring that move from Monday night. Cena kicked out at two. Show grabbed Cena by the throat. He pulled Cena all the way to the top rope. Cena fought of a chokeslam, but Show knocked him down. Show was on the top rope, but he went to the middle part where he was pushing the ropes down so much that it was as if he was on the middle rope. Cena rolled out of the way of the big elbow drop. Show tried to crawl out. Cena was strong enough to pull him back into the ring. They went back into the center of the ring where Cena was able to knock Show down with a shoulderblock. Cena tried to escape the cage. Laurinaitis threw the ref down, so then McMahon threw Laurinaitis down. McMahon held the cage door open and that allowed Laurinaitis to shove McMahon, which caused the cage door to hit Cena in the head. Show hit a Chokeslam for two. That was a very good nearfall. Show loaded up the fist, Cena ducked and Show KNOCKED OUT~! ref Scott Armstrong, who took a nice bump into the mat. Best ref in the business right there. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment. He couldn’t lift Show. Show KNOCKED OUT~! John Cena. There was no ref in the ring to count the pinfall. Why doesn’t he just walk out the door? Eventually he realizes he can do that, so Brodus Clay showed up with a steel chair in his hands. Is this storyline continuity? That’s just crazy! 

Lawler felt proud to say that there was “no way out” for Big Show. I’m sure Jerry thought that was clever. All of a sudden, Santino & Alex Riley ran out to go after Show. They clibed the cage and Show shoved them off like a couple of jobbers. Keep in mind that Santino is current US Champ. Zack Ryder came running out to a big pop. He climbed the cage. Show punched him while he was climbing, so he bumped to the floor like a jobber too. These are all the guys that Show beat up in the weeks leading up to this match. Tag champ Kofi Kingston ran out there too. He climbed the top of the cage. Show was on the top rope trying to climb out, but Kofi ended up kicking him enough times that Show got knocked down to the mat. Cena tried to climb out. Show was able to grab him by the foot. Super Cena recovered and gave Show an Attitude Adjustment in the center of the ring. Cena covered. There’s no referee available to count the pinfall while Clay still stood by the door with a steel chair in hand. Cena decided to climb the cage. Laurinaitis was there with his crutch, so Clay walked over there to prevent the attack by holding his arms back. Cena dropped the floor. Show was close to getting out, but Cena definitely touched first while Show’s upper body was close to getting out. The crowd popped big for the Cena win after 20 minutes of action. 

Winner: John Cena 

Analysis: *1/2 It was boring early, but it got better. The finish was a lot of fun with all of the people that were attacked by Show getting their revenge on him. It was a smart way to protect Show as a monster because Cena didn’t win clean. It’s rare to see a match where a Cena opponent was actually made to look stronger than Cena was. It’s not like the win made Cena look bad by any means, but it felt different than the normal Cena match. You know how I like to say “it was more of a story than match” sometimes? That’s the best way to describe this one. 

After the match was over, Cena asked Clay to hand over Laurinaitis. Cena put him on his shoulders. Vince McMahon went on the microphone to deliver this message to John Laurinaitis: “You’re Fired!” The crowd loved that. Cena gave Laurinaitis the Attitude Adjustment through the Spanish Announce Table. 

They replayed the key moments from the match as well as the post match with Laurinaitis getting fired. The show ended with Cena celebrating with the crowd. The big cliffhanger is who will run Raw Monday night? 

Five Stars of the Show 

1. CM Punk 

2. Daniel Bryan 

3. Dolph Ziggler 

4. Kane 

5. Christian 

Final Thoughts 

I give this show a rating of 6 out of 10. If you’re being a nitpicker, it’s tied with the lowest rating I’ve given the six WWE PPVs this year although three of them have the same rating. That’s not to say I hated it or anything like that. It’s just that it felt like a very average PPV featuring three good matches and the rest of the show feeling like filler in a lot of ways. 

The two major title matches were entertaining to me. I didn’t think Ziggler had a shot to win, but he’s such a good performer that I can just enjoy his work. Hopefully by the end of the year he does win one of the major titles because there’s nobody in the company that deserves it more. I just think WWE is really behind Sheamus right now as a long term babyface top guy and to establish him in that role he’s going to have a lengthy title reign. 

The interesting thing about Punk’s WWE Title reign is that he’s successfully defended his WWE Title on six PPVs in a row this year. None of those matches were the main event, though. He did main event TLC in December where he retained his WWE Title, but that’s because there was no John Cena match on that show. That’s obviously never happened before. It’s an odd stat. 

I wasn’t shocked by the Cena win. What they did made a lot of sense aside from the fact that Vince McMahon technically shouldn’t be able to fire Laurinaitis since he was stripped of his CEO title last year. Other than that giant logic hole it was fine by me. 

Lastly, the New Jersey crowd was very good. Like I always say whenever WWE is in the NY/NJ area the fans are going to respond well to the action in the ring. I don’t blame them for being dead during the divas match or the Sin Cara match because they’re formulaic matches without much of a story, but for everything else they responded quite well.

Top 5 greatest matches in Wrestling History

by Rob Base

 

# 5 Sabu vs Terry Funk

Number 5 is not so much a wrestling match but a life changing event. Terry funk vs Sabu, May not be the most technical match in the annuals of wrestling. Yet it shaped the face of the 90’s “extreme” movement. After this match, wrestling as we once knew it became Gritty and it felt real. And showed that old school tacticians still can give you a fight!

 

#4 Christian Cage wins TNA heavyweight Title

After a fantastic feud with Chris Jericho and John Cena at Vengeance 2005 Christian was headed for his first WWE title run. That unfortunately didn’t happen and the rug was pulled and Christian was shipped to Smack Down.

CHRISTIAN doesn’t resign and joins TNA, this would be their first real acquisition And it showed that CC can wrestle anywhere against any wrestler and that he is heavyweight material winning the NWA title. This would hopefully be the step to a future WWE championship run but as “fate” aka Vince McMahon would have his say. Let’s bring him back give him the ECW title than piss away the rest of his push! Thanks Vinnie Mac .

 

#3 Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan at Survivor Series (1991)

Many things can be said about the Undertaker, But one thing is for sure he made an impact on Professional Wrestling. His debut at SS changed the future atmosphere of professional wrestling. Yes, I said it, without Taker WWE wouldn’t have survived the early days of the Monday night wars. But if there was ever one moment in time that moment that started  it all was Taker pinning Hulk Hogan. Even with Flair interfering, you can see the audience slowly changing and cheering for Taker. Hulk Hogan by 1991 had started leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the fans who are now becoming angry bitter teenagers. They want a change and the demonic Deadman was their first taste of new life and a new way of thinking about gimmick wrestlers!

 

side-note Undertaker is to me the greatest Wrestler of all time and should be #1 on all lists.

 

#2 CM Punk vs. John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011

Believe it or not, John Cena has had two very good matches in his history as a WWE superstar/ wrestler. The first was his match against RVD for the WWE title at Extreme rules and the second is his match against CM Punk.  proving that CM is the best worker in the world! The match had so much fanfare build up and a finale payoff not seen well almost ever in wrestling. it really was the summer… No, the season of Punk ! And it will go down as the day wrestling was resurrected.

 

#1  Taz vs HHH

One of the most underrated matches of all time.

Not only is this one of my all time favorite matches, but Taz came on strong and never quit. Rumors later came out that Vince regretted Taz losing this match and I agree. HHH had nothing to lose by jobbing to Taz and it only would have help promote Taz as a WWE all time great. But that wasn’t the case and in the end we get Jerry “the king of Memphis” Lawler injuring Taz’s neck and costing him a great WWE career!

 

Let me know your top 5 email me at Rob@AlternativeMindz.com or post a comment below