Around the Ring w/ Ring Rap 11/17/2015: Nick Bockwinkel, UFC 193 Rousey vs. Holm, Chael Sonnen, Ring of Honor, Nikki Bella, WWE Raw, and more!

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It’s the Tuesday edition of Around the Ring, and Drew Koscelek actually has something to talk about other than WWE Raw!  Today’s topics include:

  • News on the passing of Nick Bockwinkel
  • Quick Thoughts on UFC 193 and Rousey vs. Holm, plus will Rousey appear at Wrestlemania 32?
  • Chael Sonnen’s induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2016
  • Ring of Honor leaving Destination America and moving to a new TV Network
  • Details on Nikki Bella’s neck injury
  • Oh, and thoughts on WWE Raw
  • …plus more!

We welcome your feedback!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 11/16/2015 – Survivor Series Go Home Show, WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Quarterfinals, Final Hype for Survivor Series Matches and More

WWE rolls into the Carolinas tonight as they stop in Greenville, South Carolina at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.  It’s the final Raw before Survivor Series.  The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament moves into the quarterfinal round.  Will the number one contender, Roman Reigns, make his way to the semi-finals?  Or will Cesaro cut him off?  Who else moves on to the big event?  Also, Undertaker and Kane are rumored to appear.  Will they find a way to intimidate the Wyatts one more time, or will Wyatt and his family get a leg up going into Survivor Series?

Prior to the open, Triple H and all the roster stand on the stage.  Lilian Garcia asks fans to stand and offer a moment of silence for those affected by the horrific terrorist attack in Paris over the weekend.

Show Open, Live from Greenville, SC at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena:

After the Raw video open, Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton check in on commentary.  They recall Seth Rollins getting injured, then hype the quarterfinal matches for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament.  Ziggler vs. Ambrose, Neville vs. Kevin Owens, Del Rio vs. Kalisto, and Reigns vs. Cesaro.

The arena goes dark and the druid song hits.  That transitions to the familiar gong and the Undertaker’s funeral march hits.  Through the fog come the Brothers of Destruction – Undertaker and Kane.  Cole hypes that Survivor Series is the 25th Anniversary of the Undertaker and shills “Undertaker Week” on WWE Network.  The Brothers head to the ring.  Cole mentions that Wyatt tried to eulogize them last week and sends it to a video recap of last week’s Raw and Smackdown.

Back in the ring, the druids stand watch at ringside as Taker cuts a promo.  He waits out an “Undertaker” chant first. “Standing before you is the true army of darkness,” Taker begins.  He says that on the horizon, vengeance awaits the Wyatts.  He says the Wyatts tried to claim their souls, but there is no one, “no man, living or dead” that can contains the power of the dark side.

Kane continues and says that when one tries to steal the flames of hell they will get burned.  He says they have reserved a special place for Wyatt and the family in the “deepest pit of hell” and says they will suffer in the fires of eternal damnation.  Undertaker addresses Wyatt, saying his kind of evil is no match for theirs.  He says their evil has been time tested over again, so this is what will happen. “Bray Wyatt, choose whichever two of your family you wish to sacrifice, because the Brothers of Destruction have already decided their destiny.”  He says they will never rest in peace.

Wyatt sounder hits, and here comes Bray and the Family.  Wyatt sits at the stage in his rocking chair, surrounded by the rest.  “For 25 years, Undertaker, you have reigned over WWE.”  He says that Taker has instilled fear in every living creature that roams the earth, and 25 years is long enough.  He says it’s time for a new army of darkness to emerge – “my army.”

He says that the Brothers no longer dictate when wolves howl and lightning crashes.  “Those privileges are reserved for me.”  Wyatt says that after Survivor Series, they will be remembered as the brothers they destroyed.  “I am the one, I am Bray Wyatt.”  After some sound effects.  “As for your creatures of the night, they are mine.”  The sounder hits, and the Druids are shown with sheep masks.  Wyatt laughs, then says “Run.”

The Druids hit the ring, but Undertaker and Kane are up to the task.  They hit double choke slams on two of the Druids, then Taker motions for the Wyatts to come.  Harper, Rowan and Strowman head toward the ring, but Wyatt stops them.  “Our date with destiny is Sunday, but for tonight, Undertaker and Kane, Follow the buzzards.”  Sounder blacks out the arena.

Sound hype for the tag team match on Sunday.  It didn’t overstay its welcome nor did it engage in too much hokey pokey hocus pocus stuff.  I like teasing the physical interaction but avoiding it as well, though it’s with reservation (read on).  I still feel like there was more on the table here to go with a traditional Survivor Series match here rather than this awkward tag team match that they’re using.  I also think that having Taker and Kane destroy the Wyatts last week was a bit of a mistake, then we got reminded of it tonight.

We get a generic sell for Neville vs. Kevin Owens with no commentary going to break.

Match #1 – Neville vs. Kevin Owens; WWE World Heavyweight Championship Quarterfinal Match

Cole reminds us that the semi-finals and finals will happen at Survivor Series.   Owens said in a “Facebook exclusive” that he knows Neville well and Neville knows him well.  He puts himself over as holding the IC and WHC belts at the same time.   Early on, Neville uses some fast-paced offense to keep Owens off balance.  He uses a head scissor takedown, then teases the Red Arrow.  Owens rolls out, so he changes course and hits a moonsault to ringside.  He gets two back in the ring as they go to break.

Owens has taken over during the break and he gets a near fall as we come back live.   During the break, Owens draped Neville over the barrier at one spot and threw him into it by the timekeeper.  Neville counters a suplex with a knee to the head then chops away on him.

Owens tries to send Neville to the floor, but he holds on.  Owens hits a superkick before Neville can springboard in.   Neville barely beats the count, and Owens immediately loads a gutbuster and his running senton for two.  Owens yells at the official that he should have counted faster.   Neville drags himself up in the corner, and Owens charges.  Neville ducks and hits a snap German suplex.

Neville hits the Red Arrow for a near fall.  He sells, then goes for it again.  Owens gets up and Neville goes over the top and hits an enzugiri.  He tries it again but Owens trips the ropes.  He tries for the pop-up powerbomb but Neville hits a superkick then the backwards huracanrana.

Moments later, Neville goes Red Arrow again, but Owens rolls out of the way.  Neville lands on his feet, but Owens greets him with the pop-up powerbomb.  Owens escapes with the win and he’s on to the semi-finals.  They recap it for us.  Owens walks over and looks at the belt, patting his Intercontinental belt.

This was a really good match. I think most people assumed Owens would go over, but Neville’s near falls seemed believable. Not to mention, Neville’s offense was definitely pleasing to the crowd.

The announcers hype the remaining quarterfinal matches.  They then talk about the Divas championship match between Charlotte and Paige.  They promise to recap the story, and show Paige defeating AJ on her first night on Raw.  They will have a contract signing, later.

They show Triple H talking to Kevin Owens backstage.  They go back to a recap of Triple H offering Reigns the title if he becomes “his man” then showing Reigns’ match against Big Show.  Cole reminds us that Reigns was offered to go to the front of the line and not have to compete, but he turned it down.

Cole tell s us that Rollins had successful surgery to repair “a high level” knee injury. He says that in an interview, Rollins is in good mental spirits and promises to return  better than ever.

Tyler Breeze makes his entrance, with Summer Rae.  He’s got the next match.

Match #2 – Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae) vs.R-Truth:

Gotta get the Carolina  boy on the show.  He comes out after the break, and Breeze is laid up on the ropes waiting and taking selfies.  They put Breeze over for a “strong match” against Dean Ambrose.  Early on, Breeze tries to take a shot in the corner but Truth ducks.

Truth hits a couple slams and a leg drop for two.   Breeze comes back with a knee to the midsection, but Truth holds on to the ropes.  Truth dances, Breeze misses a strike, and Truth hits an armdrag.  Summer puts lip gloss on him, and apparently that motivates Breeze.  He hits some corner strikes then attacks Truth’s knee.

Breeze goes on the offense, working on Truth’s knee.  He uses a single leg crab.  Truth comes back and hits a scissor kick for a two count.  He sells the knee, and sets Breeze up for a suplex.  Breeze counters and shoves him off to hit the Beauty Shot for the win.  They recap it for us.

This was fine for what it was.  Truth yelling “what’s up” all the time drives me nuts. 

They hype Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for their quarterfinal match, next.

Will these two guys sell their respective injuries?  And will Tyler Breeze stick around to screw over Ziggler or nah?

They hype a “Legends” special with JBL, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Triple H discussing the Undertaker.

Match #3 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose; WWE World Heavyweight Championship Quarterfinals Match;

Both men eye the belt up as they come to the ring.  Test of strength to start it off, with Ambrose getting the better of it initially.  Ziggler counters it back but Ambrose turns it into a wrist lock.  Dolph sweeps the leg then covers for one.  Couple of go-behinds by both men, then Ambrose takes Ziggler down into a headlock.  Ambrose uses an armbar but Ziggler rolls him up for another one count.  They back off momentarily.

Ambrose shoulder tackles Dolph down then runs the ropes.  Ziggler teases a superkick but Ambrose backs off of it.  Back to the test of strength momentarily, then Ambrose hip tosses Ziggler down.  Ambrose clotheslines Ziggler to the floor then teases a dive but Ziggler sidesteps him.  Slow start here as Ziggler uses a double leg takedown and turns it over into a surfboard but can’t quite get it.

Dolph hits a nice drop kick and covers.  In the corner, Ziggler whips Ambrose, but Ambrose turns it into a backbreaker.  Ambrose starts to focus on the lower back, working a half crab.  Ziggler rolls over and kicks Ambrose off but gets slammed.  Ambrose goes top rope and hits his elbow on a standing Ziggler.  Ziggler rolls it through for two, then locks on a sleeper.  Ambrose gets into the ropes to break it.

The two stack up several roll-up attempts for two counts.  They’re thinking the same thing and hit cross body blocks on each other after running the ropes.  After some selling, Ziggler charges but gets an elbow.  Ambrose goes up top but Ziggler goes to meet him.  They fight on the top of the buckle.  They exchange punches and both tumble to the floor.

Out of break, Ambrose hits a dive on Ziggler at ringside.  Ambrose hits a charge and tries for the running bulldog but Ziggler hits a drop kick.  Ambrose sets up his tilting clothesline, but Ziggler .  They show Owens watching on.  Ambrose uses a backslide for a near fall, then Ziggler comes back with a near fall of his own.  JBL says there is no way to game plan “a lunatic like Ambrose.”

Ziggler calls for a superkick a la Shawn Michaels but Ambrose catches him and catapults him to the corner then rolls him up for two. A bit later, Ambrose hits his titling clothesline for a good near fall.  Ambrose staggers to the corner and goes up top.  Ziggler meets him and hits a facebuster from the ropes.  He sells his knee again, and Ambrose rolls to the floor.

Back inside again, Ambrose suckers Dolph in for a small package for two.  Ziggler hits a superkick for a good near fall.  They sell then get to their feet.  Strike exchange ensues mid ring.  Ambrose starts to fire up with a flurry of shots, and Ziggler hits a headbutt.  There’s an exchange of roll-ups, and Ambrose ends up in position to hit Dirty Deeds.  He puts Ziggler away, and Cole hypes that we have one semi-final set now.

Ambrose cuts a promo, saying that if he wins the title he will turn the place on it’s ear.  He says he will throw all the rules out. “Less talking, more action, we’ll replace Michael Cole with a fish tank…”  He promises to turn the WWE into the Ambrose Asylum.

This was good, and I thought they told a story of “not wanting to make a mistake to cost th match” pretty well.  the live crowd sat back and watched rather than taking a side.  They did pick up steam as the match picked up down the stretch.  If the plan is to turn Ambrose, they need to not shoe-horn him into the suit and tie thing.  Let him be himself.

They show another highlight of Charlotte and Paige’s story, with Charlotte’s introduction in July.  Cole again hypes their contract signing later.

The New Day comes out, and they cut a promo about their one year anniversary as a faction.  They talk about the Usos, doing an imitation “Us-OWW.”  They start to talk about Ryback but Big E stops them.  He tells them about a story his “Pappy E” told him.  “When life gives you booty, make booty-ade.”  They chant “New Day rocks” til the USos’ music hits.

Match #4 – The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. Ryback and The Usos;

Early on, The Usos get a dive on the New Day, but New Day controls Jey with what they call the “Unicorn Stampede” where they tag in frequently and stomp a guy down.  Big E jiggles while Woods plays the trombone, and JBL compares him to Patrick Swayze.  Kofi hits a big drop kick on Jey.  New Day continues to control the action with frequent tags, and Big E hits a splash.

Big E uses an abdominal stretch, and clubs him in the ribs.  He jaws at Ryback then tags out to Kofi.  Jey fights back but Kofi takes him down.  The fans fire up a “feed me more” chant.  Jey got the tag to Ryback, but Woods had the referee distracted so Ryback didn’t get the tag.

Big E tags in and dances at Ryback.  Jey fights back but gets planted yet again.  Big E taunts yet again, and this draws Ryback off the apron.  He clubs Big E, pulls the official to one side, then goes after the rest of New Day.  Match ends on a disqualification.  Ryback hits a big suplex on Kofi, then follows with a Meathook.  He sends Big E and Kofi to the floor, then gorilla presses Woods.  The Usos hit a double kick, then Ryback presses Woods onto his teammates.  The faces pose in the ring.

The finish of this was a surprise because of the way Jey sold for this.  I expected a babyface comeback, but we didn’t get that.  Ryback didn’t come off looking like a meathead, it looked like he just reached a reasonable breaking point.  It worked.  New Day was funny, but it didn’t come of well with the live crowd as it normally does.

They hype WWE Network, then give another moment of the Paige/Charlotte story.  This time, it’s Charlotte winning the title at Night of Champions.  Charlotte says on Twitter that she will just bring the title to the contract signing.

I like this continued hype that they’re producing here.  It seems better than anything they’ve done with this Divas Revolution story.  We’ll see if the promo segment holds up, but the hype itself hasn’t been bad.

Backstage, Cesaro is getting ready for his match.  Triple H walks in and Cesaro tells him that if he has something to say like he told Kevin Owens he can save it.  Hunter says he wants to talk to him, and says the match is as big as it gets.  He tells Cesaro he has what it takes.  He says that Cesaro could use a bit extra, but it might be time to grab th e brass ring.  He says he will be watching from his own “Cesaro Section” to see if he is willing to do what it takes to take the next step.  Cesaro smirks and put his headphones on as Hunter leaves.

Two good exchanges with Hunter and Owens and Cesaro.  This could just be a red herring, or they could be trying to tell the story of The Authority picking their winner.  I’d rather see it settled “in the ring” with no Authority involvement, myself.

Roman Reigns makes his entrance through the crowd.  Reigns cuts a promo first.  He asks if the “Roman Empire” is in the house and gets a mild reaction.  He talks about being crowned the number one contender after Hell in a Cell and mentions that Seth Rollins got injured, creating the need for a tournament.  He says that Triple H made him an offer that said he could have gone right to the finals if he joined the Authority.  “There’s just one problem.  I don’t sell out.”  He says the road will have lots of bumps and he’ll have to go through Cesaro, Del Rio, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, “and my boy, Dean Ambrose.”  He says at Survivor Series the road ends and he will be WWE World Heavyweight Champion.  “And you can believe that.”

Um, do you really have the face admit that he considered a heel tactic?  You’d think he would have rejected it off hand and never gave it a thought.

Match #5 – Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro; WWE World Heavyweight Championship Quarterfinals Match

Slow moving offense in the early going.  Cesaro teases an uppercut but instead pats Roman on the chest and backs off.  Roman looks at him like he’s a goof.  Cesaro uses a cartwheel off the ropes and rolls Roman up, then comes back with a sunset flip that Roman uses to roll Cesaro up himself.  Reigns takes down Cesaro, but he counters with a head scissor.  Reigns breaks out.

They continue to work slowly, then Cesaro hits a big uppercut.  Cesaro sets up the Swing, but Reigns fights him off.  Cesaro sends Reigns into the post, then does it again.  Reigns tumbles to ringside and sells.  Cesaro comes out and hits him with a big uppercut by the timekeeper’s area going to break.

The official counts to six and they get back in.  Reigns hits some kicks as JBL talks about how Reigns might not have the Superman punch now that Cesaro has worked the shoulder.  Time to go on the Uppercut train as Cesaro tosses him corner to corner and hits a couple.  Reigns hits a right to stop it, then lands a series of corner clotheslines.  Reigns sells the arm and hits Cesaro with another clothesline out of the corner.  Reigns snaps off a German suplex then rolls to ringside.

Reigns sets up the Drive-By, but Cesaro avoids and sets him in the Swing.  Cesaro rolls him over and locks in the Sharpshooter.  Reigns struggles to the ropes, then Cesaro rolls it over into the Crossface.  Reigns slowly fades, but manages to get Cesaro picked up into a Samoan Drop.

Cesaro gets launched to the floor, landing his elbow on the apron as he falls.  He sells, then Reigns comes by and hits him with a Drive-By.  Back in the ring, Reigns hits a big clothesline, then hits his corner clotheslines.  On the last one, Cesaro double sledges Roman’s arm to block it.  Reigns picks Cesaro up on a roll-up into a sit-out powerbomb.

Reigns sets up the Superman punch, but Cesaro hits the uppercut out of it.  Good near fall.  Cesaro perches Reigns up on the buckle and hits a drop kick.   He follows by trying his deadlift suplex, but Reigns blocks it.  He follows with the Superman Punch, and Reigns calls for the spear.

Cesaro hits an uppercut and tries the Neutralizer, but Reigns backdrops him out.  Cesaro tries a backslide for a good near fall.  Reigns comes back with a Superman Punch then a spear to get the victory.  Cole says they put it all out there for a chance to win the WWE Championship.   They recap it for us as both men sell in the ring.  They show respect and shake hands.

This was good, and it was the expected result.  The near falls lacked the climactic feeling that they needed.  I kept wating for Reigns to hit his spear and such so I really never bought into him winning another way.  The live crowd has seemed pretty quiet, especially for the face vs face matches.  Reigns did get some boos throughout the match, and when he won…but it wasn’t the really negative reaction that he will get in some towns.  They could tease Reigns vs. Ambrose as the finals, as it seems the best match overall in terms of value.

Back live, the announcers pay tribute to Nick Bockwinkle, who passed away over the weekend.

Match #6 – The Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension;

Bubba starts off with Viktor and the fans immediiately chant for tables.  Bubba hits a suplex then a clothesline and a big boot.  Bubba sells for the Ascension for a short time, then gets the hot tag to Devon.  Devon goes on a run, then he and Bubba team up to hit the 3d and put the Ascension away.

A decent enough short filler match.  It didn’t really mesh with me that much though.

Backstage, Renee Young interviews ALberto Del Rio and Zeb Colter.  Colter demands the chance to talk, and says that in Mex America if you earn it, you get to keep it.  I’d love that idea.  He says there are no taxes or crime there.  Hunter interjects to congratulate Del Rio on his success since his return.  He says that Del Rio could go further with the right allies.  He could go from being a man of the people to being the man.

Match #7 – Kalisto of Lucha Dragons vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Zeb Colter); WWE World Heavyweight Championship Quarterfinal Match;

As Kalisto makes his way out they ask if it’s midnight for Cinderella yet and show highlights of his match against Ryback.  They show a pre-taped promo where Kalisto says that flukes don’t happen when you chase your dreams.  Del Rio gets a mild welcome and the announcers hype him up for holding both the US and WWE World Championships.

Early on, Kalisto works quick offense.  JBL talks about how crazy the weekend in sports has been, with Peyton Manning getting benched and Ronda Rousey getting beat.  (We covered that second item, by the way).  He avoids a Del Rio charge at the ropes, then tries offense off the ropes.  Del Rio ends up out on the floor, and Kalisto hits a huracanrana on the floor.  Kalisto poses and leads a “Lucha” chant in the ring as we go to break.

Back live, Del Rio has taken charge, controlling Kalisto with a headlock.  Kalisto fires back but takes a tilt-a-whirl back breaker.  Del Rio sends Kalisto hard to the corner and stomps on him.   Del Rio uses a chinlock with his knee in the small of Kalisto’s back.  Kalisto starts to fire off kicks then tries a springboard off the ropes but Del Rio catches him and gets a two count.

He posts Kalsito up on the buckle then goes after the mask.  Kalisto ends up in a tree of woe  and Del Rio fires away with kicks. Del Rio charges and Kalisto sits up, so Del Rio collects the ring post.  Kalisto goes up top and hits a flying senton.  He unleashes kicks on a kneeling Del Rio, but that offense gets stopped with a short-arm clothesline.

Kalisto fires back with a short huracanrana on a kneeling Del Rio.  He tries for Salina Del Sol but Del Rio drapes him over the top rope.  Back into the tree of woe, Del Rio unleashes a couple kicks then goes top rope.  Kalisto fights back with a jumping enzugiri.  Kalisto tries to get a top rope huracanrana, but Del Rio stops him and sets up the double stomp in the corner to get the win.

This was sloppy.  Del Rio botched the Backstabber it looked like, then there was the unintentional unmasking that was just bad.  Del Rio then had to help him get the mask back on too.  Wow.

The announcers run down the semi finals bracket that will take place at Survivor Series – it’ll be Del Rio vs. Reigns and Owens vs. Ambrose.  The winners will face off for the title later that night.  The announcers hype up Undertaker Week on WWE Network.

They show highlights of the fatal four way between Paige, Becky Lynch, Brie Bella and Sasha Banks to determine the challenger for Charlotte at Survivor Series.  Paige won that match, and now the contract signing will close the show out, next.

The least star power quarterfinal match, then the Divas segment to close?  This better be big, or it’s going to be a real big crash and burn for third hour viewership.  The hype has been consistent through the evening, to their credit.

Contract Signing for the Divas Championship match;

Michael Cole is handling the duties.  He introduces each woman and they come to the ring.  Paige sits down at first, with her feet on the table, but then stands up once Charlotte gets there.  Cole recounts being at their NXT tryouts and says they bonded there.  He wonders where their friendship went.  Paige interrupts and says there are no friendships or emotions for true champions.

Charlotte asks what happened to Paige.  She talks about how tough it must be for Paige to be angry all the time.  Paige interjects and says that she isn’t but Charlotte continues.  She says she didn’t get in the business to make friends.  She talks about how they both watched their parents work on television (Ric in NWA/WCW and WWE, Paige’s mother in British feds), then made mention of her brother Reid.  She  gets choked up and says that Paige was there for her at that time, and they were like family.

Paige says she used Charlotte from the beginning.  Charlotte retorts that Paige must be bad at using people because she’s the champion and Paige isn’t.  She says it’s not about the championship, it’s about who has your back.  Paige asks her if she learned that from Dr. Phil or Seventeen magazine.

Charlotte says she learned it from groups like the Four Horsemen and DX.  She says that PCB would change the Divas division until Paige let her selfish ways get involved.  Paige says she deserves the title more than anyone.  Charlotte tells Paige that she never was a champion because a champion is someone that little girls at home want to be like.

Charlotte tells her she won’t be champion forever, but when she loses the title it won’t be on Sunday and it “damn sure it won’t be to someone like you.”  The fans woo, and Paige mock cries.  She says it’s quite the speech and she nearly teared up.  She says that Charlotte makes her embarrassed.

Paige tells Charlotte that no one will have her back on Sunday, not even her father.  She invites Ric to come to the ring and drop one of his famous elbows on his jacket.  Charlotte tells Paige to shut her mouth or she won’t make it out of the building.  Cole mentions that Paige has signed and Charlotte cuts him off.  She says she will continue to fight, just like her dad, just like her brother, and just like she will.  Paige says her baby brother didn’t have much fight in him.

The two start brawling.  Charlotte dives across the table and the fight is on.  She gets the better of Paige, spearing her up against the barrier and landing punches.  They continue to fight around ringside, with Charlotte tossing Paige over the announce position.  Referess run out to break the fight up but they keep getting after it.  Charlotte takes Paige down again, then Paige scampers into the ring and pushes the table at her.  They brawl in the corner until officials separate them.

Paige heads up the ramp, untangling her hair from her jacket.  Charlotte thinks about going after her, but officials hold her back.  She stands by the ropes with a stoic look toward Paige as the show ends.

This segment was clunky.  I was hoping the women would do something big with the spotlight (which I was happy to see them get, by the way), but it just didn’t really connect that much with me.  I thought invoking Reid Flair was tacky, no matter which way you slice it.  I think there were better ways to sell this match and better ways to hype it that could have left Reid out of it.  Something was just off all the way around here – maybe it’s the presentation of the women leading in, not sure.

Overall, I thought we got three pretty good tournament matches, even though the outcomes felt predictable.  I thought they could have done more to tease a Reigns/Ambrose final which I think could get some eyes watching on Sunday.  Maybe when they have the four men on Miz TV on Smackdown (spoilers posted tomorrow night!) we’ll see some of that tension play out.  Raw is just the bigger viewing audience and better place to do it though.

Drew Koscelek will be by tomorrow with his Around the Ring segment to talk Raw and all things pro wrestling.  I’ll be by with your Smackdown spoilers (correspondents always welcome – and Ring of Honor coverage on Wednesday.  Thanks for reading along tonight.


UFC 193 “Rousey vs. Holm” Quick Results for 11/14/2015

The following are the quick results and thoughts regarding the UFC 193 pay per view event that took place in Melbourne, Australia at Etihad Stadium.  The card was headlined by Ronda Rousey defending her Women’s Bantamweight Championship against Holly Holm, as well as Joanna Jedrzejczyk defending her Women’s Strawweight Championship against Valerie Letourneau.  The event aired on pay per view on November 14, 2015 in the US, but because of time differences between here and Australia is considered to have happened November 15, 2015.

UFC “Fight Pass” Preliminary Bouts:

Fight #1: Ben Nguyen def. Ryan Benoit by submission at 2:35 of the first round.  It was a good one-sided showcase for Nguyen, hurting Benoit early and getting him to the ground.

Fight #2: James Moontasri def. Anton Zafir by TKO, 4:36 of the first round.  I felt like Moontasri was losing this round but came back with a strong sequence of kicks and a forearm to knock Zafir to the mat where he finished it.

Fight #3: Richard Walsh def. Steve Kennedy by unanimous decision.  Walsh let himself get grappled too much, but he was stronger overall.

Fight #4: Daniel Kelly def. Steve Montgomery by unanimous decision.  This fight seemed sloppy, and Montgomery let himself get taken down too much late in the fight.  That gave Kelly the win.

Preliminary Bouts on FOXSports 1:

Goldberg and Rogan introduce the show and run down the fight card, analyzing the main two fights of the night.

Prelim Fight #1: Danny Martinez def. Richie Vaculik by unanimous decision (flyweight bout).

Vaculik fell behind early in this one and really never came back.  Martinez got some early takedowns and offense to set the tone, then had more success with his offense especially on his feet.  This wasn’t pretty, but Martinez got it done.  Vaculik never got in gear and really couldn’t stop Martinez’s offense, sloppy as it might have been.

Prelim Fight #2: Gian Villante def. Anthony Perosh by knockout, first round (light heavyweight bout).

Villante ended this with a brutal right hand at 2:56 of the first.  There wasn’t much to this fight beyond that, but a good KO win.

They aired highlights of the Nguyen – Benoit fight from Fight Pass, then aired some of the UFC 193 Embedded special from last week.

Prelim Fight #3: Jake Matthews def. Akbarh Arreola by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of the 2nd Round (lightweight bout).

Arreola actually looked good starting out the fight, and Matthews recovered late in the first round.  Matthews came back in the second though to really open up the offense and damage Arreola.  He cut him open at one point and Arreola’s face was a mess.  Matthews closed the second with strikes and tried to finish it off but Arreola survived the round.  His eye was swollen up, so the doctor called it off.  Matthews recovered well after the first and went nuts with his ground and pound game.

UFC 193 “Rousey vs. Holm” Main Card, Live from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia:

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Ring Rap Audio: 11/14/15 – Analyzing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, Looking at Seth Rollins’ Injury and it’s Affect Going Forward, Are You More Likely to Watch a Live Show over a Recorded Show, and more!

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With Seth Rollins off the the roster 6-9 months, Drew Koscelek and Bill Wentz make up for a missed opportunity last week to discuss in detail what effect his time out will have on things going forward, even as far as Wrestlemania?

At least there’s a tournament to crown a new champion, which has the potential to be fun, but leaves us questioning things too.  Bill and Drew make some bold picks for the tournament going forward.  Who will win?  What matches would we like to see?

Plus, with Raw being pre-taped last week, our interest waned on the show more than usual.  It begs the question:  Does being live really matter after all?

All this plus lots more!

Be sure to tune in to our shorter, more frequent news podcast, Around the Ring with Ring Rap! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow us on Twitter: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter @PsionStorm, and Dru is @Dru_Mighty.

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Around the Ring w/Ring Rap for 11/12/2015 – ROH Weekly Show Thoughts, WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Short-Form Thoughts, and More

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Senior Writer Bill Wentz has an argument with the Pro Wrestling Cat, among other things, in this Thursday edition of Around the Ring.  Topics in this podcast include:

  • Expanded thoughts on Ring of Honor’s weekly TV program
  • Teaser thoughts and discussion on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament
  • …plus more!

We welcome your feedback, questions, and other comments!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Dru is on Twitter @dru_mighty.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!

Music credit: “Gearhead” Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


WWE Smackdown *SPOILERS* for the Show Airing 11/12/2015

WWE taped this week’s edition of Smackdown this afternoon (in the Eastern US time zone) in Manchester, UK for the show that will air on November 12, 2015.  If you want to get a peek at what will be happening on the show this week, or won’t have time to catch it but want to know the goings on, just click on that “Continue Reading” link to get the information.  Spoilers tonight are courtesy

If you’re going tonight, or to any Smackdown taping (or any other taping for that matter) and want to contribute spoilers, drop me a line –, or on Twitter @RingRap or @Bill_SoonerFan

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Around the Ring w/ Ring Rap 11/10/2015: Thoughts on Seth Rollins’ injury, the Tournament for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Raw, TNA Impact, and more!

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Editor in Chief Drew Koscelek put down his copy of Fallout 4 to talk about:

  • Additional thoughts on Seth Rollins’ Knee Injury
  • The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament
  • Quick thoughts on WWE Raw
  • Thoughts on TNA’s World Title Series
  • …plus more!

We welcome your feedback!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!

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Koscelek’s Blog: Seth Rollins’ Loss is WWE’s – and the Fans’ – Gain

Last week, news broke out that Seth Rollins may have injured his knee at a live event in Dublin, Ireland.  While most assumed initially it was something minor, word broke out the next day that it was something much more serious – a torn ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus.  In the span of a few seconds, a move that Rollins himself has called routine took the seven-month champion out for the next 6-9 months.

When you look at the bigger picture though, WWE has a staggering number of talents that are currently on the disabled list.  Take a look at this post in reddit’s /r/SquaredCircle (as I’ve quoted below), which shows everyone that’s out with an injury between the main roster and NXT.

  • Alex Riley: Suffered a knee injury in May. No timetable for his return.
  • Daniel Bryan: Inactive due to a concussion-related injury in April. Out indefinitely/awaiting WWE clearance.
  • Goldust: Suffered a shoulder injury in May. Out 2-4 months.
  • Hideo Itami: Suffered a shoulder injury in May. Out 6-8 months.
  • Lana: Suffered a broken wrist in September. Out 4 months.
  • Nikki Bella: Recently suffered a neck/back (bulging disc) injury. No official timetable for her return.
  • Randy Orton: Recently suffered a dislocated shoulder. Out 4-6 months.
  • Rusev: Recently suffered a ruptured bicep. Out 3-4 weeks.
  • Sami Zayn: Suffered a shoulder injury in May. Out 6-8 months.
  • Seth Rollins: Torn ACL, MCL and meniscus. Out 6–9 months.
  • Sting: Sustained a serious neck injury in September. No timetable for his return.
  • Tyson Kidd: Suffered a career threatening spinal cord injury in June. Out indefinitely.

Add John Cena to this list, who is currently out for an undisclosed reason, rumored to be involved in a TV project and expected back in December.  That brings us five WWE main eventers, plus a number of top-tier mid-card wrestlers, and event a few NXT stars that many expect to be main eventers in short order.

It may be easy to write this off as a chance to tune out, but long-time wrestling fans know this is the time to tune in.  Forget what the ratings say:  Vince McMahon’s hand is forced to work outside the box, and it starts with tonight’s Monday Night Raw.

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 11/9/2015 – Jolly Olde England Show from Manchester, Survivor Series Build Continues, Raw Without Rollins, Championship Tournament Hype and More

WWE Raw comes to us tonight from across the pond in Manchester, United Kingdom – recorded earlier in the day and broadcast in the normal 8PM EST time slot on USA Network.  It’s the first televised show without Seth Rollins, who went down with a serious knee injury last week.  How will the Authority handle this situation?  Will they begin to work toward their Championship Tournament now?  What will come of Roman Reigns, the number one contender?  Also, it’s rumored that Undertaker has made the trip over to England.  Will he try and extract a measure of revenge on the Wyatt Family for their attack on him and Kane? With Survivor Series happening in just a couple weeks, the build gets started now.

Show Open, On Delay from Manchester, UK

After the Raw intro, Triple H’s music hit and he made his way to the ring.  Cole talked about Rollins’ injury, and said he’d be out six to nine months.  He sent it up to Hunter in the ring, who got a “Triple H” chant.  Interesting that the heel authority got chants.

He takes a moment to acknowledge “the man” Seth Rollins.   He talks about how Rollins was the hand picked Authority champion, saying he picked his way through everyone to hold on to the championship.  Hunter explains the injury and calls it tragic.  “Seth Rollins is no longer the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.”  The fans didn’t like it much.

Hunter talks about determining the number one contender, saying that he would face Rollins for the title at Survivor Series.  He introduces Roman Reigns.  Reigns gets a very mixed reaction.  JBL says “chaos brings ladders.”  What the hell does that even mean, anyhow?  Once in the ring, Hunter tells Reigns it looks nice and says a tournament starts tonight to determine a new champion.

Hunter makes a plea that it’s unfair for Reigns to go to the back of the line again and work his way back to the top slot.  He says the other guys could be fighting for the right to face Roman at Survivor Series.  Hunter tells Roman that when they were looking at someone to be the face of WWE they “strongly considered” him.  I can’t see where Hunter saw the charisma in him, however, given his mic skills.  He says that Rollins had one thing Reigns doesn’t – the ability to do absolutely anything.

Hunter replays the end of Wrestlemania, asking if it stung a bit.  He talks about how Rollins took his moment, and says Reigns has been met with a lot of walls since Wrestlemania.  He asks Reigns if he wants to be the man, which is met with some “Woooo!” calls.  “If you want to be the man, you just have to be my man.”  A heel turn would be good for Roman Reigns, really, but I’m not sure now is the time.

Reigns asks if he will get what he already earned by selling out.  Hunter derides the term “sell out” calling it an excuse.  “If you don’t want to be criticized, be nothing, do nothing, and say nothing.”  Good advice for life, really.  Hunter talks about misguided reality then asks Reigns if he wanted to put the belt on his shoulder since he was a boy.  “You want them to build a monument in your honor.”

Hunter makes a play on family.  “I’m talking about setting up your daughter’s daughter.”  He asks Reigns to join the Authority and offers a handshake.  England wants him to do it, oddly enough.  Again, heel turn would be good, just not now.

Reigns says he did it his way and never took a handout.  No one can take that away.   He tells Hunter to shove the offer.  Nice short effective line.  Hunter thanks him for proving why he didn’t choose him, and tells him his match starts now.  Big Show’s music hits.  So, gee, Big Show vs. Reigns #143980378430?   Hunter fist bumps Show as he comes to the ring.  I’m not at all excited about this idea, but we’ll see how it goes.

Match #1 – Big Show vs. Roman Reigns; WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match

Slow plodding work from Show in the early going.  Going back to the opening segment (which wasn’t bad, really), the one thing missing was that Reigns has never really openly spoken to fighting by a moral code.  I think that would have resonated more with fans when he stood up to Hunter.  This is your typical Big Show match, so far.

The announcers are doing a good job of telling the “moral code” story here, actually.  Shame they didn’t build it up out front of this night better.  Show hits a splash for a near fall.  Not a lot of reaction from the Manchester fans as Show dumps Reigns to ringside.  Reigns fires back until he gets slammed by Show, who yells “I’m a giant!” to absolutely no reaction.

Show locks in a bear hug after the break.  JBL says he admires Reigns’ tenacity but can’t believe Reigns turned down the offer to be handed the title tonight.  Reigns hits a Samoan drop as Cole talks about Rollins’ injury.  Reigns begins his comeback until Show swats him down.  Right now, this match is following the formula of Show beating Reigns down until he makes the babyface comeback.

A pair of drive-by kicks lead to a Superman punch attempt but Reigns gets chokeslammed out of mid air.  That was pretty neat.  Show calls for the WMD, but Reigns gets the Superman Punch and a spear for the win.  This was fair enough, and Reigns got a bit of shine off of it, but we’ve seen this far too many times for it to be important.  The announcers put Reigns over well here, and talk about Reigns overcoming yet again.

The Wyatt cut in hits and they feed it to a recap of Undertaker’s debut at Survivor Series, and Kane’s debut in 1997.  We’re to get a “paying respects” segment by the Wyatts later.  Again, Wyatt talks well, but I’m not sure how this ends and if it ends well for Wyatt overall.  I also know what happens via spoilers, and it’s clear where they’re going here.

Celebrity moment as they show Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney in the fans.  Kevin Owens’ music hits to a nice pop.  Owens cuts a promo, and finally, we get to hear from him!  He says we need change in WWE, and they’ve been cheering for the same old garbage for years.  Brits are eating it up, but he calls them the dumbest fans in the world for worshiping the Queen of England and pretend the Royal Family is a thing.  Not a strong heat generator according to my speakers.

He says the change is to benefit him alone.  He calls himself a prize fighter, and when he stands in the ring with both the IC and WHC championships, no one can deny that this is the Kevin Owens Show.  Mixed reaction.  But it’s good to hear from Owens on the mic though.  Sound promo.

Match #2 – Kevin Owens vs. Titus O’Neil; WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match

I like Titus and think he’s a solid midcard player.  He is very aggressive in the early going before we head into a commercial.  Back with the show, Owens is in control.  Thinking more about these brackets, I’m not sure I like them all that much – the first two matches are pretty formula.  I think the Brits might be going into business for themselves as  “JBL” chant fails to get traction.  Oddly enough, the face positioned Titus is getting booed here.

Owens lands the pop-up powerbomb out of nowhere to grab the victory.  Again, a predictable result and a serviceable match between the two.  It never got out of first gear though.

Renee interviews Paige backstage, and she gets smarmy about Renee for her false accusations about Natalya.  Paige calls Becky Lynch a rat.  She says tonight she will take out the B and at Survivor Series it will be her and that “C.” An alright promo, I suppose.  Just happy that they’re focusing on a feud between Charlotte and Paige.

Another Wyatt cut-in and we get another video recap of Kane and Undertaker moments.  Consistent hype for the Wyatt segment to come later on, I give them credit for that.

Match #3 – Paige vs. Becky Lynch;

Get a break from the WHC tournament here.  They recap Paige turning on Becky and Charlotte.  They keep talking about how personal this is, but the fact that Becky has been too far in the background until now it seems forced. Charlotte watches from backstage at that odd angle that makes us pay far too much attention to her tits.

Not a lot of reaction until Paige yells “this is my house.”  The commentary team continues to round back to Reigns refusing Triple H’s offer early in the show.  I get that it’s the overall major story of the night but this deserves some better attention than this.   Nice exploder suplex from Becky.

I can’t tell right now if the fans are quietly invested or not interested.   Paige hits the RamPaige too close to the ropes so Becky grabs the ropes.   Paige tries for the PTO but Becky gets into the ropes again.   The two exchange roll-ups and Becky wins.  A good match here from the two ladies.

The post match angle had Paige lock Becky in the PTO on the announce table.  Paige got cheered for this – then again, it’s the hometown crowd. Charlotte runs out for the save, and Paige walks off.  I don’t know how I feel about this being mind games by Paige, really.  Again, the buildup of the new women has been so bad it’s hard to really feel much.

We’re getting a whole week of Undertaker highlights on WWE Network.  Sounds like some stuff worth watching.

The announcers talk about the Wrestlemania ticket sales being hot already, and show highlights of the Wrestlemania fan fest that happened last week.  Even with all the uncertainty with the card it’s interesting that tickets are going so hot.

Match #4 – The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler; WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match;

Here’s one of the things this tournament is missing:  Promo time.  I want to hear from Ziggler, Miz, O’Neil, Big Show, etc., as to why this is important to them. I want to know why Reigns, Owens, etc., want to win.  This just feels like “just another series of matches” and nothing more than that.

The two work some quick offense in the early going, with Miz avoiding a superkick.  Miz’s claim to fame right now is an infinity scarf.  That’s another issue I have with some of the folks in this tournament – they don’t feel special.  Miz is doing something logical here and pointing his offense on a leg of Ziggler.

The match was fine, and ended somewhat abruptly with a superkick.  Ziggler is moving on, and he’ll get some fan love for sure.  I highly doubt he makes the finals though.

More Undertaker and Kane highlights courtesy the Wyatt Family.  I think this is great consistent hype for the segment coming up later.  I am guessing this closes the show.  A great reminder of how interesting the Hell No team was too.

They recap John Cena facing Alberto Del Rio at Hell in a Cell, winning the US Championship.  Odd that this is the first mention of John Cena since he lost the title.  Anyhow, here comes Del Rio to cut a promo.  Colter has a few things to say about MexAmerica.  He of course cuts on the British, who are giving “what” chants.  He gets some heat for saying that Germany tells them what to do, and Scotland doesn’t want anything to do with them.  He throws in a hygiene joke too before saying that Putin will eventually be telling them what to do too.

Del Rio says that this place is populated by haters.  Colter says he doesn’t want to talk to sub-human people and talks about the opportunity that Triple H has handed them.  On Thursday night, the tournament continues on Smackdown and the world will see Del Rio run the table and become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.  Viva MexAmerica.

This was fine, but it didn’t generate a ton of heat really.  The local insults did the most damage. As an aside, I do like Smackdown having tournament matches too, as it draws some attention to that program as well.  I just hope they get some hype behind this thing.  It has a great opportunity to change some character directions but not if it’s just treated like “just another match.”

Match #5 – Natalya vs. Naomi (w/Sasha Banks and Tamina)

Natalya doesn’t wear underwear under her gear.  Confirmed by the mesh netting.  Anyhow, the focus ends up being on Sasha Banks.   The story here is clearly about causing friction inside Team BAD, which I totally don’t get. Then Natalya puts Sasha in the Sharpshooter?  This is a clumsy story, all the way around.  I wish I knew where they were going with this.

More Undertaker and Kane highlights as we get some consistent sell for the Wyatt segment later on in the show.

Match #6 – Sheamus (w/King Barrett) vs. Cesaro; WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match

They showed Barrett cutting a promo on Wayne Rooney (soccer star) during the break.  I would be fine with this on any other show, but playing to the celebrity factor takes off of the tournament as well.  Again, no promos from Sheamus or Cesaro, something this is sorely lacking from everyone.  The only promo we’ve gotten so far is from Del Rio, and it wasn’t all that hot.

Irish Curse backbreaker from Sheamus a few moments in during this physical affair.  They head into a commercial.  Back with the match, Cesaro is getting strong chants from the crowd.  I wish WWE would see this and do more with the Swiss Superman.  Sheamus pulls the punk card and Cesaro starts hulking up.   A really nice counter to Sheamus’ Irish Curse then a nice fireman’s carry slam.  And that swing is way over, judging by the reaction when he calls for it.

Cesaro is favoring his arm as they both just beat the count.  A good near fall kickout by Cesaro out of White Noise.  This is a good match – Sheamus gets all sorts of flak but it takes two to tango.  Another good counter of offense by Cesaro to slip under the Brogue and try to go for the Sharpshooter.  They’re doing a good job of selling the arm here too.

Time to go on the UpperCut Express, then a great drop kick.  Cesaro is really showing up here and I just shake my head as to why he’s not featured more prominently.  Cesaro gets a nice win off a distraction because Wayne Rooney smacked Barrett, and that drew Sheamus’ attention.  My concern is Reigns vs. Cesaro coming up – is Cesaro simply getting fed to WWE’s chosen boy?  This match though, so far is the best of the night.

Match #7 – Dean Ambrose vs. Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae); WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match;

They have Tyler cut a promo with Summer backstage.  He focuses on his looks and says that we’re looking at the new face of WWE.  Eh, a so-so promo.  It seems to be the most attention they’ve put on someone wanting the title though.   Breeze plays coy early and tries to protect himself from Ambrose’s offense.

I like how they’re hyping Breeze up, but let’s be honest, the finish of this match really isn’t in doubt, which again is an issue with the tournament setup.  Nothing feels special, important, or unpredictable.  I don’t want to bury this thing first night out, and maybe next week when they’ve had a chance to build some better creative around the following rounds it will be better.

Ambrose turns Prince Pretty inside out then goes top rope for the missile drop kick on a standing Breeze.  He sells it but Breeze attacks the arm.  Ambrose ends up winning off a small package.  I am okay with this going down this way, but it’s not the best use of Tyler Breeze really.  Having him squash some guys is the better way I think.

They’re doing a great job of hyping this Wyatt segment for the later part of the show.  Really building up Undertaker and Kane’s accomplishments and the fact that Wyatt has taken them out.

They run down the matches we’ll see on Smackdown for the title tournament.  These matches don’t scream compelling for the most part, and suffer from the lack of hype behind most of the guys involved.  I think they can be good from a work perspective though.

Match #8 – The Usos and Neville vs. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)

New Day cut their traditional promo coming to the ring.  The reaction was fairly mixed to it, as some fans really were into the gimmick and others weren’t.  They did boo when Woods said that “English magic is garbage.”  The fans reacted positively to the Usos as well when they came out.  They dove into a commercial early in the match.

This was a fun match, but short.  New Day plays the numbers game well and used some cheating heel tactics to grab the victory with Woods using the ropes for leverage.  It didn’t overstay its welcome and was serviceable to get to the main event segment.

They give us a final sell for the Wyatt segment to close the show by recapping the angles that put Kane and Undertaker out after Hell in a Cell.  The Wyatts are next for the eulogy segment.

In-Ring Segment:

The Wyatts head to the ring, and they recap last week’s segment where Wyatt had “assumed” Taker’s powers.  Gotta admit, I hope they don’t get get hokey this week.  The English fans sing “he’s got the whole world in his hands” and Wyatt drinks it in.

Wyatt talks about change, calling it inevitable and part of life.  He says that tonight they celebrate change and celebrate the spirit of Kane and the Undertaker.  Wyatt talks about their history and calls them the benchmark of power for two decades.  He asks everyone watching to bow and pay respect to “the legends, the icons that are Kane and the Undertaker.”  That gets him some Undertaker chants.

Wyatt calls the fans fools and says their respect is his respect.  He claims to have taken the torch and burned Kane and Taker straight to ashes.  He says it all belongs to him now.  This promo is good, but I just can’t get over the feeling that it ultimately will fall short when he loses – unless this leads to Wyatt getting put over on the big stage.

He says the Apocalypse is here and drops the mic.  On the video board, we get the same video package that we saw before highlighting the Brothers of Destruction putting people away.  Wyatt watches, and Taker’s voice rings out “Rest…in…Peace…”

Fire shoots from the ring posts and Wyatt looks scared.  The familiar gong hits and Manchester pops.  This can only mean one thing…well, two.   It’s the Brothers of Destruction coming through the fog to Undertaker’s music.  Looks like we’re getting Undertaker and Kane vs. the Wyatts at Survivor Series, and I’m not totally opposed to that.

I really like how the announcers are handling this, saying that Wyatt has opened hell up yet not belittling him in the same voice.  Now the rest of the Wyatts join Bray after the cut in sounder.  Manchester has woken up for this and they’re eating it up in full.

Taker and Kane dispose of Harper and Rowan, only to face Strowman.  Harper and Rowan get a double chokeslam, then Strowman gets a clothesline on them.  They sit up, then dispose of Strowman.  They dump him over the announce table, then go back in the ring to double chokeslam Wyatt.

I have no issue with this, really.  If they’re heading to a Wyatts/Brothers of Destruction match at Survivor Series, then you have to get there somehow with only a couple weeks to the event.  This gave the England fans a big moment to pop for and logically set up a possible match.  That’s how the show ends.

I hope you enjoyed the “alternate form” coverage tonight.   Because this show was taped earlier today, we knew the spoilers would be out there and decided to go against the standard play by play format we usually use for tonight.  If you like it, let us know, and maybe we’ll do more of it in the future.

Not a bad show, as the title tournament matches helped prop it up a bit.  A shame they didn’t do more to give the tournament some heat with the use of promos and such, but given the short notice perhaps they didn’t have all the time to plan that they would have liked.  We’ll see how it continues.

Drew Koscelek will be by tomorrow with Around the Ring for more thoughts on Raw and more.  I’ll be by with Smackdown spoilers and on Wednesday with Ring of Honor coverage.  Thanks for following along.


Join us on Twitter @RingRap as well for conversation during the show.


Ring Rap Audio: 11/07/15 – A discussion on Alberto Del Rio, analyzing the potential top matches at Wrestlemania 32, who can replace John Cena, and more!

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When WWE brought Alberto Del Rio back at Hell in a Cell, we got excited, but the pairing with Zeb Colter felt a little strange.  Is it working?  Is there a way to make it work?  And what about Del Rio’s commitments to AAA?

Plus, as we approach Survivor Series, the build for Wrestlemania begins.  Few top matches are clear – who do we think will be paired up?

Finally, Ryback discussed replacing John Cena as the top guy in WWE.  Can he do it, or is there a better choice?

Join Bill Wentz and Drew Koscelek for this week’s edition of Ring Rap Audio!

Be sure to tune in to our shorter, more frequent news podcast, Around the Ring with Ring Rap! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow us on Twitter: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter @PsionStorm, and Dru is @Dru_Mighty.

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