Wednesday, June 26, 2019

WWE Stomping Grounds 2019

So a three-day long weekend meant that I was somehow able to find time to watch WWE's incredible Stomping Grounds PPV that was widely anticipated by the masses... okay, that's a lie. It's a card featuring a bunch of rematches from a show nobody watch, with pair-ups that nobody in their right minds could honestly care about.

Just as a bit of a primer, Sunday night was busy and when I got back, I flipped through Apple TV and logged onto the network, where I discovered that the show was still on. And what did I see? Baron Corbin making his entrance and cameras cutting to the shot above quickly before cutting back to Corbin. This amuses me enough to take a picture (no screenshooting device at the moment) and plaster it on my Twitter soundboard for the lulz. Turns out it's gotten quite a response and I'm not quite sure why... but hey, somebody liked it. I just hope they don't follow the channel because nothing of value pops up and I like that there are no followers on there.

But I digress... on with the show. Unfortunately.

I did not watch the pre-show... which featured some guy named Dru Gulag winning some cruiser championship or something. I don't know.

Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch defeated Lacey Evans via submission to retain the title. People were happy to see Becky win, which I guess is a positive... but to go from main-eventing Mania to opening up a nothing show? Wow... as for the match itself, it was a thing that happened. I'm still not sold on this Lacey fella and nothing she does has me interested in anything involving her. So... yeah, sorry, not my thing. Hopefully, Becky will now move on to better challenges... what's that?


Les Quebecois (Kevin Owens et Sami Zayn) defeated Les Nouvelle Jour (Big E and Austin Creed) in a perfectly acceptable tag match. What do you know? The New Day lost a match... and here I thought we were going to keep them strong or something... so yeah, that was a rather nice surprise. And the match itself was perfectly fine. No complaints.

Ricochet defeated United States Champion Samoa Joe to win the title in what I thought was a pretty good match. Dare I say the best match on the show. If I may be bold, this was perhaps the best pro wrestling on this entire company. Period. Fuck Rollins.

And then he gets beat by AJ Styles the next night in a non-title match... because WWE ruins everything.

Smackdown Tag-Team Champions Daniel Bryan and The Vintner Erick Rowan defeated Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight and Otis Dozivic ) to retain the titles when Bryan rolled up Tucker for the pin. This being in Washington state, people love the Daniel Bryan, going so far as to chant "We Recycle" and "Drive A Prius". Strangely enough, I believe this is the first time I've been exposed to Heavy Machinery, whom I've heard good things about in NXT. I like Heavy Machinery. They are good dudes. People like Otis. Otis is amazing... or something. The match was alright; nothing that's going to blow your mind or anything, but it was a new team dealing with a "slightly newer" team. It's what I would like to call "perfectly acceptable wrestling."

Smackdown Women's Champion Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss to retain the title and regain some semblance of credibility that she lost last year after that horrible stick on a pole match. Yes, I actually went back and watched that stupid match... and then this match came along and it was just a thing that happened... which isn't saying much, but at the very least, it's a step above that other match. Bayley is slowly getting rehabbed... wait, I shouldn't go that far. Let's just stick with "this was a thing that happened" and move on.

Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre despite interference from SHANE MCMAHON. For what it's worth, the crowd was behind Roman. Not quite the super pop that some in the back would hope for, but enough that you can't really consider the guy hated anymore. And with that in mind, you'd figure now would be a good time to start building Roman up so that he'd eventually be main event material again... but instead, he's in a feud with SHANE MCMAHON of all people... and poor Drew is just there for the ride. But hey, if you can make it so that Roman Reigns is no longer the most undesirable fellow on the show (and also the leukemia announcement helped alleviate that a bit, to be fair), then that's already a step up.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage Match to retain the title. The only really noteworthy thing about this match was the ending, where after a struggle that ended with Dolph near the door, he slowly crawls his way out... only for Kofi to make a mad dash and leap through the ropes and out the door to escape. Hey, I'll give them this; that was a really creative finish and to me, given that Kofi is the guy who usually comes up with these elaborate means of staving off elimination at the Rumble as well as doing some cool aerial stuff at times, it makes sense for him to just torpedo his way through the door in order to save his title. It did make Dolph look stupid for sticking with the whole "struggling to climb out the door" trope of steel cage matches, but that's okay, because as the villain of this story, Dolph is supposed to be outsmarted by the hero. And that's why I liked the finish.

Unfortunately, one really good finish does not a whole match save and while Kofi gave us a cool finish, that's about all I got out of it. The match felt a bit long in the tooth, it was a bit on the boring scaling, and quite honestly, it had the apparent issue of featuring Kofi Kingston defending his championship against a guy who's there to put on good shows, but never comes off as a real threat. Sadly, this was anything but a good show and maybe now that Dolph has been vanquished, Kofi can move on to bigger and better things... maybe feud with KO again because sure, why not? Unfinished business and all... I'm down with that.

Then again... apparently a match with Samoa Joe is teased and... well, I'd be down with that too... which means we're getting another Dolph match, aren't we?

And in the main event, Red Belt holder Seth Rollins defeated Baron Corbin to retain the title. The only noteworthy thing about this match was during Baron Corbin's entrance where we cut to a shot of the crowd that presents us with the lovely image above before cutting back to Baron Corbin... because see, it's a family friendly show and those sorts of crude gestures are no longer appropriate or something. But, hey, somebody seems to dig the Corbin heel shtick... sadly, that somebody is not me... regardless, I shall push on.

And then Lacey Evans comes out and she's apparently the ref for this match... because Corbin was allowed to pick his own ref for some reason. Probably explained somewhere, but I honestly don't care.

So they have a match and it's boring. People don't care; they're chanting Daniel Bryan, they're chanting CM Punk, AEW, they pretend it's a John Cena match and offer dueling chants of "Let's Go Cena! CENA SUCKS!"  Nobody gives two fucks about this match. Then Seth powerbombs Corbin through a table and Lacey declares that there are no countouts... and then Corbin uses a chair, at which point Lacey declares that there are no DQs... and then Seth hits Corbin with a move and goes for the pin, but Lacey fakes a shoulder injury, slaps Seth, and punches him in the balls, prompting Becky to come out because she's Seth's girlfriend or something... and then I'm supposed to care about any of this why exactly?

So I guess this is supposed to set up a mixed tag match between two champions who are dating each against two supposed heels that we're supposed to hate, but really have no reason to care. And if this is main eventing the next show, then you know what? I'm fine with that. Makes me want to sleep in early.

And so that was Stomping Grounds... a thing that happened. The show was alright until Roman and Drew, then it fell off a cliff and even then, other than the Joe/Ricochet match, there's nothing here that screams must-see and will probably be forgotten in a week or so. Kofi and Dolph have accomplished what few have done; make a cage match boring. And as for the main event, Seth Rollins can piss and moan on Twitter about all the mean things people have said about his place of employment, but to have the temerity to proclaim that you've got the "best wrestling" anywhere and give us that piece of shit match that was so bestest that people were shitting on the match before it even began?


And stupid.

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