Laying Down on the Job
Monday | November 30th, 2015
WWE Pay Per View time is once again upon us with one of my favorites: Survivor Series. Heading into this year, we had a couple big storylines, some planned, some arose out of opportunity, but all were supposed to figure heavily into the show. The chief of which was Seth Rollin's injury causing him to vacate his title and bring on a King of the Ring style tournament for a completely separate show. Then we've got Undertaker celebrating 25 years wrestling, which is totally insane. So many other wrestler's careers started and ended in a fraction of that time, it's nuts he's still around. Did these stories carry their weight? Let's find out!
And as always, we're answering the three most important questions in wrestling for each match:
- What Happened?
- What Should Have Happened?
- Why Should You Care?
The Setup: Survivor Series was traditionaly a show with huge elimination matches. Sometimes with consequences, sometimes not, but they were always fun. This year however, we only got one, with every other match being a standard 1v1 or 2v2. I was very dissapointed in that aspect to start off the night.
Beer of Choice: Laguanitas Sucks. A beer standing at 8% took less than two to get through the show.
(WWE Championship Tournament)
- Reigns speared ADR into oblivion after he flipped around the ring a lot pulling Reigns' arm.
- Reigns had to win. Part of my frustration with this and the other match in this tournament below is that both had other titles holders involved (ADR-USA, Kevin Owens - Intercontinental). So not only is it obvious that neither will win the match, we don't get proper title defenses for either. Apparently their way of elevating those titles is to have the current champions feel like they don't matter and they should go for the WWE Championship? Sounds more like the WWE Championship is the only one that matters.
- Only because this means Reigns is now in the final match to win the title.
(WWE Championship Tournament)
- Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds to take out Kevin Owens in what was an entertaining match. Both have unothodox methods to their moves, and they worked well together. I'm hoping they can get a rivalry going, but Ambrose may be sucked into main title status now.
- Again, with Kevin Owens already having the Intercontinental Title, he had to lose. Just bad booking.
- And again, because this means Ambrose has a shot at the WWE Title.
(Survivor Series Match! FINALLY!)
- Ok, we're gonna run this down: Sin Cara elminated King Barrett. Xavier Woods eliminated Jimmy Uso. Sheamus eliminated Sin Cara. Jay Uso eliminated Big E. Then both Xavier and Kofi escorted Big E out of the arena in a pretty funny bit. BUT, since The New Day was by far the most interesting part of the match, you could just feel the audience deflate. Sheamus was then eliminated by Ryback to end it.
- This match should have had some stakes to it. If New Day loses, they have to defend the belts to one of the opposing teams, or if Sheamus is the first one eliminated, he looses Money in the Bank. Something. ANYTHING. It was a fine match, but bleh.
- Any chance to see more of the New Day, especially when all three can work, is great. But most everyone else felt like filler. This is one you can just forget about and move on from.
- In the lone title defense of the night, Charlotte used the Figure Eight to force Paige to tap out. It was one of the more physical matches of the night, Paige played up the heel and Charlotte stood fast. It was fun to watch.
- Charlotte had to keep the belt. I'm sure she'll drop it to Paige eventually, but she needs to be a credible champion. But anything to get more matches like that.
- The women's division is looking better, so having a good champion is important. We need to see more from Becky Lynch and especially Sasha Banks before we can really have some fun.
- Tyler Breeze hit an Unprettier to take out Dolph Ziggler. And this was my "Zone Out Match of the Night"™. It's crazy that Dolph went from one of the best matches at least year's Survivor Series to taking part in this weird spat with Tyler Breeze. Summer Rae is pretty great though. I'm really coming around on her.
- That's fine.
- I have no idea. Let's move on.
- Undertaker Tombstoned Luke Harper to end this kind of nothing of a tag match.
- How was this not the survivor series match? It was setup perfectly! Just have two of them, who cares! There are four Wyatts, just grab two random buddies for the Undertaker. So dumb.
- Undertaker is still going after 25 years, so that's impressive. And Wyatt's PPV losing ways continue. He sucked out the Undertaker's soul but still lost. What's a world eating demon gotta do?
- Roman Reigns Speared Ambrose into oblivion. Yet another forgone conclusion. And I know people are tired of it, but man, when Ambrose hits that stupid through the ropes clothesline, it looks so damn good.
- I like Ambrose way better. I think he's a better all around package to take over where Rollins left off, especially in terms of mic work. I would have given it to him long before Reigns.
- Well, it doesn't really matter because then this happened:
(Money in the Bank Cash In Match for the WWE Championship)
- Two Brogue Kicks to Reigns and he was done. Sheamus is now your WWE Champion.
- I guess this? The lesser of two evils? Kind of? There are no winners here.
- Sheamus then immediately went on to align with Triple H and the Authority. Are we heading down the same "Downtrodden Guy vs Authority" storyline we saw with Daniel Bryan? Does WWE even know how to have a face keep the belt and be enterntaining? I guess, I doin't know why you should care. This is a mess.
The Verdict: This show amounted to two good matches, and a bunch of nothing. With the WWE Championship basically handed to Reigns before the night began, a lot of the tension was sucked right out of the show. The closest thing to a surprise was Sheamus cashing in, and at least that was somewhat exciting. But this kind of booking cannot stand. When everyone knows exactly what's going to happen, it's not fun anymore. ...this show was not fun...
Brian K. Vaughan is becoming a writer that I will buy any #1 from. I've been digging Saga and Doctor Strange: The Oath still stands as one of the best Doctor Strange stories. This time he's working with Cliff Chiang, who also is among my favorites. WIth a team like that, this book should be a home run. In actuality, it's more of a grand slam.
The book opens with a dream sequence that will give you some Saga flashbacks, but quickly settles into the morning of a girl running her paper route the morning after Halloween. The world is established and you know who you like and who you don't amost immediately. It's one of the things I've grown to love about Vaughan's writing style, he is able to convey so much of a character through just a few lines. And what seems like a straightforward story takes a quick turn into something else entirely, and it's awesome.
Chiang's art is top notch as always. I've missed him since he left Wonder Woman, and it'll be nice to have him back in my life on a monthly basis. He does so much with facial expressions and the direction of each panel that really keeps the momentum of the story flying forward. And honestly, there's not a bad part of the issue. The colors by Matt Wilson do a great job of portraying both the mood and the setting, and the letters by Jard K Fletcher just look damn cool. I loved looking at Paper Girls as much as I loved reading it.
To say this issue hooked me would be an understatement. You owe it to yourself to give it a read. Assuming Chiang can keep up a decent schedule with this, you're looking at the next runaway hit from BKV and Image.
5 out of 5 Newspaper Bundles
I always have a hard time saying no to a $1 comic, especially when it's something a little quirky. Since She-Hulk ended, I've been looking for that new fun kind of superhero book, and that's how I picked up The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 by Ryan North and Erica Henderson. And as it turns out, it's exactly what I was looking for.
Much in the vein of a lot of comics these days, story tend more towards the fun side of things, which is 100% up my alley. Doreen Green (a.k.a. Squirrel Girl) arrives on campus for her first day of college after moving out of the Avengers' attic. She's brought along her squirrel friend, Tippy-Toe, as they begin a new life at higher education. It wouldn't be a superhero book if a supervillian didn't show up, and then ensuing fight scene had me laughing. And I think Matt Fraction did this years ago, but there's little cliff notes at the bottom of each page that add to Doreen's character development in a fun way.
The art fits the tone perfectly. Bright colors and expressive faces give way to great story telling. It's a book full of big panels, but never feels like the big "widescreen" art porn that a lot of comics fall into. I would compare it to Batgirl, but I like these characters and this world a bit better. There's no need to have any dark knight brooding moments because Squirrel Girl don't roll like that. And I mean, how can you brood with all these cute little squirrels running around?
My one complaint is that I had to research for a while to figure out which #1 this was. Marvel has apparently done away with volume numbers, so there's a Squirrel Girl series that's marked as (2015), which is this volume. And then there's a second volume helpfully marked as (2015-), which just started this past month. So to actually read this, I need volume (2015) trades vol. 1 and then eventually 2. THEN I can get on the current series. It's a dumb and confusing world Marvel is making for themselves with this crap. I'm hoping the trades are just numbered 1-3 so I can just move along and don't have to worry about it.
But set aside Marvel's numbering idiocy and you've got a great comic. I'll be ordering the trade shortly and can't wait to see where it goes. Plus, if you've got any kids in your life, this is family friendly fun!
4 out of 5 Aborable Squirrel Tails