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Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 Ongoing MOTY List: Owens v. Cesaro

Kevin Owens v. Cesaro WWE Raw 4/11

ER: This was a nice throwback to 09/10 WWE when we were getting a couple nice 10-12 minute TV matches every week. It seems like good TV matches are a kind of cyclical thing. Vince gets an idea that we need to showcase the athleticism every week, then he gets sick of that and goes back to wanting more authority presence and depending on who is left working TV every week the really good matches disappear. 2014 was littered with good TV matches, not even counting NXT or whatever might be happening on Main Event of Superstars (I maybe need to start skimming Main Event and Superstars for gems.....). 2015 was a wasteland of good TV matches. 2016 is kinda like 2015. But this match here was a nice throwback. Tidy, focused, 10 minutes. They have the built in story of Cesaro's bum wing, and Owens is good at attacking it, and Cesaro is good at selling it. Owens is all about tossing Cesaro shoulder first into all types of surfaces, and Cesaro whips that shoulder into the mat, ringpost (in a couple of nasty ways!). Owens is good with Barry Darsow style verbal putdowns and has no problem leaning into boots and uppercuts (loved Cesaro's graceful springboard uppercut), able to stooge while also being mean. We do get some annoying TV match happenings, like Cesaro taking a huge bump into the ring post and down to the floor as we go to commercial, then coming back to him suplexing Owens off the top. I hate that kind of stuff. But this was still real fun and I certainly wouldn't mind a shift back to weekly TV matches like this.

PAS:  I enjoyed Owens shit talking in this, it is something which I got sick of in his indy run, as it approached Chuck Taylor fourth wall breaking meta bullshit, but it is a nice change to a WWE ring style which can be very formula. I agree that the commercial break was especially ill timed, but all of the armwork and Owens nasty frog splash all looked really good. These guys match up well last year before Cesaro got hurt, and it is a solid return to form. I do think that it is weird that Shane's gimmick is "put on a good show" as opposed to all of the bad shows they normally put on, seems like you should just put on a good show all the time.


2016 MOTY MASTER LIST

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