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Kevin’s Random Reviews: The Bar – Sheamus and Cesaro Part Two

February 23, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
The Bar Cesaro and Sheamus WWE Summerslam
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: The Bar – Sheamus and Cesaro Part Two  

The Bar: Sheamus and Cesaro
WWE Network Collection | Part Two

It’s time for the second half of the Sheamus and Cesaro collection on the WWE Network. While the first half saw their Best of Seven Series and how they got their start as a team, this one focuses on their run as a tandem. We left off at WrestleMania 33, where the Bar lost a Ladder match that saw the Hardy Boyz return and capture the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles.

A Shot at Payback | WWE Payback | SAP Center in San Jose, California | 4/30/17
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: The Hardy Boyz [c] vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
There was a respect angle used during the build. The challengers lost singles matches to the champions, but were respectful of the legendary team. However, they were brutes here. Jeff bumped like a madman for them, while Matt got busted open the hard way. It wasn’t very subtle, but you could see a change in the challengers. To add to it, Jeff got his tooth knocked out at one point. Sheamus felt like he had the match won but missed Jeff making a blind tag. He laid on Matt after a powerslam, allowing Jeff to hit the Swanton Bomb and retain at 12:42. About as good as I remember it being. I dug the story they told, but they both are capable of better. Sheamus and Cesaro attacked the Hardys after the match to complete their heel turn. [***¼]

Surviving Turmoil | Raw #1250 | O2 Arena in London, England | 5/8/17
Tag Team Turmoil Match: Cesaro and Sheamus vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Golden Truth vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Sheamus and Cesaro opened this against Enzo and Big Cass, meaning that either team would have to run the table to win. The first segment of the match was kept relatively short. Enzo got isolated and beaten down by his larger opponents. Cass was barely involved and Enzo tapped to a Sharpshooter. That triggered the arrival of former Smackdown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater and Rhyno. Sheamus and Cesaro attacked them during their entrance to earn an easy win over Slater. Next in was Gallows and Anderson, who beat Sheamus and Cesaro for the Tag Titles earlier in the year. These duos go to work through the break and have good interactions. Sheamus got another win via Brogue Kick after they cut off the Magic Killer. Last out was the Golden Truth. Though they weren’t exactly threats, the toll of wrestling all those teams was clear on Sheamus and Cesaro. Still, Cesaro rolled up Truth to run the table at 27:42. A solid, yet unspectacular match that was more to showcase how strong this team was against the rest of the division. The winners attacked Golden Truth after the match until the Hardy Boyz arrived. Nothing physical went down. [***]

Take Things to the Xtreme | Extreme Rules | Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland | 6/4/17
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match: The Hardy Boyz [c] vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
Cage matches involving tag teams are kind of already at a disadvantage when both members of a team must escape. It sets up a situation where someone must leave their partner all alone. Almost instantly, Cesaro attempted to leave, which is why this match type just doesn’t work. The back and forth between the teams was solid, but there was a lot of repetitive cage climbing. It’s hard to avoid in a match like this, so it’s not entirely on the guys in the ring. Jeff got out, leaving his brother all alone. He did still return to hit Whisper in the Winds off the cage in the match’s big spot. Following that, the challengers climbed out, while Matt tried dragging his daredevil brother back out. Sheamus and Cesaro beat them to the punch, winning the titles at 15:03. A disappointment for these teams, but about what you’d expect from the stipulation. [**½]

Real Iron Men | Great Balls of Fire | American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas | 7/9/17
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Ironman Match: Cesaro and Sheamus [c] vs. The Hardy Boyz
Ironman matches can be tricky. These guys had a plan to try and keep the crowd invested early, when Sheamus got his team a fall in the opening seconds. It reminded me of Sheamus/Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXVIII. Remember the Best of Seven Series where Cesaro came back from down 3-0? Well, WWE went to that well again here, having the Hardys rally from a 3-1 deficit to tie things up. I get why that’s a storytelling trope in this match type, but it’s tired at this point. Try something new, like trading falls on a level playing field. Anyway, most of the match felt like it dragged and I found myself liking it a lot less than when I first watched it. The finishing stretch was the strongest part, even if the Hardys were clearly gassed by that point. Especially Matt. Cesaro got a rollup with about 25 seconds left to go ahead 4-3. Jeff nearly won at the buzzer but the Swanton Bomb came too late and time expired. A decent at best Ironman match. It was pretty dull most of the way and only picked up late. [**½]

Battling a Brotherhood | SummerSlam | Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York | 8/20/17
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: The Bar [c] vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
Thankfully, the Network Collection features the video package of the build. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins joining back together was done well and their fist bump was a great moment. Though the crowd was invested in the early portion of this match, some were focused on other things. That changed when Cesaro hopped the guardrail and popped a beach ball some fans were playing with. That ignited the rest of the audience and they were loud for the rest of the match. Seth took the heat segment that led to Dean coming in like the madman he plays so well. From there, the match was just filled with great spot after great spot. The best saw Seth super rana Cesaro into Sheamus and Dean. That made for a huge wreck of bodies. Seth went into superkicks and the Ripcord Knee before Dean won for his guys with Dirty Deeds in 18:34. The best match on this collection to this point. Four great wrestlers having a great tag team match. [****]

A Rare Misfire | No Mercy | Staples Center in Los Angeles, California | 9/24/17
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins [c] vs. The Bar
Following their SummerSlam banger, the next PPV gave us the much anticipated rematch. This one told a much different story and I think that was for the better. The champion couldn’t surprise the challengers this time around. The Bar just bullied the champions as soon as they got the opportunities. It’s a role they’ve grown to excel at and this was their very best. The memorable spot from this match came when Cesaro took a slingshot and hit face first on the ring post. It cause his top two teeth to be driven up into his gums. The fact that he continued the match at the level he did was nothing short of amazing. Rollins came in with his perfect hot tag offense. I praised the SummerSlam ending and they teased it here, only for Cesaro to block the super rana and Sheamus hit White Noise on Dean. Cesaro then hit Seth with an avalanche Ricola Bomb onto Dean to give us one of the best near falls you’ll ever see. Seriously, it was that good. It was a small miscommunication by the challengers that allowed Seth and Dean to hit the Dirty Deeds/Ripcord Knee combo to retain in a stellar 15:55. They improved upon an already fantastic match to give us something truly special. A hot crowd, great callbacks, and tons of action. [****¼]

By Any Means Necessary | Raw #1276 | Manchester Arena in Manchester, England | 11/6/17
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins [c] vs. The Bar
After failing to win back the titles at No Mercy, it took over a month for the Bar to get another shot. This one was granted the distinction of main eventing Raw. The Shield had reformed by this point. By now, the chemistry between these four was clear. Like the No Mercy outing, this one got off to a fast start before calming down. During that stretch, Dean Ambrose played the face in peril, again like No Mercy. Seth got the hot tag, DID THE DEAL, and turned the tide for his team. That momentum shifted again when Dean got caught on a dive and ate a crucifix bomb. Still, the Shield nearly had it won after Dirty Deeds and a frog splash, only for Cesaro to break up the pin. It was then that the New Day appeared in the crowd to cause a distraction. This was when Smackdown and Raw were gearing up for war heading into Survivor Series. This allowed Sheamus to deliver a Brogue Kick and give us new champions after 18:43. Their PPV matches were better, but this was still a worthy entry into the series. [***½]

Brand for Brand | Survivor Series | Toyota Center in Houston, Texas | 11/19/17
The Bar vs. The Usos
Originally, this was set to be Dean and Seth against the Usos. It was changed because this was Raw Tag Team Champions against Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Honestly, it was also two of the three best teams in the world going at it. Unlike the Shield matches, this got off to a relatively slow start. That’s not a bad thing, as they used the time to build o something bigger. Once it got going, it never stopped. The main thing that hurt this match was a lackluster crowd. I didn’t understand Houston, because they popped for a Nia Jax/Tamina altercation earlier in the show, but not for great tag team action. Anyway, they woke up for some strong false finishes down the stretch. In one of my favorite finishes of the year, the Usos busted out a blind tag during a plancha, allowing the new legal man to hit the splash and win at 15:54. It wasn’t a win for the Bar, but it’s on this list because it shows how damn good they are. Same for the Usos. Great tag match that needed a better crowd. [***¾]

Against All Odds | Raw #1280 | Staples Center in Los Angeles, California | 12/4/17
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: The Bar [c] vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
One final battle between Dean/Seth and the Bar. Again, they were given the main event slot. When you watch teams face off so often in a row, you need something to stand out. Nothing did in this one, but it still managed to be another strong battle. I’m not going into too much detail about the action in the ring, because we knew what to expect by this point. I will not that, for the second straight match involving these duos, we got a wonky finish. This one saw the Bar get disqualified due to an attack on Rollins. However, General Manager Kurt Angle came out and demanded the match restart under No DQ rules. He was here for his TLC Shield buddies. Out came Samoa Joe, who was negated by the arrival of Roman Reigns. All hell broke loose. During the chaos, Ambrose took a Brogue Kick that ended things at 19:14. About on par with the last match, but with a worse finish. [***½]

Celtic Warrior vs. Kingslayer | Raw #1281 | Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio | 12/11/17
Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus
After the events that ended the previous week’s Raw, I fully expected a six man tag. Instead, the six men met in three separate singles matches. This was up first. Seth Rollins was a few months away from reminding everyone why he’s one of the best in the world. Here, he and Sheamus worked together to have a fluid match, made with ease thanks to the chemistry developed in tags. However, it never really became anything very good or memorable. I feel the highlight of the match was the way Seth sold his knee throughout. He can sometimes be inconsistent with that aspect, but he nailed it here. Seth went on to avoid a Brogue Kick and hit the Ripcord Knee to earn the victory in 13:11. A good, solid back and forth match. [***]

Swiss Superman vs. The Big Dog | Raw #1281 | Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio | 12/11/17
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns [c] vs. Cesaro
More wrestling from that very same episode of Raw. These guys had a memorable match in the WWE Title Tournament back in 2015. One thing you can expect from both men is a hard hitting match and they didn’t disappoint in that sense. Cesaro put his focus on Reigns’ right arm. I liked that because it takes away a lot of Roman’s big offensive weapons. He sold it well throughout, while Cesaro kept his work interesting. The crowd was invested in everything they did, though they were pro-Cesaro so Roman’s big comeback wasn’t greatly received. We got some good near falls, but I don’t think anyone believed Cesaro was getting the title. That meant there was a lack of drama that they never managed to overcome. Roman countered the Neutralizer and hit the Spear to retain at 16:46. A damn good match that nearly cracked the great level. I dug the arm work and the stiff strikes throughout. More drama would’ve put it over the top. [***¾]

A Shocking Upset | Raw #1283 | Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois | 12/25/17
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: The Bar [c] vs. Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins
Merry Christmas! It’s our final 2017 match. With word that Dean Ambrose was injured and would miss nine months, Seth Rollins was out a partner. Enter Kurt Angle’s son, Jason Jordan. Another main event for Sheamus and Cesaro, by the way. The Bar didn’t seem to take Jordan seriously. They had laughed at him earlier in the show. He did a fine job of holding his own here. However, he’s no Dean Ambrose and doesn’t have chemistry with these guys at this point. That meant things didn’t click as well when he was involved. Interestingly, he got the hot tag and that part of the match worked better. In a surprising result, Jordan hit a popup neckbreaker on Cesaro, which looked impressive, to capture the titles after 15:33. This was pretty good. For a first time team, Jordan and Rollins worked rather well together. [**¾]

The Bar is Raised | Royal Rumble | Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | 1/28/18
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins [c] vs. The Bar
The Collection is coming to a close. It’s been a long ride. Anyway, this is our only match from 2018. This had the unfortunate task of following the excellent Men’s Royal Rumble match. Combine that with this not being a particularly exciting match and you’ve got a recipe for a dead crowd. What the match succeeded in was telling a solid story. Jason Jordan was pulled off the apron and attacked to the point where he kayfabe hurt his head. Trainers came out to check on him, leaving Seth to carry the load. Jordan finally got a tag, only to hold his head in pain and tag right back out. The exhausted Seth questioned this but had to get back on there. He fell to a Brogue Kick, giving the Bar another title reign at 12:48. Not a strong ending in terms of action, but I was all in on the story which caved this from sucking. [**¼]

The final score: review Good
The 411
For the most part, I enjoyed this even if it was pretty long. There were a few matches that didn’t quite live up to what I wanted (the Jordan and Hardy matches come to mind). However, everything else clicked. I loved the Bar’s series with the Shield, as well as their one-off against the Usos, and the Cesaro/Reigns match in this collection is a banger.

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Cesaro, Sheamus, Kevin Pantoja