Please make sure to go here from now on for your Rantables needs. This site will be fading into nothing from now on. Please remember to go there. I’ll write it again just for good measure.
It’s been a good run. See you on the other side.
My apologies for not writing anything over the past few weeks. Suffice to say that it feels as though this blog has run its course. That is not to say that I will stop writing about this silly little hobby of mine. In fact, I will be moving this blog to Blogger/Blogspot/whatever you may refer to it as. I will likely begin updating that with content within the next day or so. So for those of you who enjoyed my little insane ramblings, do join me on Blogger once the site is up and running. I will be sure to post a link to the new blog. And I promise that I will be updating that one more often than I did this one. Stay tuned for the rebirth of Rantables!
I have three good reasons why this is the first post I’ve made since the last results column: 1) I was lazy, 2) I do not care at all about what happens at this show, and 3) I have a much larger project that I’ve been working on for the past week and am going to be working on for the next couple of weeks more, a project that I hope will be spread across the internet and reach the office of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Or one of his underlings. Anyway, you could fill a football stadium with how much I don’t care about Bragging Rights, so let’s get this picks post out of the way, shall we?
Champion vs. Champion – Daniel Bryan Danielson vs. Dolph Ziggler
If this is the prelude to the unification of the United States and Intercontinental Championships, I’m pretty much okay with it. As much as it seems like Vince hates pushing Danielson, he hasn’t lost on PPV yet. Well, he got pinned in that WWE vs. Nexus match at Summerslam, but that was after he eliminated two Nexus members, which I count as a win. I just wish Michael Cole would shut up for five minutes about how much he hates Danielson so we could enjoy his matches. Ziggler is just kind of there, not really advancing past the mid card. Because he’s perfect in PPV matches so far, I’m picking Daniel Bryan Danielson to win and someday become the Unified Inter-United-Conti-States-Nental champion.
Diva’s Championship – Layla (c) vs. Natalya
Laycool is never going to drop these belts as long as they’re together and a disqualification means they retain the belt. Layla retains. NEXT.
WWE Championship – Randy Orton (c) vs. Wade Barrett
Yawn. Randy Orton retains somehow, either by an accidental DQ by Cena or Barrett or a freak pinfall after said mistake by Cena.
Buried Alive Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Kane (c) vs. The Undertaker
Every time I’ve picked the Undertaker to win, he’s lost. But not this time! This feud has been losing steam for the past few weeks, and a Buried Alive match is very symbolic of finishing something for good. This is going to be the last match in this feud for a while. If they decide to pick it up again, it won’t be for a couple of months, which may be a good idea. As to who wins, well, I think I kind of gave that away in the first two sentences. Against my better judgment, I am once again picking The Undertaker to win. Maybe Kane will go into hiding afterwards so they don’t have a return match. I don’t know, really. Bu it should be fun.
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown – 7-on-7 Elimination Match
What’s the point? What’s the point of booting Kaval out of the match in favor of Super Hobo Man, AKA Tyler Reks? What’s the point in replacing Mark Henry with the immensely awful Ezekiel Jackson? What’s the point of having a Survivor Series PPV when we’ve already had one 7-on-7 elimination match at Summerslam and one at Bragging Rights? I’m convinced there is no point. I’m not even going to try to go into the feuds both within each team and between the two teams, because it would be a waste of my time. Team Raw wins this severely pointless match.
I apologize for the shortness of this entry. I just hope it helps you understand how little I care about Bragging Rights and WWE in general. Part of it does have to do with politics, and part of it has to do with how awful WWE is in comparison to a good wrestling promotion. I am getting tired of the boring, stale programming that WWE is pumping out every week. I may stop watching altogether soon. Especially if they actually try to land Justin Bieber to sing the national anthem at Wrestlemania 27. Then I’m boycotting them forever. So much for trying to end this on a positive note. Stay functional, everyone!
As has happened several times in the past, the shows with little intrigue end up surprisingly good. This doesn’t always happen, but having six total matches on the card will only help the performers tell a story in the ring instead of rushing things. And despite starting out perfectly in picks, a perfect 5-0 record was squandered by unforseen circumstances. I’m not going to whine and cry about it, so let’s get right to the results.
Bryan Danielson defeated The Miz and John Morrison in a Triple Threat Submissions Count Anywhere Match to retain the United States Championship
Quite a mouthful for that first match. They definitely picked the right match to start the show. This was a wicked affair, with tons of legitimate submission holds (instead of a dozen rest holds in between a real submission) and constant action between all three competitors. And what was great was that no one held a clear advantage throughout. Danielson even got some Cattle Mutilation in there, and I loved how weirded out Cole got when he heard it’s name. What was also nice was seeing Miz and Morrison expand their repertoires to include some fairly strong submissions. Seeing Morrison lock a Texas Cloverleaf on Miz was pretty awesome. I’ll give the devil his due: Miz was just as good in this match as Danielson and Morrison. He had some help from his carbon copy, Alex Riley, but thanks to some interference from an unassuming cameraman, Danielson put Miz in the LeBell Lock on the entrance ramp and secured the victory. I was very pleased with how this match went from start to finish. Definitely a match to watch if you get the chance. These three could continue their feud for a while longer and I wouldn’t mind at all, so long as we get more Triple Threat matches out of it.
Randy Orton defeated Sheamus in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the WWE Championship
Again, the right decision was made as to which Cell match went first. And I will again give the other devils their due: these two had a really good 20+ minute match. I think it was more me shutting out the commentators and just enjoying the match more than anything, because they tend to ruin matches with their ceaseless banter. I also think that Orton and Sheamus had to pull out all the stops after seeing the Triple Threat match and how awesome it was. The one issue I have with this match is the end. Instead of Orton building up to an RKO like he normally does, the match just kind of ended. Orton hit the RKO on the steel steps Sheamus had pulled into the ring (though it looked more like Orton took all the damage by landing back first on the steps and only a bit of Sheamus’ chest landing on the steps) and it was over. But aside from that, another good match. It was definitely (in my estimation) Sheamus’ best match, and if all of his matches were like this, maybe I wouldn’t be so harsh on his work. Truthfully, if every WWE PPV had the quality of matches that this one did, I’d probably not be so down on the company right now.
Side note: CHIKARA has released their latest shows on DVD, so if you haven’t already purchased them, I’d suggest you do so as soon as you finish reading this entry.
Edge defeated Jack Swagger
In a strange impromptu segment/match that also involved Alberto Del Rio, Edge proved that he is the Eric Young of the WWE. The guy has had more turns than a British roundabout. He was a heel last year, turned face as soon as he got injured, then turned heel shortly after his Wrestlemania match with Chris Jericho, and is now a face again during this ridiculous feud with the Raw GM, who I very cleverly deduced last week is none other than GLaDOS, the insane computer from the game Portal. Trust me, it explains everything. Anyway, a surprisingly fun little match with one very scary botch that appeared to be crossed signals: right near the end of the match, it looked as though Swagger was going for a dragon screw leg whip while holding Edge’s left leg while Edge was attempting an enziguiri. Edge landed awkwardly, and Swagger didn’t release Edge’s leg, causing it to twist in two directions simultaneously. Very scary. But I guess Edge is mostly okay, as there were no reports of a serious injury and he walked out of the arena on his own power. Let’s hope he isn’t hurt.
Wade Barrett defeated John Cena
Ah, the first match with an unexpected ending. When the rest of Nexus was discussing their plan that they’d never run by Barrett, I thought that they might end up causing the disqualification in favor of Barrett so that Cena would lose. But that was not to be, as the rest of the locker room poured out and drove off Nexus, while John Cena merely watched and did nothing to Barrett. I mentioned in my picks entry that I felt Cena was over the hill, ring-wise, but he mostly proved me wrong in this match. Now, if only he worked this well in every match. Barrett also finally showed me why everyone else seems so up on him. These two had a very strong match, but unfortunately, there was outside interference and Barrett won. Now, if you don’t want the identities of the two men who caused Cena to lose, TURN AWAY NOW! SPOILER ALERT! It was Husky Harris and Michael “Don’t Call Me Joe Hennig” McGillicutty. I would imagine that with everyone from season 2 of NXT besides Kaval having had no screen time since their season ended a month or so ago and several of them showing real promise (Harris among them), it may be time for Nexus to expand. Putting Harris on the team would provide the team with a fantastic young talent, and while McGillicutty is, somehow, entirely lacking in the promo department, you cannot discount his in-ring ability. They would make fine additions to Nexus while Darren Young is gone and Skip Sheffield is out with an injury. SPOILER ALERT OVER! So, with all that being said, Cena lost and will join Nexus. Though I would imagine he will not be subservient. Don’t be surprised if he does the same thing CM Punk did with the New Breed back in the old new ECW: tearing it apart from the inside. Cena is a cash cow, a money tree, and Vince would be a complete idiot to turn him heel, if only for monetary purposes.
Natalya defeated Michelle McCool via Disqualification; Michelle McCool retains the Unified Divas Championship
In what was becoming a fairly fun match, Layla had to go toss a shoe at Natalya to cause the DQ rather pathetically early. I was just getting into the match, and suddenly it was over. I should have expected as much from LayCool. Now we are treated to more of the utter revulsion their voices cause on a nightly basis. Joy of joys. Not that I was expecting Nattie to win. She is the best women wrestler on WWE programming, and she’s decent on the mic. But when it comes to women, Vince cares not about wrestling ability and all about physical appearance. It’s okay. When the Hart Dynasty gets future endeavored, they can all come work for my imaginary promotion, where everyone gets equal screen time and no one has to deal with Russo-Rific storylines and horrible workers who can’t string two moves together without requiring a 5 minute rest hold in between. Oh, if only I had the money…and the skills to run a business.
Kane defeated The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Damned Paul Bearer. He screwed me out of a 4-1 record. I knew that something weird was up when he wanted so badly to be inside the cell at the beginning of the match. But I couldn’t have predicted that to happen beforehand, so I just went with it and got screwed in the end. The whole ending spot was also very strange, with the lights going out and the thunder sound effects. Was that supposed to represent the Undertaker’s powers, or the power of the urn, or what exactly? Then Bearer opens the urn and a weird light shines in Taker’s face, which I initially thought had sapped Taker of his strength but apparently just temporarily blinded him, which allowed Kane to hit a chokeslam even after Taker had seemingly retained his sight, picking up the victory. And at the end, the urn is open and the light is shining directly in Kane’s face, yet he isn’t blinded. What the hell? I imagine that many fans at the show don’t have a clue what happened, and they were significantly further away from the action than anyone who watched the show through other means. I hope they try to explain this clusterfuck on Smackdown, because right now none of it makes any sense. Besides that ugliness, the match was pretty good. The deal with a match between these two is that they tell their story through facial expressions rather than big impactful moves and crazy spots. They set things out very carefully, and it pays off. It was a really good match up until the weird ending (seems to be a theme to this show).
So, all in all, I’d actually say that this was a good show, wrestling-wise. Six (mostly) high quality matches and very little backstage or in-ring promo work, which usually bogs down a match with a small card. I could almost recommend spending money to see this show, on DVD of course. Don’t spend $50 or $60 to see it on PPV. That’s just outrageous. If you want to spend $60 on a wrestling show, get CHIKARA’s King of Trios 2010 shows. Three shows, nearly 9 hours of ridiculously high-quality wrestling, and an appearance of Dragon Dragon. Trust me, it’s worth it. I swear, those guys and gals at CHIKARA need to stop having so many amazing shows, because I’m going to go broke buying their DVDs. Seriously, I feel like trying to get onto their roster just so I can have crappy matches and tell people not to buy the DVDs because I work a crappy match on it. They make the rest of the wrestling world look bad.
Okay, enough CHIKARA praise. I’m starting to sound like Michael Cole when The Miz is within 100 feet of the announcers’ table. Stay tuned for more entries in the never-ending battle between good wrestling and matches involving Drew McIntyre. Until next time, stay chill everyone!
I was gearing up to write a fairly long, detailed post this week about NXT and how Vince McMahon is ruining the universe, but I ended up not writing anything, as I had no motivation to do so. Alas. Maybe that will show up sometime in the next couple of weeks. But since it’s time for yet another WWE Pay-Per-View show, I must write a picks entry.
Thanks to some dunderheaded decision-making by WWE executives, we’ve received only two weeks between the last PPV and Hell in a Cell. As a result, there are only five announced matches on the card and virtually no build to any of these matches. This whole show just feels tossed together rather than slowly built up so that the fans actually have invested some emotion in the show. As such, we’re getting one, maybe two matches where the fans will actually care about the outcome. Maybe. Let’s get this over with.
Unified Divas Championship Match – Michelle McCool (c) vs. Natalya
Hmmm…doesn’t this seem familiar? Oh, yes, it’s the exact same match we had a little over two years ago to crown the inaugural Divas Champion. And since the Womens Championship has apparently been retired, never to be seen again, we’re stuck with the hilariously hideous butterfly belt, otherwise known as the Divas Championship. It isn’t as horrifying as the WWE Tag Team Championships, but it’s up there in terms of ugliness. Anyway, it feels like no one will ever derail LayCool, and that saddens me. Michelle McCool finally did something I approved of on Smackdown’s SyFy premiere when she kicked Hornswoggle right in the face, but besides that, she’s been nothing more than annoying over the past few years. With the seemingly inevitable break-up of the Hart Dynasty (why?), Natalya’s chances of ever making an impact on WWE programming are slim to nil, and slim just left the building. It’s a shame, as she’s probably the most talented in-ring woman Vince has in his company. I would much prefer Nattie to win the title just so we don’t have to endure any more of those torturous LayCool promos, backstage segments, and guest commentator spots. But that won’t happen, especially since there are two championship belts. Michelle McCool wins and retains the most pointless championship in the world.
United States Championship Triple Threat Submissions Count Anywhere Match – Bryan Danielson (c) vs. The Miz vs. John Morrison
Wow, didn’t this match feel completely thrown together at the last minute? (The answer you are looking for is yes) My favorite part of this feud is that Danielson is now using the Ride of the Valkyries as his new entrance theme. It is so completely epic that I instinctively fling my arms up in the air every time it plays. What makes it even more awesome is how much Michael Cole hates it, despite the fact that his broadcast colleague, Jerry Lawler, uses classical music as his entrance theme (Pictures at an Exhibition, to be exact). Hypocrisy, thy name is Cole. But I digress. This whole ugly mess feels like a vehicle to the reunification of Miz and Morrison as a tag team. Morrison’s been growing out his facial hair, which, in the WWE, means that he is evil or about to become evil. Morrison’s career has become stagnant, and Miz is somehow still being pushed despite a lack of in-ring talent. But together, they form a team that could rule the world. Maybe I’m just reading too much into this. Anyway, since it’s a submissions count anywhere, and the only one of the competitors in this match who even bothers to USE submissions is Danielson, I think it’s a pretty easy conclusion to come to that Bryan Danielson wins and retains his United States Championship. I’d love to see Danielson vs. Kaval to unify the US and Intercontinental Championships at some point in the future, but the way Kaval is being buried, I doubt that will ever happen.
John Cena vs. Wade Barrett in a Pile of Stipulations Match
If Cena wins, Nexus disbands. If Barrett wins, Cena must join Nexus. Didn’t we see a similar stipulation about two years prior in another company that took its name from a former WWE tag team? Oh, yes, of course, I remember now! TNA did this when Christian was forced to join the Main Event Mafia, but instead got his ass handed to him in order for him to leave the company and resign with WWE. And let’s not forget Rey Mysterio’s feud with the now-defunct Straight Edge Society. These kinds of matches only go one way: the person who would be forced to join an opposing faction if he loses ends up winning. Except for Christian, but that’s because he was leaving the company. Nexus has had a…decent run on Raw, but it’s time to send them packing back to FCW. Justin Gabriel has shown immense promise, so I’d keep him on the main roster, but the rest I’m merely “meh” about or less. Besides, would you bet against John Cena? I wouldn’t. Even though I feel as though his best years in the ring have already passed him by, I can’t bring myself to pick his opponent, whomever he may be. John Cena wins and send Heath Slater back to being the mascot for Wendy’s.
World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell Match – Kane (c) vs. The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer
Bringing Paul Bearer back was probably the markiest moment I’ve had in the nearly five years since I returned to watching WWE in 2006. Sadly, he hasn’t received any mic time, so we haven’t gotten any awesome Bearer promos. But there was likely no way for Undertaker to return to his former glory given the storyline. This should be the main event, but probably won’t be for some reason. This has definitely been WWE’s best feud of the year, and it makes picking the winner that much more difficult. Which is actually a good sign that the feud is strong. I don’t believe this feud is over just yet, but I do think that with Paul Bearer in the fold and Taker seemingly back to 100%, we may see a title change. I’ll go ahead and pick The Undertaker to win and begin his eighth World Title reign. This will probably be the best match of the night, so I hope they don’t start the show with it like they did with Taker’s match last year. I hope this next match starts the show.
WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match – Randy Orton (c) vs. Sheamus
I was watching Deal or No Deal yesterday (because I have no life), and they had Rick Achberger, better known as The Sign Guy, competing for money, and Randy Orton was one of the surprise guest stars during the show (the others were Edge, John Cena, and Bobby Lashley). The show was from 2007, before Wrestlemania, and what surprised me most is how sane Orton looked. Yes, the entire point of those last few sentences was to mention how awful Randy Orton looks nowadays. He may have seemingly had a lack of scruples back then, but at least he looked like a normal guy. Now he just looks creepy. I still haven’t figured out why he’s so popular right now, but at least he’s a better champion than Sheamus. Hopefully this match will end the feud and (I pray) let somebody new and exciting into the main event. And I’m not talking about The Miz. I don’t particularly like Orton as champion, but for this match, I’ll pick Randy Orton to win and retain the WWE Championship.
So that’s Hell in a Cell. I’d expect at least one extra match since five matches is not enough for a card on a PPV event. Unless they’re all really good matches, which I’m not really expecting. Check back in in a couple of days for Hell in a Cell results, and soon I’ll be writing a diatribe directed towards Vince McMahon. Until then, stay cool everyone!
I agree, Mr. Sheik. This show was FAKING BULLSHEHT.
Okay, really just the last hour. But it completely overshadowed the previous hour and forty-five minutes, and ruined what to that point had been a pretty decent PPV. Let’s look at the slow burn to disaster that is Night of Champions.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston to retain the Intercontinental Championship
They picked a good’un to start the PPV. The only really disappointing part of this match was about two minutes in, when Vickie Guerrero sent Kaitlyn out of the arena. In terms of character, Kaitlyn is my favorite competitor on NXT (which reminds me, I REALLY need to talk about NXT soon, before it gets canceled, which it will). And it doesn’t hurt that she’s ridiculously easy on the eyes. I’ll go ahead and stop being a sexist pig now. Lots of back and forth action, and a great build to the finish, with it seeming like Vickie was going to screw up Dolph’s chances, only for him to apparently be faking his anger and dropping Kofi with the Zig Zag to earn the pinfall victory. This match solidified Ziggler’s Intercontinental Championship reign, and will hopefully tie up any loose ends Kofi has in the mid-card so he can FINALLY move up to the main event in the next couple of months. Good opener.
The Big Show defeated CM Punk
Anyone who watched this match knows that it obviously did not go as planned. Big Show’s ribs were probably injured after Punk hit a slingshot somersault senton from inside the ring to a prone Show on the floor outside the ring. The match went about two minutes after that, and Show hit a Knockout Punch to abruptly end the match. I have no idea if this was the planned finish, but I find it tough to believe it after Punk’s promo and my picking him to win the match. But that’s how it goes with legitimate injuries: a match has to end quickly or you risk further injury. I applaud Show for trying his best to finish the match with a rib injury. Had he not gotten hurt, I bet this would have definitely gone on longer. It’s okay, though. It was still a decent four minute match.
Daniel Bryan Danielson defeated The Miz to become the NEW United States Champion!
This was the one match on the card I was praying I had picked incorrectly, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong. I had honestly thought that they would battle again at Hell in a Cell, where Danielson would win the US Title, Miz would become nearly inconsolable, only to wait until the Raw Hell in a Cell match to jump out from nowhere, trip, fall head-first onto his briefcase, and get pinned by the WWE Champion to become the first man to NOT win a title after cashing in the Money in the Bank Briefcase. But it’s okay, because Bryan Danielson is now a Champion in WWE! Man, I did not expect to say that in 2010. It makes me so happy to see Vince finally give the fans (and the internet) something they actually want instead of something he THINKS we want. If I were to grade the matches on this PPV by how much I wanted a specific outcome, this would have been the match of the night. Hell, it was actually the second-best match of the night. Danielson can really work well with anyone, and he brought out the best in The Miz. I just wish Michael Cole would stop rationalizing Miz’s loss by making up idiotic excuses like, “Oh, Miz tripped and that allowed Bryan to slap on the LeBell Lock!” We get it, you’re trying to be a heel. But it doesn’t work when you’re a heel against one guy. It’s just irritating.
Speaking of Cole (I know I’m getting off track), how awesome is it that he’s leaving NXT? Sure, Vince is trying to destroy the show by having Cole constantly make fun of the entire show, but I still am happy that we’ll get a new play-by-play man to complement Josh Matthews. Can we see the return of Byron Saxton?
Also, props to Matt Striker for being in perfect Smark form during the show, informing the public of the origins of the LeBell Lock. Thank you, sir. Your talent is wasted on Smackdown, where you are censored and edited to the nth degree.
Michelle McCool defeated Melina in a Lumberjill Match to become the Unified Women’s Champion
God I hope WWE doesn’t call this the Unified Diva’s Championship, or just the Diva’s Championship. It says that on WWE.com, but I pray they call it the Women’s Championship still. Calling it the Diva’s Championship just shows us once again how Vince McMahon apparently feels about women. You thought I was a misogynist earlier? Vince is about a thousand times worse. Why in the hell would you have the Lumberjills dress up, some in semi-formal attire, for a match? You don’t see men in a Lumberjack match dressed in tuxedos (except the Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon match at WM 26, but that shouldn’t count), so why have the women in high heels and dresses? At least have them dressed like they’re ready to compete. It isn’t like they’re any less lady-like when they have wrestling boots and shorts on instead of high heels and a miniskirt. It just looks silly. Anyway, the match was okay, but nothing special. And apparently the rift we saw on Smackdown between Michelle and Layla dissolved in a matter of seconds, as they were hugging and jumping up and down, celebrating Michelle’s victory, which she should never have had in the first place since Layla was the official Women’s Champion. That storyline still bothers me. Now we’ll probably get even more screen time wasted with LayCool’s utterly pointless promos. Not as pointless as the Teddy Long/Hornswoggle segments (doesn’t Teddy have a show to run?), but pretty pointless nonetheless.
Kane defeated The Undertaker to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
I’ll put it out there right now: Match of the Night for the Feud of the Year. This match wasn’t about doing the coolest moves or going sixteen straight hours, it was about emotion and internal strife. And these two pulled it off as well as anyone could. While it wasn’t quite as emotional as, say, Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair at WM 24, it was still fantastic in terms of character. Plus, Undertaker’s selling was top-notch again. These two didn’t have a wrestling match, they had a knock-down, drag-out fight. A brawl. And I was entertained from bell to bell. However, I do not believe this is the end. You cannot properly end a feud like this without a Hell in a Cell match. So you’d better book your seat on the couch, because in two weeks, be ready for the epic end to an amazing feud. I cannot wait.
“Dashing” Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre won a Tag Team Turmoil Match to become the NEW WWE Tag Team Champions
Here is where the show went to hell. I was okay with Tag Team Turmoil, though I would have been more interested if it was a four-team Tornado-style elimination match without the utterly random and pointless team of Evan Bourne and Mark Henry. Really? How did you come up with that pairing, Creative? You couldn’t, say, use Christian and MVP? Or John Morrison and R-Truth (Morrison had a dark match, so this selection is likely unreasonable)? I was okay with putting The Usos in there. I was not okay with Santino and Vlad Kozlov. They’ve done nothing but beat the Usos a couple of times on Superstars. Why not put the Dudebusters in there? Or Hawkins and Archer? Teams that are actually somewhat established? And also, WHY IN THE BLUE HELL WOULD YOU TAKE THE TAG TITLES OFF OF THE HART DYNASTY? What, did one of them piss you off somehow and you decided to retaliate by putting the titles on an undeserving lout like Drew McIntyre? Cody Rhodes I’m fine with, but he should be working up to an Intercontinental Title run, not be a Tag Team Champion. He’s done that three times already. I am so very angry and disappointed that the Hart Dynasty lost the titles so soon. It really sealed the deal for me that Vince truly does not give a shit about tag teams in his company. “Instead of keeping the titles on an established, well-liked team, let’s put the titles on two completely random names we drew from a hat and decided for no good reason to pair up, even though they’re both working in the singles division and have nothing in common besides being vaguely similar in age.” I’m betting that’s how the meeting went when they chose to put the Tag Team Titles on Rhodes and McIntyre. Thanks, Vince. You’ve ruined tag team wrestling. Now I have to go to CHIKARA exclusively for good tag team action.
Randy Orton defeated Sheamus, John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, and Wade Barrett to become the NEW WWE Champion
As bad as the Tag Team Turmoil match was, it didn’t hold a candle to this atrocity. Chris Jericho gets pinned not two minutes into the match, then the match stops for two more minutes while Jericho makes the slow walk up the ramp for the last time (or at least until he’s tired of touring with Fozzy). That was an abomination unto itself, eliminating Jericho so quickly. After some more time in which nothing of note happens, Edge, Cena, and Barrett are eliminated in succession, leaving Sheamus and Mr. Push-a-Lot. Sheamus hits the Bicycle Kick, Orton kicks out, Orton hits the RKO, new champion. Whoop de freaking do. It is no secret that I do not like Randy Orton. I do not understand why he is so over as a face. And I simply do not enjoy the fact that, no matter what happens, he ALWAYS comes out on top. He’s been in the main event so long, I’ve grown bored with his character. He just is not that interesting. Even Sheamus has a strange appearance, but that’s somewhat interesting. Randy Orton is dull. I could not care less about the WWE Championship when Orton is champion. I am certainly not looking forward to Miz taking the title away from Orton, either. Honestly, I expected Miz to cash in the Money in the Bank Briefcase at the PPV (seeing as how the show went on for five minutes after Orton made the final pinfall), but that was not to happen. We just get Orton celebrating on camera for FIVE GODDAMNED MINUTES. I don’t think The Undertaker got that much celebration time when he defeated Edge at the end of Wrestlemania 24. Yeesh.
So WWE is going to hell yet again, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Our only hope is that Daniel Bryan Danielson rises up the ranks quickly and wrests the WWE Championship from whatever boring persona holds the title. And that Kaval makes his way up the Smackdown roster and gains control of the World Heavyweight Championship. But now I’m delusional.
Okay, that’s enough focused rage for now. I’ll actually be back later this week with some NXT comments, and stay tuned for my ultimate roster’s first show. It’s an epic show, if I do say so myself. So, until then, stay fine and dandy everyone!
Admittedly, this episode of Rantables was going to be the card for my epic roster’s first ever show, but I got really lazy/sidetracked by other projects, so that will be posted at a later date. With that said, let’s do picks for Night of Champions.
This show has had about the best total build across all matches as I’ve seen in a while. Every match has had time every week to build a little more on the story so far, and that’s something that WWE programming has been sorely lacking over the past while. What makes it so great is that it actually makes picking winners a challenge instead of one choice being incredibly obvious. It’s refreshing. With that said, let’s go to the card.
CM Punk vs. The Big Show
Ah, the Special Attraction non-title match, the first in Night of Champions history. Punk and Show have had a fun feud that’s managed to keep both guys over throughout. With the dissolution of the Straight Edge Society, Punk appears to be ready to fly solo once again. I honestly thought he was better that way. Show has been getting over like crazy thanks to his jolly antics and overall pleasant demeanor since moving to Smackdown. I enjoy his promos thoroughly. Punk is also stellar on the mic. Show won the last match against Punk in that 3-on-1 Handicap match at SUmmerslam, so it stands to reason that Punk will win this one. But picking against The Big Show is always difficult, since it’s difficult to picture ways in which he can legitimately lose a match. Punk can’t use the GTS on Show, and locking on the Anaconda Vice may be next to impossible. However, Punk has managed to pull off some crazy wins against bigger men, and I would bet that he’s going to use every part of the ring to his advantage. I’m picking CM Punk to win in what I would consider an upset. But this feud isn’t done yet.
Women’s and Diva’s Title Unification Lumberjill match – Melina (Diva’s Champion) vs. Michelle McCool (Women’s Champion)
Aside from the Tag Team Titles match that still hasn’t been booked as of my writing this very sentence, this match has had the least build up of the entire card. Still, it hasn’t been as awful as most of LayCool’s programs in recent months. The latest twist came last night on Smackdown, when Michelle rigged a game of chance so that she would be the half of LayCool to defend the Women’s Championship (and, I would think, become the unified Women’s Champion if she succeeds). This likely means the end of LayCool as we know it. Now, the question on my mind is this: will Layla betray Michelle and help Melina win the unified Women’s Championship, or will her plans backfire and Michelle win anyway? Technically, Michelle should never have been a part of this match, but the story played out that way. On an unrelated note, I really hope that Kaval ends his association with LayCool very soon, since there is no reason he needs to be hanging around them anymore. He has his guaranteed title shot and a spot on the Smackdown roster, so why is he still associating with the tie-for-third-most annoying personalities on WWE programming? I hope he kicks both of their heads in and goes out on his own. Of course, I’ve been hoping for that to happen since the first week he was on NXT…but I’ve gone on this tangent long enough. Michelle would be the more solid choice, as Melina is rather oft injured, which leaves the company scrambling for a replacement. On the other hand, if Michelle wins, we’ll never hear the end of it. The X Factor, of course, will be the ladies surrounding the ring. Whether they end up screwing Michelle out of the title remains to be seen. I think it will cost Michelle in the end, and Melina wins to become the NEW Unified Women’s Champion.
Tag Team Championship Match – The Hart Dynasty (c’s) vs. ???
It really isn’t going to matter who their opponents are, The Hart Dynasty will win and retain the Tag Team Championships. Unless they’re going to face Alberto Del Rio in some manner. WWE seems way too intent on pushing him up the ladder way too quickly. Even the best in the world had to work his way up from the bottom.
Intercontinental Championship Match – Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
If Dolph gets disqualified or counted out, he will lose the Intercontinental Championship. Usually, when this type of stipulation is placed on a match, the champion will end up retaining the title. And I would not doubt that WWE is going to stray from tradition this time, either. Kofi has talked a big talk since returning to Smackdown, but he’s barely done anything to live up to his massive potential. Though that’s Creative’s fault for not pushing him up to the main event 9 months ago after his feud with Randy Orton. Maybe this time, they’ll push Kofi up. That being said, this should be a pretty good match despite Vickie Guerrero’s attempts to ruin it by existing. Dolph Ziggler wins and retains the Intercontinental Championship.
United States Championship Match – The Miz (c) vs. Bryan Danielson
Every fiber of my being wants Danielson to take the title away from Miz. Nobody deserves a push in WWE as much as Danielson does. But my gut tells me otherwise. This feud can’t end yet. It’s just getting started, really. With the addition of Alex Riley, AKA The Miz 2.0, it’s getting interesting. I’m not a bigl supporter of Miz or Riley, but at least they can talk most WWE wrestlers under the table. Danielson WILL win the US Championship, for sure. Just not on Sunday. It pains me to write this, but The Miz wins and retains the US Championship…for the moment.
World Heavyweight Championships No Holds Barred Match – Kane (c) vs. The Undertaker
Unless something amazing happens in the next two and a half months, this is my pick for feud of the year. Kane’s promos have been, by far, the best of his career, and the best in the company the past couple of months. I often forget that he’s talking about wrestling when he’s talking. It feels more like this story could fit into a graphic novel or a TV miniseries instead of WWE programming. And as good as Kane has been on the mic, Taker has been just as good at selling his time away. All the younger guys should take note: Taker’s performance is how good you should sell everything. It’s actually believable. Yes, Taker has 20 years of experience, but the earlier you learn to sell well, the better your career and fan following will be. If Taker’s sell of his injuries wasn’t so good, I would have a severely difficult time picking this match. Hell, even so, it’s still a difficult choice. I don’t believe this feud is quite done yet. With Hell in a Cell looming (pun oh so deliciously intended), what better way to finally close out this 13-year-long feud than with a Hell in a Cell match? Answer: there is no better way. Kane wins and retains the World Heavyweight Championship.
WWE Championship Six Pack Challenge Elimination Match – Sheamus (c) vs. John Cena vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton
I think we’re going to have to get used to not seeing Chris Jericho on WWE programming after Sunday night, because there’s no way he’s going to win the WWE Championship. We can also count Edge out, as he’s been in the background most of the length of this build. Cena’s out, as he’s actually becoming a little stale in my eyes, and he’s better as the hunter, not the hunted. And Wade Barrett will probably get a title run later down the line. So that brings us to the current champ and the guy who’s gotten such a ridiculously huge push the past month that it’s actually kind of annoying to watch. Orton is getting the Alberto Del Rio Push, only ten times more so. It’s downright wacky how hard Creative is pushing him. I’m mostly complaining because I’m not a Randy Orton fan. With such a monster push, it would be difficult to pick against Orton. But I have a feeling that Sheamus will somehow pull off the victory, only to have another certain Hunter interrupt his celebration. Sheamus wins to retain the WWE Championship.
I need to write up another one of my sampler episodes to cover all of the stuff I’ve not written about over the past…jeez, I guess it’s been almost three weeks. I’ll get on that after Night of Champions. Until then, stay crispy, everyone!
So here we are, 16 months and 100 posts later. I’d like to think I’ve grown as both a writer and as a viewer of wrestling. And even though 100 is still an arbitrary number to get excited about (less arbitrary than 900, though, but I’m getting off topic), I’d like to think that it means something. There are very few projects that I’ve stuck with for as long as this one, and that, to me, is a great sign. And I think it’s about time I start shopping this little blog around for potential websites to pick up, because, well, let’s face it: my audience is rather small. I thank every one of you who read this. I think it’s about time I move up in the writing business. I don’t care if I get money for this or not, I just want to get my little opinion heard. So I’m going to work my butt off to try to get this more exposure.
Now, with that being said, get ready for a very long post this time. It is my 100th, after all.
A few weeks ago, a question was posed by fellow wrestling writer and Facebook friend, Anthony Valvo aka Mr. V. It had been revealed that TNA was going to spend roughly $4 million on (if memory serves) six wrestling personalities: Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, and Mr. Anderson. I may be entirely wrong with that, but the point still stands: that’s a damn lot of money for TNA to be spending on six people. And Mr. Valvo posed this question: if you were the head of TNA and had $4 million to spend on bringing in new talent, who would you bring in? I thought about this question a lot, but it led to an even more entertaining question to ponder: if I were the owner of a wrestling promotion, who would I bring together to make my roster? Money is no object, and this is the roster I would want, not necessarily what any other promotion would want as their roster. So there may be (to some people) odd choices I either chose to have on the roster or chose not to have on the roster. I’ll be discussing the entire roster, and also I’ll have a card for the first-ever show in which we crown three champions. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the 100th edition of Rantables!
I’d like to begin by saying that I really wanted to have a strong roster, but not a bloated roster like TNA’s. Unfortunately, after several tries at cutting names from the list, I could not bring the total number of on-air personalities under 60. I was hoping to get it to 50, but I’ll just have to live with what I’ve got. I’ll be taking people from four major promotions: WWE, TNA, ROH, and CHIKARA. Probably some of you wonder why I left out other major promotions, such as Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE, and NWA. Well, I’ll be totally honest: I don’t know much about any of those promotions, since I’ve seen very little of them. I’m going with names I’ve seen and names I’ve been entertained by over the last four and a half years. Let’s start with some WWE names.
Chris Jericho – I just cannot start a wrestling promotion without this guy. Sure, he’s nearly 40, but he’s been one of the most consistently good performer for nearly twenty years. And while he may not have too much longer left in the ring, he’s still one of the best, and he would help out the younger guys immensely. And once his in-ring career is over, he can move to an authority role or the commentation station.
The Hart Dynasty – Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith, and Nattie Neidhart are the best tag team in the WWE right now, and the best since The Miz and John Morrison. And they’re getting better with every passing week. Just imagine what they would do if they weren’t restricted by WWE’s conservative match-style. And, if you wanted to make a Trio out of them, either have Nattie work as an equal or bring in Teddy Hart (if he can control himself). In a promotion with a very strong tag team division (which my promotion would, in fact, have), the Dynasty would provide a lot of great entertainment.
Evan Bourne/Matt Sydal – Before Bryan Danielson made his triumphant return to WWE programming, I proclaimed Bourne the next United States Champion. Now that that pipe dream is over, it’s time to focus on the positives. Bourne is one of the best in-ring performers WWE has. He’s the best high-flyer they’ve got, and he’s a magnificent seller. But on a roster of mostly smaller guys (relatively speaking, of course), Bourne could truly flourish. Which I would allow him to do, as I would everyone on this roster.
The Usos – I really think WWE Creative is screwing up by not continuing the Usos/Harts feud. It’s the best tag team feud they’ve had in a very long time, and just a couple of weeks after the Usos lost in a Tag Team Title match, they’re jobbing to Santino and Vlad Kozlov? How quickly Creative can drop someone always surprises and disgusts me. With Tamina at their side, they can form a formidable Trio. I would definitely let the Usos and the Harts feud for a year or more.
John Morrison – We saw flashes of utter brilliance after his character’s initial transformation from Johnny Nitro to John Morrison. As a heel, Morrison was one of the best things the now-defunct ECW had to offer. As a face, Morrison is struggling, stagnant, and boring. We know he’s got crazy athleticism. What we need now is for him to not be bound by the idiocy that WWE Creative heaps upon some of their best talent. Morrison unchained could be one of the greatest performers in wrestling history. And I’d fully intend to allow him the freedom to do what he does best.
Yoshi Tatsu – Tatsu’s situation mirrors Morrison’s. With more freedom during matches, Tatsu could really become entertaining as hell. He can get crazy over with the fans by doing very little, which I cannot say for other people. With a little coaxing, Tatsu could really prove to be one of the most fun guys to watch in the ring.
Christian – He is in the same boat as Jericho. He’s probably nearing the end of his career, but he’s still got plenty of time left to keep the fans truly entertained. Christian is one of those guys who has gotten all of the recognition he’s deserved, only it’s all been on the internet. Well, I intend to let the world know that he is deserving of all that praise. Like Jericho, he could be a major help with the younger guys on the roster, as well as an inspiration for anyone who was told they weren’t good enough but never stopped working until they achieved their goals.
CM Punk – What kind of a promotion would this be without the Straight Edge Superstar? A crappy one, that’s what. Punk is one of those rare guys who can work just as well as a face or heel, and he always gets heat no matter what. He’s an excellent talker, and can bring it in the ring. Plain and simple, no major promotion should pass on CM Punk.
Kofi Kingston – Kofi has grown leaps and bounds (pun oh so deliciously intended) since his debut on WWE programming a few years back. We all know he’s got an incredible amount of athleticism and energy, and he’s one of the premier high-flyers in the business today. But with his re-found emotion and anger, he can really become a major player. Put him in a match with someone who’s wronged him and watch the sparks fly. Kofi is an integral part of the WWE roster, and he’ll be even more important on my roster.
Trent Barreta – Some of you may be scratching your heads with this pick, but I see the potential in Barreta to be truly great. He’s brash, arrogant, and a total douchenozzle. Plus, he’s got a fun style in the ring. With some matches against vets, he could gain the experience he needs to become a mainstay in the upper mid-card or even the main event.
Low Ki/Kaval – In my first draft of the roster, I forgot Kaval. Boy, did I feel like an idiot after going through the roster and realizing his name wasn’t on it. You cannot deny the sheer entertianment factor he brings to the ring. As Senshi in TNA, he was probably my favorite wrestler for that company, simply because he was so dedicated to his character that I actually was a little scared of him. I’d love to see him return to that state instead of his watered down WWE persona. Bring the real Low Ki back, and we’ve got one hell of a performer.
Husky Harris/Windham Rotunda – If this guy were in the indies, he could be a Young Lion’s Cup champion. He’s got the talent already, and the speaking chops to back it up. Yet he’s still got approximately infinity potential left. I thought it was a tragedy that he was voted off NXT before Alex Riley, and I’m betting he’ll get moved up to the WWE main roster soon. But he’ll definitely be on my roster.
Bryan Danielson – Danielson was another guy who was left off my first draft, though that was more because I didn’t know if he was going to return to WWE or if he was going to stay in the indies. Danielson is still arguably the best in the world at what he does (no offense, Jericho), and will likely be my promotion’s first World Champion. He deserves every bit of praise that the internet gives him, and having him on the roster is a no-brainer.
William Regal – I think Regal’s best wrestling days are behind him, but he can still be a fantastic authority figure, like a GM or Director of Fun. Plus, he’d probably be a sure bet as a trainer for any up-and-comers wanting to get in on this awesome promotion I’m building.
Gail Kim – Though I’m not creating a separate women’s division, I am going to have women on the roster who I feel could perform with the men on an equal basis. I’ve already listed Nattie Neidhart and Tamina, and I think Gail can easily join them as an equal member of the roster. She’s been hampered by WWE booking, so I think that she’ll get a lot more satisfaction out of her career if she were given more freedom during matches, which I would give her (and everyone else).
Serena – If you haven’t heard, Serena was future endeavored last week because, according to reports, she was not “living her gimmick” outside the arena. For anyone who doesn’t already abide by the straight edge rules, trying to follow them is likely very difficult. I guess WWE wasn’t happy with her. I think it’s silly that they let her go, but whatever. Anyway, in her first match, she was more entertaining than probably 90% of the rest of the women on the WWE roster. It’s a shame she’ll be gone from WWE programming starting next week, but she has a place on my roster for sure.
So that’s my hand-picked roster from WWE. Now, let’s move to TNA.
AJ Styles – Like Bryan Danielson, Chris Jericho, and CM Punk, you cannot have an ultimate roster of awesomeness and NOT have AJ Styles. If you put Styles in a ring, he will deliver an awesome match. Styles is one of the few bright spots on a TNA roster plagued with old, washed up, over-spray-tanned geezers who should have left the business a decade ago. Styles has to be on the roster, plain and simple.
The Motor City Machineguns – Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley have formed one of the best teams I’ve seen. They are so in sync with each other that sometimes it boggles my mind how well they work together. They’d provide a definite spark to the tag division I’m building, and will provide endless entertainment during their matches.
Nigel McGuinness – Admittedly, I’m putting him on the roster more because of hearsay than having actually watched him. I’ve seen only a couple of matches of his from his ROH days, but he’s gotten praise from the IWC for his work as ROH Champion, and, really, just about any former ROH Champion is welcome on my roster.
The Young Bucks – Having seen them once in Dragon Gate USA and a couple of times in CHIKARA, I can confirm that these guys are insane. The good kind of insane. They light up the tag division, and they definitely have a lot of time to grow better and better.
Jay Lethal – I always thought Lethal was criminally under-appreciated in TNA. His Black Machismo gimmick was cute for a while, and I did catch the first time he copied the Nature Boy gimmick, and that was priceless. But Lethal is an extremely talented wrestler, and definitely should get more exposure than he’s gotten in TNA over the years.
Samoa Joe – If you want intensity, you go to Joe. Though I haven’t really kept up with his work in the last year or two, he was definitely a force to be reckoned with back in 2005-2006. If he can bring the intensity back to what it was in those days, Joe could be one of the greatest talents on this roster.
Mick Foley – His in-ring career is over, but Foley was a great commentator while he was part of the Smackdown broadcast table. I think Foley would be an excellent color commentator.
Now, the roster additions from ROH:
Tyler Black – I really should put him under the WWE banner, seeing as how he signed a contract with them a couple of weeks ago. I’ve only seen a couple of Black’s matches, and that was a year or two ago, but he really impressed me back then. And being a soon-to-be former ROH Champion means something, I believe. So Black has a spot on my roster for sure.
Austin Aries – Like Lethal, Aries was given a stupid gimmick and forced to work with it for far too long. Aries is one of the best wrestlers in the world today, and it would be foolish of me not to put him on this roster. He can work well with just about anyone.
The Briscoe Brothers – Again, I’ve only seen a couple of their matches, but they’ve proven themselves with their grit, determination, and inability to see how ridiculous their matches really are. Watching the Briscoes vs. the Machineguns or the Harts would be a treat.
Kevin Steen – This guy proves to me that it doesn’t matter what you look like, because it’s the talent that matters. If I had to make a list of wrestling idols, Steen would be on that list. I’ve enjoyed what few matches of his I’ve seen, and while he and my next pick may have ended their partnership, Steen still stands as a strong singles competitor.
El Generico – I would be a colossal moron not to take The Generic Luchador. Generico is one of the most entertaining guys in wrestling today, and could likely bring his feud with Steen over to this promotion. Plus, the fact that he’s always crazy over with the crowds is always a bonus.
Necro Butcher – He’s mostly on here because he scares the crap out of me and I fear that if I didn’t put him on the roster, he’d punch a hole in my head. That’s how awesome he is.
Colt Cabana/Matt Classic – Finally, the Second City Saints reunite! Cabana is the funniest guy in wrestling, and Matt Classic is my favorite wrestling character of all time. And that’s saying something. Cabana is also insanely over with the fans, and he always puts on a fun match. So it’s a no-brainer to put him on the roster. Maybe have a few matches with CM Punk?
Claudio Castagnoli – The current Tag Team Champion in both ROH and CHIKARA is also an easy pick for the roster. Claudio is, I think, the uncrowned ROH Champion, and were he not Tag Team Champions in two promotions, I think he could be ROH Champion once Tyler Black leaves for WWE. But this is my fantasy, so I’ll stick with that. Claudio is one of the best at riling up fans, and he’s got a pile of talent to boot. Whether he stays in a team with Chris Hero or stays with the BDK I have yet to figure out. But rest assured, Claudio Castagnoli is a lock for a roster spot.
Chris Hero – Hero is on the roster simply because of hearsay and because he and Claudio are ROH Tag Champs. I’ve never seen Hero in a match, so I’m putting him on the roster because the internet praises him. Which is a terrible way to pick a roster, but I don’t think they give the ROH Tag Team Titles to just anybody.
Delirious – The new head booker for ROH is also one of the most strangely entertaining guys out there. Just imagine what ROH would be like if Delirious, the character, booked the company…man, I’d love to watch that. Anyway, Delirious is ridiculous, and I love that about him. He’s another one of those guys who has such a strong character that I sometimes wonder how much of it is an act and how much is just the man himself. Bottom line, Delirious is fun to watch, and that gets a spot on my roster.
And now, the (admittedly large) roster choices from CHIKARA:
“Lightning” Mike Quackenbush – The Master of a Thousand Holds actually deserves that moniker. Every match I’ve seen Quack in has been off the charts awesome. But if you truly want a showcase of his in-ring talent, watch his Trios match from Night one of the 2009 King of Trios with he, Johnny Saint, and Jorge Rivera taking on Incoherence (Delirious, Hallowicked, and Frightmare). It’s one of the best matches I’ve ever seen. Quackenbush brings all the tools to the ring, and would also be a great head trainer.
The Colony – Perhaps the best Trio in wrestling today, no team is as in sync as The Colony. Soldier Ant, Fire Ant, and Green Ant have pretty well turned me from an ignorant ignoramus to a CHIKARA fan. They work so well together, and would be an excellent addition to the Tag Team division.
Hallowicked – For a big bruiser, Hallowicked is one hell of a great in-ring performer. I first saw him on a Dragon Gate USA show, and had to admit that he was damn good. And even though he hasn’t been in CHIKARA too much in 2010, he’s still damn fun. Especially when you team him with my next roster pick.
Frightmare – There’s a reason this guy was the Wrestling Observer’s 2010 Rookie of the Year. Frightmare is about as big of a bundle of energy as you will ever see. He reminds me of Rey Mysterio, only with no inhibitions inside the ring. Frightmare has a long and epic career ahead of him, and I’d love it if he spent some of his career with my imaginary promotion.
Eddie Kingston – Like Steen, Samoa Joe, and Rotunda before him, Eddie Kingston proves to me that you do not need to have a ridiculously musclebound, overly tanned body to be a great wrestler. In my opinion, Kingston is the best wrestler of 2010 so far. I’ve seen just five matches of his, all of them CHIKARA matches, but each one has shown me how good of a storyteller Kingston is in the ring. The first of his matches I saw was at Night 3 of the King of Trios 2010, when he took on Christopher Daniels in an awesome encounter. Then, he faced Tommy Dreamer at Anniversario Elf, which was probably one of the best matches I’ve seen all year, based on pure emotion alone. He then faced Bryan Danielson in an epic encounter at We Must Eat Michigan’s Brain and a fun match with Delirious at Faded Scars and Lines. The last match of his I’ve seen was a truly awesome tag match with he and Tommy Dreamer taking on the CHIKARA Tag Team Champions, Claudio Castagnoli and Ares of the sinister BDK. It was high tension all throughout the match, and it cemented Kingston’s talent for me. So Eddie Kingston is a surefire lock on my roster.
Jigsaw – This guy is nuts. And he’s crazy fun in the ring. And he and Mike Quackenbush form a truly formidable tag team. I wouldn’t consider my roster complete without Jigsaw.
The Future is Now – Helios and Equinox are also completely nuts. Helios has got some crazy moves, and Equinox is another of those guys who proves that looks don’t matter, talent does. Plus, Equinox has, in my humble opinion, the greatest Right Hand in the entire business, not just CHIKARA. It’s epic. You have to see it to believe it.
The Osirian Portal – Amasis and Ophidian have proved to me that they are a very strong team. Amasis is a fun character, and Ophidian is the 2010 Rey de Voladores champion (that’s King of the Rockets or King of the High-Flyers), so yeah, they definitely get a spot on the roster.
F.I.S.T. – With the unceremonious booting-out of the awesome Gran Akuma, Friends In Similar Tights seems to be going in a new direction. With Icarus, Chuck Taylor (he of the high-pitched screams) and Johnny Gargano (he of the scrunchies), F.I.S.T. looks to be about as good as ever. And being one of the longest-running teams in wrestling history, they should definitely be on the roster.
The UnStable – Yes, Colin Delaney is back! Along with Vin Gerard and STIGMA, these three have a very strong Trio. Even though STIGMA isn’t the greatest worker compared to some of the rest of this epic roster, it would be silly to break up a great team like The UnStable.
UltraMantis Black – This guy is one of the coolest characters ever. He’s the main villain of the upcoming CHIKARA video game, which I will definitely be purchasing whenever it is released. Mantis has got oodles of charisma, and his transformation over the last few months from leader of the most vile stable in CHIKARA to a desperate man willing to go to any length to destroy the stable that took everything away from him has been nothing short of amazing. The fact that the fans are so strongly behind him when mere months ago he was the most hated man in CHIKARA is purely awesome. Not having Mantis, both in the ring and at the commentation station, would be a travesty of justice.
Bruderschaft des Kreuzes – Currently the best stable in wrestling, in my estimation, the BDK has been wreaking havoc in CHIKARA for nine months now. Ares, Claudio (yep, he’s evil in CHIKARA), Tursas, Pinky Sanchez, Lince Dorado, Tim Donst (Jack Swagger’s miniature if ever there was one), Delirious, Daizee Haze, and Sara Del Ray have formed a truly…formidable stable. And since they have the Director of Fun and a referee in their back pocket, the BDK would provide a fantastic force to be reckoned with for the beginning months of this promotion.
So there is my roster. You may have noticed that there are some very prominent names missing from the list. I have my reasons for leaving them off of this roster. Unfortunately, this has gone on far, far longer than I had expected, so it looks like I will have to break this post into two parts. So stay tuned, because in the 101st post, I explain why certain names were left off the roster, and I create the first ever show for this ultimate epic roster of awesomeness. So until next time, stay cool, everyone!
I don’t think I’ve been this happy as a results of a WWE decision in a very long time. Two weeks ago, when The Miz was initially approached about being the last member of Team WWE, I knew that something was up. I knew that a certain individual was going to be involved at Summerslam. And last night, my hopes were, indeed, answered. If you haven’t seen Summerslam and don’t want major spoilers, turn away now!
Are they gone? Okay. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Bryan Danielson is back on WWE programming! I’m certain that Vince is giving him a deal where he can work the rest of his indy bookings before coming to Raw full-time. So his last few indy matches should be pretty awesome. But I’m getting way ahead of myself here. Let’s take a look at Summerslam.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship ends in a No Contest
In what was a pretty good opener, Kofi and Dolph battled for some ten minutes before Nexus appeared and assaulted both men, leading to the no contest. I was a little apprehensive that the rest of the night’s matches would be ruined by Nexus, but thankfully that was not the case. If it was the case, then I’m sure all of my predictions would have been tossed out. Anyway, I kind of expected this to be the opener, and it was pretty good. Yes, it had Vickie Guerrero, but aside from her presence, it was an enjoyable match. Ziggler remains the IC Champion, and Kofi gets to move up to the main event…well, probably not just yet, but soon.
Diva’s Title Match – Melina defeated Alicia Fox to become the NEW Diva’s Champion
It was a decent match. Melina hopefully didn’t injure herself yet again. And after her victory, we get LayCool coming down to the ring to spoil the whole thing. Melina shoves both Lay and Cool away, only to get pummeled for her troubles. I hope this is the beginning of a title unification, as having two womens’ titles in WWE is about as pointless as you can get. I don’t really think that any of the three women deserve to hold a title, anyway. Melina is too injury-prone, Layla has little in-ring talent, and McCool is just irritating. I’d prefer to see a Women’s Title match between Nattie Neidhart and Tamina any day of the week before any match involving Layla. Also, how weird was it to have Josh Matthews essentially appear out of nowhere? I guess magically appearing from nowhere was a theme for the evening (OOH FORESHADOWING).
The Big Show defeated The Straight Edge Society in a 1-on-3 Handicap Match
Okay, so I got this pick wrong. I accept it. It honestly could have gone either way. Show…er…showed us that he has a healing factor nearly as powerful as John Cena, coming back from a vicious beatdown only to essentially no-sell the entire match AND getting his hand broken two weeks prior. It isn’t quite as epic as Cena no-selling death, but it’s still pretty ridiculous. Anyway, another decent match, nothing special. I heard in an interview on a podcast hosted by none other than Colt Cabana that Punk actually hand-picked Gallows and Mercury to work with as part of the SES, and I think that’s a great sign for both Gallows and Mercury. Punk is one of the top heels in the company, and getting his seal of approval has got to be a boost to their confidence and it should prove to Creative that both men do, in fact, deserve their spots. Yes, in the end, Punk walked out of the match, leaving Gallows and Mercury to be punished by the giant, but it was probably a learning experience for both. At least, that’s probably how Punk is going to spin the match come Friday.
We then are treated to a fairly lengthy Miz promo where he says he will join Team WWE for the 7-on-7 match later that evening. He did have a hissy fit at the audience, telling them that they should raise their hands if they wish to speak, and immediately, about a thousand people raised their hands. That was a great moment.
Randy Orton defeated Sheamus by DQ; Sheamus retains the WWE Championship
I’m still surprised that the announcers were talking about this match like it had never happened before. Does no one remember the Royal Rumble? These two had a match back then. This match was about as good as a Sheamus match can get. Which isn’t that great, overall. But the end was a little weird. We all know how little it takes for someone to “accidentally” knock out a referee, right? A single punch, an Irish whip into the corner, or sometimes a stiff breeze will KO a ref for minutes at a time. So it was a little odd that Jack Doan, the referee of this match, was not only smacked by Sheamus, but tumbled through the ropes and to the floor, yet remained conscious long enough to call for the disqualification. Most refs would have been out before they hit the ground. What’s up with that? Anyway, we’re probably going to get yet another Orton/Sheamus match at Night of Champions, to which I say SNORE. They’ll probably drag this feud out until HHH can return, and then we get to fall asleep during Raw!
Kane defeated Rey Mysterio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
This was a good match, but the best part was the Undertaker’s return. I believe Kane opened the casket four times during the course of the match, including twice after the match had ended, in order to dump Mysterio in there and (presumably) cart him off to the netherworld. But, seemingly by magic, the final time Kane opens the casket, who should be laying there but the Deadman. I know he was there the whole time, but damnit, I marked out like crazy when the revealed Taker laying in the casket. Then, he rose from the ashes, climbed into the ring, and nearly destroyed Rey. But Taker knew better, and proceeded to assault Kane. Unfortunately, Kane got the better of Taker, and hit Taker with a Tombstone piledriver. At first, I was disappointed that they didn’t bring Taker back strong, but then I remembered that, according to the storyline, Taker has been in a coma for the past couple of months, so it makes sense that Kane should be able to overpower him. Still, this will set up a Taker vs. Kane feud, which, if nothing else, should be monumentally epic.
Team WWE (John Cena, Chris Jericho, Edge, John Morrison, R-Truth, Bret Hart, and Bryan Danielson(!)) defeated Nexus in a 7-on-7 Tag Team Elimination Match
I hate to gloat, but two weeks ago, I knew that Danielson would be involved with Summerslam. As soon as Miz got himself involved, all I could think was, “Danielson will be the 7th member of Team WWE.” And, thankfully, I was right. Miz’s night was spoiled by the man he was supposedly a mentor to, and it gave me so much satisfaction to see Danielson not only back in a WWE ring, but to make two members of Nexus tap out to an armbar/crossface combination submission that looked thoroughly painful. The match itself was very back-and-forth, with no team truly gaining a big advantage. The largest advantage was a two-man advantage early on, when Team WWE was up 7 to 5. It was close from then on. And despite the massive face reaction that both Jericho and Edge got, after their consecutive eliminations, they turned on Cena and pummeled him thoroughly. But Cena’s healing factor kicked in, and allowed Danielson to get his second elimination of the night. What followed was the first real salvo in the soon-to-be Miz vs. Danielson feud: Miz smashed Danielson in the back of the head with his Money in the Bank Briefcase, allowing Nexus to pin Danielson. There’s a tangent coming right about now: I believe that Miz will be the first Money in the Bank winner to not end up as a world champion after cashing in the briefcase. The way it’s been built up, it feels like no matter when he cashes it in, he’s going to lose. Either that, or someone’s going to take it away from him. Anyway, after Danielson’s untimely departure, Cena was left in a 2-on-1 situation against Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel. They proceeded to tear up the padding outside the ring and DDT Cena on the concrete, which honestly should have caused a disqualification, but maybe that’s just my opinion. Now, if you thought Big Show’s healing factor was impressive earlier in the evening, it’s nothing compared to Cena’s. Not three minutes after being rammed head-first into concrete, he manages to avoid Gabriel’s 450 Splash and pin him, then lock Barrett in the STFU and win the match. Yes, it’s silly, and it really makes it more difficult to suspend my disbelief in regards to these matches, but it was the only way the match could have reasonably ended. Well, that, or after Cena pinned Gabriel, Barrett charged in, hit his finisher, and ended the night with Nexus winning. But that was not the case, and Team WWE pulled off the win. I have to give Matt Striker for sticking up for Bryan Danielson throughout Michael “Douchebag of the Year” Cole’s relentless Dragon-bashing. I really hope we get a Cole vs. Danielson match at some point so Danielson can kick Cole’s head off. I don’t believe Nexus is done by any means, but a few of them definitely do not deserve a spot on Raw just yet. Or at all *COUGH*Otunga*COUGH*
So Summerslam is over. How was it? Overall, it was decent. Nothing super-special save the return of both The Undertaker and Bryan Danielson. Not a bad show by any means, but it’s probably not worth purchasing. I’d recommend a rental at least.
And with that, I’m ending this post a little early. But don’t despair, because I’ll be back with my epic 100th post of pure awesome. So stay tuned, fans! And remember to stay awesome.
Since I want to make my 100th post special, I’m merging my Summerslam picks and results into a two-part post. I can do that. It’s my site, after all.
It’s been about ten days since last I wrote anything at all here, and even longer since I wrote something of substance. A lot has happened since then. I’d like to address the death of Lance Cade before I move on. Cade’s story is yet another example of the wrestler who was overworked, got addicted to painkillers, and ultimately lost his life far too early. Cade was 29. That’s entering a very uncomfortable age for death. You just don’t expect someone to die at 29 of heart failure. But an addiction to painkillers will do that. It’s a very sad moment, and I wish his family well.
I’d also like to briefly discuss the last couple of weeks of NXT. After Eli Cottonwood was (thankfully) eliminated a couple of weeks ago, we had what I would have to consider the worst segment in the last five years. The “kissing contest” was an utter debacle, and an embarrassing moment for all parties involved. You had the six remaining rookies being forced to kiss an overweight, unattractive woman with what appeared to be herpes right on her mouth (it was probably make-up, but still…). The only person who got even slightly lucky was Low Ki, who got a kiss from Layla before having to kiss the hideous monstrosity known as Marguerite. Also, during this segment, I lost all respect for Joe Hennig thanks to his licking Marguerite all over her face. It was beyond disgusting. And this segment went on for nearly TWENTY MINUTES! Fully a third of the entire episode was dedicated to this nightmare. It drove me to the brink of quitting watching WWE programming altogether (and I very nearly did thanks to a match on Smackdown a few days later). We then had some arbitrary matches that could have used about five minutes extra each, which would have been easily provided had they not done that horrendous kissing contest segment. Then, this week, we have a pretty good six-man tag match, another Miz vs. Morrison match, and Lucky Cannon was thankfully eliminated from the competition. What I don’t understand is this: why can’t we have more good matches like the six-man match we got this past Tuesday? There is no reason whatsoever not to showcase the talent that these men have. How are we supposed to gain any sort of idea as to how well they’ll perform on Raw or Smackdown when all we’re given is a three-minute rush job of a match every week? I would much prefer to see two or three quality matches every week that take up 50 minutes of air time (entrances and exits included), and the last 10 minutes of the show dedicated to the pros talking about the matches. Simple formula, and it would be a hell of a lot more entertaining than the idiotic challenges these guys have to go through every week.
Not that it’s going to matter too much, since it seems like WWE wants to end this season of NXT as quickly as possible, so they can get a third season of NXT out and done before Smackdown moves to SyFy in October. So there will be two eliminations next week. Who’s going home this time? I’m betting it’ll be Alex Riley and Percy Watson. Why? Well, Riley’s a heel, and nobody votes for the heels. Also, I’ve yet to see any sort of good in-ring work out of Riley. He’s basically the same character as The Miz, only with a football flair to him. All talk, no skill to back it up. Watson has been slipping down the ranks ever since the first poll, and I think the fans are growing tired of him. Lucky Cannon was getting tremendous amounts of X-Pac heat, which is why he was voted off, I’m sure. The crowd does not enjoy being pandered to, sir. It makes you seem pathetic. Anyway, I think the last three will be Low Ki, Joe Hennig, and Husky Harris/Duke Rotunda. Rotunda has been gaining tons of momentum, and looks more and more like he could be a great new face for the company. Hennig has all the in-ring tools, but needs to work on his talking. And Low Ki/Kaval is just plain awesome. I think that with the fan voting actually mattering (supposedly), that Low Ki will end up winning this competition, which I’m sure Vince won’t be too thrilled about. But it’s going to happen. If you give the fans a voice, then the IWC smarks will come out of the woodwork and help their favorite guys along to victory. I do every week. I always vote for Kaval.
Now, before I move on to picks, I’d like to talk very briefly about the Intercontinental Championship match on Smackdown eight days ago. More specifically, about how the referees are apparently not bothering the read the rules before calling a match. When someone not involved in the match gets on the ring apron, his first job is to clear said person off the apron. And if someone enters the ring and starts yelling at the ref, he has the ability to toss said person out or even call the match a no-contest. And if said person is still on or in the ring when a pin is made, the first priority is clearning said person off the ring. None of that happened during the Kofi Kingston/Dolph Ziggler match last week. This is what made me seriously consider quitting WWE programming altogether. I had a speech all worked up about how Summerslam would be the last WWE show I watched, simply because I wanted to get that done so I could watch promotions that weren’t run by complete idiots. But I had a change of heart, and I’ll continue watching, if only to keep you, the reader, entertained with my endless ranting about how stupid WWE is and how awesome indy promotions are (Chikara! Woo!). Anyway, it was a foolish move by the referee, and I think that they all need to take a refresher course in the rules. Also, how obvious is it that both the United States and Intercontinental championships have become Television championships? Sure, the IC Title is being defended at Summerslam, but the last six US Title changes have all been on Raw, and the IC Title was basically being passed around with complete disregard on Raw back in 2008. Whatever. The titles have no prestige left.
Okay, now that I’ve spent 1100 words talking about subjects not related to the title of this post, let’s get started with Summerslam picks!
Women’s Championship – Layla (c) vs. Tiffany
I don’t think this match is going to happen, as Tiffany has been suspended because of an incident at a San Jose hotel involving her husband, Drew McIntyre. Yeah, who didn’t see this coming? Anyway, this probably won’t take place, but thanks to the idiotic storyline with the perfectly split-in-half Women’s Championship, I doubt anyone is going to take this away from LayCool for a while.
Diva’s Championship – Alicia Fox (c) vs. Melina
While I am happy to see Melina back, she looks a little worse for wear. I hate to be so crude, but it’s just my opinion. She’s actually starting to look a little like Chyna, at least in the facial area. This is unfortunate. Anyway, Alicia has been a decent placeholder for this pointless title, but Melina is here to take the title back. Melina wins and becomes the NEW Diva’s Champion!
3-on-1 Handicap Match – The Straight Edge Society (CM Punk, Luke Gallows, Joseph Mercury) vs. The Big Show
Apparently, despite a broken hand, Show is perfectly capable of chokeslamming people and punching their heads off. Ah, well. If the SES wants to stay together at all, they need to win this match. We’ve seen the group starting to splinter, and this would be awful for Gallows and Mercury, as they need this group in order to keep their heads above the deadly waters of the WWE. Mercury looks like a weird alien with his head shaved, and I think he needs to grow his hair out in order to be taken seriously by anybody. Gallows is basically on borrowed time, and unless he makes a huge impact in the next few weeks, he may be gone from the company. Punk will be fine, as will Serena. And Show can take a loss right now, as he’s moved from the main event back to the mid-card. With Punk’s arm healed, I think this match is a lock. The Straight Edge Society wins, and destroys the Big Show in the process.
Intercontinental Championship – Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
You’ve heard my thoughts on the ugliness that was the title change last week on Smackdown. I honestly don’t think Ziggler needs a heat magnet like Vickie Guerrero by his side. I think he can create enough heat by himself if he was ever given promo time. He got tons of heat as Nicky on the Spirit Squad, but that was mostly because people hated the gimmick. I kind of loved it, but that was just me, I guess. Anyway, Ziggler just won the title, and Kofi is finally showing that rage that he showed last year in his feud with Randy Orton. Oh, I need to address something very quickly: to Todd Grisham, please stop being a complete moron and try to remember things that happened more than six months ago, Love, Rantables. Seriously, he keeps referring to Kofi’s rage as “The first time we’ve ever seen Kofi like this!” Does no one remember Kofi vs. Orton? I do. It’s why I keep picking Kofi to win matches like the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank. He’s shown that he can move up to the main event easily, but thanks to Mr. Push-Stopper himself, Randy Orton, Kingston was prevented from moving up the ladder. Incidentally, the same thing happened to Ziggler last year, when Rey Mysterio apparently refused to drop the Intercontinental Title to Ziggler for some reason. Well, I think this will be Kofi’s graduation from mid-card hell to the main event. Dolph Ziggler wins and retains the Intercontinental Championship, but Kofi ends up looking better and moves to the main event.
World Heavyweight Championship – Kane (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Kane’s character has been fantastic over the last month. Though it’s tough at times to remember that he’s talking about wrestling. If his character was in, say, a movie, I’d be much more interested. He cuts a very dramatic promo, but the drama is shattered when he starts talking about wrestling. It’s weird. Anyway, Rey had his three week title run, and it’s time to let somebody else move up to the main event (see previous match). Kane has all the momentum, which normally spells disaster for the champion, but in this case, I think it will lead up to an Undertaker vs. Kane match at some point. Should be pretty epic. Anyway, Kane wins and retains the World Heavyweight Championship.
WWE Championship – Sheamus (c) vs. Randy Orton
Snore. We already had this match six months ago at the Royal Rumble. Sheamus is still boring, and I still don’t like Orton. I’ve never liked him. Not his character, and not the person. But I’d rather have Orton as champion than Sheamus. It’s the lesser of two evils right now. Sheamus is a horrendous wrestler, and a travesty of a champion. He needs to go away as soon as possible. But we know that Vince gets an erection around bodybuilders, and Sheamus has that porcelain Irish skin that Vince apparently loves so much, so he’ll be around for a while yet, unfortunately. Still, it would be better for the fans if Orton won, as Sheamus is intolerable. Randy Orton wins to become the NEW WWE Champion. Though I’d much prefer somebody else as the champion…
7-on-7 Tag Team Elimination Match – Team WWE (John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, R-Truth, Bret Hart, and ???) vs. The Nexus (Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield, and Darren Young)
We’re getting teased that The Miz is going to be the 7th member of Team WWE, but I’m almost 100% sure that this won’t happen. You know what I think WILL happen, though? Miz refuses to join Team WWE, and John Cena says that it’s fine, because he knew Miz would refuse, so he went out and found a suitable replacement…
Yes, you heard me right. Danielson will make his return to WWE at Summerslam. I think it’s going to be the same sort of deal that Matt Hardy had back in 2005, where he’ll still get to work his indy dates but show up on Raw every once in a while to wreak havoc on the roster. Danielson will arrive at Summerslam and proceed to destroy the Nexus, as payback for them “destroying” him and putting him out of the company. With this seventh member, I think it’s a complete lock that Team WWE wins, brings some order back to Raw, and sends several of the Nexus back to FCW.
If Danielson is not the seventh member of Team WWE, I have no idea what will happen. It certainly won’t be as entertaining, in my eyes.
So that’s it for me for now. I’ll be back in a couple of days with Summerslam results. And stay tuned for my epic 100th post spectacular! It’s going to be a doozy, so stay tuned! Also, prepare for more DVD reviews. I purchased the two most recent Chikara shows, and I’m nearly finished with the most recent one, Chikarasaurus Rex. So I’ll probably start reviewing those shows as a nice alternative to the constant lambasting of WWE. Give this blog some positivity. So, until next time, stay awesome everyone!