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Monthly Archives: April 2009

So I finished watching Backlash an hour or so ago.  I think that it was a decent show given the amount of time they had to book the show.  Three weeks is not enough time honestly to book a really good PPV, but they did as best they could.  I’ll start with my celebrating that I got 4 out of 6 picks correct, and I was feeling silly for picking Matt Hardy to go over Jeff in an I Quit Match.  I should have changed it, giving me 5 out of 6 correct picks.  But I didn’t, so I’ll live with a 67% success rate for this PPV.  I’ll go through my thoughts on the matches in the order they were presented.

Christian defeats Jack Swagger to win the ECW Title – I think this was actually the highlight of the evening for me, in the first match.  Christian finally wins his first World Title in WWE, and it was worth watching.  I’m going to go on a tangent for a moment and talk about what I like to call “Swagger Tactics.”  Jack Swagger has an awful habit of blocking even the tiniest bit of momentum any opponent starts to build during his segments of dominance.  A guy like Christian hits him with one punch or kick or elbow and Swagger retaliates with a scoop slam or a suplex of some sort.  I’m chalking it up to Swagger not being ready for the big time.  He needs to learn to give the faces just a tiny bit of momentum every once in a while to keep the audience interested.  Let your opponent get three solid punches on you, bounce off the ropes, and THEN hit a big slam of some sort.  It’s as though his mentality for each match goes thusly: “The face gets his initial offense, then I get the middle of the match, and only when the face’s designated time to fight back arrives do I let him do anything.”  Let the faces have glimmers of hope every once in a while.  Otherwise, it’s as though you’re blocking any entetainment from happening in the ring.  It also shows how apparently weak he is, because his opponents never get a chance to start wearing him down by punching him or anything like that.  It’s as though when the face gets his time to shine, Swagger immediately becomes a weakling, which shouldn’t honestly happen.  He needs to go back to FCW for some more training.  Putting the ECW title on him was a huge mistake.  But we don’t have to worry about that anymore since Christian finally was given a chance to shine.  The match itself was a typical Swagger Tactics match, but Christian tried his hardest to make Swagger look good.  I actually kind of liked the dirty tactics Christian used to win the match.  Here’s hoping he gets to hold onto the title for a good long while.  At least until Tommy Dreamer either wins it from him or retires because he couldn’t beat Christian.

Chris Jericho defeats Ricky Steamboat – As I said in my column yesterday, Jericho needs to win in order to retain any semblance of momentum now that he’s a part of Smackdown.  These two had a very good match for one week of build and Steamboat being 56.  One thing I didn’t understand was why did Steamboat dye his hair black?  It actually made him look older than he did at WM 25.  When you see a guy who’s obviously in his 50’s with gray hair, then see him a week later with black hair, it looks ridiculous.  He should have stayed the silver fox.  As it stands, these two had a pretty good match, going about 12 minutes and ending with Steamboat tapping, which I wasn’t expecting to see.  I thought the Codebreaker with Steamboat jumping off the second rope was going to be the finish.  I’m guessing Steamboat’s in-ring time is done, but he had a hell of a three-match comeback.  I actually have even more respect for him now.

Kane defeats CM Punk – This was the one match where I was a little surprised by the outcome.  I thought Punk was going to start riding a huge wave of momentum going into Judgment Day, since it is in his hometown and all.  Maybe he’ll cash in his MITB briefcase then, though that would mean yet another three week title reign for Edge.  Which would be a shame considering what he went through to get the title back.  The match itself was decent, for one week of build and it being the shortest match on the card.  On the plus side, Kane and Punk crammed in a ton of stuff into a 9 minute match, and I was keps interested the whole time.  Kane’s huge chokeslam at the end was pretty impressive-looking.  We haven’t seen the last of these two.

Jeff Hardy defeats Matt Hardy in an “I Quit” Match – The show-stealer, the match of the night.  Much better than their Extreme Rules match at WM 25 and far better than their Stretcher Match on Smackdown.  The emotion was really there this time.  Lots of painful moves and submissions.  Surprisingly few weapons were used in this match.  Though I did really love the setup for the finish, how Jeff had knocked Matt out, then pulled a table into the ring, laid Matt on it, bound Matt’s hands and feet with duct tape, tied Matt down to the table, and set up a ladder and was going to dive onto him.  Matt’s pleading was a great touch before he quit.  Jeff went ahead and jumped off the ladder, breaking Matt’s hand unintentionally.  There are reports that Matt is going to miss 4-6 weeks and he has to wear a cast.  Too bad considering he was likely going to get a push on Raw right out of the gates following Backlash.  Guess Creative is going to put that plan on hold until Matt’s hand is okay.  What does this mean for the brothers Hardy?  Well, it gives Jeff (and the audience) some closure, it helps give him a little momentum going into Smackdown this week, and it gives Matt some time off before he can forget about this whole thing and move on to his new life on Raw.

Legacy defeats HHH, Batista, and Shane McMahon, Randy Orton becomes the new WWE Champion – I was expecting Orton to win, but not in the way that he did.  The ending of this match was a total clusterfuck, and not the good kind of clusterfuck.  The ending was butt-ugly, with Cody Rhodes smacking both Shane and Batista with a chair but the ref somehow not noticing it, HHH kicking out of the RKO but the bell still rang, and the really quick setup for the punt and Orton’s win with that.  Legacy high-tailed it out of there as quick as they could, probably to avoid getting booed out of the arena.  Not because they were the victorious heels, but because the ending was botched so horribly.  Up until the end, the match was okay.  Except for the beginning, when Orton was apparently chased off by HHH, leaving Rhodes and Dibiase to fight in a 3 on 2 handicap match, only to return a few minutes later and be let into the match anyway.  From what I understand, if a match starts as a 3 on 2 handicap match, that’s how it’s going to go until it ends.  It doesn’t matter if it was supposed to be a 6 man tag match.  I’ve seen plenty of matches where one guy in a tag team gets knocked out before the match starts, and the other guy has to wrestle in a handicap match, even if his partner is okay after a few minutes.  Now that I think about it, this match wasn’t all that great.  It was very basic and fairly dull.  Lots of same-y tactics used throughout, and the botched ending left a sour taste in my mouth, which made me all the more happy they didn’t end Backlash with this match.  Otherwise, I might have given up on WWE.

Edge defeats John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match to win the World Heavyweight Championship – If you didn’t see this coming, you are a fool.  Smackdown didn’t have a world champion, and the only Smackdown guy in a championship match was Edge.  So it stands to reason that there was no way he was going to lose this match.  However, the way he DID win I was very disappointed with.  Big Show, as far as I can tell, has nothing whatsoever to gain from his interference in the match.  Edge is on Smackdown, Show is on Raw, so unless Vickie Guerrero promised a WWE Title shot to Show against Orton provided Show helped Edge win, I see no reason to have Show in this match.  Up until then it was a very emotionally charged match, full of close calls and nice spots.  The spot of the night for me was Cena hurling the ring steps at Edge’s head when Edge was standing outside the ring.  I thought for sure Edge was going to duck, but he took the ring steps right in the face.  You knew that with a 6 match card and three hours to fill, these two were going to go for a while, especially considering that the first half of the card only took up one hour of the PPV.  These guys gave us a hell of a 25 minute brawl, only to have Big Show come in and fuck it up for the rest of us.  Why couldn’t Edge have speared Cena off the ramp and into the stage light?  It would have been loads more epic to see Edge spear Cena into the light, the light explode, and have Edge manage to walk away as the champion.  Show continues to ruin things for the fans.  He needs to just retire and go away.

Now, I’m going to give you one major complaint that wasn’t already covered in my recap of Backlash, and that is the endings of the last two matches.  Not the endings of the matches, but the actions after the matches had ended.  Why have both HHH AND Cena end up on stretchers?  I can understand Cena being put on a stretcher, seeing as how he got tossed into a big flood lamp (yes, I know it wasn’t rigged up or he would have been electrocuted to death), but there didn’t need to be BOTH guys getting wheeled out of the arena.  HHH should have lost the match with the RKO and just carried out of the arena with Shane and Batista’s help.  It actually worried me a bit when HHH didn’t move at all following the Orton punt.  I thought he might have a broken neck, or even worse, he’d died from the kick to the head.  It looked that bad.  I was thinking how Orton should be fired for doing such a stupid thing.  But there are no reports of HHH being seriously injured or even killed, so I guess Orton’s off the hook for now.  But I don’t like him using the punt.  It’s seemingly far too dangerous to use.  I saw how Mr. McMahon took that punt.  He didn’t move.  Orton’s foot moved McMahon’s head and neck.  It’s too scary.  Too much potential for serious injury.  Anyway, I was not enjoying how the final two matches of the show ended exactly the same way: with the top face being wheeled out on a stretcher.  We don’t need deja vu in a WWE show, thanks.

I’m also quite shocked that there wasn’t a Batsita heel turn at Backlash.  I was certain that he was going to betray HHH by spearing him or something and letting Orton get the win.  It’s as though the last three weeks of build were all for naught, like they were forgotten the moment Backlash started.  I don’t like that at all.  There should have been some serious tension in the air between HHH, Batista, and Shane throughout the night.  But they just worked as a normal tag team would.  Hopefully this will put this feud to rest and we never have to think about it again.

At least, that’s the hope.  We’ll have to wait and see what happens on Raw tonight.  I may do a short recap of it tonight or tomorrow, depending on how frisky I feel.

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I know, i know, I didn’t end up sticking to the plan of doing a Top 5 list every day.  So I’m going to just do one today and one tomorrow and call it a success.  Today’s list also concerns the PPV Backlash, which will take place tomorrow.  I’ll do the top 5 first, followed by the picks.  They’ll intertwine a bit, as you’ll see.

Here are the Top 5 Things WWE Better Not Do At Backlash:

5. Move one of the matches to a pre-show match – When you advertise a match for a PPV, people buying the show expect to see the match.  Otherwise, they feel they got even more ripped off than they normally do when they pay the outrageous fees for a WWE PPV.  There was a lot of backlash (pun very much intended) over the MizMo/Colons match being moved to the pre-show, so WWE would be wise to not make the same mistake again.  This card is already light with six matches, so taking one away would not leave much wrestling.  We need to see every match on the card, even if they do seem rather thrown together at the last minute.

4. Santino Marella actually kissing the Great Khali – WWE has been working very diligently to get their TV rating to PG over the last few months, so an on-air man-man kiss would be very risky to a group attempting to clean up their image.  Now don’t misunderstand me.  I’m completely pro-gay all the way.  I’m not gay, but I just don’t see any reason to oppress them.  Anyway, having this actually go down would doom both Santino and Khali to the bottom of the comedy barrel.  This is almost as bad as Mae Young giving birth to a human hand (or so I’ve heard).  Let’s hope Santina runs away so Khali can make out with Beth Phoenix instead.

3. Matt Hardy losing to Jeff Hardy – If WWE is seriously going to try to push Matt Hardy as a main event heel, which it looks like they’re gearing up to do, he cannot lose this match.  He’s on a roll, winning the last three matches against his brother.  Losing now would destroy his momentum and nobody would believe that he’s a serious title contender.  I don’t like how this feud has turned into the “let’s put Matt Hardy over despite the fact that everybody hates him as a heel, and not in the way you’re supposed to hate a heel, but in that he’s not a good heel” show.  Jeff is the one who truly deserves the push.  He held the WWE title for six weeks.  Matt held the ECW title for much longer, over four months.  But if WWE is going to stick with the Matt Hardy push, they’d better not derail his momentum.

2. Ricky Steamboat beating Chris Jericho – This is very similar to #3, only I think much more is riding on the line, at least for Jericho.  He’s moving to a brand where he’s never been on since the brand extension (at least to my knowledge), and losing to Steamboat, while it would please the crowd endlessly, would probably bury Jericho more than most would imagine.  He’s riding a huge wave of momentum after his win at WM 25 over three legends.  If he wants to stay in the spotlight, he needs to win tomorrow night.  I’m expecting a hell of a battle, but Jericho needs the win a lot more.

1. Have every world champion retain his title – No less than one title needs to change hands on Sunday.  In fact, you’ll see in my picks exactly how many titles should change hands.  If HHH, Cena, and Swagger all retain, we’ve got serious problems heading into the weeks following the Draft.  I’ll outline a possible miracle booking sequence for Backlash, but it likely won’t happen.  My point here is that someone needs to lose his title tomorrow, and I’ll tell you who in my picks, which will start right now.

Kane vs. CM Punk – Talk about thrown together at the last minute.  These guys are actually having a decent mini-feud.  They have good chemistry and they manage to work around the size difference.  This will be short and sweet, probably 5-7 minutes, which is awkward seeing as how there are six matches on the card.  As far as a winner, I’ll go with CM Punk since he’s got more to gain and more to lose.  Potentially a lot more to gain if my miracle prediction goes according to plan.

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat – You probably have figured out my pick based on the #2 entry in my Top 5 today.  Chris Jericho needs the win to maintain his status as a dangerous heel on Smackdown.  Steamboat has nothing to gain from this match.  He’s likely done after this, and what better way to end a careerthan by putting someone else over who doesn’t necessarily need the push?  Yes, that was sarcasm.  Steamboat had his moment of glory the night after WM25.  Jericho needs to win to stay noticed.  So he’s going to win.

Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy “I Quit” Match – Again, as outlined earlier, if WWE is really going to push Matt as a main eventer on Raw, he has to win against his brother.  I can’t honestly fathom Jeff saying “I Quit” into a microphone, but then again, I never envisioned Rey Mysterio saying it, and he certainly did in that great match with Chavo a couple of years back.  Seeing Jeff Hardy say “I Quit” is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like seeing the Undertaker tap out to a submission.  Matt Hardy picks up the win and moves on the bigger and better things on Raw, while Jeff probably gets screwed out of another title run which he so very much deserves.

ECW Championship – Jack Swagger vs. Christian – I’m calling it now: if Christian does not win at Backlash, his WWE career is officially over.  He’ll drop back to Midcardlandia, where people like Jimmy Yang, William Regal, and Ron Killings live year-round.  He’s making more money to be a loser.  Personally, I’d take less money to be a champion than to take more money and be an unknown.  I recently began watching my first real ROH show, Punk: The Final Chapter, and the first segment was James Gibson (Jamie Noble to you WWE fans out there), and it was his first night as ROH World Champion.  And I thought to myself, I wonder if he enjoys being fodder for undeserving shlubs like Batista.  He seriously looked like he was on top of the world.  And I respect him even more after seeing that segment.  So, obviously, my pick for this match is for Christian to FINALLY hold some gold around his oh-so-deserved waist.  This is the one title that HAS to change at Backlash.

World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match – John Cena vs. Edge – I’m not tired of their feud.  But all good things must come to an end (as much as I don’t actually believe in that statement).  We’ve already seen that a timely Con-Chair-To will knock anyone out for a ten count.  We’ve also seen Cena in some great Last Man Standing matches, especially his match against Umaga a couple of years ago.  Cena and Edge are two of the toughest, most resilient, best conditioned wrestlers in the WWE, and they can have a spectacular match on Sunday.  Let’s hope that WWE gives them plenty of time to work their magic one last time.  If Cena wins, we have a serious problem on our hands.  We’d have two world champions on Raw and nothing on Smackdown.  So, the way I see it, two things can happen.  Either Edge wins his ninth world title, or (and here’s where the great booking comes into play) Cena retains after a brutal, hellish match that he just barely wins, and we hear Punk’s music blast out the speakers as he races to the ring, Cena stumbling around, and Punk uses his Money in the Bank briefcase to take the title away from Cena, bringing the world title back to Smackdown AND giving Punk a much-needed heel turn.  The booking is great, in my opinion.  I’d hope for the latter to happen, but probably the former will happen.  And if it doesn’t, then Smackdown is fucked.

WWE Championship Six-Man Tag Team Match – HHH, Batista, and Shane McMahon vs. Legacy – Edge says that Backlash will be the final nail in the coffin for their rivalry.  Let’s hope this match is the same for the HHH/Orton feud.  I’ve said it before on here, the way this has been booked over the past two weeks, there’s virtually no doubt in my mind that either Batista or Shane will turn on HHH and cost him the title, leading to a feud between the two.  More than likely it will be Batista, and then we can have ourselves a HHH/Batista feud (sarcastic yay).  And just now, as I was thinking about Punk running in and winning the WHC if Cena retains, I’ll say if HHH retains, the same thing will happen.  Unless Punk DOES win the World Heavyweight title.  I’ll just stick with the original prediction and say that Randy Orton wins the title.  I’m not particularly looking forward to another Orton title reign, but it’s probably going to happen.

Sidenote: I love how WWE has these double-standards when it comes to their talent.  It’s as though the people they WANT to succeed will succeed even if they screw around in real life, whereas people they’re not big on will be overly scrutinized and dropped at a moment’s notice if they do something even remotely suspicious.  Let’s take Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy.  Orton had a series of fairly well-known tirades and real life issues back a couple of years ago, even trashing an entire hotel room in Germany during one of their European tours (I think it was Germany).  WWE sends him home, then brings him back the following week and pushes him harder than ever.  Jeff Hardy, on the other hand, tries his hardest to stay on the good side of the backstage politicians, makes one mistake, and gets his main event-level push yanked out from under him.  Orton gets lengthy title reigns.  Hardy gets ONE title reign for six weeks that ends when his brother knocks him out.  It isn’t fair.  Jeff Hardy should have a long reign as champion to make up for all the shit he’s been put through, and Orton needs some time off.  He’s just so grating.

Okay, so if you’ve tabulated my picks correctly, I’m predicting THREE world title changes at Backlash.  I do believe that’s never happened in one night.  Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but to my recollection, since the ECW title was reinstated and all PPV’s became tri-branded, there has never been a night where three new world champions were crowned.  I’ll do some research, but I doubt it’s happened.

With that being said, I’ll be back tomorrow with my last Top 5 list for a while, and if I get a chance to watch it, I’ll give a Backlash recap.  Otherwise, that’ll happen on Monday.  Until then, I’ll keep writing so you keep reading!

I don’t really feel like doing one of these, but I made a promise, so I’m going to stick by it.  I’ll do an easy one so I don’t have to think or type much.  Today’s list is the Top 8 Best Finishers.

8. Mike Knox’s Knox Out – I’m guessing this is the name of the finisher.  Say what you will about Knox (and believe me, I have), but his finisher is cool-looking.  It’s kind of a weird facebuster-type move that’s quick but looks really painful for the guy taking the bump.  Hell, it gave Jamie Noble a stinger when he took it badly.  Knox may likely be on his way out, but his finisher will live on in my memory for at least a couple of days after he’s gone.

7. Tyson Kidd’s Springboard Elbow – While this doesn’t have the impact of the Knox Out, I’m putting it above said move because it’s a truly beautiful move to watch performed.  Kidd jumps to the top rope (the middle of the rope, not the corner as most others do), leaps off it, defies gravity for what feels like much longer than he actually should, and hits the mat (and his opponent) with a resounding thud.  It’s pretty to watch, unlike some of the moves I listed in yesterday’s list.

6. MVP’s Drive-By Kick – This is the kick where he jumps off a kneeling opponent’s outstretched knee and kicks him right in the face.  It’s not the prettiest move, but it looks like it hurts like hell, and that counts for a lot in my book.  Besides, MVP should be on every “Best of” list, because he’s that damned good.

5. Umaga’s Samoan Spike – When properly taken as a bump, this move is one of the most painful and devastating-looking moves in the entire WWE.  A lot of people don’t like it because it seems so simple, I love it for the fact that it IS so simple and effective.  There were a couple of times where Umaga’s opponent would leap into the air and be driven down by the spike, and that looks doubly awesome.  But that’s supposedly not the right way to take the bump, which is probably one of the reasons Colt Cabana was released a couple of months back.  I still love the Spike.

4. CM Punk’s GTS – Again, when properly taken, this looks seriously painful.  I mean, come on!  You’re getting a knee driven straight into your jaw by you falling onto it.  If it wasn’t planned, you could kill a guy doing that.  Plus, it’s impressive because Punk is able to get some pretty big guys up on his shoulders to hit the GTS.  I’ve never seen KENTA use this, but I’d bet it looks even more painful.

3. Jimmy Wang Yang’s Moonsault – I can’t remember the last time I saw this.  I’m pretty sure it’s also one of Christopher Daniels’ moves: the BME (Best Moonsault Ever).  I’d agree with that sentiment.  It’s a shame we don’t get to see this on TV anymore what with Yang’s complete disappearance from Smackdown except for the occasional squash match against some up-and-coming monster heel.  He deserves more respect.

2. Randy Orton’s RKO – Put Orton’s move in the same category as Tyson Kidd’s elbow drop, only Orton’s able to defy gravity using only his legs.  It’s amazing how long he seems to hang there, lying flat in the air.  And when executed properly, it even looks like it hurts like hell.

And the Number 1 Finishing Move is……….

Evan Bourne’s Shooting Star Press!

Did you realy think I’d choose something else?  Sure, it isn’t the hardest hitting move.  I picked it for two reasons: (1) Bourne is one of my favorite current WWE wrestlers, and (2) the SSP (or the Air Bourne as the announcers have dubbed it) is the prettiest goddamn move WWE allows.  It’s truly an epic move that they shouldn’t have banned because Brock Lesnar made an ass of himself a few years back.  The smaller guys can execute it just fine, so don’t deprive us of seeing it.  I remember a couple of weeks ago seeing John Morrison doing one of these, only he dove into a crowd of other wrestlers outside the ring, and that made me giddy.  I also hearken back to Paul London’s days of doing a version of the SSP where he runs on the ring apron and jumps onto an opponent on the outside.  It’s just an awesome move and a sight to behold.

What’s kind of neat is that the show Time Warp on the Discovery Channel did a short session with some wrestlers from CZW (which is getting a surprising amount of attention these days), and one of the moves they showed off was the SSP.  At 1,000 frames per second, it was magic.  If you’ve got cable, try to catch a repeat of this week’s Time Warp, so you can watch the segment with the CZW guys.

Okay, that’s it for me.  I’ll see you tomorrow with another list, and another one after that.  But probably not another one after that.  See you tomorrow.

It’s Day Two of Top 5 Week, and guess what?  I’m not doing a Top 5 again!  This time, I’m doing a Top…hold on, let me count…Top 7 list!  These are likely going to be in no particular order, because all 7 of these are the Worst Finishing Moves!

7. Batista Bomb – Whee, a sitout powerbomb.  Haven’t seen that before as a normal move for several people.  Tommy Dreamer has a similar sitout chokebomb, but he never gets a pinfall victory for that move. Why should big Dave get wins for a less impressive move?

6. FU – Or Attitude Adjustment or whatever it’s called now that WWE ewnt for the PG rating.  It’s just a simple Fireman’s carry into a powerslam.  Kind of like a Death Valley Driver, but with less impact.  Also, John Cena’s other finisher, the STFU (or STF now) isn’t all that impresive, either.  It never looks like Cena’s really wrenching back on his opponent’s neck when he’s got it locked in.  Keep in mind, I’m not a Cena hater.  I just hate his finishers.

5. Sweet Chin Music – I know, you’re probably thinking, “But Sweet Chin Music was created back when finishers were monstly simple maneuvers!”  Well, times change.  When you’ve got awesome finishers like the Shooting Star Pres and the RKO, a superkick just doesn’t seem like a great move anymore.  Sure, it occasionally looks awesome when the opponent sells it really well, but most of the time it’s just unimpressive.

4. Mic Check – A lot of younger generation wrestlers have silly names for their finishers.  Mic Check, Moonlight Drive, Cross Rhodes…this one falls into that category, as well as being a fairly weak-looking finisher.  It’s like a reverse Russian Legsweep, or The Stroke but not quite.  Kennedy should switch back to using the Kenton Bomb, or the Green Bay Plunge.  Those at least showd off some athleticism.  That is, he should use them if he ever returns to the ring…

3. Trouble in Paradise – I love Kofi Kingston.  But he seriously needs a better finisher.  His current finisher looks like a weak Enziguiri, and it looks worse because most of the wrestlers who take the bump always cover the side of their head, so it never looks like an authentic finisher.  It just ends up looking kind of lame.  He needs a finisher that shows off his athleticism while also looking awesome and protecting the other wrestler without it looking so obvious.  Like the Celtic Cross.  Simple, effective, and Finlay’s protecting his opponent’s neck throughout.

2. Reality Check – It’s a knee lift followed by a neckbreaker!  That isn’t a finisher, that’s two regular moves that everyone knows how to do!  Your finisher should be unique to you, something only you use on a regular basis.  It shouldn’t be just two normal everyday moves.  He should use that springboard legdrop he’s used in about four matches.  That one at least looks kind of cool.  If he wants to make a name for himself on Raw, he needs a new finisher.

And the #1 Worst Finishing Move, by far, is…

The Knockout Punch! Seriously, why doesn’t Big Show just punch his opponent in the face in the first five seconds of the match and win every time?  It always seems to knock someone out, so why not just do it at the beginning?  Also, IT’S JUST A STUPID PUNCH!  It doesn’t matter how large you are, a single punch to the head in a wrestling ring should never knock someone out.  It just looks silly.  Show needs to go back to using the Chokeslam or the Showstopper or something that isn’t the most basic of moves.

Okay, moving on to some quick Raw thoughts.  Firstly, my inner mark squealed at the thought of a Jericho-Steamboat match at Backlash.  Now, I’m just hoping that Steamboat doesn’t get himself seriously hurt during this match, because it’s going to be intense as hell.  I’m sure Jericho will try to protect him as best he can, but Steamboat’s 56, and any crazy stunts like that suicide dive he did at WM 25 could spell disaster for him.  Let’s hope they keep it short and sweet.

Chavo gets buried in 15 seconds against Batista.  He’s inching closer to that #1 spot for Most Mismanaged Talent.  Once Christian wins the ECW title on Sunday, Chavo will take the #1 spot and probably hold on to it forever.

Kane-Punk was a decent four minute brawl.  I’m going to make a prediction here: If Cena retains the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash, Punk’s gonna walk out, use his Money in the Bank contract, and win the title, bringing it to Smackdown and turning Punk heel.  He desperately needs to turn, and this would be a great way to do so.

The Santino bit was a touch funny, but not all that much.  I think he’s had his moment in the spotlight, and it’s time for him to step away.  Also, do you honestly think WWE is going to allow a man-on-man kiss on TV?  It just isn’t going to happen.

Melina-Beth was a decent match, and Melina looked really sad that she was leaving Raw.  But she’ll get to feud with Gail Kim and Michelle McCool on Smackdown, so that’ll be entertaining.

Cena-Jericho was a great match, especially the second half.  I hated the ending.  I always hate it when there’s a great match going on and some guy runs in to break it up and cause a DQ finish, even if it was to further a storyline or to make sure both guys get over before their matches at the PPV.  It leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Big Show-Rey…Rey’s last match on Raw, probably for good, and they have him job to the giant?  It’s almost as embarassing as MVP’s loss to Dolph Ziggler last Friday night.  Why couldn’t Rey’s last Raw match have been a competitive, awesome match against…hell, anyone else?  Have him face Brian Kendrick.  That’d be a great match.

HHH-Orton No DQ was okay.  In a strange sense, it sort of echoed their WM25 main event in that it didn’t live up to the hype and it wasn’t the best match on the card.  Also, the major problem that distracted me from the supposed emotion and intensity of this whole feud was Randy Orton’s ridiculously over-the-top selling of his leg injury.  And you think Batista oversells?  Orton flops around the mat, screaming at the top of his lungs, clutching his leg like it’s attached to his hip by a thread.  It just looks stupid.  If he wants to sell a leg injury, quietly clutching your leg while curled up in the fetal position with a very pained facial expression is much more effective than flopping around the ring like a fish out of water.  And then, of course, he no-sells the injury at the end when he hits the RKO I saw coming 50 miles away.  Kind of a weak buildup to their strangely stipulated match at Backlash.  I hope they just end their feud for good this time.  Have Batista turn on HHH, let Orton win the title, then have HHH and Batista feud for a little while, and let someone else climb the ladder to take on Orton.

Well, that’s it for me for today.  Tune in tomorrow for another Top 5 list and maybe some ECW thoughts if I’m feeling frisky.

I said it in my last post that there’d be a week of Top 5 lists, and I’m going to stick to my word.  Today will be a special Top 5, in that it’s actually a Top 10!  Now, those of you who have read at least one of my previous posts knows that I sometimes have a beef with the WWE Creative staff.  Sometimes it’s about the terrible storylines, or the way good storylines take bad turns, or how a match is booked.  But, I think, the most common gripe I have with them is the mismanagement of some of the more talented competitors in their company.  So what better way to kick off Top 5 Week with the Top 10 Mismanaged Talents!  I’ll go in ascending order.

10. DJ Gabriel – There are two reasons he’s this low on the list.  #1 – He was barely given a chance to show his in-ring talent, and #2 – everyone else on the list has been even more royally screwed by Creative.  At first, I wasn’t very big on Gabriel.  He looked like another one of those muscleheads who always get the big pushes and title reigns simply because of their look and not because of their in-ring talent or mic skills.  But as the weeks went by, I saw a lot of potential in this guy.  He could move around the ring well, he had a pretty decent arsenal of moves at his disposal, and he had a pretty cool finisher.  Sure, he had kind of a lame gimmick, but at least he had Alicia Fox to back him up.  Ever since he lost a couple of matches, he’s disappeared from ECW TV.  I’m disappointed.  Just because a new guy loses a match or two is no reason to take him off TV.  Yes, ECW is a breeding ground for new talent, and he might have just gotten pushed to the side, but there’s no reason to abandon someone.  Of course, with Alicia Fox now a part of Smackdown, who knows what lies in store for Gabriel.  Hopefully he’ll go back to FCW to develop a better character, and he’ll get another shot.

9. Dolph Ziggler – The former member of the Spirit Squad got a makeover in developmental and was repackaged as a smug, self-centered, egotistical guy who wants to make sure everybody knows his silly name.  He’s down here for the same reasons Gabriel is this low.  He barely got a chance to showcase his abilities before getting tossed into the jobber pile.  It’s a shame, too, because I think Nick Nemeth (Dolph’s real name) has an absolute ton of potential to be a great wrestler, perhaps even a world champion if WWE Creative would give him a chance (and a better name).  I’ve said before that he reminds me a lot of Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig, in mannerisms, look, and in-ring style.  Ziggler has probably more potential than anyone else on this list, but he was screwed before he ever got in the ring.  He needs to drop the silly name and just be Nick Nemeth.  Maybe he’ll get a new chance on Smackdown.  Hell, he beat MVP in MVP’s last match on Smackdown.  That could be a springboard for him.  Let’s hope it is.

8. Hawkins & Ryder – Yes, I’m putting a tag team in one slot.  Why?  Because these guys should never be separated.  As the Major Brothers, they were an up-and-coming tag team with a lot of chemistry and a pretty good work ethic.  As Hawkins and Ryder, they did nothing of consequence at all.  As soon as they became the Edgeheads, they disappeared off the map, surfacing only to win tag gold once, then disappear again until they lost the titles to Primo and Carlito.  And now they’re on different brands.  A shame, because if WWE Creative gave a shit about tag teams, these guys could have been perenially at the top of the heap, along with another tag team I’ll mention later on.  As it stands now, it looks like both will be going back to FCW or released very soon.  Too bad for them.

7. Hurricane Helms – His comeback from a yearlong hiatus/rehab for serious neck surgery was squandered when he lost a match for the US Title against Shelton Benjamin a couple of months ago.  Where’d he go?  Helms was one of the most prominent Cruiserweight wrestlers WWE had ever had.  He held the now-defunct Cruiserweight Title for over a year.  That’s means that he’s the longest reigning champion in recent history.  And he disappered after one loss.  There’s a problem right there.  Creative gives these returning wrestlers a nice push right from the start, and let them win for about a month.  Then they put them against the secondary champion, they lose, and are rarely ever heard from again.  It’s a shame, too, because Helms is definitely one of the most talented guys on the roster, and he’s getting short-changed because he’s not a 270 pound monster.  They really need to bring back the Cruiserweight title.  Maybe put it on ECW.  Or create something akin to the X Division title in TNA.  Something anyone can compete for, but you have to be damned good at what you do.  So guys like Batista would never win it.  And Helms should hold that one for a year or so as well.  But he won’t.

6. Jimmy Wang Yang – This guy is one of the most overly talented wrestlers of our current generation.  And his talent is being squandered because of a stupid gimmick and a total lack of a push in any way, shape, or form.  He should have been a Cruiserweight champion when the title was still around.  He should have won tag gold with Shannon Moore, who’s long gone from the company.  He’s been stuck at jobber status ever since Moore was released, and Creative is showing no signs of giving him another push.  Which is an utter travesty.  If he left WWE and went anywhere else, he’d be instant world champ material.  But here, he’s stuck at the bottom of the barrel until someone puts him out of his misery.

5. Jesse & Festus – I mentioned in my Supplemental Draft recap that both of these guys are kind of screwed now that they’re on different brands.  I’ve also said that they’re both very talented, and Jesse (real name Terry Gordy Jr.) has the potential to be a great in the business.  But WWE stuck him with a strange gimmick that was over with the crowd until they disappeared once the tag team division became entirely about MizMo and the Colons.  Festus is saddled with a gimmick that will limit him forever, and Jesse is screwed now, because Creative will almost never give a guy like him a great push.  Know why they won’t give him a push?  Because he doesn’t look like Vince McMahon’s prototypical champion.  You know: the 270 pound “carved-out-of-granite” musclehead with a limited moveset and even MORE limited mic skills.  Jesse’s got all the skills to go really far in this business, but in WWE-ville, he’s just fodder for the heels.

4. Ron “R-Truth” Killings – The same situation Hurricane Helms got himself into when he first returned happened to Killings just a few months prior.  Now that I think about it, Killings should be a little lower on the list because he’s still appearing on TV on a semi-regular basis, and still getting over like crazy.  But he should have beaten Benjamin for the US Title when he had the chance.  Now he’s stuck in semi-jobber/lower midcard status, and probably will be until he’s released again.  Which is, again, a shame, because Killings is a former NWA World Champion.  We all know he’s supremely talented.  But he never gets a chance to show it off because he’s stuck in the face role, getting his ass kicked every week and only getting to show off about three cool moves in his much larger arsenal.  He’ll never be a world champion in WWE.  He should go somewhere else.

3. Jamie Noble – James Gibson is a former ROH World Champion.  That’s got to be in the Top 5 as far as prestigious World Championships go.  He competed in ROH during its younger days, when wrestlers were wrestlers and if a match didn’t go 10-15 minutes, people were angry.  I’m really speculating, because I don’t know that much about ROH.  I’m trying, though.  But back to my point.  Jamie Noble is an extremely talented wrestler.  He’s a very focused, intense guy in the ring, and he can show you how damn good he is when he’s facing someone of similar size getting a similar amount of push.  Which is to say, no push whatsoever.  What WWE needs to do is to just let him fight a couple of other cruiserweights for the Cruiserweight title that they NEED to bring back.  Say, Noble, Helms, and my #2 pick.  And maybe one other guy to make it fun.  Like Evan Bourne, or Jesse.  And let those four feud over the title.  You’d have endless amounts of fun watching these guys do it all in the ring.  But we all know WWE Creative won’t give its smaller wresters a fair shake except for the extremely lucky few who manage to get so over with the crowds that there’s no choice but to give them a strong push.  Noble probably won’t ever get another push, which is a shame.  I wonder if he’d go back to ROH if he gets released…

2. Chavo Guerrero – A former Cruiserweight, Tag, and ECW champion is being humiliated every week by his aunt Vickie.  He hasn’t been in a competitive match since last year, back when he won the ECW title from CM Punk…or was it 2007?  I forget.  It’s embarassing how far his stock has fallen since his great days with Eddie, his awesome matches with Rey Mysterio, and his short time as ECW champion.  I think his current role in the company has destroyed any chance he’ll ever get a true push again in WWE.  The only way he can salvage his career is if they bring back the Cruiserweight title and let him and a few other guys fight for it.  Other than that, I don’t see much for Chavo to look forward to in the coming months.

And the #1 most mismanaged talent in WWE is…………

Christian!  Come on, you had to know this was coming.  Yes, he’s only been back for a few months.  But Christian’s position in WWE has been so far beneath his true potential for years, ever since he and Edge went solo.  He never got a decent push or a good break.  He never got a chance to really show the crowds how talented he was.  He got that in TNA, also being a former NWA World Champion.  In fact, he was the last NWA World Champion in TNA before NWA and TNA severed ties.  That’s got to count for something.  With six days before Backlash, I’m hoping Christian will disappear off this list, because he deserves the ECW title so very much more than anyone else on the roster.  Hell, he deserves a world title more than anyone else.  Here’s hoping WWE Creative finally fix the mistake they made back when they had Christian lose to Jack Swagger a few weeks ago and give Christian his first World Championship in WWE.  I truly hope he wins, because if he doesn’t, he should just leave now and go to a company that appreciates him for his talent and not his body size.

And before I go, I just have four more words to say: Bobby Lashley in TNA.

That is all.  See you tomorrow for another list, because it’s Top 5 Week!

I didn’t write about the Supplemental Draft yesterday because I didn’t feel like it.  Also, I thought Mike Siciliano wrote a great article on Wrestleview that evening that pretty well sums up most of my feelings towards the various moves made this Wednesday.  And since I just finished watching the new WWE Superstars show (I don’t get WGN America, so I had to acquire hte show through more dubious means), I figured why not write about both?  I’ll do some quick stuff about each wrestler mentioned in the Supplemental Draft, and I’ll gripe for a few minutes about Superstars.

WWE 2009 Supplemental Draft

1. Raw: Mr. Kennedy – Before I found out Todd Grisham was going to be the second announcer for Smackdown, I thought there would be a very good possibility that Kennedy would land the spot until he’s healthy.  Now I’m not sure what’s going to happen to him.  Sure, he’s a great talker, but he’s far too injury-prone to make much of an impact.  It’s unfortunate how far his stock has fallen since he won Money in the Bank two years ago.  That arm injury may very well have cost him any semblance of a main event career.  Maybe he’ll get rolling in a while, once the whole HHH/Orton debacle has cooled off.

2. Smackdown: Cryme Tyme – I’m not going to talk about each member individually, seeing as how they both moved to the same brand.  I think Shad and JTG will have some fun messing with the nonexistent tag team division on Smackdown, and maybe get a few matches with Primo and Carlito, but they probably won’t have much to do besides causing havoc outside the ring and causing general mischief after that.  Tag team wrestling seems to be on its last legs in the WWE, and they really need to fix that.  There are (or, I suppose, were) a lot of really great tag teams in the company, and Creative just chews them up and spits them out like they’re the least important thing in the world.  I feel bad for the talented tag teams, and the teams that got split up because of the draft.  Some will flourish in singles competition, some will flounder, and some will probably be released within a couple of months.

3. Smackdown: Alicia Fox – Okay…so is she no longer DJ Gabriel’s valet?  Is he still going to compete on ECW?  What’s the deal here?  While I thought their gimmick was a little silly, I liked their chemistry and they seemed to be a good team.  They had a nice mini-feud with Paul and Katie Lea Burchill.  Now they’re split?  There are a lot of questions coming out of the Supplemental Draft which don’t have answers.  I think Alicia’s had two matches, and she’s pretty good.  But we have yet to see whether or not she’ll be able to compete with some of the stronger women on Smackdown.

4. Raw: Primo and Carlito – They’re probably going to be bouncing across all three (or, I suppose, four) brands with those tag belts in tow.  I like these guys.  They’re energetic, talented, and fun to watch in the ring.  And they can sometimes even have a decent little comedy promo.  I still think MizMo should have won the Unified Tag Team Championship, but I suppose they’ll get a little more mileage out of the brothers.  At least until Legacy takes the belts away.  Which I’m proclaiming will happen.

5. Smackdown: Mike Knox – Why does htis guy still have a job?  He was doing okay back in 2006 when he didn’t look like a ridiculously out of shape hobo.  He’s just a big fat guy now.  And that’s coming from a big fat guy with a huge beard.  This guy is ugly.  He did nothing on Raw but pick on guys half his size and then lose to them.  What chance does he have of success anywhere else?  He just needs to go away.

6. ECW: Ezekiel Jackson – Um…well, I got half of that prediction right…I don’t think there’s much for Ezekiel to do as a solo wrestler.  Sure, he’s large.  But that’s all he’s got.  He’s far too green to even be considered championship material.  I don’t imagine he’ll stay on ECW for long.  He’ll either end up back in developmental or get cut soon enough.

7. Raw: The Bella Twins – Yet another situation that was never explained.  Did they suddenly go back to being best friends after the DARK MATCH at Wrestlemania 25 (I refuse to call it what the announcers call it because it sounds like they’re trying to make it more important than it really was)?  Why are they no longer involved with any of the guys they were involved with not two weeks ago?  What the fuck, Creative?  Did you forget that these sisters were at each others’ throats just the week before Wrestlemania 25?  Huh?  HUH?  Anyway, if they’re teaming up again, they’ll be fun to watch, but the womens’ division on Raw took a huge hit with the loss of Melina, and I don’t think twins will make up for her moving to Smackdown.

8. Smackdown: Candice Michelle – She’s like the female Mr. Kennedy.  Fairly talented, but far too injury-prone to make much of an impact.  I suspect she’ll be gone soon from WWE.

9. ECW: Zack Ryder – If this doesn’t mean that both Ryder and Hawkins are done for, I don’t know what will.  They won the WWE tag titles last year sometime, then promptly disappeared off of TV, only to come back for a loss to Primo and Carlito, and haven’t been seen since.  I’d suspect they’ll both be released soon.  Too bad.  They had a good thing going back when they were the Major Brothers.

10. Raw: Chavo Guerrero – He’s simply there to wheel Vickie around and get her stale coffee.  I feel so bad for Chavo.  He’s the only Guerrero left in the WWE with talent, and he’s being squandered as his aunt’s lacky.  He had great I Quit matches with Rey Mysterio a couple of years ago, and now look at him.  I don’t know how he puts up with it.

11. Smackdown: Ricky Ortiz – An interesting move.  We haven’t really seen Ricky Ortiz in recent weeks on ECW.  So here’s hoping he’ll get another shot at glory.  My gut says there’s no way he’ll get to the top, but you never know.  He’s pretty fun to watch.  Let’s hope we actually get to watch him on Smackdown.

12. Smackdown: Layla – Is she no longer William Regal’s eye candy?  What is with all these splits?  MizMo’s done, Kendrick and Jackson are done, the Bellas apparently split from Primo and Carlito, Hawkins and Ryder are done (in more than one way), Alicia Fox and DJ Gabriel are split, and now Regal and Layla are done?  What is happening here?  I doubt Layla will get far on Smackdown.  She’s a mediocre wrestler at best (judging from the last match she had some months back), so unless she’s vastly improved, she’ll probably be gone soon.

13. Raw: Hornswoggle – HUH?  Yet another team getting split up.  What the hell is Hornswoggle going to do on Raw?  Run around causing havoc backstage while Finlay falls into obscurity?  I’m hoping that this split will allow Finlay to return to being a heel, because he needs it badly.  So either they’re going to start up a midget division on Raw or Hornswoggle’s just going to run amok backstage for a few weeks and then disappear forever.

14. ECW: DH Smith – Hopefully WWE will FINALLY pull the trigger on the Hart Foundation 2.0.  With Smith, TJ Wilson…I mean…Tyson Kidd, and Nattie Neidhart together, that right there would be the most powerful faction in the WWE next to Legacy.  And I bet the Hart Foundation 2.0 would kick Legacy’s ass.  These three have the potential to relive the glory of their family and bring some real respect to ECW.  A Tag Title reign should be in the near future for Smith and Kidd, and a Women’s or Diva’s Title reign should come to Nattie soon.  Actually, she should have been the first Diva’s Champion, not Michelle McCool.  WWE really dropped the ball when they created that title and didn’t give it to Nattie.  Maybe she’ll win it soon and we’ll have a family of titleholders.  Let’s hope this actually happens this time.

15. Smackdown: John Morrison – I believe this is the second move I actually correctly prognosticated.  Might as well move Miz and Morrison as far away from each other as possible.  I hope Morrison is the first challenger to Rey Mysterio’s Intercontinental title, because those two could have some spectacular matches.  Let’s hope he gets some World Heavyweight Championship matches against whomever is holding the title at the time (I’m going to go out on a limb here and say…CM Punk, just for fun).  I’m still holding out that he’ll win a major world title within a year, and Smackdown would be the best place for him to do it.

16. ECW: Natalya – Um…wasn’t she already there as Tyson Kidd’s valet?  Seemingly this is just to set up Hart Foundation 2.0.  Maybe next week we’ll get our first taste of the new faction.

17. Raw: Festus – WHAT?  Yet another tag team broken up.  This one angers me, because Jesse and Festus were probably the best tag team outside of MizMo and the Colons over the past year or so.  They had great chemistry, a decently funny gimmick, and both guys could WORK.  Jesse, for those of you who don’t know, is actually Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy’s son, and the few times we actually got to see him wrestle, I was very impresed.  He has all the ring talent to be a great star, but WWE won’t give him a break because he’s small and doesn’t look like he’s been chiseled out of granite.  And Festus, who at one point played the Impostor Kane a couple of years ago, was just fun to watch.  He was a pure brawler, and he could brawl with the best of them.  Now he’ll probably become a jobber, or get a useless push against smaller guys like Jamie Noble, and then fade away to be repackaged.  Sigh.  Why break up so many teams this year, huh?  WHY?

18. Smackdown: Dolph Ziggler – Say goodbye to Dolph.  He never had a chance.  Which is too bad, because he reminded me a lot of Mr. Perfect.  He could have been great.  But he got lost in the shuffle and will get released soon.

19. Raw: The Brian Kendrick – This seems awfully strange.  Without Ezekiel backing him up, he’s either going to step up and show us that he really should be in the main event, or he’ll get dumped like his former partner, Paul London.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kendrick back in Ring of Honor before the year is over.  It’s harsh, but he’s also going to get lost in the shuffle, what with Raw now being the beefy “A” show and having far too many main event names all on the same show.  Oh, well.

20. Smackdown: Charlie Haas – He needs this move.  His WWE career is circling the drain, so unless he gets some kind of push, either as a regular guy or re-teaming with Shelton Benjamin, he’ll be gone before you know it.  I, for one, would absolutely love to see The World’s Greatest Tag Team reform yet again and go after the tag titles.  Give Charlie a real push for once, will ya?

21. ECW: Shane “Hurricane” Helms – Hmmm…he returns after more than a year away from the ring because of a serious neck injury, comes back with a wave of momentum and the crowd on his side, and then loses a US title match to Shelton, and suddenly he’s gone again.  WWE really doesn’t give its cruiserweights enough credit.  These guys take more risks than the big lumbering dopes who hold the titles, but they get almost none of the spoils.  Here’s hoping he gets a couple of ECW title shots, or maybe teams up with Evan Bourne for the tag titles.  Helms is one of the hardest working guys in the company, and like so many others, he can never seem to catch a break.  Here’s a thought: bring back the Cruiserweight Title, and put it on ECW!  Or have it be a traveling title, like the tag team titles.  Eh?  EH?

Okay, quick words about Superstars.  First and foremost: why does Christian/Finlay get 4 1/2 minutes and Shane McMahon/Cody Rhodes get 10?  Christian just won a very important match for the right to face Jack Swagger at Backlash and hopefully correct the mistake that Creative made when they didn’t put the ECW title on him when he first returned.  And they give a 40 year old non-wrestler 10 minutes?  Really?  You could tell the points where Cody was wasting time to let Shane catch his breath.  It happened at least three times.  I feel bad for ECW.  At least, before the draft, it was the most entertaining hour of WWE television.  Yet WWE gives it no love during Wrestlemania 25 and a 4 minute match to determine the #1 contender for its title at Backlash?  Jeez…come on, guys.  Get it together.

Undertaker looked pretty good in his match with Matt Hardy.  I’m surprised he’s back so soon after that scary bump he took at WM 25 when he jumped out of the ring and landed damn near on top of his head (apparently the cameraman was Sim Snuka, and he botched the spot pretty badly).  He’s coming back to work full-time, and Shawn Michaels is taking time off.  What does that say about the character of these two men?  It says a lot, that’s what it says.

Something just occurred to me.  One of these days, I’d like to get a few friends together who don’t watch WWE and sit them down to watch a show or two and see their reactions.  I’d like to know if they’d actually want to watch it again or if it puts them off.  Because I tolerate a lot of stupid decisions made by WWE Creative, and I’m wondering if I’m putting up with too much stupid shit every week.  So, if you know me in person, and would possibly be interested in joining this little experiment, let me know.  (Really, this is all just a ploy to try to find some people to watch wrestling with every week.  It gets so dull watching it by myself)

Well, I do believe starting next week I’m going to do a week of Top # lists, all related to the various in-ring moves performed by the men and women of the WWE.  I think I have several ideas already prepared, but I’ll need a few more in order to fill a whole week.  Until then, I’ll be watching, and I hope you’ll be reading.

So I just finished watching Raw (thank you DVR!), and because I’ve got opinions about things, I’m going to discuss the WWE Draft.  But first, let me say that, this being the first 3-hour Raw I’ve watched on my TV, it was surprisingly grueling to slog through.  Part of that had to do with there being, I think, 11 matches in a three hour time slot.  Wrestlemania 25 didn’t even have that many matches, and the show was four hours!  Anyway, I’ll go through the list in chronological order, and also mark whether or not I picked said superstar.

1. MVP to Raw

I called it, and it happened.  I was a little surprised he was the very first pick, but maybe, just maybe, that means that there are big things in store for the Playmaker from Miami.  And I’m not talking about Dwayne Wade.  MVP has been stellar over the past couple of years, and putting him on the “A” show only helps raise his stock in the company.  He might not hold on to the US Title for much longer, because bigger things are in store for him.  Actually, with all of the current storylines on Raw, he may hold the US Title for another year or so before getting an opportunity at the big one.

2.  Big Show to Raw

This was the first of several times where I yelled, “Who cares!” at the TV.  No offense to the guy, but he’s one of those who might just get lost in the shuffle, as a lot of people like to say.  He’s looked pretty bad over the past few months, having put on an obvious amount of weight, and looks sluggish in the ring, resorting most of the time to headbutts, like back when he was ECW champ.  Anyone remember that?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  Anyway, a big old “meh” from me.  Oh, and I of course did not pick this, so I’m 1 for 2.

3.  Melina to Smackdown

Well, it wasn’t quite Gail Kim to Raw, but I’ll take it.  Though I will be sad to see her go.  She had a great rapport with some of the other face ladies on Raw.  I’m sure she’ll do fine on Smackdown.  She’s incredibly charismatic, fantastic in the ring, and let’s not forget the greatest ring entrance in the history of time.  I hope she and Gail Kim have a very long feud, because those two can tear the house down every single night and I’d be a very happy man.  In more ways than one.  1 for 3 on draft picks.

4.  Matt Hardy to Raw

The stretcher match was the blowoff to the Hardy feud, thank god, and Matt’s been getting pushed like crazy.  Is it time for a main event push?  Creative is probably thinking yes, but I hope the answer is no.  Why?  Because he’s a very bland heel.  He’s just a typical douchebag.  There’s no real character behind the mockery.  He just likes to make fun of everyone else.  And he’s angry a lot.  Big deal.  He’ll get more exposure on Raw, but this is the wrong time to give it to him.

5.  Triple H to Raw

In the move that surprised absolutely no one, The Game moves back to his adopted home on Monday nights, probably to draw out this blown feud with Orton until Backlash.  I’ll talk about what I think is going to happen with this angle once I’m done talking about the draft.  But where does this leave Smackdown?  Wait till the end to find out.

Oh, right, at this point I’m 2 for 5.

6.  CM Punk to Smackdown

I’m taking this one as a correct pick, because I was absolutely sure of it until I saw that ad for Raw in Australia, then decided against it, then decided that WWE probably hadn’t informed their various outlets that the rosters would be changing.  I’m not surprised at all here.  Punk has been kind of stuck in the lower mid-card since losing the World Heavyweight title last year.  Sure, he’s won Tag Team gold and the IC title, but he’s really done that quietly at best.  I’m starting to sour on him, and I’m hoping that the change to Friday nights also brings about a heel turn for him.  I think he’d be extremely entertaining as a brash, arrogant, elitist straight-edge asshole, and maybe the move to Smackdown will help with the change.  3 for 6

7. The Miz to Raw

I had to close my sliding glass door before yelling so loud at this.  Miz has no business being anywhere but ECW or maybe Smackdown.  Morrison should have moved to Raw.  Morrison is infinitely more talented, charismatic, and everything else over his former tag team partner.  I’m still sticking by my claim that John Morrison will be a world title holder within a year, but WWE really fucked this one up.  I was really angry about this.  I was even angry about how the match ended.  For one, the match went on far too long, and to have Miz lose by DQ when Morrison interfered?  Lame.  What I wonder now is did Miz’s beatdown of Morrison (that sounds so wrong now that I think about it) mean that Morrison is turning face?  I surely hope they aren’t doing that, because Morrison is a natural heel.  He is, I would consider, the benchmark when it comes to being a great heel.  I truly hope he’s moved to Smackdown in the Supplemental Draft on Wednesday.

3 for 7.

8.  Kane to Smackdown

Another “meh” pick for me.  Kane’s been doing fine on Raw, and I thought that he might become the new “gatekeeper” as it were.  You know, the old veteran who ushers in the new talent and makes them look good for a couple of weeks until they’re ready to challenge other younger talent.  But I suppose he’ll be doing more on Smackdown instead.  Maybe we’ll see a Brothers of Destruction reunion, if only for one night.

9.  Chris Jericho to Smackdown

I had a strange inkling that Jericho might be moving brands this evening, but I didn’t put him in my top 10.  One more “meh” pick from yours truly.  I’ve been sour on Jericho for about a year now, shortly after his heel turn.  His heel persona seems very tepid and boring, much like Matt Hardy’s heel character.  Raw and Smackdown just traded hairstyles.  Is there a possibility of Jericho and Edge teaming up at some point?  There certainly was a lot of teasing about the possibility of it happening.  I’d be curious to see what happens if they do team up.  Other than that, I have no interest in Jericho moving anywhere.

3 for 9…

10. Vladimir Kozlov to ECW

WHO CALLED IT?  I CALLED IT!  ECW’s one and only pick was the Moscow Mauler.  I knew he needed a change after his winning streak was snapped earlier this year and he faded from the pages of Smackdown entirely.  Look for him to win gold.  Although I feel realy bad for Christian, who had a very disappointed look on his face upon discovering Kozlov was the draftee.  And it wasn’t a “Holy crap, the Russian giant just got drafted to my brand,” it was a “Damnit, now I’ll NEVER win a world title in this company again, I should have stayed with TNA” look.

Sidenote: I want to explain my feelings about Christian right now.  Back when he was in WWE the first time, I was generally okay with him, but never very impressed.  When he went solo…well, I wasn’t watching wrestling back then.  I saw a few of his matches in TNA, and I wasn’t impressed.  But somehow, he’s managed to turn into one of my favorite wrestlers in the WWE.  It had nothing to do with the Internet Wrestling Community and their high praise of the guy.  He’s impressed me with his talent, his grit, his charisma (that is his nickname after all…), and his overall great workmanship.  The guy is truly a legitimate world champ, and he should have won the ECW title from Jack Swagger back when he had his one shot so he and Evan Bourne could have run the gauntlet and tore the house down at Wrestlemania 25.  But Creative fucked it up and kept the belt on the uber-green Swagger, and now the ECW title means absolutely nothing.  I hope someone takes the belt off Swagger at Backlash so it can regain a little respect in my eyes.

Anyway, now I’m 4 for 10.

11. Maryse to Raw

I’m sorry in advance.  I don’t mean to sound like a giant ass, but she doesn’t deserve a goddamned thing she’s received in WWE at all.  She didn’t deserve a roster spot, she didn’t deserve the Diva’s title (a pointless title anyway since it should have gone to Nattie Neidhart and stayed with her to this day), and she certainly didn’t deserve to be a draft pick for a match between Punk and Matt Hardy.  No.  Either she and Melina should have unified the two womens’ titles or she should have been taken to Raw in the Supplemental Draft.  Not a main pick.  Just no.

12. Rey Mysterio to Smackdown

It was inevitable.  MVP’s on Raw, so the IC title had to go somewhere else.  And since WWE gives no respect to ECW, Rey pretty well had no choice.  MVP looked genuinely happy with his move to Raw, but Rey looked just okay.  Sure, he’s going to his old stamping grounds, but what’s over there for him to do?  Not much.  Unless WWE brings Low Ki up to the main roster soon, Mysterio’s going to have nothing to do.

So my final count for picks: 5 for 12.  Not bad, but I certainly could have done better.

Did you notice a name missing from the draft picks?  Perhaps someone else with some gold around his waist?  That’s right, John Cena stayed on Raw.  What this means for the title picture is unintelligible at this point.  Is Edge going to win the title back AGAIN at Backlash, or is Cena going to retain and we have two world titles on Raw?  We’ve been in this situation before, and it isn’t all that interesting.  Let’s just keep the formula of one world title per show going, so everyone on every brand has something to shoot for.  People don’t get into the business to be the Intercontinental Champ.  They get in there to be World Champ.  Smackdown without a world title means that it really is a barren wasteland.  Let’s hope it gets fixed soon.

Now, for the Supplemental Draft.  I won’t be able to watch it, because I have a life.  Yes, it’s true.  So I’ll just pick a few people to move around and we’ll see what the results are Wednesday evening.

Firstly, I’ll take several picks from my Top 10 list a few days ago, but change a couple of them slightly.  Kofi Kingston to Smackdown, Christian to Smackdown, The Brian Kendrick to ECW, John Morrison to Smackdown, Charline Haas to ECW, Goldust to Smackdown, William Regal to ECW (god, I’d love to see him win the ECW title and destroy everyone in his path), Evan Bourne to Smackdown, and that’s it for now.  I know, I didn’t put anyone on Raw.  That’s because they’ve got enough main eventers as it is.  A funny note: to determine these picks, I went onto WWE’s website and looked at the rosters for each show.  Funny how all of the male champions haven’t moved yet, but the female champions have already moved.  And Kozlov’s moved as well.  As has MVP.  But no one else.  Strange…

Okay, quick thoughts about the whole Raw debacle for the WWE Title.  The possibility of a Batista heel turn is so obvious it’s a little painful.  The first seeds were planted tonight.  They’ll only blossom next week, and he’ll show us his true colors at Backlash.  Orton wins the title, and Batista and HHH feud over who gets Orton next, while Orton sits back and laughs his ass off.  Meanwhile, Cena loses his title to Edge and gets in the middle of the feud, leading us to either a fatal four way at some point or the supposed “dream match” between Cena and Orton or Cena and Batista at a PPV in the future.  Here’s hoping one of those matches takes place at the Great American Bash, which is going to be in Sacramento, the city I currently live in.  It was originally going to be Night of Champions, and I was so very excited for that, but WWE decided for reasons entirely unbeknownst to me to switch the two PPV’s around, so we’re getting the GAB instead.  I’m very disappointed about this, especially since the GAB was going to be in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America.  Let them have it and give us 8 title matches!  Sigh.  I’m going to try to stay positive about this, as well as the draft.  As I seem to say every week, time will tel whether or not the decisions made by Creative were good or not.  Until next time, I’ll be watching, and you’ll be reading.

So I just finished watching Smackdown.  I had to…ahem…download it, because Comcast was being weird and cutting in and out frequently.  SO, with that being said, I’ll try to give a quick recap and some thoughts on what’s transpired this evening.

Firstly, the new announce team.  It looks like maybe, just maybe, they’re turning JR into a color commentator.  With Todd Grisham now at the Smackdown desk, either JR’s going to be the color man or we’re having two play-by-play men behind the desk.  I don’t mind either way.  Grisham’s a good announcer.  I just don’t know if he was the best choice.  True, there really weren’t any other obvious choices since JBL’s apparently done for the forseeable future.  But I think a true color man would have fit better.  Stick Kennedy in there while he’s healing.  That’d be an interesting team there.

Kofi/Show was entertaining, if only to showcase how ridiculously athletic Kofi is.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Kofi’s the most athletically gifted wrestler on the roster, even eclipsing Shelton Benjamin.  And Kofi’s still got tons of potential.  I think Shelton’s peaked, and it’s time for a new true athlete to step up to the plate and deliver some high-energy wrestling.  If they’d drop the silly Jamaican gimmick, maybe he’d get further.

Santino vs. Khali.  Where has Khali been the past few…weeks?  Months?  I’m not sure.  What has he got to show for it?  Red pants and a 21 second victory over Santino.  Whee.

Gail Kim vs. Michelle McCool.  Another showcase for Gail Kim.  I never really watched TNA, so I never really got to see her there, and I wasn’t watching back when she was first with WWE, but she is damned impresive.  I really think they should move her to Raw so she and Melina can have some fantastic battles and bring some respect to the women’s division, which right now is nothing more than an eye-candy-fest.  I mean, I enjoy that part and all, but I really like seeing some athletically gifted ladies beating the crap out of each other every once in a while, too.

Cena on the Cutting Edge was a very good start for the build to Backlash.  We got serious Cena and emotional Edge, something we don’t always get.  I know a lot of people have said they’re sick of Cena/Edge, but I’ve watched almost their entire rivalry since it began in early 2006, and it’s still entertaining.  These guys have incredible chemistry, and watching them work together is a treat.  There’s been enough time since their last major feud that I think they can still run with this for a while.  Until they’re separated by the Draft…but more on that later.

Colons vs. Legacy was a pretty good match.  What happened to the Bella twins?  It’s as though once Primo and Carlito won the Unified Tag belts, they’re no longer relevant.  At least Brie should come back, since she was involved (on-screen) with Primo, I think.  At least have her there.  The match was pretty good, and then the completely pointless Randy Orton segment that followed Legacy’s pointless victory.  Randy: summarizing what’s happened on Raw does not count as hyping your match.  At least, that’s what I think he said.  I wasn’t paying attention.

Hardy vs. Hardy – Stretcher Match

Again, a decent TV match, but nothing spectacular.  One think I don’t quite understand is why, when these guys land on the huge pad on top of a stretcher, they act as though they’ve been put through a table.  If anything, they should have a smile on their face that they landed on something soft.  Except if you’re falling from about seven feet up.  Jeff’s Swanton Bomb onto the stretcher was a pretty sweet spot.  I’m a little surprised they’re giving Matt as much of a push as they’re giving him.  Are they going to give him a main event push shortly, or will this fizzle like so many other pushes have in the past?  I suppose only time will tell.

Okay, enough of that.  I’m doing a top 10 this week in honor of the WWE Draft this coming Monday night.  I know that trying to figure out who’s getting drafted where is an exercise in futility, but everyone else is doing it.  So I’ll toss in my picks.  I don’t think 10 are going to move in the main Draft on Raw, but if there’s a supplemental draft, maybe some of these will move.  Maybe not.  Who knows?

1. Edge to Raw – He has to be reunited with Vickie Guerrero, right?  Might as well put him back on the supposed “A” show again, right?  There have been reports that Creative wants to make Raw the big strong show and make Smackdown the sort of “kid-friendly” show.  So most of my picks are going off of that.  Edge is a main eventer and I’m betting a lot of main eventers are getting shipped off to Raw, where they’ll all fight for the WWE Title.  I say WWE Title because my next pick is…

2. HHH to Raw – He’s been on Raw more often in the past couple of months than he has been on Smackdown.  It’s only logical to move him over there so he can rightfully feud with Orton until Backlash and they can drop this feud so they can work on something that didn’t have a clusterfuck of a match at WM 25.

3. Rey Mysterio to Smackown – A move I’m thinking simply because of the supposed “kiddie” nature Smackdown’s possibly going to take.  Also, Smackdown’s ratings are in the toilet since the move to MyNetwork TV, and Creative probably wants to get all of its major stars off that sinking ship before MyNetwork goes belly-up.  And they’ll put a bunch of mid-carders there.  Which is why Rey will probably move there, with the IC Title.  Which would logically mean that…

4. MVP to Raw – you move the US champ to Raw.  Why not?  The WWE title moved to Raw.  Might as well move the US title there as well.  Besides, MVP is due for a main event run.  He put up with a six month long losing streak simply in order to turn him face.  Now, don’t get me wrong here, I love heaing hte crowd cheer for MVP, but the man is a born heel.  I’ll be doing another Top 5 list later where I put my top 5 choices for wrestlers who desparately need a face/heel turn, and he’s definitely going to be in there.  The reason I started liking him was because he was such a great heel.  Watching him get his ass kicked every week, only to pull out a victory in the end isn’t satisfying to me.  Anyway, he deserves a big push, and there’s no better place to do that than WWE’s highest-rated TV show.

5. Kofi Kingston to Smackdown – I think a couple of the matches on Smackdown tonight were potential exhibitions for some new talents moving there.  I think Kofi’s one of them.  You heard my praise for him earlier.  On Smackdown he can shine even brighter and maybe win some gold again.

6. Christian to Smackdown – This is much more of a heart-felt pick than a brain-felt pick.  Lord knows why Vince doesn’t think this man is main event material.  He is so deserving of a world title it’s disturbing.  Hopefully he gets drafted on Monday, loses in the Elimination Chase on Tuesday, and gets a fresh start on Smackdown.

7. The Brian Kendrick to ECW – This may sound like a strange pick, but I think Kendrick’s time on Smackdown is over.  After that push he got last year, being in the Championship Scramble match and actually winning a fall, he’s done nothing of note.  A restart on a very exciting show is the perfect thing to jump-start Kendrick again.  Perhaps an ECW title reign is in order…

8. Vladimir Kozlov to ECW – Ever since he lost, he’s all but disappeared from TV.  This guy had a year-long winning streak.  A lot of people in the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community) were very harsh on him, saying he’s too green and inexperienced to receive a push like the one he did.  I disagree with those people.  I think he’s actually quite talented and athletic in the ring.  He’s got a huge moveset, which includes a lot of martial arts and some really brutal wrestling moves, and while he isn’t the best talker in the biz, he can just stare stone-faced at the crowd and elicit a reaction.  While I don’t know if he’s ever going to be deserving of a World Title, he at least should get to be the monster heel again.  Let him terrorize ECW for a while.  It’ll be fun!

9. John Morrison to Raw – the implosion of MizMo is imminent, which is a crying shame, seeing as how they’re the best tag team the WWE has seen in 10 years.  But Morrison’s bigger than a tag team.  I made a prediction that he’d be world champ inside of a year a couple of weeks ago, and Raw is the perfect place for the total package to show off his talents.  The guy really is the most overall talented wrestler in the company, so let him run with the WWE Title for a few months.

And you’ve probably seen this coming for a while, but I decided to save it for last anyway.

10. John Cena to Smackdown – Sure, he gets the biggest reactions from all crowds, but every other major titleholder is moving brands, so why not The Champ?  Excluding tonight’s promo, he is really a more child-friendly character.  He might as well be the top dog on Smackdown, because I think he’d get lost in the shuffle on Raw (I can’t believe I just said that).  He can renew some old rivalries on Smackdown and carve out a whole new niche for himself as a real main eventer again.

I was going to put CM Punk in this list, but the version of Smackdown I watched had some promos for events in Australia, and he was listed on the Raw shows, so I’m betting he’s staying.  Unless, of course, WWE didn’t inform anyone about the draft picks, which is probably the case.  He’d probably be my 11th pick.  I’d also really hope to see Gail Kim move to Raw so she can feud with Melina and I can be very happy.

Okay, that’s it for me tonight.  Who knows what I’ll be writing about next time.  Not even I know!  But I promise it’ll be a good read.

Be sure to leave any comments you might have, be they in support or in opposition to my ideas.  I’m glad to hear them.

I think it’s high time I start up these Top 5 lists, and what better way to kick them off than by telling you who I think most deserved a spot on the card at Wrestlemania 25, but were snubbed for matches with great builds but horrible execution *COUGH*HHH*COUGH*Orton*HACK*.

1. Umaga

He just came back from injury a few weeks ago, and has once again been tearing through the Smackdown jobber locker room.  He’s one of the hardest workers and one of the most entertaining characters in the entire WWE.  So why leave the Samoan Bulldozer off the card?  He’s incredibly talented in the ring, and is one of the top heels in the entire company.  If nothing else, he would have been fun to watch in the Money in the Bank ladder match, or maybe a triple threat of some sort.  Snubbing the best Samoan wrestler in the company is a shame.  Let’s hope he gets something at Backlash.

2. Evan Bourne

Matt Sydal, Evan Bourne, whatever you prefer to call him, there’s no denying that the guy is so ridiculously over with the fans that there’s no real reason not to put him on the card.  Again, he’d be a fantastic addition to the Money in the Bank match.  With him, Kofi Kingston, and Shelton Benjamin flying around the arena, it would give crowds something to remember.  Let’s see…take Mark Henry out of the match, put Umaga in his place…and probably take out Finlay for Evan Bourne (as much as I love Finlay, I hate his face gimmick and it needs to go away soon).  If those two were in the MITB, it would be a lot more memorable than it was this year.

3. William Regal

I’ll admit, I’m putting Regal in here because he’s one of my all-time favorite wrestlers.  He’s pretty well a total package.  He’s fantastic in the ring, he’s great on the mic, and he can work a crowd into a frenzy with his arsenal of cheating.  Maybe have him in a midcard match, possibly with title implications.  It doesn’t really matter.  Any time we see the brash Englishman walk down the aisle, it’s a treat for the fans.

4. Jesse and Festus

Probably my favorite tag team withouth John Morrison being a part of it, I’m putting these two together because they’re such a cohesive unit, and both bring a lot of unique talents to the ring.  Plus, they’re damned entertaining, both on the mic and in the ring.  Jesse’s a truly talented wrestler whose experience is being squandered because (a) he’s in a tag team, and (b) right now, he’s stuck in jobber limbo with his partner, the “Corn-fed Colossus” as JR calls him, Festus.  Festus is probably one of the most entertaining guys to watch in the ring.  His character is definitely in my top 5 gimmicks to watch.  I love how angry/enthusiastic he is to beat the ever-loving shit out of everyone who gets in his way.  Both guys are a ton of fun, and seeing them relegated to being squashed by the likes of the Big Show saddens me.

5. Matt Striker

Yes, I’m putting an announcer in here.  Why?  Because besides JBL, he’s the most entertaining color analyst to come down the pike in 10-15 years, maybe more.  Not since Heenan and JBL have we had such a great announcer who mixes wrestling knowledge with general wittiness and overall intelligence.  The only person who’s even come close to JBL and Striker was Mick Foley, and we all know he’s being wasted in TNA right now.  I think the announce team at WM25 would have been a lot more fun with Striker in Michael Cole’s place.  No disrespect to Cole, but if you’re going to put together a 3-man all-star team for your biggest show of the year, put in three entertaining guys with a true passion for the business.

Interesting side note: while I’ve enjoyed Striker and Todd Grisham’s announcing team on ECW, I must say that Josh Matthews was a very welcome change this past week.  Matthews seems much more knowledgeable about what’s actually going on in the ring, as well as sounding more natural without forcing any emotion, as Grisham does on a regular basis.  If this is the new ECW announce team, I am very happy with it.

And, what the hell, I’m not tired of writing yet, so I’ll give you a couple of Honorable Mentions that didn’t make the Top 5:

Vladimir Kozlov (am I the only person on the planet who likes this guy?), Jimmy Wang Yang, Mr. Kennedy, R. Truth (can we just change him back to Ron Killings?), Cryme Time, Tommy Dreamer, Tyson Kidd, and MIZ AND MORRISON.  Fucking dropped the ball with that one, guys.

Okay, that’s it for now.  I’ll be back with maybe another Top 5 or two, and possibly a brief Smackdown recap when I get around to watching it, be it Friday night or Saturday sometime.  See you then!

Well, it’s 8:00, and Raw just finished.  That’s one of the perks of having Comcast.  Most of the HD channels broadcast 3 hours ahead of time, so I can watch various things early.

Let’s start with the big show last night.  The first thing I’d like to address is the removal of the Tag Team Title Unification match from the card.  There is no reason whatsoever to take that and make it a “DVD Bonus Match.”  You’re just pissing off the people who paid an already absurd amount of money to watch this show, and now you’re taking what was most likely going to be a great match away from them?  Makes me glad I acquired the show through other means.  When it came time for the world title matches, I wondered if it was going to be the buffer match between the other title matches.  Then, when the WWE title match was announced, I said aloud, “They couldn’t be saving the tag match for the end, could they?”  Of course, they didn’t.  I didn’t find out until today, after I’d watched the show, that they moved the match to the pre-show.  Let me tell you, that was one of the matches I was most looking forward to seeing, and they snubbed me, as well as all the other fans out there, of what was likely an awesome match.  The match on Raw tonight was okay, but the magic of crowning the first ever Unified Tag Team Champs was utterly ruined.  And besides, I got the pick wrong too.  I was surprised to find out that Primo and Carlito won.  I suppose that means Creative is just going to do what they do with every great tag team they’ve ever had: split them up and push one of them and let the other suffer in the doldrums that is jobber status.  I feel bad for Miz.  Because he’s going to be the jobber after they split.  John Morrison has far too much upside to even be considered being put into the lower card.  I made a statement a few days ago that he’d be a world champion within a year, and I guess this is the first step in doing so.

Also, I wanted to briefly talk about the announce team for the show.  I am a little angry that they snubbed both Todd Grisham AND Matt Striker from the show.  Obviously, there was going to be a change with Tazz gone.  But not even putting Striker in there was a foolish idea.  If they’d have stuck him in there instead of Cole, the show could very well have been more entertaining.  But Michael Cole seems to be un-get-rid-of-able.  I don’t hate him as much as seemingly everyone else on the planet, but he’s too silent most of the time.  Striker would have filled in the gaps very nicely.  Oh, well.  ECW wasn’t exactly very well represented, either.

Hey, you know what they could have done?  Instead of having Kid Rock perform at all, put the tag match in there, have them go for about nine minutes, and three or four more for entrances and exits.  Then we wouldn’t have to listen to an idiot like Kid Rock.  I bet the crowd would have enjoyed that more.  I certainly would have.

Now, on to the matches that were actually shown.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who was disappointed that Punk won again.  Yes, he’s good, but he’s won it before, and I think it’s someone else’s time to win the big one *COUGH*Christian*COUGH*.  That’s what I get for going with my heat on this one instead of my brain.  As usual, this was a great match, full of crazy spots and high-flying antics that would scare most normal people.  Definite highlights would include: Shelton’s swan dive off a 15 foot ladder to a crowd of people waiting below (after a sequence of great suicide dives and planchas started by Finlay of all people), Kofi’s Spiderman climb up a closed ladder being held by Mark Henry, and Kofi’s swing through an open ladder to kick someone (memory fails me at the moment).  But the botches were really ugly.  Christian’s Unprettier on Punk off a ladder placed between the top rope and another ladder was taken very badly by Punk, and MVP’s botch of Shelton’s sunset flip into a powerbomb from the ladder was an awkward sight.  Something I’ve never understood is why people on the receiving end of an elevated powerbomb always seem unwilling to just take the bump.  Like when someone takes a powerbomb from off the ropes, they always clutch the ropes for a second before crashing to the mat.  It makes them look scared or unwilling to just fall straight down.  And that irritates me.  But back to the match at hand.

I’m actually quite concerned about MVP because of that sick powerbomb he took shortly after his botch.  Shelton powerbombed him OVER the ropes and to the floor, with only Mark Henry sort of, but not really, protecting his fall.  He landed really badly on his upper back and possibly his neck, and we didn’t see him again for the rest of the match.  I certainly hope he isn’t injured.  I actually wonder a bit if that mistake on Shelton’s part (it was a poor decision, I think) messed up the finish of the match.  MVP was getting a pretty huge push up until then, and he was, I believe, fourth on my expected choices for winning, but he was second on my list of people I WANTED to win the match, so I suppose we’ll see later on whether or not that was meant to be.

25 Diva Battle Royal

No entrances for any of the ladies.  They just all walked on during Kid Rock’s performance which I skipped past because I can do that.  Mae Young was the timekeeper, so I’m 0 for 2 in picks so far (0 for 3 if you count the tag match we were robbed of).  The action was far too confusing to tell what was happening until there were, I think, five ladies left.  Unsurprisingly, Santino found a way into the match and won, eliminating Beth Phoenis and Melina simultaneously.  This smacks of Andy Kaufman and his Intergender championship so much.  Only Kaufman didn’t dress in drag.  That I know of.  Again, if they’d just not had Kid Rock perform, they could have given entrances to all the ladies and had more than four minutes of blonde hair flying everywhere.  What did surprise me was that neither Trish Stratus or Lita were a part of this, but Jackie Gayda and Torrie Wilson were.  Really?  Jackie Gayda?  You’re kidding, right?  Well, long story very short, Santino won, and now he’s apparently a woman.  This should be…strange.  Especially for a company that’s been revamping its image for so many months, working to get that TVPG rating, and now they’ve got a cross-dresser.  Their logic boggles my mind.

Jericho vs. Legends

Let me just say one thing about this match.  Well, okay, I have more to say, but this one thing stands above the rest: I wish that, when I am Ricky Steamboat’s age, I look as good as he does.  That was an absolute shocker.  And what surprised me more was that he was flying around the ring like it was 1989.  The man is 56 years old and he’s in better shape than several of the other superstars currently employed.  And he’s more willing to take some chances than half the superstars employed by WWE.  His plancha over the top rope and onto the floor onto Jericho was one of the most memorable moments in the entire show.  And people were going nuts for it.  They took out Snuka early, and Piper shortly after, so as to let the one man who’s apparently still able to do the stuff eh could do 20 years ago do his stuff.  Steamboat carried this match.  Yes, Jericho won, but Steamboat was the best worker by far.

And then came the Mickey Rourke ugliness.  Why is it that every time a wrestling promotion wants to bring in a celebrity, it always turns out to be a huge waste of everyone’s time?  David Arquette, Kevin Federline, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Floyd Mayweather, and now Mickey Rourke.  Every single program these celebrities have been involved in have been some of the worst programs ever conceived by a creative team.  Jericho should have mocked Rourke and left as a winner, not called him out and then got knocked out by one punch from a “former boxer.”  Cole said that Rourke spent a number of years as a boxer.  I suppose ONE is a number of years.  Seriously.  That whole segment was an embarassment to Jericho, who’d just built up a huge amount of momentum after his victory over three men.  I’ve been vocal in my opposition to this entire program with Jericho and the Legends, but even I have to admit that Rourke knocking out Jericho in one hit was ludicrous and ruined most of the credibility Jericho’d built up over the previous weeks.  A decent match ruined by an awful segment.

Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy

I called this one to be the show-stealer.  Well…the show-stealer of show-stealers.  Unfortunately, it would be thoroughly overshadowed later on in the evening.  Plenty of spots and weapons used, including a shopvac, a framed poster, and the usual fare (tables, chairs, trashcans).  Jeff’s dropkick onto Matt while Matt had a trash can over his head was a memorable spot, as well as Jeff’s suicide splash from the top rope onto two tables and Matt with a chair resting on his chest.  But, of course, the second most memorable moment of the night was Jeff’s missed legdrop from off a 15 foot ladder that had to have messed up his hips, tailbone, and probably his spine.  That was a scary-looking fall and the miss must really have hurt.  Matt’s followup Twist of Fate with a chair collared around Jeff’s neck was a sick move, and I was pretty surprised to see Matt walk away…well, crawl away, really, with the victory.  Might Jeff be cooling down now after his year plus at the main event level?  Perhaps.  Only time will tell.

JBL vs. Rey Mysterio – IC Title Match

It’s like Creative feels obliged to screw us out of no less than one title match each year at Wrestlemania.  Last year they gave us an 8 second ECW title match, this year it’s a 20 second IC title match.  They didn’t even HAVE an ECW match this year!  What a jip.  Anyway, Rey’s a Triple Crown champion and JBL’s apparently gone for good.  Sigh.  I was really hoping he’d be the new Smackdown color man, but with him gone, who’s the new guy going to be?  I haven’t read any spoilers, and I don’t plan to, so whomever gets the job I will find out on Friday.  I’ve actually thought about a couple of options for them.  Well, one besides JBL, that being Mr. Kennedy.  He’s still (apparently) not healed from whatever injury he’s been out for however many months from, and we know he’s great on the stick.  Why not let him run with JR for a little while?  He could be like another diamond in the rough, like Striker.  I’ll have to wait until Friday to find out.

HBK vs. Taker

Match of the night.  Should have been the main event.  Likely a Match of the Year candidate.  It was a spectacle to behold, indeed.  One of the keys to a great match, I’ve thought, is that you don’t realize how long it’s gone on for until it’s over, and you realize it’s been 25 minutes since it started.  A great match will last for a while, but you won’t notice that it’s been going on as long as it has.  These two men pulled out all the stops, and then created some new stops and pulled them out too.  It had the most memorable (and quite possibly the scariest) moment of the entire show when Taker did his plancha to the outside, only to over-rotate and nearly land on his head and neck out on the floor.  That was a seriously scary couple of minutes while Shawn and the ref were trying to get up and back into the ring.  Then they went for another 15 minutes.  You know what?  These two men must have taken a clue from Steamboat earlier in the evening.  If a 56 year old man can fly off the top rope without hesitation, then these two in their 40’s should be able to do just as much, if not more.  There’s really too much to describe, so I’ll just say that if you can somehow obtain access to Wrestlemania 25 for free or extremely cheap, you have to watch this match.  Even if you’re not a fan of wrestling, you’ll probably enjoy this match.  Just do yourselves a favor and end the show with that match.  Because the next two had no chance to be as great as this one.

Edge vs. Cena vs. Big Show – World Heavyweight Championship

I believe I said in my post a few days ago that one of the two major titles would change hands.  I picked the wrong one.  Cena wins to a chorus of boos (Houston really hates him, it appears) in a decent match with a few cool spots, but nothing special, and certainly nothing like the match previous to it.  Watching Edge lose a major title for the eighth time made me wonder what his longest title reign was, seeing as how his last two have been six weeks each.  So I’m going to go look now on the world’s worst source of information, Wikipedia.

According to their records, his last four title reigns have been (from his most recent reign which ended yesterday): 7 weeks, 3 weeks, 3 weeks, and 4 weeks.  His total of eight reigns have totaled 392 total days as a world champion.  That’s an average of seven weeks per title reign.  I’d rather have one title reign that lasted 400 days than 8 title reigns that lasted 50 days each.  Look at this also: between Edge’s second and third WWE Championship reigns, 2 years and 6 days passed.  There were three titleholders in that time.  John Cena (380 days), Randy Orton (203 days), and Triple H (210 days).  I’m not counting that debacle at No Mercy when Triple H was in three matches in one night.Edge’s two title reigns were 21 days each that surrounded those three other matches.  His reigns were like extremely flimsy bread surrounding three very hearty portions of sandwich fillings.  If he really wants to become a Legend, he needs to have a title reign of more than three months.  Give him an eight month title run, or something.  Otherwise, he’ll just be what he called Mick Foley a few years back: a transitional champion.  And no one wants to be that.

Anyway, back to the match at hand.  There were two memorable moments in this match.  First was Cena hitting his top rope legdrop on the Big Show.  Only Big Show was standing outside, and Cena took a pretty big fall landing right on his tailbone.  And, of course, the giant-sized FU (I refuse to call it the Attitude Adjuster), lifting up a billed weight of 735 pounds, then FU-ing Big Show and then Edge for good measure.  If he’d pulled off the double FU, it would have been one of the true highlights of the evening.  Instead, it was a kinda cool attempt at a big spot.  Cena wins, and order is restored.  At least until next week.

HHH vs. Orton – WWE Title

I don’t want to think about this.  This was THE MAIN EVENT, and it looked like a match from Velocity or Heat.  It was god-awful.  But not just the wrestling.  The camera work was terrible for this match and this match alone, the announce team sounded like they’d called it in after the previous match, and the refereeing was some of the worst I’d ever seen.  First of all, Scott Armstrong is a terrible ref to begin with.  Why he keeps getting the main event matches is beyond me.  Second, he doesn’t seem to understand that if someone is breaking the rules, they have a five count to stop doing what they’re doing.  If someone’s using the ropes to their advantage to shove their foot onto their opponent’s neck, you warn them once, then start counting, not yell at them for 30 second, THEN start the five count.  By the end of the match I was yelling at the ref to just start the five count instead of just giving constant warnings that he was going to start the five count.  There was a point where I disqualified Randy Orton because he was kicking Triple H in the corner for something like 30 seconds straight, using the ropes to keep his balance.  This entire match was the biggest botch of the night.  Trust me, if you want to remember this as a good show, then stop after the Taker-HBK match, because your hopes for two good title matches will be dashed.

For the entire show, I’ll give it, say, a 7/10.  Four points for the Taker-HBK match, 3 for the MITB, a point each for Jeff’s insane leg drop and Ricky Steamboat’s performance, a half a point for Santina Marella, minus half a point for Kid Rock, and minus one point each for the exclusion of the tag match and the horrible main event.  It’s arbitrary, I know, but if the main event wasn’t so goddamned awful and the tag match was included, this would have been one hell of a show.  Also, if they’d put the Taker-HBK match at the end, I would have given them another half point for putting the true main event at the end of the show instead of the middle.

As for Raw tonight, I have one thing to say: why bring Batista back so soon?  I’d read reports he was going to be out until June.  Why bring him back two months ahead of schedule?  Haven’t you (I’m speaking directly to WWE Creative now) noticed that there’s this trend where if you bring someone back before they’re supposed to come back that there’s a much higher chance they’ll get reinjured?  HM?  I thought not.  Just let him sit out.  The less Batista we have to watch, the better.

Okay, I’m done for now.  I’ll probably try to start doing those Top 5 lists soon, maybe include them with show recaps if they’re not as beefy as the past two posts I’ve done.  I must say, this is the most writing I’ve done since I was in college.  Only this time I enjoy the topic I’m writing about!

Oh, and in case you weren’t counting but were curious, I was 3 for 9 in picks for WM 25.  Let’s hope Backlash goes a little better…