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Hello all.  I know it’s been a very long time since my last update.  Well, there’s a good reason for that.  That reason: I haven’t felt like writing about the little things in life that bug the crap out of me.  I feel like this blog needs an over-arching premise to it, if you will.  And “ranting about various things” isn’t good enough for me anymore.  So, I’m going to change the format of this little blog a bit.  Actually, it’s going to change quite a lot.  I think it’d be better if I rant about something I’m entertained by, rather than by things that piss me off for likely no good reason.  Oh, sure, I’ll probably have the occasional ramble about something, but it will be relevant to the main topic which will probably be the new overall theme of this blog.  What is that theme, you ask?

Wrestling.

Now, I’m sure some of you will immediately say, “But dude, wrestling’s stupid and fake.”  To which I will reply, “Yes, it is staged, but it is far from stupid.”  I watch it for the athleticism, the (sometimes) decent acting, and the storylines, told both inside and outside the ring.  Probably for the first few new posts, I’ll be doing Top 5 or Top 10 lists (Top 10 if I can’t reduce my choices to five).  Along with those, I’d like to do recaps of the television shows I am able to watch each week, as well as Pay-Per-View picks (since I pretty well exclusively watch WWE, seeing as how TNA is a laughingstock and I don’t get any of the smaller promotions through Comcast save a local one which I will begin watching next week), and if I’m feeling extra frisky, I’ll discuss a larger topic that I feel requires discussion.  Or just me ranting about said subject, if no one feels like discussing it.

So why choose this particular subject over other subjects I enjoy, like music, video games, roleplaying, or something else?  Simple: because there are enough blogs about said subjects everywhere on the internet, and I want to be different and unique.  I get my fill of video games and roleplaying through several Livejournal communities I’m in, as well as Shamus Young’s website (go check it out; I read it every day).  I’ve read several wrestling blogs/articles, and they just don’t interest me, save one: Mike Siciliano’s column.  He’s a friend on Facebook, so I’ll plug his column now: it’s called Pro’s from the Palace, and I enjoy reading the new issues when they are released.  He’s always got something to say, and it’s usually quite entertaining to read.  Probably less so if you don’t follow the wrestling world, but hey, if you don’t follow it, you probably won’t care about my blog, either.

So why do the change now?  Well, I figure that now is as good a time as any, seeing as how the biggest Pay-Per-View event is two days away.  Yes, Wrestlemania 25 is broadcasting this Sunday.  I, of course, won’t be buying it, because the price tag is ridiculous ($65 for the HD broadcast?  HA!).  Instead, I’ll be downloading the show after it finishes.  I won’t say any more than that.  Hell, why not start Rantables v2.0 with my picks for the show?

25 Diva Battle Royal to determine the first ever Miss Wrestlemania

Considering that there are only about 18 current women wrestlers employed by WWE who are on one of the three main shows, this one is pretty well impossible to call.  There are three possibilities for the winner here, as far as I can tell, and only one of those three is currently an active performer.  So I’ll list her first: Gail Kim.  She made a big splash in her return last week, and she probably has the most momentum of any female wrestler I’ve seen in a while.  Though she’s probably third out of three as far as my choices would go.  The only other two women I could see winning this are Trish Stratus or Mae Young.  I haven’t read any spoilers, so I don’t actually know if either of them will even be in the battle royal, but I’d imagine if either of them are competing, one of them will win.  Of course, if Santino Marella manages to wiggle his way into the match, he could either be the first person eliminated or the eventual winner.  His whole schtick right now just screams of Andy Kaufman back in the day.  But it’s hilarious to watch.  Santino definitely is the funniest character in the WWE right now, possibly in recent history.  I’ve only been watching seriously for about three years; I hadn’t watched it in maybe six or so years prior.  Anyway, I’ll probably just go with Mae Young to win, simply because she wins around 100% of the matches she competes in nowadays.  Mostly because I believe she’s in her 90’s, and if she took a bump she’d probably break a few bones.

Unified WWE Tag Team Championship Lumberjack Match – Miz & Morrison vs. Carlito & Primo

I know they put the Lumberjack stipulation in just so they could get all the talent that wasn’t given a match on the card an appearance for this show.  I don’t think it was necessary, as we’ve seen these two teams clash several times before, with each outing proving to be a very entertaining affair.  Carlito’s Back Cracker (I refuse to call it the Back Stabber since he turned face again) reversal of a suplex onto Morrison sticks out as one of the best spots so far this year.  All four of these guys are legitimately talented, and they’re all excellent tag team wrestlers.  So who wins the match and becomes the Unified Tag Team Champions?  The brothers Colon (they’re Puerto Rican, so the emphasis is on the second “o”) are fun to watch, especially Primo, who I believe has a very bright future in the business if he ever gets a singles push, and they have great chemistry, seeing as how they’re brothers and all.  But I have to give the nod to Miz & Morrison, who have been the most dominant tag team in all of wrestling (not just WWE) for the better part of a year.  They’ve been on all three WWE TV shows winning matches against every other tag team out there, and no one has managed to take the tag belts away from them.  They’ve had such a huge push for such a long time now, I’d find it very hard to believe they’d lose this match.  Besides, as great as Carlito and Primo are, they just can’t quite match up.  Miz is one of the most improved wrestlers I’ve seen, and John Morrison is one of the very few “total packages” in the industry today.  If they lose this match, I’ll call it that he gets a major singles push and wins himself a World Title within a year and a half.

Intercontinental Title Match – JBL (c)vs. Rey Mysterio

JBL keeps rambling on TV about making history at WM25.  I’m betting the history he’ll make will be making Mysterio Intercontinental champ for the first time ever, making Rey Rey a Triple Crown champion.  We all know that JBL doesn’t have much time left in the ring, and with Tazz now gone from the Smackdown announce table as of earlier this week, I’d look for JBL to make his triumphant return to announcing alongside JR, in what could very well be the greatest announce team ever.  JBL made Michael Cole sound like JR, so putting him with the real deal will probably be more entertaining than Smackdown itself.  Bottom line, Rey Mysterio is your winner here.  He is so deserving of a title right now, it isn’t even funny.  And having the IC strap will only boost his image and hopefully will let the little guy shine bright for a little while longer.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. WWE U.S. Champion MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Christian vs. Finlay

This match is always a show-stealer, full of crazy spots and bumps that most normal people would be seriously injured if they participated in them.  I’m having a hard time swaying from my heart in this one, because there is one man who deserves this win more than anyone else in the company.  And his name is Christian.  Ever since his return to WWE after a stellar career in TNA, he’s done everything right (except take the ECW title away from the awful Jack Swagger), and he’s proven to me in a matter of weeks that he is one of the best.  I was skeptical at first, because I know how the Internet Wrestling Community loves to blow certain peoples’ talent out of proportion, but after watching his promos and matches, I know he’s one of the most overall talented men in the business today.  But will he win the match?  My heart begs for him to win, because NOBODY in the WWE is more deserving of a world title than him.  But the chairman has the final say, and for some insane reason, he doesn’t think Christian has what it takes to be a world champion.  This coming from the same man who thinks Batista is worthy of multiple world championships.  I find that to be full of champion-shit.  Anyway, I’ll list the eight participants in order of who I think/hope will win in descending order:

1. Christian (for reasons stated above)

2. Kane (also very deserving of a world title run because of his longevity and commitment to the company, as well as solid work ethic and his overall talent)

3. CM Punk (he’s third because he won last year, and it looks like he might be moving into the mid-card for a little while, or possibly to Smackdown after a fantastic run on Raw)

4. MVP (he would have been my #1 pick had he not beaten Benjamin for the US Title a couple of weeks ago.  They’ll probably feud for a little while, but MVP has paid his dues and should get a main event push soon)

5. Finlay (the man is nearing 50, and deserves some recognition for his talent in the ring; perhaps an ECW title reigh or a US or IC title reign before he retires)

6. Shelton Benjamin (he has most of the tools necessary to make it big, but he doesn’t have the charisma to be a great world champ.  He’ll probably stick in the mid-card for the rest of his career)

7. Kofi Kingston (he’s just too young.  He’s immensely talented, but needs a good bit of mic practice and probably needs to drop the Jamaican gimmick before he’s taken seriously.  Maybe in two or three years…)

8. Mark Henry (are you kidding?  The ladders will crumple under him)

Extreme Rules Match – Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy

This, my friends, WILL be the true show-stealer.  I don’t particularly like how they got to this point in their feud, but the match will be a blast.  There will be lots of foreign objects, lots of emotion, and lots of painful bumps taken by these two workhorses of the business.  Jeff has cooled off quite a bit since his six-week reign at the top of the company, and he is more than deserving of another, much longer, title run.  Matt can tell a story in the ring better than most.  But I am skeptical about his storytelling ability as a heel, as I am with most wrestlers who make a turn after years of being either a face or a heel.  Like MVP’s face turn.  It’s great seeing him get the recognition he so richly deserves, but watching him compete as a face just isn’t as satisfying as watching him beat the crap out of someone as a heel.  Likewise, The Brian Kendrick was fun as hell to watch as a face, but he’s kind of boring as a heel.  He doesn’t use as many high-flying moves as he did as a face, because it’s mostly faces that do the crowd-pleasing moves.  So I’m feeling a touch skeptical about Matt Hardy’s heel performance.  Yes, he has been a heel before, but that was more of a kind of silly heel.  Now that he’s all angry and jealous, it remains to be seen if he can pull it off in the ring.  As far as the match itself is concerned, the decision is a toss-up.  I’ll give the nod to Jeff Hardy for this match, simply because he’s the face and he’s due for another main event push like the one he got last year that made him my favorite wrestler in WWE.

Elimination Match – Chris Jericho vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat w/Ric Flair

Oh, how this match bothers me.  The buildup to this match kind of sickened me, mostly because Jericho’s gimmick has been grating on me for about, oh, let’s say eight or nine months.  His promos are boring, his in-ring work is weak (he never seems like he wants to take a bump), and he calls everyone hypocrites despite the sorely obvious fact that he (his character) is the biggest hypocrite of them all.  I don’t really want to see any of the legends wrestle, seeing as how they’re all in their 50’s or 60’s and out of shape/fragile from years of wrestling 20-30 years ago.  Piper is the only guy I’d even trust to take a bump in this match.  I saw Snuka in a match a couple of years ago, and he looked god-awful.  And Steamboat just looks old.  If Ric Flair and/or Mickey Rourke interferes somehow, I’d bet the Legends win.  But with as much heat as he’s getting from the crowd and as much momentum as he has (despite the fact that I don’t think he deserves such momentum), I’ll go with Chris Jericho to win.  I am not looking forward to this match one bit.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

Undertaker wins.  If he doesn’t, I give up on the company.  No two ways about it.

Now we get to the really interesting matches

World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match – Edge (c) vs. The Big Show vs. John Cena

The storyline leading up to this has been tepid as far as brilliance is concerned.  While I have grown to tolerate Vickie Guerrero and her screeching ways, the whole “love triangle” angle has been done to death, and I pray that it ends soon.  Edge is a very deserving champion, indeed.  He deserves a title run of more than a couple of months.  But will this be the one that gives him the push he needs into elite status?  Big Show’s return seems to have fizzed a good bit, as he has obviously put on a lot of weight since returning last year.  He’s sluggish and kind of boring in the ring, and is probably the least deserving of the title out of these three men.  John Cena is the most charismatic wrestler in the WWE, and is trying to return to the prominence of 2007 when he held the WWE title for over a year.  The sad thing is, I don’t think he’ll ever reach that plateau again.  He’s had his run at the top, and trying to force another big run for him may be a great way to drive fans away.  He had a tough 2008, with two major surgeries.  He’s obviously not at the performance level he was two years ago.  He’s a good deal weaker as far as his in-ring skills are concerned.  Sure, all the key moves are there.  But the drive isn’t.  Between this and the WWE Title match, someone’s gotta lose and one of the belts is going to go to Raw.  Unless, of course, that happens in the Draft in 10 days.  This is a tough decision, but I’ll have to go with Edge retaining his title.  Why?  Because he’s the best candidate for the job as top dog on Smackdown.  At least until Christian gets drafted there and we have a brother vs. brother match for the World Title.  I’ll look forward to that match very much.

WWE Championship Match – Triple H (c) vs. Randy Orton

This feud has been very conflicted for me.  Some parts of it have been brilliant (Triple H’s Terminator-like beatings of Orton and Legacy, both backstage on Raw a few weeks ago and his destruction of Orton’s house soon thereafter), while some have made me downright angry (Orton’s claim to have a mental disorder and threatening to shut the company down if he’s denied a title shot at Wrestlemania, and his kissing Trips’ wife on live TV before smacking him in the head with a sledgehammer).  Some – most, actually – of the Orton-Rhodes-Dibiase beatdown segments on Triple H dragged on far too long.  How do you beat the crap out of a guy for EIGHT MINTUE and manage to make it entertaining?  Answer: do what Randy Orton didn’t.  I found myself yelling at the TV on several occasions telling them to just hurry up and end it.  And Orton’s retracting that he had a mental disorder last week just made the whole feud feel cheapened.  Triple H has been stellar during this build, while I’ve felt Orton has been weak at best.  Yet…something’s got to give.  Unless Triple H is drafted back to Raw, I’ll have to concede on this one and give the win to Randy Orton.  So we’ll have two heels as the two major champions.  I’d love to count the ECW title as a major title, but WWE doesn’t consider it one, seeing as how they’re not even giving it a match in WM25.  Probably because everyone’s second-guessing putting the title on Jack Swagger.  But I digress.  Raw needs a world champion, and unless Cena wins, which probably won’t happen, it looks like Orton will be the man, at least for a little while.

Phew.  That went on much longer than expected.  At least it proves (to myself, at least) that I can write a 3,000 word column in one sitting and still be interested in what I’m writing at the end.  I feel like I’ve turned a new corner as far as writing is concerned.  I was rejected by one site for writing weekly articles, so I figure why not use my own public forum to write the articles?  Seems like a good idea to me.  So in the coming days and weeks, I’ll be writing about what I actually want to write about, instead of what I think other people might think I should write about.  Get ready for Top 5 lists, Top 10 lists, analyses, weekly recaps, and discussions about the world of the WWE (and quite possibly TWF, the local wrestling promotion).  I look forward to writing these.  I hope you look forward to reading them.

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