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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Well, I already posted my Raw thoughts.  I’m just going to write about a few subjects I’ve learned about just today that have occurred over the past week, and I’ll give you a couple of Smackdown tidbits.

Firstly, WWE released Mr. Kennedy earlier this week.  Of course they’re not going to tell the public exactly why he was released, but it’s probably based on several factors.  First, he’s had a long history of injuries that have taken him out of action for many months at a time.  Why this happens to him is unknown, but it’s an unfortunate fact of life.  Some people are just more injury-prone than others.  It happens.  Kennedy’s barely gotten a chance to do anything since he won Money in the Bank two years ago.  There’s also some scuttlebut that he got into a “discussion” with Randy Orton about the main event on Raw where Kennedy dropped Orton very high on his shoulder during a back suplex, and Orton was paranoid about it because he broke his collarbone not terribly long ago.  There are rumors that this discussion and the botched spot were a big part of why Kennedy was “future endeavored,” as some people like to say.  I truly hope this was not the case, because if it does, it means that certain wrestlers have more pull behind the scenes than (A) other wrestlers and (B) they should.  I know that WWE is full of backstabbing and politics (probably less so now than it was 10-15 years ago), but it’s a really dick move for someone to pull rank and try to get someone fired because of one stupid blown spot.  I truly do hope that isn’t the case.  But I still don’t think Kennedy should have been released.  If WWE was worried that he was going to be an in-ring liability, then take him out of the ring and put him behind a mic.  There’s no denying he’s one of the most entertaining talkers in the company, so why not give him a job as a backstage interviewer, like Gregory Helms, or maybe, just maybe, put him at an announce table.  I’d love to hear Kennedy as the color commentator with JR or even Cole.  Now, I like Todd Grisham.  But he’s just not a strong announcer.  He’s a fine backstage guy, but his announcing is lacking.  And there’s no true color man on Smackdown.  Putting Kennedy with JR would make a world of difference, I think.  Like Matt Striker on ECW, having a younger wrestler who had tons of mic skills but just wasn’t going to be anyone big inside the ring brings a new flavor to the announce table.  Who else remembers how awesome it was listening to JBL berate Cole on a weekly basis, or how insightful and fun Mick Foley was to listen to?  Sure, they weren’t young, but they brought their decades of experience to the table and knew their stuff.  They were probably the two best color commentators WWE got rid of.  Striker’s obviously the best as of now, but why not give him a little competition?  Stick Kennedy on Smackdown, or hell, if you really want to appease the fans, put JR and Lawler back together on Raw, and put Cole and Kennedy together on Smackdown.  But you’d have to turn Kennedy heel again, because face Kennedy just wasn’t that entertaining.

My point from that giant rambling paragraph there is that WWE should have found a different purpose for Kennedy instead of just tossing him to the curb like they do with so very many of their talents.  He could have been an announcer, or (this idea just popped into my head now) make him a GM.  Replace Vickie Guerrero with Kennedy.  I’ll admit, Vickie’s GM run has been very up and down for me.  At first, I loathed her.  Then, I realized how hilarious it was that she could incite so much heat with two little words, and I enjoyed watching her being a huge bitch.  But she’s gotten very tedious and grating, and I think it’s time for a change.  Kennedy would have been a perfect GM fit.  ECW and Smackdown got new GMs in the past couple of months, so why not finish the trifecta and give Kennedy a speaking role?  He certainle couldn’t be any worse than Mike Adamle…

So that’s one WWE subject I’m disappointed with.  Here’s the second one, laced liberally with profanity.

Ric Flair was pulled from the most recent ROH TV tapings because WWE said his obligations with them were too great/important for him to be working with ROH.  Jesus Fucking Christ.  Give me a goddamned break.  Vince really needs to stop being so fucking paranoid about other companies using his wrestlers he thinks may still be able to give him a few extra dollars in his pockets.  Just let the man earn the money he wants to earn.  Let him do what he wants to do.  If he wants to work for two companies, let him!  Most indy guys work for multiple companies just to pay the bills, seeing as how they’re not earning the kind of cash that WWE guys are making.  If Flair is wanting to collect two paychecks, let him!  We all know he’s extravagant in real life, so he likes to spend money a little more than other people do.  And why stop the man from making a little extra money with a small (in relative size to Vince’s mega-company) promotion that doesn’t in the least bit threaten to take away the WWE audience?  ROH is a very different beast from WWE.  I would bet that if you took a typical WWE fan and made him watch an ROH show, he would walk away 10 minutes into it.  You won’t lose millions just because Flair wants to work for another company, Vince.  Get over yourself.

Okay, last thing: Smackdown was pretty decent, though most of my memory of it is from a day or two ago (science bless the DVR).  I just wanted to say that my favorite part of the show was the R-Truth and Khali vs. Dolph Ziggler and Mike Knox match.  Well, the only part of it I enjoyed was watching Knox flop around as Khali chopped him down with clotheslines and a spinning kick.  It was hilarious watching a fat 290-pound guy flail around like he weighed 210.  There’s no reason he should still be employed.  Unless he shaves the hobo beard and loses 40 pounds and shows some improvement in the ring and actually TALKS for once.  Let’s hope he gets to work on that.  Let’s also hope WWE gives Ziggler a real chance to shine on Smackdown.  I’d love to see a Ziggler/Morrison match for a title.  They could very well be the future of Smackdown.  Mark my words.

Well, that’s all for now.  If I think of something else, I’ll mention it.  Also, if you aren’t tired of my opinions about the Kennedy and Flair situations, you should check out Mike Siciliano’s column on Wrestleview.com.  His opinions are almost mirrored to my own in regards to those two situations.  Just look for the column Pros from the Palace, and if you enjoyed it, send him a note telling him who sent you there.

Am I the only one who felt like this latest edition of Raw was a complete joke?  The entire show revolved around an idiotic “feud” dreamed up by Vince McMahon just to get some more publicity for his ailing company.  So he picks on the guys who own the team that booted him out of an arena.  It isn’t like there aren’t several hundred more arenas around the country that couldn’t/wouldn’t take Raw for the evening.  Sure, the attendance is going to be crap, but what would you expect with four or five days notice in any city?  Vince decided to blow everything out of proportion yet again over an unfortunate oversight with Denver and the Pepsi Center.  There was no way to prevent what happened with the Nuggets.  He should have cut his losses and moved the show to Colorado Springs, so the people in Denver might have still gotten a chance to see Raw.  This, of course, coming from a guy who has no idea how far Denver is from Colorado Springs.  With this latest ridiculous act, I wouldn’t be surprised to not see WWE in Denver for a while.

As for tonight’s show, it was drab and boring.  There were, what, three or four matches on the card, none of them great.  The Divas title match was pathetic, the Santino/Chavo match was nothing to write home about, the triple threat #1 Contender for the US title match was pretty damn good (though I did not like the outcome), the Goldust/Kendrick tag match was a joke (of course, that’s what all of the participants in that match have been reduced to at this point), and the 10-man tag was decent but probably the most predictable match of the last five years.  If ANYONE thought the heels were going to win, I’ll just have to take your TV watching privileges away for a while, because you truly must be an idiot.  With all the Denver-bashing that’s been going on for the last couple of weeks, there was no way in hell that the heels were going to win, especially dressed up in Denver uniforms and the Staples Center announcer doing the intros for everyone.

Two little things about that match: first, I’m wondering how an announcer got as far as he did with such a pronounced lisp (he sounded like Jack Swagger, only worse), and second, why they chose each wrestler for his basketball position.  If anything, I would have put Rhodes and Kennedy as point guards, Miz and Lawler as shooting guards, Rhodes and MVP as small forwards, Orton and Cena as power forwards, and, obviously, Show and Batista as centers.  I know, it’s a completely meaningless exercise, but that’s what this blog is all about, right?

So let’s hope the go-home Raw next week before Extreme Rules is a lot better.  I know that basically the entire card has been set up, with FIVE REMATCHES FROM JUDGMENT DAY and a travesty of a match between Santina and Vickie Guerrero for the entirely bogus “Miss Wrestlemania” title.  Can’t we just have silly Santino back and drop the insane cross-dressing gimmick?  Please?

Oh, and I know this is me marking out like crazy, but did anyone else really like seeing Mr. Kennedy…Kennedy back in the ring after such a long time off?  Sure, he didn’t do much except get the shit beat out of him by the heels, but it was oddly nice to see him back.  I’m betting/hoping either Kennedy or MVP will be challenging Orton for the WWE Title at The Bash.  Yes, that’s a prediction, both for the Extreme Rules outcome and a match at The Bash, which I will be attending in a very short period of time.  I really was hoping for Night of Champions, but I’ll settle with The Bash.  Let’s hope the card is good for the show in four weeks and change.

Let’s also hope that ECW and Smackdown are good enough to make up for the idiocy that was Raw this week.  Of course, I wouldn’t put it past WWE to just harp on the point for the rest of the week.  Let’s hope they keep the idiocy to a minimum.

There are precious few moments in recent memory that made me think, “Well, that’s ruined forever.”  Seeing trailers for movies based on books because there are no original ideas in Hollywood anymore occur far more frequently than I feel they should, but they do.  But it doesn’t really capture the ruined feeling, since I don’t see those movies.  However, this feeling did manage to occur to me just yesterday, whilst watching the most recent episode of Friday Night Smackdown.  What am I talking about, you ask?  The answer is simple.

Umaga spoke English.

Three years of character gone.  Three years of my suspended disbelief that there was a wild Samoan running around the back, being summoned to the ring, and proceeding to destroy his opponents with very little knowledge of what professional wrestling is, all gone in a puff of smoke.  Or, rather, in a puff of a strangely well-spoken challenge to CM Punk at Extreme Rules to a Samoan Strap match.  Now, let me explain first that I don’t think Umaga should never speak any English.  If anything, I love the idea of a Samoan savage holding a microphone, talking into it, and wondering why his voice is suddenly surrounding him.  I was hoping that was going to be the case this past Friday.  But then he started speaking in English.  And not even disjointed, stuttering sentence fragments.  Complete, coherent sentences.  And then when he left the ring, he reverted to speaking Samoan and screeching and sticking his tongue out as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.  But something very, VERY out of the ordinary had, indeed, happened.

I can never look at Umaga, the character, the same way ever again.  My suspension of disbelief over this character has been completely shattered.  I can no longer think of Eddie Fatu as The Samoan Bulldozer, a savage man-beast who only knows how to hurt.  He is simply a man playing a character.  A character who should not actually be able to speak English.  When I finished watching that segment, I thought to myself, you know, if he’d just grabbed the mic and yelled, “Samoa…Strap…Match!” it would have been so much more effective, and it would have kept the character believable.  I might still think of Umaga as Umaga.  But as it stands now, Umaga is a character portrayed by Eddie Fatu.  The illusion has been broken, and it can never be repaired.

This is truly unfortunate, because up until that moment, Umaga was one of my top five favorite current WWE wrestlers.  He was a gifted athlete, a mammoth human with incredible agility, and a great sense of psychology.  He knew how to work a match, no matter if he was winning or losing in the end.  He was unique, he was strangely fun to watch, and he was damn good.  All of it is gone for me.  He’ll still be great in the ring, but the character is gone.  And while I do tend to harp on the in-ring abilities of a performer than I do some other qualities, character is also extremely important in getting over to a strangely fickle crowd full of hypocrites (huh, Jericho was right again…).  I’m not talking about any one of you, so don’t think I’m talking directly to you.  But you’ve got to admit that wrestling fans are an odd bunch.  But I’m getting off track.

Umaga is gone.  I wonder if the writers will try to erase that memory out of our minds like they’ve done so many times before.

I don’t mean to gloat…well, okay, I do mean to gloat.  I’m only doing so because this will probably never happen again.  But I went 7 for 7 in picks for Judgment Day!  If you didn’t catch my article wherein I discuss my picks for Judgment Day, go read that now, because I’m going to talk about the matches right now.

Umaga defeated CM Punk to start the show.  A surprisingly long match.  I was expecting no more than five, maybe six minutes, and this one went about 12 or 14.  A very good match to start the show, and it set a high standard that not all of the matches that followed lived up to.  Punk looks as good as ever, and Umaga shows no signs of ring rust.  He’s wrestled maybe one or two squash matches since his return from injury, and that was a while ago as it is.  He looked awesome and dominant when he needed to, and Punk made him look like an unstoppable force.  A few slow spots during the match but overall a great opener.  The ending was a bit rushed, with Umaga hitting three big moves in the span of about 20 seconds, which is not his style, but otherwise it was great.  Unfortunately, Punk’s loss meant that the crowd lost seemingly all interest in the rest of the show, which was unfortunate, because without a good crowd reaction, sometimes matches turn out not very well, like the next match.

Christian defeated Jack Swagger to retain the ECW Championship.  Unfortunately, this was the worst match of the night.  Swagger looked terrible in the ring, and Christian sadly looked as though he was phoning this match in from the outset.  Probably because it’s impossible to work well with Swagger.  The guy’s overdominant in his matches.  I keep saying it, and no one argues against me, so I must be right, right?  Christian tried to make Swagger look good, but there’s no way anyone can get him over as a heel.  He just needs to go find another job or go back to developmental for a while.

John Morrison defeated Shelton Benjamin in probably the easiest pick of the night.  Morrison looked fantastic as always, and Shelton looked about as good as he has over the past year or so.  Ever since he moved to Smackdown, he’s been pretty bland, but having Morrison work with him made him look a lot better.  I’d imagine that The World’s Greatest Tag Team is going to get reunited in order to keep Shelton on TV and to give Haas a little push.  Morrison’s on his way to the top.  He pulled out some crasy moves, like that springboard 450 splash to the outside.  And I like his new finisher.  It’s flashy and looks awesome, as every face finisher should look.  He’s on a rocket to the top, and nobody’s going to stop him.  Good for him.

Miz’s little rant and Santino’s comedy was okay, but it went on too long, as most in-ring promos seem to go when taking place on a PPV.  I did find Santino’s comparison picture of Vladimir Kozlov to Sam the Eagle absolutely hilarious.  I hope Miz actually gets a match with John Cena soon, so we can stop listening to the Miz all the time.

Rey Mysterio defeated Chris Jericho to retain the Intercontinental Championship.  One thing I love about Rey is that, unlike just about every other wrestler in WWE, he is able to make every opponent he faces look great.  And because of his small stature (as far as WWE is concerned), his opponents are able to pull off more impressive moves.  Like Jericho’s spinning torture rack backbreaker drop, which was one of my favorite spots of the night.  Rey made Jericho look good, and that’s no small feat since Jericho’s been dull since he turned heel.  A ton of 619 attempts made this match very entertaining and breathtaking, and these two put on a hell of a show.  Here’s hoping they get a rematch at Extreme Rules in three weeks.

Randy Orton defeated Batista to retain the WWE Championship.  I should have known this one would be a DQ finish.  There’s no way Orton was going to beat Batista in a fair one-on-one match, at least not right now.  So after he exhausts all his other options, he slaps the referee, causing the DQ.  But man, it was really weird to see Ric Flair come charging down the ramp to save Batista during the usual Legacy beatdown this time.  It kind of made me think (and this thought was reinforced tonight during Raw) that everything Chris Jericho said about the aging wrestlers was completely true.  Both Fialr showings looked like he was a desparate man looking for that one last pop from the crowd, that one last chance to be a superstar in the ring.  It was tough to watch, and even tougher tonight on Raw.  The match itself was about as good as you could have expected these two to have.  It was decent, but if it was the main event, it would have been three straight PPV shows that ended with a subpar main event involving Randy Orton.  I wonder if anyone realizes he’s not as good as some people think he is…

John Cena defeated The Big Show.  Honestly, I thought this could go either way.  I was pulling for Cena, because he actually had more to gain from this match.  I’ll say this, though: Big Show needs to just hang up the wrestling boots.  He’s over the hill.  He shouldn’t have come back last year.  I remember reading an interview somewhere where he stated that “The Big Show” was his slave name.  So why would he willingly become a slave again after finally receiving his freedom?  He’s gained back all the weight he lost while he was gone from WWE, and he looks as bad as he’s ever looked in the ring.  He just needs to retire.  Cena sold those ridiculous body shots very well, and the FU at the end did seem like a minor miracle.  Let’s hope this gets Cena’s momentum going again.

Edge defeated Jeff Hardy to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.  I honestly thought CM Punk was going to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase at the end of this match.  I, and I’m sure many Chicago fans, were disappointed to see no such thing happen.  However, these two really tore the house down, and I’m really glad this was the main event of a Smackdown-heavy night.  Actually, this is the first PPV in recent memory that had a majority of the matches be Smackdown-based.  And every Smackdown match was great.  Are we seeing the true changing of the guard?  Is Smackdown actually becoming the A Show?  Not likely, because of the network it’s stuck on.  But they have a ton more entertaining talent than Raw right now.  Anyway, back to the match.  It was full of twists and turns, tons of false finishes, Jeff Hardy using a sharpshooter, and the spot of the night: Edge’s spear to Hardy as Hardy was running the exposed security rail as Edge stood on the announce table.  It was awesome.  However, I did not like the end of the match.  I’m not a big fan of interference during a PPV match.  In fact, I kind of hate it when someone sticks his or her nose where it doesn’t belong during a big match.  It taints the match.  It ruins it in a way for me.  Still, it was a great match to end the show, and thanks to Matt Hardy’s interference, I went 7 for 7 in picks for the show!

All in all, this was a surprisingly good PPV for having three weeks of build.  Definitely better than Backlash, and it sets up a few matches for Extreme Rules, which comes our way just three weeks from yesterday.  I did watch Raw, and two matches were announced for it.  Orton vs. Batista in a Steel Cage Match for the WWE Title, and Cena vs. Big Show in a Submission Match, which was precluded by Show choking out, of all people, Jerry Lawler.  That seemed unnecessary, but Jim Ross took over the announcing duties and made Raw sparkle with his brilliance again.  Flair was…strange tonight.  As stated earlier, he looked exactly like Jericho had been portraying the legends for months now.  It honestly was a little creepy and a little sad how prophetic Jericho was.  Let’s hope Flair doesn’t come out of retirement.  It would be an insult to Shawn Michaels if he did.  Let the younger guys take the reigns for a while.  They’re damn good.

Oh, and one more thing: where the fuck are all the tag teams?  I’ll just let you think about that until next time.  Maybe I’ll do a top 5 or top 10 list if I’m feeling extra frisky.  But for now, it’s time to say good night.  I’ll see you all later.

Well, it’s that time again.  Another week, another WWE PPV show.  Some of the matches on tonight’s card had the full three weeks of build, while others…well, actually, when you think about it, every match has in some way or other received the full three weeks of build, so each match has at least some significance for each performer tonight, which is nice.  No Smackdown matches with two days of build this time.  Though they did wait until the last minute to add their last match, so we’ll see how it goes.  Anyway, it’s time for my picks for Judgment Day.

Shelton Benjamin vs. John Morrison

While I admit I still find Morrison’s face turn a little strange, I’ll accept it since he’ll be getting a major push soon.  There have been talks that WWE is going to start pushing new talent after so many years of the same old shit, and that’s a nice breath of fresh air for me.  Guys like John Morrison and MVP are going to get their shots at the top of the heap, and it’s well-deserved for both of these guys.  They’ve paid their dues for 3+ years, and it’s time they get to shine.  That being said, Morrison’s got all the momentum, and Benjamin’s kind of in a free fall since losing the US Title a couple of months ago.  Now, I used to like Shelton.  His feud with Rob Van Dam back in 2006 was the reason I started liking him.  But his act has gotten stale over the past year or so, and he hasn’t been impressing me in the ring for quite some time.  Not to mention he’s got the charisma of a block of wood.  Morrison is the prototypical WWE wrestler, and he will have a ton of success as a singles competitor.  John Morrison wins the match and continues his run through the mid-card on his way to the top of the mountain.

CM Punk vs. Umaga

I’m betting this match will be short and sweet, because there’s no way in hell that Punk isn’t going to cash in the Money in the Bank Briefcase tonight.  They’re in his hometown of Chicago, and he’s been trying to cash it in for three weeks now, only to have Umaga ruin it every time.  I loved the three seperate brawls that ended Smackdown last Friday, with Umaga the obvious winner of that pairing.  Umaga has the potential to be a top heel on Smackdown, and all he needs is the go-ahead from Creative to tear a hole through the Smackdown roster.  He’s going to be a world champion someday.  I can just imagine the Morrison vs. Umaga matches now, and they are glorious.  Of course, all this has nothing to do with the match at hand.  Punk’s going to cash in MITB, and if he somehow wins the title off of whomever wins the World Heavyweight Championship match, it makes the title just a little bit less important.  Seeing as how Edge can’t seem to hold a title for more than a month, I’m betting that maybe, just maybe, there’ll be a title change tonight.  As for this match, I’ll put Umaga over, since Punk won’t be able to lift him up for the GTS, and because Umaga needs a push after being off TV for so long.

Side note: Am I the only person who’s been wanting to see an Umaga/Khali match since they both debuted a few years ago?  I know they’re worlds apart talent-wise, but goddamnit, it would be an awesomely ugly match.  And it could work with Khali as a face now.  Think about it…

John Cena vs. The Big Show

Let me say one thing about this match.  John Cena was, as the announcers have been hyping for three weeks, “Thrown through a 7,000 watt searchlight,” and he managed to return the next night and ruin Big Show’s match.  He was in an “exhibition” match with the Miz last Monday and seemed to look almost ready to face anybody.  So he’s put in a match with Big Show three weeks after being “thrown through a 7,000 watt searchlight.”

Triple H gets kicked in the head by Randy Orton and has not been seen since.

What’s wrong with this picture?  Seems like there’s a touch of a double standard going on here.  I won’t go any further into it.  I’ll just let your minds think about that for a while.  As for this match, it’s a toss-up.  Cena’s obviously not 100%, but he’s beaten Big Show on multiple occasions in the past, always with the FU.  I’m not expecting a blockbuster five star match from these two, since Show’s gotten out of shape again and is looking as sluggish as ever.  It isn’t like this match actually matters in the grand scheme of things anyway, so I’ll just pick John Cena to win, because he’s John Cena and he wins a lot of his matches.

Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho – Intercontinental Championship Match

There are reports that Mysterio got hurt during his match with Shelton Benjamin that was taped for Superstars.  So there’s no way to know if he’s 100%.  If Jericho won, it would give him significant momentum towards a probable clash with Edge at some point.  Mysterio’s a huge fan favorite, and having a title only increases his popularity.  This is a tough call.  If Mysterio’s good to go, this could be a great match.  Mostly because Mysterio can make any opponent look good.  I’ll say that Rey Mysterio wins by DQ or count-out.  He’s only had the title for a couple of months, and he needs it for a few more months to solidify himself as a great IC Champ.  Jericho’s got bigger and better fish to fry up at the top of the card.

Christian vs. Jack Swagger – ECW Championship Match

If Swagger wins the ECW Title, Christian is done in WWE.  I said that last month at Backlash, and Christian finally won a world title in WWE.  He better not lose it now.  He needs to keep it for a good long while to prove to everyone that it was the right decision to come back to WWE.  Hopefully they realized their mistake in never pushing him in the first place and he’ll get more prestigious titles.  Perhaps a WWE Title run at some point…Anyway, Swagger’s never impressed me in any way, so I’m going with my heart once again in this match and I’ll say Christian retains his title.  We might get a Christian/Dreamer match at One Night Stand/Extreme Rules/whatever the fuck it’s called nowadays.  I’m betting Dreamer’s going to retire.

Edge vs. Jeff Hardy – World Heavyweight Championship Match

Look for CM Punk to stick his nose into this match somehow.  As far as this feud as been built, it’s probably the strongest of the entire card.  It’s extremely emotionally charged, and you know these two guys can go.  I’m expecting this to be the match of the night, so let’s hope they don’t disappoint.  As far as the result goes, it’s a toss-up.  Hardy pointed out that Edge’s PPV streak has been very…well, streaky.  Going back to Armageddon, he’s lost a title, won a title, lost a title, won a title, lost a title, and won a title, all at PPVs.  Is he going to lose the title again tonight?  Quite possibly.  People in the Internet Wrestling Community were saying that if Edge doesn’t hold the WHC for a while, both he and the title will be so devalued that it wouldn’t matter who held it.  That remains to be seen, as I’m sure whomever ends up walking out of Judgment Day with the title will hold onto it for a while, be it Edge, Hardy, or Punk.  If Punk somehow doesn’t cash in the MITB briefcase, I’ll say Edge wins.  But this should be a barn-burner and a great match that probably should end the show.

Batista vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship Match

Randy Orton won the WWE Title three weeks ago.  Do you honestly think that he’s going to drop it to Dave Batista now?  Orton’s got momentum, he’s got Legacy, and he can disqualify himself or get counted out on purpose, and we know that Vickie Guerrero won’t restart the match for that.  She’s obviously in the heel’s corner as GM, and she’ll do anything to screw over a guy like Cena or Batista.  So it’s kind of an easy pick for this one.  Randy Orton wins and will stay on top of the Raw mountain for a while at least.  Until MVP loses his US Title and comes after Orton.

I’m a little surprised that an MVP/Regal match wasn’t put on the card.  They’ll probably have a match on Raw tomorrow.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Regal walked away with the title, if only to free up MVP to take a run at the main event.

I really like how WWE has decided to finally give some of the new-ish guys their due run at the top.  John Morrison’s been around for four or so years, and he’s has two very successful tag team runs and a fairly strong singles run as ECW Champ.  But he’s really come into his own since the gimmick change.  It could probably be said that he’s my favorite WWE wrestler at the moment.  He has all the tools to have an enormous amount of success in WWE.  All that needs to happen is for Creative to allow him to become the main eventer that he already is.  The same goes for MVP.  He’s got all the tools necessary to be a top star.  The only thing stopping him is what goes on behind the scenes.

The one other little extra thing I was going to mention also regards a new guy who I am utterly shocked is getting any sort of push at all, that being Dolph Ziggler (or, if your memory serves you well, Nicky from the Spirit Squad).  I mentioned a few weeks ago that he was one of the most badly mismanaged talents in the company, and guess what happens?  He starts over on Smackdown.  I mention that he reminds me a lot of Mr. Perfect.  What happens?  Jim Ross says exactly the same thing a short while later.  Now, I’m not claiming that I’m the cause for Ziggler’s recent push, but damnit, it can’t just be a coincidence.  The guy’s got unlimited potential to be a great champion in the company.  All he needs is a slightly less ridiculous name (how about his real name?) and a finisher that isn’t just a copycat of Shelton Benjamin’s finisher only reversed sort of.  Let’s hope he gets the latter one sooner, because until he does, all I can think of when he hits it is, “That’s Shelton’s finisher.”  Though I suppose with Shelton’s rapid decline, we won’t have to worry about that soon.

Oh, and I also find it hilarious and awesome that some of the women in WWE are using finishers from TNA wrestlers.  Melina’s using a version of the Canadian Destroyer, Michelle McCool uses the Styles Clash, and Beth Phoenix uses a slight variation of the Implant Buster.  I love that for some strange reason.

Okay, that’s all for me.  I’ll be back sometime with more rantings and ramblings, so stay tuned.  I’ll let you know how I did with my picks probably tomorrow.

My memory is a little shaky about this past week’s television events, and I’m working on 2 1/2 hours of sleep today, so I’ll try to make this as coherent as possible for you all.

Monday Night Raw – Seeing as how this took place almost a week ago, my memory of it is sketchy at best.  I’ll just run down a couple of things I thought worked and a couple that really didn’t.

The potential program we’re about to get between MVP and William Regal.  Regal is a consummate professional, and he’s going to make the already talented MVP look like a million bucks more than he (MVP) is already worth.  I almost wouldn’t be surprised if MVP drops the US Title to Regal, if only to free up MVP to become one of the top babyfaces on Raw.  Seeing as how the only main event faces Raw has are HHH, Cena, and Batista, and HHH is gone for now and Batista is going to turn heel eventually, it looks like there’s going to be some new talent near the top of the roster, and MVP is the perfect candidate.  I’m not completely sold on MVP as a face, but it’s always good to see him getting the crowd cheering for him, as he so rightly deserves.  The only other faces on Raw are Kofi Kingston, HBK (who’s out for god knows how long), and the Colons.  There are a few more, but those are the only ones worth mentioning.  So it looks like MVP is going to receive a whole lot of responsibility very soon.  Let’s hope WWE has the confidence in him to let him be the top babyface for a while while Cena’s off battling the Big Show and Batista turns.

At least, I’m guessing Cena and Show are going to have a program.  It may be a short one, seeing as how the Miz of all people is calling Cena out and taking the forefit wins.  Miz is a total douchebag.  And he plays one pretty well, too.  Who knows…maybe this could be the start of a push for Miz.  I don’t quite think he has the in-ring talent to run as a major singles competitor, but since when has that ever stopped Creative from pushing someone?

What do guys like Drew Hankinson have to do to get a fair shake in WWE?  The guy is big but agile and extremely charismatic in the ring, and he’s stuck with a (let’s face it) absurd gimmick.  And this past week he was placed into a sing-off with Jillian…and won.  Why isn’t he wrestling?  Give him a little push, let him squash some of the guys who obviously aren’t going anywhere but the bottom of the barrel.  Give him a push like Kozlov.  Why not?

For the love of all that is evil and satanic, will someone take the Divas title off Maryse?  She’s had approximately maybe a half of a good match.  She’s a fairly dull in-ring competitor, and the Divas title needs to be moved to someone a lot more entertaining to watch.  Just give it to Mickie James and we can all be happy.

The one thing that really stuck out in my mind about the main event was that somehow, Shane McMahon, a fourtysomething non-wrestler as the announcers put it, was beating up Rhodes and Dibiase like they were a couple of idiots they pulled out of the audience to have him fight instead of multiple time tag champions and the eventual heirs to the top spots in the WWE.  It’s a shame to see these kids get buried like they do more often than not.  Though I think Dibiase needs a little while longer in developmental…but that’s beside the point.  I did not like the booking of the main event.  I really didn’t understand why Batista didn’t make the save immediately after the match had concluded, but before Shane appeared to have gotten his ankle shattered by Randy Orton.  That was a really dangerous and scary spot, one I did not enjoy at all.  I hope Shane’s okay.

Oh, and I forgot the worst segment I’ve seen since Kizarny was employed.  The Cena/Show segment after Miz’s callout was quite possibly one of the most dull and lifeless segments I’ve ever witnessed.  All they did was stand and stare at each other from across the ring.  For like two minutes!  I was yelling at them to do something, but they didn’t, until Show laid Cena out in one of the poorest-looking beatdowns I’ve seen since I started watching WWE programming again back in 2006.  They’re going to need a great hype segment tomorrow for their match in a week (!) in order for me to give a flying fuck about the match at Judgment Day.

ECW – The Evan Bourne/Tyson Kidd match should be the standard to which every WWE match should be held.  These two had one hell of a match.  One of the best TV matches I’ve seen in weeks.  They did everything you could ask for and then some, all in about…what, 12 minutes?  I’ve been slowly watching ROH’s show Punk: The Rinal Chapter, one match at a time, and those are also the types of matches WWE should hold their wrestlers to doing, because some of the crap that gets put on TV is embarassingly bad.  Bourne/Kidd was probably match of the week in my humble opinion.  But there were some competitors later on in the week.

When is Kozlov going to get some real competition?  Put him up against Mark Henry.  I’d love to see how that goes.  I believe the term is “bowling shoe ugly.”  That’s what that match would look like.  And I would love every minute of it.  All two of them.

The main event was so-so.  Dreamer looks like he’s ready to retire.  He’s been sluggish in the ring for the past few weeks, and it doesn’t help the three other guys trying to create a good match.  Not that Jack Swagger knows how to work a good match.  He really needs to go back to developmental and work on his psychology.  He has none right now, and it shows rather painfully how awkward he still is in the ring.  He wasn’t ready for TV back when he debuted, and he’s still not good enough to warrant a roster spot.  Here’s hoping Christian retains the ECW title in a week (!) at Judgment Day.

Superstars – The opening segment between Jeff Hardy and Edge was a great help in building tension and emotion towards their match next Sunday.  The ending did feel a little forced, but usually someone has to come out on top.  I’m looking forward to their match.  It’s probably the only title match I AM looking forward to.

Can we please just drop the Santina Marella gimmick already?  It’s grating on my nerves.  I think Santino’s run his course in WWE.  And he needs a total character makeover.  Or he just needs to leave.  Also, Rosa Mendes is ridiculously hot in her wrestling attire.  Call me a chauvanist, I don’t care.  Because, quite frankly…DAMN.

Zack Ryder’s one-note gimmick has already worn out it’s welcome.  Unless they stick him back on Smackdown and recreate the Major Brothers, there’s nothing left for him to do in WWE.  Unless they manage to totally repackage him into a competent wrestler.  I won’t be holding my breath for that.

Jericho vs. Morrison would probably be my other pick for match of the week.  I found it a little strange to see Morrison as the babyface for the first time ever, but it’ll work, I suppose.  Kind of like MVP as a face.  Seeing as how there aren’t that many faces on Smackdown that would be prepared to take the reigns at the top, it looks like Morrison is going to get the nod for the main event push.  And who called that move all those weeks ago?  Why, yes, that was me!  I wasn’t expecting him to move to the top as a face, but, much like MVP, Morrison is so deserving of a main event spot in WWE it just isn’t funny.  I think everyone realized how special he was when he won the ECW Title at the last Vengeance PPV.  No one knew he was as ridiculously charismatic as he was.  No one knew how good on the mic he was.  And certainly no one realized how good of a singles competitor he was.  Sure, he had some awesome matches with jeff Hardy for the IC Title a couple of years back, but I attributed those great matches to Hardy, because I was (and still am, to some extent) a total Jeff Hardy mark.  But back to the Superstars match.  Morrison made Jericho look awesome, which isn’t an easy task in this day and age, and Jericho made Morrison look great during Morrison’s comeback, which was nice of Jericho.  Sure, Morrison lost, but that was Shelton Benjamin’s fault.  I suppose we’re going to be seeing a few more matches between two of the most athletically gifted wrestlers in all of the WWE very soon.  I just hope they keep this program short and sweet in order to allow Morrison to rise to the top of the heap.

Smackdown – Supposedly, Jericho asked to work with Mysterio for a long program.  It could be good, but given Jericho’s recent track record of being duller than a butter knife, I fear that it may be detrimental for Mysterio.  Especially if they have an IC Title match and Jericho wins.  Who knows.  Maybe Mysterio will pull some fun matches out of his ass with Jericho.  I certainly hope so.

Mike Knox needs to go away.  NOW.  Wasn’t he found guilty of owning steroids?  Shouldn’t he be in rehab or going through counseling instead of squashing legitimately talented people like Ron Killings?  HMMMMMM?

The Michelle McCool-Gail Kim match was pretty darn good, though I don’t think Creative should quash Kim’s momentum.  She’s on a path to a feud with Melina, and it shouldn’t be derailed by the admittedly talented but emotional-as-a-board-with-a-nail-in-it McCool.  I do like that she’s using the Styles Clash as one of her 20,000 finishers.  One of these two is going to challenge Melina soon, and I hope it’s Kim, because those two tore it up for about a minute and a half in one of those big diva tag matches a few weeks back.

It’s always nice to see Charlie Haas on TV, especially as Charlie Haas.  But he had to lose to Morrison in order to give Morrison some legitimacy and some build for his eventual matches with Shelton Benjamin.  I like that they’re giving Morrison a second finisher.  It shows that they’re getting ready for him to move to the big time.  Very few main event talents have just one finisher anymore.  Orton, Edge, HHH, and HBK all have just one, but most of the rest have two, and we all know that Undertaker has like 14.  But using a second finisher is a good sign that they’re letting him experiment.  I still say he becomes a world champion by the end of the year.

I can’t even remember the Punk-Edge match.  I do, however, like that Umaga’s finally getting injected right back into the upper card scene after so many months away.  I don’t particularly like that it’s coming at the expense of Punk, but I guess someone had to lose in order to put Umaga over, and Punk doesn’t need momentum since he’s got the Money in the Bank briefcase.  I’d bet that Punk’s going to cash in the briefcase at Judgment day seeing as how it is in his hometown and all.  I would hate to see the World Heavyweight Championship change hands AGAIN at a PPV.  Think about this: since Armageddon in December of last year, Edge has lost a title (Armageddon), won a title (Royal Rumble), lost a title and won a title in the same night (No Way Out), lost a title (WM25), and won a title (Backlash).  That’s far too much title shifting in a very short period of time, and it’s devaluing the titles that are being swapped back and forth like spit at a Spin the Bottle convention (yeah, I have no idea what that means either.  Cut me some slack, I’ve been awake since 5:15 AM).  Someone needs to hold the title for more than six weeks for me to give a shit about it.  So either Edge, Hardy, or Punk is going to need to win or retain this title and hold it for a good four to six months before dropping it to someone (probably Morrison).

So…did anyone actually pay attention to that Cryme Tyme segment?  Yeah, me neither.

I thought Dolph Ziggler was going to get a real push after his matches with MVP.  But then along comes the world’s biggest train-wreck, the Great Khali, and Ziggler is squashed like a very small bug.  When is Creative going to decide whether or not to push a guy or not?  At least JR finally said what I’d been saying for weeks: that Ziggler reminds him (and me) of Mr. Perfect.  I feel like I contributed a little to that, even though I know I didn’t.  Hey, I can dream that a guy like Jim Ross reads my blog, damnit.  And that he takes some of my ideas and uses them.  But that probably isn’t the case.  I can live with that.  I just love how I’m saying all these things and then they happen.

Again, I don’t remember the Hardy/Jericho match at all, but I can say that I’m glad Jericho won’t be gumming up the world for the WHC match between Hardy and Edge next week.  Don’t get me wrong: triple threat matches can be some of the most entertaining matches.  But if you stick in a guy who has zero actual involvement with the main event, chances are there’d be something screwy happening in the match.  We’ll get plenty of Jericho in the coming weeks and months when he fights Mysterio.

The one thing I really hope happens out of all of this week’s events: The World’s Greatest Tag Team reforms again.  As soon as Morrson goes over Benjamin, TWGTT needs to reform and take over the tag division on Smackdown.

So there you have it.  I’m going to end this column now because my keyboard is being a little piece of shit.  I bought a new one and it should be arriving in the next few days.  Remember kids: wireless does not always equal better.  That’s all for now, but I’ll be back, and with a new keyboard to boot!

First off, I’d like to give thanks to Dr. Davin Davis for linking to not one, not two, but THREE of my articles I wrote last month.  It’s nice to know that there are people I don’t know personally who are reading this webpage.  Here’s hoping more people start linking to my articles, because the more people that read this little webpage, the happier I am.  Okay, now it’s time to get down to business.

I want to talk specifically about WWE’s Pay-Per-View scheduling, especially over the past couple of years, this year included.  It seems that ever since I began watching WWE programming (in early 2006 after a very long period where I didn’t watch any of their shows), there has been a very large number of pay-per-view events every year.  Currently, there are 14 WWE PPV events scheduled for this year.  Four have already taken place, and the fifth will be happening in two weeks.  So what’s the big deal about this?  Well, there are a number of problems with having this many big shows every year.  First, it’s a huge strain on the consumers who want to keep up with the storylines, both outside and inside the ring.  Second, it puts a strain on the wrestlers, who have to put on their absolute best even more days throughout the year than they already do.  And third, it makes it very difficult for the writing team to give some feuds the build that they properly need in order for the matches at the PPVs to mean much.  I might as well talk about these in the order I listed, so I’ll start from the top.

We all know the world is in an economic crisis, if you will.  I don’t really like using that word, but everybody else seems to be using it, so for now I’ll go along with the rest.  Hundreds of people are losing their jobs every day, and thusly are unable to pay for their houses, cars, and food to feed their families.  And that isn’t even counting the many amenities that we have living in America.  I can attest to that.  So, in these tough times, why is Vince McMahon making us shell out $55 fourteen times a year?  That’s $770 a year he’s asking us to spend on his company and their shows.  And this doesn’t even factor in the cost of cable or sattelite TV that’s required to watch 3/4 of the broadcast TV shows they’re putting on.  That boosts the cost of keeping up with WWE programming into the thousands of dollars every year.  Money that a lot of people need for more important things like shelter and food.  WWE really needs to cut back on the PPVs so we (the consumers) don’t have to spend the money we might need to pay off a car loan instead.  Of course, if you’re spending your car payments to watch a WWE PPV, there are problems you’ve got that I can’t solve, except by yelling at you.  Firstly, there needs to be fewer PPV events every year, and secondly, the cost needs to be lowered dramatically.  I read that just about every other country in the word pays no more than half of what the US consumers pay for a PPV.  Austraila, I believe, pays around $20 for a show.  That doesn’t counteract what they have to pay for other amenities (like $100 for a heavily edited video game that costs half that here), but still, if the various PPV sellers around the country saw and learned from the example countries like Australia set for pricing PPV events, maybe more people would be willing and able to buy them and keep up with the breakneck pace of the storylines written by WWE Creative.

Now, for this next part, I know that adding a couple more days onto a WWE wrestler’s already hectic schedule might not sound like very much, especially when very few are expected to pull off a match like HBK-Taker at WM25.  But when you consider that these shows are the biggest dates of the year, there is always added pressure on the talents to impress the entire viewing audience (which, thanks to the overwhelming price and number of shows each year, is dwindling from show to show).  Wrestlers are expected to perform at their very best when they are involved in a PPV, so putting that much extra pressure on these talented men and women is going to drain them physically, mentally, and emotionally just that much more quickly.  Which especially goes for the main event talents like John Cena, Edge, HHH, Undertaker, Randy Orton, and the like.  Each big show they’re expected to put on a five-star match means a shorter career in the long run.  We all know that a lot of these guys expereince burnout and have to take time away from the business.  Sometimes that time away turns into full retirement.  And that deprives the fans of watching some of their favorite wrestlers.  I know that last bit sounded a touch shallow in the eyes of a wrestler, but if there were fewer big shows every year, they might just be able to keep on going a little longer and earn a little more money for their inevitable retirement.

Lastly (for now, at least), we have the issue of building a feud.  A really good feud is built over weeks and months, leading to a great series of matches that will be remembered for years to come.  When you’ve got three weeks between PPV shows, trying to build an epic feud is entirely out of the question.  Trying to build even a halfway decent feud is difficult at best, and impossible at worst.  You have to look at the recent and upcoming WWE PPV schedule to realize what I’m talking about here.

Wrestlemania 25 – April 5

Backlash – April 26

Judgment Day – May 17

Extreme Rules – June 7

Great American Bash (which I’ll likely be attending) – June 28

That’s four consecutive PPV events with three weeks of build between them.  I can’t honestly expect WWE Creative to come up with great feuds in that amount of time.  Sure, they could build over a number of PPVs, but that just means that I, the consumer, have to pay even more money to see how a feud turns out in the end.  Also, having three weeks of build makes the mid- and undercard feel somewhat forced.  A #1 contender for the IC or US title will be declared usually a week, maybe two, before the PPV, giving absolutely no time to actually build the program between the wrestlers.  They’ll be lucky to find out if there’s any chemistry in the ring between the performers before their big match, and when they finally do have their match, there’s no guarantee that any chemistry will even appear.  That’s when you get clusterfucks like the three previous HHH-Orton matches that stunk up the place.  Of course, that was built over months and still didn’t deliver, but that’s because those two have no chemistry in the ring.  It’s when you try to force chemistry that some of the worst matches occur.  But I’m getting off-topic.

My point here is that there needs to be more time between shows in order for the proper amount of build to be created, so the matches actually MEAN something.  They’re making us pay an arm and a leg to watch these supposedly important matches, so why not give a little extra time to build the feud and make us invest emotionally in the matches?  I know that I, personally, would actually consider purchasing a PPV show if it was $20 and there was 4-5 weeks of build beforehand to establish roles and characters for each match.  PPV matches should be major builds for feuds that are continuing on, and major blowoffs for feuds that are ending.  I’m not saying that ALL feuds should end at a PPV, but there needs to be incentive to pay for nd watch these shows, not just three weeks of pseudo-build and a couple of title matches no one cares about.

Since I’m feeling frisky at the moment, I’ll even create a revised Pay-Per-View schedule for the WWE to use from now on, so long as they credit me for it.

The Big Four (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and Survivor Series) will stay in their respective months.  Each other month will have just one PPV show, with four to five weeks of build in between.  12 shows, 12 months, 52 weeks.  Here’s how I’d schedule it.

Third week of January – Royal Rumble

Third week of February – No Way Out

Fourth week of March – Wrestlemania

Fourth week of April – Backlash

Fourth week of May – Night of Champions

Fourth week of June – Great American Bash

First week of August – Summerslam

First week of September – Unforgiven

First week of October – No Mercy

Second week of November – Survivor Series

Second week of December – Armageddon

Okay, so I strayed from my original plan.  11 shows in 12 months.  But it gives ample build for the Big Four and four weeks of build for every other show.  You may have noticed I took out Extreme Rules and Cyber Sunday.  Those are gimmicky PPV shows that don’t need to be included anywhere.  I also took out Judgment Day because it was just crammed in there.  I’m all for making certain PPVs a bit gimmicky, but not TOO gimmicky.  Like keeping No Way Out the Elimination Chamber PPV and Unforgiven the Championship Scramble PPV.  Also, Survivor Series NEEDS more traditional Survivor Series matches!  At least half the card needs to be eliminaiton matches like they did back in the olden days.  Night of Champions has its own gimmick, but it’s a very entertaining gimmick.  I wish that was the show that was still scheduled to be in Sacramento, but for some entirely unknown reason, WWE switched it with the Great American Bash.  So I get the GAB instead of eight championship matches.  I might not go.  It all depends on the card and how well the feuds were built.  I’m pretty sure that three weeks won’t be enough time to build matches I can get emotionally invested in.

So, there you have it.  My thoughts on WWE’s Pay-Per-View scheduling nightmare.  I’ll be back next week, maybe with some recaps of the four TV shows WWE puts on every week, and in a couple of weeks will be my Judgment Day picks.  I wonder if I’ll be able to beat my Backlash percentage…you’ll have to wait and see.  Until then, I’ll keep wriitng and I hope you keep reading.