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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Let’s start with Smackdown, since the Rumble isn’t until tomorrow and there are only, what, five matches on the card.

So I guess WWE Creative realized what a steaming load last week’s episode of Smackdown was, because they put on a much better show this week.  Sure, we only had four matches (same as the week before), but each match was of a much higher quality than any of the matches the week prior were.  We first got HHH vs. CM Punk instead of the Unified Tag Team Title match.  I was disappointed that we didn’t get the tag match, since it felt like DX was going to lose the tag straps, especially with Punk’s new disciple, Serena (whom I wasn’t expecting to return, but found out later that she is, in fact, Serena Deeb, who’s apparently worked for TNA and Shimmer, so she’ll hopefully be a good in-ring competitor when the time comes) at his side.  Though their “relationship” is a little creepy, it’ll work, what with Punk being the leader of a cult and all.  Anyway, Punk and HHH has a good opener of a match.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that every IWC smark can say what they will about HHH, but the guy can put on good matches.  It helps when he’s got a good worker alongside him, like Punk.  Again, a good opener that was cut off by outside interference.  Too bad.  I kind of wanted to see a clear-cut winner.  But maybe, just maybe, this will lead to DX showing up on Smackdown more often (a guy can dream, can’t he?).

Let’s see…we then got Chris Jericho taking on Ron “Don’t call me R-Truth” Killings.  These two had a very strong performance overall, with Jericho being Jericho and Killings being Killings.  It was enjoyable, and it’s helping build a feud between the two that no doubt will be prevalent at the Rumble as well.  Two consummate professionals working their craft.  It doesn’t really matter who wins out in the end, because they’ll both benefit from the feud.  I hope this continues for a while.

Next, we got the No DQ Intercontinental Title match between John Morrison and Drew McIntyre.  Morrison posted probably his best promo in months before the match.  He was intense, yet charismatic.  This is the John Morrison we’ve been wanting since he and Miz split up last year.  The match itself was decent, with Morrison again carrying McIntyre throughout.  There weren’t many weapons used, which was unfortunate, but they used the kendo stick well enough.  It was enjoyable right up until the end, when the match just kind of stopped.  McIntyre countered Morrison’s finisher, stood up, walked around for a few seconds, then hit his finisher.  End of match.  No build, no nothing.  Just an abrupt end.  McIntyre has seemingly no knowledge of psychology, and until he does, I can’t take him seriously as a competitor or a champion.  I just hope this loss enables Morrison to finally move up to the main event.

Now, this will be the last time I mention anything in regards to Michelle McCool until this embarassment of an angle ends, because from now on, I’m fast-forwarding through any and all segments involving her.  It’s amazing how you can tarnish a good show with such a stupid segment.  When McCool was daring someone to walk out and challenge her, I was praying that Nattie Neidhart would walk down, break Michelle’s jaw, and take the Women’s Title away.  Oh, how I wished that would have happened.  But we got more idiocy, and that’s the last I’m speaking of it.

Lastly, we got a great match between Rey Mysterio and Shawn Michaels.  I’ll admit right now that I’m not a big HBK fan.  I feel like, more times than not, he phones in his matches.  And yes, I can understand why he would do that, being in his forties now.  But still, it would be nice if he had great matches more often than not.  This match with Rey was a pretty good match.  Very entertaining overall, with a lot of counters and almost no rest holds (which was a nice relief).  The last couple of minutes, with great counters to finishers, was probably the best few minutes of Smackdown so far this year.  Then Batista waltzed down to the ring and ruined yet another match.  So we got two no contests in one night.  That normally wouldn’t be awful, but when that number equals half of the matches you have at all, it’s not so good.  Anyway, we got the parade of run-ins, with Batista, followed by HHH, then the lights went out, the gong hits, and suddenly Taker’s standing in the ring with Rey and HBK and the others nowhere to be seen.  Taker does his double chokeslam (after a very lengthy double staredown whilst choking both HBK and Rey), and that’s it.  Not an entirely original way to end the show, but it’s okay.  Most of the rest of the show was good enough to counteract the formulaic ending.

Now, with that in the books, let’s get some picks going for the Royal Rumble, or as I’d like to call it, the Royal Clusterfuck 2010.  Let’s look at the card, shall we?

WWE Women’s Championship – Michelle McCool (c) vs. Mickie James

Oh, how I wish I could go with my heart here.  It would be so wonderful to see Mickie triumph after all the abuse she’s taken over the last few months.  But somehow, I just don’t think that’s going to happen.  She’s going off recording her country album, and McCool is dating the Undertaker.  I would bet that it’s essentially a lock for Michelle McCool to retain the title and move on to getting crushed by Nattie Neidhart (in my dreams, I know).

ECW Championship – Christian (c) vs. Ezekiel Jackson

There is ONE scenario that I would accept where Ahmed Johnson, Jr. wins the belt.  It goes thusly: Zeke wins the title off Christian, then immediately gives it to Regal, finally bringing Regal to the top of ECW after so many months of trying and failing.  That’s the hope, anyway, if Jackson wins.  In reality, I doubt that would happen if he won.  And I’m starting to have doubts about Christian keeping the title.  He’s held the ECW Title longer than anyone else since it was recreated in 2006, and he’s the longest-reigning male champion in the company.  I really just hope it isn’t tomorrow.  If he does, and Jackson doesn’t immediately give the title to Regal, I may have to boycott ECW for making such a stupid decision.  I’m going with my heart here and I’ll say Christian retains, though I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it goes the other way.  Maybe some Kozlov interference will sway things Captain Charisma’s way.  We’ll have to find out tomorrow.

WWE Championship – Sheamus (c) vs. Randy Orton

This is truly a no-win situation.  Sheamus’ title reign has been nothing short of a complete joke and waste of our time, and Orton’s outside indiscretions make him an unworthy candidate for any championships right now.  There are reports that the match was initiall supposed to be Sheamus vs. John Cena, but iwth Cena’s back and neck problems, they decided to go with Orton.  I have a question for you, WWE Creative: why in the blue hell didn’t you put Kofi Kingston in this match?  You put him in the #1 Contender’s Match with Cena and Orton, and you’ve been speaking so much about promoting younger, newer talents, so why not put Kofi in the title match?  He’s been primed to take that step, but you keep putting Orton over him every time it counts.  What the hell?  With Kofi, you don’t get a spoiled rich kid who doesn’t realize that his actions have consequences, and you don’t get a heel vs. heel match as one of your world title matches.  You get a guy who’s so over with the crowd that he could very well become the next Jeff Hardy, but you’re squandering his talent so you can put over the boy who’s so far up Vince McMahon’s ass that he can see what Vince had for breakfast this morning.

Phew.  Okay, now that that rant is over, let’s look at the match.  You know what?  Let’s not.  This match is going to be bowling-shoe ugly.  And not the good kind.  The bad kind.  I can’t imagine this match being even decent, so let’s just get it out of the way and say Randy Orton wins.  Ugh.  This whole scenario is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

World Heavyweight Championship – The Undertaker (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

This is a similar situation to the Randy Orton problem.  Vince is showing how some people are held to a different standard than everyone else.  Orton trashes a hotel room in Europe, is repeatedly caught smoking weed backstage, and now is involved in this whole debacle with a woman who claims he spat on her son and then told her to sue him, and what happens?  He gets a new contract and stays in the main event.  Mysterio is caught with some banned substances and gets suspended for a month.  What happens?  He gets put in the main event for the next three months, and gets a world title shot at the Royal Rumble.  It’s as though Vince is telling the fans and the rest of the guys in back that, unless you’re gonna stroke my ego harder, faster, and longer than anyone else, or earn me the most money through merch sales, I don’t give a shit about you.  If Vince didn’t practice this, I bet that WWE television would be a hell of a lot more entertaining to watch.

Right, tangents.  Back to the match.  What we’ve got here are two guys who are probably nearing the end of their respective careers, and are both battling numerous injuries that need time to heal.  Neither of these two should be a champion right now, since they need time to heal up and finish their careers in the ring, not at home.  I can’t imagine Rey ever winning another World Championship, as we all know that his only reign was to capitalize on Eddie Guerrero’s death.  So, it’s probably just going to mean that The Undertaker retains and hobbles to Wrestlemania, where who knows who his opponent will be.  That is, unless he loses the title at the Elimination Chamber show next month.

Royal Rumble Match

At least as recent as yesterday, there are apparently only 25 confirmed names for the match, even though Michael Cole stated on Thursday that the match between Chris Masters, Chavo Guerrero, and Primo Colon was for one of TWO remaining spots in the match.  Whatever.  Let’s toss out the names whom we know won’t be receiving a title shot at Wrestlemania.  So that means that Carlito, Evan Bourne, Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, R-Truth, Kane, The Miz, Chris Masters, MVP, Yoshi Tatsu, The Great Khali, Shelton Benjamin, and Matt Hardy are out automatically, for one reason or another.  That drops the list down to 14 (or 18 if you consider the four unnamed entrants).  Now, let’s look at the rest of the list.

Big Show – He’s never won a Rumble match before, and since he’s nearing the end of his career, he might get a shot at someone’s title.  But he’s apparently formed a new tag team with The Miz, and he’s usually eliminated by about a dozen other guys simultaneously, so I don’t give him much of a chance to win.

Mark Henry – Same situation as Show.  Henry’s probably nearing the end of his career, and though he’s gotten over surprisingly well as a face, Creative squandered his push, which leaves any future he has as a world champion in serious jeopardy.  I think they missed their chance with Henry, and he’ll probably get tossed out by a half dozen guys.

Kofi Kingston – I think Kofi’s got a great chance to win this event.  If Orton wins (which I predicted he would), then Kofi can win the Rumble and get his shot against Orton, and finally get over after so many lost opportunities in the past few months.  It would be a great story, and I’d definitely push for Kofi as one of the front runners to win this match.

William Regal – Honestly, I’m not quite sure why I put Regal here.  Probably because, if Christian retains the ECW Title, then Regal has a small chance to win the Rumble and go on to main event Wrestlemania for the first time ever.  Lord knows he deserves it.  But it’s a very slim chance of that happening.

Cody Rhodes/Ted Dibiase – The Internet is scrambling to hope that one of these two guys wins and goes on to face Orton at Wrestlemania 26.  I say, “Meh.”  Rhodes is okay, but Dibiase is milquetoast at best.  He’s dull and engages in Swagger Tactics.  Unless he develops a moveset and a personality in the next two months, putting Dibiase in a main event match at the biggest wrestling PPV of the year is a horrible idea.  They might turn on each other too, so who knows?

CM Punk – Punk is always a threat, no matter what the situation.  The card is stacked against him in this match, but I won’t be surprised if he makes it into the final five or six.  He’s crafty and he knows how to work a match like this.

Shawn Michaels – I think this whole Undertaker thing has passed.  No one wants to see a second match between these two.  We want to see something new.  You put on the match of the year last year, Shawn.  Let someone else have a moment of glory.

HHH – I think this might be the beginning of the end for DX.  One of these guys will eliminate the other, and the eliminatee will not be happy.  I’m betting HHH tosses HBK out, and this’ll lead to a HHH/HBK match at Wrestlemania.  It could work!

Chris Jericho – Jericho’s drunken escapade earlier this week compromises any chance he’ll have of winning this.  I’d expect R-Truth to toss him out.

Batista – Oh, please, not again…

John Cena – Cena needs to rest so he can try to be back for Wrestlemania and his supposed match with the Undertaker.  Winning the Rumble won’t help his cause…or will it?  I’m not sure.

It seems as though there are some more obvious names missing from this list.  Well, one, at least: where the hell is John Morrison?  He would probably be one of my top picks to win, along with Kofi.  But, at least according to WWE’s site, he isn’t in the match.  What gives?  I can also speculate until the cows come home about who else might be in the match.  We could say that RVD is in, if only to appease the old ECW crowd once again.  There’s a ton of scuttlebut about Edge returning at the Rumble, but he has unfinished business with Jericho, and unless Jericho somehow weasles his way to another title reign after being arrested, Edge won’t win.  I would absolutely love to see Bryan Danielson debut in the match and win, but that’s probably a pipe dream at best.

So who is my pick to win?  Jeez…there aren’t as many good candidates as I’d originally thought.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Kofi Kingston wins the Royal Rumble, and goes on to face Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 26, where Kofi captures his first WWE Championship.  That’s the hope, at least.

Okay, that’s all for this extra-long edition of Rantables.  I’ll be back next week with Rumble results and a review of WWE’s latest musical release, featuring songs written within the past year or so, many of which are quite good if I do say so myself.  Until then, stay awesome!


Let’s start this episode of Rantables off with a statement: this week’s episode of Friday Night Smackdown was one of the most pointless two hours of WWE television since the Vince McMahon Birthday Extravaganza last year.  Technically speaking, there were four matches (which is still low for TV standards), but only one of them lasted more than about two minutes, and that was the standard-fare tag match between Morrison and R-Truth vs. Jericho and McIntyre.  The Batista vs. Finlay match was a joke that was purely a vehicle for Batista telling us that HE will win the Royal Rumble, not everyone else who’s already proclaimed the exact same thing.  We were then treated to a very lengthy CM Punk “Straight Edge Cult” segment that spanned a commercial break and everything.

Sidebar: Look, I know that there are probably a lot of people out there who are supportive of Punk’s heel turn and his elitist, holier-than-thou attitude.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it too.  But this whole messiah complex deal is getting a little out of hand.  Isn’t this supposed to be geared towards a younger audience?  Why is there a maniacal sociopath with dreams of being a savior and essentially starting a cult on what WWE has actually stated is a more kid-friendly brand?  It’s strange to me.  It’s also gotten a bit stale.  We had the “crazy fan” angle this week, which of course was a work.  Had it not been, I might have been more interested.  Alas, I was to be disappointed yet again.  This segment took way too long.  Maybe we’ll get a pass on it next week when we get a Unified Tag Team Championship match (on Friday, no less!).

Okay, back to calling the action.  The tag match, as stated earlier, was pretty standard fare, though Morrison did get the crap kicked out of him for much longer than usual.  I think he got the brunt of about 13-15 minutes of tag abuse by McIntyre and Jericho.  And it continues to amaze me how McIntyre is getting pushed despite a complete and total lack of charisma and knowledge of in-ring psychology.  Yes, he’s Scottish, which means that Vince MCMahon is going to push him with all the might of his massive, throbbing ego.  And next week, in lieu of a Intercontinental Championship match at the Royal Rumble, we get a No DQ title match next week on Smackdown.  Morrison has no chance of winning, by the way.  Once Vince has his mind set, he’s never going to change.  That belt is going to stay on McIntyre for a long time.  Sigh.

Now, for those of you who watch WWE programming AND listen to the Pro Wrestling Rewind, hosted by “The Power” Andy Knowles and “The King of All Italy” Mike Siciliano, you know that this week’s episode of the Rewind is going to be damned entertaining simply because of the next segment that occurred on Smackdown this past Friday night.

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear: this “feud” between Michelle McCool and Mickie James has been one of the most tasteless, disgusting, pathetic wastes of time I have ever seen.  Michelle McCool is a waste of oxygen and needs to just crawl into a hole and never return.  She is one of the most boring people on WWE television, and the fact that she not only is the longest-reigning champion in the WWE, but continually one-ups one of the best women’s wrestlers of the past decade in Mickie James is a travesty and continually boggles my mind as to how Creative can think that this is good television.  After McCool and Layla’s undeniably dull opening speech, we get a surprisingly good promo delivery from one Maria, defending Mickie’s honor.  Lay-Cool makes jokes about how Maria is too thin (talk about the pot calling the kettle black, Ms. McCool…), and then we get Mickie, who’s looking surprisingly buff.  I like it.  Anyway, Mickie delivers probably her best promo ever, defending not only herself and Maria, but every woman in the audience and every woman around the world.  All while Michelle and Layla snicker and point.  Mickie was as passionate as I’ve ever seen her, and I really respected her for delivering her speech with as much emotion as she did.  And what does she get for that?  A pig-shaped cake in the face and a punchbowl dumped on her head.

Look, in all honesty, this should have taken place the week after this whole debacle of a feud started.  At least, Mickie’s passionate speech should have taken place the next week.  But Creative has dragged this out for what seems like forever.  And the worst of it all is that Mickie still comes out on the losing end.  I honestly wonder if this is a punishment for signing a record deal to do country music, because I cannot think of a single person who would allow themselves to be so humiliated week in and week out.  Andy Knowles (I keep bringing him up because I respect his opinion and because he makes great points about many topics) stated last week on the Rewind that all women have issues with their self-image.  I don’t mean to sound sexist here, but we all know it’s true.  Anyway, he stated that this whole angle was such a bone-headed move by Creative because it’s more than likely going to drive away the female demographic WWE craves.  Hell, everybody has self-image issues.  I should know.  And watching some bleach-blonde stick figure bimbo make fun of another woman’s weight on national television for weeks on end is just embarassing.  WWE Creative should feel like a bunch of morons for putting such a horrible angle together and using it for week after week after week.  I skipped the entire beginning promo of this feud because it sickened me, and I’d hoped it would be a one-time thing.  I was sadly mistaken.  If WWE does not end this deplorable angle, I will consider WWE Creative a lost cause.  They honestly must not know what in the hell they are doing, because they’re driving fans away with such a stupid and infantile feud.  I hope they apologize to Mickie for making her go through so many embarassing segments.

Okay, on with the show.  After that debacle, we get two entirely pointless tag team matches, one of which was solely a vehicle to get Kane over for the Royal Rumble, and the other yet another way to bury the Hart Dynasty.  Great job, Creative.  You’re destroying the last glimmer of hope your tag division has.

Our last segment of the evening was a very slow and uninteresting promo between Rey Mysterio and The Undertaker.  I’d like to point something out (like I don’t do that enough already).  I feel like WWE is sending a message to all of its talent that it doesn’t matter what you do inside the ring, because unless you’re a top merch seller or in good with the boss, there’s a severe double standard when it comes to activities outside the company.  Cases in point: Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio.  Orton’s alleged incident outside a restaurant a week or so ago is a perfect c ase.  We don’t really know what went on, but the fact remains that if he did do anything similar to what was alleged at ANY point in his career, he should be reprimanded and punished for his actions.  What does WWE do?  They give him a title shot at the Royal Rumble.  WWE is teaching Orton that his actions have no consequences.  Remember when he trashed that hotel room in Europe a few years back?  What did WWE do?  That’s right, NOTHING!  Because Randy Orton is a top seller and he’s in good with the boss.  Rey Mysterio’s case: he got busted for using a banned substance and was suspended for a month.  The same week he returns, he gets a World Title match.  And for the last couple of months, he’s been at the top of the card every single week.  And in a little over a week, he’s getting another title match at the Royal Rumble.  Why?  Because he’s a top merch seller, that’s why.  It’s embarassing that there is such a double standard for the Top Guys (Cena, Orton, HHH, HBK, Taker, Mysterio, and Batista) and Everyone Else.  Everyone should be equal in the company.  By showing that there are a select few who are seemingly above the law, you’re telling every other employee (and the fans) that you honestly don’t give a shit about anyone but your top guys.  Vince and the boys need to grow up and learn that you shouldn’t give priority to seven guys just because they move more merch than everyone else and kissed your ass and stroked your ego more than everyone else.  Don’t be a dick, Vince.

I was going to discuss the upcoming Royal Rumble event, but since I’ve spent nearly 1,500 words shellacking Smackdown and WWE in general, I think it’s best to save those words for the picks column next week.  So, until next time, stay awesome, and be sure to listen to the Pro Wrestling Rewind!  They’re even on Facebook!  As am I, if you so desire to add me as a friend.  I can’t think of a reason why, but hey, I won’t stop you.  See you next time.

DISCLAIMER: I do not watch TNA’s Impact shows or any of their PPV events.  I have no interest in viewing their programming.  But there comes a time when you have to just sit down and look at the facts about a company that’s probably going to be circling the drain in a couple of months thanks to one man.  So, without further ado is my entirely biased look at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Reading the results for Genesis, two thoughts were simultaneously running through my head.  First, I found all these new additions to the roster to be completely hilarious.  Second, I found all the new additions to the roster to be a sad and pathetic attempt by TNA to try to rival the big boys of Stamford.  For those of you who haven’t seen the results, I’ll give you the crude details: Mr. Kennedy was the “major acquisition” that was being boasted about for the past couple of weeks, and Amazing Red’s opponent was Brian Kendrick.  Whoop de fucking do.

I remember a few months ago that I decided to find out exactly how many of TNA’s current roster was made up of former WWE, WCW, and ECW guys, and the results were sad to say the least.  I think it was about half old guys and half TNA originals/indy originals.  The rest were either over the hill or never got a fair shake with WWE.  The problem with a lot of the guys who never got a chance with WWE is that there was a good reason they shouldn’t have gotten a fair shake in WWE.  Guys like Shawn Daivari, who was a good manager but a terrible wrestler.  He got an X Division title reign.  That devalues the title.  Things like that bug me.

Anyway, with this new influx of former WWE talent, I have to go back and count just how many of the roster used to work for Vince McMahon.

Thirty four.  Thirty four out of sixty six total talents have formerly been working for Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, or Paul Heyman at some point.  Possibly more if you consider those who worked in OVW or FCW.  Let’s list them, shall we?

Angelina Love, Bobby Lashley, Brian Kendrick, Christy Hemme, Elijah Burke, Dr. Stevie, Eric Bischoff (yes, he counts), Hulk Hogan (duh), Jeff Jarrett, Ken Anderson, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Lacey von Erich, Matt Morgan, Mick Foley, Mike Tenay, The Nasty Boys, ODB (I believe she had a stint in OVW back when it was the developmental territory for WWE), Orlando Jordan, Raven, Rhino, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Sean “Don’t call me Val Venis” Morley, Sean “Don’t call me X-Pac” Waltman, Sting, Tara, Taylor Wilde, Taz, Team 3D, and Tomko.

Make that thirty six.  I forgot about Jeff Hardy and Shannon Moore.  Over half of the current TNA roster is former WWE employees (save a couple of those listed).  It wasn’t so bad when the number was lower and contained people who legitimately deserved a run at the top in WWE (see: Christian), but now you’ve got a ton of people who alread HAD their runs at the top and are just wanting the glory one more time.  Guys like Hall and Nash, Steiner, Angle, and Hogan are well past their prime, and should have hung up their boots a few years ago.  But they keep coming back, reminding people what it was like in the “good old days,” and keeping the progression and evolution of wrestling from happening.  Guys like Waltman, Morley, Anderson, Jordan, and the Nasty Boys are clogging up the works.  They had their chance, and they didn’t get to the top.  So they gum up the mid-card of another company and don’t allow mid-card TNA Originals like Creed, Lethal, Sabin, Shelley, and the like to hone their skills on television and entertain the crowds who pay to see them.  These guys are the future of wrestling, but because of these late 30’s and early 40’s guys who can’t let go of their pasts, the future is being pushed further and further back.

Look, I think we can agree that wrestling is nothing like it was 25 years ago.  And it certainly isn’t like it was 10 years ago.  Times change, and so should TNA.  I thought they were actually going somewhere with the six-sided ring, but Hogan banished that to the ethereal plane, never to be seen agian by mortal eyes.  Hogan will be the death of TNA.  The minute he brings in Brutus Beefcake, I bet people will stop tuning in.  Once they realize that Hogan’s running the show and all he’s going to do is push his buddies and his sycophantic parasitic tapeworms (thanks, Chris Jericho!), they’ll lose interest.  When they figure out that this is basically going to be WCW all over again, they’ll stop watching.

I feel really bad for the indy guys who signed on shortly before or shortly after the Hogan takeover.  Guys like Nigel McGuinness and the Young Bucks, who I’ll admit I’ve only seen once (but they showed a lot of talent and promise), are going to get pushed to the side in favor of these geezers who don’t deserve to be on television anymore.  Just retire already and let the young guys work their craft.  The future of this business is being stalled by the past, and until that’s fixed, people are going to tune in to promotions like Dragon Gate USA, Ring of Honor, and the upcoming Evolve Wrestling to get what they’re looking for.

Now, on a completely unrelated topic, I want to briefly discuss Bryan Danielson.  I am not an expert on this man.  I have only seen a few matches in which he has participated, which include his tag match with Colt Cabana at the Seventh Anniversary Show and his match against Naruki Doi at Dragon Gate USA’s Enter the Untouchable Gate PPV.  I have several ROH shows on my computer that I have yet to watch, but I’m sure that most of them have Dragon matches on them.  What I’m getting at here is that this man can adapt to any style of wrestling.  Grappling, mat wrestling, high flying, technical, brawling, the man can do it all.  And a few days ago, I saw how he can adapt to the WWE style of wrestling.  I watched a dark match between Dragon and Chavo Guerrero on Youtube (I’ve even found the link for you) that was taped by someone up in the stands, and Danielson worked about as good a WWE face as you’ll see while still giving us some of what everyone on the indy circuit has known about for years.  Yes, he didn’t have The Final Countdown as his entrance theme (thank science), and he didn’t use Cattle Mutilation as his finisher (a true shame), but it was still Dragon, and he showed his supreme mastery of all styles of wrestling.  Of course, after this match, he decided to go back to FCW because he “felt rusty.”  That’s a good sign.  When you have a really good match with a guy who’s basically called it a career in Chavo, but you feel like you need to work off the ring rust, you know you’ve got someone truly special on your roster.  I do hope he’s brought up to the main roster very, VERY soon.  I would love to see matches against guys like Morrison, Punk, Mysterio, Christian, Jericho, Edge…hell, just about anyone.  Let’s just hope they don’t bury him like they’ve done to Evan Bourne.  Jeez…

Okay, I’m done for the day.  If, for some reason, I can’t think of anything to write about in the next week and a half (which is doubtful), then I’ll definitely be back with picks for the Royal Rumble.  Until next time, stay awesome!

It’s been nearly ten days since last I wrote here.  Since then, some strange new developments have…well, developed in the crazy circus that is World Wrestling Entertainment.  Let’s look back and see what on earth has been going on.

Last Friday we got yet another delay in the World Heavyweight Title picture, when during the Rey/Batista match, we got some “interference” by what people will surely believe is The Undertaker.  We had the lights go out and the gong…gong.  And we got it twice.  First was just before Batista was going to hit Rey with the Batista Bomb, which laid out Batista (I’m pretty sure this is the most times I’ve said Batista’s name in one sentence), and then we get a second one when Rey’s about to do his springboard splash.  Also, the referee disappeared after the second incident (or maybe the first…I wasn’t paying very close attention), which was strange.  So because of that little snafu, we’re getting a steel cage match this Friday night to actually determine the #1 Contender.  I have a wonderful little conspiracy theory about this.  I bet that it’s Chris Jericho who’s behind this whole charade.  I believe in my heart of hearts that Jericho is much more deserving of a title shot than either Rey or Batista.  Rey’s basically working on one leg right now, and Batista’s probably going to hang up his boots in the next couple of months.  Neither of them is going to provide a very good challenge, much less a good World Champion if they were to defeat The Undertaker, who’s looking about as hobbled as ever.  Jericho has more than enough talent to run with the title, and he’s the healthiest guy out of the whole bunch, and having him run with the title would put asses in seats, because everyone and their mother would want to see him lose the title to whomever.  If John Morrison doesn’t win the Rumble, who else thinks we might just get Edge vs. Jericho at Wrestlemania 26 for the World Heavyweight Championship?  I’d watch that for sure.  But back to the point at hand…was there even a point?  I suppose my point here is that none of the three men currently in a battle for the WHC should really be champion since they’re all too banged up to really give 100% as a champion.

Speaking of Morrison, even though I have no idea on earth just who will participate in the Royal Rumble Match, there are already a couple of clear favorites.  Morrison has to be one, as it looks like his program with Drew McIntyre is about over, and he looks ready for that main event push I’ve been calling for since nearly a year ago.  Then there’s Kofi Kingston, whose push has been slowed by this constant marring by one Mr. Randy Orton.  Kofi could get right back on track with a win at the Rumble, and challenge Orton for the belt when Orton takes the title away from this sham of a champion Raw has right now.  Then there’s Dibiase or Rhodes.  This whole Legacy break-up has been teased for way too long, and with Dibiase and Rhodes messing with Orton’s head, it’s only a matter of time before one or both of them go ahead and turn on Orton.  I personally don’t believe that either Rhodes OR Dibiase are ready for a main event push, let alone a singles main event push.  But the IWC has been clammering for a Dibiase face turn and a main event match with Orton in the near future.  Dibiase, to me, at least, hasn’t shown a great deal of in-ring talent.  He uses Swagger Tactics a lot, and it makes for dull matches.  I don’t know if we just haven’t seen the actual talent he has, or if this is as good as he gets, but he doesn’t look like he’s ready.

Now, let’s discuss Raw for a moment or two.  First off, Mike Tyson was god-awful as the host.  He has no charisma, and his backstage segments were quite obviously taped several times, probably because he couldn’t remember his lines.  And his interaction with Hornswoggle was a bit too over-the-top, even though it was all a ruse to get Jericho to trust him.  As a result of his appearance, I attempted to watch the documentary about Tyson, but stopped about ten minutes in because he creeped me out too damn much.  I did not enjoy his appearance on Raw one bit.

Then, we’ve got Randy Orton becoming the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship.  Sure, there have been heel vs. heel title matches in the past, but it never seems to get the crowd interested.  To the casual fan, it’s a lose/lose situation: if Sheamus retains the title, it’s another month of a freakishly pale Irishman with no in-ring talent and even less mic talent, and if Orton wins, we get yet ANOTHER title reign for the Legend Killer.  We only got, what, three of those last year?  I thought Vince was going in a new direction.  Either way, this will probably disappoint fans.  I know it’s disappointing me.  Either Kofi or Cena would have been a better opponent for Sheamus at the Rumble.  Whatever.  It’s probably where Rhodes and Dibiase turn on Orton, which means that the entire buildup for this match and the match itself will be only a way to get Dibiase and Rhodes over.  What a waste.

Also, I’d like to know how MVP got back into the US Title hunt after basically being Raw’s whipping boy for the last six months.  He’s already been US Champ twice.  What does he need with a third run?  And that’s IF he beats Miz, which has so little a chance it can’t be seen without an electron microscope.  MVP needs to move up to the main event, or he’s going to languish in mid-card hell for the rest of his career.  I want to see some new faces in the US Title hunt.  Unfortunately, Creative hasn’t built up a single person to be even remotely close to challenging Miz at this point.  It’s kind of sad, really.

On a more positive (and funny note), if you’ll look back to column #32, you might notice at the top of the list something that happened on Monday night.  Nearly six months ago, I declared that Evan Bourne and Mark Henry would be the Oddest Tag Team with Actual Potential.  And this past Monday night, guess who teamed together?  That’s right!  I’m calling this a successfull call on my part, even though I wasn’t generally being serious with the teams.  Sure, they were just a speed bump in front of Legacy, but they worked!  And since MVP’s apparently moved on past the World’s Strongest Tag Team, why not stick Henry and Bourne together?  Henry’s languishing in the lower mid-card, and Bourne…well, let’s jump on a tangent, shall we?

I have a rhetorical question for you: what in the blue hell did Evan Bourne do to deserve the treatment he’s gotten in the ring the last few…well, really, the last year or so, but ESPECIALLY the last couple of weeks?  Last Monday, he gets completely squashed by Sheamus in about 45 seconds.  Then, last night at the ECW Homecoming Battle Royal, he gets eliminated by Kane about ten seconds into the match.  And no one else was eliminated for at least five minutes afterward!  What in the hell is happening?  Bourne was my pick to face Christian for the ECW Title at the Rumble.  But ten seconds in to the battle royal, I no longer cared who won, because my pick got tossed out.  So I ask again: who did Bourne piss off backstage to get this kind of in-ring treatment?  I feel bad for the guy.  He’s got tons of talent and is ridiculously over with the fans.  Yet he’s buried worse than Gail Kim.  It’s a shame when a guy as talented as Bourne (or a girl as talented as Kim, for that matter) get buried for seemingly no reason.  I really hope that Creative stops wasting his talent (and our time) and gives him the push he deserves.

Okay, tangent over.  I’m just kind of giddy that one of my weird tag teams actually made it onto Raw.

Let’s jump to ECW to end this column.  The Homecoming Battle Royal was humdrum.  Just your typical battle royal.  No surprises at all.  Though I was a little surprised (and very disappointed) by the ridiculously quick Bourne elimination.  And I was a little surprised that CM Punk got tossed out relatively early on as well.  I figured if anyone would logically get the ECW Title shot, it would be Punk.  But Kane tossed him out, and Big Zeke (hereafter referred to as Ahmed Johnson the Second) tossed Yoshi Tatsu out very awkwardly.  I hope Yoshi’s ankles are okay after falling on the ground badly.  So we get Ahmed Johnson the Second in an ECW Title match with Christian at the Rumble.  Who else thinks that Ahmed is going to “give up” his title shot so that Regal can get one last chance?  It’s the only storyline that makes sense, because Johnson is so undeserving of a title shot it’s just plain stupid.  If he actually faces Christian and wins the ECW Title, I’ll probably stop watching ECW, because it means that Vince really doesn’t give a shit about the brand and wants to kill it.  It would be the worst decision since putting the WWE Title on Sheamus.  Which, admittedly, wasn’t really that long ago, but it feels like it has been.

Okay, I think I’ve filled your brains with anger and conspiracy enough for now.  I’ll be back sometime with more rants, raves, and entertainment.  Until then, stay awesome.  And if you get a chance, do check out the most recent episode of the Pro Wrestling Rewind.  Andy Knowles’ rants about Sheamus are probably my favorite moments of these shows.  He hates that man more than I do, and that’s tough to believe.  I don’t know if either of them read this, but keep up the great work, guys!  And I’ll see you all next time.

It’s the first Rantables of 2010, and why not start the year on a crappy note?

I am a patient man most of the time.  I am also an understanding man.  I try not to jump to conclusions when it comes to just about everything.  But I have to say that I am fed up.  I am completely sick and tired of Vince McMahon throwing people under the bus simply to build up his Irish world champion.  A couple of weeks ago, MVP was basically squashed by the Celtic Toilet Bowl known as Sheamus, and this week on Raw, in what was the second most awesome moment of the show, during Sheamus’ dull, boring speech about how he’s better than John Cena because he retained the WWE Championship via disqualification, we get what I’d been wanting for weeks.  Evan Bourne interrupts Sheamus, walks down to the ring, STEALS THE MIC and runs outside the ring, and challenges Sheamus to a WWE Title match at the Royal Rumble provided he beats Sheamus tonight in a non-title match.  I was positively giddy with excitement at the prospect of a Bourne/Sheamus match at the Rumble.  And what do you know, Bourne gets off to a ridiculously fast start, just beating Sheamus down and hitting Air Bourne.

At this time, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to describe the next couple of minutes in a rather colorful analogy.  Guys, you know the feeling you get when you’re getting a blowjob from a really hot girl, and she’s really good at it, and you’re getting ready to climax all over her face?  But then she stands up, pulls down her pants, and there’s a 10 inch penis where there should be a vagina?  And instead of you having a great finish to an event with epic buildup, you get assraped by a girl with a dong, who, after doubling the size of your asshole, turns you around, cuts your dick off, and takes it as a prize?

That’s how that match felt for me.  When Bourne’s music hit, I became giddy with excitement.  I thought, FINALLY, they’re doing something right.  Creative is giving the fans something THEY want, instead of something the suits in the back want.  When he started the match by kicking the crap out of Sheamus and, about 30 seconds in, setting up and hitting Air Bourne, I was ready to scream with joy, as if I was going to climax all over the floor.  But Sheamus kicked out, tossed Bourne to the floor outside the ring, and proceeded to demolish Bourne in about a minute.  I felt like I’d been violated.  And seeing Bourne’s twisted, broken body after the Razor’s Edge and the ensuing pin felt like I’d just gotten my dick cut off.  I went from joyous to abhorrent in the span of one minute.

Okay, Vince, I get it.  You’re doing this just for the ratings and the cash.  You’re pissing all the fans off so they’ll tune in next time to see which deserving man gets squashed by the Celtic Toilet Bowl.  We get it.  He’s the champ because he’s Irish.  Stop being a fucking asshole and give the title to someone who DESERVES IT.  I have to agree with The Power, Andy Knowles, that a world title should not be used to build up a wrestler, but that a wrestler should build himself up to become a world champion.  We all know that WWE titles mean nothing anymore, but if you put them on someone who actually deserves the title of a world champion, then maybe some of the prestige will be returned to these titles.  I must say that if I had the choice to be the WWE Champion or one of the top indy champions, like the ROH World Champion or the Open the Brave Gate Champion (oh, yeah, I just went Dragon Gate on your asses), I’d pick one of the latter two, because at least people will respect you for being at the top of that company.  I KNOW that this is exactly what Vince wants everyone to think.  But it’s gotten old.  You need to change up your plans.  Watch some Dragon Gate USA and learn how wrestling SHOULD work.

Speaking of, I at least want to speak about some good things over the next year.  So why not discuss how I’m broadening my wrestling horizons by watching more indy wrestling.  I recently watched the recent Dragon Gate USA PPV, Open the Untouchable Gate (which I did not realize until later was their second PPV and I’d missed an entire show which I have since acquired and plan to watch soon), and I must say that it’s a welcome change from the “sports entertainment” that Vince promotes.  I actually had to watch it in several installments because the wrestling content was so concentrated that I needed time to recover between matches.  It was very condensed.  But it was a lot more entertaining than most of the crap put on by Vince and the Boys.  When you get a guy who, as part of his entrance, lights his hands on fire, you know he’s dedicated to the business (that would be The Great Malaki for those of you wondering who would be so insane as to do such a thing).  The highlight of the night had to be the match between Bryan Danielson and Naruki Doi, the current Open the Dream Gate Champion.  If you want to learn great ring psychology, watch a match with Bryan Danielson.  The few matches I’ve seen with him participating have been nothing short of stellar.  Danielson is a consummate professional, and an incredible talent.  I pray that WWE doesn’t squander the opportunity they have to promote him as the greatest wrestler in the world.  His match with Doi was amazing from start to finish.  The line between face and heel was blurred to the point where nobody cared who was on the offense, because it was always awesome.  This is something Vince should start using, I believe, because the extreme sides his wrestlers take make many matches unbelievable in terms of build and comebacks.  When two guys beat the crap out of each other for 15-20 minutes equally, when someone wins, you know that they deserved it, because they dished out as much punishment as they received, and it could go either way.  When someone wins, we think the better man won, not the bigger man won.  I was also very entertained by Fray, that went on in the pre-show but was included in the version I acquired.  Eight men entered, in timed intervals, and the last man standing won Fray.  There were tons of ridiculous spots and incredible athleticism, and I have to give every man in that match credit for putting on one hell of a match before the show even started.  There were two matches that I did not enjoy, for different reasons.  First was the match with CIMA facing off against Brian Kendrick (yes, THE Brian Kendrick).  Kendrick seemed to still be in WWE mode, and as such, I think, didn’t really allow himself to let loose and do the crazy stuff that got people to love him in the first place.  I fear that this is actually true of most every WWE reject who goes on to indy prominence (D’Lo Brown, Brent Albright, etc).  Though they do get better with time, that WWE training (or breaking of the spirit depending on how you see it) really changes a man.  They’re never quite the same when they leave and go back to the places where they got their start.  Anyway, CIMA did his best, but Kendrick was pretty bad in that match.

The other match that bothered me was the next match involving Shingo and Davey Richards.  First, let me say that if Davey isn’t using steroids, then I want to know how in the hell he got to look the way he does.  He’s a freak.  Reminds me a lot of the Dynamite Kid.  Anyway, their match was great until it felt like the moment to end the match passed, and they went on for about ten more minutes.  It became silly after a while to watch them continue to stand up after they hit one of their OVER 9,000 signature or finishing moves, do some reversals, and hit a finisher of their own, only to have the other guy kick out, rinse, and repeat.  They took it a little too far with that match.  These two left it all in the ring, no doubt, but it felt like they left a little too much there.

Long story short, I was very impressed with Dragon Gate USA, and I will definitely be catching more of their stuff whenever it comes out.  I’m also going to watch more ROH, both older and new stuff.  And I’m watching some of the local company, TWF, though it isn’t even close to being as polished as ROH or Dragon Gate.  Still, it has some guys who’ve got talent, so I’m going to watch it more often.  If you’ve got recommendations for indy promotions to check out, by all means, leave a comment with your suggestions.

Okay, that’s enough from me for now.  I’m planning to keep going through the entire year with more complaints and grievances, and more gushing praise for the indies the more I watch.  Until next time, stay awesome.