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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Two days. Two days is all it’s taken to make me want to switch to watching nothing but indy promotions. I already don’t give a rat’s ass about TNA, and with what’s transpired from Sunday to today, I feel like giving up on Raw as well. The whole Nexus angle started off with a bang, but it’s fallen to a whimper. And with Raw in the books and the Summerslam main events already planned, I almost feel like it wouldn’t be worth watching Summerslam. Let’s go back to Sunday and review Money in the Bank first, then I’ll get to the ugliness known as Raw.

Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Kane defeats Kofi Kingston, Christian, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Matt Hardy, and The Big Show to win Money in the Bank

Best match on the card was the opener. Not a good sign. This was, by far, the longest match on the card at nearly 30 minutes, and there was no shortage of great spots. I do believe the spot of the match, however, was Kofi’s Boom Drop from the top of a ladder onto Drew McIntyre, who was laying prone on the Spanish announcer’s table. Vaguely reminiscent of Jeff Hardy’s antics when he was still with WWE. Also memorable was the seeming homage to the old ECW when everybody tossed a pile of ladders on Big Show when he was out on the floor. It reminded me of that infamous scene where the fans tossed probably a hundred chairs into the ring, covering…I think it was The Public Enemy. Yep. That was pretty cool. That, and the copious spots involving Show’s custom-built “Ladder for Giants.” Unfortunately, no ladders were broken during this match (except the one rung Show broke, but later in the night, actions raised my doubts about the legitimacy of this event). I suppose that was intentional, to keep everyone as healthy as possible for Summerslam. And as usual, I should have known better than to go with someone who logically should have won the briefcase and gone with who WWE Creative thinks is a good choice for winning. So, the next time a picks post comes around, I’ll smash myself in the head with a crowbar for about an hour and a half, spin around in a circle a thousand times, then stagger around and toss darts at a dartboard with random names on it. That should be similar to how a WWE Creative meeting goes. Or a TNA Creative meeting goes, for that matter. Look, I’m okay with Kane finally getting a World Title shot. But truthfully, there are other guys who deserve that shot just as much as he does. I’m looking at Christian in particular, and Kofi as well. Christian is one of the most over guys on Smackdown, and winning a World Title would finally solidify his place in WWE history. His two ECW Title reigns apparently mean nothing, as nobody cares to mention that ECW even existed from 2006 to 2010. Same goes for his two NWA World Title runs. But those were for a different company, and we all know how Vince views other companies. He doesn’t. And Kofi should have been main eventing eight months ago. But Randy Orton took care of that. Now Kofi’s again stuck in the mid-card, and I fear he’ll never escape it as long as there’s someone there who Vince thinks is better thank him. Whatever. What’s done is done. Maybe someday Christian and Kofi will get their main event runs. I certainly hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Alicia Fox defeats Eve Torres to retain the Diva’s Championship

I make a bold decision, and I get another wrong answer. I should have expected as much. I think the crowd was completely spent after the first match, so the rest of the show was almost utterly silent. Yeah, I’m not talking about this match specifically because there was nothing of note except Eve’s pretty sweet somersault senton off the second rope. She’s really getting better every week. Too bad she isn’t the champ anymore.

The Hart Dynasty defeats The Usos to retain the Unified Tag Team Championships

Second-best match of the night, for sure. Every time I say it, and every time I pray that Creative follows through: these teams can feud for years and I will never get tired of it. They have such fantastic chemistry together, and they’re both very accomplished teams. I hope we get a couple of intergender matches, too, as both Tamina and Nattie Neidhart can definitely mix it up with the guys. They are not meek little women like the rest of the women on WWE programming. WWE needs to put some actual competition into their women’s division. It’s so pathetic right now. I’d love to see Amazing Kong or Sara Del Ray or, hell, even Victoria in the ring to bust up some heads and make women’s wrestling entertaining instead of eye candy. Nattie and Tamina would fit in just fine, as would Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, and maybe Eve. But the rest would have to go. Funny how I’m talking about the women’s division while I should be talking about the tag team match. Suffice to say that it was a fun match and that these teams should continue their feud for the next year or three.

Rey Mysterio defeats Jack Swagger to retain the World Heavyweight Championship, Kane cashes in Money in the Bank and defeats Rey Mysterio to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion!

Phew, that was a mouthful. This match was decent, but only from Mysterio’s side. The man can work with literally anyone and make them look at worst halfway decent. Unfortunately, his latest World Title run was about three months less than his first run. Also, here’s an interesting factoid: from the creation of the World Heavyweight Championship in 2002 until 2006, there were ten World Champions. From 2006 until today, there have been twenty-eight World Champions. Isn’t that horrifying? That means that over the last four and a half years, the average World Title reign is just around two months in length. I guess I was right when I said that the era of the long title reign is over. There will probably never be another yearlong title run, and that makes me sad. Oh, there was a match? Right. Mysterio won despite a “torn ankle ligament,” only to lose to Kane, who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase he’d won about an hour prior. Let’s see someone top that. And so, Kane takes away the World Title from both Swagger and Mysterio. Can you say “Triple Threat Match at Summerslam?” Well, I certainly can. I was only expecting Kane to interfere in their match, not win Money in the Bank and cash it in. So in a very roundabout way I was right in that Kane got involved in the match, but beyond that, my picking skills were downright awful for this show.

Layla defeats Kelly Kelly to retain the WWE Women’s Championship

I don’t even care anymore.

Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match – The Miz defeats Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Edge, John Morrison, Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, and Ted DiBiase to win Money in the Bank

Sigh. With all the hype surrounding the Money in the Bank briefcase, I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that Miz will be the first guy to NOT win a World Title upon cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase. It almost happened last night on Raw, but I’m still recapping the PPV, so wait a few minutes for my opinion on that. This match didn’t really feature as many high-flying antics as the Smackdown match, though it did have a Samson-esque spot where two ladders were (very obviously) set up to the right and left of the briefcase, and four or five guys all fighting on said ladders while reaching for the briefcase, only for Mark Henry to appear between the ladders and push them both away. That was a pretty cool spot that I called about three minutes prior to it actually happening. Also, if you’ll remember, earlier I mentioned the doubts raised about the supposed strength of the regular ladders during The Big Show’s ladder spot earlier in the night. Well, this match proved those doubts when Mark Henry climbed up the ladder with Evan Bourne clinging to his back and having no trouble with rungs breaking. For those of you who would like mathular proof: Big Show is billed at 485 pounds. Mark Henry is billed at 418, and Bourne at 183. So Henry and Bourne have a combined billed weight of 601 pounds, nearly 20% heavier than Show. Yet they had no trouble climbing a ladder, whereas Show broke the very first rung he stepped on. I know it’s all for show (no pun intended), but still, there needs to be some continuity between matches! If a ladder rung breaks when you put 485 pounds of pressure on it, then there’s no way it should hold when 600 pounds are placed on it. Nice job, Creative. It was an awesome spot, but the continuity issues ruined it for me. Anyway, there were moments were I actually believed Evan Bourne was going to win. Then he gets knocked off and Miz takes the briefcase for himself. I believe a while ago I made a comparison of getting built up and having your…ahem…pleasure…taken away at the last minute to that of getting a blowjob from a hooker who turns out to be a man, who then does unspeakable acts to you and leaves you bleeding from various orifices and broke. That’s kind of what this match felt like. We get the build up of Bourne being on the top of a ladder for what felt like forever, while getting multiple opportunities to take the briefcase down, only to have him fail and instead The Miz takes the briefcase down. Disappointing.

On a side note: this is addressed specifically to one Michael Cole, so anyone who isn’t Michael Cole doesn’t necessarily have to read this, but I would not be remiss if you did. Ahem…Dear Michael Cole, would you PLEASE STOP BEING MIZ’S BUTT-BOY. I am SICK and TIRED of you praising this man from pillar to post with seemingly NO actual reasons as to WHY you support him. The only reason I can think of as to why you are praising him so highly is because you allow him to put his penis into your anus on a nightly basis, and apparently, you find this incredibly enjoyable. As such, you tend to over-praise him despite his general lack of in-ring skill and overall lack of reasons for praise. If you would please go back to being the “impartial play-by-play announcer” that Raw so desperately needs since Vince decided that Jim Ross was to be a sacrificial lamb after being spotted at a UFC event, I would appreciate it. What I would appreciate more, however, is for you go leave this company and go die in a fire. Thank you. Sincerely, Rantables.

Wow, I think that was a touch scathing. NAH.

Sheamus defeats John Cena in a Steel Cage Nexus Interference Match to retain the WWE Championship

If you thought the Nexus was NOT going to interfere in this match, then you must have been lobotomized a little early. Seriously, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that Nexus would interfere and cost John Cena the title. It was a decent cage match, but it was marred by Sheamus’ utter inability to sell anything for more than five seconds and his general ineptitude within the ring. Nexus interference, blah blah, Sheamus wins.

And so ends a fairly uninteresting PPV. I went a disappointing 3-4 in picks, which guarantees that I am absolutely awful at picking gimmick matches.

But wait, there’s more!

If I was as good making my Money in the Bank picks as I was at predicting exactly what was going to happen on Raw, I probably would have gone 7-0. Seriously. As soon as the Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match for the WWE Title was announced, I immediately said, “Orton, Edge, and Jericho.” And by golly if it wasn’t exactly that. See, this is where my problems for Raw started. I said not three days ago that none of these guys needed to be in Money in the Bank because they’re already in the main event and can get championship opportunities anytime they wanted. So why even bother putting them in the match when they’re guaranteed another shot the next night on Raw? Either put new faces in the Money in the Bank match or in the #1 Contenders’ match. You know what I would have liked to see for the #1 Contender’s Match? Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison. That would put two new faces in the main event picture and get Raw out of the stagnant swamp it’s currently stuck in. But no, “Creative” thinks it a great idea to just go ahead and put Edge and Jericho in the match, because they’re Edge and Jericho. And yes, I realize that Morrison and DiBiase were also in the MITB match the night before, but they honestly had no chance of winning. Why I picked Morrison to win, I still don’t know. Anyway, the laws of probability were correct yet again, and Randy Orton is ONCE AGAIN facing Sheamus for the WWE Title. Good god, how boring. We got that same match six months ago. Is WWE on repeats and not telling us? Because it certainly feels that way. It wasn’t a bad match, but it was predictable and uninspired. And afterward we get Edge and Jericho stating that “IT ALL ENDS TONIGHT,” that their eleven-year-feud is coming to an end, only to have Nexus show up and beat both of them down for no reason at all.

After an uneventful women’s match, we get Sheamus and Miz out talking about stuff, then the GM sends an email and states that Sheamus will take on “this man” right now! And once again, I correctly predicted that the mystery opponent would be Evan Bourne. It appeared as though this match was actually entirely unplanned, even for the wrestlers, as Bourne took a very long time to enter the arena and didn’t sem fully prepared for in-ring action, as he was taping up his wrists as he was walking down the entrance ramp. Either it was entirely unplanned, or Bourne is again showing his brilliance by acting unprepared for a match. Of course he lost, but Miz was at ringside, stroking his Money in the Bank briefcase like a Bond villain strokes a cat (which looked absolutely idiotic, by the way). And after the match, Miz cracked Sheamus over the head with the briefcase and hit the Skull-Crushing Filane on the briefcase. Miz was going to cash in Money in the Bank right then and there, but just before the bell rung, we get R-Truth’s music and a hobbled Truth sprinting down to the ring to foil Miz’s plans. So Miz pulls a Swagger and calls off the title shot. Now, what Truth SHOULD have done was wait until the match started and THEN interfered, so Miz couldn’t call off the match and lose the briefcase.

Also, before I go on, I would again like to address one Michael Cole. Dear “Mr.” Cole: would you PLEASE STOP saying, “And I quote” every time you “read” an “email” from the “anonymous GM.” We already know that you’re “reading” the “email,” so you don’t have to “tell” us that this is a “direct quote” from the “GM.” We know you aren’t going to “make stuff up,” as we know you’re too much of a “colossal dolt” to come up with “ideas” of your own. So please, “stop” “saying” “And I quote” when “conferring” the “GM’s” “decisions.” “Thank you.”

Jesus, he is annoying as all hells. Bring back JR and JBL! Where are those petitions? I’ll sign them a thousand times over.

After that, we get a pointless tag match whose only highlight was Santino using the Salute Headbutt made famous by Soldier Ant of Chikara, who is probably one of my favorite Chikara wrestlers. You want to talk about a guy who loves to salute…look no further than Soldier Ant! Speaking of Chikara, I’m seriously considering purchasing their most recent shows on DVD, as they both have Bryan Danielson working matches. I may do so soon, and give a review of those as well.

And, finally (thankfully), we get a pointless main event with Wade Barrett taking on…Mark Henry? Wha? It doesn’t matter. The whole match was a set-up for John Cena showing up with his “superteam” designed to take out Nexus for good. And who is on that team? We start with Edge. Everyone goes “BWAH?” Then, John Morrison, and people go, “Yeah, okay, that makes sense, I guess.” Then R-Truth, and people go, “Um…o…kay?” Then The Great Khali, and we go, “Ow, ow ow OW MY BRAIN WHY?” Then, Chris Jericho, and we go, “Wait, wasn’t he JUST feuding with Edge like two hours ago?” Then Bret Hart walks out and I cry and start throwing heavy items at my television. THIS is the superteam you’ve concocted to take out what Cole idiotically called “The Most Feared Group In WWE History!” Jesus Christ on a stick, guys. I may have to stop watching Raw. Cena’s superteam is just awful. After Edge and Jericho, you’ve got practically nothing. Morrison is a waste of time, Truth honestly has no business with Nexus that I remember, Khali is just ugh, and Bret Hart? Really? You actually want a 50+ year-old man on your team? Now, I don’t consider myself a head booker or anything, but if I was in charge, I’d do things a little differently. I’d take Truth and Khali out immediately and put Mark Henry and Evan Bourne in their place, and instead of Edge and Jericho, I’d put The Hart Dynasty. Then, at least, you’d have an all-face vs. all-heel battle. I get that Edge and Jericho were “betrayed” by Nexus earlier in the evening, but these two supposedly hate each other so much that they can’t be near one another without trying to beat each other to a pulp. At least, that’s what I thought. And wasn’t Bret Hart done with WWE a couple of months ago? Did Vince wave a giant pile of money under his nose to get him to come back for a couple more weeks? It’s like WWE is turning into TNA. And, to end the show, Cena’s team storms the ring and Nexus flees like the little girls they apparently are. Calling them “The Most Powerful and Feared Group in WWE History” sure makes you sound like a complete moron, now, Cole. You never cease to amaze me with your utter stupidity. Please die under a large pile of heavy boulders.

At least Smackdown has stayed relatively free of this cancerous storyline. Of course, if the “rookies” from season 2 of NXT decide to do the same thing on Smackdown as Nexus is doing on Raw, I might just stop watching WWE programming altogether. It’s just so awful right now.

And so ends another angry rant about the idiocy contained within WWE Creative and their horrendous storylines. I have a fantastic idea for my 100th post, so stay tuned for that. And I’ll probably start doing more “What-if?” posts and fantasy-style posts than angry weekly recap posts. Even though I’m sure the angry posts could probably garner more attention, I’m getting tired of just writing angry rants all the time. So stay tuned for my epic 100th post and maybe some more positive entries. Until next time, stay awesome.

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So, as per normal, plenty has been going on the last…TWELVE DAYS?  Jeez, I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t written anything in that long.  I need to let up on the Nintendo DS playing and get to writing more often than I have been.  I’ll do picks for the new PPV last, as there are other things that must be discussed.

Let’s start with this WWE vs. TNA dueling invasion storylines.  TNA, in an effort to try to become WWE, Jr. yet again, is staging its own invasion angle of the company.  Though, instead of a group of young up-and-comers, we’re getting a group of former ECW guys storming the gates of TNA.  The group (so far as I know) consists of Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Stevie Richards, Rhyno, Rob Van Dam, Brother Devon, and maybe Al Snow, Simon Diamond, and Mick Foley.  I really hate saying this, but these guys really do need to just hang up their boots.  They’ve been around the block one too many times, and the chances of them putting on great matches is slim.  ECW basically took their bodies away from them far too soon, and what’s left are broken husks of men who used to be considered the toughest guys in wrestling.  Does this mean that TNA is going to devolve into a clusterfuck of chaos and weapons?  I’m not sure.  It seems like TNA is trying to go the opposite way that WWE and their TV-PG rating is heading, like they’re adopting a much more violent style that ECW fans have, for some reason, been craving since the company went kaput in 2001.  Now, I don’t mind a little violence every once in a while, but when it oversaturates the show, it gets tedious to watch.  I don’t like how WWE is paranoid about blood and that they stop a match if someone has a cut (like they did with the Jericho/Tatsu match on Superstars) either, but I’d prefer that to ALL HARDCOREZ! shows.  I’ve tried to watch CZW, and it’s really not that entertaining to me.  I’m not saying TNA is headed down that path, but they’re definitely closer to that end of the violence spectrum than the sanitized experience WWE brings.  So I suppose this is just another step for TNA towards an eventual grave.  Put a bunch of late 30’s-early 40’s guys in the ring whose best years are long past hitting each other with frying pans and barb-wire baseball bats beating the shit out of the rest of the roster who are (mostly) used to actual wrestling.  Whatever.

Now, speaking of the Nexus, doesn’t it feel just a little bit like the creative minds at WWE have no idea where this storyline is going?  This past Monday, Wade Barrett stated that “The Nexus has a plan, but we’re not going to reveal it to you people just yet.”  Translation: we have no idea what we’re doing, so we’re just going to beat up the roster every week for no reason.  You guys have your contracts, so why are you still attacking the rest of the Raw roster?  And another thing: why in the hell can’t the Raw roster band together for even five minutes to fight back?  There are plenty of faces on Raw.  13, by my count.  Are you honestly saying that half of them can’t band together and fight off these young guys?  Really?  I have a very tough time suspending my disbelief for that one. Similarly, I have a very difficult time believing that a little over a week ago, not ONE person came to help Rey Mysterio as Jack Swagger dragged Mysterio via an ankle lock all the way from the backstage to the arena.  Come on.  Rey is one of the biggest fan favorites, and there should be a cavalcade of guys backstage who would normally rush to his aid if something like this were to happen.  But, for some reason, not even the trainers tried to stop Swagger.  It really felt awkward and a little too staged.  Same with Swagger’s interaction with Kane that same night.  Swagger really has no charisma.  It just feels like he’s reading lines off a cue card or that he’s memorized his lines.  Nothing he says ever feels like it’s coming from him.  It always feels like someone else is speaking for him.  Boy, that was one hell of a tangent.

Speaking of guys who need to head back to FCW, let’s talk about Eli Cottonwood for a minute.  The guy makes The Great Khali look like Bret Hart in the ring.  His promos…well, let’s just let this one speak for itself:

Eli’s hilarious promo.

Ugh.  If that wasn’t the worst promo you’ve seen in a while, then you’re probably lying.  The Soup made fun of him for this promo.  It was that bad. Also, my apologies for not being able to embed the video. WordPress is an idiot sometimes.

Also regarding NXT, I am sure I am not the only one who is completely sick and tired of Michael Cole referring to The Miz as 8,000 different coaches every episode.  We get it, you have a hard-on for Miz.  Give us a break.  To be perfectly honest, Josh Matthews is the only commentator who is even the slightest bit entertaining right now.  Cole is a lost cause, Jerry Lawler hasn’t been entertaining since he turned face, Todd Grisham is incompetent, and Matt Striker is too much of a smark to be fun to listen to.  Matthews is the only sane voice in a sea of ridiculousness.

And speaking of announcers, who else is pissed that WWE removed Jim Ross’ voice from the WWE intro?  Word on the street is that this is punishment for being seen at the latest UFC show alongside Dwayne Johnson, Steve Austin, Bill Goldberg, and Paul Heyman.  If this is true, it shows how petty Vince McMahon really can be.  And yet, we still hear JR’s voice during the vignettes for the Money in the Bank matches.  And I’m sure his voice won’t be erased from any WWE DVDs anytime soon.  And just to complete this tangential roller coaster, in what may be seen as a positive move, in the Elimination Chamber DVD that was just released, the match with Chris Benoit was included.  Maybe Vince is finally accepting that you can’t erase history if everyone else knows what happened.  Whether they show all the blood and gore as well, I do not know.  But let’s hope this is a step in the right direction.  Maybe one day we’ll get a Chris Benoit DVD.

Now, to end this little tirade, I want to look at one specific moment that ruined Smackdown for me last night.  At the end of the Ziggler/Hardy match, when Vickie Guerrero was on the apron distracting the ref, he should have cleared her off the ring apron before doing anything else.  He should have made her get off the apron before he counted the pinfall after the Zig Zag.  That’s just basic refereeing.  Unless it’s a tag team match, nobody is allowed on or in the ring besides the wrestlers and the ref.  That match is invalid.  Ziggler should not have had his arm raised, and Hardy should not be considered the loser of the match.  All this trouble was caused by Jack Doan, one of the most experienced refs in the business.  It was one thing when Goose Mahoney didn’t toss Vickie out of the arena the week prior after she pulled him out of the ring.  But this is just idiotic.  I hope Doan is reprimanded for his error.

Okay, I was wrong.  Another thing that bothered me about Smackdown was Show finally managing to get CM Punk’s mask off, showing the world what Show would look like if he lost 250 pounds.  I think this honor should have been given to Rey Mysterio, as he was the one who initially shaved Punk’s head.  He never got the true satisfaction of showing the world Punk sans hair, and then Show up and does it anyway on free television?  I was really hoping for a Mask vs. Mask match on PPV between Punk and Mysterio sometime in the future after Punk was healed and Mysterio dropped the title.  I guess we’ll never get that now.  How disappointing.

Now, let’s move on to the newest WWE gimmich Pay-Per-View event, Money in the Bank.  I’m okay with a couple of gimmick PPVs a year, but when you supposedly base an entire show around one match gimmick and then only have a couple of the matches on the card actually follow the gimmick, it’s false advertising.  Also, I really don’t think it’s necessary to have more than one Money in the Bank match per year.  If WWE is going to continue having one mat Wrestlemania and two at the MITB PPV, then we’re basically being told that we’re getting three guaranteed new champions a year.  And at a time where every title is in turmoil and nobody can seem to hold a title for more than a few weeks, it feels like the era of the lengthy title reign is all but finished.  And lastly on my list of general complaints, a Money in the Bank match without Shelton Benjamin is going to feel empty and weird.  The true innovator of the MITB is gone from the company, and it’s highly unlikely that anyone will replace him.

With all that being said, let’s go to the card.

Women’s Championship – Layla (c) vs. Kelly Kelly

The first of two utterly pointless matches on the show.  While Layla has certainly stepped her game up since winning the Women’s Championship, she’s still nowhere near the league of, say, a Nattie Neidhart.  Likewise, Kelly had been improving in the ring, but as of late has seemingly stalled.  Perhaps she’s at the top of her game.  If that’s the case, why bother giving her any screen time?  This match boils down to who’s on the outside.  If Michelle McCool is at ringside, it’s basically a guaranteed win for Layla.  If Tiffany is there, the odds aren’t really evened, but they’re closer to even than if she wasn’t there.  Now, if Rosa shows up, then all hell is going to break loose and I’ll just toss myself off a bridge, because that would be the worst thing to happen since Justin Bieber and Twilight COMBINED.  It really doesn’t matter.  Layla wins and keeps her pointless title.

Diva’s Championship – Alicia Fox (c) vs. Eve Torres

Eve is definitely my favorite diva right now who’s actually participating in the women’s division.  She’s hot as hell and actually pretty good in the ring.  And the most important part: she’s improving.  I can’t say that about any other woman in the women’s division on WWE programming.  Alicia is…okay…but I certainly don’t think she deserving of a title run right now.  Maybe in a year or two.  But for now, we’re stuck with her.  I’d prefer to see Eve with the title, in all honesty.  And you know what?  Let’s just go with that.  I’m trusting my preference over my brain right now.  Eve Torres wins and becomes a two-time Diva’s Champion.

I forgot to mention earlier that I’m also disappointed that neither the Intercontinental nor the United States Championship will be defended at this PPV.  Moving on…

Unified Tag Team Championships – The Hart Dynasty (c’s) vs. The Usos

Why not just have one belt?  It seems silly to carry around two sets of bents for one championship.  Unless WWE is planning to split the titles again in the future, I say drop one of the belts or ACTUALLY unify them.  Now, down to business.  This has been a truly old-school feud, and I’m loving every minute of it.  The Hart Dynasty is stepping up their game, and the Usos are constantly on the rise.  As I stated in a previous post, these two could have a year-plus-long feud over the titles and I wouldn’t get the least bit tired of it.  They have so much natural chemistry with each other it’s uncanny.  I’d love to see these two teams battle each other for the next twelve months without a break.  Maybe then another team will rise to join the fray.  I’d like to see the Dynasty vs. the Usos vs. the Dudebusters.  I bet it’s be a fantastic merging of styles.  But for now, I think this is one of the best feuds on WWE TV.  As for the winners, the Dynasty needs to keep the titles in order to establish a…well, a dynasty.  The Usos are too new to Raw to earn a title run.  The Hart Dynasty wins and retains the tag belts.

Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match – The Big Show vs. Matt Hardy vs. Christian vs. Kofi Kingston vs. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes vs. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler

Smackdown did have one fantastic segment last night: Big Show’s ladder segment.  That was one of the funniest promos he’s given since coming to Smackdown earlier this year.  This face turn has really rejuvenated his character, and he’s over like crazy with the fans.  I cannot wait to see him lug that giant ladder down to the ring.  He just better make sure it doesn’t put holes in the ring mat.  Now, let’s get down to the odds.  I think we can toss Show and Kane out immediately.  Show, while great, doesn’t really need a briefcase to tell him he’s in the main event.  And Kane will be too distracted trying to find out who took The Undertaker out (my money’s on Kane himself).  Matt Hardy is never going to win a world title in WWE, so he’s out.  Kofi is the Intercontinental Champion, and that should keep him occupied for a while.  Dolph Ziggler still hasn’t won a singles title yet, and I think he needs an IC Title run before he moves up to the main event.  Drew McIntyre bores the crap out of me, so he doesn’t deserve this.  That leaves us with Christian and “Dashing” Cody Rhodes.  Rhodes is gaining more and more experience as the weeks go by, and he’s getting better and better at what he does.  Christian is the most deserving out of these eight men to get the briefcase.  But knowing how much Vince hates Christian (why I will never know), he probably won’t win.  So who does?  Honestly, it’s a tough decision.  I have a history of making bad decisions in multi-man matches like these.  Just for the fun of it, I’m goign with my old stand-by pick: Kofi Kingston wins Money in the Bank.  Hopefully he’ll finally get what he’s deserved for about the past eight months.

Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Randy Orton vs. John Morrison vs. Mark Henry vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted Dibiase vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. The Miz

Orton, Edge, and Jericho do not need this briefcase.  They’re already in the main event.  They can get a title shot pretty well any time they want one.  That doesn’t mean that one of them isn’t going to win.  I’m just saying they don’t need it.  Also, why replace R-Truth with Mark Henry?  Truth would have been plenty more fun to watch than Henry.  Hell, Henry needs one of those special Big Show reinforced ladders to reach the briefcase.  Whatever.  We can count Henry out, as it seems any chance he might have had to win a world title are long gone.  Evan Bourne is going to take the US Title from The Miz soon, and we all know Vince’s opinions about “smaller” wrestlers.  Morrison is stagnated right now, and desperately needs a heel turn if he wants any sort of heat.  Dibiase’s too involved with Maryse and not actually doing anything else to be deserving of the briefcase.  And Miz?  Well, I’m just not that keen on him.  Yes, he’s good on the mic.  But that doesn’t translate to being a great champion.  You have to deliver inside the ring if you ever want to be considered great, and Miz still hasn’t shown me that much inside the squared circle.  So who takes home the briefcase?  It’s a tough decision.  I suppose I’ll go out on a limb and say John Morrison wins the match.  I’m not exactly sure why.

World Heavyweight Championship – Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Jack Swagger

I thought that this World Title run by Mysterio was going to be short-lived after Swagger’s ridiculous ankle lock drag through the entire backstage area bit a week ago.  But I think that WWE is going to try to keep Mysterio as happy as possible so he’ll stick around as long as they can keep him.  He is the most popular guy among kids (maybe next to John Cena), and he’s also one of the few people who can go out every night and have a good match with just about anybody.  People who can do that are truly a rare breed.  In WWE, at least.  But I digress.  As long as Mysterio’s champ, he’ll likely be happy.  So he’ll probably get a title run similar to his last one, where he fends off insurmountable odds only to lose to a more regular guy.  Or maybe Swagger will prevail and then lose the title when the Smackdown MITB winner cashes in his contract.  Or maybe Kane will run interference and cause a no contest, leading to a big match between these two at Summerslam.  Yeah, that’s probably what will happen.  Kane will interfere, causing a no contest.  As to whom he strikes first, I’ll say he hits Swagger first, giving him the DQ victory.

WWE Championship Steel Cage Match – Sheamus (c) vs. John Cena

The cage is supposedly to keep the Nexus out of the cage.  But we’ve all seen what a wonderful job a cage does of keeping people from interfering.  It would really help if you could see me rolling my eyes when I typed “wonderful.”  But that’s text for you.  So you’ll just have to imagine me rolling my eyes when I type “wonderful” two sentences ago.  Now that I’m thoroughly confused, this match is going to be ugly.  And that’s mostly thanks to Sheamus.  The man has done nothing to deserve one, let alone two, WWE Title reigns outside of being Irish and being large.  He reminds me of a pasty Ultimate Warrior.  He’s bad in the ring, and his promos are laughable.  There is a 99.9% probability that the Nexus will interfere in this match and either cost one man the title or cause another no contest, though I would have to believe that having two no contests for world titles in one PPV is going to cause a lot of fans to leave angry.  So I guess I’ll pick Sheamus to win (I just threw up a little in my mouth) and keep the title for now.  If he does, in fact, win, it’ll be mostly by either luck or Nexus interference.  Maybe a cage wall will collapse when he runs into it and he spills out to the floor, winning the match.  Or they’ll both be at the top of the cage, punching each other, and Cena lands a right hand that knocks Sheamus off the cage and down to the floor.  Maybe through a table or something.  It doesn’t matter how, but Sheamus will win.  Not cleanly, but he’ll win.

And there you have it.  3,300 words cranked out today, and I’m done.  I’ll be back in a few days with a Money in the Bank recap.  If you have any ideas for new posts, I’d love to hear them, as I’m fresh out of ideas for non-recap postings.  So until next time, stay awesome!

My apologies in regards to both the title of this post and my lack of updates the past two weeks.  As I usually say, it isn’t because there hasn’t been anything going on in the world; rather, it’s more due to the fact that I’m a lazy bastard.  So, now that the self-deprecation section of this post is over, let’s look at what’s been going on the last week or two.

MONDAY NIGHT RAW

So the NXT Seven have been renamed the Nexus and they received their WWE contracts to work on Monday nights.  Yet they’re still beating people up.  Last week, they (minus Wade Barrett, who had visa issues) took out six legends of the ring.  Ricky Steamboat (who was there to promote his new DVD set, which I’m seriously considering picking up), Dean Malenko, IRS, Michael Hayes, and Jerry Lawler were all beaten to a pulp by these brash, young jackasses.  I’m just wondering how these six legends didn’t manage to fend for themselves.  Yes, they’re a lot older than the Nexus members, but they’re still a hell of a lot tougher than these young guns.  Ah, well.  If I were a WWE wrestler (full kayfabe mode initiated), I would say screw the suspension and go down and beat the shit out of the Nexus for doing such an audacious act to these men who were true pioneers in the business.  I know that their punishment will be meted out tonight…or, at least, I’m betting that they’ll be punished.  Should be interesting to watch.

Also, the eight Raw Money in the Bank participants were announced by Rob Zombie, who, I think, had the smallest guest host role to date.  I think this guest host thing is on its way out.  But I digress.  The eight participants are: Randy Orton, The Miz, R-Truth, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted Dibiase, John Morrison, and Edge.  Snore.  The only person I’m excited to see in this match is Bourne, who has been on a much-deserved roll as of late.  He won’t win this time, as the deck is clearly stacked against him.  As far as the rest of the match goes, none of it interests me.  Orton, Edge, and Jericho don’t need a briefcase to tell them they’re main-event-level stars, and the rest aren’t yet ready for the big time.  If Morrison were to turn heel again, he would definitely be somewhere in the vicinity of infinity times more entertaining than he is now.  He’s stalled and I can’t see him moving up the ranks as a face.  He’s just so…boring.  If he ever wants to ascend to the highest echelon of the WWE, he needs to turn heel.

You know what’s bad?  When the WWE Champion isn’t the most important guy on the show.  When you’ve got multiple storylines that take precedence over the man who supposedly is the biggest draw for the entire company, you’ve got a problem.  It happened the first time Sheamus won the WWE Title, and it’s going to happen again.  It happened when Jack Swagger won the World Heavyweight Championship, and if he wins it again, the same thing will happen.  People don’t really care about these newer guys because they haven’t gotten a chance to build themselves up over time.  Rather, they were thrust into the spotlight in a very short amount of time.  Swagger won the ECW Championship two months into his WWE television career, and that tanked the brand.  Sheamus won the WWE Championship six months into his television career, and nobody cared.  And it isn’t just that these guys still aren’t that good in the ring.  It’s that they don’t have an identity.  They aren’t unique characters.  They’re just generic heels that we’re supposed to hate because they don’t care what we think of them.  Until Creative decides to work on developing character, it’s going to be awfully difficult to get anyone interested in these guys.  And character takes time to build.  Tossing these guys into the main event only screws the company over.  It draws less money and gives the fans less entertainment for their dollar.  So I hope that WWE Creative gets it through their heads that they need to stop pushing guys to the top who haven’t been in the business very long.  I’m not saying that everyone has to wait 5 or more years before earning their first world title.  I’m just saying that they need to pay their dues, and Creative needs to wait at least 1 year to see whether or not these guys deserve a title run.

Okay, I think that’s enough ranting at Creative for now.  Let’s look at NXT.

The first NXT poll was released last Tuesday, and one man was eliminated from the competition.  Let’s look at the standings real quick.

#1. Kaval/Low-Ki
#2. “Showtime” Percy Watson
#3. Joe Hennig
#4. Alex Riley
#5. Lucky Cannon
#6. Eli Cottonwood
#7. Husky Harris
#8. Titus O’Neil (eliminated)

If it is to be believed that the WWE polls actually accounted for half of the votes for this list, then this list probably does reflect the choices of the WWE fans a little better than Creative thinks the fans think they want.  I do, however, disagree with a few of the positions.  First, I think Eli Cottonwood should have been eliminated.  The guy is like a smaller version of The Great Khali, only he has even less charisma.  The guy is 35, and he’s just now breaking into television.  He’s a lost cause.  He should have gone.  While I do think that O’Neil should also have gone soon, at least he showed some mic progress over the last couple of weeks.  Still, he shouldn’t have been brought up at all.  I am disappointed that Harris was so low in the rankings.  The guy is actually creating a character for himself by beating Matt Striker to a pulp (which I thoroughly enjoy watching), and his reward is almost getting cut from NXT?  Sure, he’s still very young, but you can see the potential in him.  I think he should have placed at least 5th.  Which brings me to Lucky Cannon.  This guy is probably the most generic wrestler I’ve ever seen.  He has every trademark of a stereotypical wrestler: shoulder-length hair, tribal tattoos, et cetera.  He’s just bland.  He’s quite lucky (see what I did there?) to have won the idiotic beer keg carrying competition, because I would be kicking him off otherwise.  As for the top four, I would have kept Ki at the top but moved Hennig to #2, Riley to #3, and Watson to #4.  You all know my thoughts on Ki, and Joe Hennig is really proving that he doesn’t need NXT to jump to the big leagues.  Riley is a great talker, but I still have yet to see a good in-ring match from him.  Maybe Chikara has spoiled me.  And “Showtime” Percy Watson is just entertaining as hell.  But I just don’t know if he’ll succeed in a WWE ring.  Put him in any other company and watch the fans love him.  Hell, the WWE fans love him.  But does Creative love him?  I don’t know.  I’d like to see Watson get more in-ring time, as he’s had the least TV time out of all eight (now seven) rookies.  But hey, if he can get the #2 spot with as little screen time as he’s gotten, imagine how well he’ll do once he gets to work singles matches.

I do have one small question in regards to this whole show: why are these guys even bothering with the competition?  They saw what the Nexus did, so why not do the same on Smackdown?  We’ve finally got a faction with more than four members for the first time in a very, VERY long time, and I’m overjoyed.  So why not take six of the season 2 NXT rookies (take out Cottonwood, yecch), have them conglomerate with the Nexus, and have one huge faction spanning both brands?  It could be epic.  If nothing else, it would give Creative a dozen new faces to build characters and fill in spots where injuries have left holes in the rosters.  Plus, we could have Nexus members feuding with their former Pros.  Hell, all Nexus members could be on either show at any time.  Making the group nebulous makes it all the more interesting to me.  And you know what the kicker could be?  In a couple of months, reveal that Wade Barrett isn’t the true leader of the Nexus, but he was merely the mouthpiece for the true leader: Bryan Danielson.  He would get so over as a heel that it will make outrageous money for Vince and Company.  Believe me, if you put a heel Danielson on the mic, you’re going to get more heat than Vickie Guerrero could ever dream of getting.  Then they can get rid of Vickie and we’ll never have to see or hear her again.  Wouldn’t that be great?

Okay, speaking of Smackdown, let’s look at a couple of storylines that Creative seems to be focusing on.  I’m excited that Creative is finally giving a woman a personality and evolving her character at the same time.  Serena has gone from a bald chick to a legitimate character thanks to her performance last Friday night.  And it’s given some depth to the Straight Edge Society, who, up until now, have been a rather one-dimensional faction.  Serena falling off the wagon and inadvertently proving Punk’s innocence in this whole Undertaker fiasco has given us a storyline with tons of potential.  Unfortunately, this could be the beginning of the end for the SES.  Serena may go rogue, and we all know that she’s the glue of that faction.  Punk will move on, the masked man will hopefully unmask at some point, and Gallows will probably just fade away.  He’s gotten three chances with three different characters.  Once you’ve gone through that many characters, your time should be up.  Anyway, I like where this has started and I’m hoping it continues strong over the next few months.

I’m looking very much forward to the debut of Alberto del Rio, the former Dos Caras, Jr.  He’s had two great vignettes so far, and I’m sure that whenever he finally debuts, it will be to a chorus of heat.

And let’s look at the Smackdown Money in the Bank participants while I’m at it.  Only six men have been named so far.  We have Kane, The Big Show, Matt Hardy, Christian, Kofi Kingston, and “Dashing” Cody Rhodes.  Why Kane and Show are in this match is beyond me.  Kane has his own storyline to focus on.  He doesn’t need the MitB to clog up his focus.  And Show…well, I love Show, but he’ll probably cause ladders to fail just by stepping on them.  With Kingston in this match, it once again deprives the fans of both a US and Intercontinental Title match at a PPV.  Christian and Matt Hardy are ladder match staples, and they’ll provide great spots and damage control.  And what do I have to say about “Dashing” Cody Rhodes?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  He can speak for himself.  As far as adding the last two names, may I make a suggestion: MVP and Dolph Ziggler.  Why not?  Ziggler is apparently turning face for no reason, and MVP needs a shot in the arm what with his WWE career circling the drain.  MVP is the other man desperately in need of a heel turn.  When he was a heel US Champion, he was gold.  As a face, he’s as bland as John Morrison.  It would do worlds of good for their characters if they both turned heel.  I’d definitely enjoy their work more if they did.

So, that’s my weekly wrap-up.  Before I go, there are two things I’d like to discuss very briefly (by which I mean 8,000 words).  First, I’d like to applaud WWE for their choice for the Money in the Bank theme song.  While I’d never heard of I Fight Dragons before finding out that they have the official MitB theme song, I am definitely interested in their work now.  For those who don’t know, I am a gigantic nerd, and I’ve been a video game fanatic for going on 20 years, so when I see a band that uses the NES sound chip as a major part of their music, I take notice.  I love the sound of the NES, and hearing it in song only makes me happy.  So I actually am giving WWE credit for introducing me to a new band.  Good for you.

And, because it wouldn’t be a Rantables post without ending on a sour note, there is a report making the rounds that Vince McMahon is telling his talents not to use knife-edge chops anymore because people make the “WOOOO!” sound in the audience, and that conjures up images of Ric Flair, who Vince doesn’t want the audience to think about because he’s working for the competition.  That’s just great.  You’ve got guys with fantastic chops (pun oh-so-deliciously intended) who won’t be able to use them anymore because Vince is paranoid that he’ll not lose any viewers because TNA Impact is on a different day and time than any of his shows.  I can see the future now: next, he’ll ban the leg drop because it reminds people of Hulk Hogan.  Then he’ll ban the DDT because it reminds people of Tommy Dreamer and Raven.  Then he’ll ban the use of weapons and tables and such because it reminds people of the Dudley Boys.  Then he’ll ban going to the top rope because it reminds people of Jeff Hardy.  Then he’ll ban suplexes because it reminds people of Tazz.  Then he’ll ban kicks because it reminds people of Rob Van Dam.  Then he’ll ban microphones and interviews because it reminds people of Mr. Kennedy.  And finally, he’ll ban wrestling because it reminds people of every former WWE wrestler who jumped ship to TNA or any other company, ever.  Then TNA will finally be #1.  Except TNA will have died a horrible death the day before because they had Hogan vs. Flair for the TNA Heavyweight Title at their latest PPV, Geriatrocity!

Bryan Danielson was right.  Chikara is the right way to do TV-PG wrestling.  Holy poop!

Okay, that’s it for now.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into my mind.  I’ll be back…sometime…with more news, notes, and craziness.  Until next time, stay awesome.