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Monthly Archives: August 2010

So here we are, 16 months and 100 posts later. I’d like to think I’ve grown as both a writer and as a viewer of wrestling. And even though 100 is still an arbitrary number to get excited about (less arbitrary than 900, though, but I’m getting off topic), I’d like to think that it means something. There are very few projects that I’ve stuck with for as long as this one, and that, to me, is a great sign. And I think it’s about time I start shopping this little blog around for potential websites to pick up, because, well, let’s face it: my audience is rather small. I thank every one of you who read this. I think it’s about time I move up in the writing business. I don’t care if I get money for this or not, I just want to get my little opinion heard. So I’m going to work my butt off to try to get this more exposure.

Now, with that being said, get ready for a very long post this time. It is my 100th, after all.

A few weeks ago, a question was posed by fellow wrestling writer and Facebook friend, Anthony Valvo aka Mr. V. It had been revealed that TNA was going to spend roughly $4 million on (if memory serves) six wrestling personalities: Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, and Mr. Anderson. I may be entirely wrong with that, but the point still stands: that’s a damn lot of money for TNA to be spending on six people. And Mr. Valvo posed this question: if you were the head of TNA and had $4 million to spend on bringing in new talent, who would you bring in? I thought about this question a lot, but it led to an even more entertaining question to ponder: if I were the owner of a wrestling promotion, who would I bring together to make my roster? Money is no object, and this is the roster I would want, not necessarily what any other promotion would want as their roster. So there may be (to some people) odd choices I either chose to have on the roster or chose not to have on the roster. I’ll be discussing the entire roster, and also I’ll have a card for the first-ever show in which we crown three champions. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the 100th edition of Rantables!

I’d like to begin by saying that I really wanted to have a strong roster, but not a bloated roster like TNA’s. Unfortunately, after several tries at cutting names from the list, I could not bring the total number of on-air personalities under 60. I was hoping to get it to 50, but I’ll just have to live with what I’ve got. I’ll be taking people from four major promotions: WWE, TNA, ROH, and CHIKARA. Probably some of you wonder why I left out other major promotions, such as Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE, and NWA. Well, I’ll be totally honest: I don’t know much about any of those promotions, since I’ve seen very little of them. I’m going with names I’ve seen and names I’ve been entertained by over the last four and a half years. Let’s start with some WWE names.

Chris Jericho – I just cannot start a wrestling promotion without this guy. Sure, he’s nearly 40, but he’s been one of the most consistently good performer for nearly twenty years. And while he may not have too much longer left in the ring, he’s still one of the best, and he would help out the younger guys immensely. And once his in-ring career is over, he can move to an authority role or the commentation station.

The Hart Dynasty – Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith, and Nattie Neidhart are the best tag team in the WWE right now, and the best since The Miz and John Morrison. And they’re getting better with every passing week. Just imagine what they would do if they weren’t restricted by WWE’s conservative match-style. And, if you wanted to make a Trio out of them, either have Nattie work as an equal or bring in Teddy Hart (if he can control himself). In a promotion with a very strong tag team division (which my promotion would, in fact, have), the Dynasty would provide a lot of great entertainment.

Evan Bourne/Matt Sydal – Before Bryan Danielson made his triumphant return to WWE programming, I proclaimed Bourne the next United States Champion. Now that that pipe dream is over, it’s time to focus on the positives. Bourne is one of the best in-ring performers WWE has. He’s the best high-flyer they’ve got, and he’s a magnificent seller. But on a roster of mostly smaller guys (relatively speaking, of course), Bourne could truly flourish. Which I would allow him to do, as I would everyone on this roster.

The Usos – I really think WWE Creative is screwing up by not continuing the Usos/Harts feud. It’s the best tag team feud they’ve had in a very long time, and just a couple of weeks after the Usos lost in a Tag Team Title match, they’re jobbing to Santino and Vlad Kozlov? How quickly Creative can drop someone always surprises and disgusts me. With Tamina at their side, they can form a formidable Trio. I would definitely let the Usos and the Harts feud for a year or more.

John Morrison – We saw flashes of utter brilliance after his character’s initial transformation from Johnny Nitro to John Morrison. As a heel, Morrison was one of the best things the now-defunct ECW had to offer. As a face, Morrison is struggling, stagnant, and boring. We know he’s got crazy athleticism. What we need now is for him to not be bound by the idiocy that WWE Creative heaps upon some of their best talent. Morrison unchained could be one of the greatest performers in wrestling history. And I’d fully intend to allow him the freedom to do what he does best.

Yoshi Tatsu – Tatsu’s situation mirrors Morrison’s. With more freedom during matches, Tatsu could really become entertaining as hell. He can get crazy over with the fans by doing very little, which I cannot say for other people. With a little coaxing, Tatsu could really prove to be one of the most fun guys to watch in the ring.

Christian – He is in the same boat as Jericho. He’s probably nearing the end of his career, but he’s still got plenty of time left to keep the fans truly entertained. Christian is one of those guys who has gotten all of the recognition he’s deserved, only it’s all been on the internet. Well, I intend to let the world know that he is deserving of all that praise. Like Jericho, he could be a major help with the younger guys on the roster, as well as an inspiration for anyone who was told they weren’t good enough but never stopped working until they achieved their goals.

CM Punk – What kind of a promotion would this be without the Straight Edge Superstar? A crappy one, that’s what. Punk is one of those rare guys who can work just as well as a face or heel, and he always gets heat no matter what. He’s an excellent talker, and can bring it in the ring. Plain and simple, no major promotion should pass on CM Punk.

Kofi Kingston – Kofi has grown leaps and bounds (pun oh so deliciously intended) since his debut on WWE programming a few years back. We all know he’s got an incredible amount of athleticism and energy, and he’s one of the premier high-flyers in the business today. But with his re-found emotion and anger, he can really become a major player. Put him in a match with someone who’s wronged him and watch the sparks fly. Kofi is an integral part of the WWE roster, and he’ll be even more important on my roster.

Trent Barreta – Some of you may be scratching your heads with this pick, but I see the potential in Barreta to be truly great. He’s brash, arrogant, and a total douchenozzle. Plus, he’s got a fun style in the ring. With some matches against vets, he could gain the experience he needs to become a mainstay in the upper mid-card or even the main event.

Low Ki/Kaval – In my first draft of the roster, I forgot Kaval. Boy, did I feel like an idiot after going through the roster and realizing his name wasn’t on it. You cannot deny the sheer entertianment factor he brings to the ring. As Senshi in TNA, he was probably my favorite wrestler for that company, simply because he was so dedicated to his character that I actually was a little scared of him. I’d love to see him return to that state instead of his watered down WWE persona. Bring the real Low Ki back, and we’ve got one hell of a performer.

Husky Harris/Windham Rotunda – If this guy were in the indies, he could be a Young Lion’s Cup champion. He’s got the talent already, and the speaking chops to back it up. Yet he’s still got approximately infinity potential left. I thought it was a tragedy that he was voted off NXT before Alex Riley, and I’m betting he’ll get moved up to the WWE main roster soon. But he’ll definitely be on my roster.

Bryan Danielson – Danielson was another guy who was left off my first draft, though that was more because I didn’t know if he was going to return to WWE or if he was going to stay in the indies. Danielson is still arguably the best in the world at what he does (no offense, Jericho), and will likely be my promotion’s first World Champion. He deserves every bit of praise that the internet gives him, and having him on the roster is a no-brainer.

William Regal – I think Regal’s best wrestling days are behind him, but he can still be a fantastic authority figure, like a GM or Director of Fun. Plus, he’d probably be a sure bet as a trainer for any up-and-comers wanting to get in on this awesome promotion I’m building.

Gail Kim – Though I’m not creating a separate women’s division, I am going to have women on the roster who I feel could perform with the men on an equal basis. I’ve already listed Nattie Neidhart and Tamina, and I think Gail can easily join them as an equal member of the roster. She’s been hampered by WWE booking, so I think that she’ll get a lot more satisfaction out of her career if she were given more freedom during matches, which I would give her (and everyone else).

Serena – If you haven’t heard, Serena was future endeavored last week because, according to reports, she was not “living her gimmick” outside the arena. For anyone who doesn’t already abide by the straight edge rules, trying to follow them is likely very difficult. I guess WWE wasn’t happy with her. I think it’s silly that they let her go, but whatever. Anyway, in her first match, she was more entertaining than probably 90% of the rest of the women on the WWE roster. It’s a shame she’ll be gone from WWE programming starting next week, but she has a place on my roster for sure.

So that’s my hand-picked roster from WWE. Now, let’s move to TNA.

AJ Styles – Like Bryan Danielson, Chris Jericho, and CM Punk, you cannot have an ultimate roster of awesomeness and NOT have AJ Styles. If you put Styles in a ring, he will deliver an awesome match. Styles is one of the few bright spots on a TNA roster plagued with old, washed up, over-spray-tanned geezers who should have left the business a decade ago. Styles has to be on the roster, plain and simple.

The Motor City Machineguns – Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley have formed one of the best teams I’ve seen. They are so in sync with each other that sometimes it boggles my mind how well they work together. They’d provide a definite spark to the tag division I’m building, and will provide endless entertainment during their matches.

Nigel McGuinness – Admittedly, I’m putting him on the roster more because of hearsay than having actually watched him. I’ve seen only a couple of matches of his from his ROH days, but he’s gotten praise from the IWC for his work as ROH Champion, and, really, just about any former ROH Champion is welcome on my roster.

The Young Bucks – Having seen them once in Dragon Gate USA and a couple of times in CHIKARA, I can confirm that these guys are insane. The good kind of insane. They light up the tag division, and they definitely have a lot of time to grow better and better.

Jay Lethal – I always thought Lethal was criminally under-appreciated in TNA. His Black Machismo gimmick was cute for a while, and I did catch the first time he copied the Nature Boy gimmick, and that was priceless. But Lethal is an extremely talented wrestler, and definitely should get more exposure than he’s gotten in TNA over the years.

Samoa Joe – If you want intensity, you go to Joe. Though I haven’t really kept up with his work in the last year or two, he was definitely a force to be reckoned with back in 2005-2006. If he can bring the intensity back to what it was in those days, Joe could be one of the greatest talents on this roster.

Mick Foley – His in-ring career is over, but Foley was a great commentator while he was part of the Smackdown broadcast table. I think Foley would be an excellent color commentator.

Now, the roster additions from ROH:

Tyler Black – I really should put him under the WWE banner, seeing as how he signed a contract with them a couple of weeks ago. I’ve only seen a couple of Black’s matches, and that was a year or two ago, but he really impressed me back then. And being a soon-to-be former ROH Champion means something, I believe. So Black has a spot on my roster for sure.

Austin Aries – Like Lethal, Aries was given a stupid gimmick and forced to work with it for far too long. Aries is one of the best wrestlers in the world today, and it would be foolish of me not to put him on this roster. He can work well with just about anyone.

The Briscoe Brothers – Again, I’ve only seen a couple of their matches, but they’ve proven themselves with their grit, determination, and inability to see how ridiculous their matches really are. Watching the Briscoes vs. the Machineguns or the Harts would be a treat.

Kevin Steen – This guy proves to me that it doesn’t matter what you look like, because it’s the talent that matters. If I had to make a list of wrestling idols, Steen would be on that list. I’ve enjoyed what few matches of his I’ve seen, and while he and my next pick may have ended their partnership, Steen still stands as a strong singles competitor.

El Generico – I would be a colossal moron not to take The Generic Luchador. Generico is one of the most entertaining guys in wrestling today, and could likely bring his feud with Steen over to this promotion. Plus, the fact that he’s always crazy over with the crowds is always a bonus.

Necro Butcher – He’s mostly on here because he scares the crap out of me and I fear that if I didn’t put him on the roster, he’d punch a hole in my head. That’s how awesome he is.

Colt Cabana/Matt Classic – Finally, the Second City Saints reunite! Cabana is the funniest guy in wrestling, and Matt Classic is my favorite wrestling character of all time. And that’s saying something. Cabana is also insanely over with the fans, and he always puts on a fun match. So it’s a no-brainer to put him on the roster. Maybe have a few matches with CM Punk?

Claudio Castagnoli – The current Tag Team Champion in both ROH and CHIKARA is also an easy pick for the roster. Claudio is, I think, the uncrowned ROH Champion, and were he not Tag Team Champions in two promotions, I think he could be ROH Champion once Tyler Black leaves for WWE. But this is my fantasy, so I’ll stick with that. Claudio is one of the best at riling up fans, and he’s got a pile of talent to boot. Whether he stays in a team with Chris Hero or stays with the BDK I have yet to figure out. But rest assured, Claudio Castagnoli is a lock for a roster spot.

Chris Hero – Hero is on the roster simply because of hearsay and because he and Claudio are ROH Tag Champs. I’ve never seen Hero in a match, so I’m putting him on the roster because the internet praises him. Which is a terrible way to pick a roster, but I don’t think they give the ROH Tag Team Titles to just anybody.

Delirious – The new head booker for ROH is also one of the most strangely entertaining guys out there. Just imagine what ROH would be like if Delirious, the character, booked the company…man, I’d love to watch that. Anyway, Delirious is ridiculous, and I love that about him. He’s another one of those guys who has such a strong character that I sometimes wonder how much of it is an act and how much is just the man himself. Bottom line, Delirious is fun to watch, and that gets a spot on my roster.

And now, the (admittedly large) roster choices from CHIKARA:

“Lightning” Mike Quackenbush – The Master of a Thousand Holds actually deserves that moniker. Every match I’ve seen Quack in has been off the charts awesome. But if you truly want a showcase of his in-ring talent, watch his Trios match from Night one of the 2009 King of Trios with he, Johnny Saint, and Jorge Rivera taking on Incoherence (Delirious, Hallowicked, and Frightmare). It’s one of the best matches I’ve ever seen. Quackenbush brings all the tools to the ring, and would also be a great head trainer.

The Colony – Perhaps the best Trio in wrestling today, no team is as in sync as The Colony. Soldier Ant, Fire Ant, and Green Ant have pretty well turned me from an ignorant ignoramus to a CHIKARA fan. They work so well together, and would be an excellent addition to the Tag Team division.

Hallowicked – For a big bruiser, Hallowicked is one hell of a great in-ring performer. I first saw him on a Dragon Gate USA show, and had to admit that he was damn good. And even though he hasn’t been in CHIKARA too much in 2010, he’s still damn fun. Especially when you team him with my next roster pick.

Frightmare – There’s a reason this guy was the Wrestling Observer’s 2010 Rookie of the Year. Frightmare is about as big of a bundle of energy as you will ever see. He reminds me of Rey Mysterio, only with no inhibitions inside the ring. Frightmare has a long and epic career ahead of him, and I’d love it if he spent some of his career with my imaginary promotion.

Eddie Kingston – Like Steen, Samoa Joe, and Rotunda before him, Eddie Kingston proves to me that you do not need to have a ridiculously musclebound, overly tanned body to be a great wrestler. In my opinion, Kingston is the best wrestler of 2010 so far. I’ve seen just five matches of his, all of them CHIKARA matches, but each one has shown me how good of a storyteller Kingston is in the ring. The first of his matches I saw was at Night 3 of the King of Trios 2010, when he took on Christopher Daniels in an awesome encounter. Then, he faced Tommy Dreamer at Anniversario Elf, which was probably one of the best matches I’ve seen all year, based on pure emotion alone. He then faced Bryan Danielson in an epic encounter at We Must Eat Michigan’s Brain and a fun match with Delirious at Faded Scars and Lines. The last match of his I’ve seen was a truly awesome tag match with he and Tommy Dreamer taking on the CHIKARA Tag Team Champions, Claudio Castagnoli and Ares of the sinister BDK. It was high tension all throughout the match, and it cemented Kingston’s talent for me. So Eddie Kingston is a surefire lock on my roster.

Jigsaw – This guy is nuts. And he’s crazy fun in the ring. And he and Mike Quackenbush form a truly formidable tag team. I wouldn’t consider my roster complete without Jigsaw.

The Future is Now – Helios and Equinox are also completely nuts. Helios has got some crazy moves, and Equinox is another of those guys who proves that looks don’t matter, talent does. Plus, Equinox has, in my humble opinion, the greatest Right Hand in the entire business, not just CHIKARA. It’s epic. You have to see it to believe it.

The Osirian Portal – Amasis and Ophidian have proved to me that they are a very strong team. Amasis is a fun character, and Ophidian is the 2010 Rey de Voladores champion (that’s King of the Rockets or King of the High-Flyers), so yeah, they definitely get a spot on the roster.

F.I.S.T. – With the unceremonious booting-out of the awesome Gran Akuma, Friends In Similar Tights seems to be going in a new direction. With Icarus, Chuck Taylor (he of the high-pitched screams) and Johnny Gargano (he of the scrunchies), F.I.S.T. looks to be about as good as ever. And being one of the longest-running teams in wrestling history, they should definitely be on the roster.

The UnStable – Yes, Colin Delaney is back! Along with Vin Gerard and STIGMA, these three have a very strong Trio. Even though STIGMA isn’t the greatest worker compared to some of the rest of this epic roster, it would be silly to break up a great team like The UnStable.

UltraMantis Black – This guy is one of the coolest characters ever. He’s the main villain of the upcoming CHIKARA video game, which I will definitely be purchasing whenever it is released. Mantis has got oodles of charisma, and his transformation over the last few months from leader of the most vile stable in CHIKARA to a desperate man willing to go to any length to destroy the stable that took everything away from him has been nothing short of amazing. The fact that the fans are so strongly behind him when mere months ago he was the most hated man in CHIKARA is purely awesome. Not having Mantis, both in the ring and at the commentation station, would be a travesty of justice.

Bruderschaft des Kreuzes – Currently the best stable in wrestling, in my estimation, the BDK has been wreaking havoc in CHIKARA for nine months now. Ares, Claudio (yep, he’s evil in CHIKARA), Tursas, Pinky Sanchez, Lince Dorado, Tim Donst (Jack Swagger’s miniature if ever there was one), Delirious, Daizee Haze, and Sara Del Ray have formed a truly…formidable stable. And since they have the Director of Fun and a referee in their back pocket, the BDK would provide a fantastic force to be reckoned with for the beginning months of this promotion.

So there is my roster. You may have noticed that there are some very prominent names missing from the list. I have my reasons for leaving them off of this roster. Unfortunately, this has gone on far, far longer than I had expected, so it looks like I will have to break this post into two parts. So stay tuned, because in the 101st post, I explain why certain names were left off the roster, and I create the first ever show for this ultimate epic roster of awesomeness. So until next time, stay cool, everyone!

I don’t think I’ve been this happy as a results of a WWE decision in a very long time. Two weeks ago, when The Miz was initially approached about being the last member of Team WWE, I knew that something was up. I knew that a certain individual was going to be involved at Summerslam. And last night, my hopes were, indeed, answered. If you haven’t seen Summerslam and don’t want major spoilers, turn away now!

Are they gone? Okay. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Bryan Danielson is back on WWE programming! I’m certain that Vince is giving him a deal where he can work the rest of his indy bookings before coming to Raw full-time. So his last few indy matches should be pretty awesome. But I’m getting way ahead of myself here. Let’s take a look at Summerslam.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship ends in a No Contest

In what was a pretty good opener, Kofi and Dolph battled for some ten minutes before Nexus appeared and assaulted both men, leading to the no contest. I was a little apprehensive that the rest of the night’s matches would be ruined by Nexus, but thankfully that was not the case. If it was the case, then I’m sure all of my predictions would have been tossed out. Anyway, I kind of expected this to be the opener, and it was pretty good. Yes, it had Vickie Guerrero, but aside from her presence, it was an enjoyable match. Ziggler remains the IC Champion, and Kofi gets to move up to the main event…well, probably not just yet, but soon.

Diva’s Title Match – Melina defeated Alicia Fox to become the NEW Diva’s Champion

It was a decent match. Melina hopefully didn’t injure herself yet again. And after her victory, we get LayCool coming down to the ring to spoil the whole thing. Melina shoves both Lay and Cool away, only to get pummeled for her troubles. I hope this is the beginning of a title unification, as having two womens’ titles in WWE is about as pointless as you can get. I don’t really think that any of the three women deserve to hold a title, anyway. Melina is too injury-prone, Layla has little in-ring talent, and McCool is just irritating. I’d prefer to see a Women’s Title match between Nattie Neidhart and Tamina any day of the week before any match involving Layla. Also, how weird was it to have Josh Matthews essentially appear out of nowhere? I guess magically appearing from nowhere was a theme for the evening (OOH FORESHADOWING).

The Big Show defeated The Straight Edge Society in a 1-on-3 Handicap Match

Okay, so I got this pick wrong. I accept it. It honestly could have gone either way. Show…er…showed us that he has a healing factor nearly as powerful as John Cena, coming back from a vicious beatdown only to essentially no-sell the entire match AND getting his hand broken two weeks prior. It isn’t quite as epic as Cena no-selling death, but it’s still pretty ridiculous. Anyway, another decent match, nothing special. I heard in an interview on a podcast hosted by none other than Colt Cabana that Punk actually hand-picked Gallows and Mercury to work with as part of the SES, and I think that’s a great sign for both Gallows and Mercury. Punk is one of the top heels in the company, and getting his seal of approval has got to be a boost to their confidence and it should prove to Creative that both men do, in fact, deserve their spots. Yes, in the end, Punk walked out of the match, leaving Gallows and Mercury to be punished by the giant, but it was probably a learning experience for both. At least, that’s probably how Punk is going to spin the match come Friday.

We then are treated to a fairly lengthy Miz promo where he says he will join Team WWE for the 7-on-7 match later that evening. He did have a hissy fit at the audience, telling them that they should raise their hands if they wish to speak, and immediately, about a thousand people raised their hands. That was a great moment.

Randy Orton defeated Sheamus by DQ; Sheamus retains the WWE Championship

I’m still surprised that the announcers were talking about this match like it had never happened before. Does no one remember the Royal Rumble? These two had a match back then. This match was about as good as a Sheamus match can get. Which isn’t that great, overall. But the end was a little weird. We all know how little it takes for someone to “accidentally” knock out a referee, right? A single punch, an Irish whip into the corner, or sometimes a stiff breeze will KO a ref for minutes at a time. So it was a little odd that Jack Doan, the referee of this match, was not only smacked by Sheamus, but tumbled through the ropes and to the floor, yet remained conscious long enough to call for the disqualification. Most refs would have been out before they hit the ground. What’s up with that? Anyway, we’re probably going to get yet another Orton/Sheamus match at Night of Champions, to which I say SNORE. They’ll probably drag this feud out until HHH can return, and then we get to fall asleep during Raw!

Kane defeated Rey Mysterio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship

This was a good match, but the best part was the Undertaker’s return. I believe Kane opened the casket four times during the course of the match, including twice after the match had ended, in order to dump Mysterio in there and (presumably) cart him off to the netherworld. But, seemingly by magic, the final time Kane opens the casket, who should be laying there but the Deadman. I know he was there the whole time, but damnit, I marked out like crazy when the revealed Taker laying in the casket. Then, he rose from the ashes, climbed into the ring, and nearly destroyed Rey. But Taker knew better, and proceeded to assault Kane. Unfortunately, Kane got the better of Taker, and hit Taker with a Tombstone piledriver. At first, I was disappointed that they didn’t bring Taker back strong, but then I remembered that, according to the storyline, Taker has been in a coma for the past couple of months, so it makes sense that Kane should be able to overpower him. Still, this will set up a Taker vs. Kane feud, which, if nothing else, should be monumentally epic.

Team WWE (John Cena, Chris Jericho, Edge, John Morrison, R-Truth, Bret Hart, and Bryan Danielson(!)) defeated Nexus in a 7-on-7 Tag Team Elimination Match

I hate to gloat, but two weeks ago, I knew that Danielson would be involved with Summerslam. As soon as Miz got himself involved, all I could think was, “Danielson will be the 7th member of Team WWE.” And, thankfully, I was right. Miz’s night was spoiled by the man he was supposedly a mentor to, and it gave me so much satisfaction to see Danielson not only back in a WWE ring, but to make two members of Nexus tap out to an armbar/crossface combination submission that looked thoroughly painful. The match itself was very back-and-forth, with no team truly gaining a big advantage. The largest advantage was a two-man advantage early on, when Team WWE was up 7 to 5. It was close from then on. And despite the massive face reaction that both Jericho and Edge got, after their consecutive eliminations, they turned on Cena and pummeled him thoroughly. But Cena’s healing factor kicked in, and allowed Danielson to get his second elimination of the night. What followed was the first real salvo in the soon-to-be Miz vs. Danielson feud: Miz smashed Danielson in the back of the head with his Money in the Bank Briefcase, allowing Nexus to pin Danielson. There’s a tangent coming right about now: I believe that Miz will be the first Money in the Bank winner to not end up as a world champion after cashing in the briefcase. The way it’s been built up, it feels like no matter when he cashes it in, he’s going to lose. Either that, or someone’s going to take it away from him. Anyway, after Danielson’s untimely departure, Cena was left in a 2-on-1 situation against Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel. They proceeded to tear up the padding outside the ring and DDT Cena on the concrete, which honestly should have caused a disqualification, but maybe that’s just my opinion. Now, if you thought Big Show’s healing factor was impressive earlier in the evening, it’s nothing compared to Cena’s. Not three minutes after being rammed head-first into concrete, he manages to avoid Gabriel’s 450 Splash and pin him, then lock Barrett in the STFU and win the match. Yes, it’s silly, and it really makes it more difficult to suspend my disbelief in regards to these matches, but it was the only way the match could have reasonably ended. Well, that, or after Cena pinned Gabriel, Barrett charged in, hit his finisher, and ended the night with Nexus winning. But that was not the case, and Team WWE pulled off the win. I have to give Matt Striker for sticking up for Bryan Danielson throughout Michael “Douchebag of the Year” Cole’s relentless Dragon-bashing. I really hope we get a Cole vs. Danielson match at some point so Danielson can kick Cole’s head off. I don’t believe Nexus is done by any means, but a few of them definitely do not deserve a spot on Raw just yet. Or at all *COUGH*Otunga*COUGH*

So Summerslam is over. How was it? Overall, it was decent. Nothing super-special save the return of both The Undertaker and Bryan Danielson. Not a bad show by any means, but it’s probably not worth purchasing. I’d recommend a rental at least.

And with that, I’m ending this post a little early. But don’t despair, because I’ll be back with my epic 100th post of pure awesome. So stay tuned, fans! And remember to stay awesome.

Since I want to make my 100th post special, I’m merging my Summerslam picks and results into a two-part post. I can do that. It’s my site, after all.

It’s been about ten days since last I wrote anything at all here, and even longer since I wrote something of substance. A lot has happened since then. I’d like to address the death of Lance Cade before I move on. Cade’s story is yet another example of the wrestler who was overworked, got addicted to painkillers, and ultimately lost his life far too early. Cade was 29. That’s entering a very uncomfortable age for death. You just don’t expect someone to die at 29 of heart failure. But an addiction to painkillers will do that. It’s a very sad moment, and I wish his family well.

I’d also like to briefly discuss the last couple of weeks of NXT. After Eli Cottonwood was (thankfully) eliminated a couple of weeks ago, we had what I would have to consider the worst segment in the last five years. The “kissing contest” was an utter debacle, and an embarrassing moment for all parties involved. You had the six remaining rookies being forced to kiss an overweight, unattractive woman with what appeared to be herpes right on her mouth (it was probably make-up, but still…). The only person who got even slightly lucky was Low Ki, who got a kiss from Layla before having to kiss the hideous monstrosity known as Marguerite. Also, during this segment, I lost all respect for Joe Hennig thanks to his licking Marguerite all over her face. It was beyond disgusting. And this segment went on for nearly TWENTY MINUTES! Fully a third of the entire episode was dedicated to this nightmare. It drove me to the brink of quitting watching WWE programming altogether (and I very nearly did thanks to a match on Smackdown a few days later). We then had some arbitrary matches that could have used about five minutes extra each, which would have been easily provided had they not done that horrendous kissing contest segment. Then, this week, we have a pretty good six-man tag match, another Miz vs. Morrison match, and Lucky Cannon was thankfully eliminated from the competition. What I don’t understand is this: why can’t we have more good matches like the six-man match we got this past Tuesday? There is no reason whatsoever not to showcase the talent that these men have. How are we supposed to gain any sort of idea as to how well they’ll perform on Raw or Smackdown when all we’re given is a three-minute rush job of a match every week? I would much prefer to see two or three quality matches every week that take up 50 minutes of air time (entrances and exits included), and the last 10 minutes of the show dedicated to the pros talking about the matches. Simple formula, and it would be a hell of a lot more entertaining than the idiotic challenges these guys have to go through every week.

Not that it’s going to matter too much, since it seems like WWE wants to end this season of NXT as quickly as possible, so they can get a third season of NXT out and done before Smackdown moves to SyFy in October. So there will be two eliminations next week. Who’s going home this time? I’m betting it’ll be Alex Riley and Percy Watson. Why? Well, Riley’s a heel, and nobody votes for the heels. Also, I’ve yet to see any sort of good in-ring work out of Riley. He’s basically the same character as The Miz, only with a football flair to him. All talk, no skill to back it up. Watson has been slipping down the ranks ever since the first poll, and I think the fans are growing tired of him. Lucky Cannon was getting tremendous amounts of X-Pac heat, which is why he was voted off, I’m sure. The crowd does not enjoy being pandered to, sir. It makes you seem pathetic. Anyway, I think the last three will be Low Ki, Joe Hennig, and Husky Harris/Duke Rotunda. Rotunda has been gaining tons of momentum, and looks more and more like he could be a great new face for the company. Hennig has all the in-ring tools, but needs to work on his talking. And Low Ki/Kaval is just plain awesome. I think that with the fan voting actually mattering (supposedly), that Low Ki will end up winning this competition, which I’m sure Vince won’t be too thrilled about. But it’s going to happen. If you give the fans a voice, then the IWC smarks will come out of the woodwork and help their favorite guys along to victory. I do every week. I always vote for Kaval.

Now, before I move on to picks, I’d like to talk very briefly about the Intercontinental Championship match on Smackdown eight days ago. More specifically, about how the referees are apparently not bothering the read the rules before calling a match. When someone not involved in the match gets on the ring apron, his first job is to clear said person off the apron. And if someone enters the ring and starts yelling at the ref, he has the ability to toss said person out or even call the match a no-contest. And if said person is still on or in the ring when a pin is made, the first priority is clearning said person off the ring. None of that happened during the Kofi Kingston/Dolph Ziggler match last week. This is what made me seriously consider quitting WWE programming altogether. I had a speech all worked up about how Summerslam would be the last WWE show I watched, simply because I wanted to get that done so I could watch promotions that weren’t run by complete idiots. But I had a change of heart, and I’ll continue watching, if only to keep you, the reader, entertained with my endless ranting about how stupid WWE is and how awesome indy promotions are (Chikara! Woo!). Anyway, it was a foolish move by the referee, and I think that they all need to take a refresher course in the rules. Also, how obvious is it that both the United States and Intercontinental championships have become Television championships? Sure, the IC Title is being defended at Summerslam, but the last six US Title changes have all been on Raw, and the IC Title was basically being passed around with complete disregard on Raw back in 2008. Whatever. The titles have no prestige left.

Okay, now that I’ve spent 1100 words talking about subjects not related to the title of this post, let’s get started with Summerslam picks!

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

I don’t think this match is going to happen, as Tiffany has been suspended because of an incident at a San Jose hotel involving her husband, Drew McIntyre. Yeah, who didn’t see this coming? Anyway, this probably won’t take place, but thanks to the idiotic storyline with the perfectly split-in-half Women’s Championship, I doubt anyone is going to take this away from LayCool for a while.

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

While I am happy to see Melina back, she looks a little worse for wear. I hate to be so crude, but it’s just my opinion. She’s actually starting to look a little like Chyna, at least in the facial area. This is unfortunate. Anyway, Alicia has been a decent placeholder for this pointless title, but Melina is here to take the title back. Melina wins and becomes the NEW Diva’s Champion!

3-on-1 Handicap Match – The Straight Edge Society (CM Punk, Luke Gallows, Joseph Mercury) vs. The Big Show

Apparently, despite a broken hand, Show is perfectly capable of chokeslamming people and punching their heads off. Ah, well. If the SES wants to stay together at all, they need to win this match. We’ve seen the group starting to splinter, and this would be awful for Gallows and Mercury, as they need this group in order to keep their heads above the deadly waters of the WWE. Mercury looks like a weird alien with his head shaved, and I think he needs to grow his hair out in order to be taken seriously by anybody. Gallows is basically on borrowed time, and unless he makes a huge impact in the next few weeks, he may be gone from the company. Punk will be fine, as will Serena. And Show can take a loss right now, as he’s moved from the main event back to the mid-card. With Punk’s arm healed, I think this match is a lock. The Straight Edge Society wins, and destroys the Big Show in the process.

Intercontinental Championship – Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Kofi Kingston

You’ve heard my thoughts on the ugliness that was the title change last week on Smackdown. I honestly don’t think Ziggler needs a heat magnet like Vickie Guerrero by his side. I think he can create enough heat by himself if he was ever given promo time. He got tons of heat as Nicky on the Spirit Squad, but that was mostly because people hated the gimmick. I kind of loved it, but that was just me, I guess. Anyway, Ziggler just won the title, and Kofi is finally showing that rage that he showed last year in his feud with Randy Orton. Oh, I need to address something very quickly: to Todd Grisham, please stop being a complete moron and try to remember things that happened more than six months ago, Love, Rantables. Seriously, he keeps referring to Kofi’s rage as “The first time we’ve ever seen Kofi like this!” Does no one remember Kofi vs. Orton? I do. It’s why I keep picking Kofi to win matches like the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank. He’s shown that he can move up to the main event easily, but thanks to Mr. Push-Stopper himself, Randy Orton, Kingston was prevented from moving up the ladder. Incidentally, the same thing happened to Ziggler last year, when Rey Mysterio apparently refused to drop the Intercontinental Title to Ziggler for some reason. Well, I think this will be Kofi’s graduation from mid-card hell to the main event. Dolph Ziggler wins and retains the Intercontinental Championship, but Kofi ends up looking better and moves to the main event.

World Heavyweight Championship – Kane (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

Kane’s character has been fantastic over the last month. Though it’s tough at times to remember that he’s talking about wrestling. If his character was in, say, a movie, I’d be much more interested. He cuts a very dramatic promo, but the drama is shattered when he starts talking about wrestling. It’s weird. Anyway, Rey had his three week title run, and it’s time to let somebody else move up to the main event (see previous match). Kane has all the momentum, which normally spells disaster for the champion, but in this case, I think it will lead up to an Undertaker vs. Kane match at some point. Should be pretty epic. Anyway, Kane wins and retains the World Heavyweight Championship.

WWE Championship – Sheamus (c) vs. Randy Orton

Snore. We already had this match six months ago at the Royal Rumble. Sheamus is still boring, and I still don’t like Orton. I’ve never liked him. Not his character, and not the person. But I’d rather have Orton as champion than Sheamus. It’s the lesser of two evils right now. Sheamus is a horrendous wrestler, and a travesty of a champion. He needs to go away as soon as possible. But we know that Vince gets an erection around bodybuilders, and Sheamus has that porcelain Irish skin that Vince apparently loves so much, so he’ll be around for a while yet, unfortunately. Still, it would be better for the fans if Orton won, as Sheamus is intolerable. Randy Orton wins to become the NEW WWE Champion. Though I’d much prefer somebody else as the champion…

7-on-7 Tag Team Elimination Match – Team WWE (John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, R-Truth, Bret Hart, and ???) vs. The Nexus (Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield, and Darren Young)

We’re getting teased that The Miz is going to be the 7th member of Team WWE, but I’m almost 100% sure that this won’t happen. You know what I think WILL happen, though? Miz refuses to join Team WWE, and John Cena says that it’s fine, because he knew Miz would refuse, so he went out and found a suitable replacement…

Bryan Danielson.

Yes, you heard me right. Danielson will make his return to WWE at Summerslam. I think it’s going to be the same sort of deal that Matt Hardy had back in 2005, where he’ll still get to work his indy dates but show up on Raw every once in a while to wreak havoc on the roster. Danielson will arrive at Summerslam and proceed to destroy the Nexus, as payback for them “destroying” him and putting him out of the company. With this seventh member, I think it’s a complete lock that Team WWE wins, brings some order back to Raw, and sends several of the Nexus back to FCW.

If Danielson is not the seventh member of Team WWE, I have no idea what will happen. It certainly won’t be as entertaining, in my eyes.

So that’s it for me for now. I’ll be back in a couple of days with Summerslam results. And stay tuned for my epic 100th post spectacular! It’s going to be a doozy, so stay tuned! Also, prepare for more DVD reviews. I purchased the two most recent Chikara shows, and I’m nearly finished with the most recent one, Chikarasaurus Rex. So I’ll probably start reviewing those shows as a nice alternative to the constant lambasting of WWE. Give this blog some positivity. So, until next time, stay awesome everyone!

I apologize for the lack of writing over the past couple of weeks. I had an epiphany in regards to my 100th post/column/what have you, and as a result, it’s going to be about a thousand times more awesome than originally planned. However, it’s going to take a while to put together, so I’ll likely not be updating at all except to make Summerslam picks next week sometime. But believe you me, Rantables #100 is going to be a great read. At least, that’s my hope. In the meantime, why not stop by Smart Mark Video’s website and purchase some Chikara DVDs? I highly recommend King of Trios 2010 if you’re unfamiliar with the product.

See you all next week with Summerslam picks!