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Category Archives: Top 5/Top 10 Lsits

After watching ECW yesterday (thank science for the DVR!), I felt it was necessary to write this.  I’m sure everyone has their opinions on who they think should be pushed and who should be buried, who should rise to the top of the food chain and who should get future endeavored.  Well, hot on the heels of a somewhat subpar ECW (save the title match, which was garbage wrestling at it’s finest), and the recent firing of Brian Kendrick, I am here to present to you…

The Top 5 WWE Wrestlers I Think Should Be Released Immediately, If Not Sooner!

#5 – Ricky Ortiz.  When he first started on ECW, I actually thought he had a lot of potential.  He was a big guy, but he had some pretty cool moves he could pull off, including a wicked dropkick.  But after his first loss to Jack Swagger, he kind of lost all momentum and his push was halted entirely.  He toiled in the basement of ECW for a while, only to be drafted to Smackdown via the Supplemental Draft.  He then proceeded to stay in the basement, but instead of working his way out, he adopted a lame “motivational speaker” heel gimmick, lost the pants, and seemed to get worse in the ring somehow.  The spark I saw in his first few matches was gone, and any cool moves he’d used before were gone.  So now that he’s basically disappeared from television altogether, it’s probably time for Ortiz to look for other positions of employment.

#4 – Tyler Reks. I don’t normally pass judgment on a wrestler so quickly, but this guy has been a huge disappointment.  He LOST his first two matches, which is never a good sign, and those showings were weak at best.  But I’m being harsh here, and they were downright awful.  The guy lacks charisma, his in-ring skills are pretty pathetic, and I HATE surfers.  I’m sure at some point someone saw something in him, as he is (as far as I know) the current FCW Champion.  But he’s probably not as restricted in developmental as he is in ECW.  Still, his (I think) three matches have been subpar at best, and I don’t see him getting any better in either the short-term or the long run.  So it’s probably time to say bye to Tyler.

#3 – Ezekiel Jackson. Of all the current WWE employees, I would find it most difficult to believe Ezekiel is championship material.  Sure, he’s only had a handful of matches, but they’ve mostly been squashes, and he still manages to look lost during those.  The guy is greener than the rolling hills of England, and looks to have about as much potential for improvement as George W. Bush has of saying something intelligent.  He’s just another one of those muscleheads who’s getting a push because of his size and stature.  He reminds me a lot of Ahmed Johnson, actually.  Here’s hoping that Ezekiel follows suit and gets released soon after his debut.

Now, of the remaining two picks, I could not possibly decide which one I wanted more to be released, so I’m going to put these two men in a tie for the #1 Wrestler I Think Should Be Released Immediately, If Not Sooner!

Jack Swagger and Mike Knox

By now I’m sure you’re tired of me railing on Swagger.  But it bears constant repetition that this guy does not have what it takes to be a believable WWE superstar.  Let’s head back to Raw this past Monday.  I’ll give you two examples as to why he should be fired now.  First off, during his match with Evan Bourne, Swagger hit a kick while Bourne was on his knees that looked like an actual kick directly to the face.  It was almost as though there was some malice and forethought involved in that kick.  I’m betting Swagger was in a pissy mood ever since he lost to Bourne last week.  And I’m not talking about his character.  I’m talking about the person.  Jake Hager.  I think he’s expecting to be a future WWE Champion, and soon at that.  But he just doesn’t have the in-ring talent, the charisma, or the psychology for me to ever consider him a good, let alone a great, WWE superstar.  The second incident happened at the end of the show, when John Cena tossed Dr. Ken over the top rope and into a crowd of heels waiting to catch him.  Jack Swagger is the reason Dr. Ken landed very awkwardly right on the back of his head.  If you go back and watch, you’ll notice that Swagger got hit with Ken’s body, but instead of falling backwards onto the ground, like the other two or three guys did, Swagger let Ken’s body bounce off of him, then Swagger proceeded to fall off in another direction, leaving Ken’s head exposed and vulnerable.  And when the rest of the guys catching Ken fell really far back, Ken’s head landed on that little rubber strip between the steel entrance ramp and the padding.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Ken received a minor concussion from that.  And that’s just one evening, ladies and gentlemen.  Swagger is a danger to other performers.  He seems to hold real life grudges against the WWE characters he faces in the ring, and that’s not healthy.  He could cause more accidental injuries to other people than anyone else in the company.  And that is why he should be released.

And Mike Knox…well, you only have to look at his face to know why he needs to be fired.  Well, there’s that, and there’s his fat body, his prior steroid use, his lack of in-ring skills, his pathetic excuse for charisma, and his use of Swagger Tactics.  The only positives about Knox are his finisher and the hilarious way he flops around the ring when he’s facing a larger opponent, which isn’t very often.

So I suppose when I think about it, there really isn’t much of a tie between these two guys.  Knox is #2, and Swagger is, by far and away #1.

Well, there you have it.  I welcome any comments, as always.  I’ll probably be back over the weekend with recaps of Superstars and Smackdown.  See you then!

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I haven’t written here in a while, and I have yet to complete watching Smackdown, so instead of commenting on that, I’m going to give you wonderful people a random Top 5 List, because I know you’ve all been waiting for me to write something for the past six days.  Here are my Top 5 Oddest Possible Tag Teams With Actual Potential

5. Santino Marella and Festus – two comedy wrestlers put together.  Why not?  Both of their respective careers are circling the drain at the moment.  Why not give them a kick in the pants and bring a little fun to the tag team division?  It’s a little stale as of late.  There hasn’t been a new tag team introduced since The Hart Dynasty, and that was months ago.  And especially with the breakup of Primo and Carlito, a new team needs to step up.  And why not put these two together?  And if it doesn’t work out, at least you could make Santino Festus’ manager.  It’s be great.  Trust me.

4. Finlay and Kane – this would require a Finlay heel turn, which he is in desperate need of.  He really needs to get rid of that Hornswoggle music and go back to his original theme.  Anyway, I think these two would be a true dynamic duo.  Both guys’ singles’ careers are flat at best right now, and since we’re looking for entertainment, why not put two of the savviest vets in the company together?  Finlay and Kane know damn well how to work matches, and both are fairly well established tag team wrestlers, Kane in particular.  So why not stick them in the same boat and have them tear through the Smackdown roster?  It’ll be fun!

3. Vladimir Kozlov and William Regal – Yes, I know these guys teamed together already.  But that was one time, and we haven’t seen Regal on ECW since.  I loved these two together.  Both are vicious, brutal athletes and can take their opponents to the limit any time they want.  Regal works over opponents with brawling and counter holds, and Kozlov brings the pain with strikes and sambo moves.  It’s a great combination.  Plus, they’d be perfect tweeners with Regal saying one thing and Kozlov misinterpreting it, so they get a laugh out of the audience.  I think it’d work well.

2. R-Truth and The Great Khali – Again, these two have teamed before.  And I thought it was hilarious when they did.  But they somehow actually worked as a team, which I loved even more.  Like everyone else on this list so far, these two have dwindling singles careers at the moment.  So why not add to the insanity of this new tag team division by putting one hell of an athlete and R-Truth in a tag team?  All kidding aside, Truth’s got natural charisma, and Khali…well, he sure is big.  I’d love to see these two have some fun both inside and outside the ring, and I bet the audiences would eat it up.

And the #1 Oddest Possible Tag Team With Actual Potential is…

Evan Bourne and Mark Henry! You read it right.  Now, I realize that both of these guys are actually on the rise on Raw right now, but maybe once their singles careers cool off a bit, they’d form a tag team of pure awesome.  Some of you may have noticed that most of these teams have a large size disparity between the two members.  That’s because, for some ungodly reason, that formula works really well.  The smaller guy does his flippy-do stuff, gets caught with a big move, and spends the next 10 minutes getting a royal beatdown until he makes the hot tag to his burly counterpart, who cleans house and sets up the win.  It works wonders even today.  And these two are the biggest contrast of them all.  You’ve got one of the best overall performers in Bourne, who’s just ridiculously over with the crowd, and then you’ve got Henry, probably the best big man in the company today.  Put them together and what do you have?  A recipe for success, that’s what you’ve got.  I could see these two winning titles together.  I actually could.

So that’s my contribution for today.  Like my picks?  Think I’m an idiot?  Leave a comment.  I always respond.  I’ll be back again in a few days with…something…I don’t really know yet.  But you’ll be the first to know once I figure it out!

I haven’t done a Top 10 list in a long time, so it’s probably high time for one, but I wanted to discuss the new look and feel of ECW now that its entire main event roster save Tommy Dreamer and Christian have moved to different brands.

I’ve been intrigued about WWE signing a Japanese talent ever since I first heard about it last year.  His real name is Naofumi Yamamoto, but his ECW name is Yoshi Tatsu.  Now, I’ve never actually seen him wrestle anywhere else, since I’m only starting to scratch the surface of both indy and international wrestling, but the guy’s definitely got the look to be a star.  And if it’s true what Matt Striker said, about Yamamoto…I mean Tatsu…being a strong-style wrestler, and WWE allows him to perform strong-style, we could see a very dynamic shift in ECW.  His first match, while short, did make an impact against the apparently now goofy heel Shelton Benjamin.  Tatsu’s kick looked stiff, and Shelton sold his ass off for that one move.  I’d expect Shelton’s moved into the “gatekeeper” role on ECW.  He’ll be the guy who introduces new talent to the audience and puts them over.  I hope these two have a couple of actual matches in the coming weeks, because I’d really like to see what Tatsu’s got to offer.  If he shows good in-ring skills, he won’t need a mic, because he’ll let his athleticism do the talking.  I look forward to seeing what he’s got to show.

Abraham Washington.  Silly name, silly gimmick, not as good of a talker as Striker and Matthews hyped him up to be.  His monologue and dialogue with the Bella Twins felt very forced (but that could also result from the Bellas being pretty awful on the mic), especially his little interjections.  He’s supposedly been mostly filling a manager role in FCW, so it remains to be seen whether or not he ends up managing someone (or someones).  There are times when I miss the old days of one manager having a stable of wrestlers, like Bobby Heenan, or Slick, or Sensational Sherri.  Could Washington be the next heel stable manager?  Probably not, but it would be nice to have one again after so many years without one.

Sheamus (last name O’Shaunessy) reminds me a lot of Jack Swagger.  Which is a bad thing, in my humble opinion.  Swagger’s yet to learn even the basics of psychology, and now he’s on Raw.  So is Sheamus the next big oaf who doesn’t sell well and engages in Swagger Tactics?  I hope not.  I know he’s going to be in quite a few squash matches, like every big burly wrestler goes through.  I at least hope he shows me something new and exciting that other muscleheads are so prone to doing.  At least he has shown me that a frighteningly pale wrestler can make it onto TV.  Seirously, he makes Finlay look like Mark Henry.  It’s ridiculous.  The only other guy I can think of who was that pale was Kevin Thorn, and that was because he was saddled with a vampire gimmick.

Tyler Reks is the current FCW champion, so it’s only logical to put him on two brands.  He’s got a California surfer gimmick, and looks to have been placed into a mini-feud with Zack Ryder over which state has the best surfing.  Silly, I know, but I’ve heard Reks’ name bounded around a bit, and we get to see him in action on Superstars tonight, so I look forward to that.

And as far as the main event talent is concerned, it’s pretty obvious at this point that William Regal and Vladimir Kozlov are taking Jack Swagger and Mark Henry’s places.  A lot of people don’t like Kozlov, but I really enjoy his in-ring work.  He’s a little sloppy at times, but he’s got enough raw talent to mostly overcome it.  And if he’s paired with Regal for any amount of time, he’s going to learn a lot from probably one of my favorite all-time wrestlers.  It’ll do Kozlov a world of good to work with the rest of the main event-level talent.

Now, I think it’s time for a slightly different Top 10 list.  I’ve been thinking about this one for a while, and I’ll be looking at the WWE roster to make my final decisions.  So, without further ado, here is the

Top 10 Entrance Music Tracks (in no particular order)

John Morrison – Being a big Jimi Hendrix fan, I love that WWE got a Hendrix tribute band to perform Morrison’s track.  And it fits perfectly with Morrison’s persona/gimmick.  Seeing as how he’s essentially playing a more buff Jim Morrison, it stands to contention that it’s a perfect fit tow have a 60’s rock icon have another 60’s rock icon play his entrance music.  And with Morrison as a face now, the song fits in even better as it has a more positive sound to it.  This song is so awesome I’ve put it on my MP3 player.  I also have “Biscuits and Gravy” on there, but more for humor purposes than it being a great song.

CM Punk – Who remembers Punk’s song being Randy Orton’s theme for one day?  Then it being a PPV song?  Anyone?  Well, anyway, it didn’t fit with Orton’s personality (obviously), but it fits perfectly with Punk.  Finding a track that works well with the personality/gimmick of the wrestler being introduced is actually a key factor in fan reaction to said wrestler.  Which is why I think Gail Kim and Naofumi…I mean Yoshi Tatsu get such lukewarm reactions.  Because their music sucks hard.  But Punk’s is perfect for him.  Not only is the lead singer of Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones, also straight-edge, but the song’s got that edge that Punk’s got.  And even if you hate Punk now, there’s still that little inherent part of you that automatically cheers when you hear his music.

Christian – I know his current music is kind of a derivative of his last track when he was employed by WWE, but it still fits him very well.  Christian’s got a pretty rockin’ tune to back him up, which is important considering his intensity in the ring.  Simple as that.

Randy Orton – The first time I heard those lyrics, I was afraid they were going to turn Orton into a schitzophrenic.  “I hear voices in my head.  They counsel me, they understand, they talk to me.”  Yeesh…talk about foreboding.  But at least he’s found a song that works well with his personality.  The song itself is fairly slow and quiet-ish, but has moments of anger and volume, much like Orton himself.  It’s also a very intense track, much like Orton can be when provoked.  An excellent fit for the WWE Champion.

Batista – Every time I hear that opening guitar riff, I get excited.  Then I remember who’s music it is.  I’m not a Batista fan at all, but for some reason, that riff gets me excited that Batista’s entering the arena.  It’s also another perfect fit for the Animal, as it’s an incredibly intense opening.  But it also has subdued moments, which Batista has on occasion.  At least it shows some character development.  I don’t expect Batista has much time left to wrestle, so we’re probably not going to get to listen to this track much longer.  So enjoy it while you can.

Evan Bourne – One of only two tracks on this Top 10 list without a singer, but it fits Bourne to a T.  The music is fast-paced and a little frantic, which is exactly like Bourne’s in-ring style.  Oh, of course I forgot the opening, which sounds something like an air-traffic controller, which also plays into his talents as one of the best high-flyers in the company.  Every time you hear that blazing guitar riff, you know you’re in for a treat, because you get Evan Bourne in a match, and any match with him in it is going to be a damn good one.

Dolph Ziggler – Not so much for the song itself, but because it has the line, “I am perfection,” in it.  I do believe I was the first person to notice similarities between Ziggler and the late Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig.  So I find it as no coincidence that, not only is the word “perfection” in the first three words of his music, but JR continually references Hennig during Ziggler’s matches.  I’d like to think I had a little credit in both of those occurrences.  Like Bourne, when you hear those three words, you know you’re going to get a damn good match, even against guys like The Great Khali.

Santino Marella – Where else are you going to get what sounds like an Italian tenor singing a wrestling theme song?  Especially with electric guitars?  This song screams “AWESOME,” and it fits in perfectly with Marella, since both are actually a little silly.  I mean, come on…an Italian opera singer singing over electric guitars?  That’s hilarious AND awesome.  And Marella is one of the funniest men to ever step foot in a WWE ring.  And since Colt Cabana wasn’t allowed to ever show off his comedy skills, Marella’s last few matches have had some pretty good comedy spots.  I hope we get to see more of him as an actual wrestler, so we can witness more miracle victories and escape reality for just a little while longer.

Edge – How could I not put in the frantic song of the Rated R Superstar?  It fits his persona beyond perfectly (yes, it’s possible to do that), and it’s intense and crazy rock.  For a guy like Edge, long blond hair, plenty of tattoos, it’s a great fit.  Edge has had a lot of theme songs over the years, and I think this is the best one he’s had.  His very first one was also a great fit, but that was back when he was a pseudo-vampire and he had that weird techno/nightclub feel.  But now that he’s batshit crazy, this song fits him wonderfully.

The Hart Dynasty – You know when you hear that guitar squeal, something special is about to happen.  And while the rest of the song is kind of boring and derivative, that opening couple of seconds is enough to make me excited that I get to see three of the (possibly) most important young wrestlers in WWE come down to the ring.  If only Teddy Hart hadn’t screwed himself by being an idiot, the Hart Dynasty could have been one of the greatest stables of all time.  As it stands, now, it’s merely the best stable currently in WWE.

And I wanted to put one honorable mention, because I love the irony:

Jack Swagger – I love that a country boy from Oklahoma has his theme song sung by one of the most liberal rock groups of all time in Rage Against the Machine.  I also enjoy Rage Against the Machine, so there’s a personal bias there.

So there you have it.  My Top 10 Entrance Music Tracks.  If you feel the need to comment, by all means do.  I enjoy getting your comments, so don’t be bashful.  And if you’ve got an argument in there, I have no problems arguing back.  Such is the nature of the Internet.  Until next time…

I know, i know, I didn’t end up sticking to the plan of doing a Top 5 list every day.  So I’m going to just do one today and one tomorrow and call it a success.  Today’s list also concerns the PPV Backlash, which will take place tomorrow.  I’ll do the top 5 first, followed by the picks.  They’ll intertwine a bit, as you’ll see.

Here are the Top 5 Things WWE Better Not Do At Backlash:

5. Move one of the matches to a pre-show match – When you advertise a match for a PPV, people buying the show expect to see the match.  Otherwise, they feel they got even more ripped off than they normally do when they pay the outrageous fees for a WWE PPV.  There was a lot of backlash (pun very much intended) over the MizMo/Colons match being moved to the pre-show, so WWE would be wise to not make the same mistake again.  This card is already light with six matches, so taking one away would not leave much wrestling.  We need to see every match on the card, even if they do seem rather thrown together at the last minute.

4. Santino Marella actually kissing the Great Khali – WWE has been working very diligently to get their TV rating to PG over the last few months, so an on-air man-man kiss would be very risky to a group attempting to clean up their image.  Now don’t misunderstand me.  I’m completely pro-gay all the way.  I’m not gay, but I just don’t see any reason to oppress them.  Anyway, having this actually go down would doom both Santino and Khali to the bottom of the comedy barrel.  This is almost as bad as Mae Young giving birth to a human hand (or so I’ve heard).  Let’s hope Santina runs away so Khali can make out with Beth Phoenix instead.

3. Matt Hardy losing to Jeff Hardy – If WWE is seriously going to try to push Matt Hardy as a main event heel, which it looks like they’re gearing up to do, he cannot lose this match.  He’s on a roll, winning the last three matches against his brother.  Losing now would destroy his momentum and nobody would believe that he’s a serious title contender.  I don’t like how this feud has turned into the “let’s put Matt Hardy over despite the fact that everybody hates him as a heel, and not in the way you’re supposed to hate a heel, but in that he’s not a good heel” show.  Jeff is the one who truly deserves the push.  He held the WWE title for six weeks.  Matt held the ECW title for much longer, over four months.  But if WWE is going to stick with the Matt Hardy push, they’d better not derail his momentum.

2. Ricky Steamboat beating Chris Jericho – This is very similar to #3, only I think much more is riding on the line, at least for Jericho.  He’s moving to a brand where he’s never been on since the brand extension (at least to my knowledge), and losing to Steamboat, while it would please the crowd endlessly, would probably bury Jericho more than most would imagine.  He’s riding a huge wave of momentum after his win at WM 25 over three legends.  If he wants to stay in the spotlight, he needs to win tomorrow night.  I’m expecting a hell of a battle, but Jericho needs the win a lot more.

1. Have every world champion retain his title – No less than one title needs to change hands on Sunday.  In fact, you’ll see in my picks exactly how many titles should change hands.  If HHH, Cena, and Swagger all retain, we’ve got serious problems heading into the weeks following the Draft.  I’ll outline a possible miracle booking sequence for Backlash, but it likely won’t happen.  My point here is that someone needs to lose his title tomorrow, and I’ll tell you who in my picks, which will start right now.

Kane vs. CM Punk – Talk about thrown together at the last minute.  These guys are actually having a decent mini-feud.  They have good chemistry and they manage to work around the size difference.  This will be short and sweet, probably 5-7 minutes, which is awkward seeing as how there are six matches on the card.  As far as a winner, I’ll go with CM Punk since he’s got more to gain and more to lose.  Potentially a lot more to gain if my miracle prediction goes according to plan.

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat – You probably have figured out my pick based on the #2 entry in my Top 5 today.  Chris Jericho needs the win to maintain his status as a dangerous heel on Smackdown.  Steamboat has nothing to gain from this match.  He’s likely done after this, and what better way to end a careerthan by putting someone else over who doesn’t necessarily need the push?  Yes, that was sarcasm.  Steamboat had his moment of glory the night after WM25.  Jericho needs to win to stay noticed.  So he’s going to win.

Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy “I Quit” Match – Again, as outlined earlier, if WWE is really going to push Matt as a main eventer on Raw, he has to win against his brother.  I can’t honestly fathom Jeff saying “I Quit” into a microphone, but then again, I never envisioned Rey Mysterio saying it, and he certainly did in that great match with Chavo a couple of years back.  Seeing Jeff Hardy say “I Quit” is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like seeing the Undertaker tap out to a submission.  Matt Hardy picks up the win and moves on the bigger and better things on Raw, while Jeff probably gets screwed out of another title run which he so very much deserves.

ECW Championship – Jack Swagger vs. Christian – I’m calling it now: if Christian does not win at Backlash, his WWE career is officially over.  He’ll drop back to Midcardlandia, where people like Jimmy Yang, William Regal, and Ron Killings live year-round.  He’s making more money to be a loser.  Personally, I’d take less money to be a champion than to take more money and be an unknown.  I recently began watching my first real ROH show, Punk: The Final Chapter, and the first segment was James Gibson (Jamie Noble to you WWE fans out there), and it was his first night as ROH World Champion.  And I thought to myself, I wonder if he enjoys being fodder for undeserving shlubs like Batista.  He seriously looked like he was on top of the world.  And I respect him even more after seeing that segment.  So, obviously, my pick for this match is for Christian to FINALLY hold some gold around his oh-so-deserved waist.  This is the one title that HAS to change at Backlash.

World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match – John Cena vs. Edge – I’m not tired of their feud.  But all good things must come to an end (as much as I don’t actually believe in that statement).  We’ve already seen that a timely Con-Chair-To will knock anyone out for a ten count.  We’ve also seen Cena in some great Last Man Standing matches, especially his match against Umaga a couple of years ago.  Cena and Edge are two of the toughest, most resilient, best conditioned wrestlers in the WWE, and they can have a spectacular match on Sunday.  Let’s hope that WWE gives them plenty of time to work their magic one last time.  If Cena wins, we have a serious problem on our hands.  We’d have two world champions on Raw and nothing on Smackdown.  So, the way I see it, two things can happen.  Either Edge wins his ninth world title, or (and here’s where the great booking comes into play) Cena retains after a brutal, hellish match that he just barely wins, and we hear Punk’s music blast out the speakers as he races to the ring, Cena stumbling around, and Punk uses his Money in the Bank briefcase to take the title away from Cena, bringing the world title back to Smackdown AND giving Punk a much-needed heel turn.  The booking is great, in my opinion.  I’d hope for the latter to happen, but probably the former will happen.  And if it doesn’t, then Smackdown is fucked.

WWE Championship Six-Man Tag Team Match – HHH, Batista, and Shane McMahon vs. Legacy – Edge says that Backlash will be the final nail in the coffin for their rivalry.  Let’s hope this match is the same for the HHH/Orton feud.  I’ve said it before on here, the way this has been booked over the past two weeks, there’s virtually no doubt in my mind that either Batista or Shane will turn on HHH and cost him the title, leading to a feud between the two.  More than likely it will be Batista, and then we can have ourselves a HHH/Batista feud (sarcastic yay).  And just now, as I was thinking about Punk running in and winning the WHC if Cena retains, I’ll say if HHH retains, the same thing will happen.  Unless Punk DOES win the World Heavyweight title.  I’ll just stick with the original prediction and say that Randy Orton wins the title.  I’m not particularly looking forward to another Orton title reign, but it’s probably going to happen.

Sidenote: I love how WWE has these double-standards when it comes to their talent.  It’s as though the people they WANT to succeed will succeed even if they screw around in real life, whereas people they’re not big on will be overly scrutinized and dropped at a moment’s notice if they do something even remotely suspicious.  Let’s take Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy.  Orton had a series of fairly well-known tirades and real life issues back a couple of years ago, even trashing an entire hotel room in Germany during one of their European tours (I think it was Germany).  WWE sends him home, then brings him back the following week and pushes him harder than ever.  Jeff Hardy, on the other hand, tries his hardest to stay on the good side of the backstage politicians, makes one mistake, and gets his main event-level push yanked out from under him.  Orton gets lengthy title reigns.  Hardy gets ONE title reign for six weeks that ends when his brother knocks him out.  It isn’t fair.  Jeff Hardy should have a long reign as champion to make up for all the shit he’s been put through, and Orton needs some time off.  He’s just so grating.

Okay, so if you’ve tabulated my picks correctly, I’m predicting THREE world title changes at Backlash.  I do believe that’s never happened in one night.  Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but to my recollection, since the ECW title was reinstated and all PPV’s became tri-branded, there has never been a night where three new world champions were crowned.  I’ll do some research, but I doubt it’s happened.

With that being said, I’ll be back tomorrow with my last Top 5 list for a while, and if I get a chance to watch it, I’ll give a Backlash recap.  Otherwise, that’ll happen on Monday.  Until then, I’ll keep writing so you keep reading!

I don’t really feel like doing one of these, but I made a promise, so I’m going to stick by it.  I’ll do an easy one so I don’t have to think or type much.  Today’s list is the Top 8 Best Finishers.

8. Mike Knox’s Knox Out – I’m guessing this is the name of the finisher.  Say what you will about Knox (and believe me, I have), but his finisher is cool-looking.  It’s kind of a weird facebuster-type move that’s quick but looks really painful for the guy taking the bump.  Hell, it gave Jamie Noble a stinger when he took it badly.  Knox may likely be on his way out, but his finisher will live on in my memory for at least a couple of days after he’s gone.

7. Tyson Kidd’s Springboard Elbow – While this doesn’t have the impact of the Knox Out, I’m putting it above said move because it’s a truly beautiful move to watch performed.  Kidd jumps to the top rope (the middle of the rope, not the corner as most others do), leaps off it, defies gravity for what feels like much longer than he actually should, and hits the mat (and his opponent) with a resounding thud.  It’s pretty to watch, unlike some of the moves I listed in yesterday’s list.

6. MVP’s Drive-By Kick – This is the kick where he jumps off a kneeling opponent’s outstretched knee and kicks him right in the face.  It’s not the prettiest move, but it looks like it hurts like hell, and that counts for a lot in my book.  Besides, MVP should be on every “Best of” list, because he’s that damned good.

5. Umaga’s Samoan Spike – When properly taken as a bump, this move is one of the most painful and devastating-looking moves in the entire WWE.  A lot of people don’t like it because it seems so simple, I love it for the fact that it IS so simple and effective.  There were a couple of times where Umaga’s opponent would leap into the air and be driven down by the spike, and that looks doubly awesome.  But that’s supposedly not the right way to take the bump, which is probably one of the reasons Colt Cabana was released a couple of months back.  I still love the Spike.

4. CM Punk’s GTS – Again, when properly taken, this looks seriously painful.  I mean, come on!  You’re getting a knee driven straight into your jaw by you falling onto it.  If it wasn’t planned, you could kill a guy doing that.  Plus, it’s impressive because Punk is able to get some pretty big guys up on his shoulders to hit the GTS.  I’ve never seen KENTA use this, but I’d bet it looks even more painful.

3. Jimmy Wang Yang’s Moonsault – I can’t remember the last time I saw this.  I’m pretty sure it’s also one of Christopher Daniels’ moves: the BME (Best Moonsault Ever).  I’d agree with that sentiment.  It’s a shame we don’t get to see this on TV anymore what with Yang’s complete disappearance from Smackdown except for the occasional squash match against some up-and-coming monster heel.  He deserves more respect.

2. Randy Orton’s RKO – Put Orton’s move in the same category as Tyson Kidd’s elbow drop, only Orton’s able to defy gravity using only his legs.  It’s amazing how long he seems to hang there, lying flat in the air.  And when executed properly, it even looks like it hurts like hell.

And the Number 1 Finishing Move is……….

Evan Bourne’s Shooting Star Press!

Did you realy think I’d choose something else?  Sure, it isn’t the hardest hitting move.  I picked it for two reasons: (1) Bourne is one of my favorite current WWE wrestlers, and (2) the SSP (or the Air Bourne as the announcers have dubbed it) is the prettiest goddamn move WWE allows.  It’s truly an epic move that they shouldn’t have banned because Brock Lesnar made an ass of himself a few years back.  The smaller guys can execute it just fine, so don’t deprive us of seeing it.  I remember a couple of weeks ago seeing John Morrison doing one of these, only he dove into a crowd of other wrestlers outside the ring, and that made me giddy.  I also hearken back to Paul London’s days of doing a version of the SSP where he runs on the ring apron and jumps onto an opponent on the outside.  It’s just an awesome move and a sight to behold.

What’s kind of neat is that the show Time Warp on the Discovery Channel did a short session with some wrestlers from CZW (which is getting a surprising amount of attention these days), and one of the moves they showed off was the SSP.  At 1,000 frames per second, it was magic.  If you’ve got cable, try to catch a repeat of this week’s Time Warp, so you can watch the segment with the CZW guys.

Okay, that’s it for me.  I’ll see you tomorrow with another list, and another one after that.  But probably not another one after that.  See you tomorrow.

It’s Day Two of Top 5 Week, and guess what?  I’m not doing a Top 5 again!  This time, I’m doing a Top…hold on, let me count…Top 7 list!  These are likely going to be in no particular order, because all 7 of these are the Worst Finishing Moves!

7. Batista Bomb – Whee, a sitout powerbomb.  Haven’t seen that before as a normal move for several people.  Tommy Dreamer has a similar sitout chokebomb, but he never gets a pinfall victory for that move. Why should big Dave get wins for a less impressive move?

6. FU – Or Attitude Adjustment or whatever it’s called now that WWE ewnt for the PG rating.  It’s just a simple Fireman’s carry into a powerslam.  Kind of like a Death Valley Driver, but with less impact.  Also, John Cena’s other finisher, the STFU (or STF now) isn’t all that impresive, either.  It never looks like Cena’s really wrenching back on his opponent’s neck when he’s got it locked in.  Keep in mind, I’m not a Cena hater.  I just hate his finishers.

5. Sweet Chin Music – I know, you’re probably thinking, “But Sweet Chin Music was created back when finishers were monstly simple maneuvers!”  Well, times change.  When you’ve got awesome finishers like the Shooting Star Pres and the RKO, a superkick just doesn’t seem like a great move anymore.  Sure, it occasionally looks awesome when the opponent sells it really well, but most of the time it’s just unimpressive.

4. Mic Check – A lot of younger generation wrestlers have silly names for their finishers.  Mic Check, Moonlight Drive, Cross Rhodes…this one falls into that category, as well as being a fairly weak-looking finisher.  It’s like a reverse Russian Legsweep, or The Stroke but not quite.  Kennedy should switch back to using the Kenton Bomb, or the Green Bay Plunge.  Those at least showd off some athleticism.  That is, he should use them if he ever returns to the ring…

3. Trouble in Paradise – I love Kofi Kingston.  But he seriously needs a better finisher.  His current finisher looks like a weak Enziguiri, and it looks worse because most of the wrestlers who take the bump always cover the side of their head, so it never looks like an authentic finisher.  It just ends up looking kind of lame.  He needs a finisher that shows off his athleticism while also looking awesome and protecting the other wrestler without it looking so obvious.  Like the Celtic Cross.  Simple, effective, and Finlay’s protecting his opponent’s neck throughout.

2. Reality Check – It’s a knee lift followed by a neckbreaker!  That isn’t a finisher, that’s two regular moves that everyone knows how to do!  Your finisher should be unique to you, something only you use on a regular basis.  It shouldn’t be just two normal everyday moves.  He should use that springboard legdrop he’s used in about four matches.  That one at least looks kind of cool.  If he wants to make a name for himself on Raw, he needs a new finisher.

And the #1 Worst Finishing Move, by far, is…

The Knockout Punch! Seriously, why doesn’t Big Show just punch his opponent in the face in the first five seconds of the match and win every time?  It always seems to knock someone out, so why not just do it at the beginning?  Also, IT’S JUST A STUPID PUNCH!  It doesn’t matter how large you are, a single punch to the head in a wrestling ring should never knock someone out.  It just looks silly.  Show needs to go back to using the Chokeslam or the Showstopper or something that isn’t the most basic of moves.

Okay, moving on to some quick Raw thoughts.  Firstly, my inner mark squealed at the thought of a Jericho-Steamboat match at Backlash.  Now, I’m just hoping that Steamboat doesn’t get himself seriously hurt during this match, because it’s going to be intense as hell.  I’m sure Jericho will try to protect him as best he can, but Steamboat’s 56, and any crazy stunts like that suicide dive he did at WM 25 could spell disaster for him.  Let’s hope they keep it short and sweet.

Chavo gets buried in 15 seconds against Batista.  He’s inching closer to that #1 spot for Most Mismanaged Talent.  Once Christian wins the ECW title on Sunday, Chavo will take the #1 spot and probably hold on to it forever.

Kane-Punk was a decent four minute brawl.  I’m going to make a prediction here: If Cena retains the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash, Punk’s gonna walk out, use his Money in the Bank contract, and win the title, bringing it to Smackdown and turning Punk heel.  He desperately needs to turn, and this would be a great way to do so.

The Santino bit was a touch funny, but not all that much.  I think he’s had his moment in the spotlight, and it’s time for him to step away.  Also, do you honestly think WWE is going to allow a man-on-man kiss on TV?  It just isn’t going to happen.

Melina-Beth was a decent match, and Melina looked really sad that she was leaving Raw.  But she’ll get to feud with Gail Kim and Michelle McCool on Smackdown, so that’ll be entertaining.

Cena-Jericho was a great match, especially the second half.  I hated the ending.  I always hate it when there’s a great match going on and some guy runs in to break it up and cause a DQ finish, even if it was to further a storyline or to make sure both guys get over before their matches at the PPV.  It leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Big Show-Rey…Rey’s last match on Raw, probably for good, and they have him job to the giant?  It’s almost as embarassing as MVP’s loss to Dolph Ziggler last Friday night.  Why couldn’t Rey’s last Raw match have been a competitive, awesome match against…hell, anyone else?  Have him face Brian Kendrick.  That’d be a great match.

HHH-Orton No DQ was okay.  In a strange sense, it sort of echoed their WM25 main event in that it didn’t live up to the hype and it wasn’t the best match on the card.  Also, the major problem that distracted me from the supposed emotion and intensity of this whole feud was Randy Orton’s ridiculously over-the-top selling of his leg injury.  And you think Batista oversells?  Orton flops around the mat, screaming at the top of his lungs, clutching his leg like it’s attached to his hip by a thread.  It just looks stupid.  If he wants to sell a leg injury, quietly clutching your leg while curled up in the fetal position with a very pained facial expression is much more effective than flopping around the ring like a fish out of water.  And then, of course, he no-sells the injury at the end when he hits the RKO I saw coming 50 miles away.  Kind of a weak buildup to their strangely stipulated match at Backlash.  I hope they just end their feud for good this time.  Have Batista turn on HHH, let Orton win the title, then have HHH and Batista feud for a little while, and let someone else climb the ladder to take on Orton.

Well, that’s it for me for today.  Tune in tomorrow for another Top 5 list and maybe some ECW thoughts if I’m feeling frisky.

I said it in my last post that there’d be a week of Top 5 lists, and I’m going to stick to my word.  Today will be a special Top 5, in that it’s actually a Top 10!  Now, those of you who have read at least one of my previous posts knows that I sometimes have a beef with the WWE Creative staff.  Sometimes it’s about the terrible storylines, or the way good storylines take bad turns, or how a match is booked.  But, I think, the most common gripe I have with them is the mismanagement of some of the more talented competitors in their company.  So what better way to kick off Top 5 Week with the Top 10 Mismanaged Talents!  I’ll go in ascending order.

10. DJ Gabriel – There are two reasons he’s this low on the list.  #1 – He was barely given a chance to show his in-ring talent, and #2 – everyone else on the list has been even more royally screwed by Creative.  At first, I wasn’t very big on Gabriel.  He looked like another one of those muscleheads who always get the big pushes and title reigns simply because of their look and not because of their in-ring talent or mic skills.  But as the weeks went by, I saw a lot of potential in this guy.  He could move around the ring well, he had a pretty decent arsenal of moves at his disposal, and he had a pretty cool finisher.  Sure, he had kind of a lame gimmick, but at least he had Alicia Fox to back him up.  Ever since he lost a couple of matches, he’s disappeared from ECW TV.  I’m disappointed.  Just because a new guy loses a match or two is no reason to take him off TV.  Yes, ECW is a breeding ground for new talent, and he might have just gotten pushed to the side, but there’s no reason to abandon someone.  Of course, with Alicia Fox now a part of Smackdown, who knows what lies in store for Gabriel.  Hopefully he’ll go back to FCW to develop a better character, and he’ll get another shot.

9. Dolph Ziggler – The former member of the Spirit Squad got a makeover in developmental and was repackaged as a smug, self-centered, egotistical guy who wants to make sure everybody knows his silly name.  He’s down here for the same reasons Gabriel is this low.  He barely got a chance to showcase his abilities before getting tossed into the jobber pile.  It’s a shame, too, because I think Nick Nemeth (Dolph’s real name) has an absolute ton of potential to be a great wrestler, perhaps even a world champion if WWE Creative would give him a chance (and a better name).  I’ve said before that he reminds me a lot of Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig, in mannerisms, look, and in-ring style.  Ziggler has probably more potential than anyone else on this list, but he was screwed before he ever got in the ring.  He needs to drop the silly name and just be Nick Nemeth.  Maybe he’ll get a new chance on Smackdown.  Hell, he beat MVP in MVP’s last match on Smackdown.  That could be a springboard for him.  Let’s hope it is.

8. Hawkins & Ryder – Yes, I’m putting a tag team in one slot.  Why?  Because these guys should never be separated.  As the Major Brothers, they were an up-and-coming tag team with a lot of chemistry and a pretty good work ethic.  As Hawkins and Ryder, they did nothing of consequence at all.  As soon as they became the Edgeheads, they disappeared off the map, surfacing only to win tag gold once, then disappear again until they lost the titles to Primo and Carlito.  And now they’re on different brands.  A shame, because if WWE Creative gave a shit about tag teams, these guys could have been perenially at the top of the heap, along with another tag team I’ll mention later on.  As it stands now, it looks like both will be going back to FCW or released very soon.  Too bad for them.

7. Hurricane Helms – His comeback from a yearlong hiatus/rehab for serious neck surgery was squandered when he lost a match for the US Title against Shelton Benjamin a couple of months ago.  Where’d he go?  Helms was one of the most prominent Cruiserweight wrestlers WWE had ever had.  He held the now-defunct Cruiserweight Title for over a year.  That’s means that he’s the longest reigning champion in recent history.  And he disappered after one loss.  There’s a problem right there.  Creative gives these returning wrestlers a nice push right from the start, and let them win for about a month.  Then they put them against the secondary champion, they lose, and are rarely ever heard from again.  It’s a shame, too, because Helms is definitely one of the most talented guys on the roster, and he’s getting short-changed because he’s not a 270 pound monster.  They really need to bring back the Cruiserweight title.  Maybe put it on ECW.  Or create something akin to the X Division title in TNA.  Something anyone can compete for, but you have to be damned good at what you do.  So guys like Batista would never win it.  And Helms should hold that one for a year or so as well.  But he won’t.

6. Jimmy Wang Yang – This guy is one of the most overly talented wrestlers of our current generation.  And his talent is being squandered because of a stupid gimmick and a total lack of a push in any way, shape, or form.  He should have been a Cruiserweight champion when the title was still around.  He should have won tag gold with Shannon Moore, who’s long gone from the company.  He’s been stuck at jobber status ever since Moore was released, and Creative is showing no signs of giving him another push.  Which is an utter travesty.  If he left WWE and went anywhere else, he’d be instant world champ material.  But here, he’s stuck at the bottom of the barrel until someone puts him out of his misery.

5. Jesse & Festus – I mentioned in my Supplemental Draft recap that both of these guys are kind of screwed now that they’re on different brands.  I’ve also said that they’re both very talented, and Jesse (real name Terry Gordy Jr.) has the potential to be a great in the business.  But WWE stuck him with a strange gimmick that was over with the crowd until they disappeared once the tag team division became entirely about MizMo and the Colons.  Festus is saddled with a gimmick that will limit him forever, and Jesse is screwed now, because Creative will almost never give a guy like him a great push.  Know why they won’t give him a push?  Because he doesn’t look like Vince McMahon’s prototypical champion.  You know: the 270 pound “carved-out-of-granite” musclehead with a limited moveset and even MORE limited mic skills.  Jesse’s got all the skills to go really far in this business, but in WWE-ville, he’s just fodder for the heels.

4. Ron “R-Truth” Killings – The same situation Hurricane Helms got himself into when he first returned happened to Killings just a few months prior.  Now that I think about it, Killings should be a little lower on the list because he’s still appearing on TV on a semi-regular basis, and still getting over like crazy.  But he should have beaten Benjamin for the US Title when he had the chance.  Now he’s stuck in semi-jobber/lower midcard status, and probably will be until he’s released again.  Which is, again, a shame, because Killings is a former NWA World Champion.  We all know he’s supremely talented.  But he never gets a chance to show it off because he’s stuck in the face role, getting his ass kicked every week and only getting to show off about three cool moves in his much larger arsenal.  He’ll never be a world champion in WWE.  He should go somewhere else.

3. Jamie Noble – James Gibson is a former ROH World Champion.  That’s got to be in the Top 5 as far as prestigious World Championships go.  He competed in ROH during its younger days, when wrestlers were wrestlers and if a match didn’t go 10-15 minutes, people were angry.  I’m really speculating, because I don’t know that much about ROH.  I’m trying, though.  But back to my point.  Jamie Noble is an extremely talented wrestler.  He’s a very focused, intense guy in the ring, and he can show you how damn good he is when he’s facing someone of similar size getting a similar amount of push.  Which is to say, no push whatsoever.  What WWE needs to do is to just let him fight a couple of other cruiserweights for the Cruiserweight title that they NEED to bring back.  Say, Noble, Helms, and my #2 pick.  And maybe one other guy to make it fun.  Like Evan Bourne, or Jesse.  And let those four feud over the title.  You’d have endless amounts of fun watching these guys do it all in the ring.  But we all know WWE Creative won’t give its smaller wresters a fair shake except for the extremely lucky few who manage to get so over with the crowds that there’s no choice but to give them a strong push.  Noble probably won’t ever get another push, which is a shame.  I wonder if he’d go back to ROH if he gets released…

2. Chavo Guerrero – A former Cruiserweight, Tag, and ECW champion is being humiliated every week by his aunt Vickie.  He hasn’t been in a competitive match since last year, back when he won the ECW title from CM Punk…or was it 2007?  I forget.  It’s embarassing how far his stock has fallen since his great days with Eddie, his awesome matches with Rey Mysterio, and his short time as ECW champion.  I think his current role in the company has destroyed any chance he’ll ever get a true push again in WWE.  The only way he can salvage his career is if they bring back the Cruiserweight title and let him and a few other guys fight for it.  Other than that, I don’t see much for Chavo to look forward to in the coming months.

And the #1 most mismanaged talent in WWE is…………

Christian!  Come on, you had to know this was coming.  Yes, he’s only been back for a few months.  But Christian’s position in WWE has been so far beneath his true potential for years, ever since he and Edge went solo.  He never got a decent push or a good break.  He never got a chance to really show the crowds how talented he was.  He got that in TNA, also being a former NWA World Champion.  In fact, he was the last NWA World Champion in TNA before NWA and TNA severed ties.  That’s got to count for something.  With six days before Backlash, I’m hoping Christian will disappear off this list, because he deserves the ECW title so very much more than anyone else on the roster.  Hell, he deserves a world title more than anyone else.  Here’s hoping WWE Creative finally fix the mistake they made back when they had Christian lose to Jack Swagger a few weeks ago and give Christian his first World Championship in WWE.  I truly hope he wins, because if he doesn’t, he should just leave now and go to a company that appreciates him for his talent and not his body size.

And before I go, I just have four more words to say: Bobby Lashley in TNA.

That is all.  See you tomorrow for another list, because it’s Top 5 Week!

So I just finished watching Raw (thank you DVR!), and because I’ve got opinions about things, I’m going to discuss the WWE Draft.  But first, let me say that, this being the first 3-hour Raw I’ve watched on my TV, it was surprisingly grueling to slog through.  Part of that had to do with there being, I think, 11 matches in a three hour time slot.  Wrestlemania 25 didn’t even have that many matches, and the show was four hours!  Anyway, I’ll go through the list in chronological order, and also mark whether or not I picked said superstar.

1. MVP to Raw

I called it, and it happened.  I was a little surprised he was the very first pick, but maybe, just maybe, that means that there are big things in store for the Playmaker from Miami.  And I’m not talking about Dwayne Wade.  MVP has been stellar over the past couple of years, and putting him on the “A” show only helps raise his stock in the company.  He might not hold on to the US Title for much longer, because bigger things are in store for him.  Actually, with all of the current storylines on Raw, he may hold the US Title for another year or so before getting an opportunity at the big one.

2.  Big Show to Raw

This was the first of several times where I yelled, “Who cares!” at the TV.  No offense to the guy, but he’s one of those who might just get lost in the shuffle, as a lot of people like to say.  He’s looked pretty bad over the past few months, having put on an obvious amount of weight, and looks sluggish in the ring, resorting most of the time to headbutts, like back when he was ECW champ.  Anyone remember that?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  Anyway, a big old “meh” from me.  Oh, and I of course did not pick this, so I’m 1 for 2.

3.  Melina to Smackdown

Well, it wasn’t quite Gail Kim to Raw, but I’ll take it.  Though I will be sad to see her go.  She had a great rapport with some of the other face ladies on Raw.  I’m sure she’ll do fine on Smackdown.  She’s incredibly charismatic, fantastic in the ring, and let’s not forget the greatest ring entrance in the history of time.  I hope she and Gail Kim have a very long feud, because those two can tear the house down every single night and I’d be a very happy man.  In more ways than one.  1 for 3 on draft picks.

4.  Matt Hardy to Raw

The stretcher match was the blowoff to the Hardy feud, thank god, and Matt’s been getting pushed like crazy.  Is it time for a main event push?  Creative is probably thinking yes, but I hope the answer is no.  Why?  Because he’s a very bland heel.  He’s just a typical douchebag.  There’s no real character behind the mockery.  He just likes to make fun of everyone else.  And he’s angry a lot.  Big deal.  He’ll get more exposure on Raw, but this is the wrong time to give it to him.

5.  Triple H to Raw

In the move that surprised absolutely no one, The Game moves back to his adopted home on Monday nights, probably to draw out this blown feud with Orton until Backlash.  I’ll talk about what I think is going to happen with this angle once I’m done talking about the draft.  But where does this leave Smackdown?  Wait till the end to find out.

Oh, right, at this point I’m 2 for 5.

6.  CM Punk to Smackdown

I’m taking this one as a correct pick, because I was absolutely sure of it until I saw that ad for Raw in Australia, then decided against it, then decided that WWE probably hadn’t informed their various outlets that the rosters would be changing.  I’m not surprised at all here.  Punk has been kind of stuck in the lower mid-card since losing the World Heavyweight title last year.  Sure, he’s won Tag Team gold and the IC title, but he’s really done that quietly at best.  I’m starting to sour on him, and I’m hoping that the change to Friday nights also brings about a heel turn for him.  I think he’d be extremely entertaining as a brash, arrogant, elitist straight-edge asshole, and maybe the move to Smackdown will help with the change.  3 for 6

7. The Miz to Raw

I had to close my sliding glass door before yelling so loud at this.  Miz has no business being anywhere but ECW or maybe Smackdown.  Morrison should have moved to Raw.  Morrison is infinitely more talented, charismatic, and everything else over his former tag team partner.  I’m still sticking by my claim that John Morrison will be a world title holder within a year, but WWE really fucked this one up.  I was really angry about this.  I was even angry about how the match ended.  For one, the match went on far too long, and to have Miz lose by DQ when Morrison interfered?  Lame.  What I wonder now is did Miz’s beatdown of Morrison (that sounds so wrong now that I think about it) mean that Morrison is turning face?  I surely hope they aren’t doing that, because Morrison is a natural heel.  He is, I would consider, the benchmark when it comes to being a great heel.  I truly hope he’s moved to Smackdown in the Supplemental Draft on Wednesday.

3 for 7.

8.  Kane to Smackdown

Another “meh” pick for me.  Kane’s been doing fine on Raw, and I thought that he might become the new “gatekeeper” as it were.  You know, the old veteran who ushers in the new talent and makes them look good for a couple of weeks until they’re ready to challenge other younger talent.  But I suppose he’ll be doing more on Smackdown instead.  Maybe we’ll see a Brothers of Destruction reunion, if only for one night.

9.  Chris Jericho to Smackdown

I had a strange inkling that Jericho might be moving brands this evening, but I didn’t put him in my top 10.  One more “meh” pick from yours truly.  I’ve been sour on Jericho for about a year now, shortly after his heel turn.  His heel persona seems very tepid and boring, much like Matt Hardy’s heel character.  Raw and Smackdown just traded hairstyles.  Is there a possibility of Jericho and Edge teaming up at some point?  There certainly was a lot of teasing about the possibility of it happening.  I’d be curious to see what happens if they do team up.  Other than that, I have no interest in Jericho moving anywhere.

3 for 9…

10. Vladimir Kozlov to ECW

WHO CALLED IT?  I CALLED IT!  ECW’s one and only pick was the Moscow Mauler.  I knew he needed a change after his winning streak was snapped earlier this year and he faded from the pages of Smackdown entirely.  Look for him to win gold.  Although I feel realy bad for Christian, who had a very disappointed look on his face upon discovering Kozlov was the draftee.  And it wasn’t a “Holy crap, the Russian giant just got drafted to my brand,” it was a “Damnit, now I’ll NEVER win a world title in this company again, I should have stayed with TNA” look.

Sidenote: I want to explain my feelings about Christian right now.  Back when he was in WWE the first time, I was generally okay with him, but never very impressed.  When he went solo…well, I wasn’t watching wrestling back then.  I saw a few of his matches in TNA, and I wasn’t impressed.  But somehow, he’s managed to turn into one of my favorite wrestlers in the WWE.  It had nothing to do with the Internet Wrestling Community and their high praise of the guy.  He’s impressed me with his talent, his grit, his charisma (that is his nickname after all…), and his overall great workmanship.  The guy is truly a legitimate world champ, and he should have won the ECW title from Jack Swagger back when he had his one shot so he and Evan Bourne could have run the gauntlet and tore the house down at Wrestlemania 25.  But Creative fucked it up and kept the belt on the uber-green Swagger, and now the ECW title means absolutely nothing.  I hope someone takes the belt off Swagger at Backlash so it can regain a little respect in my eyes.

Anyway, now I’m 4 for 10.

11. Maryse to Raw

I’m sorry in advance.  I don’t mean to sound like a giant ass, but she doesn’t deserve a goddamned thing she’s received in WWE at all.  She didn’t deserve a roster spot, she didn’t deserve the Diva’s title (a pointless title anyway since it should have gone to Nattie Neidhart and stayed with her to this day), and she certainly didn’t deserve to be a draft pick for a match between Punk and Matt Hardy.  No.  Either she and Melina should have unified the two womens’ titles or she should have been taken to Raw in the Supplemental Draft.  Not a main pick.  Just no.

12. Rey Mysterio to Smackdown

It was inevitable.  MVP’s on Raw, so the IC title had to go somewhere else.  And since WWE gives no respect to ECW, Rey pretty well had no choice.  MVP looked genuinely happy with his move to Raw, but Rey looked just okay.  Sure, he’s going to his old stamping grounds, but what’s over there for him to do?  Not much.  Unless WWE brings Low Ki up to the main roster soon, Mysterio’s going to have nothing to do.

So my final count for picks: 5 for 12.  Not bad, but I certainly could have done better.

Did you notice a name missing from the draft picks?  Perhaps someone else with some gold around his waist?  That’s right, John Cena stayed on Raw.  What this means for the title picture is unintelligible at this point.  Is Edge going to win the title back AGAIN at Backlash, or is Cena going to retain and we have two world titles on Raw?  We’ve been in this situation before, and it isn’t all that interesting.  Let’s just keep the formula of one world title per show going, so everyone on every brand has something to shoot for.  People don’t get into the business to be the Intercontinental Champ.  They get in there to be World Champ.  Smackdown without a world title means that it really is a barren wasteland.  Let’s hope it gets fixed soon.

Now, for the Supplemental Draft.  I won’t be able to watch it, because I have a life.  Yes, it’s true.  So I’ll just pick a few people to move around and we’ll see what the results are Wednesday evening.

Firstly, I’ll take several picks from my Top 10 list a few days ago, but change a couple of them slightly.  Kofi Kingston to Smackdown, Christian to Smackdown, The Brian Kendrick to ECW, John Morrison to Smackdown, Charline Haas to ECW, Goldust to Smackdown, William Regal to ECW (god, I’d love to see him win the ECW title and destroy everyone in his path), Evan Bourne to Smackdown, and that’s it for now.  I know, I didn’t put anyone on Raw.  That’s because they’ve got enough main eventers as it is.  A funny note: to determine these picks, I went onto WWE’s website and looked at the rosters for each show.  Funny how all of the male champions haven’t moved yet, but the female champions have already moved.  And Kozlov’s moved as well.  As has MVP.  But no one else.  Strange…

Okay, quick thoughts about the whole Raw debacle for the WWE Title.  The possibility of a Batista heel turn is so obvious it’s a little painful.  The first seeds were planted tonight.  They’ll only blossom next week, and he’ll show us his true colors at Backlash.  Orton wins the title, and Batista and HHH feud over who gets Orton next, while Orton sits back and laughs his ass off.  Meanwhile, Cena loses his title to Edge and gets in the middle of the feud, leading us to either a fatal four way at some point or the supposed “dream match” between Cena and Orton or Cena and Batista at a PPV in the future.  Here’s hoping one of those matches takes place at the Great American Bash, which is going to be in Sacramento, the city I currently live in.  It was originally going to be Night of Champions, and I was so very excited for that, but WWE decided for reasons entirely unbeknownst to me to switch the two PPV’s around, so we’re getting the GAB instead.  I’m very disappointed about this, especially since the GAB was going to be in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America.  Let them have it and give us 8 title matches!  Sigh.  I’m going to try to stay positive about this, as well as the draft.  As I seem to say every week, time will tel whether or not the decisions made by Creative were good or not.  Until next time, I’ll be watching, and you’ll be reading.

So I just finished watching Smackdown.  I had to…ahem…download it, because Comcast was being weird and cutting in and out frequently.  SO, with that being said, I’ll try to give a quick recap and some thoughts on what’s transpired this evening.

Firstly, the new announce team.  It looks like maybe, just maybe, they’re turning JR into a color commentator.  With Todd Grisham now at the Smackdown desk, either JR’s going to be the color man or we’re having two play-by-play men behind the desk.  I don’t mind either way.  Grisham’s a good announcer.  I just don’t know if he was the best choice.  True, there really weren’t any other obvious choices since JBL’s apparently done for the forseeable future.  But I think a true color man would have fit better.  Stick Kennedy in there while he’s healing.  That’d be an interesting team there.

Kofi/Show was entertaining, if only to showcase how ridiculously athletic Kofi is.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Kofi’s the most athletically gifted wrestler on the roster, even eclipsing Shelton Benjamin.  And Kofi’s still got tons of potential.  I think Shelton’s peaked, and it’s time for a new true athlete to step up to the plate and deliver some high-energy wrestling.  If they’d drop the silly Jamaican gimmick, maybe he’d get further.

Santino vs. Khali.  Where has Khali been the past few…weeks?  Months?  I’m not sure.  What has he got to show for it?  Red pants and a 21 second victory over Santino.  Whee.

Gail Kim vs. Michelle McCool.  Another showcase for Gail Kim.  I never really watched TNA, so I never really got to see her there, and I wasn’t watching back when she was first with WWE, but she is damned impresive.  I really think they should move her to Raw so she and Melina can have some fantastic battles and bring some respect to the women’s division, which right now is nothing more than an eye-candy-fest.  I mean, I enjoy that part and all, but I really like seeing some athletically gifted ladies beating the crap out of each other every once in a while, too.

Cena on the Cutting Edge was a very good start for the build to Backlash.  We got serious Cena and emotional Edge, something we don’t always get.  I know a lot of people have said they’re sick of Cena/Edge, but I’ve watched almost their entire rivalry since it began in early 2006, and it’s still entertaining.  These guys have incredible chemistry, and watching them work together is a treat.  There’s been enough time since their last major feud that I think they can still run with this for a while.  Until they’re separated by the Draft…but more on that later.

Colons vs. Legacy was a pretty good match.  What happened to the Bella twins?  It’s as though once Primo and Carlito won the Unified Tag belts, they’re no longer relevant.  At least Brie should come back, since she was involved (on-screen) with Primo, I think.  At least have her there.  The match was pretty good, and then the completely pointless Randy Orton segment that followed Legacy’s pointless victory.  Randy: summarizing what’s happened on Raw does not count as hyping your match.  At least, that’s what I think he said.  I wasn’t paying attention.

Hardy vs. Hardy – Stretcher Match

Again, a decent TV match, but nothing spectacular.  One think I don’t quite understand is why, when these guys land on the huge pad on top of a stretcher, they act as though they’ve been put through a table.  If anything, they should have a smile on their face that they landed on something soft.  Except if you’re falling from about seven feet up.  Jeff’s Swanton Bomb onto the stretcher was a pretty sweet spot.  I’m a little surprised they’re giving Matt as much of a push as they’re giving him.  Are they going to give him a main event push shortly, or will this fizzle like so many other pushes have in the past?  I suppose only time will tell.

Okay, enough of that.  I’m doing a top 10 this week in honor of the WWE Draft this coming Monday night.  I know that trying to figure out who’s getting drafted where is an exercise in futility, but everyone else is doing it.  So I’ll toss in my picks.  I don’t think 10 are going to move in the main Draft on Raw, but if there’s a supplemental draft, maybe some of these will move.  Maybe not.  Who knows?

1. Edge to Raw – He has to be reunited with Vickie Guerrero, right?  Might as well put him back on the supposed “A” show again, right?  There have been reports that Creative wants to make Raw the big strong show and make Smackdown the sort of “kid-friendly” show.  So most of my picks are going off of that.  Edge is a main eventer and I’m betting a lot of main eventers are getting shipped off to Raw, where they’ll all fight for the WWE Title.  I say WWE Title because my next pick is…

2. HHH to Raw – He’s been on Raw more often in the past couple of months than he has been on Smackdown.  It’s only logical to move him over there so he can rightfully feud with Orton until Backlash and they can drop this feud so they can work on something that didn’t have a clusterfuck of a match at WM 25.

3. Rey Mysterio to Smackown – A move I’m thinking simply because of the supposed “kiddie” nature Smackdown’s possibly going to take.  Also, Smackdown’s ratings are in the toilet since the move to MyNetwork TV, and Creative probably wants to get all of its major stars off that sinking ship before MyNetwork goes belly-up.  And they’ll put a bunch of mid-carders there.  Which is why Rey will probably move there, with the IC Title.  Which would logically mean that…

4. MVP to Raw – you move the US champ to Raw.  Why not?  The WWE title moved to Raw.  Might as well move the US title there as well.  Besides, MVP is due for a main event run.  He put up with a six month long losing streak simply in order to turn him face.  Now, don’t get me wrong here, I love heaing hte crowd cheer for MVP, but the man is a born heel.  I’ll be doing another Top 5 list later where I put my top 5 choices for wrestlers who desparately need a face/heel turn, and he’s definitely going to be in there.  The reason I started liking him was because he was such a great heel.  Watching him get his ass kicked every week, only to pull out a victory in the end isn’t satisfying to me.  Anyway, he deserves a big push, and there’s no better place to do that than WWE’s highest-rated TV show.

5. Kofi Kingston to Smackdown – I think a couple of the matches on Smackdown tonight were potential exhibitions for some new talents moving there.  I think Kofi’s one of them.  You heard my praise for him earlier.  On Smackdown he can shine even brighter and maybe win some gold again.

6. Christian to Smackdown – This is much more of a heart-felt pick than a brain-felt pick.  Lord knows why Vince doesn’t think this man is main event material.  He is so deserving of a world title it’s disturbing.  Hopefully he gets drafted on Monday, loses in the Elimination Chase on Tuesday, and gets a fresh start on Smackdown.

7. The Brian Kendrick to ECW – This may sound like a strange pick, but I think Kendrick’s time on Smackdown is over.  After that push he got last year, being in the Championship Scramble match and actually winning a fall, he’s done nothing of note.  A restart on a very exciting show is the perfect thing to jump-start Kendrick again.  Perhaps an ECW title reign is in order…

8. Vladimir Kozlov to ECW – Ever since he lost, he’s all but disappeared from TV.  This guy had a year-long winning streak.  A lot of people in the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community) were very harsh on him, saying he’s too green and inexperienced to receive a push like the one he did.  I disagree with those people.  I think he’s actually quite talented and athletic in the ring.  He’s got a huge moveset, which includes a lot of martial arts and some really brutal wrestling moves, and while he isn’t the best talker in the biz, he can just stare stone-faced at the crowd and elicit a reaction.  While I don’t know if he’s ever going to be deserving of a World Title, he at least should get to be the monster heel again.  Let him terrorize ECW for a while.  It’ll be fun!

9. John Morrison to Raw – the implosion of MizMo is imminent, which is a crying shame, seeing as how they’re the best tag team the WWE has seen in 10 years.  But Morrison’s bigger than a tag team.  I made a prediction that he’d be world champ inside of a year a couple of weeks ago, and Raw is the perfect place for the total package to show off his talents.  The guy really is the most overall talented wrestler in the company, so let him run with the WWE Title for a few months.

And you’ve probably seen this coming for a while, but I decided to save it for last anyway.

10. John Cena to Smackdown – Sure, he gets the biggest reactions from all crowds, but every other major titleholder is moving brands, so why not The Champ?  Excluding tonight’s promo, he is really a more child-friendly character.  He might as well be the top dog on Smackdown, because I think he’d get lost in the shuffle on Raw (I can’t believe I just said that).  He can renew some old rivalries on Smackdown and carve out a whole new niche for himself as a real main eventer again.

I was going to put CM Punk in this list, but the version of Smackdown I watched had some promos for events in Australia, and he was listed on the Raw shows, so I’m betting he’s staying.  Unless, of course, WWE didn’t inform anyone about the draft picks, which is probably the case.  He’d probably be my 11th pick.  I’d also really hope to see Gail Kim move to Raw so she can feud with Melina and I can be very happy.

Okay, that’s it for me tonight.  Who knows what I’ll be writing about next time.  Not even I know!  But I promise it’ll be a good read.

Be sure to leave any comments you might have, be they in support or in opposition to my ideas.  I’m glad to hear them.

I think it’s high time I start up these Top 5 lists, and what better way to kick them off than by telling you who I think most deserved a spot on the card at Wrestlemania 25, but were snubbed for matches with great builds but horrible execution *COUGH*HHH*COUGH*Orton*HACK*.

1. Umaga

He just came back from injury a few weeks ago, and has once again been tearing through the Smackdown jobber locker room.  He’s one of the hardest workers and one of the most entertaining characters in the entire WWE.  So why leave the Samoan Bulldozer off the card?  He’s incredibly talented in the ring, and is one of the top heels in the entire company.  If nothing else, he would have been fun to watch in the Money in the Bank ladder match, or maybe a triple threat of some sort.  Snubbing the best Samoan wrestler in the company is a shame.  Let’s hope he gets something at Backlash.

2. Evan Bourne

Matt Sydal, Evan Bourne, whatever you prefer to call him, there’s no denying that the guy is so ridiculously over with the fans that there’s no real reason not to put him on the card.  Again, he’d be a fantastic addition to the Money in the Bank match.  With him, Kofi Kingston, and Shelton Benjamin flying around the arena, it would give crowds something to remember.  Let’s see…take Mark Henry out of the match, put Umaga in his place…and probably take out Finlay for Evan Bourne (as much as I love Finlay, I hate his face gimmick and it needs to go away soon).  If those two were in the MITB, it would be a lot more memorable than it was this year.

3. William Regal

I’ll admit, I’m putting Regal in here because he’s one of my all-time favorite wrestlers.  He’s pretty well a total package.  He’s fantastic in the ring, he’s great on the mic, and he can work a crowd into a frenzy with his arsenal of cheating.  Maybe have him in a midcard match, possibly with title implications.  It doesn’t really matter.  Any time we see the brash Englishman walk down the aisle, it’s a treat for the fans.

4. Jesse and Festus

Probably my favorite tag team withouth John Morrison being a part of it, I’m putting these two together because they’re such a cohesive unit, and both bring a lot of unique talents to the ring.  Plus, they’re damned entertaining, both on the mic and in the ring.  Jesse’s a truly talented wrestler whose experience is being squandered because (a) he’s in a tag team, and (b) right now, he’s stuck in jobber limbo with his partner, the “Corn-fed Colossus” as JR calls him, Festus.  Festus is probably one of the most entertaining guys to watch in the ring.  His character is definitely in my top 5 gimmicks to watch.  I love how angry/enthusiastic he is to beat the ever-loving shit out of everyone who gets in his way.  Both guys are a ton of fun, and seeing them relegated to being squashed by the likes of the Big Show saddens me.

5. Matt Striker

Yes, I’m putting an announcer in here.  Why?  Because besides JBL, he’s the most entertaining color analyst to come down the pike in 10-15 years, maybe more.  Not since Heenan and JBL have we had such a great announcer who mixes wrestling knowledge with general wittiness and overall intelligence.  The only person who’s even come close to JBL and Striker was Mick Foley, and we all know he’s being wasted in TNA right now.  I think the announce team at WM25 would have been a lot more fun with Striker in Michael Cole’s place.  No disrespect to Cole, but if you’re going to put together a 3-man all-star team for your biggest show of the year, put in three entertaining guys with a true passion for the business.

Interesting side note: while I’ve enjoyed Striker and Todd Grisham’s announcing team on ECW, I must say that Josh Matthews was a very welcome change this past week.  Matthews seems much more knowledgeable about what’s actually going on in the ring, as well as sounding more natural without forcing any emotion, as Grisham does on a regular basis.  If this is the new ECW announce team, I am very happy with it.

And, what the hell, I’m not tired of writing yet, so I’ll give you a couple of Honorable Mentions that didn’t make the Top 5:

Vladimir Kozlov (am I the only person on the planet who likes this guy?), Jimmy Wang Yang, Mr. Kennedy, R. Truth (can we just change him back to Ron Killings?), Cryme Time, Tommy Dreamer, Tyson Kidd, and MIZ AND MORRISON.  Fucking dropped the ball with that one, guys.

Okay, that’s it for now.  I’ll be back with maybe another Top 5 or two, and possibly a brief Smackdown recap when I get around to watching it, be it Friday night or Saturday sometime.  See you then!